How Artificial Intelligence (AI) Is Disrupting Financial Services

With big data software companies and cloud providers using up a large amount of data, there has been a substantial increase in the practical application of AI.

Artificial intelligence is already being applied in a lot of fields to perform a specific task such as medical diagnosis, remote sensing, electronic trading and robot control.

Financial institutions have longed used an artificial neural network to detect system changes and abnormal claims while alerting and flagging them for human to investigate.

Many banks are making use of artificial intelligence systems to maintain book-keeping, organize operations, manage properties and invest in stock.

Artificial intelligent defined as a theory and development of computer systems to perform tasks normally associated with humans such as decision-making, visual perception, and speech recognition has been in existence for a long time.

With advancements in computational hardware, big data, and machine learning, artificial intelligence is becoming more powerful and useful every day.

Recent advances in artificial intelligence have ushered in a new era in finance and within a short period of time, big data and machine learning have yielded breakthrough that resulted in improved customer experience and productivity.

Software plays a huge role in this breakthrough and there still remain a lot of challenges to solve. There is a need for software to be designed and optimized to fully take the advantage of the features of the underlying hardware to improve performance. There is also need for libraries, framework and other tools to be streamlined in other to accelerate the development process. Some of these problems have been solved because of the advance in GPU.

Here are a few areas in finance that artificial intelligence is already having an impact:

• Financial service providers and banks are deploying AI to help predict and plan the way customers manage their money and thus making AI an integral part of business development strategy.

• The capability of smart machines to turn data into customer insights and improve services is transforming the digital experience. By utilizing complex algorithms and machine learning, AI can process thousands of structured and unstructured data points and because finance professionals heavily depend on data, this capability can significantly impact how they do their jobs.

• Auditors feel freeing of responsibilities due to automation potential provided by artificial intelligence. They are using AI to automate time-consuming and manual activities, giving them time to focus on more important job. AI can help auditors to review contract and document faster by employing machine learning technology that can find key phrases from documents that take a lot of time to decipher or interpret. Currently, AI can process language in a document and produce relevant results, this has played a crucial role in improving productivity.

• Data-driven management decision at low cost is ushering in a new style of management and in the future, managers will able to question machines instead of human expert. Machines will analyze data and make a recommendation that team leaders will base their decision upon.

• Embedded …

Divorce Financial Planning: Take Control of Your Finances

Do you know your credit score or the details of your Social Security report? Can you find the deed to your house, mortgage, life insurance policies, car title, car insurance policies, tax returns for the past 5 years, brokerage and bank statements for the past year? Do you know what your spouse earns or how much is going into a 401k plan annually?

Getting divorced is often a wake up call when it comes to finding out what you know and don't know about your family finances.

Managing your finances is not about knowing which stock, bond or mutual fund to buy. It's about knowing what you own (assets); what you owe (liabilities); what's coming in (income) and what's going out (expenses). It is about paying attention to where your money is going and being organized.

You're going to be asked to produce a lot of financial paperwork and documentation for the court, your attorney or mediator and for your soon-to-be ex spouse. So, let's get started:

Clear off a workspace and gather all your statements: bank, brokerage, credit cards, etc. Other supplies to gather: paper, pen or pencil, 3-ring binder, hole punch, index dividers, highlighter and sense of humor.

First, we're going to tabulate your net worth (difference of what you own versus what you owe): make a list of everything you own: house, car, brokerage accounts, life insurance, retirement accounts and their value (the internet can help- try KBB.com and zillo.com). Then, list everything you owe: mortgage, car loan, credit card debt, school loans and their outstanding balance. Keep this information stored in the first section of your 3 ring binder.

Next, find where your money is going (the cash flow), or the reality of not having a clue as to where you spent all that money. The easiest way to determine your cash flow is a computer program like Quicken or QuickBooks. A useful website is mint.com. If you prefer not to use the computer, this can be done with Excel, columns on lined paper or on graph paper.

To make a budget, gather your checkbooks, check stubs and charge card statements. Give each spending a category and a subcategory. Example: Utilities: phone, Utilities: cell phone, Utilities: cable and enter your expenses for each month. You will get a total for each subcategory as well as a total for the whole category of Utilities. Don't forget to enter your income, including income from child support and alimony. Print a report every month, and a quarterly report every 3 months. Put these in a Cash Flow or Budget section of your binder.

