Showing posts with label Stock. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stock. Show all posts

Monday, August 11, 2014

How Safe Is Your Retirement Fund? 5 Things To Consider When Building Your Portfolio

When looking to retirement, you will want to save money and put it away in the right mutual funds and stocks. Otherwise, you are going to end up having a tough retirement. With this in mind, here are five things to consider when building your portfolio. 

Don't put all your eggs in one basket:

While you probably have heard this term before, you will want to listen to this advice. Think about it, if you look at the last few market downturns, you will notice that some stocks drop 90 percent, while others will not suffer as much. To avoid serious issues, make sure to buy mutual funds; or, if you don't want to buy mutual funds, invest in, at minimum, 15-20 companies. If you’re not sure where to start, there a ton of options out there when it comes to working with a professional. Look online, read reviews, talk to neighbors, there is a lot you can do. Thomson Schindle Green Insurance & Financial Services Ltd is one of those insurance companies up in Calgary and a great example of just how many options there are out there! 

Blue chips are best:

Without a doubt, if you are close to retirement, you don't want to look for the next Tesla, Facebook or Microsoft. No, you want your money to grow slowly and securely. Remember, while you might enjoy double-digit returns, you will hurt your chances at success if you keep buying lottery tickets.

Look for dividends:

If you are like most people, you will want to enjoy a steady income during your retirement years. To get this, you should buy some dividend stocks. Not only will you enjoy a decent ROI, but you can receive a quarterly check from the company. Then, you can use this money to fund your day-to-day life.

Check it out:

Every once in a while, you will want to look at your portfolio and see how it's doing. Otherwise, if you don't look at your returns, you will end up with lagging stocks and mutual funds that hurt your returns. Remember, there is nothing wrong with selling a losing stock if you want to make more money in the long run.


Without a doubt, if you are looking to retire and enjoy a safe and secure time in these years, you will want to buy bonds. While you don't need a portfolio full of bonds, you will want to buy a few. Ideally, when buying bonds, you should buy ones that will pay out. Remember, you don’t want to take a risk with this investment, especially if you are approaching retirement or already retired. Luckily, with municipal bonds, you can enjoy tax savings and a steady source of income.

With these five tips, you can enjoy a safe, secure and happy retirement. On the other hand, if you don't take it seriously, you will struggle to live a happy retirement.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Ask Bert Griffin: Some Tips for New Stock Investors

English: Phillippine stock market board
English: Phillippine stock market board (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In the wake of the financial recovery and the resurgence of the stock market, stocks have returned as one of the more popular investment vehicles for independent investors. And for good reason – if you have funds set aside that you’re looking to invest more aggressively, stocks can offer a great opportunity for strong returns. However, with that said, becoming active in the stock market offers far more risks and uncertainties than other investment avenues, especially for those who are new to stocks.

But, knowledge goes a long way, particularly in the investment world. Which is why I thought it would be worthwhile to share my thoughts in this ‘Ask Bert Griffin’ article on what I think needs to be known when someone first considers investing in the stock market. 

Background research and knowledge is critical

Here’s the thing – if you’re new to buying and selling stocks, then you’re probably also new to the workings of the stock market and to the full range of stocks available for you to purchase or trade. Which is fine. However, it does mean that performing background reading on not only the stock market in general, but also the different types of stocks traded in the market is imperative for any sort of success.

Now there are entire books and classes devoted to different stock purchasing and trading methodologies. If you do not have time to take these sort of classes, then try to do some sort of background reading on how the stock market works before making any sort of purchases. Furthermore, once you have an idea of what stocks you would like to buy, be sure to complete detailed research on both the history of the company you’re investing in, as well as its stock. 

Never be surprised at the volatility of these kinds of investments

One of the things you have to be mentally prepared for when becoming active in the stock market is that stocks can be very volatile vehicles for investment. Unlike mutual funds or other forms of investment, when you buy stocks, you’re directly investing in the daily performance of a company. That means there’s no cushion or anything else protecting you from the performance of that company. Thus, if the company you buy stock from begins performing poorly or if their stock becomes ill-favored on the market for some reason, this will be reflected in the stock price – and not several days or a month later, but immediately. Additionally, even if the financial market is doing well, the stock(s) that you choose to invest in may perform poorly (and of course, the opposite is true too).

In short, the value of stocks can fluctuate wildly and when beginning to make your first investments, you need to be prepared for potential volatility and remain confident in the intelligence behind your stock picks.

