How Are You Going To Save Money In These Uncertain Times?

 Don’t be hesitant to break personal finance rules if the times call for it. When the economy and employment are stable, it’s natural to budget accordingly and abide by long honored financial traditions. Likewise, when things go haywire, as they have this year, your personal finance rules may have to go out the window, too.

 The financial impact of the pandemic has changed the way that people think about money. Many folks whose personal spending habits might have included a $5 cup of coffee every morning are now thinking twice and saving that $5 every day of the month. Financial experts have been keen to offer up their advice on reducing spending as well. You don’t have to be an expert, though, to follow these few simple ideas on how to keep more cash in your pocket during the pandemic.

 Analyze 

Analyzing your personal spending habits is the gateway to making them healthier. Just like a doctor has to analyze the symptoms of a disease in order to diagnose it and treat it, you’ve got to analyze your spending habits in order to change them in a way that’s going to be healthier. There are many software programs that will help you track your spending habits and then quickly detect ways you can save money through a 12 month period. Just the thought alone that you want to spend money more wisely is a good start. Think about all the things you spend money on. Which things can you live with? Which ones could you live without?

 The Expense of Online Life

 How much does your online life cost you? The answer for some will be, “Nothing,” while the answer for many millions of people will be, “More than I ever imagined.” Online subscriptions are seemingly bite-sized little bills that save you money on media like movies, music, and books. However, when you add up all of those online subscriptions, it can quickly rack up a total of hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Are there any of these subscriptions you could live without for 12 months?

 Debts

 Interest is a great word if you’re talking about something that fascinates you, but in the world of personal finance, interest is an unpleasant word. It means all that money you pay in addition to the product you actually received. If you finance anything, or have credit cards, you know exactly what interest is. Interest is the closest thing you’ll ever find to an instance of money evaporating in thin air. You’re paying money for nothing. If you want to lower your interest this year, it’s time to think about refinancing or consolidating debts. You’ll be shocked at how much money you can save just by adjusting interest rates on some of your credit cards, loans, and other payments. 

Insurance

 Insurance is another one of those tricky products that doesn’t actually get you much of anything unless something terrible happens. For example, car insurance is an annual expense for hundreds of millions of people who won’t ever actually need a dime from the insurance company. Getting a better car insurance rate alone can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars a year. And while car insurance will always be a necessary expense, it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming one. Shop for better car insurance rates a couple of times a year. When you find them, it will free up more money in your budget. Car insurance comparison tools are a great place to start out if you want to lower insurance premiums.

 Cash Back 

Using cash back apps might not instantly make you rich, or even give you much more than a few hundred dollars a year, but when you consider that you’re shopping anyway, why not get every dime you can out of it? Let’s say you plan to buy a $300 set of headphones this year. You use an app to do it and get a sweet $10 back out of that purchase. Reward programs with online and offline retailers is another great way to make money just from the fact that you’re spending cash. It puts more money in your pocket for doing something you would have done anyway. You’ll find an abundance of cash back apps to help you start your journey.

 These five simple ways to reduce spending this year won’t make you rich, but they will give you a sense of responsibility and satisfaction that you’ve done all you could to prepare for the future in this uncertain era.

Your Guide to Understanding a Golden Investment

Gold is one of those prized metals that have been used to preserve wealth for centuries. They help diversify your investment portfolio and protect the hard-earned assets against the fluctuations in the global economy.

Creating a stable financial future involves buying investment grade gold coins or gold bullions here. You will enjoy the touch, feel, and security of gold, in comparison to other intangible investment options.

Gold as an Investment

If you are anxious about the recent economic crisis, then owning gold can become your insurance investment. This tangible asset gives firm control over your finances, regardless of the economic conditions. Below are some forms of gold to buy:

Gold Coins

Uncirculated gold coins are a popular choice for buyers and are minted by several countries across the world. But remember, their meltdown value may far exceed the face value. Even collectible coins have higher market values than their face value. These rising values are dependent on the rarity of the coins and, nevertheless, make them highly attractive to the buyers.

Newly minted coins can be obtained easily with government mints guaranteeing their purity. Some popular choices include the Canadian Maple Leaf, the American Eagle, Australian Kangaroo, and the US Mint K Gold Buffalo. A few of these coins are offered in different sizes that make them attractive to both small and large investors.

Bars or Bullions

Contrary to the popular belief that holds bullion as large bars held in secure locations, bullion implies the fineness and stamped weight of the gold. It can appear round like a coin, bars, or any practically sized shape that is tradable. Your bullion’s price typically includes the costs of refining, shipping, metal costs, and the dealer’s premium. If you are looking for a large investment, consider buying heavy bars here. You will be saving on the add-on costs, and they can be stored at insured facilities as well.

