Thursday, September 18, 2014

How to Pass the CFA Level 1 Exam ?

The Chartered Financial Analyst designation is one of the most highly regarded titles in the financial industry. The first in a series of three exams is, at its best difficult and at its worst, nearly impossible. Only half of all candidates that take the level one CFA exam pass it to move on to the more difficult level two exam.

Instructions Concepts

1 Know the exam breakdown. There are 10 main topics: Ethical and Professional Standards, Quantitative Methods, Economics, Financial Statement Analysis, Equity, Debt and Alternative investments, Derivatives, corporate finance and Portfolio Management.

2 Get a copy of the CFA Candidate Body of Knowledge and study the Professional Standards of Practice and the Ethical Practices sections.

3 Study Quantitative Methods. Pay close attention to the following financial concepts: time value of money, statistics, random variables, probability, probability distributions, correlation analysis, linear regression, multivariate regression, time series analysis and basic portfolio concepts.

4 Brush up on your economics. Study the concepts of both macro and microeconomics as well as international trade, international finance and how economic activity relates to investments.

5 Understand Financial Statement Analysis. Know how to analyze inventories, assets, liabilities, taxes, investments, leases and balance sheets. Become familiar with financial reporting systems and principal financial statements as well.

Investments and Derivatives

6 Learn the analysis of equity and debt investments. Study the market indexes, equity risk terms and definitions, benchmarks, investment risk, debt investments, interest rates, yield spreads, debt investment valuation and credit analysis.

7 Have a grasp on derivatives. This includes the following markets: Forward, Futures, Options and Swaps.

8 Know about Alternative Investments. Study the following alternative investment concepts and markets: real estate, hedge funds, venture capital, investment companies, commodities, distressed companies and closely held companies.

Portfolio Management

9 Study the following concepts of Portfolio Management: capital market theory, employee benefits, endowment funds, insurance companies and asset allocation.

10 Learn portfolio management theories and concepts. Know how to manage both individual and group investor portfolios.

11 Learn about portfolio construction, debt and equity portfolio management, alternative investment portfolio management, risk measurements and performance measurements.

Corporate Finance

12 Grasp the concepts of Corporate Finance. The following concepts are covered on the CFA Exam One: fundamentals of corporate finance, capital investment, long-term financial policies and mergers and acquisitions.

13 Learn about Valuation. This section also covers the concepts and implications of corporate financial valuation.

14 Study the concepts of business risk and financial risk as they related to corporate finance.

Tips & Warnings

  • Give yourself ample study time to prepare for this test. There are a lot of concepts covered, giving yourself plenty of time to study these concepts will ensure that you pass the exam.
  • Buy study guides and materials. These guides and materials will give you more detailed and comprehensive information regarding the concepts covered in this exam.
  • Don't cram. Cramming, or studying right before exam day is sure way to fail.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Top 5 Investing Tips for Beginner's

If you were to ask a room full of people about the difference between being rich and being wealthy, most of them would probably say investments. It is possible to have a lot of money, say, from lottery winnings or from an inheritance, but not really be wealthy. True wealth is built over the long term and is far more stable than simply having cash. So how does one go about building wealth that can last for generations? The first step for many is investing in the stock market. The stock market for beginners, though, can seem complicated. These investing tips can get you off on the right foot.