It may take you several months to get a picture of your income and expenses but it will become the foundation to manage your finances as well as negotiate child support and alimony.

With a handle on your cash flow, you can look for places where you can reduce expenses or control spending. Try taking 10% off the top of your income as savings. Then, rework …

Getting Instant Personal Loans With Bad Credit To Clear Your Financial Headache

Financial emergencies are rather unforgiving when it comes to the time granted to get them sorted out. Whether it is a final notice on a mortgage payment or an unexpected medical situation, payments are expected as close to immediately as possible. Thankfully, it is possible to secure instant personal loans with bad credit.

Why thankfully? Well, more often than not, it is a poor credit history that holds up the chances of getting vital funds quickly. So, having the opportunity to receive loan approval with no credit checks is welcome. However, there are some compromises that must be made in order to get the green light, and these need to be considered carefully.

The trick to negotiating the difficulties involved and securing the best possible terms is knowing the key factors in the application process. So, the chances of getting the personal loan instantly are greatly improved.

Is Instant Approval Real?

In truth, getting a loan approved instantly is not quite accurate, and a very quickly approved loan is perhaps more like it. What really matters is that even bad credit borrowers can get the thumbs up from a lender within a matter of minutes and have the funds in their own bank account within 4 hours, so getting instant personal loans with bad credit is no marketing ploy.

The reason lenders can offer such a fast decision on an application is down to a special process where they grant approval with no credit check. This basically means that the mistakes and troubles of the past are ignored, thus saving time.

And of course, the instant approval promise is available from online lenders because the online application form is electronically processed in just seconds. Key information like income, employment status and monthly spending are assessed, so the personal loan may be approved very quickly.

Instant Loans Have Limitations

So, what are the compromises that applicants need to accept? Crucially, there is a limit to the size of the loan that can be secured. Getting instant personal loans with bad credit is great, but the lenders face a higher risk of lending to a serial defaulter to make that happen.

In most cases, these loans are limited to around $ 2,000, but in some cases a lender may be willing to grant more. This protects them against major losses. Another move designed to protect themselves is to charge a higher interest rate. Granting approval with no credit check the normal interest bracket structure is ignored too. Instead, all applicants pay the same interest.

For most, that means paying more (perhaps 2% more) than usual, but some very poor credit borrowers will actually be paying less on the personal loan.

What Deal To Expect

It is important to be realistic when applying for any loan, but especially when reviewing the range of terms and conditions lenders set for those applying for an instant personal loan with bad credit. As well as the normal qualifying criteria, there is the need to have a …

New Book Offers Practical Tips for Achieving Financial Security

In Your Money and You: How to Increase Your Chances of Achieving Financial Security, Deborah Ellis, a longtime Certified Financial Planner (CFP), offers readers a plethora of information about stocks, bonds, saving, investing, allocating your investments, and even individual advice for people in different industries. While the book is full of information, it's also written in a highly accessible manner. Ellis shares her personal stories of how she began saving money as a child and young woman, how her aunt taught her how to invest and buy stocks, and how things have changed in the decades since she began saving. Her personal experiences then branch into her professional experiences with clients and with years of investing in the market.

I know investing can be scary and confusing, but that's usually due to a lack of information or the fear that we won't understand the information. As Ellis shows us, investing is really not that difficult. In fact, anyone who passed middle school math classes can figure it out. What is harder is to learn to save and to break some negative beliefs we may have about money so that we can quit solely working for money and learn to make it work for us. The book opens with a quote from Napoleon Hill, author of the classic book Think and Grow Rich, that states, "If you let it, you will be surprised at how money attracts money." Nothing could be truer, and Ellis shows us how it can be true for all of us. She states, "I believe that today the stock market is a gateway to opportunity in America. I believe it is a way for almost anyone from any walk of life to build wealth and partake in the American Dream." Your Money and You shows you just how to pass through that gate.

