Beginner’s Guide To Forex Trading

1

Posted by Daniel | Posted in Investment | Posted on 15-09-2014

Trading on the foreign exchange markets, better known as Forex trading, is one of the most popular in the world and has probably benefited more than any other market from the trading allowed to smaller investors by the Internet. Forex trading basically means that foreign currency is bought and sold by a trader in the hope that a movement in the foreign exchange market will increase the value of a specific currency over another. The advent of 24 hour trading that has taken place since the Internet brought investing into the homes of everybody and everybody with an Internet connection has led to trades being made on currencies from around the World.

One of the major reasons the Forex market has become so popular with traders from around the World is the fact it has become one of the least volatile available, with an average movement each day of less than 1 percent for most currencies. The lack of volatility means these markets can be used for both long and short term investments that had, in the past, made this market one of the most important for large investors, such as banks, hedge funds and mega rich individual investors.

In Forex trading, the investor purchases an amount of currency in the hope that they will later be able to sell it for a profit, which means the invested money can be moved between different currencies to build a profit over time. The market is also one of the simplest to gauge as the investments made on a large or small scale have little impact on a day to day basis. Even the largest investment made by banks and hedge funds can only move the value of a currency by a small amount, movements are instead largely based on the long term prediction of the state of the overall economy in a specific country.

The investments made in Forex trading can be done for any length of time, with some investors moving their funds around in just minutes to look for a major profit. Others gamble that a currency will rise over the future months and take a long term view of Forex trading.

Calculate The Amount Needed To Retire | How Much Do I Need To Retire?

6

Posted by MJTM | Posted in Investment | Posted on 30-04-2014

Tags: ,

Trying to calculate the amount of cash savings and other assets you’re going to need in place so that you can enjoy your upcoming retirement? You’re not alone. There are loads of financial planners’ advice columns available to learn from. Each of them have their own specific recommendations, but there’s something you should know: Nobody can tell you “the best” way to calculate your retirement amount. It’s not possible! Here’s why

How much do I need to retire comfortably?

You can plug your information into any online retirement fund calculator, and get many accurate, precise monetary amounts spat back at you. That’s all good – but basically worthless. You see, when you plug in those variables into those calculators, YOU are guessing at future contribution amounts. You are dictating the age when you want to retire. You are guessing the amounts you’re going to faithfully contribute. And you are assuming nothing catastrophic happens in your world, or in the financial markets realm. That’s a lot of guessing to come up with such specific numbers. Don’t you think?

Calculate Retirement Amount: Simple Example

Assume that you are 45 now, and that you would like to retire at age 65. That means you have 20 years to save and invest. You “guess” that you will live to be 80 years old, meaning you will need enough in your retirement fund to last you 15 years (80 – 65). You “choose” that you will need $30,000 annually to maintain your “chosen” lifestyle. $30,000 x 15 (years) = $450,000. Now, at 45 years old, you have 20 years to accumulate $450,000 in your retirement fund. That’s $22,500 per year. Simple mathematics, right?

But wait a minute: that’s almost all choosing and guessing! If you can foresee the future, and know that you definitely going to meet all your retirement fund investment goals, then you’re completely amazing! Most people simply can’t do it. Here’s why:

  •  You have no knowledge of or control over financial markets conditions.
  • Stock markets crash
  • Currency rates fluctuate.
  • The Prime Rate can change at any moment.
  • The amount you choose that you will need annually may have a completely different real value at your chosen retirement age.
  • You may or may not be able to make your intended contributions.

Getting the picture now?

The truth about calculating your necessary retirement amount?

Even if you are an incredibly detailed, strategic, determined and consistent person, there will be events and happenings that will occur – things you will not be able to control. It certainly doesn’t hurt a thing to use a retirement planning calculator. Go ahead: plug in some variables. Experiment with different input amounts. It’s sort of fun – and it gives you a somewhat solid basis to plan your retirement on. You just have to remember that life will happen.

Sometimes you will probably fall short of making your contributions. Other times, maybe you will exceed your intentions. In the end, as long as you’re actively planning and making the contributions you can, you’re going to be just fine. Relax and enjoy…

Are You a Short-Term or Long-Term Investor?

