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Industries that scored the largest revenues in 2017

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The largest industries in the world today have a huge influence in the global economy. Aside from generating massive revenues of over $27 trillion, these industries have also raked in a total of $1.5 trillion in profits (based on 2016 data) – and their successes don’t end here. Inevitably, they have become important components in many investment portfolios, including discretionary accounts from offshore investment firms such as LOM Financial.

Based on Fortune 500’s ranking which was released after the end of the different sector’s respective fiscal years, these are the top industries with the highest revenues in 2017.

Banking and Finance Industry

The global banking and financial services sectors represent one of the world’s largest grossing industries.  According to the said ranking, there are 55 companies whose performances from the previous year earned their spots in Fortune’s top 500 money-makers. Included in the top ten is America’s Berkshire Hathaway with a revenue of $223.8 billion.

Automobile Industry

Another industry that’s in the ranks of the biggest industries in terms of revenue is the Automobile Industry, with 34 companies making it to the list. Examples are Japan’s Toyota Motors (with over $254.7 billion in revenue) and Germany’s Volkswagen with a revenue total of $240.2 billion.

Petroleum Industry

Not surprisingly, the petroleum industry is home to the top companies in 2017 based on their revenues. In this particular industry, 28 companies were recognized by Fortune 500. Ranked fourth is China’s Sinopec, with a revenue of $267.5 billion, and Netherland’s Royal Dutch Shell with a $240 billion on the seventh place.

While the retail industry did not make it to the top three highest grossing industries, WalMart Stores actually bagged the top rank as the leading company with the largest revenue in 2017.

What’s inside the most profitable investment portfolios today?

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Portfolio diversification is one of the most effective investment strategies that you should turn to especially if you’re new at investing. However, diversification does not only mean putting different entries into your folder but it also involves carefully balancing and choosing which sectors and specific industries can help you reach long-term financial goals.

Here are the top industries that constitute the most profitable investment portfolios:

Industries under the Technology Sector

Technology companies constitute the most popular sector to invest in, especially with the rise of several new industries that are transforming how people work and live – especially in this booming information age.  Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things and even Autonomous Vehicles are part of the new wave of innovative industries that investors should consider for a balanced portfolio. Whether it’s investing in shares of this growing sector such as startups or opting for already established companies, you’ll be on the right track.

Industries under the Health Care Sector

This particular sector plays a vital role in responding to the demands of an aging population through leading innovations and life-saving products and services offered by the different health care industries. From biotechnology, the insurance industry, the pharmaceutical industry, hospital conglomerates, and other healthcare companies, including these investment options in your portfolio is a wise move.

Industries under the Financial Sector

The financial services sector covers a long list of industries that include financial organizations, banks, insurance companies, brokerage firms, credit card companies, and even offshore portfolio management firms like LOM Financial. The financial sector is your best bet if you’re looking at the benefits of long-term investments, especially in the U.S. as the government rolls over regulations that will effectively put financials on top of the best industries to invest in for 2018 and beyond.

The promise of a billion-dollar market in the luxury tourism industry

Image source: LOM Financial

Luxury travel is no longer just about expensive destinations and staying at the most luxurious hotels in the world. In fact, the recent trends that currently dominate the entire industry make it more diverse than how it was conventionally perceived.

According to statistics, the new face of the global luxury tourism industry shows an increased interest in destinations that offer unique, exclusive, and exotic holiday experiences for travelers. More interestingly, luxury travels are no longer limited to a particular affluent social group. This is because, the popularity of the luxury travel experiences in the social media coupled with the increased spending of the middle as well as an upper middle class have shaped and redefined the whole luxury travel market, fueling market growth that is expected to reach over $1.1 billion by 2022, according to the Allied Market Research report.

What drives the demand for luxury travel? According to the same report, the rising growth of the industry can be attributed to luxury travelers’ high spending power as well as their need for exclusivity. Similar studies and statistics that examined the opportunities and forecast for the luxury tourism industry showed that North American and European travelers contributed 66 percent of the industry’s total revenue. In addition, recent data revealed that the global destinations that topped the most-sought-after luxury travel experience are in Kenya.

