Investing

Crude Oil Prices – What’s the Trend of Smart Money Investment?

They say international crude oil market is controlled by smart investment by the smart HNIs. That’s why keeping a tab on investment tre ndof the smart money can help understand the movement trend of crude oil prices internationally. Though there has been significant dip in the petroleum prices when compared to that of last year, there has been a relative calm in the market in the last one month. This relative calm came after significant rise (around 25 per cent) in the crude oil prices during late August 2015. Analysts believe this relative calm in oil market is the outcome of reduced expectation of the market from the US Fed of increasing key rate from near-zero level in 2015 itself. In fact, many have started to wonder whether crude oil as well as energy stock has at all reached the bottom and is now consolidating before a turn around. Global investors, who have been investing in oil and energy stocks, are eagerly waiting for a rebound since many leading market analysts first warned about an oil bust back in June 2014. As there is hardly any change in the fundamental factors of crude oil market, when compared to early 2015, the time has not yet come to forecast any crude oil rebound.Invest-1024x811

Now, let’s check the rebound case possibility of energy stocks from technical chart. While analyzing the WTI crude oil, we bumped on the fact that there is a steep resistance, starting from US$50 per barrel up to US$52 per barrel. If the crude oil price moves above US$52 per barrel and consolidates over $60, it will be a signal of bullish price movement and a bullish run will start. When checking the chart, we found out that major support level is located at US$40 per barrel. If this support level is breached, it will lead to a bearish run. We also found a strong support level at US$45 per barrel and downward breaching of this level will give the first ever signal of bearish run. The pink sheet of World Bank Commodities Price Data is showing that monthly average of Brent Crude Oil for the month of October 2015 is US$48.1. While checking the WTI and Dubai crude oil prices for the month of October 2015, we found out that the prices are US$46.2 and US$46.6, which are alarmingly close to the first support level (S1) at US$45.

Now, let’s have a look at the commodity forecast data of World Bank, calculated in Oct’15. It shows that the average spot price of crude oil is expected to go down from US$49.7 in 2015 to US$47.7 in 2016. However, after 2016, there will be a trend of gradual recovery. The projected crude prices in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 will be US$49.9, US$52.1, US$54.5, and US$56.9 respectively. It is only after 2020 that the crude oil market will enter into bullish market in real sense and will reach US$70.8 only in 2025.


Financial Benefits of Security Investments for Business

business angelRunning a successful business requires a great deal of work. It’s not enough just to do the work, you have to take various other aspects into consideration, from advertising in order to develop a strong customer base to making sure that your business is properly protected from any potential legal recourse.

It doesn’t just benefit your business overall to invest in security measures; in the long-term, it’s also a wise move from a financial perspective. By investing in security for your business, you can save money whilst protecting your most important assets. This is especially true for small to medium sized businesses who stand to lose more than a big corporation or brand name.

There are various security measures that businesses can take in order to keep their enterprises safe, providing your business with cost-effective and efficient protection.

Physical Measures

Some companies take extra precautions to keep their business secure. A common practice is to hire security staff to monitor the premises overnight, though this isn’t always practical smaller businesses that don’t necessarily have the budget to outsource in this way.

Alternatively, you can invest in physical security measures such as electrified and motorised fences from a company like Paramount Steel.

Insurance

Though it seems cynical, businesses should expect the worst in order to cover all the bases. A good insurance policy will keep your business protected and covered for a variety of possibilities and potential incidents, from attempted burglaries and vandalism to on site accidents that couldn’t be avoided.

Incidents like this can set your business back in a big way financially, but a good insurance policy will prevent you from making any significant losses and get you back on track as soon as possible.

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Software

It’s not just about physically protecting your assets in business, it’s also important that you consider the non-physical aspects as well. Most businesses do the majority of their work with computers and online, so keeping your files safe is extremely important, especially if you deal with sensitive third party information, financial data and so on.

There are plenty of data security options to help companies keep their most important files safe from hacking and any major error that could have a serious impact.

Mistakes cost money, and mistakes do happen, but by investing in proper security measures businesses can protect themselves and benefit financially in the long term. After all, less incidents means that more money goes back into the business rather than being paid out to clear up the mess.


What Is an Investment Group?

An investment group is a group of co-members that pools their funds to invest together on a regular basis. It offers several traditional as well as alternative investment strategies for private investors and institutions. According to Wes Edens, the Principal and Co-Chairman of Fortress Investment Group, a good investment manager will provide risk-adjusted returns in a management structure that is aligned with the investors and managers interests.