The book's opening chapters teach us how to take on a leadership role with our money. Ellis helps us learn how to plan for retirement and what to expect. She walks us through the elements of a financial plan. Then she has us take a financial inventory of where we currently are so we know what we have to work with and what is required to reach our goals. She teaches us how to develop a saving and a spending plan, and finally, how to assemble a team to help us, a team that may include an accountant, a financial advisor, maybe a lawyer, etc. We do not hand over our financial affairs to these people, but rather, we learn to lead them so they can help us achieve our goals. Ellis warns us "if one of your team members has different matters, a bias, or wants you to go in a direction you don't agree with, you need to find another team member!" That's just one example of how Ellis tells it like it is. Another example I love and know is very true is that "If you want to charge something you …

Writing a Financial Plan on Your Own

Like anything in life, you need a plan to succeed. That applies to your personal finance too. No one is completely secure financially unless you have accumulated millions of dollars and decide to live off the nest egg for the rest of your life.

Unfortunately, for most people, they are unprepared for retirement. Financial planning is crucial in reaching your goals of retiring comfortably. But having say that, how does one go about writing a financial plan without any formal education?

Below is a quick step-by-step guide to writing your own financial plan. Of course, a professional financial planner may be able to give you a more comprehensive financial plan but this will be a good step forward in understanding your needs and clearing some stumbling blocks.

1. What Are Your Objectives?

Don't be afraid to dream – you only live once. Think about the size of the home, the education, your family, etc. Just pen these thoughts down of how you want the future to look like. Once you list down your ideals, remember to factor in mundane issues like kids education, insurance, etc.

Your goals should include:

* Education. Regardless of your age, extra education and training are needed either for a career switch or self-improvement. A lot of people are taking college courses (even with teenagers) or upgrading to an MBA to climb the corporate ladder. Even if college education is out for you, you still have to plan for your children's college degree, unless you intend to leave them to their own devices.

* Career. What field do you desire to work in? Is it a creative job or a typical 9-5? Or do you want to be your own boss? Do you want to create multiple source of passive income?

* Lifestyle. Is work or family more important? Are you contended with "simpler living?" Do you desire a Porsche or BMW? Do you want to live in a mansion, a seafront house, etc? Do you have expensive hobbies life golf? These all cost money so tabulating the expenses and matching it to your income is necessary to achieve your lifestyle goals.

* Retirement. Don't forget about retirement. It is a moment when you lose your income. So how do you want to live while retired? Will you downgrade your house, live with your children, or move to a retirement community?

* Insurance. Nothing is certain in life. You need to be insured for worst case scenarios. Every financial plan must have provisions for insurance.

These objectives may seem daunting but they need not be wishful thinking. The actual money set aside could be much less than you think, if effective financial planning is involved.

2. Plan Your Income

Of course, your financial plan isn't just about your dreams. How are you going to pay for it? I assume you don't have a sugar daddy, so you should be following a life of employment. Most people have their career path charted in this format – go …

Take Responsibility For Your Financial Health

Take responsibility for YOUR financial health. All aspects of it: expenses, income, savings, retirement, investing, pocket change, the works.

This is a simple idea with potentially profound implications. Yes, it may be a bit cliché, but that does not mean that it is not true. Everyone would like to improve their life in some way – financially, mentally, physically, emotionally, or a huge variety of others – but nobody can until they accept that, fundamentally, they are responsible for what will happen.

The first step to take is to do just that: assume full responsibility for your financial health. Regardless of your situation, you can't dwell on the past. It doesn't matter if you got hit by a disaster, laid off, if a business deal went south, or if you think weren't positioned right from the start. As long as you focus on the problems you perceive, you will be unable to move forward in your financial life.

Forgive everyone for all the bad things they have done to you. Let go of what has happened to you before. Stop thinking about the negatives and the past events that have placed you into whatever your current situation is .. Right now – don't put this off, saying "Oh, that's a good thought, I'll consider it." And there should be no half measures, even if you share finances. Assume 100% of the responsibility for your physical and financial health or you won't be able to improve your situation. Above all else you must hold yourself personally responsible .

This is now going to let you take power over your financial health. If you want to change your situation for the better, you must have that power, plain and simple. Assuming full responsibility means you have no excuses when you fall off the wagon, no exemptions for slips, moments of weakness, and no one to pass the blame to when you aren't as responsible as you want to be.

Without 100% responsibility you are utterly powerless. You'll find ways to blame the world, your significant other, the economy, or something else. If you want things to change, you have to step into your power fully and completely. And you can't do that if you remain in denial of even a smidgen of your responsibility. Now, I don't mean that you need to blame yourself every time you slip even the slightest bit or something goes wrong. Not all circumstances are within your control. But you do always have the ability to respond to changes in your situation, so remember that!

