Offshore financial centers and how they thrive on near-zero taxation

Image source: LOM Financial


Most countries generate revenue via different sources and national taxation is one of them. Two of the biggest national income providers come from the citizen’s personal income tax and the domiciled companies’ corporate taxes, but what happens to jurisdictions who decided not to impose them?

Offshore financial centers (OFCs) are often asked the same question: how can these geographically small nations afford not to impose corporate and personal income taxes? Since it’s impossible to support the economic growth of these countries, how will they make up for the loss from the absence of these revenue-generating systems?

The truth is, OFCs enjoy several benefits than other nations but it doesn’t mean that they’re completely tax-free. The taxation system in the Cayman Islands, for instance, supplement the loss of corporate taxes by imposing several measures like increasing tax requirements for imported goods, resulting in a higher cost of living. This means that while employees enjoy a completely zero income tax environment, they have to pay higher for their daily, living expenses.

One of the most interesting facts about the Cayman Islands is the number of domiciled companies in this jurisdiction: approximately over a hundred thousand – that’s almost twice their territory’s total population. This impressive statistics also means one thing: while there is no corporate tax collected from over 100,000 companies based in this offshore investment center, the government still earns by imposing registration fees as not just a one-time payment since an annual renewal fee for continued operations is also required.

Indeed, tax revenues from a growing business environment as well as the spending power of a particular population make up a large percentage of the national income, but there is also one sector that contributes to its total earnings: the tourism industry. From this highly active sector, tropical OFC destinations earn from collecting departure taxes as soon as tourists exit the country.

The strangest ways today’s superstars were discovered

The most talented superstars on the planet were once just like you – a normal person, living and just doing what they love, until that one fateful and not to mention strange encounter changed their lives forever. Here are some of the strangest ways celebrities were discovered to become who they are now:

Justin Bieber and Youtube

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Youtube, the video sharing platform was just in its early years when the 12-year old Justin Bieber was discovered. It was in 2007 when produced Scooter Braun accidentally clicked on Bieber’s video, with the then child Youtuber singing Chris Brown’s famous hit, With You. Braun was able to track the young singer and the next awesome thing happened – Bieber got the chance to perform for the multi-awarded singer/songwriter/producer Usher. Fast forward, Justin Bieber has sold over 15 million albums and has a net worth of $200 million.

Natalie Portman and a pizza place

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After a dance class, 10-year old Natalie Portman and her mom decided to drop by a pizza place and just talk about how the day went – but fate decided that it was where her life will change for good. While casually enjoying her slice of pizza, a representative from a modeling agency approached her and offered her a job. However, Portman didn’t like the idea of people judging her by her physical looks so she instead, asked for the team’s acting agency contacts. Today, Natalie Portman is one of the top celebrities in the world, with an estimated net worth of $54 million.

Charlize Theron and the bank “drama”

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Imagine being discovered as a dramatic actress for just being a literal drama queen? Well, that’s exactly what happened to Charlize Theron. While at a bank, an agent at the end of the queue noticed this South African beauty in the middle of her outrage towards a bank representative. Coupled with Theron’s animated movements and vocal prowess, in the eyes of the agent, she was a superstar – and she indeed became one. Today, she has a staggering net worth of $110 million, starring in billion-dollar box office worldwide.

REPOST: 5 Myths Of “Making It” In The Music Industry

Some of the world’s wealthiest and most successful people are musicians. However, having a knack for melodies and singing in the right tune aren’t the only considerations to make it big in the business. explains it further here:

With so much advice about finding success in the music industry, there are a number of romanticized myths floating around that have gained more traction than they deserve. Here we debunk five such misconceptions.

In this industry it can be easy to get overwhelmed with all the information being blasted at us 24/7. Do this, don’t do that. This works, that doesn’t. It can be tough to know which advice to follow, and which to stay far away from.

