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  2. Basics of Life Insurance

    Life Insurance: The Basics Life insurance was initially designed to protect the income of families, particularly young families in the wealth accumulation phase, in the event of the head of household's death. Today it is used for many reasons, including wealth preservation and estate tax planning. Of course, it still provides you with the opportunity to protect yourself and your family from personal risk exposures like repayment of debts after death, providing for a surviving spouse and children and fulfill other financial goals such as college funding, leaving a charitable legacy or paying for funeral expenses. Life insurance protection is also important if you are a business owner or a key person in someone else's business, where your death (or your partner's death) could prevent the business from continuing its operation. One of the key benefits from any type of life insurance is that the death benefit that is paid out is always tax free. All life insurance policies involve four separate parties: the insurance carrier, the policy owner who pays the premiums, the insured upon whose death the policy will pay out and the beneficiary who receives the death benefit proceeds. Who Needs It? Not everybody needs life insurance. If you are single and have no dependents, it may not be worth the expense. If, however, you have anyone who financially depends on you (even partially), life insurance may be appropriate for you. When considering life insurance, ask yourself the following questions: Do I need life insurance? How much do I need? How long will I need it? What type of policy makes sense for me? Your need for life insurance will depend on your personal circumstances, including your current income, your current expenses, your current savings and debt and your family's goals. Many planners recommend coverage equal to at least six to 10 times your gross annual income, but your or your family's needs may differ from that. You will have to compare the what you have versus what goals you'd like for your family once you are gone, keeping in mind that their security can often carry a higher price tag than you originally thought.
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  4. DEBT & EQUITY INVESTMENTS

    DEBT & EQUITY INVESTMENTS What Are the Differences between Debt & Equity Investments While both debt and equity investments can deliver good returns, they have differences with which you should be aware. Debt investments, such as bonds and mortgages, specify fixed payments, including interest, to the investor. Equity investments, such as stock, are securities that come with a "claim" on the earnings and/or assets of the corporation. Common stock, as traded on the New York or other stock exchanges, is the most popular equity investment. Debt and equity investments come with different historical returns and risk levels. DEBT INSTRUMENTS Debt investments tend to be less risky than equity investments but usually offer a lower but more consistent return. They are less volatile than common stocks, with fewer highs and lows than the stock market. The bond and mortgage market historically experiences fewer price changes, for better or worse, than stocks. Also, should a corporation be liquidated, bondholders are paid first. Mortgage investments, like other debt instruments, come with stated interest rates and are backed up by real estate collateral. EQUITY INVESTMENTS Fortunes can be made or lost with equity investments. Any stock market can be volatile, with rapid changes in share values. Often, these wide price swings are not based on the solidity of the organization backing them up but by political, social or governmental issues in the home country of the corporation. Equity investments are a classic example of taking on higher risk of loss in return for potentially higher reward. LEGAL DIFFERENCES Debt instruments, whatever they may be called, are corporate borrowing. Instead of procuring a straight commercial bank loan, the organization "borrows" from a variety of investors. This is why debt instruments, such as bonds, come with a stated interest rate, as a loan would. Equity investments offer an ownership position in the company. Owning stock makes the investor an owner of the organization. The percentage of ownership depends on the number of shares owned as compared with the total number of shares issued by the corporation. INVESTMENTS GOALS AND RISKS Depending on your investment goals, these differences may strongly influence your preferences. All investments come with risk. However, debt instruments offer less risk than equity investments. Your investing targets may favor equity investments, if you're seeking striking growth or profit potential. Conversely, you might focus on debt instruments when you prefer consistent income and less risk. Tailor your investment actions to match your objectives and risk tolerance.
  5. DEBT & EQUITY INVESTMENTS

    DEBT & EQUITY INVESTMENTS What Are the Differences between Debt & Equity Investments While both debt and equity investments can deliver good returns, they have differences with which you should be aware. Debt investments, such as bonds and mortgages, specify fixed payments, including interest, to the investor. Equity investments, such as stock, are securities that come with a "claim" on the earnings and/or assets of the corporation. Common stock, as traded on the New York or other stock exchanges, is the most popular equity investment. Debt and equity investments come with different historical returns and risk levels. DEBT INSTRUMENTS Debt investments tend to be less risky than equity investments but usually offer a lower but more consistent return. They are less volatile than common stocks, with fewer highs and lows than the stock market. The bond and mortgage market historically experiences fewer price changes, for better or worse, than stocks. Also, should a corporation be liquidated, bondholders are paid first. Mortgage investments, like other debt instruments, come with stated interest rates and are backed up by real estate collateral. EQUITY INVESTMENTS Fortunes can be made or lost with equity investments. Any stock market can be volatile, with rapid changes in share values. Often, these wide price swings are not based on the solidity of the organization backing them up but by political, social or governmental issues in the home country of the corporation. Equity investments are a classic example of taking on higher risk of loss in return for potentially higher reward. LEGAL DIFFERENCES Debt instruments, whatever they may be called, are corporate borrowing. Instead of procuring a straight commercial bank loan, the organization "borrows" from a variety of investors. This is why debt instruments, such as bonds, come with a stated interest rate, as a loan would. Equity investments offer an ownership position in the company. Owning stock makes the investor an owner of the organization. The percentage of ownership depends on the number of shares owned as compared with the total number of shares issued by the corporation. INVESTMENTS GOALS AND RISKS Depending on your investment goals, these differences may strongly influence your preferences. All investments come with risk. However, debt instruments offer less risk than equity investments. Your investing targets may favor equity investments, if you're seeking striking growth or profit potential. Conversely, you might focus on debt instruments when you prefer consistent income and less risk. Tailor your investment actions to match your objectives and risk tolerance.
