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Investing Is For Everyone, Here's What You Need To Know

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Social security isn’t going to run out, but its numbers fluctuate and there’s no telling how much it will pay for retirement. It only brings in about 75 percent of what it’s intended to pay out each year, which could leave you with less than you’re hoping for. 

Investing Is For Everyone, Here's What You Need To Know

That’s why you need a well-rounded and diversified investment portfolio regardless if you’re low-income or high. The following lists the various types of investment opportunities available to you, and the importance of using an investment management company to help you ensure long-term success.

Stocks, Bonds, and Mutual Funds

These two things are not similar: stocks and bonds. Stocks allow you to buy your way into company ownership. Bonds allow you to lend your money out and receive interest and eventual repayment. Mutual funds combine both stocks and bonds and they’re managed by third-parties. It’s important to choose an investment management company that understands risk. For example, Shailesh Dash, named one of Forbes’ “Top Indian Leaders” in 2015, uses “fundamental analysis to identify value.”

Analysis is everything, and it’s going to ensure that outcomes are fully researched. This ensures a successful long-term return with fewer risks. Not all management companies are created equal, and not all are so homed in on risk and reward. Even if you’re only investing in your 401k, it’s important to research your management company to ensure they’re doing all they can to protect and grow your money. 

Real Estate 

Home ownership is important, but mortgage debt can hold you back in life. The secret to successful real estate investing is to not live outside your means, and don’t mortgage yourself to death. If you’re considering purchasing your first home, you may want to own a duplex. Live in one side and rent out the other; or, continue to rent and rent out both properties.

Here are a few more ways to invest in real estate that is growing to be a profitable market:

 Senior and disability-friendly apartments/homes.

 Off-campus homes for students.

 Off-base military housing.

 Low-income and halfway houses.

On its LinkedIn page, Shailesh Dash recommends that you utilize a qualified management company to evaluate and optimize your real estate portfolio. This is good advice, again because it minimizes risk and maximizes reward. You’ll receive a “full spectrum of debt management… including acquisition finance, debt restructuring, strategic debt financing, and coordination of bank syndicates.” As well as your assets will be evaluated, your transactions structured, and more.

Alternative Investments

Alternative investments are any investments that don’t fall into the traditional category of stocks, bonds, and cash. Real estate is considered an alternative investment, but it deserved its own space on this page because it’s one of the best ways for lower income individuals to build gradual wealth. Other examples of alternative investments include wine, art, precious metals, hedge funds, private equity, and venture capital. 

As far as retirement goes, certain collections are always a great investment. For example, silver and gold are two things you can always buy low and sell high. The secret is to know when to buy and sell. Don’t just buy silver now because you have some extra money; instead, place that money into a savings account and wait for silver to go down. Luckily, there are lots of places online that monitor the prices of silver and gold and can help you make a good decision of when and where to buy.

As far as investing goes, it’s never too late to start. But, the earlier you start the better. No matter where you are in life (in college, in debt post college, or middle-aged), investing in your future can only help you. Talk to a money manager now, and you can start putting away what you need to have a carefree retirement. 

Looking forward to your comments.

*by andreascy*

Are You Underestimating the Importance of Data Security?

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Since the invention of the internet, data has taken on a whole new meaning. While advancement in technologies has made it convenient for us to share, store, input, and review data from virtually anywhere, this also puts businesses and everyday consumers at risk. 

Are You Underestimating the Importance of Data Security?

Everything from your bank account information and social media profile to client and payment information is vulnerable with the use of any device. Have you been underestimating the importance of keeping it secure?

How is Data Risked? 

Though most consumers and businesses are aware of risks such computer viruses and cyber attacks, most aren’t aware of the various ways in which data can become compromised. Here are some of the most common risks:

Theft

What happens if your laptop, desktop, or smartphone becomes stolen? How much data have you just put at risk? Deliberate attacks happen often to businesses and individuals who could be holding sensitive information. Theft doesn’t have to come in the form of a robber sticking you up at gunpoint either. From former employees stealing sensitive information to competing organizations trying to learn trade secrets, data is stolen all the time. Though companies like Capitol Digital & Califorensics can help to recover data from a damaged or stolen device, taking preventative measures is always best.

