It may surprise you to learn that some 60 percent of us make New Year’s resolutions. The practice of committing to, and for many of us breaking, our January 1st resolutions has a rich history dating back over 4,000 years to the ancient Babylonians. They were the first culture to hold recorded celebrations in honour of the New Year, although, for the Babylonians, the New Year began in mid-March when the crops were planted and not in January. During the 12-day festivities, the Babylonians made promises to their pantheon of deities to pay debts and return borrowed objects. This was believed to keep them in good standing with the gods. Long considered to be a forerunner to our current custom of making New Year’s resolutions, no matter which country you call home, the practice of resolving to do and be better during the forthcoming year is universal.
Equally universal is our tendency to succumb to temptation and quickly slip back into our old habits. Numerous studies have shown that less than 25 percent of us will actually stay committed to our resolutions after just 30 days. This means that three out of four of us will have abandoned our quest for personal betterment before the first day of February. And for those who successfully get past this hurdle, less than 8 percent will actually fulfill their resolution before the next year rolls around. Surely we can do better?
Change How You Approach Your Resolutions
If you’re like most people, your resolutions centre on improving your health and finances. Roughly 55 percent of our New Year’s resolutions are related to health and fitness, with just under 20 percent tackling financial goals. Year after year, the top three New Year’s resolutions are eating healthier, getting more exercise and saving money. Losing weight, spending more time with family and friends and learning a new skill or hobby round out the top six personal improvements.
So what should you do differently to make 2020 your best year yet? For starters, forget about making resolutions and instead create goals. Resolutions are overly broad and lack definition, whereas goals are much more actionable. Let’s say one of your resolutions is to lose weight. Congratulations, you’ve made a commitment to improving your wellbeing. But where do you start? Losing weight requires planning and summons a host of questions that need to be answered. For example, how will you increase your physical activity? What strategy will you use to control food cravings? How will you stay motivated through the year ahead?
Setting SMART Goals
The act of creating goals necessitates that you clarify your intention, focus your efforts and use your time and resources productively to achieve what you want. To supercharge your goal setting, you should create SMART goals. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. A SMART goal incorporates these five essential criteria to increase your chances of success.
SMART goals are:
Specific: Well defined and clear. Make use of real numbers and deadlines.
Measurable: You can easily measure your progress towards the completion of your goal.
Achievable: The goal is attainable. You want to select a goal that is challenging but also possible.
Realistic: Your goal should be realistic. Be honest with yourself, you know what you are capable of.
Timely: Your goal should have a clearly defined timeline, including a starting date and a target date.
Using the weight loss example above, a SMART goal would be: “I want to lose 15 pounds in the next 4 months. I will measure my weight on a scale to track my progress. I will exercise 6 days a week for no less than 30 minutes and follow the Mediterranean Diet, limiting my calories to 1,400 per day. Once I reach my goal, I will re-evaluate and consider setting a new target for continued weight loss.”
To make this goal even more actionable, you could define the type of physical activity you will engage in and what you will do should an unforeseen circumstance arise, for example, you become ill or the restaurant you’re at lacks a healthy, low-calorie alternative. Guided by this action plan, it becomes much easier to follow through and achieve your desired goal. And remember, when it comes to goal setting, less is more. For optimum results, limit your focus to two or three goals. Your chances of success will skyrocket as you will not become overwhelmed with making too many changes at once.
Is There An Easier Alternative?
If personal goal setting elicits feelings of boredom and disinterest, there’s another tool that personal change experts make use of: the power of small changes. The idea of small changes asks that you swap your ambitious New Year’s resolutions for small achievable improvements. With time, these bite-sized intentions can snowball into enduring behaviour change.
Let’s say your resolution is to eat healthier in 2020. Instead of overhauling your entire kitchen pantry and embracing the latest diet, you can create a list of healthy foods that you enjoy eating and post it in areas that you frequently look at. The fridge and around your computer screen would be ideal spots. Studies have shown that visual reminders can encourage us to make small changes to our daily routines, and over time, these changes can have profound effects on our health and well-being.
