Monday, December 21, 2015

How to choose the Right Investment Advisor

Choosing the right Investment advisor can be so discouraging with various advisors proving to be of experience in both quality and service rendering making it difficult to decide the best for you.
Getting the right advisor become more tasking. As no one wants to pass through the rigorous stress of the planning phases many times.

If you wish to get the right chose of an advisor at the first attempt, Here is how to ensure you get it.

1.   Define why you need advisor for: Before setting out for an advisor, Try to think of the need. Ask yourself the following questions about why you need the advisor for:

·         To help you outperform and advise you on your investment accounts.

·         To help you stick to personal finance plans or long term investing.

·         To help you device a means out of debt in order to meet your personal finance objectives.

·         To serve as an ad-hoc advisor when it comes to making financial decisions to include refinancing and investing.

When you have gotten answers to the above questions, you will be able to stream line the right advisor for you. Also companies like Openwork can help you find the best investment advisor


2.   Know what you want to pay for: Financial planning services are always charged on a flat fee basis while investment accounts normally operate in one of commission, fee based, or combining both.

A fee based financial planner would be preferable for a simple finance issue while an investment advisor or a broker will suit your investment. If you need someone that will oversee your financial life, then an advisor is to be considered to focus on full service provision.


A commission payment is achieved through trading with investment account. Your advisor gets commission from Mutual Fund Company for every mutual fund sale done. The fees are clouded which can lead to trading your account too often by some selfish advisors. On the other hand a fee based account involves charging of a flat percentage on assets for the management of account.


The advantage here is that you get to know how much your advisor is being compensated with since he gets the payment from your account makes everything to be transparent. Fee based is not good for an investment account while commission based account is preferable.


Keeping your account on commission bases is cleaner and cheaper because fee is generated only when something happens.  Since a trading account is wrapped into a fee based account, it might be better off with a fee based plan with no issue of an investment paying commission higher than the other.


3.   Get to understand the advisor approach: You need to know the advisor approach because an advisor investment approach tends to influence the kind of advice he/she will offer you. For example, the advisor views on debt, budgeting, will likely affect the advice he/she will give. Therefore you will need to take some time to understand the advisor approach if they make sense, seems weird or scary, how do you reason the opinion.


4.   Get to know the advisor personality: In conclusion, you want to know if you will enjoy and trust who you want to work with as some may prefer to have an advisor as a confidant while some prefer to operate formally. Others prefer an older person believing that they are more trustworthy to work while to some peers is their favorite.

Finding from different Investment advisors, to get the right advisor may be a difficult task. Following the above four steps will certainly help you get that advisor that fit your standard.

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Sunday, December 13, 2015

CFA vs FRM. Which certification is better?

CFA or FRM. When pursuing a finance career, students often ask these questions: shall I get the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst), or FRM (Financial Risk Manager) certification, or both? Which one is better for investment banking, portfolio management, hedge fund, or quantitative analysis? Do these certifications have any long-term value? How tough are they?

As a first tip: both qualifications are well-recognized standards in finance; their attainment demonstrates to the employers your competitive advantages, commitment to certain areas of finance, and your skills. But before committing your time and costs for either qualification, you should have a good idea the type of financial work you want to focus in three years. In reality, your practical experiences rather than the certifications are what really help you move up the ladder. 

CFA, organized by the CFA Institute, has become the de-facto and globally recognized certification for portfolio management and investment analysis while the FRM certification, organized by the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP), is gaining importance as businesses need better risk managers. 

CFA vs FRM - let us see how they compare.

Career and curriculum coverage
While both certifications focus on finance, the CFA certification covers a broad area of financial career including equity and fixed income analysis, portfolio management, alternatives investment, and investment advisory including wealth management. The FRM certification is more narrowly focused and is suitable for a career in risk management in banks, Treasury, or asset management companies. Around 5% of CFA holders self-report as risk managers as of September 2014. The CFA curriculum covers accounting, corporate finance, asset valuation (equities, fixed income, and derivatives), portfolio management, alternatives, and ethics. 

The FRM curriculum has some overlaps with that of the CFA in terms of financial market products, asset valuation, alternatives, and ethics although it clearly emphasizes risk management (enterprise, credit, operational), risk models such as value-at-risk, Basel regulations, and quantitative analysis. If you want to be a risk officer, a FRM is clearly the right qualification to have because it gets deeper into risk assessments and forecasts.

