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Independent Financial Adviser: Who are They and How Can They Help?

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independent financial adviser

Financial planning is a must in time like today, whether it is about investment or savings, you need the assistance of a right advisor who can guide you in this process. You can work on it yourself, but its always good to take the assistance of an independent financial adviser. They have the right knowledge and information which will help you with your financial planning, establishing your financial goals as well as in managing wealth. With the help of financial planning, you can achieve particular objectives and secure your future.

Why Should You Seek the Help of an Independent Financial Adviser?

Here is what a financial adviser can help you with:

  1. Helping you earn what you can do differently: If you have been trying to save up your money, or come up with a reasonable financial plan but seem unable to do so, then a financial adviser can step in to help you out. They can guide you on how you can manage your money, where you should spend more, and where you should spend less. They can help you come up with an effective plan for saving your money and securing your future. Moreover, they have knowledge about the different financial products and savings options which can be beneficial for you. Besides, they will also let you know which are the tax saving options when it comes to investment.
  2. How much you need to save: Most people have a vague idea of the future. Hence, they cannot be sure of how much money they need to save. Often people do not account for emergencies, and this can end up being quite costly. An independent financial adviser will take everything into account and help you understand how much you need to save to secure your future.
  3. What type of insurance you should opt for: There are a  number of financial products flooding the market and choosing the best from them can be a daunting task for those who are new to financial investment and management, but with the help of the right assistance you can figure out the right and the beneficial option.
  4. Help you with retirement accounts: Everyone wants to secure their future, and this means setting up a retirement account. A financial adviser can guide on which account will be the best option for you, and why.
  5. Help you what mortgage: An independent financial adviser can also guide you on what type of mortgage you should opt for and whether or not you should pay it off, and whether you should consider financing it.

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Read More: Learn How To Save Big Bucks On Business Insurance

Are You a Business Owner? Here is How an Independent Financial Adviser Can Help You Out:

If you are a business owner, then a financial adviser can provide you with additional benefits, such as:

  1. All businesses need financial advisers: The work of a financial adviser is not merely restricted to assist in choosing the financial investment schemes and managing the finances, rather they also help in analyzing a business plan, working on it, doing the SWOT analysis and also work on areas which can increase the profitability of the business. Additionally, when a business owner tries to focus on the financial aspect of things when they may be needed somewhere else; they may be inadvertently causing their business to suffer from loss of expertise.
  2. Financial advisers help business owners plan for the future: Your business will not remain at the same scale forever, it will grow and prosper. When the time comes, you will need more capital than before. A financial adviser can help y plan for the future and ensures that when the time comes, your business is ready for its next phase.
  3. Plan your personal finance along what your business: Just like your personal financial planning, it is important to plan business finances. This takes into account various aspects like legalities, tax system, insurance, etc. A financial adviser instead helps you plan your personal finances accordingly with your business so that you are secure on both fronts.

Conclusion

Thus having a financial adviser is a must for seamless management of the business or personal finances. However, before hiring independent financial adviser services it becomes important that you must take into consideration their experience, area of expertise, fees, etc. This will help you in choosing the right person who can help in the efficient management of your financial goals and work toward them.

Read More: 3 Crucial Social Media Tips for Every Web Design Business

My name is Zoe Sewell. I am a professional writer to share my blogs and ideas about Home Improvement, Business, Lifestyle, Health, Finance and Automotive that will be informative for readers who loves to gain knowledge.

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Finance

Global Trends That Will Affect the Property Investments In 2020

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Global Trends That Will Affect the Property Investments In 2020

We live in an era where markets of all the countries are interconnected. Strong global forces are capable of bringing change in the global economy. A global trend can have a positive, as well as a negative effect on the global markets. Some of the examples of the current global trends are the rise of emerging economies like India and China, rapidly increasing digital technologies, etc. Changing global trends open the gates of new opportunities for countries, businesses, and individuals. But, countries and businesses go fail to chance with the changing trends lay far behind their competitors.

What are the global trends?

