Friday, October 12, 2007

Online Stock Market Trading Company

How does an average Joe trade these days? Can he afford a broker or a financial advisor? Trading through Online stock trading company is the only way to go when it comes to trading stocks. The advent of online stock trading has brought trading to the regular masses and made online brokerage company a lasting institution of the financial world. There are plenty such online stock brokers available. These brokers are doing aggressive marketing these days to capture new investors.

Stock trading online is undoubtedly a beautiful way of automating the entire trading process without any human intervention. But dont forget, it is very much like any other business. You do need initial capital, actionable plan to work upon, risk appetite to bear losses and not to mention your dedicated time and resources. A businessman does require educational qualification and thorough knowledge of his field of business. Similarly a trader is expected to have educational enhancement ability which can aid him in his research on underlying company stock trading.

There are plenty of online brokerage firms available in market. Four important criteria to be kept in mind while selecting your online broker are as follows-

  • Brokerage fees / Commissions.
  • Initial deposit
  • Newsletter

Brokerage Fees - Broker usually charges some percentage amount of each transaction (be it buy or sell). So more transactions you make, more money you have to pay to the broker. So essentially brokerage is dependent on number of transactions and amount of transaction. Phone orders is also one option available to investors but brokerage fees for phone orders would be higher as it requires human intervention.

Initial Deposit Even best stock trading company would require a minimum initial deposit in order to trade stocks on their site. A minimum initial deposit can start at $500 and go all the way up to $10,000 or more. If an investors account balance go below this deposit amount, penalty fee of $10-20 (or more) will be charged to them every month.

Tools / Newsletter - Investing in stock can be facilitated by brokers if they could provide their investors with streamers which allow an investor to see current prices of stocks. Not only that, online brokers facilitate investors with Trading Newsletter which includes all that you need to trade in stocks. It is very comprehensive and has information on new trading picks, stop loss points, daily targets, short and long term strategies and some other educational tips on stock trading online!

When online stock trading was not in place, each investor used to have a broker who not only did the transaction but served as an advisor also. Now in online trading era, individual investors make most of their decisions on a gut feel without doing any research exercise. But the irony is these investors usually dont have any trade plan into place. They dont approach this financial market in a planned and disciplined manner. Result is they get exposed to high risks!

Online stock broking is one of the best medium available for investors to do stock trading if they use this tool in an efficient manner.

I wrote this article to share my views about online stock market trading companies and stock market trading online

Rental Real Estate

Understanding Your Rental Property

Adding real estate to your portfolio can be a smart thing to do. Many do this by converting their first home into a rental when they can afford to acquire another principal residence. As I have discussed before, every portfolio should have 20% invested in the alpha rim (see Do What the Hell I Tell You-Guide to Portfolio Building). The alpha rim is the part of a portfolio that is not invested in stock market products. Therefore, it is not subject to market fluctuations and provides some risk protection to a given portfolio. When adding any new investment to our portfolio, we should take time to learn the basics so that we can make informed decisions over time. Adding real estate to a portfolio definitely requires an understanding of the fundamentals.

Lets begin by taking our first town home. It was purchased right after we were married with the intent that we would one day live in a larger home. Because we were so good at saving, we did not need to sell the first home to get into the new place. We have made contributions to retirement plans and have savings on the outside of the retirement plans. The decision has been made to keep this town house and convert it to a rental property in order to begin investing in the alpha rim. It becomes necessary at this point to understand how a rental property works from its beginning, during its operation, and when a decision is made at the ending its existence in the portfolio.

Putting the Property in Service

If the property is being converted from personal use, as it is in this situation, we must take the lower of cost or market value in placing this property into service as a rental. If we purchased the home originally for $200,000 and its fair market value is $300,000 when we are ready to make the conversion, we will use the $200,000 original cost as our basis. If the fair market value was $150,000 at the conversion date, then this would become the basis for the rental property. Placing a property in service in this case means establishing how much will be available for depreciation and how much will be allocated to land. Lets assume that $200,000 is our basis. We will need to allocate this basis to determine what can be depreciated and what must be land (not depreciated). I like to use the property bill assessment as it normally breaks down the property into what is building and what is land. After reviewing the property assessment, it is determined that 80% of the propertys value is building with the remaining 20% representing land value. This means that we will depreciate $160,000 over a 27.5 year life, or $5,818 per year. If we were to purchase this rental property as opposed to converting, our basis would be calculated based on cost plus settlement charges. Remember, each year that we take depreciation, we are reducing our tax basis in the property. This is important to know as we consider disposition of the property.

Operations of the Rental Property

As one might imagine, everything that relates to the property becomes a tax deduction. Mortgage interest, real estate taxes, repairs and maintenance, insurance, property management fees, and the like become ordinary and necessary expenses for the rental property. It should be noted here that the ideal situation is to have the rents charged to tenants equal not only debt service on the mortgage, but some built-in factor for repairs and upkeep. This of course, will be subject to fair market value rents in the neighborhood, but the goal should be to cover these expenses. In the event that the property operates at a loss, this loss will be able to offset other income on a tax return to the extent that adjusted gross income is $100,000 or less and the loss itself is not greater than $25,000. If adjusted gross income is $150,000 or more, the $25,000 loss limitation is reduced to zero which would make suspended any losses realized. Suspended losses are then carried forward to offset passive income in future years or to be recognized upon termination of the property. When starting a rental property, it is important to know the rules of the game as one might not get the tax benefits expected. If your adjusted gross income exceeds $150,000, you will not currently get any tax benefit from losses unless you have passive income from other sources. If you have a series of suspended loss carry-overs, you might consider adding a passive income generator to your portfolio (see my article, The Most Complete Real Estate Article on the Internet).

Disposition of the Rental Property

Now we are considering the disposition of our rental property. At the time, it is believed that we can get $400,000 for our investment. Do we have exposure to income taxes due to the gain of this property? Of course we do, dont be silly. Lets first calculate what our gain will be. We know our selling price, so we need to calculate our adjusted in the property. If the property has been depreciated for 10 years, our accumulated depreciation will be $58,180 ($5,818x10 years). This would bring a depreciable basis of $160,000 down to $101,820. We will add $40,000 to this for un-depreciated land basis bringing the adjusted basis up to $141,820. The gain exposure for this property is then calculated to be $258,180. This gain is section 1231 gain which will likely mean that it is long-term capital gain. However, this gain will have two tiers of tax. Because of the depreciation taken in prior years, the accumulated depreciation of $58,180 will have a 25% tax rate application. The balance of the gain, $200,000, will be taxed at the long-term capital gains rate of $15%. There is the potential to do a 1031 (like-kind) exchange on this property which would allow for the postponement of the gain providing that a property of greater or equal value is acquired. There is also the potential for netting the capital gain of this transaction with capital losses that might be in the portfolio. Does it make sense to sell outright or do a 1031 exchange? It depends on the facts and circumstances of this particular portfolio. If the alpha rim is well above the 20% mark, and with long-term capital gains at just 15%, it might make sense to just recognize the gain and pay the taxes (see my article on netting capital gains and losses). If we need to buy another property to maintain 20% in the alpha rim, the 1031 exchange could be the right solution. See what I mean when I say one must understand the fundamentals of owning real estate? My way is better.

Ron Piner, CPA
Host of Better Business
Saturday Mornings at 10ET
On WBIS AM 1190

The ABCs of the Stock Market

A recent study indicates that Americans are saving less these days than they were 10 years ago, except for entrepreneurs and corporate executive and in one particular segment young middle-managers who are about six to 10 years into their careers and only beginning to make headway into the higher echelons of their particular industry.

Are you one of these people? If you are, then chances are that you are currently in the process of planning or expanding your base of investments. You have probably given real estate a good look and determined that, although attractive, it is more ideal for a full-time real estate investor because it demands a lot of effort and time. You also probably have a tidy little sum invested in various banking tools like savings and time deposits as well as common trust bonds and government securities. Thats all well and good and your money is safe right there. But now you want to shoot for the moon, mainly by investing in the kind of company and industry that you may be familiar with. You are eager to try the stock market.

Here are a few basics about the stock market business.

The stock market is mainly a place where you sell or trade a companys stock. These stocks are small shares in the company which it sells to the public in order to raise capital to finance its other ventures. Of course, you already know that capital is the money that a company spends for producing, improving, expanding, distributing and promoting its products and services. If you buy a companys stocks, you are one of its shareholders.

The use of the term stock market also applies in reference to all the stocks that are available for trading (as well as other securities) as in the statement "the stock market performed well today."

You can also trade bonds on the stock market. Bonds are a business IOU that indicate that the bond issuer holds the bond holder a debt. Bonds are traded directly between two parties over the counter.

You may opt to trade commodities on the stock market. The term commodities refers to agricultural products (coffee, sugar, wheat, maize, barley, cocoa, milk products) and other raw materials (pork bellies, oil, metals). For example, if you feel that the price of coffee will increase next month, you buy the coffee commodity now and reap the benefits of the price increase next month when you sell.

