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Bellmore Group Management Services, Tokyo Japan on Securities Investment

Financial Consulting and Research in all areas of Investing

The growing intricacy of the present market makes dealing with an experienced, capable investment advisor more essential than ever. From securities and financial banking services to real estate investments, oil and gas products, mutual funds, insurance and college savings plans, our wide-ranging variety of investment services and extensive access to investment markets are intended to assist you achieve your investing objectives.

Through innovative technology, access to impartial third-party research and non-proprietary financial products, your advisor will develop a special investment package suited to your short-term and long-term investment objectives. Because our representatives are autonomous, there are no favored products to sell, allowing them freedom to look for services and products that genuinely supply your needs.

The stock market provides a means for entrepreneurs to obtain capital for their business ventures from money coming from investments. When you buy stock you actually own part of a company. In exchange for buying stock in a firm, the investor becomes part-owner of the firm and derives a return on investment in proportion to the amount of shares purchased. Traditionally, they have had better returns than bonds and other investments but often possess a greater amount of risk. Stocks can be a vital part of your general portfolio.


Akaho Kitamura dec 13 16, 03:22
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Evaluating Your Investment Returns

According to David Fabian, “A vital part of Investment success depends upon one’s ability to compare historical returns with an index or benchmark.

Doing so will let you measure if your approach meets the performance expectations or evaluate the efficiency of somebody else’s recommendation prior to hiring them. Although is may be very common in the entire industry, many investors still make knee-jerk conclusions based on unreliable or biased information.

Two primary conditions that must be satisfied when determining the viability of any investment approach are discussed below:

A proper standard of evaluation

We now lay down the reasons why these concepts are essential to your decision process.

Let us talk about time.

In reality, time is a commodity that has lost its overarching value in the fast-evolving dynamics of our daily existence. People so often fall prey to the temptation of immediate gratification provided by modern technology that they totally overlook how much time is required to accumulate wealth through the process of compounding.

For instance, if you start saving and investing starting at your mid-20’s and then you retire in your mid-60’s; it would have taken you 40 years to accumulate your wealth. But it does not end there. You need to sustain your wealth’s security for another 20 years through managing and conserving your investable assets. The growth period alone will take 480 months or 40 years, while the distribution or income period could last for 240 months or 20 years more. You need enough patience to see it through.

You cannot simply compare returns over very short time-durations. That is why you can hear people cry: My portfolio has been stagnant in four months! I’m below the benchmark on a 6-month rack record! Alas, my portfolio is 250 basis points lagging from the S&P 500 this year – I am done for!

The truth is that even the most efficient investment method will suffer some setbacks through underperformance. It may take some months or even last for a couple of years or more at a time. The best step to take during such doubt-filled or self-pitying moments is to recall why you chose this strategy in the first place.

Is your investment strategy still consistent with your risk tolerance level?

Could there be an intervening and temporary factor that is causing the adverse conditions?

Can you do something to manage this factor in order to enhance your long-term returns?

Have you really considered the risks of shifting to another approach in mid-stream?

Experts would advise that you analyze the performance of any investment method over a period of 3 to 5 years, enough time to determine the strengths and weaknesses over several conditions of the markets (bear, bull, transitional, and others).

The bond or stock markets can proceed for a few years along a particular direction. While that may favor some investors, it can also hurt others. Not that either side is bad investing; it all has to do with each group being exposed to different risks.

Creating and protecting your wealth is not a 100-meter dash -- a short-distance race, so to speak. Rather, it is a marathon -- a sustained race where risk conditions must be considered at close-range and behavioral principles applied with accuracy. Great patience is, therefore, of utmost

. There are no short-cuts in this industry.

A Suitable Benchmark

A common pitfall among investors is the tendency to compare apples and oranges.

A prime example is that of a company whose primary approach is to have a mix of bonds and stocks allocated through ETFs that are adjusted according to meticulously-developed strategies. As such, it has a total of 20 to 40% stocks and 50 to 70% bonds in the Strategic Income Portfolio at any particular period.

However, the most common feedback the company derives when evaluating performance is how its portfolio stacks up against the S&P 500 Index. It seems that people are programmed to think that the S&P is the singular reliable benchmark available, such that it has become the darling standard of many index lovers throughout the world.

Obviously, there is no basic logic to comparing the returns of a 100% stock portfolio (the S&P 500) versus a multi-asset portfolio that contains less than 50% exposure in stocks. A better and more suitable benchmark for such a type of investing method would be the 40/60 allocation in the iShares Core Moderate Allocation ETF (AOM). That is where the data will exhibit a clearer picture of actual performance.