Safari adventures, for instance, accounted for an approximately 44 percent of revenue not just in the U.S. but of the overall luxury travel market globally. In fact, this segment is still the most popular among young and middle age vacationers. On the other hand, about 70 percent of millennial travelers prefer culinary-focused travel experience as a top motivation in taking their own luxury trips.

Nevertheless, the likes of Santorini, the Cayman Islands, Maldives, and other “expensive” islands remain to be the top choices amongst affluent travelers, given their reputation and the superiority of hospitality services. Just last year, popular offshore investments center and luxury destination Bermuda has hosted the America’s Cup, a racing competition for sailing yachts that attracts not only the world’s top sailors and yacht designers but also wealthy entrepreneurs and sponsors.

Top business films that will spark your entrepreneurial spirit

Inspiration can come from different places and in different forms, and films are one of its greatest sources. Whoever you are and whatever you do, movies have the power to change your perspective and transform how you see the world – even if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur.

Here are some examples of the most motivating and inspiring business-themed films that will keep your entrepreneurial spirit alive:

  1. The Founder

First released in 2017 in the United States, “The Founder” is a biographical drama film that portrays the journey of one of the world’s largest fast-food chain, McDonald’s. The story revolves around how traveling salesman Ray Kroc, played by Michael Keaton, met the original McDonald’s brothers, Maurice and Richard McDonald, and built the fast food empire that we now know today.

  1. The Social Network

The Social Network is a 120-minute American movie adaptation of the 2009 book, “The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook”. It was released in 2010, raking in over $220 million from the Box Office. The film portrays several revealing stories of early stages of the now-influential social networking giant, Facebook – but it’s not your typical success story, for the movie depicts several challenges and betrayals that came along with the company’s rise to popularity. Its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, is played by Jesse Eisenberg.

  1. The Intern

The movie has a star-studded cast that includes Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway. It’s an American comedy that features the chance meeting of a rising start-up founder (Hathaway) and a retired business-owner (De Niro). In the movie, Jules Ostin is the workaholic CEO of a booming fashion website. As part of her company’s “senior internship” initiative, she hires a widower and a former business owner, Benjamin Whittaker – and it was the start of an unusual yet inspiring friendship.

Private equity: A brief history of the trillion-dollar global industry

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The beginnings of private equity industry can be traced back the post-World War II era as a response to the economic gloom caused by the war’s aftermath. The late 1940s, in contrast to the state of the finance industry during those times, was the golden age of the formation of the world’s very first venture capital firms: the American Research and Development Corporation (ARDC) and the J.H. Whitney & Company.

In the 1980s, private equity investors in the U.S. recorded a boom in large buyouts on Wall Street, participated by two famous PE investors: Henry Kravis and Jerome Kohlberg, Jr. of the Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), a modern global investment firm.

Over just a period of ten years (from the end of the 1970s through 1990s), records show thousands of leveraged buyouts, amounting to an overall transaction value of $250 billion.  The same decade also produced major private equity firms like Hellman & Friedman, The Carlyle Group, Bain Capital, and the Blackstone Group.

The deterioration in economic and financial performance in the U.S., for instance, totally changed the recent history of the private equity industry and the investment industry as a whole. Before 2008, private equity firms used to have the freedom and capacity to complete huge buyouts, thanks to low-interest rates, laid-back lending procedures, and even easy access to debt-financing.

Come 2008, fewer buyouts were observed, recording only small volumes of completed deals. The figures drastically dropped, from the early years of the 21st-century value of trillions to just over $400 billion from 2008-2010. However, as soon as the economy recovered from this recession, private equity buyouts slowly found its way back to the limelight, closing billion-dollar buyout deals once again.

Today, the global private equity industry holds over $2 trillion in assets and a committed capital value of $1 trillion.

Fashion juggernauts: Top design brands based on what you wear

Fashion has been and will always be part of modern human civilization. The demand for designer clothing increases every year as well as the number of people working in the industry—which some sources estimate to be enough to build their own country.

Today, fashion is one of the most lucrative businesses across the globe. Furthermore, the trends and styles that we follow are typically ephemeral and constantly changing—even from season to season. In addition, especially among women, wearing apparels and accessories with a designer’s label is more than just a social status. It defines every individual’s personality and may boost his or her confidence and self-esteem.

