The Best Investment Opportunities for Beginners

Anyone looking to make the most of excess cash they possess can soon be overwhelmed by the plethora of investment opportunities that are available. Whether you’re looking to boost your income on the side or maybe make a living from one of the various investment opportunities, you’ll have to pick the right one for your situation.
For your first investments it will be easiest to stick with just one method, though as you grow more confident it is important to diversify. This will reduce the risk attached to all of your investments. Putting all your finances in one basket could lead to disaster, so here are a few investment choices to choose from.

Stocks and Shares
Stocks and shares offer one of the most common investment opportunities. They provide a simple enough premise of investors purchasing a number of stocks and shares in a company they believe will rise in value. Then, when they hopefully do, you can sell them off to make a profit. There are thousands of options to invest in, so it is best to choose stocks and shares in an area you are interested in or knowledgeable about to increase the chance of success.

Forex Market
Trading currency on the forex market is a more complicated affair but still one that can be picked up and provide a good opportunity with a little application. Start off by choosing one of the major currency pairs and reading into the practice as much as possible. Download and use a demo account first, before making trades for real. Find out more here about forex trading.

Lump Sum Investments
Rather than making small investments every now and then and tracking their progress, you may prefer to make a handful of lump sum investments. Corporate bonds, cash or stocks and shares ISAs are just some of the options that fall into this category. There is often a minimum commitment, so you will need to ensure you can meet this before choosing one of these options.

Real Estate
There are many advantages of investing in real estate. While you will need a lot of starting capital (or someone else to share a joint investment) it will provide you with a regular and more stable cash flow than some of the more risky opportunities. Plus you should be able to capitalise on any appreciation and make the most of tax benefits. Pick the investment opportunity that fits your situation best.

FAO: Blokes – Cut Down your Wedding Costs Where She Won’t Notice

When you start planning your dream wedding, you’ll get to realize that it doesn’t come cheap. After all, it’s a once in a lifetime dream and no one will want to cut back their expenses and give up that perfect white dress and shoes, the matching platinum rings, the gala reception, the flower arrangements, videos and photographs, the wedding giveaways, and even the 6-tiered wedding cake. But all of these things land a pretty hard blow on your cash stash. So if you want to get the thing you desire the most, you’ll have to sacrifice your lesser desires.

Think Twice and Cut Back

While the idea of cutting back on your wedding expenses seems a pretty good one, it’s easier said than done. Being the bride, you’re likely to want to make this day as perfect as you can, regardless of the cost.

But think about it for a moment, is spending all your savings on one day is the best thing to do. Wedding days are very special, but they are nonetheless, just one day. You don’t want to spend all your money on that one day and start your life as a couple with barely any money at hand. That’s just not the way to being happily-ever-after.

Cut Where Nobody Notices

Though an average bride can be somewhat stubborn when it comes to the matters of her wedding, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should do that too. You can easily cut back on minor details, like wedding giveaways, centerpieces for tables, and even groomsmen gifts; while saving for that perfect white dress of yours.

If you’re feeling low about getting cheap groomsmen gifts, don’t be. They are a handful of persons who’re closest to you and your fiancé, and they’ll understand your predicament.

Cheap Can Be Chic

Your groomsmen gifts may be cheap, but they don’t have to look cheap. If you keep a close eye out, you’ll be able to buy gifts that are both elegant and within your reach.

When it comes to men, you don’t have to overdo things. You can buy gifts as simple as cufflinks, liquor flasks, lighters, and wallets, and you’ll still be able to win their hearts. They are handy, and you can spot items that are elegantly sophisticated and are well under £50.

This being taken care of, you’ll have more money at your disposal to buy that dream wedding dress you’ve got your eyes set on. You can use this money to get more flowers for the big day, or maybe add another tier on the cake. By cutting back on the matters that are of less importance, you can have the wedding you always wanted and still have money in your hand when you start your new life.

These Five Credit Card Habits Can Lead to Financial Troubles

Imagine what people did before credit cards came along. Credit cards are an excellent convenience tool. The biggest problem with them is that it is easy to get yourself into financial trouble using them. Over the previous three decades, Americans have gone from using cash to charging their financial freedom away. A whole new mindset, many see a credit card more like a bank than an extension of a bank account.

