Business management simulation exercise

Growing a business from a small company to a large corporation is not an easy task. It requires making many decisions from time to time. A business leader can be static and follow their plans through to the end. Alternatively, they could also be flexible and make decisions based on the situation. I would prefer the latter. The business environment is ever changing, and therefore business leaders should also have an open mind when making a decision. They should be dynamic in their decision. The world has become a global village courtesy of technology and globalization. This means that businesses are not only competing with their next door neighbors, but also with other businesses across the globe.

In our case study, the business was facing three challenges. These included;

  1. Competition from other companies from China and South America. As mentioned before competition has increased due to globalization. This means that businesses have to be good at what they do. Otherwise, they face being kicked out of the market.
  2. The business also lacked investment in technology. Each and every day there are new products being introduced into the market. These products can be used as leverage to your advantage or can kill your business. Every business needs always to find ways of improving their products and processes to remain competitive.
  • The business was also facing a challenge of poor quality in their deliverables. Their designs could not meet their unique customer requirements. Through research and development, this can be reduced.

To be able to remain competitive the business needed to make a decision on how to curb the three challenges. To do this, they needed to come up with a plan. Business planning is crucial as it sets a path of the next year’s goals and objectives. The company came up with three achievement goals. These include:

  1. Mine into the existing customer base for more repair jobs.
  2. Come up and deliver a CapEx plan for new equipment and tool requirements.
  • Reorganize the floor efficiencies so as to achieve economies of scale.

The business did not have well set out plans before. This could have contributed to the challenges it was facing. The junior management team had not had the privilege of planning before. This means that they are skeptical of changes, as everyone would be.

Any plan has to be communicated, and the information has to flow so that it can succeed. Hearing a plan from your supervisor makes you internalize it more. The way the message is passed could be a win or lose, all together. The more the channels that a message passes through, the more distorted it is. The charge hands are also skeptical of the new plans. First, as a division head, you need to ensure that they buy in, into the plan. They are key implementers of the plan and should not be left behind. As a hands-on leader, I would attend a meeting with each division to pass the plans. This would take a lot of time but, it would be worth it as it contributes highly to the success of the plan.

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Businesses do not operate in a vacuum. They also deal with other corporates. The king of relationship should be mutual to ensure that both parties are benefiting. Dealing with suppliers who are also your client can be tricky. In one hand you need them to deliver, and on the other hand, you don’t want to frustrate them as they will refuse to buy from you.  Big Dog Ltd needs to maintain Motorworks as their client and also as a supplier. This way the business will not lose business to competition. Motorworks should also supply on time. To solve this stalemate Big Dog needs to reach out to Motorworks and have a service guarantee agreement between the two companies. All legal implication to the contract needs to be looked into. This will enable us to get supplies in time and also to maintain one of our biggest customers.

To achieve efficiency and economies of scale, all equipment used by the business need to be operational and up to standard. The secondary blade housing from WatcherMo needs to be fixed or replaced. This could be the reason for the delays. Improving the housing is a good strategy; however, that is a long-term goal. In the short run, the secondary blade needs to be fixed.

Some industries e.g. manufacturing, require specific skills. Losing a staff to competition would mean that they leave with some of your secrets. They might not reveal to the new competition, but they will be working with knowledge on what you aim to achieve. Attracting top quality staff is critical to business.

Research and development is an important function in today`s business. Despite their crucial role, managing the department can be vague. On the one hand, you need to develop new products, on the other, you need to maintain and improve the current ones. As a division head, we would have two working structures for the R&D department. When the business is not straining with sales and suppliers, they will put 70% of their time in new technology and products and 30% improving the current ones. When the business is facing challenges e.g. now when there is a humidity challenge to our robots, they focus 70% on product improvement.

The bottom line of a business is to make sales. The sales and marketing department is charged with this responsibility. To improve sales, I would separate the sales and marketing division into three sections, the marketing division, sales deepening division and acquisition division. The marketing division would be charged with the authority to advertise, organize sales promotions, manage public relations and ensure the overall corporate image is maintained through branding. The sales deepening section would be primarily mining and managing portfolios of the current clients. This would add a personal touch to our clients and also have a contact person with us. The sales acquisition would be attracting new clients to the business. This model will ensure a seamless interaction with our clients. The sales team will also be compensated on a commission basis. The deepeners will be paid a commission of the additional business they generate from our current clients while acquirers will be paid a fraction of the revenue they bring onboard. This would create completion among the salespeople and also the energy and zeal to work. We would also provide them with a comprehensive medical cover and a transport allowance to go and meet their clients.

