Investing

See, I told You Bitcoin Was Volatile

Over the past year, I’ve written extensively about Bitcoin, essentially saying that I didn’t believe it was a safe investment at all. Most recently, it seemed that some people were becoming more comfortable with Bitcoin. A Canadian entity agreed to pay some of their workers with BitcoinOverstock.com allows it as a currency. Some states in the U.S. started to draft legislation about Bitcoin. It all seemed like things were headed in the right direction…until they weren’t.

Over the last few days, there has been an extensive amount of bad press about Bitcoin. Most notably, the Washington Post called the entire operation a Ponzi scheme. Those are some harsh words, but they definitely are rooted in some truth. After all, no one has been able to figure out how Bitocin works exactly and what makes the price fluctuate so much. No one knows why millions of Bitcoin have gone “missing” in cyberspace or who created the concept to begin with. There is no regulation, no bank to back it up, and several accounts that it’s a favorite currency of drug dealers.

spending-bitcoinsSure, some people made a lot of money in a short amount of time if they timed it just right, but for the vast majority, Bitcoin is not a get rich quick scheme. It remains a highly volatile, abstract digital currency that seems to do whatever it wants in terms of value. Plus, in the last few days, the price of Bitcoin has plummeted.

A recent article by U.S. News and World Report quoted several finance experts who strongly cautioned against Bitcoin as well. They argued that Bitcoin has no real, intrinsic value. Several financial planners indicated that they would never recommend it to their clients.

I personally would only recommend Bitcoin to someone who was just interested in utilizing it for entertainment purposes, just as they would go to a casino with a set budget of a $100 bill. Some people and technology enthusiasts simply get a thrill of tracking Bitcoin and seeing what the market will do. If this is you, just be extremely careful about your level of investment. Bitcoin should never be considered a real, genuine retirement plan, for example.

Despite all the recent bad press, there has been an interesting twist to the story though. In the last day or so, several Wall Street financial experts invested in Coinbase, a U.S. based Bitcoin companyto the tune of $75 million in funding. These financial experts are even what Coinbase CEO Brain Armstrong calls “Bitcoin believers”. Armstrong and these investors do not seem concerned with the recent price drops. Instead, they believe Bitcoin has some staying power. Their goal is to grow Bitcoin, help more mainstream companies adopt it as a currency, and spread it to more than 30 different countries.

It’s a tall order, but an interesting one. Once again, I will be watching from the sidelines as an interested party, not as a personal investor.

Do you believe in the legitimacy of Bitcoin as an investment?


SIPPs Made Simple

Many people lack a complete understanding of what SIPPs actually are. This is a real shame, as they can be of great benefit to those who choose to invest in them.

SIPP stands for Self Invested Personal Pension. This is, quite simply, a pension scheme that hands you control over how your retirement savings are invested. No other party – neither the government nor the company you work for – has any input into this, and this has earned it the epithet of the ‘DIY pension scheme’.

SIPPs have many benefits attached to them, mainly in terms of tax.

To find out more and discover whether a SIPP could suit you, just keep on reading.

20_malaysiaHow SIPPs Work

SIPPs work in a very similar manner to a standard personal pension, which means that they’re nice and easy to understand.

The main differences between them are all to your benefit, in that they provide you with a much wider choice of investments and greater flexibility as to where your money goes.

When you take out a personal pension, you’re limited to investing in the funds offered to you by your insurance company. Usually, this will give you between 250 and 1,000 options to choose from. With SIPPs, it’s much more common to have between 4,000 and 5,000 choices offered to you by providers such as Killik, and the added opportunity to invest directly in many other investments, from shares to ETFs and bonds.

Existing pensions can be moved into a SIPP through a simple transfer.

The Benefits of SIPPs

As mentioned above, the benefits of SIPPs are mainly tax related, although they are not restricted to this. SIPPs offer wonderful tax advantages; most notably, for every £8,000 you pay into one, the government will add a further £2,000. This is not restricted to the initial amount or money made from your investment. You also have the opportunity to make on-going payments at any point, with the same tax advantages open to you.

