5 Tips For Assessing a Potential Investment Opportunity

In today’s financially complicated world, it can be difficult to discern what a good investment opportunity is and what it isn’t. We need to be cautious, and yet willing to take a certain degree of risk if we want our money to grow significantly. Here are 5 tips for assessing a potential investment opportunity.

1. It’s had strong returns in the past

It’s one of the first things you should look at when deciding whether to invest. However, do keep in mind that the past is not always an indication if the future. This is a common misconception, even amongst the experts. Most people choose investments that have generated strong growth, but they only look at the recent past, assuming this strong momentum will continue, overlooking the factors that drove this growth and whether or not they’re sustainable in the long run.

2. If it sounds too good to be true, it is.

If you’re promised quick returns, this could be a tell-tale sign that it’s not such a good investment. Anyone using this as a selling point is possibly out to make a quick buck at your expense – ultimately he’s in it for himself, not anyone else.

3. Stay away from it if undemanding investors appear

There’s an element of truth in the saying, ‘bad investors drive out the good’. Undemanding investors will show up and buy anything. In turn, it becomes hard for demanding investors to find opportunities that offer the return and risk balance they need, so they’re forced to sit aside and do nothing. It seems easy to make a distinction now, but with a bit of practice and good advice from an agency like My Wealth Solutions, you’ll soon become familiar with the feature of bad and good investors.

4. Is this currently a strong industry?

Invest wisely!

When it comes to the stock market, the trends are as fast-moving as fashion. Two years ago, it was considered a smart move to purchase shares in commodities and natural resources – gold, oil, coal and the like. Presently, investing in railroads and other major projects seems a lucrative choice. Meanwhile, certain industries have been stock market staples fluctuating both up and down but never staying down for too long – think travel services, financial institutions, brand names like Apple, Dominoes, Coca-Cola and supermarket chains.

5. Everyone needs a roof over their heads

With housing prices going through the roof, properties are in hot demand, and it has become common place to invest here. This is the one area where it’s relatively safe to invest despite its popularity (it doesn’t work as well in other areas). Cost of living has risen dramatically over the years, and job security is no longer guaranteed amongst the general public. It’s for these reasons that those who can afford to, purchase a property solely for renting out and earning that extra income. It’s a just-in-case measure. Buy in newly developed areas, where properties are new, yet cheaper than older properties in established areas. They may be further away to the city or workplace, but most people just need a home, regardless of its location. If you can, this is an option you should consider.

It may seem a complex matter knowing exactly what is a potentially good investment, but if you observe carefully and know the questions to ask, you’ll soon be savvy enough to navigate yourself through the murky waters of investing.

The information provided in this article has been provided as general advice only. We have not considered your financial circumstances, needs or objectives and you should seek the assistance of your GPS Wealth Limited (GPS) Adviser before you make any decision regarding any products mentioned in this communication. Whilst all care has been taken in the preparation of this material, no warranty is given in respect of the information provided and accordingly neither GPS nor its related entities, employees or agents shall be liable on any ground whatsoever with respect to decisions or actions taken  as a result of you acting upon such information.

Re-Establishing Your Credit

Credit ProblemsThe sad truth is that there are a lot of people out there who are having a difficult time reestablishing their credit. And a lot of people would want to do everything that they can just to clean up their act for a number of reasons such as planning to establish a business at some point in the future and needing to get some much-needed loan. Either way, there are things which you should always remember for you to be able to re-establish your credit.

  • Credit Report: It is important that you have a record of your annual credit report so that you can review any outstanding balance which you still need to pay off.
  • Refrain From Applying For High Credit Too Soon: Lenders these days are becoming more discerning when it comes to applicants. This means that they can be stingy when it comes to approving loan applications especially if you give them the right reasons to think so. Take note that too much credit-related inquiry can be unfavorable toward your credit.
  • Apply For Different Credits: Having different kinds of credit is favorable such as having revolving balances and or fixed payments on installments. This can eventually give you good credit scores.
  • Take Time Deciding: It is important that you conduct a thorough research with regard to the kind of profile that you want lenders to see. Remember that lenders have their own individual standards when it comes to assessing loan applicants so it is important that you are able to play the part of a loan applicant which fits one of these lenders profile.

These are a couple of tips that you should take into consideration if you want to re-establish your credit.

What is Forex Trading?

Do you know your Pips from your Spreads? Are you up with Leverage and down with Going Short? If not, chances are you’ve never had a go at Forex trading. Which raises the question: should you?

