Category Archives: Investing

The Importance of Investing in Yourself

When most people hear the term “investing,” they generally think of stocks, bonds, or mutual funds. While each of the foregoing elements can be very profitable investments, the best investment that an individual will ever make is in themselves. How does that happen, though? How does someone go about investing in themselves? The preceding questions are very common, however, there are several ways of investing in oneself and the merits of such investments are well-documented.

You Become A Better Version of Yourself

At the end of the day, the ultimate merit of investing in yourself is becoming a better, stronger, and more intelligent version of who you already are. Regardless of one’s current accomplishments or achievements, there is always room for improvement. As the old sayings go, “you attract what you are,” “like attracts like.” Both of the aforesaid statements are more real than most people would like to admit. The reality is that each person attracts what they are in alignment with. Therefore, in order for one to attract the great opportunities, they themselves must be great.

Hence comes investing in oneself. The Huffington Post lists a variety of ways for each person to self-invest. Some of the best methods include reading books, tackling goals on a bucket list, maintaining good health, and setting goals. Each of these actions comes with its own merits and remains applicable in virtually any career or line of work. It is very important for each individual to understand that being the best in their professional endeavors entails investing in themselves at one point or another.

You Can Learn New Skills

Many people often wonder about the most beneficial methods of investing in themselves. Aside from reading, setting and achieving goals, and maintaining good health, investing in learning new skills is arguably one of the best self-investments. Mastered skills can virtually always be transformed into capital which then creates an additional income stream. Multiple streams of income are paramount to financial success; they can furthermore be saved, spent, or re-invested for the sake of capitalization.

Learning new skills is especially important as artificial intelligence and automation become more and more integrated into our daily lives. Many people are learning that their current professional positions will face succession from robots or other forms of artificial intelligence. It is, therefore, extremely important for each person to have the proper skill sets to still be able to support themselves even after artificial intelligence fully makes its integration into society.

A Final Word

Ultimately, the best and surest investment that you can ever make is into yourself. Stocks, bonds, cryptocurrency, mutual funds, etc are all dependent upon myriad factors. However, the decisions you make, the books you read, the quality of your health, and your learned skills will each contribute to your success or lack thereof. Any individual who is serious about doing well and going places in life will invest in themselves at one point or another.

You owe it to yourself to live your best life possible and invest in the only one who can make it happen: YOU!

Authored by Gabrielle Seunagal

Basic Money Handling Tips

The ability to handle money appropriately has never been more imperative. In this day and age, people who are aware of just the most basic ways to manage capital do significantly better than individuals with poor money management skills. The perks of managing capital appropriately are well documented. Any individual who is serious about his or her financial future would do well to learn some of the most basic, yet paramount money handling tips.

Don’t Spend Every Dime You Earn

Virtually everyone has heard someone say that they want to “make more money.” The desire to increase one’s earnings is universal, however, the manner in which one handles the extra capital is what truly makes the difference. Far too often, when someone’s earnings increase, so does their lifestyle. For instance, an individual who receives a raise from his or her boss may then feel the inclination to spend more money. In their mind, why shouldn’t they? They’re making more money and can afford to be less frugal, right? Wrong! Far too many people have this mindset and it hinders them from considerable financial growth.

As the old saying goes, “if you make a million and then spend a million, you’re still broke.” A person who is serious about handling money appropriately should first and foremost put more money aside towards savings or fruitful investments when they see an increase in their earnings. This is not to say that one can never upgrade their quality of life, however, it needs to be done in moderation and with steady progression. Anything more is a recipe for financial disaster.

Don’t Go Into Debt

Similarly to saving and investing capital, landing in debt is another one of the most common financial traps that many people fall into at one point or another. It is only human nature to desire nice things and enjoy a certain lifestyle, however, the finer amenities of life must be earned. This is a concept that many individuals fail to realize. The temptation to swipe one’s credit card repeatedly feels great until the bill comes due and the person can’t pay it. All of a sudden interest kicks in, on top of the original debt, and the cost of a $400 wallet is now $20,870.76 by the time it is completely paid off.

