Advantages of Options Trading

Options are a great way to start investing for many reasons. They offer a great way to diversify your portfolio while limiting the amount you will need to invest in case your stock doesn’t move in the direction you are predicting. Options are a more affordable way to invest and, when planned well, can bring some excellent returns.

What are Options?

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Options are contracts to purchase a stock or investment at a set strike price. There are two common types of options contracts, call options, and put options. Call options set a timeframe where you have the right to purchase up to 100 shares of a stock for a set strike price. Put options grant you the power to sell stocks at a set strike price.  These contracts offer some fantastic benefits that many investors tend to overlook. By taking the time to do your research on options, you can have a competitive advantage over the market and see some excellent returns in your investment portfolio.

Options Are More Affordable

One significant benefit of choosing to invest in options contracts is that they are typically far more affordable than buying the shares outright. The options contract gives you the right to purchase or sell depending upon the contract to 100 shares of stock. Because you haven’t taken ownership of any stock, option contracts tend to be significantly cheaper. If you are unsure where a stock may be heading, but have a feeling the company might increase in value, buying a call option is a great way to secure a set price, and know how much you stand to lose. This is a substantial benefit to options trading as you can invest with a bit more confidence compared to purchasing a stock outright and having your losses remain unknown.

Options Can Bring High Returns

Options contracts are a great way to play the market with some added leverage. As options contracts are more affordable, you can budget for more options, then if you were to purchase all of the shares outright. With a lot of practice and market research, this is a great way to maximize your returns when you land on a few stocks that see some increased value. All with a smaller initial investment.

Options open the door to a whole other level of strategy that can significantly benefit the investor when used correctly. While utilizing these contracts and spreading your investments around, you have more opportunities to see high returns. If things don’t work out, you can only lose your initial investment, nothing more. This makes trading options a great way to take advantage of a more aggressive strategy, yielding much higher returns on your investments.

If you are interested in learning all you can about options trading, Raging Bull is a site with professionals ready to help you learn everything you need to know. They have all the tools you need to become a successful financial trader. If you want to gain the competitive edge you need to trade options successfully, check out their article about the best stocks in options trading.

 

Increasing Term Insurance and Riders

You must be well-versed with a term plan if you have bought an insurance policy or considered to get one. But did you know about increasing term insurance plans? Term policies also have several types of which this is one. Let’s see what an increasing term plan is, its benefits and riders.

Increasing Term Insurance Plans

An increasing term insurance plan is a policy where the amount of sum assured or the death benefit keeps increasing on a yearly basis depending on the insurer. In such a plan, the premium may or may not change. Such an insurance plan has numerous benefits as the sum assured keeps increasing and in turn, compensates for the increased expenses of your family as well as for inflation. Depending on the insurer, the sum assured can have a maximum limit as to how much it can increase.

Benefits of Increasing Term Plan

The most vital benefit of increasing term insurance plans is that you can plan certain important things like a wedding or higher education during a period when the sum assured is high. In case something were to happen to you, your loved ones would have financial aid to pay off any of your debts and also, take care of their needs. The increasing insurance policy enables your family to take the sum assured as a lump sum or opt for a regular payout depending on your insurer.

Additional Rider Benefits

A rider is an add-on that can be combined with your term plan to increase the coverage you get from a basic policy. Various insurance riders are available that help you cover unfortunate incidences that are not normally included in a life insurance plan. Here are some popular riders that can be added to your policy:

  1. Critical Illness Rider: By getting a critical illness insurance rider, you can secure yourself from major illnesses. A lump sum payout is given to you on the diagnosis of the illness which helps in paying off the expenses of the treatment as well as any indirect cost like rent. Kotak Life Insurance covers 37 major illnesses like cancer, paralysis of limbs, blindness, brain tumor, etc.
  2. Permanent Disability Rider: This insurance rider covers you in case of an accident causing permanent disability. The sum assured is paid over a period of time to take care of your expenses.
  3. Accidental Death Rider: In case of accidental death, this rider protects your loved ones by providing a lump sum amount. This lump sum enables them to become financially stable and eliminate the need for becoming dependent on someone else.