If you want to exercise more, leave your workout clothes and running shoes in a visible area. If getting more sleep is a priority, do some light reading, listen to a meditation, or write in a journal before you go to bed. This will help you wind down before bedtime and ensure that you fall asleep quicker. If you want to learn a new skill, set aside 5 minutes every day for the new task. As your new habit grows, gradually increase your scheduled time. This ensures that even the most time-crunched among us can still find the time to improve ourselves.
It is our hope that this post will help make 2020 your best year yet. May the New Year bring you and your loved ones happiness, peace and prosperity. From everyone at SolidTrust Pay, we would like to wish you a joyous year filled with much success!
The cryptocurrency market has seen some major disruptions since early 2018. With stricter rules and closer scrutiny, the trade of digital assets is growing at a more stabilized pace. Popular cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, have seen their values drop as investors have become increasingly concerned about their reliance on peer-to-peer computer transfers and a lack of physical backing. These shortcomings have prompted the cryptocurrency community to innovate, creating new digital assets that avoid the volatility inherent in cryptocurrency trading. One of these new asset classes is gold-backed cryptocurrencies.
Asset-backed cryptocurrencies, or stablecoins, are digital tokens whose values are tethered to a tangible holding. This could be a currency like the U.S. dollar, another digital currency, or an exchange-traded commodity, such as gold. While these hybrid assets are less attractive to risk-hungry investors, they are more stable and experience far less volatility which makes them ideal investments for periods of economic uncertainty.
Today, the majority of stablecoins on the market are dollar-backed assets. USD tethered tokens currently account for 75% of stablecoins’ values, but the market for gold-backed coins is rapidly expanding.
Gold has always been seen as a safe haven in investing. Its stability and value outside of fiat currencies have made it an investor favourite in times of financial turmoil and economic downturns.
The Motley Fool highlights that 90% of the demand for gold is based on its intrinsic value. This is why as part of a larger, diversified investment plan, gold provides value even as other assets struggle. Gold remains strong through economic cycles, as its sheer liquidity is such that anywhere you go, its values is recognized. As the shadow of financial uncertainty continues to grip investor sentiment this year and into 2020, gold-linked assets will continue to grow in demand.
In the case of gold-backed cryptocurrencies, their minimum value will always be pegged to current gold prices. As a coin is equivalent to a gram of gold, your investments will remain valuable even if your gold-backed cryptocurrency fails to take off and capture greater market share. On the other hand, if your gold-backed stablecoin climbs in value, it can far exceed the price of gold, making it both a safe financial haven and a speculative investment.
Popular Gold-Backed Cryptocurrencies
If you are thinking about investing in gold-backed cryptocurrencies, here are some of the most traded gold-backed stablecoins available:
DGX Token – The Digix gold token was launched last year and is now the most popular gold-backed cryptocurrency on the market. The DGX token was developed by Singapore-based DigixDAO and since its launch, has doubled its gold holdings. As it’s tokenized gold, investors can withdraw their tokens with the equivalent amount in gold. DGX can be traded in Kryptono, Ethfinex and Kyber Network among others.
OGC Coin – UAE based OneGram is a sharia-compliant digital asset popular in the Middle East. Gold trading platform GoldGuard is just one backer behind this gold-backed cryptocurrency. Seventy percent of OGC’s revenues are invested into additional gold shares, adding to its value.
ZGC Coin – Chinese ZenGold coin is the first tokenized gold launched in the Metaverse blockchain. This blockchain is considered in close competition to Ethereum and NEO as an environment to develop dApps and smart contracts. Similar to others on this list, one ZGC coin is equivalent to a gram of gold currently being stored at the Shanghai Gold Exchange Vault.
PAX Gold Coin – Lastly, New York-based asset manager Paxos recently launched its own gold-backed cryptocurrency Pax Gold. The stablecoin issuer highlights that PAXG coins can be exchanged for a gram of gold in trusted institutions like Bullion Exchanges in New York.
As the cryptocurrency market matures, stablecoins are enjoying a much more noticeable presence in the digital asset world. New investors seeking to enter the crypto market with reduced risk would be wise to consider gold-backed cryptocurrencies as a way to stabilize their portfolios and as a safe haven in case of severe market downturns. With big players swooping into the stablecoin market like Paxos and OGC, the popularity of gold-backed cryptocurrencies will undoubtedly continue to grow.
