More Than Finances

All about cryptocurrency, all the time.

By

Saving Money Online – Easier Than You Think

There are many ways in which a person can save themselves money in their daily lives – we even have some helpful guidelines of our own which you can follow. When it comes to the internet, however, these rules can be difficult to apply, given how fundamentally different and technological the internet is. In this article we’ll go over some helpful tips for spending money on the internet, to help you save in the short and long-term, and better prepare you for the future.

Online Shopping with Touchscreen Ultrabo” (CC BY 2.0) by IntelFreePress

Shop Around

One of the biggest advantages to shopping online is that it can be a great deal cheaper than shopping in physical stores. While appealing, this does sometimes create the side effect of people settling when they see a deal which seems too good to be true. Just as with physical stores, there can be huge variances in prices between the same products, and it’s best to check around first.

Fortunately for us, much of this can be performed automatically. Almost any product or service which you wish to purchase or use will have some variation of free online comparison tool available to use. This can be as wide as with something like general shopping prices with PriceGrabber, as targeted as video games prices with IsThereAnyDeal, or as specific as comparing gambling services and their free bet offers with sites like Oddschecker. A Google search for online website comparisons can be all that it takes and can net you significant savings. Just be sure to factor in shipping costs.

Mall” (CC BY 2.0) by ReneS 

Software and Freeware

Unlike traditional goods and services, software can often be offered for free, and without the drawbacks which this would imply for physical goods. This is especially important because software for our computers or mobile devices can be far more expensive than we anticipate, and can even incur monthly or annual fees with some services. Thankfully, much of the software available today has entirely free or adware supported versions available which operate just as well as many full-priced products.

While this is not feasible in some areas – computing operating systems for the average user, for example – there are places where the difference in cost is in no way indicative of a difference in quality. We commonly see this when it comes to mobile apps which are supported by in-app advertisements. Many of these are just as good, with the only downside being the occasional and easily ignored popup. Even video games have adopted this model, with free to play games like League of Legends and Fortnite now seen as some of the biggest and most influential in the business.

The same can even be said for budgeting software. While this can be purchased, there are some pieces of software like Buddi which are available for free and offer a lot of versatility. It makes sense to save on software – doubly so on software which helps you deal with money – so this is a major plus.

iPhone screenshot” (CC BY-ND 2.0) by JForth

Patience and Timing

As with anything in life, patience is often a huge contributor to success. By keeping in mind what we have written here, and applying it over long periods, you open yourself to gradual but enormous gains. Waiting a week and then catching a sale a state over which saves you 40 percent on something is an amazing feeling and one which will have your wallet thanking you. Be careful, be patient, and happy shopping.

By

Bitcoin 101: The Complete Beginners Guide to Cryptocurrencies

 Bitcoin is a Cryptocurrency, which, like money, can act both as a store of value and a medium of exchange. But Cryptocurrencies are not physical things. There is no actual coin or bill, only a representation in the form of a digital address stored on a digital ledger called the Blockchain. The Blockchain ledger is stored on a huge network of computers worldwide. An exact copy of it is kept on all these computers (nodes) simultaneously, which record and store all the Cryptocurrency transactions and balances of that particular currency.

Blockchain Technology

Because there are many different Cryptocurrencies, there are many different Blockchains. Bitcoin, for example, runs on its own dedicated Blockchain, while Ehtereum allows other currencies run on its Blockchain. Blockchains have their own cryptographic algorithms that record the transactions and create new blocks. This activity is called Mining and a Hash is a cryptographic representation of a transaction created during Mining. Cryptocurrencies use a peer to peer network, meaning transactions are conducted directly between individuals without middlemen, other than exchanges. No banks, no brokers, no authorities involved. This is one of the beauties of Cryptocurrencies. Transactions are also immutable, meaning once they are added to the Blockchain, they cannot be changed. And the network is decentralized, meaning there is no single authority. Everyone knows what everyone else is doing, so the dishonest folks can’t get away with being bad guys – too many eyes watching. Being public, not private makes it almost tamperproof. This all began in 2008 when an unidentified developer named Satoshi Nakamoto wrote a whitepaper titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” and “mined” the first Bitcoin block as a result. Bitcoins could barely pay for a pizza then, and are worth a small fortune today. Let’s assume this all makes some kind of sense the first time you read it. Read it again 3 more times. You will still not understand it completely, but it will make more sense in time.

