Finance Attitude - 5 incredible investments to supplement Social Security Fund
Majority of Americans have social security trust funds as an integral part of their investment plans. Investors can include other types of investments to supplement social security funds to accumulate wealth.  
Finance Attitude - 8 Common Types of Investment Risks
One of the biggest fears that engulf everybody when they think of investing is the loss of their hard-earned money. A risk is inevitable as every investment involves some degree of risk or taking some calculated risk. It is believed that the higher the risk the higher the returns. A risk is the level of uncertainty that a particular investment will gain if you invest in it or the level of a potential financial loss that you are likely to incur if you invest in a particular asset. Every investor should be concerned about the investment risk as much as they are concerned about the possibility of returns. Investing requires understanding the level of risks involved.  
Finance Attitude - 5 Key Factors to Consider When Choosing an Online Broker
/Lydia Wanjiru/ -- An online broker is quite essential for every investor. It is imperative to carry out a research to determine who an ideal online broker is. Here are a few factors to consider before you choose an online broker: 1.    Minimum Initial Investment Most brokerages set a minimum initial investment or money that has to be deposited into the account to start trading. You can pick the best brokerage in the industry but fail to meet their minimum investment requirement. It is therefore vital for an investor to find out whether the amount of capital they have is sufficient to trade with a particular broker.    
Finance Attitude - 4 Common Types of Alternative Investments
4 Common Types of Alternative Investments
Alternative investments are non -correlated assets that are not among the conventional investments such as stocks, bonds, and cash. It is estimated that since 2005 the global assets have grown twice as fast as the traditional investments according to McKinsey & Company, a global consulting company.  A survey conducted in 2015 showed that advisers had 73% of their clients in alternative investments. The assets increase is caused by the Investors need to diversify their portfolio so as to include a wider range of assets. This helps to reduce volatility, generates better returns, hedges against inflation and to access steady and reliable sources of income. A study conducted by the Informa Investment Solution and published by Blackrock revealed that alternative investments didn’t fall as much as the traditional investment during the 2001-2008 recessions.  Majority of financial advisers recommend investing not more than 25% of your portfolio to alternative investments. This is because a majority of the alternative investments tend to be illiquid. Here is a list of the major alternative investments to include in your portfolio: 1.    Hedge funds Hedge fund is a type of alternative investment where investors pool funds and use different strategies to earn returns. Hedge funds are managed to utilize derivatives and leverage to generate high returns. Hedge funds are classified according to their investment styles and their risks also differ among the different styles. Hedge funds are only accessible to accredited investors and require a large minimum investment but require less SEC regulation than mutual funds and other investment vehicles. Hedge fund requires an investor to keep their money in the fund for at least one year period otherwise known as lock-up period and thus is quite illiquid. 2.    Real estate Real estate is a tangible and immovable property that consists of land and buildings on it and other minerals and water. The benefits of investing in real estate include fairly stable and predictable income (rent), some form of tax benefit (depreciation or the tax deduction for mortgage interest), and some stability. The costs associated with real estate include maintenance, renting, taxes, insurance, and security. Another option of investing in real estate’s is to buy one or more publicly traded REITs where the REIT managers invest your money in various properties that they deem appropriate. REITs pay out 90 percent of the profits they earn every year in the form of a dividend which mostly range or can be more or less than 3.5 % to 5.5%. Another form of real estate investment is Commingled funds which are pools of money made up of contributions from a number of different pension plans or other funds. The commingled fund is managed by a professional money manager which can be a bank, insurance company, or an independent investment counselor. 3.    Cryptocurrencies Alternative Cryptocurrencies otherwise called altcoins are gradually gaining popularity. The first major decentralized cryptocurrency is bitcoin which was introduced in 2009. Bitcoin can be defined as a digital currency, a decentralized network through which bitcoins are transmitted and a chain block or blockchain, which is a decentralized accounting book where all transactions that occur are verified within the network permanently and anonymously. To be able to use bitcoin, the first thing you require is a wallet where you can store your bitcoins and with which you can transfer to other people. Financial advisers recommend not investing anything in bitcoin that you can afford to lose. Investing in bitcoin or any other currency has many risks such as another cryptographic currency could overcome bitcoin, a weakness in the encryption could be discovered, it could be affected if a failure is found in a particular algorithm, the bitcoin client can be updated to use different encryption algorithms, the governments could try to ban or regulate bitcoin and if there is an irreparable flaw could be discovered in the bitcoin protocol. There are other types of altcoins such as litecoin, Etherium, Zcash, Dash, Ripple and Monero. Investors should consider properly allocating Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and blockchain based technologies as an alternative investment portfolio. In the near future, there will be more and more opportunities to invest in them as these investment opportunities open up. 4.    Commodities Commodities are types of alternative investments and include raw materials that are sold in large quantities and other collectibles examples are oil, wheat, silver, gold, tea, fruits, flowers, fine wine and more. Most commodities are bought and sold with options and futures contracts. Speculators use passive and active investment strategies to invest in commodities. Other types of alternative investments include music royalties, private equity, venture capital, managed futures, derivative contracts, private or direct investments, hard asset lending, distressed debt, liquid alternatives among others.
