All Articles Tagged "investing"
(Wall Street Journal) — The past couple of weeks have provided no shortage of drama: the debt-ceiling debate, a ratings downgrade of the U.S., questions about European banks and wild swings in the stock market. It all makes for a lot of sleepless nights. Given all the tumult, how can we add more sheep to our evenings? Ultimately, a smart, long-term investment strategy should enable us to weather — and even take advantage — of these kinds of storms. So, how to get there? A lot of times, sitting tight is the best strategy. Anyone trying to time the enormous swings of the past several days has probably discovered that’s not very easy. Still, doing nothing doesn’t always make us feel more secure. Here, then, are five strategies that might give you more calm without upending your portfolio.
(The Loop) — For Sakina Spruell Cole, the decision to get serious came when her son turned 3 and she and her husband planned a birthday party. The budget: $1,000. At the time, their son “didn’t even have a college fund,” Cole said. With that realization, the family sought help from a financial adviser. Although most people want to improve their financial goals, many don’t understand the basics of budgeting, investing and saving for retirement, etc. Enter financial planners. Not to be confused with accountants, financial advisers create a customized blueprint for your personal financial growth, which extends well past balancing a checkbook.
(MyBankTracker) — Financial literacy means understanding how the financial decisions you make today can affect you in future, and starts with understanding basic financial principles that make up the backbone of financial planning. The RAND Financial Literacy Center was established back in 2009 as part of an effort to create financial tools programs to assist individuals expand their understanding of personal finance. That effort also included developing a list of the most important financial literacy concepts for young consumers to understand.
By J. Smith
Now this is a movement I can get behind. Marie Lumen Clersaint started a sou-sou club in Brooklyn, NY and effectively told Wall Street thanks, but no thanks, we can handle our money ourselves. A sou-sous is an informal savings club popular among Caribbean and African immigrants that requires no paperwork, no credit check, no proof of income or even a signature. Clersaint’s club is based on the honor system. A very valuable honor system.
“At any given time, Clersaint runs two sou-sous where people come together and make regular contributions to a common fund, which is then disbursed as a lump sum to one member of the group every cycle,” The Grio reports. “The payouts for her current sou-sous are $20,000 to $10,000. They have 40 and 20 members, respectively. Each member puts in $500 bi-weekly. Every two weeks one member of each sou-sou will receive their group’s entire payout, until each person gets a turn. The $20,000 sou-sou runs for 18 months, the $10,000 savings club lasts 10 months. For the person who gets the first disbursement, it’s an interest-free cash advance and for the last payee it’s a no-interest savings plan. And for those in the middle, it’s a combination of both. There are no checks or money orders involved. It’s all cash all the time.”
This is a concept that I would love to see a bigger portion of the black community latch on to. The membership intake is very selective, however, because there is little legal protection for the organizer or the payees. Clersaint must know you and trust you personally before being considered for membership because the organizer is responsible making up the difference if a member defaults on their contributions. According to The Grio, she has been organizing sou-sous for 13 years now within Brooklyn’s Haitian community and she has never once been stiffed. Missing a payment to the sou-sou would be “tantamount to defaulting on a loan and the one who dodges payment can expect to be ostracized by the rest of the community,” The Grio reports. So, since most sou-sous are made up of family and close friends, there’s incentive and immense pressure to honor the arrangement.
It is high time we as a community took charge of our finances. Not since Black Wall Street have we had strong financial institutions that both are both owned and operated within the black community. Clersaint should go around the country helping other sou-sou clubs get started.
(Reuters) — Yet another survey confirms what we already know: Blacks don’t save as much as their white counterparts. According to Prudential’s new study — the African American Financial Experience — 60 percent of African-Americans have less than $50,000 in company retirement plans and only 23 percent have more than $100,000. They’re also three times more likely to raid their 401(k) or other retirement plans to meet immediate financial needs, the study says. Prudential’s findings echo research by Ariel Investments, which looks at middle class blacks. (According to Ariel’s July 2010 study, the median assets blacks have retirement plans is about half the amount that whites have accumulated: $56,000 compared to $106,000.)
(CNN Money) — Remember that old Steve Martin joke about the secret formula for becoming a millionaire? ”First, get a million dollars …” Okay, getting the odometer on your investment portfolio to click over into seven digits isn’t quite that easy. Only 7% of American households ever manage it, according to research firm Spectrem Group — though it’s certainly not for lack of desire. While $1 million may not be worth what it was back when Martin was a wild and crazy guy in the late ’70s, achieving that iconic number still has profound allure. It means that you’re ahead of the game. You’re assured a baseline retirement security. You’ve arrived. Martin may have oversimplified, but the reality is that getting your portfolio to the $1 million mark is not nearly as difficult as you may think, even if you’ve managed to put away only a fraction of that amount so far. You just have to understand how to operate the three basic levers of wealth building: how much time you have to work with, how much you save, and how you invest that savings.
(NY Times) — Let us pretend for a moment that the year is 1997 and you’re in the market for a new laptop computer. You want the top-of-the-line product at the time, so you opt for the newly released Apple Computer PowerBook G3 250 laptop. This revolutionary piece of technology, which comes with a 250-megahertz processor and a whopping 5 gigabytes of storage, will set you back $5,700. If you held onto that laptop until today you would probably be able to sell it on eBay for about $50.
Now imagine that instead of buying the Apple PowerBook in 1997, you decided to spend $5,700 on Apple stock. You would have done a little better. Indeed, today your Apple stock would be worth $330,563. Probably makes you think twice buying about that laptop.