Loss

Everyone is human and entitled to make a mistake from time to time. Data can easily be lost by misplacing a smartphone, misfiling documents, or losing a laptop while waiting at the airport. This sensitive information can now be in the hands of anyone leaving you open to exposure.

Neglect

How many times have you discarded of a phone, computer, or laptop without wiping the information on them clean? Did you know that if not properly erased, others who buy the devices can pull and use this information to their advantage? Other forms of neglect might include the failure to create strong enough passwords which provide easy access to sensitive programs, and even data such as forms or letters that are not properly shredded can be a form of neglect that leaves you vulnerable to a data breach.

How Can You Improve Data Security? 

As you can see, there are a lot more risks out there than viruses and malware. If you want to keep your data secure, it is imperative to be proactive in implementing some of the following preventative measures:

1. Install antivirus software – Don’t underestimate the importance of antivirus software. This should be installed on your computer and your smartphones to prevent hackers from accessing information through apps and online programs.

2. Create passwords – Whether in the office, at home, or on the go, all your devices applications and programs should have strong passwords to make it harder for a thief to steal your information. Create passwords that you can remember, however, that aren’t too easy for others to learn.

3. Train Staff – For those who are concerned about data breaches in the office should be sure to properly educate their staff on cyber security as well as policies and procedure that should be followed in the office to minimize the potential for a data breach.

4. Backup Data – Some things are beyond your control. If you happen to lose your smartphone or get hacked at work having your data backed up can make recovering a lot easier. Whether you use cloud storage, a flash drive, or another device to store your data, it can save a lot of time and money in the long run.

You never know just how vulnerable you are until you’re hacked, your phone gets lost, or someone deliberately steals confidential information from you. Outside of being prepared with the above-mentioned tips, it is ideal to set up solutions like data forensics recovery, backup storage, and other IT solutions to minimize the impact of a data breach.

What are your thoughts? If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out to me directly or post them below. Thanks!

*by andreascy*

Here Is the Software That Can Save Your Business in a Pinch

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While the giant, hydra-headed monster known as business moves slowly, the actual work of business happens fast, extremely fast. Just ask BlackBerry: a company that ruled the smartphone roost in the beginning. They thought they had a long time to sit on their lead. They never saw Apple coming. The iPhone struck so fast that even once it got here, they didn’t really see it. Now, they’re dead.

Here Is the Software That Can Save Your Business in a Pinch

BlackBerry (known at the time as RIM) could have used a bit of help with technology that could have saved them in a pinch. And they are not the only cautionary tale from which we can learn. From the outside, business moves at a glacial pace. From the inside, it moves at the speed of light.

While most businesses will never have to face what RIM did, there comes a time when every business is confronted with a situation that might have left them paralyzed were it not for recent technological developments. Here is a handful that just might help your business in a pinch:

A Custom Event App

Doing a corporate event the old-fashioned way is just flushing money down the old-fashioned corporate toilet. If you find yourself responsible for making event arrangements, you probably know how important it is to have a branded, custom-made app. What you may not realize is how few people inside your company could actually pull that off.

You will find companies like DoubleDutch exist to make custom app development possible for those businesses without the internal resources to manage it for themselves. There are lots of moving parts to getting the most out of your corporate event. For starters, an event app gives you higher engagement from the participants, and better analytics to track the effectiveness of your corporate spend.

Corporate events are some of the best corporate dollars you can spend, but only if you do it right. Doing it right means providing what most companies can’t: a custom app for a more immersive and productive experience. You don’t want to wait until the last minute to commission your app. But it is great to know that it is there for the save when you need it.

Relocating

The same tech that helps consumers move on short notice can be leveraged for companies when they have to relocate. When moving a business, a thousand things can go wrong. There are small things like finding the packing supplies you need at a reasonable price, to the big things like having to find a different moving company at the last minute.

Setting up the office at the new location is also a part of the moving adventure. There will be special cables that are lost or damaged. You won’t be able to start your servers without them. And you can’t get them from your local retailer. How many days can you afford to go without restarting your server?

Between local search on mobile, and 24/7/365 online retailers that can get you any conceivable part the next business day, businesses are saved on a daily basis.

