Taking the Risk Out of Trading

Many people believe that being financial independent and in control means that you have to play it safe and not take any risks. However, this can mean that your money will remain safe without ever accruing much wealth. With banks accounts offering little or no real interest nowadays, it is impossible to get rich putting your savings into a bank account. Investing might seem like the better option although it is fraught with risk and, as such, many people are put off. Here are our top tips to take the risk out of trading and investing:

Plan, Plan, Plan

You can never be too careful when you’re investing your own money. There are so many different guides available on investing and trading that you can take advantage of for free. The more you can plan and learn, the lower the level of risk that you are taking. Once you’ve learned the basics, you can begin to look at trading strategies and trading styles. There really is a wealth of material available and, the more you read, the more educated your decisions will become, eliminating much of the risk involved.

Scour the Market and Seek Expert Advice

Always remember that the trading market is vast and, as a result, it is always best to shop around for the best deal. Nowadays, there are so many brokers competing against each other that each one is looking to gain a competitive advantage by offering additional services. Features such as newsrooms, mobile trading and social trading are all optional extras that you should be aware of and should actively seek when you’re opening an account. Remember that any optional bonus can keep you ahead of the markets and enhance your knowledge, thus lowering risk further.

Try Before You Buy

If you’re unsure as to whether investing is right for you then you should seriously consider trying before you buy. Nowadays, many companies offer demo trading accounts and, as a result, you should always make sure that you utilize this feature before taking the plunge. This way, you can be absolutely certain that trading is right for you before you start investing your own money. If you just start trading without checking, you maximize the risk, exposing your savings in the process. It is always better to make mistakes when it doesn’t cost you a single penny.

To conclude, although trading is inherently risky, there are ways that you can limit this in order to maximize any potential returns on your investment. By taking these very simple hints and tips on board, investing will become easier than ever and you should start maximizing your income in no time.

This was a guest post.

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

Holiday Gift Giving Is About Creativity, Not Made For TV Moments

Today I am proud to present a guest post by Brock, who writes at Clever Dude, one of my favorite personal finance blogs. Brock has done a great job of writing about clever ways to save, spend, and budget, all while keeping a personal spin on his topics.  I hope you enjoy his post.

If you haven’t seen one yet, I’m sure they’ll be popping up during commercial breaks everywhere before you know it.  You know what I mean, those commercials where a person opens their front door to find a luxury SUV sitting in their driveway with a big red bow draped across the hood.  Or how about the scene where a woman holds a hand over her mouth in complete surprise as she opens a jewelry box to find a ring with a diamond big enough to use as a piece of sidewalk chalk?

Do these things really happen?

If I were the receiver of one of those gifts I would be absolutely livid because there’s only a couple of ways that such a gift could have been paid for:

  • The giver just committed them to a hefty monthly payment for a significant amount of time.
  • The giver paid cash and drained a huge amount from the couple’s savings
  • The giver somehow accumulated and hid a large amount of money

The realization of any of these scenarios would ruin any made for commercial moment, don’t you think?

Couples who do their finances together, such as my wife and I, have to find an alternate way to accomplish holiday gift giving. We agree to a limit as to how much we can spend on each other for Christmas presents based upon our budget and the funds we have available.  It’s never a huge sum of money, last year it was $100.  For us it’s not about the amount of money spent, it’s about how creatively we can use the amount designated.

Here’s what my wife had waiting for her under the tree last year:

Electric blanket:  She LOVES to snuggle up under a blanket while watching TV.  She used to have one of these years ago, but it broke.  She mentioned on in passing on a cold November evening, so I picked one up for about $25.

Cooling Pillow:  We were walking through Costco and she saw a pillow that claimed to stay cool as you used it.  She thought it was the “coolest” thing ever.  I went back and got one for $20.

Head Phones:  Just prior to Thanksgiving we switched cell phone carriers and she got her iPhone.  She put her music library on it (she had an iPod touch previously) and began taking it to the gym.  She talks on her phone a lot while on the treadmill, so I bought her a new set of headphones with a built in microphone for $20.

Earrings:  My wife’s Jewelry box is a complete disaster area.  I’m constantly untangling necklaces and looking for earring matches.  She eventually concluded she had lost the mate to her favorite medium sized hoop earrings.  A new pair added about $15 to the total.

mb-201311giftsThe rest of my funds were spent on little trinkets and her favorite chocolate to go into her stocking.

My gifts weren’t as mindblowing as a brand new SUV parked in the driveway.  They weren’t as romantic as a sparkling new diamond.  But they were things my wife wanted, AND the best part was that she had no idea that I had really noticed she had these things on her wish list.

