Considering Alternative Investment? Read This First!


Trading has seen an interesting development lately. More investors are looking for alternative investments, and using them to diversify their portfolios. If you’ve dabbled in stocks and bonds, and you’re curious about alternative investments, then read on. Here are some of the most essential things you should know about alternative investments. Understand these, and you’ll get off to a flying start!

Gold BarSo what are alternative investments? Simply put, they’re assets which exist outside of stocks, bonds and cash. They could be investments in financial assets, and things such as hedge funds, private equity, and commodities. However, alternative investments can also be physical. Fine wine, art and precious metals also come under the “alternative” category. There’s usually a very low correlation to stocks and bonds. You may find it harder to determine the value of them, and that they’re more illiquid than your standard investments. You still may hear about “liquid alternatives” from traders and financial journals. These are a class of asset which have only been around for a few years. Generally, they’re mutual funds and ETFs which are made to mimic the performance of regular alternatives.


The next thing you’ll be wondering is whether or not you should invest in alternatives. To be honest, if you want to enjoy uncorrelated returns and more time to plan and act, then the answer is yes! Be warned though. In most cases, only accredited investors will be able to make direct investments in assets like hedge funds or equity. This is due to a lot of fund managers relying on private placement registration exemptions. This let them operate with less regulations, but also limits their base of investors to accredited ones. While it gives you more freedom to be an accredited investor, it’s not necessary for alternative investment. As technology develops, the alternative investment niche is expected to become progressively more transparent. This, in turn, will make for more opportunities for investor participation. An alternative investment coach will be able to assess how well-suited you are for the niche.

Risk Profile

Finally, the risk profiles. As with any kind of investment, understanding alternative risk profiles is hugely important. Investing in a venture capital fund will make for a more diverse portfolio. Investing directly in a single company has the potential to be far more lucrative. However, you’ll also have to deal with a lot more risk. In the past, commodities have had a fairly low correlation to stocks. However, they also carry a fair amount of risk with them. The focus of any fund is what usually determines the risk. For example, let’s say you invested in a foreign technology company using a venture capital fund. The risk profile of this investment will be strongly linked to the economic risks of the country the tech firm is based in. The niche of the company itself will also come with a certain degree of risk.

I hope this article has made more sense of alternative investments for you. They’re a little more complex than stocks, but can still be a fantastic choice.


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Pixabay / Wikimedia / Wikimedia / The Blue Diamond Gallery

Types of Commissions

Money_CommissionCommissions have always been part of sales and there are different kinds of commissions such as:

Gross Profit: this refers to the amount of money that is in addition to the total cost of the manufacturing of a particular product. If for example it costs $15 to make a perfume and is sold for $20 by the business owner or company, then the excess $5 is the gross profit. 

Revenue Commissions: This is the kind of revenue that real estate agents earn or those who sell cars or even clothing. The amount they earn is dependent on the percentage or their cut of the overall sale. An example would be a real estate agent selling a property for an amount like let’s say $100,000 with the agent getting a 5% commission. If the agent successfully closes a deal, then he earns 5% of the amount of the property sold which would be $5,000. 

Revenue Gates: The amount of commission a person earns is based on how much he or she is able to sell. Some companies assign a fix percentage of commission depending on how much sales a sales representative is able to deliver. So the higher the amount a representative sells , the higher the commission he or she gets. 

Every sales industry follows a specific commission structure and each one has its own advantages and disadvantages.


3 Quick Tips In Investing In Commercial Real Estate

Investing in commercial real estate requires more than patience and diligence. You have to devote a lot of time in terms of researching and expanding your network of contacts. If you are someone who plans to make it big in the real estate commercial industry then you may want to follow the tips below:

Get Bigger Places: Always remember that the more units you buy the more an apartment becomes affordable. This means that if you had to choice, you should go for an apartment having ten units than an apartment having only five units. 