1 - Get a broker! 
Not only can a stock broker save you from making terrible investment choices, they can teach you everything you need to know about investing. Most stock brokers have vital insider information on stocks, bonds and mutual funds that the general public doesn't know about, so they can often steer you in the right direction when it comes to making the right investment choices. They can also help to manage your entire stock portfolio so that you will always know how close you are to accomplishing your short term and long term investment goals. The importance of a broker in the life of a new investor really can't be overstated.
2. - Learn the Lingo!
 Do you know the difference between a stock, bond or a mutual fund? Don't worry, most people don't, but if you are going to be a serious investor, you will need to learn what is what so you can work with your broker to make the best decisions for you. There are many different ways you can brush up on the jargon that dominates the world of online investing. There are many investment websites you can visit and books you can read that spell out everything you need to know. Few industries are as steeped in jargon as this one is, so take your time and don't be afraid to ask your broker questions.
3. - Visit the bookstore! 
There are very few subjects in the world that have had more words written about it than investing. From the daily Wall Street Journal to the latest and greatest books on the best sellers list, you can really learn a lot from immersing yourself in the world of investing. Ask your broker for a list of essential reads that you can get from your local library or from the bookstore that will give you a basic primer on the world of investing. There are literally thousands of stock market for beginners books out there, so don't be afraid to pick one up.
4. - Learn how to identify risk!
No matter what anyone tells you, investing always carries risk. In most cases, bonds are the least risky investment, followed by mutual funds, followed by stocks, but each and every investment you make does carry a certain degree of risk, and it is vitally important that you learn how to identify the risk an investment carries so you can one day invest without the necessity of a broker. Learning such essential truths as, "you should never invest any money you can't afford to lose" may seem simple, but just like gambling at a casino, sometimes the best investors lose their heads in the heat of battle and make mistakes. It is best to learn those lessons now before they cost you later.
5. - Patience is the key! 
Stock market investing is a marathon, not a sprint. The stock market, for beginners, is overwhelming. Very few people make fortunes off of one stock trade. You make bits of money slowly over time and amass wealth over a period of decades, not weeks. Stick with smart trades, and you'll be set for years to come.

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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Learn Everything About High Risks Involved In It Before Entering The World Of Business

When you are planning to start a business, you need to be sure of every bit of things involved in it. Otherwise, the whole plan might turn futile. According to the business studies, there is a 50% chance of success in the first year and these increases year after year; if the business progresses consistently. But, 95% of online business fail miserably these days and involves huge risks. One should be really careful before entering the field of business.

Starting with a business
It is a good plan to start a business. But, when you are your own master and get relieved from the stress of working under someone, there are few other tensions rising. Immense amount of responsibilities falls on your head. The success of your business would depend on, how you are going to handle them. Before implementing any strategies in business, be sure of the possible results. The plans should necessarily take a positive direction to give successful outcome. Financial aspects have to be calculated and figured out with utmost care, without any discrepancies.

Marketing is also important in flourishing your business. People need to know about your business for it to become successful. But, many business people do not focus on marketing and this is usually due to the huge sums of money required to do this. This might have a negative influence in business progression. Starting a business is not that simple and requires your attention in many regards to running it fairly.

Developing a business
You need to create a strong strategy towards business, which would allow you to flourish much better in business. Set a clear target or goal in business and always try to achieve that. Before creating this objective, analyze everything involved and the form of the business. The purpose of the business you started should be justified with the further moves you take. This is important in developing your business. You should be clear of the strengths as well as weak points in your business to act wisely in each situation.

Risk in handling money
The source of initial investment in business could be a loan or something similar. This makes deleterious effects of the empire with a simple loss too. The loan needs to be repaid. If it is money taken from another person also, repayment is crucial. So, there is risk in money entering a business. Financial losses in business are treated harshly by the public and it is substantial to have a control on this. Losing money on business ventures could make you levied with debt to large extents. Play safe with money involved and don’t end up in trouble.

Business is not always a safe game and it is crucial to get help from external sources, at least at some point on the go. High riskmerchant account has solutions for business enterprises enabling easier solutions to business problems. There are added advantages like low rates, simple application process and also easier fast approval. This is highly desirable for risk management and repair in the business. The services available online in this context would help you better.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Earn Your Masters In Accounting Online

masters in accounting is a good way for many people to move up the ladder at their company, but getting this degree can be difficult for working individuals. Someone who has a desire to learn should be able to get their degree in a manner that is most convenient. The working person who needs some freedom to get their education must earn their accounting degree online. Someone with a business degree may want to expand their horizons into accounting, but others may need further accounting education to advance their career.

The Level Of Education

The level of education offered by one of these graduate programs is equivalent to what people would get in a regular college classroom. Some people were fortunate enough to go straight to graduate school after college, but other people who needed to work can still go back to get their degree.

