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Alternative Fuels

Alternative fuels are derived from sources other than petroleum. Most are produced domestically, reducing our dependence on imported oil, and some are derived from renewable sources. Often, they produce less pollution than gasoline or diesel.

E85 Pump Label

Ethanol is produced domestically from corn and other crops. It produces less greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than gasoline or diesel.

Electric charging sign

Electricity is produced domestically from a variety of sources such as coal, natural gas, nuclear power, and renewables. Powering vehicles with electricity causes no tailpipe emissions, but generating electricity can produce pollutants and greenhouse gases.

Biodiesel Logo

Biodiesel is diesel derived from vegetable oils and animal fats. It usually produces less air pollutants than petroleum-based diesel.

CNG Logo

Natural gas is a fossil fuel that is plentiful in the U.S. It produces less air pollutants and GHGs than gasoline.

Propane Logo

Propane, also called liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), is a domestically abundant fossil fuel. It produces less harmful air pollutants and GHGs than gasoline.

DOE Hydrogen Program Logo

Hydrogen can be produced domestically from fossil fuels (such as coal), nuclear power, or renewable resources, such as hydropower. Fuel cell vehicles powered by pure hydrogen emit no harmful air pollutants.

Alternative Fuel Corridors

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently announced the designation of the nation’s first alternative fuel corridors for electric, hydrogen, natural gas, and propane vehicles. With this designation, FHWA is facilitating the creation and expansion of a national network of alternative fueling and charging infrastructure along national highway system corridors. This is the next step in advancing America’s 21st century transportation network. For more information on these corridors, including maps and additional resources, please visit the FHWA website at:
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/alternative_fuel_corridors.

U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

What are Emerging Markets?

“Emerging markets” is a term that refers to an economy that experiences considerable economic growth and possesses some, but not all, characteristics of a developed economy. Emerging markets are countries that are transitioning from the “developing” phase to the “developed” phase.

Characteristics of Emerging Markets

Emerging Markets

Some common characteristics of emerging markets are illustrated below:

1. Market volatility

Market volatility stems from political instability, external price movements, and/or supply-demand shocks due to natural calamities. It exposes investors to the risk of fluctuations in exchange rates, as well as market performance.

2. Growth and investment potential

Emerging markets are often attractive to foreign investors due to the high return on investment they can provide. In the transition from being an agriculture-based economy to a developed economy, countries often require a large influx of capital from foreign sources due to a shortage of domestic capital.

Using their competitive advantage, such countries focus on exporting low-cost goods to richer nations, which boosts GDP growth, stock prices, and returns for investors.

3. High rates of economic growth

Governments of emerging markets tend to implement policies that favor industrialization and rapid economic growth. Such policies lead to lower unemployment, higher disposable income per capita, higher investments, and better infrastructure. On the other hand, developed countries, such as the USA, Germany, and Japan, experience low rates of economic growth due to early industrialization.

4. Income per capita

Emerging markets usually achieve a low-middle income per capita relative to other countries, due to their dependence on agricultural activities. As the economy pursues industrialization and manufacturing activities, income per capita increases with GDP. Lower average incomes also function as incentives for higher economic growth.

The Five Major Emerging Markets

Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa are the biggest emerging markets in the world. In 2009, the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, and China formed a summit to create “BRIC,” an association created in order to improve political relationships and trade between the largest emerging markets. South Africa joined the “BRIC” group in 2010, which was then re-named “BRICS.”

BRICS

1. Brazil

Brazil’s economy on a relative basis grew rapidly during the early 2010s at a rate of 7.5%. Due to political instability and trade sanctions, however, the growth rate slowed down and became negative in 2016 (-3.5%). Brazil also experienced considerable improvements in income levels and poverty reduction in 2003-2014, but changes have been sluggish since 2015 due to lower economic activity.

The Brazilian economy has been affected largely by political uncertainties and lower government expenditure. However, the outlook for the country’s future is positive. The domestic economy grew 0.6% in 2019 and is expected to sustain the growth through infrastructure improvements and foreign investments, along with its reliance on agricultural commodities like soybean and coffee.

2. Russia

Driven primarily by oil exports and a rise in oil prices, Russia experienced exponential growth in its GDP during the period 1999-2008 (before the Global Financial Crisis). The transition from communism to capitalism that has been taking place since 1991 has boosted economic growth in the country through economic reforms and an export-oriented trade policy.

