Investing

5 Best Short and Safe Investments in India

Safe investment

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There is very less risk involved if you park your finances in safe investments. This kind of investment is suitable for people who are retired and those who do not prefer to take risk. Also, there are several individuals who do not have the desire to take risks and due to this; they go for few of the finest safe investments in India. It is a common myth that for investments to be profitable, it must be done over an extended period of time. How-ever, this does not imply that short term investment is completely futile. The investments are done on short-term, usually ranging from 1 week to 3 years and they are suitable whenever an investor is willing to make the most of sizable funds which he/she is eligible to spend in the near future. This investment when carried out through safe options guar-antees good returns.

1. Fixed Deposits from KTDFC:

Fixed deposits are made available in different forms and they are available for a period as less as a week. Such investment options are registered as short-term FDs inside the banking web portals and they are perfect for transitory savings. In this, the interest rates are less but better when compared to that of savings account, also the interest rates rise with tenure.

It is found that KTDFC Deposits are one of the finest short term investment options be-cause company deposits are not protected and KTDFC Deposits are assured by the gov-ernment of Kerala. Basically, KTDFC is an enterprise owned by the government of Kerala. In this, the interest rates provided usually fall in the range of 8 to 8.5 percent. You can choose these deposits for the purpose of safety and for getting decent yields on your deposits. It is important to note that there will be a TDS that is valid for any interest ex-ceeding Rs 5,000.

It owns different branches in Kerala from where you could post your forms. You don’t need to be concerned about safety because the deposits are supported by the govern-ment of Kerala. The interest is the best that one can presently get. It is vital to note that interest rates are headed higher, therefore, it would be reasonable not to invest money for long tenures.

2. Debt Instruments:

Debt instruments are available in an extensive range including Bonds (Sovereign and Corporate), Government Securities, Treasury Bills, Commercial papers, etc. They carry average risk, provide improved returns than FDs, and they come with comparatively long duration. However, they can be executed over a specific tenure with expected returns. Of them, few are tradable as well.

The underline of the latest monetary policy was a boost of 0.25% in Repo rate and li-quidity neutrality. It is anticipated that this must support the Bond market as well as in-terest rates of approximately 8% on the cards. Moreover, it must enhance the returns for people looking to do investment in these instruments.

3. Short Term Mutual Funds:

The aim of this short term investment–Short Term Mutual Funds is to protect investors and earn moderate gains. As compared to few FD instruments, the returns are better. However, they are subject to market risks. The returns fall in the range of 6% to 9% for investment window varying from 18 months to 3 years. The aspect makes it a wonderful instrument when you intend to save for marriage, children’s education, etc.

It is found that funds like HDFC Mutual Fund and ICICI Prudential provide Fixed Maturity Plan Mutual funds that are quite convenient for people looking for good returns. Fur-thermore, they come with better susceptibility for risk because their performance can be effortlessly tracked. The funds can also act as an amount for emergency funds.

Making an investment in safe debt mutual fund schemes guarantees you to provide ex-cellent investment prospects for the medium to long-term perception. Debt mutual fund typically park their money in secured government bonds, commercial paper, debentures, etc., which makes them safe naturally.

4. FMPs (Fixed Maturity Plans):

The FMPs (Fixed Maturity Plans) generally have tenure of less than 1 year. Basically, these are mutual fund units which are considered secure, because the amount is capita-lized in safe AAA rated instruments. Whenever you wish secured and finest investments, it must not be a bad idea. If you can invest for minimum 1 year then and only you could perceive certain benefits in matters of profits. These are short term investment which is regarded as safe.

It is important to remember these are essentially not tax-free investments and thus they are completely taxable for the investor. Therefore, to that extent, the returns are slightly reduced.

The investments made into these funds are generally safe because they capitalize only in highly rated government paper. It is necessary to note that unlike FDs they do not assure any interest rate, an investor needs to consider their previous track record, investments did, etc. to assess the interest which can be earned. The investment option can serve as a recommended option in an increasing interest rate cycle because investors can lock in high rates. Furthermore, FMPs are thinly traded on the stock exchanges, and investors can get their way out through this route if needed.



5. Mahindra Finance FDS:

These kinds of FDs are secured and also provide excellent interest rate. It provides an interest rate of 8.75 percent when you apply online. It comes with tenure of 33 and 40 months. Moreover, the 15-month deposit brings you an interest rate of 7.95 percent. This is acceptable if you consider a declining interest rate system that we are presently living in. Moreover, an individual can also focus a few of the secured small finance banks, from where you can obtain interest rates reaching up to 9.50 percent. The investment option is safe because it was recently provided a license by the Reserve Bank of India.