Accepting responsibility for your own finances gives you the power to change your financial health for the better. It must be your own force of will that does so, but knowing that it's on you makes all the difference in the world. Use your creativity and abilities to make the best of it!

Source Article

7 Key Financial Ratios Every Startup Should Know

Apart from having a great product, good sales, good SEO, great marketing, and so on … there is one thing that is vital to the long term growth and success of a startup: good accounting.

And yes … you may not be as versed in numbers as your accountant is. But do understand: its essential to have a working knowledge of an income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement.

And along with that a working knowledge of key financial ratios.

And if these ratios are understood will make you a better entrepreneur, steward, company to buy and yes … investor.

Because YOU'LL know what to look for in an upcoming company.

So here are the key financial ratios every startup should:

1. Working Capital Ratio

This ratio indicates whether a company has enough assets to cover its debts.

The ratio is Current assets / Current liabilities.

(Note: current assets refer to those assets that can be turned into cash within a year, while current liabilities refers to those debts that are due within a year)

Anything below 1 indicates negative W / C (working capital). While anything over 2 means that the company is not investing excess assets; A ratio between 1.2 and 2.0 is sufficient.

So Papa Pizza, LLC has current assets are $ 4,615 and current liabilities are $ 3,003. It's current ratio would be 1.54:

($ 4,615 / $ 3,003) = 1.54

2. Debt to Equity Ratio

This is a measure of a company's total financial leverage. It's calculated by Total Liabilities / Total Assets.

(It can be applied to personal financial statements as well as corporate ones)

David's Glasses, LP has total liabilities of $ 100,00 and equity is $ 20,000 the debt to equity ratio would be 5:

($ 100,000 / $ 20,000) = 5

It depends on the industry, but a ratio of 0 to 1.5 would be considered good while anything over that … not so good!

Right now David has $ 5 of debt for every $ 1 of equity … he needs to clean up his balance sheet fast!

3. Gross Profit Margin Ratio

This shows a firms financial health to show revenue after Cost of Good Sold (COGS) are deducted.

It's calculated as:

Revenue – COGS / Revenue = Gross Profit Margin

Let's use a bigger company as an example this time:

DEF, LLC earned $ 20 million in revenue while incurring $ 10 million in COGS related expenses, so the gross profit margin would be 50%:

$ 20 million- $ 10 million / $ 20 million = .5 or% 50

This means for every $ 1 earned it has 50 cents in gross profit … not to shabby!

4. Net Profit Margin Ratio

This shows how much the company made in OVERALL profit for every $ 1 it generates in sales.

It's calculated as:

Net Income / Revenue = Net Profit

So Mikey's Bakery earned $ 97,500 in net profit on $ 500,000 revenue so the net profit …

Do You Know What a Financial Asset Is?

In the mid-1990s, and man named Robert Kiyosaki wrote a book called Rich dad, poor dad. This book was one of the first books that said your house was not a financial asset. Many people at the time argued that your house is an asset. Different people define a financial asset with a different definition. We are going to go over the various definitions that different people use.

If you live life according to Robert Kiyosaki's principles, then a financial asset is something that gives you money each month, quarter, or year. If you were to quit working today, your financial asset would continue to bring in money whether you did anything or not. That is what he defines a financial asset as. Robert also defines a financial asset as something you can sell and turn into money, but his first principle of an asset is something that gives you money each month whether you work or not.

Other people define an asset as something you can sell them turn into money. Different examples of these types of would include money in your bank accounts, stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Your 401 (k) and any other retirement money that you have set aside are also considered assets.

Bankers allow you to count personal possessions as assets, such as your boat, car, and jewelry that you have. When you are applying for a loan, if you have more financial assets in the form of a boat or car that is paid for, the banker will look favorably on this. Of course your banker will consider any mutual funds, 401 (k) retirement accounts, cash in the bank, and stocks as an asset to.

We all have different definitions of what an asset is financially and I urge you to look into yourself and see what your definition is. If you are considering your car a financial asset, consider this question. How much did you pay for your car and how much can you sell your car for? If you cannot sell your car for the amount that you paid for it or more, I suggest that it is a financial liability. Losing money on a position should not be defined as an asset, no matter what the situation. Sit down with the pan and paper and write down what you think an asset is. Write down what you currently possess that is a financial asset. Can you sell it today if you had to? If so, would you be able to get more for it than you paid? Understanding the difference between as asset and liability can mean the difference between becoming rich and staying poor.

