More Than Finances

Get your finances in order!

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Saving Made Easy

When it comes to our personal finances, there’s a lot to worry about. There are a number of parties interested in taking as much of our money as they can. For example, you spend a lot of your money on groceries and bills each month. And, that’s just for starters. The point is, it can seem impossible to save the money you’ll need to get ahead in life, or even to just be prepared for the worst. That’s why it’s important to arm yourself with the knowledge needed in order to save your money. We all know it’s important, but we don’t always know how best to approach saving. Here are some tips to help you out.

First and foremost, make use of sales and coupons to save money on the things you need. While some purchases are unavoidable, and others still important on some level, that’s no to say that they have to be costly. For example, here’s a Best Western coupon to help you save money on a hotel room in case of travel. This is just one example, however. Retailers frequently employ sales and coupons in order to drum up new business from customers new and old, and that presents a savvy shopper with the opportunity to get most, if not all, of their shopping done at a severely reduced cost. You just have to know where to look in order to see these special cost cutting offers. There are online resources aplenty, such as Groupon, to help you find these savings, so keep your eyes peeled.

Another important element of saving is to know when and where to save your money, and when to spend it. For example, there are a great many purchases that we make that are simply unnecessary, so you can reduce or eliminate this spending. However, in some cases, an item is of enough of the right kind of importance that me be wise to spend more than average. This ensures quality, which means replacing these items less and saving money in the end. Such items can including things like shoes and Winter coats.

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Teaching Your Kids How to Manage Money

Teaching your kids to be responsible with money is perhaps one of the very most important tasks for any parent. After all, if you don’t want to be supporting them for the rest of your life, you’re going to need them to know how to manage their own financial affairs.

 

The earlier you start helping your kids to develop good spending habits, the more likely they will be to be financially secure later in life. Here are 5 tips to help you help your kids learn to manage their own money.

1. Make them earn money

Giving kids and allowance is a great way to get them to start managing their own money, but if you don’t want them to just expect handouts later in life, you need to not just start handing it out early on either. Kids have a difficulty making the connect between the work you do to earn money and the cash you pull from the ATM or the purchases you make on your credit card.

 

The first step in helping them make this connection is paying them for work. Whether it’s washing the dishes, washing windows, making their bed or cleaning their room, make sure that any allowance you give them is earned in some way.

2. Make them responsible for certain expenses

It doesn’t help make a connection between work and finite income if you simply give them money for whatever they need whenever their own runs out. Whether it is buying their own candy, their own clothes or their own video games, make sure that they are responsible for purchasing something all on their own.

 

If they run out of money, do not bail them out unless you want to still be bailing them out when they don’t have enough rent in their 20’s because they spent their money on other things.

3. Help them learn to save regularly and for large purchases

This is a good time to help your children start building the habit of setting aside some money from every allowance or paycheck. In addition, this is also a good time to help them learn the financial discipline it takes to save up for major purchases. Instead of buying them things like a car, cell phone or television, offer to match funds with them.

The more they participate in buying their own things, the more likely they are to take better care of them. Particularly if they know you won’t be simply replacing them if they get lost, stolen or broken.

4. Help them learn how to budget

As your children get older, you can start making them responsible for budgeting their money to cover their own expenses. At the beginning of each semester of school, you can give them a lump sum that will have to last them for several months. When or if the money runs out, there will be no more.

 

Help them to learn to budget for expenses like clothing, entertainment and gas or transportation expenses. Again, however, the importance thing is not to bail them out if they blow through it too quickly.

5. Help them understand credit

As teenagers, you may consider getting your child a secured credit card (which automatically keeps the limit fixed in place) or a pre-paid debit card. This will help them understand that plastic is not “magic money” that just appears out of thin air when they need it. When they are 18, you can check their credit score with them and help them understand the importance of maintaining good credit.

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What is Financial Trading?

When you want to make money in financial markets, there are two major ways to do it. You can invest or you can trade. Investing plays out on a longer timeline of years and decades, while trading is focused on months, weeks, days or even hours. Financial trading is tough and intense business and it takes a long time to learn how to do well. You need risk management skills, acumen at reading and disseminated through news of a financial nature and the ability to work with numbers and spreadsheets.

When you make the call to get into financial trading, you want to educate yourself. Build yourself a trading library, so you can be no more than an arm’s length away from viable and expansive tomes on the nuances of making money in the markets. Being an autodidactic learner is extremely profitable in this particular situation. Being able to learn on your own, without subjecting yourself to a class or coursework is valuable.

What is financial trading? It is the act of buying a stock, bond, commodity or other financial instrument in the hopes of the asset rising in value. You are a hedger, a speculator and a bettor. You are looking to gain insight and knowledge into the markets and then use that to make a profit. Traders are interpreters of information, with the work done a move towards making more money than you started with.

You need to be well versed in whatever financial instrument you are planning to trade. If you want to trade stocks, you want to be able to understand what a stock is and how you can project its value. A stock represents a piece of a company or corporation that is bought and sold on an exchange. Companies issue shares so that they can raise money to do their business. If you think the company is well run or poised to grow, you can buy a certain amount of stock and sit on it as in an investment. That is what many people do.

Other people, known as traders, buy and sell shares very quickly, in order to make a profit off of short term spikes in the price of the shares. It can be a day trading situation or a swing trading situation, where a trader holds a stock for a longer period of time. Financial trading is generally thought of as a much more active pursuit than other investment activity. That means always being on and being engaged with the markets. You can employ tools to keep your accounts in check when you need a break from the screen time, but it is an intense job.