Majority of people struggle to fulfill their financial needs for short-term and therefore they go for safe and short-term investments in India. These options are safe by nature and also they are accomplished to meet the financial goals in near future.

 


What Hedging Is and How it Assists in Risk Management

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It’s truly important for you to understand the practice of foreign exchange hedging before you find out why the businesses are now into hedging. In order to understand foreign exchange hedging, you must focus on its wide spectrum. While some people may wonder why you wear a suit for cutting hedges, other may appreciate your association with a hedge fund.

A business resorts to foreign exchange hedging for eradicating, mitigating, and minimizing financial risks. These risks are borne by financial transactions that involve any other currency than what the business considers as base currency for its operations. A large section of stakeholders are affected by foreign exchange risks; it includes individuals from various professional areas like sales staff, purchase managers, senior officers, finance experts, business owners, and general customers.

Few good reasons behind hedging:

International businesses offset risks by utilizing forex instruments through external hedging. Check out the most common approaches that these businesses adopt for managing risks.

1. Doing Nothing

Keeping yourself from taking an unnecessary step is certain an appropriate forex risk management strategy. However, you’ll need to be sure that it’s a truly justified and well-conceived idea to sit back and watch. In doing so, you’re actually accepting the daily spot rate. For a not-so-significant risk, it could be the appropriate step for you. Either your gross margins are quite high or you may have a much lower portion of your business transacted in a foreign currency. Again, hedging may not be perceived as a good strategy in your industry. You may sit back only under these conditions.

2. Full Hedging

Due to the capacity of exposure and the thin margins, this method doesn’t allow you to be exposed to foreign exchange risks. The hedging contract can be booked for all capex items, purchase orders, special projects, and invoices. Businesses that rely on a conservative approach are bound to find it more useful.

3. Padding Margins

This approach is about utilizing foreign exchange gains by padding profit margins actively; this approach compels you to indulge in high risks. This method is good for aggressive businesses that are capable of handling such risk exposure. Certain sophisticated products are incorporated in this method. However, it’s not possible for all businesses to follow this approach due to much higher risks.

4. Strategic Hedging

Planning a strategic move is the most usual approach towards foreign exchange hedging. This is certainly a great means of adding value to your business and minimizing risks with time. You must pay more attention towards every step of forex risk management while opting for strategic hedging. Ensuring predictability and stability are the key objectives of strategic hedging apart from safeguarding profit margins. You’ll need more input from outside sources in order to hit the right plan or strategy.



Bottom-line

Businesses hedge due to a number of negative and positive reasons. The good reasons behind hedging are those that combine your ultimate business goals while considering your general objectives. This is one way of identifying the most productive approach towards forex hedging for your business. You may even consider seeking expert advice as you won’t come across any silver bullet for picking a suitable approach.


Ripple vs Bitcoin – Which One Should You Invest In?

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While Bitcoin, launched in 2009,was the world’s first cryptocurrency, many other altcoins have since been developed with a range of different purposes in mind, including Ripple, now among the 3 most traded digital currencies.

Cryptocurrencies brokers worldwide offer the growing global trading community a huge range of coins to invest in. Cryptos trading platform Trade360 is one of the most popular of these platforms for traders who want to take advantage of the rapid price changes of leading altcoins. But many traders are currently unsure about which coin represents the best investment: Rippleor Bitcoin.

Extremely volatile at the best of times, this year the cryptocurrency market has taken big hit, duea series of pivotal events that have strongly negatively affected the overalltrading environment.

First, Facebook and Google announced at the beginning of the year that they would ban all cryptocurrency adverts on their platforms.As a result, you can no longer find ads for ICOs, wallets, or trading advice, because the tech giants believe that in an unregulated market, too many unscrupulous operators have been able to take advantage of novice investors.

Also in January, Coincheck, the leading cryptocurrency exchange, was hackedin one of the biggest heists in history, resulting in the theft ofaroundUSD 500 million in digital tokens. Many crypto experts had warned about this vulnerability, advising traders not to keep their coins on exchanges, but in hardware wallets.

Reports of further regulation of cryptocurrency trading,especially in hubs such as the Far East, are also affecting the market. Nevertheless, many analysts consider the fundamentals of the major coins to be strong and are continuing to rate them as sound long-term investments.