Real Estate Investment

Do Not Rush:  Make sure your home doesn’t need any repairs. Have a company like Houston Restoration Services inspect it.Do not expect to be able to sell a commercial unit soon since it takes longer to sell as compared to single-family houses. It is also the same when it comes to renovating them, as well as buying them. Refrain from looking at it as a means to make a quick buck but more of a long-time investment. 

Do Not Settle With Apartments:  Apartments are not the only properties that can be bought and sold. There are also other properties available out there such as office buildings, mobile home, lands and many more. The best thing to do when starting your real estate life is by finding a particular niche that you will dedicate your time and attention to. 

Investing in commercial real estate takes a very long time to bear fruits and unless you are persevering, you will not become successful in the field.

Tips When Borrowing Money From Banks

People who need a huge amount of money to establish a business, to buy a car and many more, but could not immediately produce it often resort to borrowing money from the bank. If you are someone who plans to borrow money from the bank, you may want to keep the following in mind:

  • Get In Touch With The Bank: The first thing that you have to do is contact the bank that you are planning to borrow money from. Talk to someone who is assigned to manage loan applications and inquire if they can offer you the loan that you are looking for. Make sure that you ask on how to process it as well as the requirements to accomplish it.
  • Fill Out The Application Form: When filling out application forms, make sure that you know your social security number and you have the documents required for the particular loan you are applying for. A loan for a vehicle would likely require documents about the vehicle while a mortgage on the other hand may differ.

Pay Your Debt

  • Be Prompt With Your Payments: make sure that your account is carefully managed. This means that you have to make sure that your payments are prompt and the last thing that you want to do is be late on payments. Doing so will decrease your credit score and will make you less likely to get approval for a loan in the future from the bank.

Borrowing money from the bank or from anyone for that matter entails a big responsibility on the borrower. And the borrower should realize this and act upon it.

2 Basic Money Saving Tips Aside From Banking

Though a lot of people often rely on banking as a means to effectively manage their financial resources, there are other options too that are available which can go for in order to save up money.

Avoid Credit Cards
Refrain From Using Credit Cards
: There is nothing wrong in utilizing credit cards on occasion however, frequently using credit cards can sometimes make a person too dependent on them. And when a person becomes too dependent on it, he or she tends to overuse it rather than choose to use it only during emergencies. However, refraining from using a credit card lessens your debt and helps you manage your monthly expenses better. 

Take Advantage of Insurance:  If you take time and effort, you will be able to get in touch with a car insurance company and make a relative comparison between their prices. Also asking for other benefits can give you an idea of what you can take advantage of and help you make a better decision. Quirks like being able to insure your grown up children’s cars to the car insurance companies is also a good option if they offer such a thing. Signing up for flexible spending accounts with your company is also a good way of setting aside some savings for your health-care and child-care expenses. Also signing up for disability insurance also saves you the trouble of having to spend your hard-earned cash just to pay for it when the insurance can cover your disability expenses. 

These two options will definitely help you save up money in the event that you choose not to rely on banks.

Strategies To Lessen Small Business Costs

Strategies To Lessen Small Business Costs Being able to properly manage your financial resources while still being able to effectively run your business is important. With the global economy affecting a lot of big businesses, and corporations, despite their supposed strong financial support, being able to reduce business costs can mean a lot to ensure the survival of a small business.

Lessen Company Expenses: This is one of the most important things that a small business manager should learn to do. This will help ensure that the small business will survive for a longer period of time. Being able to utilize Infrastructure and Platform as a Service or commonly referred to as IaaS also helps a small business lessen their expenses. Another way of decreasing energy consumption is by replacing physical servers with virtual services. This is where cloud computing comes in. 

Staffing and the Location of Operations: A lot of business owners get the wrong idea that positioning their main branch in a well-known place will help them get them the market they are aiming for. They tend to forget that it is far more important to consider if the location can drive sales into their business. If relocating to another affordable place can better drive sales and save money for the small business then they should go for it. Being able to outsource your service can make a lot of difference. Not only will this save you a lot of money but it will also make things convenient for you and your staff. 

Monitor Your Bills: Constantly monitor utility bills since doing so will give you an idea of how much energy your company or office is consuming in a certain period of time. This will give you an idea on how and where you can cut when it comes to energy consumption. If you need to ask a dealer to give you a good deal then do so. 

