Investing in tough ecconomic times – Part II

This is continuation of our last post.
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Fine-Tuning Your Portfolio
Once you’ve made the big decision as to what your stock/bond allocation should be, it’s time to do your fine-tuning.

Just as stocks and bonds tend to poorly correlate, different kinds of stocks and different kinds of bonds similarly have limited correlation. That’s especially true on the stock side of the portfolio. Smart investors will make sure to have both domestic and foreign stocks, stocks in both large companies and small companies, and both value and growth stocks. Growth stocks are stocks in fast-moving companies in fast-moving industries, such as technology. Value stocks are stocks in companies that have less growth potential, but you may be able to get their stock on the cheap, at times making them better investments than growth stocks.

Just as you get more bang for your buck but also more bounce, with stocks versus bonds, you also get more potential return and additional risk, with small-company stocks over large-company stocks. Although international stocks aren’t any more volatile than U.S. stocks, per se, differences in exchange rates can make them much more volatile to U.S. investors. The greater your tolerance for risk, the more small-company stocks and more international stocks you might want to incorporate.

Once your portfolio grows, and you have all the broad asset classes covered, you might consider branching out into narrower (but not too narrow) kinds of investments. Possibilities would include high-yield bonds, small international company stocks, commodities and certain industry sectors of the economy, especially those that tend to have limited correlation to the market at large, such as real estate and energy.

The Mechanics of Investing
It is very hard to achieve good diversification, the kind described above, by investing in individual securities. “Unless you have a ton of money, it is impossible to own a sufficient number of stocks so as to be diversified across the board…domestic and international, companies of different sizes, and different industries. Owning mutual funds or exchange-traded funds makes achieving good diversification much easier,” says advisor Peters.

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs), are akin to index mutual funds, but they trade like stocks. You’ll pay a commission to buy an ETF, so mutual funds generally will make more sense if you are contributing regular small amounts to your account. When picking a mutual fund or ETF, you not only want to find one that represents a certain broad asset class (such as large American stocks, for example), but you want one with reasonable expenses and a solid management team.

One caveat: Pay little attention to which asset class happens to have run away in the past months. The vast majority of investors make the mistake of pouring money into “hot” sectors, and then selling off when those sectors cool. They are continually buying high and selling low…exactly the opposite of what you should do!

“Pick an allocation and stick with it,” says Johnson. “Don’t forget your goals. Don’t panic and sell when the market drops. To reap the maximum rewards from the markets, you need to ride out the lows and wait for your day to come.” She also cautions against market timing. “The best time to invest is always right now,” she says. “Lots of people sit on the sidelines, keeping their money in cash, waiting for the right moment to buy. That’s a mistake. You stand to lose more than you stand to gain.”

Johnson points out that idle cash loses money to inflation. Any money you won’t need for the long-haul is best invested.

Keeping An Eye on World Affairs
When things get out of whack, you’ll need to rebalance and get back to your original allocation. Most financial experts recommend that you look over your portfolio either once a year or once every year and a half.

If the urge strikes you to shuffle things around much more often than that, resist! “Buy and hold investors tend to be the most successful investors over the long run,” asserts Johnson.

August 5th, 2012 | Comments Off on Investing in tough ecconomic times – Part II

Investing in tough ecconomic times – Part I

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The past few years have been the ugliest thing to hit Wall Street in a very long time. We don’t need to tell you….Pick up a newspaper….Turn on the TV….Look at your dwindling account balance.

Some pundits are telling us that this is the end of everything, and the collapse of the entire economy is coming.

Know this: We’ve seen tough times before…many of them. And each and every time, there are those who pronounce the End of Capitalism, and swear up and down that the markets will never come back. Each and every time, they’ve been dead wrong. One of these days, they may be right. Is that time now?

Probably not.

If anything, the present crisis is not sending a message to sell everything and hide, but rather, a message to remain well diversified, and to keep our eyes on the long-term horizon.

“I see this as a time to either buy, sell or hold!” quips Rose Johnson, CFP, an independent investment advisor based in York Harbor, Maine. “Markets go up and down. We can’t predict what the coming months will bring. Nor should we be overly concerned,” she says. “If we’re long-term investors, we build a portfolio that will see us through up times, down times, and flat times.”