In a similar manner, comparing the 0 to 60 mph rate of starting acceleration of a Porsche in a few seconds to that of a Suburban would not make sense either, would it? Although that is an accepted truth, in general, only a few investors consistently apply that universal principle in their investment practices.

It is vital to appreciate that fundamental concept in the process of accurately measuring risks or comparing similar approaches.

Never compare investing in bonds and stocks to the revenues of a CD or a money market account.

Never relate a portfolio of technology stocks to closed-end funds.

And never compare hedge-fund revenues to that of a bunch of ETFs.

We can continue down the line. . . .

Perhaps, the most difficult hurdle to making this logical conclusion is the fact that most investors do not know the suitable benchmark for comparison objectives or where to locate them. They merely gravitate to the S&P 500, the NASDAQ Composite or the Dow Jones Industrial Average because they see them flashed on the news or on the web daily.

In the end, every particular asset type or investment instrument should be weighed or evaluated by a similar group of equals. ETFs have made that process less difficult for many years now; however, you must always undertake the task of finding an appropriate index to serve as a benchmark. Ask a professional analyst how and where to find a good benchmark as a reliable yardstick.

The Ultimate Goal

Investing involves a lot of psychology and comprehension of the relationship of certain facts and information. This article hopes to develop a new perspective not considered previously or to strengthen an existing point-of-view. It is hoped that either way, the reader will attain a more reliable and more solid frame of reference for evaluating a portfolio’s performance in the future.


Akaho Kitamura jul 3 17, 11:18
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How to Secure Your Savings (Part 1)

How to Secure Your Savings (Part 1)

The collapse of Northern Rock, Bradford & Bingley, and Icelandic banks caused a lot of panic several years back, leading people to wonder whether their savings are safe at all. What steps can we take to secure our savings from such a terrifying and real threat?

We will provide a detailed safety checklist as well as what safeguards you can apply in case of averse economic scenarios.

The essential facts you need to know

At least 6 facts will let you prepare for worst-case scenarios, namely:

* Increased protection limit. At present, your savings now gets £85,000 protection based on UK-regulated financial institution instead of the former £75,000 only

Every UK-regulated savings and current account as well as cash ISAs in banks, credit unions and building societies are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

From £75,000, the cover was raised to £85,000 on 30 January 2017 after the pound's post-Brexit fall led to a review by the Bank of England. However, the amount of £85,000 is not given for each account but for each financial institution. Hence, if the bank runs, you receive £85,000 for each person, for each financial institution. Most savers will get the amount within seven days.

* You get a temporary £1-million-protection after 'life events'

Based on rules established in July 2015, savings of up to £1m may be protected for a six-month period in case your bank fails.

The increase will cover such life events as selling your home (but not when you buy-to-let or a second home), redundancy, inheritances, and insurance or compensation payouts that could result to you holding a temporarily-high savings amount.

The additional protection will apply starting from the day on which the money is transferred into the account, or the day on which the depositor becomes eligible to have the amount, whichever comes later. You have to provide documents to show where the funds came from in case you file a claim for the amount. It might take at most 3 months for any release of cash above £85,000.

This development is beneficial as it provides the saver time to prepare on how to utilize the money. Moreover, you can maximise savings by adding more money into higher interest-paying accounts instead of the usual lower-paying accounts.

* Not every UK savings account is UK-regulated

Majority of banks, also foreign-owned ones such as Spain's Santander, are regulated by the UK government. But certain EU-owned banks prefer to use the 'passport scheme' where protection only comes from their HOME government. Examples are Fidor, RCI Bank and others.

Joint accounts count as doubly protected

Since cash in joint accounts are considered as half each, it gets a £170,000 protection.

If you also have a personal account with the same bank, half of your joint savings stands as your total exposure; hence, and any additional amount above £85,000 is not protected.

An institution is a distinct entity from a bank

Remember, the protection is for every institution, not for every individual account. Therefore, having 4 accounts with a single bank only entitles you to only £85,000. The meaning of the word 'institution' depends on a particular bank's license and huge banking conglomerates complicate the meaning.

For instance, Halifax and Bank of Scotland are sister-banks and their accounts are covered for only £85,000, for one institution. RBS and NatWest, also sister-banks, however, have separate limits.

