I see a parallel here between medical treatment and investment advice. In both cases, the choice of expert is an extremely high-stakes decision. If your doctor prescribes the wrong course of treatment, you may not wake up the next day. An incompetent investment adviser may leave you unable to ever retire.

choosing_a_doctor.gifInvesting to a lot of people is comparable to going to the doctor, you know you should but it’s kind of scary, so you put it off. Does that sound familiar at all? Well, the thought that should be even scarier is what may happen if you don’t start investing.

One of the biggest misconceptions about investing, whether it is the stock market, bonds, real estate is that you have to have a lot of money to do it, and you only do it so you can get rich. The truth is completely different.

The truth is, investing is something you do to secure your financial future and also build a retirement fund. Suppose you were downsized out of your job? Suppose your retirement is up in 10 years? By investing, you will be prepared to meet these new challenges.

That’s the real meaning behind investing, planning your retirement, not becoming a millionaire. I’ve found few of the biggest reasons why many people fail to get started investing in their financial future as follows:-

Read (more…)

tunlaptop1.jpgLosing sleep over buying a mattress could be understandable; people are tossing and turning on potentially bad beds because they dread mattress shopping.

Now let’s take a look at losing sleep while investing. The recent events in the stock and bond markets drew everyone’s attention. No doubt you took a look at your investments and, perhaps, worried about one or two. Maybe, you made some changes to your portfolio.

Let’s take a look at your experience and see if there are some lessons to be learned.

Did you lose sleep, literally or figuratively, over any of your investments? This is the gut check measure of risk tolerance. Investing is not an emotional decision, it takes hard work and discipline, but if you worry too much about an investment, it isn’t right for you. One of the hardest parts of investing is keeping your emotions out of it (i.e., taking a loss or selling your “favorite” stock).

Emotion will only cause you to buy at the market highs and sell at the lows. But, did your gut tell you to sell anything during the recent market correction? Rule number one of gut check investing is: if you lose sleep over an investment, it’s probably too risky for you. How do you know? This brings me to the second rule of gut check investing.

Read (more…)

moneyjj.jpgAn identity thief takes your personal information and uses it without your knowledge. The thief may run up debts or even commit crimes in your name. Identity theft is serious. While some identity theft victims can resolve their problems quickly, others spend hundreds of dollars and many days repairing damage to their good name and credit record.

As the name suggests, it is the theft of the personal information of another. The theft would be incomplete unless the information was used for some nefarious process, and it is in many different ways. Keeping your personal information from falling into the wrong hands will help you from becoming another identity theft victim.

The most common form of identity theft is not the stealing of credit card numbers. Instead, the devious individual is aiming for your social security number. Why? That number is the basis of many different financial transactions.

With a social security number, an identity thief can take many financial steps. They can open multiple credit card accounts. They even apply for a loan once they establish a second address.

Read (more…)

fotolia_top.gifBeginners who are not aware of current trade investments and who don’t have enough capital to invest may face a lot of setbacks. These factors, however, should not discourage an individual from investing. If you are too scared to take the risk, you lose a lot of opportunities.

Investing gives you the leeway to increase your income. If you just simply put your money in a savings account, a 2-5% interest will not do to secure your future. Since in this set-up you can easily pull out your savings account, it increases the likelihood of you spending the money in unnecessary expenditures. In a short span, your money is gone and that leaves you with nothing.

Lay down the cards. For beginners, the first thing to do when you plan to invest your money is to have a reality check. To start off, do you have a capital to invest on? It is not just capital but do you have a risk-capital?

Add up your assets and check which of these you are willing to bet and let go. This may be hard at first especially if all of which are valuable to you. But if you carefully choose which assets are of lesser value to you, this will make it easier for you to accept loss if your first investment fails. Since investing is also an expense, consider it a loss anyway but with a potential to grow.

Read (more…)

Market corrections are inevitable and healthy. Stock market corrections can be excellent opportunities to purchase common stocks at bargain levels. Veteran stock investors are not seeing anything in this turbulent market that is particularly unusual.

The fact that this market roller coaster is being pushed by a credit crunch instead of surging inflation or some other economic disaster doesn’t change the need to take a deep breath and sit tight.

Corrections, pullbacks, or whatever you want to call them are a natural part of the market cycle.

If you take a look at the past, there has never been a correction that has not proven to be a good buying opportunity. It has taken an average of less than three months for the market to make up those corrections, which is why most veterans plan to ride out the bumps.

When the market begins its return to normalcy, you don’t want to be on the sidelines. The secret to wealth has always been to “buy when there’s blood running in the street and sell when everyone is pounding at your door, clawing to own your equities.” You must have enough faith in yourself to buy when the rest of the market is selling.

Read (more…)

image003.jpg“People who read Cosmopolitan magazine are very different from those who do not.” so said Donald Berry in ‘Statistics’.

