Guarding Against Those Bogus Educational Institutions

September 25, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

To avoid being scammed by illegitimate private institutions, a parent or a guardian could easily go directly to the Ministry of Education to enquire if a school is, at least, registered.
For technical and tertiary institutions, one can check for their accreditation (official approval or endorsement) with the National Accreditation Council [NAC] of Guyana. Once an institution is accredited by NAC, its name and accreditation status is recorded on the NAC’s website [], thus giving persons a helping hand to choose wisely.


(Article taken from the Guyana Inc. Magazine Issue 27)

Security Of Mobile Devices

November 11, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Mobile devices are everywhere. At every turn, you see people on their mobile phones and tablets sending texts, surfing the internet, checking their email and doing all manner of activities that the various apps allow them to do.
Giving into the wave of pressure from staff and recognizing the productivity improvements that are possible through the use of mobile devices, companies have increasingly begun arming their staff with mobile devices or allowing their staff to use their own devices during the execution of their duties.
Undoubtedly, companies have experienced a performance boost as a result. No longer are customers told that the person did not see the email because they were not in the office or that they will get a response on Monday when the person goes to the office.
Mobile devices are therefore a tremendous benefit to Caribbean companies, but they carry a risk that many companies are not recognizing. This risk is compounded by the fact that employees often bring their own devices to work and use them for work purposes.
Some employers view this “Bring your own device (BYOD)” approach as a cost saving mechanism to the organization because they think that now; they do not have to incur the cost of purchasing and maintaining mobile devices for employees.
The risk that some Caribbean companies are not recognizing is that mobile devices, if not properly configured, can open up unauthorized means of access to company information, which in turn can lead to damaged reputation, corporate espionage, loss of revenue or worse.
The unauthorized access can also lead to the introduction of viruses and malware on a Company’s system, which can actually shutdown a company’s IT system and cripple its operations. The risk is further magnified by the fact that employees, in seeking to reduce the usage of their data plans and thus save on their personal cost, will frequently use any open wireless networks that they discover and often have their mobile devices configured to search for open wireless networks and use those first. Open public wireless networks, however, are often unsecured and so frequented by hackers looking for victims.

There are several measures that companies should have in place if they are allowing the use of mobile devices. The first and simplest method is that anyone who wants to use a mobile device to access the Internet and the company network, should have installed and regularly updated antimalware software for their device.
The second measure is that mobile devices should be configured to avoid unsecured wireless networks, and Bluetooth should be hidden from discovery. In fact, when not in active use for headsets and headphones, Bluetooth should be disabled altogether. These measures, while good first steps, are not the only protective actions that companies should take with mobile devices.
Increasingly, individuals have realized that they cannot simply have mobile devices open to be picked up and used by anyone. People have caught on to the fact that if their mobile device is stolen, anyone finding it will have access to their personal information and be able to use their device and incur charges that they will have to pay.
As such, most individuals have configured their mobiles to require a password in order to use its services. Where a mobile is being used for work purposes, the access granting should go beyond just a password to ensure that possession of a mobile device doesn’t automatically grant access to important information and systems. Most modern mobile devices now include local security options such as built-in biometrics – fingerprint scanners, facial recognition, and voiceprint recognition and companies should require the use of one of these combined with the password.
Most experts recommend that “all mobile device communications be encrypted as a matter, of course, simply because wireless communications are so easy to intercept and snoop on. Those same experts go one step further to recommend that any communications between a mobile device and a company or cloud-based system or service require use of a VPN for access to be allowed to occur. VPNs not only include strong encryption, they also provide opportunities for logging, management and strong authentication of users who wish to use a mobile device to access applications, services or remote desktops or systems”.
The difficulty that is faced when companies opt to go the BYOD route is that the user owns the device, not the organization, which makes security somewhat trickier for IT to establish and maintain.
Other experts have therefore recommended that in those situations, companies should “require such users to log into a remote virtual work environment. Then, the only information that goes to the mobile device is the screen output from work applications and systems”. Given the fact that only screen output goes to the device, the data does not remain on the device once the connection to the company’s network is terminated. Since accessing a remote virtual work environment invariably occurs through VPN connections, communications are secure as well.
For companies that want to go further, they can implement mobile DLP technologies. These DLP applications provide data classification features to label messages and documents (metadata labeling), as well as features that analyze content and filter it when a mobile device interacts with a corporate server. Thus, they can prevent information that has been classified as Sensitive or certain types of emails from downloading to a mobile device. Some of the DLP products prevent sensitive information from being transferred to devices based on a user or group rather than a device ID.
Along with the technological measures, companies need to educate users on the dangers of data leakage. Employees should be taught what is considered sensitive and confidential information and about security of devices. Employees should also be taught about the implications of data leakage, not only to the organization, but ultimately the danger to their own job security. Most employees will help protect an organization’s assets once they understand what constitutes “confidential” information and the consequences of its leakage plus the risks that organizations face through unauthorized mobile access.

