Walking through the financial maze of stocks, bonds and mutual funds can be quite a challenge. American Century Investments offers the following tips to give you the know-how on building a profitable portfolio.
* Know your goals. Consider how much money you’ll need for your children’s education or your retirement. Whatever your vision for the future might be, set your goals and develop a concrete plan for meeting them.
* Define your investment time horizon. If you’re not planning on retiring anytime soon, you might want to have a portfolio that includes more long-term investments. If retirement is just around the corner, consider a more conservative approach.
* Determine your risk tolerance. Figure out your risk comfort level and compare that with what you can afford. In general, the longer you have to invest, the bigger risk you can take.
* Consult a professional. In order to avoid financial pitfalls later on, it is often wise to seek professional guidance when putting together a portfolio.
“Recent research shows that investors continue to grapple with some of the most basic investment concepts, suggesting a greater need for financial advice and guidance,” said Doug Lockwood, a certified financial planner.
To help investors meet their financial goals, American Century Investments has developed On Plan Investing, a program designed to help investors build and maintain diversified investment portfolios – at no additional cost.
Combining educational tools, advice, market insight and investment products, On Plan Investing helps investors develop a personal investment strategy, whether they are new to investing, seeking guidance but still want control over their investment mix, need help positioning their portfolios with a long-term perspective or need help understanding how the markets work.
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7 Things You Need to Know Before You Start Investing…
Know your current financial situation. Know you debts level. Calculate your income and expenses by taking into account the following:
Loans and overdrafts
Credit card debts
Before you start investing your money on any investment products, you should know how much you could spare each month for investment. General rule is that, you should clear your debts first, then save and invest later. That is to say the more money you put aside now, the better it will be for your future. I would say put aside 10% of your income for rainny days. 10% is a small amount that you won’t feel a pinch. Save it until you have managed to build a “dam management funds”.
2. Prepare funds for dam management. This goes in line with point 1. You need to keep at least 3 to 6 months ofyou income as dam management. After you have managed to do that then additional money that you saved can be used to invest.
3. Protect yourself and your family first. By this point, I mean you should have the basic life insurance that insure you and your family against terminal diseases and accident. This is very important as even though you might loose all your money through investment and if you or your family members need medical attention, it will be well taken care of.
4. Know your risk level. If you are not able to take big risks, short term investment and swing trading is notfor you. It’s better to invest in mutual or trusts funds which will give a steady payout and have lower risk.If you are a high risk or medium risk taker, you can try invest in stocks, growth and hedge funds.
5. Diversify your investment. Expert would tell you it is a must to diversify your investment. Your investments needto have a steady mix of stocks, mutual funds and/or bonds. Beside that, your should invest in different industryand/or different regions. This will help you minimize your risk as fluctuations in the markets will not have a big impact on your investments. Your ideal mix will be 20-40% stock and the rest mutual funds and bonds.
6. Do your homework before you invest. It is good to seek expert advice. But, the money is ultimately yours. So you need to do some research and make a sound decision on what to invest even though your financial advisors might have already worked it out all for you. This is to make sure you know what you are investing and able to keep track of them. If your investments suffer loses you will be able to make a right decision whether to sell or hold if you know your stuff well.
7. Do stock take yearly if not frequently. Your investment might already be reaping in profits. But, it is good to know how well you fare at the end of the day. Reinvest the profits and celebrate if you have success. This will serve as motivations for you and will make you more determined to acheive your financial goals.
Can You Get Rich Investing? Yes, But Think Differently!
Remember back in the 1990s when a lot of people either retired early or became wealthy? It was relatively simple. With stock prices going up, up, up, I knew a lot of people who simply invested part of their paychecks. They ended up with several hundred thousand dollars in profits from their constantly rising stocks.
I knew others who had already amassed several hundred thousand by the time the stock boom came along. They were millionaires by the time the 1990s ended.
Ah yes, those were the days. Today most people will tell you it’s a lot harder. Stocks don’t seem to do much any more. You have to invest in risky emerging countries to see much return. And that chance can evaporate overnight taking your money with it.
When the stock market won’t bring you any return, most people turn to real estate. But housing prices have peaked in most cities, meaning you can’t just buy a house and sit on it for several years to earn a fat nest egg.
So does that mean we have to give up on ever getting ahead and just learn to be satisfied living the “average” life our jobs can provide?
Not necessarily. These days you have to think differently to get ahead. For example, you’ve noticed how manufacturing and jobs are heading out of North America to foreign countries. That’s bad news for many workers, but it’s GREAT news for some segments of the Foreign Exchange Market.
You see, when we buy products from China, or Japan ships products to England, all kinds of currency has to change hands and be converted. There is BIG money in that process.
FOREX, the foreign exchange market, handles 2 TRILLION in transactions EVERY DAY. That’s far more money than what Wall Street handles. Just about anybody can jump in and pull out quite a profit for themselves by participating in the FOREX process.
Does all this sound a bit new to you? Most North Americans have heard very little about FOREX. They’ve got BILLIONS of dollars sitting in savings accounts and low yield investments that could make them a LOT more money in the Foreign Exchange Industry.
If you’re thinking helping all those millions get their money transferred to FOREX is a HUGE opportunity ripe for the picking, you’re RIGHT!
I hope my article has opened your eyes to some of the terrific opportunities that are being created now. Rather than looking back to the good old days of the booming American stock market and waiting for those times to return, refocus your attention on what is really happening right now. Your fortune lies in seeing more clearly the awesome opportunities at hand.