From the creations of well-known fashion designers and reputable fashion houses, here is a list of some of the most coveted fashion brands according to which type of garment you would want to wear:

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Lingerie – Victoria’s Secret

Victoria’s Secret is famous for its premium lingerie brand and sleepwear for women. It was founded in 1977 by an American businessman, Roy Raymond, and currently has over 1000 operating stores in the United States and the UK. In 2016, the company had an estimated global net sales of $12.6 billion and approximately $5.29 million net sales per store average.

This year’s highly anticipated fashion show was filmed in Shanghai, where 55 Victoria’s Secret models have donned their embellished lingerie and wings covered with tons of crystals while walking down the VS runway at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. In addition, Lais Ribeiro, a Brazilian model, has worn this year’s VS Fantasy Bra worth $2 million (£1.5m); this is by far the most expensive and famous lingerie brand in 2017 according to express.co.uk.

 

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Haute couture – Michael Cinco

A Dubai-based Filipino fashion designer, Michael Cinco is widely known for his magnificent couture creation. He launched his first fashion line in Dubai, in 2003. Eventually, he became famous when he started dressing international celebrities such as Tyra Banks, Christina Aguilera, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, and Mariah Carey.

One of his most expensive creations was worth $1 million, a six-meter long train wedding gown encrusted with Swarovski crystal worn by an Austrian singer and heiress to the Swarovski fortune, Victoria Swarovski, during her extravagant wedding in the Italian city of Trieste. And just recently, Michael showcased his Fall- Winter 2016-2017 couture collection during the Haute Couture event in Paris. He also designed the farewell gowns of the two latest Miss Universe winners, Philippines and France.

 

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Luxury bags and apparel – Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton is the epitome of luxury and one of the most recognized brand names in the world of fashion. It was established in France in 1854 and was named “The World’s Most Valuable Luxury Brand” for six consecutive years (2006-2012). This year, Louis Vuitton ranked again on Forbes list as the 20th Most Valuable Luxury Brand with $28.8 billion brand valuation and $9.9 billion revenue.

Furthermore, Louis Vuitton staged its Fall-Winter Collection for 2012 at Express Train Station in Shanghai. The runway was designed in a highly dramatic setting, with the models onboard all the way from Paris in a luxury train as their theme for the extravaganza and was reportedly cost $8 million for the steam train alone.

REPOST: Startup unleashes big data on art investing

Yes, even in the seemingly millennia-old realm of arts, artificial intelligence (AI) can have a big influence on. Read up St. Louis Post-Dispatch‘s article on how Big Data on arts can affect people’s investing decisions when it comes to alternative investments:

Three pieces from a set of 18 Chinese export paintings (center) at Ely House in London on Oct. 12, 2015. Bloomberg photo by Luke MacGregor.

Hedge funds and some of the world’s biggest banks have embraced the predictive properties of machine learning to spot patterns and guide their investment decisions. Could this branch of artificial intelligence be used to divine the vagaries of the art market?

A New York startup says it can. Arthena analyzes hundreds of thousands of data points on works of art — artist, style, medium, size and so forth. Adding a touch of human insight, the company picks pieces it says will generate handsome returns for investors. Arthena currently manages several funds, ranging from low-risk ones that invest in modern art to higher-risk funds that buy works from emerging artists.

The startup, which is backed by Foundation Capital, Beamonte Investments and Y Combinator, recently teamed up with brokerage Charles Schwab, which offers a suite of alternative investment offerings.

Valuing art is inherently subjective, and many experts are skeptical that it can be profitably bought and sold simply by the numbers. But Arthena co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Madelaine d’Angelo says AI could shed light on a market where deals are often done privately, lower the barriers to entry and help democratize art investing.

“Most people in the art world don’t like what we’re doing,” d’Angelo says, noting that she’s been accused of stealing the soul from art investing. “We’re not advocating that art shouldn’t exist for art’s sake, or that people should stop building collections, but we want to make it more widely available as an asset class and investment opportunity.”

Read more HERE.

Economics of Christmas: How much money is made and spent during the holidays?

