How Do Mutual Funds Work? The Complete Guide to Mutual Funds

Are you a long-view investor with an interest in seeing your wealth grow over 10, 20, or 30 years? If the answer is yes, then you need a diverse portfolio of assets to help you achieve your goals.

One of these assets is a mutual fund. Mutual funds are a collection of assets grouped together according to an investment strategy and run by a fund manager. Compared to individual securities, mutual funds provide a certain level of protection against the volatility of the stock market and still deliver steady returns for investors.

How do mutual funds work? Keep reading for a quick primer.

What Are Mutual Funds?

Mutual funds are called investment baskets. Rather than being one form of security or investment on their own, mutual funds are a container for a group of different types of investments, usually stocks, bonds, or a combination of the two. However, they can contain other types of investments. The primary types of mutual funds include:

  • Equity funds
  • Bond funds
  • Balanced funds (equities and bonds)
  • Money market funds
  • Fixed-income funds

When you invest in a mutual fund, you invest in the basket of investments rather than a single stock or share. You also pool your money with all the other fund investors, which grants you access to investments that aren’t available to the average solo investor.

How Do Mutual Funds Work?

A mutual fund has a fund manager, who oversees the fund and chooses the investments found within it. The manager may choose to actively or passively manage the fund according to a set strategy or according to the manager’s whims.

Many mutual funds are increasingly passively managed because research shows that passive investments earn better returns compared to actively managed investments. It’s rare for active investment strategies to outperform the market.

How does the mutual fund make money? It depends on the type of fund you choose. When your investment earns you returns, it comes in the following forms:

  • Income earned via dividends
  • Growth in price of securities or capital gains
  • Fund share price (net asset value) grows

You’ll also pay fees for your mutual fund. These include the cost of the fund (e.g., administration and operating costs) and sales commissions. Keep in mind that these fees are typical percentages of the fund, and you’ll pay them annually. A fraction of a percent can be the equivalent of thousands of dollars.

The fees you pay depend on the structure of your fund. It pays to research the type of fund that best suits your financial goals and to compare fees between funds and fund providers.

Why Choose a Mutual Fund?

Mutual funds are increasingly popular because they offer even the novice investor something that the pros could only covet a few years ago: a diversified portfolio. Because you invest in a basket of investments, your profits and losses aren’t solely tied to one company’s performance. Diversity means you have a lower risk of losing everything if a stock performs badly.

Another reason investors of all types choose mutual funds is that they come with a fund manager. You don’t have to actively trade them or even worry about all the investments inside the basket. You pay the investor a fraction of a percent of the value of your account to worry about that for you.

By working this way, mutual funds use a high volume of transactions to reduce the cost for you as an individual investor. Rather than paying as much as $5 a transaction, you split the bill with other investors.

Are There Disadvantages of a Mutual Fund?

Mutual funds do come with disadvantages compared to other types of funds like exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

The biggest issue that investors find with mutual funds is that they can be expensive. Typically, mutual funds become very expensive with a small investment and then again at the top of the scale. Many providers offer the best rates to those with mid-size accounts.

Another issue with mutual funds is that they can be inefficient compared to ETFs. Efficiency applies both to tax efficiency and the cost of maintaining the fund vs. the returns it offers. ETFs generate fewer capital gains distributions, and they have their own way of buying and selling that triggers less taxable income. However, you may find that some passively managed mutual funds are also tax efficient if only because they generate fewer transactions.

How to Find the Right Mutual Fund

Although there’s a shortlist of widely popular mutual funds, a fund’s popularity doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for you.

Finding the right mutual fund requires you to find a fund that meets both your financial goals and your risk tolerance as well as a philosophy that reflects your own investment philosophy.

From there, you can start to consider the costs of the fund and the management style to whittle down your list of contenders and begin investing.

Use our guide to choosing the best performing mutual funds to get started.

Are Mutual Funds Right for You?

How do mutual funds work? They pool investors’ money together in a basket of securities to provide long-term growth with some protection from market volatility.

Mutual funds are a diverse group of investment tools, but almost every investor can see some benefit in adding top-performing funds to their portfolios. The trick is to find the fund that best matches your personal goals and your investment philosophy and strategy.

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What Are the Types of Mutual Funds?

When one wants to build their capital, the stock market is often the first port of call. But investing in the stock market is often not worth the stress. In the worst of times, investing in stocks have bankrupted investors. 

You wish to invest your money but are frightened that you may lose it all. With the financial crises that we have collectively experienced, one is right to be hesitant.

Fortunately, there is an alternative option. Mutual funds are a great avenue for investors.

But with all the different types of mutual funds available, we cannot blame one for feeling puzzled as to which ones to invest in.

While we aren’t here to advise you, we can explain the different types of mutual funds so you can make a better decision on where to invest.

The Guide to Types of Mutual Funds

A mutual fund is a fund created when a plethora of investors put in their money in securities, bonds, money market instruments, and a variety of other assets.

This pool of money is what you would invest in. The mutual fund is controlled by a money manager who attempts to produce capital gains income for the investors.

We suggest seeking the aid of a financial consultant when deciding to invest. 

Here are the different types of mutual funds for you to consider:

1. Equity Funds

Also known as stock funds, this is the most popular type of mutual fund. Equity funds will have different subcategories. These can include subcategories based on the size of the company (large, mid-size, small) or the type of company (tech, finance, etc.)