Pay Keen Attention To Those Warranties

September 19, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Now if you are daring enough to purchase an item without a warranty simply because the price seen is too good to pass up, don’t bother to complain if it becomes defective within a matter of days.
This is in light of the fact that without a warranty you essentially have no grounds to protest. So you’ll have to count your losses, move on and hopefully learn from your mistake.
We have all had or at least seen a warranty at some point in our lives. It might have been a solid year-long warranty or a mere three-month promise by the company or individual offering an item for sale to repair or replace your item of purchase.
In simple terms, a warranty is an assurance by one party to another that certain outlined measures will be fulfilled under ‘outlined terms and conditions’.
But the downfall of many consumers, is that they fail to pay attention to some of these ‘outlined terms and conditions’ before making a purchase.
Some business folks can be unscrupulous to a point where it could even be deemed criminal.
It is for this reason that consumers are urged when making purchases, especially of electronics and vehicles, even with an offered warranty, to have them examined thoroughly preferably by a trusted qualified technician/mechanic.
Don’t be deceived by brands that may be printed on the item of purchase (these could be misleading) and don’t be fooled by apparent good condition.
If the price appears too good to be true, sometimes it very well is. Ask questions. Why should you be offered a three-month warranty, for instance, on a cellular phone built to last several years?
It’s your prerogative to ask the obvious and the not so obvious questions when making a purchase, after all it is your money being spent.
If sales clerks or business owners are not accommodating, you can always move on to the many other stores that offer practically the same items.
According to the Guyana Bureau of Standards (GNBS) “a warranty shall be a written or verbal undertaking and a standard written document issued to the purchaser by manufacturer, distributor, supplier, agent or vendor, stating that the defined item shall be repaired, replaced or a refund shall be given to certain conditions.”
The Bureau has made it clear too that a warranty is an assurance that goods or services offered is of a specified quality and durability. A warranty therefore must stipulate the name and address of the guarantor; the duration of the warranty; what exactly the warranty covers (whether the whole product or part); the warranty performance (whether the item would be repaired, replaced, or cost will be refunded).
GNBS has further outlined that since warranties can vary from company to company, an informed purchase decision can only be made if warranty options are examined in detail ahead of the actual purchase.

Read the fine prints!
“Sometimes consumers do not pay attention to such factors, but most of the time they regret such decisions after purchases are made. If not immediately, they regret later when the item become defective and they experience difficulties when seeking redress,” GNBS has shared.
Moreover, consumers are urged to not only walk away from items without warranty but understand fully the conditions of the items that are sold with warranty. Remember, you are the boss when shopping. Only make that purchase when you are absolutely comfortable with what is being offered.

Work Related Law: Knowing Your Entitlements when it comes to NIS

September 19, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

What is N.I.S. and what does it do?
The National Insurance Scheme, known to most of the Guyanese population by its abbreviation N.I.S. is a social security organization made necessary through Chapter 36:01 of the Laws of Guyana, titled National Insurance and Social Security.
Its purpose is threefold, including establishing and maintaining a system of Social Security in which there is a secured store of income, that, should one’s employment or earnings be interrupted by sickness or accident, it could serve as a substitute.
The scheme’s second objective is to make provisions for retirement through age or in the event of the sudden and untimely passing of a breadwinner within a family as well as to meet certain exceptional expenses as those that relate to birth or death.
Finally, N.I.S. seeks to make certain that whatever monies that are collected and have to be utilized for payments in the future are further invested in such a manner that there would be great benefit to the economic climate of the country.
Evidence for this is seen in Chapter 36:01 of the Laws of Guyana, National Insurance and Social Security Act which states:
An Act to establish a system of National Insurance and Social Security providing Pecuniary Payments by way of Old Age Benefit, Invalidity Benefit, Survivor’s Benefit, Sickness Benefit, Maternity Benefit, and to substitute for compensation under the Workmen’s Compensation Ordinance, a system of insurance against injury or death caused by accident arising out of and in the course of employment or resulting from disease due to the nature of employment; to establish a National Insurance Fund; and to provide for matters connected with or incidental thereto.

