Categories
Investments

Financial Investment Planning Towards Retirement

Investment planning is indeed a vital step in the financial planning process. The implementation of a sound and effective investment strategy is necessary to provide the financial security and expected returns to meet the objectives of a financial plan.

Like every thing in life, nothing is free. Risks and returns go hand in hand. If you want to be rich and financially secure during your retirement years, you have to stomach at least some level of risk in any kind of investment. The correct level of risk tolerance varies from individual to individual, depending on the personality of the individual. Indeed, it would be pointless to make an investment which might double in a short period of time if by virtue of holding that position that individual cannot sleep well and spend endless hours worrying about the state of his investment.

Hence, investment planning entails firstly, determining your risk tolerance. Most investment planners have drawn up a Investor Risk Profile quiz to be taken by their client before recommending on the relevant investment plan for their clients. Investment program and the right asset allocation need to vary according to the risk tolerance of the individual.

Another very important consideration is to embark onto an investment plan only after you have obtained an emergency buffer of 6 to 9 months for your expenses in place. This buffer is extremely vital as otherwise the slightest mishap or an emergency situation can derail your investment plan and cause you to plunder your investment program too early for it to gather momentum.

 

Self managed direct investment should only be considered if you have sufficient knowledge and time to study and monitor the investment conditions. Engaging a professional financial planner would be a wiser option. Different investment products are available in the market and are recommended depending on the degree of risk an investor is willing to undertake. Low risks products would include savings and fixed deposit accounts, moderate risks products would include conservative mutual trust funds and blue chips, whereas high risk products would include small capped growth stocks, futures and options and other derivatives.

In order to meet the objectives of a financial plan, a sound and comprehensive investment plan should consider asset allocation and diversification in the investment portfolio. The investment plan should include a statement of expected return, a statement of expected level of risk and also the expected time zone horizon of the investment strategy.

Categories
Investments

Investments and the Ways to Make Money

Most people don’t spend much time wondering what money is. Their only major concern is how much they have, and how to get more!

What is money?

It is a medium of exchange.

What does it do?

It ensures the success of exchange by being the one item on offer that is ALWAYS acceptable.

Why is it necessary?

Because human beings must exchange to live together in peace, and to prosper!

That’s all!

On the other hand, without money, the production and exchange of anything but the most rudimentary goods and services is impossible. It is not difficult, or time consuming, or inefficient, it is IMPOSSIBLE!

 

Animals don’t exchange (or trade) amongst one another. They are self-sufficient, or they take from each other, or they exercise the prerogative of superior strength and/or cunning.

There are some human beings who get along in a very similar fashion, but the overwhelming majority recognise the benefits of voluntary exchange.

Strictly speaking, the use of the word “voluntary” in this context is redundant. The phrase “your money or your life” is not the precursor to an exchange, whether the person uttering it brandishes a gun or a government identity card!

The first rule of any voluntary exchange is simplicity itself. If two people are willing to exchange, each must view the results of the exchange as being beneficial. If either of them is not of that view, the exchange will not take place.

The ways to make money in this world are simple:

Marry someone who is already rich.

Have a rich person die and will you their money.

Strike oil.

Discover gold

Win the lottery.

Rob a bank.

Work for it …

Or have it work for you through investments!

In investing, you don’t have to be an expert to take advantage of real opportunities!

But, in order to invest with confidence, profitable success and consistency and be able to take advantage of opportunities, first you should assure, that all your essential financial needs and responsibilities are met.

Then, start with:

1. Setting aside sufficient liquid funds for cases of emergency.

2. Making sure you are completely and adequately insured.

3. Building a reasonable retirement plan.

4. Getting out of debt — and staying out!

5. Determining your time frame, and

6. Start investing with the aim of becoming financially independent!

As each of us enters different stages of life, our changing family status and objectives, incomes, expenses and living standards shape our investment strategy.

By having a clear idea of what you want your investment to accomplish, you’ll be able to put your money to work more productively.

Investing is generally defined as the conversion of risk-free assets into risky ones with prospects of greater return.

Every investment has a certain amount of risk associated with it. You can minimize risk, if you are able to understand the different characteristics of the various investments and build your portfolio accordingly.

Given the existence of risk, why invest at all?

Because historically, the existence of greater risk is commensurate with greater rewards for investors.

You are almost certain to pick a bad investment sometime. The secret then is to cut your loss as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, most people find this very difficult to do. No one likes to think that he has made a mistake and there is a big temptation to hold on and hope for better days.