There are also equity funds defined by their approach—this can include aggressive growth, slow growth, or income-oriented.

To choose the best equity fund, you want to look at the subcategory as well as the investment approach. For example, you may wish to invest in a technology equity fund that has aggressive growth.

2. Fixed-Income Funds

This type of mutual fund offers a set rate of return. These include government bonds and corporate bonds. The mutual fund will generate income which is how the investors earn.

The money manager usually focuses on bonds that are undervalued. They purchase these bonds and then focus on selling them to make a profit. They can be risky as one can never guarantee the outcome or value of the bonds.

There is also the issue of the interest rate risk—which means that the value of the bonds will decrease if interest rates increase. On the plus side, this type of investment usually pays higher than money market investments and certificates of deposit.

3. Index Funds

Index funds have become increasingly popular. With this option, one chooses a portfolio of stocks to invest in. These can include the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones index.

While a money manager would look at these index funds, this type of mutual funds requires a more hands-off approach. 

This type of mutual fund is targeted toward the investor on a budget. If you are a beginner to investing, you may wish to consider index funds over other types of mutual funds.

4. Money Market Funds

This type of mutual fund is also a fixed-income mutual fund. This fund focuses on high-quality debt from corporations, banks, and governments. This debt is usually short term.

These type of funds include U.S. Treasuries, commercial paper, certificates of deposit, among others. An ideal money market fund will be: low risk, will produce high yields, and will require low expenses.

These are considered to be one of the safest investments available. They are used by beginners and seasoned investors alike.

5. Balanced Funds

Balanced funds, or asset allocation funds, are a combination of fixed-income funds and equity funds. They have a fixed ratio of the two funds. For example, you may have a balanced fund that is 70% equity fund and 30% fixed-income fund.

One type of balanced fund is target-to-date which alters the ratio to favour equity funds as you get closer to your retirement.

6. Income Funds

This type of fund is intended to provide a continuous income on a regular basis.

Usually, these funds consist of government and corporate debt. The funds hold onto the bonds until they mature and produce interest. 

As they provide continuous income, they are usually targeted toward retirees, conservative investors, and can also be beneficial to beginners. But because they produce regular income, one must be aware of possible tax obligations.

7. Foreign Funds

Generally speaking, foreign funds (funds outside of your home country) can be volatile. It is imperative that if one invests in foreign funds, that adequate research is conducted on the stability of the jurisdiction.

At times, the foreign fund can be far riskier than a domestic fund. At other times, the foreign fund may be much safer than domestic funds. Make sure your money manager has adequate experience in managing foreign funds.

You should also do your research on the stability, country, and political risks of other jurisdictions.

As the economies of other nations grow, you may find that investing in a foreign fund is more lucrative than investing in Britain.

8. Speciality Funds

These are usually funds that have gained popularity among investors. There are no set criteria other than the popularity and success of these funds.

For instance, there are sector funds that target particular industries. One can select a successful fund in the technology sector, agriculture sector, or in healthcare. One should be aware of the possible volatility of a sector before investing in it.

Speciality funds can also comprise of regional funds that focus on successful mutual funds in particular regions—ranging from nations to continents (i.e., investing in Peru vs investing in South America as a whole).

Finally, we have seen a keen interest in ethical funds. These are funds for socially-responsible mutual funds such as solar energy, green energy, waste management, etc.

Build Your Portfolio

Now that you know the different types of mutual funds, you are ready to consult your financial advisor and build your portfolio.

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7 Benefits and Reasons to Invest in Mutual Funds

According to industry watchers, the net asset value of mutual funds across the United States stood at $17.71 trillion as of 2018.

Many individuals are looking to put their wealth into securities and other assets. However, due to the small size of their checks, investing in securities carries high costs.

Mutual funds come in to help aggregate individual investors. A principal mutual funds advantage is that you enjoy more convenience in investing. Here are seven reasons why a mutual fund is right for you.

What Is a Mutual Fund?

A mutual fund is an investment firm that brings together money from various investors to buy large-sized assets.

The assets that mutual funds typically put their money into are stocks, bonds, and other securities. The total sum of all the holdings a mutual fund invests in is called a portfolio and is managed by paid professionals.

When you give a mutual fund your money, you’re effectively buying its shares to become a part-owner earning from the income it generates. 

How Mutual Funds Work

Regardless of the kind of fund you invest in, its performance (and revenue) will depend on its kind of management.

A passive mutual fund will invest according to a set strategy whose goal is to match a particular market index. As a result, these kinds of mutual funds don’t require you to have deep investment skills.

Passive funds charge lower management fees since they don’t call for as much hands-on management.

It’s worth noting that two popular types of passive mutual funds today are exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and index funds.

Actively traded funds, on the other hand, work to outperform the market indices. Consequently, they hold the potential to earn you more. They also carry a higher risk than passively traded funds, which you must put into consideration.

How Do You Make Money With a Mutual Fund?

Once a mutual fund makes a profit, there are three ways that you, as an investor, can earn a return – dividends, net asset value (NAV), or capital gains.

Dividends come from when the fund receives interest on the share it holds. Each investor in the fund gets a proportional amount, and you can choose to reinvest that in the fund.

When a mutual fund sells a security at a higher price than it bought it, it makes a capital gain. You’ll receive your portion of this income annually from the fund.

