Category Archives: Strategies

Retirement Planning: 4 Simple Steps

Guest Article By Syed Ali Zain-ul-Abideen 

For many, nearing retirement age can get frustrating and confusing. Many fail to properly get their finances in order to be able to enjoy retired life and thus, frustration takes root and tolls heavily on the person. being forty-five or fifty-five, very few people are satisfied with what they have saved for their retirement days. The list of regrets may not end there. Without getting an early start, many things can go wrong. Those that well into their forties and fifties are bound to lag behind. So, here are some practical and simple steps to getting really into retirement planning if you’re a professional, business owner or just someone who cares about the future!

Firstly, the lessons of life are learned by personal experience or by the experience of others. Smart people learn from the latter in order to never experience bad situations after retirement. The very first lesson to learn about retirement planning is to start saving sooner rather than later. It’s not complicated and it doesn’t require you to be a finance guru either. With some willpower, guidelines, and knowledge, planning your retirement can be easy, convenient and above all, blissful.

Invest

Every paycheck should have about fifteen percent invested into retirement. It can be a savings account or a small side business that, if managed properly, can become something to rely on later on. Retirement saving goals are great but enjoying less of your income today would enable you to afford expenses tomorrow! Forget about your employer’s retirement plan, your own gross income must have this percent stashed away in any form for the golden years ahead.

Recognize Spending Requirements

Being realistic about post-retirement expenditures will drastically help in acquiring a truer picture of what kind of retirement portfolio to adopt. For instance, most people would argue that their expenses after retirement would amount to seventy or eighty percent of what have been spending previously. Assumptions can prove untrue or unrealistic especially if mortgages have not been paid off or if medical emergencies occur. So, to better manage retirement plans, it’s vital to have a firm understanding of what to expect, expense-wise!

Don’t Keep All the Eggs in One Basket

This is the single biggest risk to take that there is for a retiree. Putting all money into one place can be disastrous for obvious reasons and it’s almost never recommended, for instance, in single stock investments. If it hits, it hits. If it doesn’t, it may never be back. However, mutual funds in large and easily recognizable new brands may be worth if potential growth or aggressive growth, growth, and income is seen. Smart investment is key here.

Stick to the Plan

Nothing is risk-free. Mutual funds or stocks, everything has its ups and downs so it will have ups and downs. But when you leave it and add more to it, it’s bound to grow in the long term. After the 2008-09 stock market crash, studies have shown that the retirement plans in the workplace were balanced with an average set of above two-hundred thousand. The grown by average annual rate was fifteen percent between 2004 and 2014.

Kewcorp financial is a premiere Sherwood Park-based financial planning team which has more than thirty years of experience in financial planning, investments, insurance and tax planning to name a few. Our professionals are industry experts and have the necessary knowledge and qualification along with the skill to secure your financial future.

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What Is An Exchange Traded Fund and How It Works

Guest Article By Shashank Pawar

Investors seeking exposure to an index can consider ETF investing as an option. Exchange traded funds are one of the many types of mutual funds available today and gaining popularity among various kinds of investors. While you may be familiar with equity mutual funds, debt funds or balanced funds, ETFs are yet another class of mutual funds that function a bit differently. ETFs are mutual funds designed to mimic popular market indices like the Nifty 100, BSE 100, Sensex etc. These are passively managed funds that simply hold the stocks of the index they are supposed to mimic exactly in the same proportion as the index. Since the fund managers don’t take active calls in security selection by holding the same stocks as included in the index, these funds are passively managed.

Exchange traded funds are suitable for first-time investors who would like to test the waters and may not be comfortable with the higher risk associated with regular mutual funds.

There are several advantages of investing in an ETF. Firstly, being passively managed they make fewer transactions as compared to actively managed funds where the fund manager must constantly look for securities that can help him outperform the scheme’s benchmark. This leads to higher portfolio turnover resulting in higher tax incidence. Funds pay taxes like STT (Securities Transaction Tax) and capital gains tax while buying or selling securities within their portfolio. Thus, ETFs are more tax efficient and have lower costs arising out of fund management.

