Investment Guide to Mutual Fund Investing

This down-to-earth investment guide is geared to investing for beginners. In this investment guide you will learn to invest with your eyes open, plus: what mutual funds are, what kinds are available, and how to save cash when you invest money.

Investing for beginners is like learning how to swim. Not recommended: jumping in over your head in choppy waters off the coast of Maine in January to learn the butterfly stroke. Suggestion: learn to float first, getting your face wet under calm clear water.

Don’t try to learn to invest by speculating in the stock market or in the bond pits, either. Start investing in mutual funds where professionals pick the stocks and bonds for you. These funds are designed for the investing public. In my opinion, at least 95% of the investing public is best off investing here. Mutual funds simply pool money from investors and manage a portfolio of securities like stocks and bonds for the investors. You simply invest money in a lump sum, like $5000; or periodically, like $200 per month. The money you invest buys you shares in a fund.

The vast majority of funds fall into one of four categories based on what they invest in: stocks (also called equities), bonds, money market investments, and a combination of all of the above. For example, if you invest money in an equity fund, just about all of it will likely be invested in stocks.

Equity funds are the riskiest and have the greatest profit potential, with growth and perhaps some income as their primary objective. Bond funds invest in bonds to earn higher income for investors at a moderate level of risk, generally. Money market funds are the safest and pay interest rates that vary with interest rates in the economy. Balanced funds are the fourth category and invest in a balance of the other three major investment asset classes; and this makes them a great place to start investing.

Income or interest earned in a mutual fund is paid to investors in the form of dividends. Most investors simply choose to have their dividends automatically reinvested to buy additional shares in the fund in order to make their investment grow faster. What makes investing for beginners a challenge is that each general fund category has a number of varieties.

Now here’s your basic investment guide to saving money when you start investing. There are two primary costs when you invest money in funds: sales charges called LOADS, and yearly expenses. You pay a sales charge when you buy funds through a representative. For example, you write a check out for $10,000 and hand it to your financial planner who works on commission. Then, 5% comes off the top to pay for sales charges; and each year you are invested, expenses are automatically deducted from your investment. These yearly expenses can be 2% or more of the value of your investment.

Or you can buy NO-LOAD funds directly from some of the biggest and best fund companies in America and pay NO sales charges, with less than 1% a year deducted for management and other expenses. To cut costs even more go with index funds of either the stock or bond variety. Index funds simply track an index of securities, rather than trying to outperform the stock or bond market. Expenses are low because management costs are low; sometimes costing you less than ΒΌ% a year. Plus, index funds have another advantage. You won’t beat the markets, but you shouldn’t under perform them either.

Investing for beginners need not be a game of sink or swim. Call a no-load fund company that deals directly with the public and ask for a free investor starter kit. Then start investing when you feel comfortable, and save cash when you invest money. If you have a limited financial background I suggest you find and read a complete investment guide before you invest.

A retired financial planner, James Leitz has an MBA (finance) and 35 years of investing experience. For 20 years he advised individual investors, working directly with them helping them to reach their financial goals.

How to Invest and Prosper

The best investment guide would cover investment options and investment strategy. This investment guide would be complete and start with basic financial concepts and expand to include the entire universe of investments. That’s a tall order, so let’s just start with a simple version, and talk about all of the investments in the world in plain English.

Your best investment is a good, complete investment guide. I’ve been tuned in to the world of investing for 35 years and have read over 100 books on investments and investing. Most of them center on the stock market or some form of investment technique or get-rich-quick scheme. Many are time sensitive and out of date by the time you read them. Many tell you how to invest money like the author did when he made his millions.

What you seldom get with an investment guide or book is an understanding of investment basics and a simplified blueprint of your many investment options. So, here’s your simplest and free best investment guide to all of the investments in the world. There are only 4 different investments or asset classes out there depending on how you categorize things. Once you bring it down to this level you have a basic framework to work with.

CASH EQUIVALENTS and other safe investments pay interest. Either your principal or rate of interest is fixed for a period of time. Examples include U.S. Treasury bills, money market mutual funds and bank savings accounts. Advantages include high liquidity (access to your money) and safety, low risk.

