Connect with us

Finance

Modern Chinese Art – The Best Investment in China

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

Everyone has heard about Chinese products, and everyone knows about the Chinese art of the past. However, what people think they know and reality can be very different. On the products side, life can be treacherous. There are fakes, poor quality, and dishonesty from the start to the finish of your dealings. On the art side, Chinese art has evolved over the last century, and, although the older, more traditional styles of art are still being produced, oil painting, a la the West, has become a major part of Chinese artistic endeavor over the last century, and China has participated in major artistic movements from Impressionism onward.

That is not even the best news. The really good news is that prices of this modern Chinese art, just like the prices of all of the products that the Western World has been buying from China over the last two decades, are relatively inexpensive because of the mispricing of the Chinese Yuan. It is the reason, we figure, that buyers, in London, New York, Hong Kong, and Macau, account for almost half of the monetary value of sales, in the auction markets for Chinese art. In fact, those buyers outside the mainland have another advantage: they know art, and they use it to decorate, to invest in, or just to appreciate. Inside China, the whole idea of home decoration has not yet really caught on. Thus, there is a lack of competition from the mainland in buying art, not only because it is expensive, but also because home decoration, including wall art, sculpture, and even nice rugs for the floors, is not part of the current culture.

My specialty is investing in inefficient market. I worked on Wall Street, managing private money, in arbitrage, in the 1980s and early 1990’s. In addition, over the last four decades, I have been involved in art investment, mostly 18th and 19th century American and European antiques and paintings. In the early 1990’s, I had a fairly large collection, so I bought an 18th century estate, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and restored it to house the collection. Eventually, we turned the estate into a country inn, Auldridge Mead, which gained international recognition and appeared in major magazines, including Country Living (cover and four pages, inside), Vogue Magazine (cover and inside), Italian Vogue, and Travel & Leisure. It was also included in a book, written in the late 1990’s, called “The Best of Everything”. Visitors to the inn would comment that it was like being able to stay in a museum because they got to experience fine art and antiques, up close for an extended period of time, not just for an afternoon craning at pieces over the barriers, in an ordinary museum.

I came to China, four years ago, as a foreign expert to teach finance and economics at a joint program between an Australian University and South China Normal University, in Guangzhou, formerly called Canton and presently one of the major areas for producing products for export. I considered starting a business in exports, but after careful analysis, I decided that that particular business is on its way out. The same was true for the local real estate markets and the securities markets.

My first discovery about art, in China, was that they make really good reproductions of famous Western oil paintings, all hand painted, not machine produced paintings or prints. Then, I discovered the wonderful hand-sculpted teapots that are only made in one part of the world: Yixing, China, where there are deposits of the so-called zisha clay that allows for such creative and beautiful teapot art. Of course, that has limited value for home décor, plus that market has become somewhat overheated, at least in terms of the works of certain artists. My first Christmas, here, I discovered that there are certain small bronze-casting studios, mostly located in Xi’an, the former capital of China, that make wonderful reproductions of famous cast bronze Chinese sculptures from the past several thousand year history of bronze sculpture, in China. With subjects, like horses, cranes, rams and owls, they are not particularly Chinese looking, like the wispy ink and brush wall art of the past. Moreover, they come in sizes that could be displayed on a coffee table or larger sizes that can be displayed on their own, and, again, the prices are incredibly cheap, in terms of Western currencies, especially, for the quality of the craftsmanship (of course, not all studios have the same level of quality). I also discovered a small glass art studio that makes, not only wonderful, weighty glass vases, but also artfully-done sculpture. Later, I discovered Chinese embroidery art, which is beyond the embroidery that I owned as part of the collection at my country inn. In this medium, fine silk thread is used to create whole scenes and portraits that are actually suitable for framing, just like paintings. They look like paintings, from a distance, and the light shimmer of the silk threads, in different colors sewn in different directions, give them a three-dimensional feel, up close. This incredibly detailed work can take as much as a year to complete a larger work (5′ by 3′), and, as machine-made embroidery displaces this traditional hand-embroidery, it is becoming more and more rare.

In the last year, my wish list was completed when I befriended and partnered with a local dealer in original oil paintings, who has been in the business, here, for several decades.