But there is almost always a time when an investment starts to turn sour that you can get out with only a small loss.

If you hold on you could be on the losing side for many years and then lose even more money in the end.

Having the courage to admit that you were wrong is an essential technique of successful investment as well as in other aspects of life.

A Swiss banker put it rather well:

“If you are losing a tug-of-war with a lion, give him the rope before he gets your arm …

You can always buy a new rope.”

Categories
Investments

Clean Energy Investments and Clean Energy Projects Boosted by the World Bank

The World Bank is allocation of energy investments and for energy efficient project has been increased by 300 percent between the financial years of 2007 to 2010. The World Bank has delivered 3.4 billion USD for the renewable energy projects and the contribution towards the fossil fuel project raised nearly 430 percent. In the Institute for Policy Studies the co director of the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network Janet Redman asserted that, the World Bank is delaying to examine the emission of green house gases from their own plants and diverting its discussions. The reports released by the Bank Information Center showed that, the World Bank furnished around 6.3 billion USD for the fossil fuel projects in this financial year and around 4.4 billion from the total sum will be utilized for the installation of a new coal-fired power plant. In South Africa the 4800 MW Medupi Station will release nearly 25 million tons of carbon dioxide per annum till 2050 and the Tata Ultra Mega plant in India will emit the same amount of the carbon dioxide per annum.

Clean Energy and Power Company recently announced that, the company has penned a Letter of Intent to adopt completely the assets of the Pacific Oil Products, the global suppliers of palm oil, algae oil and Jatropha oil. The Clean Energy and Power Company acquired the proprietorship for technology required to extract oil from the oil wells and the management crew formed to enable low cost oil extraction. David Gair, current Chief Technology Officer of the Pacific Oil Products articulated that, the company has redesigned the pattern of the base instrument, designed in Sweden and it will follow their own proprietorship for extracting quality oil. The Pacific Oil has sold plethora of jatropha oil and this has made them as the leading extractor of the jatropha oil in the world.

The first offshore wind energy farm in the United States will be completed soon, till then to reduce the cost of the power system Massachusetts purchased energy from the Cape Wind. The Department of Public Utilities recently approved green signal for power generated from the clean energy to be used for house appliances. Cape Wind project has approved by the federal after a long struggle for past ten years and this project will be permitting installation and operation of nearly 130 wind turbines in the Nantucket Sound. The Cape Wind project is expected to supply pollution free energy to large number of houses and companies in the Massachusetts and this reduces the dependence on other countries for electricity and boosting the fuel diversity.

Categories
Investments

Financial Investing Concepts – Creating Superior Returns

One of the most potent financial investing concepts is the idea of fast cycle investments and SOR or speed of returns. An institutional investor typically has a large capital account to protect and are therefore very prudent with there investing decisions. They typically hope for nothing more than 10% to 20% annual return. But private investors are a totally different breed of animal and can invest with fleet footed accuracy.

The fundamental principle of investing is to balance the elements of risk and return. The first and most obvious consideration in any investment is… will the funds invested be returned or lost. The likelihood of a return is in direct proportion to the investors degree and extent of loss of control of the value of their money. Think about it, if you put $10,000 into Google stock, or any other stock, you literally have no control. You can do one of two things, sell or keep your stock.

This is a very blunt control instrument and you literally have no say in how the share price behaves after you have purchased stock for example. Of course with stock, you have a very low risk that you won’t get all or most of your capital back because the fluctuations are so small on a daily basis, which also unfortunately means your returns may not be very impressive if you do get a positive result.

 

Now consider an investment where you have spent your money but you have and can exert direct control over the value of your investment. This particular element is crucial to wealth production. If you can dictate to a certain degree what the actual value of your investment will be after you have purchased, well of course you will make sure it increases. Any tangible object whose value can be directly affected falls within this category. A house, a car, luxury boats or jewelry, anything tangible that can be purchased below value and improved and resold for retail price or higher.

Categories
Investments

The Difference Between Investing and Trading

Many financial experts are saying that this is an excellent time to begin investing, but when you start shopping for investment products, you find that there is a huge variance between the product offerings. Understanding the terminology assigned to the various types of funds and products will help you choose the best one for your needs. Two terms that are commonly interchanged, and wrongfully so, are investing and trading. While these may seem like similar actions, they have some distinct differences.