Using a credit card in irresponsible ways can land you in the type of trouble that could jeopardize your financial future. Young people often don’t realize the potential of credit card debt, or the consequences of it. YOLO is a huge reason many spend decades paying off the bills of their twenties. The best way to plan for the future is by never succumbing to these poor credit card habits. Along with websites that offers a personal loan calculator, there are tools that can help you avoid debt. Credit cards are a surefire way to spend a lifetime of fighting to get back to zero.

1 Revolving balance

Credit cards were not meant to be a lending institution. The high-interest rates are supposed to deter those who carry credit cards from not paying them off monthly. The problem is that many don’t consider the interest rates as much as they should. Taking the minimum balance and applying it to your monthly budget is a recipe for disaster. The key is never to carry a revolving balance and pay the interest charge. If you allow you balance to carry on to the next month, you will be paying double or more the amount of that simple cup of coffee that you chose to charge at Starbucks. If you can’t pay for it with cash, you should be buying it at all. Pay off your balance monthly to avoid paying forever.

2 Considering the points as bonus rewards

Many credit card users think about reward points as bonuses to using their credit cards. They use their cards instead of debit or cash, thinking they are gaining points to use later. That is only true when you pay the entire balance at the end of the month. If you aren’t paying your balance than those reward points mean nothing. You won’t even cover the cost of your interest for one month if you let your balance revolve. If you just pay cash and never pay interest on your card, you can afford those luxury items outright without thinking they are money back for paying high-interest payments.

3 Thinking the due dates are optional

Many people think that the due dates are optional and let their credit card balances lapse for a month or two. They are then completely shocked when they go to get a mortgage and find that not making their payments on time has ruined their credit score. Not only will not paying on time tank your credit, but it will also up your APR rate. Worse yet, many cards will charge you upwards of $35 for any late payments. Even if you owe $5, missing a payment can cost you $35. Sound unfair? Well it is, but that is just the way that credit cards work. Make a special point to pay attention to your credit card due dates.

4 Using your credit card for everything

The only time that using your credit card for everyday purchases makes sense is when there are promotions that grant you rewards for specific charges. Many people don’t read the fine print to find that most of the purchases made for everyday items won’t even qualify them for reward points at all. Putting everything on their card thinking they are earning themselves points, most are shocked to find that barely anything registers for extra cash back.

5 Taking it to the max

Just because you have a credit limit of $2000, that does not mean that you have two thousand dollars to burn. Maxing out your credit cards is very dangerous. Not only does it mean high-interest rates, but it also affects your credit score rating. If you can’t make the high minimum charge, or you forget a payment, you will also get socked with an overage charge that can make your penalty fee as much as $70 combined. Don’t think of a maximum limit as something you should shoot to obtain. Limits are not free money handed out, in fact, they can be the most costly loan you have ever had.

Being smart about credit card spending is important not to pay dearly, and forever, on a credit card balance that gets out of control.

The Proper Way To Learn Forex Trading

At the first look Forex looks complicated and you might think it is really a big deal to learn Forex trading. But when you start learning about different ypes of online trading, like Forex or CFD trading, and give some time to understanding the concept and the terms, things will become more and easier for you. Forex trading is as simple as you can make it and is as complicated as much you can make it. Some traders like to be a fundamental trader relying on the fundamental factors of Forex for trading while others prefer to analyze the Forex charts and perform Forex technical analysis to grow as a trader. It all depends on you which strategy you follow in Forex or CFD trading, but at every step you take, it is important to learn new strategies and concepts. So let us discuss some of the best ways to learn Forex trading and grow as a successful Forex trader.

Start reading to learn Forex trading basics

Spend some time reading to learn Forex trading in detail. Read about the glossary terms, join Forex forums and hang around them. In the beginning of your Forex trading career try to grasp as much as you can and don’t concentrate on trading live. Wait until you get some good knowledge about the trading basics and get acquainted with the terms. Read some good Forex and CFD trading articles and blogs and learn the basic strategies of trading and the different concepts related to Forex trading.