Technology is an important part to be added to business. This technology can either be inborn or bought from other businesses; speed is of the essence when making technology decisions. A bad decision or a missed opportunity could result in the closure of business. NewTech, a technology firm has just discovered a way to reduce humidity in mobots. No, any another business has come up with such an idea. Humidity is a challenge to mobots as it leads to breakdowns leading to repairs and maintenance regularly. I would buy the technology from NewTech before competitors did while we waited for two years for our R&D division to complete. This would mean that our mobots are competitive, require less maintenance hence fewer costs on repairs and maintenance. Our sales figures will eventually increase and gain more market share.

Mowco one of our biggest clients is requesting for a 10% price reduction on their sales. The business does not have a policy on sales cut. This would have to be thought of and implemented for the future. For the case of Mowco, a competitor analysis would be done. How much are our competitors charging and at how much would they charge Mowco in case approached. If there are chances of Mowco getting a better deal with competitors we would negotiate with the company for less reduction e.g. 6%, If we are competitive we would decline the request and maybe offer something else like an account manager to handle their issues.

The compensation structure for salesforce is very important to be discussed in a sober mood and to be structured in a strategic way. The compensation of salespeople acts as a motivator and also as a way of giving them a sense of belonging. No one in the organization would work without pay. They all have bills to pay.

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The best proven strategy for the compensation of salespeople is through  commission basis. If paid on commission the sales force drives itself and therefore needing less supervision and more sales. The more a salesperson sells the more money they make. The team also starts competing amongst themselves. Friendly competition amongst team members is good as it increases productivity.

The sales environment is very diverse and dynamic. It also comes with a lot of pressure to perform. Research has also shown that salespeople live for shorter spans as compared to other professionals. This is due to the risks they are exposed to doing their jobs. Taking all this into consideration it is important to have a robust, working medical scheme for salespeople.

With a management team in place, change the shop to increase production, agreement with our supplier I believe that the business will be back to profits mark. With the ongoing market analysis on pricing, change of compensation structure for salespeople and purchase of software from NewTech the business future looks bright.

REFLECTION

This exercise has taught me many things. First of all, management is not easy. Every time you are at crossroads. Every team is pulling strings towards themselves. They want you to make a decision that is favorable to them. This could make them forget the importance and goals of the business.

Before the exercise, I did not have the clear picture of the magnitude of the decisions I will be required to make as a business leader. The exercise has opened up my mind on what to expect on the ground. Some decision will be easy to make as they are rational. Others will be hard as they will require hard lining.

Before the exercise, I thought that being a hard liner leader was good. However from the exercise I have learned that it is important to be flexible over time. This would mean making a decision based on circumstances but also focusing on the future.

A business leader should not only just focus on the current situation. They should also think about what the future holds and what they can do now to ensure their existence and profitability in future. The past should be used for analysis and based on that analysis business decisions can be made.

The weight of the decision you take as a leader is immense. A single decision can lead to the collapse of the business. An example is the NewTech decision. It is either you acquire the technology, incur the initial costs, or wait for your competitors to get hold of it and crash you. This exercise was really important and educative.

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References

Clemen, R. T., & Reilly, T. (2013). Making Hard Decisions with DecisionTools. Cengage Learning.

Hammond, J., Keeney, R., & Raiffa, H. (2015). Smart choices: A practical guide to making better decisions. Harvard Business Review Press.

Mullins, J., Walker, O. C., & Boyd Jr, H. W. (2012). Marketing management: A strategic decision-making approach. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Benefits and detractors of credit risk

Inroduction

The objective of this research is to examine the control of credit risk threat in financial institutions. Credit risk control in financial institutions starts with the organization of sound lending principles and an efficient structure for handling threats (Jorion, 1997). Guidelines, industry-specific requirements and recommendations, together with risk focus boundaries are designed under the guidance of risk control committees and departments (Bluhm, Overbeck & Wagner, 2016).