As someone who has been in the industry for the last 10 years as a writer for my own and several other publications, a music publicist, an occasional booker of local shows, and an all around observer, there are a few myths that I see bands still living by, despite any proof they actually work—most of them end up actually being detrimental. Here they are:

If your music is good enough, the labels/managers/festivals will find you
This is the number one belief that I see most artists still hanging on to, despite any proof that it’s actually been the case over the last say, 20 years or so (at least). Long gone are the days where you can have nothing going for you except talent and a catchy hook and have a label come by, scoop you up, take care of all the marketing/booking/fan experiences, and just sit back and play your music. It’s just not going to happen.

Labels want to see strong proof that you’re actually marketable (IE: you’ll make them money) before “taking a chance” on you, which means before they’re even remotely interested you need to have proven yourself through engaging social media pages, successful tours, fans that are willing to support you, etc. Once you’ve done all of that, then people start paying attention.

Continue reading HERE.

REPOST: Sport tourism: $5.47M economic impact

Apparently, sports is no longer just a cultural or recreational aspect of life. It is a booming industry that has helped stimulate local economies and put several athletes into lists of the world’s richest people. And for tourism, it is an important revenue earner. Take a look at this report from Times Daily:

The Ole Miss team of John Thigpen, left, and Parker Davidson, right, display the fish they caught Friday. The team finished in ninth place. [ALLISON CARTER/TIMESDAILY]
FLORENCE — Sporting events are a vital aspect of the area’s tourism economy, and the impact just keeps growing each year.

If there was any doubt of the role sports tourism plays, consider this: The National Association of Sports Commission reports visitor spending associated with sports events in North America was $10.47 billion in 2016.

The local numbers are impressive as well with a $5.47 million economic impact to the Shoals via sport tourism in 2017.

That figure represents a $400,000 increase over 2016, according to Suzie Shoemaker, manager of sport/event sales for Florence Tourism.

“The bulk of this impact is from fishing with longer tournaments meaning longer stays in the area,” Shoemaker said. “We had some back-to-back tournaments which helped as well.”

She said the goal for next year is a 20 percent increase. Plans are in place to see that come to fruition.

The addition of another college bass tournament in April, the Bass Master College Series Southern Tour Event, should help. It’s a three-day tournament.

Florence Tourism Board Chairman David Muhlendorf said there’s no question fishing is a major component to the success of sport tourism locally. Holding tournaments in the cooler months is the goal.

“Our focus is to try to create events that will allow our hoteliers to fill rooms at times when travel is down,” he said, adding that next weekend’s Winter Blues catfishing tournament on Wheeler Lake is one such event.

Shoemaker said the challenge to bring in a wider variety of sporting venues is a priority.

Currently, the area predominantly relies on fishing, baseball, basketball, softball and disc golf. In recent years the Renaissance Man Triathlon has been a growing attraction as well. It brings people to the area for at least two days.

“We’re working on getting other sporting events for the future,” Shoemaker said, adding there’s special emphasis on girls’ sports.

As for how the economic impact is determined, Shoemaker said surveying participants reveals a true picture of time and money spent in Lauderdale County.

“We ask very particular questions of tournament participants, detailing how much money they spend in the various areas of tourism while they’re here,” she said.

Muhlendorf said widening the diversity of activities in the area will be key to making northwest Alabama attractive to visitors.

World’s most profitable sports events in history

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Not all sports are created equal and some of the most popular tournaments in the world offer more than just entertainment and cultural pride, but also massive economic benefits to both their participants and organizers. This is true especially when it comes to the biggest and highly phenomenal sporting events today.

Here are some of the most expensive and extremely profitable sporting events in history and what made them stand out from the rest.

  1. World Series

The World Series is Major League Baseball’s (MLB) 100-year old showpiece series, featuring the biggest baseball teams across the United States. It was in 2016 when they recorded their most memorable, and not to mention profitable game yet: Chicago Cubs defeated Cleveland Indians and won the series championship – an epic comeback after their century-long drought without a World Series title.

  1. UEFA European Championships

The event was founded in the 1960s with just four teams and it has expanded in terms of scale and profit in the last 50 years. The Euro 2016 was held in France and it was the biggest tournament to date, with 24 nations participating. Portugal holds the current championship title.

