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Importance of proper education in currency trading

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There are many things that you need to learn to become a successful trader. If you do a background check of the expert traders in the United Kingdom you will be surprised to see their depth of knowledge in the trading industry. No one is born talented. Every trader needs to learn the basic elements of the market with strong devotion. But the new traders don’t want to spend quality times in learning the art of trading. They simply consider trading as a shortcut way to secure their financial freedom in the global market. To become a profitable trader you need to have a clear idea about the structure of the Forex market. If you don’t develop a balanced trading system, it will be really hard for you to deal with the dynamic price movement of currency pairs.

In the past, trading was limited to large banks and institutions. But due to the recent advancement in technology, the retail traders in the United Kingdom can easily trade this market in a professional trading environment. For instance, high class brokerage firm like ETX Capital is now offering high leverage trading accounts to their clients which allows them to trade with big lot size even with a small amount of trading capital. But having access to the high leverage trading account doesn’t mean you will become a profitable trader. You need to educate yourself and learn the three major forms of market analysis.

Professional trading course

Many novice traders often buy signals from expert traders. If you can do the perfect research you might find some high-quality signal provider in the United Kingdom but do you really think that this is the ultimate solution to become a successful trader. You need to teach yourself how to trade this market with managed risk. Take professional Forex training from the expert traders who have a proven track record in the financial industry. Never rely on other people’s advice and always remember that no one can give you 100 % profitable trade setups. It’s your duty to master the art of trading through hard work.

Some retail traders say that they are not ready to invest money in trading education. But sadly they have the money to fund the trading account. If you don’t learn the basic trading system it won’t take much time to lose your investment. Always remember, making profit consistently in the Forex market is an art. You can’t trade this market based on gut feelings and become a successful trader. You need to take some professional forex training. When you start investing money in a trading education you will see a dramatic improvement in your trading career.

Embrace the losing trades

The majority of the novice traders don’t want to embrace their losing trades. They simply don’t understand that losing are just a part of the trader’s career. You need to trade this market with managed risk or else you might even blow your entire trading account from a single losing trades. Make sure that you have learned the precise art of trade management so that you don’t have to lose more than 2% of your account capital in any single trade.

Following proper risk management factors in the financial industry is very hard. Novice traders become frustrated after facing a few losing trades. They double their lot size immediately to recover their trading loss. But following the aggressive trading strategy will never help you to make a consistent profit. Just have a look at the portfolio of the professional traders. You will notice one thing they have in common. None of them take too much risk in any single trade even though they have the perfect trade setups. You need to have strong mental stability or else this market will never allow you to make a profit. Always stick to your trading rules and try to trade in favor of the market trend.

How to create the perfect trading environment

Close-up of young businessman pointing on the data presented in the chart with pen while working in creative office

Who doesn’t want to lead a luxurious life? People are always fighting hard to secure their financial freedom so that they can full fill their dream. For this very reason, they try their best to have the best education from the top class university. But having the top class education will never help you to become a rich person. It’s true that you might get some high standard job, but if you consider the long-term scenario, you can’t lead your dream life based on the day job. You need to develop a business which will help you to earn huge amount of money. When it comes to traditional business, most of the people step one step back considering the initial investment. However, the people in the United Kingdom are very smart, they consider trading as their business. Most of the elite class broker like Saxo offer high leverage trading account to their clients which allows them to trade with small trading capital. If you can use the market leverage in an efficient way, you can easily secure a huge amount of profit.

In order to trade the market, you need to have a professional trading environment. Without having a class trading environment it’s almost impossible for you to make a huge profit. For instance, if you trade the market with your mobile device you won’t be able to do the perfect market analysis. Some novice traders often trade the market while walking in the streets. But do you really think the profession UK traders follow the same principal? All the expert traders always trade the market with precise risk management. They never take any unnecessary risk even though they have the perfect market setup. You need to limit your risk to become a profitable trader. Now we will give you some useful advice to which will help you to create the perfect trading environment.