The Next Steps

Now that you are ready to buy gold, below are the steps to follow next:

Choose Only Pure Gold

The gold bars should be at least 99.5% pure, to make for a worthy investment. The remaining percentage includes alloys like copper or silver for smelting purposes. Check if your gold bullion displays the manufacturer’s name, its purity, and weight on the face.

Understand the Gold’s Pricing

Gold prices are continually varying, and its current rates are termed as the spot price. Several factors influence the spot price – the central bank, war, demand, and average transaction size. Typically, you will be buying gold at a certain percentage above the spot price and selling it at precisely the spot price. It is common for dealers to claim that gold coins are worth more than just the metal and charge a premium. This is hard to avoid, and so be wary of those giving you a too good offer.

Find the Right Dealer

Research on the reputed dealers by considering the following attributes:

  • Price: Consider those dealer websites that offer a fair price for your gold. Check the spot price and inspect what the dealer is charging above this rate.
  • Reputation: Buying gold online can be risk-free if you purchase from a reputed dealer. Read customer reviews or check any government’s listing of reputable gold dealers for this purpose.
  • Buyback Policies: It is crucial to understand the buyback policy of a dealer. While some may not charge any additional fee on buyback, others may charge a premium. If possible, get the dealer’s policy in writing and store it for future reference.

Irrespective of whether your aim is long term investment or possessing a quick-selling tangible product, gold fits all your requirements. Gold rates have always been on the rise, making it imperative for you to buy gold right away here. However, take time to understand the gold trade’s nuances to make your investment worthy and safe.

Expectations vs Reality of Disability Insurance

The idea behind Disability Insurance sounds great. You are insuring that in the event you are unable to work, then you will be covered from an income perspective. This seems great for families whose survival relies on the income of one family member especially. An unexpected event could wreak havoc on a family. However, sometimes things sound better than they seem.

Expectation: I pay my premium for disability insurance and I will get the benefits.

Reality: You are not entitled to the benefits of your plan

It is true that you will pay your premium into a program, but unfortunately that doesn’t mean that if you get hurt or become disabled that you will be entitled to the benefits. Each plan has terms that need to be met to receive the benefits. Say you were to get hurt, your policy may not deem that injury a disability and therefore not be covered. You need to be conscious of this when entering into a contract to know what exactly you are covered for. What is the plan’s definition of a disability? A physician will need to be involved and proper diagnosis and plan will need to be determined prior to a claim. Insurance companies make money by not paying claims. They have people who are risk assessors to make sure they are not taking on risky clients. They can not be depended on to actually payout claims.

Expectation: With Disability Insurance, you get paid even though you are too disable to work.

Reality: You only get a portion of what you make.

Being on disability doesn’t mean you can make what you normally make while being disabled. You only receive a portion or percentage of your typical earnings. A typical number would be about 60% of pay. Plans can also take other sources of income into play which would reduce your payout even more. Companies and the government do everything in their power to detect fraud so it is important to know that you can be (and often are) caught.


All of this just means that you need to make sure you find the right fit and have the right expectations for you and your family when it comes to disability insurance. 

Top Software Picks for Day Trading

Day trading is the process of building and selling stocks within a 24 hour window. It’s a popular option for those looking to earn profit daily, and below we’ll discuss pros and cons of the web’s top platforms. 

TD Ameritrade

This platform offers a $0 minimal, free tools, and no commissions. The platform is great for both beginner and senior traders as well, as there is a huge selection of online stock options and mutual funds. There’s also a great customer support system in place. 

Interactive Brokers

Interactive brokers is a great platform for active users as there’s low per-share pricing and low margin rates. The platform boasts a large investment selection and over 4.300 no transaction fee mutual funds, but users cite a difficult website and inactivity fees as cons to consider. 

ETRADE

ETRADE also boasts $0 commissions and is a great option for beginner users, as they have a huge library of educational resources. While the website can be difficult to get the hang of, benefits of ETRADE include a large investment selection, an advanced mobile app, and a large selection of investments to browse.

Charles Schwab

This platform is a great option for both new and advanced users, as there is high-quality research available as well as a large amount of no transaction fee mutual funds. The platform also offers commission-free stock, options and ETF trades. 

Firstrade

This is the best option for users who are just starting out. Commission-free trades, free trades on all mutual funds, and a huge library of educational resources make this a great option. Better yet, the platform hosts biweekly seminars to help beginners get the ropes. 

Ally Invest

This is a great platform for active traders looking for a great low cost broker. There is a $0 account minimum and 0 commissions, as well as a large library of educational resources. Cons, however, include no branches and no no-transaction-fee mutual funds. 