Jonathon Hardcastle writes articles on many topics including Investing, Business, and Finance

The Right To Be Rich

To be rich is our birthright. It is the fool who praises poverty. The whole crux of the issue is the connotation of the words richness and poverty. It is naive to think that richness means a bank balance or glittering gold coins that robbers can steal. The currency value of cash might rise and fall until a time will come when a whole truck full of printed notes will be required to buy a pair of shoes. So richness does not relate to the clink of metal or rustle of paper.

The right to be rich is inherent in us. Life is to be enjoyed. To do so it is necessary to know what riches and enjoyment mean. The concept of poverty must also be understood. Without the contrast of rain and shine we would never savor the monsoons. As the newborn calf has the right to the milk flowing from its mothers teat so too Man, at the moment of birth, inherits and has a right to the riches of this world air, water, fire, earth and space. A country with a balanced plenty of these five is said to be rich. So too are the people of the land.

The right to be rich is entwined with the right to enjoy. The native of the land suckles on the bounty of Nature and enjoys it. Here comes the catch. Each of us has a zone, or a bank account from which we can dip in and enjoy. The deer has the grassland. The tiger has the deer. Man rules over all. But if the man finishes off the tiger and the deer does not allow the grass to replenish, the stock markets of Man will fall. Man will become poor. So the enjoyment of one is linked to another with a strict code of balance.

The Selfish Giant was very rich and bombastic about his rights. But could he enjoy until the children were allowed into his garden? King Midas had an agonizing experience and begged the god to take back his golden touch. The unthinking glutton gorging on food ultimately suffers digestion.

So the secret of enjoyment is carefully nourishing and multiplying the riches we are born with, which is our birthright and then sharing it in one big happy party on planet earth inviting all creation plants, animals and man.

CW Teo is an expert in personal development. His Team Blog: Click here to download a rebrandable Free Report: Bob Proctor On Science of Getting Rich.

The Reality of Foreclosure Investing

The reality of foreclosure investing is very different from what people have been led to believe through late night infomercials and the hundreds of books written on the subject. Always remember these two key facts when dealing in foreclosures.

Every active foreclosure investor works a lot more than people working 9-5 jobs.

Serious foreclosure investors either have large sums of money of their own or have another investor backing them up.

Finding a solid foreclosure property to purchase is not a matter of choosing what you want, it is a matter of finding something that works economically, keeping track of it, researching it, and then beating out all the other investors who are interested in it.

People treating this business seriously invest a lot of time and energy into finding and following leads. So, is it possible to make money in this business?

Absolutely, but you must know your strengths and weaknesses.

One of the major problems most beginning investors have, is knowing the market value of a property they are interested in. Experienced investors will have their properties valued to within a 3% variance all the time. All decisions regarding a property are based on the price it will receive. In other words Know The Market Value. Experienced foreclosure investors will use The Multiple Listing Service, Title Companies and their own experience to arrive at that value.

The second problem is the law. You dont want to run into legal issues because youve structured a deal that is illegal in your state. States do have laws regarding what you can and cannot do with owners who are defaulting on their home loans. So again, do your research.

The third problem is the problem of money. If youve got a good amount to back your purchases, thats great. But even if you dont, it is still possible to do the deals. However, you do need enough to be able to find properties, keep track of them and cover your on going expenses.

The fourth problem is that of knowledge. Federal tax liens, partial interests, leased land, incorrect property information, unpaid property taxes and wrong common descriptions are all things that hurt investors. If you dont know how to check for these things, you should not be investing in foreclosures. If you dont know how to follow up on real property information, you need to spend some time acquiring the knowledge necessary to complete these tasks. Take a course, read, make contacts and talk to people involved in the business. You can easily find them at local Trustee or Sheriffs sales.

Successful Creative Real Estate Financing, as in life, depends not on what happens, but on what you do. The key to your future is what you do with what you have, because life gets better not by chance but by change. It only gets better for you, when you get better.

Many people are impressed with the many creative ways there are to make money in real estate, but dont have any money to get started. It really is simpler than you might think. Notice, that I said simpler, not easier. Ideas dont work unless you do.

Learn one creative financing formula very, very well and keep using it. Do what you do best. Find one formula that you understand, are comfortable with and like to work with. Get good at it. Then, get better. Remember this: perfect practice makes perfect. When you have one success, reinforce it with another. When you miss, analyze and correct your mistake and do better the next time. Keep refining your formula until no one else can implement it as well as you do. Success is no accident: it takes commitment.

Until next time, I wish you much success.

If you think you can win, you can win.

-- William Hazlitt

Rodney Brooks is CEO of Brooks Global Financial Network. Brooks Global Financial Network is located in Bridgeton, New Jersey

Rodney can be reached by email at:

To get a free comprehensive Creative Real Estate Financing Course, visit

For more information on the Brooks Global Financial Network including links to personal and business financial information and services, free courses and information on home business, affiliate marketing, credit repair, bankruptcies, divorce, taxes, real estate, home and business telecommunications, VOIP, and much, much more, visit

No Good Thing Lasts Forever - Except, Perhaps, Immediate Annuities

Most people will agree that nothing lasts forever, but a careful look at various investment options might yield an exception or two. Rising health-care costs, inflation, and consumer prices are just a few of the variables that cause people to struggle to make ends meet these days. Unusually low interest rates only exacerbate the problem, forcing countless retirees to tighten their belts. If this outlook matches what youre currently facing, dont abandon hope; an immediate annuity might be the solution for you.

Recently, we were asked for advice by an 86-year-old former executive assistant who well call Jacqueline. She came to one of our seminars at a local library. Afterward, Jackie approached us and started to talk about her situation. She never married and has no children. Shes been retired for about 20 years, and recently sold her home so she could move into a comfortable assisted-living residence. Jackies primary concern was to have enough income to supplement her Social Security and pension benefits so as to maintain the standard of living to which she had become accustomed factoring in inflation, rising housing costs, personal health-care costs, and taxes. Her will would donate the remainder of her estate to a few charities of her choice.

To meet these goals, Jackie needed more income than her principal would allow under traditional conservative investments. Like many of her contemporaries, she did not have the physical stamina to re-enter the work force. This meant that she could not afford risks associated with the stock market. What she wanted, in her own words, was a guaranteed, preferably tax-favored income stream for the rest of her life, an income that would remain perfectly stable despite fluctuations in the stock market. After a thorough investigation of many options and detailed conversations with Jackies accountant and attorney, we narrowed the possibilities to one investment vehicle: the single-premium immediate annuity.

An annuity is a tax-deferred investment vehicle that gives you a fixed or variable annual income. The amount of that income is based on the initial value of the principal and the type of annuity the owner chooses to invest in. There are many different types of annuities, all of which are designed to meet various needs. Annuities can be fixed, variable, immediate, deferred, medically underwritten, etc. As with any purchase, investors must weigh the benefits that an annuity may offer against the costs, management fees, liquidity, and the price of added benefits. The key to remember is that annuities come in different shapes, colors, and sizes. There are literally hundreds of different ways they can be purchased, but one way needs to be found. When looking to buy, you should always evaluate how the benefits match up with your own needs. It is for this reason that we always recommend that investors have a meeting with their accountant and attorney, along with the person who is selling the annuity, so that nothing gets lost in the translation. At this time, a detailed discussion of all the pluses and drawbacks can take place and an informed decision can be made taking into account factors the investor originally may not have thought about.

Although New York State is a highly regulated market that maintains a close eye on the types of products sold to investors, you should always be fully aware of the ins and outs of the product youre dealing with. Often, certain types of annuities pay a high commission to the people selling them. Because of this, and the complexities discussed earlier, it is not uncommon for the seller to place his or her interests above those of the (typically less savvy) investor. Contrary to popular belief, annuities are not only sold by insurance agents, but by brokers, CPAs, CFPs, tax preparers, local banks, and many other people and institutions as well. As always, its important to know who youre dealing with and dont be afraid to ask questions! Whether you live in NYC, the east coast, west coast, or some place in between, it is best to be prudent and always do the required due diligence. The type of annuity Jackie did her due diligence on was an immediate annuity.

With immediate annuities, the investor or investors (ownership can be single-life or joint-life) puts up an initial principal in exchange for a stream of payments. An insurance company is typically the seller of the annuity and will be the one that sends you the monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual checks. Why would an insurance company be willing to take on this tremendous responsibility of lifetime payouts? Well, it is all based on life-expectancy statistics, which are derived from actuarial tables.

Immediate annuities have various payout options. Some of the more common are lifetime income-only, lifetime period-certain, lifetime income-with-cash (lump sum) refund, lifetime income-with-installment refund, and period-certain. Simply said, you have several choices about how you receive your money. Keep in mind, however, that different types of annuities are sold through different insurance companies, with various credit ratings. Because so many factors play into a decision about which type of annuity to purchase, it is essential to consult a financial professional before making your final decision.

