Case Study : Investing in Companies (Locksmith Businesses)

I have recently invested in a couple of  businesses and wanted to use my blog as a place to record my progress with it. My friend is a locksmith and he needed a budget to market his websites:

And so, he brought me in to help. I funded a few thousand to help market it and with my understanding of online marketing I look forward to how this turns out. I am getting a 30% share in all business from this point on, so not a bad deal really.

For those of you that don’t know, the fundamental role of a locksmith is to help people get back into their house if they lose their keys or accidentally lock themselves out. At least, this is the most common reason for why anybody would want to call a locksmith. It’s a business that will always have business, simply because people are always slipping up and making the mistake to accidentally require the services of a locksmith, so I thought it would be a great investment choice for that reason. It doesn’t matter what the economy is like, we will always need locksmiths – as we will always need locks and keys.

I will update this post as time goes on to let you know how it gets on, and I will not the date of when I am making the update to the post.

locksmith investment

We are particularly focused on the clifton and yate areas with the bristol based locksmith site as we have noticed a great deal of potential business in that area.

Investing in energy efficiency to increase profitability.

Investing in waste reduction through lean manufacturing and through energy saving is a fantastic way to lower the costs of manufacturing and drive up profit.

Investing into energy now makes up 30-90% of maintenance budgets.

Operational Effectiveness still helps to meet business objectives, however lean manufacturing methods must be utilised to Production Effectiveness and monitoring the use of Energy.

EFF the manufacturers’ advisory organisation produced survey results that showed managing energy spend is a focus at board level for many companies, especially in the goal of increasing profitability.

This blog looks at why being more energy efficient is key to calculating production effectiveness, which is the core measure of the profitability of a business.

The volatility of energy markets.

Over 30% of the world’s energy consumption comes from the manufacturing sector.

For the government to meet its target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in 2050 by 80% manufactures need to invest in energy saving measures.

Manufacturers are being encouraged to reduce energy by such as extent that the Government will pay manufacturers for every kilo-watt hour they reduce.

Article 8 of the European Unions Energy Efficency Directive has introduced ESOS, which is the Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme.  ESOS requires that larger manufacturers have frequent energy audits, from independent sources.  The goal of such as audit is to help companies identify opportunities to reduce energy waste and increase the profitability of their operation.

Falling energy production

Many manufactures in the UK are conscious of falling energy production, with an almost 11% decline in production in 2012, when compared with the previous year.

With the decline in fossil fuels happening at a rate that supersedes sustainable energy sources to replace it and with the UK being no closer to being able to utilise Nuclear Power, the demand for fossil fuels is much higher than supply.

With demand being higher than supply, the economic situation means that prices have risen. So for both financial and monetary reasons, manufactures must place energy efficiency high on their priority, in order to reduce costs and increase their profitability.

Managing Energy Consumption.

Many manufacturing companies have been quick to invest in the implementation of energy saving programs.

The instillation of brand new energy-efficient equipment, or investing in the maintenance of older machines to ensure they operate effectively and reduce energy wastage

The Manufacturer publication recently published a list of low cost methods to reduce energy waste too.

By investing in a robust TPM (Total Productive Maintenance) strategy working alongside a CMMS solution will address many of the issues highlighted by the Manufacturer publication’s report.

The Carbon Trust has stated that although best practices in energy efficiency measures have been implemented on a wide scale, too few internal systems from too few manufactures have been implemented to improve manufacturing processes.

Energy consumption tends to be at its highest for most companies during its production process. To identify where energy consumption can be reduced requires companies to measure energy flows and energy intensity.

Hugh savings in capital invested can be shown by running a manufacturing plant more efficiently.

Even a 1% improvement in Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) has shown significant savings.

Overall Equipment Effectiveness score. 43% 44% Improvement of 1%
Units 76,500 75.750 Less waste
Production Hours 118 115 Saved 3 hours
Units produced / hour 648 658 Actual improvement
Rejected 1500 750 Improvement in quality
Cost of Labour 11,769 (£) 11,477 (£) Savings in running hours 292 (£)
Cost of Energy 47,077 (£) 45,909 (£) Saving 1,168 (£)
Saving per week     2,210 (£)
Saving annually     114,909 (£)



Due to advances in energy management technology it’s easier than ever before for manufactures to gather data and identify opportunities to improve Production Effectiveness.

In doing so manufactures can decrease their energy bills, reducing costs and making their manufacturing operations much more profitable.

As the focus on increasing profitability by reducing costs is a matter of board concern its crucial to work with experts in the field of lean manufacturing solutions.

Someone like our partners Idhammar Systems that understand monitoring energy, CMMS, OEE and have expert technology available to help manufactures reduce costs and increase profitability.

