Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Forex Broker Choosing: My Tips on How Not to be Scammed

The other day, I was on a popular Forex trading thread on an online forum, when someone interrupted the flow of trading ideas and strategies we had enjoyed for three days straight to spit out a heart-rending story of how he had been ripped off by a Forex broker based in Seychelles (he only found out the broker’s location after the incident; how naive could traders get?).

The poor fellow had apparently been taught the rudiments of Forex trading and by all accounts, he was doing well for a first timer (probably ticked off the scam market maker broker he was using). Then from out of the blue, he got an email from his broker, accusing him of using a third party access to trade his account (supposedly against their rules). He was branded a cheat and as punishment, his account was suspended and his funds seized. Now the broker could have their own rules regarding account access, but if you have a problem with a trader, why not at least return the trader’s original capital instead of using some cheap excuse to brazenly steal the trader’s money? The community of traders is presently contemplating sending representatives to Seychelles to take legal action, a process that will cost a lot of money without a guarantee of success. All this could have prevented if the trader had done his homework. In the next few sentences, I will briefly outline what I would have done from the get-go after coming across the broker’s web page, which had lured the unfortunate trader in with a 100% bonus.

Step by Step Process of Conducting Due Diligence of a Forex Broker

The first thing I would do on coming across this broker is to find out the true location of the broker. Some unscrupulous brokers maintain bank accounts in countries that have strong regulation, maintain a skeletal office there but site their main office somewhere else. It gets worse; the main office could be the cellar of a building in some far flung island on the earth, or some country with very lax financial and banking rules. This system of structured deceit is difficult to unravel. For this information, I would head over to some popular Forex review sites to check the broker out. This serves many purposes. Not only are you likely to get the actual location of these guys (and therefore their true regulatory status), you could stumble on some precious information. More often than not, you will get reviews of such a broker from others who have used their services. The bad ones do not hide.

If I visit the forum of a group like ForexPeaceArmy, there is a structured review system that tracks the complaints against any broker and how the brokers respond to the complaints. Complaints range from withdrawal issues to trading practices such as stop hunting. It is not unusual to see scam brokers paying off people or using multiple IDs to write good reviews about themselves. It is not long before they are caught. If you see this, you are better off running away from such a broker.

My next stop would be the websites of the regulatory agencies. This is assuming the broker in question passes the location test. Find out the status of each broker. Regulated brokers are assigned specific registration numbers and it is not hard to find out if a broker is a scam broker.

Usually, these steps are enough to fish out scam brokers. You can also add some good old commonsense to the mix. Personally, I do not use brokers that offer bonuses. That 100% bonus may just be a sign that the broker is getting desperate for money to steal or settle other clients in an elaborate Ponzi scheme.

Article provided by Alexander Collins. To learn more about smart ways to choose a Forex broker and unethical practices scam brokerages use, visit Alexander Collins blog.

Happy Trading!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Stock Carnival Ecstasy - November 24, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 02:  The Groupon logo is di...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeWelcome to the November 24, 2011 edition of stock carnival ecstasy. In this issue we take a look at the Envelope System: Budgeting Best Practices from Jason P. We also have Robert @ The College Investor who examines the Upcoming Tech IPOs including Groupon. And finally SteveR has some tax advice with the Top Ten Most Overlooked Tax Deductions. Hope you enjoy the posts, bookmark, tweet, share, like on Facebook and come back son.

other


J.R. Weber presents The Benefits of Chase BluePrint posted at Smart Balance Transfers, saying, "Chase BluePrint is a tool available on Chase branded credit cards that can help consumers better understand and exert control over credit card interest expenses."

Jason P. presents Envelope System: Budgeting Best Practices posted at One Money Design, saying, "Closer look at envelope system and when it works best and when it might be more challenging to use."

Jason P. presents What is a 529 Plan? posted at Comments for Childrens Savings Accounts HQ, saying, "Choosing a 529 plan is the smart way to go when investing in your child’s education savings plan."

stefanz presents Investment strategy unpicking stocks - Investing: Strategy, Risk, Tools, and more... - Skuzet posted at skuzet, saying, "Two main investment strategies combined creates a new strategy that will bring you the best of both worlds."

J.R. Weber presents Chase Freedom Rewards Cards: Freedom $200 Cash Back Vs. Freedom $100 posted at Smart Balance Transfers, saying, "Consumers comparing rewards cards who also have credit card debt are wise to look past headline bonus offers and find a card that offers rewards and value."


stocks

Alexander presents Best Dividend Stocks posted at Dividend Blog, saying, "The best dividend stocks aren’t those with the highest yields. They are stocks that provide steady dividend growth and capital appreciation for shareholders."


