As a beginner investor it’s sometimes difficult to determine where usually start, or what investments you should start with. Should you start with stocks or bonds, or should you open an IRA or possibly purchase an annuity?

One thing you definitely need to keep in mind is that every investment you make comes with a certain degree of risk. For example, most securities aren’t insured by the federal government. If they fail, you lose your money, even if you purchased them through your bank or credit union.

Below are a number of the most important questions that you need to ask, and answer, before you begin investing.

Question 1: Why are you investing your money?

Are you investing because you want to save up the money you need to purchase a house? Maybe for your retirement or to pay for your son or daughters education? This is an important question to ask before you begin because it will lead you towards different investing options.

 

Question 2: What is the timeline between investing and getting your money back?

If you invest in stocks, bonds or mutual funds, you can sell them at any time you wish, although it’s not guaranteed that you’ll get back all of the money that you paid when you purchased them. Other investment options limit you as far as when you can sell them. Point being, if you need your money back right away, or if you don’t need it for years and can let it accrue interest and revenues, your investing decisions will be different.

 

Question 3: How much risk are you willing to take with your money?

As we said at the beginning of this blog, every investment comes with a certain degree of risk. A high-risk investment usually has a higher reward, and vice versa. For example, a savings account at a bank is protected by the US treasury. It’s very unlikely that you’ll lose your money if it’s in a bank account, but it’s also very unlikely that you’ll make any money with your money. In fact, most banks don’t pay enough interest to keep up with inflation. Bonds are a bit more risky but still relatively safe while other investment options like stocks pay-out much better but have the highest risk.

 

Question 4: Is your portfolio diversified?

Diversification is one of the most important facets of investing. If your investments/portfolio are well diversified you’ll be much safer during and economic downturn or if one or two of your stocks or other investments fails, because the others will still be going strong.

Could LifeLogger be the next GoPro Stock?

When it first opened on the market, GoPro stock was at $30. Two months later it was already at $95 and, for those who missed its IPO, they were left sitting with their hands in the air, wondering what happened.

Most people now know about GoPro, the extremely small, durable and handy video device that’s taken the world by storm, but very few have heard about LifeLogger (LOGG), wearable technology that some analysts are calling the next big thing in the high-tech industry.

Here’s a question; what’s the actual percentage of your life that you actually remember? Scientists say that it’s approximately 0.001%, and that’s if your memory is really great.

Many people would like to be able to remember more of their lives, and extreme sports enthusiasts have definitely used the GoPro to do just that. But what about everyday life? What if you wanted to record everything that you did all the time so that, if you wanted to recall something extremely specific at a later time, you could?

That’s what LifeLogger promises.

In fact, LifeLogger was just named among the Top-5 startups by entrepreneur.com, even though the technology promises what seems like something out of a science fiction film. The fact is however that the wearable technology industry it Is expected to explode in the next few years, and reach $20 billion dollars by 2018.

LifeLogger has already recognized this fact and allows users to record their lives with a wearable Point Of View (POV) device that records everything they do and say, and then uploads it to the cloud where it can be processed and stored.

This “processing” consists of extracting things like the faces of people you’ve seen and converting the words that you said and heard into a searchable text database. While this is happening your GPS coordinates are also recorded and even the direction that you’re looking at the time is recorded as well.

Like we said, out of a science fiction film.

It’s being called “augmented memory” and analyst predict it’s going to be huge. So, if you missed out on GoPro’s IPO, keep an eye out for LifeLogger when it opens. It might just be the next big thing!

5 Top Investing Tips for Beginner Investors

As a beginner at practically anything, the first task at hand is to educate yourself about the skill that you wish to master. It’s exactly the same when you want to become an investor, even if it’s just for yourself and not as a professional. Today’s blog will give you some excellent investing tips that you need to know as a beginner in order to start off on the right foot. Enjoy.