Getting Life Insurance Over 50, What it Costs and Why You Need it

Some people buy life insurance so that the payout can pay off their mortgage when they die. Others do it to have a comfortable sendoff while majorities do it to replace lost income when they pass away. You’ll realize, however, that life insurance premiums get expensive with age. It is costlier at 50 and above than at 20 or 30. So, do you need this coverage when your children are already adults? And, how can the payout help the people you leave behind? Let’s answer the questions below.

Reasons You Need Life Insurance Over 50

Overall, you require life insurance over 50 for the following reasons:

1. Financial Gift for Dependents

You can pass your life insurance benefits to your dependents as an inheritance gift. The lump-sum payout can help them invest, buy a property, or start a business. It will give them the financial freedom to start anew when you are no longer there to provide for them. What’s more, it acts as a replacement for your pension.

2. A Solution to Standing Debt

There are different kinds of debts that your life insurance benefit can help to clear. Popular examples include mortgages and estate taxes. The good news, though, is that you can protect those you leave behind from the stress of having to sell properties to pay off what you owe. Life insurance is also essential if you are a cosigner to a loan. The money can pay off a cosigned loan.

3. Funeral Benefits

Sometimes burial expenses exceed $10,000 if you factor in things like urn or casket, a burial land, headstone, and funeral mass. Since death is an unexpected event, the funeral cost can overwhelm the people you leave behind. Though life insurance payout may not bring you back into their life, it can make the sendoff less stressful.

4. Fixed Payout

Unlike when you are young, an over-50 life insurance policy attracts fixed premiums. So, it means you can expect to pay the same amount until the end of your term or until death. More to it, the payout is fixed. In this case, your dependents know what to anticipate when claiming death benefits.

5. Acceptance Guaranteed

The biggest challenge of buying life insurance when you are young is that there are many health restrictions. You have to pass specific medical tests to be eligible. Fortunately for the elderly, the over 50 policies do not have such restrictions. So, you are almost guaranteed acceptance upon application.

How Much Does Life Insurance Cost After 50?

Generally, there is so much flexibility when picking a life insurance policy. As you reach 50, expect to pay higher premiums, and the curve continues to rise as you get older. For example, expect a $5,000-death benefit plan to cost you about $16/month (when in good health) or $20/month (when your health is not a factor) when you are 50 and almost double this when you are 65.

You should also note that the monthly premiums depend on gender just as much as health and age. Ideally, men pay more than women of the same age and health status. For instance, a 60-year old healthy man should expect to pay about $43/month for a $10,000-death benefit policy while a healthy woman of the same age is expected to pay about $33/month.

The other cost determinant is the duration, and this brings us to term life insurance. From the name, term life insurance is for a specified period. If you don’t die within the time, which we all pray for, you must renew the policy for your dependents to continue being eligible for the payout.

When at 50, you are eligible for a 20-year and a 30-year renewable term. However, you only qualify for a 20-year run when you get to 60. Usually, an extensive-term length attracts higher premiums, and this is probably the major downfall of life insurance after 50.

Life Goes On

No doubt, life insurance is still dependable even after 50. Your loved ones stand to benefit when you are gone, and this is the pride of every parent, child, or benefactor. Remember, though; most insurance companies expect you to contribute for at least a year before your beneficiaries can be eligible for a payout. So, start to contribute now.

How To Play Real Money Games On The Internet

Real money games are casino games available on the internet that you can play and earn money from. There are dozens of these real money casino games available at online casinos but someone who isn’t familiar to all this may find everything overwhelming, which is why we thought we’d put together a short guide on how to play real money games on the internet.

Sign-up at an online casino

The first thing you’ll need to do is find an online casino that you enjoy and a site that works for you. Since there are thousands of online casino sites in the UK, this may seem like a daunting process. However, many websites such as Smartphone Casinos have managed to narrow down the best real money casino sites and publish regular in-depth reviews which analyse a site’s game selection, bonuses, customer support, and safety. Take your time and look through the top casino recommendations to find something you believe you’ll enjoy.

Once you’ve found a site you like, you’ll need to sign-up, a process which is usually completed within several minutes. All you need to do is create a username and password and provide information such as your birth date, full name, address and mobile number. Due to rules in the UK, you’ll be required to verify your account but once this is done you’ll be able to access the site’s real money games. But there’s one thing you need to do before you start playing…

Make a deposit

Once you’ve registered and verified your account at an online casino, you’ll need to take the next step; fund your casino account. To do this, you simply have to load up the cashier by clicking the ‘Deposit’ button on the casino website and then selecting a payment method. Now, this is where it gets tricky. Depending on your online casino, multiple payment methods will be available for you to use, from debit and credit cards to e-wallets such as PayPal and more.