NAV is where the security you own increases in value due to the fund’s astute management. While you don’t immediately receive funds from the growing NAV, it means you stand to make more money should you sell your stake in the fund.

Mutual Funds Advantage

Mutual funds hold distinctive advantages as tools to help you grow your wealth. These benefits include:

1. Your Investment Is Diversified

Any financial consultant will tell you to take a diversified approach when it comes to wealth management. Diversification is whereby you mix the resources and investments in your portfolio to reduce the risk you face.

A mutual fund helps you to access various investments that face varying risks that can offset one another.

As a result, if a crisis or loss hits one sector, you won’t face as significant a loss as investments in other sectors can help offset the outflows.

2. Economies of Scale

One of the most compelling features of a mutual fund is the scale at which it operates. When many investors come together and pool their funds, they can buy into more lucrative assets that would have been hard to purchase as individuals.

Additionally, because of the large size of mutual funds, individual investors pay less for the service.

3. There’s Professional Management

If you don’t like picking the stocks to buy due to a lack of time or in-depth knowledge, then a mutual fund is for you.

Each mutual fund employs professional managers who do the heavy lifting with the research, picking stocks, and managing the portfolio. Thus, you get to access a full-time investment manager to help you grow your holdings at a fraction of the cost.

4. Liquidity

When you’re considering an investment as an individual investor, you have to assess its liquidity. The easier it is to sell what you hold, the faster you can access your money when you need it.

You can buy and sell a mutual find relatively easily unlike say disposing of property you have invested in.

In case you need money urgently, you can sell your holding in the fund fast. Should you spy out an opportunity in a sector your fund invests in, you can quickly and easily take up a position to benefit.

5. There’s Variety

As an individual investor, a mutual fund opens up a variety of options to put your money in that you’d not access on your own.

For example, a manager can run a fund that employs several investment approaches. You can access value investing, macroeconomic investing, and other methods all in one package.

Some mutual funds (known as bear funds) are structured to make money from a falling market. Such funds can enable you to protect your downside in ways you couldn’t as an individual.

Through this variety, you get to access foreign and domestic deals that can attractively grow your portfolio.

6. Easy Access to Specialized Sectors

If you’re interested in securing a position in complex sectors as an individual investor, then a mutual fund is the best tool to use.

Mutual funds have built up a track record of tackling extremely complex investment areas in a logistically easier manner for you. With one, low ticket investment, you get to outsource all the hard work that goes into such investment selections.

7. Transparency in Investment

Where you put your hard-earned money to work for you must be secure, and mutual funds give you this advantage.

Every mutual fund is heavily regulated to ensure investors are treated fairly. Therefore, with a mutual fund, you can have peace of mind since there is greater visibility into where you invest your money.

Let Your Money Work for You

Securities are a great way to grow your wealth, but as an individual investor, it can be costly to invest in them. A mutual fund is a vehicle through which your small check can make consistent returns. Another significant mutual funds advantage is the convenience you have as professional managers handle things. Pull together with other small investors to gain access to consistent investment returns.

Capital Finance International (CFI.co) is your premier online resource for all things investment. Reach out to us today for news, commentary, and analysis that will shift your investment thinking.

How to Choose the Best Performing Mutual Funds

The total net assets of mutual funds worldwide were over $14 trillion in March of this year.

Mutual funds are a hugely popular investment vehicle globally. However, there are a huge number of them out there, with the quality of returns varying significantly from one to the next.

For a newcomer to the world of investment, it can be difficult to know what to look for in a mutual fund. The best performing mutual funds in the past may not continue to post exceptional returns in the future, especially in these uncertain economic times.

Read on as we take a closer look at mutual funds, and what to look for when investing in one.

What Is a Mutual Fund?

A mutual fund is a type of investment fund. A team of professional investment managers take capital from a large number of investors and invest the resulting pool of money in various securities.

Essentially, it is a means of investing in capital markets indirectly. Rather than picking stocks or bonds and putting money into them yourself, you allow a mutual fund manager to make the choices for you.

The advantage of this is that your investments are made by a highly experienced investment professional. This is safer than picking investments yourself, especially if you’re new to the world of investment.

The Different Types of Mutual Fund

There are many different mutual fund types. You can categorize them on the basis of the types of securities they invest in, the way they are managed, and the level of risk they take on in seeking returns.

To pick the best mutual fund for your needs, you need to know what your investment objectives are. These will dictate the type of fund you should pick.

Index Funds

Index funds are so named because they track the performance of a given index. Common indexes that form the basis for these funds include the S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC).

Index funds are an example of a passively managed fund. No input is required from investment managers, as the fund simply tracks an index.

Passively managed funds typically have much lower fees than actively managed funds for this reason. As outlined below, many investors who want a passively managed fund opt for an ETF rather than a mutual fund.

Stock Funds

Stock funds invest in a range of different stocks. Unlike index funds, fund managers actively pick these stocks individually and will chop and change them based on market trends.

Stock funds are therefore an example of an actively managed fund. Their fees are higher than some alternatives.

Stocks are riskier securities than bonds or other fixed-income securities. The risk of loss with a stock fund is therefore relatively high, but the opportunity for gain is greater as well.

Investment approaches vary widely from one stock fund to the next. Some managers will make more of an effort than others to diversify their holdings and hedge risks.