Trading Bitcon vs Holding

Assuming that you want to get involved in the Bitcoin markets, you have to decide what exactly you would like to do. Do you want to trade on a daily basis and try to make profits like that or would you like to hold the coins for the long run.

Short Term Trading

If you want to trade the coins then you can consider using derivative instruments such as futures and CFDs. These instruments are not a purchase of the underlying asset but they will pay you out a profit if you are able to predict the direction of Bitcoin most appropriately. There are two types of derivative instruments that you can consider. These are futures and CFDs. The former are a promise to buy / sell Bitcoin sometime in the future. The latter is placing a bit on difference in spreads on the asset. There are a number of CFD brokers that you can use including Plus500, IG and E-torro. One of the best bitcoin CFD brokers that you can get is IQ option. They are regulated by CySec in Europe and have one of the most advanced trading platforms on the market. If you wanted more information then you could read this IQ Option platform review.

Long Term Holding

If you were more inclined to merely buy the Bitcoin and keep it stored for the long term price appreciation then you could consider buying the physical asset. This is different from trading on a daily basis as you will hold these in your portfolio and won’t make money on the derivative position. Now, let’s buy some Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency and the easiest to acquire. The first step is to convert your USD to Bitcoin. This is done through a time consuming and frustrating process on a Cryptocurrency exchange. The best one to start with is Gemini. Here you will open an account, follow directions closely, link in your bank account, and voila – you will have Bitcoin. Be patient, the process will take several days the first time through. Now you own some Bitcoin. You can save some (a wise choice), spend some (have some fun) or trade other Cryptocurrencies (try your luck and have some more fun). Regardless, you have to store it someplace . You can store it on the exchange itself, like Coinbase (somewhat secure), a digital (“hot”) wallet on your computer or browser, like Jaxx (also somewhat secure) or on a hardware (“cold”) wallet like Ledger Nano S (most secure). A hardware wallet stores you Bitcoin off-line, is about the size of a thumb drive and you can carry it with you or put it in a safe. All wallets store your public and private keys (digital addresses of your Bitcoin). There are many more wallets and most have both desktop and mobile applications. You always need to make certain your private keys are safe and only you have access to them. If you lose them, you will lose all of your Bitcoin – forever. If you decide to save and hold (HODL) some Bitcoin the safest place is a hardware or paper wallet. Let it be, and let it appreciate. If you decide to buy something with it, find a seller who accepts Bitcoin. More and more large and small businesses accept Cryptocurrencies. You will send your Bitcoin to their public address in exchange for goods or services. Bitcoins are divisible into very small amounts, so it is easy to pay in any increments necessary.

Hedging Your Risk

While you may want to have the full exposure to Bitcoin in order to make the most gains over the investment horizon, these assets are still incredibly risky. They can swing several hundred points in a day and you should never invest more than you are willing to lose. Hence, in order to protect your position you could consider option type instruments that will give you an asymmetric payout. These instruments are best able to protect you from adverse movements in the price. They also allow you to still benefit from the potential for upside improvement in the price of Bitcoin. If you were looking for the best place to purchase these, there are a number of Bitcoin option brokers that you can create an account with. You just have to make sure that you are choosing one that is well regulated and is available in your jurisdiction.