The key to building such a portfolio starts with a bit of introspection. “First, you need to have a long-term plan. You need to know why you’re investing, and what you’re investing for,” says Johnson. “Second, you need to select diversified investments that together provide an appropriate level of risk and potential return.”

Know Where You’re Going
Are you saving up for a new car? A new home? Your grandchild’s education? Eventually, of course, you’ll need to build a nest egg to carry you through retirement. How do your future needs match up with the amount you’re currently saving? These are just some of the questions you’ll need to ask yourself while constructing your optimal portfolio.

Perhaps the most important question of all – but one that can only be answered by first tackling the others – is to know your time frame. In other words, when might you need to first pull from your savings? And how much might you need at that point?

“When I help people design portfolios, I first ask them to identify short-term and long-term goals,” says Michael Peters, CFP, a fee-only (takes no commissions) registered investment advisor in Seattle, Washington. “We try to identify future capital expenditures – a home purchase, college tuition, a new car. For most people, the biggest expenditure by far will be getting through the retirement years.”

The need for cash…today, tomorrow, and 20 years from now…is largely what should determine which investments to plug into a portfolio, says Peters.

An Introduction to Asset Allocation
Although the world of investments offers countless opportunities – and dangers! – all investments qualify as either equity, which means something you own (stocks, real estate, gold) or fixed income, which represents money you’ve lent in return for interest (bonds, CDs, money-market funds).

Historically, equity, especially stocks, have provided much greater returns than fixed income investments, but they have also been considerably more volatile. (As we’ve seen of late.) Since 1926, the average annual return of the S&P 500 (an index of large-company U.S. stocks) has clocked in at an impressive 10.4 percent. The average annual return of long-term government bonds, 5.5 percent. But the bond market rarely goes into negative territory, and has never dipped more than 10 percent in a single year. The stock market, in contrast, loses money in almost one of every three years, and this year has lost a lot.

Any good portfolio will have both stocks and bonds. Investment professionals say that these two kinds of investments have “poor correlation.” Poor correlation is a good thing! It means that stocks and bonds tend to perform better at different times. In a year that your stocks are shooting high, your bonds may lag. The next year, stocks may fall, but bonds may rise. (Treasury bond prices, especially, have been on a tear lately.) Having both stocks and bonds in a portfolio smooths out your returns, and helps you sleep better at night.

But what is the best ratio of stocks to bonds to cash…70/25/5?…50/45/5?….30/60/10? That’s where your time frame becomes an essential factor.

“Generally, any money that we might need to tap within the next four years, we want to keep in cash or fixed-income investments, such as bonds” says Peters. “Money that won’t be needed for five or more years, such as money for retirement, if I’m working with 30- or 40-something people, we want primarily in equity, such as stocks.” A typical 35-year-old saving for retirement, for example, might have a “target asset allocation,” or ideal investment mix of about 80 percent stock. A typical 45-year old might want closer to 70 percent.

Peters explains that the money needed in the next four years should be invested so that there is minimal risk to the principal. Beyond four years, taking the added risk of the stock market is usually a fair trade-off for the expected greater return. “But people have very different risk preferences,” adds Peters. “You need to ask yourself how much you’re willing to see your portfolio drop in any one or two year period.”

Please Read the Part II of our story next.

July 30th, 2012 | Comments Off on Investing in tough ecconomic times – Part I

Expand Your Business Reach by Developing a New App

Now that a growing number of consumers are using the Internet on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, creating a mobile app is an excellent way to reach your target audience. Getting a custom-made mobile application is easier than you might think. Companies specializing in mobile application development Los Angeles are able to put together a mobile app based on your unique specifications. No matter what features you want your app to have or what you want it to do overall, a professional app development team can make it happen.

The type of mobile app that you get will depend on the type of business you run and what you’re trying to accomplish with your application. For example, if you run an e-commerce site, you can get an app developed which makes it easier for shoppers to see any new items that you’ve added to your selection and make purchases. Another idea that mobile app developers Los Angeles can bring to life is a small game that will promote your brand.