Specialty Funds

Specialty funds can be thought of as occupying a kind of middle ground between stock funds and index funds. Investment managers pick the stocks themselves, but within certain boundaries.

These boundaries typically relate to a market type. For instance, a cannabis market specialty fund will only invest in cannabis stocks.

Fixed Income Funds

Fixed income funds invest in low-risk securities. These include Treasury notes and bonds, as well as highly-rated corporate bonds.

These mutual funds cater to investors who prioritize income over growth.

If you’re simply trying to manage your money better with a view to long-term savings, a fixed-income fund might be just the thing for you.

Mutual Funds vs Other Fund Types

There are other types of investment fund that you may have heard about. While these can bear similarities to mutual funds, there are important distinctions to be drawn in each case.

Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)

The ETF is a close cousin of the mutual fund. Both types of fund take payments from investors and use these to invest in a variety of different securities.

ETFs tend to focus more on passive strategies than active ones. Many ETFs track indexes.

Mutual funds also tend to have more complex structures and a greater variety of share classes.

Hedge Funds

Hedge funds are another type of pooled investment fund. However, there are a number of important differences to be aware of with hedge funds.

Hedge funds use a number of complicated strategies to extract higher returns from their investments. These include high-frequency trading and short selling. 

Hedge funds typically charge much higher fees than mutual funds.

Because of their complex, risky strategies, hedge funds are generally only available to professional investors, or those with a large number of investable assets.

What Sets the Best Performing Mutual Funds Apart?

There are certain mutual funds that regularly outperform their competition. While it is impossible to say exactly what the winning formula is for these, there are certain things that profitable funds have in common.

The first thing you should look for is a low expense ratio. A better approach to cost management means lower costs for you, and also indicates fiscal prudence on the part of the fund managers.

For actively managed funds, quality management is the key consideration. Look for managers with a proven track record of providing results.

Putting Your Money to Work

Mutual funds are a diverse family of investment vehicles. Some are designed to seek huge gains, while others simply aim to provide steady growth for clients looking to retirement.

The best performing mutual funds have consistent objectives that they stick to. The best investors do exactly the same thing. 

When you’re deciding on your next mutual fund investment, start with a clear goal in mind.

If you’d like to learn more about the work we do or the topics we cover, contact us today.

How a Financial Consultant Can Help You

For most people, money is one of the primary driving forces in their lives. After all, you need it in order to buy food, shelter, clothes, and all other goods and services. 

Money causes stress while also providing a sense of security. Much of your time and effort are invested in your career to provide a certain standard of living for your family and to prepare for retirement. 

A skilled financial consultant can help you reduce debt and make the most of your money. This article takes a look at the reasons why you should consider working with an advisor to prepare for the future.

They Help You Understand Your Goals

Believe it or not, many people have no idea what they really want. Even though the average life expectancy is around 73 years, few people approach the future with any sort of goals in mind.

A lot of the population lives paycheck to paycheck, without much rhyme or reason to their financial decision-making. 

A chartered financial planner will ask a series of questions designed to encourage you to think about the future so that you can plan accordingly. This will enable you to be conscious of the financial decisions you make going forward rather than simply winging it as you have in the past.

They Help You Develop a Plan

Once you’ve figured out some of your long-term goals, you’ll be able to develop a plan for how to actually reach those goals.

A good plan provides structure, enabling you to create a step by step roadmap that can be adjusted year after year as your wealth grows and your goals shift and change. 

Advisors are skilled at building a financial investing plan. This will be specifically tailored to meet your needs. The more specific you can be about what you want out of life, the more they can help.

They Show You the Best Ways to Invest

There are many ways to invest your money. Each type of investment tool offers different degrees of risk and reward. The key is to understand how aggressive you want to be in building wealth.

This requires working closely with your advisor.

Be open and honest. This will provide valuable information that will help them know how best to proceed. It’ll also help them find the most efficient resources and tools to utilize when managing your wealth.

Keep in mind that an experienced financial advisor will explain all the investment options that are available, along with the pros and cons that come with each. 

Don’t feel pressured to invest too aggressively, but also listen closely to their advice. Try to be as open as possible to educated advice regarding ways to maximize your investment funds.

They Help Avoid Stupid Investments

It’s important to remember that your financial advisor is an expert. Investing is a complicated business, with an incredible amount of data to track and variables to consider. 

Because of this, it can be easy to make a mistake, to chase a trend that’s leading to a dead-end, or to find yourself excited about an investment opportunity that will only end up costing you money and causing frustration and pain.

An experienced advisor will help you avoid as many mistakes as possible. They have the training and skills needed to identify bad trends and unreliable sectors in the marketplace.

It can be hard to trust someone with your money. Especially when you feel like you’ve discovered a great investment opportunity. Yet, trust is exactly what will be required in order to build the level of wealth that most people only dream of.

They Provide a Sounding Board

A good advisor will also be a great listener. This might not sound like a big deal, but it’s actually one of the most important qualities to look for when seeking an investment professional.

You should never feel hesitant to talk to your consultant like a real person. Tell them your hopes and feelings. Mention ideas you’ve been thinking about, and never feel stupid for asking tons of questions.

Remember, they work for you. They are there to answer questions, provide feedback, and help give you confidence that your future is on the right track.

They Help Enforce Financial Discipline

Saving money isn’t fun. It can be a huge challenge. 

After all, it’s much more exciting to spend money on shiny new toys rather than sock cash away for the future.