Distribute your savings to protect them

To achieve fail-proof safety, save at the most £83,000 in every institution (which gives you a safety allowance of £2,000 for interest growth). Doing so will spread your money in perfect safety even if you stay below the £85,000 mark; hence, in case your bank fails, your money will not be inaccessible for a certain period. Having two accounts will reduce such a risk.

What the FSCS protects

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) only covers organisations under the auspices of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This led to the tragic failure of the Christmas savings scheme Farepak, which had no protection at all. Thus, when the scheme went caput, all the money disappeared.

The primary types of protected savings include the following:

* Bank and building society accounts

FSCS covers all UK bank, credit unions, or building society current and savings accounts; and it also partially covers small business accounts.

Some forms of protected equity bonds, which are 'deposit accounts' whose interest growth relies on the stock market's performance, may likewise qualify for 'savings' protection.

* Any savings within a SIPP pension

For those who have a self-invested personal pension scheme and saved cash money there (in contrast to investment funds), FSCS provides complete protection for their money, separate from any other investment protection.

SIPP service-providers will help you determine the banks holding your money; hence, you can find out if it is linked to others you where you also have savings.

Any cash ISA (includes Help to Buy ISAs)

These refer to simple tax-free savings accounts, provided with FSCS protection like other savings accounts. Among those under this coverage is the cash ISA's forerunner, the Tessa-Only ISA (Toisa). Moreover, the ISA money does not lose its tax-free status in case the institution holding it fails.

Ask yourself these questions: Do I have protection for my investment in a company? Does my insurance have protection in case the company fails?

How protection works

FSCS covers all UK-regulated deposits – including money saved and accrued interests – that you have put into a bank or a building society savings instrument.

An independent government-sponsored fund regulated by the FCA, FSCS protects some of your money in the event of a bank collapse, although you will lose temporarily any access to your money during the period of compensation.

As long as the bank is UK-regulated, the following rule applies to all, whether children or adults, or wherever they may reside, as stipulated thus:

100% of the first £85,000 in your savings, for each financial institution, is covered.

You may ask: What is considered an institution and what is a UK-regulated institution? And other issues to consider, such as the following:

* A joint account has a limit that is doubled

* Rates were different prior to February 2017

* Savings are not considered along with debts

* Interests are part of the threshold

* Compensation will take time for release

* Offshore accounts are not often protected


Akaho Kitamura jul 10 17, 05:16
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Stocks of Bellmore Group Management Services, Tokyo Japan

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Investing in stocks to help you achieve your financial objectives

In terms of stock investing, understanding your financial objective is critical. That, together with your investment time targets and your risk capacity when investing in stocks, will aid you in determining how your stock investments should perform with the rest of your financial portfolio.

When to consider investing in stocks

Stock investing can 

 by allowing you to attain growth, profit from dividends or achieve both. Nevertheless, the worth of any stock you buy in can vary, and when you sell your stock, may be more or less than what you paid at the start. When choosing stocks to buy in, you should cautiously reflect on the risks of investing in stock and design an assorted asset allocation strategy that suits your objectives, investment time target and risk capacity.

Diversifying your stocks

Having a varied stock portfolio helps to offset the risk your investments are subjected to. The objective is to widen the range of your stock investments among various sectors and incorporate various investment characteristics so that when a certain stock or sector does poorly, the performance of your stocks in other sectors may aid in offsetting the changes in the overall worth of your stock portfolio.

Some basic guidelines you can utilize when selecting a variety of stocks for your portfolio are:

  • Invest in about 20 to 30 stocks in a minimum of six to eight sectors with various investment characteristics.
    • Limit to only 25% of the overall worth of your stock portfolio should be in any particular sector.
    • Limit to 15% of the overall worth of your stock portfolio should be in any particular stock.
    • You need to invest at least about 3% to 4% of the overall worth of your stock portfolio in every stock.
    • Your investment counselor can assist you in designing a mixed financial plan that fits your circumstances and your financial objectives.

Akaho Kitamura dec 19 16, 03:49
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Effective growth investing lessons from master investors

How do you achieve sustainable growth in investing? One needs to choose those leading companies that are prepared to provide strong, consistent and long-term increases in profits and revenue. These are the firms that reward their shareholders with above-average market returns.

Apply these tips coming from some of the most experienced investing leaders. See how you, too, can discover the latest winning growth stocks and, thereby, make a fortune for yourself.

1. Go for Quality

The best investment choices are often the best businesses you can find. David Gardner, popular investor and co-founder of Motley Fool says, "I look for the excellent, buy the excellent and add to the excellent in time. However, what I sell is the mediocre. That is my investment style."