How does NIS work?
The National Insurance Scheme covers for Social Insurance on an obligatory basis to anyone falling between the ages of sixteen (16) and sixty (60) years who is engaged in what is termed as Insurable Employment, as stated in The Laws of Guyana, Chapter 36:01, part III, 11. (1) which simply says:
Subject to this Act (stated above) every person who on or after the appointed day is
(a) Sixteen years of age or over and under sixty years of age; and
(b) Gainfully occupied in Insurable Employment, shall be insured under this act, and shall remain so insured for life.
This coverage is also extended on a voluntary basis, to those persons who discontinue employment even before the age of sixty (60). Others exceeding this age range are also covered but only for industrial benefits whereas those who are self-employed are not covered for Industrial Benefits.
When it comes to contributions towards the scheme, both the employer and employee are expected to pay those to the scheme based on an established Payroll System. For the employed contributor, the total contribution is 14% of the salary paid.
This is obtained from a deduction of 5.6% of the employee’s pay and the remaining 8.4% is paid by the employer on behalf of the employee. In the case of self-employed persons, 12.5% of their declared income is expected as contribution, while voluntary contributors pay a total of 9.3% of their insurable earnings from the last two years of employment.

After all of this, what then are you the employee entitled to?
A majority of persons who have joined the world of work in Guyana would know about the deductions made on their salaries. They remain quite au fait with the terms associated with their employment under certain laws, such as the Pay as You Earn deduction as well as the deduction for N.I.S., among others.
However, quite a few of them actually know what those deductions mean for them; especially for N.I.S.
The scheme in fact can and will provide payments for benefits under three categories; Long Term Benefits, which includes benefits for Old Age, Funeral, Invalidity, Survivors’ and Constant Attendance, as well as Short Term Benefits, inclusive of Sickness and Maternity Benefits along with Sickness Benefit Medical Care.
Industrial Benefits include benefits for Injury, Industrial Death, Disablement and Injury Benefit Medical Care. Each of these require the fulfillment of specific criteria before benefits can be claimed; the majority of which depends on the amount of contributions as well as the sum of the contributions made throughout the course of one’s working life.
Knowing one’s entitlement is key to knowing what claims you can make as well as when you can make them. This however, is only possible if you are fully aware and updated with the amount of contributions that you have made to the Scheme. Many simply go through the motions of paying their contributions without keeping track of them and as such they miss the chance when it comes to rightfully claiming benefits from N.I.S. Thus, as a measure, to prevent the hassle of having to go to the office and waiting in long lines to get that sort of information has been implemented. In 2015, NIS introduced a method of checking the amount of contributions that would have been made for any one person. The database, which was promised to be updated on a quarterly basis, shows the number of contributions for persons registered with the N.I.S. The scheme’s website,, also holds valuable information when it comes to knowing what one’s benefits and entitlements are.

Communication sector – 4G Service Hits Guyana’s Shores

September 19, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Within the past 20 years, technology has played a major role in keeping Guyana connected to the global happenings of the world, as well as contributed significantly to its advancement to the 21st century.
In demonstration of the aforementioned, Guyana’s two leading communication giants, Digicel and the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GTT) Company, have brought the long awaited 4G service into play.
This service has improved Guyana’s internet capabilities ten times over.
Prior to this, it was a third generation- 3G service that Guyanese depended on for many years and this led to an outcry by those who had experienced better.
But on May 8 and 9, 2016, Digicel and the renamed GTT+ unveiled their versions of the 4G service respectively. This promised much faster mobile internet speeds as well as a guarantee that there would be an increase in the data cap of both service providers; adding to which there was an expectant possibility of other improved services such as rates for talk time and texts.
With Digicel, to complement their all new superfast 4G network, they had introduced a system called the 4G smart bundles consisting of bigger data bundles as well as free talk and texts to all local numbers.
Their promise maintained that customers throughout Guyana would be able to enjoy a completely upgraded mobile experience with reliable high speed internet.
In the case of GTT+, they promised a service that would be thirty times faster as well as three times the amount of data for the same low price. The equation; More Data + Same Prices = Best Value was alluded to, thereby making it easier for customers to choose.
The Chief Commercial Officer of GTT+, Gert Post, posited that it was an excellent time to switch to GTT+ and do MORE with your money, but that decision is all left up to the customers.