What Are Some of the Strategies?

An investment group needs core competencies that guide the investing. Some of these are:
• Knowledge of the industry in which the group plans to invest, which includes relationships with leading companies, individuals and institutions, so they know exactly in what they are investing. Some members of the group may have sector-specific expertise.
• Investing broadly in a diverse set of assets requires a wide degree of investing experience. They need to have expertise in pricing, financing, owning and overseeing the management of financial and physical assets that may include real estate and capital assets. This requires a diversified and long-term cash flow.
• Operations management needs to be state-of-the-art in order to extract value from complex investments.
• Knowledge of acquisitions and corporate mergers allows the investors in a financial management group to work closely with corporate boards of directors, stakeholders and management to determine the best possible structure and execution of each investment.
• Accessing the equity and debt of capital markets, a management group can secure low-cost, low-risk financing for its investments.

What Is a Core Business?

The core business of a financial management group is the areas in which it operates. A few examples are:
• Private equity – is an asset that consists of debt and equity securities in operating companies that are not publicly traded on a stock exchange. Members of a financial management group raise funds and manage them so that they yield favorable returns for their shareholders. finance
• Credit investing – is in undervalued assets and in illiquid and distressed credit investments. Illiquid asset cannot easily be sold or exchanged for cash without a substantial loss in value. It takes expertise to manage this type of investment.
• Regular and daily investing – in liquid markets around the world that exploits opportunities in foreign currency, equity markets and interest rates.

How to Manage an Investment Portfolio

It takes vocational and professional training to become an asset manager. In the past, many investment managers entered the field just out of college without any formal financial training. However, today new graduates need to have first degrees in a relevant discipline such as investment management or financial economics. Some are even required to have a master’s degree in finance.
Many companies look for graduates only from certain universities and business schools. If they haven’t already, any new recruit would be expected to enter for the chartered financial analyst (CFA) exam. There are different roles in financial management, and some have very high terms of qualification. For example, sales and investment may require less demanding qualifications than equities and fixed income. However, many financial management companies require the same qualifications for any position.
Investment managers who deal with huge sums of money every day usually deal on a global scale. They require a broad spectrum of knowledge of world financial markets, foreign currencies, and much more to make a profit for their stakeholders.

Should You Save or Sell Your Valuable Heirlooms?

Gold_industryThis question tends to pop up at difficult times in life. It’s not uncommon to find yourself in possession of some odd goods when a friend or relative dies. And it’s at times like these that you might be ill-equipped to manage these goods, especially if you are feeling a lot of grief at the time. There are many considerations to make, and not all of them have to do with the precious metals exchange rate that applies to your situation.

This is because many of these items will have sentimental value in addition to monetary value. People might feel guilt for trading an item that reminds them of a lost loved one for cash. But this isn’t always the way to think about it. Death happens, and memories of loved ones should be afforded a certain place in your life. But it should also be compatible with how you live. If an item, such as a piece of furniture of a painting, can be loved and displayed in your home on its own merits, not just because it belonged to a loved one, it might be a good addition to your life, as well as an appropriate reminder of your loved one. But if the item doesn’t have any value to you other than it’s sentimental value, it isn’t appropriate to sell it after a certain amount of time. In most cases, the individual who passed it on to you would rather you have security and happiness than perpetual possession of the item in question.

That aside, let’s talk money. Oftentimes, people inherit items made of precious metals, like gold, jewelry, and coins. Because these items have no function in themselves, other than to serve as placeholders for wealth/value/buying power, it makes sense to sell them when they’ll command the highest price. But when is that? Do metals like gold always increase in value?

Well, not really. Gold, for instance, has something of an inverse relationship to the standard economy. If you look at charts of gold value, you’ll notice that gold tends to be in high demand when the US economy isn’t doing so good, and vice versa. This is because gold represents inherent value, while the economy is based largely on perceived value and good will. The economy works well when people spend money without much worry. When people are worried, they don’t spend money. Keeping gold is the epitome of “not spending money”, and it’s an example of people putting their trust in something they feel might have more staying power or foundation than a particular market.

So in general, I say buy gold when the market is good, sell it when it’s down. As you can see, this would’ve worked out to great effect if you bought a bunch of gold in the hot-economy days of the 90’s and kept it till the financial crunch of 2008. But because these things are impossible to predict, and because gold doesn’t have inherent factors which determine it’s value, I generally sell gold a lot more than I buy it. And that’s how I generally treat stuff if I’m ever in a position to inherit money or goods. A lot of top finance blogs agree.

