Tag Archives: investing

Comparing & Contrasting a Roth IRA vs. 401K

At some point, many individuals will become serious about saving money and putting aside funds for retirement. This often, in turn, prompts the opening of various retirement savings accounts. At this point, Roth IRAs and 401Ks are some of the most popular options. However, these two accounts are not the same, by any means, and should not be treated as such.

Some people are better suited for 401Ks while others do exceptionally well with putting money into a Roth IRA. Nevertheless, a critical and thorough understanding of the differences and features of the aforementioned accounts is absolutely paramount.

An Overview

One of the greatest distinctions between Roth IRAs and 401Ks is the functionalities of the two accounts. Investopedia explains that while Roth IRAs are started between an investment firm and the people which come to them, 401Ks are plans where workers permit their employers to put a percentage of their pay into the account. Each individual has their own ideas of which retirement savings account is best for them. Both Roth IRAs and 401Ks each come with their own upsides, guidelines, and stipulations.

The Benefits

Both Roth IRAs and 401Ks come with their own benefits which are designed to appeal to prospective customers. The Simple Dollar lists the following benefits which are associated with Roth IRA accounts:

  • Future tax-free withdrawals
  • Ability to withdraw contributions without facing penalties
  • Ability to select desired brokerage firm and choices pertaining to investments

401K retirement savings accounts also come with their own unique upsides, which read as follows:

  • Potential annual tax savings
  • Opportunities for monetary employer match
  • Options to set up automatic deposits
  • Gradual increase on allowed contributions

Which One is Best For You?

Ultimately, each individual will have to decide which retirement savings account is best for them. Believe it or not, choosing whether or not to set up a Roth IRA or 401K does not have to be an “either/or” decision. There are some people who have both accounts and others who employ alternative means to save money and invest in their retirement.

However, for individuals who are interested in setting up one (or both) of the aforementioned accounts, Fidelity has some helpful hints and advice:

  • 401Ks may prove to be slightly more beneficial for long-term savings.
  • Roth IRA accounts are usually better for individuals who see tax increases in their future.
  • People who wish to diversify funds put aside for retirement may find that setting up a 401K and Roth IRA accounts is advantageous.

 

Authored by Gabrielle Seunagal

How to Become an Angel Investor

Angel investors are usually wealthy individuals who invest in startup companies and entrepreneurs. The aforementioned investments usually come with the expectation that the “angel” will receive his or her money back (and then some) as the company takes off. In some cases, the investments occur simply one time; in other situations, the “angel” may make repeated investments.

Investing is one of the most common ways for people to capitalize upon their wealth, thus earning more of it. However, there are usually certain stipulations and requirements for individuals who wish to become angel investors.

Secure the Proper Resources

Contrary to popular belief, becoming an angel investor is more complex than simply throwing large sums of money at businesses which are likely to succeed later on down the line. According to Investopedia, angel investors are required to have a net worth of at least one million dollars, notable assets, a minimal yearly income of $200,000, considerable, professional investing experience, and liberal amounts of time.

Another critical skill for angel investors is good judgment. Many entrepreneurs have ideas and ambitions, but a plan for execution is paramount. Learning about the background, vision, experience, and finances of the company founders will provide insight into whether or not an angel investor can expect to yield profit from their initial investment.

Be Willing to Take Calculated Risks

Approximately 50% of startup companies go out of business within the first few years of their inception. For this reason, angel investors should carefully consider which enterprises they want to put their money into. Moreover, “angels” should not invest money which they need for other purposes, such as retirement, savings, etc.

Patience is yet another virtue for any successful angel investor. In many cases, it takes years for angel investors to see a return on the funds they put into certain companies. Hence, individuals who expect to see immediate gains and profits should steer clear of angel investing.

A Final Word

One of the most critical things to remember about angel investing is the fact that there are no guarantees. While one “angel” puts hundreds of thousands of dollars into a company and regains millions over time, another “angel” could invest just as much money only to lose it all to an enterprise which ultimately fails. At the end of the day, this form of investing all comes down to evaluating the business and ultimately deciding whether or not making a particular investment is worth the capital.

 

Authored by Gabrielle Renee Seunagal

How to Understand the Stock Market

There are many individuals who aspire to do well for themselves by investing in the stock market. However, making the right investments at the proper time is often easier said than done. Stocks and shares can be quite nuanced on many levels. People want to invest and create a new stream of passive income, but without the right knowledge, they are more hesitant to do so. The majority of the masses want to know and understand where their money is going, as they should.