This is another reason why an experienced consultant is so valuable. They will help you keep your eyes on the prize because they won’t have any emotional attachment to your finances. This means they can approach making smart investments and building your wealth from a purely educated and logical vantage point. 

They Help You Connect With Other Professionals

Your financial advisor will also connect you to a good lawyer and accountant. This will help ensure that your money matters are legal, and keep any potential tax issues from arising.

They Help You Relax 

Finally, knowing that you have an experienced consultant on your team will help you relax. You have a pro working for you, after all.

They’ll choose investments that will make your money work for you, and grow your wealth day after day. You can rest assured knowing that when you’re ready to retire, you’ll have the resources to enjoy your golden years to the fullest.

A Guide to the Benefits of Hiring a Financial Consultant

Planning for retirement can be confusing. Fortunately, hiring a skilled financial consultant will help make the process a little less stressful.

Click here to learn how to form an investing strategy for European markets.

The Best Place to Invest 100K: Understanding UK Savings Accounts

If you have £100,000 or more in savings, keeping in safe is essential. 

The risk-free, common-sense option to keep your money safe is to put into a savings account. Not only will your money be held safely, but it will also accrue interest.

But, are your savings working well for you? Are you getting the maximum amount of interest possible?

How well do you understand UK savings accounts?

We’ll explore the different savings options and the best place to invest 100k.  

How to Find the Best Place to Invest 100k

There are several factors to consider before finding the best place to invest £100k. 

Decide how long you would like to lock your cash away. The longer you leave your money, the more interest you will accrue. 

Fixed-rate savings accounts that require you to hold your money in place over a certain amount of time can provide good returns. However, if you need your money back before then, you may not be able to access it.

Are you a pensioner or a student? Banks and building societies often offer preferential interest rates for different age groups. In which case, you should look for the best saving rates for pensioners or the best savings account for students.

You should also consider that you may need to split your money between multiple accounts

Decide on whether you need access to your cash. Do you require online banking?

Is customer service important? Will you need to service your account in your local branch? 

Work out what’s important to you, and make sure that you find an account that ticks all of the relevant boxes. 

Don’t Put All of Your Eggs in One Basket

By spreading your investments across a range of different savings accounts, you will enjoy a variety of benefits. 

If you have short-term requirements on some of your cash, put that money into an easy-access account with the best interest rates. For the rest of your cash, look for longer-term savings accounts that offer the best returns. 

Similarly, if you are unsure about what you want to do with your money, keep it in easy-access savings accounts until you have decided. That way, you can still move your money out when you have a long term plan. 

Financial Services Compensation Scheme 

When you invest any money into a UK bank or building society account, you are protected. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme protects savings of up to £85,000, or £170,000 if it is a joint account. 

If you are looking to place your £100,000 or more into any type of savings account, you will need to set up at least two different accounts with different banks to protect your money. 

Alternatively, if you can set up a joint account, you will benefit from the higher level of protection. 

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme is in place to protect your money in the event of the bank or building society being able to pay you your own money. 

Making Use of ISAs

Savings accounts in the UK are subject to tax-deductions on interest payments. 

Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) offer the opportunity to save up to £20,000 each year, tax-free. If you have a partner, you could both invest £20,000 each in your own ISAs. 

If you want to make the most of your savings, then you should take advantage of your tax-free savings allowance by opening an ISA. 

You could opt for Cash ISA or stocks and shares ISA or a combination of both. 

A cash ISA will act in much the same way as a savings account. With a stocks and shares ISA, your money is invested into stocks, corporate, and government bonds. You may return a greater degree of interest with this type of ISA; however, you may lose money too. 

Finding the Right Savings Accounts

Find a savings account that offers you a rate of interest that is higher than the rate of inflation. 

Inflation rates directly affect the value of your savings. If you place your money into an account with a 2% interest rate, then after one year, you will have 2% more money. 

However, if the rate of inflation is greater than 2%, you will have more money, but that money will have lower purchase power than it did a year before. 

Regular Savers

Regular savers accounts often offer interest rates that are higher than the rate of inflation. 

With rates of up to 5% available, this type of savings account is certainly worth exploring. 

You will need to be aware of maximum deposit limits, as well as the length of time that the rates will be valid. 

Fixed-Rate Savings Accounts

Fixed-rate savings accounts will offer you the same rate of interest over a specified period of time. Typically, your money will be locked into the account for between one and five years. 

The longer you are willing to leave your money in this type of account, the higher the interest returns will be. 

Don’t Overlook Current Accounts

It is easy to think that a current account is just for holding your cash and paying your direct debits; however, they can be a useful tool for depositing large sums of money. 

Many current accounts will offer a reasonably high rate of interest. 

Usually, current accounts will offer a higher rate of interest for a small amount, and then a lower rate for any money thereafter. 

For example, a current account may offer 5% on the first £2,500 for one year, and then 1% on everything above that amount. 

Always Research the Best Deals

The best place to invest 100k will depend on the interest rates offered by banks and building societies. Banking products change, so shop around and find the best savings account that will work for your money. 

For more advice and information about making your money work for you, explore the other articles on the blog. 