Isolate your trading room

You need to have an isolate Forex trading room to trade the market. Your room should have high configuration pc which will help you to trade the market without any lag. Some novice traders often use more than four monitors to do the perfect market analysis. In the past using more than four monitor was tradition but due to the recent advancement in technology, you can easily trade the market with tow monitors. However, if you trade only one major pair you can easily trade with a single monitor. You need to identify your need before you decide the number monitors you should buy. Some retail traders often spend a huge amount of money for buying an expensive graphics card. But this is nothing but a waste of time. You don’t need a gaming pc to run your professional trading platform.

Keep your mind fresh

If you trade the market under stress you are not going to make any significant progress. Most of the novice traders are losing money since they trade with their hard earn money which they can’t afford to lose. You need to understand the fact losing is just a part of the trader’s career. Before you even think about the trading profession, you need to ask yourself whether you can truly trade the market without any emotions. Make sure you have at least six months financial back since it will help you to trade without any mental stress.

You also need to find a professional broker like Saxo who will offer you a premium trading platform. For instance, SaxoTraderGo has all the advanced trading tools which will help you enhance your trading performance. It’s true that professional brokerage firm will charge you a little bit higher but consider the overall conditions of the market you are paying nothing. If you can make a profit, it won’t be a big deal to deal with your losing trades. Try to protect your investment by following the conservative way of trading.

Can Your Online Business Survive and Succeed Without SEO? Here’s Why It Cannot!

Managing online based business is not easy, though running an online business is a profitable idea. Even a few years earlier, the scenario was different. Online companies were not as popular as they are today. Due to lack of competition, business owners do not have to be concerned about online business promotion or marketing. In fact, the vital job like SEO (Search Engine Optimization) was mostly handled by business owners or top-level managers. With changing scenario, complications and new challenges have arrived in business promotional process. This is why today a business demands tactical SEO solutions.

So, why does your business need SEO support at all? How will it help your business to flourish? How will your business meet profitability with the Search Engine Optimization process? Answers to all these questions can be attained below. In the following section, we shall find reasons to invest time, money and efforts for attaining the best search engine optimization solutions.

Enhance Your Brand Identity

The ultimate aim of a business should be enhancing brand identity or corporate identity. For this reason, your business needs blueprint SEO strategy. With tactical and systematic search engine optimization, it is possible to provide the best business marketing results with perfection. A lot of SEO companies are there, offering brilliant search engine optimization services. You need to find a good service provider that is ready to offer tactical SEO solutions within a small budget.

Businesses do not have to make heavy investments in efficient SEO services. With small investments, they can go for step by step method to promote their business as a brand identity. Attaining brand identity is the ultimate aim of business. This aim can become successful when proper techniques or tactics are used for efficient business promotional and marketing activities.

Promote New Products or Services

When a business comes with innovative product or service, it  plays a risk. The risk is nothing but lack of awareness of the product or service on a targeted group of customers or clients. For example, an online shared cab booking service for the outstation journey has been launched. But, users do not know how to use it. Visiting outstation on the share is a way of saving money. Single travelers also prefer such things. But, the company has to convey its benefits to the targeted group of customers otherwise the idea would not become acceptable. If the idea fails, your business may eventually have to face massive losses.

Increased Business Profitability

Enhancing profitability should be the ultimate aim of a business, and from that aspect, SEO plays an important role in the small-scale online-based businesses. Profitability depends upon the sales figure of business. If sales increase, the company becomes profitable. If sales figure stays average, your business will not be able to reach the desired mark of profitability. For efficient business profitability, different methods for search engine optimization are used.

Experienced or veteran webmasters can chalk the business marketing plans to perfection. They can help immensely in this matter. SEO plans need to be chalked to different SEO methods. A lot of techniques are used nowadays to promote businesses online. SEO is the most important thing among those things. However, SEO does not show the right result, unless it has been planned with perfection. You need to understand the essence of business marketing through SEO. You need to understand the importance of having a business link at the first page of Google’s search results.

Better Business Popularity

As brand promotion is directly related to SEO, business popularity is also inevitably connected with search engine optimization. Making the business popular is essential so that more people can get connected to your business. It is essential to encourage the potential customers to visit your business website. The higher number of visitors you shall get, the higher sales figure your business shall enjoy. For better business reputation, SEO is also imperative, not just making the company popular; you also need to invest time in keeping a positive reputation for your business.