For almost a decade, the Bitcoin system and currency havesupported financial transfersvia a peer-to-peer network to make fast, direct and pseudo-anonymoustransactions usinga blockchain-based public distributed ledger. Many online – as well asbricks-and-mortar outlets –around the world also accept Bitcoin payments.

In 2012, Ripple was launched on its own network, RippleNet, offering a new kind of payment and exchange system aimed mainly at banks and financial institutions. The Ripple protocol is a real-time gross settlement system (RTGS) that can be compared to the SWIFT system. It has been adopted by many well-known international banks, and is becoming increasingly popular.

A good way of predicting whether a cryptocurrency is going to last is to analyse how widely it is accepted. Both Bitcoin and Ripple are now recognised and trusted by tens of millions of people around the world. While the original cryptocurrency has greater brand power, its younger rival has the edge in terms of being trusted by major financial institutions. It is also cheaper, and is therefore the choice of many in-the-know traders.


4 Effective Ways to Invest (That Aren’t the Stock Market)

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Although it’s a pretty sensible move to invest some of your money on the stock market, it’s also a really good idea not to put all of your eggs in one basket. By spreading your money around, you minimize your risks significantly, which means that you should always be on the lookout for other forms of investment.

With that in mind, check out these effective ways to invest that don’t include the stock market:

Peer-to-Peer Lending

Peer-to-Peer lending has gained some real traction in the past five years or so, and it is undoubtedly one of the best ways to invest your money because it benefits not only you but the entrepreneurs you invest in too.

Basically, peer-to-peer lending works by taking out the middlemen that are the banks and allowing individuals to pool together to invest in entrepreneurial people around the world. When you don’t have a bank taking their share, your returns are likely to be higher. Just be careful to choose your investments wisely and to, ideally, spread your cash amongst at least 10 individual loans ( the more, the better in this case), for a diverse portfolio that is more risk-averse.

You

Investing in yourself is rarely a bad idea. In fact, doing just that is likely to be one of the least risky investments you ever make. Why? Because when you invest in yourself, you increase your opportunities, which almost always leads to greater wealth. So, whether you want to get an online bsw, so you can embark on your dream career, you want to set up your own small business to get out of the rat race and give yourself a better income, or you want to enrol on an accountancy course to switch to a more lucrative career, invest in yourself. This is one form of investment you’re unlikely ever to regret.

Precious Metals

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Investing all of your money in precious metals is probably not a good idea, but buying a little gold or silver is quite sensible. Obviously, the prices of precious metals do rise and fall over time, but if you’re looking for a relatively safe place to diversify your portfolio, a small holding of gold, for example, will probably serve you well, not least because it’s a physical asset that you can take complete control of – something which can be very useful in turbulent times.

Debt Elimination

Instead of putting that money into stocks that have no guaranteed return, why not pay down your debts – something which will effectively give you a 100 percent return on your investment? Although you should always save a little for a rainy day, if you have lots of debts, it makes more sense to get rid of them before you start investing because returns are unlikely to outdo the huge amounts of interest you are likely to be paying.

If you plow your money into any one of these four things, it will be an investment well made, and you will have a brighter financial future as a result, that’s for sure.


Everything You Wanted To Know About Bitcoin

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You’re new to the world of investment and everything seems strange and perplexing. In most areas of life we struggle from too little information and guidance but in the world of investment, there’s way too much! Everywhere you turn there are people arguing vociferously and passionately for certain commodities, stocks and shares. You’ll also see different people arguing equally vociferously and passionately against them. One voice will laud it as the safest and wisest investment you could make while another decries it as not only a waste of your time and money but a global scam that will be rumbled at any moment. It can be difficult to know where to turn for advice and really more difficult to know where to put your money. After all, a bad investment could see you make a serious loss.

Most new investors are risk averse and are unlikely to be bullish or bearish on any given commodity due to sheer inexperience and a lack of understanding of the caprices of the markets. As such, while they’ve likely heard of Bitcoin, and other Cryptocurrencies like Etherium, Ripple and Monero and you’ve heard a lot of vociferous claims for and against them. There are few commodities as divisive as cryptocurrency. People in the financial services industry tend not to be fans while those who’ve been burned by the banks in the 2007-2008 recession and don’t trust the present financial infrastructure simply shrug “Well, of course they would say that!”. If you’ve heard of Bitcoin, you’ve probably already read some wildly contrasting rumors about the highest profile of the cryptocurrencies. As such, it’s likely that you’ll have a lot of questions. Here we’ll try to address any questions that you may have as a nascent investor, using real human words and trying to avoid technical jargon wherever possible (and at least explaining it if we do). Hopefully by the time you’re done reading you’ll have a firmer idea of what Bitcoin is and whether or not you want to invest. We’ll try not to be too partizan in our approach, sticking to the facts where possible without coloring your answers with bias.