Preparation, costs, and certification requirement
To earn the CFA charter, you have to pass sequentially 3 levels of CFA exams, which take place in June (except June and December for level 1), possess an international passport, have at least 4 years of investment-related experiences, and join the CFA Institute as a regular member. The registration and material costs for 3 levels are US$900 to 1,300 per year with a one-time enrollment fee of US$450 for level 1 as of 2015. Candidates have reported about 6 months of preparation and 300 hours of studies per year. 

To receive the FRM certification, you need to pass sequentially 2 parts of multiple choice-only exams, which take place in May and November each year with the option of taking both exams on the same day. You also need 2 years of related experiences. No prior qualifications are required to register for exams although you have to pass the second level within 4 years of passing part 1 and finish the work certification within 5 years of passing part 2. The registration and enrollment costs for the 2 levels are US$1,250 to 1,600 per year for level 1 and $950 to $1,300 for level 2 with a one-time enrollment fee of US$300 for part 1 as of 2015. Candidates have reported about 240 hours of studies per year. The passing rate for both CFA and FRM exams is between 40 to 50%. 

Choose one or both?
Both certifications are internationally well-known for finance professionals, enhance the employee’s long-term value, and are trusted by employers. How you choose depends on the level of specialization you want and your background. CFA is more broad-based and opens up a number of career options. FRM has a more quantitative and mathematical tilt while CFA has more accounting coverage. Quite a number of people first become CFAs and then decide to specialize in the area they want, for example, risk management, and hence they will also get the FRM.

 
Also Read :   MBA vs CFA. Which is better?                 FRM vs PRM. Which is better?
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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Three Reasons That Your Business Should Be Investing in Silver

The mark of a good businessman is their ability to prosper in any financial environment. Although economic conditions can fluctuate rapidly, and industries can rise and fall in the space of months, the most talented entrepreneurs possess the skill, tenacity, and foresight to withstand even the harshest of assaults.

One of the most effective methods for safeguarding a business is diversification. It is far more practical to rely on multiple sources of income than it is to expect a single industry to sustain you through thick and thin, and this is one of the key reasons that many companies choose to invest.

Precious metals, especially silver, are a particularly popular choice. Here are just three of the reasons why you might want to make them the next string in your bow…

Silver is a Safe Haven Investment

The shine of silver has appealed to mankind since time immemorial, and like magpies, we have been drawn to its glitter over and over again. This constant demand makes silver and its fellow precious metals some of the safest assets in the world - a particularly appealing attribute considering the current global political upheaval. Through recession and ruin, war and peace, it holds its value and desirability, helping to safeguard businesses when industries fail to do the same.    

Silver is in Demand

Gold is perhaps the most famed precious metal in the world, but silver is a close second, and if recent figures are anything to go by, it could soon outshine is glittering sibling. The reason for this is simple: it’s more in demand than ever before. No longer a mere bauble, silver is used in industries around the world, acting as a key component in many tools, machines, and vehicles. This means that even when its demand as a safe haven asset wanes, it remains desirable as an industrial material, making it a savvy bet for your business.

Silver Offers a Range of Investment Options

If you need another reason to consider investing in silver, then its versatility may appeal. There are lots of different ways to invest in silver, from purchasing the physical asset through companies like BullionVault to investing in futures or companies that deal in the metal. This gives you a wide array of choices when it comes to finding an investment option that suits your goals, aims, and ambitions, meaning that you can pick the perfect product for your enterprise.  

Safeguard your future today: invest in silver.
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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

How MetaTrader 4 Can Help You Trade Successfully

MetaTrader 4 is the world’s most widely used forex trading platform, with thousands of individuals and corporations all over the world using it to speculate on foreign currencies. If you’re in the market for a new platform, then you’ll probably want to know what all of the fuss is about. After all, if everyone else is using it, then shouldn’t you be using it too?

One of the major reasons for such widespread use is language and communication. MT4 is available in all of the most widely spoken languages, so it’s the go-to platform for people everywhere, rather than being tied down to just one or two locations. There are also built-in communications tools so that traders can talk to others without ever leaving the application. Many other platforms have copied this approach in an attempt to offer social trading, because increasingly there’s a community element to forex, mainly because the market is so liquid. There’s no point being competitive with your best trader friend, because the market is too large to make a difference.