It can be difficult to select a payment method but two of the most popular options are PayPal and VISA or MasterCard debit cards.

Both methods are safe and can be used to claim bonuses and promotions. However, you’ll find that PayPal generally receives withdrawals much faster than debit cards. After selecting your favoured payment method, you’ll need to enter the amount you wish to deposit and then confirm the payment. The money should appear in your account instantly, and you’ll now be ready to start playing.

Find the right game for you

The number of games available at an online casino varies depending on the operator and the services offered. You’ll generally be able to select from video slots, jackpot slots, table games, and live casino. However, some sites will also offer video poker, bingo, and instant-win games. Most people tend to favour slots over other games since they’re easy to play and friendly for first-time gamers.

What’s more, video slots have varying themes from adaptations of classic fables to new, unique themes or games based on popular television shows and films so you’re bound to find a slot that appeals to you. However, it’s important to note that some video slots are more complicated than others due to their special features so it’s a good idea to read through some reviews of real money games before spending anything since most casinos do not allow gamers from demoing slots.

Currently, one of the most popular real money games is Book of Ra by Greentube which has an ancient Egyptian theme with unique symbols and gorgeous visuals. Like most other slots, you’ll be required to bet on and spin the reels to make winning combinations by matching symbols in specific patterns. The game includes several notable features including the ability to trigger free spins, trigger expanding symbols to help you make more wins, and a gamble feature to double your winnings.

Enjoy

Once you’ve found a game you like, you simply need to hit that spin button and enjoy the game. Gambling can be a frustrating but rewarding experience and once you’ve made some wins, you’ll be over the moon. You’re free to keep playing as much as you’d like but it’s important to keep an eye on your funds and avoid overspending! Once you’ve made enough wins, you’ll be able to withdraw your winnings to real money and enjoy those hard-earned wins.

Trading Stocks as a College Student

There’s no way around it — college is expensive. Have you considered trading stocks to pay for it, or to help pay off those pesky student loans? This article will help you navigate the stock market even if you don’t know a bull from a bear.

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I Want to Invest, But Don’t Know How!

First ask yourself how involved you want to be in investing. If you want someone else to do the work, you’ll want a robo-advisor. A robo-advisor is an online financial advisor that bases its advice on mathematical algorithms. Virtually all major brokerage firms offer this service for a fee.

If you want to be a more “hands-on” investor, you’ll want to open an investing account. This can be done through a brokerage firm, or if you’re particularly daring, through a free app called Robinhood. Good firms for beginners are TD Ameritrade, Merrill Edge (no account minimum), and E-Trade.

If you want a hybrid of the two, you might be interested in apps that invest in exchange-traded funds, or ETFs.  ETFs are a group of securities that aim to match the market and trade like a stock. ETFs are typically cheap, and a good way to enter the market.

Regardless of which path you choose, you should do your homework — that is, learn everything you can about investing. Some good books include A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Makiel and The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham.

What Should I Invest In?

Whatever you know the most about. For example, if you are an expert in medical marijuana, you might be able to choose the best marijuana stocks. Keep up to date on trends, and judge trends based on their staying power. Some safe investment areas include the food industry (people will always need to eat) and the entertainment industry (people will always get bored).

What Are Some Good ETFs?

Some good examples of apps that trade ETFs are Stash and Acorns.

Stash gives you a $5 sign-up bonus. After a short personality test, the app recommends an investment profile, such as conservative or aggressive. As a general rule, the younger you are, the more aggressive you should be. Stash also allows you to invest extra money in themed ETFs, such as women-owned businesses or dividend stocks. There is a $1 per month maintenance fee, and you get $5 for referring your friends.

Acorns is linked to your spending so, when you make a purchase with a linked debit or credit card, it rounds up the money paid to the next dollar. When you reach $5, it invests the money.  The good news is you barely notice the difference. The bad news is if money’s tight, this can easily cause an overdraft! Nobel Prize in Economics laureate Dr. Harry Markowitzs helped design this app, which allows you to build a portfolio with the kind of speed that makes Usain Bolt squirm with envy. You get a $5 registration bonus.