Document Markup and Signing Apps

The fax machine was really great at one thing: Receiving a document that you could fill out, sign, and send back. The last thing you wanted to do was depend on mail and parcel services to move documents from one place to the other. If you didn’t have access to a fax on both ends of the deal, you would likely lose the deal. That is probably the main impetus for courier services.

Today, neither fax nor couriers are necessary for those tasks. We can just use sign and markup apps to scan documents, fill them out, include a real signature, and send them on their way. It takes longer to sign a document than it does to send it anywhere in the world.

Sometimes moving at the speed of business means crawling at a snails pace. And other times, it means zipping along at light speed. When it’s the latter, don’t get left behind. Use custom event apps, apps to help with relocation, and document signing apps. The next time your small business is in a pinch, just remember, there’s an app for that.

Would love to hear from you in the comments!

*by andreascy*

Why Silver Should Be Part of Your Portfolio

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You have heard the debate over silver. One side says buy silver as a hedge against inflation and a protection of your assets in the event of a financial crash. The other side says that silver has no real value because it is just a metal that sits around collecting dust – i.e., you cannot use it to buy a loaf of bread. So which side is right? Is it smart to buy silver or not?

Why Silver Should Be Part of Your Portfolio

Every successful investor knows that the foundation of success is diversification. In other words, you do not put all your investment eggs in one basket. If you do, you are risking losing everything. Diversification reduces risk by putting your money in multiple vehicles that are likely to react differently to market forces.

The question of whether to add silver to your portfolio or not is based partly on the idea of diversification. But not just diversification as a means of protection. Diversification can also be a means of growth as well. That growth potential is why you should buy silver.

Find a Good Ratio

Before explaining how diversification can produce growth, talking about finding a good ratio is appropriate. The ratio of silver to the rest of your investments is a question a lot of inexperienced metal buyers struggle with. The general rule is to base silver on the amount of money you have in bonds and annuities. The ratio is 10 to 1. Every dollar in silver should be offset by $10 in bonds and annuities.

What if you do not have bonds or annuities? What if you only have stock holdings? The 10 to 1 ratio still works, but you will have to find something that makes you comfortable. The thing to understand is that your silver holdings should be a significantly smaller allocation that provides security over quick returns.

Moving on to growth, do not be fooled by the current illusion that investment in silver is short-term only. That thinking is based on the annual cycle gold and silver tend to follow. That cycle dictates that silver peaks in April, falls between May and June, stabilizes in July, and begins to pick up again in December. The cycle has little to do with long-term silver holdings.

Using Silver to Fund Growth

Silver and other precious metals are commonly promoted as a hedge against inflation. That is absolutely true. But that brings us back to the argument that you cannot use silver to buy a loaf of bread. To have any real value, you have to buy silver at a lower price and then sell at a higher price so that you have cash to purchase what you need. Therein lies the secret of using silver to produce growth.

Right now, we are seeing a concerted effort by central banks to devalue currency. Why? Because they are trying to spur positive inflation. Remember that inflation can be both good and bad. It is bad when income does not keep pace; it is good when it encourages economic activity by giving businesses more cash to work with.

There are three reasons central banks devalue currency as a way of producing good inflation. The first is to boost the value of exports. When a nation's currency falls, the cost of its exports to foreign markets also falls, making them more attractive to consumers. This increases demand, which then spurs growth at home.

The second reason is to reduce trade deficits. Increased exports occur alongside decreased imports when currency is devalued. Trade deficits begin to shrink in line with the balance of payments as a result. Once again, this encourages economic growth in the country where currency is being devalued.

Finally, currency is devalued in order to reduce the amount of interest nations pay on the money they borrow. This has less of an effect on stimulating the economy, but it does help some.

The point of all this is to say that if you buy silver at the same time currency is being devalued you are essentially getting in at the low point. The value of silver will only climb as currency goes lower and good inflation takes hold. Bear in mind that this is no short-term strategy. It takes several quarters of persistent currency devaluation to realize growth potential from precious metals like silver.

Selling Your Silver

Assuming you buy silver now to take advantage of currency devaluation, when and how do you sell it? That depends on how long you want to hold on to your investment. One way to look at it is to play silver and gold together. Their growth rates tend to rise and fall inversely.

You could buy silver now and then let it ride to the end of the year. Silver should peak somewhere between December and April of next year, at which point you could sell just enough to cover your profits while leaving the original amount in your portfolio. Take that profit and purchase gold instead. Ride the gold until the difference between the metals peaks, then take the profits from gold and put them back into silver as the difference corrects.