A professional iPhone app development company Los Angeles can also offer you some suggestions as to what kind of app would be best to expand the reach of your business and catch the attention of your customers. Once your app has been created and added to the mobile marketplaces, you can use various marketing channels, such as social media, your email newsletter and your website to promote it and encourage people to download it onto their mobile devices.


Halcyon Innovation is an Android and iPhone app development company in Los Angeles, specializing in creating engaging apps for businesses of all sizes.

August 24th, 2016 | Leave a Comment

The Benefits of Having a Good Mobile Website

Your company can have a highly-functioning site that views perfectly in every computer browser. However, it might still not be enough. Nowadays, search engine marketing Los Angeles is ordinarily not complete without building a beautiful, navigable mobile site.

Characteristics of a Mobile-Friendly Site

The demands for accessing information on the move is increasing. Along with that, people are finding what they need as they travel while viewing their phones or tablets at rest stops and hotels.

A mobile-friendly site usually includes these features:

  • Easily visible contact information – Best practices of marketing services in Los Angeles also includes making your contact page accessible from your site’s primary menu. You want users to be able to contact you when they need to.
  • Zoomable product images – This especially helps when the image has a description. People on phones, tablets and portable computers often want to see up close a small photo. This makes it easy for them to see pictures and text in detail.
  • Optimized for users – The pages need to load as fast as possible. This is especially helpful if the user is on a slow mobile connection. Each page needs to have as simple but as useful of a layout as possible as well.
  • Map and directions – Nowadays, a majority of mobile users are looking for local places on their phones. This is one of the hugest assets.
  • Apps on your site – Any time you make apps easily accessible to users either for their mobile devices or desktop, you usually have won them over. They are more likely to go back to it.
  • Social media buttons – SEM in Los Angeles often requires staying connected within as many avenues as possible online. Social media buttons make this convenient for users.

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Sticky Web Media is one of Inc. Magazine’s 500 Fastest Growing marketing services in Los Angeles.

August 6th, 2016 | Leave a Comment

Why Your Credit Score Will Take a Hit Following a Mortgage

A mortgage is a bittersweet thing for a credit score.

Unless you’re paying your house in full, taking out a mortgage is just a part of the home ownership process. Financial advisors have always warned home buyers that a high credit score will benefit them in the long run. A solid credit score will yield a lower interest rate which reduces the total amount of money being paid through interest over the course of the mortgage. Once you do become approved for your mortgage, it will affect your credit score in several ways.

Your Credit Will Drop

As soon as you obtain your mortgage, expect your credit score to temporarily suffer. Your credit score is essentially a representation of your ability to pay back any debt. Because this may be one of the largest loans you’re going to be taking out in your entire lifetime, your score will go down until you actually start fulfilling the mortgage payment obligation.

Be Sure to Pay Your Mortgage on Time

Because you’re going to see your credit score drop, it’s important that you focus on raising it back up to what it was prior to taking out a mortgage. This can be done by being responsible with your monthly payments. There are multiple services that claim to raise your credit score in numerous ways, but many of them are either scams or will just hurt your score more than it will benefit it. Be a responsible borrower and continue to make timely payments. Your score will then naturally rise over time.


 

Kuba Jewgieniew is the head of Realty ONE Group, a real estate brokerage firm that has nearly 5,000 associates in California, Nevada, and Arizona. 

May 31st, 2016 | Leave a Comment

How Apple Fared Through Endless Criticism… and Prevailed

Apple set the bar for new-age marketing standards.

There’s no doubt that Apple has had massive success over its competition. Why? Innovation is one main reason, along with their aggressive pursuit of what they would like to call a “perfect product” even in the face of doubt. While their products were laughed at by neighboring companies, they kept their heads down and continued to push their models. Fast forward to today, their success is justified just by walking down the street – how many people do you see on a daily basis carrying an iPhone or using an Apple product?

Apple Maintained Their Composure

According to Steve Doctrow, EVP of Marketing for Rogers & Cowan, recognition comes in the form of creativity. While other companies thought that Apple’s products would fall flat on their face due to their high prices and somewhat simple design, Apple pressed their cause and won over the hearts of the majority. Instead of listening to their critics, they designed what they believed was going to be a major hit. And, they were right.

They Believed In Their Pricing

For many companies out there, this is a bold move. In the case of Apple, they believed in the usefulness and technology of their products so much that they justified their prices. And the thing is, they got away with it.