Expanding the Business

With search engine optimization, a business reaches higher profitability with seamlessness. Every company has an aim to expand. It wants to reach more people in various regions. The online world eventually offers a simple platform for making your business popular globally. With the advent of time, you shall find your competitors are expanding their businesses. To obtain competitive edge or to sustain in competition, you need to invest more time as well as money in SEO.  Not just a possible chance for business expansion, SEO gives you a clear opportunity to make your business long sustaining. Small businesses often suffer losses, and that puts the firms on the verge of shut down. To protect your business from failure, you need proper SEO strategy.

If you require assistance with your digital marketing, you could always employ the assistance of an agency specialising in content creation and digital strategies, like a social media agency or SEO agency. A professional company specialising in digital marketing tactics will be able to advise and guide you on the best course of action to navigate the ever evolving digital landscape. At the end of the day, your digital marketing strategy will come down to both the needs of your target audience and your brand. Sometimes it’s best to call in the professionals.

Promote Your Business Successfully With Powerful Visual Content on Instagram!

When it comes to promotion and advertisement of the products of your business, you will find that Instagram is one of the most widelysought after platforms for your business. Now when it comes to the use of Instagram when it comes to the promotion and the marketing of your business, the first thing that you need ready is a good set of videos and photos. When it comes to the creation of business videos and pictures for your business, it is not necessary for them to be professionally made. They must be clear and have high resolution.

Effective use of hashtags

When it comes to Instagram, you will find that businesses use many hashtags and so it is essential for you to use them as well. You should be careful when you are choosing hashtags as you must match the visual content to the hashtags that you want. At the same time, you should ensure that the hashtags are not too many. Use 4 to 5 hashtags to the maximum. One of the leading growing hashtags last number were around private number plates, it gained a huge following of people interested in weird and wonderful personalised plates.

If you take a look at Instagram today, you will find that it is predominantly an app that has been designed for mobile users. It means you can upload photos and videos when you are on the move. This makes it simple and easy for you to upload the pictures and videos when you travel. In fact, you can also keep track of the comments and the feedback of your followers. You can increase Like4Like when you immediately respond to your customer queries and feedback. Remember when you wish to strike a chord with the customer it is crucial for you to always keep in touch with them. Instagram helps you to do it proactively with success!

The power of storytelling for business

There is also another plus point that you get with Instagram, and that is storytelling. You can efficiently connect with the targeted audience and promote your brand with amazing real-life stories. You can also use real-life people to advertise your products on the platform. It goes a very long way in promoting your brand and striking a proper chord with the audience. When it comes to Instagram, users often check out pictures and with the right ones you can pass on powerful messages that words would hardly be enough to say!

Remember when you are posting videos and images on Instagram, it is imperative for you to add captions. The captions should be captivating and hold the attention of the audience. Match the caption to the picture as this will help you in a significant way to connect with the audience and gain a huge fan following in the process.

Instagram is a simple platform, and it is visual content that speaks volumes here. If you are a business owner and still are not registered on Instagram, get on the social media platform today and reap the benefits of sound business profits and consistent, targeted traffic with success.

Cash Flow Problems: What Can Be Done To Help?

Cash flow problems in theory can be easy to identify. If your outgoing payments exceed your business income and you cannot meet your liabilities as they fall due, then simply you are having cash flow problems. A negative cash flow doesn’t necessarily represent bad business, but you do need to take steps to ensure your business does not run out of cash. However, insufficient cash flow is an issue which needs to be tackled head on as no matter how big or small your business, if you don’t have any cash it will eventually end in downfall.

So what are the likely causes of cash flow problems?

For B2B business a common cause of cash flow shortages is customers not paying their invoices on time. If the business is making plenty of sales, but you’re bills are coming around before you get paid, then at some point the business will run out of cash.

Some businesses can find themselves in trouble through no fault of their own. As you may have to unexpectedly pay a large cost or bill. For some businesses, it can be a case of not planning far enough ahead, or not making sufficient provision when it comes to paying VAT.

