Innovative Approaches To Improve Your CFDs

CFD trading might apparently seem pretty simple. But believe me, without the right approach and the best strategies you can never multiply your profits consistently. So if you’re a newbie in CFD trading, here are a couple of tips and strategies that’ll help you maximize your profits and enjoy amazing returns in the long run.

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 10.31.13 AM

  1. Try to preserve your capital

 

Well, while trying out the CFD, the first thing which you should ensure is to preserve your capital. This was even suggested by Marcel Link who explained why exactly one should concentrate on saving their capital. His book called ‘High probability trading’ suggested how a fellow trading enthusiast saw Marcel overtrading in his early days and suggested him to preserve his precious capital. So the first approach you should follow while trading is to forget about everything else and try your best to not lose any money. Remember, every dollar that you invested in the trade is precious. Therefore you need to make it a point to do everything possible to keep your money in your pocket instead of someone else’s.

 

  1. Always keep your edge

 

No matter how difficult and complex the trading gets, you will always need to have a positive approach about it. In other words, you will have to make it a point to stay an edge ahead of your competitors. In CFD trading, you will always find a group of professionals who are always looking out to strip money off you. But if you are smart, dedicated and disciplined enough, making profits and keeping your capital intact wouldn’t really be a big deal.

 

  1. Control the leverage of your CFD

 

Believe me, CFD leverage is so strong when things are in your favor and it might be the easiest thing then to increase the sizes of your positions as you. However, there is always a possibility of an inevitable loss that’ll constantly lurk around the corner. So make it a point with a smaller leverage of CFD. You should also keep the total exposure low as per your base capital.

 

  1. Concentrate on the stop losses

 

Stop losses are a highly significant aspect of CFD trading. They help in minimizing your loss which in turn helps you to preserve your base capital. Every such trade that you participate in should have a proper and clear CFD stop allotted to it. You should make it a point to identify that stop even outside the real-time live trading. It is very natural to be emotionally affected when your coveted position is quickly falling and it is exactly then you try explaining yourself how the stocks can be up almost miraculously. But believe me, this is far from reality. So make it a point to define the CFD stop outside your time of operation and adhere by it.

 

  1. Establish proper and realistic trading goals

 

Well, while one of your major goals would be to keep the amount of capital intact, the following one would be to stay in the trading game for at least. Survival is extremely important if you are looking forward to make a decent living out of CFD trading. You will therefore need to be highly disciplined and etch out trading goals that are realistic.

 

  1. Keep a trading journal

 

Your journal for CFD trading will help you to record your trades from time to time. It will help you gain clarity about your trade and will also help you to focus better on the strategies and patterns that you incorporate. While keeping a journal, make it a point to record what exactly you had bought or sold for the profit or loss, when exactly was the trade done, why was the trade conducted and so on. It should also have a chart that shows the potential entries, stops and estimated profit. You may follow companies like CMC Markets too.

 

  1. Try to scale between the trades

 

Although the trading accounts of most successful traders are neutral for a large part of the year. But there also will be a specific time in those twelve months where your profits will be unbelievable. The thing which you aren’t aware of is the fact that your capital needs to be kept intact even in the lean months. Right after that when the market aggressively starts adding winning positions, you will have to place your trades tactfully.

 

These are some of the best strategies to trade with CFDs successfully.

2016: The Year to Invest in Gold

One of the first currencies used in recorded history was gold. However, the use of the precious metal as a form of payment or investment dwindled as the years went on. The gold standard was abandoned completely as the Depression of the 1930s occurred. Since then, gold has still had value but greater favor was placed on the currency.

This year 2016 seems set to change this trend. There are more countries, investors, and central banks that have begun to buy gold. This buying spree has led to an increase in the value and cost of the precious metal. It is a commodity which greater number of people are turning to. The question remains, what is causing this increase in the interest in the yellow metal?

A Weak Economy

In the latter stages of 2015, it was predicted that 2016 would see a slight rise in the global market. It was predicted that growth would occur on an international scale. The first few months of the new year have not seemed quite so promising, however. The growth percentage has since then been revised to an almost negligible 0.2 per cent.

The economic crisis that plagued European countries in 2015 has followed into this year as well. The continent and the European Union has accumulated a vast debt in an attempt to bail out several of its members. Europe is a large and important part of the global economy, its financial difficulties impact the market at large.

