Investing

What Homework do you Need to do Before Doing any Investments?

What Homework do you Need to do Before Doing any Investments?

Now making an investment decision is a wise thing to do. But what is wiser is the idea of doing your “homework” first. This homework if down by you with utmost care will result in long term benefits for you. Now let us have a look at the homework that needs to be done in a stepwise manner so that you make the right investment decision.

The first step

The first step is to figure out how a company makes money. Now the company never depends on just one particular option to make money. It is because the risks are many. There is always a chance of failure of any of the sector on which the company is financially dependent. So it is required that the companies do the proper research to finally understand not one but many other ways of earning money. It may involve making money through manufacturing and selling of products, by participating in the stock market, partnering with other companies, etc.

The second step

Now once you are through with the first step the next thing that is required to be done is to figure out how the company can continue making money. Now, this step is necessary and should not be avoided just because you did pretty well in the first step. It is because in the business industry nothing is ever stable.  Be it a small or a big organization any of these can get bankrupt at any point of time and vanish into thin air. Now f you dependent on a limited source, it may bring all of a sudden a lot of financial burden on you if you haven’t yet widened your options. So you need to figure out ways in which you continue making money other than the conventional method that you’ve decided earlier in step one.

The third step

Now, this step consists of market research. This step will help you in analyzing the various hidden opportunities in the market and then invest in the best company out there. Carrying proper market research will also acquaint you with the threats of the market, so you don’t end up making an unwise investment related decision. This market research is something you can’t and shouldn’t avoid.

The fourth step

Now the fourth step in completing your homework is to check the balance sheet of the company in which you are planning to invest. Go through the annual statement of the company carefully and look out if the company is indebted and if yes then by amount is it so.

The fifth step

It is the final step of completing your homework. In this, you have to make an evaluation which means that you will have to understand the valuation of the stocks. It will help you a lot onto finally deciding as to which company you ultimately want to invest in. And then go ahead with it.

Thus once you have completed all of the five steps, your “homework” is complete. And you will finally come to conclusions as to which company will be better for you to invest.


International Investment: A Look at the US Property Investment Market

International Investment: A Look at the US Property Investment Market

Money

We have heard a lot recently about the relative fall in the UK property market, but how is property fairing elsewhere? Looking into the US property market, there are mixed results.

Amongst some high-profile bankruptcies paired with global economic tension, the US saw economic growth combined with a record-breaking holiday season. This was bolstered by a growth in disposable personal income and heightened consumer confidence, which would imply strong growth across the property sector.  

Retail investment

Investment in retail however is down 6.2%, from $32.2b in 2017 to $30.2b by the close of 2018. The main reason for this fall in investment is largely due to the lack of big-ticket investment deals.

Deloitte report that there will be many new challenges facing retailers in 2019. The industry is set for a major transition, with retailers needing to make bold decisions to succeed in the market.

Residential sales

Residential investment sales paint a very different picture however. Accounting for 51.9% of total transactions in the market, residential investment sales were up 8.9% in 2018 to $15.7b.

A recent poll by Reuters suggests that this growth may not be sustained. Price growth is predicted to drop from previous forecasts, from an anticipated 4.7% growth to 3.7% for 2019.

To reinforce this, sales did slow in the second half of 2018. This is partly due to cooling measures that were introduced, as private rental sales fell by 10.6% at the close of 2018. Economic uncertainty in the US is likely to continue to affect the property sector, with many developers reassessing future development plans.

Industrial sector

Overall, industrial investment sales fell 16.9% in 2018, which occupied 11.3% of total investment sales. Although this figure seems substantial, the industrial performance was mixed, and varied hugely based on the type of factory and location of the industry.

Over the next four years, over 2 million square metres is estimated to become available. However, over 65% of this is owner-occupied, comprising single user industrial developments.