For anyone considering getting into Forex trading, the first step is to know what it actually is. The term ‘Forex’ is a catchy name for Foreign Exchange – the act of trading one currency for another. The idea behind it is to invest your money in whatever direction you think a currency will go relative to another. If it goes up, it’s called appreciation. If it goes down, it’s depreciation. And if you pick the right way, you win the trade. Simple! But of course there’s much more to it than that…

Forex is the world’s largest trading market with trillions of dollars being traded every day, in almost every part of the world. Because of the sheer volume of currencies available to trade and the myriad of factors that influence the market, currency prices are in a near-constant state of fluctuation. From politics to economics to the environment – almost anything can affect the market prices. For a well-informed investor, that means there are plenty of opportunities. And those opportunities bring us to the essence of why people take part in Forex trading: to make money.

As tends to be the case when money’s involved, everyone wants to know the winning formula. You might be tempted to think of that as some incredibly complex mathematical equation, but the winning formula in Forex trading is actually a lot simpler. The secret to being a successful trader is: make sure you don’t lose. To do that, you need to ensure you’re well educated about the Forex trading market and be absolutely clear about the risks. Traders – especially those just starting out – can get overwhelmed by a lust for profit and fail to see the potential for losses that might sit just over the horizon.

If you’re considering getting into Forex trading, making use of free online education resources and – especially – free demonstration software is a very sensible way to start your journey. The demonstration accounts, provided by established brokers, give you access to real-time trading systems and data without having to put any real money down. Perhaps the best way to think of them is as a risk-free practice account to help you learn while doing. You should find that the more time you put into educating yourself about Forex trading and refining a trading strategy that suits your own aims, you should gain the awareness to stay away from overly risky trades and ensure any potential losses are mitigated.

The other important thing to remember about Forex trading is that you’re ultimately in full control of your investments. You choose when to buy and you choose when to sell. No one is forcing you into trading and the only limits are the ones you impose on yourself.

If you keep these things in mind, you’ll find that Forex trading can be fun, rewarding and interesting. But always make sure to heed the warning on that disclaimer that every responsible broker should have on their trading site – the one that says all trading contains some element of risk. It’s there for a reason.

Basic Understanding of Different Options of Personal Loans!

Offers of personal loans are in many forms and come with various terms. The cost of the loan depends on the purpose of the loan, the term of the loan and various other factors. The credit score of the individual determines the interest rates. With good credit score, you can get personal loans from conventional lenders such as banks. The interest rates are reasonable for the applicants with good credit record. If the credit score is poor, you cannot expect to be approved for personal loans from banks.

Options of personal loans

You need to approach private lenders who deal with personal loans for bad credit borrowers and the interest rates are higher than in conventional personal loans. If you are not able to produce any collateral for the loan and if your credit history is poor, you are charged higher interest rates. If you own a home, you can obtain personal loans by submitting your house as collateral for the loan. This type of loan is termed as home equity loan. The equity that is accumulated in the home is used to determine the loan amount.

There are various advantages associated with the offer of home equity loans. The interest rates are very low for home equity loans as there is no risk for the lender and the approval is instant. The term of the loan can be longer and the payments are lower due to low interest rates. If you are able to afford extra payment, you can clear your bad credit loan at the earliest. You have tax benefits as well. In certain cases, the interest that is paid on the taxes is deducted. This is considered to be a highly economical source of personal loan.

There is the choice of unsecured loan which is otherwise termed as signature loan. Since this type of personal loan is not secured by collateral, the interest rate is very high to minimize the risk of the lenders. It is not easy to get qualified for unsecured loans. The interest rates are determined based on the loan amount and the credit report of the applicants. This type of loan is a great support for the borrowers who are not able to submit any collateral. However, you need to compromise on the interest rates. Credit cards can be considered for short term financial requirements. You can choose the card that offers rewards and introductory offers when you opt for personal loans in the form of credit cards.

Car title loans can be considered when you think of personal loans. It is quite easy to get qualified as the loans are secured by your cars. If you are yet to clear your entire loan amount due to the car loan, you cannot get approval for car title loans. With poor credit, you can try payday loans as short term personal loans. Since these loans are very costly, you should be specific about clearing the loan at the earliest. You should consider this only if you do not have any other option of personal loans.

How to Negotiate the Best Price with a Car Salesman

Although everyone looks forward to owning a new car, most dread the idea of having to negotiate with a car salesman. Fortunately, negotiating on a car can be effectively managed when you arrive at the dealership prepared. As a car buyer, you should know that the car salesman’s main goal is to move the cars off their lot. With this in mind, you can enter the negotiating process knowing that you are on equal grounds. Here are a few more tips to help you negotiate for the best price with a car salesman that will have you walking away with a new set of keys at a price you can afford.