What Is Investing?

Investing refers to purchasing an asset and holding it for a long time, in the hopes that it will increase in value. Many people invest in real estate. They purchase a piece of property, live in it or rent it for a while, and hope that over time it will be worth more when they go to sell. In the world of finance, investing works the same way. The investor purchases a financial product, such as stocks or funds, and holds onto them for a long time, hoping that they will increase in value during that time. A retirement plan is an example of investing.

 

In general, investing is putting money into something in the hopes of making more money after a long period of time. Investments are typically held for years before they are cashed in for profit. The longer the investment is held, the more its potential for earning will be.

Investors will study the long-term success rates of the companies they choose to invest with. They will look for funds or stocks that have steady growth over several years. They will try to buy when prices are low, but will not be as concerned about temporary drops or down times if the overall profit margin of a particular investment looks good.

What Is Trading?

Trading refers to using money to buy something in an attempt to make more money by selling or trading it quickly for something else. While it is similar to investing in the fact that the money is being used to buy something of relative value, it is different because the asset is only held for a few days or weeks before it is sold and something else is purchased. This is typically done with individual stocks or other commodities, not large funds or tangible assets like real estate.

Traders will buy assets when they take a sudden dip, and then sell them quickly for a profit when they increase in value again. Traders do not concern themselves with the long-term success history of the company in which they are putting money, but rather in the short-term trends.

The Difference Is Time Frame

Many people who are involved in trading consider it investing. In reality, there is little difference between the actions involved. In both money is used to purchase assets, and those assets are at some point sold in hopes of making a profit. The difference lies in the amount of time the investor holds onto the asset. In investing, it is for the long term. In trading, it is a temporary purchase.

This is, of course, a general definition. Some who are involved in trading will decide to hold an asset for a longer period of time if they stand to benefit, and some investors will sell quickly if they feel it is best. Overall, however, the goal is long term for investors and short term for traders.

So which is better? Both investing and trading have their benefits, but one option is likely to appeal to you more than the other based on how involved you wish to be in the growth of your money. The only way to decide which is best for you is to talk to your financial professional and weigh the potential returns against the level of risk you feel comfortable taking.

Categories
Investments

The 10% Solution – Growing Profitable Credit Union Investment and Insurance Sales Programs

I have written frequently about the correlation between member participation in the credit union investment and insurance sales program and increased revenue. While that may seem intuitive the question remains, “why don’t more credit unions make the effort to increase member participation in this time of increased need for revenue?”

According to the recent Ken Kehrer and Callahan Credit Union Investment Program Benchmark Reports, the average member penetration is around 5% compared to 10% for banks. According to Ken Kehrer, one of the reasons for the discrepancy between banks and credit unions could be that banks have offered investment services for about four years longer than credit unions. So they have had a head start on developing household participation in their programs. Another useful benchmark for determining how much attention management should pay to their investment programs is profitability. Many CEOs state that it doesn’t make sense to throw more resources at the Program if it isn’t profitable. My response is, “well, then let’s make it more profitable.” Before we can do that we have to gauge the profitability of the program. Let’s look at two ways to gauge profitability.

Revenue Margin

This is one of the more universal ways to gauge profitability in the brokerage business. It takes into account gross revenue minus direct and allocated expenses before corporate overhead allocation and taxes as a percent of gross revenue. This is sometimes called contribution to overhead. Since allocations for the investment program vary so much throughout the industry this measurement has become somewhat standard versus comparing income. In the recent Kehrer report the average credit union Program contributed 19% of its gross revenue to the overhead of the credit union.

 

Brokerage is a volume business which is another reason credit unions need to increase participation to enjoy higher revenue margins. The more the credit union can spread fixed costs over a larger sales force and revenue base the more contribution it can make to the bottom line.

Profit Penetration

This is perhaps a better way to measure the profitability of the Program. According to the Kehrer report, the average credit union Program contributed $444 of pre-tax profit per million of share deposits.

What are the key drivers that will help grow the profitability of Investment ans Insurance Sales Programs? As I have discussed in my previous articles and White Papers there are two factors, credibility and awareness. Ken Kehrer has broken those factors down into four drivers that credit unions need to constantly address to achieve and surpass the 10% member participation threshold.