Robert @ The College Investor presents Considering the Upcoming Tech IPOs? posted at The College Investor, saying, "What to consider when investing in tech IPOs."


Net Worth Protect presents LinkedIn Prices Secondary Equity Offering at $71 per share, But are You Buying It? posted at NetWorthProtect.com, saying, "LinkedIn is offering another round of pubic equity, but I'm not buying their story, are you?"


Alexander presents 20 Potentially Undervalued Stocks With High Dividend Yields posted at Dividend Stocks, saying, "Value investing is back. Investors are flocking to anything with perceived value to avoid the market swings we are seeing every day."

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Charles Chua C K presents 5 Effective Ways for Baby Boomers to Protect Their Wealth posted at All About Living with Life.

Linda Rodriguez presents Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act | Credit Cards for Fair Credit | Credit Cards for People With Fair Credit posted at Credit Cards for Fair Credit, saying, "You may now be wondering exactly what your rights are under this act. Your information is being sold, and you should know exactly what you can do to prevent damage to your credit and future as well as fix any current credit problems."


Amy Gardner presents 3 Real-Life Stories of People Crushed By Payday Loan Debt posted at Comments on: Disaster Strikes: 3 Real-Life Stories of People Crushed By Payday Loan Debt, saying, "There are thousands of stories online about people who have struggled with payday lending. Some accounts are worse than others, but their personal experiences always seem to have similar results; they all end up in a worse position than they were before their payday loan."

SteveR presents Top Ten Most Overlooked Tax Deductions posted at 2009 Taxes, saying, "Each year the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reports the most common tax deductions taxpayers forget about when submitting their income tax return."

SteveR presents Home Energy Tax Credits: Save Money With Energy Efficient Appliances posted at 2011 Tax, saying, "Homeowners know that energy bills comprise a hefty chunk of monthly bills, and have recently been getting even higher."

SteveR presents Ensuring Charitable Contributions are made to Qualifying Organizations posted at 2008 Taxes, saying, "The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) grants organization eligibility in receiving donations and giving them a tax-deductible status."

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of stock carnival ecstasy using our carnival submission form.
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The Facebook IPO Will Happen as Early as April 2012

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...Image via CrunchBaseThe long anticipated Facebook IPO will materialize in 2012 between April and June. This is according to a Wall Street Journal report that was released on Monday.

The report is based on observations made by people who are considered to be familiar with the public offering. According to these sources, Facebook wants to offload 10 percent of its shares to the public to raise $10 billion. This will put the value of the company at approximately $100 billion or more. While this valuation might seem too high, another report that was released in June quoted a similar figure.

If it comes to pass, the IPO will be among the biggest in the history of corporate America and the entire world. The IPO would be bigger than Google's IPO that raised $23 billion in the year 2004.

Initially, Facebook was rumored to be preparing to go public between January and April 2012. However, recent reports had indicated that the IPO had been scheduled for September.

The Journal cautioned that Facebook has not yet made a final decision. The dates may change and the valuation of the company might also vary.

Spreadbetting on Stocks and Shares: A Brief Overview

Nest egg savingsImage by RambergMediaImages via Flickr

Financial spread betting on stocks and shares provides many of the same benefits as purchasing actual shares, but without the stamp duty, commissions, and large sums of capital needed to realize a good return. By utilizing the services of spread betting companies, traders are able to speculate on the performance of individual stocks and shares, without ever taking ownership of the specific instruments involved. Rather, spreadbetting speculates on the rise or fall of stocks and shares over the course of a day, month or other period.

Spreadbetting on stocks and shares is a popular trading vehicle that permits traders the same exposure to a stock as a traditional investor, but at only a percentage of the capital. Add in the benefit of tax savings, since spreadbetting is not subject to capital gains or income tax in the UK, and traders have the opportunity to retain more of their returns (of course tax rules in any country are subject to change). The process is rather simple and the deposits required are minimal.

To illustrate how financial spread betting works in terms of stocks and shares, consider the following example. Company A is expected to announce quarterly income results in just a few days. According to news reports, the company is not realizing the level of profits it anticipated earlier in the year. Coupled with rising raw materials prices, a trader believes that stock prices for Company A will fall after the quarterly statements become public. As such, the trader decides to go short, or open a sell bet on Company A.

Spread betting companies list the spread price on Company A as 180p-183p. The trader places a bet at 10p per point at the sell price of 180p. He chooses a rolling daily bet, meaning the bet rolls over automatically to the next trading day, and each subsequent day, until he places a bet in the opposite direction. The first day of the announcement, stock prices fall to 175p, then fall again to 172p the following day. At this point in the process, the trader has realized a change of 8p at 10p per point. His total returns are 80 pounds.

