Monthly Archives: May 2018

Why More Australian Businesses Are Outsourcing Debt Collection And Other Services

To operate a successful business it is crucial to maintain a positive cash flow and trying to recover debts from a client is sometimes not easy. Once a client is past due date with his payment, debt collection can be processed in-house or outsourced to a third party. Hiring a collection agency is not uncommon for companies as sometimes the debtor tries everything to avoid paying the receivables and securing payment can be stressful, time-consuming and inefficient if the business financial department lacks experience and the right tools to secure debt within the shortest time period possible.

More and more Australian businesses are now outsourcing debt collection to take the burden of debt collection off their shoulders and protect their company against growing debt and bankruptcy. Read on to find out the number of reasons why its best to involve a third party when it comes to debt collection and how the business will benefit from outsourcing this task.

Saves time

A professional debt collector will save the business time by taking a proactive approach and call the debtor immediately on the same day of hiring to secure payment. The expert is trained to create a collection plan and be as stubborn as it needs to retrieve the debt owed, hence there will be emails and letters following the calls. An agency has the time to pursue debt with a flexible approach and work with the creditor in the best manner possible.

Expertise

As debt collectors have the necessary skills and expertise to perform legal debt collection activities they are specialists in their field and will be more likely to get money back in an efficient manner. If a phone call and a letter are not enough to recover the outstanding payment they will have tools to deal with debtors as well as resources available to issue legal proceedings against him.

Cost-effective

There is the assumption that hiring a debt collector is a costly matter. But the truth is, that the business will start losing even more money once the in-house collection team is ineffective or extra staff needs to be employed that has experience but costs an extra salary. A professional debt collection agency will try to retrieve debt in the shortest time possible to save the company time and money.

No staff training

Trying to retrieve debt using internal resources can be very stressful for employees, which might affect their productivity and overall performance in the business. Reminding debtors of their due date is not an enjoyable task and some staff might need training to become comfortable in making such correspondence as well as to learn legal recovery techniques. Hiring a debt collection agency will not only cut back the need for internal staff but let a neutral and rational expert handle the collection process.

Keep focussed

Engaging a debt collector will optimise the business productivity as no employer needs to take time away from the company and all staff can focus on internal tasks and concentrate on their main position. Without wasting valuable human resources on the difficult task of debt collection, hiring a debt collector will increase the business sales and keep the company successful.

Flexible approach

A collection agency will quickly understand the business and gather all information it needs to recover the debt in the shortest time possible. The experts are in the know of different approaches, which will influence the success in securing payment. Sometimes their resolution is actually to engage the debtor and not confront them to reap positive results and maintain the business relationship for the better.

More impact

Receiving a call from a debt collector will make the debtor uncomfortable as it makes him realize the creditor is serious about payment terms and conditions and they are more likely to pay. With an agency involved, debt is usually recovered without the need for legal proceedings as a letter from a debt collector often puts enough pressure on the debtor to uphold their agreement.

Maintain client relationship

By outsourcing debt collection the business is able to improve its customer service and communication as collection agencies have negotiation skills that are vital for the business, being careful as to maintain a healthy relationship between the client and the debtor. The debt collector will take over all communication between the business and customer and treat the debtor with professionalism but will always act in the business best interest to ensure a positive response from the customer.

 

Watch These Rising Solar Energy Company Stocks

We’re all worried about global warming and ozone depletion. It’s melting the ice caps, which risks sinking island nations – maybe even some Aussie beach towns. It exposes us to higher levels of skin cancer and generally messes with life on earth as we know it. One of the major ways to slow the tide is by ditching fossil fuels in favour of renewable energy. Alternative energy sources include wind, water, biogas, and steam.

Ironically, solar power is a popular choice, so we’re benefiting from the increased sunlight in a roundabout way. In the past, solar energy was expensive and impractical, but solar panels are getting cheaper and cheaper, and companies all over the world are investing in the sun. India just opened the world’s largest solar park in Karnataka, spanning 13,000 acres. From an investment perspective, this makes solar power companies a sure bet, so let’s look into some of the top contenders around the globe.

Atlantica Yield PLC

This UK-based company is a powerhouse in solar energy, but they also have investments in water energy, natural gas, and wind farms. Their operating income has been steadily expanding, and their stock price has continued its solid gains four years in a row. Its energy assets are spread across the USA, South Africa, Algeria, Spain, Uruguay, Peru, Mexico, and Chile, giving it on-ground representation in four continents.

If you’re a long-time investor, you might know the company by its former name, Abengoa Yield. Atlantica was strengthened earlier this year when Algonquin – the Canadian power and utility company – acquired a 25% stake, injecting capital and stretching ABY’s influence in North America. Algonquin is now ABY’s largest shareholder.

First Solar Inc. (FSLR)

In a strange – or perhaps intended twist, this American solar company could benefit from Trump’s time in office. The US President’s tariffs on solar panel imports from China have largely been seen as a bad move. It hurts China and could raise production costs for companies that use Chinese components. However, FSLR uses thinner cadmium-telluride panelling, so they could be positioned as an alternative to the now pricy Chinese panels.

This allows them easy access to the market with hardly any competition. The company’s stocks didn’t do too well in 2016, but throughout 2017 their fortunes improved with a 20% rise in October and another 13% in December. By last month, shares were trading at close to $70, making it serious eye-candy for any overseas stock broker.