Key Drivers

Financial Advisor Coverage – this benchmark has been debated for many years. There is no one standard for every Program since geographic and socioeconomic factors of the credit union must be taken into account when determining how many advisors a Program needs to provide optimum service. The numbers range from $150 million in deposits to $350 million. The average credit union in the Kehrer study had one advisor for every $313 million in member deposits. Again, I would not recommend using that as the standard for your credit union. That figure tells me that there is room to increase coverage by adding more advisors and still increase revenue and profitability. Most advisors will resist splitting territories but the Program management has to constantly consider the question, “are our members being optimally served with the current coverage?”

Referrals– This is a good gauge for the effectiveness of the Program. If the branch teams are fully engaged in a robust referral Program then that is a sign that the Program is well integrated into the credit union; a key determinant of Program success. It is difficult to establish a benchmark for this since every Program seems to have a different definition of what counts as a referral. This has to be determined by such things as closing ratios of referrals submitted and cross-sell success i.e. is the credit union receiving referrals from the financial advisors?

Product Mix – What is the mix of products that the Program is selling to its members? Credit unions typically sell less fixed annuities, individual securities and managed money products than their bank counterparts. According to the Kehrer study the difference in fixed annuity sales can be attributed to the fact that credit unions are still struggling to embrace Platform Programs where licensed employees are trained to sell fixed annuities and mutual funds. The Platform reps tend to focus on selling fixed annuities. Financial Advisors have also been somewhat slow to the game of managed money. Historically bank and credit union advisors have been more transaction focused. This is a result of a lack of training and a lack of hiring advisors who are knowledgeable about managed money products. This is changing as members become more concerned with commissions and fees.

Sales Assistants – The proper use of sales assistants can make the Program run more efficiently and profitably. Unfortunately there has been no universal benchmark to determine when a Program needs to add an advisor. Much depends on the individual advisor’s organizational skills. I have managed programs where as soon as an advisor reaches $200,000 in GDC they request an assistant while I have had advisors doing over $500,000 in GDC without the benefit of an assistant. As with most situations there is a happy medium. According to the Kehrer study credit unions have been more generous than their bank counterparts on average using one sales assistant for every 2.6 advisors while banks have an assistant cover an average of 3.6 advisors. Again, there are differences in advisor organizational skills but Program managers should be looking to spread the cost of an assistant over as many advisors as makes sense. The process can also be used as a training opportunity. If the assistant is supporting 2 advisors then those advisors should be doing in excess of $500,000 each or you are not getting your money’s worth. Perhaps spending time to develop organizational skills may be a better investment.

What Next?

Increasing awareness of the Program and establishing credibility will move the investment and insurance sales program closer to and beyond the hallowed 10% member penetration benchmark. CEOs tend to focus on the revenue number and then decide whether or not there is merit in throwing more support behind the Program. I contend more attention needs to be placed on the revenue margin and profitability potential of the Program. Sometimes this can be achieved by simply determining what meaningful revenue does the credit union need from the Program? Once that is determined then the executive team should engagee outside expertise to help determine if that goal is achievable and how. Once there is agreement of the viability of the Program then it needs to receive a seat at the management table, become a core product and receive all the support that any other core product receives. Then and only then will the Program become a significant contributor to the institution’s non- deposit income.

What percentage of your members are taking advantage of this important member service? Is it 10% or more? If not, then why not? Your members deserve to know.

Categories
Investments

Professional Financial Investment Advisor – Why Didn’t You Sell Me a Fixed Annuity Income?

A professional financial investment advisor sounds like a great title. Yet few “professional financial advisors” seek the right people to sell a fixed annuity income investment. To sell a fixed annuity income plan to an already qualified prospect is easy.

You did not ask me. Your guideline statistics ruled me out as being a fixed annuity income plan Your assumptions got you into trouble as you had no competition where spreadsheets and company comparison analysis was needed. You would not have had to fight off any objections to making a decision. You cannot have a sales opportunity when you do not know how to spot one. After all this, can you still call yourself a qualified professional financial investment advisor?

Your first wrong assumption   When you decided or were directed by your sales manager to sell financially related products, you were told the style of people not to waste your time on. Almost all true advisors to investors, along with agency crowned financial representatives are headquartered in the more prosperous suburbs of large metropolitan areas. This way the rep is in close proximity to where their key clients work and live.