  6. Life Insurance

    LIFE INSURANCE What is 'Life Insurance' Life insurance is a protection against financial loss that would result from the premature death of an insured. The named beneficiary receives the proceeds and is thereby safeguarded from the financial impact of the death of the insured. The death benefit is paid by a life insurer in consideration for premium payments made by the insured. BREAKING DOWN 'Life Insurance' The goal of life insurance is to provide a measure of financial security for your family after you die. So, before purchasing a life insurance policy, consider your financial situation and the standard of living you want to maintain for your dependents or survivors. For example, who will be responsible for your funeral costs and final medical bills? Would your family have to relocate? Will there be adequate funds for future or ongoing expenses such as daycare, mortgage payments and college? It is prudent to re-evaluate your life insurance policies annually or when you experience a major life event like marriage, divorce, the birth or adoption of a child, or purchase of a major item such as a house or business. How Life Insurance Works Life insurance is a contract between an individual with an insurable interest and a life insurance company to transfer the financial risk of a premature death to the insurer in exchange for a specified amount of premium. The three main components of the life insurance contract are a death benefit, a premium payment and, in the case of permanent life insurance, a cash value account. Death Benefit: The death benefit is the amount of money the insured’s beneficiaries will receive from the insurer upon the death of the insured. Although the death benefit amount is determined by the insured, the insurer must determine whether there is an insurable interest and whether the insured can qualify for the coverage based on its underwriting requirements. Premium Payment: Using actuarially based statistics, the insurer determines the amount of premium it needs to cover mortality costs. Factors such as the insured’s age, personal and family medical history, and lifestyle are the main risk determinants. As long as the insured pays the premium as agreed, the insurer remains obligated to pay the death benefit. For term policies, the premium amount includes the cost of insurance. For permanent policies, the premium amount includes the cost of insurance plus an amount that is deposited to a cash value account. Cash Value: Permanent life insurance includes a cash value component which serves two purposes. It is a savings account that allows the insured to accumulate capital that can become a living benefit. The capital accumulates on a tax-deferred basis and can be used for any purpose while the insured is alive. It is also used by the insurer to mitigate its risk. As the cash value accumulates, the amount the insurer is at risk for the entire death benefit decreases, which is how it is able to charge a fixed, level premium.
  7. Asset allocation

    Asset Allocation In simple terms, asset allocation refers to the balance between growth-oriented and income-oriented investments in a portfolio. This allows the investor to take advantage of the risk/reward tradeoff and benefit from both growth and income. Here are the basic steps to asset allocation: 1. Choosing which asset classes to include (stocks, bonds, money market, real estate, precious metals, etc.) 2. Selecting the ideal percentage (the target) to allocate to each asset class 3. Identifying an acceptable range within that target 4. Diversifying within each asset class. Risk Tolerance The client's risk tolerance is the single most important factor in choosing an asset allocation. At times, there may be a distinct difference between the risk tolerance of a client and his/her spouse, so care must be taken to get agreement on how to proceed. Also, risk tolerance may change over time, so it's important to revisit the topic periodically. Time Horizon Clearly, the time horizon for each of the client's goals will affect the asset allocation mix. Take the example of a client with a very aggressive risk tolerance. The recommended allocation to stocks will be much higher for the client's retirement portfolio than for the money being set aside for the college fund of the client's 13-year-old child.
  8. Diversification simply put, is just putting your investment in multiple stocks, assets, sectors that have no similar value added relationship to help you reduce risk of losing investment money. A diversified investment is a portfolio investment in multiple stocks, assets or sectors that have no correlation with one another that help you reduce the risk of losses. Have you come across the quote “Don’t put all of your eggs in one Basket”, pretty familiar right? It is apt to your role as an investor who wants to mitigate loses. For example, Mr David, as an investor, wants to diversify his investments. So rather than invest only in tech/communications, in order to reduce the chances of losing, he diversifies and invests in oil firms’ stocks, government bonds, and banks stocks, not still confident of his investment, he goes into commodities, agriculture and other areas of business to invest till he feels he’s running with minimal risk of losing all his investments. You see Mr David having channelled his investment on different sectors is safer because if there’s a crisis in the tech world and all the tech industry crashes, he’s got investment in oil, government, banks and way down to agriculture. The key priority of diversification is reducing risk of loss. Diversification can't protect investors entirely from risk. Sometimes, financial markets lose value at the same time, and nearly every stock, bond, or fund loses value. More often, though, a diversified portfolio will cushion the blow of a downturn and help you avoid the full consequences of making an unfortunate stock selection. There's also little chance that the entire portfolio will be wiped out by any single event. That's why a diversified portfolio is your best defence against a financial crisis. Although, diversification can help an investor manage risk and reduce the volatility of an asset's price movements. Remember, however, that no matter how diversified your portfolio is, risk can never be eliminated completely. It is never a bad idea to keep a portion of your invested assets in cash or short-term money-market securities in case of an emergency because short-term money-market securities can be liquidated instantly. In general, the more risk you are willing to take, the greater the potential return on your investment, remember, the higher the risk, the higher the returns and vice versa. Investors will usually go for bonds and stocks creating different assets allocation portfolio. Usually, an aggressive investor would go for 80% stock and 20% bonds while the conservative investors go for 20% stock, 80% bonds. With stocks, investors can choose a specific style, such as focusing on large, mid or small capitalization. Bonds also offer opportunities for diversification. Investors can choose long-term or short-term issues. They can also select high-yield or municipal bonds. While stocks and bonds represent the traditional tools for portfolio construction, a host of alternative investments provide the opportunity for further diversification. These include Real estate investment trusts, hedge funds, Fixed Deposit, Commodities, and Treasury Bills etc. Regardless of your intention, there is no generic diversification model that will meet the needs of every investor. Your personal time horizon, risk tolerance, investment goals, financial means and level of investment experience will play a large role in dictating your investment mix. You can build your own diversified portfolio by combining numbers of individual stocks, bonds, or other investments. In general, buying stocks that differ in size, industry, geography, and corporate strategy can give you more of the benefits of diversification. Focusing on similar stocks in the same sector adds minimal diversification to a portfolio. Start by figuring out the mix of stocks, bonds and cash that will be required to meet your needs. From there, determine exactly which investments to use in completing the mix, substituting traditional assets for alternatives as needed. However, if you are too overwhelmed by the choices or simply prefer to delegate, there are plenty financial services professionals available to assist you, usually, at a fee.
  9. The Millionaire Next Door

    I am a budding enterprenue helping people register/Incorporate their Business in Nigeria.