Alternative assets

Much like the UK, we are seeing a different picture when it comes to alternative property assets. Student property investments have seen continued growth, with an increase in applicants applying to US universities. This also translates over to hotel room investments and buy-to-let investment opportunities, though supply is struggling to meet demand in the sector.

Rental yields

Rental yields stayed at about the same level by the close of 2018. Forecasts predict that rental growth will remain stable going into 2019, as retailers adapt to the on-going presence of e-commerce and consumers’ changing preferences.

The takeaway

Overall, property investment was a mixed bag in 2018 in the US. The takeaway is that investors may begin to shift focus into property that is seeing growth, similar to in the UK. The office sector in particular is seeing sizable growth and will be attractive to property investors.


Understanding Asset Allocation and Diversification in Your Investment Portfolio

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Any good investor needs to understand the risks of putting “all their eggs in one basket” and not adequately allocating assets among various investment possibilities. When it comes to investing, a sure thing is rare or even non-existent. For this reason, it’s always important to diversify and make sure you’re not risking too much as an investor in one particular area.

Major reasons why diversification is necessary

There are quite a few reasons to consider when it comes to evaluating your plans for asset allocation and diversification. The better you understand the major purposes of having a diversified portfolio, the better able you’ll be to make plans to maximize your investment profits. If you are in a pinch, find a quick cash loan rather than cashing out your major accounts focused on long term savings, the penalties are not worth it.

The following are three of the biggest reasons to consider for properly allocating your assets and diversifying your portfolio:

Minimizing the risks of investing funds

While investors are obviously aware of the fact that they can make money from investors, they should also understand that investing involves putting your money on the line. An investment inevitably entails some amount of risk. The way savvy investors mitigate risks is by portfolio allocation that ensures a good amount of diversification.

Hedging the portfolio against low returns from certain sectors

One of the biggest advantages of diversifying a portfolio is that it can allow a portfolio to be successful even when individual sectors are failing. It never happens that all sectors progress and exhibit growth at the same time. Diversifying funds among various sectors means that one sector can see a dip while the growth seen in other sectors will make up for the resulting losses.

Preserving available capital to the greatest extent possible

One of the primary goals of any investor is to make sure that no capital is lost overall. In evaluating risk vs. reward, it’s imperative to consider that any loss in capital makes all the investments unsuccessful and all the time spent making investments lost time.

Being sure to preserve capital requires diversification. If only one or a few limited investments are made, capital is more at risk than it would be if adequate asset allocation is allowed for.
Problems with spreading your investments out too thinly

While diversifying is always important, it’s also important not to overdo it. You don’t want to spread investments out so thinly that you don’t see large profits from any particular area. You’re not going to be able to see significant profits from a good investment if you didn’t invest enough funds in the one sector that’s taking off.

Be reasonable about diversification. Don’t try to make every investment you can. Do enough research to pinpoint a few investments you can put a decent amount of funds into so that your individual investments could potentially see decent profits.

When you are making plans for your investments, it’s important that you sit back and think about how you’re going to manage diversification needs. Make sure you’re not focusing too much of your investment capital in one particular sector. If you do, you’re taking unnecessary risks and might end up losing your capital and shrinking your portfolio over time.


Day Trading Basics: Choosing a Market and Deciding When to Trade

A day trader is someone who purchases and sells assets or financial instruments within the same 24-hour trading period. Some people even buy and sell multiple assets throughout the day to help them build as much potential wealth as possible. The whole purpose of day trading is to make fast decisions about stocks so that you can take advantage of a volatile market. Learning how to day trade is no simple feat. Most people who get into the day trading market can’t simply engage with their stocks on a part-time basis. That’s why there are so many people out there that end up giving up their jobs to day trade full time. However, before you hand in your notice to become a full-time day trader, it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting into. Here are some tips on choosing a market for day trading.