The trader now believes the prices have dropped as much as they are going to, so he places an open buy bet according to the most recent spread price and waits for the stocks to begin climbing again. A new spread price of 172p-175p is issued, so he places an open buy bet, called going long, for 10p per point, starting at 175p. This time, however, the trader chooses to only bet on the current day's trading. At the close of the market, stocks in Company A have risen to 176p. He realizes a gain of only 1 point or 10p, for a total gain of 90 pounds tax-free over three days of trading.

Spreadbetting, like any other trading vehicles, presents a risk to traders. While spreadbetting offers traders the possibility of solid returns for little capital outlay, it also poses risks should the market move in the opposite direction of a trader's bet. It is possible for a trader to lose his entire deposit or considerably more, owing to the rate of exposure.

Michael Brooks is passionate about spread betting. Whether it is stocks, exchange traded funds, cfds or indices, Michael keeps his finger on the pulse of the industry.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Bearish Case For Gold

GieĊ‚da na Wall StreetImage via WikipediaMany are seasoned to believe that now is the time to start piling all of their money into gold. The world hears the terrible financial news that seems to be coming out of Wall Street each and every day. It is not like things like this can be ignored forever. Individuals feel that they need to be making smart moves in order to preserve and make money in a market like this. One of the classical thoughts is to put money into gold.

Gold has always been thought of as a safe haven investment during turbulent times. It often trades paradoxically to the value of the dollar. The value of the dollar often falls during periods of economic turmoil. Therefore, one would assume that gold should be trading up during times like this. The fact of the matter is that it has. In fact, gold has increased in value during the last 10 years more than almost any time in history. This is the very reason why it is not a great investment now.

We all know that no investment can continue to rise in value forever. The ones that rise the fastest in a short amount of time are often the ones that fall the sharpest when the party is over. Therefore, it is probably not a great idea to put a lot of money to work in gold. However, there is more than just a rapid rise in price that should worry gold investors.

The gold markets are seemingly unstoppable at the moment. They are pricing in a worldwide recession the likes of which could be nearly impossible to climb out of. There are many things that indicate that the price of gold could climb even higher at some point in the future. However, the price right now is already somewhere that it shouldn't be at. It has become the popular trade on Wall Street, and that means that it has climbed even beyond the wildest dreams of those who think that the market is going to decline rapidly.

There has actually been some good economic indicators that have been coming out of Wall Street. These include signs that the employment market is starting to become a little stronger. It is also true that companies are beginning to report stronger revenue. These are just the early signs of a recovery of course, but they point to the idea that the economy may be starting to heal. It will likely be a long time before there is significant sustainable growth, but the early signs are there. With this, the price of gold may well decline as the market gets healthier and more investors decide to take on more risk. There is a significant likelihood that this could be the case in the next 3-5 years.

Gold is simply not the best play to make at a time like this. There are other options available to those who are serious about making a profit in this choppy market. Perhaps even purchasing stocks themselves would be a better move at the moment.

Petrusia Kowal is a commodities trader in Toronto, as well as a music teacher. People often pay attention to one end of the situation, and forget about the other. Be aware of the countless opportunities in a sluggish market. This is the likely the perfect time to refinance your auto insurance. Other financial products like credit cards and mortgage rates also often get quite competitive in such markets. Visit Kanetix to do some comparison shopping, and determine if you're getting the value that you deserve.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Some Common Mistakes that are Made on Tax Returns

An old Social Security card with the "NOT...Image via Wikipedia

Filing a tax return is something that many people have no problem but others find quite complicated and stressful. The process is actually quite simple but there are some common mistakes that people tend to make, which can make the processing of tax returns far slower, which can result in delays with any rebates that are due from the IRS.

Familiarizing yourself with the common mistakes that many people make on tax returns can help to make the process easier for you, as you will have a better idea of what you should and should not be doing when you complete your return. Whilst there are many common mistakes that can be made, five of the most common ones are listed below:

Problems with social security numbers: Many people make the very simple yet very common mistake of either missing social security numbers off the tax return or putting the incorrect numbers. Make sure that you check all social security numbers carefully and enter them exactly as they are shown on the social security card

Choosing the wrong filing status: Some people inadvertently choose the incorrect filing status on their tax return. If you are unsure as to which filing status you should use you can look at Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information for further information and guidance

Errors with calculations: Even those who are whizz kids with numbers can sometimes make a mathematical error on their tax return. It is important that you double check all of your figures to ensure that they are all accurate. You can make things easier by filing your return online as all of the calculations will be done for you, saving you a lot of time and hassle

