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5 things to know about personal finance

img10 - 5 things to know about personal finance

You are never too old or too young to start taking care of your finances

It does not matter if you have an after-school part-time job or are a pensioner living on a government pension, taking care of your personal finances should be a top priority!

Here are 5 things everyone should know about personal finance:

#1    Learn about TMV (time value of money)
TMV (or time value of money) which is a concept whereby a core principal of finance states that provided money is able to gain interest, any amount of money is worth more now than in the future.
Simply put if you get $50 today and invest it, it will be worth more than that in a years’ time because of interest gained, etc.  But if you got $50 in a years’ time due to money-losing value throughout the year, it will be worth a lot less.

#2    Invest, invest, invest!
For younger people, you should always try to start investing as soon as you can, even if it is a minimal amount.  You can increase it as you can afford to, but it is good to get into the habit of doing so and even better to start building your nest egg sooner rather than later.

#3    Be smart with your money and let it do the work

Be smart with your savings and investments, a good investment and or saving plan could have your money earning for you!  If you could save $100 000 a year with a 10% investment return you are already earning an extra $10 000 a year for doing nothing more than having your money invested.

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#4    Avoid credit where ever possible or at least learn how to make it work for you
Learn about credit before you go taking out loans and credit cards, although a credit card if managed correctly could work for you but managed incorrectly can be quite a costly affair as can loan and store card accounts.  It is always best to ensure you have a great budget and that you know you can afford the monthly repayments of your debt.  Always try to pay any debt off as soon as possible to avoid high-interest rates and the risk of not being able to pay them back at all in today’s unstable climate.

#5    Create and maintain a budget

Most importantly of all is knowing how to create a budget.  Most people hate having to do their personal finances, like balance their chequebooks or do a budget but it is the best way to be able to manage your finances and create projections for various events in your future.

Conclusion

Your personal finances may seem like a pain to have to do each month but at the end of the day it ensures you are able to live, pay your bills and maybe even get to take a holiday or two, buy something you really want because you took the time, made the small sacrifices and kept your affairs in order.

What are the main differences between investing and trading?

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Life lessons pave the way to a greater understanding of investing and trading

Although most of us do not even realize it we have actually been trading and investing since an early age.  Do you remember trading an item with a friend for a better or more valuable one?  And saving a penny or two for that thing you really wanted?

Investing and trading are things we have all learned from an early age

As young adults, we come into a world where our pocket money is now our salary only it has to start covering a lot more than our pocket money did.  Some of us learned from an early age that if we saved half of our money on a weekly/monthly basis we may not have been able to buy everything we wanted then and there but in a few months’ time we would have more than enough to buy something better or had a nest egg for that rainy day!  We were already programming ourselves to invest in our futures!

As is the case with trading be it baseball cards for other baseball cards sometimes we would have to trade two or three less common ones for the star piece but once again that start piece could go on to fetch even a bigger price at a later date when the item became even more valuable.

The difference between investing and trading

Although they both can become lucrative tools in the creating of wealth they are two different approaches to getting there even though they both have similar risks and rewards.

#1    Investing is a method whereby investors invest their capital for a long-term period and short-term market fluctuations have no immediate effect on their investment.
Trading is a method whereby the trader will hold stocks for a shorter period, like a week, day or even a month depending on the activity of the stock.

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#2    Investors create wealth by compounding interest over a longer period of time.
Traders buy and sell stock on the fluctuation of the market.

#3    Investing does come with its share of risk, but it is a much lower one than that of trading as is runs on a longer period of time.  Whilst trading involves higher returns over a shorter period of time where the price can drop at any given moment.

#4    Investing is a slower process whereby the investor will keep watch on the stock being held waiting for them to reach their full potential and tend to keep away from the trending markets leaning more towards the ones with potential value.

Traders, however, do faster buy and sell of stocks to get the higher profits but this also means that making a move on the stock at the wrong moment could lead to potential losses!

Conclusion

Both investing, and trading has risks and rewards it is an individual choice as to which one best suits their needs.

The top jobs to have on Wall Street!

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The gold paved Wall Street!

Wall Street to many investment bankers, traders, etc. is what Hollywood is to actors and let’s face it those who do make it big on Wall Street actually live like rock stars, actors and some even like kings or queens.

Making it big on Wall Street

You are not going to get one of the top jobs on Wall Street by pouring over the classified ads, nor do they get passed through your run of the mill employment agencies.  Although you don’t really have to be a big Wall Street boss’s nephew or niece to land one of those top prestigious jobs, it is going to take a whole lot of nerves of steel and skin thicker than crocodile leather as you fight your way into one.

We have listed some of the top Wall Street positions:

#1    Celebrity Stockbroker
If you can take some form of verbal abuse on occasion, be hounded by the press and don’t mind being part of a flashy entourage and want to hob-knob it with the stars, this is a job you could possibly set your sites on.

#2    Mutual Fund Manager
If it is the thrill of chasing and closing that big deal as you take on millions of dollars in mutual fund assets then this is the job for you.  This career can have you riding high with huge investments on the line and very lucrative high-value returns that could fill yours as well as your client’s pockets with gold.  But this is not a job for the faint of heart because one mistake could send you hurtling into the street with not even the shirt on your back.

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#3   Financial Media Personality
If it is recognition, prestige and financial stability you are looking for then a Media Personality is the position you may seek.  These are the men and woman who are captured behind the cameras on the daily or weekly news channels and podcasts.