Basically the TL;DR (summarized) version of most recent books on stocks is “buy index funds and plenty of them.” ETFs are a cross between index funds and stocks and work best with a “buy and hold” strategy. Which ETF to invest in is ultimately up to you, but most experts recommend that you “buy what you know.”

 

The Best Ways to Rein in Your Spending

Whether it’s the aftermath of a busy summer spent vacationing or the lead up to the winter holidays, there comes a point when you realize you’re spending far too much money. These bad spending habits can empty your savings, rack up debt, and leave you in the lurch when an unexpected expense comes your way.

Undoing them isn’t always easy. Some habits may be ingrained, like the financial mistakes we learn from our parents, while other parts of our spending routine simply make us feel too good to give them up.

However you came by your bad habits, check out this guide to put a stop to them. These good money management tips will help you rein in spending and boost your savings.

1. Only Use a Line of Credit in an Emergency

Using your line of credit like it’s cash is a dangerous habit to get into for two reasons.

  1. It makes you spend more than you intend. One study shows people spend 100 percent more when using a credit card over cash.
  2. It ties up your line of credit or credit card limit. When you rely on this account to cover everyday expenses, you’ll have less credit available in case of an emergency.

Benching your line of credit may help you ignore temptations that you don’t need. It will also keep its limit free for its true purpose: helping you in an unexpected emergency.

2. Save 20 Percent of Your Income

Unless you’re psychic, you won’t always be able to tell when an unexpected emergency expense will arrive — or even what it will be. But it’s a pretty sure bet you will face these expenses. Life throws you curveballs whether you have the cash to cover them.

Roughly one in five Americans have no savings, which means they may have to get a personal line of credit to help them cover an unexpected expense.

You may be able to avoid this if you make savings a regular part of your monthly budget. A popular budgeting technique suggests holding 20 percent of each paycheck to put towards savings.

Cut out other expenses to free up the cash you need to hit this target. If you can commit to this plan over the long-term, you may not have to dip into credit when disaster strikes.

3. Change up Your Commute

The average American commute takes 26 minutes each way. But the time it takes you to get to and from work isn’t the only thing your commute robs from you; it takes your hard-earned cash if you drive alone.

The cost of maintaining your vehicle, parking, gas — it all adds up to an astronomical bill. Each mile you live from work tags on $170 in annual car expenses.

You may be able to save a considerable sum by switching the way you get to work every day. Check out these four tips to saving money on your commute:

  • Carpool with a colleague, friend, or someone from these rideshare sites.
  • Switch out your car for a train, bus, or subway
  • Walk or cycle to work if it’s safe to do so
  • Talk to your boss about working from home

Start working online and build a team with online freelance gigs that are currently available. This saves your traveling and other unnecessary expenses. In fact, with the upgraded remote worker monitoring software, you get to keep an eye on your virtual team as if it were sitting in front of you.

Bottom Line

It will always be easier to spend money than it is to save it. That much is true. But saving doesn’t have to be as hard as you think. Simple things like revisiting your budget or changing up your commute could help you put more money in the bank.

 

How do short term loans work?

There are times when people run out of money in the middle of a month and require an alternative amount until they receive their next pay. Of course, in such a scenario, you can’t consider long term loans since the amount is too small and the duration is very short. So, that’s where short term loans come into play.

The standout feature of short term loans is their speedy disbursal. Unlike other loans, the process is not short, and the requirements don’t follow an exhaustive list either. No applicant could be considered an ideal choice for short term loans unless he masters how this financing option works.

Going through the following explanation will certainly add significantly to your knowledge:

 

  • Eligibility for short term loans

Some people tend to oversimplify taking a payday loan, but lenders have a typical criterion to select an ideal borrower. Obviously, no lender would risk giving away his money to an irresponsible person. The important features of their criteria are as follows:

  • Credit check: You might have seen boards with “loans, no credit check” around your city. Trust me; this slogan does not take your credit score entirely out of the equation. The reason is not difficult to understand. It is the most authentic way for a lender to assess how well you handled the previous loans. At the same time, some people have never taken a loan and therefore don’t have a credit history. Lenders peek inside their social media accounts to determine their creditworthiness.
  • Age factor: some lenders have set a standard age – between 21 to 55. Anybody not fulfilling this requirement is immediately out of the race.
  • Income: The last and most crucial qualification hurdle is your income. Though the threshold of income varies from lender to lender, they will give a detailed look at your cash flow to know whether you can afford the asked amount or not. So, don’t try to fool your lender by filling the application of a more significant amount than what you can manage.