  10. New technologies are invented on a regular basis to give people the opportunity to help take stocks and enlighten them to become more informed investors. Investment forms one of the greatest ways to make money today. Being smart in business therefore is characterized through risk taking; smart investors are also known to lead the market. The earned money is used to create a retirement fund, however this is not always easy to do and a number of the Nigerian investors succumb to losses due to information shortage. Let's look at some investment apps in the market for android, with already established and growing large audience. Mobile Apps have helped in generating multiple leads and increase productivity in business. Here are a few of them: Whatsapp Business App Whatsapp Business App is available on android and can be downloaded via the Google Play Store. The apps are compatible with the services running Android 4.0.3 and above. Versions bearing similar features will be made available for IOS devices (I phone) in future. This App has been in use in other nations like USA, Italy, Mexico, Indonesia and UK and has helped investors greatly. Once downloaded and installed in your phone, it will display your business name, location and your site, making it easy for clients to find you. Personal Capital This is a terrific finance tracing tool that helps you manage your various investments. It also useful for those with multiple accounts with different firms. It features a trade mark “You Index” that helps track your accounts performance in all accounts comparing it to benchmarks such as S&P 500 and Dow. This App helps you connect with the assigned financial consultant at an annual fee; it also features a budgeting tool that keeps track of your investment. Yahoo Finance This App remains the best and most reliable in offering investment information. It provides news and a real-time data in the trading industry. Its ability to browse videos, view financials and read basic business charts makes it an amazing tool for businessmen. Expensify The App allows users manage spending transactions, process and upload receipts from their online sales. It also generates expense reports automatically to ensure your employees are spending business money wisely. Feedly The App comprises of news feeds from multiple online sources for one to customize and share to remain ahead in industrial trends. It allows you to subscribe to your favorite website giving you the latest RSS feeds. Tripit For an investor who travels a lot, Tripit forms an essential App to install on your Smartphone. It works like a travel manager by helping you organize reservations and plane flights confirmations by forwarding this important information to the App. It also allows you to share your itinerary with those who matter. Uber There is a newly added feature on Uber called Uber for Business. It was built to help companies manage their employee’ transportation. It features a central dashboard that tracks fares and trip.
  11. Helping Nigerians stay out of debt and gain financial independence is fast becoming a passion for many application developers who seek out better ways to help people save and motivate them to spend less. Here are two savings applications that have been designed to lead Nigerians out of financial slavery. ALAT Well, it is a digital banking service powered by Wema Bank Nigeria, which allows you to do all your banking transactions without being physically present at a bank. Alat digital bank allows you to open fully functional savings account using just your BVN and phone number in exactly 5mins. No paperwork required! At it’s core, ALAT by Wema bank is selling simplicity, reliability and convenience. ALAT digital banking will save you time with a simple account opening process that takes less than five minutes, help you put money away easily by automating your saving, make sure your bills are paid on time with its scheduled payments feature and deliver a free debit card (ALAT ATM card) you can activate, lock and unlock from your phone to use anywhere in Nigeria. You can open an ALAT account easily on from your phone. Install ALAT from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store, open the app and sign up with your Bank Verification Number and a valid phone number. Thereafter, you will need to upload a photo of a valid means of identification (a government-approved ID card), a photo of a utility bill (not older than 3 months) and your passport photograph. Your account will be activated as soon as the ALAT team verifies your documents and address, usually in 24 hours. In the meantime, you can put money in your ALAT account but you can’t spend from it. Your ALAT account number will be emailed to you. It will also be displayed on your dashboard each time you log in to ALAT. Piggybank Piggybank is a Nigerian Financial Technology startup and they run a simple online savings scheme where they make periodic deductions for customers to save towards targets. Piggybank.ng securely makes saving possible by combining discipline plus flexibility to make you grow your savings & better manage your finances. Their mission is to make savings & investments more transparent and clear so that anyone can manage their finances. They promise that their clients can also earn interest income on the savings made. All that is required is to link a debit card to their platform online only. I was at first intrigued by the name. It is catchy and straight to the point. Try these apps today and leave your comments below.
  12. Phones have made it so easy for effective communication even without seeing the other party, sending messages, pictures and lots more but we fail to realize that our phones can do much more than we are used to. There are applications that can help manage our finances. Investors will find these applications interesting because they can trade virtual portfolios, draw on stock charts, get the real-time streaming price and economic data, and chart Fred data series, all from your smartphone or tablet. You will be able to track stock levels investing schedule on the real time basis and portfolio records amongst other things. uValue App: This app is available on iPhone and iPad and it is designed by NYU Stern valuation guru Aswath Damodaran, this app lets you do valuation modeling right on your iPad. Six models to work with by inputting the numbers on the application to get started. NetDania Forex: This app is available for iPhone, iPad, Android and it is designed to update quote on currency, stock exchange and economic data around the world of stock and investment. Options Wizard: This app is only available on iPad and it helps to calculate potential profit from strategies investment. It also has the buy and sells tools on the app to see potential gains and losses. Yochaa App: This app is a tool that helps to monitor stock performance on a delayed real-time basis and it also gives you access to an ocean of stocks to analyze for a better decision and its available on Android, iPad, and iPhones. Stock Twits App: This app helps us to spot the stock that has been tweeted the most for traded and made available for traded to connect with the social network for more discussion. Many applications are developed each day, with more exciting features, and I will be adding more very soon.
  13. Concept of Risk and Reward

    CONCEPT OF RISK VS REWARD Measuring Portfolio Risk One of the concepts used in risk and return calculations is standard deviation which measures the dispersion of actual returns around the expected return of an investment. Since standard deviation is the square root of the variance, this is another crucial concept to know. The variance is calculated by weighting each possible dispersion by its relative probability (take the difference between the actual return and the expected return, then square the number). The standard deviation of an investment's expected return is considered a basic measure of risk. If two potential investments had the same expected return, the one with the lower standard deviation would be considered to have less potential risk. Risk Measures There are three other risk measures used to predict volatility and return: Alpha - this measures stock price volatility based on the specific characteristics of the particular security. As with beta, the higher the number, the higher the risk. Sharpe ratio- this is a more complex measure that uses the standard deviation of a stock or portfolio to measure volatility. This calculation measures the incremental reward of assuming incremental risk. The larger the Sharpe ratio, the greater the potential return. The formula is: Sharpe Ratio = (total return minus the risk-free rate of return) divided by the standard deviation of the portfolio. Beta- this measures stock price volatility based solely on general market movements. Typically, the market as a whole is assigned a beta of 1.0. So, a stock or a portfolio with a beta higher than 1.0 is predicted to have a higher risk and, potentially, a higher return than the market. Conversely, if a stock (or fund) had a beta of .85, this would indicate that if the market increased by 10%, this stock (or fund) would likely return only 8.5%. However, if the market dropped 10%, this stock would likely drop only 8.5%.
