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How An Investor Could Get Through Corona Virus Markets

Ok, so Corona virus has hit us hard in so many places, and it has certainly made the investment market very wobbly. If you’re someone who has investments in the markets and are being affected by what is going on at the moment it can seem like a bleak, uncertain and unnerving time. But, what exactly are you supposed to do to get through this difficult time?

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Let’s have a look at some of the thing you can do during this uncertain time: 

Don’t Do Anything

So, the value of your current portfolio has already declined. One option you have is to do nothing, if you sell now you are converting your paper losses into real ones. 

Stop Constantly Checking 

We all know that times are bad for investors at the moment, and constantly checking the value of your portfolio isn’t going to change that. Turn off your notifications, it’s probably already too late for you to change anything now. You might make a bad situation even worst if you keep looking, you might feel forced to sell when you shouldn’t from nerves and anxiety. 

Stick With Your Plan 

If you already have an investment plan in place where you use tools like MetaTtrader 4 for mac, stick with it. Try to keep investing as you normally would. For example if you have money that goes into your retirement plan every month or two weeks continue to do that. 

Remember To Stay Calm

You need to remind yourself to think like an investor, just because time are uncertain at the moment doesn’t mean you should jump if the market jumps or falls dramatically. Especially if it’s happening over a day or the course of a week. You need to think rationally and leave your emotions behind. It’s much better for you to sit back and ride the storm, wait until everything calms down before you make any significant decisions. Remember you can never pick the market bottom or turnaround and just jump in. You need to fight the impulse of thinking this is good. 

If You Feel Like You Have To Do Something 

If you get the feeling you really, really need to do something, try to use this as a learning moment. If you keep hold of individual stocks, you can take the opportunity to review those holdings and review what could have happened with them. 

This may all fall on deaf ears, especially for those who want to use this crash as an opportunity to buy low and sell high. Using this time as the buy-low opportunity. If you absolutely have to buy in the current market make sure it is in a rational and disciplined manner, think about how much you can risk losing as this is only the beginning and things could get worst before they get better

Do you have any other tips that you could share in the comments below?

You’ve Inherited A Lot of Money – Now What?

When a loved one dies, some of us may expect to inherit money. This could be money tied up in property or funds in a bank. Some of us struggle to know what to do with this inheritance – should you invest it, and if so where? Below are just a few tips on how to handle money that you have inherited.

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Don’t spend it all straight away

There’s nothing stopping you from splashing all the money straight away. After all, it’s your money. However, you may want to consider all the choices that you have rather than splurging half of it on an impulsive shopping spree. It could be money to spend on travel or it could be money to spend on a down payment on a home. Compare all your options before spending your money.  

Find out if you have to pay tax on your inheritance

In the case of large amounts of money, you may have to pay inheritance tax. The exception is money that was given to you before your loved one died – this could be money left in a trust or even a property that was transferred over to your name before your loved one passed away. If the money is liable for tax, it could be important that you pay this tax first before spending it all.

Prioritise paying off your debts

If you have debts, it could be sensible to pay these off with your inheritance. It may not be as exciting as using the money for other purposes, but it will save you a lot of money in the future, possibly giving you a lot more disposable income to use. Paying off debts could be particularly necessary if you’re falling behind on payments or it’s affecting your credit score.

Get professional advice when investing

There are many ways you can invest your inheritance from savings accounts to stocks and shares. It could be worth getting professional advice using a service such as Equilibrium so that you can find the best place to invest these funds. After all, you don’t want to gamble away this money or put it in the wrong saver where it may only accumulate minimal interest.

Give money to family and friends

There may be family members and friends that can benefit from the money you’ve inherited. For instance, you may have kids that you can give the money to. If there was conflict within your family, realise that some people may have been deliberately left out of a loved one’s will – if you share your money with these people, realise that it may be going against your loved one’s wishes. That said, it is your decision how you spend your money.

Consider giving some to charity

 If you’ve inherited a lot of money, you may feel like giving some to charity. This could be a charitable cause that you feel strongly about or a cause that affected your deceased loved one (a great way of honouring them). Take your time to compare charities that are out there using sites like Charity Choice. You may even consider setting up your own charity if you inherited a particularly large amount of money. 

3 Important Tips For Novice Real Estate Investors

Real estate investments are a very popular strategy and if you know what you’re doing, you can make a lot of money from them. However, a lot of people get the wrong idea about real estate investing. They assume that it’s easy money and as long as you have the money for a down payment on a property, you’re guaranteed to get rich. That isn’t the reality at all and there are plenty of novice real estate investors that lose money because they make poor decisions. If you are considering becoming a real estate investor for the first time, here are a few important things to remember.