 

  • Affordability of short term loans

There is no restriction on the number of short terms loans you want to avail. But to be on the safe side, it is recommended that you should not proceed with multiple short loans at a single time due to their affordability. Taking the following aspects for granted can land you in great peril:

  • Rates: cash flow loans are not backed by any collateral asset, which means the element of risk is apparently bigger for lenders. As a result, lenders charge a hefty interest rate – generally beginning from 15 percent. The formula goes, the shorter the loan, the higher the rates.
  • Costs: the buck does not stop at interest rates. Other costs also make a considerable amount in the form of late fees, prepayment penalties, origination fees, service fees, etc.
  • Guarantees: As mentioned above, cash flow loans are sanctioned without keeping anything as collateral. However, lenders make it a point to sign personal guarantees from the borrowers. It obliges the applicants to pay for the loan personally if the business is in no position of repayment. Read the fine print carefully before finally submitting the personal guarantee.
  • Repayment: Most lenders prefer “full payment” of their short term loans. Though some lenders can give you multiple choices of repayment, these include loan extension, early loan repayment, or a loan refinancing with partial capital payment. Repayments can become a mounting task if you fail to pick the repayment option that does not stand in line with your cash flow. The repayment process can last from 90 days to three years.

 

  • Uses of short term loans

In this part, we will focus on the specific use of easy short term loans.

  • Repairs and maintenance: You can’t predict when your office computer is going to crash or when a piece of equipment stops working. To cope with these unexpected expenses, a short term loan can be a fine alternative.
  • Operational costs: Imagine your small business is cherrypicked for a big booming project, but you lack the extra staff to get on with the task. A short term loan can look after this need, and you return the borrowed money quite easily after the completion of the assignment.
  • Start-up costs: short term loans are not only reserved for existing businesses. You can consider taking a short term loan to finance start-up costs as well, mainly when you have a solid strategy for your business.
  • Account receivables and payables: By nature, some businesses are customary to the gap between account receivables and payables. In layman’s terms, this is cash coming in and cash going out. A short term loan could be your savior if you foresee the situation as temporary.
  • Choosing your loan

You can’t know which short term funding suits you the best until you know the options well enough. Here are the different types of short term loans:

  • Lines of credit: It is more or less like using a credit card. The lender sets a limit, and you can withdraw the amount as needed. At the end of the month, the borrower will have to pay the costs against the withdrawn amount.
  • Payday loans: These loans are easy to get. The biggest negative of payday loans is that borrowers must pay the full amount, along with interest on the decided repayment day.
  • Installment loans: They are known as online loans. All the process is done online and, once approved, the applicant receives a loan in his bank account.
  • Invoice financing: lenders grant loans against the unpaid invoices of customers. The time period – when invoices are going to be paid by customers – is also taken into consideration before sanctioning the fund.

Conclusion

Short term loans have helped many small businesses to survive and even thrive. That way, they have played a vital role in strengthening the economy of the country. In the fast-paced lifestyle of the present era, quick and easy course of the procedure makes these loans even more desirable.

To read more on topics like this, check out the money & finance category

How To Turn Debt Danger Into Manageable Monthly Repayments

Sometimes our finances get away from us and we find ourselves in an untenable debt situation. Not only is this harmful to your future financial plans, but it can also be damaging to your mental and physical health. Worrying about your increasing debt and your inability to pay the bills that are piling up can be a nightmare.

If this sounds like your life lately, do not stress any longer. Fortunately, there is some opportunity for relief. This can be found in the form of a debt consolidation loan. If you are unfamiliar with these financial services, here we will discuss exactly what they are and how they can help you to emerge from your debt.

Let’s look at what debt consolidation is and some specific things to keep in mind before moving forward with it.

What Is Debt Consolidation?

Debt consolidation and debt consolidation loans involve taking out another loan large enough to pay back all your existing credit obligations. If you have several different debts that you are struggling to pay back, with debt consolidation you will be able to instantly repay these creditors.