Day trading allows you to avoid overnight risk and provide you with better leverage. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced user, one of these day trading platforms will be a great fit for you. 

Skylar Hammond is a writer for True Trader who specializes in topics such as stock trading, personal finance, and forex. He focuses on helping beginners and experts alike learn more about the market and improve their trading skills.

Forex trading in Jordan: What’s your trading personality?

There are many ways to trade forex, and each one requires a different approach. Attitude and personality matter when selecting the one that works best for you.

Whether it’s the sprint of day trading or the endurance race of position trading, choosing the one that fits your personal style will improve your chances of success.

Forex traders tend to fall into six personality types:

  1. Scalpers
  2. Swing traders
  3. Day traders
  4. Event-driven traders
  5. Algorithmic traders
  6. Position traders

Let’s delve into the character traits that make each one unique, and consider the FX trading approaches that suit them.

1. Scalpers

Scalpers are short-term traders who open and hold positions for on timelines ranging from a few minutes to a few seconds.  To be a scalper means building a strategy that rests on frequent trading throughout the day. These traders look to secure a high number of small gains by trading intensively at the most liquid (e.g. the busiest) periods of market activity.

With scalpers, it’s a case of ‘life in the fast lane’. They like the challenges posed by a rapidly shifting trading environment, where they have to absorb new information and react quickly as the market changes. This trading personality tends to be observant, intuitive, reactive, and quick-witted – but laser-focused under pressure.

2. Swing Traders

At a different point on the spectrum are swing traders. They tend to hold onto positions for anywhere from a full day to a few weeks. While the timescale can still be brief, swing traders tend to make decisions based on technical analysis rather than fundamentals, though obviously, they will be watching for the kinds of news events and announcements that can trigger currency volatility.

The typical swing trader will be less inclined to adopt the frenetic pace that marks scalpers (and, as we’ll find out next, day traders), so having a high comfort level with stress and intense concentration isn’t really required. Swing trading does demand an eye for detail, particularly when it comes to analysing charts.

3. Day Traders

Like scalpers, day traders look to execute numerous trades across the intraday timeframe. The day trader’s daily routine probably isn’t quite so edge-of-your-seat as a scalper’s, though to avoid holding anything overnight they will close all positions before the trading day ends. By doing that they reduce their exposure to negative news that can hit prices before or after the market opens or closes.

To find success as a day trader, you have to be tolerant and ready to adapt to rapid price changes and be comfortable using the techniques like ‘fading the gap’ that underpin this approach to currency trading.

4. Event-driven Traders

These traders make their decisions based on fundamental analysis rather than poring over technical charts and seeking the appropriate signals and correlations. An event-driven trader will try to benefit from the dips and spikes triggered by economic news and geopolitical events. These can include announcements from trusted sources related to data points like non-farm payrolls, job vacancies vs unemployment, gross domestic product (GDP), business purchasing (PMI), and elections.

Event-driven trading will be a good fit for people who take a daily interest in world and national news, and who will do the extra work to understand how these kinds of events can have a direct influence on relative currency prices. In terms of personality traits, they tend to be curious, inquisitive, and future-focused. They demonstrate a lot of skill in finding and processing new information and using it to predict how national, local, and global events may play out.

5. Algorithmic Traders

Algorithmic traders are the tech geeks of the FX world. Instead of instinct or fundamentals,  they use advanced software with AI capability to identify opportunities and place trades at the best potential for gains. In some cases, they will use software with defined instructions around stops and limits or use high-frequency trading algorithms. They might have the skills to code the programs themselves or be willing to invest in existing forex trading solutions.

Algorithmic trading tends to fit traders who have a high comfort level with technology and feel confident about its ability to read forex markets and surface opportunities. Because of the reliance on data, algorithmic traders will typically use technical analysis as part of their overall approach – something made easier by some of the leading software solutions.

6. Position Traders

At the far end of the timescale continuum are position traders, who hang onto their trades for more extended periods, from weeks to months and even years. As the longest-holding trading style, position traders spend less time looking at the short-term price fluctuations of a given pair. They prefer to trade against the performance of an asset over a long-term timescale.

If you think adopting a position trader approach could work for you, be aware that it requires patience and a long-term view. Your funds may need to sit for lengthy periods. You’ll need to have a high tolerance for delayed gratification, alongside an in-depth knowledge of fundamentals. Advanced analytical skills are an absolute must if you’re going to succeed as a position trader.


Conclusion

So there you have it. There’s no reason why the trading approach you adopt today needs to be the approach you use in a week’s or a year’s time. Especially when you’re first starting out, it makes sense to try different permutations and find the mix of techniques that suits you best.  Traders in Jordan have been using Jordan forex demo accounts to hone their skills, and our data suggests that this is working for them, as it is in many other countries we looked at.