BONDS are long-term debt instruments and they pay more interest income than the above. Examples include U.S. Treasury bonds, corporate bonds and bond funds of various types. Advantages include relatively high interest income with a moderate level of risk.

EQUITIES or STOCKS represent ownership in a corporation. Examples include blue chip stocks, growth stocks and equity funds. Advantages include ample liquidity, growth and some income in the form of dividends. Risk is significant and profit potential is high.

ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENTS is our final category. Examples include real estate, gold, and foreign investments. Advantages include high profit potential and an alternative to stocks when they are out of favor. Risk can be significant here as well.

That’s about as simple as an investment guide can get. All investment options can be fit into one of these asset classes. The important thing is that you have a perspective, and that you understand the investment characteristics of any investment before you invest money. For example, someone pitches an investment to you. Where does it fit in our above format?

How does it rate in terms of: safety, liquidity, growth and profit potential, income provided and risk? All investment options can be and should be rated in terms of the above to assure that they fit your needs and risk profile.

If you learn how to invest you’ll have a means of supporting yourself for the rest of your life. Once you have a sound understanding of investment basics you’ve built a great foundation for learning how to invest. The best investment guide would cover both.

A retired financial planner, James Leitz has an MBA (finance) and 35 years of investing experience. For 20 years he advised individual investors, working directly with them helping them to reach their financial goals.

How to Invest and Prosper

Learn how to invest money and prosper; or don’t learn how to invest and continue to invest and lose money. It’s fun to invest money when you are winning. Get a financial education and see for yourself. You will NEVER feel left out once you know how to invest with a sound investment strategy. Let’s start that financial education now.

INVESTMENT BASICS

You can not put together a complete investment strategy without an understanding of the investments that are included in the package. Nor can you build your own house without knowledge of the pieces, parts, and tools required. Concentrate on investment basics before you decide on what plan to go with, or you may not be able to finish the job successfully. This means that you need to understand the investment characteristics of stocks and bonds, and how they compare to each other and to other investment alternatives.

Only then can you learn how to invest and put together a complete investment strategy. Like I said, it’s fun to invest when you’re making money; but you’ve got to start with the investment basics. Most people don’t know stocks from bonds. Start by reading articles or other publications that get down to the basics. For example: what are stocks, what are their risks and potential rewards, and how do they compare to bonds and other investment alternatives.

Now you are ready to learn about mutual funds, which are the investment of choice for most average investors. For most people they are the easiest and best way to invest in stocks and bonds, plus other asset classes. Mutual funds are simply investment packages that are professionally managed for you. To pick the right funds you’ll need to understand the asset class they invest in: stocks, bonds, money market or specialty (other).

HOW TO INVEST

Now you’re ready to learn how to invest and put the pieces together with a sound investment strategy. ASSET ALLOCATION is a crucial part of your investing and financial education, because how you allocate your money to the various asset classes will determine your success or failure… more than anything else. Simply put, how much should you invest in stocks vs. bonds vs. other investments? This is also called your asset mix. It’s much more important than what specific investments or funds you pick.

Once you’ve put a balanced portfolio of investments together you’ve got a great foundation. But if you want to continue to build and prosper you’ll need an ongoing investment strategy to make additions and changes over time as necessary. Read articles on investment strategy, asset allocation, and how to invest. It will all come together for you if you start at the beginning and build a step at a time.

Learn to invest like your financial future depends on it. With Uncle Sam in debt up to his eyeballs and employers fighting to survive, it does.

A retired financial planner, James Leitz has an MBA (finance) and 35 years of investing experience. For 20 years he advised individual investors, working directly with them helping them to reach their financial goals.

4 Tips For Your Unique Wedding Party

One of the most important things to take care during the wedding planning, you should always consider all aspects of an enjoyable wedding party.

Since you will be spending this not just with your soon to be lifetime partner, but with your closest friends and family as well, you have to think of the most unique wedding party ideas there is available.

The wedding parties get to be more memorable because of the souvenirs that your guests get to take home after the momentous event.