Security is clearly going to be a major concern for anyone transacting money through applications, which is why the developers at MetaQuotes, the company behind MT4, have ensured that their platform is one of the most secure there is, incorporating all manner of encryption techniques and IP masking. If this is one of your biggest concerns, then MT4 should certainly be near the top of your list.

Technical analysis is one of the major schools of forex trading, and because it looks for patterns and signals, it can theoretically be done with computer algorithms. As a result, expert advisors (also knowns as forex robots) are scripts that can be run to trade automatically. Not all platforms allow this, but MT4 is the world’s biggest provider of this functionality. There’s a huge community of both EA developers and day traders surrounding it, and if you think you’d like to get involved, then it really isn’t worth looking past MT4.


There are all manner of other little reasons that make MT4 the choice for most traders, and the only way you’re going to be able to find out if it will make you a better trader is by trying it out for yourself. Oanda offer a free demo, so that’s a good place to start out if you’re not sure.
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Is gold a good investment these days?


Despite the current low price of gold, long-term investors are piling into the commodity in the belief that the market has bottomed and the only way for the precious metal is up.
Indeed, investors bought $10 billion worth of gold coins and bars in the last quarter, says the World Gold Council (WGC), with individuals accounting for 26% of that demand - higher than any other institution or central bank.

The price of gold is currently trading at its lowest since February 2010 as traders prepare for a rise in interest rates from the US Federal Reserve.

That's because when interest rates rise, the cost of borrowing hits the price of gold since it makes other investments appear more attractive. A rise in interest rates will also increase the value of the US dollar and push down enthusiasm and prices for gold.

Factors that are driving the demand for gold

However, there are also a number of other factors that are driving the demand for gold.

The WGC says that Austrian and German investors are particularly investing in large amounts of gold because of continuing fears over the Greek economy. Investors in Eastern Europe are also putting their faith in the historical safety of gold as a valuable commodity.


 Figure 1* chart (supplied by AnyOption)
  
Demand for the commodity rose by 8% in the last quarter though the price per ounce is down around 12% on this time last year.

The director of market intelligence at WGC, Alastair Hewitt says that investors are thinking long-term when buying gold - generally between five and 10 years’ time for their investment to realise their potential profit.

In addition, there are more ways for people to buy gold, for example in the UK the Royal Mint has a range of gold products that make it easier for investors to buy the commodity.

This has helped demand for gold in Britain rise by 67%, or £60 million, however this is only a small market when looked at globally.

Demand for gold is muted


Around the world, demand for gold is muted - especially from India where a heavy monsoon season has dampened enthusiasm from farmers who tend to invest heavily in gold at this time of year.

That's not all, increasingly investors in gold are becoming wary and last quarter exchange traded funds saw an outflow of 66 tonnes of gold.

For most investors, gold is still a crucial way of diversifying their investment portfolio but they need to be aware that its value very often does not move in line with other investment classes such as property or equities.

For those looking to invest and cash in on potential gold price rises, a lot is dependent on whether the Fed decides to increase interest rates and many analysts are pointing to this occurring in early December which means that in the short term gold prices will be pushed further downwards.

As the price hovers around $1,080 per ounce it appears that many investors are sitting out of the market waiting for an interest rate decision and the price could, in all reality, reach as low as $1,000 per ounce before bouncing back. Compare this to the $1,900 peak in 2011.

Gold is a good investment these days

However, investors who are wondering whether gold is a good investment these days, need to bear in mind two potential issues that will affect prices.

Leaving aside the question of a US interest rates rise, there are some gold analysts who believe that the price of gold has actually bottomed and will not fall any further.


Secondly, gold is seen as a safe haven for investors and with the growing political turmoil around the world, particularly after the Paris attacks recently, the potential for gold to rise quickly in the short-term grows every day.
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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Preparing Financial Retirement Plan

The simple truth is that it’s never too early to start planning for your retirement, because there’s a very good chance that it will constitute a significant portion of your life, and you want to be able to live comfortably through it. Only through the proper planning and consideration will you be able to retire with the money you want so you can continue to live a great life. With this in mind, let’s take a look at how you go about planning for the day you no longer have to work.

Step 1: Set Goals
You can’t be successful in your journey if you don’t actually know what you are aiming for. Consider exactly where you want to be financially when you retire, and indeed, when you want to retire, because this will be impacted by finances too. If you’ve only just started out in the world of work, then this might just be a rough plan to retire at state retirement age, and have a good monthly income, but later in life you might have a specific monthly income you want to achieve, or perhaps a lump sum that you’d like to amass.

