Of power and luxury: World’s wealthiest people of all time

Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates are often tagged as two of the richest men in modern history, and it’s not an exaggeration that combined, they actually hold the world’s biggest wealth with their net-worth of $130 billion and $91 billion, respectively.  They own one of the largest tech companies in the world, which both play key roles in numerous investment portfolios, including offshore mutual funds based in the likes of Bermuda, Cayman Islands, and Bahamas. While these men occupy the pedestal as the wealthiest people today, digging deeper into the history of the world will reveal an astonishing discovery of richness beyond comprehension.

Here are the wealthiest human beings of all history:

Mansa Musa of Mali

Image source: allthatsinteresting.com

The West African conqueror led the Mali Empire in the 1300s and has amassed a wealth so massive that no one could ever describe the entirety of it. Mansa Musa is often considered as the richest person in human history, according to scholars and historians, because his empire was the largest producer of a highly-valuable precious metal: gold. The emperor was known for his lavish spending that once caused a currency crisis in Egypt during his 200,000-troop pilgrimage to the holy land of Mecca.

Augustus Caesar of Rome

Image source: marketwatch.com

The Roman Empire, before its fall, was once the most powerful in the world not only as a military force but an economic giant. Led by Augustus Caesar, Rome used to own almost 30 percent of the whole world’s economic output. The emperor alone controlled 20 percent of the empire’s economic prowess, which is estimated to have cost over $4 trillion in 2014 standard value.

Emperor Shenzong of China

Image source: wikipedia.com

The Chinese emperor lived from 1048 through 1085 under the Song Dynasty and was one of the world’s wealthiest people of all time. If you’re familiar with the history of this part of Asia, you’ll discover that among all the Chinese imperial periods, the Song was the most economically powerful not only in the continent but throughout the world. At the top of its economic peak, Emperor Shenzong’s centralized power also comes with the full control of the empire’s economic wealth, which was estimated to fall from 25 to 30 percent of the global GDP.

Top jurisdictions for discretionary portfolio management

Image source: LOM Financial

When buy and sell decisions are under the discretion of an investment manager, clients have the assurance that their portfolio is well organized and in good hands, thanks to the expertise and experience that this type of asset management has to offer.

However, it’s not that easy to find an exceptional discretionary portfolio manager, unless you know where to look. There are several financial centers scattered all over the world but topping the list are offshore financial centers located near or within the Caribbean region. Here are the three most trusted financial centers and what they have to offer when it comes to offshore discretionary portfolio management.

Bermuda

Bermuda is home to several financial offshore services and it includes offshore discretionary management that caters to high net-worth individuals from every part of the globe. One of this financial location’s known strengths is its popularity in helping their clients build a strategic portfolio because of its connection to different investment assets. One example is its access to hundreds of mutual funds that strive for building a valuable and sustainable portfolio.

The Cayman Islands

Cayman’s tax-neutral status is not the only factor that makes it one of the top providers of discretionary portfolio management services. This jurisdiction provides tailor-made policies for foreign investments, with a legal system that protects and gives freedom to professional service providers in making the best financial decisions for their clients.

The Bahamas

One of the goals of this jurisdiction is to create a globally competitive financial sector especially when it comes to private wealth management and capital investment. Thanks to the foreign-friendly investment policies created by the Bahamian government, its financial sector is able to present a globally-accepted set of regulations that have benefited services such as portfolio management for international clients.

How the Asia Pacific region emerged as the new hub for international investors

Image source: apt.int

In the next ten years (or even earlier), the Asia Pacific region is expected to come on top as the most important component of the global economy, not only boosting the markets of its member countries but also providing positive gains for foreign direct investments.

According to the 2017 Regional Economic Outlook report, Asia and the Pacific were expected to lead the global growth, with a 5.4% increase in 2018—and the forecast did not disappoint international investors looking for opportunities in this emerging investment hub.

There are several factors that made the Asia-Pacific market highly favored by international investors. For instance, the demographic advantage of the region—with about half of the world’s population—makes it a pool of billions of consumers, facilitating to a highly dynamic market. Led by China, the region’s impressive population delivers a combined GDP that makes the regional market the most productive in the world.

It is also a fact that every country in the region is home to the world’s biggest economies like Japan, China, Australia, and India, as well as emerging markets like Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam, among others. Moreover, the growing population of young middle class among Asia-Pacific nations especially in Southeast Asia has continued to help their economies grow. The increase in consumption and public spending are the direct results of this growth, providing an optimistic forecast for regional market’s current and future investors.