The payout amount of an immediate annuity is determined strictly by age and gender, unless it is a medically underwritten policy, in which case the health status of the annuity owner also plays an important role. (The insurance company will often pay more when your life expectancy is altered because of poor health.) What made this investment appropriate for Jackie was largely the fact that she had no heirs, because when you set up an immediate annuity you forfeit all rights to ownership of your initial investment principal. If you have heirs who are dependent on an inheritance they assume theyll receive, a conversation about the consequences of going through with this kind of an investment should definitely occur. Still, the benefits associated with an immediate annuity are impressive; the insurance company will guarantee your income payments for the remainder of your life, even if you live to be 120.

Jackies Social Security, pensions, and bond income did not generate enough cash to meet her high monthly expenses, which meant that she had no choice but to dip into her principal every year. Had she stayed on that path, Jackies entire principal would have been depleted in about six years. We were tempted to recommended tax-free municipal bonds because of their liquidity, income security, and tax-free status. But current interest rates and Jackies high income needs would again have forced her to invade and ultimately deplete her principal within those same six years. Knowing that the national life-expectancy average of a woman Jackies age is currently around six years, and taking into consideration her superb health and strong genetic background, investing in municipal bonds created a risk we did not feel at all comfortable with.

In Jackies case, we chose a lifetime income-only annuity because the alternatives were too risky, and also because not being able to afford to live where she wants, with the people she cares about, was unacceptable to her. If, like Jackie, you are looking for consistency, guarantees, or just peace of mind that you wont run out of money during the final stage of your life, an immediate annuity could be the solution for you.

Don Conrad is president of Conrad Capital Management, an independent registered investment advisor, in Melville, New York. Can be reached by phone: (631) 439-7878 or email:

Don started his career in the late 1970s at a nationally recognized mutual fund company and was recruited after three years by E.F. Hutton Company to work in the consumer retail division. During his thirteen-year tenure there, he spent two years specializing in and trading the 30-year treasury bond. For the last five years, he served as a senior vice president focusing his efforts in the Consulting Services division, maintaining offices in both Long Island and Manhattan.

In 1993, he was recruited by PaineWebber as a Senior Vice President in the consumer retail division. In addition to managing his clients assets, he was asked by senior management to conduct a nationwide tour to train financial consultants in the Consulting Services division. Don also made a video on the use of advanced technology in the financial services industry. This video was distributed to PaineWebber offices internationally.

After almost five years at PaineWebber, Don decided to pursue his dream by starting Conrad Capital Management in order to offer his clients more choices and flexibility.

Time of Day To Day Trade

Day traders are a special breed of animals from the investors and swing or position traders. To them, there is a routine throughout the day they notice and take advantage of them. Each segment of the trading hours has special meaning. When it comes trading, these traders know when they are at their best and when they will not make a dime.

Floor traders are the best at knowing the routine of the market. The same human nature shows up in the everyday life. Humans love routine, even the people who are never do the same things twice or abhor normalcy and ordinary, they do have their own routine in another aspect of their life. So even in trading, the stocks and exchanges show their similarities day after day, even in a chaotic world in financial markets, there are subtleties that help these traders profit from the markets.

Here are some of the known facts about markets in general:

1. Volume - Most of the participation are around the opening and the closing hours of the day's session, especially on days where there are economic or company news pending. The more important the economic news, the more the volume, such as Federal Reserve meetings. Volume and volatility increases exponentially.

2. Price - There are certain prices where traders will participate in large numbers such as new highs or new lows. These areas come to be support or resistance, driving more traders into the fray. When these prices are near, expect this action to become routine.

3. Time - Different times of the trading hours bring different types of volatility and traders. Opening and closings see many day traders entering and exiting the markets while half way in the session will see less day traders as lunch time brings quiet time. The day is usually divided into 60 minute increments (hence the popular use of the 60-minute charts by day and swing traders). These time slots mark an important routine of the day. For example, the first 60 minutes show high volume with many emotional buying and selling to due market imbalance caused by news before the market opening. The second 60-minutes usually see the volume decreasing. This time slot also determines the direction of the market for the day ''either continuing the direction set by the first 60 minutes or reversing the direction. The last hour also give clues to the following day. But due to news interrupting overnight momentum, it's more difficult to use it as an indicator.

4. Day of the week - Depending on the day of the week where swing traders may initiate their positions at the beginning of the week and exit at the end of the week. For others, watching the beginning of the week to see the tone of the markets that may play out the rest of the week. In doing so, the day traders may observe and trade according the week. Mondays tends to be low in volume as the weekend slowly fades bringing traders back to their work. Wednesdays tend to find the tone for the rest of the week with a trending day. Fridays tend to reverse on the entire week's direction. Many swing and day traders will usually exit their positions, taking profits made from the week's gains.

5. Month - The beginning and end of the month provides more volatility than in between. Why? Accounting purposes, perhaps, where institutions maneuver their assets. There is tendency for volume to appear greater at the first few days of the month as well as the last few days of the month with more conviction in the direction. September and October lately have become the turning point of the markets, changing directions, especially from downtrend to uptrend. The crashes in recent history have taken place in these two months and tend to be the lows of the year.

6. Season - In general, the summer provides the least liquidity due to people in general going on vacation. During the rest of the year, there healthy volume sustains the trend. During the fall just up until Christmas will see a rise in volume and bullish trends.

These are routines that should not be taken lightly. They do exist and finding them can be a long arduous process. Once found, the trader will have an edge in profiting from the inefficiency of the markets.

Larry Swing
CEO & Head Swing Trader
swing trading with
+1 (281) 968-2718
Yahoo & Skype ID: larry_swing

How To Tell When You Guilty of Over Trading

How To Tell When You Guilty of Over trading.

The essential feature of overtrading is not the number of actual trades but your reasons and motivation behind each trade.

Confused? I shall explain further.

Overtrading becomes more apparent when in a Bull Market as the share trader is frightened of missing out or will rush into every reasonable trading opportunity that shows itself or that they can afford.

These trades involved are no longer based on money management or any risk control. Here are four main questions that you can ask yourself if you think you are overtrading.

1. Is each trade based on sound research and financial analysis?

2. Is each trade part of an overall management plan that is based on matching the trade with the risk involved?

3. Does each trade have clear financial objectives which determine your exit position?

4. Does each trade only use capital allocated from your previous trades?

If the answer is yes then the trade is being made for the right reasons and the right criteria.

If two or more questions are answered in the negative, then this suggests that your are overtrading and your emotions are in charge . Can You Guarantee Success Every Time You Trade?

The answer is a resounding NO! But you can maximize your chances of success.

Firstly have a look in the mirror. It will reflect your worst trading enemy, ourselves. But most of us will blame other circumstances for our failure in the market. When in reality it is our in ability to take losses over trading.

What Steps Can We Take to Complete a Successful Trade?

1. Identify trading opportunities.

How do you do this? Usually it is done by three ways. You have the option of using a database scan using a software program or by using eyeball verification of bar charts and using indication verification using the Macd, Rsi or your own favorite indicators.

2. Analysis of opportunities.

A. Check for bias.

B. Assess stop loss conditions.

C. Assess profit targets.

D. Rank by time / risk.

3. Trade Management of our Portfolios.

A. Watch the depth of the market on your entry. B. Place and execute the order. C. Enter details in order log. Print out chart with summary trading plan.

D. With your open positions (trades) each day you verify the original trading conditions arc intact.

E. Enter details into trading record and file contract notes.

Christopher Strudwick is a keen amateur investor on the Australian Stock Market. Visit his weblog for more free articles and useful information at

Thursday, October 11, 2007

High Flying Stock: L International Computers, Inc. The Next DELL?

L International Computers, Inc. is a publicly traded company on the pink sheets under stock symbol LITL. According to a recent press release, the company designs, manufactures, markets and distributes high-performance, opulent PC/Windows© laptop, desktop, workstation and server computers.

Further, the company states it also produces the largest and most spectacular personal & professional visual displays as well as ultra-high performance software, peripherals, and personal electronics technologies.

They claim to be the "absolute and no-contest highest performance/upper-class hardware solutions

provider, at any given price point". Could they could be the next Dell?

On August 10th, 2006 the stock of L International Computers, Inc. closed at $0.29 with no volume. On August 31st, 2006 the stock traded as high as $1.85 and closed at $1.40 on more than 10 million shares.

Why all the investor excitement?

a) A press release issued on September 1, 2006 announces its next-generation PuRam-Go™/PuRaid™ Ultra-Portable High-Speed Solid State Drive Technology.

b) A press release issued on August 30, 2006 announces the Metropolis as the World's First 19 Laptop Computer Featuring Nvidia's Quad-SLI Technology; High-End Graphics, Gaming and Professional Visual Computing to Be Freed from the Desktop Box.

c) A press release issued on August 23, 2006 announced that L International Signs $45m European Distribution Agreement; Breakthrough Deal Solidifies Corporate Global Marketing and Sales Strategies.