There were many countries relying upon the success of the Chinese market. China had experienced until recently, a large amount of economic wealth. The country, unfortunately, has been lately presenting symptoms of a fiscal bubble. The bubble, at this particular time, seems primed to burst. This leaves the Chinese economy a volatile market at best.

Drop in Oil Prices

For decades, now, oil has been a favorite amongst investors. Its booming prices and its necessity for daily activities made it a relatively safe venture. This began to change in the latter part of 2014. The price of oil has continued to drop, and in 2016 has done so sharply. The cost of this commodity has not been so low since 2013. Iran’s reappearance on the market and U.S. endeavors to find domestic suppliers are just two of the reasons for this decline.

The forecast for oil is not so optimistic, either. Currently fluctuating at around $41 per barrel, it seems unlikely for the commodity to reach its more opulent value between $90 and $100 a barrel. This dismal prediction means that less and less investors are placing their faith in oil.

The one commodity that people are turning to during the weak economy and spiraling oil prices, is gold. Investors and countries alike are rushing to invest in as much of the precious metal as they can. The quantity of gold that has been bought in recent times is significantly higher than in the past few years. It is seen as a safeguard against all the volatile activities currently taking place in the market.

Spread Betting Isn’t Only for the Gambler and the Libertine – Here’s How to Reduce Your Risks and Play It Safe

The majority of investors use trading as a tool to subsidize their income, and many enjoy significant successes and a rapidly increasing bank balance. This is not to say that profits are guaranteed of course; speculation will always carry some degree of risk, and this is never truer than in the case of spread betting.

Beloved of gamblers and libertines alike, spread betting promises the potential for huge profits, alongside the danger of catastrophic losses. Allowing investors to transform their futures in an instant, many risk averse traders see it as no more than a glorified roll of the dice. They find the thought of playing Russian roulette with their savings abhorrent, and spread betting is given pride of place on their black list.

But all of this is changing. According to experts, a new trend is emerging, with canny investors maximizing their gains, whilst still managing to play it so safe that they could pay their mortgages on their spread betting profits.

Using Spread Betting to Lock in Gains

The financial markets have been undeniably volatile of late. The foreign exchange has fluctuated wildly as China verges on collapse, British, Swiss, and German banks bleed money, and oil and crude prices plummet. The stock markets have been no more stable, with the bottle falling off of European interests.

What the intelligent spread better has recognized is that what comes down comes just as rapidly go up, as the latest market volatility has demonstrated. In the world of investing, nothing is set in stone, and the beauty of spread betting is that it allows you to take advantage of the tempestuous nature of trading.

A common misconception, however, is that spread betting relies on luck alone. Traders are viewed as little more than gamblers, wildly throwing their money at every opportunity with the merest chance of providing a profit. This means that hundreds of thousands of investors are overlooking a valuable tool that they could be using.

Traditional long-only traders, however, are starting to recognize its utility, and are increasingly using spread betting like a standard stockbroking account. Used properly, and traded according to the traditional market indicators, they are realizing that it doesn’t have to be anymore high risk than other investment instruments, and that it can be cleverly use to lock in gains. Thus, should a takeover bid collapse, or European banks bleed more money, your painstakingly built profits won’t just evaporate overnight.

Going Long and Tactical Hedging

The primary reason that spread betting’s virtues are so often overlooked is because of one common misconception: that all spread betters go short. This is an erroneous assumption that the new breed of investor is turning on its head.

Instead of betting against assets, a large number of traders are choosing to go long on stocks over shorter periods instead. The beauty of this is that their profits are maximized, as neither stamp duty nor commission apply. When you combine this with the generous leverage offered by spread betting entities, you start to see hugely magnified gains every time that the stock markets move, which are not eaten into by the cost of buying shares beforehand.

However, spread betting’s true strength lies in its use as a tool for tactical hedging. If we look at Vodafone’s 2013 performance, we can see a prime example of how this worked. In 2013, Vodafone became the third largest company in London’s blue chip index. Its share values rose by 25 per cent following speculation of a potential takeover of its US joint venture, estimated to be worth £80 billion. This led to a wave of purchases by investors.

This is where savvy traders began to see opportunity in spread betting. By going short, they were able to hedge their bet, locking in the gains of rising share prices in the event that the Vodafone/Verizon transaction failed to come to fruition.