However, since 2014, Russia’s economy has been negatively affected by political conflicts and trade sanctions that have been imposed by the US, Canada, Japan, and the EU, along with fluctuations in the price of oil, which accounts for close to 52% of Russian exports. The Russian economy grew at a rate of 1.7% in 2019 and is expected to grow faster if geopolitical tensions with trade partners like the US, Canada, Japan, and the EU reduce.

3. India

India established itself as an emerging market after trade liberalization and other major economic reforms in 1991. The Indian economy has been growing steadily at relatively high rates. It averaged 7.1% in the past decade, with some fluctuations due to political instability and economic reforms.

Essentially, India’s long-term economic growth can be attributed to the expansion of the manufacturing and service sectors, driven by exports and foreign investment. India is also experiencing gains both in capital and labor productivity due to technological advancements and educational reforms. As of now, India is one of the largest emerging markets, along with China.

4. China

The Chinese economy has posted an average growth rate of 10% since the enactment of trade liberalization and economic reforms in 1978. China’s economic growth has been propelled by government spending, expansion of its manufacturing sector, and exports (specifically electronic equipment).

However, the country’s income per capita is still low. Although only 3.3% of the Chinese population lives below the poverty line, 30% of the population lives below US$5.50/day. Nonetheless, as the Chinese government focuses on increasing GDP through consumption, disposable incomes are likely to increase, leading to sustained economic growth.

5. South Africa

South Africa was inducted into the BRICS association in 2010, after experiencing negative GDP growth in 2009 following the 2008 Global Financial Crisis (-3%). Following the financial crisis, the South African government implemented a number of policies to boost GDP through government expenditure and consumption. Economic growth increased in 2010-12 before slowing down in 2012-16 and rising again in 2017.

South African exports are composed primarily of commodities from mining. Therefore, export volumes depend on the prices of commodities, which are highly volatile. Fluctuations in export volumes explain part of the variation in GDP growth over the last few years.

Although South African GDP per capita has been increasing over time, so has the unemployment rate (29% as of 2019). High levels of unemployment and crime have hindered the economy’s growth and investment potential and are issues that need to be addressed through policy reforms.

Investopedia

International Markets Outlook for 2023

There’s no doubt investors have been frustrated in recent years with the persistent lagging returns of international equities. A strong U.S. dollar, the war in Ukraine, weak economies in Europe and Japan, and various troubles in emerging markets have created a cloudy near-term outlook at best.
That said, avoiding international markets would mean ignoring some of the most successful companies in the world, simply because they lie beyond the U.S. border.
Even if you think economies outside the U.S. are headed for more trouble, there are still important reasons to consider investing in international and emerging markets companies. Here are the top five:
1. International investing is about companies, not economies.
There’s a big difference between top-down macroeconomic conditions and fundamental, bottom-up prospects for individual companies. More than ever, company-specific events are driving returns, placing added importance on deep investment research and individual stock picking.
For many multinational companies headquartered in economically struggling areas, local conditions may have little or no impact on revenues, except when it comes to regulation and taxation, explains Gerald Du Manoir, a portfolio manager with American Funds International.
“In Europe, for example, interest in Airbus has a lot to do with demand for airplanes in the U.S. and China,” Du Manoir says. “Interest in LVMH has a lot to do with U.S. consumer demand for luxury goods.
“In emerging markets,” he adds, “interest in Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has a lot to do with global demand for computer chips. Granted, the outlook for some economies doesn’t look too compelling, but I feel confident that we can still find promising companies in Europe, Japan and emerging markets.”

Company-specific factors have had a large and growing impact on returns

 

The image shows the composition of developed market returns and emerging market returns as attributed to region and country factors, sector and industry factors, and company-specific factors. The vertical scale ranges from 0% to 100%. The horizontal scale lists the years from 1992 to 2022. The image on the left shows that in developed markets, company-specific factors grew from the low 60% range to the high 70% range. The image on the right shows that in emerging markets, company-specific factors grew from the mid-30% range to the mid-60% range.

 

For example: France-based Airbus is on track to deliver 700 commercial aircraft this year, about 200 more than U.S. rival Boeing. In October, France’s LVMH reported a 27% increase in third-quarter revenue, largely driven by U.S. tourists buying luxury handbags and jewelry at a discount as the euro fell against the dollar. Taiwan-based TSMC, the world’s largest chip maker, recently announced a multibillion-dollar expansion of its manufacturing capabilities in Arizona, capitalizing on U.S. government grants aimed at bringing the chip industry back to America.