Finance Attitude - Understanding the 3 Basic Stock Subclasses
Different Stock experts and traders have grouped stocks into classes and subclasses. The main class is the ordinary and the preferential shares. All publicly traded companies issue common or ordinary stock and some companies also issue preferred stock which is less risky but has lower returns. The subclasses are many and each has its own characteristics and is subject to specific external demands that affect the stock performance at any given time. The stocks are described based on the behavior that is subject to a variety of factors.  
Finance Attitude - 3 Ways to Buy Stock without a Full-Service Broker
Trading a stock is in most cases done via brokerage firms. The investor first finds a reputable brokerage firm to facilitate the process. The full-service broker charges a hefty commission that eats into your investment returns. For these among other reasons, you may be compelled to decide not to use a stockbroker or avoid having a brokerage account to reduce the costs. The direct investment option has some pros and cons which you will need to weigh given your unique circumstances and preferences.  
Finance Attitude - 4 Things To Do Before You Trade Penny Stocks
Penny stocks are shares that are traded for $5 each or less. Majority of these penny stocks are on the major stock exchanges such as NASDAQ, NYSE, American Stock Exchange, and the Bulletin board. The Bulletin Board is the best to get higher quality penny stocks. However, there are a few smaller ones which trade on the dark markets such as Pink Sheets, OTCQX and OTCQB. Focus on the high-quality companies which trade on the major trading exchanges to avoid losses and refrain from trading in the dark markets. Also, avoid free stock picks that promoters are pushing you to buy as they could be scams. Most of the genuine companies increase in size and price without a promoter.
Finance Attitude - 5 Crucial Things to Consider Before You Buy a Stock
5 Crucial Things to Consider Before You Buy a Stock
Investing in stock is an excellent way to build substantial wealth. However, stock prices are very volatile which makes investing highly risky and can even lead to massive losses particularly if investors are not keen enough before they buy a stock. It is imperative to do a thorough research before you place your hard earned cash on a company stock. Here are 5 things to consider before you buy a stock: 1.    The Company’s Mission, Vision, Goals, and Objectives Find out the business that the company is involved in and what they intend to achieve in the long-run. Make efforts to understand the company’s mission and also avoid investing in what you don’t understand. You can search the internet and the company’s web page so as to gather all the information available regarding the company mission, vision, and objectives. You can also get such information from the company’s brochure and other publications. A stock value of a company with a viable mission and vision is likely to grow and so it is less risky to buy. 2.    Find Out the Company’s Financial Performance Companies publish their financial statements quarterly and yearly and investors can check the company’s earnings and whether the company is making substantial profits. Find out how much net income the company reported in dollars and in per-share earnings. Find out the company’s earnings history by checking past news stories and company’s quarterly statements. It is also important to check whether there are any red flags that can make you question the company’s integrity. Find out if the company has a history of steady earnings growth or the earnings are usually volatile. Find out the future growth possibility of the company. Analyze the company’s balance sheet to find out the company’s liabilities versus assets and check if the company incurs huge loans. Check how much the company is spending on research and development and how large its inventory levels are. Check the 10-k report that a company has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Also, check the 10-Q report which is similar to 10-k only that it is required on a quarterly basis. 3.    The Stock Valuation The company’s valuation is determined by price to earnings and price to sales. It’s important to find a company whose earnings are growing exponentially and also check the value the market pays for that growth and the prospect of future growth. Investors also need to consider how much they are paying for a stock. 4.    Find the Company’s Competitors Every company has a host of other competitors unless it’s an industry dominated by one company. A company may be in an industry that is fragmented where even the biggest player controls less than 10% of the market. It is crucial to check the company’s position in the industry by finding out if it’s a bigger player or a small but growing niche player and whether it has the biggest market share in its industry. It is also important to check the international competition from foreign firms in the industry. Find out whether the company’s competitive position is sustainable. 5.    Check the Company’s Executive Management There are numerous ways to find out about the leadership of a company, their background, and the company’s history. You can research on the company management y searching online sources on the internet and also by checking the company’s main website. You can also find out more information from their financial statements that are periodically released to the public and from the trade publications. Bottom line Any serious investor put enough efforts in digging up for any information that determines the success of the company that they intend to invest in. I hope this guide will help you to make an informed decision.