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Why Use An Investment Adviser For Your Portfolio?

While a financial adviser will advise on all aspects of personal finances, those that are specifically looking for guidance on their investment portfolio should consider using a specialist investment adviser. Whether you are looking to invest regularly or have a sum of money that you want to keep safe, whether you are investing for your own retirement or as a means of securing the financial future of your children, your investment portfolio can help you achieve all of this and much more.

An investment adviser will assess your situation, determine your financial goals, and evaluate your level of risk aversion. They will set up a portfolio, manage it, and involve you as much or as little as you want to be involved in the process. There is always risk involved in any investment, and even using an adviser does not completely remove this risk, but it is likely to pose less of a risk than opting for a single stock using minimal research, and then leaving your money in that one stock for a lifetime.financialLife

Discussion with You

The first step for the adviser is to discuss your circumstances, goals, and level of risk that you are willing to take. They will not only want to know how much you initially have to invest, but whether you want to regularly add to your investment portfolio, whether there are any investments or company types that specifically want to avoid or to invest in, and the reasons you are investing. They will discuss your aversion to risk, which can and usually should change over time, and establish an investment plan that takes this into account.

Building Your Portfolio

Once an adviser has acquired all of this information, they will then look to build your portfolio. Some advisers may prefer to invest in a collection of individual stocks, others may prefer utilities, and some may invest client money in currencies. Others, like Openwork Limited, invest in funds because they believe that this offers true diversity to an investment portfolio and that this, in turn, offers the greatest way to minimise risk.

Investments grow, and they can also shrink. Market conditions change, fund performance levels and even fund managers also change. This means that leaving your investment in a single fund for its full lifetime is unlikely to be the best option. Your adviser should assess and reassess the various conditions on a regular basis in order to ensure that they continue to yield the most favourable results possible for you.


When Long Term Stability Isn’t the Right Goal

If you were to trust the average financial talking head in America, you would think that the best way to use your money was to save for a cushy retirement. This financial planning model appeals to a certain type of personality, and in reality, a certain part of each us. After all, nobody wants to be poor, especially when you get old and are less able to take care of yourself. I would argue, however, that this is the most fearful way to save and grow your money. Because money takes a long time to grow in traditional investment, time is your best friend. It’s why this retirement-focused investment model is the most natural. It’s also the lowest risk, and fits with the general disposition of us fearful monkey people.griggsphoto

But there is another way. It is possible to invest in such a way that you enjoy wealth of at least some scale in the short term. I’m not going to sell you a get rich quick scheme. There’s no reliable way to do that. What I am going to sell you is an alternative philosophy. Wealth is pretty pointless if you’re unable to enjoy your life. That’s the rough side of poverty, not have options, not being able to choose what you do with your time and energy. By some definitions, freedom is the ability to choose what you do with these precious resources. This is something you want to cultivate now, in the present day. You can do this a number of ways.

  • Live Beneath Your Means. Money worries are a drain on your mind and your relationships. By getting your budget under control, you’ll be able to eliminate debt and begin saving for the future. You’ll also be able to cultivate personal habits and hobbies that give you enjoyment but do not cost a lot of money. These are satisfying activities that will last a lifetime and can provide the same kind of fulfillment you are starting to enjoy now. By living this way, you’ll be growing your wealth at a faster pace, enjoying a potentially better standard of living, getting more opportunities, and living on less. It’s a win-win.
  • Leveraging the Money Your DO You may have only a little bit of savings or credit available to you. But you may have some resources, often in the form of an inheritance, a family heirloom, or a structured settlement. These items may be sold and the money reinvested into something that increases your earning potential NOW, like higher education or starting a business. Structured Settlement loans are a great way to get a lump sum based on a payment system that would only give you a little money at a time. You can leverage this cash to absolutely change your life, in weeks not decades.

By learning to live within your means and increase your immediate earning potential, you can enjoy a better standard of living now, not just when you’re 65. And after all, this plan makes sense. Not everyone has their health when they are old. Life is best enjoyed when you’re young, so find a way to maximize your opportunities now.


Griffin and Highbury’s How To Guide on the Diamond Grading System

For anyone who is interested in investing in diamonds, knowledge is key. Fortunately, there are many resources available and many rating agencies out there to help make it easier to decide whether a particular diamond is a good investment or not.