Great press releases, but is there any substance? Perhaps investors should be focused on the following items:

a) According to various trade journals and articles, the company originally launched its technologies in 2003. We have been unable to find any financial statements indicating their sales, profits or losses since that time. The company states it will release financial statements sometime during the next few months. As a pink sheet company, they are under no obligation to provide investors with updated or accurate information.

b) In an article published on October 14, 2004, the company was quoted as saying: "We are no longer in a position, from a financial standpoint, to continue doing business and are regrettably forced to suspend our operations and liquidate our assets in support of our financial responsibilities."

c) In a call made to the company earlier today, the company acknowledged that it had shut marketing down about eight months ago due to technology upgrades and plans to re-open in about three to four months.

d) Who is Microscan International? They allegedly placed a $45 million order to buy product from L International. However, a quick search yields absolutely nothing about them, not even a website.

e) While the company states that it manufactures its own technologies with employees working from its corporate headquarters, it seems that the address of record is in fact a mail box at The UPS Store in Santa Barbara, California.

f) The stock of L International Computers, Inc is traded on the Pink Sheets and has been actively promoted via stock spam. Interestingly, a message posted by Pink Sheets LLC on indicates that they have removed stock quotes from their website until the company makes current information available to the investing community. Furthermore, they suggest that investors use care and due diligence in their investment decisions as companies that engage in promotional activities without supplying adequate current information are often the subject of fraudulent activity.

The company reports there are approximately 100 million shares outstanding. Is this company worth $150 million? Investors beware.

Joel Arberman is the Editor of We publish a free investment research and analysis newsletter. Learn more at

Foreign Currency Trading - How To Make Money With Forex Trading

These days the word Forex is being thrown around quite loosely. In fact you are likely to come across it quite often online with a common topic on how to make money with Forex trading. FOREX stands for FOReign Exchange market and it refers to the international currency market where currencies are purchased and sold.

Forex is one of the most promising and rewarding investments around and learning how to make money with Forex trading is easy. Of course there is risk and because you can trade marginally it is how to make money with Forex trading with the potential of making huge profits. One benefit is the inability of investors to influence the market for their own gain. As a short term investor you will need some patience and diligence. Technical analysis and strategies should be part of your investment plan.

When you learn how to make money with Forex trading in foreign currency you can trade 24 hours a day in just about every part of the world because you will find a dealer ready to quote on a currency. After you decide what currency you want to invest in you buy online either through a dealer or through your own Forex trading account and thats how to make money with Forex trading.

Marginal trading is used for trading with borrowed capital which is common practice when learning how to make money with Forex trading. Thats one of the reasons for its appeal. You can invest without having the real money to back it. That means you can make much bigger investments quicker and cheaper.

Make sure that you have some investment strategies under your belt and by then youll know how to make money with Forex trading. You should understand both fundamental analysis and technical analysis. The investor doesnt try to outsmart the market instead they learn how to make money with Forex trading.

Fundamental analysis analyzes the country where the currency is from, the economy, political stability, and other related issues. These are all contributing factors that are used to analyze the currency and fluctuations that might occur.

Now that you have the basics on how to make money with Forex trading youre ready to take the next step. If you still arent comfortable enough to invest there are plenty of online courses to help improve your skills. What are you waiting for now is the time to start making your wealth.

Joel Teo is the owner/webmaster of the free financial article directory. When you submit articles for free, your articles may be picked up by ezine publishers who might reprint your articles and give you links and send traffic to your website.

Great Reasons To Invest In Costa Del Sol

There are a few things in life that will make your heart truly happy. One of those things is to invest in Costa Del Sol. Boasting of 320 days of pure sunshine; it is easy to see why you should invest in Costa Del Sol. It is not only a great place to visit but an ideal location to buy some real estate, either for investment or for residence.

Great return on investment: It is a good decision to invest in Costa Del Sol. It is reported that most investors secure a 40% hike in value. Those who invested in property back in 2001 reaped a tremendous return on their investment. Several years have gone by since then but the value of property in only on the increase. In comparison you will not find a better place to live than picturesque Costa Del Sol.

Great infrastructure: Earlier, many Europeans did not want to invest in Costa Del Sol due to its poor infrastructure. However, things have changed for the better. The location is easily accessible by road and air. Extensive motorways and an international airport add to the attraction.

Great facilities: To invest in Costa Del Sol is not a risky venture. You will find very good schools and colleges. The public hospitals and clinics are efficiently run. The quality of medical care is above average and you will have no difficulty in finding quality medical services.

Great economy and employment: The opportunities are endless so you can safely go ahead and invest in Costa Del Sol. The economy has been flourishing and you will find ample avenues to find good employment. The markets are filled with foreign imports so you can be assured of living a high standard of life.

Great entertainment: If you are planning to invest in Costa Del Sol, you will be glad to know that this location has several hot spots where you can enjoy your time. If you are a golf enthusiast you will enjoy the forty golf courses. For those who love to shop there are several malls that can keep you busy. If sport is to your liking then there are several activities that you can indulge which include boating and gaming. The leisure industry in Costa Del Sol is one of the finest anywhere. Experiences include yachting, sailing, runs along the beach and of course, a beautiful sunset. It also boasts of some of the finest nightlife on the planet. So do not hesitate to invest in Costa Del Sol.

Great retirement destination: A lot of people invest in Costa Del Sol not only because it is a wise investment decision but because it is a great place to retire. Blue skies and sunshine are property rights that everyone in Costa Del Sol gets free.

Great options: From townhouses and plots to apartments and villas, you have many options to choose from. To invest in Costa Del Sol, you just need to decide which is more suitable and lucrative for you. You can even invest in the second hand market. Be sure to get some expert advice before you take a final investment decision.

Steve Magill is the right source for more information on the Spanish mortgage market. He is a partner in and a Fellow in the British Association of Entrepreneurs (FBAE). He holds international renown for having hands-on experience in this field.

Learn Forex With Forex Training Videos

I came across a brand new forex video course, this one is not like many others since it includes videos, in addition to ebooks. Actually this course includes video tutorials, ebooks, softwares, mentoring from a professional trader, free signals and more. Doesn't that sound good ? I am going to tell you what you will get when you purchase the package.

You will get access to a members area to download the full package. Concerning the forex video courses, there are 28 online videos. You can see a sample on the website. It shows a trade strategy that brings 973 pips in about a week. Of course you don't make this kind of profit every week but this is easy to see how powerful is the strategy.

There are 5 full proven and profitable strategies in this package. Not just one.

You don't only get the video courses. There are much more informations about the strategies and the forex market in downloadable ebooks. You will find tools to help you analyze the market. You will learn the basics, the fundamental analysis, the technical analysis, the trading psychology and the most advanced strategies to pull in big profits in your account.

I have always been convinced that there are traders that know more than others. Of course their day job is forex trading, they do it all day. But there are also people that simply know good systems and make profit every day just following a plan. Their strategies are kept for themselves, the author decided to reveal some of them. And he does it well, and more than revealing his techniques, he and his professional team will mentor you, for free.

Having a mentor for free is the real deal of this package. Imagine all your questions being answered, you will never get stuck and always have a follow up after your purchase.

The creator also offers an additional members with more content. When you will have. New informations, new charts, new strategies, new tools. The package is regularly updated and updates are free ! You are even added to a VIP list and be able to see live examples of trades.

But my favorite bonus is a "one free month of Forex signals". If you already know how to execute a trade this is simply amazing. You know, signals tell you exact entry and exit point of a trade, for a specific pair. You know what pair to trade, when to enter a trade and where you take your profit. Just follow the signals.

This course is really new and I feel not so many people know about it. Anyway this is a perfect package for beginners there is so much information that you can't really go wrong. Plus, the free mentoring, and the free month of forex signals are worth enough the price ($97).

Learn Forex at and find more about the Forex training videos.

Why Should I Invest In Gold?

Of all the items man has used as currency, gold has far been the most prominent. It doesn't matter if it is the most valuable, or the rarest. What does matter is that man has chosen this commodity to be a standard as a world yardstick for wealth. As a matter of fact, gold is one of the few metals that is so cherished by so many.

Today it's easy to find the latest price of gold, from the Internet, the financial section in the morning paper, market news on TV, and even as a text message on your cell phone. But it wasn't always like that. For decades the price of an ounce of gold was quite steady - so investors didn't see the value in following the price changes.

But recently, the price gold has been changing, and a lot of interest has kindled for the precious metal. What once was under a hundred dollars in the 1940's is now over 600 dollars. This has brought investors around in great numbers.

The price of gold is linked to how strong the US dollar is. Because of the great increase of gold over the last ten years, many investors believe it is a good time to buy and speculate. But remember that gold is a commodity, and doesn't sit and earn interest like a bond in the bank. Your profit will be based on if the selling price is higher than the price you purchased it for, less any brokerage fees.