Any change in the ongoing situation that affects countries all around the world is known as global trends. These trends play a very important role in deciding the fate of an industry. Real estate is no more an exception. Real estate is known to be the backbone of several countries. As we are stepping into the year 2020, it is time to analyze the ongoing and upcoming trends that might influence the property market.

The year 2019 has shown numerous global events that had directly affected the markets all over the world. Though the economy of China and the US continue growing, the trade war between these countries does leave its mark. Their trade war has resulted in imposing a high tariff on numerous imports, including steel, aluminum, etc. These tariffs have negative effects on the economy, which can further effects the real estate markets all over the world.

Every year some countries move towards prosperity, whereas some struggle to fight ongoing crises. Below we have shared some upcoming and ongoing global trends that would affect the real estate industry in the year 2020.

 Global Trends 2020 and their effects on real estate

Technology advancement

Markets in the 21st century are ruled by technology. Technology has been one of the major trends that have changed the phase of the real estate industry drastically. Technology advancement is an ongoing process. In the past few years, technology has been one of the major reasons for the growth of this sector that too, on the global level. It has changed the way property business used to be done. Be it construction, marketing, sales, or customer service, technology has made things quite easy for buyers as well as sellers.

It has helped in increasing the construction quality while decreasing the construction time simultaneously. Last week, China built a hospital within10 days to accommodate coronavirus patients.

In 2019, we saw an increasing demand for augmented and virtual reality concepts. This trend is going to be seen in the year 2020 also. This technology allows a person sitting in one country to see and feel the property while sitting in the comfort of their house in another country. Hence, the country which would be able to imbibe the existing or can be ahead of others in terms of technological advancements would be able to ripe more profits as compared to other countries. On the other hand, countries that fail to adapt to these upcoming technological changes would lag at the global level.

U.S. house prices increase

The year 2019 has proved to be quite good for the U.S. economy. An increase in employment and a decrease in interest rates have resulted in a good YoY in several parts of the nation. However, the year 2018 has laid the foundation for this growth. The real estate industry was booming at that time.

However, the year 2020 might not give the same results. As per the Congressional Budget Office this year, the GBP is expected to slow to approximately 2 percent. Also, the Federal Reserve has indicated that the rate of interest will be increased at least twice this year. By the end of 2019, there was not much increase in the personal income; any increase in interest rate can be troublesome news for the U.S. real estate industry. It’s been some time that the interest rates were towards the lower side, so any increase would be no less than a shock for the real estate market.

Many of the major tech cities like New York and San Francisco have already shown a decline in their house prices. Any decline in tech jobs in these cities or in case the real estate market in these areas becomes a housing bubble than be ready to get surprised in the year 2020.

The higher U.S. interest rate would affect the real estate market on a global level.

We all are well aware of what power the $ hold on the world economy. Every time the U.S. brings any change in its financial policies, it not only affects the U.S. citizens, but its effect can be seen in all other countries as well. Many people compare their currency with the dollar to know about the status of their currency in the global markets. Numerous “forex software tools” are available in the market to know the currency exchange rates.

The reason behind this is that many countries around the world have either use the U.S. dollar or they peg their currency to the dollar. For example, there is a country that uses the dollar as a base; hence, if the U.S. increases its interest rate, then the same change would be seen in that country also. As a result, the homeowners will end paying more money as their mortgage repayments. The home loan interest rate plays a vital role in the growth of the real estate industry. Higher the rate of interest, lesser people would be interested in purchasing the property.

The economy of all countries is interconnected. Hence, any change debt or rate of interest in a powerful country like the U.S. has a global effect.

Increasing demand for sustainable properties

Nowadays, because of awareness, people are more interested in buying sustainable and environment-friendly houses. Studies have shown that millennials are more eager to buy sustainable products. The rise in the demand for organic products is a proof for the same. You might not believe it, but the truth is they are even ready to pay extra for these environment-friendly organic products.

The same trend can be seen in the real estate industry. Hence, landlords, property investors, or construction companies have to find ways to meet the demand for sustainable houses.