Incorrect banking details: This is an easy mistake to make, particularly when you have been completing your form and are probably fed up of looking at numbers! However, if you put the wrong account details you will be the one to suffer, as it will delay your rebate. If you are looking to have your refund paid direct to your bank make sure that you double check the accuracy of your banking details so that processing can be done quickly and easily by the IRS

Failing to sign and date the return: A surprising number of people forget to do the very simple but absolutely necessary task of signing and dating their tax return. Always make sure that you have done this before you submit your tax return

Esther works for an Illinois malpractice law firm and in her spare time is a personal finance and consumer blogger. She writes regularly about small business issues and issues affecting consumers, covering mortgages, savings and taxes.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Stock Carnival Ecstasy - November 10, 2011

BERLIN, GERMANY - MAY 19:  Model Nadja Auerman...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeWelcome to the November 10, 2011 edition of stock carnival ecstasy. This edition begins with Nathan Richardson and an article on the Top 10 Rogue Traders. The Dividend Growth Investor takes a look at Why Sustainable Dividends Matter. We have an article on Why Trading Systems Are Not Profitable For Everyone from SteveR. And SteveR presents another article on How to Appeal Your Property Taxes. Hope you enjoy the posts, bookmark, share, tweet, like on Facebook and come back soon.

Kristine Ann presents roth ira taxes posted at Roth IRA Rules and Guidelines, saying, "You should diverisfy for taxes just like you would for investment risk. In addition to your company retirement plan, you should also consider investing in a Roth IRA. A great strategy is to invest just enough to get the company matching (if you are lucky enough to work for a company that still offers matching contributions), then invest the rest of your money into a Roth IRA."


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Bruce Givner presents Blog l Estate And Tax Planning l Asset Protection posted at Law Offices of Givner & Kaye, saying, "Daily insights on estate planning, tax planning, asset protection planning and other matters regarding the representation of high net worth individuals and their closely held corporations."

J.R. Weber
presents Chase Slate 0% APR No Fee Balance Transfer Credit Card Offer posted at Smart Balance Transfers, saying, "Consumers seeking ways to reduce credit card expenses typically must pay a 3% transaction fee to obtain a 0% rate. The Chase Slate card removes this hurdle that prevents many from utilizing 0% balance transfers."

Someone presents Commodity ETF Futures Trading - Natural Gas, Oil, Gold and Silver - Contango, Backwardation posted at Metal Energy Blog, saying, "Metal Energy Blog is a reference document for new traders who are interested in leveraged Commodity ETF's"

Chelsea Prescotti presents How To improve Your Credit Score | CreditScore.net posted at CreditScore.net, saying, "Saying that your credit score plays a vital role in whether you can apply to acquire further credit, obtain reasonably priced car insurance, or take out a small business loan for example is a bit of an understatement. It plays an enormous role and it is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. In short, a credit score helps lenders and credit card and insurance companies, for example, determine the risks involved in lending a borrower/applicant money, credit, or insurance respectively. It also helps lenders and other agencies determine the specific amounts, rates, and terms and conditions to offer a borrower/applicant."

SteveR presents 9 Things to Consider When Choosing an Online Forex Broker posted at Forex Trading System Central, saying, "When you start trading Forex, you automatically become a part of this huge trillion-dollar trading environment."


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Nathan Richardson presents Top 10 Rogue Traders posted at Complex Search, saying, "These traders can make a lot of money – but sometimes they go rogue as mistakes prompt them to hide losses and make big gambles in an attempt to turn the tide. Take a look at the 10 biggest rogue traders."

Carlos Sera presents A Preservation Tale posted at Financial Tales, saying, "http://financialtales.com/financial-tales/high-net-worth-tales/a-preservation-tale/"

Dividend Growth Investor presents Why Sustainable Dividends Matter posted at Dividend Growth Investor, saying, "In order to reduce the risk of dividend cuts, I analyze the sustainability of the dividend payments before I commit any capital to new or existing positions. For most stocks, this means evaluating whether the dividend payout ratio is less than 60%."

Super Saver presents How the Greeks Stole Christmas posted at My Wealth Builder, saying, "The EU debt crisis and the likely Greek default will continue to be damper on the stock market."

SteveR presents Why Trading Systems Are Not Profitable For Everyone posted at FastSwings, saying, "Probably, all the things in this world are based on a difference. Two exactly the same cars turn out to be different in further usage – one of them brakes down faster for some reasons."