Credit risk, also known as counterparty threat is the possibility of loss due to a debtor’s non-repayment of a loan or other history of credits (either the principal or interest (coupon) or even both). Also, credit risk threat is most simply defined as the potential that a financial loan client or counterparty won’t succeed to meet their responsibilities with respect to agreed terms.

In most financial institutions, financial loans are the biggest and most obvious source of credit rating threat. However, other sources of credit risk exist throughout other sections and products of a bank. They consist of actions in the financial and trading books, and those both on and off the balance sheet. Banks are progressively experiencing credit risk threat or counterparty threat in various financial instruments they offer other than financial loans. These consist of bankers’ acceptances, interbank dealings, trade financing, forex trading dealings, economical futures trading, trades, ties, stocks, options and the agreement of transactions.

Credit risk research (finance risk research, loan default rate analysis) and credit risk control are important to banks which provide economical loans to businesses and individuals. Credit risk can occur for various reasons: bank mortgages (or home loans), automobile purchase economical situation, credit card buys, installment purchases, and so on. Credit loans and trading facilities are situations that have the danger of leading to losses due to defaults. To know the danger level of credit users, credit providers normally collect large amount of information on debtors. Mathematical techniques can be used to analyze or determine threat stages involved in credits, economic situations, and economical loans, thus standard threat stages. While banks have faced prolems over the years for a multitude of factors, the major cause of serious banking problems continues to be proportional to lax credit standards for debtors and counterparties, poor portfolio threat control, lack of attention to changes in economic factors (interest prices, inflation prices, etc.)

In modern times, the flow of credit in global marketplaces has slowed from a glacial pace to a virtual standstill and credit marketplaces threaten to stay that way despite immense amounts of cash being pumped into various economies by their government authorities and central banks around the world. Credit risk is a problem faced by economical institutions all over the entire world and the question mostly asked is “what will it take for financial institutions to regain enough confidence in the economic climate to get credit score marketplaces moving again?”

Derivatives

Both policymakers and writers have placed significant fault for the Panic of 2008 – the international economic trouble that achieved full strength in that year – on over-the-counter (“OTC”) derivatives (Gerding, 2009). In turn, legal and policy reactions to the problems, such as the Dodd-Frank Act, have presented many new limitations on these particular economical equipments. Among other things, the Dodd-Frank Act prevents future government relief of certain organizations that trade in derivatives, requires the main cleaning of many derivatives, and allows government authorities to set new security specifications for types that are excused from those main cleaning specifications (Gerding, 2009).

Yet, a research of both the role of types in the economic problems and the new rules regulating derivatives, must avoid artwork with too wide concepts. Several misunderstandings endanger to mix up both the most serious threats resulting from derivatives and the regulating reaction. A certain varieties of derivatives – especially credit score types – cause particular concerns because of their ability to increase make use of throughout the economic system. Credit derivatives  are a form of mixture, whose value is based on the money risk of another firm or economical instrument (Omarova, 2009) . However, the full economic consequences of the higher make use of from credit score types are often themselves not fully fleshed out. Many commentators have focused on how improved make use of, whether arising from credit score types or otherwise, magnifies the frailty of banking organizations. To be sure, excessively utilized banking organizations represent an important concern.

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Moreover, by linking one standard bank to another, credit score derivatives can increase counterparty threat, or the threat of one party to economical transaction defaulting on its obligations. The web created by banking organizations entering into complex credit score derivatives with one another in series raises the specter of utilized organizations falling like dominoes (Huang & Huang, 2012). The potential incidents of failing banks and other economical firms represents one form of system threat. It was this scenario that apparently animated the extraordinary federal bailout of the insurance giant AIG, which had underwritten hundreds of billions of dollars in credit score derivatives that proved assures to other large banking organizations. The emerging failure of the firm left a myriad of other banking organizations with enormous exposure (Posner, 2009).