SIPPs also provide you with much greater flexibility and choice in a number of areas. Firstly, as discussed above, you have much more influence over where your capital is invested. This means that if you take the time to build your knowledge of investing, or are willing to seek the advice of experts in the field, you could potentially deliver a much greater yield. There is no limit to how large your pension pot can grow; it rests entirely in your hands.

In addition, you have a lot more flexibility when you reach retirement age. Beginning from the age of 55, you are at liberty to start drawing from your pension, and it is up to you to decide how you want to use the funds you’ve built. You may take up to 25 per cent of the total out as a tax free lump sum, and with the remainder you can decide between using the balance to provide you with a pension through income withdrawal, or through the purchase of an annuity.

If you’re beginning to consider your long-term future, and the prospect of retirement looms on the horizon, could a SIPP be of benefit to you?


Evaluate before investing – Investment Outlook 2015

Modern investors prefer to invest globally and specially in the emerging economic potboilers of Asia. One of the crucial steps to take before investing globally is to study the value of the attractiveness of the foreign stock market. As the P/E ratios change every day, the specifications of single stocks can be misleading at times. GDP growth, trade numbers, debt-to-GDP ratios, and credit ratings by reliable agencies are the major prospects to consider before investing.

Japan

Breaching ¥109 on September 18th of 2014, the U.S Dollar continued to hit a fresh six-year-high against the Japanese Yen. As per the experts of the Federal Reserve, the interest rates are expected to rise as the global economy stabilizes. With Bank of Japan’s massive quantitative easing program which was initiated after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took power in 2012, many of the economists expected the fall of yen. The yen has plummeted by over 6% – an amount much out of line when compared with that of other regional currencies, between July and September.

SunnyImage_Financewand(1)Indonesia

As per the industry experts, Indonesia will be able to overcome the major economic challenges over the next decade. According to the World Bank report, Indonesia’s 2015 growth forecast has been cut down from 5.2% to 5.1% which is the lowest in the five years. However, with the GDP growth slowing at the same time with the widening of the current account deficit, it has become a cause for major concern. The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC 2015) aims to transform Southeast Asia into a single economic union for trade, labor, and investment. However, compared to Malaysia and Singapore, Indonesia is lagging far behind and needs to develop its economic infrastructure.

Malaysia

It has been able to keep up optimistic economy trends in 2015 as per the experts. Malaysia’s GDP is expected to rise by 5.8% in 2015. As investors and consumers prepare for implementing the GST, Malaysia’s domestic economy is expected to accelerate in the 1Q15 . The Malaysian Ringgit is expected to trade between 3.35-3.40 to the dollar from the present rate of 3.50.

China

With the up-gradation of the China-ASEAN cooperation as promised in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region (GMS) Summit held in Bangkok on December 19th and 20th, China has promised billions of dollars to help develop the infrastructure and expansion of trade in Southeast Asia. US$10.6 billion investment to build the southwestern railway through Chinese city of Kunming connecting Laos will be areinforcing step in 2015.

The emerging economies today offer a great and new way to look into the world. How do you evaluate the market trends today? Have a look at the emerging economies and understand the countries that you can invest in. Whether it is knowing what is the return that you can expect or raking in more profit when the time is right, investment decisions need to be taken wisely, something that you need to take help in. Asian countries today can offer some of the best investment opportunities out there – just look out what’s right for you.


How to Create an ISA Investment Portfolio That’s Tailored to You

For many, expanding their ISA portfolio beyond cash ISAs is something they never consider. Cash ISAs seem a lot simpler to understand, and many are averse to the idea of venturing into a field that they haven’t fully grasped. However, these same people are often unaware that stocks and shares ISAs can be the better choice when it comes to delivering a return on their investment.

If you’re looking to expand your portfolio, read on to find out more…

Stocks and Shares ISAs Explained

A stocks and shares ISA is a tax-efficient investment account. This term, ‘stocks and shares’, can be slightly misleading: in fact, they can actually contain shares, bonds and investment funds.

As of the 1st July 2014, as a UK resident you’re entitled to invest £15,000 per tax year in ISAs. This allowance can be placed in a stocks and shares ISA, cash ISA or a mixture of the two.

