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January 27, 2018

What are the best currency pairs to trade?

currency to tradeIrrespective of an ever-changing economic climate, some currency pairs will always be more appealing than others. This is because popularity and size of the market dictate what pairs are frequently traded. High liquidity and low spreads attract a higher number of traders.

The G10 are the world’s most liquid currencies. These are the US dollar, the euro, the Japanese yen, the British pound, the Swiss franc, the Australian dollar, the New Zealand dollar and Canadian dollar, the Swedish krona and the Norwegian krona. Traders regularly buy and sell these currencies, making them the most traded currencies in the world. From here, let’s consider the best currency pair to trade.

EUR/USD

As you might expect, the trading of the world’s two largest currencies would be popular, as a result of its stability and liquidity. It’s a safe bet particularly for beginners, the pair is unaffected by other trades and is not considered volatile. The predictable nature of the way this pair trades, benefits strategists and newcomers alike. The high levels of liquidity mean that this pair often has a tight spread, meaning low trading costs. These low spreads can be taken advantage of by scalpers.

GBP/USD

The aforementioned benefits of EUR/USD are also relevant for GBP/USD. It is liquid, relatively stable and predictable, although slightly less so than EUR/USD. Generally speaking, the similarities continue for performance, the two pairs tend to move in a similar manner, although Brexit developments can impact on this GBP/USD, which have made it more unpredictable than the euro over the past year or so. Beginners are usually advised to not trade both GDP/USD and EUR/USD simultaneously.

Risk Off Sentiment

When market sentiment is negative, investors tend to seek safety in currencies which are traditionally seen as safe havens. The two main safe haven currencies are the Swiss Franc (CHF) and the Japanese yen (JPY). Therefore, when considering which currency pairs are the best to trade, it is also worth considering the trading environment that you are trading in. If it is a risk off environment, where the market is responding negatively to a particular event, then USD/CHF and USD/ JPY could be the best to trade. You could expect USD/CHF and USD/JPY to move lower when investors are searching for safe havens.

Commodity Currencies

Commodity currencies are currencies that move in line with the world’s primary commodity prices. They are Australian dollar, New Zealand dollar and the Canadian dollar. They co-move with a particular commodity price because of these countries heavy dependency on the export of a certain raw material for income. If you are interested in commodity prices, the currencies could be the best to trade.

Which broker?

There are many different currency pairs to trade, depending on your personal preferences and interests. There are also many different brokers through which to chose to trade. However, it is important to choose a broker which provides first rate pricing and execution.

Vantage FX is an award winning Australian broker. It is a true ECN broker meaning that its pricing is inline with that of top institutions and it receives liquidity from the likes of JP Morgan, HSBC, Citibank and RBS to name but a few. Execution at Vantage FX is among the best in the industry meaning you have best chance of making your trade a winning trade.

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January 25, 2018

How to Pick the Right Overseas Money Transfer Company in Today’s World

transfer your moneyBanks and a limited number of high street forex brokers ruled the remittance market until the turn of the last century, giving individuals and small businesses little to no value for money. Now, just about everyone can get access to competitive exchange rates, mainly because a number of companies specialize in this realm alone. How, though, do you select the right money transfer company?

Supported Currencies and Countries

What good is a money transfer company if it does not support your desired currencies or countries? Start by determining if the company you shortlist supports both the countries and currencies in question. For example, while Transfer Wise and World First support most countries and currencies, Azimo lets you register only from a European country, and InstaReM operates mainly in Australasia.

Cost Effectiveness

Do not get carried away by great exchange rates because how much you pay as fees also requires your attention. An easy way to determine the most cost-effective alternative is to look at how much money the recipient will receive at the end of the transfer.

Transfer Methods and Speed

Transfers to bank accounts can take one to seven working days, depending on where you live, the destination country, and the company you select. If you’re in a hurry to send money overseas, a better bet is to look for companies that operate out of physical locations or have tie-ups with agents. Some companies that allow transfers to cash pickup locations include Azimo, Western Union, and MoneyGram. Bear in mind that these transfers tend to cost more than transfers to bank accounts.

Payment Methods

Just about every overseas money transfer company lets you pay through bank account transfers. Some let you pay using debit and credit cards. You can also find companies that accept payments via region specific methods such as ACH, SOFORT, and POLi.

Trustworthiness

An easy way to determine if a company is trustworthy is to check if it is registered with and regulated by relevant regulatory bodies. Depending on where the company is based out of, it may be registered with the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), or the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Keeping Track

Once you initiate a transfer, keeping track of its progress should be simple. Good money transfer companies let you track your transfers through their websites or through apps designed for mobile devices.