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SteveR presents Tame the Taxman: How to Appeal Your Property Taxes | 2011 Taxes posted at 2011 Taxes, saying, "Doing your taxes correctly is difficult enough without falling prey to misinformation"

SteveR presents Mortgage and the Emotional Costs Associated With It posted at Debt Consolidation, saying, "Home ownership is a really big responsibility and many people still see owning their own place as a primary goal in life, which can be both a wonderful and a dangerous idea."

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of stock carnival ecstasy using our carnival submission form.

Past posts and future hosts can be found on our

blog carnival index page
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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Consumers Guide to Commodity Trading

The floor of the Chicago Board of Trade, a maj...Image via Wikipedia

Taking a practical approach to trading commodities can be really difficult for some who have preconceived notions that are inaccurate, or really make a negative impact on their morale.

Commodities are unique in that they are (almost always) tangible goods that are bought and sold, there can be price discrepancies on these goods that make them profitable to trade. Such a fact is not lost on the various commodities traders out there who make assumptions about futures and other financial instruments in an effort to bring about successful commodity trading. Unfortunately this can often result in losses if the trader is not experienced enough to make the right call, so it is important that one consider the chances of loss before moving forward with their trade.

Commodities trading often involve the use of equities (stocks) as a type of representation of what a rising or falling commodities price means to their particular profitability. A logging company for instance will greatly benefit from a rising cost in wood, while a company that specializes in electronics that feature precious metals will benefit in a drop of the cost of those metals.

It is these relationships that make commodities trading a natural pairing to occur with the equities market, and indeed it is this pairing that makes it possible for many traders to make a good deal of money. While it might seem like no big deal, this relationship is the beginning of how most private traders make their living from home involving commodities. In order to deal with commodities futures, derivatives, futures contracts, and other instruments you must either become a professional trader or pay someone else such as a CTA to act on your behalf.

If you are going to have another company act on commodity prices for you it is important that you trust this company or individual with your life, since they will be in charge of your money. One wrong move or misinterpreted order and you could find yourself losing a good deal of money, making the effort to avoid this sort of thing should be paramount on your to do list if you are going to employ the use of a third party.

If you want to take on the commodities market on your own it is important to realize that the single best way to do this is through the equities markets. Trading commodities futures online is another way to utilize commodities for trading, but it is a very complicated financial instrument that should never be used by anyone that does not understand what they are doing.

If you are interested in commodities futures you should take it upon yourself to understand this instrument inside and out, it is not nearly as simple as the spot market and if you do not make the right call you will quickly find yourself in some trouble. Taking the time to properly learn your craft before beginning is something that is extremely important, and you need to keep that in mind at all times.

Mark James is an intersted author in the world of commodity trading and investment in order to help investors make the most of their money.If you are interested in reading more about commodity trading and Gold investment, then please visit the following sites:QIA Commodities.com, Gold investment.com and Thisis money.com

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Occupy Wall Street: How Will The Public React?


The Occupy Wall Street movement began in earnest on September 17, 2011 as an anti-corporate, anti-banking demonstration. The ostensible purpose of the Occupy Wall Street movement is to redistribute wealth. Participants in the Occupy Wall Street movement come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Some are recent college graduates, others are unemployed individuals. Still more are anti-government and/or anti-capitalist activists.

Origins:


The Occupy Wall Street movement was initiated when a Canadian anti-consumerist publiction, AdBusters, registered the domain "occupywallstreet.org" on June 9, 2011. Four days later on June 13, AdBusters began to promote an assembly of peaceful protesters on Wall Street in Manhattan.


The movement began getting Internet traction and by August 23, 2011, the hacktivist group "Anonymous" endorsed the movement.
Since that time, labor unions, leftist activists and the reinvented organization ACORN clandestinely started funneling money into the movement. Some protesters actually are paid a stipend to attend.


Objectives:


The Occupy Wall Street movement spread to other cities as the Manhattan protesters began to gather. To date, the various Occupy Wall Street only has one clear, common thread: the reorganization of the American system. However, there is no one "voice". This makes the movement's goals disparate and anecdotal.


Although there is no one resounding message, there are elements of anti-semitism, some of which have appeared in both Internet and television videos. Other messages are that of anti-corporatism, anti-capitalism, anti-war and anti-establishment. Signs and placards displayed by demonstrators taut tax reform, wealth redistribution, displeasure with corporations and government.


The lone thread that is repeated throughout each occupied cities is the "99%". This is supposed to represent the "99%" of citizens set apart for the "1%". Or those who are the majority. However, the message behind the percentage often changes from individual to individual and city to city.