Spell it out for me, what is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency; this means that even though it is traded in units like any currency, it differs from the currencies of nations (fiat currencies) in several key ways. Firstly, it’s value is not determined by the value of precious metals as other currencies have been previously. It is also insulated from the economic success or misfortune of any given country or state’s economy. This makes it virtually recession proof and that is what makes it so popular with people who were burned in the 2007-2008 recession and have an inherent mistrust of the banks.

So what gives Bitcoin its value?

Many people struggle to wrap their heads around the notion of a cryptocurrency. If it’s not tied to the economy of a nation, and its insulated from inflation and other measures of economic growth, what gives it its value? The simple answer is that its value is determined by the people who trade it, just like any other commodity. Its value is determined by the pillars of economics which are supply, scarcity, demand, the regulations managing its sale and its own internal governance. This is why, despite the proliferate negativity surrounding Bitcoin’s longevity it looks like it’s here to stay since as long as people are trading it, it will continue to have value.

Lots of people say that Bitcoin is a bubble, is this true?

There are many voices within the financial services industry who insist that Bitcoin is a bubble that could burst at any moment. Since its value has increased exponentially since its invention by Satoshi Yakamoto (AKA Australian Entrepreneur, Craig Wright) in 2009, and has recently experienced a drop in value lots of people are practicing their “I told you so” faces. Bitcoin’s proponents, however, argue that the value of a cryptocurrency is just like any other stock, share, currency or tradeable commodity, it’s valued inevitably fluctuates due to a range of external circumstances. Like any investment, it is neither good nor bad and carries with it both risk and the potential for a substantial return. Many new investors are choosing to invest sparingly in Bitcoin just to be on the safe side.

How does one invest in Bitcoin?

There are lots of different ways in which one can acquire Bitcoin. Firstly, you can buy it securely from a site like XCoins. You can also become a Bitcoin miner although this does involve forking out a lot of money on sophisticated hardware (most of which can now be bought on Amazon).  There was a time when one could mine bitcoin with their home PC but the technology has now moved along so far that it now requires sophisticated custom processors specifically built for bitcoin mining. These processors need to be left to run for long stretches of time to solve the puzzles that unlock units of Bitcoin (yes, this is an oversimplification, but this is essentially what they do). It’s difficult to mine Bitcoin profitably on your own, especially if you’re a newcomer, but there are Bitcoin mining contractors who will do the hard work for you for a fee. If you’re interested in learning to mine Bitcoin, check out this guide which will give you everything you need to get started. There are even some websites that serve as Bitcoin faucets, distributing small amounts of Bitcoin to their visitors.  

Do criminals use Bitcoin?

Honestly, yes. Because Bitcoin is traded anonymously using blockchain technology transactions are almost (but not entirely) untraceable. This makes it very attractive to the criminal community, especially those trading in illegal goods and services on the notorious dark web. But criminals also use cash, drink beer, eat cheeseburgers and drive cars and you wouldn’t want to deprive yourself of any of those comforts simply because they’re also used occasionally by a few bad apples.

Am I taxed on Bitcoin?

Yes and no. While Bitcoin is a commodity it is subject to tax, yet it is not taxed at the same rate as other cash assets. This tax advantage is the reason why many people are using Bitcoin to supplement their IRA, allowing them to save for their retirement while making sure that their wealth is protected from the IRS. Many people are also currently reaping the tax benefits of making charitable contributions with Bitcoin. So, while Bitcoin is taxable, its rates are much more favorable than the tax rates on cash.

Can Bitcoin be shut down?

Many new investors are shy of investing in Bitcoin, especially those who aren’t particularly tech savvy because they worry that something will happen to “shut down” the Bitcoin system either robbing them of their investments or rendering them worthless. Fortunately, Bitcoin is designed to make this impossible. The whole point of Bitcoin is that it is an attempt to democratize currency and it is based upon Blockchain technology which means that it is duplicated thousands of times across thousands of different computers. Thus, it cannot be hacked or corrupted as the data is not stored in one central place. Its control is in the hands of those who use it. There is no central authority for Bitcoin, although there is a Bitcoin Foundation that provides oversight. However, even the Bitcoin Foundation has no authority over the cryptocurrency.  