Yet this potential domino effect of counterparty risk is but one side of the coin of the consequences of credit score derivatives and their ability to lead to leverage. What the above research, however briefly summarized, fails to capture are the macroeconomic results of credit score derivatives. Writers need to aim to move beyond the research into the counterparty risk of derivatives to explore these macroeconomic results. By allowing banking organizations – those organizations that borrow to lend – to enhance make use of, credit score derivatives can operate to boost the overall amount of assets in markets. This increase in assets can be thought of as helping the overall supply of money in a market, which can have a number of significant economic effects (Posner, 2009). By improving leverage and assets, credit score derivatives can fuel rises in resource costs and even bubbles. Rising resource costs can then mask mistakes in pricing credit score derivatives and in assessing the risk of make use of in the economical state. Furthermore, the use of credit score derivatives by banking institutions can contribute to a cycle of leveraging and deleveraging in the economy.

Advantages of credit risk

Many types of credit rating threats exist, which sometimes are known as in specific terminology. Any improvement in costs associated with a client not paying as decided can be loosely classified as credit rating threat. For example, even if credit cards customer does end up not paying his bill, if the lender has to make selection calls or resort to a selection agency, this increment on price is a version of credit risk. More specifically, “default risk” is the danger that the celebration does not and cannot pay as decided (over and above a simple increment in selection cost) and is sometimes generally known as “counter-party threat.” When the client is a government, credit rating threat is often generally known as “sovereign threat.”

Companies, government authorities and all types of lenders take part in credit ranking research to determine to what level they face credit ranking risk associated with their investment strategies. In with a weight of the pros and cons for making a certain type of investment, firms utilize in-house applications to recommend on reducing and preventing threat (or shifting it elsewhere) or use third party help, like analyzing ranking agencies’ estimates of credit reliability from companies like Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, Fitch Scores and others. After banks using their models and the advice of others to position customers according to the threat, they apply this knowledge to reduce credit ranking threat.

Creditors use a variety of means to lessen and control credit score threat. One way lenders decrease credit score threat is by using “risk-based pricing,” in which lenders charge higher rates to debtors with more perceived credit score threat. Another way is with “agreements,” whereby lenders apply stipulations to credit, such as debtors must periodically report on their finances, or such that debtors must repay the financing in full after certain events (like changes in the customer’s debt-to-equity ratio or other financial debt ratios). Another method is diversification, which can decrease credit score threat to lenders as well as a diversified client pool is less likely to standard simultaneously, leaving the creditor without hope of recovery. Besides these, many companies utilize credit score insurance or credit score derivatives, such as “credit standard swaps,” in an attempt to transfer threat to other companies.

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Conclusion

In this report we have been able to define credit risk that is faced by financial institutions. These are threats whereby the bank clients can either default in the financial obligations to the bank or the bank having to incur additional costs so as to recover from the client. Credit derivatives have also been looked at. Their effect on interest rates has also been expounded on. Credit risk has also its own advantages. Financial institutions that embrace it and put in place strict strategies to contain it will be prosperous.

References

Bluhm, C., Overbeck, L., & Wagner, C. (2016). Introduction to credit risk modeling. Crc Press.

Gerding, E. F. (2009). Deregulation pas de deux: Dual regulatory classes of financial institutions and the path to financial crisis in Sweden and the United States. NEXUS, 15, 135.

 

Huang, J. Z., & Huang, M. (2012). How much of the corporate-treasury yield spread is due to credit risk?. Review of Asset Pricing Studies, 2(2), 153-202.

 

Jorion, P. (1997). Value at risk (pp. 1-4). McGraw-Hill, New York

 

Omarova, S. T. (2009). The Quiet Metamorphosis: How Derivatives Changed the’Business of Banking’. University Miami Law Review, 63, 1041.

Posner, R. A. (2009). A failure of capitalism: The crisis of’08 and the descent into depression. Harvard University Press

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Performance Management system

Growth and development analysis of a human being

It has been written previously that one is born with their traits. Writers have also indicated that traits are passed from one generation to another. I however believe this to be untrue. There are those traits that one is born with and those that one learns as they grow up.

We cannot take for granted the interactions one has with other human beings and nature. This has a way of changing us. The way we think and believe is highly contributed by the people we interact with and our backgrounds. In this paper we will discuss how I grew up to procrastinate and also a perfectionist. I believe I grew into this.

I push myself and others to do a perfect task and at the same time do the hard tasks the last minute.

Procrastination is evading the performance of a job which needs to be achieved. It is doing the more enjoyable tasks first, or doing those tasks that are less urgent as a substitute to more vital ones. This means that one puts off the difficult tasks first. Everyone has been accused of procrastinating at one point or another. However, more than 20 % of the population is said to procrastinate frequently. Procrastination can be defined as their way of life.