Secondly ETFs also usually have lower expense ratio compared to actively managed mutual funds which must employ highly skilled fund managers for generating active returns.

Thirdly ETFs offer more convenience and liquidity to investors since they are listed on exchanges and trade like stocks. Investors can transact in ETF funds any time during market hours at real-time prices unlike actively managed mutual funds where NAV is computed only once a day after the market closes.

ETFs offer better diversification since they carry all the securities listed in the index which are periodically rebalanced. But the reduced risk arising out of greater diversification in exchange-traded funds comes at the cost of possibly lower returns as compared to other mutual funds. Actively run mutual funds are more likely to earn a better return over the long-term than passively managed funds since the fund manager uses his expertise and takes active calls to buy better-performing stocks and sell underperforming stocks. But in the case of an ETF that mimics an index, all kinds of stocks are held including the underperformers.

ETF investors should consider funds with lower tracking error as a key performance indicator. Tracking error shows the deviation in return of a fund from its benchmark. Since these funds mimic their respective indices, tracking error should be close to zero. However, zero tracking error is impossible since it must buy or sell securities to align with the index whenever the index undergoes a rebalancing and hence must bear some transaction costs. However, indices have no such constraints. Investors keen on lower expense ratio and higher liquidity can consider including ETFs in their financial planning.

You can read more about ETF funds on Mutual Funds Sahi Hai, an investor education initiative by AMFI.

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Setting Your Money Goals

Guest Article By Robert Alan Stewart 

3 Factors which determine your investment strategy

You may be wondering what is the right investment strategy for you, but without knowing anything about you, any advice on which investments are right for you may in fact be the wrong ones. There are basically three factors that determine which are the right investments for you, they are:

1. Your age

2. Purpose for the money

3. Your risk profile

Starting with your age. It would be rather silly of you to invest all your money in growth funds if you are aged 65 because if the market takes a dive such as was the case during the 1987 sharemarket crash and to a lesser extent, the Global Financial Crisis during the early 2000s you have less time to recover from these setbacks whereas the young ones have time on their side.

The purpose for the money is the second factor.

Decide whether you require the money in the short-term, medium-term, or long-term.

Short-term would be up to a year.

Medium-term is 1-5 years

Long-term is longer than five years

Short term expenses would be, a bank account for emergencies, a holiday within a year, dental expenses, or t pay for the kids schooling for a year.

Medium-term would be savings for a car.

Long term would be your retirement fund, saving for a house deposit, or saving for the trip of a lifetime.

Your risk profile is a determining factor in where you invest your money. If the thought of the sharemarket taking a dive will give you sleepless nights then investing growth stocks in the sharemarket is not for you. A better option would be managed funds where you will be given a choice between growth, balanced, and conservative funds.

It is important not to get into debt for there is a cost to debt and that is interest. Interest adds to the cost of goods bought with borrowed money, and this adds up to a fortune during a lifetime of borrowing for consumables. This is called bad debt because the value of the item declines over time.

There is such a thing as good debt though and this is your first home because the value of the property increases during the lifetime of the loan but even this is not always a good option for some people if you live a kind of transient lifestyle.

“Everyone is to their own,” so only you know what makes you tick so your personal circumstances are the determining factors which govern where best to invest your savings.

You must do your homework before you invest in anything, whether that is the sharemarket, managed funds, or gold. There is so much information available on just about everything, and that includes finance. It is just a matter of learning the ropes and having a financial strategy which suits your personal circumstances.

Most people are able to save money but having goals and selecting the right investments for your savings can help increase your assets and enable you to reach your goals quicker. In life one size does not fit all as far as deciding where to invest your money. My site has several finance related articles, visit: http://www.robertastewart.com

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Discretionary Income Choices

Guest article By Robert Alan Stewart

Making the most of your discretionary income

Discretionary income is what you have left over after paying your fixed costs. It is yours to spend on whatever you choose.

But…
How you spend this money can make a difference to your financial situation, but before this we have to ascertain what is discretionary income.