  1. FIFA World Cup

The international football (soccer) scene is one of the most globally renowned, with the last tournament boasting 700 million in audience population. FIFA’s highly commercial operations make it one of the most expensive sports events in the world both in terms of rewards and revenues.

  1. UEFA Champions League

Most sports analysts and investors know that UEFA Champions League—another major football event—is where the money is made, boasting millions to billions worth of prizes. Many superstars are present in every UEFA Champions League tournament and we’re talking about the most expensive players in the world of football: Manuel Neuer, Daniel Carvajal, Diego Godín, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and a lot more.

REPOST: Eight Decks, a Helipad and an Underwater Observatory: World’s Largest Sailing Yacht Docks in Israel

Yachts have long been a symbol of luxury and opulence, with many tycoons and the biggest celebrities seeing them as staple asset. But where exactly on the planet is the biggest and most expensive one sailing? HAARETZ has the answer:

Russian oligarch’s 144-meter mega-yacht, designed by Phillippe Starck, cost 360 million pounds

Residents of the Haifa Bay area thought they were used to luxury cruise ships and yachts docking in their city’s port. But last weekend such sightings reached a new level with the arrival of the world’s largest and most expensive sailing yacht on Friday. On Monday the ship made its way to Tel Aviv.

The exterior of the stunning ship was designed by the world-famous designer Phillippe Starck. The yacht has eight decks, a helicopter pad and its own underwater observatory in the keel.

The world’s largest sailing yacht in the Mediterranean Sea off Tel Aviv’s coast on Nov. 28, 2017. | Credit: Tomer Appelbaum
The world’s largest sailing yacht in the Mediterranean Sea off Tel Aviv’s coast on Nov. 28, 2017. | Credit: Tomer Appelbaum
The world’s largest sailing yacht in the Mediterranean Sea off Tel Aviv’s coast on Nov. 28, 2017. | Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

“Sailing Yacht A,” as the yacht is known – is owned by billionaire Russian oligarch Andrey Igorevich Melnichenko, who Forbes called the 89th wealthiest person in the world in 2017 with a personal fortune of $13.2 billion. He also owns another of the world’s largest and most expensive yachts: “Motor Yacht A.” The name “A” for both the ships is reportedly for the purpose of having them appear first on the shipping register lists.

The sailing yacht is 144 meters long (35 meters longer than the second largest). It was built in the Kiel, Germany at an estimated price of 360 million pounds sterling. It was reportedly delivered to Melnichenko in May this year, after being launched two years earlier.

REPOST: 2017 Key Business Trends in the Sports Industry

More than a cultural phenomenon and an entertainment platform, the sports industry is a huge business. And just like any other business, it is rapidly evolving. Here some interesting trends in the industry, as listed by SA Promo Magazine, that may be changing it forever:

With top sports stars like F.C. Barcelona’s Lionel Messi worth in excess of $50 million, the global sports industry equals big business. Clearly, the landscape of the industry in 2017 is vastly different compared to ten or even five years ago. As we enter the final business quarter of the year, it’s a good time to look back at the some of the key business trends that have shaped the sports industry.

During 2017, the focus of sports clubs and teams began to shift to creating high-quality and engaging fan experiences that don’t end at the stadium or sports ground. The mass commercialization of popular sports is starting to influence the way brands design and develop their products, and the advent of the digital age has created a new category of professional sports.

Innovation has been high on the agenda for sports teams and organizations so far during 2017. For example, the NBA team the Philadelphia 76ers’ has dedicated an 8,000 square-feet “innovation hub”, which opened its doors in July. Its aim is to provide support, consulting and investment opportunities to “start-ups with potential”. The Sixers Innovation Lab is situated in the team’s state-of-the-art training complex and business operations facility, and so far, has housed four diverse companies in the hub operating in eSports, pet care, digital cause media and daily fantasy sports. In addition to office and production space and operational support, companies housed by the lab are also able to receive free meals and housing in the Philadelphia area as well as legal services, marketing support and third-party branding.