The Best Places to Buy Silver Online

  Money Metals Exchange - https://www.moneymetals.com/buy/silver


This Year Might Be Different

The point of all the information provided here is to suggest that 2017 might be different compared to what silver has shown us the last couple of years. There are a number of strong signs that indicate silver is not going to sharply decline as it normally does. There is a reason companies like J.P. Morgan are aggressively increasing their silver holdings.

Silver could be on the verge of a big run-up thanks to global currency devaluation, improving European and American economies, and all the optimism displayed since the election of President Trump. There is no guarantee that silver will boom in 2017, but it is not likely to bust either.

Silver should be part of your portfolio because it affords growth opportunities. If you don't have any, there is no better time to buy silver than right now.


For anyone who wants to connect with me, I'm on Twitter. Would love to hear from you!

*by andreascy*

How to Easily Edit a Resume Anytime Needed

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How many times did you miss the opportunity to land a dream job because you didn’t send your resume on time? If you are counting, then you can probably relate with the following situation. 

You noticed, or your friend sent you a great job ad that perfectly describes you and you think: “Wonderful, I’ll definitely apply, I just need to adjust my resume.” That’s understandable given that it’s very important to create a resume that fits a job description and requirements. That will bring you one step closer to landing a new job. However, as it usually happens, you procrastinate and wait the last minute and then, of course, something goes wrong and technical problems arise. In the end, as a result, you don’t get called for a job interview.

How to Easily Edit a Resume Anytime Needed

Nevertheless, it doesn’t have to be like that. You can take advantage of a modern technology and mobile device and edit your resume right away, without delays and technical issues.

PDF to Word Convert will easily and successfully convert your PDF resume into an MS Word document on your iPhone or iPad. In that way, it will become editable, so you are able to make necessary changes, to update your resume or to modify it a little bit, in just a few taps.

Step 1

Download PDF to Word Converter from the app Store.

How to Easily Edit a Resume Anytime Needed

Step 2

Whether you store your resume on the phone, or you have it on Gmail or cloud services, just click on the button and find your CV.

How to Easily Edit a Resume Anytime Needed

Step 3

You’ll find your document among converted files. Afterwards, simply open it in Word application and edit your resume.

And that’s it! Now you don’t have to wait the last minute when you can modify your resume immediately and send it right away. In that way, you’ll avoid negative surprises and hopefully get a dream job. 


Good luck and let us know how did it go. We would gladly help!

*by andreascy*

Snap Studies: How Brands Can Connect with Snapchat Fervent User Base

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When Snapchat first burst onto the scene in 2012, it attracted millennials and Gen Z-ers in droves. But brands (for the most part) stayed away - they were still trying to harness the power of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And millennials and Gen Z-ers loved having a network all to themselves, a space where they could communicate with their friends all day without any brand interruptions. This peaceful paradise didn’t last too long, however, as brands quickly took notice of Snapchat’s impressive user stats. Younger generations were living and breathing snaps, and brands wanted in. Now with a daily video view rate of 10 billion daily views, brands are experimenting with various storytelling and ad formats to serve always-on content to their growing audiences. 

Snap Studies: How Brands Can Connect with Snapchat Fervent User Base

Today, Snapchat is a publicly traded company with an IPO boosted by the network’s ability to secure consistent user engagement. And brands boast features tailor made for brands, including Discover Stories and custom filters and geotags to promote specific events. As of 2016, advertisers were coughing up a minimum of $100,000 to run ads on the platform; a cost well worth the advantage of connecting with two generations aging up and gaining spending power.


In addition to paid promotion, brands are also investing more in their organic content on the brand. Through regular behind-the-scenes stories and influencer takeovers, the platform is giving brands the opportunity to share more relaxed and playful content with audiences. However, some features and storytelling strategies are proving to be more valuable than others. Here are a few lessons you can learn from some of the most successful campaigns and brands on Snapchat. 