A stocks and shares ISA carries a greater risk than its cash counterpart, but also offers the chance of a greater reward, as the amount invested can rise and fall freely in accordance with market movements. Ergo, this type of ISA is only really suited to those who are willing to accept the possibility of loss alongside the gamble of profiting.

00123f55b17b10bbf34a29Choosing Which Assets to Invest In

For those considering investing in a stocks and shares ISA, such as those offered by Sanlam Private Investments, your strategy should be largely guided by how much risk you’re willing to shoulder…

Cautious Investors

Even for the cautious investor, there are options aside from leaving all of your money in cash that may be of benefit to you. Bonds, for example, pose a much lower risk than shares, and can still perform better than cash, particularly in the current low-interest rate environment. Thus, a suitable strategy to increase your chance of profit, without running too great a risk, could be to invest the majority of your allowance in cash, whilst putting a small amount into government or corporate bonds. Although this will not make a drop in the value of your portfolio impossible, it will minimise your risk, and bond funds have an excellent record for preserving and increasing investor capital.

Balanced Investors

A more common stance is to want to increase your risk of profit without entirely throwing away your defensive position. If you fall into this category, then it may be worth taking a tentative look at the stock market. One of the best introductions is to consider funds.

The best types of fund for the balanced investor are those that invest in larger companies in developed markets, or defensive global funds. Look, in particular, for companies that pay dividends, as strong companies will usually continue to pay these even when they’re struggling slightly and profits and share prices are looking less than rosy.

High Risk Investors

For those who are prepared to accept a true risk in return for the chance of a potential yield, one of the highest risk yet potentially one of the most rewarding strategies is to look at small to mid-cap companies and emerging market funds in an attempt to cash in on capital growth.

Ultimately, the most important decider of your success will be the individual decisions that you make. There will always be a risk involved with investing in stocks and shares ISAs; no one can avoid this completely. However, there is also a real chance of making a profit. When the time comes to decide whether it’s worth allotting some of your allowance to this type of ISA, it simply comes down to this: how much of a risk are you willing to run?


Divergence among Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists in Relation to Equity

Students pursuing a career in finance often come across several questions about the role of an angel investor and that of a venture capitalist. In many ways both entities seek the same aspects, but there are a lot of variations that graduates stepping into the field must understand. It is subtle differences that participate in influencing their financing strategy ultimately.

Stepping into the banking sector in Singapore requires you to acquaint yourself with the delicate ins and outs of being angel investors as well as venture capitalists.

 business angel1.Proportion of Own Investments

Venture capitalists end up investing a large amount of their own capital into the company that usually turns out to be much more than what the angels put in. Angels can either operate as groups investing or even individuals putting in money. While the amounts of money vary largely, deals are worked on by Angel Groups in syndicate when they are substantially larger and more profitable.

Group operations are fast becoming more popular primarily because the money can be drummed up more quickly; while maintaining the same terms.

  1. Commitments Made

When it comes to giving their word, angels are not beholden to any commitments. They take business related decisions on their own and use personal prowess and knowledge to do so. Capitalists use a different approach as they consult with an investment committee that decides on the best approach to take while being as objective as possible. There is no getting swayed one member’s personal information or another’s apprehension or excitement about a deal.

  1. Time Frame of Investment

Angels are the ones who have to decide on acquiring assets earlier than venture capitalists, which is why they face a higher risk. The key is that they need to attain the same level of returns as venture capitalists that makes the risk worthwhile. It is crucial that they attain high returns for a majority of their deals need to enhance their portfolio of investments showing at least 20-30% per year. The main strategy is to look for an Exit, or Liquidity Event in which case both entities end up gaining back all of their equity within 3-5 years.

However, most equities tend to take longer time to exit. Individuals in venture are even more under pressure for they have a total span of 10 years under which they have to return the capital and profits of the Venture Capital Fund to the Limited Partners.

4.A Business Point of View

In most cases entrepreneurs shy away from capital raising, for it gets in the way of building products and contacting customers. Diluting equity is always taken as a last resort when the workings are saturated and new capital is needed for expansion and diversification. Angel investments can aid in businesses attracting good venture capitalists.