Hence, here are some unique wedding party ideas that you can apply in your own wedding to make things more impressive and interesting to everyone.

Idea # 1 – Food:

If both of you are food enthusiasts, then you can send out adorned, printed out files wherein the recipes of the menu served during the party is laid out, to all of your guests so that they can try it on their own.

Idea # 2 – Wine:

Encourage everyone to start their wine cellar by giving away bottles of wine as souvenirs.

You can even hold a contest for those who would be able to tell an interesting story that brings back wonderful memories about the wine.

Idea # 3 – Advice:

Set a sort of open forum during the wedding party, wherein you would give a chance for everyone to give their own advices to you and your partner to be able to live a lasting marriage after the wedding.

Gather up delightful stories that others can say about you and your partner with the help of a friend who has the time to go around and meet your friends and special loved ones.

Idea # 4 – Community Bonding:

This could also somehow serve as a pre-wedding party wherein you would take your other couple friends out and play sports together like bowling, golf, tree adventure, etc.

Have an enjoyable meal with your family and friends and talk about topics that would help improve your relationships.

Keep it in your mind that these unique wedding party ideas are not just meant to make the wedding couple alone to be happy, but also to add entertainment and enjoyment to beloved guests.

The bride and the groom should take this opportunity to value these people as their future relationship supporters and advisers as the couple would embark on a whole new journey of their lives.

There are some more options that you can find over the net to find some unique wedding party ideas.

Wedding Party Planning Do’s and Don’ts

There is certain etiquette when it comes to planning a wedding party (or wedding shower). The established guidelines are not laws that must be followed (or suffer the consequences). They are just a set of helpful considerations one can contemplate during the planning stages of a wedding party.

Here are some helpful tips to guide you through your planning:

DON’T: Wait for one of the bridesmaids to get a party together.
DO: Host it if you want to.

If you really want to throw a party for the future bride and groom, go right ahead. There is a common misconception about the bridesmaids being the ones who should host the party. Any friends of the bride or groom are more than welcome to host the party.

DON’T: Schedule the party to take place within a month of the wedding.
DO: Schedule it to take place two to three months before the wedding.

The reason for this is pretty obvious. This is a courtesy to the bride and groom. They both (let’s be honest, it’s mostly the bride we’re talking about) have a lot to take care of in that last month before the wedding. They probably won’t be able to enjoy themselves as much when they’re thinking of everything they need to get done before their big day.

DON’T: Invite anyone and everyone to the party.
DO: Invite anyone who’s on the wedding guest list.

A word of caution, it’s okay to invite anyone you’d like off of the list of those invited to the wedding, but don’t invite everyone from it. Try to keep it to the bride and groom’s closest friends. If you invite everyone, it might seem like some sort of gift receiving power struggle.

DON’T: Wait until the last minute to send out the invitations.
DO: Send out your invitations at least a month before the party.

If you wait until the last minute to get this step taken care of, chances are there will be problems. Mainly, people won’t be able to attend the party because you didn’t give them enough time to make sure their schedules were clear. Waiting too long also gives them that much more time to plan something else for that day. Get your invitation to them early enough so they can reserve that spot for your party.

This wedding party planning etiquette won’t ensure that absolutely nothing will go wrong, but keeping these do’s and don’ts in the forefront of your mind will give you a great chance of throwing a nearly perfect wedding party that the bride, groom, and friends will remember fondly.

Planning a Wedding Party You Won’t Forget

A wedding party is the event where your friends and family all gather together to celebrate the newly weds and have fun and pleasure. Pitting down hair and throwing away your tie is what usually happens during the party, and there is nothing more pleasurable than this moment. However you will need to make sure that all these things go well and smoothly prior to the party taking place, therefore carefully considered party planning is very important. Planning a wedding party is unlike planning any others. The amount of time taken into consideration and carefully chosen details are the core factors that will decide the quality of party after all.