0

Posted by MJTM | Posted in Investment | Posted on 21-04-2013

Tags: ,

Do you like to invest your money? What do you typically invest in? Stocks? Bonds? Real estate? Precious metals? Do you think you’re a long-term investor or a short-term investor? Let’s explore the various types of investing and decide whether you are attempting to make short-term gains or whether you’re truly looking to prosper in the distant future from your investments today.

Long Term Investments

Many of you work in corporate jobs that offer 401(k) plans. Some of your companies even offer a match up to a certain perfect of what you put into your retirement fund. If you are contributing some of your earnings into a 401(k) account, this is most definitely a long-term investment. Your money is put into this account with the expectation that it won’t come out before you reach the age of 59 ½ years of age. If you do, then you will be penalized a percentage of your fund’s current value. If you are putting money into this account for a short term gain, please don’t because it won’t pay off for you.

Real estate is another great form of a long-term investment. Well, as long as you’re purchasing it as a rental that is. At this time, real estate can still be purchased for a reasonable rate. Let’s say a property is valued at $100,000 (just to keep things simple). The rent for this property will most likely be $1,000 per month, or $12,000 a year. So, even if you have the absolute perfect renter that pays every month and stays for an entire year, you’ll still only collect 12% of your investment for that year. But, as a long term thinker, you realize that not only are you gaining a return on your investment, but the equity in your rental home is also increasing. So, you could actually be earning 17% or more on your house instead of just 12%. If you earn that over the course of 30 years, you’ll have quite the chunk of change!

Short Term Investments

If you head to the bank, they have a few short term investment options available to you. For starters, you could invest your money into a simple checking account that pays interest (my credit union pays 3%). They also offer CDs that pay just a little more than 1%, but if you don’t plan on doing anything with your money for the next year anyway, then it might be a decent way to make a quick buck.

The stock market is a great place for people that like to make short term gains. In fact, spread betting is one of the most popular ways to earn money fast. If you believe that a stock price will move up or down from its current state, you could place a spread bet for more money than you’re actually putting down, and you don’t even have to buy the stock to do it! A great deal of money can be made in a short period of time, but of course a great deal could be lost as well. Invest wisely.

How to Trade in the Forex Market

2

Posted by MJTM | Posted in Investment | Posted on 26-03-2013

Tags: ,

Trading on the Forex market is something most of us have never ever deemed as a means of making money. The field of professional finance typically seems extremely distant from the real world, and quite often it is, yet it’s actually much easier to get involved than you might think.

If you think of an investor, a traditional bank or prosperous businessperson likely comes to mind. The truth is, it can be you or me. Exchanging currency to make money doesn’t require a huge capital expense. While you will obviously make more money the more you have available to put in, a lot of brokers will permit you to begin with as little as $10. Many offer a demo forex account, so that you can trade with virtual cash to see how the whole thing works. You simply need a working computer and an account with an fx broker.

In their simplest terms, the currency market is all about buying and selling currency in order to make a nice gain. This revenue is created because the value of one currency versus another continually fluctuates. The idea is to speculate on whether or not the currency pair, e.g. GBP/USD, will improve or deteriorate. You ‘buy’ a currency whenever you expect it to increase, or ‘sell’ if you expect it to fall.
There are several influencing factors and complicated charts that can help you choose how to buy and sell, but one of the most effective ways of analyzing the direction of a currency is to utilize the news. When the news sounds like the market of one currency is suffering, then it’s fair to assume this will be mirrored in the value of the currency.

When you finally become secure predicting patterns in line with the news, you can consider all other varieties of signals, like those you can view in charts and simple analysis. Seasoned investors utilize a large number of sources to help them trade fx .

Foreign exchange trading is accessible to everyone because, unlike the stock exchange, you are able to deposit a small amount of cash which allows you to hold a position of a higher value. A number of broker agents offer you leverage of 100:1 so that if you deposit $10, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of trading with $1000. Keep in mind though, that as the current market changes you can actually generate losses, and this could exceed your initial deposit.

Trading on the foreign exchange market may not be for every individual; there’s an inherent risk, but with experience and careful methods, earning profits is certainly feasible. There is a great deal of in-depth information available on the internet free of charge, so even learning doesn’t have to cost you anything at all. If it sounds like something you’d be interested in, maybe you should out a trial account? They cost nothing and you could really acquire a feel for the market. It’s not only a method of earning profits either; forex trading is exciting.