If interested in more conservative trading, then consider stocks from major corporations like McDonalds or Coca Cola

Now that doesn’t mean that every single stock traded on the market should be deemed high risk. Yes, stocks of start-ups and small companies doing business in unproven industries are certainly more risky investments. However, stocks of such global, big-name companies like McDonalds, Coca Cola, Pepsi, IBM, Intel and Google, to name just a few, can be seen as far more stable investments. 

 However, there’s some caveats to be had here – first, stocks of these kind of established companies are typically more expensive; second, because these big corporations have relatively stable value, you’ll most likely not see any sort of wilds gains when buying their stocks. Yes – in the investment world, ‘no risk, no gain’ is a phrase that proves true more often than not.

Never forget that buying and trading stocks is a high-risk form of investment

I always advise those clients of mine who purchase and trade in the stock market to never forget the risk that comes along with it. As much as I want my clients to succeed financially, there’s a potential danger that comes along with enjoying success in the stock market – namely, a person can become complaisant or they can forgot the risk they are taking. 

 And, in a worse case scenario, all the success they have enjoyed can come crashing down in a matter of hours or days, and a lot of assets can be potentially lost. That’s why I repeatedly remind my clients that knowledge, confidence and a continual awareness of the stock market and one’s activity in it is imperative for success.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Invest in the Stock Market But First Learn the Basics

1903 stock certificate of the Baltimore and Oh...
1903 stock certificate of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A stock is essentially a small share of a company. The percentage of ownership of a company that you get in exchange for the purchase of a stock is dependent upon many factors, including that company's industry, its stock share, and its history with business growth. Stocks are considered to be an equity investment, and whether you're looking to eventually build a significant savings out of stocks or simply have some fun, choosing to take some money and invest in the stock market can be a smart and exciting prospect. By claiming a share of a company's assets and profits, you're essentially hitching a ride along with their corporate big-time-earners, which means that the more they make, the more you make. This is one of the top five stock investment tips: buying more of a company's stock means playing more of a role in ownership, and thus earnings.

Common types of invested stocks provide shareholders -- those are the people who purchase stocks from the company -- with some voting rights, but no actual promise of profits from the company. A preferred stock, on the other hand, almost always guarantees you'll see a return from it, but you won't have voting rights within the company. If you don't mind not having a say in the direction a company goes, but you definitely want to earn a share of its profits, then a preferred stock is, without a doubt, the better choice.

Once upon a time stock shareholders had actual paper certificates verifying their ownership of stocks. These days, the purchase and trade of stocks are recorded digitally, and assuming you're using a brokerage firm to assist with the management of your stocks, they're the ones whose name will be on the stocks, even though you are the one who owns them.

Before purchasing a stock, it's important to know the basics. When ordering a stock, you can do so via a limit order, a market order, a stop order, a stop-limit order, or a trailing-stop order. Each of these types of stock ordering methods are different, but result in the same thing: obtaining one or more stocks for you. Remember, the more stocks you purchase from a company, the more ownership you have in that company. But sometimes it pays to purchase just one or two from each company, though in some instances owning multiple stocks can definitely be much more lucrative. An experienced brokerage firm can help you make the right choice in the number of stocks you buy from companies.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

4 Good Tips To Secure A Stable Retirement

There has been a lot of talk these days about retirement funds dwindling and the fact that many people may be forced to work late into their 70s. The truth is that those who plan ahead for their retirement and make intelligent investment decisions should have no trouble retiring when they feel the time is right. Here are four good tips that should ensure that you have a stable and financially secure retirement.

1. Invest in Stocks, Bonds and/or Mutual Funds

Investing is the best way to ensure that you have enough money to retire at a time of your choosing. While you may save up a lot of money through 40-50 years of working, investing gives you a chance to double or triple that sum by the time you retire. By conducting bond market research, buying stocks that you believe will rise in price, and researching the best mutual fund options, you will give yourself a great financial platform in retirement. Some prefer to invest in stocks and bonds independently. However, if you do not trust your knowledge of the markets, you may be better off letting a mutual fund handle the specifics of investing.

2. Keep Your Mind Sharp

Even if you have retired from your job, it is important to keep your mind fresh and stimulated every day. Find an intellectual activity that suits your personality. Whether it is reading a book, learning a new language, solving puzzles and riddles, or becoming a history buff, exercising your mind every day will help you stay healthier and livelier much longer.