You need to consider a few things that go into party planning to celebrate a wedding. First of all, think of how many and what kind of people will attend. The group of people after the ceremony will most likely be divided into several different groups, such as older people, young generations, men of 20s and women alike. Also bride and groom can have fun time with their own friends group separately. But you can mix any group in the party until a certain time when older folks can be free to leave if they want. Considering who will be belonging to which group is vital to planning ahead, thus providing them more comfortable and cozy environment while enjoying the entire party.

The best wedding party would be that everyone feels they are considered, well taken care of and finally they had wonderful time. Another thing to be considered is the venue. Depending on the weather condition, and the time and the season of the year, you can either go outside or have it indoors. If it’s outdoors then make sure the weather condition and prepare shelters for unforeseen circumstances. Compared to it, indoors party is easier as it is not mainly dependent on the weather that much. Also the place of venues should be attractive one where people can feel comfortable and relaxed. When there are alcohol beverages involved in the party, make sure underage children’s permission and restriction. It is important that the entire environment is conductive all the people at the party regardless of their ages.

Arrange a live band who can drop a great music tunes on the dance floor as all the people would want to have fun all night. In addition to the entertainment, the food would be another factor that people are seeking. Just getting enough cakes is the best way to go. Also don’t forget to prepare best soft drinks and champagne as the party won’t be ever complete without a toast from friends wishing the newly married couple. If anyone wants to speak and congratulate in public, give them a chance and it will become unforgettable moment for all.

All credit cards offer many benefits and features. Some come with a few disadvantages. To convey my point I will leave the disadvantages for others to write about. All credit cards are good in their own way for their own purpose and for that specific applicant. There are many credit cards for applicants with good credit, bad credit or with no credit at all. There are the so called “bad credit cards” and the “good credit cards.” Bad credit cards fit consumers looking to build “good credit.” Good credit cards fit consumers with good credit looking to take advantage of benefits that suit their daily lives. So are all credit cards good? Yes, because in some cases you have to start somewhere and sometimes, it comes at a price.

Consumers with good credit attract the credit cards that would better suit their income, credit history, spending habits and paying habits. Many credit cards that approach consumers with good credit tend to offer great transfer rates and lower interest rates on future purchases as long as the consumer’s credit doesn’t change in the wrong direction. Everyone has their individual needs and perceptions of their credit. So the only challenging factor for someone with good credit is to maintain the good credit status and keep a close eye on your credit limit to credit debt ratio. In my opinion, your ratio should be at around 25% to 40% because it is a responsible level to be proactive in managing your credit cards. A 25% credit limit to credit debt ratio would be $250.00 balance on a $1,000.00 credit limit. Investing in a credit monitoring service also helps to keep a third eye on your credit so you can focus on your busy life.

Consumers with bad credit attract the credit cards that seem to be outrageous because of interest rate, credit line or terms of the agreement such as annual fees and processing fees. In my opinion, their is no such thing as a bad credit card as long as they report the account to Experian, Transunion and Equifax (CSC Credit Service). Instead of them being called bad credit cards they should be called credit building cards. If you cannot get over yourself by accepting a credit building card, maybe a secured credit card from your bank would be the best choice as long as they report to the credit bureau. Never think bad credit is forever or that it can’t ever improve, it can with responsible steps. If you get a so called bad credit card then make sure you fulfill your end of the agreement, and don’t make excuses for not paying on time or letting it charge off because it was only $300.00. I think one factor that makes that type of card good is that the credit lines are usually no more than $500.00. That low of a credit line is a good thing because worst case scenario your minimum payment is between $15.00 – $25.00. Not bad for establishing a credit line that will be worth dividends in the long run. Yes, it will benefit you as time is established behind the credit card. Credit building cards are only short term because once you have began to establish yourself with 2 – 3 credit building cards your score will reflect the responsible habits and your score will begin to rise. So are bad credit cards good, of course they are.

Whether you have good or bad credit cards the responsibility is the same. Make your payments on time and watch your credit limit to credit debt ratio. These two simple steps, if followed consistently, will keep your credit cards as the good benchmark for your credit score to be based from. I have only referenced your credit cards that allow minimum payments and not any other types of credit cards or other credit lines on your credit report. I have also not referenced the impact of derogatory items on your credit report that would affect the establishing of your credit. All cards have benefits and features that are advantageous to consumers or contain hidden value, even if the card does not seem very desirable. When you decide to get any credit card base it on your own financial need and on the advantages that will benefit you and your credit profile. Credit is life and life is credit, understand it wisely.

