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Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Importance of Diversification

The Importance of Diversification“Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket!” You’ve probably heard that over and over again throughout your life…and when it comes to investing, it is very true. Diversification is the key to successful investing. All successful investors build portfolios that are widely diversified, and you should too!

Diversifying your investments might include purchasing various stocks in many different industries. It may include purchasing bonds, investing in money market accounts, or even in some real property. The key is to invest in several different areas – not just one.

Over time, research has shown that investors who have diversified portfolios usually see more consistent and stable returns on their investments than those who just invest in one thing. By investing in several different markets, you will actually be at less risk also.

For instance, if you have invested all of your money in one stock, and that stock takes a significant plunge, you will most likely find that you have lost all of your money. On the other hand, if you have invested in ten different stocks, and nine are doing well while one plunges, you are still in reasonably good shape.

A good diversification will usually include stocks, bonds, real property, and cash. It may take time to diversify your portfolio. Depending on how much you have to initially invest, you may have to start with one type of investment, and invest in other areas as time goes by.

This is okay, but if you can divide your initial investment funds among various types of investments, you will find that you have a lower risk of losing your money, and over time, you will see better returns.

Experts also suggest that you spread your investment money evenly among your investments. In other words, if you start with $100,000 to invest, invest $25,000 in stocks, $25,000 in real property, $25,000 in bonds, and put $25,000 in an interest bearing savings account.
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Friday, March 26, 2010

Understanding Bonds

Understanding Bonds
There are certain things you must understand about bonds before you start investing in them. Not understanding these things may cause you to purchase the wrong bonds, at the wrong maturity date.

The three most important things that must be considered when purchasing a bond include the par value, the maturity date, and the coupon rate.

The par value of a bond refers to the amount of money you will receive when the bond reaches its maturity date. In other words, you will receive your initial investment back when the bond reaches maturity.

The maturity date is of course the date that the bond will reach its full value. On this date, you will receive your initial investment, plus the interest that your money has earned.

Corporate and State and Local Government bonds can be ‘called’ before they reach their maturity, at which time the corporation or issuing Government will return your initial investment, along with the interest that it has earned thus far. Federal bonds cannot be ‘called.’

The coupon rate is the interest that you will receive when the bond reaches maturity. This number is written as a percentage, and you must use other information to find out what the interest will be. A bond that has a par value of $2000, with a coupon rate of 5% would earn $100 per year until it reaches maturity.

Because bonds are not issued by banks, many people don’t understand how to go about buying one. There are two ways this can be done.

You can use a broker or brokerage firm to make the purchase for you or you can go directly to the Government. If you use a brokerage, you will more than likely be charged a commission fee. If you want to use a broker, shop around for the lowest commissions!

Purchasing directly through the Government isn’t nearly as hard as it once was. There is a program called Treasury Direct which will allow you to purchase bonds and all of your bonds will be held in one account, that you will have easy access to. This will allow you to avoid using a broker or brokerage firm.
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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What Is Your Investment Style?

What Is Your Investment Style?
Knowing what your risk tolerance and investment style are will help you choose investments more wisely. While there are many different types of investments that one can make, there are really only three specific investment styles – and those three styles tie in with your risk tolerance. The three investment styles are conservative, moderate, and aggressive.

Naturally, if you find that you have a low tolerance for risk, your investment style will most likely be conservative or moderate at best. If you have a high tolerance for risk, you will most likely be a moderate or aggressive investor. At the same time, your financial goals will also determine what style of investing you use.

If you are saving for retirement in your early twenties, you should use a conservative or moderate style of investing – but if you are trying to get together the funds to buy a home in the next year or two, you would want to use an aggressive style.

Conservative investors want to maintain their initial investment. In other words, if they invest $5000 they want to be sure that they will get their initial $5000 back. This type of investor usually invests in common stocks and bonds and short term money market accounts.

An interest earning savings account is very common for conservative investors.
A moderate investor usually invests much like a conservative investor, but will use a portion of their investment funds for higher risk investments. Many moderate investors invest 50% of their investment funds in safe or conservative investments, and invest the remainder in riskier investments.

An aggressive investor is willing to take risks that other investors won’t take. They invest higher amounts of money in riskier ventures in the hopes of achieving larger returns – either over time or in a short amount of time. Aggressive investors often have all or most of their investment funds tied up in the stock market.

Again, determining what style of investing you will use will be determined by your financial goals and your risk tolerance. No matter what type of investing you do, however, you should carefully research that investment. Never invest without having all of the facts!

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Why You Should Invest

Why You Should Invest
Investing has become increasingly important over the years, as the future of social security benefits becomes unknown.