Cash flow problems can sometimes be down to a lack of planning. It’s good practice for any business to have a cash flow forecast, taking into account all incomings and any outgoings which could absorb cash. With this, it’s vitally important not to overspend too soon and make sure that you don’t commit to too much stock or staff, if you don’t need it. If you haven’t planned effectively enough, a fluctuation of sales can sometimes cover up underlying problems a business might have, so making sure you take into consideration seasonal deficiencies, or spikes in sales is vitally important to a cashflow forecast.

What is a good indication that you are having problems?

One of the biggest signs that you’re having trouble maintaining a healthy cashflow is a failure to pay your VAT as and when the returns are sent in. If you haven’t been careful beforehand, you may not have sufficient cash when it comes to paying.  Sometimes when planning a cash flow forecast you can foresee these problems and reserve funds, or take out a business overdraft to ensure that the business is covered for these sorts of payments.

As a business owner if you aren’t taking a wage from the business, or even worse are still inputting your own personal money to make ends meet, then it’s a clear problem with cash flow. Perhaps the biggest indication that cash flow is a problem is not paying staff on time. If you have to pay suppliers, or overheads before you can afford to pay staff, then the business could end up losing one of its core elements. One thing that could help in this situation is financial modelling. With it you can build a cash flow model that will help you oversee and ever predict your spending, thus avoiding any future financial inconvenience. If you don’t know how to create cash flow models and actually use them read through this Wall Street Prep guide.

How can I improve cash flow?

The most efficient way to stay on top of cash flow, is by first planning and forecasting effectively. Monitor your forecasts and update them taking into account any variances in your original estimates. Based on your forecasts, arrange a business overdraft sufficient to cover any large costs, and seasonal variations. An overdraft will be agreed with the lender beforehand and it will be appropriate to the needs of the business, as well as the banks assessment of the risk.

If the business is struggling there are things you can do to pick up your cash flow. Make full use of any payment terms set by creditors, if you are waiting on unpaid invoices from your customers, then use the maximum amounts of days you have available to pay your creditors. If you are having trouble collecting invoices, a great way to stay ahead is to ask customers to pay a deposit and make it part of the business norm. Ensuring that you issue invoices as soon as possible is also key, and then if payment is not paid on the due date follow it up promptly.

Having a good line of communication with your suppliers can also be a great advantage. Tell them about your situations. As a customer they will want you to succeed so if you can make use of late payments, see if you can.

For B2B companies, invoice financing can be a very efficient way moving forward. This allows a business to take out a loan from a factoring company, based on the value of the invoices available. So, you’re not borrowing anything that you wouldn’t already be owed. A factoring company lends you a percentage of the invoice available, before then collecting the full amount from your customers. The factoring company will then take their cut and give you any remaining credit owed. This option, however, is only available to B2B businesses which issue invoices

Post-Brexit: Can Businesses Shape UK Law?

Have you ever heard the story about the business person who tried to affect a legal decision who everyone praised for doing so? No? Me neither.

In my experience, the public has never appreciated a business trying to influence the law. That’s probably because when businesses do try to affect the way the law is, it’s often through shady lobbying deals that are scandalous for both the businesses and the politicians involved.

Brexit, though, is a different matter entirely. As the UK is going through the biggest political upheaval it’s faced since the Second World War, business leaders have a duty to represent their employees and customers in the same way that politicians represent their voters. This isn’t about lobbying; it’s about campaigning.

We saw this before the referendum. Wetherspoons used its enormous influence on the average British drinker and produced beer mats which argued staunchly for the leave vote. Whether or not you agree with Wetherspoons’ stance is beside the point; the pub chain had the right idea. British businesses can and should have tried to make their view on Brexit clear.

Now that the vote is over, businesses shouldn’t act like the legal battle is over. Rather, they should be doubling down on their stance, because the fight has only just begun.

The Great Repeal Bill and The Future of British Business

Turning the current hotchpotch of EU laws into one cohesive British law will be a complicated process, so the aim of the Great Repeal Bill is to make this process as simple as possible. While critics have called it a “power grab”, it’s actually much less exciting than that.

The bill is more of a symbolic matter, rather than a huge victory for the leading party. The actual process of deciding which EU laws the UK will keep — as well as which ones it will get rid of and which ones it will change — will happen in the Commons and in Brussels.