Step 2: Consider Your Strategy
Most people will do exactly the same thing when it comes to retirement planning, and that is that they’ll simply pay into their company pension plans, and take whatever it is that the government gives them too (this will vary from place to place). This is not always the most effective or lucrative thing to do however. Sometimes you’ll also need to pay extra into your pension, save money in a bank, and perhaps also consider an investment portfolio. Set all of this out with a defined plan, which leads us onto the final step.

Step 3: Putting the Plan into Action
You now know what you want to achieve, and roughly how you’re going to do it. It’s now time to put the plan into action by actually doing things like setting up a savings account and establishing an investment portfolio. You may well find that it’s better if you get help with this part, especially if you’re considering investment, a wealth management company will be able to do most of the legwork for you.


There you have it – retirement finances can seem daunting at first, but it’s all about setting goals, defining a plan, and getting help if you need it.
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Saturday, November 14, 2015

8 Roth IRA Mistakes to Avoid

Roth IRA Mistakes to Avoid
When saving for retirement, a Roth IRA offers the distinct advantage of simplicity. Although contributions to a Roth IRA is not tax-deductible, you can compound your investments and withdraw your money free of taxes, and you are not required to withdraw a minimum amount when you retire. Annual contribution limit is $5,500 ($6,500 if you are over 50). However, despite these benefits, investors can also encounter potential pitfalls and incur unintended tax liabilities. 

Here are the eight common Roth IRA mistakes to avoid. 

1. Not maximizing (or not contributing at all) your Roth IRA contributions per year. If you contribute the maximum of $5,500 a year for 30 years assuming an annual investment return of 5%, you can make $1.1 million in 30 years. Let us say, you hold back and contribute only $5,000 per year, the difference of the $500 per year at a 5% return for 30 years due to compounding amounts to almost $100,000! Also, if you earn enough money to cover the Roth IRA contributions for you and your non-earning spouse, you can max out the contributions each year for both of you.

2. Avoid contributing because you exceed the earnings limit. The IRS prevents high earners to contribute directly to a Roth IRA – in 2014, the earnings limit is $191,000 for a married couple filed jointly and $129,000 for single people or the head of household. One way to circumvent this problem is to contribute to a Traditional non-deductible IRA and then promptly convert to a Roth IRA before the cash earns any returns or else you will be subject to mandatory minimum distributions and ordinary income taxes upon withdrawals.
 
3. Contributing too much. If you contribute more than your allowed amount, you can incur a penalty of 6% per year on the excess contribution. For example, you forget that you have already contributed earlier in the year, or you continue to contribute even after age 70 ½ or for a diseased individual. You can resolve this by taking out the excess money before filing your taxes or carrying forward the contribution to the next year with proper documentation to the IRS.

4. Breaking the rule for rollover. You can move from one IRA account to another or take distributions from a 401K account after you leave a job without incurring taxes as long as you do this within 60 days. Starting 2015, you can do this rollover once during a 365-day period, not a calendar year. More importantly, you can only use this 60-day rollover once per year even if you have five IRA accounts. If you break the rule, you can lose your entire IRA benefits. 

5. Messing up the rollover. Avoid taking the money out from one IRA account to yourself before you roll over to another. It is best to do a custodian-to-custodian transfer. However, you have to be meticulous about the transfer to make sure the money is actually rolled over into the correct IRA account and not a regular investment account. Otherwise you will lose the entire IRA tax shelter.

6. Not knowing the order of Roth IRA withdrawals. Normally, you can withdraw your original contributions and conversion amounts from your Roth IRA tax-free and penalty-free when you reach age 59 ½ and provided you wait for five years. However, each IRA conversion you make is treated separately and is subject to its own five-year waiting period, or you will incur a 10% early withdrawal penalty. 

7. Not paying attention to fees and investments in the IRA account. Discount brokers typically charge no fees when hosting your Roth IRA account and so make sure you do not pay any annual hosting fee. Also when choosing your investments in the IRA account, think about the expenses you are paying in mutual funds. Go for no-load mutual funds or low-cost exchange-traded funds. Also make sure you track regularly how your investments have done over time (at least once a year) and rebalance among cash, stocks, and bonds periodically. Also check whether you have the right mix between value and growth stocks, domestic versus international investments, to make sure you reach your financial goals upon retirement. 