Last but the most important factor is, Asia-Pacific’s sudden yet effective shift in its member country’s trading behavior. Unlike before when they relied on their economic trading partners from Western powers like North America and Europe, intra-regional trading became the norm and the pattern is expected to further boost the region’s rapidly advancing economy.

Many of the world’s offshore financial centers are also taking notice of Asia Pacific’s massive potential as a fertile ground in which to grow dynamic investment portfolios for international investors. The likes of LOM Financial have built up offshore mutual funds specifically designed to take advantage of the growth of emerging markets, which include many of the region’s economies.

 

These farm animals are among the world’s most economically important

Image source: phys.org

Farm animals play a significant role in our society. In fact, they are among the most traded commodities in the world. They provide us food, clothing, medicine, and other products. Whether as a source of food or income, farm animals immensely matter.

Today’s modern technology has enabled farmers to improve animal welfare, enhance farming methods, and increase food production. Listed below are the most common types of farm animals raised by farmers from many developed and developing countries around the world.

  1. Chickens

There are hundreds of chicken breeds across the globe, mostly raised in factory farms and fewer ones in the backyards. Chickens are normally slaughtered or placed in the market after 6 to 20 weeks, for profit. It takes approximately 21 days for a fertilized chicken egg to hatch. Among nutritionists, chicken meat is considered to be a healthier source of protein than red meat. The world’s largest poultry farms are in China, the United States, and Australia.

  1. Cattle

Cattle are bred for two different purposes: beef cows are raised specifically for meat production while dairy cows are bred for their ability to produce fresh milk. These type of cattle have distinct physical differences, as dairy cattle are typically thinner and leaner while beef cattle are focused on building a more muscular and fatter body in order to produce high-quality of meat (beef). Although it requires huge investment in time, land and money, cattle production can be the most profitable livestock to raise for business. The United States has a massive beef market which produces nearly 20 percent of the world’s beef, followed by Brazil with 15 percent, and the European Union with almost 13 percent.

  1. Sheep

This type of domestic animal is typically shed and kept as livestock and can live for up to 10 to 12 years. They have been used for centuries for clothing, meat, and in the field of medicine. The major products we obtain from sheep are lamb (meat from sheep under 1 year of age), mutton (meat from sheep older than 1 year of age), wool (for clothing and cosmetics), and milk (ideal for making cheese and other dairy products). In terms of sheep population, countries like China, Australia, India, Sudan, and Iran top the list, while the European Union is the world’s largest sheep meat consumer.

  1. Ducks

Ducks produce larger eggs than the usual size of a chicken’s egg, and contain higherprotein but with less cholesterol. Duck production is dominated by China which boast of a vast number of duck breeds. The country was able to produce more than 700 thousand ducks in 2005.

  1. Pigs

Domestic pigs are raised mainly for their meat (pork). According to Statista, net production of pork worldwide amounted to about 109.85 million tons carcass weight in 2016, with mainland China being the world’s largest producer. With this type of domestic animal, it is important to provide enough space for their shelter, fresh air with warm temperature, and proper hygiene.

How demographics affects the economy

Image source: marketingweek.com

A 2016 research focused on economically powerful countries like the United States and Japan has revealed a significant relationship between demographic changes and the trend of economic growth. The study further suggests that the dramatic shift towards an aging population can possibly lead to a decreasing GDP growth over the next decades.

The question of whether or not demography affects the economy is not a new one. The fact that economic growth greatly depends on productivity gains is a clear indication that the increase or decrease in workforce population can have a significant effect on a country’s economic output.

However, it’s important to point out that the effect of population growth can either be positive or negative depending on the circumstances. For countries with a large population, stable workforce and enough resources, the number can be a huge asset for economic growth. On the other hand, nations with a larger population, limited resources coupled with a high unemployment rate will tell a different story.

The effect of an aging workforce

Demographics, as some economists conclude, is the hardest to overcome among a list of factors that affects growth not only in the U.S. but also in other countries with a steadily and slowly declining working-age population.

While experts agree that demographics is one of the key determinants of whether or not an economy has the potential for growth, they believe that that alone will not determine the fate of a nation’s economic growth.

This is because, as the world progresses, so as the technological advancements which are also being introduced into the workplace, increasing productivity and ensuring a steady workforce.

Stress-free business ideas for retirees

Image source: thebalance.com

People have different ideas on how they want to spend retirement and while most want to live through their golden years in relaxation and pleasure, some dream of finally pursuing their interests and turning them into winning entrepreneurial ideas.

If you belong to the latter and you’re planning to launch your own business after you retire, here are some options that can turn your talent and interests into income.

Start your own consulting firm.