Rent/rates

Car running expenses

Power

Debt

Groceries etc.

People who have an addiction of some kind will prioritize their spending so that the addiction is included among their fixed expenses.

Everyone as an adult has freedom of choice unless they have debts which means their freedom is being eroded away in relation to their level of debt.

The old Proverb, “The borrower is a slave to the lender,” sums it up.

We all have some control over most of our fixed expenses such as groceries and power;we can cut down on these but with items such as rates/rent are fixed but even then we can choose to live in a more modest apartment or downsize.

The excess to your expenses is called discretionary income.

Another way of increasing your disposable (discretionary) income is to increase your income by getting a part-time job, getting a higher paying job, or selling stuff online.

Saving your discretionary spending for some greater purpose instead of frittering it away gives your life some meaning. Instead of just letting things happen you are making things happen. Many people in 10-20 years time wondered what happened.

There is a major difference between saving your money and investing it. Astute investors use their discretion to increase their wealth by investing in higher risk stocks and shares, gold, and cryptocurrency. There are enough online platforms where you are able to drip feed money into these things if you are still climbing up the investment ladder.

But then you may prefer to save for a holiday and tick off one or two items on your bucket list. The border closures will restrict your choice of places but here in New Zealand there are so many fantastic places to visit it is an opportunity to discover your own backyard.

Among the more popular activities in New Zealand are landing on the Franz and Fox Glaciers, going for a dip in the Hanmer Springs hot pools, visiting the wine region of Marlborough, or attending one of the sports meetings around the country. One thing I have to mention here is the Tranz Alpine Express train journey between Christchurch and Greymouth. It is rated one of the finest train journeys in the world and having experienced it I do not disagree. It has to be on everyone’s bucket list.

Setting financial goals are personal to you gives your life a sense of purpose and deciding how to spend your disposable income can help you achieve your financial goals. My blog http://www.robertastewart.com has lots of articles related to finance.

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Best Online Investment Account Info: Tips for Getting Started With an Online Broker and Trading

Guest Article By George Botwin

If you want to really get involved in stock investments, then it’s a good idea to hire a broker to help you create an account. Most people handle everything online these days. There are online brokers you can go through who often charge less than the traditional broker since they don’t have a physical office to maintain. Most people do all of their buying and selling online as well. How can you make sure that you choose the best online investment account?

Commissions are always a top priority for internet investors. You shouldn’t have any problems finding a brokerage firm that only charges a few dollars on a commission. What you really look for are the fees. Even if the commission is advertised as being very low, you could end up paying tons of money on fees. Transparency is essential in an online broker account. Some companies even may even try and charge you inactivity fees and maintenance fees.

You’ll always need versatility. Only choose a brokerage firm that offers a broad range of investment types, and not just stocks. Take the time to investigate your options with a particular broker. In addition to stocks, there should be different types of futures, bonds, EFTs, etc.

How to Start With the Best Online Investment Account

To start the best online investment account possible, you’ll need useful resources and tools to educate you and optimize your trading efficiency. More advanced users can take advantage of market scanners, EFT scanners, detailed macro-economic event calendars, bond scanners, and other tools and metrics that they can use on any public company in the world.

If you need help with your portfolio, look for tools that will assist you with portfolio management offered by online brokers. These types of tools can come with features such as automatic notifications for when it is time to rebalance your portfolio and “what-if” analysis for each trade you are considering.

Go mobile, if possible. That way, you’ll have 24/7 access to your portfolio, accounts, and all of the tools you use at your disposal, no matter where you are. The best brokerage companies will offer a workstation that is available via app and web. Ideally, the app should have a lot of positive reviews, be updated frequently, provide time-delayed intra-day quotes, the option to add certain stocks to your “watchlist”, and more.

How can you create the best online investment account possible? As you start to educate yourself more and get the hang of the basics, you might want to turn towards Zacks Trade. This platform is a very affordable alternative than outright hiring a traditional broker. It comes with plenty of useful tools, apps, resources, and a fully-featured workstation.