For sustainable houses, real estate companies need to use eco-friendly construction material. In addition to this, they need to focus more on the use of renewable energy sources like solar heaters, etc. One very simple change that construction companies and landlords are making nowadays to increase their property demand is that they provide an electric car charging point in the garage of their property. This way, they attract a tenant who owns electric cars.

Huge Urban Expansion

More and more people prefer living in urban cities to enjoy the lifestyle and the facilities provided by them. As a result, the builders have to bring changes in their construction so that they can meet the demand of the increasing population in the urban cities. Hence, the availability of amenities like gym, parking space, club, swimming pool, park, security, etc. is becoming a major point of consideration among the buyers.

Besides this, more and more families are interested in buying or renting a property near to their workplace to save time in commuting. Hence, the construction companies also have to build residential areas near or around these urban cities to meet the buyers, or tenants, residential demand.

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Finance

Exploring funding options for your business

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Exploring funding options for your business

To begin with, starting a business is truly a painful process, but at the same time, quite rewarding. The difficulties arise when it comes to funding it and hence, it is important that you have different options open. A great business plan is indeed a foundation of any business, but financing is that element that actually allows us to kick-start it. So, if that is not sorted, nothing will ever fall into place.

When it comes to owning and financing a new business, it is never a wise idea to put all the eggs in one basket. It is in the best interests of the business to diversify their financing sources so that if one door closes, you have the other one. Additionally, it will also broaden up options for you by improving the chances of getting an appropriate stream of finance.

Speaking of this, if you are a small business owner, it becomes even more challenging to be able to secure a loan from the bank.

So, if you are a small business owner, you have come to the right spot. In this blog post, we are going to explore funding options for small businesses.

Venture capitalists:

They happen to be a total external group, who in return of capital takes part ownership of the business. However, the value of the company decides the percentages of ownership. Additionally, these percentages are negotiable.

This is an ideal option for businesses who are short of physical collateral to present as a lien against a loan from the bank. Having said that, it is only suitable when the business possesses a massive potential in terms of competitive edge. It could be anything from a patent to having a captive customer.

The benefits which forming a liaison with venture capitalists are not necessarily financial. This particular relationship can provide a lot more than just money. It can bring in an abundance of knowledge in addition to connections from the industry alongside a clear picture regarding where you should take your business. After all, there is nothing better than the guidance from a group of experienced investors.

Angel Investors:

Well, venture capitalists and angel investors are thought to be one and the same. However, it is one big misconception which needs to be sorted. So, are you wondering where does the difference exactly lie?

To begin with, venture capitalists are large and established business entities which offer investment in return for equity. On the other hand, angel investors happen to be individuals with a priority to invest in a start-up. The difference lies in the fact that angel investors do not make demonstrable growth as a prerequisite for investment as a venture capitalist would.

Having said that, being able to find an angel investor is as fruitful as it would be finding a venture capitalist. However, the former would be able to give you more personalized control than the latter.

In addition to this, they are going to help, assist and guide you with their expertise in the long run.

Crowdfunding:

Crowdfunding is that option that can give small business a major boost.

To put things in perspective, it is a way of gathering funds through online platforms. To put it exactly, they enable small businesses to pool in investments from several sources at once, unlike other options which you need to seek out a single investment.

Through crowdfunding, you can collect funds to have your business pass through the developmental phase and move on to the phase where you can pitch it to major investors.

It is important to note that every crowdfunding site comes with a fine print bearing crucial points regarding equity. They must be read through thoroughly before opting for a crowdfunding platform.

Furthermore, make sure to run detailed research about the pricing and fee structure of each and every platform to be able to make the most out of them. Well, in case you are wondering, the crowdfunding sites need monetary assistance in the form of fees and pay-out structures in order to generate maximum profits and maintain operations.

Other than this, ensure that you compose a compelling pitch to be able to appeal to the investors for funds.

Peer-to-peer or marketplace lending:

Peer-to-peer or let’s put it P2P lending refers to an option where capital is raised through websites which serve as an outlet for borrowers and lenders to connect.

To put it simply, an account is to be created by a borrower on the website which keeps records and transfers funds by making a connection with lenders.

