Strategies in the Market

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.

5 Ways to Get Money During a Financial Hardship

If you’ve fallen behind on your payments, you’ve likely had to deal with creditors calling.  While fielding these phone calls (or avoiding them, as the case may be) is annoying and stressful, they likely aren’t your greatest concern.

If you have trouble keeping up with bills thanks to a pay cut, job loss or an injury, you’re probably even more likely worried about bigger problems–paying your mortgage and keeping your home, paying your car payment so you can keep your vehicle and continue looking for a better job, paying your taxes so you don’t owe Uncle Sam and face having your wages garnished.  Besides these pressing concerns, you also need to worry about keeping your family fed and keeping the lights on at home.

If you’re in this financial bind, there are steps you can take to relieve the financial pressure.

1.  Borrow from family and friends.  If you’re not uncomfortable doing this, you can borrow money from family and friends to meet immediate pressing financial needs such as paying for housing and food.  Just make sure you have a plan for paying back the money when you get on your feet.  To make the borrower feel more comfortable, sign an agreement, have a repayment schedule, and have a notary public witness it.

2.  Take a cash advance on your credit card.  If you can’t borrow from family and friends, you could take a cash advance on your credit card.  Only do this to meet your most basic expenses, though, because the interest rate can be high.

3.  Take a payday loan.  Sometimes payday loans can be a life saver if you’re in a truly desperate position.  Applying online for a loans has never been easier, and in many cases you can have the money in your account within 15 minutes.

4.  Borrow from your 401(k).  This is truly the last resort.   Borrowing from your 401(k) is only a good idea if your money crunch is temporary and you can see a time in the not so distant future when you’ll be able to pay back the money.

5.  File for Bankruptcy Protection.  If you’re at the place where you need to borrow from your 401(k), you may want to consider bankruptcy instead.  If you leave your retirement savings intact and file for bankruptcy instead, in most cases you will be able to keep both your home and your retirement.

If you’re in a difficult financial position, you have a number of options available to survive this rough patch.  Which option you choose depends on the severity of your situation and when you think you’ll be back on your feet again.

Credit card security: Fraudulent scams to look out for

These days, many people rely on credit cards to make significant purchases. Electronic payments are quick and simple, but you must protect your account from fraudulent activity. There are many scams out there designed to steal your details and money, so here are a few to look out for.

Card not present fraud

Believe it or not, your card doesn’t have to be physically stolen for criminal activity to take place. That’s right, crooks can access confidential information from receipts and use it to buy high value items over the internet or on the phone. This is called card not present fraud and can leave a big dent in your bank balance. Fortunately, the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency is one the case and recently teamed up with the FBI and US Department of Justice to shut down over 30 websites selling stolen card details.

To protect yourself: Always dispose of personal details carefully (preferably by shredding) and never throw receipts into a public bin. If you do hold onto them, keep all paperwork in a safe place.

Cash machine (ATM) fraud

According to the UK Cards Association there are three main ways in which cards and card details are stolen at cash machines. Firstly, a trapping device is used to retain the card inside the cash machine. The criminal then offers to help and encourages the victim to retype their PIN. When they give up and walk away, the thief releases the card and reuses it at a late date. Secondly, a skimming device is used to copy electronic details and transfer them onto a fake card. The PIN is stolen using a secret camera. Thirdly, criminals shoulder surf and watch people typing in their PIN. They then steal the card using distraction techniques.

To protect yourself: Cash machines often contain a picture of what they should look like. Use this for reference and go somewhere else if there are signs of interference.

Counterfeit fraud

Some criminals manufacture fake credit cards. The details of genuine cards are then duplicated onto the counterfeit card via the magnetic stripe. They then enter circulation making it very hard for shop owners and sales assistants to spot if anything’s wrong. Cash machine fraud tends to fuel this kind of activity, as personal details can be easily stolen. Luckily, this type of fraud has dropped by 79 per cent over the past couple of years (as reported by the UK Cards Association), thanks to Chip and PIN technology and sophisticated fraud protection software.

To protect yourself: While counterfeit fraud appears to be decreasing, you must always apply for a credit card from a reputable banking group. If you work in a store, always double check with other staff members or contact the police, if you suspect anything suspicious.

