Top 7 Things to Consider Before You Start Investing

Be it investors, potential investors or general public who is looking to start investing, everyone gets excited the minute they have extra cash on their hands and one of the usual plans is to invest it for quick profits. People want to start making their money work for them and that’s a very understandable and rational thought but sure enough one needs to be practical about their finances as well. There is a lot of due diligence and groundwork that goes into understanding the financial markets before one must start investing and it’s for their best as well!

An investment making company will generally help you get started with your investment and offer you end-to-end insights into how to make more money and how to invest money to achieve your financial goals. However, there are a few things you as an investor must consider before approaching any Asset Management Company or getting started on your investment journey.

Here are the top 7 things one should consider before they start investing to make more money:

1. Pay Off Prior Dues

No investment can start without you actually being done paying off your dues and clearing your credit. A clean slate for all your debts is very essential to begin investing stress free and focusing on returns.

2. Create Cash Emergency Fund

Before you start investing it is very important for you to have a separate cash fund prepared just in case of emergencies. There is no questioning the volatility of the market and you can’t really depend on redeeming from market when in dire need. Having an emergency fund lets you start your investment journey with a bit more ease. 
3. Create Financial Goals

One of the most important questions often asked is how to invest money and earn quick profits! However, there is much more to investing than just expecting returns. It is equally important to have your financial goals set it place and invest accordingly. Be it buying a dream home, car or saving for retirement, an investment making company will know exactly how to help you get started.

4. Understand Financial Instruments

There are tons of financial instruments in the market which offer numerous benefits. The bigger question often is what you as an investor wish to achieve, quick profit, long term stability, lesser risk or just saving for the future? It’s not tough to make more money with your investments as long as your priorities are already quite clear.

5. Due Diligence on Investment Options

Asset Management Companies have a variety of financial instruments that an investor can pick from and ensure that they make more money. If you want to know how to invest money wisely on the other hand then it is best if you do your due diligence on all the financial products in the market and then make an informed decision to earn quick profits.

6. Research on market trends

How to invest money wisely is indeed a question every investor should be asking themselves or the investment making company who is helping them build a portfolio. Keeping updated about the market, staying on top of news in the world markets and knowing the current business trends makes it easier for the investors to pick their financial instruments for investment.

7. Evaluate your risk bearing capacity

Every individual has their own risk bearing capacities. An investment making company will often ask you the risk level your profile fits in as an investor as it helps them decide where and how to invest money and earn quick profits. How to invest money is often a question answered at the expense of how much risk are you willing to take for the same,

As simple and lucrative investing and making quick profit sounds, the truth is that unless you have a foundation in place and thorough research to build up, your investment portfolio won’t be solid.

Asset Management Companies are there to help investors with their portfolio, right from researching and investing to managing and reinvesting investors’ wealth. If you are new to the world of investing then these pointers will make sure that it doesn’t seem intimidating anymore!

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5 Best Investments for Beginners

The adage goes something like ‘the best time to start investing is now.’ For some beginners, this can be painstaking, considering the volumes of information on the best investment with guaranteed returns. Other beginners will think this is an easy way to make a quick buck and plunge head first in the markets.

This post is for the amateur investor who is ready to make a strategic decision to safeguard their investment against exposure to unsustainable risk, but with enough latitude to pursue conservative opportunities that yield capital gains, and learn the ropes of the trade while at it.

Apart from the theoretical understanding of how the financial markets operate, it is imperative that a beginner gets a realistic feel of the different strategies investors employ in pursuit of opportunities in the markets.

The following is a detailed explanation of five best investment approaches suitable for beginners:

  1. ETFs

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) offer a less rigorous opportunity for participating in the stock exchange. As a beginner, investing in ETF is ideal because an ETF pools together several assets including particular stocks, commodities and bonds, and the performance tracked against an index. ETFs allows you as the investor to trade several assets commonly as if they were a single stock. The diversification of the ETF enables beginners to access a broad portfolio of stocks and bonds providing the convenience and reduced risk. Consequently, the flexible nature of ETFs allows an investor to trade flexibly, with the choice of buying and selling at any time during regular trading hours.