3. Exercise Regularly

Keeping your body in the right shape is just as important as exercising your brain. While you are probably not going to be completing any marathons when you are 65 or 70, it is always good to walk a few times a week or head to the gym. Exercising will help you maintain a healthy weight, lower blood pressure, and keep your muscles and bones in tip top shape as you age.

4. Explore New Places and Things

Many people enter retirement and lose their purpose in life. No longer having to work everyday, they can become lost and confused in the adjustment period. Make exciting plans for retirement, such as visiting new continents, exploring new areas in your city, and meeting new people. Sometimes when we become adults and start having to spend all of our time working, we lose touch with some of the activities and hobbies that make us happy. Retirement is the perfect time to dust off your old guitar, or read that novel you always talked about reading. Not only will these activities broaden your horizons, but they will keep you excited and in good spirits.

Retiring can be daunting and overwhelming at the best of times, which is why you do not want to be unprepared. Secure your financial future, and make plans to keep you occupied during your retirement years. That way, retirement will be the next phase of your life, instead of being the beginning of the end.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What You Need to Know Before Opening an ISA

If you are interested in saving for your future, there is a great option you may have heard of. The Individual Savings Account (ISA) is a tax-free way of saving money for your short or long-term goals. It is a way of saving your money under a tax shelter. The concept of an Individual Savings Account is simple to understand, however, there are a few things you should understand before opening an ISA. 

Cash ISA versus Investment ISA

There are two types of ISAs: cash ISAs and investment (stocks and shares) ISAs. In either case, an ISA manager handles your account. You do not have to pay income tax on the interest and the gains are tax-free as well.

The cash ISAs are great for short-term savings accounts. You can place the money into the account at any time or place a lump sum in there up to the annual contribution limit. You can readily pull your money out, and there of course may be penalties for doing so.

An investment ISA allows you to place your stock market investments into a tax-free shelter as well. These are advised to invest in for long-term opportunities. These are a risk and your funds will go up and down. Therefore, if you are depending on the money, it may not be the best option for you. 

Check Out Multiple Bank Offers

Banks operate under different terms and conditions when it comes to their ISA’s. Some banks are more lenient than others are. You may find a bank that allows you access to your money immediately while others go through strenuous paperwork. A bank may pay you a fixed rate if you do not touch your ISA for a full year. You may start with a bonus rate for your initial deposit, but the rate may drop over time. 

Transferring Fees

A bank can charge you transferring fees. That is a major catch and deal breaker for some people. Remember, you cannot withdraw your own ISA without incurring a fee. It must be transferred over. So find a bank that does not charge a fee. You may find a better interest rate later and it will be too late at the end of your term to transfer and receive the advantages.

When transferring, you want to make sure it is simple to do and done correctly. If you have cash and investment ISAs, they both may not be able to transfer to the same bank. An investment management firm such as Nutmeg makes transferring existing ISAs simple. They offer stocks and shares ISAs. They help you build and manage your portfolio. 

Apply Early and Get Your Documentation Ready

The deadline for ISA applications are April 5. Your maximum annual contribution amount for the cash ISA is £11,280 for the 2012-2013 tax year and £11,520 for the 2013-2014 tax years. You will find many people hurrying at the last minute to get them in. Once you have found one you are interested in, hurry and apply. Before that, get your documentation ready such as your identification, address verification, and your National Insurance number.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Start Investing in Your Future Now

Manage your money with investment portfolio management tools

You are never too young to start investing for your future. While you may not really be concerned about your retirement right now you should still start putting some of your money aside. Investments are a great way of supplementing the income you have in your retirement and it can make a huge difference to the quality of life you’re able to afford when work is no longer an option. And let’s face it, do you really want to work into your seventies?

If you are smart you’ll begin investing your money as soon as possible. If you build a diverse portfolio you can reduce the risks that can be found when investing and build a great income to help you in the future. Lack of knowledge can result in many individuals not even considering investing their money but you can get over this step. There is plenty of advice that can be found online and you should always consult with a financial advisor who will be able to give you some valuable information.

You’re not too Young to Start Planning for Your Retirement

The earlier you begin investing the better; your investments will have much longer to grow in value. However, you should never simply buy stock or start investing in shares without managing your money and keeping an eye on what’s happening in the markets.

As soon as you begin work you should ask your employer about their pension plans if they have one. It is worth paying into a pension plan and if the company doesn’t offer one, you need to look into finding your own. Don’t leave it there though; you can also start saving money in ISAs or buying stocks and shares.