A wallet wouldn’t be complete without a low interest credit card, but try to protect your privacy and banking details whenever possible.

 

How tricky is it to send a parcel to USA?

Packages

If you’re unfamiliar with the nuts and bolts of sending parcels overseas the entire process can seem just a little confusing at best; or worrying at worst. Even if we set the problem of finding a good deal for a reliable service aside for a moment, getting a firm grip on details of a delivery can leave you considering the idea of buying a plane ticket and taking the package yourself. -Nearly.

Many online couriers have recognised that we don’t want to become trained experts in global logistics before we can send a parcel to USA and this realisation has been a key factor in the evolution of the services they provide. With the right courier arranging a delivery ought to be relatively straight forward, possibly not as simple as posting letter – but not far off.

As long as you take a few moments to make sure you have any relevant information to hand, you shouldn’t encounter any real issues. So, what counts as relevant?

Two addresses – the point of collection and the point of delivery. No real surprises here; ensure you have the post or zip code for both locations.

Measurements – if you’re getting a quick quote online you’ll need to tell the courier how large and how heavy it is before they can collect it as each will have restrictions on the size of items they are able to carry. Accurate measurements are also necessary for generating an accurate price of course.

Details – packages sent within the borders of the EU do not require customs documentation; deliveries going outside of the EU do though. Any self-respecting online courier will make producing any and all paperwork easy – for customs invoices you’ll need a reason for exporting the package (“gift” for example) as well as a brief description of the items being sent and an estimate their value.

Other than that, all you need to do is pay and wait for the collection to take place.

How to Retire Debt Free

The great recession of 2008 will undoubtedly become an historic moment across all generations as many hardworking families face cuts in employment and income in coordination with challenging consumer markets and the rising costs of living. Traditionally in this model of family finance, retirement provides that beautiful moment of release alongside a healthy retirement fund and pool of sustainable assets.

However with the level of family debt rising steadily over the past decade, many have been found questioning their previous financial management choices and seeking new ways to balance the books through a healthier lifestyle. Avoiding debt in retirement is entirely possible with good planning; here are five great ways to enhance your financial situation.

1.      Construct a Budget.

Prepare an annualised budget and methodological strategy based around your incomings and outgoings which should provide the estimation of disposable income and monetary investments. This can also shed light on where money could be transferred or reduced and to further identify how your cash flow changes over a significant period of time.

2.      Tax Efficiency.

Tax undoubtedly has an effect on debt levels and should be heavily monitored to make reductions. Business debt and rental property can be removed from taxable income and should be a slimmer priority for those in the higher tax bracket.  As an extra tip to help better prepare yourself for retirement, consider taking courses in a graduate tax program.

3.      Preparation.

A very good measure for savings is to budget 10% of shared gross income as this provides a great fall back for an unexpected scenario such as business failure, divorce or illness. If an unexpected situation occurs, seeking immediate financial cover is both challenging and costly in the longer term. Living within ones means also requires a contingency plan of this nature and if avoidable, provides you with a useful savings trust.

4.      Prioritizing Debt.

All debt is bad debt but there are ways to categorise the importance of each debt based on interest and deductible earnings. Paying off the smallest bill first can allow you to avoid interest on future payments so a debt reduction strategy based on this method can be successful.

5.      Prioritize Importance.

A philosophical approach for the investment of capital should be utilized after covering the necessary areas of education, food, and maintenance. Whilst there is the pressing urge to acquire that new widescreen TV, a weekend away with your partner could become a far more valuable investment for the relationship strength it provides.

 

Author Bio – James Barnett is a writer on behalf of CooperMatthews analysing contemporary wealth management for families across the UK.

Why You Should Consider All Business Insurance Options

Depending on the nature of your business, you may need any number of different business insurance policies.  The main three types of business insurance policies that many small business owners and start-ups opt for are public liability insurance, employers’ liability insurance (with minimum cover of £5m) and professional indemnity insurance.   But of these three, many small businesses and start-ups only need public liability insurance if they neither have any employees nor offer professional advice and services.

There are several other types of business insurance policies available, though, and you should consider each in turn to decide whether or not your particular business requires them.  These include:

  • Business property insurance (to cover your business premises and equipment against fire, flood, theft etc.);
  • Tools and plant cover;
  • Revenue protection (through key person cover if your business relies on one or two peoples’ expertise or knowledge to exist, or business interruption service in case something happens that means you can’t trade for a limited period, e.g. after a fire).