The level of education does not suffer in an online program, and a student can save considerable time when they are not bound to a classroom schedule. Students get to take charge of their own learning in these programs.

The Time It Takes

A traditional graduate education may take longer for some students due simply to their schedule. The schedule that a person keeps for their graduate program can be fast paced when they are working online. Most students can complete their work in a fraction of the time it takes to do so in a classroom, and they can attend to their other responsibilities.

The Price

The price of an online education drops because of the fees a student can avoid. Most students cannot afford a graduate education because of the debt they must incur. This debt is reduced through an online program, and the student learns the same material they would learn otherwise.

Every student should have the opportunity to get a graduate education in their own time, but they do not always have the opportunity. An online program for accounting allows the student to change careers or enhance their career through a simple battery of classes aimed at improving their skills.

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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Warren Buffett: 10 Invaluable tips for Value Investors

Legends are rarely made overnight. Yet, the Oracle of Omaha, as value investor Warren Buffett is popularly known, seems to have formulated his basic investing philosophy fairly early on in the day and continues to refine it even today. He started the firm in 1956 with about $105,000, raised mostly from friends and relatives.

 From those early letters to Berkshire Partners' investors (or ‘partners’ prior to becoming public company) between 1957 and 1962, in Buffett's own words, here are 10 tips for value investing.

1) Basics: Our bread-and-butter business is buying undervalued securities and selling when the undervaluation is corrected along with investment in special situations where the profit is dependent on corporate rather than market action.

2) Market value: I make no attempt to forecast the general market - my efforts are devoted to finding undervalued securities. However, I do believe that widespread public belief in the inevitability of profits from investment in stocks will lead to eventual trouble. Should this occur, prices, but not intrinsic values in my opinion, of even undervalued securities can be expected to be substantially affected.

3) ‘Work-out’ investment: Our portfolio is heavier in undervalued situations relative to work-outs…. A work-out is an investment which is dependent on a specific corporate action for its profit rather than a general advance in the price of the stock as in the case of undervalued situations. Work-outs come about through: sales, mergers, liquidations, tenders, etc. In each case, the risk is that something will upset the applecart and cause the abandonment of the planned action, not that the economic picture will deteriorate and stocks decline generally.

4) Time span: Let me … emphasize two points. First, one year is far too short a period to form any kind of an opinion as to investment performance, and measurements based upon six months become even more unreliable. One factor that has caused some reluctance on my part to write semi-annual letters is the fear that partners may begin to think in terms of short-term performance which can be most misleading. My own thinking is much more geared to five year performance, preferably with tests of relative results in both strong and weak markets.

5) Patience: Obviously during any acquisition period, our primary interest is to have the stock do nothing or decline rather than advance. Therefore, at any given time, a fair proportion of our portfolio may be in the sterile stage. This policy, while requiring patience, should maximize long term profits.

6) Confidentiality: Very small buying orders can create price changes of this magnitude in an inactive stock, which explains the importance of not having any "Leakage" regarding our portfolio holdings. (Editor’s Note: This was in reference to a stock which was barely traded, and whose price had remained largely dormant. However, when Buffett started buying up more of it, it ran into competition, raising the price by almost 30 per cent).

7) High Tides: The higher the level of the market, the fewer the undervalued securities. (Editor’s note: This is because of the rising-tide-lifts-all-boats effect where even undervalued shares are lifted up by the overall market)

8) Err on the side of caution: I would rather sustain the penalties resulting from over-conservatism than face the consequences of error, perhaps with permanent capital loss, resulting from the adoption of a "New Era" philosophy where trees really do grow to the sky.

9) Long-term: To the extent possible, I continue to attempt to invest in situations at least partially insulated from the behavior of the general market. This policy should lead to superior results in bear markets and average performance in bull markets.

10) Zen investing: Over a period of time there are going to be good and bad years; there is nothing to be gained by getting enthused or depressed about the sequence in which they occur. The important thing is to be beating par; a four on a par three hole is not as good as a five on a par five hole and it is unrealistic to assume we are not going to have our share of both par three's and par five's.
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