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The Christmas season is perhaps one of the most celebrated holidays in the world and while many countries consider it as a religious festivity, other nations have created their own definition of this joyful event.

From sharing meals among one’s family and friends, exchanging gifts, to selfless giving to the less fortunate, these are just some of the ways to celebrate the essence of the holidays—and all of these typically come from careful budgeting and stretching one’s finances.

If you scratch the surface and look at it from an economic perspective, how expensive really is Christmas and how much money is made during the most wonderful time of the year?

According to several statistics, Christmas is one of the strongest economic drivers among many nations globally, reporting rapid and dramatic sales increases in almost every retail store worldwide. In the United States, for instance, the retail industry recorded a staggering three-trillion dollars in the 2013 holiday shopping season.

 

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A recent study by the National Retail Federation further revealed that in 2016, an average American spent over $900 for their holiday gift list – and researchers are expecting that this year, it will go up and reach almost a thousand dollar per person.

On a comparative perspective, the spending habits of Australians—for example—are not far from that of the Americans. In fact, they’re one of the most generous in the world when it comes to gift-giving, spending over $11 billion during the holiday season. It is estimated that this year, the average Australian will spend almost $600 for gifts alone. In the developing world, however, spending can be understandably lower but also growing over time.

The commercialization of Christmas season started a long time ago and its influence as strong economic stimuli is expected to grow in the future. People are expected to spend thousands of dollars on gifts, decorations, holiday parties and more. In fact, Christmases around the world, especially in the West, are anticipated to be increasingly extravagant every year.

Wealthiest teenage celebrities in the world

Is there a perfect formula to become a millionaire at a young age? While some of the richest people in the world managed to be on top of the list because of their family’s influence and wealth, others succeeded through hard work and raw talent.

Let’s take a look at the young people who dominate the list of the wealthiest teenage celebrities today:

 

  1. Elle Fanning (estimated net worth: $5 Million)

Image source: vulture.com

Age: 19 years old

Born on April 9, 1998, the younger sister of the iconic Dakota Fanning is making her own name in the industry. In 2005, Elle was a main part of the Studio Ghibli animated film, My Neighbor Totoro for her role as the English voice for Mei Kusakabe. The following year was the period that catapulted her to success, accepting major leading roles. It is estimated that the sisters have a combined net worth of over $21 million.

 

  1. Cameron Boyce (estimated net worth: $5 million)

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Age: 18 years old

Cameron Boyce was born on 28 May 1999 in Los Angeles and is one of today’s highly recognized celebrities. Most of his projects involve film and television series, and even at a young age he was known for his talent in his craft. Included in his acting portfolio are nine TV performances, product ads, five major film roles and one Young Artist award in 2012, and lastly, an Apple Design Award in 2014.  The success of his projects earned him an amazing net worth of $5 million.

 

  1. Jaden Smith (estimated net worth: $8 Million)

Image source: complex.com

Age: 19 years old

Jaden Smith is an American rapper, singer, songwriter and actor and is the son of one of the most successful actors in the world, Will Smith. The young Smith has been following his father’s footsteps and it started when he landed his first acting role in the film, The Pursuit of Happyness—and many other movie projects followed. Jaden Smith was born on July 8, 1998. In his younger and early teenage years, his character was considered eccentric and one-of-a-kind.

 

REPOST: Could buying paintings make you rich?

Depending on the circumstances and on a number of factors, one can actually make immense money from art. Financial advisors, however, recommend exercising proper caution. Read more insights on BBC:

Online sites like Artfinder are enabling less well established artists to sell their works

It’s a fantasy akin to winning the lottery.

That painting you spotted in an antique shop for a tenner turns out to be worth thousands, or the ugly painting gifted to you by your grandmother and hidden in a cupboard ever since is actually worth a pile of money.

For one investor that dream has come true.

A painting of Christ believed to have been painted by Leonardo da Vinci has just sold for a record $450m (£341m).

Just under 60 years ago, the very same painting, then generally reckoned to be the work of a follower of Leonardo and not the work of Leonardo himself, sold at auction for a mere £45.

Even accounting for inflation that’s a pretty dramatic return on your investment.

So is investing in paintings a good way to get rich fast? And how should you invest in art?

Continue reading HERE.