“These are global companies generating revenue all over the world,” Du Manoir says.
2. The strong U.S. dollar won’t last forever.
One of the headwinds to investing overseas has been the strong U.S. dollar, which dampens returns based in other currencies when they are converted into dollars. The greenback has soared in recent years due to the relative strength of the U.S. economy, generally higher interest rates in the U.S. and the dollar’s perceived safe-haven status. Dollar strength has accelerated this year as the Federal Reserve has aggressively raised rates in a bid to tame inflation.
These conditions won’t last forever, says Capital Group currencies analyst Jens Søndergaard, who estimates the dollar is overvalued by about 20% compared to a basket of other foreign currencies. While there is no indication yet that the dollar has peaked, all eyes are on the Fed.
“Once the Fed stops raising rates, and perhaps starts cutting again, the stage could be set for a reversal of the dollar dominance we’ve seen over the past decade,” Søndergaard says. “As the global economy picks up steam, procyclical currencies should benefit, and that may also provide a more supportive environment for international equities.”
In the meantime, keep in mind that a strong dollar isn’t always bad for non-U.S. companies. Many European companies earn a substantial portion of their total revenue in dollars. In the health care sector, for example, French drugmaker Sanofi reported that currency effects boosted its sales by nearly 1 billion euros in the first half of 2022.

Many non-U.S. companies generate substantial USD-based revenue

 

The image shows U.S. dollar revenues expressed as a percentage that are generated by companies in various sectors of the MSCI Europe Index. Health care is the highest at 37.1%, followed by consumer staples at 26.2%, industrials at 25.6%, communication services at 20.7%, consumer discretionary at 20.3%, energy at 20.1%, information technology at 19.9%, materials at 17.4%, utilities at 11.5% and real estate at 2.2%.

 

 

3. Dividend opportunities are greater outside the U.S.

Over the past decade, investors spent little time thinking about dividends. Compared to the darlings of the internet, dividend-paying companies appeared downright boring. Well, in today’s more volatile markets, boring is beautiful, says Caroline Randall, a portfolio manager with Capital Income Builder®.

Nowhere is that sentiment more rooted than in markets outside the U.S., where dividends have historically made up a bigger part of the investment landscape. As of October 31, 2022, about 600 companies headquartered in international and emerging markets offered hefty dividend yields between 3% and 6%, compared to only 121 in the United States.
“With growth slowing, the cost of capital rising and valuations for less profitable tech companies declining, I expect dividends to be a more significant and stable contributor to total returns,” Randall adds. “They may also offer a measure of downside protection when volatility rises.”

Dividend payers multiply in international and emerging markets

 

The image shows the number of companies in emerging, international and U.S. markets with dividend yields from 3% to 6%. As of October 31, 2022, the U.S. had 121 of those companies, international markets had 304 and emerging markets had 295. A sidebar on the right lists a few examples: Saudi Aramco, China Merchant’s Bank and Saudi National Bank in emerging markets; Shell, Novartis and TotalEnergies in international markets; and ExxonMobil, JP Morgan Chase and Chevron in the U.S.

Non-U.S. companies that have paid steady and above-market dividends can be found across sectors, including financials, consumer staples, health care and materials. Examples include Zurich Insurance, British American Tobacco, drug maker Novartis and mining company Rio Tinto.

4. The new economy depends on old industries.
As digitally focused, e-commerce and social media companies struggle in the market downturn, investors are refocusing on old economy companies that are necessary to meet the aspirations of the new economy. Many companies in the materials, financials and industrials sectors are based outside the U.S., while technology and health care sectors are more prevalent inside the U.S.
This has been a key driver of the divergence between U.S. and non-U.S. stock returns over the past decade, fueling the dominance of U.S. tech-related companies. While there may yet be more growth to come in that area, it is certainly more mature than a decade ago.

Old economy companies play a larger role in markets outside the U.S.