A couple of factors will be in play such as the ability of a business to function with little to no income for a long time along with the accessibility of Angel Investing Groups. Interested venture capitalists matter as well for attracting them sees a swell in entrepreneur’s liquidity.


How to Invest With Less Stress

When it comes to managing investments, retail investors have more options at their fingertips than ever witnessed in human history. The internet has increased accessibility while decreasing the barriers to participation that once existed. For instance, trading in foreign exchange used to be exclusively the tools of multi-national corporations, banks, and financial firms. With the introduction of online brokerage and leverage, these instruments became readily available to the retail investing public for trading. This wave of opportunity has also created a more competitive environment amongst financial services providers which has driven down the costs for investors, namely for spreads and commissions. However, with the spread of technology and financial market accessibility, came certain risks for investors that did not conduct proper due diligence. These pitfalls include unregulated brokers, promises of profits, and advice from non-advisory entities.

An Industry Built on Evolution

Despite all the problems assoForex Trading Systemciated with the industry, there have been a multitude of positive developments. One suchevolution to come from these vast changes in the financial market structure is the proliferation of money management solutions that were once only available to sophisticated investors with millions of dollars in capital. Successful money managers have recognized the potential for unlocking vast sums of money from retail investors whom were previously untapped. This has caused the popularity of managed forex accounts to soar, with many options out there for investors who want to take a more hands off approach to fund management. While there is no such thing as a risk-free approach to investing (no matter what anyone tries to convince you of), this is one mechanism that is effective for diversifying a portfolio and picking a strategy that matches the risk-reward profile of an investor.

Depending on the services provider, the benefits can be numerous. Besides the obvious benefit of not having to micromanage trades all day, there is transparency to track performance in real-time and ability to pick strategies that matches investing goals. Traders operating proper managed forex accounts, aside from being licensed by the proper regulatory authorities, will also be able to provide an audited performance history to confirm accuracy of results. Good providers will not just highlight profits, but also not be afraid to offer more in depth statistics like drawdowns. Aside from performing proper due diligence on the trader, it is important to make sure the trader is utilizing a regulated broker with a solid reputation. Assuring safety and security of funds will add to the confidence of choosing a professional money manager.

Pick the Right Strategy

A successful investor understands the difference between needs and wants. In an industry that is dominated by promises of high rewards, it is imperative to look through the sales pitch and create achievable goals. Promises of get-rich quick opportunities should be met with caution. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Some providers offer 1000% returns to bring clients in the door only to later squander all the trading funds. While 1000% annual returns are possible, they are not very feasible, and typically require risking the entire value of an account. The search should instead focus on fund managers that are providing reasonable rates of return by taking a reasonable level of risk.

Finding the right strategy for a portfolio is paramount to picking the right managed forex accounts. For instance, in the case of a retiree, the strategy is typically more risk-averse and geared towards generating income, not capital appreciation. On the other hand, a younger investor that is not dependent on investment income could choose to focus on more high risk strategies that provide higher returns but also have substantially more risk. One suggestion is to pursue strategies that are not correlated to major market benchmarks like the S&P 500 or FTSE 100. Buy and hold strategies are typically the main retail investor tactics, meaning that performance is linked closely to broader market performance. Choosing uncorrelated strategies is beneficial because it means that in market downturns, positive investment performance is still possible.

In all, managed forex accounts provide a great means to diversify and complement existing investments. They provide a solution for investors seeking less investment risk and stress from the day-to-day management of trading accounts. While there can be pitfalls, proper due diligence and reasonable performance expectations can make this approach very beneficial for retail clients looking to have funds professionally managed.


Five of the Worst Investments You Can Make

People are always quick to brag about the wise financial investments they made, and even quicker to share how much they made. However, few are willing to speak up about any financial blunders they made beforehand.

When it comes to investments, it is difficult to determine which one will yield the highest return in profit especially when no one mentions what investments should be ignored in order to avoid financial disaster. The problem is, many people use investments as a tool to “get rich quick” to get out of debt. When it comes to debt, people should use practical methods to relieve themselves of it, such as a balance transfer credit card. When it comes to investments, people should be looking for longevity.”

