October 28, 2014
Personal investments can take many forms. Depending on the income of the investor, his appetite for risk, the expenses that he is responsible for and the rate of return that he expects, his investment portfolio will contain different instruments of financial saving. In general some common investment opportunities include real estate, shares and bonds, gold in physical form or tradable bonds, and mutual funds with a systematic investment plan or SIP. Of late people have begun venturing in to the field of commodity trading as a retail investment as well.
What does Commodity Trading involve?
Commodities in the field of Commodity Trading refer to food, energy or metal products which are an important aspect of industrial production. These key commodities are important for development and thus people invest in them using different options. The first is a Futures Contract wherein an investor agrees to buy or sell a specific commodity at a given price in the future at an agreed date. Futures contracts can be drawn up for commodities such as crude oil, natural gas, gold, silver, and even agricultural produce such as wheat, corn and rice.
The trouble with a Futures Contract is that it is very high risk and also rather expensive for a single retail investor. This is where commodity trading companies can help. As a retail investor you open up an account with a commodity pool operator and this person or partnership invests the money collected from individual investors in futures contracts and options. They keep you updated with account statements and annual reports. You ride out the contract with the partnership and split the profits or losses as generated.
Other Instruments to Invest in Commodities
While some investors are happy allowing an expert to handle their daily buying and selling, others wish for a more hands on approach. In this case stock options are a good investment plan. Commodity stocks are easier to buy than futures contracts. They also employ the broker pattern, so if you are already using a broker for company stocks, you will find it easier to add on a broker for commodity stocks. You can also hold on to them or sell them at will based on what changes you see in the market as you track them. Needless to say this option offers you greater control over your investment.
If monitoring commodity stocks on a daily basis is an activity that you would rather not do, you can consider investing in Commodity Exchange Traded Funds. These track the price of a single commodity and use an index of futures contracts. So while you are not directly investing in a futures contract you can still get the benefits associated with investing in one. Not all commodities have Exchange Traded Funds associated with them, so your investment options in commodities via this instrument will be somewhat limited.
You can also invest in mutual funds as an indirect means of commodity trading by investing in a mutual fund that invests in the stocks of companies that are involved in commodity trading. This will allow you to be recipient of the trickledown effect in the profits generated and will also guard you against sharp losses. All in all commodity trading is an investment worth considering in your portfolio.
Tags: Cash Flow
, Currency Converter
, Foreign Exchange
October 23, 2014
Autumn is not a period you should spend much money. Moreover it is time before holidays, that is why you are supposed to save for gifts. As for me I try to reduce any extra spendings.
Here you can find different ways to save money in the following period:
Cook food at home
Many of us like going out for food. But if you want to save some cash, you should decrease such spendings. You should start to prepare food at home. You can try different recipes and improve your skills.
A good variant is to use a crockpot. I prefer cooking with it, because I need just to put all ingredients in it and forget about it for approximately two hours. And then you will have tasty food with no hassle. This will obviously cut down your spendings and make your food healthier. Also you can find cooking as a new good hobby.
Stay with opened windows.
The weather at autumn is wonderful, so you may enjoy it with your windows opened. In such a way you can save on your air conditioning or heating. Also it will bring nice smells and different colors of autumn leaves.
Stay outside more.
You can use this weather to make different sport activities. You may run, ride the bicycle, or do other gym exercises, play football, basketball or tennis. All this will help you to save on your gym membership. Also you can use all staff you can find at home to work with appropriate weight. This will not only improve your body state, but will also have positive influence on your health.
You should not spend time at home or other places, you may just go out and enjoy the autumn. It is always much better to meet friends not in the crowded bars, but in your garden. In such a way you can transfer all your activities outside, if it is not too cold of course.
Also there are many outdoor activities that you may like. They can be really cheap, especially if you have chosen and bought some particular necessary staff. But if you do not have appropriate equipment you may always rent it. For this you can use quick & easy loans online service. It provides short-term loans, so it will be easy to pay it back within a month, that will not harm your budget.