Have YOU ever had a commercial worthy gift opening moment? How do you and your significant other handle holiday gift exchanges?

Editors Note: I agree 100% with Brock, and the ones that make me really shake my head are the ‘brand new car’ gift commercials.  You know that most people who buy a car for a gift can afford a down payment at best, so it’s likely a gift that comes with years of car payments.  No thanks!

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

Get The Best Software For An Online Store

The following is a guest post.

Often when you set up a store online, you have different expenses than a local brick-and-mortar store might have. You have no building that you must pay rent or taxes on, no electric bills, and often you don’t have employees you must pay if you run the site by yourself. However, this doesn’t mean you don’t still have expenses. When you run a business online, it’s best to make sure you have electronic software that can help make your job easier.

There are many factors you need to consider before purchasing software like whether you want to keep track of sales, the number of hits to your website, if you need to order more product, or to keep track of invoices. Knowing what you need and how much you should pay for it can make or break your business, and must be thought about carefully.

Know the Different Types of Software and Programs

The kind of business you’re running will determine the kind of programs you’ll need. A good example would be pos system hardware, which is best for sale websites with specific merchandise. If you sell articles of clothing, electronics, toys or other physical items, a POS would be a good investment to keep track of your sales. Alternatively, if you sell more abstract merchandise like insurance or mortgages, and your work is more invoice related, a conversion rate system would be more your speed since it keeps track of how many hits you have had, and how many sales you’ve made.

Shop the Market

Never be afraid to do some research concerning what you want to buy.  Before you even think about spending any money, figure out what your needs are. Make a list of what you want to have and rate the importance of each point. When you’ve done that, start looking around and compare what you find. Don’t get something that won’t do everything you need, and alternatively, don’t spend a lot of money on something that has features you won’t use. Find a good balance between too cheap and too expensive and you should be able to find something suitable. Also, don’t ever let yourself stay with an outdated product. Often, after a few years, systems won’t work as well as when you first bought them. Keep your eyes open for new products or new updates. This will help you know about systems in advance before you find you absolutely must update. It will save you a lot of frustration and effort down the road so you can instead focus your time on your website, products, and profit.

Additionally, you should always keep yourself aware of potentially free programs. Just because it can help you with your business doesn’t always mean it will cost money. Often there are programs that help you keep track of your business that are 100 percent free. Always be willing to take advantage of that if it is what you need.

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

What You Need to Secure Your Golden Years

How is your retirement looking? Could you add more to the pot?

I’m a firm believer that you can never have too much stashed. For this reason, I also feel it’s important to plan for multiple income sources in retirement. Of course, everyone has their own ideas of what is a good amount of income. But one thing’s for sure: once you are retired, you can’t go back in time and undo mistakes.

Right now, the goal should be securing your golden years. How can you achieve this?

1. Build your liquid savings. Although a regular savings account doesn’t earn much interest, this type of account should be included in retirement planning. Having liquid funds on hand can be a godsend if you deal with emergencies, such as car and home repairs or medical expenses. Most retirees live on a fixed income and without a liquid savings account, meeting certain expenses can be challenging.

Deposit a percentage of your current earnings into your savings account. Do not touch this money–watch it grow. If you are not happy with the rate on your savings account, explore other options, such as a high-yield savings account or a money market account.

2. Employer retirement options. There is no rule that says you have to invest in your employer’s 401(k). But why wouldn’t you? Contributions are automatically taken out of your check and invested, and in most cases, you won’t even miss the money. It is literally one of the easiest ways to grow your retirement. Plus, you can choose how much to contribute.

3. Individual retirement account. Do not get too comfortable with your 401(k).  Yes, this is an excellent way to get started, but add other retirement accounts to the pot.  For example, opening a Roth IRA account can become a source of income during retirement. Since IRA contributions are made with after-tax dollars, withdrawals in retirement are tax-free. It does not take much to get started, and unlike a 401(k), you can choose your investments.

4. Mortgage-free. It is not the kiss of death to retire with a mortgage loan. But if you can pay off your house before retiring, that’s one monster expense you do not have to worry about. Plus, when you own your house free and clear, there is the option of borrowing against your equity if you run into financial hardship (cash out refinance, home equity loan or reverse mortgage). Not that you want to, but it’s always an option.

Take a look at your personal finances. Can you presently afford to increase your home loan payments? This move can knock years off your mortgage term. Additionally, if you are looking to buy a new home, can you afford a 15-year or a 20-year mortgage?

Nobody wants to worry about money after retiring. If you plan early, learn your options and make wise financial decisions, you can sail through your retirement years with very few financial worries.

Information in this post was provided by Amanda G, a frequent contributor to Money Beagle.

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.