In other words, it is absolutely safe to them peer-to-peer, or marketplace is lending a hybrid platform. It is called a hybrid as it has characteristics of both crowdfunding and marketplace lending.

Additionally, countries with better and advanced financial industries prefer using the term marketplace lending.

The best part of choosing this option is that a P2P lending site has a true sense of community to offer.  They are packed with active forums having users who are eager to impart and exchange information about lending and borrowing. Therefore, they are gaining popularity as a reliable fund option for all the right reasons!

Convertible debt:

Convertible debt is all about seeking investment from an investor or a group of investors on the grounds that the debt, in future, would be converted into equity. It is hybrid in nature as P2P lending, where this one has debt and equity-like features.

If you,  as a small business owner,  are considering convertible debt, then it is important to note that although it is a great funding option, you should be comfortable with the prospect of ceding control to a certain degree to the investors.

Opting for convertible debt is indeed a beneficial option considering the fact that it prevents a strain on cash flow. And, this is what any small business would want! The interest rate is somewhat lower in comparison to traditional bonds. In addition to this, businesses are able to collect funds on immediate basis without having their shares diluted.

Conclusion

This is it, and we hope this piece must have generated awareness and given you something to pick and ponder over. The possibilities are endless if you only have the correct eye to weigh down the pros and cons.

Whatever funding option is that you choose, always make sure that you have done ample research before making any decision. Moreover, be very clear about your needs and goals as this is what will be the driving force when you are making your choice.

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Finance

Building an Emergency Fund with Mutual Funds

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Building an Emergency Fund with Mutual Funds

Financial planning not only entails saving for long term goals like retirement, higher education of your children, etc but also preparing for short term goals like creating an emergency fund, to tackle unforeseen expenses. While most individuals use their current savings account as an emergency fund, owing to the ease of access to money, a disadvantage of doing so is the poor appreciation of money. However, mutual funds offer a better avenue to park savings for emergencies with high liquidity as well. Covered ahead is how to build an emergency fund with mutual funds in detail.

Why is it important to have an emergency fund?

There are many instances in life when we need emergency funds to tackle financial demands. It can be a job loss, medical emergency, car accident or breakdown, or urgent travel plan. This can be fulfilled either by borrowing money or by saving money.  A wiser move would be to plan in advance will plan to generate his emergency savings fund through savings done via investment. Investment helps to add an extra source of income for the investors.

Why select mutual funds for an emergency fund creation?

Investors can inculcate a good habit of making regular investments. Ideally, an emergency fund must have an amount six times. The conventional process of making an investment in savings banks and fixed deposit is a good idea, but the interest offered by the banks are meager. Besides, some traditional investment products will hoard the surplus amount with a fixed lock-in period on withdrawal. No investors will like to compromise on the liquidity aspect in case of an emergency fund.

Whenever an emergency scenario arises, one has to resort to availing loans or borrowing from friends and family. This is the situation that most people do not prefer to go to. If you are ready with your emergency kitty, it saves you from facing the dire consequences. Therefore, to park the surplus monetary resources, mutual funds can be regarded as the best emergency fund investment in India. It provides a lucrative option for contingency fund creation with overnight funds and liquid funds. The best emergency fund will act as a lifesaver and instill confidence in the investor by granting him the power to deal with the undesired event. Even if an individual is a frivolous spendthrift, it will ultimately develop an inclination towards savings.

Investors can consider schemes like liquid funds and overnight funds, which are debt funds and the money is invested in securities that have a maturity period of one day. Another best emergency fund investment in India is the liquid fund that is channelized towards debt and money market security and has a short-term maturity duration of just 91 days. The shorter investment period of these mutual fund schemes also keeps the investors insulated from both the interest risk and credit risk. The liquid funds earn better returns than most banks offer on a savings bank account. Alongside this, the investors have nothing to worry about the availability of funds and compromise on liquidity. The overnight funds have earned their name from the investment in overnight securities, and the liquid funds get their name from the liquidity offered in such funds. When compared to the debt funds and regular equity, it processes the redemption request more swiftly, and any request before 3:00 pm will help the investors to credit the redemption process in the registered bank account in the following working day.