Below I name some activities you may like:
Kayaking or canoeing
Riding a bicycle
and many others
Make a swap of clothes
You always want some new jeans or skirts, but buying them in the brand markets may be expensive. That is why you should try to exchange clothes with your friends or even make a list with photos of what you have in the Internet. In such way you can find someone who wants especially what you have, and you can change or even sell it. Making such swaps will help you to get rid of the clothes you do not wear and to find new ones. Also you may meet some interesting people.
So you should try the recommended tips to save your money. This will also help you to make changes in your life and feel something new.
, personal finance
, Savings ideas
August 16, 2014
Retirement planning is a serious business and the sooner you get into it, the better. We often tend to procrastinate, thinking that we have enough time left for the same, but this often makes the task tougher than it would otherwise have been. So the question is what exactly is retirement planning, and how important is it for your future?
The process of retirement planning involves determining what kind of funds should be available to you at the time of retirement, to live comfortably post your retirement. There are a lot of factors that you would need to consider like when will you want to retire, where will you live, and what kind of a lifestyle will you have post retirement. Each additional year you want to retire early raises your goal considerably as you need to account for all the regular monthly expenses, medical and emergency expenses, vacations, celebrations etc.
When you see the costs add up after keeping in mind the inflation, this is likely to be your retirement goal and is clearly dependent on the type of life that you wish to lead. You may come across many typical figures that people throw at you regarding a retirement corpus that one should have, for example 20 times your income and so forth, which can be only used as some vague guideline. You must consider some important points to make sure that you are a smart investor when it comes to your retirement investing.
Evaluate the available instruments for retirement savings
There is a host of saving options available in the market when you want to invest for your post retirement days. There are many tax- efficient ways that can help you build up your retiral kitty, some of which can be availed directly through the employers while other plans are available through investment brokers or banks. However, it is important to closely look at each of these options to determine the benefits and derive the maximum profit by using them judiciously, when your aim happens to be a healthy retirement corpus.
There are some good retirement options that you can explore at your employers, as some may offer unmatched benefits and even give some kind of cushioning against the volatile stock market conditions. It is important to understand and evaluate the risk and benefits associated with each of the options. It is often seen that younger investors are more bent on investment options that have higher returns even if they have higher risks as they have enough time available to recover from the losses that may arise. However, in case you do not have too many years before you retire, then it’s best to avoid such options as you may not be able to recover if you lose your investments and will be better off with some conservative instruments with lower risk factors.
The following are some of the options available for planning your retirement:
- 401 (K) and other Employer Plans: There are several employer driven plans like the 401(K)s that can be utilized by the individuals to build up their retirement kitty while saving a considerable amount of tax too in many cases. They are also quite hassle-free as you can directly get the amount debited from your paycheck.
- Fixed Benefit Plans: There are many employer sponsored plans that offer a fixed the sum of money based on certain factors like salary drawn and the years of service one has put in at the establishment .
- IRAs or the Individual Retirement Accounts: These allow you to move pretax amounts up to certain annual limits towards tax efficient investments. These investments can also be tax deferred.
- Roth IRA: This can be seen as a retirement option that is similar to a traditional IRA though there are certain differences in the taxation of the contributions as well as the distribution income.
- SEP IRA: This is targeted at the employer or self-employed individuals, and they can direct 100% of their contributions towards various channels of their choice.
- SIMPLE IRA: this is a commonly used retirement plan by employers with 100 or less employees in that establishment.
, financial planning
, Financial Retirement
, Retirement Planning
August 15, 2014
Automobile insurance business is among the most sustainable in the present world. Government regulation of making insurance compulsory for all motorized vehicles contributes to the success of this business. This business of covering automobiles against damages could be owned privately, by public sector undertakings, or by joint stock companies. In a country like USA auto insurance business is controlled by public limited companies. The level of competition among these companies is not stiff as the number of entities is less. Further each of these companies is tied up strategically with separate car manufacturers and their dealers for insuring new vehicles.