To get closer to financial freedom, visit George’s website: https://www.financiallygenius.com/zacks-trade/

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Which Mutual Fund Calculator Should You Use?

Guest Article By Bhagath Varma

There is no dearth of financial calculators available on the internet and sometimes novice investors get baffled by the sheer number of calculator links that come up for a simple search query like ‘goal sip calculator’ or ‘goal calculators’. How does then one choose the calculator that will precisely provide an answer to what the investor was looking for in the first place?

There are many calculators available on the internet that can help you find answers to some of your financial planning queries. But here is a list of the basic must-try calculators that everyone should try because these will help you understand the need for a financial plan in the first place and how should you start working towards your financial goals in life.

  1. Inflation Calculator
  2. Goal SIP Calculator
  3. SIP Calculator

If you are one of those smart investors who has already started planning for his/her life goals and have a few SIPs in place, this calculator is the one for you. It’ll tell you the future value of your SIPs and you can compare that with what the inflation calculator gives you. If the future value of your SIP comes out to be more than what the inflation calculator gave you for the same goal, you are really smart! But if the future value given by the SIP calculator turns out to be lower than what the inflation calculator shows, you really need to step-up your SIP now else you will be staring at a shortfall when the time to fulfil your goal comes.

These calculators are all that one needs to take stock of things at present and build a sound financial plan for the future. Once the plan is ready you need to act upon it with earnest. There’s an informative site by the name Mutual Funds Sahi Hai that can help you understand mutual funds better and guide you to build a good investment plan for your future.

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Smart Ways to Invest: A Quick Overview of Some of the Smartest Things You Can Do With Money

Guest Article By George Botwin

Do you suddenly find yourself with a bit of money and want to know about some smart ways to invest? How can you best put that money to good use? The most important thing to do – if you haven’t already done so – is to pay off your debts. Get that out of the way. If you still have debts when you invest, any interest you might earn from the investment will just equal out the interest you’ll have to pay on the debts. Holding onto debt might even be more costly than any profit you might make from investments.

Once you’re all clear with debts, then you can consider making smart investments. Investment bonds are usually considered a good idea for those who are afraid of taking on too much risk. The potential for returns is quite lower than those of stocks, but you will still get some interest over time, whether you invest in US government bonds or foreign bonds. Just do the right research first to find out which foreign bonds are likely to be the most profitable over the next decade.

Learn about the different types of mutual funds and decide if they are smart ways to invest for you. They are categorized by asset class: cash, bonds, and stocks, and then further categorized by objective, strategy, or style, such as stock mutual funds, money market mutual funds, and so forth. The downside to mutual funds is lack of ownership. The investor actually doesn’t own the individual stock, and therefore lacks perks such as voting rights.

Smart Ways to Invest With Diversification

While you don’t have to put all of your money in a single bank account, it’s still considered wise by many people to open up a Certificate of Deposit account with a reputable online bank that offers a high APY – even higher than a regular savings account. The drawback? You have to agree to let your money stay in the bank for a certain period of time and won’t be allowed to withdraw any of it prior to that time without getting penalized.

Dividend-paying stocks can be among the smart ways to invest for intermediate and advanced investors. Dividends are a portion of a company’s profit that are paid out to shareholders (usually quarterly). If you own a dividend stock, you can earn cash in the short term as well as the investment itself through market appreciate during the long-term.

As for the smart ways to invest in individual stocks and a few other opportunities, it’s best to join a group of insiders where you will get picks from the true professionals and experts. Having access to high-quality investment analysis, such as that offered by Capitalist Exploits, is a great way to gain an edge in investing.

To get closer to financial freedom, visit George’s website: https://www.financiallygenius.com/capitalist-exploits/

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Using the Best Stock Indicators for Your Trades and Investments

Guest Article By Joanne Cooper

Market volatility and insecure trades and investments are a continuing highlight. As many traders and investors learned this year, when bullish markets and record highs are trending, it may lead to an instant pullback. If you don’t want to get caught by surprise with the downtrends, then it is important to use the best stock indicators. This will help you to reduce your risk while allowing your portfolio to benefit from analytical additions.