8. Forgetting to take required minimum distributions (RMD) from an inherited Roth. If you are lucky enough to inherit a Roth IRA from someone who is not your spouse but forget to take the RMD as per the IRS rules, you can still incur a penalty of 50% of the money not distributed. Seeking advice on an inherited Roth IRA will save you headaches down the road.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Real Estate Investing for Beginners


The housing crash has made it possible for you to invest in really attractive homes without having to spend a small fortune and many investors are making the best of the situation. If you want to get a share of the real estate pie but lack the knowledge and experience to go about it with confidence, we are here to help. Here are a few points you should know about the two ways in which you can make this investment.

Direct purchase of property

The most evident way is to buy a house or other kind of property directly from a seller. If you can make a substantial investment, you may even be interested in owning a small apartment complex. If the home or apartment complex is in a good location, finding tenants for the property is easy and you can demand good rentals from them too. Make sure that you comply with fair housing rental regulations, building code requirements and other legalities. Also factor in repair and maintenance costs that you will have to bear before you invest in property.

Investing in REITs

Another way to own real estate is to invest in a Real Estate Investment Trust or REIT. With these you buy shares in a portfolio of properties. REITs give you an opportunity to invest in real estate that may be unaffordable to you otherwise. For example, buying a sky scraper office complex in Manhattan is impossible for you but buying into an REIT that includes this property may be a viable option. In addition, REITs eliminate the hassles of managing maintenance and tackling tenants that you cannot avoid when you own a home or apartment complex that you have let out.

Points to keep in mind with real estate investment

Remember that real estate is a huge asset and a substantial portion of your savings is going to be locked up in it for a fairly long term if you want to make good returns on investment. It is not advisable to do your investing without taking adequate care and giving enough attention to the task. These are some points to keep in mind before investing:

·         Do some research: Whether it is identifying a good property or the right location to buy your home in or a reasonable price to agree upon, doing your homework before making your purchase is a must. After all, you do not want to end up pouring your hard earned money into a property that cannot yield the returns your expect.

·         Be patient: Real estate is typically a medium to long term investment so expecting your property value to soar overnight is simply not a good idea. You may get pressured into selling the property too soon, before it has had time to increase in value. Make a plan beforehand about the time period that you are looking at for your investment to give you returns and once you make the purchase, remain patient until you are sure to get the best returns possible. 

·         Don’t make emotional decisions: It is easy to get emotionally attached to property that you are looking to buy but allowing the emotion to sway your judgment can be a fatal mistake in real estate investing. No matter how appealing a home may be, it is definitely critical to look beyond the appearances and check if the house really makes a good buy considering its age, its condition, location, features, price and other aspects.  If you cannot make an objective decision, call in a  friend or relative who can tell you whether the property makes a worthwhile investment for you.


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Saturday, November 7, 2015

Is It Possible to Clear off Credit Card Debt Faster?

Of all debts, credit card debt is cancerous. With high interest attached, it seems to have no end. When you start paying it off, you will feel that it will take you a rebirth before you can manage to get out of the hole. I was in the trap once and know how much difficult it is to jump out of the quagmire.

Still it is possible! It may sound like a ray of hope for some while many will struggle to believe in the seemingly unbelievable talks. It’s not rambling talks as I have faced the problem and conquered the same. Even if you have mountain of debts, you can clear them all if only you dare to stick with a workable plan come hell or high water.

I racked up $2000 on my credit card and now I am a debt-free person. If I can, you can too!

Here are few simple ways by following which, you can pay off your credit card debts faster and guide yourself back to your lost financial freedom. But before applying them, do first thing first.

Open talks with Credit Card Company
You approached them while applying for credit card and this time, you have to do that but for a different reason – to get interest rate lowered. Many debtors are in fear of hearing a resounding ‘NO’ and so don’t request for interest rate negotiation. It is the worst case that you will hear ‘NO’ but what if they say ‘YES?  

Remember the company is also willing to get their debts cleared faster and most of them agree to accept a lower interest rate. And if your credit score has improved since your first taking the card, you have a greater chance to enjoy a lower interest rate.  

Now let us turn attention to the strategies

Pay more than minimum
Suppose you owe a lot on credit card but find a larger chunk of your money evaporating even before you can set aside the sum for payment. Repayment period will be dragged, slapping you with more interest to bear. Set aside a figure more than the minimum payable amount. Promise to yourself that you will not touch it and manage with the rest.

