Friday, April 12, 2019

Getting Preferred Stocks and How to Buy Them

Preferred stocks and how to buy them

To know if a company has outstanding preferred stocks and if you can get them, grab hold of its annual reports or even the financial statements, if you can get hold of it. Now, take a look at its shareholders equity. If any preferred stocks have been issued, a mention would be made of it here. If this is outstanding, then you can read more about the company’s prospectus for more information. Generally speaking, all banks issue preferred stocks as a prime source of Tier 1 capital.

If you want an overview at large, check out the Quantum Online website. It is a terrific tool for investors of any type, and of course that would include those looking at investing in preferred stocks. You are required to register with the site in order to gain access to their tables and list of securities, but it is well worth it since it is free. If you look around, you’ll find information about preferred stocks detailing its ratings from credit agencies, share prices, retraction information, dividend amounts, etc. You can look at several good options, such as the Malachite Aggressive Preferred Fund. It is a fund that is actively-managed and made available only for accredited investors.

If you are an individual investor, you can also be accredited. You need to be able to hold financial assets worth a net realizable value of over $1 million (either in an individual capacity or in a household). Failing that, you must have income before taxes of more than $200K in each of the two preceding years or $300K if you are married. But the simplest option is that to be recognized as an accredited investor, you need to invest at least $150K in the fund. Who says money can’t buy you everything?

But there are several options for you as an investor, such as the JOV Leon Frazer Preferred Equity Fund (also an actively managed fund) that manages to create dividend income by investing in preferred stocks. ETF’s too can be an option, given how they are all the rage at the moment. The management fee on these ETF’s are obviously lower than it is with mutual funds and that is one of the key benefits of ETF’s. For example, the Claymore S&P/TSX CDN Preferred Share ETF tracks the preferred share index and does so for you at a management fee of 0.45% per annum.

There are some key differences between stocks, bonds and preferred stocks and if you are looking to invest further in preferred stocks, hopefully you would have gained a better idea of how to do so. The key is to take a look at the company’s prospectus, since it will be available online and easily accessible.

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Thursday, April 11, 2019

Dividend Mutual Funds Offer Investors Protection

Dividend Mutual Funds Offer Investors Protection

One of the best ways newbies to the world of investing can get started is to try and learn as much as they can about investing and start to diversify their portfolios as best as they can. Mutual funds, and dividend mutual funds are an excellent way of doing just that. There are several choices that can be made when choosing between several mutual funds, but dividend mutual funds are a great way to invest since you get a little more back than you normally might and it’s great for investors that are beginning to earn their stripes. What dividend mutual funds do is pick out investments that pay off dividends.

Just in case you’ve been curled up under a rock and don’t know what mutual funds are in the first place, here’s a quick recap. Mutual funds are a collection of investments clubbed under one head. The mutual fund manager chooses what to invest in and when you invest in it you invest in everything the mutual fund holds. For beginners this is excellent since you won’t have to pick out stocks and end up losing a lot of money. In addition, it will let you diversify your holdings and spread the risk around. So you can choose between money market mutual funds, bonds, or commodities, pretty much anything when picking out mutual funds. And dividend mutual funds are obviously also an option since they choose dividend paying investments and help you recover your initial investment faster.

The little bit extra that these dividend mutual funds offer makes them a very safe bet. After a pre-set period, some companies will pay out money from its profits to its shareholders. This can be quarterly, monthly, annually or even bi-annually. This is money you get simply for holding the stock of the company. You can do whatever you want with it and only have to remember that there are taxes to be paid on it. Some companies even allow these dividends to automatically be ploughed back into buying some stock. That means you get shares for nothing and your holdings and earnings are boosted steadily just for participating in these dividend mutual funds.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Personal Finance Loans Might be Just What you Need

Personal Finance Loans Might be Just What you Need

Perhaps you are hard up for money but no one will extend you a loan. Maybe you have made late payments on your credit cards to the extent that you have shot your credit score to bits. Now, in your hour of need, no one will be giving you a loan. What do you? Have no worries, because like a knight in armor come to save the fading day, you can always use personal finance loans as a way out of this little mess that you’ve made for yourself.

Normally, getting personal finance loans are easy as hell and you can get them without much of a hitch at all. Normally, the formalities of these personal finance loans are easy to complete and you won’t have to wait a lot at all. The fact is that these loans are much smaller than the common loan that you find out there and so they can be put towards any use imaginable. Want to fix up the car? Check. Want to do up the home? Check. Want to go on a vacation? Check. Want to use it to pay for hookers, alcohol and drugs? Check. See how easy it is to get one of many possible personal finance loans?

Many people that do get this kind of loan make sure that it is an unsecured loan. The problem with getting an unsecured loan is that the interest rates that will be levied on this loan will be higher than normal. But that is only true if you are asking for a large amount of money. After all, if you’re going to take an unsecured loan the banker will want some kind of proof of good faith that you’re not going to vanish with his money forever! Financial institutions don’t really care what you intend to do with this money so long as you repay it in a timely manner and in full.

Depending on how much you borrowed and the terms of the borrowing, the repayment of the article can go on for a few months or even a few years. The general rule of thumb though is that you should try to repay it as soon as possible so as to avoid hefty interest charges. Not only will you save on interest, but you will also be able to improve the credit score that saw you head for personal finance loans in the first place, nipping the root of the problem in the bud.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Retirement Planning: No One Ever Said it Would be Easy

Retirement Planning: No One Ever Said it Would be Easy

One question that keeps on coming back to me like a faithful boomerang is on retirement and more specifically retirement planning. Everyone always ends up asking me just how much they should save up for their retirement. How do I put this delicately; there is no one number that I can give everyone. It’s just a personal thing. If I know you better, yes, I can give you a number. But allow me to explain why it’s such a point of personal reference. For some people a Volkswagen Golf GTI is their everyday car and a BMW M3 is a car they’d love to keep in the garage. For some though, the BMW M3 might be their everyday car while they’d love to see a Ferrari 458 Italia in the garage. Perspective; it’s a funny thing.