Reducing Market Risk

The irony of this is that spread betting, so often considered to be the black sheep of the investment market family, can actually be used to negate risk. As expert David Jones explains:

“If you had a £100,000 portfolio of FTSE shares, and were worried about a slide in the short term, you could sell the index at £15 per point, thus giving you a roughly £97,000 down bet on your investments. So, if the market slid, you would lose on your physical holding, but make on the spread bet, and vice versa.”

The majority of traders who choose to utilize this concept employ spread betting as a means of reducing general market risk.

According to Matt Basi, a leading figure at CMC: “Probably the most popular risk-reduction strategy we see employed by clients is that of taking long positions on a stock-specific basis, but short positions in the overall index.

“In so doing, they aim to remain market neutral in the hope that the companies on which they’ve taken bullish views go on to outperform the broader market over the medium term.”

This concept can even be applied to minimizing costs in your everyday life, and properly used it can be an exceptionally handy tool for reducing your outgoings. For example, something as simple as buying crude oil in the hope that it profits can be used to offset rising prices at petrol pumps.

Indeed, some experts are so enamored of the concept of spread betting as a risk aversion tool that they believe it could be used to make professional trading a feasible reality for many.

Although this may be slightly exaggerated, it is undoubtedly interesting to ponder whether risk could be reduced to such a degree that it need no longer be feared. Whilst we’ll be holding off on a career in spread betting for now, we still recommend that you give it a go and see how it profits your trading performance.

Five Benefits of Using MetaTrader 4

The forex markets are exceedingly tough to control. Volatile, complex, and incredibly difficult to predict, new traders often find themselves overwhelmed by the myriad of factors and terms that they must grasp in order to trade successfully. They ask themselves a thousand questions, and often struggle to find an answer to any of them.

With the right help and a little dedication, however, each of these complexities can be unpicked, provided that you’re willing to put in the hours. One of the most important decisions that you’ll face, and one that really does require some serious thought, is the type of trading platform that you decide to use.

Options generally take one of two forms: MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5. Although the latter was originally envisaged as an improvement of the former, many traders chose to stick with its first incarnation, and there are lots of good reasons for doing so.  

If you’re still undecided when it comes to picking which of the two is better for you, then here are five points that you need to consider…

#1: User Experience

One of the primary reasons that so many traders prefer MetaTrader 4 to its newer counterpart is because they feel it provides a better user experience. Its interface is incredibly easy to get to grips with, and this makes it much simpler to use than its successor. Considering how volatile, fast-paced, and challenging the markets can be, it seems to make little sense to complicate things any further, lending the original option a real advantage over its contemporary.  

#2: Charts

Another difference between MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 is the charting options that they provide, and you’ll soon discover that many people prefer the originals. Advanced yet user friendly, they meet a trader’s every need, helping them to comprehensively analyse technical aspects of the market, whilst presenting their findings in an easy to understand format.

#3: Disruptiveness

Another area in which MetaTrader 4 arguably outperforms its more advanced contemporary is in the minimal amount of disruption it causes. Unlike most other platforms, resources are low, keeping any negative impact on your PC or other devices to a level that’s barely noticeable. Thus, if you’re worried about slower performance or excessive lag, MetaTrader 4 is the perfect platform for you.    

#4: Profiles

A lot of users also laud the profile feature available in the original platform. This allows users to view account information, such as balance, trading history, access details, and password information from within the platform, meaning that there’s no need to disrupt your trading whilst you check this data out.  

#5: Customisation

Although there are numerous other benefits that we could list, we’ll finish here with five, and MetaTrader 4’s customisation features are surely worth a mention. The platform supports full personalisation, meaning that traders can adapt it to meet their every need. With the ability to do everything from developing expert advisors to customising your language, you can tailor MetaTrader 4 until its perfect for you.  

If you’re searching for the most user friendly, advanced, and popular trading platform on the market, then MetaTrader 4 could be the ideal option for you. Why not contact a broker like Fx Pro and trial a demo account today?

Start Small, but Start Now

One of the single most important factors in investment is time. If you never start, you’ll never give investments time to grow. This is most important when regarding investments that have a fairly low risk but grow over years and decades. I’m speaking, of course, of products like index mutual funds and ETFs. Using the power of compound interest, you can form yourself a little snowball rolling down a mountain, picking up matter and getting larger, faster as it goes along. This is the exponential growth effect of this form of investment.

 

The problem with this way of doing things is, you have to wait till the end to see the big growth. The big returns kick in frustratingly close to the end of the average human lifespan, meaning that you may have the best investment plan worked out, but you won’t have a ton of time to enjoy it once it pays off. If humans lived 200 years, index funds would pay off with plenty of time to spare. As things are, they leave wanting people hoping for a not-too-distant payoff.