  1. Mutual funds

Mutual funds are pooled investment vehicles ideal for beginners because of its two primary characteristics. First, a beginner is able to access the services of a professional trader in the name of fund manager despite the meek amount of capital, some as low as $25. Secondly, the investor is exposed to minimal risk because mutual funds, like ETFs, invest in a diverse asset class portfolio of stocks, commodities, and bonds across different markets and industries.

  1. Individual stock

After a detailed analysis of the past performance of an individual stock and the prevailing facts, individual stocks can offer a stable investment opportunity suitable for beginners. Caution should, however, be placed to ensure that the investment into the particular stock does not upset the risk tolerance level of your portfolio in case of a negative turn of events. Markets is not always predictable.

  1. Certificate of deposit

Depositing money in a bank over a specified term length with a fixed and guaranteed return of capital plus interest is a sound investment opportunity for a beginner. Certificate of deposits is insured and hence the capital plus interest are guaranteed to the investor at maturity. However, it is important to understand that access to this money is limited during the stipulated investment term length and may attract fees or loss of interest in case of withdrawal.

  1. High Yield Savings Account

This investment also entails saving for the sole purposes of earning capital gains from interest over a specified term length. However, unlike the certificate of deposit, the interest is not fixed and hence interest is according to the prevailing market rates. Funds in this account are however more liquid hence easily accessible.

Chris Bouchard is a strategic consultant who works with non-profit leaders and social entrepreneurs to apply concepts and techniques to identify complex strategic issues, find practical solutions, and devise strategies to create and win a unique strategic position. He also offers project development, proposal writing, and project evaluation services.

3 Tips for Short Term Investments

Today’s marketplace is competitive, especially as the traditional system takes a backseat to the global economy. Practices such as international money exchange, offshore investments, and outsourcing opportunities are constantly changing the financial landscape- some for the better, and others for the worse. But there are still opportunities, right?

In the recent past, most of us have turned to financial institutions, such as banks and credit unions, to manage our money. However, conventional investment opportunities are becoming outdated as distrust for lending institutions has grown alongside interest rates and bankruptcy filings. So, how do you know who to trust and where to invest your hard-earned money?

While most financial advisors are still pushing long-term investments, short-term are undoubtedly the most sought after- and with good reason. Investing a small amount of money in a short-term investment can produce a high-yield in just a short time, but it can also be a quick “game over” for the unprepared investor. That’s why we’ve prepared a few tips for the short-term investor; a bit of due diligence to help you avoid common mistakes and save you from losing your shirt.

  1. Do Your Homework

An effective investment requires thorough research, including the collection of data concerning the market, the company and/or project you’re investing with, and the feasibility of that company and/or project being successful. Before you dive into an investment opportunity that looks “too good to be true”, remember that sometimes those opportunities are too good to be true.

One way that you can protect your investment is to research the company or project that you’re supporting. Make sure it is a reputable and legal operation, check reviews, and look for fraud alerts on the internet. Once you are sure everything is legit, make sure the opportunity is one that has a high chance of success and you’re on the right track.

  1. Don’t Be a Hero

The global marketplace is crawling with innovative ideas, especially when it comes to technology. Crowdfunding has changed the way people view, find, and support projects however not every innovative project is a success. History repeats itself for a reason and sometimes, trending investments are short-lived.

Be wary of investment opportunities that claim to have a high-return in a short-period of time. They may have the possibility of yielding a high-return, but they also have the possibility of instant bankruptcy for the entrepreneur who has nothing to lose. And, you don’t want your investment listed on the bankruptcy roster.