Would you consider investing in gold-backed cryptocurrencies? Let us know by leaving your comments. If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to our Blog and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for news, updates and more helpful content.
As with any asset, investing in cryptocurrencies involves the risk of substantial loss, including the loss of your entire investment. SolidTrust Pay is not an investment advisor or fiduciary and this content is provided for informational purposes only. Before purchasing cryptocurrency, please evaluate whether the investment is suitable for your financial situation and personal risk tolerance.
The short answer is there isn’t. There will always be a degree of risk inherent in any investment you make. However, with some tips, you can minimize loses and make market volatility work in your favour.
It’s been 10 years since the creation of the world’s first cryptocurrency. What began as an attempt to create a “trust-less” cash system, whereby costly third-party intermediaries would no longer be needed, has grown to include more than 1,600 different cryptocurrencies. Of course, not all cryptocurrencies are equal and the method by which they are created is surprisingly easy, making it possible for anyone with some basic coding knowledge to create their own. It’s believed that only 20 cryptocurrencies account for 89% of the total digital currency market. This means that the vast majority of cryptocurrencies will never have values above a few cents, with many disappearing altogether as more established digital currencies increase their market capitalization.
For many of us, the price volatility of cryptocurrencies discourages us from purchasing them. In less than 4 months, Bitcoin dropped from a high of nearly $20,000 to less than $7,000. This volatility continues to define the cryptocurrency landscape with the value of many altcoins rising and falling as quickly as the ocean’s tides. Despite this instability, not all digital currencies are risky investments. Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies that are secured to an asset with a stable value, such as gold or the U.S. dollar. Notable examples include Tether and Facebook’s new Libra cryptocurrency which will be introduced in early 2020. These coins have a fixed valuation and present themselves as safer investment options than more volatile cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Stablecoins are ideal for conducting routine transactions and are quickly growing in popularity among people who live in nations with unstable monetary systems.
Minimize Your Risk With Dollar-Cost Averaging
If you’re like most investors, you want to join the multitude of individuals who are actively buying, selling and trading popular cryptocurrencies, the 20 or so that make up nearly 90% of the digital currency market. Fortunately, there is a simple strategy you can use to reduce potential loses and make the volatility of the cryptocurrency market work to your advantage: dollar-cost averaging. Dollar-cost averaging allows you to build up your assets over time while helping you to avoid making emotionally driven decisions. The strategy is surprisingly easy to use; instead of purchasing all your cryptocurrency at a single point in time, you divide up the total amount of money you would like to invest in digital currencies and make smaller purchases over an extended time period. For example, instead of purchasing $500 of Bitcoin in one day, you would buy $100 worth of Bitcoin every 4 weeks for 5 months, or purchase $50 worth of Bitcoin every 2 weeks for 5 months.
Your $100 investment will purchase more Bitcoin when the market is down and this increases the potential for gains if the market turns around. Likewise, when the market is up, your $100 purchase will buy less Bitcoin which will reduce the risk of loss should the market turn the other way. Dollar-cost averaging has been successfully shown to reduce the risk of buying volatile asset classes. It also helps dissipate the anxiety of committing a significant amount of your capital to a single asset purchase while simultaneously giving you the freedom to reevaluate your investment strategy, opting to invest more or less as time goes on.
Buying Cryptocurrency with SolidTrust Pay
Buying cryptocurrency is easy with SolidTrust Pay. Currently, you can purchase 12 different cryptocurrencies using your STPay e-wallet: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Binance Coin, Dogecoin, Litecoin, NEO, OmiseGO, Tron and Ripple.
Before you can make your initial cryptocurrency purchase, you must first create a secure SolidTrust Pay account and set up an external cryptocurrency wallet. Popular cryptocurrency wallets include Coinbase, Mycelium and Electrum, but there are dozens of options to choose from. Always research your chosen wallet and make sure that it possesses excellent security features.