#4   Investment Banker
Investment Banking took a bit of a nose dive in 2008 but it is still considered one of the most prestigious Wall Street positions and is still a sure route to making a small, if not amassed, fortune especially if you are able to get into the right firm at the right time.

#5   Hedge Fund Manager
Although once considered to be smarter than the average broker and able to turn in bigger profits, they have recently come under a lot of fire making investors reconsider their options.

Conclusion

Wall Street is a tough cut-throat environment one in which you are not going to make it to the top by sheer luck or sitting meekly at a desk.  It is a place where you reap what you put in and to succeed is going to take sheer will, determination and a great deal of hard work whilst constantly keeping an eye open for that moment of opportunity!

5 things you need to know before starting Forex trading

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Forex trading has fast become a popular trading platform

With about $5 trillion dollars traded a day in Forex trading, it is no wonder at all as to why so many people, traders included, are looking to Forex trading.  Forex, or also known as FX trading (foreign exchange) is one of the world most widely traded markets which allows traders to predict global currency markets price movements.

The 5 main things to know about Forex trading before you begin

With the many ways to trade with Forex these days, it is easy to want to just rush in and start trading.  We would all like to make some extra trading cash but take a moment, slow down and read the fine print first as there are a few things one should know before diving into the deep end.

#1 When you are trading with Forex you are not actually trading anything like stocks or bonds, it is more like placing a bet on which way the currencies trend will go.  In other words, if the currencies you are trading with the rise or fall against each other within a set time frame.

#2    As you trade currency pairs they can sometimes be both up and down at the same time.  depending on the pairs you are trading.  For instance, the USD could fall short of the EUR if you are trading the EUR/USD pair but at the same time, it could be going long against the YEN.  So the best way to trade with FX is to watch the trends and distribute your trades wisely amongst the pairs for better outcomes.

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#3    The first currency of the pair is always the one upon which your trading quote is based.  For instance, if you picked the pair EUR/USD and you think the Dollar will fall against the Euro then you will bet long on the Euro but if you think the dollar will rise against the Euro you will be short on the Euro.

#4    When trading in FX it is always better to trade with larger margins even though most FX traders on the markets, especially online, will allow you to start trading at much lower margins.  Remember it is a gamble and ultimately you are betting on a volatile market that fluctuates constantly.

#5    It is always best to use a virtual demo account first to practice with as most of them you get to practice with virtual currencies in the live environments allowing you to watch the trends and trade without losing your money.

Conclusion

Whilst FX trading is exciting and if done correctly can earn a person some much needed extra cash don’t get caught up in the illusion that it is a quick fix to any monetary solution you may need.  It is something, like anything, that to do correctly must be learned, tried and tested!

What is quantitative trading, and how does it work?

img3 - What is quantitative trading, and how does it work?

A question on those who are wanting to get into trading is what quantitative trading is!

Quantitative trading is a computer-software system developed to track the stock market changes and activities in order to recognize investment opportunities to buy and sell stocks at the correct price.  This is done through a series of mathematical computations and various formulas.

A bit of history and breakdown of how quantitative trading works:

The quantitative trading theory has been around since the 1950’s in a research thesis done by Harry Markowitz who is a Nobel Prize winner.  His paper was one of the first thesis to have formally adapted a mathematical concept to finance.

It was not really until the 1970’s, however, that investors actually began applying mathematical formulas to trading.

Through the use of a computer software program(s) which output is usually linked to some form of spreadsheet or database, the quantitative trading strategy is able to track stock trends which come from the volume and price at which the stock is traded.

As stocks either trade in downward or upward patterns, this system uses these trends to profit from.

In qualitative trading, the outcome is based on the analysis and experienced insight of the trader which could leave certain stock patterns or behaviors not picked up by the trader to be missed, whereas it is less likely to be done by the computer.

Conclusion

The 2008 financial crisis brought quantitative trading under heavy scrutiny and review as traders claimed that the computer software was not accurate enough in the trading of stocks which in turn lead to a big market sell-off.  Quantitative trading has been refined and fined tuned since 2008 and there are a lot of new variant of trading which have been opened up allowing non-traders a chance to try their hand at trading.

What is the best way to learn about stock trading?

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Tenacity, trial and error are the traits required of a new investor!

Stock trading can be a perilous but rewarding career and or past time for those who would like to dabble.  But learning the trade and getting to grips with it takes a lot of grit as you press forward through gaining experience and know-how through pure trial and error.

5 best ways for a new trader to learn about stock trading

Learning the stock trade is much like learning to walk or ride a bike, you are going to have a lot of heart rendering near misses, a good few scrapes, bumps and crashes along the way.  But with some grit, a can-do attitude and a will to succeed topped with access to multiple quality resources you are well on your way!

How do you get started?  Here are 5 sure ways to start you in the right direction:

#1    Read books –  there are many great books on the stock markets including beginner’s guides as a great place to start is on Amazon.com or attend some seminars on the stock market trading as you are bound to get a lot of good advice and meet key people who can help you there.

#2    Get an online stock broker account as most subscriptions come with a host of handy tools, calculators and information packs to familiarize yourself with the lay of the markets.

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#3    Study some of the great investors such as Warren Buffett who has published a lot of helpful information and guides for both new investors and seasoned ones.

#4    Follow and read up on the markets with some good resources such as Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal for the up-to-date market trends and trading news.

#5    Use a virtual stock exchange account with practice games such as the one offered by MarketWatch to practice trading before jumping into real-time trading with real money.

Conclusion

Just like anything in life stock trading is a lot of hard work and you are bound to take some very hard knocks but if you push through and are successful it has a lot of great rewards.