The Good

Real-Time Marketing: Netflix (Gilmore Girls)

To garner even more excitement for the Gilmore Girls Netflix revival ahead of its November 2016 release, the Netflix team enacted a massive offline-meets online Snapchat campaign. Netflix took over 200 cafes and effectively turned them into Luke’s Diner, the Gilmore Girls casts’ main hangout on the show. Each cafe distributed cups with a Snapchat QR code that gave customers access to a custom Luke’s Diner filter on the app. The one day stunt was a massive success as the branded filter was viewed over 880,00 times.

GE: Storytelling

Since 2014, General Electric (GE) has been a brand that has used Snapchat’s storytelling capabilities to the fullest extent. From launching geo-targeted travel filters over the holidays to all-star story appearances from Buzz Aldrin, GE uses Snapchat to educate and entertain their followers about the wonders of science. In 2016, the company even livestreamed a 1,200 foot descent into a volcano on the platform. The channel is not devoted to selling GE products, but rather, its primary intent is to teach audiences interesting lessons - lessons that often entice to audiences to visit GE’s social profiles for more explorations. GE continues to push the boundaries of creative education and video storytelling by utilizing all of Snapchat’s features. 

Taco Bell: Sponsored Filters

To celebrate Cinco De Mayo in 2016, Taco Bell launched a giant Taco filter. While the images of people’s heads as tacos were frightening, the filter’s stats were anything but scary. The viral filter racked up 224 million impressions for Snapchat throughout the one-day only marketing campaign. Taco Bell has always been on the cutting edge of Snapchat because it never took itself too seriously on the platform; their ongoing platform success stems from a willingness to get content creative and take risks. It’s content is filled with hand-drawn illustrations and playful copy. And as the Giant Taco filter proved, funny and playful content on Snapchat can generate big brand results.

The Bad

Discover 

Snapchat Discover has had a difficult time resonating with the platform’s primary demographics. Perhaps it’s because the intention of Snapchat Discover, to bring news, entertainment, and pop culture coverage to the platform, is so disconnected from why people use Snapchat in the first place: to connect with people through playful fleeting stories. But Snapchat Discover is enticing for brands, because it gives them an opportunity to slip more traditional ads between publishers’ content. Some argue that the wave of publishers is diluting the app, as the more publishers that get added, the less spontaneous Snapchat feels. Since Discover’s 2016 redesign, publishers have seen a 28% drop off after the first story. However, a decrease in engagement has stopped partners from signing up. 

While time will only tell if the Discover section becomes less disruptive for Snapchat users, one thing is for certain today: there are other, effective ways to engage with audiences on the network.

 What's the Conclusion?

In the coming years Snapchat will only become more valuable to brands. Snapchat is quickly attracting older audiences, which means that the platform’s diversity should attract brands across verticals. The brands that can constantly utilize Snapchat’s features to their fullest extent and experiment with ongoing storytelling angles will be the ones best positioned to transform on-platform engagement into off-platform results. 


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*by andreascy*

Investing in Regenerative Medicine at the Local Level

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Investors are always looking for that next big thing to put their money into. The medical field is rife with such opportunities, thanks to ongoing advancements that are making it possible for us to treat all sorts of things that were previously out of reach. If you are an orthopedist, aesthetic practitioner or GP, you might want to consider your own local investment in the emerging area of stem cell therapy.

Investing in Regenerative Medicine at the Local Level

Take 'local investment' to mean investing in your own practice. Put the time and effort into PRP and stem cell training by attending courses that will teach you how PRP and stem cell therapies work and the procedures necessary to implement them. Apex Biologix, a company located in Murray, Utah, is one example of a competent trading provider you could work with. They have already assisted more than 200 clinics in establishing regenerative medicine services.

Worldwide Market Expected to Boom

There would certainly be nothing wrong with investing in a company directly involved in the manufacture and sale of regenerative medicine products. In fact, such investments would be rather wise. Recent numbers suggest the global market for regenerative medicine will reach nearly $39 billion by 2021. The expected rate of growth should be just under 24%.

Those numbers are pretty impressive by any standard. But here's what you need to know as a doctor: a significant portion of that $39 billion will not be realized through investments in the industry's corporate players. Rather, it will be spent by patients looking for regenerative medicine for wound care, orthopedic treatments, and aesthetic medicine. You can get your share of the action by undergoing training and then adding regenerative medicine to your own practice.