Thankfully, there is some information out there regarding the stock market. Some of the best intel actually reads as follows:

Know the Basics

First and foremost, individuals who purchase stock shares are purchasing pieces of the particular company. Investopedia explains that stocks can rise and fall depending upon sales and overall market perceptions. This can be somewhat of a conundrum, especially for people who are looking to invest in stocks which they know will generate profit.

Most investors typically purchase stocks from companies which they believe will garner revenue or otherwise increase in value as time passes. Sometimes they’re right and other times, they’re wrong. Some of the savviest individuals consult with financial advisors prior to making major investments.

Select the Proper Brokerage Firm

Selecting the right brokerage firm is a critical part of investing. Using the aforementioned brokerage firm, the investor will then open up a brokerage account, explains The Balance. After setting up their brokerage account, investors can then deposit funds via their checkings or savings accounts. Once that cash has been transferred into the brokerage, the person can decide which stocks they wish to invest in.

Brokerage accounts can typically hold a variety of investments which include stocks, bonds, REITs, ETFs, MLPs, mutual funds, money markets, and certificates of deposit.

Know When to Buy and Sell

In regards to understanding the stock market, timing is everything. In other words, knowing when to buy and sell stocks is critical for investors who aspire to earn profit. City Falon explains that the relationship between buying and selling stock shares is somewhat intertwined; the best time to purchase stock is when others are thinking of selling. Conversely, the best time to sell stock shares is when other people are thinking of buying. This is also commonly referred to as buying low and selling high.

A Final Word

Successful stock market investments certainly require a fundamental understanding of the market, knowledge of which stock shares to purchase, and a degree of intuition regarding the proper times to buy and sell. Doing research, watching videos, and even consulting financial experts prior to making investments is strongly advisable, especially for first-time investors or other individuals who are not particularly familiar with the ins and outs of the market.

 

Authored by Gabrielle Seunagal

Financial Advice for Wealthy People

Wealth (officially defined as the abundance of valuable resources) can be earned and/or inherited. However, regardless of how one manages to secure wealth, if they neglect proper management and maintenance, the money is unlikely to last for very long. There are countless horror stories of people running through large sums of money in relatively brief time periods because they misused their resources and failed to maintain healthy income streams.

An art to money exists; there’s an art to earning wealth and an art to maintaining wealth. The implementation of various financial strategies moreover ensures that the production of valuable resources overpowers the consumption of valuable resources. This, in and of itself, is paramount knowledge for individuals who wish to maintain the wealth they’ve inherited or worked hard for.

Invest, Invest, Invest

According to Investopedia, some of the best investment options for wealthy people include stocks, bonds, and commercial real estate. Generally, stock market investments are considered to be riskier, due to the somewhat 50/50 odds of gaining or losing money. However, there are different strategies which people have to predict certain trends in the stock market and the wisdom in certain investments. Bonds are somewhat similar to stocks, but like the former, with the proper judgment calls, this form of investing can be quite lucrative and beneficial.

Commerical real estate investments come with many options. For instance, by purchasing various blocks of homes, the investor can then rent out rooms or apartments. Over time, the income from tenants will more than pay for the original price of the blocks. This is also a form of passive income, which is also critical for building and maintaining wealth.

Maintain Multiple Streams of Income

Hanson McClain affirms the importance of multiple income streams. By maintaining multiple streams of revenue, wealth is not only preserved, but also increased. No matter how much money someone has, there are still certain guaranteed expenses, such as the cost of living, bills, etc. Truly wealthy individuals have enough money to stop working and still live comfortably; yet, in a somewhat converse paradox, people with the foregoing levels of wealth usually continue working, or at the very least, they have passive streams of income which allow them to continue making money without trading time for profit.

Put Aside (at Least) 20% of Your Earnings

CNBC advises wealthy people to put aside at least 20% of earnings. Saving is always an excellent financial habit, regardless of one’s economic status, yet it is truly critical for wealthy people. Having an increasing amount of funds put aside in the event of emergencies or other unforeseen occurrences is always important.

Saving money furthermore promotes discipline and helps to counteract the temptation to spend, spend, spend. Remember: as one’s net worth, assets, opportunities, and bank accounts flourish, their savings should be following suit. Many wealthy people also have money in multiple places: savings accounts, on-hand cash in safe boxes, etc.

Nine times out of ten, having money stashed and saved in more than one location is advisable.

Authored by Gabrielle Seunagal

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