Customer Service

The top players provide local phone support in different countries. Online support is easier to find, through email or chat. Since you might need to contact customer service now and again, select a company that rates well on this front. Turning to platforms such as Trustpilot and Feefo gives you easy means to determine how previous customers feel about the companies you shortlist.

Conclusion

There is no single overseas money transfer company that works equally well for everyone, given the varied requirements. To narrow down on one that suits your best, pay attention to aspects such as cost and speed as well as transfer and payment methods.

Jon works as a researcher for iCompareFX. The website lets its users compare leading overseas money transfer companies, and also provides in-depth reviews. When he’s not working, Jon likes to discover new music.

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January 20, 2018

How to Make Your Investments Fly like a Kite

money investmentsOn January 14, you must have seen the skies filled with colorful kites soaring high up. Makar Sankranti falls on the day when the sun leaves the tropic of Cancer towards the tropic of Capricorn, which is called Makar in India.

In other parts of the country, this festival is referred to as Poush Sankranti, Pongal, and Uttarayan. Farmers celebrate this day as it marks the end of the winter and ushers in the harvesting season.

Significance of kite flying on Makar Sankranti

Sankranti means movement and kite flying represents the thankful attitude of humans for this movement. It also has a scientific significance. As the sun commences its journey towards the tropic of Capricorn, it emanates useful rays. When you fly kites on this day, you expose yourself to the beneficial sunrays that have medicinal advantages.

Although Makar Sankranti is over, it is essential that you know about several important lessons this auspicious festival teaches as these teachings may prove to be beneficial during financial planning. Listed below are six important lessons this festival teaches you.

1. Be ready for movement

When you undertake investment planning, you have to understand that it is not a static one-time procedure but requires constant movement. You need to continuously monitor the performance of your long-term investments and make modifications when necessary. Additionally, you need to review and analyze market conditions to identify good opportunities that offer economic advantages to your investment portfolio. When you consider different financial instruments, it is crucial you consider your investment objectives to make the right decisions. This customization of your investment portfolio is comparable to personalizing your kite that has the perfect string which allows it to soar high in the clear skies.

2. Keep your eyes on your portfolio

When you fly your kite on Makar Sankranti, it is important to keep your eyes on it at all times. You must always be aware of how your kite is flying and in which direction. Similarly, prudent financial planning requires that you keep an eye on the performance of your investment portfolio. The performance of the various financial instruments must be in line with your short, medium, and long-term goals.

3. Maintain flexibility

As you fly your kite, you need the string to be kept flexible. This allows your kite to continue soaring amidst gusts of strong winds. This is true even with your short-term and long-term investments. Their performance will not always be the same and there may be ups and downs. Furthermore, the investment environment is not always conducive because conditions are never perfect. There is a possibility that your portfolio may be in the red. You need to ride out the difficult times and remain patient. It is crucial you are flexible and willing to bear temporary losses in the short-term to reap long-term benefits. However, you must never lose sight of your investment objectives and make modifications that become necessary under changing environments.

4. Adequate safety

To ensure you do not injure yourself, you cover your fingers with tapes and bandages while flying a kite. Similarly, you need to ensure adequate security when investing in any financial product. You must protect your investments from significant market conditions.

5. Remain invested

When you fly your kite on Makar Sankranti, you stand the entire day to make gains. Similarly, when you invest in different financial instruments, it is important to remain invested for a longer period. It is said that time in the market is better than timing the market. Therefore, to maximize your gains through investments, it is recommended you hold these for a longer time.

6. Strike the right balance

During winters, days are short and nights are long and vice versa during the summers. However, on Makar Sankranti, the day and night are of an equal length. Just like that, when you invest, you must aim for the right balance between your risks and returns. You must choose financial products that suit your risk appetite while delivering decent returns on your investments.

Striking the right balance between risk and return requires adequate research and effective planning. You need to study the market conditions and understand the features of different financial instruments. This may not be an easy task especially if you are new to investing or have no experience in conducting such analyses.

Through the proprietary ARQ investment engine in Angel Wealth’s mobile application, you can achieve this balance. This engine uses algorithms and quants to analyze a billion data points and offers recommendations that suit your financial objectives and risk appetite. There is no human intervention in the entire procedure ensuring the recommendations are completely unbiased.

Download the Angel Wealth mobile app and apply the lessons learned from Makar Sankranti into practice.

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January 10, 2018

The Benefits of Using ETFs to Build Retirement Wealth

mutual fund detailsExchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are a great way to build an effective retirement portfolio through your Roth IRA or IRA contributions due to their low expense ratios. ETFs offer investors exposure to a diverse set of assets. They are currently one of the fastest growing investment products in the world due to the low expense ratio and their high diversification. ETFs can be traded through virtually every big-name brokerage available. Brokerages oftentimes will partner with ETF providers to offer free-commission on ETF trading, which helps you save even more money on expenses!