All Credit Cards Are Good

All credit cards offer many benefits and features. Some come with a few disadvantages. To convey my point I will leave the disadvantages for others to write about. All credit cards are good in their own way for their own purpose and for that specific applicant. There are many credit cards for applicants with good credit, bad credit or with no credit at all. There are the so called “bad credit cards” and the “good credit cards.” Bad credit cards fit consumers looking to build “good credit.” Good credit cards fit consumers with good credit looking to take advantage of benefits that suit their daily lives. So are all credit cards good? Yes, because in some cases you have to start somewhere and sometimes, it comes at a price.

Consumers with good credit attract the credit cards that would better suit their income, credit history, spending habits and paying habits. Many credit cards that approach consumers with good credit tend to offer great transfer rates and lower interest rates on future purchases as long as the consumer’s credit doesn’t change in the wrong direction. Everyone has their individual needs and perceptions of their credit. So the only challenging factor for someone with good credit is to maintain the good credit status and keep a close eye on your credit limit to credit debt ratio. In my opinion, your ratio should be at around 25% to 40% because it is a responsible level to be proactive in managing your credit cards. A 25% credit limit to credit debt ratio would be $250.00 balance on a $1,000.00 credit limit. Investing in a credit monitoring service also helps to keep a third eye on your credit so you can focus on your busy life.

Consumers with bad credit attract the credit cards that seem to be outrageous because of interest rate, credit line or terms of the agreement such as annual fees and processing fees. In my opinion, their is no such thing as a bad credit card as long as they report the account to Experian, Transunion and Equifax (CSC Credit Service). Instead of them being called bad credit cards they should be called credit building cards. If you cannot get over yourself by accepting a credit building card, maybe a secured credit card from your bank would be the best choice as long as they report to the credit bureau. Never think bad credit is forever or that it can’t ever improve, it can with responsible steps. If you get a so called bad credit card then make sure you fulfill your end of the agreement, and don’t make excuses for not paying on time or letting it charge off because it was only $300.00. I think one factor that makes that type of card good is that the credit lines are usually no more than $500.00. That low of a credit line is a good thing because worst case scenario your minimum payment is between $15.00 – $25.00. Not bad for establishing a credit line that will be worth dividends in the long run. Yes, it will benefit you as time is established behind the credit card. Credit building cards are only short term because once you have began to establish yourself with 2 – 3 credit building cards your score will reflect the responsible habits and your score will begin to rise. So are bad credit cards good, of course they are.

Whether you have good or bad credit cards the responsibility is the same. Make your payments on time and watch your credit limit to credit debt ratio. These two simple steps, if followed consistently, will keep your credit cards as the good benchmark for your credit score to be based from. I have only referenced your credit cards that allow minimum payments and not any other types of credit cards or other credit lines on your credit report. I have also not referenced the impact of derogatory items on your credit report that would affect the establishing of your credit. All cards have benefits and features that are advantageous to consumers or contain hidden value, even if the card does not seem very desirable. When you decide to get any credit card base it on your own financial need and on the advantages that will benefit you and your credit profile. Credit is life and life is credit, understand it wisely.

Credit Cards For Bad Credit

Bad credit credit cards are offered by many banks as financial tools to help people establish or re-establish their good credit rating. Bad credit credit cards are primarily intended to make it easier to obtain and re-build credit, which is good for consumers and merchants as well. For all practical purposes, bad credit credit cards are just like regular credit cards, but they are specifically for high risk cardholders. If you have arrears, defaults and general bad credit score or bad credit rating, you may find that bad credit credit cards are available to you. Bad credit credit cards are considered the best choice for credit card deals if your credit score is below 550.