Open a demo account and start trading in the market

Opening a Forex demo account is one of the best ways to learn Forex trading playing around the market. A demo account helps you to get familiar with the trading platform provided by the Forex trader and you are able to learn Forex trading practically without risking the real money. Learn how the market flows, real time trading and using different strategies. If possible try different demo accounts with different Forex brokers and learn about the different trading platforms they provide along with the experience of the services provided by the different brokers. When you feel that you have practiced a lot you can open a live demo account and start trading with the real money.

Learn managing risks

Managing risks in trading is very important thing to learn. Currency market is not liquid all the time and many times it is highly volatile. Study the risk reward ratios, take money management methods, make a trading plan and manage your portfolios. Use stop losses at the appropriate levels and maintain a trading journal so that you can analyze where you went wrong and where you need to avoid mistakes in future. All these things help a lot in managing the risks in Forex. Making profits in trading is the ultimate goal of every serious trader but at the same time if you cut your losses, your actual profit goes up.

Amazing Facts about Ink Cartridges and Printers

Printers have become a part of the furniture (although you shouldn’t sit on one!) as every office and many homes have at least one. We pass by them every day, and even when we’re using them we don’t think about what goes on inside them. So let’s find out some amazing facts about this office and home workhorse.

The fuser rollers in laser printers reach almost 205C

Laser printers use toner rather than ink. Toner is composed of tiny plastic particles which are transferred onto paper from the cartridge with varying electrostatic charges. When the toner particles hit the paper they’re melted very quickly by these hot rollers to bond with the paper. It’s done very quickly so the paper doesn’t scorch.

Toner melts at low temperatures

The fuser rollers get as hot as they do so they can do their job rapidly, but toner actually melts at around body temperature! Warm water can also melt toner, which is why if you spill toner on your clothes, you should brush as much of it off as possible before using cold water to wash it away.

Laser printers use more electricity than a PC

You’d be forgiven for thinking that a laser printer uses less energy than a desktop computer because it’s smaller, but it actually uses three times as much electricity as a PC does when in use. Once idle, however, the PC uses five times as much electricity than the laser printer.

Discarded cartridges could circle the planet three times

Ink cartridges are a threat to the environment. Although around 70% of the cartridge components are recyclable, most still end up in landfill after users discard them. If all the discarded cartridges were lined up in a row, they’d go three times around the earth.

Fonts were once named after the people who designed them

Fonts, also known as typefaces, used to be named after their creators, so when you look down your list of fonts you’ll spot surnames from now on. A good example of a name is Garamond, named after its creator, French printer Claude Garamonde. This font is still used because it’s very sparing with its use of ink.

The world’s largest printer measures 12×50 metres

The world’s smallest printer is a mere 1”x2”x11”, and the biggest is a whopping 12 metres by 50 metres. Known as Infinitus this printer is owned by Minneapolis company Big Image Systems. Infinitus can print on spans as large as 600 square metres and it’s used to create backdrops for TV, film and theatre companies.

Printers can print food as well as words

3D printers can print food! Edible food! This new type of printer is set to become more and more commonplace as the tech evolves and becomes cheaper. These printers not only print food – they can print clothes, jewellery, houses and artificial prostheses to replace missing limbs. NASA plans to send a 3D printer into space – maybe even to Mars – so that astronauts and colonisers can print out shelters, tools and other utensils.

Choosing the Right Saving Account

For a lot of people in our society, a savings account is the most important form of financial security. Although a savings account is a very reliable sector for investing your money, it is highly necessary that the person chooses the right account to make sure he/she gets the highest return possible.

A high interest savings account is most definitely a very lucrative choice, especially for small investors who want both reliance and a reasonable interest rate. If chosen correctly, it can provide the investor with a fair amount of profit at the end of the investment period.

No matter what your occupation, having some money stored in a bank is possibly your best financial companion when in time of needs. In todays’ world, when the economy is extremely volatile, saving up money in the bank is much difficult than it was before. But still, having a savings account means that when the road ahead gets rough, you have something to rely upon.