WRONG   Pounding out freezer burned cold calls and mailers could provide a steady stream of willing investors with sizable assets. However, representative after representative is virtually knocking down their doors. Did ever think that the more unique businesses owners can choose to operate out of any location in the United States. To get away from the concrete jungle, their business is easily located in a smaller town, and still easily accessible. As their business location avoids rush hour traffic, likewise the home is also in a less populated zip code. You want to go by the teachings of your predecessors so you avoid prospects in more remote as they do not appear to fit the mode.

 

Your second wrong assumption    As an advisor selling financial investments you want to work exclusively with executives, and business owners of a certain asset level. A list broker gets instructions by you to target zip codes where the average income is over $100,000, the house worth more than $500,000 and personal liquid assets a similar amount. Zip codes can be very deceiving for giving pinpointed fixed income information. Averages can be misleading, as a $50,000 income and a $200,000 income average out to be $100,000. There could be a large number of manufactured home communities with residents averaging $25,000 income hiding higher earning individuals. You might be wrong that using zip code selection is a good fixed annuity income strategy.

Your third wrong assumption   You receive purchase a guide or lists showing the highest income workers in an area. Attorneys, physicians, and physical store owners would be among the top prospects listed. It is natural to assume that not anyone not on your occupational list or wealthy senior over 65 is worth pursuing. The non-workers as they must be bums, stuck in the middle class, or sliders on other people’s income. What about people that are social security disabled or who inherited money? You completely ignore that possibilities exist.

I failed all your assumptions – I do not live or work in a large affluent metropolitan suburb. My zip code contains a few manufactured homes, many hometown USA houses, along with an abundance of beautiful lakefront small lake homes. Since I am on Social Security Disability, my income puts me in a lower bracket.

How you could have wisely spotted me   My homestead is on 55 acres in a zip code of lots averaging a half to full acre. From the county office, you could have located me on a plat mat by acreage. Likewise, the tax rolls would show the excessive homestead taxes that I paid. You could have spotted dividends earned on mutual funds, when I formerly had twice as much value in them. From an internet search, you would have discovered that I own more than one piece of property. You could have checked for Corvette owners and found that I own a few.

These are all simple clues, which a flood of professional financial investment advisors could not figure out. Before the economic downturn, if even one had figured this out, he or she would have made a worthwhile fixed annuity income sale. Here is another underground method to finding overlooked leads. Look at the newspaper obituaries posted where services take place at upscale funeral facilities. This is digging, not grave digging. Right there are a listed supply of names and cities of people who may come into inheritances, or be soon changing their lifestyles.

Remember that to make money in insurance or as a financial investment advisor, adapt to conducting business in a different manner than everyone else.

Categories
Investments

Financial Investment For Newbies

Investment refers to savings or deferred consumption, which is made by the individual to risk his savings in the hope to gain some returns. Investment is viewed differently in terms of economics and finance. In terms of finance, the goal of investment is to produce future cash flows and in terms of economics, investment is the production of goods for a period which are not consumed but utilized for further production.

Why investment?

The most important reason to invest your savings is to beat the inflation, to achieve financial goals and to plan for retirement. Inflation means paying more for the same goods and services in future. When trying to achieve financial goals like buying house or paying education you need your money also to earn along with you in order to beat inflation. You also need to invest in order to fund your needs when you become old and not capable of earnings (i.e.) plan for your retirement.

 

How to invest?

The type of investment option to choose depends on what you are trying to achieve. Those were the days when the marriage or education of child were expensive but were affordable and investment avenues of that days earned you a good rate of return. So they were manageable with minimal planning. But these days with rise in inflation and with lower rate of return has worked against parents in their mission for a better quality of life for their children. Commencement of planning at an early stage of the life is an important step in the process. Investment avenues like equity funds that offer tax-free returns over longer time frames to manage child’s education/marriage or retirement.

Choosing the right investment product is a difficult task for investor. This task is even more difficult when it come to senior citizens as they will have limited amount. Life will become miserable if they does not have regular source of income. As a result senior citizen should do the balancing act between the return and risk of his investment. For senior citizen, the risk element should be low as much as possible.

For individual investor the objective is to maximize the return on their investment. An individual can maximize return at cost of high risk. The investment options available to investor are equities, fixed income securities, debt, foreign securities, real estate and e-currencies. While investing the constraints of the government rules and regulations and that of investor financial capability and availability of time should be kept in mind.

Categories
Finance Services Investments

Financial Investments For Low-Income Families

It may seem like an impossible task to invest on a low income, but the benefits far outweigh the sacrifices. Unlike savings, which serve short-term financial goals like buying a new car or establishing an emergency fund, investments are intended to meet your long-term financial goals, including providing for a child’s college education or your retirement.