Are there an infinite amount of Bitcoin units?

No, and this is why its scarcity is a contributing factor to its value. The way in which the Bitcoin system is designed to distribute units of the cryptocurrency slowly to the tune of 21 million units over the next century. This is why Bitcoin’s proponents call it digital gold. It’s worth noting however, that while the current system enables Bitcoin to stay finite there are at present no guarantees that this will change, nor can we accurately predict what will happen to Bitcoin’s value if an influx of units were to come into circulation. However, this is no different from fiat currencies. Banks and governments create money out of nowhere at all through quantitative easing.  

Is Bitcoin illegal?

That depends on where you live. There are many factors that make Bitcoin unpopular with governments, especially those of non-democratic countries. Countries such as the US and Canada, the UK, Australia and most countries within the European Union are permissive of Bitcoin, however there are some countries in which it is outright illegal. These include China, Russia and even Iceland. Click here for a more comprehensive list.

Is Bitcoin really anonymous

Bitcoin’s anonymity was one of its biggest selling points upon its release. In real terms, however, Bitcoin is more traceable than many were led to believe, especially if it has been used to fund criminal activity like drug dealing, people trafficking or money laundering. It turns out that authorities have ways of tracing Bitcoin transactions and web merchants routinely leak data without purchases. While Bitcoin has a veneer of anonymity, it can be cracked by anyone with the time, resources and a good enough reason. It’s no more anonymous than a bank transfer and certainly less anonymous than cash.


5 ways to raise capital funds for a start-up

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Starting a business involves a number challenges for a young entrepreneur. One of the toughest challenges involves capital funding as you come across very few investors in the market. It’s not impossible to find an investor, but you may resort to a few alternative options in order to enjoy the financial success. Identifying the right source for capital funding often leads an entrepreneur through some misconceptions.

One of the most common misconceptions pertaining to capital accumulation is about acquiring debt from unreliable sources. Business owners are scared of jeopardizing their financial situation when the loan interests reflect a sharp rate hike. If you haven’t been careful initially, you must brace yourself for the worst. It really helps when you come across a few quality resources that can prepare you in advance.

Few good tips on capital funding to help a business flourish in no time:

1. Check out your wallet at the beginning.

All of your retirement, home equity, and savings accounts need to be tapped. Till the time you invest your own hard-earned money, you can’t expect others to put your money at stake. Investors possessing profound knowledge tend to support founders that have more confidence in their activities. Most investors prefer to go with entrepreneurs that have more than just “sweat” to spare in times of need.

2. Resort to bootstrapping.

In your attempt to stretch the financial resources of your business, you must consider each dime as if it’s a dollar. You’ll learn to manage your finances better when you continue to make necessary payments in time. Meet all of your business expenses out of your revenue every month as you proceed. You might fall short of cash during the initial phases. However, your path to raise capital gets more flexible when you start bootstrapping for securing a good validation in the market.

3. Consider funds that are not dilutive.

Solicitations and grants are not always the best option for a start-up business. But you ought to check them out before you turn down such offers. You’ll only need to bear a much lower rate of interest when you opt for loans or grants just to ensure a fast growth of your business. Such sources of capital accumulation often provide your startup with huge sums of money. That’s why you ought to plan your strategies and operate freely.



4. Acquire capital based on milestones.

Falling short of capital is equally bad to that of accumulating excess capital. You won’t need to give up on equity be it about reaching milestones or meeting your capital requirements.

5. Develop your line of credit.

Bankers tend to vet you when their lending competitors have already done so. They are more likely to return your calls when you adopt the right funding strategy. Sourcing funds through the initial stages don’t draw any silver bullet. Keep yourself from committing a suicide by laying more emphasis on bootstrapping and by following the right funding strategies.

The need to accumulate a huge amount of capital up-front for achieving quick success constitutes a popular entrepreneurial misconception. A move like this could ruin the prospect of dropping a successful anchor right at the beginning. Follow the tips mentioned above if you don’t want to give up equity early on. There’s no need for you to raise more of investment capital unnecessarily.


Bitcoin reaches a milestone of $15,000 – What’s in store for this cryptocurrency?

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It was on 7th December, 2017 that the value of Bitcoin surpassed the threshold of $15,000 for the first ever time thereby making yet a new milestone it its rapid movement. As per what reports have to suggest, this particular cryptocurrency has went through a staggering rise in value, rising from $3500 during the middle of September, 2017 to its present rise which is a meteoric rise. During the beginning of this year, a single Bitcoin was worth an amount less than $800.