The ideal way to save is income less savings equals expenses. But in times this rough, people often take a different approach and that’s income less expenses equals savings.

Savings accounts are one of the most desirable schemes of investment and choosing an account with a high interest rate is even more desired. However, most basic savings accounts only yield up to 4% interest rate. But if you have a reasonable amount of money for savings, it’s highly suggested that you deposit your money in savings accounts that has higher interest rates. Some banks even offer up to 6% of interest rate, given that you don’t withdraw money in a certain time period. These banks offer these savings schemes to individuals only, single persons who can deposit a fairly reasonable amount. However, it’s noteworthy that most of these accounts only offer online transactions. So it’s of utmost importance that prior research should be done before choosing to invest in a bank.

When taking the decision to plan about your financial security, it’s imperative that you don’t fixate upon an offer from the very beginning. Explore different offers, their pros and cons, research about the market to make sure that you know every detail about the offers. Above all, don’t be hasty while making this kind of decisions. Take your time to understand the different accounts and then choose the one that best meets your needs.

The Decline of the Dollar and the impact of rising Political Tension

In recent times, the U.S. dollar has enjoyed a huge resurgence in the financial marketplace. This has been largely driven by the fluctuating fortunes of the Euro and the Yen, which have plummeted against a backdrop of economic decline and reforms.

This trend has finally reversed, however, with the greenback suffering broad losses after previously peaking at an eight-month high against a host of major international currencies. Recent geopolitical tensions have contributed heavily to this, and the dollar may even fall further amid widespread, international tumult.

Why the Dollar falls during times of Political strife

The primary reason for this is outlook of investors and how this changes during times of political tension. Traders initially look to cut long positions in a depreciating market, for example, making the dollar far less profitable or appealing to the majority investors. In addition to those, conservative investors have traditionally turned to the yen during times of aversion, with this currency recently hitting an impressive two-week high of 122.26 in the market.

The same can be said for the Euro, which has also gained a third of a percent over the course of the last two weeks and edged to $1.0676 while climbing from a seven-month low of $1.0592. The growth was compounded by a dollar index decline of 0.2%, and while this is expected to be a temporary fall it underlines how traders amend their outlook as the economic climate fluctuates. We can expect this trend to continue for an indefinite period of time, however, especially given growing tensions in the East of Europe.

The final Word: How long will it take for the Dollar to recover?

Both the Yen and the Euro are considered as carry funding currencies in the current marketplace, which means that investors are likely to borrow low-yield currencies in a bid to sell it and buy a higher-performing alternative once the market improves. This is a common risk aversion strategy in the modern age, especially as high-yield and Western currencies such as the Dollar are often associated with high levels of risk and threat.

Ultimately, there is no doubt that the U.S. dollar will rebound from its current decline, especially with positive data sets expected to be released in final financial quarter. It is simply a matter of time before the market begins to ascend once more, and much will depend on the capacity of leading international governments to manage oversea relations. With this in mind, as an investor you will need to monitor live and real-time market trends as they unfold, so be sure to check the latest forex developments.

Types of Loans – Which is Best for you?

At one time or another, most of us will find ourselves in a situation where we need to buy something but can’t afford the item in question, or would rather spread the costs.

Maybe it’s a new car to get you to and from work or a new computer to help you keep on top of bill payments, banking and so on. Perhaps your washing machine has broken or you need a much-deserved holiday. When such a situation occurs, it is often the case that we will opt to take out one type of loan or another. There are many different ways to do this. What type of loan would suit you best?

An Informal Loan

For most of us, borrowing from a family member or close friend, if possible, would come high on the list of potential options. As long as an agreement is written down that suits both parties, this is an informal, cheap and effective way to borrow money.

Personal Loans

If you have a steady income, then a personal loan from a bank or other financial institution may be the way ahead. Personal loans are usually taken out over one to five years and come with relatively low rates of interest. This means that you get the money you need and can pay it back little by little for a small fee.