Once you’ve created your STPay account and external cryptocurrency wallet, buying digital currency with SolidTrust Pay is fast, easy and most importantly, secure. We have been a leader in the online payment industry since 2006 and our corporate-grade anti-virus and firewall protection is continuously monitored by our network of international security personnel. To buy cryptocurrency with your SolidTrust Pay account, follow these simple steps:
Step 1) Create your SolidTrust Pay account by clicking HERE.
Step 2) Verify your account to the Standard Verified level. For more information about our 4 account verification levels, please click HERE.
Step 3) Set up two-factor authentication (2FA) using your smartphone or desktop/laptop. For detailed instructions, please click HERE.
Step 4) Create a cryptocurrency wallet and connect it to your SolidTrust Pay account. If you are using a desktop application, click HERE for detailed instructions. For smartphone instructions, please click HERE.
Step 5) Deposit the amount you wish to spend on bitcoin into your SolidTrust Pay account using a bank transfer, a credit card or a transfer from another STPay member.
Step 6) Log in to your SolidTrust Pay account and navigate to My Money > Withdraw Funds. Next, click on the Altcoins option.
Step 7) Select the amount of money you would like to withdraw to your bitcoin wallet. It may take up to 24 hours for your deposit to appear in your cryptocurrency wallet.
Steps 1 through 4 only need to be completed once. You will then be able to easily buy bitcoin by following Steps 5, 6 and 7. Once your account has been Standard Verified and connected to a cryptocurrency wallet, you may withdraw up to $2,500 per day from your SolidTrust Pay e-wallet (Bank Verified members may withdraw up to $5,000 every 24 hours).
As with any asset, investing in cryptocurrencies involves the risk of substantial loss, including the loss of your entire investment. SolidTrust Pay is not an investment advisor or fiduciary and this content is provided for informational purposes only. Before purchasing cryptocurrency, please evaluate whether it is suitable for your financial situation and personal risk tolerance.
Nothing is more important than family. Not only your family in Canada, but also your loved ones back home. At SolidTrust Pay we understand that when possible, helping your family financially is tremendously important. That’s why we created Bill Pay, Your Way, our premier cross-border bill payment solution.
Since 2006, SolidTrust Pay has been making cross-border bill payment and money transfers easier for our members. Our comprehensive payment platform takes the stress out of international bill payments. Imagine being able to pay your mom’s phone bill in the Philippines or your spouse’s electricity bill in Mexico with the click of a button from your desktop computer or smartphone. With Bill Pay, Your Way you can!
Quicker, cheaper and safer than sending regular money transfers, Bill Pay, Your Way allows you to pay any family member’s electricity, telephone, internet, cable, water and gas bill directly from your secure online SolidTrust Pay e-wallet. You can instantly fund your e-wallet with a credit card, debit card, bank transfer or even cryptocurrencies, and payments are confirmed with the billing company within 48 hours.
For your recipient, Bill Pay, Your Way removes the cost and burden of travelling to collect money and pay bills. Your family will no longer have to take time off work and endlessly wait in line to pay their bills. As the sender, you retain full control over how your money is spent and you can verify the bill amount before submitting a payment.
There’s no transaction fee for this service and our competitive exchange rates mean that it’s cheaper for you to pay a bill using Bill Pay, Your Way than to send a money transfer. As a bonus, your e-wallet gives you access to our Home Connect program, Canada’s most affordable remittance service, as well as our TrustPoints Rewards program and easy Click2Pay service!
- Access over 600 billing companies in 15 countries. New countries and service providers are continuously being added.
- We don’t charge transaction fees and you’ll always benefit from our highly competitive exchange rates.
- It’s free to sign up and you can pay bills with a credit/debit card, bank transfer or cruptocurrencies.
- Access our popular Home Connect and Click2Pay services directly from your e-wallet.
- For a complete list of account benefits, please click HERE.
If you’re a SolidTrust Pay member, you already have access to Bill Pay, Your Way. Simply login to your account and go to My Money > Pay Your Bills. If you’re not an STPay member, sign up for a free personal account HERE. Once your initial deposit has been confirmed and your account has been verified, you can start paying bills immediately.