People are guessing as to what would happen in the near future of the value of this cryptocurrency. It has been a long time since when Bitcoin has stopped being used as a currency for buying things, perhaps because of the fact that its value has been soaring higher and higher with time. Hence the question among the financial speculators is that, ‘is it a bubble?’ If answered yes, then when is this going to burst?

There are some traders who think that we’re almost getting close and hence they’re trying to short Bitcoin or make wild guesses or bets that the value is certainly going to decrease in the near future. One of the experts has said that this is one of the biggest opportunities for shorting. There are lot of people and zealotry who feel that this is the biggest ever thing that is going to occur ever in the history of mankind. At the same time, there are lots of people who think that this is nothing but a bubble or a Ponzi scheme. Well, both can’t be accurate with their predictions.

Though the usual trend for the valuation of Bitcoin is just up, the cryptocurrency has always remained excessively volatile. For instance, in the month of November, the value of Bitcoin plummeted by 20% within less than half an hour, thereby falling from $11,000 to $9000. If you’re a true believer, you will think that these are nothing but temporary blips but at the same time, there are few sceptics who caution the fact that any kind of plunge could become permanent. Similarly, after crossing the threshold of $15,000, it’s value soon after dipped down to around $14,800.



Energy costs are yet another issue which has been brought forth by the staggeringly high valuation of Bitcoin. In order to sustain the Bitcoin network, it takes huge amounts of power and it has been estimated that this particular cryptocurrency consumes as much electricity as does the whole of Denmark. Whether or not this prediction will rise or fall in the near future is tough to predict but now Bitcoin is just used as a specific asset class and this is more unsustainable.

Amidst all this, the financial experts are striving hard to make out some sense out of this entire phenomenon. People who use other currencies find out utility in a static value but this can’t be found in the world of Bitcoins. The only question in this game is how high will the scores go?


How to Make Your Foreign Financial Investments

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As you first start making investments, you’re likely to focus your efforts at home. Perhaps you’re thinking of buying an investment property in your hometown, or you’ve bought some stocks for some up-and-coming businesses based in your country. However, as you start to expand and diversify your investment property, it’s worth considering putting some of your money into more global investment options. Spreading your money, so some of it is invested overseas could be an excellent tactic to ensure you have a diverse portfolio and you don’t put too much stock into how well the economy at home is performing. There are various ways you can invest your money both at home and away.



Why Invest Your Money Abroad?

When you have so many investment options at home, you might wonder why you should bother investing overseas. However, don’t dismiss the idea of foreign investments too soon. They could be just what your investment portfolio needs to make it more balanced and less risky. There are often times when foreign stock markets will perform better than at home, which could make you regret not paying attention. Foreign investments could save you when your investments at home aren’t doing as well as you hoped they would. Having a global outlook can do you a lot of good.

Peer-to-peer Lending

If you want an interesting way to get involved with investing abroad that doesn’t have to cost you a lot, you could consider peer-to-peer lending. It can allow you to put very little money into an investment project, and you can slowly start building up some profits. You might be lending your money to individuals, businesses or even property developers. Some options will involve opening an account to put your money into, which will then go to whichever borrowers the P2P lending provider chooses. Others services will give you the option of deciding where your money goes.

Property Investment

Property is a popular choice for people who want to invest their money abroad. You can often find more affordable investment property if you look in other countries, instead of just sticking to what you can find at home. If you decide to invest in overseas property, you might rent it out long-term to local tenants, or you could decide to manage your property as accommodation for tourists and visitors. Looking overseas for properties gives you the opportunity to identify the very best markets. You can find the ones that are about to start growing but still offer excellent deals.

 

Exchange traded funds or mutual funds also give you a great option for investing in foreign markets. You can find international funds for broad investment across many countries or more focused regional funds for areas such as Asia or Europe. You can also focus on one country or on a specific sector if you want another way to diversify your investments. You’ll need to think about your investment goals to decide what’s best for you.


3 of My Favorite Investments to Make Right Now

Three of my favorite investments not only offer solid returns but good opportunities to diversify your stocks and bonds portfolio

It’s the new year and for many people, that means taking a new look at your investments. What worked last year might not work in 2018 and there’s always the annual rebalancing to consider.

Jonny posted a great lead in to some popular investment options for 2018 including gold, real estate, diamonds and public debt.

I think he’s spot on with many of these. Gold had its best year since 2010 last year and is already up strongly this year on higher expectations for inflation. One of the largest diamonds ever found was recently unearthed which could spark investor sentiment for the precious stones.