Quality companies possess the most powerful competitive edge, the widest market potentials and a top-of-the-line management. They know how to be creative, trend-setting and pioneering. Most of all, they can build wealth for their shareholders and lead others to achieve their dreams.

2 & 3. Jump in as early as you can; and grab that basement-price offer

You can maximize your profit by investing early in a great business as more investors join in the harvest. Wealth abounds for those who practice this principle – especially for the 10- and also the 100-baggers – bringing on life-changing gains.

Nevertheless, many investors frequently hesitate to enter into the early-stage surge of best growth company stocks because they appear pricey, only to regret having missed the opportunity to gain in the end. While buying stocks in these quality businesses at high prices is an option, we can decide to go ahead and pay the premium for a quality acquisition. Setting your targets too low or just a notch or two below the optimum level might cause you to lose the opportunity to hit a multi-bagger.

4. Invest on a long-term duration

Warren Buffett puts it this way: "My favorite holding period is forever." CEO and master investor, Tom Gardner, in fact, has established at Motley Fool at least a five-year holding time rule in an Everlasting Portfolio since he adheres to the effectiveness of holding stock on a long-term basis. In David Gardner’s words, as a prime mover of one of the most efficient high-growth investment-consultancy services in the world, the heart of this investment approach consists of “two keys. . ., stock by stock: In before the big majority of people, and out after the big majority of people”.

Aiming to buy stocks in businesses and holding on to them for years or even decades allows the power of tax-deferred compounded returns to our advantage.

5. Those who win keep on winning

Tom and David Gardner reveal another winning advice: Invest in businesses and management groups with unequalled track record of success. In their tweeted message, they say:

“Our take on that famous disclaimer: ‘Past performance’ may turn out to be the single *best* determinant of future results we have can.”

Although it is not guaranteed, winning can be made into a habit. The force of momentum and the trusted experience developed in past successes tend to favor those who continue to face investment risks. And we do not refer to foolhardy risk-taking based on pride, but well-informed, facts-based choices born out of positive and strategic projections of a fruitful future.

6. Let your portfolio speak your best to the world

David Gardner once gave this valuable advice: "Determine where the world is headed; and as soon as you can, get there." Your portfolio speaks of your aspirations, interests, specialization and profession – that is where your advantage lies. Above all, your portfolio runs parallel to the trajectory of your vision of the future—and with a more positive view, the clearer the vision is.

7. Do not give up the fight

Growth investing can be frustrating at times; there will be moments when you harbor doubts and want to give up. Certain inexplicable short-term fluctuations and extreme bear market dips may wreak havoc on top-quality yet usually high-priced growth stocks, taking a toll on your emotions. Ultimately, the only path to success is to remain steadfast throughout any undesirable turn of event.

“The short-term will not teach an investor to learn enough – usually in a significant way -- to be so successful in the long-term,” according to Tom Gardner.

Be assured with the knowledge that everything will pass and, thus, you must expect the big-league companies to come out victorious after the dust clears up, remaining stable while the rest of the bunch lose their market share. With that in mind, consider such sell-offs as potential moments for strengthening your positions at even higher prices and enhancing your long-term returns.


Akaho Kitamura may 10 17, 13:19
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How to Secure Your Savings (Part 2)

What does 'financial institution' exactly refer to?

There is no cut-and-dry answer. For many years, banks have been absorbed by others or merged with other banks, making the definition hard to delineate. It all depends on the technical nature of the company's personality as it is registered at the FCA.

Some difficulties, therefore, arise – for instance:

If you save money in the Bank of Scotland, Halifax and BM Savings, which belong to one group, the covered amount is also considered as one. Hence, you get only £85,000.

If you save money in the Royal Bank of Scotland, Ulster and NatWest, which all belong to the giant RBS conglomerate; you get £85,000 protection for every one of three banks where you have put money.

Which banks are linked?

You may visit websites to help you find out if your bank shares its savings protection.

Or you may check the FCA registration number on your bank's website. If the institution is not among those listed, it does not necessarily mean it has no protected. Their last complete update of list was on April 2017.

What about bank takeovers?

In the even that your bank has been taken over, the actual protection on your money can depend on the date you opened your savings account. A merger-by-merger guide is given below:

* Santander (Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley)

* Lloyds Banking Group, Halifax and TSB

* Barclays and ING Direct

* Virgin Money and Northern Rock

* AA Savings and Bank of Ireland UK

* Marfin Laiki Bank and Bank of Cyprus UK

What happens when my building society has merged with another?