Investors should always make sure their diamonds are certified by a reputable and objective agency, like the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or the American Gem Society (AGS). Other respected grading agencies that can be used include the International Gemological Institute (IGI) or the International Confederation of Jewelry, Silverware, Diamonds, Pearls, and Stones (CIBJO). A certificate should come with each and every diamond purchase; any of these organizations should be able to provide one.

A certificate is important because it shows that a complete evaluation of the diamond, something that should always include measurements with gemological instruments, has been performed by a qualified professional. Diamonds can be tampered with as a way to hide their imperfections, so consumers must make sure a professional has evaluated their diamond purchase objectively.

As Geoff Black, owner of Canadian-based diamond and gemstone dealer Griffin and Highbury Inc. comments, “No two diamonds are alike, which is why people say they are like snowflakes, and also why having them evaluated is critical.” Black goes on to recommend that all buyers use and understand the “Four C’s” method of evaluating diamonds. This is the most well-known and widely accepted method when it comes to determining a diamond’s value.

diamond1The Four C’s stands for clarity, cut, color, and carat weight.

Clarity looks at the visual appearance of a diamond and its surface defects or blemishes, as well as its internal characteristics, which are called inclusions.

The cut of the diamond doesn’t refer to the actual shape of the diamond, but is based on its symmetry, which affects the overall polish. If a diamond is poorly cut, it won’t illuminate, which makes the cut extremely important when it comes to aesthetics.

The color of a diamond is the next C in the measurement system. Color looks at light refraction, or sparkle. There is a numerical scale used to determine the color of a diamond, and this weighs heavily on its value. The AGS scale goes from 0 to 10, with 0 being colorless and 10 being light yellow or brown.

Carat weight should also be reviewed. Large diamonds are less commonly found than small diamonds, so value rises with the size or weight of the diamond.

Of the aforementioned characteristics, the color of a diamond is the most discernable for non-experts and has the widest variety. Diamonds occur in a variety of colors, including steel grey, white, blue, yellow, orange, red, green, pink, purple, brown and black. A perfect diamond, which is chemically pure and structurally perfect, has no color. Depending on the rarity, colored diamonds can be much more valuable than regular ones. While white diamonds may be discounted due to a yellow hue, pink or blue diamonds can be extremely valuable, and red diamonds are the most rare and often most valuable.

Diamonds and their valuations can be much more complicated than one would expect, which is why, again, knowledge is essential, especially when it comes to investing in diamonds. For anyone looking to invest in diamonds, it is absolutely imperative to have it evaluated by an objective agency, which should be included in the services of any reputable seller. Griffin and Highbury’s owner Geoff Black adds a final caveat, “If any person or company comes to you offering to sell diamonds and doesn’t have a certificate, you should treat it as a red flag and avoid their services.”

 


How to Financially Prepare for Retirement in your 30s

Preparing for retirement is something that no one wants to think about until they are at least in their 60s. However, people who wait that long to plan for retirement will find their retirement much more uncomfortable than those who thought about it early on.

The truth is that the sooner a person starts taking action to financially stabilize themselves for a comfortable retirement, the better. It is essential for everyone to craft a plan as soon as they are financially able too. Here are some ways to financially prepare for retirement in your 30s.

Invest in a valuable home

A person’s home can be a great asset for them to use later in life for extra income. By buying a home now, people can enjoy their investment later either by selling or using a reverse mortgage from reversemortgagequalifier.com. Look for a home in a growing area that is at least 3 bedrooms.

How to Financially Prepare for Retirement in your 30sWork with employers for 401k plans

Most people in their 30s will just be settling with a job they plan to stay in for a while. Even if the job a person is at in their 30s is not their career they want to stick with for life, it is always a good idea to look into 401k options. Any contributions can help and it is an easy way to build upon the income a person is already getting.

Set up other retirement savings accounts

A 401k is a great place to start, but no one should stop there. There are a lot of other savings and investment options that people can use to build their wealth for retirement. IRAs and mutual funds are the most common options people choose in their 30s, because they consistently build over time no matter what the stock market does.

Make a rough plan for retirement

Even though many people would agree that they have no idea what kind of lifestyle they will want to be living in retirement at the age of 30, it is still a good idea to start constructing a rough plan for retirement at this age. People can pick an age for retirement and start some goals that will help them meet a comfortable cap for income and savings.

Set goals for each year

Setting goals is the best way to get anything done, and saving for retirement is no different. Everyone can set financial and savings goals for each year to help get them closer to their retirement goal. This is a simple task that everyone can reevaluate each year to make their retirement goals a reality.