Choosing a Market for your Day Trading Strategy

Typically, day trading is associated with markets that have fixed closes. In most circumstances, a day trader will be able to trade in any asset, including commodities and stocks. However, choosing the market that you can get the highest return on investment on will depend on numerous factors, including what you feel comfortable trading, how much you can afford to spend, and how much time you have to put into your trades each day.

The stock market is a popular choice for many day traders as there are a lot of different shares to get involved with. It means that you have more variety to play with when you’re building your portfolio. If you get involved with the equity market, then you’ll need to close down your positions at the end of each day to make sure that you don’t face any gapping risks, when overnight news can suddenly change the nature of a stock.

Deciding When to Day Trade

When you’ve chosen the market that you want to day trade in, you’ll also need to figure out when you’re going to do most of your trading. Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need to trade all day, but you should maintain a consistent pattern. For instance, if you decide to trade between 9 am and 10 am, then do that every day. This will help to give some structure to your strategy. The market you choose to trade in above will affect the times of day that are best for you to trade at. For instance, the stock and futures market are often best suited to trading early in the day, when you just wake up, or just before the markets close. Research the opening and closing times of your market before you begin trading to get the best results.

Alternatively, day trading forex is a different situation, as forex markets can run for 24 hours a day. The best way to simplify your process here is to simply focus on the specific hours of a currency pair. For instance, EUR and USD are the most volatile between the hours of 6 am and 5 pm GMT.


Students and their investment goals – Are there any apps to help the lot?

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You can’t deny the fact that the world is a harsh place and there are numerous people who could possibly sell you magic cat dung and nail clippings if they could easily get away with that. Sadly enough, the financial industry is full of such opportunists who are more interested to dupe you into accepting something that is of no use to you. They can disguise their feline faces to look and smell sweeter than a bunch of spring flowers.

As far as students are concerned, they’re more vulnerable to such shady tactics and hence they are the best target for the financial companies. You have to be sceptical about almost everything that a person tells you whenever they’re offering you monetary advice. Read on to know more on students and investment.

Things to do to jumpstart your career as an investor

? If you’re starting off with small capital, you should get a broker who will agree to accept that amount. Later on, you may increase the total capital by investing more funds on a daily basis.

? Calculate and be sure about the total amount of money which you’re willing enough to risk. Don’t forget that investment will always involve risk and hence you should know your risk tolerance ability.

? There are financial vehicles which guarantee profits and provide students with minimum risks. CDs, Federal savings bonds, and even the student savings accounts which are approved by FDIC are all there. You should be smart about deciding.

? In case you’re able to take on risk and invest for a longer period, you can choose mutual funds of ETFs. Mutual fund companies collect the money and manage them for people for purposes related to investment.

? Perform a background research of the company. Research on the past performances and you can take a better decision about the company you choose to invest in.
The top 3 investment apps to help a student

1. M1 Finance

Over the last few years, M1 has become one of the most favorite platforms as they offer commission free investing, the capability to invest in several shares and they also offer you automatic deposits. All these make M1 Finance one of the best apps for students.



2. Fidelity

This is yet another popular and famous app which lets you invest for free. Fidelity is an app which provides you with a wide array of commission-free ETFs which allows majority of the investor to build an investment portfolio which is perfectly balances. You don’t require any minimum amount to open a Fidelity IRA.

3. Robinhood

Robinhood is an investment app which allows you to purchase and sell off stocks for fee. Users are allowed to purchase or sell stocks at the market price and this app makes limited orders and also stop-loss orders. If you’re not an active trader, then this app will have too much functionality for you.

Therefore, being a student, you have to be careful about the investment steps that you take. Your savings is limited and hence you can’t afford to incur losses. So, take into account the above mentioned tips and apps.

 


The Investment Account You Might Be Missing: HSA

No matter your investment strategy, the opportunity to invest 100% tax-free and avoid taxes on any investment growth, is unique. Investors need to understand the HSA (health savings account).