  14. Concept of Rish and Reward

    CONCEPT OF RISK VS REWARD Measuring Portfolio Risk One of the concepts used in risk and return calculations is standard deviation which measures the dispersion of actual returns around the expected return of an investment. Since standard deviation is the square root of the variance, this is another crucial concept to know. The variance is calculated by weighting each possible dispersion by its relative probability (take the difference between the actual return and the expected return, then square the number). The standard deviation of an investment's expected return is considered a basic measure of risk. If two potential investments had the same expected return, the one with the lower standard deviation would be considered to have less potential risk. Risk Measures There are three other risk measures used to predict volatility and return: Alpha - this measures stock price volatility based on the specific characteristics of the particular security. As with beta, the higher the number, the higher the risk. Sharpe ratio- this is a more complex measure that uses the standard deviation of a stock or portfolio to measure volatility. This calculation measures the incremental reward of assuming incremental risk. The larger the Sharpe ratio, the greater the potential return. The formula is: Sharpe Ratio = (total return minus the risk-free rate of return) divided by the standard deviation of the portfolio. Beta- this measures stock price volatility based solely on general market movements. Typically, the market as a whole is assigned a beta of 1.0. So, a stock or a portfolio with a beta higher than 1.0 is predicted to have a higher risk and, potentially, a higher return than the market. Conversely, if a stock (or fund) had a beta of .85, this would indicate that if the market increased by 10%, this stock (or fund) would likely return only 8.5%. However, if the market dropped 10%, this stock would likely drop only 8.5%.
  15. Concept of Rish and Reward

    CONCEPT OF RISK VS REWARD Measuring Portfolio Risk One of the concepts used in risk and return calculations is standard deviation which measures the dispersion of actual returns around the expected return of an investment. Since standard deviation is the square root of the variance, this is another crucial concept to know. The variance is calculated by weighting each possible dispersion by its relative probability (take the difference between the actual return and the expected return, then square the number). The standard deviation of an investment's expected return is considered a basic measure of risk. If two potential investments had the same expected return, the one with the lower standard deviation would be considered to have less potential risk. Risk Measures There are three other risk measures used to predict volatility and return: Alpha - this measures stock price volatility based on the specific characteristics of the particular security. As with beta, the higher the number, the higher the risk. Sharpe ratio- this is a more complex measure that uses the standard deviation of a stock or portfolio to measure volatility. This calculation measures the incremental reward of assuming incremental risk. The larger the Sharpe ratio, the greater the potential return. The formula is: Sharpe Ratio = (total return minus the risk-free rate of return) divided by the standard deviation of the portfolio. Beta- this measures stock price volatility based solely on general market movements. Typically, the market as a whole is assigned a beta of 1.0. So, a stock or a portfolio with a beta higher than 1.0 is predicted to have a higher risk and, potentially, a higher return than the market. Conversely, if a stock (or fund) had a beta of .85, this would indicate that if the market increased by 10%, this stock (or fund) would likely return only 8.5%. However, if the market dropped 10%, this stock would likely drop only 8.5%.
  16. THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ASSET ALLOCATION 3. Determine Your Long- and Short-Term Goals We all have our goals. Whether you aspire to build a fat retirement fund, own a yacht or vacation home, pay for your child's education or simply save for a new car, you should consider it in your asset-allocation plan. All these goals need to be considered when determining the right mix. For example, if you're planning to own a retirement condo on the beach in 20 years, you don't have to worry about short-term fluctuations in the stock market. But if you have a child who will be entering college in five to six years, you may need to tilt your asset allocation to safer fixed-income investments. And as you approach retirement, you may want to shift to a higher proportion of fixed income investments to equity holdings. 4. Time Is Your Best Friend The Department of Labor has said that for every ten years you delay saving for retirement (or some other long-term goal), you will have to save three times as much each month to catch up. Having time not only allows you to take advantage of compounding and the time value for money, it also means you can put more of your portfolio into higher risk/return investments, namely stocks. A couple of bad years in the stock market will likely show up as nothing more than some insignificant blip 30 years from now. 5. Just Do It! Once you've determined the right mix of stocks, bonds and other investments, it's time to implement it. The first step is to find out how your current portfolio breaks down. It's fairly straightforward to see the percentage of assets in stocks versus bonds, but don't forget to categorize what type of stocks you own (small, mid or large cap). You should also categorize your bonds according to their maturity (short, mid or long term). Mutual funds can be more problematic. Fund names don't always tell the entire story. You have to dig deeper in the prospectus to figure out where fund assets are invested. The Bottom Line There is no single solution for allocating your assets. Individual investors require individual solutions. Furthermore, if a long-term horizon is something you don't have, don't worry. It's never too late to get started. It's also never too late to give your existing portfolio a face-lift. Asset allocation is not a one-time event, it's a life-long process of progression and fine-tuning.
  17. THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ASSET ALLOCATION 3. Determine Your Long- and Short-Term Goals We all have our goals. Whether you aspire to build a fat retirement fund, own a yacht or vacation home, pay for your child's education or simply save for a new car, you should consider it in your asset-allocation plan. All these goals need to be considered when determining the right mix. For example, if you're planning to own a retirement condo on the beach in 20 years, you don't have to worry about short-term fluctuations in the stock market. But if you have a child who will be entering college in five to six years, you may need to tilt your asset allocation to safer fixed-income investments. And as you approach retirement, you may want to shift to a higher proportion of fixed income investments to equity holdings. 4. Time Is Your Best Friend The Department of Labor has said that for every ten years you delay saving for retirement (or some other long-term goal), you will have to save three times as much each month to catch up. Having time not only allows you to take advantage of compounding and the time value for money, it also means you can put more of your portfolio into higher risk/return investments, namely stocks. A couple of bad years in the stock market will likely show up as nothing more than some insignificant blip 30 years from now. 5. Just Do It! Once you've determined the right mix of stocks, bonds and other investments, it's time to implement it. The first step is to find out how your current portfolio breaks down. It's fairly straightforward to see the percentage of assets in stocks versus bonds, but don't forget to categorize what type of stocks you own (small, mid or large cap). You should also categorize your bonds according to their maturity (short, mid or long term). Mutual funds can be more problematic. Fund names don't always tell the entire story. You have to dig deeper in the prospectus to figure out where fund assets are invested. The Bottom Line There is no single solution for allocating your assets. Individual investors require individual solutions. Furthermore, if a long-term horizon is something you don't have, don't worry. It's never too late to get started. It's also never too late to give your existing portfolio a face-lift. Asset allocation is not a one-time event, it's a life-long process of progression and fine-tuning.