Another side of innovation has been of benefit to the 76ers’ fellow NBA team the Sacramento Kings. The sports team’s new home, the Golden 1 Center, has been dubbed the U.S.’s first “smart arena”. This $558 million sports and entertainment venue officially opened last September and has already played host to many notable sporting events including the UFC on Fox 22’s fight night headlined by a women’s strawweight MMA bout between Paige VanZant and Michelle Waterson in December 2016, the WWE No Mercy event last October and the Sacramento Kings’ pre-season and regular games during the 2016/17 season.

A full entertainment and sporting complex, its use of innovation shows in both its design and facilities. The 44 x 24 feet court video screens and the 6,100 square-feet main videoboard all broadcast in 4K Ultra HD and free Wi-Fi connections available throughout the arena claim to be in excess of 15,000 times faster than the average home broadband network. According to the construction and development team, the bandwidth capabilities of the network available in the arena and the surrounding plaza extend to the equivalent of posting over 225,000 Instagram photos per second.

A relatively new player in the sports business game is on the brink of becoming a billion-dollar industry. eSports has experienced exponential growth in recent years and is set to become even more popular following the recent announcement that it will become a medal event at the 2022 Asian Games. Seen by some as competitive video gaming, eSports is expected to generate almost $700 million in revenue before the end of the year. Its total audience reach is estimated to be 385 million and market researchers forecast a reach of 589 million within the next three years.

Global sports teams are also beginning to invest in eSports and more interactive ways to connect and engage fans. Four Australian Football League teams including Essendon and Carlton are considering investing in professional eGamers after the successful acquisition of Legacy eSports by Adelaide Football Club. Many club officials in the region view eSports as a natural extension to their teams, opening a new fan base in a demographic that typically engages in online video gaming and content streaming. The AFL clubs expressed an interest in harnessing the potential of eSports to generate content, suggesting the creation of a dedicated eSports studio that will enable the creation and broadcast of games across the genre. The target audience for online gaming includes Millennials and older online and mobile aficionados; meaning that there is huge potential for expansion in the market.

Moving forward into 2018, we can expect to see technology and innovation still dominating trends in the sports industry. We’re already witnessing the transformation of sporting arenas into high-tech entertainment monoliths, and sports media is expected to undergo a similar evolution. On the fields and elsewhere professional women’s teams are beginning to surge in popularity in mainstream culture, particularly since sports organizations are looking for new ways to optimize the experience of fans while increasing their existing audience base.

Futuristic technologies revolutionizing the sports industry

Technology has been an essential part of our everyday life, from helping us with simple tasks to accomplishing complicated projects. In fact, the practicality and efficiency of using this modern wonder have been transforming different industries for years–and the world of professional sports is no exception. Let’s take a look at the latest and most innovative technological advancements that are revolutionizing the sports industry today.

  1. Virtual Reality (VR) in sports training
Image source: Sports Illustrated

Many famous NFL and NCAA players were trained with the help of virtual reality (VR) and we see U.S. teams like Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings and others have partnered the VR-based training method with their usual drills to prepare for most of their major games.

With VR, players can have the chance to reassess their performance from watching themselves in pre-recorded drills, analyzing better plays and improving footwork and movement.

  1. 3D-Printing in professional sports products
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Just like how it conquered other industries, 3D-printing is making its name in the world of sports through high-quality and professional-grade products and equipment.

Its recent popularity in the industry can be credited to the technology’s capabilities that allow full customization, cost efficiency and freedom for creativity – since its innovative nature can produce a list of new and much-needed revolutionary sports products that have not existed before.

  1. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for sports management
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Used in the business of sports, GIS technology can take care of management and security in large sporting events like the Olympics and World Cup. This is because, as an advanced software, it can track patterns, movements and even identify characteristics of participants in specified geographic locations.

GIS can also be used to analyze winning shots, provide play-related statistics that can improve players’ performance later on. For instance, the same technology was used to identify patterns during tennis’ London Gold Medal match between two sports superstar, Roger Federer and Andy Murray.