Investing in the Future of Medicine

An analysis of the regenerative medicine market suggests that investment is being driven by an expectation that the future of things such as PRP and stem cell therapy looks good. When investors spot something in which they see a lot of potential, they are not afraid to put their money behind it. And wherever the markets go, reality often follows.

With that said, the strong investment in regenerative medicine suggests that anticipated growth will become a reality. Institutional investors will put money into the companies producing products and therapies, companies like Apex Biologix will invest their resources in training doctors and supplying them with equipment, and patients will invest in the actual procedures that will help them live healthier lives.

How to Get Trained

Doctors looking to invest in regenerative medicine can take a series of training courses depending on the kinds of services they want to offer. Continuing with Apex Biologix as the example, they offer training courses for both PRP and stem cell therapy. Their courses cover aesthetic medicine, orthopedics, and marketing regenerative medicine services to clients.

Their longest training course is a two-day affair held at various locations around the country. That two-day course centers around stem cell therapy for orthopedic applications. Apex Biologix also offers a one-day training course in PRP therapy for aesthetic medicine. Both courses include additional training for marketing regenerative medicine procedures.

Conclusion

As much as we don't like to talk about it, medicine is a business that requires a certain level of revenue to keep the lights on and the doors open. It is clear that institutional investors are rather optimistic about the future of regenerative medicine, so much so that they are willing to put their money behind it. Doctors can invest in their own practices by receiving training and then adding regenerative medicine to what they currently offer patients.

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Jump right to the post by clicking the link above, and please don't forget to share your thoughts in the comments!

*by andreascy*

Tread Carefully With Unpaid Internships

Description :

Unpaid internships used to be rather common in the United States. That's no longer the case, thanks to federal regulations that have tightened control over how people are compensated for the work they provide. Unpaid internships still exist, but they are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Companies should tread very carefully with any plans to offer an unpaid internship. 

Tread Carefully With Unpaid Internships

Rules set forth by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) stipulate that employees meeting minimum requirements must be financially compensated for the work they perform. The rules are rigid enough that it is very difficult to establish an unpaid internship that actually qualifies for no salary arrangement between employer and employee. Numerous court cases over the years have demonstrated as such.

In order for an unpaid internship to be legitimate, it must pass the scrutiny of a six-point test established by federal rules:

 Both employee and employer must agree that no wages will be paid for the internship.

 Both employee and employer agree there is no guarantee of employment at the conclusion of the internship.

 The experience received through the internship must be similar to the training the employee would receive in an educational setting.

 The experience of the internship is solely for the benefit of the intern, not for the employer.

 The intern cannot displace a paid employee.

 The employer cannot derive any direct or immediate advantage from employing the intern.

BenefitMall.com a payroll and benefits administration company says that the stipulations for unpaid internships are clear. If a position cannot pass all six points of the federal test, interns must be paid at least minimum wage.

Minimum Wage Determined by the States

Companies and their payroll departments also need to be aware that the individual states set their own minimum wage requirements. Such requirements are often higher than the federal minimum wage mandated among companies seeking federal contracts. That means that even though the FLSA regulates how interns must be paid, the actual rate of pay is most often set by the state.

Offering paid internships in multiple states means paying those interns based on individual state minimum wage requirements rather than a uniform wage established company-wide. There are some variations in these rules, especially when a company might be based in one state but sending workers to another on temporary assignments.

BenefitMall says that most payroll processing companies are very familiar with the laws surrounding paid internships and state minimum wage requirements. They are in a unique position to handle these sorts of things on behalf of their clients because they already possess the knowledge required to make sure interns are paid properly. However, it is ultimately the employer's responsibility to maintain compliance.

Internships Can Be Beneficial

In closing, internships can be beneficial to both parties whether they are paid or unpaid. Benefits for the intern include on-the-job training, real-life experience, an open door to future employment, networking opportunities, and even opportunities to earn class credits through internship training programs.

Employers benefit from internships as well. They are able to offer educational opportunities to workers who may return in the future with that experience under their belts. They have an opportunity to contribute to the education of the next generation of workers who will support their industry. They can also use paid internships as a form of supplemental labor when creating full-time, salaried positions is impractical.

Unpaid internships are quickly fading away in favor of the paid alternative. If your company is planning on establishing internships, make sure it's done according to the law.


Now over to you. What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments!

*by andreascy*