As a result of a financial crisis in the past, several building society takeovers flooded the news. At the start of such an occurrence, the Government acted to cover savings in two different building societies that merged; however, that applied only until December 2010.

Hence, if you have savings in several of the institutions listed under the groups listed below, you only stand to receive £85,000 cover within that group:

* Co-operative Bank and Britannia

* Yorkshire, Chelsea, Barnsley, Norwich & Peterborough building societies, plus Egg

* Nottingham and Shepshed building societies, trading as Nottingham BS

Nationwide previously shared its protection with Derbyshire, Cheshire, and Dunfermline Building Societies, but all products under the three minor building societies are now branded as Nationwide. This also goes for Coventry BS and Stroud & Swindon BS – all previous accounts with S&S are now branded as Coventry.

What of foreign-bank savings?

Numerous banks originating from overseas operate in Britain, such as Santander, Yorkshire Bank and ICICI. Unless they are not technically “offshore” accounts, the parent bank does not matter.

If the bank is UK-regulated, you will receive the same £85,000 coverage for every individual. However, there is a grayish area:

In the event that a bank falls into difficulties, a bailout might cover your savings,

(although there is no full guarantee to that effect). This happened not only to UK-owned Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley, but also to Iceland-owned (but UK-regulated) Kaupthing Edge.

As much as possible, limit your savings under the £85,000 limit, since the protection is a goal but not a guaranteed promise in case of a bank run. Nevertheless, this is specifically applicable to non-European banks, as this has not been proven in reality so far (and we are hoping it will never happen!).

Not all European banks are UK protected

A bank could be operating in the UK with the FCA's complete approval; but the FSCS may not provide protection for the money you put into them. Be more careful then about European-owned banks than those owned by overseas companies.

The reason behind this caveat is that banks from the European Economic Area may choose to have a protection that is slightly variant, referred to as the 'passport' scheme, meaning you would have to claim compensation for your money from the compensation program in the bank's originating country.

Overseas banks are not allowed to do this in Europe; hence, they have to provide complete UK compensation if they operate in UK.

Remember, if you save with one of those banks owned by overseas companies, the safety of your savings will depend on the foreign nation’s stability and solvency or their authorized financial regulator.

Certainly, there are some countries that have greater financially stability than the UK; however, you will then rely on a government upon which you do not have complete trust to protect your savings.

But on the bright side, beginning in 2010, every European nation has been required to set a compensation cap of €100,000 (which is equivalent to £85,000 in UK, which does not use the euro).

In case you have savings in a European bank that is presently protected by the FSCS at the maximum limit and it converts to the 'passport' scheme, the bank should inform you of the change.

Finally, a European bank may also operate in the UK while applying its own home-compensation program that may be below the UK limit, giving you protection only for that lower amount. Under this arrangement, the overseas bank will not be FCA-regulated but remains regulated by its government's own protection program.

Nevertheless, accounts with these banks sometimes provide higher rates compared to UK-protected banks.

Remember then that dealing with non-UK regulated banks may result in difficulty of getting back your money in the event of a bank failure.


Akaho Kitamura jul 17 17, 03:53
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Become a Better Investor In 2017

Become a Better Investor In 2017

If you are like me, you probably worry a lot about being caught in an investing trap. I am a recent player in the investment industry, with my only accomplishment being able to max out my IRA each year. I do not have a Plan B for my investing strategy; so I have tried to educate myself about other ways of investing in order to invest more actively or, at least, fortify my ongoing investments this year.

Many young professionals do not know for sure how to invest their money, except for their 401(k). If you are one of those clueless individuals, check out these novice tips to help you achieve your resolution to become a better investor this year. Investment expert Hans Scheil, the president of North Carolina-based Cardinal Retirement Planning, Inc. and author of The Complete Cardinal Guide to Planning for and Living in Retirement will help us understand these principles. By the way, he is a 40-year veteran in the financial services area, helping investors build a diversified and sound investment portfolio.

1. Invest only beyond your 401(k) and IRA if you have reached your limit in your contributions.

Scheil emphasizes that deciding to invest beyond a 401(k) or IRA should only be considered when you have reasonably maxed out your retirement accounts. He says, "This is because of income taxes. You cannot pass up deferred tax or even free tax benefits. Firstly, plan and decide how much you need to invest, where the [extra money] is coming from (a bonus, regular income, asset sale, inheritance, gift, savings account money, etc.), when you may have to use it or when you want the money, and how much risk you can withstand.”