Conclusion

Bitcoin is one of the most revolutionary pieces of technological advancement since the early days of the internet. It has paved the way for the complete transformation of financial services from centralised banking bodies to the “internet of money”. Bitcoin technology has also been used by a number of other cryptocurrency projects that have now been launched. Each of these projects offer their own unique benefits and are positioned to disrupt their respective fields. These include coins such as Ripple, Cardano, Monero and Stellar Lumens. So go ahead and join the revolution. Create your own Bitcoin account and buy some coins. You can either trade them on a daily basis or you can invest them for the long term. The most important thing when doing so is to remember that these are still an investment. They are volatile and they can also decrease in price. Make sure that you only ever invest a reasonable amount and that you have the adequate safeguards in place.

By

What is a Robo Advisor?

Technology has done a lot of helpful things when it comes to managing trading, investment, and finances in general. Things that are commonplace today, such as online forex trading platforms, have given people access to methods of trading and making money from the markets which were only available to banks and professionals not so long ago.

Another thing that financial technology has brought with it is automation in trading and investment. With software known in the business as ‘robo-advisors’, it is possible for people to get affordable investment advice and wealth management based on data, math, and algorithms.

  • What Do Robo Advisors Do?

Robo advisors are designed to make prudent investment decisions within the parameters of what the client wants, and the kind of strategy they want to employ. This allows wealth management and financial advisory services to be offered on an online basis with very little human intervention, making it cheaper to provide. Some major Wall Street financial services businesses have found a lot of success in offering ETF management, for example, using robo advisor software.

  • What Are The Advantages of A Robo Advisor Aside From Cost?

Robo advisors can give the clients who use them some advantages compared with either making their own investment choices without professional advice or with using human advisors. One of the most important is that robo advisors are incapable of making their trading and investment decisions based on emotion. Even the best traders sometimes make moves that are outside of their own normal strategies because they have ‘a feeling’ about a stock, or because they are caught up in market hype. This kind of trading is, on the whole, considered negative, and in the long term, never pays off.

Robo advisors can only use the data that is there and make rational predictions based on that data, so there is no scope for emotional trading, or for the kind of human error that can also cause costly mistakes.

Robo advisors can also offer a good compromise for people who want to be hands-on about managing their portfolio, but also feel stressed that they may miss out on making important or beneficial moves if they are too busy to monitor things closely.

If you are looking to start using a robo advisor, it is important to check out the different offerings available and choose one that is right for you, for example by checking out these Personal Capital reviews and in-depth reviews of other software you could potentially be using.

  • Who Are Robo Advisors Best Suited To?

For people who currently manage their own portfolios and would rather be able to rely on something less hands-on, robo advisors are the perfect solution. They can also be good for new investors who are just getting started and don’t have the assets to justify the cost of human wealth management services.

Anyone who has a relatively simple plan and portfolio can generally benefit from using one of the many robo advisors available, although people whose investments have a more complicated structure, including things like multiple pensions, income sources, and funds, will probably find a human advisor to be a better choice.

 

By

Essential Coverage: Why Auto Insurance is Never Optional in the Eyes of the Law

For anyone who might consider auto insurance too expensive, you might want to consider the cost of not having it. Not only do you risk having to pay significant sums out of pocket for any vehicle damage, but you risk some serious legal consequences. Auto insurance is mandatory by law throughout the country. For everyone’s protection, this law is strictly enforced.

Auto insurance is a required safety precaution for you and everybody around you. You may never truly appreciate it until you need it. Unfortunately, statistics show that almost every driver will be in that very situation. On average, individuals will be involved in at least 3 nonfatal car accidents during their lifetime.

The Price of Not Being Covered

For those who make the poor choice of not getting auto insurance, the cost is high. According to insurancehotline.com, auto accident claims average around $3,000, jumping to an average of almost $15,000 if there is bodily injury. This doesn’t even take into account potential lawsuits if there are other parties involved. If your vehicle is beyond repair, you are responsible for the full cost of replacing it. Simply put, even a seemingly minor accident can result in the loss of tens of thousands of dollars.