Debt and interest are the enemies of financial success and should be avoided at all costs. Those who wish to experience the best that life has to offer must do so by increasing their earnings in one way or another. There are many ways to create passive income streams, including driving for Lyft or Uber in one’s free time, renting out spare rooms on Airbnb, or doing freelance work on a site like Upwork. Regardless, debt should never be incurred. Persons who are already in debt should work to pay it off immediately.

A Final Word

While the list of money handling tips could go on indefinitely, not spending every earned dime and abstaining from debt are two of the most crucial methods of achieving financial success. Although the foregoing changes can be challenging at first, they ultimately depend upon one’s level of discipline, wisdom, and execution.

Authored by Gabrielle Seunagal

The Importance of Investing

In 2018, one of the most important steps that one can take towards financial success is investing. Not only does investing put one’s money to work, but it also allows the individual to grow his or her own money. Of course, poor investments usually engender lost funds, whereas wise, strategic investments grow one’s income. Some of the wealthiest people in the world invest in one form or another.

Knowing Where to Get Started

As noted by The Balance, many people who are new to the world of investing begin by placing capital in the stock market. There are many upsides to this course of action. First and foremost comes options and flexibility. There are many companies which sell shares of stock for various prices. Investors can purchase as few or as many shares as they please. Some individuals begin by purchasing smaller amounts of stock and gradually invest more capital once they establish levels of comfort and familiarity with the stock market. Of course, each person has their own investment strategy which hopefully works well for them.

Individuals can also invest in real estate, privately held businesses, publicly traded businesses, and more.

Benefits of Investing

F&C Investments notes the plethora of merits associated with making wise investments. First and foremost comes the probability of seeing a return on one’s capital. A person who wisely invests $10,000 could possibly earn $100,000 or more in a matter of years. However, risk is an inherent factor that comes along with investing in any entity, be it real estate, mutual funds, or stocks and bonds. While some people are able to turn a profit on their investments, there are others who lose every penny. Although there are no guarantees, the potential for growth is a considerable upside that all investors should be aware of and aspire to achieve.

Another benefit of investing is the creation of a new passive income stream. Passive income is economically defined as “earnings derived from a rental property, limited partnership or other enterprise in which a person is not actively involved.” The majority of people have at least one stream of non-passive income, however, non-passive income, alone, is simply not enough. Passive income is especially paramount for individuals who aspire to boost their net worth or simply increase their wealth and earnings. The majority of well-off individuals have at least one avenue of passive income.

A Final Word

While each individual can benefit from strategic and fruitful investments, they should first ensure that they are in a position to handle the risks that come along with investing. For instance, capital needed for important expenses such as rent, childcare, utilities, groceries, and bills should not be invested. Those who wish to invest but currently lack the funds to do so should gradually prepare themselves by putting a certain amount of money aside. As they work to acquire their desired amount of funds, the person at hand can take time to learn which entities they wish to invest in.

Authored by Gabrielle R. Seunagal

Signs That You Should Go Into Business For Yourself

In current times, more and more individuals are choosing to go into business for themselves in one form or another. However, self-employment is not for everyone. Despite the many upsides and benefits that come along with entrepreneurship, going into business for oneself for the wrong reasons can have horrific impacts. Individuals who feel ready to take the plunge into self-employment should first make sure that going into business is their best course of action.

You Are Comfortable With Risk

Risk is an inherent factor which comes along with pursuing entrepreneurship and going into business for oneself. Some people are comfortable with risk, while others prefer to remain in their comfort zones and have a safety net. Neither inclination is right or wrong and nobody deserves to be shamed for either taking risks or playing it safe.

However, circumstances change considerably when an individual is thinking of going into business for themselves. Anyone who wishes to pursue self-employment needs to be comfortable with risk. Working for oneself is a venture which requires hard work, persistence, overcoming learning curves, and so much more. Some people will make it as entrepreneurs and others won’t. Risk comes with the territory of self-employment; those who are adverse to risk are more likely to fare well in professional avenues outside of entrepreneurship.

You Are Passionate

In the world of self-employment, passion is equally as important as comfortability with risk. Passion is what drives people and keeps them motivated. As pointed out by The Balance, motivation is critical for entrepreneurs and others who are going into business for themselves. Individuals who are passionate about their business ventures are considerably more likely to put in the hard work even when it’s difficult and go the extra mile.