In order to avoid making a financial mistake, here are the top five worst investments you can make:

  1. Penny Stocks

To many, penny stocks are extremely appealing because their low price. Penny stocks are generally priced under $1 per share. Although that sounds phenomenal and like a quick way to spend a little and gain a lot, penny stocks are priced low for a reason—trade volumes are low. As such, websites and marketers can easily manipulate penny stock prices, which makes it exceedingly difficult to determine which stocks are fraudulent and which ones are real.

  1. College

financewand.comAttending a university itself is not a financial mistake because attaining higher education truly is an investment for your future. But, the problem with college lies in what college you attend. Attending a disreputable university is a poor financial investment because you will be stuck under student loan debt with few employment opportunities.

Make a wise investment by researching which universities have a high statistic of post-grad employment. These universities are usually inundated with well-respected professors who have quality contacts, giving you an opportunity to land a well-meaning job after graduation. Because student loans come with a hefty price, make sure you invest in a university that will pay off.

  1. Timeshares

Timeshares tend to trick investors—especiallynew investors. Owning a timeshare sounds like a great investment and looks like one on paper as well. However, it is one of the worst investment choices you can make because while the business model looks promising, realistically, timeshares offer little in return.

The main reason a timeshare is a poor investment is because unless an investor spends a great deal of time there, it costs far more than it’s worth. Most timeshares only get rented out about 40% of the year, which means the investor is earning nothing during the other 60% of the year. Additionally, if an investor wants to sell the timeshare, he or she will only make about 50% or less of the original price.

  1. Large Homes

Much like a timeshare, investing in a large home well above your means makes the house more of a burden and less of a valuable asset. A big house does not automatically yield a big return investment. In fact, many large homes yield very little in a return investment because regardless of house size, a house is only worth as much as the neighborhood is. Just because you qualify for the expensive mortgage does not mean you should risk your savings and pay for it.

  1. Ill-Researched Investments

Any investment you did not accurately research will probably be a poor financial decision because they potentially could have hidden fees, hidden interest rates, or require you to do work in order to yield a profit.

Before opening your pockets and making a financial decision you will regret later, be sure to give each potential investment ample research.


How to Invest Safely in Penny Stocks

android_apps_for_stock_investmentsThe Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board, or OTCBB, was originally designed as a launching pad for junior companies, but sadly enough, many will never make it to the big boards. While there are quite a few shining stars that rise through the OTCBB ranks and eventually find their way onto the NYSE, NASDAQ, or another large exchange, many run out of money and disappear long before they finally get their books into the black.

Despite this, penny stock trading volume has seen a remarkable rise in recent years, skyrocketing from a meager three billion shares in 1993 to a whopping 650 billion shares in 2006. While many small-cap stocks are unable to boast about achieving profits and revenues, there are certain things traders can do to spot small company penny stocks with the highest chances of survival. Keep reading as we uncover some time-tested ways to invest safely in the dynamic penny stock marketplace.

The Initial Screening Process

It’s one thing to know what to look for, but it’s another discovering the right tools that can help you navigate through over 3,000 OTCBB stocks. With a trusted stock screener in place, here are some conditions to look for when scanning the diverse penny stock universe in search of the right one:

  • Due to the fact that most people trade penny stocks in order to benefit from huge price gains, it may be best to focus your attention on stocks priced under $2, allowing you to gain the most from its hopefully positive market movements. The average share price for an OTCCB stock is $.10, so doing so will automatically get rid of companies with less room for growth and keep the diamonds in the rough just waiting to be discovered.
  • Every trader knows the importance of liquidity for entering and exiting trades, so it’s important to look for stocks with a minimum average trading volume of 100,000 shares.
  • Aim your eyes at stocks that are currently reaching higher highs and lows. For instance, you may want to be on the lookout for stocks whose five-day SMA is greater than its 10-day, suggesting a current uptrend.
  • Obviously, it’s important to avoid stocks that are hemorrhaging cash, so try to exclude penny stocks with negative earnings growth rates and earnings per share.