Business insurance is ultimately very flexible in that you can pick and choose what types of cover you need and don’t have to pay for cover that isn’t necessary for your business.  Some insurers offer a combined policy for different types of cover, meaning you only have to pay one excess even if you have to claim against several elements of the policy.

For example, if your business premises set on fire and damaged a neighbour’s property, you may need to claim under your business property insurance (to effect the necessary repairs to your premises), business interruption insurance (to pay your outgoings whilst you are unable to use your premises) and public liability insurance (to pay for the repairs to the neighbour’s property).

Of all the types of business insurance policies available to all businesses, perhaps the most crucial is public liability insurance.  That’s because ultimately if your business suffers through theft, fire, flood or the death or illness of a key person, it is ‘only’ your business that will suffer – no-one is going to sue you for it, so you can contain your losses to your business.  That is easy to say, of course, and most small business owners will have invested considerably in setting up, and if you have adequate insurance in place you won’t have to worry at all.  But if you didn’t have adequate insurance and injured someone or caused damage to their property, they would sue you and you may end up losing more than your business – you could lose your home and any savings too.

Public liability cover is designed to cover levels of claim that you couldn’t possibly hope to pay for yourself.  If, for example, a customer caught their coat on a nail sticking out of your wall, you could no doubt afford to pay for the coat to be repaired or replaced without needing to go through your insurance.   Public liability insurance covers up to at least £1million but sometimes you may need a higher level of cover (particularly if your customers demand it).

Finally, if you take out public liability insurance, check the terms and conditions before you buy to make sure that no exclusions apply that would effectively mean that you could never claim.  For example, you may find a relatively cheap quote but discover that it wouldn’t cover you if you were working at height at the time of any incident – not much use if you’re a commercial window cleaner.

 

How the Japanese Economy is Picking Up

The Japanese economy has been picking up steam through 2012, shrugging off the aftermath of the Japanese Earthquake that struck over a year ago.  However, there are still problems that need to be addressed, especially political ones, that could hamper the growing recovery.  Here are some signs that the Japanese economy is recovering, especially as you compare economic analysis from the UK and the US.

 

Recent Financial Results

 

So far this year, consumer spending in Japan is in a recovery phase.  After the earthquake last March, consumer spending tanked, bringing down the economy with it. However, domestic spending is on the rise, and new car sales rose a whopping 31.9% last month, which is its sixth straight month of growth.

 

Department store sales have also been increasing, especially on the luxury end.  And finally, passenger traffic on Japanese airlines rose over 17%, which is a huge increase in travel traffic.  All of these signals point towards improving financial conditions.

 

 

Earthquake Recovery Bump

 

The recovery from the earthquake is also having positives effects on the economy.  It was unknown how long the added construction and rebuilding jobs would last, but it appears that the growth in these jobs and markets should remain strong for the next several years, as the country recovers from the earthquake.  So far, the government is estimated to spend a total of 18 trillion yen ($200 US Dollars), and that number is sure to rise as more areas are recovered.

 

The boost in earthquake recovery spending should have broad implications across various sectors, but especially industrial production and construction.  Both rose over the past 6 months, which is a good sign.

 

 

Exports Will Rebound

 

Finally, as the economy improves in the United States, more Japanese exports will be sold, thus boosting the economy.  Combined with the lowest yen levels in months, this is a welcome boost for the nation’s exporters, who should see a boost in overseas profits due to the exchange rate.

 

All of these signals bode well for a continued recovery in Japan.

How Savings Accounts Can Help You

A savings account isn’t just a place to park your money, but it is also a tool that can help you meet your money needs.  Whether you need to put your money into a savings account for the short term, or if it is an integral part of your retirement plan, a savings account can help you manage and plan for your money needs.

 

 

Easy Access

 

The first thing that is great about a savings account is access.  20 years ago, having a savings account meant that you had to go to the bank to transfer or withdraw your funds.  It was harder to use than a checking account (where you could just write a check), but it was safe and obviously cheaper than a www.paydayloansonline.com.  However, now with online banking, you can access your savings anywhere, and transfer funds as needed.  This gives you the benefits of a savings account (earning interest), while still maintaining easy access.