Public Relations:


As a matter of public relations, Occupy Wall Street has had a net-negative affect on the movement itself, rather than its targets. According to recent polling Americans are split on the movement. A CBS News/New York Times poll found that 43% of the public agreed with the sentiment of Occupy Wall Street. In the same poll, 27% of respondents did not agree with Occupy Wall Street. And a full 30% replied they "don't know" if Occupy Wall Street reflected their views. Although the poll's sample included 1,650 respondents, it was a measure of "all adults" and not "likely voters". To spite the movement's call for government intervention, the same CBS News/New York Times poll found 60% of Americans do not trust the government.


Banks and other financial institutions have recently come under fire for not only lending practices but fee increases. Banks claim as a result of the Dodd-Frank bill limiting so-called "swipe fees", revenues had to be made up elsewhere. Although the largest banks in the nation have been the subject of media scrutiny, their customer base remains high. The whole situation has put the banks under "the microscope". Employing a PR Consultancy is essential now more than ever. Though the Occupy Wall Street movement has not adversely affected the business of the corporations it has affected the trust the public places in these old and established institutions.

Photo: Thanks to j-No on Flickr.

Is Equity Release Still Worth It in the Current Economic Climate?

WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 08:  Travelers Companies...Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Seniors are often hopeful of attaining a financially secured life with a wonderful house and tons of quality bonding time with their relatives. However, as the years go by, the life they aspire tends to become more difficult to achieve with the constantly increasing gap between the inflation and salary, not to mention the continuous rise in the cost of living. With the current economic climate going to a direction unfavorable to the majority of retirees, equity release may just be the most reasonable option.

Equity release is a system that allows you to get the value of your property albeit having to still live there. This is open for individuals whose age range from 55 to 70. Ultimately, it is a means of increasing pension income for most retirees.

The two main kinds of schemes are the lifetime mortgage and home reversion scheme. The former is where a homeowner is charged an interest that will be rolled up to a lump to be paid when you move out or become deceased. In the home reversion scheme, a company will purchase the entire or part of the property at around 20 to 60 percent of the market value of the estate, and in return, a steady income or cash lump sum would be granted. The company would then sell the property after you are deceased.

Property prices have barely increased in the previous months, and it has been forecasted that real estate prices may roll back by about 20 percent after a couple of years. The 2.8 percent reduction in prices in the past year only emphasizes the distress of a possible downturn.

With the current economic climate, going for equity release is a hard decision to make. However, many experts are hopeful of this year being better than the last, with many lenders coming back in the market. Consumers and the market alike would be more self-assured, though it won’t be affecting the slowdown of property prices.

Change is inevitable in the economic climate, which is why homeowners should consider downsizing in the later years after any equity release scheme, or sell the property entirely and move to a sheltered house or care home. Also, be sure to check if the scheme allows transfer to another estate and if penalties are settled upon closing an equity release plan prior to death. Family members are most affected in the inheritance homeowners are to give to them, so it’s best to consult with them to prevent any possible misunderstandings in the future.

Andrew is a real estate blogger and journalist. He writes on all things to do with property and personal finance as well as small business finance, from managing your taxes through to investing in solar panels.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Stock Carnival Ecstasy - October 27, 2011

Lahore City CentreImage via Wikipedia

Welcome to the October 27, 2011 edition of Stock Carnival Ecstasy.In this issue we have Super Saver taking a look at October, and its not historically the worst month of the year to invest. We have the Four best Reasons to Try Forex Trading by Bill Smith. Dividend Growth Investor sees AT&T and Coca-Cola being more expensive than most perceive. And finally The DIV-Net presents an analysis of Genuine Parts Company (GPC). Hope you like the articles, bookmark, share, tweet, like on Facebook, and come back soon.

Michael Donelly presents Get a Better Deal on Insurance posted at www.anotherway.org, saying, "Whether you like it or not, if you own a car or a house, you need insurance – in fact, in the case of car insurance at least, it may be required by law. So there’s no getting away from it – and actually, it’s a pretty good idea, as unfortunately try as we might, accidents do happen..."

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Super Saver presents October: Bear or Bull Month? posted at My Wealth Builder, saying, "Contrary to popular belief, October is not the worst month to be invested in stocks."

Bill Smith presents Four Reasons to Try Forex Trading posted at Forex Trading System Central, saying, "If you’re considering starting up a Forex trading account of your own, here are four good reasons why you should go ahead and take the plunge."

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Dividend Growth Investor presents AT&T and Coca-Cola are more expensive that you think posted at Dividend Growth Investor, saying, "Many companies however generate one time gains or losses which directly affect earnings per share. As a result, I tend to “normalize” this key indicator, in order to have an objective analysis. Two companies, which appear to have higher earnings per share, due to one-time items include AT&T (T) and Coca-Cola (KO)."