Advertisement

Finance

Blockchain for the IoT in Business

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

A New Horizon in Data Sharing Framework

Blockchain is a shared distributed database for peer-to-peer transaction. The core of this technology is bitcoin – a digitally encrypted wallet for controlling transaction and payment system which was introduced in 2009. This transaction management system is decentralized and generally runs without any intermediary. These transactions are endorsed by a set of network nodes and documented in a communal ledger known as blockchain.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a cyber-physical network of interconnected computing devices, digital objects, and individual with unique system IDs. The objective of the IoT space is to serve a single point of integration and transfer data online without the need for human or computer interference.

There is an intricate relationship between blockchain and IoT. IoT providing business entities may find solutions using blockchain technology. The joint system can develop and record a cryptographically secured dataset. Such database and records are protected against alteration and theft, provided that it is highly secured and malware protected. The duo can build transparency and accountability while moderating business development mechanisms. Blockchain itself can help reduce workplace mismanagement, overhead expense and business unpredictability through its interconnected servers. The digital ledger can develop a cost-effective business and management system where anything can be effectively exchanged, properly monitored and tracked. This process eliminates the need for central management system, which essentially eliminates many bureaucratic red tapes and streamlines business processes. The commercial adoption of this innovation is offering immersive platform in IoT domain and within business enterprises.

Blockchain essentially empowers the interconnected IoT devices to partake in secured data exchanges. Companies and business entities can use blockchain to manage and process data from edge devices, such as RFID-based assets (Radio-frequency identification), machine readable barcode and QR code, infrared bluster (IR Bluster) or device information. If integrated to business setup, the IoT edge devices will be able to transfer the blockchain-based records to update contracts or validate communication network. For example, if an IoT enabled and RFID tagged asset with sensitive geographic location and confidential information moves to another undesignated point, the information will be automatically stored and updated on a blockchain ledger and necessary actions will be taken if the system is assigned. As the product advances to different locations, the system allows the stakeholders to get status of the package’s whereabouts.

To enjoy the fruit of the blockchain enabled IoT framework, business organizations need to bear four basic principles:

1. Cost Reduction

The edge devices need to decrease operation processing time and eliminate the IoT gateways or internet intermediaries within the system. Since data sharing, and information are communicated within the system, eliminating additional protocol, program, hardware, channel, node or communication cuts the overhead costs.

2. Accelerating Data Exchange

Blockchain enabled IoT can eliminate the IoT gateway or any filtering device required to establish network among cloud, administrator, sensors and devices. Expelling such ‘middle man’ can enable peer-to-peer contracts and data sharing. In this process, the digital ledger eliminates the additional time required for synchronizing device and processing and harvesting information. However, eliminating the IoT gateway provides conduits for malicious malware and security breach. The blockchain enabled IoT network can tackle it by installing features such as, malware detection, and encryption engines.

3. Trust Building

Through blockchain enabled IoT space, devices and appliances can virtually and physically transact and communicate as trusted parties. Unlike a conventional business where transactions require endorsement and verification, blockchain does not need any central authentication or peer recommendation. As long as the network is secured and the trusted parties are technologically adept, IoT space does not require further documents. For example, Team A may not know Team B, may not have met physically or trust verifiably, but the stamped record of online transactions and information sharing within blockchain’s ledger confirms the business trustworthiness. This enables the individuals, organizations, and devices to earn mutual trust which is vital to establishing revolving business setup and eliminating administrative clutter.

4. Stepping up Security for IoT

Blockchain provides room for decentralized network and technology that promises to store, handle and retrieve information from its billions of connected devices. This system has to provide heavily safeguarded network that is both encrypted and easy to use. The decentralized network has to provide high throughput, permission, low latency and querying. Installing blockchain in the IoT network can regulate and moderate the data exchange through the edge devices while maintaining the same secured transaction and information exchange of the connected devices.

Elimination of Failure Points in IoT Space

Blockchain enabled IoT can upgrade supply chain network by tracing the tagged items as they move along various points in an import store or warehouse, while authorizing secured and accurate product delivery. Blockchain installation provides precise and detailed product confirmation, and solid traceability of relevant data along the supply chains. Rather than finding paper trails for identifying country of origin (COO), IoT can validate each product’s physical confirmation via a virtual ‘visa’ that provides relevant information such as, authenticity and origin of the product. Blockchain can also make auditable records of the products and help organizations to trace back or produce history of the records. It can also give secure access to data network for administrative record or alternative plans.

Blockchain enabled IoT is not confined to enterprise glitches or use cases. Any business entity with an IoT space can increase business productivity by marginalizing costs, eliminating bottlenecks, extra cycles, and single points of failure in system by actualizing process innovation. It is for such organizations’ own interest to understand, adopt and implement blockchain to their enterprise solutions.