While the HSA was designed for healthcare costs, their tax structure mimics a 401(k) or IRA. You can use this IRS structure to your advantage. Before we get started, you can check your HSA-eligibility and determine if your health insurance plan qualifies you to make HSA contributions.

Why HSAs Matter for Investing

HSA tax structure allows for tax-deductible contributions, tax-free growth, and tax-free distributions (if you use the funds for qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses). Let’s translate this to HSA investing. These triple-tax benefits enable individuals and families to leverage their HSA contributions for unencumbered tax-free growth.

2018 HSA contribution limits are $3,450 for individuals and $6,900 for families. Imagine if you had that money to invest? This is likely why some of the largest HSA investment accounts, now have over $200,000 in funds. That is not a typo.

At the age of 65, HSA funds can be used for anything (not just health expenses), just like 401(k). Just pay income taxes at that point. No penalty. They also don’t require mandatory distributions. You can let your HSA investments grow well into your 70s, 80s, and 90s, without interruption.

HSA Investing Details

Choice is fantastic. Flexibility allows us to choose a personalized path. HSA investing provides that option. HSA investments are not encumbered by overbearing IRS regulations. As long as your HSA provider enables these features, you can invest in individual stocks, bonds, CDs, ETFs, and mutual funds. Find the personal investment strategy that works for you, without limits.

These factors are one reason why HSA investments assets have eclipsed $10 billion and are growing 45% year over year.

Retirement Investing

Want to save more tax-free funds for retirement? Or add more flexibility so you don’t have to wait until 59 and 1/2 years of age to access your funds (or be forced to pay a tax penalty), like with a 401(k)? Use an HSA to complement, supplement, or replace your existing retirement investing strategy.

Combine the tax-power of an HSA and 401(k) to become an ‘ultra investor’. HSAs and 401(k)s create the most retirement tax-savings you can get, legally, from the IRS. The more you save, the more you can invest.



Opening an HSA creates more saving and investing opportunity. Coupling tax-free contributions and growth with the power of compound interest is going to leave you with a more robust investment strategy. And hopefully more money for retirement.


How to Brexit-proof your online investments?

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Regardless if you are a traditional or online investor or if you are a novice or an expert, if you are living in the UK it is likely that two things are keeping you awake at night: Brexit and the bear.

We are getting close to nine years of bull market, and it is not unreasonable to think that we could be very close to the top. However, it is very difficult if not impossible to beat the bear that everyone is expecting to be around the corner. The difficulty is that you don’t want to be too late as the first downturn could be swift but in the same way you don’t want to get out too early as this hurts too. Let’s be honest nobody likes to leave too much on the table.

Yes, the bear but what about beating Brexit? We only suspect the bear to be around the corner while we know for sure that Brexit is coming. It is almost here, and it is happening the 29th March 2019.

So far it has been a prolonged and tortuous process, and the stalls in negotiations are casing a long shadow over the UK economy. ‘We don’t know yet how this is going to end up, but we are bracing for the worse’, said John Pentin financial analyst at a leading Top Trading Platforms UK comparison site.

‘A rise in the inflation is going to have a detrimental effect on consumer confidence, and this could get worse if companies are forced to start cutting jobs in the country. However, then again being too negative it is probably not the right thing to do as there is still some time to avoid the worse and ultimately there are possibilities also outside the EU even if maybe more in the long run’.

What Brexit has delivered so far is uncertainty, and surely this is not something that markets like particularly. It has pushed UK investors, however, both online and offline to be a lot smarter about how they invest. For example, you might be looking to invest in companies that do benefit from the uptick in inflation like discount retailer B&M. This company are offering groceries and non-food items on a seasonal basis at significantly better prices than the supermarkets. Investing in gambling companies is also an option as those tend to continue to do well even in difficult economic periods. Alternatively, you can also look at companies with domestic earnings in the non-discretionary spending space like for example Motor insurers.

Another area that is not going to slow down is Cybersecurity: following the growing number of attacks in the last months, this is an area that continues to attract capitals.