Now you will just not have any idea of how apt that statement is unless you’ve actually read Cosmopolitan (really read it, not just look at the pictures) but I like to believe that fund investors who read Mutual Fund Insight are very different from those who don’t. I have believed so far that there are two kinds of fund investors-thinking ones and non-thinking ones. And those who invest their time and money in reading this magazine must be the thinking ones.

What distinguishes the two? The non-thinking ones are the ones who just follow whatever seems to be the flavor of the day. The thinking ones are those who carefully weigh their options, consider the facts and then take rational decisions. However, in recent months I have seen that sometimes, the final step is the same.

The non-thinking ones unthinkingly follow the flavor of the day. The thinking ones think carefully, then just ignore the conclusions and follow the flavor of the day. They look at returns, ratings, portfolio statistics and whatnot, but then turn around and invest purely driven by the fear of getting left behind by everyone else.

Read (more…)

ist2_2794331_healthy_wealthy_and_wise.jpgWealth from the old English word “weal”, which means “well-being” or “welfare”. The term was originally an adjective to describe the possession of such qualities.

We have all heard the old saying ‘health is wealth’ this I think is perhaps only about half right. If we think wealth is the key to health, then you know you’ve found good wealth to afford the comforts of life, and your worries would take a backseat. Much the opposite would happen if your finances are out of control.

I believe that the ultimate success is defined as staying alive. And the more I think about this, the more I believe it. After all, what do money, power, and good looks matter if you’re dead? For starters, smarter people are likely to have more money.

The first step towards a secure financial position starts with budgeting. You must have a budget to gauge your future positioning. A budget is nothing but an overview on how much you earn, spend, and save. This can be short-term as in case of daily or weekly budgets. It helps you to have an idea about where your money is or will be. Budgeting also helps in achieving long-term goals. For instance, if you fancy owning a Lexus after five years, you should plan to save some bucks from your pay every month and budget accordingly. If you stick to this practice, your desires won’t fail you.

Read (more…)

c0036918.jpgI was involved in a discussion some time back and we were discussing this and all of us thought it was ridiculous that they don’t teach a personal finance class in high school, at least not when I was in school.

Is it any wonder that when kids go off to college they rack up so much debt? According to some statistics I read that the average undergraduate has credit card debt! My friend Shane has recently done a three post job on getting out of debt and each one worth reading.

The logic behind teaching children and teenagers about personal finance is pretty obvious. Just think of all of the finance clichés that you’ve heard: start investing as early as you can, the most important factor in investing is time, don’t get into credit card debt, etc. – all things that are best to learn sooner rather than later.

And because many basic aspects of personal finance currently aren’t taught in school and are left to be learned at home, this current system seems to nurture the fact that wealthy people tend to stay wealthy and poor people tend to stay poor. I don’t think it takes a giant leap of faith to see the possible correlation.

READ (more…)

2005-12-19-bill-gates.jpgI read with great interest and a touch of nostalgia, the business news’s headlines that Bill Gates is no longer the richest man in the world; he has been dethroned by Carlos Slim.

Carlos Slim’s total worth reportedly now stands at about $62.9 billion; Bill Gates is only worth about $59.2 billion.

For Slim, a onetime math instructor, this was no mere academic exercise. Yes, he wanted to instill in his sons the same lesson his father – a Lebanese immigrant who started acquiring real estate in during the Revolution of 1910 – taught him: Though Mexico will have its ups and downs, don’t ever count the country out. But Slim wasn’t just teaching, he was buying. He spent $55 million on an Insurance Company. He took a stake in retailer Sanborns. He invested in a hotel chain.

Though he taught math to make money in college, Slim graduated with a degree in engineering from the National Autonomous University of Mexico in the early 1960s. He then started a stock brokerage in and began to acquire industrial companies he deemed bargains. He would reinvest the cash from those businesses or use it to acquire additional properties.

After 13 years as the world’s richest person, Bill Gates appears to have been dethroned. But there will probably be no sobbing inside his estate. The main reason: a 27 percent surge in the stock price of Slim’s wireless company, America Movil, in the second quarter.

Read (more…)

gorilla.jpgWhat do you say? Doesn’t every investor want to own great stocks? Of course they do and so do you, but the “great stocks” I’m talking about are usually the ones a well-meaning neighbor or co-worker tips you off to as the next Microsoft or whatever.

Usually these stocks fall into three categories:

Ornaments – all shiny on the outside, but hollow and easily broken at the slightest touch. They capture the attention of investors easily distracted from sound investing principles with their glitter, but ultimately fail because they are not viable businesses. In six months, no one will remember its name.

Bicycle – What your friend doesn’t realize is that this stock is tied to an economic cycle which is about to swing in the opposite direction.. She bought the stock when demand was high and the stock was fat, things are going to change soon and the tires are going flat.

Great but late – Your friend is right about the stock, it is great. Unfortunately, the market has bid up the price past the point where you can realistically expect to make any money. This is the “buying high” part of the equation that results in losses (buy high – sell low).
READ (more…)

« Previous PageNext Page »