  1. Follow the Money

Where there is already a steady cash-flow, there is bound to be more. Of course, this is not always true and businesses do occasionally take a turn for the worst, but for the most part, a business with revolving capital and assets is less likely to take a dive. So, if you see a good investment opportunity with a stable company, chances are they are running a short-term campaign for a special project using your investment. This is a win-win situation because they want to fund something that they know will make money while you benefit from their success.

Chris Bouchard is a strategic consultant who works with non-profit leaders and social entrepreneurs to apply concepts and techniques to identify complex strategic issues, find practical solutions, and devise strategies to create and win a unique strategic position. He also offers project development, proposal writing, and project evaluation services.

These Are the 6 Best Indicators You Should Know

Every Forex trader knows that you must supplement the information in your charts with a number of technical indicators. Among the indicators commonly used are strength indicators, volatility indicators, trend indicators and cycle indicators. These indicators not only help us determine in which the market is moving, but also when a trend is about to end and we should either exit the trade or, with a good signal, reverse the trade.

The following 6 indicators are the most commonly used among Forex traders:

  • Stochastic oscillator – The stochastic oscillator helps a trader determine the strength or weakness of a currency by comparing the closing price to a price range over a period of time. When the trader identifies a high stochastic that said currency may be overbought and you should go short or bearish. Conversely, a low stochastic indicates that a currency may be oversold and you should go bullish or long.
  • Bollinger Bands – Bollinger bands contain the majority of a currency’s price between the bands it displays. Each band has three lines – the lower and upper lines show the price movement and the middle line shows the average price of the currency. When the market is experiencing high volatility, the gap between the lower and upper bands will increase. In you candlestick or bar chart, the currency is considered overbought if a bar/candlestick touches the upper band and oversold if bar/candlestick touches the lower band.
  • Average Directional Movement (ADX) – ADX is used to determine whether a currency is entering into a new uptrend or a downstrend. The ADX is also used to determine how strong the trend is.
  • Relative Strength Indicator (RSI) – RSI uses a 0 to 100 scale to indicate the highest and lowest prices over a period of time. When prices of a currency rise over 70 the currency is presumed to be overbought. On the other hand, a price below 30 would most likely indicate that a currency is oversold.
  • Simple Moving Average (SMA) – The SMA is the average currency price for a given period of time compared to other prices during the same time periods. To illustrate how SMA works, the closing prices over a 7 day period will have a SMA equal to the addition of the previous 7 closing currency prices divided by 7.
  • Moving Average Convergence/Divergence (MACD) – MACD is another oscillator that shows momentum of a currency as it relates to the two moving averages. As we discussed in previous articles, when the MACD lines cross, that crossing may indicate the start of an uptrend or a downtrend.

5 Alternative Investment Approaches

WHAT ARE ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENTS? 
An alternative investment is a class of investment that are not covered under any Government regulatory like RBI, SEBI, IRDA, and PFRDA. It refers to a privately pooled investment fund – a trust or a company.

Here are some alternative investments approaches that may influence your investment decisions –

#1 FOCUS ON ABSOLUTE RETURNS 
You invest to end up with more money than what you started with. It means you are looking for an absolute return: how much did you actually make, is the main focus.

Invest in assets that you believe will do well; don’t invest in a product just because it’s likely to outperform the market. Have your analysis on hand.

#2 RETURNS ARE ONE-DIMENSIONAL, RISK IS MULTI-DIMENSIONAL 
When it comes to investments, returns are easy to calculate. Keep your focus on Risk involved with the alternative investment asset as well. Prepare a list of the relevant risks. You need to have a clear idea of the risks involved in your investment, as it will help you to take a calculated decision.

Also, if at all something unexpected happens, you will be more likely to make better decisions if you’ve thought about the risks before investing.

#3 KNOW THE SOURCE RETURN 
Understand what will influence and drive the returns on your investment. While you hold the investment, monitor the value of your investment.

Constantly revisit your assumptions of the return drivers of investment, in case they don’t match your parameters or expectations rethink your investment.