I’ve recently been looking through my own investments, shifting from an overpriced stock market into some of my favorite strategies.

Three of the investments in my portfolio might be ones you haven’t heard of yet but it’s these alternative investing ideas that might just boost your portfolio the most this year.

Real Estate Investing without the Headaches

I started my career in real estate as a commercial property analyst and have managed my own portfolio of rental properties. I love the idea of turning an under-used building into a cash machine.

Real estate is a great diversifier for a portfolio of stocks and bonds. Property prices generally rise along with inflation and the tax deduction from depreciation is one of the best you’ll find in investing.

Real estate investing isn’t without it’s downsides though, something I found out the hard way in my early 20s. Real estate investing is not the passive income resource you are led to believe from so many websites and infomercials!

Unless you can afford to hire a property manager, expect a part-time job of maintenance and tenant headaches with just a few properties. It’s also very difficult for individual investors to buy enough properties for diversification within real estate. Most investors hold just one property type and in one market, leaving them dangerously exposed to problems with that type of property or in their region.

Enter real estate crowdfunding.

Developers and large investors apply to raise funds for their real estate projects on crowdfunding platforms. The platforms scrutinize deals for developer history and property-specific factors before allowing the investment to go live on the site.

Investors can then choose to invest in individual properties, usually from $1,000 in each, in either a debt or equity investment.

There are a few reasons I’ve started investing in real estate crowdfunding:

• The low investment requirement per property means I can diversify easily across property types and regions. Investing in multi-family, office, storage and warehouse properties across the country helps to diversify my residential rental portfolio.
• I have none of the management hassles of direct ownership when I invest through a crowd platform. I get professional management of the property through the project owner, usually an experienced developer or investor.
• I can plan my returns more accurately through a mix of debt and equity investments. Returns on debt investments are fixed while equity investments tend to average around a small range.

Real estate crowdfunding isn’t without its risks but they’re all manageable. Each platform has its own staff that conducts due diligence on each deal but I still inspect offer documents before investing in any property. Most platforms are fairly small so it helps to invest on several to get access to a wider range of deals.

P2P Lending Investment: The 21st Century Debt Investing

Investing in peer loans has been around since 2008 but has only just begun to gain popularity. Investors still seem unsure of the new asset class.

Investing in loans is nothing new and you probably already have some money in them but don’t know it. Banks typically sell off their loans to insurance companies, pension funds and anyone looking for consistent returns. The bank gets money to make more loans and the investor gets a stable cash flow.

To sell their loans, banks would sell hundreds of loans together through a broker that would then sell them to investors. Of course, the bank and broker each took a cut of the profits.

The only difference with peer lending investing is that the website connects borrowers and investors directly. Borrowers fill out an application and investors decide in which loans they want to invest, usually for as little as $50 each.

Peer loans are another good diversifier to a portfolio of stocks and bonds. They offer the fixed-rate and relative safety of bonds while delivering much higher returns than most fixed-income investments.

I have been investing in peer loans for several years now and have averaged just under a 10% return on loans to safe borrowers. Higher returns are possible, but it means investing in loans to riskier borrowers.

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Some investors are afraid that peer lending returns will crash along with stocks in the next recession. It’s true that defaults on loans will increase but not to the extent people fear. I limit my loan investing to very safe borrowers, people with high credit scores and stable finances. It’s possible some of these will default on loans in a recession but I think the majority will want to protect their credit rather than risk it all by defaulting on a small loan.

Some of the criteria I use to pick safe borrowers and loans includes:

• Borrowers with mortgages – this not only means some financial stability but they also have a house from which they can draw equity to repay the loan if times get tough.
• Borrowers with debt-to-income less than 25% – means they aren’t already burdened by too much debt.
• Borrowers with monthly income over $4,000 – this means they likely have a good job and might run less risk of struggling to make ends meet in a recession.
• Loans less than $15,000 – peer loans are available up to $40,000 on most platforms but I want to invest in smaller loans. I want it to be relatively easier for borrowers to pay off their debt instead of defaulting.

Making a Social Change with Your Investments

My final favorite investment isn’t necessarily a new type of investing but just a new way of thinking about your investments.

Socially-responsible investing (SRI) has been around for decades but never got much attention from individual investors. There are two ways you can invest, through a negative screen or a positive screen.