 

The image shows the sector breakdown of the MSCI ACWI (All Country World Index) by regional exposure: non-U.S. versus U.S. The sectors are shown in the following order: materials at 65% non-U.S., financials at 52% non-U.S., industrials at 47% non-U.S., consumer staples at 44% non-U.S., energy at 42% non-U.S., utilities at 41% non-U.S., consumer discretionary at 37% non-U.S., real estate at 32% non-U.S., communication services at 30% non-U.S., health care at 28% non-U.S. and information technology at 19% non-U.S.

Investors looking to diversify from the areas that led the last bull market may want to consider going outside the U.S., where valuations tend to be lower and solid research can uncover overlooked or long-neglected gems, says Lisa Thompson, a portfolio manager with New World Fund®

“I am generally staying away from the cool kids of the last decade and looking for opportunities among the unpopular kids,” she says, noting that Europe, Japan and Latin America are good places to search for them.
“Many U.S. companies benefited greatly from globalization and a low cost of capital,” Thompson explains. “So, if those trends are now reversing — and I believe they are — then I think that bodes well for companies in other markets that haven’t benefited as much, or at all, from the prevailing trends of the past decade.”
5. Not all the best stocks are in the U.S., by a long shot.
Over the past 10 years, at a time when U.S. tech stocks were getting all the attention for their high returns, there was one fact many investors overlooked: The top 50 companies with the best annual returns each year were overwhelmingly based outside the United States.
Don’t believe it? Check out the chart.

77% of the top-returning stocks since 2013 were based outside the U.S.

 

The image shows the number of top 50 stocks each year from 2013 to October 31, 2022, by region. The regions are: Emerging markets (ex China), China, developed international and the United States. Over the period shown, U.S. representation among the top 50 stocks varied between three and 23. The 2013 index returns for U.S. and non-U.S. are 32.4% and 15.3%, respectively; 13.7% U.S. and –3.9% non-U.S. for 2014; 1.4% U.S. and –5.7% non-U.S. for 2015; 12.0% U.S. and 4.5% non-U.S. for 2016; 21.8% U.S. and 27.2% non-U.S. for 2017; –4.4% U.S. and –14.2% non-U.S. for 2018; 31.5% U.S. and 21.5% non-U.S. for 2019; 18.4% U.S. and 10.7% non-U.S. for 2020; 28.7% and 7.8% for 2021; –17.7% and –24.3% for 2022 year to date as of October 31, 2022. The top 50 stocks are the companies with the highest total return in the MSCI ACWI each year. Returns table uses S&P 500 and MSCI ACWI ex USA indexes for U.S. and non-U.S., respectively.

While it’s true that international equities generally have lagged U.S. markets over that same time period, the index-based returns that most investors follow don’t tell the whole story. On a company-by-company basis, the picture is significantly different. If you had decided to ignore European, Asian and other non-U.S. stocks, you would have missed many of the best opportunities.

Looking at the data in this context provides an important reminder of the benefits of maintaining a balanced, well-diversified portfolio and following a flexible investment approach.
It remains to be seen how the current decade will shape up, but it’s possible that one long-term trend will continue: On a company-by-company basis, the best annual returns each year have primarily been generated by stocks found outside the U.S. — supporting the view that the world is a stock picker’s market that often favors borderless investing.
The Capital Group

 

What Are Natural Gas Fuel Cells?

Fuel cells powered by natural gas are an extremely exciting and promising new technology for the clean and efficient generation of electricity. Fuel cells have the ability to generate electricity using electrochemical reactions as opposed to combustion of fossil fuels to generate electricity. Essentially, a fuel cell works by passing streams of fuel (usually hydrogen) and oxidants over electrodes that are separated by an electrolyte. This produces a chemical reaction that generates electricity without requiring the combustion of fuel, or the addition of heat as is common in the traditional generation of electricity. When pure hydrogen is used as fuel, and pure oxygen is used as the oxidant, the reaction that takes place within a fuel cell produces only water, heat, and electricity. In practice, fuel cells result in very low emission of harmful pollutants, and the generation of high-quality, reliable electricity. The use of natural gas-powered fuel cells has a number of benefits, including:

  • Clean Electricity – Fuel cells provide the cleanest method of producing electricity from fossil fuels. While a pure hydrogen, pure oxygen fuel cell produces only water, electricity, and heat, fuel cells in practice emit trace amounts of sulfur compounds and very low levels of carbon dioxide. However, the carbon dioxide produced by fuel cell use is concentrated and can be readily recaptured, as opposed to being emitted into the atmosphere.
  • Distributed Generation – Fuel cells can come in extremely compact sizes, allowing for their placement wherever electricity is needed. This includes residential, commercial, industrial, and even transportation settings.
  • Dependability – Fuel cells are completely enclosed units, with no moving parts or complicated machinery. This translates into a dependable source of electricity, capable of operating for thousands of hours. In addition, they are very quiet and safe sources of electricity. Fuel cells also do not have electricity surges, meaning they can be used where a constant, dependable source of electricity is needed.
  • Efficiency – Fuel cells convert the energy stored within fossil fuels into electricity much more efficiently than traditional generation of electricity using combustion. This means that less fuel is required to produce the same amount of electricity. The National Energy Technology Laboratory estimates that, used in combination with natural gas turbines, fuel cell generation facilities can be produced that will operate in the 1-to-20-Megawatt range at 70 percent efficiency, which is much higher than the efficiencies that can be reached by traditional generation methods within that output range.

The generation of electricity has traditionally been a very polluting, inefficient process. However, with new fuel cell technology, the future of electricity generation is expected to change dramatically in the next ten to twenty years. Research and development into fuel cell technology is ongoing, to ensure that the technology is refined to a level where it is cost-effective for all varieties of electric generation requirements.

 

NaturalGas.org

9 Tips for Successful End-of-Year Financial Planning

 2023 blocks with coins stacked on them. The end of the year means different things for different people as they come up with resolutions and set their intentions to improve various aspects of their lives. But there’s one thing that everyone should do as the calendar starts to move towards another January — take stock of their personal finances and make any necessary moves before the new year. Here’s what you need to do before the end of the year to make the most of your personal finances.

  • Go over your financial plan: A lot can happen in a year. You may have made a major purchase, gotten a raise or gone on a vacation. This can have a big impact on your financial plan. You should check in with your financial advisor if you have one — or find one if you don’t.

 

  • Rebalance your portfolio: In addition to checking in on your overall financial plan, you should also examine your investment portfolio to see if you might benefit from rebalancing your portfolio. This is especially true in 2022; the market has been extremely volatile, and you may need to take a look at your asset allocation. Switch money from stocks to bonds or vice versa if needed. This is also a good time to think about if there are any investments, you’re ready to move on from – or if there is a new investment you want to consider making.

 

  • Think about taxes and tax-loss harvesting: Taxes aren’t due until April, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start thinking about your tax bill right now. One specific way you can address taxes right now is tax-loss harvesting. Tax-loss harvesting is a process by which you can reduce your tax bill by selling securities at a loss. It is very important that you get this process right, as there are a lot of rules and regulations you’ll have to follow, so it makes sense to work with a financial advisor on this one.

 

  • Assess your charitable giving: Giving to charity is a good idea for a variety of reasons. First off, it makes you feel good, and it does good for others. While those are obviously good enough reasons to give to charity, the third reason may be what pushes you over the edge: you can get a tax break. Charitable contributions are tax deductible, meaning you can end up owing less once you’ve filed. You have to make the deductions by the end of the year, though, to get the deduction on this year’s taxes, so write those checks and get them in before the new year.

 

  • Consider your debt: The end of the year is also a good time to check in on your debt. If you got a Christmas bonus, for instance, you could use it to pay down some debt, whether it is outstanding credit card debt or a student loan that needs to be paid down.

 

  • Make contributions to your retirement plan: You can contribute up to $20,500 to your workplace retirement plan, such as a 401(k) in 2022. If you want to max out your contributions for this year, you’ll need to make sure you make any contributions by the end of the year. If you’ve already maxed out your contributions for this year, the maximum contribution will go up to $22,500 in 2023. You can also make contributions to your individualized retirement plan, up to the limit of $6,000 for 2022. You do have a bit of extra time on this one, though, as you can allocate contributions for this year until Tax Day.

 

  • Consider Medicare prices: If you’re old enough to be enrolled in Medicare, you need to make sure you know about price changes that will be coming in 2023. This is one where you’ll actually save a bit of money: the standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B will go down from $170.10 to $164.90 in 2023. That isn’t exactly a windfall, but hey, it beats a price hike.

 

  • Look at your Social Security increase: Social Security, on the other hand, is going up, and in a big way. Due to record inflation in the past year, the increase will be 8.7 percent. Make sure you take that into account when considering your budget for 2023.