More to Come…

Ushered by the fourth industrial revolution (4IR), blockchain enabled IoT now constitutes the most dominating innovation after the integration of transistors and computing systems. It is the disruption that welcomes the ‘second machine age’ in terms of digitization and advanced artificial intelligence (AI). Business facing organizations are the frontrunners to enjoy the fruit of this revolution. It will be unfortunate if these organizations fail to realize the business facing potential of this mega integration that can bring intelligence to systems anywhere and everywhere. Along with the new integration, this system also escorts critical adaptability issues concerned with distributed network such as preservation of privacy and data network, coordination of security apparatus and management of intellectual property. While many tech-builders are building an open source foundation to address these issues, organizations and business entities should embrace and proliferate this technology for increased mobility and improved product and service integration.

Continue Reading

Finance

Traditional Jamaican Fruit Cake For Diabetics

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

To most people the instance of eating a cake to them is like a great treat which they only get once in a while. And in the island of Jamaica the original fruit cake recipe is one which is very popular, and what most people don’t know is that this is coming from the olden plum pudding times.

And to every Jamaican woman it would be a great joy if they could make this particular cake. But in the passing on through the generations the recipes was not passed down well and some household may have it perfect but keep it a secret, therefore lots of people don’t know the real recipe behind it. The most distinctive thing about the cake is the creaming method and it is also packed with dried fruit. And a funny thing about the ingredients in the cake is that it does not involve raisins, or any similar fruit or nuts in it.

The ones that are used are imported thus creating a terrible hikes in the price of the product, the best kind of cakes have the texture of the English Plum pudding. And the particular color of this cake is dark brown and has a high alcoholic taste to it. At times it is very spicy and the reason for this is that there are about five different spices that are used. But the levels of alcohol can be different also the color but this depends on who is making the cake or who the cake is being made for whether a normal person or someone who is diabetic.

Continue Reading

Finance

Natural Cures For Acid Reflux – Stop Severe Acid Reflux Disease Fast!

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

I’m thankful natural cures for acid reflux treatment stopped my pain from acid reflux disease fast, as I really suffered from severe heartburn symptoms, nausea, Gerd, indigestion, horrible acidic taste from my stomach acid backing up into my esophagus, difficulty swallowing, breathing and tiredness all the time.

I am going to promise you, my friend, to show you how to cure acid reflux disease naturally, with simple natural treatments, in the easiest and fastest way possible and I want you to know I really understand what you are going through, unlike the uncaring for profit drug companies.

Believe me, I tried everything from the proton pump inhibitors and stomach acid reducers drugs from tums, nexium (purple pill), prevacid, prilosec, zantac and too many more otc and prescription medications to mention, but they didn’t work, my symptoms only got worse and I got even more sicker.

Feeling hopeless but not wanting to give up, I started to do research on the internet as my life depended on me helping myself.

What I found made me angry and shocked me to tears as I fell to my knees..

I had been horribly suffering all my life since I was young and I was not alone because over 25 million people in the USA, much less worldwide continue to suffer because they don’t know what I am about to tell you.

These drugs are really meant to be used short term as the long term side effects leaves you nutritionally deficient which dangerously increases your risks to other life threatening illnesses such as cancers. Also the drugs only work on the symptoms not on the causes, forcing you to be on them for the rest of your life with all the risks and costs involved.

As I continued my research I discovered natural cures for acid reflux really cured the cause, had no side effects for the many long time suffers of painful GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), heartburn symptoms and many more severe symptoms.

Just simple changes to their lifestyle such as reducing stress, modifying their diet and eating habits by understanding how much to eat, the proper times and frequency to eat and which types of foods to eat, which were not expensive at all, and were found locally at our organic grocery stores and vitamin health center such as some of which are listed here:

– Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

– Aloe Vera Gel

– Aloe Vera Juice

– Baking Soda

– Cabbage Juice

– Cinnamon

– Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice

– Fennel Seeds

– Ginger root

– Mastic gum

– Orange peel extract

– Organic apples

– Papaya Enzymes

– Pineapple Enzymes

– Probiotics Digestive Enzymes (Lactobacillus Acidophilus)

– Lavender Tea

– Peppermint Tea

– Raw Organic Almonds (not roasted)

– Raw Organic Manuka Honey

– Slippery Elm Bark

– Virgin Olive Oil

Discovering this filled me with hope and I realized I had to learn everything I could, in the shortest time possible so I could take action as fast as I could and be healthy as soon as possible. This is when I came across this, concise, amazingly thorough so any beginner could understand source for natural cures for acid reflux.