Another thing to notice is that even if the stock markets have suffered some steep falls in the past months, London-listed shares have underperformed most major world markets in the last 18 months: this is almost certainly caused by the anxiety about Brexit with international investors that have started to cut back their exposure to British firms.

As always tough with challenges there are also opportunities for investors. If you are prepared to spot undervalued companies and get them at low prices, you can make a considerable profit. The main issue though is that the majority of investors do lack in time and confidence of making such strategic investments.



What is suggested at this time is to analyse to see how ‘British’ are your current investments. Since London’s stock market is very international, you can find companies that are listed in Britain but have the majority of their earnings from elsewhere. So you would need to find out what is the exposure to the UK as opposed to other markets of all the companies you have shares. Once you have done this due diligence, you might want to reduce your UK exposure progressively to reduce your risk that a ‘bad Brexit’ is going to destroy your investments. Reduce doesn’t mean completely cut out so if things have a positive turn you are going to be able to benefit even if your UK exposure is significantly lower than it was let’s say a year ago.


How Investing in the Super Can Help in Managing Finances after Retirement

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You’ll acquire one of the biggest assets of your life by the time you reach your golden years if you start investing in the super much earlier on in life. Enjoying a certain lifestyle during your retirement years may require you to contribute a certain amount to your super every year. But you must remember that the amount of money that you contribute in a super won’t be accessible to you till the time you retire. You must check out your options in order to pick the right contribution strategies over others.

1. Investing Pre-tax Salary

Seek information regarding your chances of putting a bigger portion of your pre-tax salary into the super beyond the SG amount worth 9.5%. The amount of tax that you’ll need to bear is worth 15% of this amount. But you must remember that in your attempt to put more in the super, you’ll be taking a lesser amount back home by salary sacrificing.

2. Tax contributions

After-tax contributions should be made to the super quite consistently. No extra taxes are applicable on these contributions and this income is already taxed at the usual rate. If your entire super balance is lower than $1.6 million, then you’ll be entitled to make after-tax contributions. If the income of your spouse is worth $37,000 or lower, then you’ll achieve a tax exemption worth up to $540 while contributing to her super. You may achieve a tax offset partially when your spouse earns any amount lower than $40,000.

3. Tax-deductible contributions

Employees are now allowed to contribute to the super on their own and show it as a tax deduction. Earlier only self-employed individuals were allowed to make such contributions. About 15% of the amount of your contribution will only be taxed in this case. A notice of intent needs to be filled out and submitted with the super fund prior to filing your tax return.

4. Availing fund loans and other options

It’s actually very important for you to review your investment options and the super fund for at least once every year. You must check out all options while reviewing all investment options. Your retirement nest-egg gets accelerated and expanded when you opt for the super-leveraged property investment. Your investment strategy gets a boost up when you get a loan for your super fund. You may even consider checking if you have adequate insurance protection. Your premiums and fees may accumulate and affect your balance over time.

5. Consolidating the super

During our working lives, it’s quite natural for us to switch between jobs. However, the outcome is often a missing or lost super. A missing or lost super is often the outcome of such job switches. Missing or lost super can be easily tracked down if you opt for a lost super search. Increasing the retirement nest-egg could be a possibility once you accumulate them into a single super fund. You must check out existing funds and all associated withdrawal or exit fees for the same. Prior to consolidating your super, you must ensure you have adequate insurance protection.



Know the Limitations

Super contributions may be associated with certain limitations. You’ll need to gather more information about these contribution limits and their impact on your possibility to make such contributions and the amount of tax to be charged for these contributions.