What does this now mean for the Guyanese population?
Well, this simply means that citizens can now enjoy faster internet on the go, whether it be for social media, education, work, keeping in contact with loved ones and even gaming.
They can enjoy a better and more reliable means of communication, thus making the world an even smaller place, one megabyte at a time. The plane of connectivity has been redefined with the new 4G networks which means, that for Guyana, the best is yet to come.

Lifestock Production- Guyana’s “self sufficient industry”

August 9, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Guyana’s livestock sector which includes dairy and beef cattle, swine, poultry, sheep, goats, wildlife and other animals such as rabbits and bees, has proven to be a self sufficient industry. Even though it is not a major activity in Guyana because of a shortage of adequate pasture land and the lack of adequate transportation, it has been identified by various international bodies as holding much promise to boast Guyana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
In 1987 there were an estimated 210,000 cattle, 185,000 pigs, 120,000 sheep, and 15 million chickens in the country. The country imported Cuban Holstein-Zebu cattle in the mid-1980s in an effort to make it self-sufficient in milk production. By 1987 annual production had reached 32 million liters, or only half the target quantity. Meeting this is still a national goal that is on the agenda of the agriculture sector.

Nonetheless, the livestock sub-sector today contributes approximately 13.6 percent of the agricultural GDP and 2.8 percent of the total GDP. This sub-sector is responsible for the production of poultry meat, eggs, beef, pork, mutton and milk.
Livestock production systems are of various forms which include extensive cattle ranching in the savannahs to promote production of beef. There are also small-size family farms to promote the production of milk, poultry, small ruminants and pigs.
The poultry industry remains one of the single most important industries in the livestock sub- sector in terms of employment, contribution to GDP and production. The poultry industry is dualistic in both its spatial location and structure of production. Large-scale broiler processors are typically organized on relatively extensive areas that are highly mechanized.
There are an estimated 100 independent commercial broiler farms, varying in sizes from 95 m^2 – 1,600 m^2. with the large farms accounting for 4,700 m^2. A number of processors contract farmers to supply live birds and these ‘contract grower’ farms account for about 38,100 m^2 of farm space. In addition, it is estimated that there are some 3,000 small ‘back yard’ farmers with average sizes of 25m^2.

As for the production of pigs, there are approximately 2500 pig farmers, located mainly in Regions Two, Three, Four, Five and Six. The number of pigs reared in Guyana is approximately 200,000 head; Production is generally a ‘back yard’ type system, pursued mainly by small farmers as part of an integrated farming system. A few farmers practice large scale commercial swine production with over 100 head of pigs. A wide range of local products and by- products are used for feeding pigs, these include commercial feeds, rice bran, copra meal, wheat middling, molasses, fish meal, shrimp meal, kitchen waste and swill.
With regard to the small ruminant sector, there are approximately 130,000 head of sheep and 79,000 head of goats. Guyana is one of the countries with the greatest number of sheep within the CARICOM region; however, it is perhaps the country with the lowest production parameters. The carcass dressing weight and other production parameters lag behind those of its Caribbean counterparts.

The local sheep stock is predominantly of the Barbados Blackbelly breed type, and the goats Creole. There is an increased demand for breeding animals; consequently, farmers have been importing other exotic breeds of sheep such as the Katahadin and the Dorper, and there is also a programme for the introduction of the Texel. The use of the Boer breed has seen tremendous increases in the goat parameters.

Furthermore, Guyana is believed to have between 220,000 – 250,000 head of beef and dairy cattle. They are spread mainly in Regions Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Nine and Ten. The principal dairy producing Regions are Two, Three, Four, Five and Six while the main beef producing regions are Regions Three, Five, Six, Nine and Ten. A 2006 census revealed that the cattle populations of Regions Five and Six were 69,478 and 41, 148 heads, respectively.
In an era where pathogens from animals are entering the oceanic as well as human internal ecosystem, a clear picture has emerged regarding emerging diseases. Man is becoming increasingly concerned about accessing safe, wholesome and affordable food, particularly food emanating from livestock. In an effort to develop the architecture that will support our drive to satisfy this need, several entities in livestock were unified under one new arms-length or semi-autonomous agency, the Guyana Livestock Development Authority.
The thrust of the agency is to “promote greater efficiency in the livestock product industry and to provide enhanced services in livestock husbandry, livestock health and research so as to make provision for effective administration and regulation of trade, commerce and export of livestock or livestock products and for matters related and incidental.”
As one of the newest agencies under the Ministry of Agriculture, it delivers public services related to animal production, animal health, animal genetics, marketing, training and extension services as well as regulatory services.

