Foreign Currencies: The Key To Investment Success?

Foreign Currencies: The Key To Investment Success - forex bank notes image

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There are lots of different ways you might want to invest your money. Most of them are really well-known and popular with individual investors. For instance, investing in property is currently highly advisable as the real estate market is rarely volatile and can, therefore, bring you some big returns on your initial investments. Other traditional investment methods include stocks and shares, as well as funds and commodities.

Investment markets are extremely varied, and I’m sure that there will be some that you have never heard of before, or things that you didn’t realize you could invest money into. Take foreign currencies, for instance. I’m sure you will have had money changed into a different currency when you have been on holiday, but did you know that some people make money by doing this? It is known as forex, and here are some tips to turn this into a top investment for your cash!

Stick With Your Chosen Strategy

Before you make any investment, you need a strategy that you can follow. Once you have decided on yours, it is critical that you stick with it, no matter what happens. Are you wondering how you can come up with the best forex strategy for you? It’s all about research – once you have researched it in full, you will have a much better understanding of currencies and how you can effectively create a strategy that is built for success.

Research The Best Forex Brokers

Just going to your local bureau de change won’t help you when it comes to investing in foreign currencies. You won’t be able to trade high enough amounts with them. Ideally, you need to go to a specialist trading platform for all of your transactions. They can even help you learn more about forex and will be able to answer any questions that you might have. But, more importantly, they will let you trade the sizeable amounts that can bring some very attractive returns.

Expect Some Small Loses

Trading in foreign currencies is much like trading in any other kind of investment – your investments could rise and fall in value. As long as you are aware that there will be some fluctuation, then you shouldn’t panic too much when you notice some small losses. Hopefully, your investment will be able to jump back from this.

Network With Like-Minded Investors

When it comes to forex, it’s a good idea to find some like-minded investors who you can add to your network. As it’s such an unusual form of investing at the minute, it’s a good idea to find your own support group who you can turn to whenever you need any help and advice.

Review Your Investments Once A Week

Ideally, you should check your investments once a week, preferably at the weekend once the markets have closed. That way, you can be aware if there is anything that you need to attend to. Plus, it helps you figure out which forex investments are potentially losing you money and need to be sold.

Forex isn’t too tricky once you know what to do!

You’re Spending Wrong!

If nobody has ever told you this before, then you’ve been missing out in life. The way in which we spend our money is poor. There are of course, the people out there who spend so carefully, and let absolutely nothing go to waste. But these people aren’t necessarily doing it right. These are the people who are most likely restricting themselves in life, so much so that they’re not enjoying themselves. There are also the people who hate to overspend, but can’t seem to help but do it. Somewhere in between you have those that are just winging it, hoping they’ll get by. All three of these are wrong, and no matter which category you fall under, there are ways of spending your money right. Have a read of the tips we’ve got below.

You're Spending Wrong! - piggy bank image

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Big Purchases

The big purchases are where we seem to go the most wrong in life. We spend so much money on so many big things throughout our lives. One of the first, and arguably the most expensive, is a car. From the moment you start driving, you’re sucked into a money trap that you’ll find yourself not being able to live without, especially if you want a new car. One way of getting around this is car leasing. It allows you to keep the car for two years, then you trade it in for a brand new model. Leasing is slightly cheaper than finance, and definitely cheaper than outright buying. Check out companies such as All Car Leasing if this is something you might be interested in. The second, and much bigger purchase, is a home. A home, again, is something we can’t do without. So, if you want to spend right, you’ve got to look right. Weigh out the cost difference between a brand new home and one that is a few years old. You’ll find that the new builds have more guarantees if things go wrong, but you can get so much more for your money with an older home. Spend right, and make the right decision for your finances, not your desires!

Little Purchases

The little purchases are the ones that seem to add up over time. We’re talking about little things such as a holiday. In the grand scheme of things it’s little, but to us, it’s something massive to look forward to. To spend right, you need to make sure you’re getting the best deal, and one way of doing that is through last minute deals. You could save hundreds if you did this!

Everyday Purchases

Everyday purchases are where people seem to go so badly wrong. Let’s take the weekly shop as an example. Your average family spends over a hundred a week on a food and toiletry shop. How do you get that down? By shopping online. It’s a tool that so many people forget about, but one that could just save so much money. You could also try your hand at couponing. People get into this and save hundreds a month on their normal expenses, isn’t this what you want to be doing too?!

New study: the best & worst states at managing debt

In the process of reaching your life goals, you might accumulate debt along the way. Millions of Americans carry student loans, credit card debt, and mortgages. One important factor many don’t consider is how geographic location impacts your overall debt burden.

A recent study released by Credible looked at 540,000 borrowers from all 50 U.S. states analyzing the average monthly debt payment (credit card, student loan and housing). The information about debt-to-income ratios gives us an idea about which states might provide you a financial advantage.

New study: the best & worst states at managing debt - States map image

Low Debt-to-Income States

According to the report, Michigan, Arkansas, Delaware, Kentucky, and Missouri had the lowest debt-to-income ratios. For example, Michigan residents spent just 25.3% of their monthly income on credit card, student loan, and housing payments. Michigan had the best score of all in the study.