Guarantor Loans

If you can’t prove that you have a steady income, for example if you have recently started a new job, or if you have a poor credit rating, then a guarantor loan is an option well worth considering. Guarantor loan experts can offer you a loan of up to £7,500, all you need to be able to do is get someone to act as your guarantor. This means they vouch for your ability to pay back the loan and are legally obliged to take over your repayments if you should find yourself unable to do so.

Credit Cards

Credit cards are a sound way to borrow money, many now offer 0% for up to 27 months and so if you can quickly pay back the money you borrow, they are a good option. Beware, however, because once the 0% interest period is over, then the interest rates jump up and can be very high. If you don’t pay back the money you borrowed quickly enough you could be in debt for a long time.

Payday Loans

Payday loans offer short-term loans on relatively small amounts of money and the idea is that you pay back the loan in full at the end of the month, on pay day. These loans carry very high interest rates and are a very poor option. Many people get themselves into spiralling debt as a result of taking out a payday loan with the very best of intentions.

Taking out a loan for an essential item or for a special treat is generally a simple process and most people appreciate the convenience, but before signing your name on the dotted line make sure you are confident that you have selected the best option for you and that repaying the loan isn’t going to leave you in the doldrums.

Borrowing Is Getting Easier For Those With Good Credit History

It has taken lenders an interminably long time to ease their restrictions on lending, but at long last, it is getting somewhat easier to get approved for a loan. The best interest rates have dropped from 7.5% to 3.4% in the last two years, which indicates that the banks are feeling the need to compete for customers again, rather than the other way around. The sticking point is that these discounted rates are only available to lenders whose credit scores fall within the upper half of all loan applicants. A full 90% of applicants find themselves either turned down outright or offered loans at significantly higher interest rates.

So before you begin popping your Christmas crackers early in celebration, you might want to consider checking your credit reports and, if necessary, doing a bit of house cleaning before marching off to the bank to get that long-awaited loan. Those reports, which allegedly detail how responsibly and reliably you have met your prior credit agreements, are available from Experian and Equifax.

What do you mean, “allegedly”?

Both credit scoring companies do an exemplary job of keeping track of millions of people’s credit histories, but there is always the chance that a given report can be less than 100% accurate. Not all creditors are as meticulous as they could be about updating the reports they provide, and some are less than timely in reporting changes to the scoring companies.
In addition, instances of identity theft that damage a person’s credit score often go unnoticed by the customer until they find themselves rejected when applying for a loan or credit card, or even when applying for a job or trying to open a new mobile phone account.
Between these instances and the inevitability of the odd human error when updating an account, it falls to the would-be borrower to ensure that his or her score is accurate, and that it has not fallen victim to plundering by means of identity theft or other fraud. If, upon checking your credit reports, you find incorrect information or evidence of fraud, you need to act quickly to address the problems with the listed creditors to get them corrected. Im the case of fraud or identity theft, you will need to make certain that the authorities have been alerted, as well.

What to look out for beyond errors on the report or cases of fraud

Take it easy when applying for credit – Whatever you do, avoid applying for too many credit cards, loans, or other credit applications in a short period of time. Each application you submit to a prospective creditor is likely to result in them running a “hard search” on your credit history, and each of these searches is itself added to your credit report. If a prospective creditor sees many of these searches, especially over a relatively short period of time, they are likely to reason that you are either desperate for credit or on the path to overextending your finances, and they are just as likely to deny your application for that reason.

Don’t miss any payments – This should go without saying, but unfortunately, it does bear repeating. You add to your credit history with each passing month. While a good report on a debt might not appear until the debt is paid off, missing or being late on payments are reported in real time. While missing or being late on a single payment might not disqualify you for a loan all by itself, it never helps, and a pattern of missed or late payments marks you as a credit risk.

Don’t max out your available credit and apply for more – If your credit card balances stay at or near your approved limit, lenders will usually assume that you are not very good at managing your finances. Keep the outstanding balances as low as possible.

Don’t summarily close out accounts you aren’t using – You would think that paying off an account and closing it would make you a saint in the eyes of prospective creditors, but you would be wrong in thinking so. You are actually better off keeping those accounts open, so long as you don’t incur exorbitant fees for doing so. Using the cards or accounts from time to time and keeping up with payments establishes the very kind of credit pattern that most lenders want to see.