Several programmes are planned and implemented under GLDA’s mandate. One involves protecting the gains of animal production and genetics through the provision of timely veterinary interventions and minimizing the threat of disease from internal and external sources.
Veterinary drugs and the importation of animals are also regulated under this programme. Another programme involves infusing local animal stock with new genetics to enable our farmers to benefit from higher productivity. Techniques of artificial insemination and embryo transfer form part of our regular strategies. Superior genetics is supported by another programme designed to catapult our farmers into higher levels of animal husbandry through better nutrition, housing and access to authentic and validated information.
The country’s livestock population is relatively disease-free except for endo- and ecto-parasitic burdens and their associated diseases. Tuberculosis in cattle has been identified in some enclaves.

Poultry producers have been experiencing undiagnosed conditions of respiratory ailments and nervous (tremor) syndromes. Pigs and small ruminants continue to be affected by endo-parasitic burdens that have not been evaluated.

Why Should This Christmas Cost You Next Year’s? Here’s How You Can Save This Christmas!

January 9, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Christmas is truly an exciting time of the year. But even in the midst of the thrill of having everything on your wish list, reality has an uncanny way of setting in. You soon realize that the funds just aren’t enough. So, how do you make it?
Well, it’s pretty simple. Just follow the tips below to have a festive and frugal Christmas.

Plan for affordability, not desirability
Before you start planning, think about this. Many list every lusted-for item, gifts for all, and a splendid meal, and then only afterwards do they consider: “How will I pay for it?” That’s a recipe to be broke by New Year’s Eve.
Instead, calculate your budget and ask: “What can I afford to spend on Christmas?” Christmas is one day – don’t ruin the whole of the next year for it.
Consider scaling back this Christmas. We’re not talking about cutting back on your gifts to parents, children or to grandchildren, but the ever-widening glut of friends, extended family and colleagues. Christmas isn’t a retail festival – we need to end obliged giving and think more about what we’re giving, to whom and why.

Set your budget and don’t stray
It doesn’t matter whether your budget is $20,000 or $100,000, this tip works for all. If you know your limits before hitting the shops you can avoid any last-minute surprises when you examine the receipts.

Make a list – and check it twice
Christmas shopping on impulse is very dangerous. So make an old-fashioned shopping list and stick to it. Remember, shops spend a fortune on targeting your spending impulses – a list helps you beat them.
List everyone that you intend to buy for, then budget a reasonable amount that you can afford to spend on each person. Making a shopping list will also help you avoid impulse buying and keep track of your spending.
Don’t buy on impulse or just for the sake of it. Those last minute presents are the ones that push your finances into crisis. Leave your credit card at home and take out a specific amount of cash – then shop.
Make sure you write down everyone you plan to buy a gift for, no matter how small the gift may be. Include ideas of what to give each person, along with the maximum amount you’re willing to spend.

Avoid Last Minute Shopping
Avoid shopping at the last minute and try to arrange to go shopping when it’s quieter. Shops are a lot quieter late at night or first thing in the morning. Leaving yourself plenty of time and avoiding busy shopping times will make your Christmas shopping a bit easier.

Try a new approach to buying presents
You could agree to a spending limit with your friends and family or try an option like a Secret Santa, so each person only has to buy one present. Or if there is a special item that you really want to give to someone, consider splitting the cost with a friend or relative. Keep an eye out for coupons or deals on gifts wherever you can.

Prepare your present list
Now is the time to sit down with family and friends and broach the subject of presents. Agree with certain friends that you won’t exchange gifts this year, or set a price limit for family presents, particularly those for adults. Alternatively, have a “children only” rule, or set up a Secret Santa. Here, you draw names out of a hat so that everyone has to buy only one gift (and then guess who it is from). If a maximum price is set in advance, this can be an effective way of keeping costs down.

Do your research
If you have a present in mind, shop around and compare prices, both in store and online. Keep your eye out for discounts and promotional offers. They are abundant during the Christmas time. If you plan to do some shopping online, be careful. What might seem like a great deal could be more expensive when you add on delivery charges, so be sure to take them into account. Make sure you leave plenty of time for delivery too.

