Blog


March

Should I refinance?

The recent wave of fear surrounding the Coronavirus had led to the lowest all time average rate for 30 year fixed mortgages this week (at 3.29%).  With the cratering of the mortgage rate, talks of refinancing mortgages have sparked among the masses of homeowners in America. According to data from Black Knight, Americans stood to save an average of $268 monthly if they were to refinance their mortgage with the current mortgage rates. Given the circumstances, many experts encourage homeowners to explore refinancing their mortgages. Still, refinancing at the current mortgage rate is not a full proof plan to save money. Refinancing can cost thousands of dollars in fees, and taking on too steep of a monthly payment could prove to be a disaster when the economy is as unpredictable as it is now. People should make sure to seek professional financial help to ensure their financial betterment and safety. Still, with the right help, refinancing a mortgage can save thousands of dollars for a homeowner.

Top 10 Reasons to Invest Your Money

   To the majority of Americans, investment is a familiar term. People see investment as a means to an end, but they might be missing out on the idea of investment and why it is beneficial. Many Americans see investment as a fast track to retire early, or to retire in a sound financial position, but it can be much more than that. For example, investing can be used to achieve other financial goals such as paying off a house or car mortgage; investment is not just used to build up retirement accounts. Also, investing allows people to become part of new ventures in the economy. When new, cutting edge companies are founded, they need capital to invest. This allows people willing to invest the opportunity to become part of a venture that is much larger than themselves. Investment also allows people to set a financial foundation for the next generation. By investing, establishing a portfolio, and building up financial stability, parents can help ensure the financial stability of their children.


February

9 Secrets of Dividend Investing

Many income-focused investors solely focus on the dividends when considering what to invest in. After all, bigger dividends equals more income. Right? Actually, this may not be the case all of the time. Take Matthew Page and Ian Mortimer, for example. These two mutual-fund managers take a different approach to deciding how to invest and where to place their faith. Instead of solely focusing on dividend yield, these two focus on the characteristics of the company, and how the company has fared in the past and is projected to fare in the future. They start their search by identifying a pool of companies with characteristics that exemplify long-term success. These companies are dividend growers who have a history of smart investment strategy and high returns on capital. Both of these traits indicate companies with the ability to continue hiking their dividends. However, these companies do not necessarily have to have the highest dividend yields in the market. A company with moderate dividend yields may actually be a better option because it has more room to grow, whereas companies with high dividend yields may have hit their ceiling. Ultimately, Page and Mortimer’s strategy may not be for you, but their ability to think innovatively is undeniable. For any investor, following the norm may not always be the best way. In Page and Mortimer’s case, they aren’t following the norm, and they are doing quite well for themselves. Investors everywhere can learn an important lesson from these two mutual-fund managers: always think outside of the box, and if you cannot, get an advisor who will for you.

9 Stocks to benefit from military technology

President Trump recently introduced a minor increase to the United States military budget. Though the bill proposes only a 0.3% increase in the military budget, it places high emphasis on high-tech defense equipment such as cyberwarfare innovations, specialized drones, and artificial intelligence. With the increase in the military budget and the military’s new-age emphasis on high-tech defense equipment, stocks for several military sector corporations have the potential to grow exponentially. These stocks could become coveted pieces for investor portfolios if Trump and Congress can see eye to eye. However, the risk is still there for investors. For investors willing to gamble that a republican led Senate can force another military spending bill through, the military sector could be a goldmine in the near future. 

Tesla's Stock is Surging

Do you remember the Bitcoin surge in 2017? From January 2017 to November 2017. Bitcoin stock surged from around $885 to nearly $20,000. The 2,100% growth increase was unprecedented in such a short time period, and it left lucky investors with loaded portfolios. A similar growth pattern has occurred in TSLA over the past few days (23.61% growth over last 5 days, 45.92% growth over last month). The growth increase has been borderline parabolic over the last few months, sparking the comparison on Wall Street between Tesla and Bitcoin. However, some experts are skeptical on the comparison, mainly due to the fact that Bitcoin cratered shortly after peaking in November of 2017. They question the longevity of Tesla’s growth, and they use Bitcoin’s cratering in 2017 as their basis. These critics are misinterpreting the situation though. Bitcoin provided a service (e-currency) that had no intrinsic value; the service was merely a figment of the internet. On the other hand, Tesla manufactures a product that has real economic value. Even aside from its market value, a car has value because it is made of tangible resources that cost money.