What can be the ideal size of the emergency corpus with a mutual fund investment?

We have already mentioned that the ideal size of the emergency corpus needs to thrice-six times of the monthly expenditure of an individual. Some financial planners recommend that debt funds are the best emergency fund to build and manage this corpus. This allows the investor to create the corpus over a period of time. It can be gained through the routes of Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) or the lump sum investments. All you have to do is select the AMC of your choice, for instance, Kotak Mutual fund and then go through the overnight funds and liquid funds available under the selected AMC. The windfall gain will help to achieve the desired funds to create this corpus. The overnight liquid funds or ultra short-term mutual funds are indeed the ideal emergency fund India due to its liquidity aspect. Only 1-2 working days are required to process the money.

How to build an emergency fund with a mutual fund?

Investors can select from the range of mutual funds like debt funds, liquid funds and overnight funds. All these emergency funds India can be created through a regular contribution with SIP. The small quantities will create a steady savings plan over a time period and accumulate a sizeable emergency corpus. The reason behind opting for a mutual fund as an emergency fund India is the power of compounding within itself. The compounding phenomenon revolves around reinvesting the returns to generate higher return value.

A longer duration of investment means experiencing a better effect on compounding on returns.

Hence, investors need to stay focused on their financial goals for a longer time to get the rewards over the years. By this power of compounding, funds can grow exponentially and reap bigger benefits to the investment players. Generally, people make an investment in mutual funds through professional fund managers. For this purpose, they can invest in growth plans which automatically reinvest the returns. Moreover, investors can gain benefit from it if they start to invest at an early age to create a robust financial future that can even be used in contingency situations. For instance, Investors can purchase mutual funds schemes from AMCs such as UTI Mutual Fund and others that provide viable options for emergency fund creation.

It is better to select mutual funds plans like liquid funds and overnight funds. The combination of these with debts funds renders it a risk-free option. Investors can invest in these plans by making a consistent contribution with SIP over a long term to obtain benefit from compounding effect as well. The better potential returns along with liquidity the aspect, leave no doubt that these plans are undoubtedly the best avenues for the investors. In the wake of the emergency, the funds developed through mutual funds will provide the much needed monetary cushion.

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Now Atal Pension Yojana is More Beneficial 36 Lakh New Accounts Added

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Atal Pension Yojana

The online Atal Pension Yojana (APY), a lead pension plan of the government to cover the workers in the unorganised sector, has crossed 1.9 crore subscriber mark, This has been brought forward by the pension regulator which is Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).

Under the APY, there is a guaranteed minimum monthly pension for the subscribers going between Rs. 1000 and Rs. 5000 every month. The advantage of minimum pension would be guaranteed by the Government of India (GoI). GoI will likewise co-contribute half of the subscriber’s contribution or Rs. 1000 for each annum, whichever is less. Government co-commitment is accessible for individuals who are not covered by any Statutory Social Security Schemes and isn’t income taxpayer.

The essential purpose behind the uptick in enrollment was the accomplishment of targets dispensed to banks for the opening of new APY accounts, it said in a statement which goes as follows:

“In this budgetary year, the reaction towards the enlistment of APY was overpowering, and more than 36 lakh Atal Pension Yojana accounts have been included till October 31, 2019, showing the development of 33 per cent in contrast with 26 per cent development during the relating time frame, last financial,” PFRDA said.

The PFRDA is controlling APY. Out of the 36 lakh new APY accounts, 27.5 lakh were sourced by public sector banks, 5.5 lakh accounts by regional rural banks and around 3 lakh accounts by the private sector and payment banks.

Among public sector banks, State Bank of India contributed about 11.5 lakh increments in APY accounts pursued by Canara Bank and Bank of India. As far as average account per branch, SBI sourced highest APY accounts pursued by Indian Bank and Bank of India.

Among RRBs, Baroda Uttar Pradesh Gramin Bank, Dakshin Bihar Gramin Bank and Andhra Pradesh Grameena Vikas Bank sourced a maximum number of APY accounts, though as far as average accounts per branch Tripura Gramin Bank, Maharashtra Gramin Bank and Baroda Uttar Pradesh Gramin Bank topped the list. This is a boom in e-governance services.