So when the price of gold goes up, you should be concerned about the value of the US dollar. This is because gold increases as the value of the dollar goes down. Since we are at the 600 dollar per ounce levels, you can be sure the value of the US dollar is fairly low. This is called a lack of confidence.

Should you invest in gold today? We believe it is a pretty safe bet. Given current world conditions, and the time now before the US elections in 2008, gold will be only increasing in value.

Gold Investments is authored by Dave Jackson who bought gold back in 1985. He writes about gold and silver profits and how you can cash in on them.

Forex Trading Myths - Why Buying Low Selling High Will Lose You Money!

This may seem odd as its an accepted wisdom, but if you try and apply it in your forex trading strategy you will lose money.

If you dont realise why this is - read on and we will explain why.

Of course, the aim of all traders is to buy in at the bottom of trends and sell out at peaks but its impossible to do and the way most forex traders do it means they lose.

The key to understanding why you cant do it, is to realize that you have to predict in advance where prices will go or buy into a low or sell into a high and hope the levels hold.

Fact is you cant predict where forex prices are likely to go and if you rely on hope then you shouldnt be trading forex.

What you have to do is not predict but get confirmation of price momentum changes, above the level of support - BEFORE executing your forex trading signals.

A simple example will show you how to do this.

Many Forex traders watch a support level such as, Fibonacci level, pivot point etc, and as prices come to perceived support; they simply buy into it just above the level.

There logic is, they are in at a low if the level holds of course the important word here is if.

Support lines, Fibonacci levels, pivot points break frequently, so if you try and buy into them just hoping they will hold you will buy the low will see you lose.

A better way to trade:

Is to use price momentum to check that support and resistance will hold - and then trade on confirmation.

Trading on confirmation gets the odds on your side trying to predict will see you lose its as simple as that.

So how do spot changes in price momentum?

Great indicators to use are the stochastic and relative Strength Index (RSI)

You simply watch for prices to move to support and then turn up supported by RSI or stochastic.

You wont buy the bottom you will miss a good bit of the move, but by trading in this way you will get stopped out less and always trade with the odds this means bigger forex profits longer term.

Buy low sell high is an accepted investment and many traders accept it at face value trade and lose.

Over 90% of forex traders lose and buying low selling high without confirmation will see you join them, dont fall into this trap.


On all aspects of becoming a profitable trader including features, downloads and some critical FREE Trader PDF's and more FREE Forex Education visit our website at

Royal Memorabilia - Smart Trading and Fake Dodging

This is my second article about trading royal memorabilia on eBay and other online auctions. Were going to explore just what items are really tradable, how and where to find your stock and mention some definite pitfalls to avoid.

As you already know, a vast range of products has been produced to commemorate royalty. You could decide to specialise in silver, plates, dolls, stamps, books, coins, jewellery, postcards, mugs, tea towels, glass, tins / boxes for confectionery, photographs, T-shirts, paintings, newspapers, videos, royal trading cards and Im sure you can also think of other categories. The list is extensive.

The more popular items have been produced in great numbers, so theyre often easy to find and moderately priced. This means that you can quickly create a varied assortment of collectibles without having to spend too much. But in the long run, the most desirable and highest appreciating items have tended to be pottery/china, tins/boxes and glassware.

You need to be selective about what you trade. Items decorated with a royal portrait are more likely to attract good buyer interest than those without. If there is also an inscription, giving the name, date, special occasion etc, then this will also improve its saleability.

Remember too that the more substantial and permanent the item, the better chance it has of selling. Generally, items of pottery, china, glass are more sought after then say cloth or paper items such as photographs and autographs.

If you can, try to deal with memorabilia that already has a second chance profit factor. For example, a Wedgwood or Royal Worcester commemorative plate or mug is already valuable purely from a manufacturers viewpoint. The royal connection can simply add that extra icing on the profit cake!

So, where do we source our royal memorabilia?

For a start, have a good look around your own home. You might get a pleasant surprise at just what you can find. Charles and Diana items from 1981 are now beginning to rise in value and most of us bought something to commemorate this royal event. So check your cupboards, attic and garden shed.

Also, ask your friends and relatives if they have any items they want to sell. You could buy them for resale or consider selling them on their behalf through your online auction account. If nothing else, you can gain some valuable selling experience and a feel for this market.

Its also a good idea to have a search around eBay itself and other auction sites for items. You can buy on one site, hopefully at a bargain price, and then relist on another and make a quick profit.

Ive found that British royal items tend to sell better on but for slightly less on Using the other national sites tends to produce a poor response with very few bids.

If you have decided to trade in the more expensive, quality items (fine china, food boxes, glass etc) then offline auctions and antique shops can be a good source for stock. Offline auctions would be my preference as you have more chance of a bargain. A good antique dealer tends to know the value of his stock so the opportunity for buying at the right price is more limited.

The saying Knowledge is Power is definitely true in your stock hunting. Its always preferable to specialise, so that when an item appears in an offline auction, you have a realistic idea of what its worth. You can then use your in depth knowledge to buy at the best price and then make a good profit from your online sale.

Of course, dont forget your local junk shops, jumble sales, car boot sales, garage sales and charity shops in your search for stock. Bargains can still be found especially items relating to the present British Queen and the late Princess Diana. I recently bought a biscuit tin with a lid portrait of Prince Philip for just a 1 in a charity shop. It dated from around 1955 and I sold it for a very nice profit. Bargains are still to be found out there.

And a good tip when trading royal collectibles is to choose an area that is interesting and appeals to you. You can very quickly become an expert in your own field and easily spot potential when trawling the junk and second hand shops. If you buy interesting items in good condition then a profitable sale is almost guaranteed.

Are there items you should definitely watch out for?

Memorabilia associated with King George III and the early reign of Queen Victoria are valuable if you can find them. Only a few items were produced to commemorate Victorias coronation and the royal births. Not many have survived so prices can be high. A Queen Victoria coronation mug can easily demand 800 plus depending upon condition. So keep your eyes open!

Is there a down side in dealing in royal memorabilia?

Well, if you decide to get involved, you must be aware that there are many fakes and reproductions. This is especially true of the more impermanent items such as letters, cards, photographs and autographs. Items related to Princess Diana are a particular favourite of the unscrupulous forger and she is reported to be the most faked royal ever with large quantities of bogus letters, autographs and signed photographs in existence.

So how can you safeguard against being duped?

Knowledge, research and common sense are your best defence. In the case of autographs, you can easily compare signatures and similar items with each other. Printed signatures are easily spotted, as they are sharp and distinct. Real signatures will often bleed the ink runs slightly from the stroke of the pen. This certainly helps you to check whether that royal signature is genuine or just a facsimile.

As a general rule, take care when you buy and do your homework if you intend to spend a lot of money. And the legal maxim Buyer Beware just about sums up the attitude you should adopt when searching for your royal items.

In my final article about royal memorabilia, I will be discussing the importance of selecting the right category for your listing so that you get the best prices for your items. And Ill also mention several useful websites to help you become more effective as a royal memorabilia trader.

Until then, wishing you every success.

With some 30 years business experience, I now have a passion for eBay and other online auctions using them to satisfy my interest in antiques, books and art.

I also spend a lot of time searching for those genuine online opportunities that I can share with family and friends. Hopefully, we can then all make a little bit of extra money!

Heres one worth serious consideration.

Are you looking for the best way to start your own eBay business but find yourself tied down with family commitments? Are you put off from even making a start by a lack of business experience or no capital to speak of. Well this could be the answer.

It's a proven system, making an average of $10,000 per month (working part time hours) and it was created by a hardworking mother who just refused to quit!!

For her full story please visit:

A Guide to Global FOREX trading

It's probably hard for some people to believe, but the global FOREX trading market dwarfs that of equities, even though the former gets little attention and the latter is talked about incessantly on the news.

The daily volume of global FOREX trading now exceeds $2 trillion dollars! To be sure, it is the leader in the competitive field of market exchange. Currently, London holds the title for the worlds largest foreign exchange center, accumulating 30% of the currency business.

Global FOREX trading is exciting for many reasons.

First, the markets are almost always open. One can trade 24/7 as currencies fluctuate all day and night. Compare that to equities where one can only effectively trade during market hours when the stock exchanges are open.

Second, the potential leverage in global FOREX trading is astounding.

In stock trading, one either trades with money they have or, at best, can open a margin account and trade with double leverage. A margin account funded with, for example, $25,000 can control $50,000 dollars worth of equity positions.

Now contrast that with global FOREX trading in which one can often obtain leverage of 20 times, 50 times, and even 100 times one's original capital.

For example, it's not uncommon to be able to open an account at an online FOREX brokerage with $5,000 and be able to control position sizes of $200,000 or more. (In FOREX, trading is realized in lots. 1 Lot = 100,000).

Think about that! If you funded an account with a mere $10,000 dollars you could control $500,000 worth of positions (10 lots). If your positions moved favorably giving you only a 5% gain you would be in profit $25,000 dollars. From an only $10,000 dollar initial capital!