Afterwards, you will only have a single albeit larger loan to worry about. The benefit of this process is that the interest on your consolidated debt is likely much less than some of your existing debts. This is especially true if much of your debt is in the form of credit cards which tend to have extremely high-interest rates. If planned out thoughtfully, debt consolidation can greatly reduce the long-term amount of money that you owe.

What Are The Other Benefits?

Some of the benefits of debt consolidation are immediately obvious. For one, you will now only have one bill to worry about each month. This is great for those who struggle to remember to repay each creditor every month, or even for those who tend to forget who they owe.

Depending on the repayment schedule you have negotiated for your loan, you may now also have a longer repayment window. This will mean a lower monthly payment for your outstanding debts. This can allow you to sacrifice less of your lifestyle while regaining your financial health.

Make sure to prudently calculate the repayment rates and schedule before signing for a debt consolidation loan. While it can be an invaluable tool for getting out a dangerous debt situation, you do not want to make a misstep and end up even worse off.

Are There Any Disadvantages?

There are few real disadvantages to the actual process of debt consolidation. The only downside is that it may be difficult for those in certain circumstances to actually acquire such a loan from a reputable provider.

This is because debt consolidation loans typically require collateral and a reasonably solid credit score. If you do not have access to these things, you may still be able to receive a debt consolidation loan but at much less favourable rates. Alternatively, you may look for a close family member who may be able to co-sign for such a loan though in these cases be sure to plan wisely and know that you will repay the debt yourself.

Reclaim Your Financial Health

Being in a high-debt situation does not have to be a permanent part of your life. You can escape the cycle of unpaid bills by using debt consolidation loans. As with any financial tool, plan wisely and watch your finances closely. Make sure to solve the problems that got you into an unsustainable debt situation before the loan or else you risk running into the same issues down the road.

 

Investing In Your Child’s Future

When you’ve just had a baby, savings are probably fairly close to the top of the list of things you don’t even want to think about, let alone take action on. Just having a baby is financially exhausting. Plenty of people probably warned you about the impact that having a baby would have on your body, but not enough people receive fair warning of just how expensive a new baby can be. Some people put the cost of raising a child as high as $21,000 within their first year. We think that sounds expensive – but we couldn’t swear to it being wrong.

There are excellent reasons for you to force yourself to look into financial products for your newborn, though. Ultimately, all parents want a better quality of life for their child than they’ve enjoyed themselves – and f you get started early enough, you can make that a reality. Making the proper financial provisions for a new baby might not be as expensive as you think; especially if you act as early as possible. For that reason, we’re going to ask you to sit down, fight against the urge to reject the idea of trying to put money aside out of your head for a moment, and look at this brief guide to five financial provisions you should consider making for the youngest member of your family.

  • A Junior Savings Or Investment Account

We list both options here because some people are nervous about the idea of investments. That’s largely because investments are misunderstood. It’s true to say that they can be compared to gambling, but not the same sort of gambling you’d encounter if you were playing mobile slots games. The money you put into the games on a mobile slots website will either turn into a larger prize, or be lost. Winners at slots casino get jackpots, and losers get nothing. Not all investments function in the same way. Some may never grow at all – and that’s the gamble, but many of them will guarantee that they at least won’t lose money. If you’d rather your child’s account experienced a guaranteed level of growth – even if it was a low level – opt for a savings account with a fixed interest rate instead. Don’t give them access to it until they’ve turned 18.

  • A Pension

Talking about a pension for someone who’s just been born might sound a little crazy. The only thing they have in common with pensioners is that they’re wrinkly, and some of them are bald! In an ideal world, we wouldn’t have to talk about pensions for children. Our world is sadly far from ideal – we’re currently heading for a pensions crisis that may rob the next generation (and the one that comes after it) of many of the retirement benefits the current generation is looking forward to. The best way to ensure your child stands a chance of receiving a reasonable pension when they’re older is starting one while they’re still young. To put the benefits in financial terms, if you were able to pay $3,600 per year into a pension fund until your child was 18, and then it was left until they were 60, upon reaching 60 that pot would be worth $1m. This assumes that the pot would grow at 5% per year, which is reasonable for a pension fund.