Core principles to boost up your profit factors

While trading, every trader uses a unique trading strategies to navigate in the Forex market. Strategies are used by traders to help them to trade in a profitable way. You need to understand the fact that not all the strategies will work for every trader. A simple trend trading strategy can help you to secure profit, but still, you might not be able to make a decent profit after a few months. The market is always changing its nature and it’s your duty to keep pace with this dynamic market.

The market allows a trader to work as per their skills and strategies. If you have good and effective skills and strategies you will be able to make profits but if you have a lack of skills and strategies then you will find it difficult to make profit. Although there are some important principles that are common in the entire market for all traders to achieve their goals.

Pay attention to the indicators

It’s important for all traders to understand what is happening and what might happen in the market. Through the analysis of Forex indicators, you can understand the market better. Indicators play a crucial role in the market, so all traders should learn their uses. When you learn the use of the indicators, open a demo account with Rakuten so that you don’t have to lose too much money.

You can find out the economic situation of the market’s currency by using the indicators. The indicators also help traders to identify the best time for entry and exit in a profitable way. If you can identify the best times then it will maximize your profits by reducing your losses.

Keep a personal trading record

Many traders fail to keep accurate and faithful trading records and thus can’t identify their previous mistakes or rectify them. Trading records can enhance a trader’s entire trading system, as it allows you to trade by thinking twice to find out whether you will make profit or not. Once you develop the habit of keeping the record, you can execute quality trades in the fx trading account. Most importantly, you will start building up confidence which is the most crucial component of trading.

You can make better strategies and skills in your trades by keeping trading records. A trading record acts as a guideline for traders as it helps them to rectify their previous mistakes and to trade with better strategies in the next move.

Embrace the risk management

If you want to become a successful trader, you should never avoid risk management in your trades. Risk management is essential for all the traders as they can lower the percentage of losses in the trades by setting proper risk management. Never break the rules of risk management as it can blow up the trading account. Stick to the safe method so that you can earn big amount of money. Analyze the losing orders and learn from your mistakes. Once you become good at trading, start placing trades with confidence.

You should never risk more than 2% of your trading capital and never change your risk management out of greed. Many new traders set higher risk management in their trades and thus end up losing their capital. It is also known that proper risk management is a savior for traders as it reduces the percentage of losses.

Conclusion

You can have your own rules for trading in the Forex market but don’t ever avoid the principle trading methods. The above points will help you to trade in a profitable way, you also need to pay attention to all the terms and conditions of the market. The entire trading system may become easier for you if you learn and understand the market more precisely. Mastering the Forex market is a never-ending learning process.

Workers’ Comp Benefits and the Going and Coming Rule

Traveling for work is a complex issue when it comes to your eligibility for workers’ compensation. The general rule is that workers’ compensation doesn’t cover your commute to and from work.

Does Workers’ Comp Cover Travel for Business?

Yes, workers’ comp covers travel for business. When you’re traveling because of your work, you can claim workers’ compensation in the event of an injury. The workers’ compensation system operates the same way whether you’re actively on the job or traveling for your employer.

Personal errands during work travel are not covered; however, the travel itself and incidental activities like the hotel and meals still fall under the workers’ compensation system. Workers’ compensation covers travel for business except for strictly personal activities during the trip.

Man traveling for work

Does Workers’ Comp Cover Travel to and From Work?

Workers’ comp does not cover travel to and from work. However, there may be situations when you are traveling related to work that are actually covered. Travel to and from work is generally not included. Still, if you are running errands for your employer or on a work-related travel assignment, you may actually be classified as working.

It depends on whether you’re serving the interests of your employer during the travel. Although the general rule is that workers’ comp does not include travel to and from work, there may be situations where your traveling counts as being on the job.

Workers’ Compensation and Travel

The purpose of workers’ compensation is to provide employees easy access to financial compensation when they’re hurt at work. The general rule is that you can claim workers’ compensation for work-related injuries. If you’re on the job and you get hurt, you can access the workers’ compensation system to pay for your medical bills and provide replacement income.

However, workers’ compensation doesn’t cover the risks of daily life. For that reason, the employee’s personal commute doesn’t fall under the workers’ compensation system. If you get hurt going to or from work, you have to look to your own car insurance or personal insurance to pay your expenses. You may also bring a third-party claim for financial compensation, but the person or entity that caused your injury is responsible for your damages, not your employer.

Traveling for Work

However, even if you’re traveling at the time of your injury, you’re not necessarily out of the workers’ compensation system. You may be traveling for work and not realize it. When you’re traveling on company business, you’re still covered by workers’ compensation.

Even things that are incidental to the travel itself, like staying at a hotel or eating meals while away from home, can classify you as working for the purposes of workers’ compensation. It’s essential to evaluate the entire circumstances present when the accident occurs.

Buma vs. Providence Corp. Development – Nevada Supreme Court

In the Buma v. Providence Corp. Development case, the Nevada Supreme Court recently clarified the rules when it comes to what counts as work-related travel. Nevada Revised Statutes 616C.150(1) states that a person must show their injury arises out of the course of employment. The court said that a person might be in the course of their employment even if they’re not directly on the route of travel at the time of the injury.

In the Buma v. Providence Corp. case, the victim was the vice president of sales for his company. He worked from home and made his own travel arrangements. The victim traveled out of state for a conference. He stayed at a ranch with a friend and affiliate of the company. Together, the two prepared joint presentations to give on behalf of the company. The victim died while riding an ATV on the ranch.