Don’t get caught out by credit
In the run up to Christmas, personal loans and in-store credit (hire purchase) may look like attractive options, especially for larger purchases like personal computers, electrical equipment or furniture, where stores may offer you 0% finance for a period of time. Before signing up to store credit or a personal loan, consider the full costs and not just the monthly repayment. Ponder this, would the repayments still be affordable if your income dropped for any reason, or if you had an unexpected expense?

Forget the Credit Card
Leave the credit card at home and bring cash or your debit card instead. Credit card debt can be very expensive if you can’t repay it in full immediately or within a few months. When you are spending the cash in your pocket or in your bank account, you will be much less likely to overspend than if you pay with a credit card.

Make the most of discounts
Buying the festive food can be an expensive business, so make the most of those supermarkets offering discounts.

Don’t buy too much
Most hosts will want to put on a plentiful spread, but it’s easy to overestimate the amount that people will tuck away. You don’t want to waste food, or the money you’ve spent buying it. So be economical in all that you do.

Be realistic with your food shopping
It can be easy to buy more than you need, but bear in mind that most shops are only closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, so there’s no need to go overboard. Check your cupboards for ingredients before you start shopping, so you don’t end up doubling up.

Next Christmas….Start Early
Be prepared for 2016. If you think even further ahead you can save even more next year. Christmas cards, wrapping paper, crackers etc are always in the sale just after Christmas, stock up in the sales this year and make next year even cheaper.
Keep your eyes open all year round for items for friends and family would like; it’s often when you’re not looking for something specific that you stumble across the perfect gift for Dad or your best friend. Once December 2016 hits, you’ll be glad that you already have some people crossed off your list. Just make sure to keep all your advance gifts in a designated (and hidden, if necessary) spot so that you don’t forget a purchase you made months in advance.
Start your Christmas shopping early and spread the expense out. Don’t feel the squeeze come December 2016. Start stocking your stockings early. The best time to start shopping for Christmas is Boxing Day.
Forward-planning isn’t going to help with cutting the cost of Christmas this year. But it’s unlikely that any of us are going to feel any more flush in 12 months’ time….Remember it is possible to cut the expense without cutting out the fun.

The Risks And Rewards Of Becoming A Shareholder

December 16, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

When a company wishes to gain investment capital, it offers shares of the corporation to the public through a stock offering.
Although various classes of stocks can be offered by a publicly held corporation, anyone who purchases stock becomes a shareholder in the company. As a shareholder of a company you will receive dividends each year from the stock and will generally have a right to vote for the board of directors.
When trying to become a shareholder for a company in Guyana, there are various steps which should be followed. It is advised that research be done on the local company in which you want to become a shareholder. There are many ways to research the company’s financial stability and security: you can request information directly from the company, research the company online or use a local brokerage company to provide you with the background information you need.
You should also obtain current pricing for shares of the company’s stock. This may be accomplished by looking up the current price on the company’s website or relying on a local brokerage firm to provide the information.
It is also important to determine how much of the company’s stock you can afford to purchase. Buying only one share of stock makes you a shareholder in the company. Nonetheless, most people invest in a company by purchasing more than one share.
Experienced Guyanese shareholders advise that potential stock owners choose how they wish to purchase the shares, or stock, in the company. You may choose to use a traditional brokerage firm, a discount firm or an online broker. A discount firm in Guyana may have information available, but you will need to do research on your own. However, the price will be less than a full-service firm. Normally, an online broker provides little information, but will also charge little to complete the purchase.
Once you have finalized the purchase of stock in the local company, you are officially a shareholder.
If a company is successful in growing its earnings and profit over the years, its share price is likely to rise thereby enabling you to record a capital gain if you decide to sell your shares. You also have the right to receive dividends, which are portions of a company’s profit that it decides to pay out to shareholders.
It is important to note that dividends are not guaranteed, regardless of whether or not the company makes a profit. It is up to a company’s board of directors to decide on how big a dividend to pay, if at all.
Every company in Guyana has a hierarchical structure of rights that accompany the three main classes of securities that companies issue: bonds, preferred stock and common stock or ordinary shares.
The most commonly type of shares issued are ordinary shares. Every publicly listed company in Guyana will have ordinary shares within its capital structure. Ordinary shares, also known as common shares, have a lower priority for company assets and only receive dividends at the discretion of the corporation’s management.
When a Guyanese company first lists on a stock exchange and conducts an initial public offering (IPO), it will decide how many shares to sell based on how much the owners want to raise, how much control they’re willing to relinquish and the price investors are willing to pay.
As an ordinary shareholder in a Guyanese company you are entitled to participate in annual general meetings and vote on: mergers, acquisitions or asset disposals, capital increases, the election of the board of directors as well as their remuneration.
Ordinary shareholders may also be entitled to participate in a range of corporate actions, including share buy-backs (when companies buy shares back from investors) as well as the issue of new shares.
In reality, as a common shareholder you are at the very bottom of the corporate food chain when a company liquidates; essentially you are the corporate equivalent of a hyena that eats only after the lions have had their share. During insolvency proceedings, it is the creditors who first get dibs on the company’s assets to settle their outstanding debts, then the bondholders get first crack at those leftovers, followed by preferred shareholders and finally the common shareholders. This hierarchy forms according to the principle of absolute priority.
Some of the companies which engage in the selling of shares in Guyana include: Banks DIH Limited, J.P. Santos and Company Limited, Caribbean Container Inc., Demerara Tobacco Company Limited, Sterling Products Limited, Demerara Distillers Limited, and Property Holdings Incorporated.