As I promised you, my friend, here is where you can find the best natural cures for acid reflux disease including home remedies for heartburn relief so you can be acid reflux and GERD symptom free for life, in the fastest, safest way possible.

Continue Reading

Finance

Daddy’s Girl – Why Girls Need Their Daddy

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

Fathers Day is the perfect time to reflect on how very important fathers are. We all know how much boys need their dads, but what about girls? Do they need their dads as much as boys do? Can mothers provide everything a girl needs, or is there something very special that only a father can provide?

Fathers are vital to their daughters. The way a woman feels about herself is very much dependent on how she was treated by her father as she was growing up. Without a father’s unconditional love, girls can grow up to have low self-esteem and low self-image. The lack of a father’s love can leave a girl with serious self-worth issues, especially if she perceives that her father abandoned her. Girls who’ve grown up without a father’s love can subconsciously crave male attention and seek to fill this void in unhealthy ways. Feeling ‘not good enough’ for a good loving relationship with a man, they are vulnerable to becoming involved in abusive relationships or becoming promiscuous. They are more at risk of teenage pregnancy due to going through puberty earlier and becoming sexually active at a younger age. Women who have missed out on their daddy’s love are also more at risk of developing depression.

It’s been heart-warming to witness the relationship blossom between my husband and our daughter over the past five and a half years. I remember standing at the doorway of our daughter’s bedroom one night as her father tucked her in and said goodnight. “Daddy, you’re my true love”, she said as she wrapped her tiny arms around his neck. Gracie, like most other four-year-old girls loves fairytales–stories of princes rescuing princesses, true love’s kiss, and happily ever after. Her daddy is her prince, her protector, her provider, and her true love. It brings me such joy to see how different my little girl’s experience is to my own.   

Sadly, like me, there are millions of young girls growing up today without their daddy’s love. Their prince, provider and protector is not there to give his princess the special love that only a father can give. Today, up to around a half of marriages end in divorce. This means that many children are growing up in homes where they are separated from one parent, most often their father. Unfortunately, in some cases, mothers are unnecessarily preventing their daughters from maintaining vital contact with their father because of the pain and bitterness of divorce. Sadly in many homes, instead of love, some girls are being abused by their daddy. Sometimes daddy’s present in the home but he just isn’t there for his daughters. Then there are the children conceived outside of a committed relationship who are being left to be raised by their mother. There are also many children being raised by only their mothers, who choose IVF in their desire for a child. Is it possible that many mothers as well as fathers do not realise just how much their children, regardless of their gender, need both a mother and a father?

Unfortunately for me and my siblings, my father was a violent alcoholic who was ripped from my life when I was a child. We didn’t even get to say goodbye. I have very few good childhood memories of him, but I remember how much my heart ached when there was no contact after we were separated. I grew up craving my father’s love and found myself in painful relationships, feeling unworthy and starving for the love of a man. I went through two divorces, debilitating clinical depression, sexual abuse and domestic abuse.

Thirty-three years later, I had the chance to see my father as he lay in a nursing home close to death. Thoughts of him brought up some painful memories, but I had managed to finally find happiness in my life. I was remarried with a beautiful family. It was time for me to move past my pain and forgive my father. The timing was perfect. It was the best thing I could have done–for both of us. I remember seeing him for the first time after all those years. He was a frail, broken old man, nothing like the man I had known and loved as a little girl. I went there hoping to help him through his final days but I didn’t realise just how much it would do for me. It did more for me than years of therapy had. For the first time I ever remember, my father told me he loved me. Thank God we were given this opportunity as he died only weeks later. I lost him once again, but at least this time, we got to say goodbye.

Continue Reading

Finance

Top 3 Important Characteristics of a Successful Payroll Service Provider

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

I guess when you look at the different businesses; there would be companies that would be ahead of the others. They are considered the visionary and ahead of the pact. Have you ever wondered what do these companies have that the less successful ones do not have? In a payroll service provider this can also be considered true. You can tell that there are payroll service providers that are more well-known. What could be the secret to their success?

Perseverance

This trait is necessary especially if your company is just beginning. Perseverance means never giving up even in the midst of failure. As we know failure is part of business. A payroll service provider does not just become successful overnight. It takes perseverance and the never-say-die attitude. That separates the winners from the less successful ones. Lack of perseverance may mean bad news to your company.