That will save you from impulsive purchase and skew a considerable amount towards credit card payment. If your payment exceeds the lowest bar, it will go towards lowering balance on credit card and small balance implies that debts will be cleared faster.

Consolidate & Conquer
Consolidation is also possible for credit card debts. If you have balance on more than one credit card and payable amount has taken a monstrous figure, get them compacted into a single one. It will facilitate payment and could also lower interest rate.

Start with lowest balance
It is famously known as snowball method as put by Dave Ramsey. First enlist your existing credit card debts in ascending order i.e. lowest balance first. Now clear the lowest balance first while maintaining minimum payment on others. The objective is to instill kind of confidence in you by getting smaller balances wiped out.

Clear card with highest interest rate
It is the most used method to pay off credit card balances. Focus on wiping out balances on high-interest credit card while paying off minimum figure on other existing ones.

There are multiple effective ways of eliminating debts on your credit card but most important is to choose one that you feel comfortable with and cling to it.
So, what strategy appeals to you most?


Editor’s Note: This article is contributed by Tina Roth: a personal finance blogger at PROFinanceBlog. She is commerce graduate and loves to write about money and finance management.
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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Tricks to Maximize Your Grocery Savings

It doesn’t matter if you’re enjoying the single life and living off takeaways and TV dinners for one, or a parent who’s feeding a hungry family. Food is a necessary expense. But wouldn’t it be great if we could reduce the amount of money we spend at our local store? Saving money is easy if you’re equipped with the right knowledge. In this article, we’ll look at four tricks to maximize your grocery savings. So let’s get started!

Be prepared before heading out
Before heading to the store, make a shopping list. By listing everything you need to buy, you ensure that you’ll purchase only the products you need and help prevent your eyes from wandering to additional items (like cookies and candy). Always double-check your pantry for ingredients. Think of innovative new meals you can make with what’s already in there.

Take advantage of coupons and sales
Using coupons for shopping doesn’t appeal to everyone – but the prospect of saving money does! Fortunately, there are many easy ways to save money at your local grocery store that don't involve a host of coupon binders and countless hours of coupon-cutting. Feel free to cut out coupons for items you purchase frequently, but don’t forget to take advantage of technology to benefit from even more great deals.

For instance, Ibotta is an app that’s available for both Android and iOS, and is incredibly fun and easy to use. By using Ibotta, you can save an average of $20 every time you go shopping, and even more! Unlike most types of savings and coupon applications out there, Ibotta helps to personalize your saving and shopping experience.

Ibotta works in an incredibly simple way. Before you head to the store, simply click on your Ibotta app and select the products you’re intending to purchase. Once you have chosen an item, you will then be asked to complete a task. The more tasks you complete, the more money you will begin to earn. You can even invite your friends and family to join Ibotta using a personal referral link. With each friend or family member who registers with Ibotta, you will earn $1.

Know your local stores
Over the years, grocery stores have managed to perfect the art of laying out their shelves to make you spend as much as possible. Now that you know this secret, it means you can counteract their strategy. Stores will typically keep eggs, milk, bread and other daily essentials at the back of the store, which means you need to walk past all the delicious-looking snacks and temptations to get to what you actually came to shop for.

Make smart purchases
You are no doubt used to purchasing the same brands and the same foods, so you probably haven’t taken a closer look at what you’re putting into your shopping cart. To save more money at the grocery store, why not reconsider some of the choices you make in an effort to save more? Of course, fresh vegetables are great – but have you considered buying frozen? These are often a lot cheaper and work wonders for soups and as an additional ingredient in any meal. It’s also recommended to purchase produce that’s in season to get a better bargain.
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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Can the Iron Ore Market deliver you a Financial Return?


When it comes to investing in metal, it is usually precious materials such as gold and silver that appeal to traders. These sources of wealth are extremely secure and reliable, while assets such as silver also have industrial applications. Given that precious metals can also be traded through ETF’s (negating the burden of ownership), they remain extremely popular in the contemporary economic climate. There are other metals that are worthy of consideration to, with emerging markets like the iron ore sector currently dominating the international export scene.

A snapshot of the Iron Ore Market

Traders are always keen to diversify their portfolios, especially in a volatile economy that is subject to constant and sudden change. The emergence of a relatively new market such as the iron sector therefore represents extremely positive news, especially for investors with a global outlook. This commodity began to dominate the Australian export scene between 2013 and 2014, for example, earning a staggering $75 billion in this time and outstripping the performance of other, more illustrious assets.