What Will Hire Purchase Cost You This Season?

December 16, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

With Christmas bells already ringing, families are buzzing with ideas on just what they want this season.
It is no secret that this is the time of the year when people toss their old furniture out and replace them; the time mom gets that new piece of equipment her kitchen could not go another year without, and dad, well he gets what mom wants.
The reality is that funds are often too tight for many people as they are stretched to partake in the festivities and purchase gifts for their loved ones. The wants abound, however, and it is quite customary for consumers to look to find ways to “afford Christmas.”
At the same time, countless items come with tags like “nothing down”, “interest free payment” and “the best plan for you!” The temptation to take these “unbeatable deals” cannot be underestimated.
Why does everything suddenly seem more attainable? Businesses have already prepared for an increase in the volume of sales at this time and, consequently are intensifying their advertising efforts.
Consumers everywhere will be encouraged to immerse into several credit arrangements. From businesses’ lists of ways to “help you,” you may find yourself considering a hire purchase arrangement that may turn out to be more a burden than an easy-pay plan.
Hire purchase is probably the most common way of paying for high ticket items like cars, furniture, household equipment and computers. Like any credit deal, it can have its pitfalls and you need to think carefully before committing.
With hire purchase you can take home and use a product while you pay it off over time and that often is the catch for consumers. It can seem like an easy way to pay when you haven’t got the money upfront – especially if it’s interest-free for a while.
What may surprise you is how much it costs to do so. You may find that the total you are paying is way more than if you paid in cash, took a loan or saved up. The question which needs to be asked when you buy on credit is, do you really understand what the rate of interest is that you are paying?

Managing Hire Purchase
Hire purchase can be a good option if you treat it with care. Always ask the retailer to tell you all the fees and charges over the full repayment period. They should give you a single, total dollar amount of what it will cost you.
If the deal offers zero percent interest, ask what the interest rate will be on any amount still owing at the end of the interest-free period. Do compare the charges and fees with the price of what you are buying as they can amount to more than the interest you would pay on a different sort of loan or your credit card.
It is wise to only take up a zero percent interest hire purchase agreement if you’re sure you can repay most, if not all, of the debt in the interest-free period. If you can’t pay off the total quickly, these deals can turn out to be very expensive.
Avoid taking on several hire purchase deals at once. It can be hard to service several debts at the same time and the risk of not paying the full amount within the interest-free period increases.
Take your time to decide. As long as you take the product, you will still have to find a way to pay for the purchases you made.

Know Your Options
Generally, the things people buy on hire purchase, like appliances for example, are said to be ‘value losers’ because once bought, their value goes down. You need to ask yourself: could you delay your purchase, put money aside each month and avoid going into debt?
If you are sure you want to buy an item on credit you have several options and sometimes hire purchase isn’t the best one. Banks, credit unions, building societies and finance companies all offer personal loans.

Find The Best Interest Rate
Interest rates vary greatly. Personal loans and credit cards charge around 12-20% interest. Store cards from national chain stores charge interest as high as 36% a year. With that sort of extra cost, it pays to look around for the best deal.
The temptation is always to pay it off over a longer term but this adds more to the overall cost. Put simply, a $200,000 purchase over three years could cost you around $416,000.