3 Important Tips For Novice Real Estate Investors - attractive family home image
Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Consider The Type Of Property 

You already know that location is one of the most important things to consider when investing in real estate, but it’s not the only thing that you have to think about. The type of property and how it performs in that location is important too. For example, a one bedroom flat aimed at young working professionals will be easy to rent out in the middle of a large city, but it is not going to be desirable in the middle of a small village. In that kind of location, you’d have more luck with a modest family home. You need to think about the kinds of people that live in the area and what type of property they want. 

Seek Legal Advice 

There is a lot of paperwork involved with real estate investment, but a lot of people assume that they’ll be fine because they have bought and sold their own properties in the past. However, you should always seek the advice of Residential Property Solicitors when investing in real estate because there are other issues to consider. For example, if you are buying commercial property, they may be issues around the use of the building and you may not be able to make alterations. In some cases, you may also inherit liability from the previous owner if there are health and safety concerns. It’s important that you have a legal professional to help you navigate these issues before you sign the contract. 

Start Small 

The biggest mistake that novice real estate investors make is trying to build a property empire straight away. They are counting on the fact that they’re going to rent all of these properties out right away and make loads of money, but that won’t always happen. There are a lot of initial costs to cover like renovations and repairs, and it can take some time before you find tenants. If you are going to be successful, you should stick with one modest property to make sure that you can cover all of the running costs. Once you have moved tenants in and you are earning money on your investment, you can put that money into a new property. 

Real estate investments can be very lucrative, but they are not without risk. If you are a novice, make sure that you follow these tips.

IT’S NOT MAGIC: WEIGHING THE RISKS OF AI IN FINANCIAL SERVICES

OVERVIEW

Artificial intelligence has enormous potential for financial services – but ethical challenges, a skills gap and market vulnerabilities pose risks that the industry must confront. These include biases leading to discrimination against some customers and increased danger of ‘flash crashes’, which could be amplified by inter-connections to pose a systemic threat. These judgements form part of a new report from the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation, an independent London-based think-tank.

The authors, Keyur Patel, research associate at the CSFI and co-author of its ‘Banana Skins’ risk reports, and Marshall Lincoln, a Silicon Valley AI expert, interviewed a wide range of AI and ML specialists, financial practitioners, risk managers and regulators for the report. With AI and machine learning (ML) set to become ubiquitous, they found that some risks are inherent in the new technology, while others stem from a lack of human understanding and preparedness. The full report can be found here.

KEY MESSAGES

AI is fundamentally different from traditional forms of automation.

The report identifies three principal ‘risk drivers’:

  • Opacity and complexity: A trade-off at the heart of many AI models is that the more effective the algorithms, the more difficult they are to scrutinise.
  • Distancing of humans from decision making: AI is different from previous ‘rule-based’ forms of automation because it enables many actions to be taken without explicit instruction.
  • Changing incentive structures: The benefits to successful firms and the risks of getting left behind create powerful incentives to implement AI solutions faster than may be warranted.

ML models are just as fallible as rule-based ones.

  • New ethical challenges include algorithmic biases that could lead to discriminatory practices. These biases can be extremely difficult to root out because ML excels at finding complex ‘hidden’ relationships in data.
  • A purported benefit of AI is that it dispassionately draws conclusions from data, without prejudice. In practice, however, the beliefs and values of the people who build the models affect the outcomes.
  • AI systems can perform poorly in previously unencountered situations – potentially amplifying the impact of “black swan” events.

ML-driven solutions may undermine social benefits.

  • In insurance, greater risk differentiation could lead to high-risk individuals being priced out of the market, even though they may be the ones most in need of insurance.
  • ML’s ability to combine data on individuals from diverse sources might challenge our concept of fairness, as well as raising privacy concerns.
  • More personalised financial products could come at the expense of price transparency.

AI could contribute to a future financial crisis.

  • One trigger might be a particularly sharp “flash crash”, where many interconnected AI trading programs react in the same way to some market event.
  • A second might be an event that undermines public faith in the financial system, such as a coordinated cyber-attack crippling critical IT infrastructure.
  • A third relates to financial institutions using AI for risk management. How will ML-powered models trained on data when market volatility was low react to extremely rare ‘black swan’ events?

A pronounced skills gap ratchets up the risks of AI implementation.

  • Financial institutions might become dangerously over-reliant on specialists with highly technical skill sets that decision-makers do not sufficiently understand. There are parallels here with the industry’s uncritical trust in quantitative analysts in the lead-up to the global financial crisis.
  • There is a global shortage of people who can design, deploy and maintain AI systems. Hiring expert programmers who lack financial services knowledge increases the risk of poor outcomes.
  • Decision makers at financial institutions typically do not know how AI works and fail to grasp its limitations. This could lead to inflated expectations and a failure to make effective use of the models’ output, or to boards signing off on decisions without understanding the implications.
  • Other managerial weaknesses might lead to a lack of accountability, the implementation of individual solutions that do not work together and expensive duplication of effort. It may take institutions longer to accomplish less at greater cost, and expose them to security and compliance risks.