 

Fortunately, this isn’t the only way to invest. It’s simply one of the least risky. For people who need to see a return on their investment in the here and now, there are plenty of other options. Two of my favorites are Real Estate and CFD. Almost totally unrelated, these two investment forms have been the way I have personally achieved a fairly decent education in investing. Together, they contain most of the sorts of the decisions required of lifelong career investors. Mastering these fairly simple forms, you’ll be able to handle just about whatever investment throws at you in your life.

 

Let’s talk about CFD. I use CMC Markets for a lot of reasons. I like their platform, their educational opportunities, their trial account that you can use to learn this investment process without risking any actual money. But most of all, I like CFD trading itself. It’s a form of day trading which teaches you a lot about the way the world works. There is an element of fun, of learning, of risk and anticipation. In short, it’s a thrill for me, and I’ve managed to profit from it.

 

CFD works like this: you’ll be offered thousands of different assets, markets, basically just financial products of every kind, anything that can be given a value and be tracked moment by moment. You’ll guess whether any given unit will increase in value or lose value over a specific amount of time. Get it right, and you get returns based on how many units you bought and by how much the product changed in value in the direction that you chose. Losses are tabulated the same way.

 

CFD is different from long term investments in that you don’t have to wait decades to see returns. The difference is that long term investments are relatively passive. You don’t have to know that much about them to see the benefit, but you do have to wait. With CFD, you don’t have to wait, but you have to know a lot more about what you’re doing in order to see the kind of returns you do with index mutual funds. I like this aspect of CFD. By learning about the world and all the countless factors that go into the valuations of these products, you’ll be able to see amazing returns in a short amount of time. But the time to start learning the process is now. It’ll take some practice.

Commercial Mortgage Lenders Expect Continued Growth

Commercial and multifamily mortgages are expected to increase in the coming year, because lenders are eager to loan money and borrowers want to take out loans. Results of a survey taken by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed that 100% of top lenders projected increases in loan originations of at least five percent in the next twelve months.

 

Survey Findings

 

Some of the specific data revealed by the Mortgage Bankers Association survey included details such as:

 

  • Loan risk is expected to increase in the next year, as optimism rises.
  • Major investor groups are expected to originate more loans in multiple areas.
  • Loan originators expect growth to occur at a more rapid clip than before.

 

Increased Loans

 

Some of the areas that major investor groups plan to increase loan originations include:

 

  • Bank portfolios
  • Mortgage-backed securities
  • Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae
  • Pensions
  • Life insurance companies

 

Reasons for Increases

 

There are several reasons why business loans are being applied for and granted more frequently than in past years. The favorable economic climate is due to:

 

  • Lower interest rates overall
  • Improving fundamentals
  • Property values on the rise

 

Commercial Loans

 

Although those in the business community are obtaining more commercial loans than before, the application process remains a lengthy process. Bankers must perform more thorough due diligence for commercial mortgages than residential mortgages. This is true for a variety of reasons, such as:

 

  • Commercial loans are riskier for lenders.
  • Governmental agencies don’t ultimately back commercial loans.
  • Interest rates and down payment percentages are higher.
  • More stringent requirements are in place for commercial borrowers.

 

Even with some of these challenges, the outlook for commercial mortgages continues to be positive.

 

Business Purchases

 

Investors and businesses take out commercial mortgages to acquire new properties, restructure existing loans, and redevelop commercial properties. Some of the properties purchased with commercial loans include:

 

  • Apartment complexes
  • Industrial warehouses
  • Shopping malls
  • Office buildings
  • Hotels and resorts

 

Mortgage Structures

 

The structures of commercial mortgages are designed to fulfill the needs of lenders and borrowers. These loans often involve thorough underwriting tactics on the part of lenders. Some of the terms and contractual designations of loans that business borrowers should become familiar with include:

 

  • Loan amount
  • Interest rate
  • Term or maturity
  • Amortization
  • Prepayment stipulations
  • Third-party reports
  • Appraisals

 

Commercial Lenders

 

There are multiple lenders who provide financing for businesses, including:

 

  • Banks
  • Insurance Companies
  • Small Business Association (SBA)
  • Private lenders

 

Due to the robust economic situation in the country and in many areas around the world, commercial lending continues to thrive. Many borrowers are eager to take out mortgages to fund growth in their businesses and portfolios and banks expect the trend to continue to increase through 2015.