Because their products were marketed for all their unique capabilities and cutting edge technologies, they marked them at a price that they felt like it deserved. And, instead of placing emphasis on the whole strategic pricing aspect, they bit the bark and created a standard for price ranges when it came to their products.

January 19th, 2016 | Leave a Comment

Proven Tips for Successful Radio Campaigns

To maximize the chance that your listener will react to your commercial, follow these basic steps.

Rather than attempting to dominate the local marketplace with advertisements, consider utilizing the power of radio networks to send your message across. Radio advertising has long been a popular medium for a business to advertise their products or services. In order to gain the maximum amount of exposure with the least expenditure, certain strategies should be implemented.

Steve Doctrow of Rogers & Cowan states that radio is still very much alive in the digital world. Although many believe that radio listeners are a dying breed, it’s safe to say that much of the United States still listens to the radio on a frequent basis.

Campaign Goals

Notice how many commercials that you hear on the radio today ask you to take a specific action towards the end. In order successfully draw in a consumer base, it’s important to duly note what type of action you want your prospective customer to take. For example, do you want your customer to call your business, view your website, or even visit your property? Be specific in your directional cues as this call to action leads to their primary form of communication with you.

Frequency “Sticks”

In order for the average person to actually “listen” to your commercial, you’re going to need to air your commercial numerous times – think 40-50 times. Frequency is as important as any other factor that’s in your strategy. If the listener doesn’t process your advertisement, they won’t necessarily react to it. Additionally, the more you frequent your commercials, the higher of a budget you’ll have to work with. Plan out your budget accordingly and be sure to set a good amount aside for frequenting alone.

January 5th, 2016 | Leave a Comment

Retirees are Sizing Up, Rather Than Down

Upon retirement, and an empty home, the next logical step would be to downsize to a smaller house to preserve your cash flow as well as to generate some extra money during retirement. However, many retirees have been upsizing rather than following conventional wisdom. Why is this happening? There are numerous reasons ranging from providing an extra space for a growing family to indulging the riches of their golden years.

Many retirees live with their adult children. They also consider the fact that they want a large enough space to accommodate their grandchildren and comfortably fit everyone over for the holidays. As a result, retirees place their money into obtaining more square feet. While the luxury of having more overhead sounds pleasant, it can quickly eat away at someone’s cash flow with all of the added costs put together.

It isn’t rare for a retiree to take care of their mom or dad under their roof. By upsizing, they’ll be able to accommodate their loved ones and keep them under close watch. To help their aging parents, many retirees opt for homes that have a more safe structure so they can navigate around without the worry of injuring themselves.

Finally, upsizing has its perks. There’s more space to do whatever you want with it and you finally get to live the lavish life that you dreamed of. Many retirees leave their jobs with the mindset that they get to enjoy everything that they missed out on – and that means the large purchase of a new home as well.

Bio: Realty ONE Group was founded by Kuba Jewgieniew, a former computer engineer that revolutionized the real estate industry with the introduction of his real estate brand.

December 22nd, 2015 | Leave a Comment

Tips on How Getting Approved for a Mortgage

Mortgage approval is based on several different factors. If you want to purchase your first home, you’re most likely going to have to go through a mortgage lender to make it happen. In order to qualify for the mortgage rate that you absolutely want, your application is going to have to look attractive in the eyes of the lender. Here are some tips that can potentially improve your chances of getting approved for a mortgage.

Obtain a Credit Report

Take a look at your credit report. What are your three scores currently listed at? Your credit score plays a major role in determining what type of mortgage interest rate you’re going to see – and it’s crucial that you get the lowest rate possible. Be sure that you check for any mistakes on your reports. It may be rare but misprints or inaccuracies do occur from time to time. Be sure to report them and fix them as soon as possible to get your credit back into good standing.

Fix Your Credit

The higher your credit score, the better your mortgage rate will be. This can’t be stressed enough as over time, the interest can really affect your finances. With due diligence, you’ll be able to fix your credit score and pay your bills on time. Keep your credit balances low and reduce the amount of debt that you owe also.