But how do you save up money like the numbers some people tout? Look, I never said retirement planning is easy; I did say it can be done though with some discipline, dedication and diligence. That’s the only 3D you need.

Just how much do you need to save?
Imagine you plan to work from 20 till you’re 60 (for calculation’s sake). What that means is you have to work for 40 years to get through potentially 20 to 30 years of your life. So your nest egg will be used up for almost as long as you will take to build it up. Now, let’s assume some more things. For one, let’s say your income matches the rate of inflation perfectly. Let’s also assume the same for your investments. Let’s also assume that your lifestyle remains unchanged. If that does happen, you will have to save something like 35% of your income each year. And that’s something not many people do.  Most people only save 5-6% per year, so you now see where the problem lies.

Retirement is getting earlier for most
Generations before us saved more and worked for more years than us and yet we want to retire earlier than them despite doing none of these things. We have a very materialistic mind and if you’re banking on your investments getting you to the Promised Land, you could be in serious trouble. Save more, invest better and work longer if you have to. Mind you, it doesn’t have to be a full-time job; even working as a consultant or part-time counts. Once you feel confident about money, you can always stop working and do whatever you want to.

Don’t ask when you can retire. Instead, know what you want to do and start planning towards it, whatever it may be.

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Sunday, April 7, 2019

Meditations on Money for the Inner Soul: Understand Road Blocks, Karmic Blocks, and How You Manifest Wealth

Meditations on Money for the Inner Soul: Understand Road Blocks, Karmic Blocks, and How You Manifest Wealth

We live in a time in history in which wealth has taken on a new collective meaning. There are more wealthy people than ever before, and in the collective imagination, we have a newly created vision of a standard of living that we consider our birthright. Credit cards, mortgages, and car loans mean we can experience ourselves as being well-off without it necessarily being based in reality. Whole countries live off debt and fake money. It’s all very confusing when there are still large areas of the world dealing with famine and disease on a scale that is unheard of in what is termed the ”developed” world.

The inequality and illusory nature of wealth are not the only reasons to be wary of its seductions. Even if you thought you were well-off, chances are that whatever wealth you thought you possessed has diminished in recent times. The upheaval in the world’s financial markets has made it only too clear that worshipping at the altar of materialism is a risky business.

So how do we navigate this treacherous territory at a time when material greed and expectation have reached heights that Socrates probably never even imagined? At a time in which global finances are in such rapid flux that no one can predict what will happen next?

First of all, stay close to yourself. Listen to your dreams and imaginings, and your inner promptings. Take yourself seriously. The soul will not lead you in the wrong direction if you pay attention. Learn to distinguish between the inner soul voice and the conditioned fantasy voice, and pay close attention to how manifestation functions for you.

The following are some questions that will help you work through your thoughts about money. Write these in your journal, and take some time to meditate on and write about each one.

  • Where does your money tend to come from? Do you get funds from your family, from your spouse, from hard work, from throwing big parties, from creating works of art?
  • How does money come to you? Does it come in sudden wind-falls or in regular paychecks? Does it come happily or unhappily?
  • What are your open gates for receiving money, and where do you think you might be closed? Visualize the gates through which money comes to you and see why some are closed. Find out what it would take to open them.
  • How does stuff come to you? Is it different from how money comes to you? (Sometimes people have a knack for attracting things over money because they have a negative belief about money itself.)
  • Look for where life is easy for you and see if that lesson can be applied to the realms that are more difficult. For example, if you have easy, plentiful friendships with women, think about working in a field in which women will be your clients or customers.
  • Examine your family of origin issues. Every family has its trips about money. What did you learn about money as a child? If money was lacking, what concepts has that imparted to your thinking? If you were born into a family that had money and that you have inherited, accept this as your fate and use the money to further your soul dream, which will often be philanthropic and/or socially responsible.
  • Look at where you disrespect money and waste it, and clean up your act. Look at your ethics and see if you feel entirely comfortable with all your choices.
  • Add up how much money you spend a year in interest and see what you can do to turn that negative into a positive by earning the money before you spend it.

Gratitude practice is useful in clarifying our relationship with money. Think about all the financial help you have received in your life and give thanks for it. Gratitude blocks can often arise around money because it can be such a charged issue, bringing up issues of entitlement in particular.

If you feel you don’t have as much money as you need, look at what useful function the lack of money might serve for you spiritually. For example, if you tend to be scattered in your thoughts and actions, a lack of money might serve to focus you on what is really necessary. Imagine having all the money you think you need and see how you feel. Within that you may find clues to why you might be blocking yourself from being wealthier.

Practice respect for but also detachment from money. The gods and goddesses of money seem to like us to pay close attention but to also be relaxed. (That applies to just about everything, though, doesn’t it?)

Give space in your perceptions for the possibility that everything right now is absolutely perfect – that the restrictions you experience on the material level are actually part of the divine plan of your soul for your ultimate fulfillment. Do this while vowing to free yourself of karmic restrictions brought about by erroneous thoughts and actions regarding money, work, and material anxiety.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lara Owen, author of Growing You Inner Light: A Guide to Independent Spiritual Practice (Copyright © 2009 by Lara Owen), has trained with spiritual teachers all over the world and has made a lifelong study of spiritual practice in several traditions. 
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