Clearly the immense leverage in global FOREX trading is what lures a lot of players into the game. However, leverage can cut both ways and it's possible to get wiped out just as fast as one can make a veritable fortune.

Because such large sums of money can be made playing the FOREX markets, hobbyists and full time currency traders are quickly increasing in numbers.

For both amateur and pro alike, getting quality FOREX analysis of the markets -- both fundamental and techical -- is extremely important.

And for people who have yet to learn how to FOREX trade, taking an online course is paramount to get them off to a proper start.

Indeed, it can make the difference between being successful and getting wiped out, although there is no guarantee that even the best newsletter analysis service or FOREX training course will guarantee you profits or guard you against losses.

That's why global FOREX trading is considered a highly speculative endeavor.

The people who do best at it will be methodical, have strong control over their impulses and emotions, are analytical to a fault, and are all around disciplined individuals.

Ever since the speculator George Soros of the Quantum Hedge Fund realized a profit of over $1 billion dollars in a few short days by shorting the British pound in 1992, market players have become more and more drawn to the exciting game of global FOREX trading.

Make no mistake about it, FOREX trading will continue to grow over the years, especially with the advent of online FOREX brokerages that allow people to trade from the comfort of their own home office all night.

Dan Ho is an investor, trader, and speculator who enjoys studying economics, technical analysis and the markets. He has traded equities, options, and currencies.

To learn more about global FOREX trading and to discover cutting edge educational FOREX training programs and insightful FOREX newsletters, visit:

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Trading Futures Contracts - How It Works

Trading is a simple process. Connect to the Internet and log onto your brokers web site. Choose the contract you wish to trade and display its details on your screen.

You are presented with two buttons - Buy and Sell. There are actually different ways to enter Buy/Sell orders, but we keep it simple here.

To bet that the price will go up, press the Buy button to enter a Long trade. The trade is ended by pressing the Sell button.

To bet that the price will go down, press the Sell button first to enter a Short trade. The trade is ended by pressing the Buy button.

As an example, one of the Dow Jones futures contracts trades at $5 per point.

The market is moving up and the trader decides to take a Long trade, pressing the Buy button when the index is at 11,600. 20 minutes later the index is at 11,640. The trader presses the Sell button, making $200 profit - the index went up 40 points at $5 per point.

Suppose that, after 5 minutes, the index has dropped to 11,580. The trader could press the Sell button to close the trade with a $100 loss - the index dropped 20 points losing $5 per point.

In a weak market, the trader might decide to take a Short trade, pressing the Sell button with the index at, say, 11,600. If half an hour later the index has dropped 100 points to 11,500, the trader could press the Buy button to close the trade, and book $500 profit - a 100 point drop at $5 per point.

If the assumption of weakness turns out to be wrong and 20 minutes after the start of the trade the market is up 30 points, the trade might be closed by pressing the Buy button and taking the 30 point loss - $150 - the index gained 30 points losing $5 per point.

In summary, Long trades make money if the price rises and lose money if the price falls. The opposite applies for Short trades.

Before trading, there must be a minimum amount of money deposited in your trading account. This is called the margin. It is not the same for different contracts. For example, the day trading margin for a soybeans contract is currently $675 at my broker, but it is $1,406 for the Dow Jones contract which is perceived as more risky.

If you are losing on a trade you may reach a point where your balance no longer covers the required margin for the position you are in. If this occurs, your broker may either close your position without consulting you, or contact you requesting that you immediately deposit more money to cover the margin. That is a margin call.

The broker charges you a fee every time you press the Buy or Sell button. That is the brokerage fee. My broker charges $2.40.

David Bennett trades US commodity futures from his home on the Gold Coast in Australia. He provides coaching and mentoring services for people wanting to start trading for themselves. Visit to read more futures trading articles.

Moving Averages - Simple Tips On Using Them For Bigger Consistent Profits

Moving averages are popular and if used in the right way can help you make profits however most forex traders make 2 critical errors which sees them lose. Lets look at moving averages and how to use them correctly for bigger profits.

Moving averages (regardless of the period used) all have the same aim:

They identify trends over specific periods and they smooth out the day-to-day price fluctuations that are a consequence of short term volatility to help you see the longer term trend.

The equation is:

The closing price is added up and divided by the period the moving average is calculated over.

Popular Periods

200 Day moving averages are popular ( particularly in the stock market) for tracking longer term trends and 20, 40 and 60 Day moving averages are used to spot and identify the intermediate trends on forex charts. Shorter Periods are used and many forex traders will calculate moving averages within a day.

Moving averages are one of the simplest and most popular used by traders interested in technical analysis and are a great trend identification tool.

The problem most traders have is using them correctly and they normally make to fatal errors.

1. They are NOT a leading Indicator

Many forex traders use moving averages to execute forex trading signals without any other confirming indicator and this is a huge mistake. They fail to understand that:

Moving averages are a lagging NOT a leading indicator.

They are like a trend line and simply give the direction of the trend in the time period that they are calculated over.

Many currency traders like to buy dips to a moving average to initiate a trade that the level holds but this simply leads to loses. If you hope in any investment market you will lose your equity quickly. Moving averages should not be used as a leading indicator and you should time entry with a momentum indicator such as the stochastic or Releative strength Index to Confirm the level should hold and get the odds on your Side

Moving averages are great for showing you layers of support and the trend but cannot be used to enter forex signals they need to be combined with other indicators - If you do not do this you will lose.

2. Short time periods indicate nothing

The shortest moving average we would use would be 18 days, however we have seen traders using moving averages within a day and plotting them hourly!

Volatility in short time frames is random and there is no trend - day traders who use moving averages lose, not becuase moving averages area bad indicator but simply it is impossibkle to calcualte a trend in short time periods.

Moving averages are a great tool for indicating support or resistance in the market and can add a valuable extra tool to your trading armoury, if you use them correctly:

To identify the trend, support and resistance levels and then combine them with a momentum indicator to enter your trade and finally use periods of a least a week and nothing shorter! It's an easy and profitable tool if used in the right way.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Private Annuity Trusts - Supercharge Your Retirement

You have made some great investments in Real Estate or in a Stock Portfolio. Congratulations! Now you are ready to retire on your gains. But wait. To benefit from your investment appreciation, you're going to have to sell some or all of those assets.

If you sell your investment property, you will need to pay capital gains tax to the Federal Government, State, and you will also pay recaptured depreciation. If you're in California, add another 3 1/3% in withholding. That's a huge chunk of change, and a big blow to your savings.

If you sell your stocks, you'll be giving up at least 15% to capital gains. There is also no guarantee that the long term capital gains rate will remain at 15% forever. It could increase down the road.

How can you start receiving income but not get hit with huge amounts of tax?

For real property, there is a 1031 exchange into a tenant in common property. This works well for investors that don't want to manage property anymore, but still enjoy the benefits of real estate ownership. This is a subject covered in many of my previous articles.

There is another powerful concept. It's called a Private Annuity Trust. These trusts have been around since 1939, but until the last few years have primarily been used for Estate Planning purposes. The Private Annuity Trust also works extremely well for Retirement Planning. It is fairly complex to set up and administrate, so many financial planners, real estate brokers, CPAs and Attorneys still don't know much about them.

The procedure is basically this.

1. A Private Annuity Trust is established. You, the seller become the annuitant.

2. A fair market appraisal is done to determine property value.

3. The seller can negotiate a sale price at the appraised value.

4. The property is transferred to the trust and the trust is now the seller of the property and retains the proceeds.

5. The proceeds are invested by trustees (not the annuitant) and an arrangement is made to pay the annuitant (and perhaps their spouse) in monthly payments for the remainder of their lives. The capital gains tax is spread out over the course of your lifetime. If you pass away before your estimated average calculated life span, the remainder of the assets pass to the beneficiaries. The balance will be passed free of Estate Tax, Gift Tax, Generation skipping tax, and Transfer tax. Any capital gains tax still due will be paid before disbursement.

6. Other properties or stocks can be added to the trust at a later time, and recieve the same benefits.

As an example, let's say you have a million dollar gain on a property. You might very well owe 350K in taxes. With a Private Annuity Trust, all one million goes to work for you, and you can receive montyly income for the rest of your life. The exact amount is determined by your age and the time you choose to begin receiving your payments. You have the option to defer receiving payments until the age of 70 1/2. This allows the assets to grow compounding and tax deferred, and allows for greater income in the future.

The trust removes the assets from your estate, as the trust now owns them and the annuitant relinquishes control over how they are invested.

Setting up a Private Annuity Trust can definitely give a turbo boost to your retirement bottom line. Ask yourself, would you rather give a "gift" to the government in a big lump sum, or would you like to pay in small chunks and have the bulk of your profits working for you and earning compounded interest for years to come?