If you find that there are problems in approval of a traditional credit card then you can apply for other options like prepaid debit card, First Premiere Bank Cards and Orchard Cards and secured credit cards. Applying for these cards is exactly like applying for a standard credit card, with applications available on paper and online. Bad credit credit cards typically have a higher interest rate and lower credit limit than standard credit cards, but the issuers are more lenient when looking at past credit history. The fact that bad credit credit cards carry a high interest rate (most likely 20% or more) shouldn’t prevent you from getting one in an effort to get your credit back on track. Still, it is true that bad credit credit cards must be used responsibly, or your situation will just worsen.

From astronomically-high interest rates to ridiculously-exorbitant fees, erroneous information abounds. When it comes to bad credit credit cards, the myths definitely abound. In fact, bad credit credit cards are some of the most misunderstood financial tools of all time. Fortunately, the myths are oftentimes unfounded and bad credit credit cards are no longer the stigma they used to be. You might be relieved to find out that bad credit credit cards can actually have pretty decent interest rates. With so many credit card companies and so many different offers, it’s easier than ever for consumers to take advantage of reward programs. However, you must consider the factors such as financing fees, annual fees, introductory offers, credit requirements, availability of online banking, and others.

In spite of the additional fees bad credit credit cards are an excellent method for the people with bad or no credit, to improve their credit rating and to enjoy the benefits of credit cards. There are many other benefits to consider, which might be more valuable than a low rate. By paying off the monthly balance and avoiding high interest rates, you steer clear of more debt and show yourself to be a lower risk borrower over time. However, as you maintain regular payments, the creditor may gradually increase the spending limit. If you use a bad credit credit card for small purchases for a year or two and consistently pay the entire balance every month, not only will you not be charged interest, but you will rebuild your credit and be able to get lower rate loans in the future.

As you can see, bad credit credit cards are unique cards geared towards people who have had trouble getting approved for a standard unsecured credit card. However even with bad credit, its still possible to find a credit card for you, even if it means that you have to pay a slightly higher rate of interest. So if you are trying to rebuild your credit don’t think about it to much because bad credit credit cards when used properly are a cheap way to rebuild your credit.

Capital One Credit Cards

Looking online for a good credit card deal can be overwhelming. One popular search is for a 0 APR credit card and there are so many to choose from you may feel like you will never find the best deal for you. But a low rate credit card is only as good as the company that stands behind it. That is why a Capital One credit card is good place to start looking. If you are a small business owner, the financial institution you sign up with has to be available for your questions and concerns and must offer a credit card solution aimed at your particular business needs.

Features of the Capital One credit card

o As a 0 APR credit card, the Capital One card for small business owners provides you with a six month period with no interest. You can charge as many purchases as you wish and pay them out over the six month period without accruing any interest. You can also transfer any outstanding balances from other credit cards to your Capital One card. During the first six months that you use your new card, the outstanding balances from other credit cards, such as American Express, MasterCard, Visa, or Discover, can be paid off without any interest. In six months, you can make a good deal of progress on your previous debt and increase your credit rating by reducing your late payment amounts.

o The Capital One credit card with an introductory interest free period also gives you an airline miles reward program. If you are a business person who does a lot of traveling, this program will be a great perk. Or if you travel a lot in your personal life, with family or to visit them in distant cities, the miles you accumulate can be used for personal travel as well. You earn miles in this way: for every dollar you spend on your Capital One credit card, you receive one mile of travel. You can redeem your miles to purchase tickets on any airline you choose. And with the small business airline miles reward program, there are no blackout dates or exclusions, making it very flexible.

o Another perk that is popular with small business owners is the retail discount you receive when you use your low rate credit card. Not only do you get the interest free period, but your rate is competitive once it kicks in. With this low rate, you also get discounts at certain retailers that partner with Capital One. When you use your card for purchases such as office supplies, office equipment, computer software and hardware, and you get an automatic discount on your purchase price. You can also apply your discount status to such items as rental cars used for business purposes.

Drawbacks

The problem with a 0 APR credit card is that it offers people a false sense of security. Too often, after the first six months is over, the interest rate goes up to one higher than an alternate low rate credit card. It is vital that you check the terms and conditions of the card before you sign up.

All rights reserved. You may reprint this content as long as it is not altered in any way and all website links remain intact.