2. Avoid focusing on daily market fluctuations.

“New investors often focus on daily market cycles and timing the investing process. You will never enter at exactly the right time or exit at exactly the right time. Averaging dollar cost or investing at regular periods will tend to balance out the highs and lows,” says Scheil. The guiding principle is that if you are between 25 and 35, the market movements on any particular day will not overly affect the retirement money you expect to get 30 years after.

3. Before considering other investments, first understand completely your present portfolio.

Scheil offers a diagnostic list of questions to assess your situation: “When you have extra money to invest, I recommend a quick evaluation of your current portfolio. Do you have a balanced diversification? Does your investment standing address your set goals? Do your investments perform reasonably against actual risks and the market conditions? Knowing the exact answers to these questions will help you decide if you should use your extra money into your existing investments.”

4. What you might actually need is not opening another account. 

Regarding three various kinds of investments, Scheil gave these comments (These are his personal views; other experts may have other opinions, obviously.):

To open or not to open another account - “You need a new investment account only if it is has a different name on the account or has a different tax status.”

To invest or not to invest in a particular business - “I recommend diversification only if you personally own and manage the specific business you invest in.”

To invest in real estate or not - “Investing in real estate is advantageous in a portfolio to serve as an optional investment with a stocks portfolio, up to a certain proper amount. Owning real estate yourself is great as well; however, it might end up difficult to sell and burdensome to handle.”

5. If you are considering new investments, determine what will succeed in 2040-2050.

According to Scheil, the most appropriate choice for millennials wanting to improve their investing potential is to “remain in the stock market for the long-term and consider buying during market dips”. Likewise, he strongly suggests that we think hard about what will gain long-term value when dealing with stocks.

“Be guided by this simple test: What will be very valuable in the year 2050? What will earn a lot from now up to 2050? Renewable energy, bio-technology, goods and services for the elderly, products in demand in growing economies and other potential goods are viable choices,” says Scheil. "Moreover, companies, such as Apple, Google, Tesla, CISCO, Amgen and CVS, present golden opportunities.”


Akaho Kitamura feb 14 17, 03:36
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Prepare for Your 2017 with these Timely Tips

Part of the yearly ritual for the yuletide holidays among many people is that of evaluating their budget to avoid overspending during the last few months of the year. This is always a good practice; however, why do it only for the last part of the year? Extend the habit and deal with your 2017 budget.

If you are up to it; then, get a calendar, open your spreadsheet, or any kind of system you want to use and let us work together on your budget. Consider these tips on how to go about it.

  • Prepare for Changes – As early as you can, anticipate changes, such as a college tuition fee or a new home mortgage. Include these expenses in your budgeting plan beforehand even you are not certain as to the final amount required. Taking a long time to find out the exact value for such expenses may disrupt your other important expenses.

On the other hand, you could be expecting welcome changes which you must include in your planning, such as a expected salary increases, bonuses and commissions.

  • Be Conservative in Your Estimates – When anticipating the value of a certain future expense, make conservative projections. Add a certain percentage to the expected expenses while subtracting the same percentage from anticipated income raises or commissions. Although most people do not consider this prudent, being conservative provides a buffer in case the future turns out to be contrary to your expectations.

Always expect staple expenses such as utilities, groceries and gas to increase as they always do. At it stands, a 2% increase will cover inflation in majority of regular expenses. However, gas and utilities should be given a higher expected rise since they are hard to predict whether in terms of usage and price.

  • Evaluate Previous Results – Before the year comes to an end, you should already have a very good conception of the objectives you wish to achieve for the year and which goals you will not achieve. Based on your evaluation, you may have to slow down on your expenses, augment your savings, reduce your debt or make necessary changes accordingly.

This recommendation also applies to your method of monitoring and distributing your budgetary expenses. Do you have difficulty finding out if you achieved your financial objectives? And you have to tear your budget and make a new one each month? Try juggling your budgeting strategy.

Try this: When you find yourself always failing to meet your savings target, resort to the “bucket” method. Assign portions of your income to designated buckets, such as one for monthly expense and another for fixed monthly expenses such as rent/mortgages and also one for discretionary funds. Allocate funds for the monthly expense and savings buckets prior to your discretionary funds.