Establish your stability as a customer – Nobody enjoys moving, and people who change their address too frequently are looked upon by creditors as being something less than stable, and inherently poor credit risks.

Maintain a positive balance in your chequing and savings accounts – While the occasional overdraft won’t necessarily disqualify you for a loan, frequently having a negative balance in your accounts is not a good sign of good money management. Ideally, you will want to have enough cash on hand to cover at least one month’s expenses if you want to impress lenders.

Shop wisely for credit – Being accepted for credit by an institution that is well-known for accepting high-risk borrowers won’t be much of a plus on your credit report. Compare the terms you can get from different lenders, and apply first to those who offer the best interest rates and terms, and for whom you are most likely to qualify.

Being circumspect in when, why, and to whom you apply for credit can help you establish yourself as a savvy and reliable borrower, the kind that creditors welcome with open arms. By ensuring that your past creditors and the scoring agencies are doing their part, and by doing your part to maintain a good credit rating, you will not only find it easier to get credit, the credit you get will also end up costing you far less, in interest rates and fees.

The Questions of ‘Save and Spend’

It’s ironic, isn’t it? Families are advised to save money. It is important to have an emergency fund and provide properly for retirement. Yet at the same time there has been concern expressed that there is too much saving and therefore the spending required to boost the economy isn’t taking place. Well not at the levels required even though statistics show there is extensive credit card debt. Perhaps the spending is going on everyday things such as groceries? Whatever the case, there is a definite dilemma. Savers cannot expect too much growth while interest rates are low though the markets should be performing well enough in the medium term. Those who do not save for the future while likely find things difficult as they reach retirement. The Social Security System is no guarantee.
So what is the answer? Ordinary people do not necessarily understand the principles of economics.

Borrowers Are Benefitting
There’s little doubt that borrowers benefit much more than savers when interest rates are low. That is a compelling reason why if you are carrying high interest rate debt like credit card balances you should take advantage because just right installment loans are readily available if you have regular income and your request looks realistic. In essence it is that you appear to be able to afford the instalments for the term of the loan. You need not worry if you have a poor credit score. While some traditional lenders use that as their main focus, today’s online lenders don’t; they may charge a higher rate of interest because of the extra perceived risk but the rate will still be much lower than that applied by credit card companies.
Those who decided that real estate was a good way to build up their assets found that the recession but their hopes on hold. In almost all cases real estate values dropped and those who had bought in the previous few years expecting growth faced problems. Mortgage companies required little in the way of deposit and in some cases mortgages were available where borrowers could obtain more than the current value of the property. The result was widespread negative equity and foreclosures where borrowers could not maintain their payments.

Real Estate for Retirement
Circumstances have improved and growth has returned. In the medium to long term real estate growth should be certain and a family seeking to build assets should rightly expect that it will happen. In this case spending on a mortgage is generating growth in the real estate market though not necessarily in the economy as a whole.
Someone relying on the value of the house to fund retirement however faces a number of issues, not least the fact that the value of the home has to be realized and alternative accommodation obtained. It is great to have money in real estate but in reality people should be looking to contribute to retirement regularly and from an early age. A 401K where employers contribute as well makes absolute sense. Compound interest creates good growth over the years even at single figure percentages.

Start Early
A $100 a month over 20 years at 8% will produce a sum around $50,000; anyone putting that away from their mid-twenties will have that figure by middle age, the time when some are only just starting to think about making plans for retirement. Imagine if that $100 was increased every five years by a further $50! It is a figure that should be eminently affordable for someone in regular employment. While 8% may not be available by putting money on deposit it should be by taking a fairly conservative approach and investing in the S&P 500.
Everyone deserves a comfortable retirement and it is important to remember that people are living longer. While the Social Security System is in place there are a number of issues for the future because the funds coming in will not be able to sustain current benefits without some changes. If the System is just part of the finance for retirement then the chances of a comfortable retirement improve enormously. It isn’t necessary to be an economist to understand the common sense in thinking about the future. It doesn’t necessarily involve sacrifice but it will involve ‘peace of mind.’

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