High Debt-to-Income States

On the other end of the spectrum, Hawaii, Washington, Colorado, Oregon, and Montana had the highest average debt-to-income ratios. If you live in Hawaii, you spend an average of 36.2% of your monthly income on debt payments. That means for the average annual income of $56,889 in Hawaii, $20,593 goes towards loan payments. Hawaiians pay more debt per dollar earned than any other state in the country.

What Causes the Difference?

Are Hawaiians spend happy and residents of Michigan frugal by nature? Maybe, but the full explanation for the differences probably has more to do with macroeconomic factors in each state. In Michigan, the lower cost of living shows up as lower housing, credit card, and student loan payments. Needless to say, housing costs in the Hawaiian islands are very high.

Where You Live Affects Your Debt Load

Where you live affects your debt burden, and the data proves this point. All other things being equal, the state you live in can have a significant impact on your financial health.

Read the Credible report: Burdened by Debt: The Best and Worst States at Managing Debt.

Money Lessons Children Need to Learn Early

Money Lessons Children Need to Learn Early - stack of coins image

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As children grow up, there are a lot of important lessons that they will need to learn. A number of these lessons are going to revolve around money. It is important to educate your kids so that they do not make any silly mistakes later in life. After all, managing your finances is not something that is taught in schools. However, you don’t want to overwhelm your child with information, so you need to choose your money lessons with care. Let’s take a look at some of the pivotal money lessons that children should learn early in life below…

You may have to wait to buy something you want – This is probably one of the best lessons you can teach your child, and one of the earliest. You can start teaching them this from the age of three or five years old. It is all about not giving your child what they want straight away. If you go into a store, and your child asks to buy something, or you even want to buy something, make a note of saying you cannot afford to right now, and then purchase it at a later date. This will show your child that you have had to work hard to secure the purchase you wanted to make.

The true cost of every purchase – One of the most valuable money lessons to teach any child is about working out the true cost of any purchase. Rarely any cost is as simple as it seems. There are always extra expenses and costs that may not be financial to think about, such as time. The most obvious example would be buying a house, of course. A lot of young adults think that the only thing they need to save for is the deposit. They are then alarmed when they see other costs. Not only do they need money for a deposit, but they need to factor in expenses on the day of moving, for example, removal services like those from businesses listed on Shiply. They also need to factor in legal expenses, as well as the cost of a professional home inspection.

You need to make choices about how you spend your money – The third and final lesson you should teach a child is that every purchase comes with a choice. You cannot buy everything you want, and it is all about making wise decisions. At this point, introduce your child to goal setting, as well as saving. Set up their own savings jar at home.

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding regarding some of the key money lessons that children should learn from an early age. If you teach your kids the lessons that have been discussed above, you can help to prepare them for the future and you can make sure they learn the value of money from a young age. It is very much about small lessons and baby steps that will ingrain valuable money lessons into your child’s mind so they can carry them forward into the future.

Is Bitcoin Actually Useful?

It’s hard to look at trending investments in 2018 without seeing news about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Increasingly viewed as commodities, these digital currencies made serious waves in 2017. Bitcoin nearly hit $20,000 in value, undoubtedly allowing a lot of early investors to cash out with serious gains. And though it has since declined fairly significantly, the 2017 surge is still on people’s minds. Everyone from amateur investors to serious hedge fund managers is at least keeping an eye on the crypto markets.

Is Bitcoin Actually Useful? - Bitcoin image

The question we have at this point, and the one anyone dabbling in cryptocurrency ought to think about, is whether it’s actually useful. Bitcoin was originally designed as an alternative currency, meant to take over as a secure, anonymous means of conducting basic transactions. This hasn’t happened yet, and in fact we’re nowhere near that point. But there are some ways in which bitcoin can be useful.

Online Retail Shopping

The slowest area for bitcoin adoption has been in-person retail. While there are certainly brick-and-mortar restaurants, coffee shops, and stores that will accept bitcoin payments in person, they tend to be few and far between, and you almost have to go out of your way to make use of them. Online, however, some of the biggest retailers in operation have begun to accept crypto payments. Overstock, eGifter, Shopify, and numerous travel-related platforms (like Expedia and CheapAir) are among those usually included on the list.

Bitcoin Debit Cards

This can almost seem a little bit unnecessary, but if you’re someone who’s determined to make practical use of bitcoin and you don’t have enough opportunities to do so, you can actually load up a debit card with cryptocurrency. It then functions just like any other debit card (meaning you can use it just about anywhere), but instead of being backed by a checking account, it’s simply loaded up with a dollar value backed by your bitcoin.

Gaming & Betting

There’s actually a lot of competition between online gaming and betting platforms as they attempt to find different ways to appeal to players. There are several factors that must be considered when choosing a platform to engage in real money gaming activity with, and increasingly one such factor is payment methods. Many people prefer more secure and anonymous means of making deposits, and for this reason more and more of these sites are accepting bitcoin payments. In fact, some online casino platforms now exclusively take bitcoin.

Short Term Potential

This won’t help you today or tomorrow, but it’s also worth noting that bitcoin advocates haven’t given up on its potential to replace ordinary currency. Only a few months ago a man who’s already made millions in bitcoin predicted that it will replace fiat currency in five years’ time. That may be a little bit optimistic, but there’s an argument to be made for exploring cryptocurrency now because it’s probably going to get at least somewhat more useful in day-to-day transactions.