Regardless of income, the money that you do have needs to be managed. The best investment products for you will be determined by your long-term financial goals. Discuss these with a financial advisor who may be able to assist you with finding investments that best serve your goals – even if they seem small or insignificant compared to the figures you read about or see on television.

Types of Investments

Retirement plans: 401(k) and IRAs Many people choose to invest through their employer, taking advantages of the matching funds and tax benefits that accompany many 401(k) plans and IRAs (Individual Retirement Arrangements). Contributing at least the amount your employer will match is one way to get a significant return on your investment. Because the employee typically decides the contribution, you can begin with a small amount each paycheck, gradually raising your contribution as your salary increases. If your employer does not provide a retirement plan, you can still set up an IRA as an individual, and reap the tax benefits.

 

Stocks, Bonds, and Mutual Funds When you purchase a stock, you are buying a share of ownership in a company. A bond is a loan of money to a company, or government, that promises to pay back the principal plus interest. Mutual funds pool money from many investors to buy a variety of stocks, bonds, or other securities. Investing through a mutual fund, rather than purchasing stocks and bonds on your own, provides several benefits, such as being able to choose from a variety of professionally managed funds tailored for different levels of risk and rates of return. Some mutual funds have an initial investment of as little as $50, making them an ideal place to begin investing on a tight budget.

Beginning Investing

Consider your long-term financial goals, and determine what type of investment combination, or portfolio, will best serve those goals. Then, begin investing. No matter what the initial investment is, the important thing is to start. A financial advisor may be able to help you find areas in your budget to cut back in order to increase your ability to invest, and direct your investments so they may best serve your long-term financial goals.

Categories
Investments

Beware the Latest Investing and Trading Traps

While most of us, concerned investors that is, have been glued to CNBC and other screens for information and explanation on what is happening with the markets, our 401(k) and IRA, there has been a surge in activity on the part of the brokerage houses promoting trading tools and new offerings. Investors BEWARE! In a bear market like this one, brokerages are naturally playing the investors’ fear and disappointment by offering “better” and “more sophisticated” tools, concealing their intent for more risky and expensive trades. Most of those tools are either screening, back testing tools or more advance trading methods, via futures and options. Don’t fall for the trap and do your homework first!

Let me start with the screening. After checking over ten paid and free screening tools I can summaries that they give you so many options that will definitely confuse you more than help. And what good does it do if you have the tools but do not have the knowledge on how and what to search on? The search education offered is rudimentary teaching you to execute a search on low P/E, good dividend yielding, high growth companies. So the screener pulls two unknown firms that fit the screen. Would you invest in them without spending time to read the financials, annual report, message boards and the info on the internet? Well, no, so then you are back to square zero. With or without a screener you are doing the homework. However, if you invest blindly and get lucky, do it a second time, lose your investment in its entirety, you will forget about the screener forever.

What about the back testing programs? All sounds good, until you realize that the past does not predicts the future. Imagine that you are sitting comfortably in front of your computer in August 2008. You know that there has been this financial crisis looming, but the Fed is dealing with it. Cool! You decide to back test some strategy, be it in options, futures or any other instrument. Most probably you will be seeing a bull bias depending on how far back you go to source your data in the back tester. Well, guess what? The back tester did not hold information with such dare consequences that would come in the two months ahead and you will make information based on the wrong inputs. The back testers and statistics behind such programs have played a nasty trick to all these sophisticated investors as well, including financial PhD trying to outsmart the market via statistical arbitrage, black box, algorithmic trading and so on and so forth. What the back testing will do to an investor is set him her for a “Black Swan” event, that is unknown unknown, to lose trillions of dollars as is happening right now.

 

And last, beware the newly pitched products. Options and futures I mean. The majority of the marketed products and brokerage houses offer you many and better ways to LOSE big! And they charge way too much for what they offer. I have signed up and used over five brokerage houses to find out that just one of them that I have been customer of does bring value. Not only in fair and disclosed commissions, but also in education and care of their customer base they provide. Others make you feel comfortable and cozy and charge four times what you expected to pay. Creative marketing and presentation I call this.

This post is not to bash the brokerages direct, but to point out more about the traps they are setting up to the regular and scared investor. Do not fall for them! Do your homework, ask questions and start small to figure out where the trick is. Good trading and investing and wish all the best!