The number 1 thing to scrimp on to increase your savings

Americans may be an incredibly unique assortment of people, but the capitalist system surrounding us has created one common desire: wealth. From the celebrities to the impoverished, every American dreams of striking it big. It is the American dream, and no one, besides Jay Gatsby, can deny that. However, the premier way to obtain wealth is debatable. Catey Hill, an editor for Market Watch, believes her way to be the best. She claims that the number 1 way to get a fat savings account is through cutting essential expenses (housing and transportation) instead of cutting discretionary spending. The reason for her claim has merit; it is easier to cut spending on housing and transportation because you only have to make one decision. Once you buy a house or a car, the decision is over, and you have already saved a large chunk of change by buying an older car or a modest house. On the other hand, if you want to save by cutting discretionary spending, you have to make daily decisions that cause decision fatigue. For example, if you eat out three times a week, and you want to save money by only eating out once a week, you have to make two decisions a week, eight decisions a month, one hundred four decisions a year, etc. Making these decisions is tough, and Catey believes that after a while, the person will fatigue and sway from their savings plan. Catey’s claim is intelligent, and it does have data to back it up. However, not every person wants to own a moderate house or an older car. Some people like to splurge their money on big houses and fast cars, so this strategy would not work for them. That is the beauty of America though. If you don’t want to strike it rich by saving, you can do it through investment, high-paying employment, entrepreneurship, hard work, etc. There is no best way to strike it rich; America has limitless ways. For Americans, the message is simple; find out how you want to live your life, and cater your wealth around the way you want to live. If you don’t want to cut expenses, then work harder, work more hours, develop a new product, invest in the stock market, etc. Every success story has a different beginning in America. What’s yours?


January

Why Americans repeatedly overlook this tax credit.

And yet, far too many taxpayers aren’t aware of the credit, according to a survey released this week. Some 44% possibly eligible for the credit — by making less than $40,000 a year — were not aware of it, according to a new survey from the tax preparation company Jackson Hewitt. More than half of the same group either said they did not qualify (20%) or didn’t know if they qualified (33%), according to the survey. 01.24.20

The Earned Income Tax Credit is designed to act as a cash infusion to low-income families. In fact, some experts have called it “one of the largest and most studied antipoverty programs in the United States.”

Avoid These 12 Deadly Sins

Want to improve your investment results? The deadly sins below are not only among the most serious financial transgressions, but also they’re among the most common. I firmly believe that, if you eradicate these 12 sins from your financial life, you’ll have a better-performing portfolio.

Vanguard's Mistake

Since its founding in 1975, Vanguard Group has been one of the most unique, yet highly regarded, investment advisors in the county. Its uniqueness stems from its legal status as a non-profit, meaning that all profits are returned to investors, not outside shareholders. However, Vanguard and its management have recently come under fire for their stance on FTT’s- financial transaction taxes. FTT’s are preventative measures in place to combat the use of speculate trading activity, a high-frequency trading tactic that can be harmful to markets. Recently, Vanguard has switched their stance on FTT’s, claiming that they bring more harm to the US stock market than good. However, this is inherently untrue. Hong Kong, the third-largest stock market in the world (and the freest market in the world according to the Conservative Heritage Foundation), relies heavily on FTT’s to regulate the amount of high-frequency trading. Ultimately, Vanguard’s shift in opinion should cause no panic in its investors for the time being. However, investors in Vanguard mutual funds (and investors in any mutual-fund giants) should pay close attention to the stances of their companies on financial issues such as FTT’s. Becoming, and continuing to be, a well-informed investor is a great way to ensure the success of your portfolio. 1.20.20

Oil Stocks are Cheap

After the US Killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, tensions between the two countries skyrocketed. The tensions caused by the killing caused a panic in the stock market, and as a result, many stocks dropped in the days following. The stocks have begun to recoup their losses as the fear of war slowly dissipates, but tensions still exist between the two countries, and fear still lives in today’s stock market. To combat the tension’s effect on oil prices and the stock market, it might be wise for investors to hedge the risk of Iran in their portfolios by investing in US Energy Stocks. For the past years, energy companies have been some of the worst performers in the S&P 500, but with the tensions in Iran and the rising prices of oil, these energy stocks are primed for a rebound. For investors, the conflict between the United States and Iran should be closely monitored; if tensions escalate and OPEC cuts oil supply, oil prices will rise and the affinity for energy stock will increase. Hedging portfolios with energy stock might not be the next Microsoft, but it could add value to your portfolio. 1.13.20