Given the strength of the Australian economy, it is worth noting that iron ore has made a huge contribution to this during the last two years. It is the biggest export revenue generator in Australia, accounting for 27% of all exports sales at the end of 2014. Now a more lucrative investment than gold, silver and even coal, iron ore has captured the attention of international traders and provided them with an opportunity to diversify their efforts. Unlike precious metals, however, the value of iron ore is determined almost entirely with its core purpose.


Why Iron Ore has emerged and how to make it work for you

More specifically, the recent economic turbulence has forced governments to consider initiatives that have the potential to drive economic growth. Infrastructure construction has proved to be one of the most popular measures, and this in turn has driven demand for manufacturing steel. Of the estimated 3 billion tonnes of iron ore mined annually across the world, a staggering 98% is consumed by steel mills.

While the decline of the Chinese economy may impact on the global demand for iron ore, for now this is one of the biggest growth sectors in the financial market. This is appealing to traders, who can also benefit from flexible trading methods such as over-the-counter forward contracts and principle to principle buying and selling. This is certainly a market to watch, even as the fortunes of the global economy continue to fluctuate.
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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Eurozone Business Activity Better than Expected in October


October has proven something of a struggle for the Eurozone nations. The single currency’s price has remained low throughout, and the continued reverberations of the Greek crisis have been felt within the region, exacerbating new fears surrounding the Volkswagen scandal.

As a result, many expected industrial growth to remain slow, yet recent figures from the US’s Manufacturing Purchasers’ Index (PMI) have proven to be surprisingly promising. With a healthy growth identified over the course of October, we look at the impact this will have on your trades going forwards…

How PMI Scores Work
A key indicator of economic growth within a nation is the US’s seasonally adjusted PMI. It has long been posited as a primary identifier of the financial and manufacturing performance of a locale, and a positive performance often prefaces a rise in the value of a nation’s currency.

The Eurozone’s PMI score is calculated based on the services and manufacturing conditions in eight key countries: Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Austria, and the Netherlands. Where the assemblage ranks below fifty, this indicates a contraction of activity; where it ranks above, it indicates an expansion; and where it remains the same, activity levels have remained static.  

October’s PMI Results
October proved to be a surprisingly healthy month for those countries that are part of the Eurozone. With figures rising from 53.1 in September to 54 this month, this places its performance well above the neutral 50 threshold, indicating promising signs of a continued economic recovery.     

Perhaps more interestingly, this figure also ranks above the figure touted by economists, who expected it to remain around the 53 mark.

This result was particularly surprising because the figure placed not only well above what was expected, but also constituted a two-month high for the beleaguered nations, and one of the strongest monthly expansions seen over the past four years. 

Germany: The Star Turn
This growth came as something of a shock to commentators, traders, and brokers like FxPro, particularly because Germany proved to be the assemblage’s star turn.

Despite fears over the continued impact of the Volkswagen scandal, the Eurozone’s largest economy delivered an incredibly positive performance, scoring 54.5, up from 54.1 in September.


A Less Promising Performance for some Sectors

Unfortunately, continued economic recovery cannot be taken as gospel on the back of these results, as some sectors fared better than others.

Of those less fortunate, the Manufacturing PMI Output Index showed a marked fall in performance. Although it had ranked at 53.4 just one month ago, it fell to 53.3, its poorest score in five months.


The Fate of the Euro

The results of the latest PMI proved to have positive consequences for the euro, which has continued to lag behind many of its European and international competitors.

Indeed, immediately following the publication of this data, the single currency experienced a slight rise versus the dollar, and with renewed faith in the euro, this is a trend that may well continue.

However, this is not information that traders should immediately seize upon. Although current data seems to have been interpreted as positive, leading to a slight rise in the euro, Markit have been quick to comment thus:

“Unless the PMI business activity and price indices pick up in coming months, the relatively weak growth and deflation signalled by the survey will add to expectations that the ECB will step up its quantitative easing programme.”    

In addition, it’s also important to note that these results have been markedly more upbeat that the competing figures produced by the Institute for Supply Management. These indicated that manufacturing growth had essentially stalled in October, leading to a less promising outlook for the remainder of the year. 

So what does this mean for euro traders going forwards? Simply this: proceed with caution.
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