 

 

Safety and Security

 

Savings accounts also provide safety and security for your money.  When you apply for a savings account, you do so at a bank or credit union, which is FDIC insured.  This means that as long as your balance is under the FDIC minimum, you will never lose money by keeping your account at the bank.

 

Keeping your money at a bank is also infinitely more secure than storing large sums of money at your home.

 

 

Budgeting

 

Finally, a savings account can help you budget.  Many people use a savings account as a place to store their emergency funds, which is their savings in case something unexpected comes up.  A savings account is a great tool for that, since the money is safe, and it earns interest over time.  Also, since it is separate from your checking account, there is less incentive to spend the money.

 

Many people also open multiple savings accounts for multiple goals.  For example, there could be a college savings account, a vacation savings account, and more.  This allows you to set aside specific amounts for specific goals, all while having the safety, security, and access of a savings account.

Post by Robert

5 Reasons a Lender May Reject Your Mortgage Application

The necessary paperwork that is mandatory to complete for a mortgage application can often be a difficult task to undertake. After finding your dream home, the last thing you want is to then find yourself receiving a call from the lender stating that they have declined the loan. You may even ask yourself what could have caused this to happen. Mortgage applications haven’t changed over the years but the current lending requirements have.

Today’s financial institutions have strict guidelines in place making it difficult for consumers to obtain a loan. The following are five factors that could have an impact on whether a financial institution will lend money for a mortgage.  

1. Changing Employment

Switching jobs may not have an impact on a person’s ability to qualify for a mortgage, but you may be at a disadvantage if you have recently changed companies. If you make a move within the company to a position with the same or greater pay scale, you shouldn’t need to worry.  People who are dependent on commissions or bonuses may suffer a greater risk of getting rejected by the lender. Financial institutions find applicants who have been with the company for two or more years more favourable when lending money. Those with the greatest disadvantage are people who leave a salaried position and start a business venture on their own. Lenders like to see stability and records from a two year period, so they can plan future income appropriately. Furthermore, an applicant that is self-employed could have more expenses to write off, and their income taxes reflect the minimal net income that is reported.

2. Changes in your Credit that have an Impact on Your Credit Score

Equifax, Experian or Transunion are a few of the companies that the lender may use to check the applicants credit history. It can take anywhere from one to three months for a home loan to go through, and the lender may do a final credit check before fully committing to a loan. It’s important to not do anything that could have a negative impact on your credit score during this time. The activities that could prevent your loan from going through include making a late payment, or applying for another type of loan or credit card. It’s in the consumer’s best interest to obtain a copy of their credit report and correct any items that are wrong.  

3. Failing to make your Current Mortgage or other Payments

People who fail to make their monthly mortgage payments or cannot pay their other bills are showing the lender that they are a poor credit risk. If an applicant is having a hard time paying their current mortgage, they should consult with the mortgage holder and see if there are any other options in place, so they can meet the repayment terms on their loan.

4. Too Much Credit Card Debt and Numerous Outstanding Loans

Lenders will take into account an individual’s consumer debt and the mortgage payment, and see how it correlates with their income. The basic rule most lenders follow is approximately 33 percent of an applicant’s gross income with an added five percent for consumer debt. The lender will also look into the available credit a borrower has to utilize, so you may want to think about closing a credit card account or reducing the maximum limit that is allowed.

5. Failure to Complete the Basics

Some financial institutions make it easy and are able to complete the loan application process over the phone. However, many institutions require the individual to physically fill out the form. It’s simple to make mistakes or leave items blank when an applicant rushes through the process and hasn’t filled out the necessary paperwork properly. A lending institution can refuse an application based on these mistakes, so you need to make sure to take the time and go over everything thoroughly. It’s also possible to hire a mortgage broker, attorney or financial adviser to help with the application process and have it all checked before presenting everything to the lender.  These are the primary reasons a lender may refuse an applicant’s mortgage. To make sure this doesn’t happen, an individual should maintain good credit and keep their debt ratio as low as possible. This will have a positive impact on whether their home mortgage is approved.

Bio

Andrew Potter is a finance and property expert and writes for www.myonlineestateagent.com. My Online Estate Agent provides a new alternative to your standard high-street estate agent.

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

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.