While screening for stocks that match these criteria will set you on a profitable path, you should perform your stock search over an extended period of time in order to avoid one-hit wonders or companies enjoying a temporary swing. A five-day period should be just fine and allow you to scan for possible candidates without taking too long and suffering from analysis paralysis. The stocks that come up in your screening more often than the others should be the ones on your short list.

Choosing a Winner

After passing the above stock screening criteria, each potential pick should also pass news, short interests, and technical tests.

In order to even be considered amongst your potential candidates, a penny stock should have a strong chart pattern, signaling an uptrend and increasingly higher support and resistance levels.

In addition to passing your technical analysis, a stock should also have a short interest under five percent. However, on some occasions, a high short interest occurs prior to a short squeeze, which usually drives the price up higher.

Even the best technical traders pay attention to the news, so needless to say, it’s important to check recent news about a potential penny stock pick. Typically, the more positive the news, the higher the company’s share price will go and vice versa.

If it passes all three tests and seems like a winner in your gut, you may have found your diamond in the rough, so get ready to ride the uptrend all the way to the bank!


4 Facts That Your Investment Advisor “Forgot” to Mention

Retirement_incomeIt happens millions of times over the course of a year.  A financial advisor lays out the options, the investor nods wisely and asks a pertinent question, and then – presto! – another year of retirement planning successfully concluded. This process has become so de rigueur that we don’t even question it anymore. The advisor plays his/her role, the stock market plays its role, and the investor greases the system with retirement money. It pays, though, to occasionally take a step back and revisit the system. After all, it is your retirement that’s at stake. Here are four quick facts (that your financial advisor “forgot” about) that can help give you a new perspective.

1. How Much is Your Financial Advisor Getting Paid?

You know that you’re paying him… sort of. Most people never get a bill directly from their advisor. Rather, the fees are deducted straight from the account, and that’s definitely to the advisor’s advantage. After all, out of sight, out of mind. To make matters worse, the fees themselves can vary based on the advisor, on the amount you’re investing, and according to the kinds of products that the advisor is offering you. Typically fees are determined as a percentage of AUM (Assets Under Management), but that percentage can vary based on the size of your assets. Those who don’t have a huge nest egg often have to pay higher fees to help supplement advisor revenue.

Let’s break it down in real dollars. Although those one or two percentage points don’t sound like a lot on paper, in real life they can be a very big deal. Take Morgan and Emma. Both have $100k in their retirement accounts, but there is a 1% difference in what they pay to their financial advisors. Morgan’s advisor charges him .5% of Assets Under Management (AUM), while Emma’s advisor charges her 1.5%.If their funds grow on an average of 7%, then in real terms Morgan’s funds grow at 6.5% per year, while Emma’s only grow at 5.5%. At the end of the first year, Morgan’s account has $106,500 in it, while Emma’s account has the slightly lower amount of $105,500. Not a big deal, right? The thing is that retirement accounts are meant to save for the long term. If you extrapolate Morgan and Emma’s accounts 30 years down the line, you’ll find that Morgan is now sitting on a nest egg of $661,436, while Emma is looking at $498,395. That 1% markup from Emma’s advisor ends up costing her more than $160,000! No wonder they like to keep those fees under the radar.

2. Who is Paying Your Financial Advisor?

The first check comes from your account. The second check… well, that’s where it gets interesting. You know the mutual fund that your advisor said was a solid investment? It could be he was telling the truth, but it could also be that he’s getting a hefty “revenue sharing” check from the mutual fund itself. Unfortunately for you, this payment is perfect legal. At the very least it sets up a conflict of interest where the revenue sharing motive might influence your advisor’s better judgment. At the worst, your retirement fund could become a vehicle for whichever funds have the biggest commissions. To further complicate matters, even non-investment products can carry these revenue sharing payments. Banks often give financial advisors incentives for pushing mortgages, credit cards, and checking accounts.Buyer beware indeed.