Large Down Payment

If you throw down a hefty down payment, it’ll show the lender that you’re financial situation is in the green. It’ll also increase the chances on getting approved for your mortgage as well. You want to prove to the lender that you have the capital to afford your monthly mortgage payments without any delinquencies.

Bio: Kuba Jewgieniew is the CEO and founder of Realty ONE Group, which has made INC. 500’s list of fastest growing companies in America for the 6th consecutive year, and was ranked top 10 in the nation for closed transactions by Real Trends.

November 27th, 2015 | Leave a Comment

Finding a Home in Richmond

By The Steele Group

If you’ve never been there before, you probably don’t know too much about Richmond, much less the rest of Virginia. To most people, Virginia is just a huge swath of land with plenty of wilderness and a close proximity to our country’s capitol. This is all true, of course, and a lot of people look for Richmond homes for sale specifically because they love the outdoors or work somewhere close to Washington, D.C.

The SteelegroupSIR6With so many new homes in Virginia, it should be easy to tell that more and more people are waking up to the advantages of living here. Still, there are plenty of houses that are decades old and retain plenty of their amazing character and even some new, added features.

If you’re raising a family, you should definitely look into the amazing educational system in Virginia. Richmond has an especially good one, which makes it such a great place to raise your family. Of course, the colleges here offer plenty to love about them as well.

Whatever the case, if you’re planning a move soon, make time for exploring all that Virginia has to offer. You definitely won’t be sorry by the results once you finally move here.

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When you’re ready to relocate to Richmond, let The Steele Group know. While just about all Richmond, VA houses are amazing, you want the experience of these trusted realtors to make sure that your busying experience is everything it should be and more.

September 8th, 2015 | Leave a Comment

Living in Chesterfield

By Virginia Homes

If you are planning to move in the near future, then you most likely have plenty on your plate at the moment. Amongst many things, obviously, you’re hoping to find that perfect house. Few things will have as big an impact on your life as having a home you’ll be proud to own and enjoy spending time in with your family.

thesteelgroupSIR6That’s why so many people love living in Virginia. Well, it’s one of many reasons, actually. Virginia has so many great homes to choose from in some really great neighborhoods.

To really speed the process up, just check out Chesterfield homes. Seriously, if you want to live in Virginia, what you should do is contact a Chesterfield realtor today and tell them exactly what you’re looking for in a home and community. Chances are they’ll have a house that’s just perfect for you. In fact, don’t be too surprised if you find out that there are several that fit the bill.

Living in Virginia is going to be amazing, no matter where it is you have your home. However, Chesterfield is known as one of the best areas in the entire state which is saying a lot.

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Are you in the market for a new residence? If so, you definitely have a lot of options these days, that’s for sure. However, talk to a realtor in VA before you make your final choice and chances are you’ll be very happy with your decision, especially if it’s one of those beautiful Chesterfield County homes.

August 8th, 2015 | Leave a Comment

Ten reasons to love Richmond, Virginia

Written by relocate to Richmond

Millions of people move and relocate every year in the US. One popular destination is the the Richmond region. Here are eight reasons why Richmond is considered an awesome place to move (and even visit):

1) Interesting tours – You get tours for everyone. Covering everything from the arts in Richmond to slave trail tours that cover the history from that period.

2) Fresh foods – They have a wide variety of food ranging from fresh fish, cheese and many other local produce. For the foodie there are plenty of restaurants to keep you occupied.

3) Presence of a beach nearby – If living by the beach is something that is important to you, then Richmond has that covered as well.

4) Close proximity to hills – Lots of places to go hiking and mountain biking.

5) Richmond hosts one of the biggest festival in the US – This comes in the month of October, this is a folk music festival and attracts thousands of visitors every year.

6) They have an Island – You can go fishing at the Belle Isle or even just walk around the island.

7) Cuisine – Richmond’s restaurants cover every cuisine you can think of.

8) Real estate – The real estate market is great. You can easily find a home that matches your taste and lifestyle. Checkout Henrico county real estate, one of the most popular suburbs.

The Steele Group Sotheby’s International Realty could be helpful if you are looking for Henrico county homes. This is a group of Virginia realtor who can provide guidance on Virginia homes for sale and on finding real estate Henrico county VA.

July 20th, 2015 | Leave a Comment

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