  18. 5 Things to Know About Asset Allocation With thousands of stocks, bonds and mutual funds to choose from, picking the right investments can confuse even the most seasoned investor. But if you don't do it correctly you can undermine your ability to build wealth and a nest egg for retirement. So instead of stock picking, you should start by deciding what mix of stocks, bonds and mutual funds you want to hold. This is referred to as your asset allocation What Is Asset Allocation? Asset allocation is an investment portfolio technique that aims to balance risk and create diversification by dividing assets among major categories such as cash, bonds, stocks, real estate and derivatives. Each asset class has different levels of return and risk, so each will behave differently over time. For instance, while one asset category increases in value, another may be decreasing or not increasing as much. Some critics see this balance as a recipe for mediocre returns, but for most investors it's the best protection against a major loss should things ever go amiss in one investment class or sub-class. The consensus among most financial professionals is that asset allocation is one of the most important decisions that investors make. In other words, your selection of stocks or bonds is secondary to the way you allocate your assets to high and low-risk stocks, to short and long-term bonds, and to cash on the sidelines. We must emphasize that there is no simple formula that can find the right asset allocation for every individual – if there were, we certainly wouldn't be able to explain it in one article. We can, however, outline five points that we feel are important when thinking about asset allocation: 1. Risk vs. Return The risk-return tradeoffis at the core of what asset allocation is all about. It's easy for everyone to say that they want the highest possible return, but simply choosing the assets with the highest "potential" (stocks and derivatives) isn't the answer. The crashes of 1929, 1981, 1987 and the more recent declines of 2007-2009 are all examples of times when investing in only stocks with the highest potential return was not the most prudent plan of action. It's time to face the truth: Every year your returns are going to be beaten by another investor, mutual fund, pension plan, etc. What separates greedy and return-hungry investors from successful ones is the ability to weigh the difference between risk and return. Yes, investors with a higher risk tolerance should allocate more money into stocks. But if you can't keep invested through the short-term fluctuations of a bear market, you should cut your exposure to equities. 2. Don't Rely Solely on Financial Software or Planner Sheets Financial-planning software and survey sheets designed by financial advisors or investment firms can be beneficial, but never rely solely on software or some pre-determined plan. For example, one old rule of thumb that some advisors use to determine the proportion a person should allocate to stocks is to subtract the person's age from 100. In other words, if you're 35, you should put 65% of your money into stocks and the remaining 35% into bonds, real estate and cash. But standard worksheets sometimes don't take into account other important information such as whether or not you are a parent, retiree or spouse. Other times, these worksheets are based on a set of simple questions that don't capture your financial goals. Remember, financial institutions love to peg you into a standard plan not because it's best for you, but because it's easy for them. Rules of thumb and planner sheets can give people a rough guideline, but don't get boxed into what they tell you.
  19. 5 Things to Know About Asset Allocation With thousands of stocks, bonds and mutual funds to choose from, picking the right investments can confuse even the most seasoned investor. But if you don't do it correctly you can undermine your ability to build wealth and a nest egg for retirement. So instead of stock picking, you should start by deciding what mix of stocks, bonds and mutual funds you want to hold. This is referred to as your asset allocation What Is Asset Allocation? Asset allocation is an investment portfolio technique that aims to balance risk and create diversification by dividing assets among major categories such as cash, bonds, stocks, real estate and derivatives. Each asset class has different levels of return and risk, so each will behave differently over time. For instance, while one asset category increases in value, another may be decreasing or not increasing as much. Some critics see this balance as a recipe for mediocre returns, but for most investors it's the best protection against a major loss should things ever go amiss in one investment class or sub-class. The consensus among most financial professionals is that asset allocation is one of the most important decisions that investors make. In other words, your selection of stocks or bonds is secondary to the way you allocate your assets to high and low-risk stocks, to short and long-term bonds, and to cash on the sidelines. We must emphasize that there is no simple formula that can find the right asset allocation for every individual – if there were, we certainly wouldn't be able to explain it in one article. We can, however, outline five points that we feel are important when thinking about asset allocation: 1. Risk vs. Return The risk-return tradeoffis at the core of what asset allocation is all about. It's easy for everyone to say that they want the highest possible return, but simply choosing the assets with the highest "potential" (stocks and derivatives) isn't the answer. The crashes of 1929, 1981, 1987 and the more recent declines of 2007-2009 are all examples of times when investing in only stocks with the highest potential return was not the most prudent plan of action. It's time to face the truth: Every year your returns are going to be beaten by another investor, mutual fund, pension plan, etc. What separates greedy and return-hungry investors from successful ones is the ability to weigh the difference between risk and return. Yes, investors with a higher risk tolerance should allocate more money into stocks. But if you can't keep invested through the short-term fluctuations of a bear market, you should cut your exposure to equities. 2. Don't Rely Solely on Financial Software or Planner Sheets Financial-planning software and survey sheets designed by financial advisors or investment firms can be beneficial, but never rely solely on software or some pre-determined plan. For example, one old rule of thumb that some advisors use to determine the proportion a person should allocate to stocks is to subtract the person's age from 100. In other words, if you're 35, you should put 65% of your money into stocks and the remaining 35% into bonds, real estate and cash. But standard worksheets sometimes don't take into account other important information such as whether or not you are a parent, retiree or spouse. Other times, these worksheets are based on a set of simple questions that don't capture your financial goals. Remember, financial institutions love to peg you into a standard plan not because it's best for you, but because it's easy for them. Rules of thumb and planner sheets can give people a rough guideline, but don't get boxed into what they tell you.