 

  • Review your estate plan: The end of the year is also a great time to review your estate plan. There could be changes you want to make. If you’ve come into money or bought a new house, for instance, you’ll want to adjust your will. You should also check on the beneficiaries for all of your retirement accounts, especially if you’ve gone through a major life event like a wedding, a divorce or the birth of a child.

 

-Crain’s Detroit Business

Types of Renewable Energy

Renewable energy sources, such as biomass, geothermal resources, sunlight, water, and wind, are natural resources that can be converted into these types of clean, usable energy:

 

  • Bioenergy
  • Geothermal Energy
  • Hydrogen
  • Hydropower
  • Marine Energy
  • Solar Energy
  • Wind Energy

Benefits of Renewable Energy

The advantages of renewable energy are numerous and affect the economy, environment, national security, and human health. Here are some of the benefits of using renewable energy in the United States:

  • Enhanced reliability, security, and resilience of the nation’s power grid
  • Job creation throughout renewable energy industries
  • Reduced carbon emissions and air pollution from energy production
  • Increased U.S. energy independence
  • Increased affordability, as many types of renewable energy are cost-competitive with traditional energy sources
  • Expanded clean energy access for non-grid-connected or remote, coastal, or islanded communities.

Renewable Energy in the United States

Renewable energy generates about 20% of all U.S. electricity, and that percentage continues to grow. The following graphic breaks down the shares of total electricity production in 2021 among the types of renewable power:

Renewable Energy Share of Total U.S. Electricity Production. 9.2% wind, 6.3% hydropower, 2.8% solar, 1.3% biomass, 0.4% geothermal.

In 2022, solar and wind are expected to add more than 60% of the utility-scale generating capacity to the U.S. power grid (46% from solar, 17% from wind).

The United States is a resource-rich country with abundant renewable energy resources. The amount available is 100 times that of the nation’s annual electricity need. Read more about renewable energy potential in the United States.

*US Department of Energy

Establishing and Improving Your Credit

Good credit is important! Having good credit may be the deciding factor in whether you are approved for a mortgage, vehicle loan, or school loan. On the other side, people with bad credit will find it more difficult to obtain a credit card with a low interest rate and will find borrowing money for any purpose to be more expensive. Establishing credit is simple and easy to start. Fixing credit can take some time but worth it in the long run.

 

Establish credit and take care of it. One thing to remember is that it is critical to always make on-time payments to your creditors. You can arrange payments using the excellent auto-pay option in advance, ensuring that you never forget a payment’s due date. Other methods to establish credit are by opening savings and checking accounts, paying rent on time, lower credit card balances, and do not apply for any loans or new credit cards.

 

Now let’s discuss fixing your credit if you are well established but need to raise your credit score. So again first and foremost, be sure you are paying those bills on time. Did you know that 35 percent of your credit score is made up of your payment history? Your score might be significantly lowered by even minor errors. Missed or late payments can lower your credit score and are recorded on your credit report for up to seven years. Pay those bills on time!

 

Second, keep your balances low. Utilizing credit cards is not a negative thing, but it’s crucial to keep your debt under control. Paying down your credit card balance in full each month is the wisest course of action. If you can’t, make the largest payment you can. Make an effort to maintain your credit utilization percentage around 30%. The balance should be lower than $3,000 if your credit card has a $10,000 limit. Additionally, be sure you comprehend how credit limits function.

 

Lastly,  even if you have no need for older credit cards, keep them active. Think of adding periodic minor purchases to them, such subscriptions to streaming services. Then, to ensure that you pay the balances in a timely manner, set up automatic payments or payment reminders. Additionally, be cautious when opening new accounts because they reduce your average account age.

 

If you are feeling like you need to get a grip on your credit, take a weekend to look over your financials and see where you can do better. Stick to a bill pay schedule, use that credit card less, set up those auto-pays, and pay off those balances. Set a goal and be patient. You got this.

Renewable Energy And Verde Resources

Renewable energy is the way of the future and Verde Resources will be a key player in this growing industry. Verde Resources new logo includes four colors to reference the renewable energies we plan to use. 

 

 

   Yellow = gas, carbon capture gas does not put out CO2                                                                

    Red = the power we make and use for energy

    Green (Verde) = hydrogen renewable energy

    Blue = water – working on new treatment plants for clean water everywhere.