As an example, HSE currently recommends racking inspections from a SEMA approved expert at least once every 12 months. A big reason for this is that EU standard EN 15635 recommends something very similar. As a result of Brexit, we have the chance to change this HSE recommendation and the laws associated with it.

With Brexit negotiations creating story after story, the news media has focused a lot on the decision-making happening in Brussels. Post-Brexit, we should see a lot more decision-making happening in the Commons. This is where the British public and British business leaders will have their say.

Some businesses might want the UK to remain open to workers from the EU by keeping old employment laws. This is something which David Davis has suggested and which businesses should campaign for if they believe in it.

On the other hand, a business might want the UK to forge ever closer ties with the US by creating some sort of trade agreement or by emulating some of its business regulations. This is something which Michel Barnier has suggested. It’s also something which businesses should campaign for if it’s what they, their customers, their employees, and their clients really want.

As for EU standard EN 15635, there are many reasons why we should keep following this standard. In the UK, people love to complain about “health and safety gone mad”, yet this culture of safety is why workplace fatalities have fallen by 85% since 1975. EU standards like EN 15635 and the HSE recommendations associated with it are part of the reason that employees in the UK are so safe and employers are able to run workplaces which function with minimal injuries or fatalities.

There’s a lot to be gained by trying to be closer to the UK’s longest political ally as well as its biggest trade partner. There’s a lot to gained if businesses can continue to depend on EU labour. And there’s a lot to be gained from continuing to make our workplaces safer with the right legislation. In order for any of that to be guaranteed, however, businesses need to fight for that legislation, just as the public will be.

What’s The Most Likely Scenario?

Immediately after the referendum, speculation about what would happen in a post-Brexit world was rife. Well over a year later, we’re still mostly speculating.

We know that the predictions of doom and gloom were mostly wrong. The pound has fallen in value — and continues to fall — but the British economy is slowly growing. We know that the Great Repeal Bill will come into force immediately after Brexit, and we know that politicians have made some pretty large promises about what the deal will look like.

Of course, if politicians are consistently anything, they are consistently inconsistent. As such, it’s imperative that the British public and business leaders do whatever they can from now until 2019 — and well beyond — to let their voices be heard. Otherwise, businesses and citizens of the future will look back and wonder why we did nothing.

Apple Supplier Foxconn Reportedly Hired “School Aged” Employees for Overtime Work

Foxconn, one of Apple’s largest manufacturing partners, has allegedly employed school-aged students to work illegally long hours in its China-based factories, according to a report in the Financial Times.

The Taiwanese electronics company, which operates a large number of factories throughout the People’s Republic of China and other countries, has long attracted criticism for its hiring, labour and compensation practices.

The students, who were aged between 17 and 19 years, were reportedly told that they needed to work on the company’s Zhengzhou-based plant in order to graduate. Around 3,000 students were hired in total.

Many of the students were required to work 11 hour days at the factory, potentially in addition to a standard school workload. The hiring practices violated Chinese labour laws, which prohibit school-aged employees from working for upwards of 40 hours per week.

Apple and Foxconn have publicly stated that the employees were “compensated and provided benefits” for their work, but agreed that the students — who worked voluntarily in the factory — “should not have been allowed to work overtime.”

Foxconn operates a large range of internship programmes in China. While the internship itself is legal under Chinese law, students are forbidden from working overtime hours and capped at 40 hours of voluntary employment each week.

The manufacturing company has stated that the internship represents “a very small percentage” of its total workforce in the country. Foxconn has previously been criticised for its employee care practices after the company was accused of “failing to protect Chinese factory workers.”

Students hired by Foxconn as part of the internship programme were tasked with assembling the iPhone X — Apple’s latest smartphone and one of its key sources of revenue. One student claimed that they assembled as many as 1,200 iPhone X cameras per day at the factory.

The iPhone is an extremely important product for Apple, contributing more than half of the US technology giant’s revenue. Apple’s share price hit record highs after the launch of the newest iPhone, which is estimated to have sold 46.6 million units between July and September.

The company’s most expensive smartphone, the iPhone X costs as much as $1,149 USD (£999 GBP) and provides users with a high-resolution touchscreen that occupies the entire front of the device.