These strategies will certainly help you keep your small business thriving for a longer period of time.

The Benefits Of Buying Life Insurance at an Early Age

Life Insurance

A lot of people tend to take their health and lives for granted thinking that they are invincible beings but the truth is that sometimes, life has an unpleasant way of turning things around. And you do not want to be caught off guard when such things happen, especially if you are already married and have your family. The good thing is that you have the opportunity to take advantage of affordable life insurance depending on the coverage that you want. This ensures that in the event of you passing away, your love ones will be financially secured. Also, consider the following benefits:

· Financial Security for Your Family: It is not being pessimistic to consider what would happen to your family in the event of you passing away. It is actually being open-minded and being concerned adult. Having life insurance is always a good thing because in such unfortunate event, your family will have financial security and this works best especially if you have children.

· Inheritance: If you do not have any significant assets to pass down to your children, you can apply for life insurance online and name your children as beneficiaries in the event of your passing. By doing so, you will be able to secure your children’s future and provide financial support even though you are no longer with them.

· Pay off Debts: Life insurance is not just about covering the daily expenses of your family. It can also be utilized to pay off outstanding debts like mortgage, credit cards and or car loans. In fact, life insurance can also be used to pay for funeral and burial costs which can be very expensive. The last thing that you want to happen is to leave your better half and your love ones with financial burden in addition to the emotional burden that they are experiencing in the event of your passing.

· Peace of Mind: Would it not be comforting to know that even if something happens to you, you can still support your family, and cement your children’s future financially? Purchasing life insurance is not just about paying a lump sum and or signing contracts but it will bring financial security to your family in case you are no longer present to support them which in turn encourage peace of mind not only for you but for the whole family.

The fact of the matter is that no one knows when a person’s life is going to end but it does not mean that you cannot prepare for it.

Understanding Your Personal Finance Options From Banks

The fact of the matter is that every property, business, product or service out there involves finance. And with the struggling economy, it can be very challenging to manage your monthly expenses. The same thing can be said when you are running a business or if you are planning to start a business. In these kinds of situation, it is always an advantage to be able to understand personal finance options that banks offer their clients nowadays.

Banking Finance Services

Foreign Exchange Services: This basically deals with transactions that involve currency exchange which deals with the purchasing and selling of foreign currency bank noted. This means that if you have plans of buying a specific currency because you will be going to another country, then this is the best option for you. There are also wire transfer transactions which provide clients the options to send money to international banks abroad. Banks also offer remittance services which allow a client, specifically a migrant worker to send money to their family living in the client’s home country.

Insurance: This refers to the equitable transfer of the risk of a loss, from one entity to another in exchange of payment. An example would be car insurance which people can take advantage of in the event that car suffers damage due to accidents or theft and the client with car insurance getting money from the incident based on the coverage or policy of his or her insurance. Banks offer a number of insurance services like insurance brokerage wherein an insurance broker will help a client shop around for insurance, generally a corporate property or casualty insurance. There is also insurance underwriting which determines if a client is eligible for a particular insurance. Insurance also covers annuities which is a financial service in a form of an insurance product in which the seller who is usually a financial institution makes a series of future payments to a buyer in exchange for an immediate payment of a lump sum which refers to single-payment annuity or a series of regular payments or known as regular-payment annuity, before the onset of the annuity.

Loans: This is perhaps one of the more common services that people apply for. Simply put, a loan refers to an amount of money a client wants to borrow from a financial institution. A client’s application gets approved based on his or her credit score in which case he or she enters a contract with the financial institution to gradually pay either a fix or variable amount of money on a monthly basis. There are various kinds of loans such as property or mortgage loans, car loans and or commercial loans.

It is paramount for every person to be able to understand various financial options offered by banks. Understanding your personal finance options can make a big difference.

How a New US Loan Calculator is Helping Debunk Rates

Looking for a loan or mortgage is both incredibly time-consuming and stressful. There are so many things that you have to get to grips with, and at times it can seem like you need a degree in Mathematics to understand it all, with so many technical terms and inexplicable rates.