How to Negotiate the best Price with a Car Salesman

Do the Research
Before you ever set foot on a car lot, you need to do your research regarding the car you have in mind. First, look online to find out how much the car you are buying is worth. If you are planning to buy a used car, then be sure to also look at the current values for cars in varying conditions. Then, find out about alternate financing plans that can help you get the best rate on your new purchase. Finally, be sure to print out the information you discover so you will have it to show as proof during negotiations.

Avoid Personal Questions
When you arrive at the car lot, the salesman will begin by asking you a series of questions. While some are just to get to know you, such as your name and address, others will be used to assess your financial standing. Be sure to keep the initial conversation casual and friendly because it will help during negotiations. However, it is best to avoid disclosing how much you are willing to pay a month until the very end. This will ensure that the car salesman cannot resort to sneaky tactics such as extending your financing agreement so you pay more over time. If your credit rating isn’t in good shape, you should talk to a bad credit car loans specialist such Dreamloans before you start visiting dealerships.

Start the Bid Low
Any time you are negotiating a price for a purchase, you should always begin with a bid lower than you expect to pay. This is to ensure that eventually you will be able to meet in the middle at a price that satisfies you and the salesman. However, it should be noted that you should never attempt to offer too low of a price. This can lead to the salesman not taking you seriously. Instead, use your research to identify a low offer that is still in a reasonable range to start off your bidding.

Work as a Team
If you are purchasing a car with a spouse or other person, it is important to discuss how you will negotiate beforehand. This will ensure that neither of you reveals more to the salesman than either of you prefers. If you find it necessary to discuss any portion of the negotiation with your spouse, then be sure to ask for privacy. A smart salesman will know that leaving you two alone is the best way to negotiate a sale.

Finalize the Deal
Once you have managed to get the price to a number you agree with, it is important to freeze. Refuse to negotiate any further and simply state that you have reached your final price. At this point, the salesperson should be ready to move forward with finalizing the deal.

Negotiating with a salesman is always a complicated process; however, you can ensure you come out ahead by arriving prepared. On the day of your purchase, be sure to plan to spend several hours in negotiation. Then, arrive with your set price in mind and be ready to haggle until you reach an affordable price that lets you leave with your dream car’s keys in hand.

Things You Should Remember When Investing In The Stock Market

There are is a lot to learn in the stock market and chances are, you may end up losing a bit of your money first before you profit. However, by considering the following, you can reduce this risk:

  • Read Books And Not Just Websites: Do not underestimate books. The information available in websites often come from books and reading books about the stock market can add more knowledge to you than any website which talks about it. The internet may have all information regarding various subjects but if you are looking for something in-depth, books tend to be more reliable.

Read More About Investing

  • Know What You Are Investing On: You should be familiar with the kind of stock you own. This means knowing your stock index fund from your bond funds and vice versa. This means that taking risks when purchasing or selling a particular stock is not the same as taking a risk with another stock. You may lose money on the other but then again, it does not mean that investing the same amount on the other may cost you a lot.
  • Discipline Yourself: This can be difficult especially if it is your first time investing in stocks. You will often find yourself tempted to buy a particular stock because of the low price trend but then again, you cannot be impulsive. You have to learn when to buy wherein you will get lots of profit in the end. Identify when a stock or a share is being sold for a good price where you can profit from.

The stock market is a very dynamic environment but as long as you are patient when it comes to identifying trends and you are equipped with knowledge regarding it, you will be fine.

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Quick Ways to Make Some Cash in a Pinch

Sometimes you simply need money in a hurry, and it can seem hard to get started on making an extra dollar. To help you get going, here are some of the quickest and easiest ways to make some cash in a pinch.

Sell Your Old Stuff
There’s no better way to get started on making extra cash than getting rid of your unwanted items. Not only will you have the chance to get good money for your old and unused goods, you will be able to enjoy more space for the things you really want and need. Check out online sites such as eBay and Gumtree for a great way to sell everything from clothes and fashion accessories to tools and toys. There’s no end to the range of items for sale, so take some quality pictures and write a descriptive ad to give you the best chance of reaching your target audience.

Take Up Tutoring

Part Time Tutor
Tutoring is a good way to earn a steady flow of income that is very high in return for the time you put in. This is a particularly good option for those who excel in either school or tertiary subjects, especially the basics such as English, maths, science and languages. If you are proficient in a musical instrument, consider providing lessons to help beginner students improve their skills. Tutoring and coaching can even be extended to other disciplines, such as equestrian, track and field sports and manual arts. With an open mind, you will find plenty of opportunities to make great money through passing on your knowledge and expertise.