Sunpower Corporation (SPWR)

2016 was a harsh year for SPWR. They lost nearly 70% of their share value. For any other solar company, this would have raised a bankruptcy scare. Fortunately, SPWR is shored by traditional fuel, thanks to its 66% ownership by Total S.A, a company with firm footing in the petroleum industry. In solidarity, Total bought solar panels for the 5,000 petrol stations that it owns, marking a boost in Sunpower sales.

The company’s strategic decisions are looking good for share price too. In response to Trump’s tariffs, SPWR invested in Congenra Solar’s technology wing, to develop vast improvements in solar panelling, especially related to scale and efficiency. It also agreed to fully acquire SolarWorld technologies, a home-grown US manufacturer of solar panels. This April 2018 agreement completely by-passes the China tariff problem.

Vivint Solar Inc. (VSLR)

The company had a wild ride in 2017. January saw a 200% rise in revenue from 2016, and in June, prices doubled, but the gains were eventually lost. Still, the third quarter saw a profitable turn, based partly on a change in strategy. VSLR switched up its business model, allowing consumers to buy in cash or make purchases on a loan basis.

Two years ago, the company ceased operations in Nevada. However, the state passed new laws to make the most of renewable energy by allowing solar power companies to sell their excess to electricity companies. This had the dual effect of offering a new revenue stream and gathering consumer interest in solar power, allowing VSLR to resume Nevada operations.

Jinko Solar (JKS)

We’ve been looking at the effect of the solar panel tariffs in the US. Now let’s see what they’re doing to China. JKS CEO – Kangping Chen – downplays the impact. He says his selling prices in the US are stabilising. In 2016, one watt of solar power sold at 30 to 31 cents at the start of the year, and had risen to 25 cents by year’s end. In 2017, prices hovered between 37 and 39 cents. A 10% to 15% drop was expected.

Mr. Kangping did note that PERC cells were gaining popularity because they were more efficient, but they cost more. At home in China, a June reduction in solar subsidies was expected to reduce demand slightly, but in the first half of 2017, sales went from 6.656 gigawatts to 9 gigawatts. Similarly, Canadian solar company CSIQ says China accounts for over40% of its sales, so the solar market is definitely active.

Secrets of Offshoring: Trade Success Stories

Offshore investing may be deemed as deposits or investments held in jurisdictions other than that of one’s residence. Such investments may be considerably more complicated than local investments due to a number of factors as highlighted below:

Forex risk

This is the risk attributable to the variation in exchange rates in currencies. One’s foreign-denominated assets may enjoy capital gains but may result in losses when those prices are converted back to the domestic currency.

Information asymmetry on the part of the investor

This simply means that you, as a resident in your domestic country, may not know what exactly is going on in another country (in which you have acquired assets) and as such cannot make appropriate investment decisions with regards to these foreign countries.

While these two factors make it significantly riskier to engage in offshore trading activities, offshore investing has some inherent benefits that may make it very well worth investing. Furthermore, analysts predict the Australian to appreciate against the UK dollar making offshore investments even more attractive.

But the question remains, are there any documented successes of offshore share trading? Yes! Many investors have benefited from offshore investing specifically from investing in offshore investment funds.

We outline 5 of the best performing funds in regard to their 5–year returns:

Old Mutual UK Smaller Companies Focus Fund – 183.3 % return

This fund is a portfolio of UK smaller companies within the exchange. Primarily supervised by fund manager Nick Williamson, the fund aims at providing capital growth for its investors. Smaller companies are deemed to be any firms with a market capitalisation no greater than that of the largest company in the Numis Smaller Companies index at the time of initial investment. This return, over a period of 3 years, is quite impressive considering the efficiency of the UK markets. Furthermore, the fund has a return of 108.9% over the first 3 – year period. The recent conducive environment in 2017 in Britain saw companies enjoy better business leading to higher share prices.

Atlantis Japan Opportunities USD – 159.25% return

The Atlantis Japan Opportunities Fund consists of equities and equity – related instruments issued by listed companies in Japan. The fund is managed by Taeko Setaishi aims at providing long – term growth to their investors. This fund doesn’t have any restrictions on market capitalisation of the equities and has shown a consistent average return of 40% for the last 5 years. Considering the fact that the fund is invested fully in equities (an asset class that is characterized by higher volatility than other investment classes and thus riskier), a consistent return indicates immense discipline on the part of the manager.

Dragon Vietnam Equity Fund – 146% return

The Vietnam Equity Fund invests in a portfolio comprised primarily of equities of companies listed in Vietnam or with significant exposure to Vietnam. The portfolio also consists of debt securities to reduce the risk exposure resulting from the equities and provide regular income to investors. The fund is managed by Quynh Le Yen and doesn’t have any restrictions on market capitalisation.

Lindsell Train Japanese Equity B Sterling Fund

This fund is invested in a portfolio comprised of equities listed in Japanese stock markets. The fund is benchmarked against the TOPIX and has the goal of long – term growth of shareholder’s capital.

Polar Capital UK Absolute Equity Fund – 99.98% return

The Polar Capital UK Equity Fund invests in a portfolio comprised primarily of equities listed within the UK and to a lesser degree in European as well as global equities. The fund is managed by Guy Rushton and does not have any restrictions on capitalisation.

Bottom Line

Offshore investing presents more risks than investing in domestically available assets. However, as shown above offshore funds present massive opportunities for investors. Any investor looking to grow their portfolio should consider investing in an offshore fund.