You can use your years of experience and deep expertise in your field to inspire and educate others. This is also the best way to help your brain and body stay active, utilizing the skills and talent that you have honed through the years by helping others find their own path.

The good thing about this option is you can operate from home and just make use of the physical and virtual tools available to you.

Transform your interests into a business.

Perhaps you want to do something that it totally outside for your professional field of expertise and take time focus on your interests, the hobbies that you did not have enough time for when you were still a busy employee.

For instance, why don’t love turn your love for art and crafts into an income-generating project? Maybe you can host a workshop for fellow seniors who want to practice their artistic side?

How about your love for gardening? With it, you can start a gardening business that can include selling gardening tools and products.

Open a cozy Bed-and-Breakfast Inn.

If you love meeting people and want to be fully involved in your retirement business, starting a small B&B accommodation can be ideal for you – and it only requires a relatively low startup cost.

This business option is perfect for retired couples who wish to stay active while earning a steady income to pay the bills and other home maintenance expenses.

REPOST: 30 Under 30 2018 Retail And E-Commerce: These Young Entrepreneurs Are Changing The Way We Shop

The retail and e-commerce industry is an extremely competitive sector of the economy, but even so, these innovative and highly talented young entrepreneurs are successfully winning the game. How are they doing it? Here’s the full story from Forbes:

You can only stop to smell the roses if they’re still alive. And a garden-variety bouquet doesn’t last longer than one week in a vase.

The roses from the green-thumbed Seema Bansal on the other hand, last a full year in full bloom without water.

“We treat them with our proprietary wax-based solution,” explained Bansal, 26, who bootstrapped New York-based e-commerce business Venus ET Fleur with her now-fiancé Sunny Chadha, 28, in 2015. “But the rose’s texture, its shape and a little bit of its scent remains.”

In 2017, Venus ET Fleur expects to do in the region of $7.5 million in revenues thanks to sales of their long-lasting rose arrangements, which typically sell for between $300 and $1,500 and come in any Pantone color, including silver, green and lavender. By the end of the year, they’ll open a second distribution center in Los Angeles.

Bansal and Chadha lead this year’s crop of impressive young founders on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list for 2018 in the retail and e-commerce category.

These entrepreneurs and executives have raised millions of dollars in venture funding between them. They’ve built game-changing e-commerce platforms, apps, and bots. They’ve launched exciting new products across categories as varied as vibrators, kitchenware and nail art.

They’re pioneers of the subscription economy. They’re figuring out what a transparent supply chain looks like in the age of mobile shopping. And they range in age from just 14 to 29.

Roses from Seema Bansal’s Venus ET Fleur live an entire year in full bloom without water.

There’s Ali Kriegsman, cofounder of Y Combinator-backed startup Bulletin. She and cofounder Alana Branston take vacant, marked-down real estate and offer online retailers a physical space to rent — like coworking spaces, but for bringing small vendors together in one storefront.

The company charges $300 to $2,000 a month and takes 30% of sales. Kriegsman and Branston have raised $2.2M in VC funding to date.

Another standout? Iyore Olaye, a young star at Walker & Co., the venture-backed tech company creating beauty products for people of color. As lead product engineer, she heads up research and development for men’s grooming brand Bevel and haircare line FORM.

Some of these Under 30s are revolutionizing e-commerce in categories often forgotten by mainstream retail.

Brad McDonald, for example, cofounded Chicago-based Agroy. The company allows farmers to buy fertilizer, seed and more online, updating what was an age-old co-op buying model in the agriculture sector. In 2016, its first year, Agroy did over $2 million in sales.

Meet all this year’s retail and e-commerce list-makers here, and learn more about the wunderkinds changing the world across all Forbes’ categories here.

Three powerful women-leaders who are breaking stereotypes

We have seen many powerful women in modern history and their stories have inspired and taught the world a lesson: leadership and success can come to anyone who is willing to work and fight for their dreams, regardless of gender, class or race. And that even includes running an entire country, reinventing economic policies, attracting foreign investments, and building a stronger nation as a whole.

Let’s learn a thing or two from today’s most influential women-leaders who managed to break the glass ceiling with their courage, brilliance, and wisdom.

Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany

Image source: studybreaks.com

Perhaps anyone in the modern world has heard of the name Angela Merkel. As a woman leader of one of the world’s superpowers, Merkel’s influence is not to be underestimated. She has a doctorate in Physics and it was the focus of her career before she decided to finally enter politics and become the first female Chancellor of Germany.

Branded as last stronghold of Western liberal power and is currently on her fourth term, she guided Germany through an economic recession and her influence helped maintain a solid European front in the height of Brexit.

Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia

Image source: mtholyoke.edu

Julia Gillard was one of the most prominent figures behind the successful 2010 coup that overthrew Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. Gillard was later on elected and became Australia’s very first female Prime Minister.

Just three weeks in the office, she called for snap elections in order to rebuild the deteriorating support for her party and victoriously guarded a 76-74 majority in parliament that gave her the power to form a minority government.

Sheikh Hasina Wazed, Prime Minister of Bangladesh

Image source: thehindu.com

Bangladesh’s three-time premier lived a life of courage and survival before she was first elected in 1996.  A coup d’état in 1975 tells of one of the most tragic stages of her life when 17 of her family members including her parents and three brothers were killed by assassins. Hasina later on survived an assassination attempt from a grenade blast that ended the lives of over 20 people.

A 2001 Transparency International report, however, led to her ousting after Bangladesh was named the most corrupt country in the world. Nonetheless, Hasina found herself back in power after getting 230 out of 299 parliamentary seats in 2009. Currently, Hasina is on Forbes’ ranking, securing the 36th spot among the world’s most powerful women.

Most influential First Ladies in the world

Behind every successful nation’s leader is a strong and determined First Lady – and many of these great women have broken the stereotypes by actively working in the frontlines, promoting charitable and social causes while their husband ran the country.

Times have changed in that instead of just working in the background, the world’s most influential First Ladies have made their own history and changed the nation with their passion and dedication. Let’s meet some of these memorable women below:

  1. Eleanor Roosevelt
Image source: quietrev.com

Eleanor Roosevelt is known as the most important First Lady in American history. Unlike any other first lady, she spent her time travelling and making public appearances: labor meetings, speeches against sexism and racism, and even press conferences on human rights for women and children.

She’s a pioneer in her own right, transforming and redefining the role of the First Lady and her husband’s death did not stop her from continuing her cause.

President Harry Truman, believing in her passion, appointed her to be America’s delegate to the UN Assembly – wherein she later on became the chair to the organization’s Human Rights Commission.

  1. Maria Eva Perón
Image source: mentalfloss.com

Argentina’s beloved former First Lady was often referred to as “Evita” especially during her rise in the international pop culture scene with the musical Evita in 1976. Evita won her husband’s victory during the 1946 presidential bid through her powerful and often strong populist rhetoric during her weekly radio shows, addressing the poor to support and vote for Juan Perón.

She was the first woman in the country’s history to participate and appear on a public campaigns trail and although it had offended many powerful people, the citizens boldly showed their love and support for the future First Lady.

  1. Queen Rania of Jordan
Image source: admediasummit.com

Although the country of Jordan is technically a unitary state (under its constitutional monarchy), for the purpose of this list we have included Queen Rania, the queen consort of Jordan, for her exemplary contributions to her nation, championing women rights, promoting peace and helping the nation recover from the most tragic refugee crisis in the country’s history.

REPOST: The 13 US cities where young people are buying the most homes

Millennials are nearing the peak of their careers and many of them are starting to have their own families. Buying properties, especially a house, then becomes a necessity. The article below from Business Insider features the top cities in the US considered to be the most affordable destinations for young homebuyers:

As they get into their late 20s and 30s, more millennials are settling down, starting families, and buying homes.

In fact, writes economist Mark Fleming on the First American Financial Center blog, millennials will be driving the demand for housing in the near future. Contrary to previous generations, however, they are staying in cities rather than buying houses in the suburbs or rural areas, according to research by think tank City Observatory, as reported by the New York Times.

Cities in the midwest, such as Chicago (pictured here), Des Moines, Saint Louis and Minneapolis are popular and relatively affordable destinations for young homebuyers.

Where are they going? A study by LendingTree, the online loan marketplace, analyzed 500,000 mortgage requests and offers from applications between August 2016 and February 2017 to find the cities with the highest percentages of mortgage applicants who are 35 or younger.

Below, we’ve listed the percentage of mortgage applications coming from the 35-and-under crowd, the average down payment supplied by those who are approved from that group, and the average mortgage amount these millennials take on.

13. Denver, Colorado

Percentage of millennial homebuyers: 43%

Average down payment: $50,306

Average mortgage: $284,967

 

12. Grand Rapids, Michigan

Percentage of millennial homebuyers: 43%

Average down payment: $19,058

Average mortgage: $170,486

 

11. Wichita, Kansas

Percentage of millennial homebuyers: 44%

Average down payment: $18,956

Average mortgage: $170,462

 

10. Omaha, Nebraska

Percentage of millennial homebuyers: 44%

Average down payment: $29,637

Average mortgage: $192,215

 

See the full list HERE.