• Negative screens mean you avoid investing in any company that doesn’t comply with your values. This usually means companies involved in weapons manufacturing, tobacco, gambling and sometimes fossil fuels.
• Positive screening means you look for companies that have been good stewards of the environment or social causes in which to invest.

Socially-responsible investing has gained popularity as a way for investors to use their investments to force important social change as well as to make money. Individual investors may not create much pressure on a company but the effect of platforms like Swell Investing and exchange traded funds can force real change.

There is some evidence that SRI investing can produce returns over a market-wide strategy. Investing in companies that meet higher ethical and social standards may help to avoid legal costs that come with lower norms. Companies in weapons manufacturing, tobacco and gambling are often the subject of expensive lawsuits that can erode profits.

Investing isn’t only about the individual investments but about how you invest. Putting your money to work in several different assets and strategies like real estate crowdfunding, p2p loans and socially-responsible companies can help diversify your returns. Each of these investments offer an opportunity to diversify your portfolio and seek solid returns.

Joseph Hogue worked as an equity analyst and an economist before realizing being rich is no substitute for being happy. He now runs five websites in the personal finance and crowdfunding niche, makes more money than he ever did at a 9-to-5 job and loves building his work from home business.


The guide to trading Bitcoin

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Bitcoin is the first digital currency in the world, its role as a unique financial vehicle has made it a reckoning force in the crypto market. Bitcoin is a peer to peer currency, this means that transaction is direct with no need for central authority or middlemen, with this, you can send Bitcoin to anyone in different parts of the world, all you need is a Bitcoin address and internet access. According to a financial analyst at Wilkins Finance, Bitcoin offers numerous advantages compared to the traditional money transaction methods. The most significant advantage is the low cost of receiving and sending Bitcoin as well as a secure and irreversible Bitcoin. It has also been proven to ensure privacy and security in transactions.

The currency is developing and growing stronger. Trading Bitcoin can be very profitable for those interested. The Bitcoin market is fragmented with large spreads, hence, people can profit from trading Bitcoin. Furthermore, thepopularity of Bitcoin has brought new users and investors, thus, expanding the cryptocurrency market. There are two ways to tradingBitcoin, this includes buying the cryptocurrency itself with the intention of selling it for profit or speculating the value of a Bitcoin without even owning a token, this is how CDFs and spread betting works.

While Bitcoin is a very profitable market, you have to have an ample knowledge of the rudiments of trading in order to excel and make huge profits. Losing your Bitcoin during trading can be terrible and painful, hence it is best to be careful and avoid all kinds of unnecessary risks.There are several guides to trading Bitcoin that will ensure that you profit in trading Bitcoin, these guides include:

Open an Account

If you intend to trade CDFs or spread bets, you need a trading account first, this is very easy and fast to set up. However, you do not need a Bitcoin exchange account if you only want to buy and sell Bitcoin.

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Research

Before trading, you need to ensure that you are informed about the latest Bitcoin news in order to fully grasp the cryptocurrency price system. Through this, you will also be able to understand the factors that affect the growth of your Bitcoin. The recent trend in cryptocurrency is uncertain because of its adolescent stage; therefore, Bitcoin chart and behavior are also helpful information that can help you thrive in trading Bitcoin.

Motivation

There are several trading platforms you can use your Bitcoin for; however, it is best to have a motivation or reason before entering into any trade. Start the trade only when you have a clear objective of involving in the trade and have a cutout strategy for trading.
There are several trading strategies you can employ in Bitcoin trading, these strategies have different results. So, you need to select a strategy that is favorable.Not all trading is truly profitable for traders because where some benefits, others may lose. There are traps everywhere waiting for you tomake a mistake so that you can lose your Bitcoin. Even if you want to trade daily, it is better to be patient instead of risking losing your coin.

Start Trading

After you are certain about your position and strategy, you can then place your trade. This can be done on several online trading platforms; however, you have to ensure that these platforms are credible to avoid wasting your time and Bitcoin.

Open a platform and enter the amount of Bitcoin you want to invest in a trade. You can also close your position when you notice that the market is moving against you by a particular amount. You can buy the market if you are convinced that the Bitcoin involved will rise in value and if you think it is unstable and can fall, you can also sell.

Closing

When trading Bitcoin, it is best to be careful, know when to stop trading and count your losses in order not to face huge risks. After hitting your profit target or when you are no longer interested, you should close your position. To do this, you need only to place the reverse of your real trade.

Significantly, Bitcoin is very interesting, flexible, and a profitable trade, all it requires is intelligent calculation and strategies for you to thrive in the market.


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