Removing “Friction” in Financial Services

OWNx Team News & Current Events

With the boom in FinTech, there are many new buzzwords entering the dialogue that describe the future of money and banking. One of those words is “friction.” Just what is this friction?

Broadly defined, financial system friction is anything that impedes the process of accessing financial assets (money/investments) or services (loans/capital).These include:

  • Steps to setup and manage accounts.
  • Time and effort necessary to perform a financial transaction.
  • Monetary cost associated with financial transactions.

This affects the  environment in which you manage your financial life. The goal is to seamlessly integrate this very important aspect of your life with the way you live day-to-day.  

  • Do you really need to go to a branch bank to deposit a check? No.
  • Should you be able to participate in non-traditional investments and easily manage those investments online? Yes.
  • Should you be able to instantly send money to anyone in the world and have the currency conversion and regulatory issues handled in real time? Yes.
  • Should you be able to protect your identity and maintain privacy when conducting financial transactions? Yes.
  • Should you be able to immediately acquire and liquidate physical assets such as gold and silver? Yes.

These are just a few of the friction points that financial technology is beginning to remove. Currently, the industry is wrestling with the best way to solve these problems given the introduction of world changing concepts such as distributed ledger technology (DLT).

Within the next few years, an ecosystem will emerge within which you will be able to manage your entire financial experience. Because money and finance are intimately intertwined in each person’s life, this ecosystem will be nothing less than world changing.

Financial technology is here. It’s finding it’s legs. Friction is being removed. Soon, best practices and standards will begin to emerge. We are here to help you understand this new financial world and ultimately, to enable your gold and silver holdings to integrate with it.

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Can Financial Technology Put Gold Into the Hands of the World’s Poor?

OWNx Team Global Finance and Economics, News & Current Events

Yes. It can. There are thousands of new applications that companies are applying DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology) to. They range from smart contracts that hold government officials accountable, to digitizing ownership of almost everything that has value in the economy. Of all of those applications, one of the most exciting is the ability to help lift millions of people out of poverty.

In a recent article on Financial Sense, University of North Carolina scholar of business and technology, Nir Kshetri noted,

“Major aid agencies, nonprofits, and startup companies are working to extend blockchain systems across the developing world to help poor people around the world get easier access to banks for loans or to protect their savings.”

“Protect Their Savings”

There are many challenges that poor people face around the world. DLT will certainly help solve many of them, including:

  • Lowering the cost of sending money to family across borders.
  • Providing humanitarian aid more efficiently and bypassing corruption.
  • Unlocking people’s true potential.

One of the most important, however, will be to help these people protect something many of them have never had – savings. Currencies of poorer nations have tended to be more unstable than those in the developed world. What is occurring now in Argentina is one example.

How might the plight of the citizens be improved if they had a means to allocate just a tiny bit of their savings into physical gold or silver in order to protect it? The answer is, it could be life changing.

FinTech is transforming the world in more ways than we realize. As it does, it will not only improve our lives by bringing efficiencies to our banking experience and access to a broad category of investment assets. It will improve the lives of the poor, oppressed, and disadvantaged of the world. One way this can be accomplished  is to enable them to have access to gold and silver to protect their new ability to save.

Image credit Jimmie under CC license.
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Dollar Cost Averaging – Gold and Silver Ownership on Autopilot

OWNx Team Blog, Money & Financial Technology

Increasingly, people are taking control of at least a portion of their investments. New financial technologies are making this easier than ever before. While improving access to traditional and alternative assets is a good thing, you still need a strategy on how to accumulate and manage your investments. Dollar cost averaging is one that has stood the test of time.

Most individual investors do not have the resources to hire top notch analysts and investment advisors to guide them into the “perfect” time to go “all in” on an investment. And the truth is, in today’s volatile markets the best analysts rarely get it right.

Rather than have an analyst try to get it perfect, how about asking them to help you be diligent? Smart? Patient? Those are qualities that are sometimes in short supply in the go-go world of finance, however decades of evidence show that exercising those qualities can produce tremendous profits. One need look no further than successful investors such as Warren Buffet, who accumulates his positions in companies over extended periods of time.