#4 UNCLEAR IS GOOD 
Anything that’s not traditional is alternative. An alternative investment is populated by investment ideas that may not be immediately obvious. For instance cryptocurrency.

Continuously learning, exploring, researching, studying, and looking outside your comfort zone is the key to financial success.

#5 DIVERSIFICATION IS A MUST 
Holding a mix of assets that are equally good, but which behave differently, will leave your portfolio’s return intact, and lower its risk as well.

Diversify means constructing a portfolio with very varied return drivers and risk parameters, not just different assets.

Most of us see investing in alternative investments highly risky. However, if you desire to live a successful and fulfilling life and retire with enough money to enjoy your retirement years, you must take calculated risks. This includes risks in your relationships, risks in your career, and risks in your investments.

While taking smart calculated risks is vital to reaching your goals in life, remember that taking bad risks and losing can set you back, sometimes significantly. It may help, however, to remember that taking smart risks is as simple as making wise decisions.

A Framework for Good Decision-making

I’ve learned a lot in my life from observing others and through my personal experiences-both good and bad. Therefore, when I consider taking a risk in any area of my life, here are the questions I ask myself: 
1. What are the risks? Be honest. Don’t let your emotions prevent you from carefully considering all possible risks. This is where the landmines exist. 
2. What are the odds of one of the risks coming true? Be truthful. Use real data whenever you can by doing research and talking to others. 
3. What are the rewards? Be realistic. Can you really quit your day job and devote ten hours a week to something and make $100,000 a year? (Probably not.) 
4. What are the odds of those rewards? Be sensible. Find out how many others have done something similar and how they have fared. 
5. What other options do I have? Be creative. Don’t limit yourself. Consider all possibilities. 
6. Do I need to make this decision today? Probably not. Take the time you need to do your research and explore your options.

The Significance of Thematic Investing

Index Services are dominating the investment markets from quite a long time by now. People who have the preference for diversity when it comes to investment are venturing towards the Thematic Investing. Here is the highlight on the significance of thematic investing.

It is an intuitive investing

This implies that instead of venturing into something unknown you can invest your hard earned money into the ideas as well as the trends that you are fully familiar with and the ones that you find exciting. Having a good knowledge about the same can provide you the capability of making the smart investment choice. As you go in for researching on your own this further makes your position comparatively strong. It further enhances your ability so as to customize your portfolio. You can invest in areas that interest you such as real estate, travel and healthcare.

You can align your values

Here you get the opportunity to be able to align the values that you think are important for you when it comes to your investment. You can simply invest in areas for which you hold the passion or the ones that are primarily focused on the social responsibility. You can simply make the world a better place to live with the help of your investment.

You have a vast choice

There are companies that give you the portfolio well prepared in advance if you so desire. On the contrary, you have the option to create a portfolio for yourself. There is a plethora of option of mutual funds that are available to you as an investor.

Helps to generate alpha

Thematic investing is the best way to get the opportunity for to generate alpha. By imply focusing you’re your investments in the hot spots where you can distribute the sizeable amount of your capital, you can easily generate the alpha. By simply analysing the other portfolios you can come at a decision for yourself.

Gives you flexibility and transparency

By simply creating your own portfolios you open up the gateways to great opportunities. Being able to customize your portfolio is a great advantage in itself. All that you need is to have a great visibility as well as control in addition to the transparency with no hidden cost. You get the clarity of your fractional share as well as the penny.

It is easy to access

Gone are the days when only a limited number of people had an access to the thematic investing due to the fact that the portfolio structures were not only expensive but at the same time restrictive as well as complex that consumed a lot of time for their maintenance. Most of these were available to high net worth investors. Today such is not the case as it has gained popularity, and become accessible for investors f all the brackets.

All in all, this is the significance of thematic investing. If you have still not explored the boundaries of the same, the it is high times for you to do the same.