People want to insure their futures, and they know that if they are depending on Social Security benefits, and in some cases retirement plans, that they may be in for a rude awakening when they no longer have the ability to earn a steady income. Investing is the answer to the unknowns of the future.

You may have been saving money in a low interest savings account over the years. Now, you want to see that money grow at a faster pace. Perhaps you’ve inherited money or realized some other type of windfall, and you need a way to make that money grow. Again, investing is the answer.

Investing is also a way of attaining the things that you want, such as a new home, a college education for your children, or expensive ‘toys.’ Of course, your financial goals will determine what type of investing you do.

If you want or need to make a lot of money fast, you would be more interested in higher risk investing, which will give you a larger return in a shorter amount of time. If you are saving for something in the far off future, such as retirement, you would want to make safer investments that grow over a longer period of time.

The overall purpose in investing is to create wealth and security, over a period of time. It is important to remember that you will not always be able to earn an income… you will eventually want to retire.

You also cannot count on the social security system to do what you expect it to do. As we have seen with Enron, you also cannot necessarily depend on your company’s retirement plan either. So, again, investing is the key to insuring your own financial future, but you must make smart investments!
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Sunday, March 14, 2010

About E-LOAN

E-LOAN is a nationwide financial services company that is dedicated to providing consumers with a simple, easy and open way to obtain high yield savings accounts and CDs. Our web site also provides access to several preferred, nationally recognized lending partners that may be able to assist you in obtaining a loan that meets your financial needs. Since its launch in 1997, E-LOAN has drawn upon its pro consumer values to deliver our customers the best online experience possible. Loan Rate

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Amy Victoria Beck

Amy Victoria Beck
A 33-year Burbank middle school teacher accused of having sex with teenage male students over a period of six months last year accused of violating the law on Tuesday for sex with minors, reported.

Amy Victoria Beck, a teacher at David Starr Jordan Middle School, appeared in Burbank Superior Court Wednesday. He did not enter pleas and the indictment is scheduled for March 25.

David Starr Jordan High School teacher Amy Victoria Beck is scheduled to be dragged in Burbank Superior Court on four counts today is not valid and one count of oral copulation sex with someone under the age of 16 years.

According to reports, Beck went to the Burbank police station Monday night told the officer he "had a sexual relationship with one of her students."

Police then interviewed the boy who confirmed the story the teacher told a meeting place between March and September 2009 when he was 14.

It is unclear whether Beck gave himself up for arrest warrants have been issued or if the guilt rose.
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Friday, March 5, 2010

Home Loan Rate

There are many factors that determine the home loan rate that you will be charged on a new or refinancing mortgage loan. Knowing and understanding how each of the variables affect the interest rate will help you to make the best choice of loan.

Type of loan

The type of loan that you select has a significant impact on the home loan rate. A variable rate loan may start out at a low rate and quickly escalate to a much higher rate. In fact, this is one of the major reasons why homeowners find themselves in trouble when they purchase a home with monthly payments that are at the limit of their personal affordability and then the payments increase because the interest rates increase. A fixed interest rate may cost slightly more than a variable loan to begin with, but you know what the rate will be in two years.


The economy of the nation has an impact on the home loan rate, particularly if the loan as a variable rate loan. Often the loan rate is tied to the prime interest rate plus a certain number of points. Of course, when the economy is slowing down, loans are somewhat harder to get and the qualifying process may be more stringent. When the economy is booming and loans are easy, more people can qualify to get a mortgage loan because the restrictions are less onerous. People are more willing to take a chance on a larger loan when they feel positive about the state of the economy.

Credit score

When applying for a new loan, the loan broker will almost always check the credit score before deciding what the home loan rate will be. The higher the credit score of the potential borrower, the better deal can be put together with the broker. Conversely, if the credit score is low or if there is little credit history, the loan is likely to cost more or require a higher percentage of the total as a cash down payment. Careful attention to making mortgage payments in full and on time will allow the borrower to create a new a better credit history so that a refinance later will have a better rate.

Loan Term

Theoretically a loan can be for any length of time, and this factor is one that many potential borrowers don’t think about. They just assume the best home loan rate will be at a 30 year mortgage term. Even conventional loans can be taken for 15 years, 20 years or 25 years. Shorter term loans cost much less in interest over the term of the loan, so even at a higher monthly payment and the same interest rate, the shorter term loan is a better deal, with significantly less money paid in interest.

Balloon payment

Another common way to structure a mortgage loan that will affect the home loan rate is whether or not there is a balloon payment attached to the payment of the loan. Often a mortgage will be structured to run for two or three years with a very low interest rate at the end of which there is a balloon payment that is the balance of the loan. At the end of the initial period, often the rate will increase, or the monthly payment will jump. Sometimes the entire loan is refinanced at that point.

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