Paula Straub will guide you through the process of keeping your Capital Gains working for you and generating passive income. To receive your invitation to her free teleconference, visit Save Capital Gains Tax

Understanding the Accelerated Depreciation of Assets

Depreciation is a way of deducting the purchase cost of a major capital asset, like the land and buildings of your commercial real estate, from your taxes over a fixed period of time, usually five years. This prevents some interesting accounting bobbles that would otherwise happen for example, if you could deduct the entirety of a building's purchase in the year of acquisition, you'd be underreporting the revenue generated by the property on the year of acquisition, and over reporting its income over the remainder of the time you held it. (This would also create an incredible incentive for owners to churn properties over.)

In an ideal world, businesses with major capital assets would do an annual assessment of what percentage of the asset had depreciated in value and deduct that from their taxes. In practice, this is nearly impossible to do in a cost effective manner, particularly for commercial real estate ventures. As a result, there are several ways to calculate depreciation, ranging from the very simple (straight line depreciation) to the complex (Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System). We'll cover each in turn.

Straight Line Depreciation takes an end term for depreciation (five years is typical), and divides the purchase cost by that number of years. Thus, if you spent $250,000 on a property, you'd be able to deduct $50,000 of that purchase price each year from your taxes for the next five years.

Straight Line Depreciation is a useful (and simple) approximation, but it's not always the optimum case. Accelerated Cost Recovery is a more complex form of depreciation allowed by the IRS, with numerous advantages. Most accelerated depreciation techniques use one of two methods of calculating depreciation; the aim is to front load more of the depreciation into the first year of ownership than into the latter years. This is an excellent tool if the item is exposed to the weather (as buildings are), or has routine rough use (as construction equipment gets). The two methods are Double Declining Balance (DDB) or Sum Of Years Digits (SOYD).

Double Declining Balance applies double the straight line depreciation percentage as a deduction to the remaining balance for each year of ownership. Thus, for a five year depreciation cycle, the first year would have (20*2) * 100% = 40%. Year two would have (20*2) * (100%-40%), or 24 %. Year three would depreciate at (20*2)*(100%-40%-24%) or 14.4%, year four would have 8.64% and year five, the last year of deduction, would have 5.18% deductions.

Sum Of Years Digits is a Ramanujan function, and uses the series of 1+2+3+4+5+(N+1) and so on., where the numbers in the sequence are the number of years allowed in the depreciation schedule. Thus, for a 4 year deduction schedule, it would get 1+2+3+4=10, and for a 5 year structure, 1+2+3+4+5=15, and for 6, 1+2+3+4+5+6=21. This is treated as the denominator (bottom half) of a fraction, where the numerator (top half) is a decrementing amount that starts with the number of years on the depreciation schedule, minus one per year. Thus, the first year of a 5 year schedule has 5/15=33% depreciation, the second year has (5-1)/15 = 26.67% depreciation, the third year has (5-2)/15=20% depreciation, with year four getting 13.33% and the final year getting 6.67%.

Both of these formats for calculating depreciation give you an extensive boost in your initial year's depreciation, and slowly taper off towards lower depreciation values towards the end of the term. However, to use accelerated depreciation of property values, you need to have an engineering study performed on the property that segregates the costs into four categories: Personal property, land improvements, building components and the actual land itself. These four categorizations allow separate depreciation schedules to be tracked. The typical schedules for the categorizations are:

Personal property is depreciated using a five or ten year recovery period, and the double declining balance methodology. Within reasonable bounds, there is a huge benefit to valuing the personal property as high as possible. This category mostly covers furniture, carpeting, fixtures and window treatments.

Land improvements typically have a useful life of fifteen to twenty years. They can use a declining balance method, but use a schedule of 150%, rather than 200% for determining the rate. This, like the first category, gives a benefit for declaring the value as high as possible. Typical examples of this sort of depreciated items include external decks and sidewalks, concrete pilings and docks.

The building itself should be broken down into individual components (roof, cellar, structural members, siding, interior walls, wiring) and depreciated individually by component. As always, maximizing the value on the initial purchase provides the most significant benefits. One side effect of component level itemization here is that any component that becomes worthless can be written off immediately, for a large cash flow influx.

Anything not accounted for in the first three categories is accrued as the value of the land. Land valued in this fashion may have a very low or insignificant value.

When cost segregation is begun, it's best to decide to do it at the time of purchase. Your accounting service will advise that you get an engineering report to annotate the depreciation schedules.

Tony Seruga, Yolanda Seruga and Yolanda Bishop of specialize in commercial and investment real estate. As of May, 2006, they and their partners are managing over $600 million dollars worth of new projects

Buying Florida Investment Properties and Where It's Hot

Relaxing in Style: Florida Investment Properties

In Florida, relaxing in the sun and sand is a way of life. Theres no better way to experience a slice of Florida living than buying your own space. Florida Investment Property provide just thata place that you can return to year after year for the perfect vacation. One of the pleasures of living and vacationing in this peninsula state is that no matter where you go, the warm, inviting beach is nearby. Floridas attractions can also be in your neighborhood when you decide on a Florida Investment Property.

Inland, youll find Florida Investment Properties in every city and vacation destination. From tiny beachfront flats to grand sky-scraping apartment homes, youll find a range of choices and prices to consider. Florida Investment Properties can be just about any property with a Florida style that becomes your home away from home.

A condominium gives you and your family easy access to Floridas unparalleled beaches and attractions. A comfortable space where you can come and go as you please, Florida Investment Properties offer a way for visitors to get a taste of Florida living. Many of the most affordable condos lie near attractions such as Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. Florida Investment Properties allow families to split their time between the excitement of theme parks and the relaxing calm of the waves.

Finding Florida Investment Property

There are plenty of perfect locations for Florida Investment Properties. From the historic sands of St. Augustine to the urban shores of Miami Beach, the beautiful Gulf of Mexico to the roaring surf of the Atlantic in Daytona. At any of these spots you can find a wealth of properties for sale in central Florida. Below are the hot spots for Florida investment property. In these locations, Florida Investment Properties describe a certain way of living and can be right beside the waves or a few miles inland. In Orlando Florida, a condo near the attractions is still a short car ride away from the beach. As the saying goes, what matters is location, location, location.

Properties for sale in Central Florida

Orlandos central location makes it a perfect fit for vacationers who want it all. In the midst of attractions, beaches and the arts, Orlando is more of an area than just a city. Youll find luxury Caribbean inspired condos central to Disney and the renewed Cypress Gardens. These villas offer families a place to settle near exciting theme parks with a relaxing residence to call home.

Families can find a diverse spread of activities to suit teens and toddlers. Apart from the theme parks, Orlando is home to upscale malls and outlets, museums and clubs. Because Orlando is smack in the middle of Florida, it is an easy place to launch a day or weekend trip. Kennedy Space Center is only an hour away, as well as Tampa Florida and Daytona Beach. When you decide to make Orlando your spot for a Florida Investment Property purchase, there are plenty of choices for your home away from home. Properties located close to the theme parks are a great choice because of their centralized location. One property close to Walt Disney World in Davenport Florida, called the Bimini Bay Resort, gives owners a cool, Caribbean style bungalow complete with all the comforts of home.

Florida Investment Properties like the Bimini Bay Resort are unique in the quiet retreat they offer. Unlike hotels near the theme parks that are often crowded with other visitors, your own Florida Investment Property lets your family relax in a comfortable place thats all your own. Davenport is also minutes from Cypress Gardens, a newly constructed adventure park.

Kissimmee, another Central Florida town close to the theme parks is home to family resorts at discount rates. Kids and parents can both find fun in the Kissimmee area. In the middle of outlet malls, amusement parks and exciting dining experiences like Medieval Times, this is one of Central Floridas best vacation deals.

If you decide on a beachside condominium, New Smyrna, Daytona and Cocoa Beach are Orlandos hotspots. These Florida Investment Properties will still keep you close to Orlandos attractions. A home beside the Atlantic Ocean gives families a true taste of the Florida lifestyle.

4. South Florida Investment Property Purchases

Apart from Orlando, there are plenty of beachside towns to house your perfect Florida Investment Property. Below youll find a snapshot of beautiful beachside cities spread throughout the state. Consider what your family needs in a Florida Investment Property ;a place to get away in a quiet corner of the state or a thriving town with plenty of activities for everyone.

One beach destination in Florida is Sarasota. Located on the Gulf of Mexico, Sarasota is an artsy town home to a lot of condominiums owned by retired men and women. These Florida Investment Properies tend to be in high price ranges though they are beautiful. Sarasota is home to quaint shopping areas by the beach as well as cozy marinas and restaurants. Along the Gulf of Mexico is a saint of a beach perfect for a condominium purchase. St. Petersburg, just below Tampa is another quiet place to own a Florida Investment Property. St. Pete is a relaxed beach town dotted with bed and breakfasts, family owned restaurants and ritzy hotels.