Check the fees and charges
Most hire purchase agreements have a range of charges and fees. They might be bundled into the debt you have with the retailer so you may not notice them. You could be paying establishment and account fees, even on an interest-free deal.
The retailer may insist you commit to a repayment insurance premium which generally means that if you die the lender will be paid the full amount you owe by the insurer. And if you lose your income through no fault of your own (e.g. accident, illness, redundancy) your repayments will be covered for a period of time specified in the agreement. Paying the premium will add even more to the amount you owe and it may be an unnecessary cost.

It is very important to remember that it is hire, not purchase. The good is legally yours only when the last dollar owed is paid. In effect, you actually pay to hire the goods, until the bill is cleared. Cash is a hard earned; you work too hard to be tied down in debt from purchases you need not have. Be careful this season: don’t let hire purchase this season cost you next year’s Christmas.

Ponder Before You Pawn

November 16, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Hoping to get the true worth of your jewellery at the nearest pawnshop, without a basic understanding of all the legally registered competitors and the market, is too much of a big risk.

Every consumer should never lose sight of the fact that business knows no sentiment. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are equipped with enough data to make the most informed decision.

Over the years, pawnshops have served many as a convenient means of getting a quick loan without the hassle of filling too many forms. One’s credit history does not even come into question.

But the unpredictable fluctuation in the price of gold is just another reason to ensure that you are very informed so that you can receive the best price for your jewelry, even in a financial crunch.

The pawnbrokers are not the only ones that are affected by the falling prices. A wide cross-section of the commercial industry has complained about the economic strain falling gold prices have placed on some businesses to maintain its profitability, while they struggle to avoid huge losses.

Julian Jessup, head of commodities research at Capital Economics in London, England said that he expects that gold prices would stabilize soon. Jessup said, “Our gut feeling is that gold probably will find a floor fairly soon. A lot of the factors that have undermined it recently are probably a bit overdone. But, equally, we don’t expect it to return to anywhere near the highs where it has been over the past few years because that was very much pricing in the prospect of a worst case with a global hyperinflation or the possibility of a complete breakdown of the financial system and I think those fears have passed, too.”

With those thoughts in mind, before you hurry to pawn, here are a few things you should ponder.

Worth: Sadly, most people do not know what their gold is worth. In this case, it is advised that before you carry your jewelry to a nearby pawnshop in a hurry, get it weighed at a reputable jewelry store to ascertain its karat and the value. This gives you an idea of what you can take from the pawnshop of your choice.

Hesitate to settle: If you have the time, check with other pawnshops. Rarely will you find pawnshops offering the same price. So ensure you take some time to find the best possible offers for your jewelry.

Interest rate and hidden fees: Even though you may have secured a good price for your valuable jewelry, you must also be wary of high interest rates and hidden fees. Consumers often complain of facing this situation. In some cases, the interest rate might be low, but there are hidden fees for storage. So ensure you ask before falling prey to the guise of a flashy price for your jewelry.

History: Don’t be afraid to ask these businesses how long they have been in the industry and if they have other locations. It is important to ensure you are not being swindled by a fly-by-night entity. If they suddenly close shop, it would be almost impossible to retrieve your jewelry. It is advised that you pawn your prized possessions with reputable businesses that have been established for several years and have a relationship with people in the community. If possible, seek a company that has multiple locations as this is often an indication of financial stability.

Insurance: It is important to ensure that whichever pawnshop you select is insured. This protects your jewelry in the case of burglary, fire, or if it simply goes missing. Only a fully-insured pawnshop guarantees a patron the ability to receive payment for an item if something happens to it. A written statement of the pawnshop’s insurance policy should appear on the paperwork you’re given when you sign.

Paperwork: Although pawnshop laws vary in several ways, it is almost standard for all to require some form of identification. If a shop doesn’t ask you for identification or request that you fill out the proper paperwork, these are red flags that the shop might not be reputable. You’re supposed to get a copy of all the documentation they require, as well as a detailed description of the items you pawned and their value.

Maximum value: Be wary of a shop that is trying to encourage you to take out the maximum you need. If you only need $20,000, but the pawnbroker is pushing you to take out $50,000, then all he/she wants is to collect additional interest payments from you. If you take out more than you need, it’s easier to default. Some pawnshops are looking to bury you in debt so you can’t come back to retrieve your item. If possible, look for a pawnshop that keeps up with current gold and silver prices.

Notifications: It is understandable that some people forget payment due dates. It happens to the best of us. So find out if your pawnshop extends the courtesy of calling to remind you of your deadline.

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