Finance Attitude - 5 Significant Reasons to Trade Forex
Forex or the foreign exchange market is a decentralized or over-the-counter (OTC) market whereby currencies are traded at current or determined prices. This market brings together central banks, investment banks, commercial banks, hedge funds retail traders among other professions. According to the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) last triennial survey, the size of the forex market turnover was $5.2 trillion as of 2016. The forex market is thus the biggest financial market in the world.  
Finance Attitude - 6 Major Types of Strategies Traders can Opt for in Forex Trading
Trading Forex (FX) involves trading of currencies where you can buy one currency while selling another for speculation purposes. Forex trading just like any other investment involves taking calculated risks. When trading forex, you can make profits or losses. You need to master the best forex strategies that can work for you to benefit from forex trading. Currencies tend to fluctuate due to various factors like geopolitical, economical and more. The aim of trading in currencies is to make profits from the changes in prices.    
Finance Attitude - 3 Ways to Trade Forex
Forex exchange is an international market for trading currencies. According to a survey by the Bank for International Settlements in 2016, the average daily forex trading was 5.1$ trillion and of this, spot trading made up $2.6Traders have trillion.  
Finance Attitude - Become a Successful Forex Trader in 4 Simple Steps
Become a Successful Forex Trader in 4 Simple Steps
To become a successful Forex trader, you need to learn, practice and set a clear plan for the trade. Getting into the Forex business is easy and you can follow a few simple steps. You need to learn how to mitigate losses while maximizing profits which you can achieve by identifying good trade setups that have a positive risk and reward set up. Here are 4 steps you can follow to become a successful Forex trader: Step 1: Research and open an online Forex brokerage Research on different Forex brokerage accounts available in the market that is regulated by an oversight body. Visit their website, ensure that it has active links and read reviews about them. Find out the transactions cost per trade. Request for information about opening an account with them, you can choose either a personal or a managed account.  A personal account enables you to execute your own trades and the broker will execute trades for you in a managed account. Step 2: Use a Demo Account The next step is to open a demo account that acts as a trading account with monopoly money in it which is connected to the live market. You can place trades just like in trading in a live account and have true losses and gains represented in real time. You should be able to trade profitably on your paper trading or demo account. You need to do a lot of practice before you commit your real cash to this trade. Using a demo account, you can practice the trade until you are contented. This is quite helpful because it gives the feel of the trading platform and you get well acquainted/versed with its features. However, do not overtrade on a demo account, switch to a live trading account as soon as you are ready. Step 3: Learn and practice FX trading before going live Another important aspect of forex trading is learning the Forex trading terminologies. You can read material and watch webinars to understand Forex trading better. Get advice from a forex trainer. You will need to develop unique trading style and strategies as a trader. Developing such strategies takes time and efforts and is a trial and error process. You can choose to become a swing trader, a positional trader etc. Set stop-loss order for every trade. Set a margin of about 2% per single trade. Never place a trade in a bid to compensate a previously incurred loss. Trade at the moment that you feel its right and never fear losses, every trader has them. Step 4: Get the trading capital and start trading Forex trading doesn’t necessarily require a lot of minimum capital to trade. The Forex trader should seek to trade on margin. On average a Forex broker requires at least $300 to open an account and to begin trading. A general rule of the thumb is to have at $1000-$2000 to open a mini account. It helps the trader to have a bit of buffer in case of losses. The idea is to avoid risking the entire amount but rather have just a higher cushion so that you can remain as a trader for longer. It is difficult to know when you are fully ready to switch to live trading. The process should take about a month after you gather a good understanding of the market and the risks involved in forex trade. You need to analyze the market and then determine your margin. You can then place your order, for example, a market order, a limit order or a stop order. It takes time effort and passion to become successful in Forex trading. Keep on keeping on until you all master the tricks of the trade.