Lotto Payout Options: Lump Sum or Annuity?

For 99% of lottery players, hitting the jackpot will remain nothing more than a dream and a hypothetical scenario. Nevertheless, countless people from all over the country have won figures totaling in the eight and nine digit ranges. For the lucky few who manage to defy the statistical odds, there comes the question of whether to accept the winnings in its entirety as a single lump sum or as an annuity paid out over many years. Both options have their pros and cons, and jackpot winners should consult with a financial expert to determine which choice is best for their personal situation.

Lump Sum Payment

You can elect to accept all the money at once. Those with experience and know a thing or two about investing often opt to take the lump sum payment. This allows them to immediately invest the money through a number of high-yield financial avenues, such as stocks, bonds, gold, commodities, or real estate.

Keep in mind, though, that there’s also a risk associated with a lump sum payment. With all that money sitting in your bank account, it can be tempting to buy that new mansion or car, or to take multiple lavish vacations. Even money in the millions can be spent relatively quickly if you are not wise with your finances.

Annuity Payment

There are potential enormous tax benefits by opting for a long-term payout. Depending on the jackpot amount, annuity payments may place you in a lower tax bracket. This ensures that you keep a bigger percentage of the earnings rather than having a large chunk of it go to state and federal taxes. Of course, with annuity payments, the money is paid out over a long period, which may leave you in a bind should you run into unexpected financial difficulties.

Selling Your Annuity

Depending on your state of residence, you may have a third option. This is the choice of selling your annuity for a lump sum payment. This is known as a structured settlement, and the practice is currently permitted in 28 states. The process requires court approval, and you can sell all or a portion of the annuity. In a sense, this allows you to reap the benefits of both lump sum and annuity payments.

Making an Informed Decision

Winning the lottery is a scenario most people can only dream of. Should you be the lucky few to reap such a great fortune, you will have a very important decision to make regarding your winnings. There is no right or wrong choice; just be sure that you get an accountant involved in order to make an informed and educated choice.

Starting a Home Business After Retirement

A lot of retirees are facing the dilemma of not having enough money to sustain their lifestyles, which forces them back into work. But rather than working for someone else, why not work for yourself? There are different home business ideas you can use to startup your own revenue-earning company. Of course, it comes down to your talents, interests and energy level. Obviously, if you aren’t too keen about young children or can’t keep up with them, then starting a home daycare wouldn’t be a good idea.

 

The Internet is a Cheap Place to Start a Business

 

You’ll find that opening a business online to have low overhead costs, making it a fast way to get launched. However, opening up an online store isn’t going to instantly bring in traffic. You’ll have to do some “leg work” to spread the word about your new shop.

 

Sell Your Handmade Crafts

 

On sites like Etsy and eBay, you can sell the things you make at home with ease. There are plenty of folks on here selling items in different markets, like beauty, home decor, clothing and fashion. Again, you’ll need to do a bit of marketing to help let people know about you and your items for sale.

 

Drop Shipping is the New Thing

 

If you’re interested in being a retailer, then you’ll be happy to know that times have definitely changed. You no longer have to have a large space to pre-order the goods to ship to your customers. Instead, the wholesaler will ship the items you sell to the customer for you, so that you never have to pre-order anything. It saves times and money for everyone.

 

If you decide that you want to sell items that you don’t make, eBay is a great place to find wholesalers. The prices on there are usually great and there’s plenty of competition, so make sure to shop around for the best deals. You can also find coupons for eBay products on Groupon Coupons, along with over 8,600 other stores. Check them out daily because new deals are always being added — who knows, you may just find the perfect deal to help you open up your new home business!

5 Tips to Bring Up Your Credit Score Fast

Attempting to increase your credit score seems like the end of the world to many people. If you don’t have a history of making on time payments or have been overextending your credit limits, it can seem far-fetched. However, these following five tips can bring your credit score up fast.

Review Your Report and Dispute Mistakes

After ordering your credit report, check for accounts in collections first, as this could be an error. In case you weren’t aware, some accounts are sold off to other collection agencies after some time. So this could have one debt showing up twice on your report. For any errors you do see, dispute them immediately. You can do so online or via mail with all three bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and Transunion.