  20. 5 Things to Know About Asset Allocation With thousands of stocks, bonds and mutual funds to choose from, picking the right investments can confuse even the most seasoned investor. But if you don't do it correctly you can undermine your ability to build wealth and a nest egg for retirement. So instead of stock picking, you should start by deciding what mix of stocks, bonds and mutual funds you want to hold. This is referred to as your asset allocation What Is Asset Allocation? Asset allocation is an investment portfolio technique that aims to balance risk and create diversification by dividing assets among major categories such as cash, bonds, stocks, real estate and derivatives. Each asset class has different levels of return and risk, so each will behave differently over time. For instance, while one asset category increases in value, another may be decreasing or not increasing as much. Some critics see this balance as a recipe for mediocre returns, but for most investors it's the best protection against a major loss should things ever go amiss in one investment class or sub-class. The consensus among most financial professionals is that asset allocation is one of the most important decisions that investors make. In other words, your selection of stocks or bonds is secondary to the way you allocate your assets to high and low-risk stocks, to short and long-term bonds, and to cash on the sidelines. We must emphasize that there is no simple formula that can find the right asset allocation for every individual – if there were, we certainly wouldn't be able to explain it in one article. We can, however, outline five points that we feel are important when thinking about asset allocation: 1. Risk vs. Return The risk-return tradeoffis at the core of what asset allocation is all about. It's easy for everyone to say that they want the highest possible return, but simply choosing the assets with the highest "potential" (stocks and derivatives) isn't the answer. The crashes of 1929, 1981, 1987 and the more recent declines of 2007-2009 are all examples of times when investing in only stocks with the highest potential return was not the most prudent plan of action. It's time to face the truth: Every year your returns are going to be beaten by another investor, mutual fund, pension plan, etc. What separates greedy and return-hungry investors from successful ones is the ability to weigh the difference between risk and return. Yes, investors with a higher risk tolerance should allocate more money into stocks. But if you can't keep invested through the short-term fluctuations of a bear market, you should cut your exposure to equities. 2. Don't Rely Solely on Financial Software or Planner Sheets Financial-planning software and survey sheets designed by financial advisors or investment firms can be beneficial, but never rely solely on software or some pre-determined plan. For example, one old rule of thumb that some advisors use to determine the proportion a person should allocate to stocks is to subtract the person's age from 100. In other words, if you're 35, you should put 65% of your money into stocks and the remaining 35% into bonds, real estate and cash. But standard worksheets sometimes don't take into account other important information such as whether or not you are a parent, retiree or spouse. Other times, these worksheets are based on a set of simple questions that don't capture your financial goals. Remember, financial institutions love to peg you into a standard plan not because it's best for you, but because it's easy for them. Rules of thumb and planner sheets can give people a rough guideline, but don't get boxed into what they tell you.
  21. 5 Things to Know About Asset Allocation With thousands of stocks, bonds and mutual funds to choose from, picking the right investments can confuse even the most seasoned investor. But if you don't do it correctly you can undermine your ability to build wealth and a nest egg for retirement. So instead of stock picking, you should start by deciding what mix of stocks, bonds and mutual funds you want to hold. This is referred to as your asset allocation What Is Asset Allocation? Asset allocation is an investment portfolio technique that aims to balance risk and create diversification by dividing assets among major categories such as cash, bonds, stocks, real estate and derivatives. Each asset class has different levels of return and risk, so each will behave differently over time. For instance, while one asset category increases in value, another may be decreasing or not increasing as much. Some critics see this balance as a recipe for mediocre returns, but for most investors it's the best protection against a major loss should things ever go amiss in one investment class or sub-class. The consensus among most financial professionals is that asset allocation is one of the most important decisions that investors make. In other words, your selection of stocks or bonds is secondary to the way you allocate your assets to high and low-risk stocks, to short and long-term bonds, and to cash on the sidelines. We must emphasize that there is no simple formula that can find the right asset allocation for every individual – if there were, we certainly wouldn't be able to explain it in one article. We can, however, outline five points that we feel are important when thinking about asset allocation: 1. Risk vs. Return The risk-return tradeoffis at the core of what asset allocation is all about. It's easy for everyone to say that they want the highest possible return, but simply choosing the assets with the highest "potential" (stocks and derivatives) isn't the answer. The crashes of 1929, 1981, 1987 and the more recent declines of 2007-2009 are all examples of times when investing in only stocks with the highest potential return was not the most prudent plan of action. It's time to face the truth: Every year your returns are going to be beaten by another investor, mutual fund, pension plan, etc. What separates greedy and return-hungry investors from successful ones is the ability to weigh the difference between risk and return. Yes, investors with a higher risk tolerance should allocate more money into stocks. But if you can't keep invested through the short-term fluctuations of a bear market, you should cut your exposure to equities. 2. Don't Rely Solely on Financial Software or Planner Sheets Financial-planning software and survey sheets designed by financial advisors or investment firms can be beneficial, but never rely solely on software or some pre-determined plan. For example, one old rule of thumb that some advisors use to determine the proportion a person should allocate to stocks is to subtract the person's age from 100. In other words, if you're 35, you should put 65% of your money into stocks and the remaining 35% into bonds, real estate and cash. But standard worksheets sometimes don't take into account other important information such as whether or not you are a parent, retiree or spouse. Other times, these worksheets are based on a set of simple questions that don't capture your financial goals. Remember, financial institutions love to peg you into a standard plan not because it's best for you, but because it's easy for them. Rules of thumb and planner sheets can give people a rough guideline, but don't get boxed into what they tell you.