 

Strategies in the Market

0

Posted by MJTM | Posted in Investment | Posted on 25-03-2013

Tags: ,

I’m sure you’ve heard the advice, “buy low and sell high”, but how many times have you actually been successful at this? To be an effective investor, you have to be willing to buy stocks when the market is going down and selling it while it’s still going up.

Face it, this is the way people usually invest in the stock market:  At the point we’re ready to invest in various shares of the market, we carefully watch our stocks of choice, just waiting for one of them to jump so we can quickly get in on the upward trend. So, when is it that we’re investing? Either when the stock is halfway to its peak or at the peak! Then, we might leave our investment in that stock for a while until we look at how it’s doing later in life. We then notice that all this time, the stock price has not gone up, it has actually gone down! We hate to take our investment out now, so we wait for a little while with hopes that it will soon skyrocket once again. But nope, the value continues to fall. Then, in fear that the stock is going to go bankrupt, we quickly pull out our investment to protect what we have left!

So, what have we done? We’ve bought high and sold low, which is exactly the opposite of what we’re supposed to do. While sometimes this is necessary (to cut our losses and move on), it’s certainly not going to make us rich in the future. In fact, it’s going to make us more broke than before!

If you are wise, you would research strategies online (from reputable sources of course) and put them into practice. Some individuals have chosen to learn market trading strategies at Alpari, which is also a wise move.

Many investors know that they should look at the up and down trends of the market, but few actually know what they should be looking for. Have you ever heard of the phrase, “double dip”? No, I’m not talking about double dipping a chip, but I suppose the visual is somewhat accurate.

When you take a look at historical trends in an individual share price of most any company, the stock price tends to start low (at any given point in time) and then it goes up to a peak (or high price in the market). Then, it inevitably falls again, to a low point almost where it first started. This is a double dip in the market (since it went down to its low point twice). This is when you should jump into the market. Obviously, this isn’t going to work 100% of the time, but the odds are now in your favor to make more of a profit on that particular stock.

What Is Boosting The New Zealand Dollar On The Foreign Exchange Market?

0

Posted by MJTM | Posted in Investment | Posted on 02-03-2012

Tags: , ,

Europe is going to hell in a hand basket. Iran is poised to hold the world to ransom for its oil. So what’s giving the New Zealand dollar a boost?

 

Last night, EU officials agreed a bailout for Greece that no one seriously believes is going to save it. In Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is turning off the pipelines to the West for daring to interfere with his nuclear weapons programme. In the world in general, developed economies are still struggling to recover from a global crisis that almost spelt the end of capitalism as we know it.

 

You might not think these are circumstances that would encourage riskier investments, including in small economies like New Zealand. Nonetheless, the New Zealand dollar is doing brisk business, presently at a 5-month high against the US dollar and a 3-month high against the pound. So what’s the deal?

 

Glass-Half-Fullism Among Foreign Exchange Investors

 

One reason the NZ dollar is flying high is that foreign exchange investors are glass-half-full kind of people. They spot good news, and they latch onto it like it’s the last turkey on the shelf at Christmas.

 

For instance then, reports that the US recovery is picking up pace have buoyed the New Zealand dollar. For the past three months, job creation in the US has exceeded the wildest dreams of investors, helping to boost consumer confidence and retail sales. This encourages investors to stop nervously biting their fingernails, and get buying. Hence the rising New Zealand dollar.

 

New Zealand Is Rising (And Foreign Exchange Investors Know It)

 

Second of all, there is NZD strength because New Zealand is a rising star. In the past decade or so, New Zealand has become the premier distributor to China for milk products (I kid ye not) creating a behemoth new source of revenue for its dairy industry. This is giving its economy a huge boost.

 

In addition, New Zealand is enjoying a strong job market and consumer confidence, in spite of the earthquakes in Christchurch 12 months ago. Unemployment fell –0.2% to just 6.3% last month for instance, putting its unemployment rate among the lowest in the developed world. Retail sales meanwhile jumped 2.2%, also indicating optimism among consumers.

 

This guest post was contributed by Michael Smith from foreign exchange specialists Pure FX.

