Personal Finance


july04_finance_ashok.jpgMoney earned can either be consumed or saved. When money is saved it can either be hoarded or be invested to enhance its value. An investment project requires information about the various avenues available.

Money is often a scary thing to deal with, especially those who have never worked with it in detail before. Investing for the future can be even scarier. Still, even young men and women as well as those preparing to retire need to know the basics of investing to prepare for the future and insure their financial freedom. An understanding of what assets are, what kinds of assets are out there, and specific tricks of the trade will help beginning investors start on their journey to economic security.

The general term used to refer to the investments made is ‘assets’. Assets reflect one’s investment in cash, bonds, stocks or other sources that generate income. Out of the various assets available for investment, the most common one is Stock. Stock refers to the shares of the companies.

Assets are investments in cash, bonds, stocks and much more. They are basically a combination and melding of everything someone owns or is owed. An asset class is basically a general term referring to the wide variety of investments that can be made by today’s investors. Asset classes include things such as stocks, bonds, and cash equities. Before investing, an understanding of assets classes and the pros and cons of each is a definite must.

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thumb12.jpgDoes your spouse or partner complain that you’re spending too much money? When your credit card bill arrives, are you surprised to you find that you charged more during the month than you thought? Does your closet contain lots of shoes or clothes that you almost never wear? Do you own every gadget known to man (or woman)? Do you come home from the mall with items you had no intention of buying? Do you spend money on things that you didn’t realize you needed until you saw them on display in the store?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you probably suffer from impulse spending. When people are unable to save money for the things that are really important to them, like a house, a new car, a vacation, or retirement, impulse spending is often the culprit. If you don’t have specific financial goals, it’s more difficult to resist spending money on items that don’t really have any meaning to you.

Once you’re already saving regularly towards your most important financial goals, you may want to have a fund to use specifically for occasionally spending money on unplanned items. Then you can indulge in occasional impulse spending without jeopardizing your financial future.

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…unless the stocks you own ARE beating the market!

2002-10-09-sydney-bear-bull-stock-markets-like-flock-530.JPGThere is no way on earth you could ever beat the market if the stocks you hold are not keeping up with the market. And hopefully, staying ahead of the market.

But yet, that’s what lots of people try to do. They’d rather keep all the dogs in their account and maybe “take a flyer” on one stock, hoping for a miracle. It’s like trying to win a Derby horse race with your Donkey. It just ain’t gonna happen.

But hey, maybe you don’t want to beat the market overall. Maybe you just want to own the BEST semiconductor stocks, or the best retailers, or the best utilities.

Seriously, how would you even KNOW if your stocks or mutual funds are beating the market, or are the best names to own in their group? Well, I can tell you this…the best indicator I’ve ever seen in twenty-plus years in the business has been relative strength. What is relative strength? It is simply the measure of how your mutual fund or stock is doing, compared to a group of other stocks, funds or indexes…or the market overall.

Perhaps you want to compare Intel with other semiconductor stocks. Maybe you want to compare Microsoft with the S&P 500 Index. Maybe you want to compare your mutual fund against the Dow Jones Industrial Average or the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

This is a very easy calculation. Here is how you do it: Simply divide the price of your stock or mutual fund against whatever yardstick you choose. You’ll get a fractional number as the result. But slide the decimal over so you can work with whole numbers. Then we begin plotting that result daily on a point & figure chart.

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Imagine, you need details of your last few transactions, but are stuck in a traffic jam on way to the bank. How you wish you could get the details on your mobile phone!

atts.jpgWell, you really can ‘bank’ on your mobile phone today, provided you have opted for the service from your bank. Just SMS (short message service) your bank’s customer service number and get the details in a few seconds – that’s how simple it can get, if you have a mobile phone, a personal identification number and a phone banking number from your bank. It’s the same with paying utility bills, transferring money to someone, whether in your home country or abroad, and making a purchase at a retail store.

Most banks already allow customers to make basic transactions over the phone. Banking might be getting a little easier than that. One of the largest banks, recently announced plans for a mobile banking service. To use the service, mobile users download an application to their cell phones, just like you would for a game or song, and use their cell phones to check balances, transfer funds, pay bills, or even find an ATM.

Having the ability to bank using a cell phone is an innovative idea, but will it make it easier for consumers to pay their bills? Perhaps. If your credit card payment is due today, this mobile banking service might allow you to pay it the second you remember it, rather than risk a late payment due to forgetfulness.

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