Diversifying your investments involves spreading out your money over different market categories. You can look at putting some cash towards stocks that are more conservative that have regular dividends as well as ones that offer more long term growth opportunities. Additionally you might like to take some greater risks that have the opportunity of receiving much greater returns.

What You’ll Need When You Start Investing

It is important that you seek some advice before you do anything. You will need to establish how much money you will want to invest initially and decide where you would like it to be invested. You can choose to play it as safe as possible, choosing only the low risk options, but if you are ready to accept more risk, you could put aside a small proportion of your funds for something that could really pay off in a big way.

When you decide how to proceed you will need to find yourself a way of managing your stocks and shares. The best option is to use an investment portfolio management tool. This allows you to monitor your diverse investments in one place. By doing so you will be able to react quickly when you need to and help reduce the risks of losing your investment simply because you haven’t been paying enough attention.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How To Keep Your Investment In Sight

The stock market is one of the best ways to invest your money. This is because they have higher returns as compared to investments in real estate or bonds. However, before you benefit from your investments in stocks, you need to find ways to manage this type of personal finance. There are several tools on the market that you can use for managing your investments. This article looks at some of these finance tools.

Virtual Options Trading Tool

There are so many strategies that you can put in place to achieve the goals you have set for your investment in stocks. This tool allows you to test any new strategy before implementing it. This tool gives you access to various strategies to help you process complex orders. The best thing is that the tool is totally free for you to use.

This finance tool comes with virtual options, trade stocks, spreads, covered call trades and straddles. You also have access to advanced order strategies such as one-cancels-other (OCO) and triggers. Other features include:

  • Analysis of performance via downloads of positions
  • Use the notes feature to set reminders for various tasks
  • In case you need to start all over again, you can reset the account and have a fresh start

Stock Screening Tools

This represents one of the most versatile tools that you can use in your stock investment. This tool can pinpoint credible companies in a particular industry. You will be able to examine valuation ratios, revenue growth, and various types of financial ratios. These tools allow you to maintain a proper balance in your investment portfolio.

Screening tools come with a charting capability that allows you to determine the buying and selling levels. This helps you enjoy better accuracy as well as saving time for you. You will get to understand the various concepts underlying different types of stocks. 

Stock Monitoring Tools

If you need to watch your investment grow, you must have a tool to monitor the portfolio you have set up in a quick and efficient manner. There are various tools that you can use to do this. One of the best feature of such tools is the capability to give you updates in real-time. The updates may come via email or phone. The updates will help you assess your portfolio very quickly and based on facts.

Most of the tools come with a news feed. This works by giving regular news for specific stocks. The information will come from various sources such as blogs, websites and other sources. The information you get will be the latest on the market.

Stock Prediction Tools

Predicting the way the market goes is not a guarantee. However, there are tools that will give you an idea of what to expect. These finance tools for prediction use pattern analysis to determine what will happen next. You can use the resulting chart to know how the stocks will rise or fluctuate so that you can make an educated decision. Stock prediction tools are ideal for deciding which type of stocks to invest in. 

Stock Growth Analysis

If you have invested in a given type of stock, you need to find a way to know whether it is increasing or not. This will help you know whether to purchase more stocks, keep the one you have or invest in a new type of stock. These tools monitor any change in the stock so that you know exactly when something happens.

Finance tools for managing your stock help you stay on track with your investments. You will be able to know how your investment is working out and which step to take regarding your stocks.

Author Bio
Joshua Turner is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to business. In this article, he offer tools to manage finances and aims to encourage further study with an  NJIT Online Master Computer Science

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Looking for Part-Time Income?

Economic downturns, furloughs and sequesters have a lot of people looking to supplement their income to offset their losses in recent years. Fortunately, there are a number of options to get some extra income on the side, including options such as covered calls. Before you run to make extra money though, know that the first steps in financial freedom is always budgeting (try this method?) and living within your means (like this guy?). Do you need the newest iPad? Can you give yourself a raise by simply spending smarter? 
After taking an honest look at your own finances, you may decide you really do need extra income. Perhaps you want to fund a hobby, or you are one of the few lucky ones with extra time on your hands, or even want to find a different investment opportunity. Covered calls are one opportunity you can exercise in order to pull in extra income with investments you already have or can acquire.
What are Covered Calls?