Passion furthermore serves as fuel against critics and naysayers. Virtually everyone who has chosen to go into business for themselves has faced skeptics who have doubted their abilities. Self-employment may be a rising trend in the workforce, however, there are still some people who view traditional employment as a more practical, feasible line of work. Nevertheless, individuals who are truly passionate about going into business for themselves will not be swayed by critics.

You Are Willing to Work Hard

Anyone who wishes to succeed in life has to work hard in one way or another. This especially applicable for individuals who have decided to go into business for themselves. Entrepreneurship requires grit, persistence, and determination to succeed. The aforementioned traits are truly important for people who are just starting off. There will be bumps in the road, challenges, setbacks, and difficulties, but this should never halt one’s work ethic or determination to grow their business.

A Final Word

As the popularity of self-employment increases, more and more people will have to decide whether or not going into business for themselves is something they wish to do. Automation and other forms of technology are rapidly changing the world of work from what we once knew it to be. Those who decide to take the plunge and pursue entrepreneurship should always remember that risk, passion, and an unbeatable work ethic will serve them well.

Avoiding Investment Scams

We have covered credit card fraud before on this blog, and in this article we return to a similar theme. According to the 2012 CSA Investor Index, 27% of Canadians believe that they have been targeted for investment fraud at some point during their lives. Worse still, 4.6% of Canadians believe that they have been the victim of investment fraud. Over half of those affected lost their entire investment, and most of the remainder lost over half. Seniors should be especially careful. Fraudsters love to target the elderly, hoping to find easily-confused seniors with big, juicy retirement funds. With the help of these tips, they will find well-informed, appropriately suspicious investors instead.

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Don’t let yourself be rushed. Scammers love to use “limited-time offers” or hot deals that will go away forever if you don’t act now. They want you to act before you can think, and especially before you can research their credentials. Often, fraudsters will claim to have secret information that will make you a lot of money if you can exploit it before it becomes public knowledge. Reputable advisors will give you a chance to think over an investment opportunity.

Ask questions. Fraudsters try to target the uninformed and avoid savvy investors: the rate of return from pitching to the well-informed just isn’t worth it. Asking questions can be enough on its own to make a fraudster back off. In particular, ask for the investment prospectus. If there isn’t one, don’t invest. If you don’t understand the product, don’t sign anything. Reputable advisors will be happy to talk you through an investment.

Check credentials. Fraudsters will look and sound convincing. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t make money. Before investing with any advisor, do a background check. CSA/ACVM provides free online tools for checking your advisor’s credentials. You can also see if they have ever been disciplined by an industry body or a provincial securities commission. Needless to say, any disciplinary history that isn’t as pure as the driven snow is a red flag. Ideally, you should only work with an advisor who is a member of a self-regulatory organisation within the industry, like the MFDA or IIROC. Check the credentials of the investment product itself, too. Products that aren’t scams are usually registered with a provincial securities commission. To find out if this one is, call your securities commission and see if they have ever heard of it.

Beware of high guaranteed returns. Unfortunately, it is difficult to get a high return on your investments. A boring but safe savings account is likely to have an interest rate of about 1%. There are plenty of perfectly legitimate investments out there with a higher return, but they tend to carry a correspondingly higher level of risk. An ordinary, diversified investment portfolio might carry an annual return of, say, 5%, and some of the investments will be calculated risks. A guaranteed rate of return of 10%, then, is almost certainly a scam.

Just because your friend made money, doesn’t mean you will. See above: a high guaranteed return is a gigantic red flag. According to the CSA Investor Index referenced earlier, 12% of fraud attempts are affinity frauds: the target is introduced to the fraudster by a friend or relative. Furthermore, some common investment frauds like the Ponzi Scheme really do pay out to some of the early investors. Your friend might have made a whole pile of money, but that doesn’t mean that you aren’t being played. Pay attention for the other warning signs listed here.

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Report your suspicions. The more fraudsters that end up in jail, the rarer investment fraud will become. If you believe that you have been targeted by an investment fraudster, report it! Fraud reporting systems vary from province to province, but a good place to start is your province’s Securities Commission. You should also contact your local police department or the RCMP.