 

 

 

Energy that is produced using renewable resources won’t run out. They are organic, self-renewing, and often leave no or very little carbon imprint. 

Examples of renewable energy sources are:

Wind Energy

Solar Energy

Biomass Energy

Since burning fossil fuels to provide electricity has long been a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions into our environment, these renewable energy sources are seen as essential in the fight against climate change and more sustainable living.

The science is very clear: emissions must be cut in half by 2030 and reach zero by 2050 in order to prevent the worst effects of climate change. To do this, we must stop relying on fossil fuels and start putting money into reliable, clean, accessible, and affordable alternative energy sources.

Verde Resources is excited to begin this endeavor for a more clean and sustainable future.

 

Back to Budget Basics

Back to Budget Basics

Let’s get back to basics. Budgeting seems to be a lost art and with credit card debt at an all-time high in the US at $930 billion, we could all take a better look at our finances and make some adjustments.

First start with your actual net income. Do you have one income and provide for your whole family? Do you work two jobs and have a side hustle? Do you receive child support? Be sure to think about any areas you receive extra income every month.

Once you have this established it’s time to list all your monthly expenses…utilities, mortgage/rent, car payments, student loans, credit card payments, medical bills, wifi, etc. Even the small bills! Don’t forget about Netflix, Disney+, and any other monthly subscriptions you have. These are easy to forget since we don’t think of them as a large expense but they still add up quickly. (This would be a good time to see if you even use all of these subscriptions. Anything you can cancel?) Estimate your monthly grocery spending as well. Also don’t forget bills that you may only pay quarterly or yearly. These may be your home insurance, car insurance, HOA fees, etc.

The end goal with a budget is to make sure you are not living over your actual income! Paycheck to paycheck is hard enough but if you don’t have a good grasp of where your money is going, it’s hard to get ahead. This may be a time in your life where the main goal is to prioritize “needs” over “wants” for a while. Set a 6 month goal for yourself that you will be disciplined and eat at home more, or cancel your tv subscriptions for a few months and find other ways to save and invest for the future and watch your savings grow.

Start your budget for one month and see if it needs any adjusting for the following months ahead. Take the time once a week to see how you are doing. Invest in yourself. Read and gain knowledge on saving and investing for your future. Set a reward for sticking to your plan. Since you’re eating at home more, maybe after a successful month you take yourself out for a nice dinner. Invite a friend to celebrate with you.

thenobleinstitution.com

Cryptocurrency vs Paper Currency

What’s the difference between cryptocurrency and paper currency? They definitely aren’t the same thing, but at the same time, the difference between them is less than what most people probably assume. In this blog post from the Noble Institution, we’ll look at what paper currency really is –and how cryptocurrency is both similar and different.

Early Paper Currency

Early paper currency took the form of banknotes. A banknote was simply a written promise from a bank to issue a certain quantity of gold on request. Banks issued so many banknotes that they would have collapsed if everyone had presented their banknotes at the same time –they didn’t have that much gold on hand!

Fiat Currency

Eventually, governments started to form their own banks and issue their own banknotes, a type of money known as “fiat currency” because it’s issued by government fiat. Once fiat currency existed, it was only a matter of time before private banks were forbidden from issuing their own banknotes. The government, just like the banks, did not really have enough gold to cover every banknote.

Modern Currency

In 1971, U.S. President Nixon abolished the connection between U.S. Dollars and gold. Ever since then, paper currency in the U.S. has been purely symbolic. However, it’s still the case that banks do not hold on to enough cash to cover all the money held in their accounts. Instead, they use that money for investments and loans, meaning that if everybody took out their money at the same time, the bank would collapse. Paper currency, like its predecessor the banknote, is more theoretical than real.

Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency simply takes this process one step further. Now that “paper currency” is mostly digital (existing only in the bank’s computer system!), it makes sense to create a truly digital form of currency. Cryptocurrency is purely digital, with no paper format all. However, it isn’t any less real than the money stored in your bank account.

The biggest difference between paper currency and cryptocurrency is that paper currency is issued by fiat from a government-controlled bank like the Federal Reserve. Cryptocurrency is decentralized, not issued by the government, and not stored in any bank. Instead, cryptocurrency is stored in the distributed blockchain ledger, which is protected from any unauthorized changes by advanced cryptography. In a way, cryptocurrency has brought back the old way of doing things, where currency was not issued or controlled by the government.

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