 

Investing for Beginners

7

Posted by jamie | Posted in -Featured-, Investment, Personal Finance | Posted on 29-06-2009

After lots of requests for information on investing while in Japan, I’ve decided to write a very basic introduction. This time I’ll be looking at managed funds, which is probably the easiest way to get a good return on your spare income with minimum of effort over a long term. Of course, there are other investment options – stocks, foreign exchange trading – but they require far too much effort and you’re just as likely to lose money unless you really know what you’re doing.

Read the rest of this entry »

Getting Qualified In Japan: The CompTIA A+

26

Posted by jamie | Posted in Getting Qualified, Investment | Posted on 25-02-2009

a_it-tech_72rgb

Reader John Turningpin asked for more info on the CompTIA A+ IT qualification I passed recently, so I’ve put together a list of resources I used and more info on actually taking the test.

Overview:

The CompTIA A+ is an entry-level qualification that proves you are able to repair, upgrade, diagnose, and torubleshoot Windows computers. It consists of 2 tests. The first is a basic computer repair and troubleshooting skills test. For your 2nd test, you can choose from different options: (1) A higher-level but still general “IT technician” test (2) A customer focussed test for helpdesk roles (3) A hardware focus for depot / no-customer contact roles. I had originally planned to take the hardware test since I hate dealing with customers, but from the advice I had gotten it seemed like the general technician test would be more useful in getting a job.

As a general indicator for if you think this qualification is for you, I’d take the quick 10 question practice test over at CompTIA site (quick form filling in required) – anything below 5, and this probably isn’t for you; 5-7 and you have a good chance of passing with a few months of good study; above 8 and you can probably just go ahead and take the test immediatly, or find out the exact topics you need work on and focus on those for a week maybe.

Studying:

Experience: The best way to learn how to repair PCs is to get a hold of some hardware and play with it. Here’s an off the top of my head list of things you need to have experience of doing at least a couple of times:

  • Change the video card out, and know the difference between PCI and AGP, and the newer PCI-e slots.
  • Add 2 extra hard drives to your computer, and figure out how to partition them. I say 2 drives in order for you to understand the concept of primary and secondary drives on an IDE chain.
  • Strip the processor and fan from the motherboard and then put it all back again.
  • Format the drive and reinstall from scratch. If the idea of re-installing Windows XP doesn’t sound like a thoroughly riveting Sunday afternoon, this test maybe isn’t for you.
  • Go to Sofmap and check out all the hardware – would it fit in your computer? Look at all the motherboards, figure out what kind of processor slots they are.
  • Try connecting your computer to your TV. Most laptops and decent gfx cards support this just fine.
  • Try setting up a home network manually. DO NOT just plug your computers into your broadband router – that’s cheating.

That’s all I can think of right now, but if you think of anything else, please add them in the comments.

Online learning: Going the legal route, ProProfs is a fantastic free resource with online practice tests, flashcard, tutorials on specific tough topics (like the laser printing process, which *will* be on your test) etc.

Videos: If you have money to burn or have no moral qualms about piracy, I thoroughly recommend the CBT Nuggets training course or VTC series. They cover everything in the exam rather comprehensively.

Taking the exam in Japan:

You’ll need to register at Pearson Vue first, then find a test centre near you using their locator. The process of actually booking a test is very easy using their online booking system, and just make sure you select the English version of the test (there is a dropbox that allows you to choose – it defaults to English). During the booking you will also need to select the test centre and an available time slot, so be sure to have chosen your test centre using the locator before you book. Simple!

Hope that was useful to you John, and anyone else interested in getting their first IT qualification.

Invest in your future – get qualified!

7

Posted by jamie | Posted in Investment | Posted on 25-01-2009

Yesterday, I took the second of two exams for a computing qualification called Comptia A+. Each of the tests cost ¥20,000 to take, but I passed first time so I won’t be paying for a re-test. More to the point, I consider it an investment in my future. I’m hoping that these qualifications, along with my half-decent Japanese skills will launch me into a real job in Japan, rather than continuing to be an English speaking monkey (tm).

pass

I encourage you too to get some additional qualifications and make yourself more marketable in these harsh economic times. Next on my list is a bunch more computing tests, and maybe even JLPT 1. If you plan on staying in the English teaching career, you’re going to need a masters degree in TEFL or language, but the cost is rather more prohibitive. An online TEFL course would be a good start, and the JLPT is always going to be useful in Japan. How about you, do plan on taking any qualifications in the near future? Let us know in the comments…