Beyond stocks, traders can operate in derivatives and commodity markets. Derivatives, such as spread betting, options, contracts for difference and futures, to name a few, are derived from actual financial assets. When you are trading derivatives, you do not actually take ownership of the underlying asset. You are just speculating on the value of that asset. It can be riskier than some other types of trading, if it is not done with caution.

The commodity market is somewhat similar, because you are essential trading contracts for the actual goods, such as coffee or cocoa, so you are not owning the goods. But it is a very specific type of derivative. Commodity markets have been around for most of human history, predating even the most rudimentary stock market exchanges.

For more tips on financial trading and risk management, look to this resource for picking the right platform that will match your risk appetite and strategy.

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The Marijuana Stocks You Might Not Be Thinking About

With legalization becoming a reality in many states across the country, marijuana stocks are becoming hot commodities for day traders and traditional investors alike. But they are particularly appealing to day traders because of the cowboy nature of these entrepreneurs taking advantage of a brand-new, growing industry. Day traders need to take risks, just like these pioneers of the weed industry.

Day traders are used to taking risks and so are marijuana business owners. The regulatory climate is such that even if you are operating in Colorado or another legal state, the threat of federal enforcement of existing drug laws is always looming. That also makes the sector very volatile, which is like catnip to day traders. Day traders love volatility because it gives them a chance to make real profits.

Investing in marijuana stocks does not just mean learning about growers, dispensaries and producers. There a lot of ancillary business surrounding marijuana businesses in states that have chosen legalization. When you are talking about companies that provide services to marijuana growers and producers, you are talking about business consultants, extraction experts and many more.

Colorado has a lot of these types of marijuana adjacent businesses like Nexus Greenhouse Systems, which builds greenhouses for growing. In business since 1967, Nexus began as a manufacturer of greenhouses for regular horticultural uses, but has charged headlong into the cannabis market since legalization took hold. These types of marijuana stocks are ideal for investing because they have a base in business beyond cannabis. Gibraltar Industries bought Nexus in 2016, which makes Gibraltar a great buy.

Then there is Amercanex, an online electronic marketplace for cannabis transactions. It provides commodities experience and also allows deals to happen in its proprietary currency and allows deals to be completed, along with lab results, before the value can be released in cash. So all parties are satisfied. The service is valuable to participants in such a volatile industry. Wholesale and retail cannabis distributors can buy, sell or exchange their inventory on the exchange.

If you want to day trade marijuana stocks or any other stocks, it helps to get used to the idea of risk. The business owners behind these companies are ready to take calculated risks that the marijuana sector will grow and more regulatory hurdles will be peeled away. There is no guarantee, but the likelihood is pretty high that a lot of these businesses are on the ground floor of a skyrocketing industry.

As a trader looking at these businesses, you must look at the short term value of owning these stocks, rather than the long term. You are not in it for the long haul, like these entrepreneurs. You are looking to profit off moves that the stock prices may make over a couple days. Search for opportunities in the marijuana industry that come come along quickly and might never come again. The potential for profits is there, but it is up to you how great those profits are.

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Can we expect more political and economic stability in 2018?

It’s been a year of upheaval across some parts of Europe with snap elections, unexpected polling results and changes of leadership. In France, the Netherlands, Germany and the UK, government elections have punctuated 2017 and to an extent, all of them have provided us with periods of uncertainty.

So, can we look forward to more of the same in 2018 or are we likely to expect a period of relative stability compared with the developments across the previous twelve months?

Knock on

In the weeks leading up to an election the air of uncertainty can affect a country in a number of ways: The economy can face a slow down with a dip in public spending and in turn, this can spread to the trading markets where the currency in question can face a hit.

What happens after that will largely depend on the result of the election itself. If the poll is a predictable one and if the ruling party is returned with a comfortable majority, the likelihood is that economic stability will follow its political counterpart.

However, if the forecasters get it wrong and the exit polls fail, as they have done across Europe and beyond, chaos can ensue.

Evidence

2017 saw national elections take place in Germany and in the UK and while the ruling parties were returned in both cases, the outcome was far from comfortable for those directly involved.  In Great Britain, ruling Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May took the gamble to call a snap vote in June in an effort to get a rubber stamp from the electorate and to form a ‘Strong and Stable’ government for the next five years.

The punt backfired however and the current ruling party is some way from offering strength and stability to Britain right now. The Pound was already on a downward spiral due to the continued ramifications of Brexit and the uncertainty that followed the British minority government only served to see Sterling drop even further.

In Germany, a similar outcome happened although Angela Merkel’s grip on power seemed a little more solid after the Federal Election vote at the end of September. However, fast forward two months and failure to secure an effective coalition leaves the country in a state of flux with talks on the subject unlikely to resume until the New Year.

In the interim, both countries have seen calls for their leader to step down amidst reports of challenges from within the respective parties. And, in the UK, few observers are ruling out the possibility of the country’s voters returning to the polls for yet another election in 2018. Along with protracted Brexit negotiations, the UK lurches from crisis to crisis with no end in sight just yet.

What next?

As far as confirmed elections in 2018 are concerned, our attention switches to Scandinavia where Sweden is set for the vote in September. Elsewhere, it’s all relatively quiet so that, at least, looks to be a positive point.

However, while there may be a lack of elections on the horizon, the knock on effect from polls in the UK and in Germany means that we start the New Year with further uncertainty. For the sake of the strength of the pound and the euro, those situations must be quickly resolved.