Get Rid of the Numerous Small Balances

The more accounts open with an outstanding balance, the more it can bring down your credit score. What you want to do is pay all those small balances off in full, especially if they are under $100 each. If you are unable to pay them all off, consider consolidating each to one credit card, preferably the one with the lowest interest rate. If you have a credit card offer for 0% interest rate on transfer balances, this will work even better.

Ask If Your Credit Line Can Be Increased

If your debt to credit ratio is too high, this also has a negative effect on your credit report. So a simple trick is to increase your credit line to make your ratio lower. Once it’s increased, your credit card will not look as though it’s maxed out. Sometimes a creditor will do this automatically, perhaps after your anniversary with them. Other times you just place a phone call and request it.

Get Added as an Authorized User

Another trick to bring up your credit score instantly is to be added as an authorized user on someone else’s credit card. Of course, you want them to have a good credit rapport, meaning they are paying that bill on time. You’ll need to ask a close friend or relative, and they may seem hesitant to do so. However, you can tell them you aren’t requesting the use of the card. So they don’t need to order one and be worried about you spending their money.

Use One Credit Card Frequently

A final tip to increase your credit score is to use one credit card frequently. For all your monthly expenditures, use this card and pay the balance off in full at the end of the month. This is advised for two reasons:

  1. In paying this each month, you are creating a positive credit history that is reported monthly.
  2. This prevents your card from being inactive of which some creditors will cancel your account. If this happens, it shortens your credit history which has a negative impact on your credit.

The above five tips will gradually increase your credit score and some additional tips can be read in this article. It won’t jump up overnight, but it will be a fast process.

 

Taking first steps in online trading

If you’re lucky enough to have generated some spare cash that is sitting in a savings account, you know that the money you have in that account is never going to make a huge difference to your life. The problem is that with the low interest rates available today, your cash has no real chance of growing.

SIM1
Money doesn’t grow on trees. Image by arripay.

Many people are realising this, and trying to make wiser use of their savings, and one way that this is possible (though can’t be guaranteed) is through trading online. You might think that you don’t know anything about trading, even the basic principles, so why would you risk any of your hard-earned cash this way?

However, just because you don’t know about something doesn’t mean that you can’t learn and with the Tradefair spread betting provider, new account holders have the perfect opportunity to learn how the world of trading works, without putting their own money at risk. Tradefair is an online trading platform used by millions. It began as a spread betting platform, but now its users can trade in CFDs and to spot forex as well. And for people who are new to the world of investing, a demo account gives them the chance to try out the theory of trading without any real risk.

To get started with spread betting, it’s a good idea to understand the basic concept. A financial spread bet isn’t a live share, it’s a derivative. That means that traders can decide to take a position against a financial instrument’s value moving up or down in the market place.

A spread bettor doesn’t own the stock that they are placing a bet on. Instead, they are speculating whether the spread on the price of a particular stock will move in an upwards or downwards direction. This gives traders the possibility of making money whether a stock rises or falls in value.

When you place spread bets, you’re not limited to stocks and shares. Tradefair alone offers its users access to more than 3,000 markets and the financial instruments that can be used for spread betting include currencies (the world’s biggest market is the foreign currencies exchange), commodities such as rice, wheat, sugar, tea, gold, aluminium, iron ore, copper and petroleum.

SIM2
Speculating on the price of copper could help build your nest-egg. Image by ahisgett

The basics of share trading are simple. Traders either ‘go long’ and buy shares in expectation that they will increase in value and can then be sold at a profit. Or, shares are sold on the expectation of a fall, or on the fall, of a share’s value in order to limit loss.

In a spread bet, the trader doesn’t fund the total cost of the number of shares, but instead provides either a deposit to the spread betting company which is then used as a ‘margin’ for their bet or a proof of funds in order to be given account credit, which again can be used as the ‘margin’.

The ‘margin’ means that a trader can ‘deal’ in a larger amount of shares than they could through buying or selling with a traditional stock broker. The risk involved is that the trader is going beyond their normal financial means. It’s always easier to spend money that you don’t have.

As you can see, if you are new to the world of trading, it can feel rather daunting, which is why having a spread betting demo account is such a good idea while you get to grips with the concept. Once you’ve run a demo account for a while and started to see some success (albeit simulated), you’ll be able to decide whether or not you’re ready to actually invest some of your own cash in spread betting and see if you can make it work for you for real.

Can Financial Planning Ever Be Done Alone?