Performance management his highly done, in line with the goals and objectives of the organisation while at the same time ensuring that the strengths and weaknesses of employees have been established.  Meeting business goals and objectives is the essential reason for there being any organisation.

For this to be achieved there needs to be periodical measurements of the progress towards achieving these goals and objectives. The goals and objectives of the organisation need to have been communicated to all employees so that the company can soldier on as one team.  After this communication has been done, the achievement of these objectives needs to be measured appraised and relevant actions taken from time to time. The performance management process is part of the entire business since its inception till the day that it closes business.

Procrastination is said to reflect our struggle with self-discipline and control. It also shows our inability to predict our feelings for the next day. To critic this statement and belief I would say that procrastinators are good at making choices and prefer lesser demanding tasks as compared to the difficult tasks. Critics can also be quoted saying that procrastinators claim that they achieve better results when under pressure. More often than not that’s the way procrastinators qualify tasks and then work towards achieving them.

Personally, I have in many occasions preferred to avoid negative emotions so as to delay stressful tasks. So as to achieve more with limited I prefer doing the difficult tasks under pressure. This has enabled me to save time over the years.

Psychologists have cited such abehavior as a way of dealing with anxiety that is associated with finishing a task. Anxiety can get you to start working on a task either early or late (Steel, 2010). The focus should therefore be more of impulsiveness. Anxiety can only cause you to late on a task if it is impulsive.

 

 

 

==> Accounting Issues Raised After Financial Analysis

References

Steel, P. (2010). The procrastination equation: How to stop putting things off and start getting stuff done. Random House Canada.

 

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Company evaluation

Mission and Vision Evaluation

Remember to search for a mission and vision statement then evaluate them (running the mission statement through the mission-statement components.  If you cannot find either or both, so note in this report section, and write one for the company.

This part Includes a:

  • Vision Statement
  • Mission Statement
  • List Mission Statement Evaluation Components that are satisfied
  • Rationale for the components included as well as excluded.

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Milestones

Begin with a concise company profile followed by 5-10 company milestones.  Synthesize the company’s uniqueness and identity.  For example, a fun, employee-centered culture or low-cost, no-frills strategy uniquely identifies Southwest Airlines.

External Assessment

Insert your completed EFE Matrix.  Discuss the high score factors and interpret the overall score for your reader.

Your final paper will include:

·         An External Factor Evaluation (EFE) Matrix .

 

o    Why is this environmental factor key?

o    Why does the factor carry this much weight?

o    Why you rated the factor as you did?

·         How should management interpret the total weighted score?

How to do an External Assessment

After reading the case, first scan the environment. Use the following steps:

1.    List key external factors (opportunities and threats). These factors apply to all firms in the industry, not just this company. Any firm could potentially take advantage of an opportunity or be challenged by a threat because these factors are in the external environment. Include a total of 10-20 factors. Be as specific as possible.

2.    Assign a weight to each factor that ranges from 0.0 (not important) to 1.0 (very important). The weight indicates the relative importance of that factor to being successful in the industry. The sum the weights of all factors (for both opportunities and threats combined) must equal 1.0.

3.    This is the step at which the company (revlon) enters the picture. Assign a rating between 1 and 4 to each factor to indicate how effectively the firm’s current strategies respond to the factor, where 4=the response is superior, 3=the response is above average,2=the response is average, and 1=the response is poor. Ratings are based on effectiveness of the firm’s (revlon.) strategies. Ratings are company-based, whereas the weights in Step 2 are industry-based. Both threats and opportunities can receive a 1, 2, 3, or 4.

4.    Multiply each factor’s weight by its rating to determine a weighted score.

5.    Sum the weighted scores for each variable to determine the total weighted score for the organization(Revlon)

Internal Assessment

Insert your completed IFE Matrix.  Discuss the high score factors and interpret the overall score for your reader.  Use financial ratios for internal factors too, if applicable. (For example, if the company has a low inventory turnover ratio, this could be a weakness in the IFE Matrix.) See the link below under “Appendix” to help you preliminarily examine the financial ratios.