3. What Kind of Assets Can You Put in a Retirement Portfolio?

Obviously stock, bonds, and mutual funds are perennial favorites for retirement assets. Other assets (e.g. local real estate or a business franchise) can go into a plan, but there are a number of reasons why you won’t hear about them from your advisor. The number one reason is that mutual funds are the easiest asset for your advisor to manage. Put your money in and you’re finished. The advisor doesn’t have to take any personal involvement in the actual financial management, and he obviously can’t be held responsible if the market suddenly tanks. If you don’t like your chances on Wall Street, it might be very possible that a self-directed retirement plan utilizing enhanced retirement platforms is more appropriate.

4. Will Your Advisor’s Plan Actually Provide Enough for Retirement?

That’s the point, right? You’re trying to save enough of those hard earned dollars now so that you won’t have to worry about it later. The question is will your investment strategy pay off? Your financial advisor will usually try to boost confidence in the plan by running it through a statistical program. He puts in your age, your contribution amounts, market returns, and – voila! – out pops a prediction of success. “You are 96% certain to reach your retirement goal.” The numbers are usually pretty good, and why shouldn’t they be? It’s a prediction whose sole utility is to inspire confidence in the recommended plan. The truth is that your financial status could change (earnings can shift for better or worse), and, more importantly, your investments can change. Funds often take a turn at the worst possible time, and the market certainly can’t be trusted with any kind of consistency.

solid_investmentsThis is especially true when we consider the hard statistics. According to the most recent survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, more than 70% of Americans don’t even have $100k in their retirement accounts. If one assumes an average retirement period lasting about 25 years, then that means these people will have to be getting along on less than $5,000 a year. What happened to that shiny 96% certainty? It pays to do yourself a big favor and run the numbers on your calculator.

Summary

In short, financial advisors certainly have a role to play. They usually have a good feel for the system, and they can definitely open your eyes to new financial realities. Still, it pays to know where they’re coming from. Sometimes a little knowledge can also be a good thing.


Relocation to Dallas Made Easier

homeRelocating can be both a dream and a nightmare. Coming into a new community can mean a brand new start and a new life for many people. However, coming into a new community can mean not knowing where to live, where to work, or where to play. Without close friends and family nearby, it can be even more confusing. But, relocation is a bit easier when you have a good real estate professional at your side.

Real estate professionals have the community knowledge to steer you towards a residence that will make you and your family happy for many years to come. They know where the best schools are located and what kind of commute times is common between certain points. This makes narrowing down new home choices a bit easier. They can give you the knowledge of your new community to make home buying or leasing easier.

Most people relocate to a new city for a job offer or for the potential of a new career. They may be leaving good and bad memories in their old home. But, the new home can represent a fresh start after a major change in life. Those who are graduating college may have received a job offer in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Others may be coming off a divorce or the breakup of a long-term relationship and need to make a new start in a new location. There are dozens of other reasons for moving, but all of them represent a major change in life and location.

Are you single and moving on your own? For you, the options are quite diverse. If you want to work and live within a short distance, you might consider residential units in the downtown or Uptown areas of Dallas. These areas are becoming easy living for urban dwellers with top businesses just steps away from luxury condos. Restaurants, shops, and other amenities are just steps away from both the job and the home. These areas promote walking and biking back and forth for most activities. There are both luxury and affordable living options in both areas. These are very popular areas for young professionals as well as the arts communities.

Do you have a young family? Then finding a home with a good school district is likely your priority. Dallas/Fort Worth has many cities with good school districts such as, Highland Park and University Park. You may find a gated community on the outskirts which is a good option. Most of these communities are within a short drive of major commuting routes. You might find one of the historic neighborhoods a good place to balance family and business needs. The homes available on the market are diverse and will give you plenty of choice.

For others moving into the DFW area, the housing options are wide open. There are many communities within a short distance of downtown. There are many communities also tucked into rural enclaves with plenty of land around them. The real estate opportunities in Dallas – Fort Worth are deep and wide, so you will find something to fit your family, budget, and lifestyle. If you are unsure how to proceed, you may want to stay a few months in a rental while trying to find your ideal family home.

Omni Chaparala works for DFW Realties, a DFW real estate company serving home buyers and sellers in the Dallas – Fort Worth metroplex.


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