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What do Employees Really Want? Monetary Compensation and Access to Alternative Investments Like Gold and Silver

OWNx Team Blog, Money & Financial Technology

A recent article on Benefits Pro made the following observation: “There’s plenty of talk these days about all sorts of employee benefits that might help to attract and retain top talent — but when push comes to shove, it’s the dollar sign that has the most influence.”

People have access to more information today than ever and with information comes empowerment. In today’s often confusing economic and financial world, many are making the decision to take control over their own financial well being. While trendy “perks” such as cool lunch break rooms and pet insurance may have their place, they do not give one control over his or her financial future.

The trend toward financial self-determination is understandable given studies that show that the financial services industry is rated as one of the least trusted industries – a trend set in motion by the 2008/2009 financial crisis. So how are people choosing to take control?

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China’s Shanghai Gold Exchange is Now an International Player

OWNx Team Gold & Silver Market, News & Current Events

April, Financial Literacy Month, is often seen by those in the financial sector as an opportunity to educate people on how to manage their money within an existing financial system. At OWNx, we take a different approach by helping you understand what the role of gold and silver will be in the financial system of the future.

Monumental shifts have occurred in the global gold market over the last decade. FinTech has provided improved flexibility in global payments and how gold can be used as money. Geopolitics and global economic trends that have been in place for decades are shifting, restoring one of gold’s traditional roles as geopolitical and financial insurance. Some of these changes happen quickly. Others occur slowly and go unnoticed for years until an event occurs that signifies a major milestone has been reached.

Such was the announcement two weeks ago that the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX) launched a gold futures contract. This contract a) is traded internationally, b) is denominated in the Chinese yuan, and c) uses the Shanghai Gold Exchange as the Benchmark to set the contract price. What this means is the world now has a means to trade gold futures outside of the US dollar.

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Preparing Gold and Silver for a Digital Financial World

OWNx Team Blog, Money & Financial Technology

Recently, we’ve been writing more on the role of Financial Technology in today’s fast changing world. The reason is, whether Boomers or Gen Xers like it or not, the Millennial generation is quickly becoming a high-tech and mobile generation.

This trend has huge implications for all business to consumer product development. As survey after survey confirms Millennial’s appetite for technology solutions, businesses large and small will benefit from developing  platforms that meet those expectations. That is, they will if they expect to be around as this generation moves into its prime earning and spending years.

We are just now in the early stages of this massive shift. Older generations may not have to fully embrace all aspects of the coming wave of technology. However, they will not be able to avoid embracing technology in areas such as mobile payments, investing, and online management of physical assets – such as gold and silver. And that is why we built the OWNx platform.

Our clients understand the freedom that leveraging technology provides. They have become accustomed to the control and flexibility that automatic or immediate buying and selling of physical gold and silver provides them. Eliminating the cumbersome manual process previously required for owning gold and silver in an IRA is not just a nice feature. It is a new standard required by our clients and custodians alike. For our clients and partners, technology is no longer a luxury – it is a necessity.

Millennials and technology are driving the future. It’s only fair to you, our current and future clients, that we keep you informed of the impact their influence is having on the development of products and services across the financial spectrum. Having an eye firmly on this trend drives OWNx to innovate, and ensures that you will have a platform to manage your gold and silver holdings that stays in step with all that the emerging world of financial technology has to offer.

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Gold Outlook Choppy Moving Into Summer

OWNx Team Gold & Silver Market, News & Current Events

The outlook for the price of gold and silver continues to remain choppy over the next several months. Several factors are influencing the outlook.

  1. Seasonal factors: Historically, the price of gold and silver tends to flatten out over the summer months and regain strength in the fall when India’s festival/wedding season begins. India is the world’s second largest consumer of gold bullion.
  2. A pause to digest gains: Let’s face it. Gold and silver have had a very good run over the last four months. This is good news for everyone who is invested in, and is accumulating gold and silver. But nothing ever goes straight up, and recent dollar strength has become a headwind for further gains in the short term.