The proliferation of AI could fundamentally change market dynamics

  • ‘Fintech’ challengers that use AI most effectively could take advantage of data network effects to dominate markets. Even without explicit anti-competitive behaviour, this might make it difficult for others to compete effectively.
  • AI could lead to new forms of interconnectedness in financial markets at the IT systems level, increasing the probability of flash crashes. Financial institutions could become over-dependent on a few third-party tech providers, making them vulnerable to single points of failure.
  • Regulators will face new challenges in determining which institutions fall under the scope of financial services regulation, as more non-traditional firms challenge incumbents and lines between sectors become blurred. They must also protect competition in financial markets, while acknowledging that AI needs scale to be effective.

Outcomes depend upon humans, not machines

It is becoming increasingly common for financial practitioners to work with AI and ML. This means that they – and particularly decision-makers – must be able to critically evaluate these technologies. Their ubiquitous deployment will have consequences for consumers, institutions and the stability of the financial system. A decade after the global financial crisis, the world is still grappling with the ramifications of the industry’s embrace of complex financial instruments. Any comparisons to be made with the impact of AI are speculative, but the parallels should not be dismissed out of hand.

The report also discusses the potential benefits of AI in financial services, which include facilitating the ‘democratisation’ of the industry and offering major improvements in security, compliance and risk management. The authors argue that these benefits are compelling but focus their analysis on risks because of the hype around new technologies. The report was produced with support from Swiss Re and Endava

8 Reliable Ways to Predict Movement in the Forex Market

The ability to skilfully predict changes in the forex market can be the difference between a trader making profit and losses. To survive and thrive in the forex market, it’s important to grasp the factors that cause changes in the price value of currencies. These eight factors will help you forecast any changes in the forex market, allowing you to gain an edge in the trade.

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The Consumer Price Index (CPI)

This is the measure of the prices of consumer products and services, such as food, transportation, automobiles, and healthcare. The measure helps a country keep a leash on prices by indicating when prices are rising (inflation) and when they are falling (deflation).

As a forex trader, you should keep updated with current inflation rates so as to accurately predict market movements. When inflation rates are stable, then you know you can go ahead and trade that currency pair. However, with high inflation rates, trading in that country’s currency will lead to losses.

Trade and Capital Flows

With forex trade being a global industry, the capital or trade flows in and out of a country can increase or decrease its currency value. Before predicting a currency’s performance, check whether its country is heavily dependent on exports, because in the event the exports drop, the currency will fall.

Capital flow is the money investors inject in the country. A currency value is hurt if investors flee from a country, for instance, due to political upheavals, lack of political goodwill, etc. It is thus an important factor when pondering how to predict forex markets.

Economic Growth

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The performance of a country’s economy has an impact on its currency. Generally, a stronger economy creates the environment for a stronger currency. This is because; the higher the economic growth, the more opportunities to invest and conduct business in the country. This increases the demand for the local currency, lifting its value.

Interest Rates

Just like with economic growth, the more the interest rates of a country increase, the more its currency becomes stronger. This is because higher interest rates attract investors to save their money in bonds, stocks and savings accounts, causing an increase in demand for the local currency.

Geopolitics

Any disturbance of the political scene in a country causes a shake-up in the forex market. Since a currency is representative of a country, government politics and global relations will often determine its stability or its fall in value.

Mergers and Acquisitions

This factor is useful when predicting the short-term movements in forex trading. When a foreign country firm purchases or consolidates with a company in a particular country, it causes an economic ripple on the local country, causing a change in currency value. Any savvy forex trader will keep an eye open for this sort of movement and either lean in to capitalize on it or avoid investing, depending on the economic effect the move causes.

Natural Disasters

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Catastrophic natural events on a country, e.g. earthquakes, hurricanes and floods usually impact a country’s currency, and not in a positive way. The aftermath of such events, from national apprehension to damaged infrastructure – which is the backbone of any country’s economy, to loss of life, causes a currency to depreciate.

Wars

Much like natural disasters, war can have a devastating impact on a country’s economy. Apart from the destruction of infrastructure, wars can devalue a country’s currency value by the ripple effect of the massive rebuilding efforts – which cost massive amounts of money. This is because reconstruction efforts require capital obtained from very low-interest rates, diminishing the value of the local currency.

Forex traders should be on top of any such development so as to be able to predict the direction of forex movement in the country. If a widespread war occurs in a country whose currency is part of your currency pair, then you’ll know to hold out until the economy stabilizes.  

Summary

Forex traders have information at their disposal to assist them more than ever before. Taking calculated risks is the key to making maximum profit in the forex industry, and that starts with watching out for events that may rock their currency pair’s exchange rates. This information will enable you to strategize even better; by having an accurate idea of when to enter or exit the market.