Odd Jobs and Extra Work
If you are prepared to be adaptable and have a range of talents and skills, you can consider picking up odd jobs and providing specialist services. This can include mowing lawns, walking dogs, handyman fixes, delivering pamphlets, babysitting and more. You’d be surprised just how many people in your local neighbourhood will need a helping hand, and are willing to pay for the assistance. Be creative, and put an ad up on your community noticeboard as well as online in the local classifieds to advertise your skills.

Sometimes it could be something as simple as lending a hand to help people move, particularly if you have a ute or van. Perhaps it might be a specialist job such as providing extra care for special needs individuals to help them through their daily routine. By knowing your own strengths and marketing yourself, you can soon be earning plenty of extra cash in return for your services.

With a bit of hard work and a positive attitude, you can easily be on your way to making some great extra money. You’ll find more great tips like these and simple yet effective financial help by clicking here, so check it out and be on your way to a more secure financial future.

5 Investment Tips for Stay at Home Mums

Work at Home MomBeing a stay at home mum does not mean that you need to be totally out of the market. There are many stories of stay at home mums that invested in their own future and are reaping the benefits. Whether you are planning on starting your own investment portfolio or investing your time and resources into a business that you can run from home, there are heaps of ways of making money and being a mum. Here are some investment tips for stay at home mums.

Learn about your investment

Before you go out and put all your cash onto a get rich quick scheme, make an assessment about the risks and rewards of investing your money into that particular venture. Taking the time in the beginning to decide whether it is going to be a fruitful investment could save you a lot of heartache down the road.

Consider your budget

Being realistic about what you can afford, and what will work best for your budget is very important before committing to an investment. If making an investment is going to mean that you don’t have enough money to live, because of keeping up with the repayments then maybe it is not the best option for you. Consider your personal budget and perhaps team up with another stay at home mum so that you can work together to make your money work for you both.

Seek Advice

They say that there is no such thing as a stupid question, and this is even more so with making an investment as a stay at home mum. Utilising your networks and asking for advice from people who have previous experience with investing is a sure fire way to make the most of the opportunity to make a great investment. Sometimes it is the questions that we don’t ask that could make the difference between us making a sound investment and losing a lot of money. So don’t be afraid to ask a consulting agency for advice about an investment before you commit. Meredon Consulting have many years of experience that they are happy to share and asking the questions is an investment in your future.

Work/Life Balance

As a mum you probably have a million things to do before you have even started to think about the investment. Ensure that you maintain a good work/life balance and still allow yourself time to do the things that you love to do. Creating an inbalance in your life by devoting too much time and thought into your investment will not only make you miserable but your kids will suffer too.

Use Your Skills

You don’t need to start of big and invest huge sums of money into something, as sometimes starting small and growing your investment gradually will be much more rewarding. Utilise the skills that you already have, to maximise on your investment. If you have a hobby that you enjoy and can see yourself growing it into an investment than start there.

International Banks Eye Up Egypt’s Long-Term Growth Potential

In Egypt, as in much of the Arab world, cash is still king. However, the once hardened attitudes towards loans, credit cards and the sometimes bewildering array of financial products on offer today are gradually softening as more people experience the ease of access and convenience of online personal banking. It’s a game changer even in predominantly conservative Arab society.

Nevertheless, there’s still a long way to go before the availability of finance generally, and banking in particular, reaches down to street level and becomes accessible to all. The majority of Egypt’s rural poor, many surviving on a paltry income of a few dollars a day, are often excluded from the country’s mainstream banking system altogether. Of course, the situation is completely different in the cities where ample opportunity exists to work and to earn decent money. The contrast in terms of lifestyle between the city dwellers and the rural farmers and workers couldn’t be starker.

Recent figures, however, still suggest only about one person in every 10 of Egypt’s 85 million population actually has a bank account. In other words, 90% of the population whether living in city, town, village or rural hamlet doesn’t. Little wonder then this rather large, under-banked market makes Egypt a mouth watering prospect for HSBC, Barclays and other major multinational and domestic financial institutions looking for long-term growth, even despite the ongoing turmoil within the country.

International media reported earlier this year Barclays, the UK’s second-biggest bank by assets, planned to increase its presence in Egypt by boosting the number of its branches by 10% and entering the Islamic finance segment.