  22. Asset Allocation Strategies

    It is important to take a holistic approach in developing an asset allocation strategy. Here are two types of asset allocation strategies: 1. Strategic asset allocation: This strategy is a disciplined approach that involves assigning weights to different asset classes on the basis of an investor’s risk and return objectives and the capital market expectations. It is based on modern portfolio theory, which assumes that every investor is rational and shows risk aversion (i.e. desire for high returns with the lowest possible risk). Every financial planner would customize this strategy according to your needs and factor it in your financial plan. This is also called a “policy portfolio.” The financial planner would also assign a maximum permissible range for each asset class, e.g., if stocks have an allocation of 50% in your policy portfolio, the financial planner can assign a permissible range of 46% to 54% for your stock allocation. This means that any time the stock percentage ventures outside this range, your portfolio will have to be rebalanced. If it goes below 46%, then you will buy additional stocks and if it goes above 54%, you will have to sell stocks. 2. Tactical asset allocation: While strategic asset allocation is implemented over the long term, tactical asset allocation allows investors to make short-term deviations from asset weights assigned in strategic asset allocation strategy. These short-term deviations are achieved by implementing a moderately active strategy. The Bottom Line Asset allocation is the most important part of the portfolio construction process. It can be strictly passive in nature or can become a very active process. The asset mix decision heavily depends on an individual’s age, risk tolerance, goals, time horizon and capital market expectations. It is important to note that an asset mix for one person may be completely inappropriate for another. Investors looking to make an investment for a long period of time tend to focus their portfolios on stocks. One reason for this is that common stock tends to outperform most other financial instruments over a long enough time frame. Investors who are looking to maximize returns over a shorter period, on the other hand, often diversify their portfolios by including investments other than stocks. It is this principle that helped to guide the development of the concept of asset allocation. Asset allocation refers to an investment technique which aims to balance risk and create diversification within a portfolio by dividing assets across a number of major categories (stocks, bonds, real estate, cash, etc.). Because each asset class in the portfolio experiences different levels of risk and return, each tends to behave differently over a longer span of time. While one type of asset may be increasing in value, another may be decreasing. One central tenet of the concept of asset allocation is that older investors tend to look for lower levels of risk. After retiring, an investor may need to depend upon savings as the only source of income. Individuals at or nearing retirement age tend to invest more conservatively, as it’s crucial that they preserve their assets at this stage. How does one go about determining the correct mix of different types of assets in a portfolio? Like many of the other concepts covered in this tutorial, the answer is complicated and depends on who you ask. There are many different approaches to allocating assets. There are a number of general principles (but the most common approach is to shift emphasis toward lower-risk instruments (like bonds and treasuries) as one gets closer to retirement. Of course, a stock market crash or other significant disturbance can still cause problems for those who invest conservatively, as many investors saw in the bear markets of 2000 and 2001.
  23. Asset Allocation

    What Is Asset Allocation? Asset allocation is one of the most important steps in your portfolio management process. The initial step for the financial planner is to determine your required rate of return based on your financial goals, risk tolerance and time horizon. The second step is to ascertain capital market expectations, as well as the expected return and expected volatility of each asset classes. There are two categories of asset classes: 1. Traditional asset classes include stocks, bonds, and cash 2. Alternative asset classes include mutual funds, commodities, real estate, private equity, hedge funds The third step is asset allocation, in which the financial planner develops a strategy of how much money to invest in each asset class for you to achieve your return objective at a risk level that you are able and willing to accept. The premise of asset allocation is that each asset class has a different risk and return characteristic, thus providing the investor with risk diversification benefits. For instance, a 20% stock / 80% bond portfolio will provide lower risk and return and a more regular cash flow than an 80% stock/20% bond portfolio. It is also important to note that the latter is a riskier portfolio and is more suitable for young individuals in their twenties who have a longer time horizon and can tolerate stock market volatility. On the other hand, the first portfolio is more suitable for individuals who are nearing retirement and cannot withstand a drastic decline in their portfolio. Why Is Asset Allocation Important? As explained above, the most significant benefit of asset allocation is that it provides diversification and helps the investor manage the risk of his/her portfolio. While most people do understand this concept, they would still focus on which investment would outperform or whether equity markets would trend up or down. Although these are important considerations, many professional money managers believe that asset allocation is the most important decision for the investors What Are Different Asset Allocation Strategies? As previously mentioned, the most important factors in determining the asset mix are risk tolerance and time horizon. An individual with a longer time horizon and higher risk tolerance should automatically tilt his or her portfolio toward stocks. According to a traditional rule of thumb, the percentage of stock allocation should be equal to 100 minus your age. So, if your age is 25, then 75% of the portfolio should be allocated toward stocks. Over the years, many experts have expressed concern over using this rule as they believe it results in extremely conservative portfolios for retirees. Also, following the aforementioned rule deprives an individual of venturing into other asset classes other than stocks and bonds. For instance, during high inflation, stocks, bonds, as well as cash and cash equivalents tend to underperform. To combat inflation (in financial terms we can say to hedge inflation risks), individuals can invest their money in real estate and commodities to achieve low variability in their portfolio returns.
  24. Types of investment risks -2

    TYPES OF INVESTMENT RISKS Liquidity Risk Liquidity risk refers to the possibility that an investor may not be able to buy or sell an investment as and when desired or in sufficient quantities because opportunities are limited. A good example of liquidity risk is selling real estate. In most cases, it will be difficult to sell a property at any given moment should the need arise, unlike government securities or blue-chip stocks. Market Risk Market risk, also called systematic risk, is a risk that will affect all securities in the same manner. In other words, it is caused by some factor that cannot be controlled by diversification. This is an important point to consider when you are recommending mutual funds, which are appealing to investors in large part because they are a quick way to diversify. You must always ask yourself what kind of diversification your client needs. Reinvestment Risk In a declining interest rate environment, bondholders who have bonds coming due or being called face the difficult task of investing the proceeds in bond issues with equal or greater interest rates than the redeemed bonds. As a result, they are often forced to purchase securities that do not provide the same level of income, unless they take on more credit or market risk and buy bonds with lower credit ratings. This situation is known as reinvestment risk: it is the risk that falling interest rates will lead to a decline in cash flow from an investment when its principal and interest payments are reinvested at lower rates. Social/Political / legislative Risk Risk associated with the possibility of nationalization, unfavorable government action or social changes resulting in a loss of value is called social or political risk. Because the Congress has the power to change laws affecting securities, any ruling that results in adverse consequences is also known as legislative risk. Currency/Exchange Rate Risk Currency or exchange rate risk is a form of risk that arises from the change in price of one currency against another. The constant fluctuations in the foreign currency in which an investment is denominated vis-à-vis one's home currency may add risk to the value of a security. Investors will need to convert any profits from foreign assets into Naira. If the dollar is strong, the value of a foreign stock or bond purchased on a foreign exchange will decline. This risk is particularly augmented if the currency of one particular country drops significantly and all of one's investments are in that country's foreign assets. If the dollar is weak, however, the value of investor’s foreign assets will rise. Understandably, currency risk is greater for shorter term investments, which do not have time to level off like longer term foreign investments.