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SWOT Analysis

Summarize the key strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.  Also, consider how well your company is managing both environments. This section serves as a conclusion to Case 1. Simply summarize the key strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that were prominent in your EFE and IFE matrices. This is not a SWOT Matrix, which is a matching technique. Matching techniques (e.g., the SWOT Matrix) are part of Case 2. 

 

 

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Apple Inc. Verses Microsoft Inc Financial analysis – 2014 & 2015

  1. Will Apple be able to meet its obligations as they become due? How does Apples liquidity compare with that of Microsoft? 

Liquidity ratios are used to measure a company’s ability to pay off its short-term debt obligations. This is achieved by comparing a company’s most liquid assets (or, those that can be easily converted to cash), and its short-term liabilities.

  CURRENT RATIO   QUICK RATIO
  APPLE MICROSOFT   APPLE MICROSOFT
2014 1.08 2.5 0.67:1 0.6777:1
2015 1.11 2.5 0.725:1 0.53:1

 

A current ratio below 1 suggests that the company is unable to pay off its obligations if they came due at that point. This situation does not necessarily mean that it will go bankrupt. On the other hand, a current ratio (over 3) does not necessarily indicate that a company is in a state of financial well-being either. This depends on how its assets are allocated. A high cash ratio could also indicate that company is not using its current assets efficiently, is not securing financing well or is not managing its working capital well. Using Current ration Apple will be able to meet its short term obligations.


The quick ratio is an indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity. The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet its short-term obligations with its most liquid assets. This ratio measures the dollar amount of liquid assets equivalent for each dollar of current liabilities. Thus, a quick ratio of 1.5 means that a company has $1.50 of liquid assets available to cover each $1 of current liabilities. The higher the quick ratio, the better the company’s liquidity position. As per this ratio both companies do not show strength however as discussed under current ratio this should not raise an alarm. Apples liquidity seems to be becoming stronger as compared to Microsoft which is diminishing.

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  1. What is the capital structure of Apple (i.e., what percentage of the total assets of the company are financed through liabilities and what percentage through stockholders’ equity)?

A capital structure is a mix of a company’s long-term debt, specific short-term debt, common equity and preferred equity. The capital structure is how a firm finances its overall operations and growth by using different sources of funds.
As at 2015 41% of Apples assets were financed by shareholders equity while 59% was funded through liabilities.

  1. 3. Is the capital structure of Microsoft significantly different from that of Apple?  Explain your answer.

As per the above, Applesuse of shareholders equity to total assets has been on a downward trend. That of Microsoft has also been on the same path but not drastic as that of Apple. To drive deeper into this lets see how their debt to income ratios look like.


DTI is a measure that compares an individual’s/business debt payment to its overall income. A low debt-to-income ratio demonstrates a good balance between debt and income. Conversely, a high DTI can signal that an individual/business has too much debt for the amount of income he or she has.

DEBT-INCOME RATIO
  APPLE MICROSOFT
2014 1.08 0.92
2015 1.43 1.2

DTI ratio also paints the same picture as shown by the above percentages. Both companies seem to have borrowed a lot as they move to 2015. This has led to decrease in shareholders equity in both. Both companies have a similar capital structur

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Advantages of Debt

Debt and deficits

A deficit is a difference between income and expenditure where spending is higher than income. Once you have a deficit, it means you have to borrow to cover it. This situation leads to debt. Governments borrow by selling securities to the public.



I believe that there is good debt and bad debt. There are many journals on this topic. One writer says debt is not the problem and the next predicts that debt will ruin civilization (Hanson, 2006). Common sense is you spend what you have and save the rest. However, this is not normally the case all the time. Many people who do well with money have something in common: they know what they want (Gerber, 2012).  It all matters with why you have a deficit and opting for a debt. Good debt is one that is a sensible investment in your future. It will leave you better financially in the long run. Taking a student loan, investing in business, getting a mortgage or buying a car that will bring income is good debt. Purchasing a luxurious house, purchase an extra car or borrowing to meet day to day expenses is bad debt.

 

 

 

References

Gerber, L. (2012). Top 10 Tips for Developing Money Management Skills. The Rosen Publishing Group.

Hanson, J. (2006). Good Debt, Bad Debt: Knowing the Difference Can Save Your Financial Life. Jon Hanson.

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