 

Tip #1: Always invest in something that you understand well

When you invest in an industry that you know well, and the businesses involved in that industry, you can avoid getting caught in so-called “stock market bubbles”.  During a crash, you can then remain (mostly) calm because you’ve already determined what a company’s true worth is. and know that they’ll be just fine when things get better.

 

Tip #2: The less debt a company has, the less risk they have for you

When you’re going about the task of choosing individual stocks, it’s very important that you look as closely as possible at a company’s balance sheet. If you see too much debt, you can bet that it will hamper their growth as well as their ability to weather any economic storms that might arise. Less debt = less risk.

 

Tip #3: Instead of selling stocks to balance your portfolio, use dividends

If you take dividends in cash you can then invest them in other sectors where you don’t have as much exposure, Improving your diversification while keeping your tax risk low when you go to sell.

 

Tip #4: Make sure that your mutual funds don’t own the same stocks

Many new investors make the mistake of thinking that they’re well diversified because they own a number of different mutual funds. However, if those funds own many of the same stocks, you could be burned badly in a bear market because your portfolio isn’t quite as diversified as you thought it was. Morningstar has an “Instant X-ray” tool that can help. (http://portfolio.morningstar.com/Rtport/Free/InstantXRayDEntry.aspx)

 

Tip #5: Although it pays nothing, Cash can still be useful to keep on hand

If there’s a market downturn, having some cash on hand to take advantage of it will be very helpful. The fact is, there hasn’t been a stock market correction of 10% since the end of 2011, and the market is overdue.

 

Bonus Tip: Patience is the key to being a great investor

Here’s a simple fact; not every stock that you buy will take off immediately, even if we’re in a bull market. Sometimes even the best stocks can stall but, if you’re patient and believe in long-term investing, you will often see that what you thought was a stinker turns out to be a keeper

5 Tips for Low Risk Investing

Many consumers don’t invest their money for one simple reason; they’re afraid of the risk that they’ll lose that money. Of course, keeping your money safe in a bank isn’t a great solution either because, at less than 1% interest, it will fall behind inflation and actually lose purchasing power.

With that in mind, today’s blog looks at 5 tips for low risk investing, so that you can grow your money without being too anxious. Enjoy.

Tip 1)  Diversify. Diversification, while it’s a big word, Is actually a term used for a very simple concept; spreading your investments around so that, should one of them fail, the rest will keep going and prevent financial disaster. It basically means that you should have a nice mix of real estate, commodities, stocks, bonds and other investments to spread out your risk among them. Even if one is a loser, the other winners will keep you afloat.

Tip 2) Put Time on your side. If you haven’t heard of compound interest, it’s time you did. Basically it’s the best way to grow your money without having to do anything besides leave it alone. Over time, compound interest will grow your money in any type of investment you place it, like a 401(k), IRA and so forth. Not only that but, if you’re young and your “time horizon” is long, you can leave your investments to grow and weather any ups or downs the market might have.

Tip 3) Start small.  If you’re worried about risk, you should just start small. Choose investments that, over the last 5 years or so, have performed well, and purchase them regularly in small amounts. You can get ideas on which ones are the “best” by talking to either a broker, reading an investing magazine like Money or Kiplingers, or even talking to the benefits administrator where you work.

Tip 4) Relax and let your investments do their job. Many people keep such a close eye on their investments that they end up making bad decisions because of what the market happens to be doing at a particular time. The fact is, like the ocean, the market will ebb and flow, go up and down, and have times of turbulence as well as times of tranquility. Through it all, if you want to be a good captain of your finances, you really just need to steer it straight and realize that, at the end of the day, the ocean’s not going anywhere and neither is the market.

Tip 5) Make good choices. If you want to keep your risk low, investing in poorly rated junk bonds is probably not a good idea. Aggressive growth stock funds are the same because they have much more risk then, for example, income stocks funds. If you don’t know the difference between one investment or another, as far as risk is concerned, educate yourself more by talking to someone who does, doing research online or reading investing magazines.

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