  • Life Insurance (for you)

We’d all like to assume that we’ll be here to see our children grow up. It’s a sad reality that some of us won’t be. Even if you’re from a family with no history of medical issues, you could be knocked down crossing the street tomorrow, and that would be it. None of us can ever say that we’re totally safe from an accident, and that’s what insurance is for. If you’re comparatively young, fit, and healthy, you could obtain hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of life insurance for $10 per month or less. It wouldn’t replace you if you weren’t around anymore – and your child would, of course, miss you terribly – but you could at least enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing they’ll be financially looked after even if you’re not there to see it.

  • A Regular Bank Account (as soon as they’re old enough)

Do you wish you’d known more about the value of saving money when you were younger? So do we. Make sure your child won’t also answer that question in the affirmative when they’re your age. As soon as they’re old enough to have a bank account, open one up for them. Instead of giving them pocket money in cash, transfer it into their bank account. They’ll soon get used to the idea of seeing how money builds up, and how putting a little away each week or month contributes to a much larger pot. Let them spend a little when they want or need to, but always have a conversation about what they’re spending the money on. Also make sure they work out how much they’ll have left once they’ve spent their money, and how long it will take them to build their savings back up again. This is the only way to teach the value of money.

  • A Piggy Bank

You probably weren’t expecting to see this here – but it’s just as important as all the others! Money shouldn’t just be something that children see on a screen. We might be heading towards a cashless economy, but we’re not there yet, and we don’t expect to be there within the next ten years either. That means cash will still be around when your child is growing up, and they should develop a positive relationship with us. Who among us didn’t love raiding their piggy bank when we were younger to see how much we had for candy and toys? If money is held in banks all the time, it’s boring, and it becomes a chore. If it’s a chore, it’s less likely that your child will have a positive relationship with it. If approached with the right mindset, managing money can be fun – and it all starts with a classic piggy bank that a child can squirrel loose change away in. You can worry about the insurance, the pensions, and the savings accounts. That’s the serious stuff. Let your child have fun with the less serious side when they’re young!

 

Millennials Are Turning to Social Media to Learn How to Invest

As more of the world’s business can be conducted online, millennials remain the most connected generation alive. Social media provides an active pulse for what’s happening in news, sports, entertainment, so why wouldn’t the same concept be true for investing? There are plenty of apps that feature robo-advisors to help young people make better investment decisions, but none of them operate as a social network for investors. StockTwits is the only service of its kind that features a focus on investing and teaching its increasingly younger audience the best practices for managing money.

What is StockTwits?

StockTwits started as an off-shoot of Twitter, implementing the dollar symbol ($) before stocks to include stock data in tweets. Since then, the service has morphed into its own platform that is no longer reliant on Twitter but operates much the same way. Users can sign up and create a profile to begin sharing their investing ideas. There’s a lot of chaff to wade through as plenty of people are pushing products and services on StockTwits, but plenty of legitimate day traders, swing traders, and hedge fund managers maintain active accounts for sharing their trading ideas.

How is StockTwits Used?

Users can create a stream of their own stock trading ideas to share with the community, tagging the relevant stocks so their information will show up on that stock’s feed. Most investors use the service to keep their ear to the ground for hot stock tips from major investors that tend to follow the same strategies. For example, hedge fund managers that love the day trading scene will be followed by both day and swing traders who are looking to make some cash from following a ‘celebrity’ investor’s plays. Investors who have confirmed their identity at a company are marked with a verified badge, much the same way Twitter verifies personal accounts.

Is it Valuable?

This question is pretty subjective, but the short answer seems to be yes. A recent interview with the StockTwits CEO revealed that the site’s most active users (52%) are young people between the ages of 18 and 34. These people are most likely to be investors in consumer stock companies like Snap, Apple, Etsy, and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. That interview revealed that only 20% of StockTwits’ users are age 45 or older, so it definitely trends toward the younger crowd.

Does it Help with Technical Analysis?

Remember that part where I mentioned people share all their wild ideas? There’s a lot of chaff there to pick through. Rosen himself admits that users share around 10,000 annotated charts a day. Some people share charts to support their opinion or oppose someone else’s, so there’s a lot of spirited debate about stock performance. Professional investors do keep an eye on the platform, but StockTwits should be viewed as more of a zeitgeist for the public opinion of a company rather than a true trading resource. Millennials are using it to discuss the performance of their favorite companies, even if they have no investment stake.