Honesty

We hear about business closing down because of lack of integrity. Clients value trust and honesty when dealing with businesses. It is one of the foundations of a business relationship. If dishonesty and shady dealings is the heart of the company, chances are the success you might have accumulated would still not continue because in the end truth prevails. As a payroll service provider, it is imperative that honesty is practiced because of the confidentiality and sensitivity of the information being handled.

Dedication

To some companies, it may just be work. To a successful outsourcing payroll company, it is a personal goal. Each client is important and it is not just about earning money. It is about showing people the importance of the work they do. They hire staff that is dedicated and focused on the task at hand. A successful payroll company is committed to giving the excellent service that your company expects of them. Hence, dedication is a trait that a successful provider should have.

Excellent traits of a successful payroll service provider are important to know because it can give you the criteria if they measure up to your expectation. These help you gauge if it is the right organization for you. It requires careful consideration and thorough understanding of the traits that can help you choose the best payroll service provider for your company.

It is understandable to hesitate in hiring a good payroll outsourcing company. That is why these traits are given to you so that you can be equipped with the right know-how in about payroll service.

Continue Reading

Finance

Mobile-Free Life – 9 Pathways to Retaking Control of Your Lives, Loves, and Relationships

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

Distraction is a killer!

Distraction kills both people and relationships. The evidence for this is mounting daily; ignore it at your peril. The average amount of time spent in the cyber world by each of us is between five and six hours per day. Hey, I’m not looking at my smartphone or tablet that much! So, someone else must be doing my share on top of their own.

Texting while driving is an epidemic in our country today. One in four accidents is caused by it, resulting in 330,000 serious injuries. It’s scary, isn’t it? Studies in performance psychology consistently show youngsters underperforming in exams when their smartphone is on the desk – not switched on, not used, just available and within reach – in comparison with when it is absent.

In business, the smartphone is ubiquitous, which means that we are all less productive than we can be. Because our attention is divided between “here and now” and “there and then,” our interpersonal communication and relationships are suffering hugely. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are 9 pathways to greater control over your life and loves.

1. Meditate at least once a day. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, focus inwards, and be uncoupled from all the usual stuff. Allow your unconscious mind to innovate.

2. Be mindful of the proven side effects your smartphone has on you, both physically and emotionally. Be aware of stress so that you can combat it. When you find yourself squeezing and scrolling frenetically, take a deep breath, count to ten, and start again.

3. Focus on your purpose in going to your devices. When you realize you are multitasking in ways such as talking and typing, or texting and driving, just stop with the secondary task. Get back to the primary job in hand. You’ll do a much better job of it and hopefully live to tell the tale.

4. Be sure to listen and respond with empathy when you are talking on Skype or WhatsApp, etc. Concentrate on the voice tone in your ear and their silences. Check your understanding of the messages they are sending you. Deal with others as you want to be dealt with.

5. Censor your desire to check your phone when in the company of others. When it rings or vibrates, you may experience the fear of missing out on “something.” The feeling will pass, and the world will keep on turning. Nothing is more important than authentic communication with the person in front of you.

6. Limit and schedule time for your device usage. It’s only a tool! A means to your ends. Every time you find yourself reaching out to the Internet, ask yourself, “is this the best way to accomplish this task?” Each small step will loosen the bonds that ensnare your mind.

7. Share your rationale with any people you interact with if there is a pressing personal or business need to be available. Never place your device between you and your colleagues, family, or friends. Rather, say something up front like; “There’s a chance I may have to take a call. Please excuse me if that happens while we’re talking.”

8. Dare I say, stop it with the selfies and the food pictures? Think of the time and resources involved in posting, replying, and checking. What could you do instead? How about check in with a customer? Or call your partner or parents, to let them know you are thinking of them. Every minute spent online is one NOT spent on authentic interaction with people in front of you.

9. Recognize you are addicted to your device if IT sleeps nearby. If it’s the last thing you see at night and the first thing you reach for in the morning, then you are in trouble. Time to wean yourself from checking emails or social media at every opportunity. More than once a day is an expensive habit. The bedroom is no place for smartphones. Be mindful of two things: 1) We all need a calm state of mind to achieve restorative sleep. 2) We are at our best and most creative immediately after sleep. Take time to listen to your thoughts before plunging into the cyber whirl.

Smartphones, the Internet, and social media are here to stay. They are fantastic modern servo-mechanisms. But there is also danger in them when we become their slaves. The answer to this postmodern dilemma is mindfulness, pure and simple. So, retake control and have a wonderful, mobile-free life!

Continue Reading

Trending