Check them out at the following link:


A Brief Understanding about Mutual Funds


A mutual fund is any company that supplies money from different investors and invests the money in securities such as bonds and stocks. The portfolio is where the combined holdings of the mutual funds are kept. Usually, investors buy shares in mutual funds since it has more room for their money to grow. This is due to the portfolio. An investor’s part ownership is represented in each share of the funds or income it yields. This strategy will be explained further in the next few paragraphs.

Why do people invest through mutual funds? Here are the reasons why:

a. Investors usually choose mutual funds investment over any other kind of investment. This is because of its professional management, affordability, diversification and liquidity. Professional management is when the fund administrators do the research for the investor. They are usually the ones who select the securities. They are also the ones who monitor the performance for the investor.
b. The affordability of the mutual funds make this kind of investment in demand. In the initial investment, most mutual funds are set out at a relatively low dollar amount.
c. The Diversification is also one of the perks in investing through mutual funds. It can range from small businesses to establishments, as well as companies and industries. The liquidity means that the mutual fund investors can just simply redeem their shares whenever they want to.

investingThere are four main categories of mutual funds. These are the money market funds, bond funds, stock funds, and target date funds. Each type differs from the other types, in features, risks, and rewards.

a. The money market funds are of low risk. This is because they only invest in high-quality, short-term investments that are issued by reliable corporations or governments.
b. The bond funds, however, are of higher risk compared to the money market funds. This is because they work towards yielding higher returns as compared to the money market funds.
c. The Stock funds usually invest in the corporate stocks. However, the funds and returns differ per stock.
d. The target date funds is a mixture of stocks, bonds and all other kinds of investments. Name it.

Like any other, mutual funds also hold the bad and the good or commonly known as the benefits and risks. There are three ways in earning money from mutual funds.

1. Dividend payments are when the income less expenses comes from dividends on stocks or bond interests.
2. Capital Gains Distribution is the increase of the price of the security funds. The funds that will be distributed is already minus any capital losses to the investors.
3. The increased NAV depends on the market value of the fund’s portfolio. The higher the NAV, the higher value of the investment.

Regardless, all of the funds each carry a level of risk. With mutual funds, you may lose some or all of the money you invest. This is due to the unpredictability of the market value of the funds. The more unpredictable the fund is, there is a higher investment risk.

Where can you buy mutual funds?

Usually, the investors purchase their mutual fund shares from the company itself. The price that investors pay is already inclusive of any fees charge at the time of purchase. The good thing about mutual funds, like what was mention earlier, is that it is redeemable anytime. One good example of a mutual fund provider is LOM

It is often advised that before an investor buys shares in a mutual fund, the investor should be wary and aware of the syllabus of the mutual fund. The syllabus is commonly called prospectus. This prospectus holds all the information about the mutual fund’s investment performance, risks and expenses.

Advantages of Offshore Investments

What is the offshore investment?

Offshore investing refers to a wide range of investment strategies that capitalize on advantages offered outside of an investor’s home country.   The offshore industry that were once known for money laundering or concealing income has changed and it is better regulated then many onshore OECD countries and also has a favorable environment for legitimate offshore entities and investors who set up for the international advantages they offer.

Advantages of the offshore investment:

There are a large number of advantages of the offshore investment. Offshore institutions are accessible and widely used by High Net Worth Individuals and International companies.  According to the Investopedia – “Offshore investing refers to a wide range of investment strategies that capitalize on advantages offered outside of an investor’s home country. There is no shortage of money-market, bond and equity assets offered by reputable offshore companies that are fiscally sound, time-tested and, most importantly, legal.”   Investopedia further states  ‘Offshore centers are popular locations for restructuring ownership of assets. Through trusts, foundations or through an existing corporation individual wealth ownership can be transferred from people to other legal entities.”

Motivations behind offshore investment:

Main perspectives of the offshore investment include investment diversification, avoidance of the forced heir-ship, lower levels of the regulations as well as specialist financial services. However, most of the offshore centers have developed several sectors of the financial services with expertise in banking, trusts, insurance as well as legal services.

Offshore Investment opportunities in equities, mutual funds, money markets as well as bonds are also available through the offshore entities. An individual can also charter the offshore corporation in order to provide the transferable shares, shared ownership, legal personality as well as limited liability.  Ensure you have good financial and legal advice to enjoy investment advantages of owning a corporation or holding company.  Sometimes officers or owners of those corporations may need to establish their own real estate as well as residence to make sure ‘mind and management’ are offshore.

How Safe Is Offshore Investing?
Offshore can is very secure and beneficial but like everything make sure you are dealing with people experienced in investing offshore safely.  Investopedia says  ”Popular offshore countries such as the Bahamas, Bermuda, Cayman Islands and Isle of Man are known to offer fairly secure investment opportunities. More than half of the world’s assets and investments are held in offshore jurisdictions and many well-recognized companies have investment opportunities in offshore locales”

Using common sense and choosing a reputable, established investment firm is critical; Check out LOM for an example of an offshore investment services company.  It is important to speak with an experienced and a knowledgeable accountant or lawyer who specializes in international investment.