The last two weeks have revealed yet another challenge for Bishop Eddie Long, the members of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, the Atlanta community and America as a result of a business partnership gone bad with entrepreneur, Ephren Taylor, and his company Capital City Corporation.
As an Atlanta native and bishop that operates at the intersection of faith and finance, it concerns me to see investments go bad in the church and black community because to create a lasting legacy, people of color still have to be symbiotic. The black church is a necessary partner because it is the only “institution” we have that is even concerned about our journey from slavery to significance.
Members of churches like New Birth, which are primarily attended by Americans from the African Diaspora, have a responsibility to educate our community about how to impart a legacy of wealth and freedom for our future generations. This will take time, but how dare anyone be comfortable with African-Americans congregating to worship, dance and shout in churches that we neither build, finance or own, while those same mortgages are held by investors and institutions in other communities to the tune of $70 billion in principal alone?
We must to continue to learn. We must to continue to save and invest. We must continue to innovate beyond hair salons, multi-level marketing and record labels. We must start companies and invest in these startups. We must encourage and support our young entrepreneurs, even when they fail or make poor management decisions. We must encourage our brilliant money minds with the same magnitude and enthusiasm that we encourage our basketball slam-dunking athletes.
But for the “Ephren Taylor” deal, New Birth gets a C- on a scale of A to F.
Being young and failing is one thing, but Ephren Taylor is not the “black Bernie Madoff.” It’s one thing to invest money in a venture and it doesn’t produce the return that was projected. It is another thing to raise $65 billion over decades, not invest the money, and make payouts with newly invested money for 25 years. If we can give banks, insurance companies, automobile industries and money managers another chance to get it right after losing trillions of dollars in the recent economic recession, then we can givesmall business entrepreneurs like Ephren another chance. God already has.
Going forward, Ephren has to regroup and try again; this time, he has to be more conservative with investors’ monies and strive to produce an acceptable rate of return.
Where were his advisors? To sell or license those sweepstakes machines to the general public while sponsoring wealth tours in churches across America was naïve. The lines are too blurry to perceive this venture as “gambling” or “gaming without a license.”
On this deal, Ephren and City Capital gets an F.
The media also played a vital role because it aired Ephren’s commercials and infomercials. Now, the media reports the failure of their advertiser without providing enough facts to give viewers a balanced perspective. It is now accepted to entertain than to inform. Instead of facts, we get opinions from the reporter’s bias. When the investigative reporter doesn’t understand business or church, a standard business fee becomes a “cut” rather than a reasonable fee. Just as churches have a responsibility to deliver vetted information and opportunities for a winning future, so does the media.
Media gets a D on this deal.
We must learn that all investments come with the risk of losing your entire investment. The objective is to manage that risk and mitigate loss. Moving forward, I strongly advise that we invest only amounts of money in companies, funds and portfolios that we are willing to lose. Save the rest.
My heart goes out to the investors for the loss of time their IRAs represent. As for the customers’ willingness to “gamble” on those sweepstakes machines and then demand their money back, it leads me to believe not only did they need more information and time before investing, but a character check as well. Did they ask for their money back from the large financial institutions when their IRAs lost money prior to moving them?
For this reason, the investors and customers get an I for incomplete.
Ultimately, it’s a matter of personal responsibility – for all parties involved – including you and I.
Rodney Sampson is a serial entrepreneur, investor and consecrated Bishop who focuses on economic and innovative policy for the bishops and pastors he serves throughout North America, Europe and Africa via The International Bishops Conference. Follow Bishop Sampson on Twitter @rodneysampson or visit him online at www.kingdommanifestation.org or www.efactor.com.
(Daily Finance) — “The time to buy is when there’s blood in the streets,” legendary financier Baron Rothschild declared more than a century ago. The same principle could hold true for times when protesters, police and the army are taking to the streets of Egypt. The Market Vectors Egypt Index ETF (EGPT) tumbled about 15% in the days following the outbreak of political chaos in the country. But it posed a sharp rally of nearly 8% on Monday as investors regained some confidence. While plenty of doomsday scenarios are circulating, a more levelheaded look at Egypt suggests that the sell-off could provide a good entry point for investors. Its economy is growing fast and has plenty of room to run. And while apocalyptic predictions prevail, the changes that are likely to be ushered in may in fact help the country’s development.
With AAPL’s chairman and CEO Steve Jobs announcing his decision to take yet another leave of absence from the company, the latest buzz that this has lead to in a number of business and financial circles is pretty obvious. Investors are worried about the AAPL stock quotes taking a hit with Steve Jobs’ recent announcement and are trying to decide whether it is a good time to sell their APPL stocks.
Apple held up well and consolidated its market position when he took a leave of absence citing health problems earlier. Besides, AAPL stock quotes are not likely to show a drop considering the fact that the company has a number of innovative and unique projects for products that are in the pipeline. AAPL stock prices soared through the roof in the fourth quarter of 2010 and their products like iPhones, iPads and iTouches worked wonders for their business. AAPL is renowned for its commitment to perfection, high quality, innovation and dedication. Their advanced and revolutionary products have enabled them to carve a niche for themselves in the market.
From December 19th, 2010 to January 19th, 2010, the APPL stock quote rose by amazing 5.7% and close at $338.84 on the final day. This rise in the AAPL stock price clearly indicates that the market is not as badly affected by Jobs’ health as we thought it would be. Financial analysts are predicting that AAPL quotes could potentially reach $550 in the next twelve months. So, it is highly recommended (as clearly indicated by the figures mentioned above) that you hold onto your AAPL stock.