  • Assign New Targets – Adjust your objectives according to your evaluation and recommended changes. For instance, you may want to speed up your savings to address a down payment need for a home purchase, while preparing for interest fees to go up in the following year (which is a probable event, in our opinion).
  • Make Necessary Changes in Your Budget – When you are finished with your amended objectives and assumptions, change your budget to cover the following year’s conditions. Having a monthly budget suits the situation for many people; but you can pick an appropriate schedule that suits your unique lifestyle.

Is it proper to project a budget for 2018? Not really. No one has enough information to project that far ahead. Nevertheless, you should consider forward-looking expenses, purchases and salary increases in your present budget. For instance, if you are expecting to spend for a college education in 2020, the best time to prepare for it is not later than today.

You should congratulate yourself for deciding to get ahead of the race and planning the New Year’s budget before most people even think about it. Half the battle is already won, in your case. Develop the discipline to follow your plan for the entire year as much as you can. That is how you win the other half.


Akaho Kitamura jan 30 17, 08:44
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Tips for Avoiding Financial Mistakes for Millennials

Tips for Avoiding Financial Mistakes for Millennials

If you are in your early and feel you should prepare yourself for financial success while avoiding serious mistakes, what do you need to do?Here are some valuable tips.

Firstly, relax! You are in the best time to be enjoying life; and getting started on the road to a secure financial future is one of the wisest moves you can do. Go ahead and have some fun, discover exciting avenues and be open to potential ventures and adventures you can pursue for a lifetime. Do not become paralyzed with the fear of making mistakes or you will miss out on fruitful and gratifying opportunities. That would be counterproductive – learn to embrace mistakes as they can be stepping stones to learning and growing.

Nevertheless, some mistakes can cause disastrous and long-term financial effects compared to others, although they may seem harmless on the surface.

Go over these five financial missteps that can adversely undermine your financial life. Knowing how not to commit the same mistakes will greatly enhance your potential for building your personal wealth.

Mistake #1: Delaying on Your Savings Plan

This mistake tops all other mistakes in terms of keeping people from achieving a certain degree of financial stability. According to a survey, 39% of all respondents admitted regretting not having saved much earlier on while 63% claimed that saving early is the best advice they could offer to people.

Old people should know better than the young ones on this matter. Consider this: At 25, a millennial who tucks away 10% of her $30,000 income yearly will accumulate more than $620,000 at 65, based on a 2% annual raises and a 6% yearly rate of return on investments. If she postpones it for only five years, the nest egg goes down by about $140,000 and waiting 10 years reduces it by over $250,000.

You see how delaying on your plan to save can reduce your potential earnings in the future? Check out online apps that help you calculate how much you will accumulate if you start now.

However, there is a way to avoid this error. If your employer offers a 401(k) plan, contribute the minimum allowed amount to avail of full benefits of your employer matching funds.

Open a Roth IRA or Traditional IRA account at a mutual fund firm if your employer does not offer 401(k). Contribute to your fund using automatic transfers from your checking account every month.

While doing that, set up an emergency fund amounting to a minimum of 3 months' worth of living costs in a savings account, as a buffer in case you lose your job or for other emergency needs.

Remember, the important thing is to develop the habit of saving weekly or monthly and to continue doing it in your entire working life.

Mistake #2: Borrowing money you do not need

There are times when borrowing is essential, such as for a house, a car or for a college education to enhance your earning capacity. However, taking out a loan to sustain a kind of lifestyle above your pay level will cause big problems.

You have to realize that paying off a loan can greatly affect your budget. NerdWallet's latest yearly survey on consumer debt revealed that the regular household spends over $6,650 just for interest payments yearly.

Before you do take out a loan, answer these questions: Do you really need it? If so, can you live with a cheaper alternative? Finally, calculate if the monthly principal and interest you pay for so many years will yield for you a more beneficial alternative in terms of savings and investment accounts that can accumulate and serve to protect you from financial straits.

Mistake #3: Believing the Wall Street's byline “investing is complicated”

Investors often understand Wall Street companies to be saying that one needs to monitor the financial markets at all times, distribute your money over all kinds of complicated and cryptic assets and always be on your toes at any time in order to invest in new promising stocks. And the catch is that to make any substantial return, you must seek their help – obviously for a high price worth their “expert” advice.

Don’t you believe it! Even veterans in the market cannot accurately predict what the financial markets will end up doing. Terrance Odean, professor at the University of California Berkeley, conducted research which showed that outguessing the market by constant trading tends to reduce an investor’s chances to gain good returns.