Maybe today you feel like a scalper, ready to handle the stress of short-term price action. Perhaps you want to leave time for other trading pursuits, so position trading is the most attractive option. It might be that letting software drive your trading strategy gives you the confidence you need to maximise opportunities and de-risk your positions.

Whatever your style or approach, there’s room in forex to experiment, grow and develop. Sign up for a demo account with a leading broker and test your skills in the manner that suits your current needs.

Common Credit Card Myths that Aren’t True

There are so many myths out there, about credit. Some of them are true and some are not true at all. If you want to find out more about them then simply take a look below.

Image Source: Pexels.com

Viewing your Credit will Lower your Score   

So many people believe that if they check their score, they will lower it. This is not the case at all. Your score will not be affected when you check your score, and it doesn’t even matter what sites you use either. When you apply for a loan and your creditor happens to check your score, this does however affect your credit. 10% of your score is actually determined by new credit changes, whether it is a newly opened account or the amount of hard checks you have had done in the last year or so.  Enquiries will stay on your record for two years, but just the ones that you have applied for in the last year will show up on your score. There isn’t a set amount that your score will drop when a hard check is made, but usually one or two checks won’t come into account at all. If you are concerned about your score then check out these no credit check installment loans.

Your Debt to Income Ratio will Impact your Score

Your debt to income ratio will not affect your score at all. Your debt will include your credit card payments, your mortgage and even your car payments. The credit bureaus do not have access to any kind of income you have and the DTI ratio will only be used by mortgage lenders. They will use this to determine what kind of mortgage you could get. You should also keep an eye on your credit utilisation as well. This ratio is the amount of credit you have. Your credit card debt will be compared to your credit limit, and this will affect your score.

The More Debt You Have, the Lower your Score will Be

Not all debt is equal. If you have a mortgage which is $300,000 then this is good debt. A home is a very good investment. If you have $10,000 credit card debt then this will be bad debt however. It’s important to know that the amount of credit card debt that you have will impact your score in a huge way. Keep your balances below 15% on your credit card if you want to maintain a high score. It’s better to have several credit cards which are not well utilised when compared to having a single credit card that you use most of the limit on. This may sound strange, but it is most certainly true.

Paying Off Collections Raises Your Score

When you pay a collection account and when this is reported on your score, your score will take a hit. If you pay off the account or if you settle it then the negative account won’t be deleted however. A collection is still a collection, whether you have paid it or not. Unless you have it removed from your account, it will continue to bring your score down. 

Going Green with your Business? Here are the Benefits

Going green with your business can be a daunting task for any entrepreneur. You may be unsure of where to even start or you may be worried about the initial expense of investing in energy-efficient processes. Luckily it has never been easier to implement cost-effective measures while also gaining tons of benefits. If you are interested to know what these benefits are, then take a look below to find out more.

Reducing Overheads

Becoming eco-friendly is one of the best ways to reduce your overheads. You can do this by going paperless. There are many digital storage solutions that can help you here, by allowing you to save any documents you may need to the cloud, eliminating the need for keeping hard copies, buying printer ink, paper and other related expenses. You could also invest in solar panels. This may seem expensive, but it may be possible for you to take out a loan which would eventually be paid for by the energy savings you would ultimately make. See what the experts of bestpersonalloans.com say if you want to find out more about the subject. To make even more savings to your business’ energy bill, you could also replace all of your light bulbs with LED alternatives. This, when combined with opening any windows or blinds during the day will make your offices way brighter and the addition of natural light will benefit your employees far more than you realise.

Improve How Customers See Your Brand

People are now more concerned than ever about the environment. What better way is there to show your customers and community that you care, than to do everything you can to make sure your business is as environmentally friendly as possible? Customers are more likely to use a service that shares similar values, over one that is just focused on money and profit, even if it is slightly more expensive to do so.

Encourage Teamwork

It is always a good idea to get your employees involved with green initiatives where possible. Doing so can drastically improve communication within your company. You may find that team members from completely different departments now have a reason to talk with one another because they are working towards a common goal. Offering incentives to employees that are willing to carpool is also a great way to cut down on Co2 emissions as well as building friendships in the workplace.

Tax Savings

Did you know that by being green it is also possible for you to save on your taxes? Many governments offer savings and schemes to those that can demonstrate that they are operating a more efficient business and producing less damaging waste. If you want to find out more about this, look up what schemes are available in your local area.

So, as you can see, the benefits of becoming an energy-efficient business are endless. By implementing some of the methods above you will soon find that not only will you be helping the environment, but the financial savings you can make are a game-changer for any entrepreneur.