The third-party workers’ comp insurer, and the lower court, denied the victim’s family workers’ compensation benefits. They said that the accident did not arise out of work duties. However, the Nevada Supreme Court vacated the lower court’s decision.

When Does an Injury Arise out of the Course of Employment for Workers’ Compensation Purposes?

The Nevada Supreme Court said that an injury arises out of the scope of employment when there is a causal connection between the victim’s injury and the nature of the employee’s duties. Under Nevada Revised Statutes 616B.612(3), all travel that an employee gets paid for is part of the course of employment.

However, even if part of the travel isn’t compensated hourly, it may still be work-related travel. Generally, workers’ compensation covers business trips. It covers the actual business part of the trip, but it also includes staying in hotels, sleeping, eating, and other navigation that has to happen for the trip.

Does the “Coming and Going” Workers’ Compensation Rule Apply During Business Travel?

In the Buma case, the lower court applied the “going and coming” rule. The rule prohibits compensation for injuries that occur during the commute. The Supreme Court explained that the employer is not liable for the daily dangers of the employee; however, the commuting rule isn’t applicable when a person travels for work. Under Nevada law 616B.612(3), traveling employees are covered, including acts that are incidental to traveling.

The court said that work travel doesn’t cover social and recreational activities that a traveling employee chooses to pursue. These are things that occur for strictly personal amusement. To be a personal activity, the employee must show an intent to abandon the job temporarily. It’s a very fact-dependent question that depends on the unique situation in each case.

Conclusion     

The workers’ compensation commuting rule is complicated. There are times that work travel is covered, and you are eligible for benefits. Sometimes it can be a difficult question of whether you’re traveling for business. The Las Vegas workers’ compensation attorneys at Adam S. Kutner, Attorney at Law explain travel, and the 2019 Nevada Supreme Court case of Buma vs. Providence Corp. Development.

The best way to know if you qualify for workers’ compensation is by getting a personal review of your claim by a qualified and experienced attorney.

How to Form an Investing Strategy For European Markets

Europe is a global economic nexus, an incredibly stable and developed market.

Its heart is EU, which operates as a single market of 28 different states and 500 million customers. Technology and innovation are driving forces behind slow but steady growth.

This upward trajectory instils confidence when it comes to investment prospects. Many lucrative opportunities are just a few clicks away. You can pursue them without running into risks that emerging markets are rife with.  

Alas, launching an international investment endeavour is a daunting task. You have to do your homework and tailor the investing strategy to specifics of the landscape.

Here is a guide on how to establish a strong foothold and enhance your portfolio.

Doing the Spadework

The European market is a mature, diverse, and liquid ecosystem.

The investment risk is low, save in times of crisis. Europe is also a highly dynamic and competitive investment arena, home to leading companies of today.  

Yes, it’s easily one of the most inviting investing destinations. However, succeeding is easier said than done. To maximise your chances, you have to show due diligence.

Start by running a proper market analysis and scour the continent to discover where the best opportunities are. Evaluate your risk tolerance and put a risk management strategy in place. Two main weapons for chipping away at risk are market knowledge and portfolio diversification.

We would implore you to pay special attention to the currency risk. We’re talking about fluctuations in the foreign exchange market. They can be a double-edged sword, spurring both unexpected losses and profits.

Once research tasks are sorted out, set your chief objectives. Do you want to go for foreign direct investment (FDI) or portfolio investment? Is your goal to have a small portion of shares, source raw materials or control a whole company?

Get your priorities straight before moving to the next stage.  

The Main Pathways to Investment Glory

One of the easiest ways to gain exposure is thru exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

The three main options are:

They offer simple means of portfolio diversification, unlike the US, which is a predominantly stock-based market. It’s possible to invest in hundreds of different companies, as well as specific industries/countries. At the same time, you can avoid the steep fees associated with mutual funds.

Familiarity is another benefit you can score. Europe harbours some of the most renowned names in modern business.  

There is also an alternative approach, which is two-fold. The first tactic is buying American Depository Receipts (ADRs). The second one is acquiring stocks via foreign stock brokers.

The drawback is you have to worry about legal and tax issues. You also face hurdles such as translating foreign languages and currencies. On top of that, it can be tricky to conduct in-depth research on foreign stocks.

Note that ADRs are free of these risks. Unfortunately, they are limited to large foreign corporations that boast liquidity in spades.

The Million Dollar Question of Where

It makes a lot of sense to examine investing opportunities thru regional lenses.

Eastern Europe is an interesting region due to the potential for rapid growth. Investors comfortable with higher risks head there chasing hefty profit margins.

On the other hand, one enters Western European markets for reasons other than explosive growth. Namely, those who favour a climate with low volatility should feel at home here.

Germany is probably a must-consider, as the largest economy of Europe. It houses many of the top-500 publically traded companies in the world. County’s biggest companies (by market capitalisation) are available via the DAX 30 index, which is similar to the Dow Jones index in the US.

In terms of other, small economies, there are certain rules of thumb. You want to pay close attention to conditions like domestic policies and international agreements. These are the main tools countries employ in order to attract foreign investment.  

Apart from that, it’s a good idea to stick to predictable and transparent markets. EU member states have an advantage in this regard. Common institutions handle and synchronise investment rules, including areas like dispute resolution.  

The Old-School Way

Beyond that, you should feel free to invest in asset classes such as property.

