Thursday, September 6, 2007

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

Forex Trading And Home Business

Forex, ie foreign exchange market has become very popular due to its immense size, liquidity, currencies moving in strong trends plus, an easy online access, relatively low starting capital and a big leverage.

All this is very attractive to many sorts of investors, speculators and also amateur people, especially online success chasers who imagine easy and fast profits. BUT it has its pitfalls and the Internet hype sellers and scammers make the situation even more dangerous.

Forex has enormous profit potential but since there is a substantial leverage involved working both ways, the same is the loss potential - the higher the profits, the higher the risk involved. And that is exactly the core of success in forex which is hidden from people seeking fast online profits.

People lacking basic character streaks like discipline, risk evaluation ability, experience and even basic information and training fall prey to false promises and start trading their last money on forex expecting quick riches.

It is necessary to be aware of the fact that trading currencies is not easy. If it was, no one would lose money and everyone would already be a millionaire. Many traders with years of experience still incur periodic losses. Everyone interested in trading forex must realize that trading takes time to master and there are absolutely no shortcuts to this process.

Yes, of course, it is possible to make it a long-term, profitable and sustainable source of high income and even a proper home business BUT the following are the basic rules for success in forex trading:

1. Discipline: it seems easy but the lack of discipline is the profit killer no 1. It is important to set your own rules and goals and stick to them. Do not panic if not everything goes the way you imagine and strictly keep the rules. One of the basic situations is losses: If you know you can lose only $1000, the discipline will help you stop trading if it happens, and not borrow and go on and on... Also, it is the discipline which helps you avoid magic profit calculations.

2. Responsible risk-taking and risk-evaluation ability: forex trading is an investment method not a casino. It is not possible to invest properly if you are not able to take up a calculated risk, if you are not able to calculate an acceptable risk, and if you are not able to even recognize a risk. The good news is that you can develop this ability.

3. Spare money: never trade your last money, always invest either profit or a reasonable amount of money you can lose. Always behave responsibly and never borrow money to trade.

4. Thorough education and training, incl practical training: it is imperative that before you start trading live, you get proper education and training, that you acquire working knowledge and develop your own working system on which you can build your investment strategies, routines and practice.

5. Never trade in a live-or-die situation or under any stress: many gurus say that you can make instant riches from forex investing your last money. It is one of the biggest lies I ever heard. Unless you feel absolutely comfortable, knowing what you are doing and why, enjoying the trading, you cannot trade successfully. Any stressed, unbalanced or anxious mind and brain is not able to evaluate situations correctly, react competently, and it is a paved road to failure and losses.

6. Always do your homework: another hype you can hear around says that everyone can trade just following someone else's advice and instructions. I can tell you only one word as an answer: rubbish. You must realize that you must be able to evaluate every situation, every trend, every forecast, create all the analysis, follow necessary trends, incl, of course, hearing specialized analysts BUT the decision and the money is yours only, so the responsibility is yours. The better your homework, the higher and more reliable your profits.

7. Learn from your mistakes and remain flexible: you must know that you will make mistakes, you will even lose in some trades but you must be a great trader and you must know it. When you make a mistake you must analyze the situation, find out why it happened and see to it that you will not repeat the same mistake in the future. You must not despair and fall into depression. You must stay positive and simply do better next time.

Plus a little closing note to only make you aware of these important topics which, however, exceed the scope of this basic informational article:

- yet another risk is here: it is vital to choose the right market-maker, big enough to allow you to make full use of currency moves. I stress a market-maker and not a broker,

and also,

- avoid managed accounts.

In case you are interested in mastering forex trading and start with the above points seriously, you are on the right way to trading success.

Irena Whitfield is the webmistress of - Internet Business Consultant you need to make your online home business a real success. Without any hype, she will help you to get where you want to get. Get her new ebook Package 'Your Success Master Keys' , containing: 'Success Tips And Tricks' , '7 Stars of Online Success' and 'The Success Seeds: the Entrepreneurial Bible', and make your business profitable this year!