Apple has reported extremely high sales numbers for the latest iPhone, with the level of demand exceeding expectations. As tech analyst Ming-Chi Kuo explained, the phone could be subject to supply constraints that limit Apple’s ability to meet demand in 2017.

Working conditions have long been a difficult aspect of manufacturing in China for consumer electronics companies. Foxconn has faced several public working conditions issues, many of which have resulted in the manufacturing giant taking steps to improve its hiring practices.

Foxconn is one of Asia’s largest consumer electronics manufacturing companies. In addition to its well known manufacturing contracts with Apple, the company also assembles products for a variety of other consumer technology brands, including Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft.

£16 Million Lost in Christmas Shopping Fraud in 2016

Christmas is approaching, and a growing number of shoppers are purchasing this year’s gifts online. However, new data from Action Fraud shows that the percentage of fraudulent online transactions (and the total amount of money lost each year) is on the rise.

According to the newly released data for 2016, more than 15,000 people lost an estimated £16 million due to online fraud in last year’s Christmas shopping season, with men aged from 20 to 29 the most frequently targeted victims.

The total amount stolen in fraudulent online auctions, misleading sales and other scams is up 45% compared to the same period in 2015, indicating that online fraudsters are making bigger moves during each year’s Christmas shopping period.

Some of the most commonly targeted transactions include online auction purchases, in which fraudsters commonly ripped off consumers by selling fake products. Drones, designer sneakers and high-end makeup were among the most commonly counterfeited products sold online.

On average, victims lost as much as £727 from each fraudulent transaction, indicating that both the scale of the problem and the amount being taken from each victim can be significant.

Action Fraud, which is operated by the City of London Police, believes that this year’s Christmas shopping season could be a particularly lucrative period for fraudsters, as well as a challenging one for consumers.

Police Commander Dave Clark stated “Christmas is a busy time of year when we are required to make several quick decisions, especially when it comes to prevent buying.”

“Fraudsters see the Christmas rush as an ideal opportunity to take advantage of people’s generosity without a single care about the consequences this may cause for the victim.”

“With a sharp rise in fraud reporting at Christmas time, it is more important than ever that people do everything they can to protect themselves from fraudsters stopping them from enjoying the holiday season at the expense of others.”

Along with the product categories listed above, City of London police have listed mobile phones as items that are commonly used in fraudulent schemes. Consumers often purchase technology from online auctions, only to receive different items from the ones they expected.

Designer sneakers, such as the Yeezy footwear range, are also common items sold by online fraudsters. Action Fraud has recommended avoiding online sales and auctions where an item’s price “seems cheaper than expected” or “too good to be true.

Other fraud prevention tips for consumers include using PayPal to pay for goods purchased on online auction websites, as this allows for a quick and easy refund if the goods sold aren’t what they’re supposed to be. Consumers should also avoid transferring money directly to strangers.

When purchasing tickets, consumers are recommended to only ever buy them directly from an official source and never pay by direct transfer. The City of London Police also recommend that consumers check holiday deal sellers for ABTA and ATOL registration before spending money.

Other potential hazards include email phishing schemes designed to steal login data, which can be reported online to Action Fraud.

Belgian Investigation Rules Video Game “Loot Boxes” Are Gambling

The Belgian Gaming Commission is considering banning loot boxes in video games, claiming that the in-game prizes are a form of gambling.

Loot boxes are a controversial element of many online games. The recent Electronic Arts online shooter Star Wars: Battlefront II has attracted criticism from both gamers and industry reporters for its loot box-focused rewards system.

Using loot boxes, players can exchange real money for the chance to earn in-game items. The system is a favourite of video game developers and publishers, as it allows for players to keep spending money even after a game is purchased.

The items contained in the loot boxes often provide players with an advantage in online play, incentivising players to “spend to win” in their favourite games. Many of the loot boxes operate using a similar mechanism to a slot machine, offering rewards on a chance basis.

EA, which previously planned to allow players to spend real money on loot boxes, backed off from its decision after a widespread consumer boycott. Now, game developers could face an extra level of regulatory scrutiny due to the growing popularity of loot boxes.