Insurance for vehicles is done on sale but before the concerned automobile hits the roads. The coverage amount depends on vehicle type, its use, its engine capacity, and seat capacity. If these are same across manufacturers then insurance cost remains same for similar category vehicles. For instance, the cost of insurance for a 4-seated petrol car of 1200 cc of two different makes would be same. Similarly the cost of insurance for trucks of same capacity and type but different brands would be the same.
With the parameters of calculating premium remaining constant there is not much of variation in insurance cost among companies. Further, there is not much of publicity for auto insurance as it is mandatory for all vehicles. Anything which is compulsorily procured or bought does not require too much of a marketing, particularly when service providers are limited. However, in a globalised economy the entrance of more companies in this trade is expected to increase competition. With increased competition it becomes important to devise new tools for attracting more customers. More information on these topics is found in this author’s website.
- Depreciation - Under normal circumstances premium for any automobile is increased every year because of depreciation. As the chances of wear and tear of a used machine increases with its usage so does its coverage cost. Keeping insurance costs unchanged in spite of depreciation is one way of making insurance packages more attractive.
- Discounts - Usually automobile insurance providers offer accidental or loss coverage for a period of one year at a time, to be renewed in successive year. In the event of ‘no claims’ (when there are no accidental damages) during a year, the cost of insurance is discounted for the subsequent term. This discount rate varies from one service provider to another and is a determining factor of attracting more customers.
- Claim settlements - Time required for claim settlement is another vital aspect in boosting auto insurance business. For a car owner the time spent in receiving the settlement amount from the time of notifying damages is crucial. Often companies take a long time in making settlement payments and that too after repeated requests. Lengthy settlement period is a huge turn-off for car owners. To make automobile insurance services more tempting, settlements should ideally be made before a damaged car leaves a garage.
- Simplicity - Formality involved in lodging a complaint is another vital issue determining the acceptability of a motor vehicle insurance provider. The greater the formalities, lesser is the acceptability of an insurance service provider. It is advisable to have a simple and convenient process of lodging a complaint or claim.
- Accessibility - Accessibility is another important determinant of an insurance company’s popularity. Companies with more offices or contact points are naturally more acceptable to end-users. It is common human tendency to approach a service provider which has more visibility.
Anderson Walsh is an insurance consultant and writer. His articles are regularly published in journals and websites. This author’s website – http://cheapautoinsurance.net/ is a rich source of materials on insurance.
Tags: auto insurance
, Car insurance
August 2, 2014
Keeping your budget balanced as a freelancer can be difficult. With a regular job, you have steady hours and a steady income that rarely fluctuates. There is a safety and a guarantee in your salary. Normal jobs provide consistent paychecks no matter what is happening in your industry. A freelancer faces a totally different world. You never know when your work will go through dry spells, and you must be prepared financially to handle these dry periods. Special budgeting tips may help a freelancer survive the hard times while they prosper in the good times. Consider these tips for a healthy freelancer budget.
Go All In
When the work is ripe for the picking, keep your nose to the grind stone. You should work extra if at all possible when there is plenty of work for your choice. As a freelancer you probably have a set amount of hours or projects you complete each week. When the work is steadily coming through, you should increase your schedule to match it. If you make extra money when it is there to be made, you can put some of it into your savings account and send money online to an emergency fund. You’ll inevitably find some times when the work isn’t so plentiful, and you should be ready.
Cut Down Costs
If you work from home, you already save money on gas. Did you know that you can also lower your insurance premiums on your vehicle if you drive less miles? If you report to your insurance company that you work from home, you could qualify for a discount due to driving fewer miles per year. You can also claim some of your needs as business expenses and get tax refunds for them. For example, you may claim your monthly internet bill in certain circumstances if you use it for your work. You may also be able to get a tax deduction for your cell phone bills if you use them for your job to communicate with other companies or workers.
With some smart planning, a freelancer can make the financial gains necessary to survive the harsh times. Make sure to check into tax deductions for business expenses. You may be surprised at what your tax representative can do for you. You will need to work hard when the work if plentiful so that you take advantage of the best opportunities. The freelancer life can work for you.
, financial planning
, For Freelancers
, personal finance