The better alternative is by doing less: Create a basic portfolio of widely assorted stock and bond funds that suits your risk tolerance level and leave it as it is through market highs and lows, except for a rebalancing adjustment once in a while. Check out online tools which will help you do proper asset allocation consistent with your risk capacity in order to find a balanced mix of bonds and stocks that works for you.

Mistake #4: Paying too much for financial counsel

The annual fees you pay for a mutual fund manager or the occasional fees in exchange for advice in choosing potential funds and other financial counsel will affect whatever returns you expect from your investments by reducing your savings. Minimize such costs as much as possible.

In terms of investments, you can gain greatly reduced costs by sticking to low-cost ETFs and index funds. You can readily gain savings of at least 1% annually in relation to the regular stock mutual fund.

Go ahead and consult a financial adviser, if you feel you need to; however, be sure you get the precise amount you have to pay and the specific benefits you will receive, before giving out any money. Likewise, make sure the price is reasonable and comparable to fees charged by other advisers.

You may also hire an adviser on an hourly scheme rather than shelling out a specific percentage of your assets or using an online-adviser app or service utilizing algorithms that recommend affordable investing tips.

Mistake #5: Not monitoring your progress

One thing you should not do is to become money-obsessive. Neither should you be a Pollyanna and let things take their course, hoping everything will come up roses. Take time to regularly assess your financial status at least once-a-year to determine if you are on the right path.

The best overall measure of your financial health is through knowing your net worth, which is the value difference between your assets and liabilities, that is, how much you have and how much you owe.

For those who regularly save and invest wisely, their net worth should gradually increase. Once your net worth is static, you must increase your savings, invest more sensibly or reduce your indebtedness.

Calculate your net worth using simple online tools. A yearly estimate and comparison with the results of past years will easily show whether your net worth is increasing or not.

Likewise, make use of other free online tools which will help you evaluate your other financial aspects, including a check on how your present saving habit and investing pattern will create a stable retirement future for you.

It goes without saying that in order to increase your wealth-building potential, you need to cultivate your talents and abilities to a point where you can earn and save more during your professional life. And remember the value of having a solid defense against the five mistakes mentioned here. Doing so will significantly enhance your chances of reaching your financial goals and spending a secure future.


Akaho Kitamura jun 7 17, 11:44
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Why value investing could be the riskiest investment strategy

Why value investing could be the riskiest investment strategy

For many years, value investing has grown to become a very popular and profitable investment strategy. Among those who consider value investing as a viable choice are Benjamin Graham and Warren Buffett – two of the most successful value investors with spectacular gains over a long period of time.

The expected returns from value investing are comparatively high, although the risks are oftentimes much higher than most investors can handle. This is because value investing can result in an investor being subject to value traps, which occurs when a stock’s price is low for a very valid reason. What are value traps?

Value traps

Surprisingly, value traps are more common than most investors realize. In spite of global share prices having increased from the beginning of the year, many other shares will still actively trade at significantly low prices in comparison to the broader index.

Although some might catch up and recover, others will not. Nevertheless, low-priced shares commonly appeal to value investors since the capital gain potentials are attractive. In short, for a good number of conservative investors, value investing may provide a high-risk option which could bring a substantial loss.

Beyond prices

Value traps may indeed provide a trading risk for value investors who do not realize that “value” goes beyond merely having a low share price. According to Warren Buffett, “It is better to buy a great company at a fair price than to buy a fair company at a great price.” Ultimately, the viability of a company must be measured along with its share value.

Hence, if a firm’s shares are selling at a lower price than their net asset value, a potential risk in the future might keep them from recovering the valuation deficit. Likewise, a stock which is valued according to the wider index may in reality provide significant value for money if there is a positive expectation of a rapid increase in returns over a medium-range period. In short, value investing can be a great strategy when you consider certain essential factors, such as price, prior to acquiring the shares of a company.

Periodic changes

Obviously, with rising stock prices, value investing loses its appeal. As investors all over are buying, value investors are selling and choosing to invest in other assets, such as cash. Conversely, when market prices are down, value investors will be buying stocks instead of selling them, contrary to the overall market consensus.

Being a value investor then can be a challenging occupation; and, on the short-term basis, it is quite easy to suffer paper losses as past trends continue to prevail. However, on the long-term basis, it has proven to be a viable strategy for investors of a certain level of experience and capability. It is not totally risk-free. So, by not merely focusing on price, this approach can serve as a highly-dependable road to financial success in the long run.


Akaho Kitamura jun 21 17, 10:35
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