Last week, Belgium’s Gaming Commission launched its own investigation of loot boxes, noting that they could be considered a form of gambling. Loot boxes are considered an especially big issue as they’re often included in games targeted towards children.

Parents have reported cases of children using saved in-game payment information to purchase loot boxes, often racking up hundreds or thousands of dollars in in-game charges for items and credits for in-game promotions.

The recently concluded Belgian investigation concluded that loot boxes are a form of gambling — a finding that means the European Union could place restrictions or a complete ban on the business model.

Gaming industry experts contend that loot boxes are growing in popularity not because of any genuine interest from gamers, but because they’re viewed as a simple way for developers to generate more revenue from their triple-A titles.

In-game purchases have grown tremendously over the last decade, with gamers shelling out anywhere from $1 to $1,000+ for in-game items such as upgraded weapons, character skins and other content.

These small transactions are now a key source of revenue for many game companies, allowing for games to be offered at a lower purchase price and monetised — often indirectly — through the purchase of extra in-game upgrades.

Game developers claim that the loot boxes are often a necessary evil in an industry where costs have risen substantially over the past decade. As a PC Gamer piece noted, previous generation “triple-A” games were developed by 35-50 people; today’s top games are developed by 500.

This has put extra pressure on developers and publishers to implement in-game monetisation to increase revenue and offset the costs of development.

However, with loot boxes potentially facing regulatory issues in the European Union, or even an outright ban, developers of upcoming triple-A titles may need to look at new ways to earn extra revenue from their new releases.

Thomas Cook UK Earnings, Shares Down

Travel company Thomas Cook has reported lower-than-expected UK profit margins due to highly competitive conditions in the travel industry.

The well-known travel brand recently reported a 40% decline in its UK earnings, fuelled by a “challenging” travel market and a cut in total revenue caused by a weakened pound. For the year to September 30, Thomas Cook generated earnings of £52 million — lower than the £86 million reported during the previous 12 months.

Thomas Cook is one of several travel companies to face a decline in earnings over the past year. Others, including numerous low-cost airlines, have reported declining profits due to an increasingly intense price war and difficult currency conditions.

The weakened pound has hurt many holiday providers, the majority of which price services in pounds before purchasing accommodation, tour packages and other services in euros. Rising hotel prices have also been blamed for this year’s lower-than-expected profit margins.

In its statement, Thomas Cook reported that a high level of competition for Spanish package holidays also contributed to its smaller margins. The company has also been set back by the costs of reimbursing customers after Hurricane Irma.

Finally, the company reported that fraudulent illness claims cut into its 2017 profits, costing the company a significant amount. Executives have reported that there may be legal action against individuals that make fraudulent illness claims.

To reverse the downturn in earnings, Thomas Cook plans to focus its offerings on inexpensive, rapidly growing destinations such as Egypt and Turkey, both of which have seen an increase in demand over the past year.

Despite poor earnings from its UK division, the Thomas Cook Group has had a positive year on the whole. The company’s earnings grew by £24 million to a total of £330 million, largely due to increased customer demand.

Bookings for the winter season are currently higher than expected, with the company noting a 5% increase in total booking volume fuelled by customer interest in warm destinations such as the Canary Islands.

A persistent price war has affected UK-based holiday companies that focus on destinations like Spain, where limited availability and an increase in demand has resulted in higher-than-normal prices for hotels and holiday apartments.

Due to Spain’s image as a safe holiday destination and the weakened pound, Thomas Cook and other travel companies predict that the price of holidays to Spain will continue to rise by anywhere from five to 10 per cent over the next year.

The challenging market conditions haven’t only affected holiday tour companies. Earlier this year, UK-based Monarch Airlines ceased trading due to financial difficulties, leaving 10,000 holidaymakers stranded overseas.

Even the industry’s most robust companies have reported lower-than-anticipated profits, with budget airline easyJet stating a 17% annual decrease in profits. Chief executive Carolyn McCall described the year as a “difficult” one for the entire travel industry.

Still, with demand increasing and bookings on the rise, 2018 could potentially be a year of new opportunities and financial turnaround for many of Britain’s airlines and travel service providers.

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