REPOST: Virtual Reality Is A Growing Reality In Health Care

Potentially catastrophic natural events, such as Hurricane Irma, are always a major threat to properties, including cars. And when it comes to ultra-expensive luxury automobiles, finding the safest parking shelter can really be a major challenge. Read more on the Sun Sentinel:

Luxury cars were transported from Pretige Imports to Porsche Design Tower. (Courtesy/Porsche Design Tower)

As millions of South Floridians prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Irma, shelter for their cars is a key item on the check list.

Insurance companies suggest parking vehicles close to buildings for protection against high winds, and to avoid parking under trees.

But where does one park a $15 million Pagani Zonda, or a $5 million Ferrari? One option: The 60-floor Porsche Design Tower in Sunny Isles Beach.

Prestige Imports, a luxury car dealership in North Miami Beach, will be safeguarding 10 of its most valuable vehicles in Porsche Design Tower’s unused units, in addition to an unsold penthouse located on the 56th floor with the ability to store up to 11 vehicles.

The tower was built to withstand Category 5 hurricanes and has the advantage of its unique ability to lift cars from ground level, said Porsche Design Tower developer Gil Dezer.

Cars were brought to the penthouse via the “Dezervator.” (Courtesy/Porsche Design Tower)

A first-of-its-kind auto elevator lift system, dubbed the “Dezervator” and named after Dezer himself, is a high-tech hydraulic elevator that smoothly transports owner’s cars to private sky garages adjacent to their condo units.

The tower contains three such lifts. The system has received worldwide publicity, having been prominently featured on financial news networks and TV programs touting the lifestyles of the wealthy.

To ensure that there is no flooding, Dezer brought in additional drainage pumps and employed a team to work 24 hours a day. The group is dedicated to keeping the Dezervator’s pit dry.

The unsold penthouse unit, currently on the market for $32.5 million, is identical to another penthouse in the tower that sold for $25 million on March 31 – just two weeks after the building’s official opening.

Trying to imagine what this amazing penthouse looks like? Catch an exclusive glipse with these renderings provided by Dezer Development.

Both feature a garage designed to be used as a car gallery that can accommodate up to seven vehicles. In addition, there are two separate two-car sky garages in each of the penthouse units.

With only 10 full-time residents currently living in the recently-opened 132-unit tower, Prestige Imports is not the only one taking advantage of Porsche Design Tower’s elevated storage, Dezer said.

An additional 60 cars, and counting, have been delivered by unit owners to be protected during the storm. Over 90 percent of these vehicles belong to residents whose units are currently under construction. Unit owners of the building with more than two cars are also asking tower management to put their extra cars in the few remaining unsold units.


Here’s how top athletes build their wealth outside the sports industry

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Just like any other celebrity, professional athletes equally share the ups and downs of fame and fortune. Success has let them achieve their wildest dreams, doing the things that they love while amassing wealth and inspiring millions of fans around the world.

However, accomplished athletes also face the everyday challenges of managing and maintaining their wealth. Unlike other celebrities like Hollywood superstars or self-made millionaires, their income peaks at a very young age and can dramatically and unpredictably drop depending on some unforeseen circumstances.

Most of the time, professional athletes are amateur wealth managers and their financial literacy can fall ‘below average,’ making them vulnerable to risky investments and unwise decisions, among others. However, there are some who have successfully found the ultimate solution to both maintain and grow their wealth by focusing on one important goal: building multiple streams of income. In other words, as professional and high-earning athletes, they make more money not just from one but many sources.

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For instance, most individuals who have enough financial resources earn more by diversifying their income through investing, especially with trusted investment companies such as LOM Financial. In contrary to what other people think, investing is not just about setting money aside for a rainy day but it’s more about using a substantial capital to generate an equally significant income over time.

Another income stream that professional athletes can look at is in real estate – by diversifying one’s investment portfolio by acquiring properties that can provide long-term, and tax-free, financial benefit. In fact, several sports superstars including Andre Agassi, Alex Rodriguez and Shaquille O’Neal have found a home in the real estate industry.

Finally, most athletes don’t really enjoy the technicalities of financial management but do love to earn more by doing something that they enjoy. One stream of income is starting a small business, whether online or offline. Some may call it, “hobby business” and it’s for a reason. Usually, this stream of income is related to the athletes’ interests and hobbies.