Aussie Investor presents Highest Dividend Paying Shares - The Micro-Caps posted at Australian Investing, saying, "Over the long term dividends make up a large part of a share portfolio's returns. With that in mind, lets see what attractive dividend yields are available to us at the moment. We've already looked at the large caps and the small caps, so now it's time for the micro caps."

The DIV-Net presents Stock Analysis: Genuine Parts Company (GPC) posted at The DIV-Net, saying, "Genuine Parts Co is a leading wholesale distributor of automotive replacement parts, industrial parts and supplies, and office products."

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Will presents “The Greatest Trade Ever”, Or How To Profitably Go Against The Herd posted at Former Banker, saying, "When being a contrarian pays off in spectacular fashion!"

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of stock carnival ecstasy using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Stock Carnival Ecstasy - October 18, 2011

WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 30:  Former Associate Gen...Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Welcome to the October 18, 2011 edition of Stock Carnival Ecstasy.In this edition we have 20 articles from some of the best financial blogs on the Internet. Mike Piper takes a look at Vanguard’s New LifeStrategy Funds. Charles Chua C K has a great post on Ways to Determine the Worth of a Stock. We have an HELE Earnings Preview from Doug. And finally SteveR presents The Pitfalls Of Doing Your Own Taxes, which includes missing the extension deadline which occurred yesterday. Hope you enjoy the articles, bookmark, share, tweet, like on Facebook and come back soon.

Gordan Smith presents 10 Most Useless Statistics in Professional Sports posted at Internet Provider, saying, "We sports fans love our statistics, don’t we? Get a group of us together and the numbers just start flying. That’s because nothing conveys an understanding of, an abiding reverence for, and an unassailable expertise in, our favorite athletic pastimes than quoting lots of stats."

Everything Finance presents Visa Black Card Review posted at Everything Finance, saying, "The Visa Black Card is a unique card made of carbon, not plastic, that touts impressive benefits for its members, but also carries hefty fees. This card is available for a limited number of members (1% of the American population) and may be a good fit for those who travel frequently and are looking for travel perks."

Sandra Adams presents Historically Low Interest Rates? Not For Consumer Credit posted at Credit Cards for No Credit, saying, "The Federal Reserve Board has promised that interest rates near zero will remain in place through this year and next. Yet consumer credit card interest rates are still usurious. For an economy struggling to free itself from a balance sheet recession and based in large part on consumer purchases, a focus on lowering consumers’ debt burdens by lowering the interest rate paid on consumer debt instead of focusing on the overnight funds rate makes sense."

Michael Donelly presents It’s not Expensive to Prevent Burglary posted at www.anotherway.org, saying, "There are certain cases in which being frugal might actually cost a lot. And one of these cases is related to home security. Hoping that burglary won’t happen is not going to protect you against one of the most common crimes."

other

Mike Piper presents Evaluating Vanguard’s New LifeStrategy Funds posted at The Oblivious Investor, saying, "Vanguard recently announced major changes to their "LifeStrategy" funds. Are the changes positive? And what type of investors should be considering these funds?"

Shoeboxpublish presents The Short Selling of America posted at DCTrader, saying, "The repeal of a little known trading rule back in July of 2007, is shown to be the primary cause for the stock markets extreme volitility in the past few years. Wild swings of 300 or more points have become common place. This article explores why that is, and why stability will not be returned to the markets or the economy - until this little known trading rule is reinstated."

Nathan Richardson presents Benefits and Drawbacks of Credit Score Monitoring posted at Deals & Tips, saying, "For roughly $15-$20 per month, consumers will receive information from the credit bureau monitoring their score showing any changes to that score - is that fee worth it?"

Mark Roberts presents What You Should Know About Federal Income Tax posted at Tax Brackets, saying, "This weeks blog post is a guide on federal income tax. We highlight what income is federally taxed and what deductions you can claim."

stocks

Charles Chua C K presents 7 Effective Ways to Determine the Worth of a Stock posted at All About Living with Life.

Doug presents HELE Earnings Preview, Part 1 - the Kaz Impact posted at The Strategic Investor, saying, "Earnings preview of a deep value consumer staples company. The company reports earnings on Thursday. Part two is already published."

Frank presents Best Swing Trading Indicators | Leaked Stock Trading Tips posted at Leaked Stock Trading Tips.

Nesher presents How TheStreet helps you to become better investor? posted at Internet Stock Trading for Beginners.