The yields tend to be higher than in the case of bonds. This trend persists across different regions and states. What is more, the returns are often adjusted up for inflation.

This is to say real estate investment can act as a blanket insulating you from monetary risk. Besides, the spectrum of possibilities is very wide. You can aim for steady cash flow or speculative profit.                

One piece of advice is to keep an eye on hot local markets such as Amsterdam. There, a combination of limited supply, demographic influx, and scarce land inflates prices year after year.

Finally, we shouldn’t overlook the commodities.  

This traditional asset class involves minerals, fossil fuels, ores, crops, and trees. Propelled by global economic growth, the consumption and demand remain stable, while supply is finite.

Again, one of the main benefits is protection against inflation. Of course, commodities also come with risks such as price volatility. Just take the example of gold, which has been on a rollercoaster in recent years.

The lesson to draw is clear: be ever vigilant and be advised.

Investing Strategy for Europe: Taking Portfolio to the Next Level

The world’s largest regional economy is a Promised Land for many investors.

However, that doesn’t mean profits are just there for the taking. You need to put together a smart investing strategy before anything else. Rely on facts and figures to make it as sound as the Euro.

Likewise, make sure to assess your risk tolerance and financial appetites. Pick your region and industry sector accordingly. Identify up-and-coming companies and business champions with a bright future.  

You can hardly go wrong fuelling your investments via European ETFs.

Just stay quick on your feet and steer away from pitfalls in the shifting monetary dimension. Keep up the pace with changing regulations and standards. Following these steps, you should be able to make headways into burgeoning European markets.  

Don’t hesitate to contact us with any lingering questions and dilemmas. It’s time to elevate and diversify your portfolio.  

Boris Johnson must release the potential of property post-Brexit

The past few months have seen a huge amount of political change. In December 2019, for example, the Conservative Party won their largest Parliamentary majority since 1987, while January of this year featured the passing of the EU Withdrawal Bill through parliament. With the recent cabinet reshuffle, and Sajid Javid’s resignation as Chancellor, February has also proven to be an eventful month.

Boris Johnson must release the potential of property post-Brexit
CEO and co-founder of FJP Investment: Jamie Johnson

However, in the period since the election, there has been a growing sense that we have returned to some semblance of normality. The three years after the referendum were turbulent and hostile, with nail-biting parliamentary votes and overheated political discourse becoming par for the course. With no election likely until the middle of this decade, and with the Government in a relatively strong position, this stress is seeming to subside. Whatever your political disposition, this is no doubt a good thing for businesses and investors.

Data suggests that the UK stock market grew by an impressive £33 billion in the immediate aftermath of the general election. The effects of the so-called Boris bounce have likely been overstated, but it has hasn’t been as short-lived as some had predicted. Property also saw an uptick; according to Zoopla’s UK Cities Price Index, demand for UK property rose at the fastest rate since 2017. Similarly, according to Nationwide, prices in January were at a 14-month high. This is especially good news in light of modest house price growth in recent years as a result of Brexit uncertainty.

Looking forward, then, the property market could be set for renewed growth.

What can the Government do to propel the property market forward?

As mentioned, following through on their Brexit promises is crucial. Whether you voted remain or leave, 2019’s missed deadlines created profound uncertainty amongst business leaders. Therefore, it’s not just about the completion of the process, but also about making sure negotiations go smoothly and businesses are being made aware of the progress made.

The EU Withdrawal Bill passing through parliament was an important first step. Indeed, it showed that this majority has allowed Boris Johnson to get on with Brexit in a way his predecessors found difficult. But the Government’s ability to tick all the other boxes during the transition period is unproven. There is still a long way to go in terms of reassuring the property market that Brexit is in safe hands and that investing can continue without concern.

Furthermore, the Government must also deliver on its previously stated aims for policy in the property space. The domestic market, for example, is supportive of a new stamp duty surcharge on international buyers of UK property — an approach the Conservative Party has previously supported. According to a recent poll conducted by FJP Investment, as many as 70% of UK property investors are in favour of such a move.

There are also other areas that the Government should follow through on to help realise the full potential of UK property. Fighting the housing crisis, for example, will require coordinated policy to encourage construction, investment, and stakeholder engagement. On that last point, the Conservative Party has previously suggested consulting local people on the design of new-build developments. Doing so would hugely increase the attractiveness of such developments, so it’s little wonder that 68% of investors surveyed by FJP Investment supported the policy.

The Government must also commit the necessary resources to construction if it is to tackle the central challenge to UK property: insufficient supply. More homes being built will almost certainly bring prices down and make rents more affordable, but a national building revolution, of sorts, may be required.

A recent promise of £100 billion for construction over the next five years is a step in the right direction, while Boris Johnson’s promise of a million new homes over the same period shows ambition for UK property. But governments of all stripes have set, and missed, huge housebuilding aims, and property leaders are tired of empty promises. Now is the time for investment and reform to fulfil that huge target.

Looking forward, UK property appears to be in a strong position. With so much latent demand, and with prices rising, 2020 is likely to be more positive than last year. Further, with Brexit likely to be completed, the entire market may be set for an upturn. However, this can only happen with the right government support and policy implementation — indeed, without it, the housing crisis will not be resolved. Thankfully, the Government’s aims broadly align with property investors’, meaning they likely have the right priorities to help property return to form.

Jamie Johnson is the CEO and co-founder of FJP Investment