Investing in Commodities With a Profitable Resale Value

Nowadays, people tend to think that the only way to make significant money is to set up their own business. They think that they have to come up with an innovative product concept, design and develop it, manufacture it, and sell it to consumers around the world. Now, this, of course, is a brilliant plan. After all, small business based on unique consumer products is a brilliant way to make a stable income. But have you ever considered investing as another money making scheme to get involved in? Investing involves purchasing something at a low price with the intent of selling it on at a higher price. Sounds relatively simple right? The good news is that it can be. You just need an eye for detail and to know what items you can make a decent profit from. To succeed, you’re going to have to invest in commodities with a particularly high resale value. This gives you a better chance of avoiding loss and making profit. Here are a few different products that you should consider specialising in!

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Smartphones

Nowadays, the majority of people have smartphones. But the latest phones on the market do tend to have a particularly high price tag. It’s not all too surprising that the majority of us avoid upgrading our contracts and instead look online to buy second hand models. You can profit significantly through selling smartphones. Keep an eye out for individuals selling their old cells for a low price when they upgrade their own contracts. Then sell these on for a higher price on online auction sites. Keep a particular eye out for Apple smartphones. These tend to hold the best resale value, as Apple is a highly desirable brand.

Gold

Gold has always held value. When you actually think about it, this may seem a little odd. After all, besides being aesthetically attractive, you can’t do a whole lot with it. But societies around the world have long associated this substance with monetary value for years now, and this is something that it has managed to maintain until this very day. So, consider buying gold from Sprott Money. Unlike paper money, gold has retained significant value for a huge portion of human history. It provides an excellent hedge against inflation and can almost always be sold off for a good profit.

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Designer Clothing

There are certain objects that will always be desirable, as the majority don’t have access to them. Items of designer clothing are out of the majority of people’s budget, making people want them more. So, you can make a serious amount of money by keeping an eye out for designer items in charity stores or for sale second-hand from individuals who have enough money to keep up with the trends. List on online auction sites, as this is where the majority of people tend to look for cheaper second hand goods.



These are just a few different commodities that retain their value well, allowing you to sell them on for much more than you invested into them!


3 Steps To Early Retirement!

The dream of retiring early for many, remains just that – a dream! Escaping from the rat race and the 9-5 drudge is a tempting thought, but unfortunately feels intangible. People do retire early though, what is their secret? Retiring early would give you the chance to enjoy life to the full whilst still in good health. You could opt to travel to the places you have always wanted to visit or learn a new sport.

There are ways of planning for an early retirement, but it must be put into action as soon as possible – today preferably! This article aims to highlight ways of saving enough money to enable you to retire early.

early retirement

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Invest any savings

If you are lucky enough to have savings, make them work for you. If you take the decision to invest your savings in stocks and shares, or participate in financial trading it could be potentially very lucrative and will be a huge boost to your retirement fund. Investing your hard earned cash is not without risk and you need to be fully aware of the process. The internet has opened up opportunities for everyone to get involved in financial trading, up until recently financial trading was the sole domain of stock brokers in the city. There are numerous trading platforms to choose from and lots of advice available. CMC Markets is a trading platform which will guide you through the process of trading using contracts for difference (CFD’s). Many trading platforms offer the option of “practicing” first before parting with your well earned money. Financial trading is not to be taken lightly, always seek professional advice.  

Create a budget

To enable you to save enough money for retirement you need to budget carefully. This will enable you to squirrel away any money saved into your retirement pot. Saving sounds a simple concept, but it needs to be managed carefully. Start today and don’t put off until a later date. Putting aside a certain amount of money every month doesn’t depend on how much you earn, getting into the habit of putting a little by every month will soon allow your retirement fund to grow. It’s worth remembering that you won’t need as much money to live on once you’re retired. You won’t have the costs associated with the daily commute and any children you have depending on you are likely to have flown the nest.

Property

Aim to have any outstanding mortgage debt paid off by the time you retire. This will reduce housing costs dramatically. You could also release the equity in your home by downsizing, also you won’t need to live close to a commute route, enabling you to move to a cheaper area.

Investing in property could be another lucrative option, you could build up a portfolio of rental properties or embark on a renovation project.

 


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