John Border presents Gold Stocks List posted at Stock Market Basics, saying, "Gold stocks are a must in your portfolio and these definitely serve as proxy for holding the gold in physical form and help you gain from price rise of gold."

Dividend Growth Investor presents Ten Top High Dividend Growth Stocks for Long Term Returns posted at Dividend Growth Investor, saying, "Dividend Growth Stocks are one of the best kept secret in the investing world. After all, these are high quality companies which have strong competitive advantages that allow them to generate rising earnings over time. As a result, most of these companies generate so much in excess cash flow, that they are able to pay a higher dividend over time without sacrificing long term growth."

The DIV-Net presents Two Industrials Catching My Eye posted at The DIV-Net, saying, "I'm a huge believer in investing in dividend growth stocks. In fact, I'm such a huge believer that I'm going to be investing the majority of my net income into such stocks every single month for the next 11 years."

tips

Paul Stogner presents What is a Good Credit Score? posted at Credit Cards Truthiness, saying, "The majority of the general public doesn’t understand how their credit score is calculated, much less what a good credit score is. Generally speaking, one has to establish a record of timely payments and available credit to increase their score."

Jennifer Hill presents Effectively Balancing Income and Expenses posted at How Does Rent To Own Work?, saying, "When balancing your income and expenses becomes difficult, you will first need to decide to live frugally. This means you need to take control of your finances and learn how to organize them to make you successful."

Deborah Brown presents Frugal Living posted at First Credit Card, saying, "Frugal living doesn’t just consist of the decisions you make before a trip to the grocery store; it is a daily choice that makes up the lifestyle a frugal shopper must live by. There are so many ways you can save money with a slight change in your shopping habits."

Linda Rodriguez presents Jury Bias in East Texas Green Patent Litigation posted at Credit Cards for Fair Credit, saying, "The Eastern District of Texas is known as a great venue for plaintiffs in patent litigation. It has it all. The district has judges who know the issues, rules and courts that get cases to resolve quickly, juries who give out large plaintiffs’ verdicts, and a reputation that increases the risk on the defendants and encourages settlements. But there may be an underlying bias against green technology that may make this venue less appealing for green patent litigation."

SteveR presents The Pitfalls Of Doing Your Own Taxes posted at 2010Taxes, saying, "Doing all your own taxes might seem like an easy enough thing to tug off. You recently draw W-2 form, make the numbers and you really are good to go. However, there are often more to making your taxes than just simple math, and in many cases that could be hard to practise for some people."

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of stock carnival ecstasy using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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An Introductions to Options Trading

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission defines options as contracts that give purchasers the right to sell or buy securities like stocks within a given period at a fixed price. They are binding contracts whose properties and terms are strictly defined. Although the buyers have the right to sell or buy the securities, they are not obligated to do so.

When the period of an option passes, the contract becomes void. However, a purchaser makes an initial deposit that is not refunded in such an eventuality. On the other hand, the seller is obligated to sell the security in question at the agreed price if the buyer goes ahead with the purchase within the agreed timeframe.

Example
Perhaps someone wants to buy property for $500,000 but does not expect to get the money for 3 months. He gets into an option contract with the seller to make the purchase within 3 months and pays $5000. No matter how much the property’s value rises within the period, he will still buy it at the agreed price. If the buyer changes his mind, however, he will not be forced to buy the property but will lose the $5000.

The Basics
Call: This is the contract that provides the right to purchase a security within a given timeframe at an agreed price. Investors buying calls expect the values of the securities to rise within the agreed period.

Put: This option provides the right to sell a security within a specified timeframe at a given price. Investors buying puts expect prices to fall before the period agreed on expires.

This means the options trading market is primarily composed of 4 types of participants: buyers and sellers of calls and puts respectively. Option sellers are known as writers while the buyers are called holders. While holders are not obligated to go through with their contracts, writers are obligated to do so.

Strike Price: This is the agreed price at which a given security can either be sold or bought. If the share price is more than the strike price, the option is “in-the-money.”

Intrinsic Value: This refers to the amount of money by which a given option is in-the-money.
Premium: This is the total cost of an option.

Types and Styles of Options
Over-the-Counter options involve 2 private parties. They have unrestricted terms and do not get listed on exchanges.
Exchange-traded options are settled in a clearing house. They have standardized contracts that provide more accurate pricing models.

Option styles include American, European, Bermudan, Vanilla, Exotic and Barrier.
Investors use option trading for 2 primary purposes – hedging and speculation.

Looking for advice or options strategies? Sentinel offers a complete range of stockbroking services over Australian listed shares and derivatives. As full service stockbrokers we're able to give advice and make recommendations on buying and selling shares and derivatives.

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