  25. Type of investment risk -1

    TYPES OF INVESTMENT RISKS -1 1. Interest Risk Interest rate risk is the possibility that a fixed-rate debt instrument will decline in value as a result of a rise in interest rates. Whenever investors buy securities that offer a fixed rate of return, they are exposing themselves to interest rate risk. This is true for bonds and also for preferred stocks. 2. Business Risk Business risk is the measure of risk associated with a particular security. It is also known as unsystematic risk and refers to the risk associated with a specific issuer of a security. Generally speaking, all businesses in the same industry have similar types of business risk. But used more specifically, business risk refers to the possibility that the issuer of a stock or a bond may go bankrupt or be unable to pay the interest or principal in the case of bonds. A common way to avoid unsystematic risk is to diversify - that is, to buy mutual funds, which hold the securities of many different companies. 3. Credit Risk This refers to the possibility that a particular bond issuer will not be able to make expected interest rate payments and/or principal repayment. Typically, the higher the credit risk, the higher the interest rate on the bond. 4. Taxability Risk This applies to municipal bond offerings, and refers to the risk that a security that was issued with tax-exempt status could potentially lose that status prior to maturity. Since municipal bonds carry a lower interest rate than fully taxable bonds, the bond holders would end up with a lower after-tax yield than originally planned. 5. Call Risk Call risk is specific to bond issues and refers to the possibility that a debt security will be called prior to maturity. Call risk usually goes hand in hand with reinvestment risk, discussed below, because the bondholder must find an investment that provides the same level of income for equal risk. Call risk is most prevalent when interest rates are falling, as companies trying to save money will usually redeem bond issues with higher coupons and replace them on the bond market with issues with lower interest rates. In a declining interest rate environment, the investor is usually forced to take on more risk in order to replace the same income stream. 6. Inflationary Risk Also known as purchasing power risk, inflationary risk is the chance that the value of an asset or income will be eroded as inflation shrinks the value of a country's currency. Put another way, it is the risk that future inflation will cause the purchasing power of cash flow from an investment to decline. The best way to fight this type of risk is through appreciable investments, such as stocks or convertible bonds, which have a growth component that stays ahead of inflation over the long term.
  26. Author: Nimi Akinkugbe Number of pages: 274 Whether you are just starting out and in your first job, financing your children's education, buying a property, approaching retirement, or somewhere in between, you need to take your personal finances seriously. In A-Z of Personal Finance the author, with a professional background of over two decades in banking and private wealth management, provides you with important practical information and useful tips on matters concerning you and your money. Personal Finance Expert & CEO of Bestman Games, Nimi Akinkugbe knows that a lot of people are worried about their personal finances. The A to Z of Personal Finance is a collection of words, topics and terms that are associated with the subject of personal finance. In this book, Nimi Akinkugbe focuses on some of the most significant principles used in her saving and investing philosophy. The purpose the book is to remove the mystique surrounding savings and investments, while dispelling the misconceptions attached to them. This book provides readers with concise information and tips on matters concerning the management of their money. A certified page turning book on money. The book seeks to empower people concerning their finances. In this book, she presents candid, useable insights and advice in understanding and managing personal finances and wealth. This book is highly recommended and won't amount to a waste of your precious time.
  27. . Author: Alex Becker Number of pages: 200 Found listed and reviewed on Amazon, the book, The 10 Pillars of Wealth: Mind-Sets of the World's Richest People, makes you think like a multimillionaire: and pushes you to leave the 9 to 5 behind. The world has led you to believe that financial freedom is not something you can willfully create in your life. You have been taught to view wealth as something that happens only to a lucky few who win a random business lottery or are blessed with unimaginable talent. The TRUTH is that creating excessive financial wealth does not come down to luck or talent. It comes down simply to your beliefs, understanding, and views--the ''pillars'' that reinforce your every action. Alex Becker not only breaks down the most important pillars for you but also shows you how to bring them into your life TODAY to begin generating lifelong financial freedom. Discover how to: Successfully quit your 9 to 5 and take back your life without taking massive financial risks, Separate your time from money so that you are constantly getting paid (even in your sleep), Understand the lessons multimillionaires have learned through years of trial and error, Map out the exact steps needed to build million-dollar businesses, Skip time-wasting mistakes and learn how to make money quickly by focusing solely on what gets you paid. In this fantastic book the author Alex Becker sets out to delineate the 10 most important concepts and mindstates behind getting rich in "Pillars" (that are the fancy equivalent of chapters). In each Pillar would find a notion to reject or except, or a mind-state, which then gets expounded upon in greater detail. The author is concise and to the point and incorporates a plethora of very good and relevant real-world examples. Pillar 1 ("Rejecting Getting Rich Slow") for example, refutes the glorified notion that the "right way" to be successful is to go to college, get a degree, work everyday for a salary; weekends off; spread out vacations, with slightly inclined pay raises and a good enough salary to eventually retire semi-satisfactorily later in life. Apparently, they say that it's "safer" to minimize risks (that the wealthiest self-made millionaires take) in your career and live just to insure a more guaranteed path to success and financial freedom. The author utterly rejects this notion. Pillar 4 ("Knowing Every Little Thing is 100% Your Fault") has to do with mind-state and as it's title states believing that every action you take is 100% your fault, and that when you take responsibility for all your circumstances; despite it's uncorrelated nature with your volition, you become more adept at manipulating your life situation. This as you may notice is a very common mindstate of the very successful. Pillar 6 ("Forgetting 'What If' And Focusing On 'What Is') is similar to Pillar 4 in a sense of the mindstate needed to endure, and most importantly get started. Many times in life we play hypothetical scenarios in our head of what will result in the actions we take rather than just taking them and calibrating, figuring out, and learning from them there and then. Pillar 8 ("Focusing Solely On What Gets You Paid") is a plan of action that states that you should put most if not all your efforts on the activities you undertake that ultimately get you paid. Other less profitable tasks should be outsourced and overall there will be a net benefit. There's a "Secret Pillar" that is very motivational. There's a bonus chapter that talks about the different kinds of online companies you can start and it outlines the details of each. Do you want to know about the remaining pillars? Buy the book today. If you want to get serious about changing your financial future, this is a MUST HAVE book.
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