In the payments bank classification, Airtel Payments Bank has sourced around 1.8 lakh APY accounts so far in this monetary, against the yearly focus of 50,000 APY accounts.

Under private sector bank class, HDFC Bank was the top contributor regarding a number of enrollments while Karnataka Bank was the best performer as far as average account per branch.

The PFRDA has made sure to grow the subscribers base under APY by focusing on 2.25 crore individuals by March 2020, who have a place in the unorganised sector and are not secured under any social security scheme, the statement said the following:

“There is a long way to go as currently there are around 45 crore people in the unorganised sector. However, with the government support the target of providing pension coverage to these many people can be achieved, albeit with other government social security schemes,” it added.

The pension sector regulator has been arranging different promotional campaigns and town corridor gatherings for the promotion of APY through banks and taking it to the next level and contribute towards making India a pensioned society.

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Bitcoin

Blockchain Technology: The New Arsenal to Solve Banking Problems

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Blockchain Technology -- The New Arsenal To Solve Banking Problems

Banking and finance industry is neck –deep in problems. From frauds, credit risks, to data breaches, the industry is reeling under mounting pressure to increase customer satisfaction, outweigh competition, and improve its bottom line.

The invention of Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, was a trendsetter in the banking industry. Bitcoin allows peers to share currency across a network, without the need of a central bank. It made banks realize the usefulness of cryptography, transparency and more. Since 2008, when Bitcoin was introduced in the market, it has grown in value. At the time of writing this article, it is valued at $7,107.98

According to a report, 90% of European and United Sates banks experimented with blockchain-based solution in 2018.

Combining banking and blockchain

Blockchain, the technology underlying Bitcoin, is a promising technology for the industry. Blockchain poses solution to resolve several operational challenges, making them more efficient, faster, and result driven. Characteristically, Blockchain facilitates transparency, security, and immutability. Meaning any record on a network will be visible to the people on the network. Secondly, records on the network will be secured, eliminating possibilities of data theft and other data breaches. Further, data modification is an intensely scrutinized process on blockchain. Therefore, data remains unchanged until a consensus is delivered.

Not only this, blockchain has ushered in a revolution, marking entry of new job roles like blockchain engineers. The number of jobs software engineers with blockchain development skills has increased by 517% in the past year, according to Hired.

How does blockchain benefit banking and finance industry?

Banking and finance remains a sophisticated industry with complex processes. Blockchain presents a solution to simplify those processes, streamline operations and make them more convenient. Blockchain clearly has a promising side to it for banking and finance sector.
Blockchain is beneficial to banking and finance for the following reasons –

1. Security — Data security is a primary concern in retail as well as commercial banking. Banks have multiple levels of security layers – front office, middle office, and back office. Data is passed through these layers. Still chances of servers being hacked are still there. With blockchain, this problem is eliminated. As every time data is accessed, it is recorded. Further, chances of being hacked is reduced drastically.

2. Accessibility – To access data at a bank, there are multiple levels which are processed by legacy systems. With Blockchain’s decentralization, it would be easier to access information. This will make the process of accessing information faster. Whether this will lead to any monetary benefit or not can be answered after a period of time.

3. Auditing – Auditing is an expensive and time-consuming process, where compliance officers and executives decide which information to keep and what to share with regulatory bodies to suit the bank’s narrative.

With a decentralized database, government and regulatory agencies can see exactly what the bank has done. As modification of data isn’t permissible on blockchain, it would compel banks to stay honest and ethical in their approach to work.

4.  Jobs – Working with blockchain-based solutions requires a particular set of skills, except banking. These skills are hard to come by unless you are taking a blockchain certification or a course. So blockchain is driving an all-new workforce toward banks. People who are equipped with the skills can find opportunities at banks.

Perhaps, Bitcoin, the first of blockchain-based financial entity would continue its legacy and we will see new trends set banking and finance sector on a progressive path. Let’s wait and see what the future holds for blockchain and BFSI.

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