Legal Requirements

As in most countries worldwide, all drivers in Canada are required by law to have insurance. One thing that differs between provinces is the penalty for not having insurance. The minimum fines for being caught without insurance the first time vary from around $600 to well over $6,000. The penalties will also very likely include temporary suspension of your license and possibly having your vehicle impounded. If you are involved in an accident, the consequences of not having auto insurance are even more dire. In this case, you risk permanent points against your license, criminal charges, and even incarceration. The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) provides detailed information on the current laws governing auto insurance throughout the Country.

Finding the Perfect Plan

It’s important to find the right insurance policy that suits your needs. The law dictates the bare minimum requirements for every auto insurance policy, but you definitely want to consider the other options available. For example, basic plans may not cover damage from incidents of theft, fire or vandalism. You can also purchase plans which include perks such as accident forgiveness, which will prevent your premium from going up after your first or second at-fault accident. Speak with a professional insurance agent about car insurance from belairdirect about your specific needs and concerns.

Having auto insurance isn’t just a good idea, it’s the law. The repercussions for not having proper coverage are far too great to take that risk. Do your research and talk with a knowledgeable professional. Take comfort in knowing that you are covered by an auto insurance plan that will be there in case of emergencies. Think of your monthly payments as a necessary investment towards the financial and legal safety of yourself and your entire family.

 

By

3 Things to Do with Your Money to Retire Comfortably

When making your retirement plans, your goal should be to keep the same standard of living as a retiree that you now enjoy as a working professional. This, of course, is not an easy goal to achieve, especially when you consider that most Baby Boomers experience a significant drop in their standard of living after retirement.

Let’s look at some of the things that you should consider:

  1. Get Burial Insurance

When you get burial insurance, you are providing your family with a solution to cover all the expenses associated with your funeral.

According to PolicyZip, there are several types of burial insurance you can qualify for after a brief health history review:

Level Benefit Burial insurance will cover the full amount of your life insurance benefit because you are in good health without any pre-existing health conditions.

Graded Benefit Burial Insurance will provide coverage if have pre-existing health conditions. With this type of insurance, you will not be eligible for the full death benefit amount after approval.

Modified Benefit Burial Insurance is like Graded Benefit Burial Insurance, but with this type of coverage, your pre-existing health conditions are viewed as posing a higher risk. Consequently, you will only be eligible for a reduced payout schedule.

Finally, there is Guaranteed Issue Burial Insurance. No health questions are asked and everyone who asks for it can receive it. PolicyZip explains: “Guaranteed issue burial insurance is designed for those with pre-existing conditions that deem them uninsurable for any other type of burial policy.”

  1. Open an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). 

If you don’t have an IRA, you should consider opening one to build your nest egg.

When choosing an IRA, you will have two main choices: A traditional IRA or a Roth IRA.

With a traditional IRA your investment earnings can grow tax-deferred until you withdraw your funds during retirement.

With a Roth IRA, you don’t have to pay taxes when you make your retirement withdrawals because this account is funded with your after-tax contributions.

Determine the best IRA for you by speaking to a financial professional who will help you evaluate your financial situation against a contribution limits chart.

  1. Decide on the right time.

If you love your job, you may want to retire as late as possible because you derive a sense of identity and social connection from your work. Conversely, if you dislike your job you may want to retire as early as possible so that you can start doing more of the things that you truly enjoy.

However, whether you like or dislike your work should not be the criteria you use when deciding when to retire. Instead, assess your current financial situation to make sure that you are saving and investing for a long enough time to retire comfortably. It can make a huge difference to your cash flow to work an extra year.

So, the best time to retire is when you feel confident that you know where your money is going to come from and how much you need to maintain your current standard of living.

Another thing you should consider when evaluating the best time to retire is when to claim your Social Security benefits. Although, the full retirement age for Baby boomers is 66 years, but you can claim your retirement earlier. However, your payments will be reduced if you start claiming your benefits before age 66. Moreover, you will boost your Social Security benefits if you can delay your payments up to the age of 70 years old. Delaying your retirement will increase your benefits by as much as 8%.

Following these suggestions will help you feel more confident about your retirement because you will have the money you need to live comfortably.