Financial planning – it’s one of those terms that few of us ever really get excited about. In this sense it’s a lot like budgeting. Few of us can get really enthused about that either. And yet they do have one thing in common. They are both incredibly powerful when we resort to using them properly.

When it comes to budgeting you can figure out a budget on your own. It’s pretty simple with a set of straightforward rules you shouldn’t have too much trouble following. Jot down your outgoings, figure out your income, take one from the other and make sure you always have a surplus. Job done.

However, financial planning isn’t as simple as that. Planning is a positive word but it’s also a word with intense connotations. You can plan financially for the short-term, the mid-term and the long-term. Each area might bring you different challenges too. For example long-term planning should definitely include retirement planning. However short-term planning might involve getting out of debt rather than actually putting money away.

As such you need a whole range of skills, from the most basic to the more involved, to ensure you can really get to grips with your financial planning tasks. This is why some people might struggle to plan their financial goals and how to meet them on their own. Where would you fall in this scheme of things?

Would solo financial planning suit you?

You’d need a considerable understanding of your situation and of the options and opportunities available for investing today to stand a chance of investing properly without help. You may have an interest in finance of course, and if this is the case you might see this challenge almost as a hobby. In this situation you may well be able to get by on your own, although you might still do better by seeking financial advice at the same time.

However if you really have very little knowledge of financial markets and products, you will almost certainly benefit from seeing a financial adviser of some sort. This would be beneficial in so many different ways. You could make sure you were able to ask any questions you had about certain products or about your situation. You could figure out what your short-, medium- and long-term goals are before seeing an expert in this field and then consult them for advice on how to reach them.

As you can see, it can be challenging to figure out whether planning your own financial future would be the best idea. For many, the thought of seeking professional advice would be better than the option not to. While it is a big step to take, and it can be a little nerve-wracking, it could reap significant rewards in the future. Since your financial future could well determine how you do in the future with regard to your level of comfort in life, it makes sense to opt for help with financial planning if you can.

10 Ways To Save So You Can Invest In 2015

The New Year brings a chance for reflection, renewal and a determined approach to the 12 months ahead. Now that most of those resolutions have lapsed, it’s time to start seriously organising your affairs for better financial health in 2015. With many people still finding their feet after Christmas and New Year, the time for making cutbacks is most definitely now. But that doesn’t mean you have to relinquish your standard of living, and with a few simple changes you can be well on your way to saving so you can have more money to invest in a more prosperous future.

Try A Few More Layers (Yes, Really).

It’s amazing what a warm, woolly jumper can do for helping deflect those early-year chills. Sure, it’s cold outside, but by opting for a few extra layers, you can control just how much heating you use. Switching the heating on even an hour later ever day can mount up into a serious saving over time, leaving you with more money to play with when the warmer months come round. If you’re serious about preparing to invest in 2015, this can be a good way to shave a few pounds off the edges.

Tackle That Stubborn Credit Card

Credit cards are in all probability your most expensive form of finance. Don’t fall for the trap of just paying the minimum amount every month – attack the balance if you want to reduce the overall principal, and the resultant interest you will have to pay. Alternatively, look for a 0% balance transfer offer and you can move your principal elsewhere, helping you save on the excess interest charges for any balance while you get your affairs in order for the year ahead.

Do Compare Prices

Price comparison websites can be extremely helpful in spotting inefficiencies in your current spending, and identifying opportunities for savings across your key utility bills. If you are looking to save to invest, the best types of savings are structural – those that mean you’re paying less month on month. If you haven’t done so in a while, get online and start comparing. You might just find it’s cheaper to survive than you think.

Other Ideas For Saving

– Find online coupon codes and vouchers
– Do food shopping in one store (think loyalty points)
– Search cashback deals for big purchases
– Cancel unnecessary commitments, e.g. that unused gym membership.
– Walk more (saves fuel costs, and improves your health)
– Buy for next Christmas early for extra discounts
– Cut down on alcohol

Freeing up unnecessary spending for investment is a great way to set your finances on the right course in the New Year, and start you on your journey to more controlled financial management. You don’t have to radically change your lifestyle to make small savings here and there, which when invested can quickly add up to something more substantial, and provide you with recurring benefits from there onwards. For more tips on saving money, and structuring your finances in a more effective way, visit us at ukhomeandpersonalloans.co.uk.

Infographic: Starting the New Year on the Right Foot

Starting the New Year on the Right Foot is a Infographic produced by UKHomeAndPersonalLoans.co.uk