If a spicier place is where you want your Florida Investment Property, then cruise on down to Miami. This non-stop town is the place for a jet set young couple ready to party. Just on the tip of the sunshine state, Miami is a Latin hub filled with nightlife and hot beaches.

5. North Florida Investment Property Purchases

On the opposite tip of the state than Miami is Destin beach. Located in what Floridians call the panhandle, Destin is known for snow-white beaches and quiet vacation destinations near the capital of Tallahassee. Here, Florida Investment Properties are close to the border states of Alabama and Georgia; perfect for border hopping if you so choose. Destin also offers places where you can camp right on the Gulf (that is, if you want to leave your comfy condominium for a night).

St. Augustine is also an exciting place to vacation in a Florida Investment Property. For history buffs, this is the place to find the oldest settlements in Florida. From the Spanish fort made of shells to the oldest schoolhouse, St. Augustine surrounds visitors with nostalgia. There are also plenty of opportunities for golf and tennis at the nearby resort town of Ponte Vedra Beach.

Where to Start Shopping for Florida Investment Property

According to Floridas official website for visitors,, Florida welcomed 74.5 million visitors from around the world in 2003. Once you decide on Florida as the place for your vacation, the daunting task of finding the right condominium purchase lies before you. is a good starting ground for learning more about everything Florida has to offer. The official website for visiting the state, you can contact the Florida tourism bureau directly with questions. From the site you can also access booking calendars and even keep a list of your familys reservations. Here, industry leaders also keep up with the latest vacation specials. There are many sites which provide a detailed list of Florida Investment Properties with lists of virtually every city available. There are other sites to check out for lists of Florida Investment Properties or you can contact your realtor.

Florida Investment Properties are a unique and relaxing way to spend your vacations. Florida Investment Properties are unlike any other homes in their embrace of carefree Florida living. Whether you breathe in the ocean from your balcony or take in the sun on an inland patio, a condominium gives you a chance to make Florida your home for as long as you and your family can. Florida investment properties are one way to participate in the growing tourism and real estate prices.

All Rights Reserved 2005

Lisa Carson
Florida investment Properties expert

Investment Advice - Why you should start investing in Exchange Traded Funds today

Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are the rage today with many investors flocking to purchase them as opposed to the usual mutual funds. ETFs work in this way. The fund manager decides that he wants to mimick the returns of the NASDAQ so he just buys all the stocks that make up the index and then he sells shares in this fund to investors. This means that you have effectively diversified your risk when compared to another investor who buys and individual share. There are three related reasons why there has been an upsurge in recent years in the number of fund managers setting up these funds.

Low Cost

The first reason would be the relative low cost that works both ways. Since we are not stock picking, the fund manager needs just to set up software to ensure that the fund accurately mimics the stock holdings of the index. Some shares have a greater representation in the index than others by virtue of their large clout and number of shares issued in the market and the fund has to respond to that.

The other way the cost factor kicks in is that many investors today are happy and delighted to find an investment options that is cheap in terms of fees. Since the fund manager does very little monitoring or research for this fund, its really cheap to purchase this monthly and this makes a very good investment for the retail investor.

Defensive Investing

Benjamin Graham the value investing guru advocated the concept of defensive investing in an Exchange Traded Fund in his book The Intelligent Investor. In that book he did back calculations back to the days of the Great Depression and if you invested monthly since then, your average return would be 33% on average and its not bad considering the fact that you did not have to spend time wondering whether the index was up or down or whether your latest stock pick was in the money or not. Just buy a small amount monthly whether the stock market is up or down and use it as a rainy day fund that you can rapidly liquidate for ready cash. The reason why this is called defensive investing is that you do not have to spend time actively picking and most investors whether professional or retail lose money actively picking stocks and ETFs remedy this problem by sure probability and mathematical statistics.

Plurality of options

ETFs today are flooding the market with each of the top fund houses in New York setting up new and more fanciful financial baskets each day. Today there is a great plurality of funds that you can purchase from Tech ETFs to Banking ETFs to Energy ETFs and so you have no shortage of options. If you are optimistic on a certain sector and do not want to waste you energy and time picking the right company actively, ETFs with their current plurality of options is the great key to diversified investing in a particular sector. The time saved scrutinising financial data which is often padded up is not worth the effort some times when there is great intrinsic fraud like Enron and WorldComm.

In conclusion, ETFs today represent a cheap, effective way for you to do defensive investing and with that part of your money relatively secured, you can then spend some of your money doing active stock picking if you are so inclined. Take some effort this week to research into this financial instrument and you may find the returns better then your fund manager in the longer term (when averaged over time by virtue of statistical probability).

Copyright 2006 Joel Teo. All rights reserved. (You may publish this article in its entirety with the following author's information with live links only.)

Joel Teo writes on various financial topics relating to Ahwatukee Real Estate Investment. Signup for his free online Real Estate Investing newsletter today and gain access to the Six Day Real Estate Investment Profits Course now at

How to Select a Forex Broker

Selecting a forex broker is not an easy process. You need to think about what kind of trader your are and select the best forex broker for your style of trading. If you're a day trader and like to execute many trades each day, you may want to find a forex broker that offers low spreads. We pay spreads for exvery trade we execute and the larger the spread, the more commission you will pay to your broker for your trades.

A good forex broker will explain various forex trading systems and strategies to their clients and will assist in their process of putting these strategies to workThe advice from forex brokers will basically. The advice you receive from your broker will basically include technical analysis approaches and research methods followed by experienced traders and brokers that boost the client trader's performance as a forex trader.

In the earlier days of forex trading, the banks and large financial institutions had sole access to the forex market, but now with the advent of the internet technology, things have changed. As more novice traders have taken up forex trading as a home based business, the forex brokers are also realizing the importance of this trend and moving away from the conventional banks. More and more forex brokers hrough internet based businesses and offer their clients a complete suite of services based online. Today's forex brokers recognize that their customers are no longer the rich individuals or large institutions and have tailored their forex trading strategies to conform with the needs of their new, home based, middle class client. They know that the stakes for this type of client are lower and that they wish to maximize their profit but have a different appetite for risk. Also, in terms of certification, it is useful to work with an NFA (National Futures Association) member broking house.

Forex brokers that offer sound advice and have well recognized and verified credentials are, of course, the ones that you should be looking for. Additionally, don't rely blindly on the advice of a forex broker. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't. Learn to trust your own judgment and ask your forex broker lots of questions. A reliable broker won't be bothered by this.

Let your needs guide you and your trading level help you choose the right broker for you. It will typically depend on whether you are a novice or an experienced forex trader. There are many forex trading brokerage firms that are targeted towards the beginner in forex trading. These will generally offer detailed research material and plenty of advice for the newbie trader. Additionally, these types of firms will provide access to forex trading software that will simulate the real trading environment and help to make the forex trader accustomed to using the tools of the trade.

For experienced forex traders, these types of detailed instructions may not actually be required, since these individuals will know their way around the forex market. For them, there are different forex brokerage firms that will offer advice with a greater emphasis on the logic behind the forex trading strategy and will go into greater depth on this matter. To find the best fit, read about various forex brokers, ask friends, ask about the forex broker's package offering and take the trials offered by a few of the online forex trading firms.

Andrew Daigle is the owner, creator and author of many successful websites including a free forex training web site ForexBoost and CashCurve, a resource for making money online.

Why Fall In Love With Your Stocks

Falling in love is easy, but breaking up is so hard to do. After spending hours pouring over numerous trading opportunities, you've found the perfect stock that meets your criteria and place your trade. During the day, you check out the share price, either smiling when it moves up, or losing that grin when it moves lower.

While we can never admit it, sometimes buying a stock is just like falling in love. We spend a long time looking for that one special someone, we get excited with every call, and sad when we can't be with them. Our heart moves on an emotional roller coaster depending on how things went on our last date. Amazing how emotion controls us.

The problem is, when we fall in love, we overlook some of the things that would normally make us avoid either that person, or, in the case of stock market investing, a company. Before long, we're wondering how to get out without causing too much pain.

Don't fall in love with your stocks. Fall in love with your kids, your spouse and other aspects of your life, but do not fall in love with your stocks. If you want to be a successful investor, you need to remove the emotion from your trading. When you have exited your position, do a happy dance or pout if you must, but don't let any emotions cloud your ability to make decisions.

Your mind will follow your heart. It will tell you that you should hold when you should sell, and tell you to sell when you should be holding. Don't fall in love with your stocks.

Where 90% of traders get it wrong is that they convince themselves that if they are down 40% already, there will be a bounce soon. Naturally, there is a small bounce as the shorts cover their positions. This provides a small pop and now our investor is down only 30%. Now emotion sets in, and convinces our trader that the worst is behind them since the trend is moving higher. Problem is, after the bounce, there is often no buying pressure, and the share price tests recent lows, and heads lower, turning a bad situation into an even worse one.

Be smart. Don't fall in love with your stocks. Execute your plan, and then celebrate (either because you made some money, or because you avoided taking a larger loss).

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