Source Article

Need a Financial Breakthrough? Access the Power of Prayer!

When they need a financial breakthrough, most people have no trouble asking God for help. As Christians, we are taught to "make our requests known" through prayer. We understand that there is power in prayer. We understand that there is power in prayer. And when you have an urgent financial need, you don't have time to wait. You need all the power you can get and you need it fast! Right?

Unfortunately, too often, we fail to see that power work in a timely manner-if at all. But how can that be? Scripture assures us that God hears our prayers and is faithful to answer, right? So what's the problem? Why don't we get what we're asking God for-when we need it?

To achieve your financial breakthrough you must effectively using the power of prayer !! That's why! You see, the power of prayer is not found solely during time on your knees. This is just the beginning-it's like flipping the switch that sets a series of events in motion. It's the completion of those events that produces the results you desire. So here are four series of events that ignite the power of prayer and expedite your financial breakthrough.

# 1: The Word As The Foundation For Your Financial Breakthrough.

For your prayers to lead to quick results you have to know what to pray. God does honor just any old request. This means you have to find the word on your particular situation. So, the first thing to do is answer the question, "God, what does your word say about how my situation is supposed to be? To help you out, here are a few examples.

If you need money for a basic need like buying food and paying the rent or mortgage, utilities, or for an urgent medical procedure:

Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. (Matthew 6: 32-33 NLT)

For money to pay creditors to avoid losing your car, house, or business:

The Lord says, "I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. (Psalm 91:14 NLT)

Or to overcome poverty or lack and get on the road to prosperity:

Study this Book of the Law continually. Meditate on it day and night so you may be sure to obey all that is written in it. Only then will you succeed. I command you-be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1: 8-9 NLT)

Okay, so now you're armed with a few scriptures, now what? How do I use this to help me get what I need?

# 2: A Strong Belief That God Will Provide Your Financial Breakthrough.

Most of the time we believe …

Importance of Financial Stability Ratios

Common ratios to judge the financial stability of a business concern are gearing ratio, current ratio and liquid ratio. Gearing ratio shows the extent of a firm's reliance on debt to fund its activities. As the proportion of debt climbs (especially if it exceeds 65 percent of total funds for most businesses), the greater the risk of financial distress. This is the downside of financial leverage – It increases the financial risk.

Current ratio measures the number of times the current assets of a firm cover its current liabilities. This is a measure of solvency: the capacity of a firm to pay its debts through the normal cash cycle, selling inventory on credit, collecting debts and paying creditors. This ratio must normally exceed 1: 1 and should be closer to 2: 1. It should also be noted that an excess of current assets will result in poor asset utilization.

Liquid or quick ratio is a more tighter measure of short term financial stability. It measures the firms ability to pay its current liabilities from its liquid assets. Liquid assets are cash or near cash resources. In practice liquid assets include cash, bank, short term securities and accounts receivable, the assets that be readily converted into cash to meet immediate calls for payment from lenders and suppliers.

Accounts receivables are normally included in liquid assets, as they may be sold to a finance company at a discount for later collection from debtors. This is called debt factoring. Debt factoring is not common in all the countries. Debt factoring is used as a means of managing the cash flow from operations, rather than trying entity's funds up in accounts receivable. In arriving at liquid assets, the principle exclusion from current assets is inventory. As this may take some months to sell – and then often to credit customers – it can be many months before cash is collected from inventory. Among the current liabilities may be some debts that may not be due for many months. These may be excluded in calculating the liquid ratio. Examples include tax payable and a current portion of long term debt, both of which may not be due for some months. However, such adjustments should only be made if the repayment dates are known and are over six months later than balance sheet date.

One common (but risky) adjustment in calculating the liquid ratio is to exclude bank overdraft from current liabilities. This is not recommended. When a liquid ratio declines towards (or below) the 1: 1 level (including overdraft), this is most likely time that the bank will require repayment – on demand. Hence, an overdraft should only be left out of this calculation when the firm is perfectly liquid – When it does not matter anyway!

As these ratios are based on the statement of financial position, they represent only a 'snapshot' of the financial stability of the business, taken at one point in time. These ratios can be manipulated by referring payments or …