However, all most people want to do is get a loan that fits in with their needs, and gives them the best deal.

And that’s exactly what ‘My Loan Cost Calculator’ by LoanTech aims to do. The loan calculator has been developed to ‘see through’ the typical rate, APR, and monthly payments completely online. It is intended to cut through the figures presented online and reveal the actual loan fees you will be charged, which are supposed to be woven in but due to even decimal point differences in APRs, can have a significant difference on what you end up paying back over time.

My Loan Calculator

It isn’t all about what you pay back overall, however – the clever algorithms help with your decision making in other aspects you face as a consumer when applying for bank loans.

The other questions it prompts you to ask yourself are:

  • Are you trying to minimise monthly payments over time?
  • Minimise lender loan fees and charges?
  • Minimise total interest and fees?

It then gathers the information which helps you to determine what your decision making process in applying for a loan, and then can be an advantage if you are a hair’s breadth in deciding between one loan or the other, which you have been presented with.

It was recently debuted in the US, revealing to potential consumers the amounts of fees as well as the total pay-outs over time.

David I. Ginsberg, of Loantech, says he created the algorithms that run the calculator to aid the growing problem consumers have, of finding an easy way for online loan shoppers ‘to determine the amount of fees lenders’ were tackling onto deals’.

Hopefully, the technology behind it will spread to become widely accessible in other countries, like the UAE soon. But in the meantime, the loan calculator in its basic form is still a hugely powerful tool for consumers. Before it was available, it would have taken months of visits to the mortgage broker and lots of time-consuming, head-scratching calculations. But thanks to the internet, you can have what you need to know about your options within minutes online.

Maybe looking into the terms and conditions, and ringing round asking your mortgage broker for more precise details on the APRs and fees would be a help in the short-term.

As consumers, we should never be scared to ask for more information on what we are effectively purchasing as a product for ourselves – and therefore, have every right to question it as much as we need to, to help us decide whether it’s the right product for us. If this involves multiple questions about the monthly fees, overall fees or exact APR rate down to the decimal point, then we have every right to do so.

NEST Consumers Disconnect From Pensions Market

National Employment Savings Trust or NESTFor many workers and professionals today, the word “pension” is typically not regarded as much as it was; say 40 to 50 years ago.

Back then, having a pension is one of the main draws to working. It is what these employees can look forward to after years of hard work and service; a salary of sorts that they can depend on and expect, way after their working days have passed.

But according to the National Employment Savings Trust or NEST, more and more consumers are beginning to feel a certain disconnect with pension, in particular the pension market and its providers.

According to the report, NEST has found out that this has more to do with the consumer’s notion that these pension and trust providers cannot be trusted to grow their contributions responsibly, probably because of some issues and previous failures of other providers.

What is interesting however is that NEST has discovered that consumers and possible clients want to be assured by the providers that they are being responsible with the money. Consumers also feel that the providers do not fully understand their concerns.

On the other side however, these consumers also do not fully understand that poor performance does not necessarily mean overall incompetence and corruption. Nonetheless, the providers see this outside perception as a matter of concern and should be addressed immediately.

“As an industry we need to find innovative ways of providing greater certainty for savers, but without high charges and without foregoing inflation-beating growth,” said Tim Jones, Certainty for Savers Chief Executive for NEST.

Stressing inflation-beating growth is also important for pension providers to ensure consumers that their hard-earned money will in fact grow despite the yearly inflation.

Jones also added that, “We also need to find ways to help consumers that they are at the heart of a debate that is about helping them achieve their retirement goals.”

The outlook seems positive though as the pension providers have begun to implement changes in the industry, allowing for more input from the customers. Some providers have even added an option for retirees to be no longer obligated to pay for an annuity that gives them an income for life after work.

Industry experts understand that choices like these may take away some earning opportunities, but the importance of letting your customers have their say with what they do with their income, is infinitely more valuable to them; you are merely offering options.

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