Covered calls are an option one can sell on investments they already own. The option is to purchase the underlying investment at a strike price before a certain date. The hope for the seller of the covered call, is that the option is purchased and never exercised, allowing them to sell the option repeatedly to generate a consistent flow of income. This will happen if the underlying investment value remains below the strike price. If the investment value exceeds the strike price, you will be forced to sell the investment at the lower strike price, but you will keep the amount you sold the option for.
What do I need to start?

In order to start selling covered calls, you need to have investments. Certain investments will be better than others based on your expectations of their future performance. As stated above, investments you expect to remain constant in value, or to decline (and which you don't otherwise want to sell), are best investments for covered calls. Of course, the if the entire market agrees with you that the investment will not increase in value then no one will purchase your option to begin with, so obviously, you need to have an investment whose future is at least somewhat uncertain at the time of the option sale. Barring insider trading (which is illegal), predicting the future can be difficult, but also can be worth the rewards if you are willing to take the risks.
What are the risks?

The risks of covered calls are the same as with any option and with any stock investment. With the option itself, you put at risk only the difference between the increase in value of the stock and the strike price – thereby limiting the gain you can make if the price of the stock does increase. However, owning the underlying investment also presents a risk that is not eliminated by using covered calls. By owning the stock, you are risking the entire value of that stock, as you are when you invest in anything. Because the options are 'covered', that is, you own the underlying stock at the time of the option sale, you are limiting your risk as opposed to when the option is 'naked' where you will have to purchase the underlying stock at market price in order to sell it to the option buyer at the strike price if they exercise the option.
How do I get started?
There is a lot of information about covered calls available on the internet and in investment books. One such source is Compound Stock Earnings. Always remember, however, that options are bets on the future performance of the stock market and are not a guaranteed source of income. If you do choose to invest in covered calls, be sure you are using funds you don't necessarily need to survive (or retire) on.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

5 Possible Investments for a Better Retirement

The best type of investment for your future will depend on your age, disposable income and the amount of money that you have managed to save so far. Generally speaking, the older you are the less risks you should take. For example, investing in equities may be a good idea for those in their 20s, 30s and 40s but if you are planning to retire in ten years or less, it is probably best to minimize the percentage of your portfolio that is invested in stocks and shares. This is because stock markets can be quite volatile and if you are likely to need your money sooner rather than later, you may be forced to liquidate your holdings when the market is at a low point, historically speaking. 

Below are five areas in which you might like to invest, with some comments on their suitability for people of different ages: 

1. The equity market – as mentioned above, investing in the stock market, whether via exchange traded funds or directly in individual shares, can provide healthy returns over a reasonable period of time but is not advisable for those that are hoping to retire in the near future. Free online advice such as that offered by moneyvista financial planning and other similar organisations can be very useful when trying to work out which equity funds are the most suitable for your needs. 

2. Government bonds – known in the UK as gilts and elsewhere as treasuries, they are considered to be very low risk investments and because they pay a fixed amount, known as the coupon, it is easy to work out exactly how much income you will receive over time from the government bonds in which you invest. The value at which they can be sold does change but if you are going to hold them until maturity this is not an issue that will concern you. 

3. High interest savings accounts – sadly, these are largely a thing of the past. The low rates set by central banks in developed countries across the globe mean that it is very hard to find a safe home for your cash where you will receive interest payments that exceed the level of inflation in your home country. However, if you are prepared to accept the higher exchange rate risk associated with holding deposits with banks in developing nations, it is still possible to get a good return on your savings in certain parts of the world. 

4. Property – if you had asked a hundred people for investment advice 5 years ago, the chances are that nearly every single one of them would have recommended investing in property for those that could afford it. Recent events may have changed some people’s opinions with regard to the safety of bricks and mortar as a home for retirement funds but residential properties still offer a high potential for capital growth when compared to other investment opportunities. As with stocks and shares, it is inadvisable to put your money into property unless you have plenty of time to ride out any possible downtrends and wait for a recovery. 

5. Antiques and art – although not many financial advisors are likely to suggest investing a sizeable proportion of your retirement funds in Queen Anne chairs or paintings by Old Masters, such objects not only offer the chance of making a big profit over time but they also come with the added advantage of providing their owners with many years of pleasure in the meantime. If you appreciate beautiful things and you don’t mind taking a risk, antiques and works of art could be worth further investigation. 

About the Author: 

The MoneyVista financial planning site is a service that aims to provide users with helpful information on personal finances, covering topics on borrowing, saving, and budgeting.

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