“For us, Egypt is a very important economy,” Omar Baig, consumer banking director at Barclays Bank Egypt, said in a recent interview quoted in a report by the Oxford Business Group (OBG). “Our view about Egypt in the long term still remains that it’s a place where we want to be and we want to be a significant player.” Baig added that Barclays could look into acquiring another bank in Egypt if the opportunity arises.

According to the OBG report, Egypt’s market is also attracting attention from Gulf banks. In December, Qatar National Bank (QNB) agreed to purchase French lender Société Général’s 77% stake in Egypt’s National Société Générale Bank (NSGB) in a deal worth $1.97 billion. The same month, Dubai’s Emirates NBD confirmed it would be buying the Egyptian subsidiary of BNP Paribas, another French bank, for $500 million.

The Gulf banks and Barclays have shown themselves content to look past Egypt’s instability and lower GDP growth of the past 18 months to the banking market’s more promising medium and long-term potential, claims the OBG.

QNB and Emirates NBD, in particular, are both considering an expansion into emerging markets to diversify their portfolios and tap into high growth. “Egypt is very much a growth market and this bank has been growing at an average of 15% in the last few years,” Kevin Flannery, Emirates NBD’s international general manager, said at the time of the purchase. “That growth statistic will continue, if not rise, as things settle in Egypt.”

The QNB and Emirates NBD deals were confirmed two months after HSBC, Europe’s biggest bank, announced that it was looking to expand its consumer lending and wealth management business in Egypt.

Read the full OBG report here.

Change Your Lifestyle, Change Your Mindset – Save More Money!

Money Jar - Daily SavingsEvery month or week when pay day arrives most of us find ourselves with a few hours of feeling financially secure, then once all the bills are paid we have to make the rest stretch to the next pay day.  This is a task that is becoming harder to achieve without additional income on a monthly basis.  The question arises, where can we save money?

When you take a look at your household budget the biggest expenses are often broken down into two main categories namely transport and groceries.  When you are not even managing to make your income last it becomes almost impossible to save for an emergency or a holiday, so you land up in a rut of working to survive which leaves you feeling unfulfilled and resentful.

Here are some useful tips that DO actually work on how you can save money on your biggest expenses which you can then put into an emergency savings account or towards a holiday.

Transportation – Take a look at where you live compared to other people in your office and in offices close to yours, form a lift club with 2 or 3 colleagues or people in the same area that also drive to work on a daily basis.  With 4 people travelling together you will only need to use your car once a month, saving you three weeks of petrol.

Think before you buy – Although it might be easier to just run down to the canteen at work and buy something for lunch then paying the canteen bill at the end of the week or month, it works out a lot more expensive than buying bread and fillings to pack your own lunch.  The same applies to coffee which you buy at the corner to get out of the office, instead make the coffee in the office then walk with your mug out the door and watch the world go by for a few minutes.

Condition your thinking – Do not automatically be drawn into the trap of spending money on items because they are what you want.  You want a holiday, so you going to take a few loans and resign yourself to being flat broke for a year or more so that you can jet your way across the globe to Paris?  NO!!!!! Look at something which fits your budget better like a weekend away at a camp site will be much cheaper and possibly more relaxing.  When you can afford to jet to Paris, then by all means go ahead!

Cheaper Meals – When you think of cheaper meals you might think of resigning your family to months on spaghetti and sauce while you try and save, instead think a little out of the box and look at which meals are cheapest to make while still being delicious.  Also remember that there are foods which are cheaper to make from scratch yourself than buying them already made.

Be Creative – Whether it is you, your partner or your children you will save a lot of money if you had to make gifts for birthdays and other special occasions instead of buying things for each person.

DIY – There are many tasks around the home which are not that difficult to do and work out a lot cheaper if you do them yourself.

Yard Sales – The feeling of satisfaction and achievement that you have after a huge spring clean is amazing, make that feeling even better by holding a yard sale and selling all your unwanted items for some extra cash.

Bulk & Share – There are many grocery items which are cheaper to buy in bulk, yet many people do not buy in bulk because they will never be able to finish the items before their sell by date.  Get a group of friends together and make a list of items that you all use on a regular basis, buy these in bulk and divide the cost between you all.

Mend ‘n Save – That blouse that you love so much that is missing a button, or that pair of pants that the hem is out are a lot cheaper to mend than to trash and then replace.

Thrifty Utility – Instead of letting all the women in the house run large bath tubs full of water to bath in, bath yourself then let your daughter bath in your water and do the same with your partner and son.

Most of these tips seem easy to implement and you probably thinking “Why didn’t I think of that?” but once you change your routine the way you look at everything you spend money on will change.

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