Avoid creating debt that can follow you into retirement

Some debt can be helpful at a young age to build wealth for the future. However, people need to be careful that they are not creating too much debt that they will never be able to pay off. Debts like these include credit card debt and loans with high interest.

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Online shopping helps you save a lot of money over time

Are you going through a stressful financial situation? Online shopping could just be your solution to save a few quick bucks. Buying online allows you to buy more products for less when you follow the tips mentioned below.

Tips to save money while shopping online

  1. Comparing prices: Check out all websites that allow you to compare prices and reduce much of your hassles by fetching the best deal. In order to get the lowest price, spare some time to go through the price comparison websites.
  2. Cost of Delivery: Inquire about the delivery charge of your item and count it in its price. An item may seem to be inexpensive in some sites, while its postage charge may actually increase its price. Websites that deliver the goods to your place for free are actually helping you save a lot of money. There are some online shopping outlets that allow you to place your orders for different items and pick it up from a neighboring store without paying any charge.online-shopping
  3. Loyalty cards: By filling out the coffee shop loyalty cards, you may obtain a pack of coffee or tea. It’s truly satisfying to achieve a better value with your online coupon while ordering an item and visiting a neighboring store to collect it.
  4. Discount codes: A good amount of money can be saved through discount codes offered by online retailers. Savings can be stacked in this way. Online purchases help you save a good amount of money by way of cash-back, discount cards and online coupons. You may achieve a savings maximization and time optimization by doing a bit of work.
  5. Opting for VIP membership: Discounts and deals of exclusive nature are provided to individuals that obtain VIP membership offered by certain retailers and websites. While some sites charge a yearly subscription for such membership, others offer it for free.
  6. Digital Downloading: A digital downloading option might seem to be a cheaper option if you’re placing online orders for books, movies and music. Possessing a mobile device allows you to enjoy a movie, album or book of your choice besides enabling you to save much money.
  7. Checking out reviews: In order to identify the real worth of a product, you must read through a few online reviews. It really helps when you’re about to purchase an expensive electronic appliance, a car or a vacation trip. Negotiating over the price of an item turns useless if the item turns out to be of inferior quality. You can’t just go wrong if you do some homework in advance.
  8. Searching for sales: Sales offers are provided by a few online stores just in a way it happens in the high street. In this way, you’re likely to come across a few great offers. These online websites are meant to show you through quality sales offers in terms of wine, home goods and food.
  9. Using Apps: Saving a little while purchasing food items is very much possible when you download your favorite restaurants and retailer apps. There are a few restaurants that provide you with a “buy 2 for the price of 1” or “early bird” offer. A few of them will provide you with discounts while you visit their social media page. By visiting their profile page you’re actually helping others to notice them and lift their profile.

Out of these options, loyalty cards, online coupons and downloading apps are the latest ways in which you can save money. These options allow you to make bulk purchases and save much within the comfort of your own home.

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All You Need to Know About SIPPs

SIPP stands for Self Invested Personal Pension Plan, and is one of the options people in the UK can choose when it comes to working out finances through retirement. As with all products of this type, it is very important indeed that you do all of the necessary research before coming to a decision, as this is one of life’s biggest. This type of plan isn’t for everyone, but it certainly does have major benefits. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of taking out a SIPP.

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Pros

The whole point of a SIPP is that it gives more control than ever to the person taking out the plan. With traditional pensions, an annuity is purchased and then that’s the end of involvement. You transfer your lump sum to the provider and then they pay out an agreed sum each month for the rest of your life. With a SIPP however, the investor is able to choose the assets they buy and sell, and can choose when to move them around.

There are huge numbers of assets that can be traded under a SIPP, though certain ones will have differing tax implications. The provider of the SIPP usually acts as what is known as a trustee – this means that you must agree investment decisions with them beforehand – you don’t quite have complete free reign. This is often mainly a formality to ensure everything happens as it should.

Cons

SIPPS have two main drawbacks, though they may not be considered such by everyone. The first is of course that, as an investment plan, there is the potential for money to be lost. This isn’t necessarily going to be a major risk, but it’s certainly something that anyone thinking of taking out a plan should be aware of in advance.

The second con is of course that if you have little to no knowledge of investment strategies and the workings of financial trading, then you will not be able to make full use of the product. You can certainly get advice, but if you need advice at every single stage, then a different product may be a better choice.

SIPPS are just one of the various options available to you when it comes to retirement. They’re good for those who want to be hands on with their future, and aren’t satisfied with the current annuity rates.


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