The market will always move up and then down, causing many to lose money or to gain profitability. The difference in the trades and investments is not how the market is moving; it is how one approaches their portfolio. A winning game, based on the ability to strategically position your moves in the market, easily helps you to build the proper reputation for trades and investments. The best stock indicators can assist you with the positioning you need.

Analytical tools are the first forms of indicators that you need. These look at the patterns and trends in the market. They identify the data, including price, volume and time that it takes for a market to turn. It also looks at the quantitative information over a certain time. You will be able to define the data and how it is moving as well as how each day relates to the next, forming patterns that predict when a change will happen. You want to look at how each is functioning independently in the market. It is also important to define how each correlates with others, specifically to identify how other stocks are impacting your trades and investments.

The best stock indicators also offer predictive data. These are offered so you can strategically move in the market. The predictions include an analysis of the data as well as the expectations of how the market will move. While most focus on real – time statistics, newer technologies define the probability of turn in the market before it happens. These offer a different approach to the stocks you are investing in, allowing you to find strategic positions, no matter which way the market is turning.

Protecting your profitability is important for every trader and investor. Using the best stock indicators helps you to identify moves in the market and to find a strategic position based on the analytics that you use. By adding together different trends, patterns and data, you will easily be able to find the best way to move in the market.

Using the best stock indicators reduces market volatility. BluSignals provides forward thinking tools that are able to predict changes in the market before they happen. Determining trends and buy / sell signals guides trades and investments to strategic positioning.

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Compounding Is The Best And Least Time Consuming Strategy

Guest Article By Gregory Neil Smyth

Time in a Compounding strategy is your biggest friend. The longer your investment is allowed to Compound, the bigger your Account becomes.

If you have a ‘super’ busy life, and have a lump sum to invest, after making the initial investment there is nothing more to do. Get on with your life and watch your dividend reinvestment strategy build up.

Compounding involves adding to your original capital invested every year, and then that new balance to be added to in the next year, and so on. Buy solid dividend paying companies, like the Dividend Aristocrats, and you are assured of the best Compounding strategy available.

Not only do Dividend Aristocrats pay dividends every year, their dividend history through all sorts of market upheavals, their dividends also Rise every year. This means a Growing dividend Yield for the Compounding strategy, and when coupled with dividend reinvestment, you have 2 strategies in one!

Most pay Rising dividends 4 times a year, so no matter the current state of the market, reinvestment is taken care of by these companies for you. No temptation to sell in a big drop, just let the reinvestment strategy take care of itself, and LET IT COMPOUND.

Your Time is your own, after the original investment is made, just ‘put it in the bottom drawer’ and watch it Compound for as long as you like.

In the last big ‘drop’ in the market (2008-2009), 10 Dividend Aristocrat stocks were delisted from the Dividend Aristocrat Index because of changes to their dividend policy(they cut their dividend), so make sure to only invest in the ‘biggest and best’. The longer they have paid rising dividends and stayed in the Index the better.

Companies like McDonald’s, Johnson & Johnson, 3M, Wal Mart, who have paid rising dividends for decades, through all sorts of economic shock/upheavals, are the ones to invest in.

If you are investing through a savings plan, you are probably adding to your investment once a year, so again your Time is yours.

Even if you have 10-20 years to go till retirement, don’t ‘put off’ this strategy, as Compounding is the best ‘hands off’ strategy there is. Even if only your bills in retirement are taken care of, that is a huge bonus, the alternative is not pretty.

The best holding period for this strategy is ‘forever’, but when you eventually need the money, there is no need to sell, just change the reinvestment part to cash dividends, and everything ‘is sweet’. No capital gains tax, as no shares have been sold, you are receiving a ‘GROWING’ income stream for ever!

Time is your FRIEND in a Compounding investment strategy, so start NOW.

For a website dedicated to creating wealth by compounding, and creating long term wealth, go to [http://www.wealthbycompounding.com] This article has been written by Gregory Neil Smyth, who has just released an eBook ‘How To Create Wealth By Compounding’ and is available for purchase at the above website.

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