ETFs are effectively mutual funds, but trade like any other stocks. When you purchase a single ETF share, you gain access to an entire index such as the S&P 500 or the Dow 30. Or, investors can purchase market segments (e.g., financial, industrial or healthcare sectors) within a given country. Thus, making them a highly efficient investment tool. The substantial growth in the ETF market has led to a number of new, distinct ETF products such as the MSCI All Country World Minimum Volatility Index or the Dow Jones EPAC Select Dividend Index. The Dow Jones EPAC Select Dividend Index provides great dividend growth income and that can be reinvested or used as cash flow for other investment products.

Here are main benefits in investing in ETFs:

1. Flexibility: With a number of distinct indexes and options, individuals with retirement accounts can trade commission-free AND can obtain exposure to countries all over the world. If you choose, investors are able to gain exposure to the entire world if you sure please. In addition, ETFs offer the flexibility to be traded as a stock for a market price.

2. Cost Efficiency: ETFs based on indexes are in one transaction that trade all components of the underlying index. Investors are usually not charged any entry or exit fees and management fees are substantially lower than mutual funds. For example, ETFs expense ratio are usually around 0.1 – 0.8% whereas mutual funds are about 1.40%

3. Transparency: ETFs are transparent due to the fact that they list on regulated markets and track transparent indices. The ETFs are traded through the day and there are highly competitive bid/ask prices provided by market makers ensuring ample liquidity.

ETFs are really a simple form of mutual funds and can be used in a variety of ways. If you start investing early in a set of 3-4 mutual funds that offer differentiating diversification, you will be in a great position for retirement. Investors should set aside a predetermined amount of capital each month to purchase ETFs. Given their low expense ratios and flexibility, investors can sleep well at night knowing that their money is being put to good use and is generating income while they are enjoying life.

ETFs are not a guaranteed investment. Be patient with the market and continue to purchase additional ETF shares regardless. The old saying is: “I would prefer my time in the market rather than timing the market.”

Millionaire Mob is a former investment banker that hopes to offer fair value on Wall Street while traveling the world. I enjoy helping others in achieving financial freedom whether that is through dividend growth investing, passive income techniques or travel rewards strategies.

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November 28, 2017

Skip the Rat Race and Invest in IPOs with Mutual Funds

invest in IPO'sThe listing of a private company on the stock exchange is known as Initial Public Offering (IPO). It is at this point that investors are invited to bid for buying the shares of the company that was held privately thus far. Based on the past performance of the company, the offer price range is determined and once all bids are received, generally shares are allocated on a pro-rata basis.

The crazy chase to invest in IPO

IPO investments attract a lot of investors as it has the potential to give very high returns. It is believed that the investment made at the time of IPO give high returns at the time of listing. However, as with other types of equities, there is a high risk involved when you invest in an IPO.

The funds raised through an IPO are used for several purposes by the company. These include clearing off debts, expanding and improving their operations, or using it to meetworking capital needs.

Before you choose to invest in IPOs, you must remember that all IPOs are not open to general public. The underwriters choose the category of people for which the IPO is opened.

If you opt to invest in IPOs, you must be aware of the risks associated with these financial products. Here are four things you should keep in mind while investing in an IPO.

1. All offerings are not suitable for all kinds of investors. Consider your financial situation and goals before making a decision.

2. Read the draft red herring prospectus. This will help you understand how the funds will be utilized. The prospectus also provides information about the objectives and fundamentals of the company and its future growth prospects.

3. You must rely on facts and not fall prey to marketing strategies used by agencies to entice investors.

4. Analyze the promoters and their backgrounds. IPOs that have reputed institutions and government backing are safer.

Investing in an IPO must be a well-thought decision. It is important to ensure the risk level suits your personal financial situation and appetite. With IPO investments, you may make money or lose your capital; therefore, be cautious before you apply for one.

Investing in IPO through mutual funds

As mentioned before, if an IPO has institutional or government investments, the risks are significantly reduced. Until recently, mutual funds did not invest in IPOs because of the high risks. However, that is no longer the case. Mutual funds have recently begun investing in quality IPOs issued by small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Here are three benefits of investing in IPOs through mutual funds.

1. Investing in mutual funds online for retail investors is easily available and provides greater flexibility. You are able to gain exposure to the stock market at an affordable entry price.

2. The schemes are managed by experienced professionals who analyze and study the IPOs and the overall market. This reduces your risks because the fund managers and their research teams do the homework for you. Moreover, you are able to diversify your portfolio further reducing your risks.

3. IPO allotment often happens on a pro-rata basis. Therefore, you may be allotted less than the applied number of shares. However, institutions have a preferential allotment, which is beneficial.

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