The wild card is increasing geopolitical tensions. Should tensions remain at a high level or continue to grow, it is possible this pause may be more of a sideways price action in a narrow range rather than a $50 to $100 pullback to test significant support levels.

Of course, if the geopolitical situation begins to spiral toward full blown conflict between the US and North Korea, seasonal factors and dollar strength will not matter and a sustained move upward could commence.

The world we live in today is what gold was made for:

  • Portfolio insurance
  • A hedge against geopolitical tensions
  • Protection from financial system instability
  • A historically safe long term store of value

These are the reasons to keep stacking your gold and silver. While the short term outlook may be choppy, the long term outlook continues to improve as more people realize that the financial and geopolitical problems that have recently become more evident do not have easy or quick solutions.

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Are You Financially Literate? April is the Month to Find Out

OWNx Team Blog, Money & Financial Technology

April is Financial Literacy Month. It is smart to set aside a time to focus on finances, because money and finances are something that touch each and every one of us nearly every day. To that end, the folks at Money Management International have put together a comprehensive and helpful guide addressing many of the issues to consider when creating a personal financial plan.

While understanding the basics of managing personal finance is important, you also need to be aware that the entire global financial system is changing, and those changes are going to impact your life. In the next few years we will witness:

  • Major changes to global payment systems
  • Increasing disruption to the financial industry via FinTech
  • A possible reorganization of the global monetary system

There is a great deal to stay on top of if you are to successfully navigate the coming changes. That is why OWNx is using our blog and news platform to make 2017 a Year of Financial Literacy. We intend to use our platform to help you understand how these changes will impact you as well as the important role that gold and silver will play in this transition period.

Keep stacking. Keep learning. We will be here to help you with both.

In case you missed it, check out our article earlier this week. The Price of Gold Reaches Multi-Month High

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The Price of Gold Reaches Multi-Month High

OWNx Team Gold & Silver Market, News & Current Events

Gold and silver have had a nice run this week and the price of gold reached a five month high today. There are many factors contributing to the recent sustained strength.

Geopolitical tensions remain on edge with the United States and Russia at odds over recent developments in Syria. Gold is generally seen as geopolitical insurance and there is enough going on in the world to warrant buying a policy.

Additionally, President Trump today said that the US dollar was “too high,” causing a reaction in the currency. At times, gold is inversely correlated to the dollar. However, that correlation had recently broken as geopolitical tensions rose while the dollar continued to strengthen. With the dollar falling, gold’s inverse relationship re-engaged giving it another reason to make a nice run this week.

The question now becomes, is the recent surge sustainable over the short term?

In the recent past, nasty geopolitical incidents involving the United States have calmed down after the initial heated rhetoric becomes more reasoned. Furthermore, capital flows will override any President’s opinion on the strength of the dollar.

Therefore, it is quite possible that soon, strong capital flows to the United States will give renewed support for the dollar and geopolitical tensions will fade somewhat. That will be a catalyst for the price of gold to relax a bit.

However, each surge in the price of gold creates more distance from the December 2016 low of $1,130. Recent price action continues to make the case that a long term bull market has begun and last year’s low is not likely to be penetrated, even on a major pullback.

This is all the more reason to steadily accumulate your gold and silver. The daily and weekly ups and downs do not matter if you have a long term horizon, and helping you realize your long term goals is what the OWNx platform was built for.

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DLT Will Help Rein in Corruption

OWNx Team Blog, Global Finance and Economics, Money & Financial Technology, News & Current Events

Corruption is destructive to any society where it is present. That is a given. Most people are beginning to understand that corruption in general is more widespread than they imagined. The question is, what if anything can be done about it?

By definition, corruption is abuse of power for personal gain. Because it originates from a position of power, it is difficult to dislodge once it has become entrenched. An outside force greater than the entrenched power system must emerge before any meaningful reform can occur.

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