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AndrewWBradley.ca Financial Services Blog

22
Jul
2015
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Great entrepreneurs are ALWAYS looking for ways to grow their business. They trust their company, trust their customers to come through for them, and realize that a financial crunch offers advantages that aren't available during better economic times. 1. Get More For Your Advertising Bucks When the economy makes a turn for the worse, it just makes sense that your advertising will give less of a return than during and economic boon. Sure there's a lot less money being spent, but you don't have to have to watch your profit margin plummet! Think about it... advertisers are feeling the recession just as much as you are, and are more desperate for clients. It's the perfect atmosphere to negotiate your way to lower costs - even if you are already getting a good price. Every advertising penny you can save, is that much more profit you'll earn on the products. Have you thought about getting free publicity? Local newspapers are always looking for something of local interest. Make the news! Publicity is free, but a wonderful way to get your business in front of potential clients. 2. Take Advantage Of Big Ticket Sales Not all of your customers suffer during recession. Remember that there are always people who are thriving financially, so don't be afraid to make big ticket sales offers. Additionally, when money is tight, people who place a lot of stock in your product will value it even more. Think about ways to create products similar to yours, but with much higher prices. Internet marketers often create members only sites and sell their products at much higher prices. Hey, they'll obviously make fewer sales, but the people who really value the product will buy. Each sale will net an immensely higher profit. Think about it like this... even though the sales are fewer, the actual profit may be even greater than when it was sold at a lower price. 3. Maximize The Customers You Have Your customers already know that you have great products and provide satisfactory service. They trust you to come through for them. Think about it... it's much easier to make sales to someone you already have a relationship with. Use every opportunity to increase your sales volume within the customer audience you already have. Do you have a product that goes with the one they are purchasing? Offer it to them at the register. It's a proven and effective method for increasing sales. You may be shocked at the additional sales you can generate from those who are already buying from you. AndrewWBradley.ca

18
Jul
2015

This is the most frequent question that most stock/options traders may have in their minds. Stocks price changes due to market forces, i.e. buying and selling of the available stocks in the market. The following are the factors that affect or even predict the buying or selling of stock that ultimately affects stock prices of companies. · Market sentiment. The price of the stock of a company is affected most of the time by the general market direction during a session. In a bull market, the stock price of most companies will rise and in a bear market the stock price of most companies will fall. One can gauge the market sentiment by looking at stock indexes or its future price movement. The stock indexes are S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Index, Nasdaq (USA), ASX100, ASX (Australia), Nikkei 225 (Japan), Euronext 100, Euronext 150 (Europe Union), DAX, TECDAX (Germany), FTSE 100, FTSE All Shares, FTSE Techmark (United Kingdom. · The performance of the industry. The performance of the sector or industry that the company is in also plays in part in determining the stock price of the company. Most of the times, the stock price of the companies in the same industry will move in tandem with each other. This is because market conditions will generally affects the companies in the same industry the same way. Of course, there are exceptions to this. Sometimes, the stock price of a company will benefit from a piece of bad news in its competitor if the companies are competing for the same target market. · The earning results and earning guidance. The main objective of a company is to make profit. Therefore, investors and traders always assess a company based on its Earning Per Share (bottom line) and Revenue (top line) and its future earning potential. In US, companies generally report the earnings results every quarter-yearly. A company that achieves good earning results (EPS and Revenue) expects a boost in its share price and one that delivers poor earning result shall see a beating in its share price. Sometimes, besides reporting the EPS and Revenue for the past quarter, a company may also issue guidance (expected value) for the EPS and Revenue in coming quarter or coming years. This is also closely monitored by investors and is an important factor that will affect the company stock price. · Take-over or merger. In general, a company being taken-over is anticipated to get a stock price boost and the company taking over another company shall experience a drop in its share price. This is assuming that the company is being taken over at a premium, meaning it is being bought over at a higher price than its last traded stock price. Depends on the agreed term, a company can be bought over by cash or stock (of the acquirer) or a combination of the two. In some minority cases, the stock price of the acquirer may get a boost if it is perceived that the acquisition shall contribute to its earning or revenue in the near future. · New product introduction to markets or introduction of an existing product to new markets. The introduction of new product to market is seen as a revenue enhancer for a company. This also applies to an existing product that breaks into new markets. Sometimes, the prospect of a new product introduction suffices to improve the stock price of a company, this is often observed in surges in stock prices of pharmaceuticals companies after the announcement of successful clinical trials, or FDA approvals for new drugs. · New major contracts or major Government Orders. A company that is able to obtain new major contracts or major government order is expected to see a bull run in its stock price. Those companies that fail in the contract bidding normally experience the fate of sell-off in its stocks. · Share buy-back. The act of share buy-back by a company will reduce the number of share available in the open market. Due to the law of supply and demand, a reduction in share available for trading in this case will cause a drop in supply, this will normally help increase the share price. Also, the continuing buying back of share of a company will also acts as a support for the share price that helps to maintain or increase the share price. The investors may also see the share buy-back by company as a confidence booster for them in the company itself. Therefore, share buy-back is quite often used as a tool to deliver value to the investors. · Dividend. After the announcement of a dividend. The stock price may increase by an amount close to the dividend per share value. However, the stock price may drop on the ex-dividend date by the dividend per share amount. This is because anyone buying a stock on or after the ex-dividend date are not entitled to the corresponding dividend payment. · Stock splits. Stock split in theory, should not have an impact to the stock price. However, it is generally observed that the stock price increases (after taking into account the increase in the number of share) after a stock split. Some attributed to the better affordability of the stock after stock split, some attributed this to the perception of cheap stock due to the lower stock price after the stock split. Some however believes that stock split has no real impact on the stock price (effective stock price, taking into account the change in number of shares), as the stock price will increase regardless of stock split. · Insider trading. Insiders include CEO, COO, CFO, Chairman, board directors etc, who has first hand information about the operations and the financial status of a company. Therefore, the buying or selling of stocks by these insiders may herald some good or bad news about the company. This is being watched closely by savvy stock investors/traders. However, do be aware that due to compensation package that comes in the form of stock or stock options, the insiders may sell their stocks/stock options to cash-in their compensation benefits. So in this case, it may not signal anything significant about the company. A savvy investor should know how to observe and filter out this piece of information from your investment or trading decisions. · Investment Gurus / Hedge Funds trading. The investment decision of highly revered investment gurus like Warren Buffett, George Soros, Carl Icahn are closely monitored by investors and therefore will move the market. Hedge fund stock buying and selling are another source of information regarding the flow of "smart money". · Analyst upgrade / downgrades. Analyst upgrade and downgrade to a stock may have positive or negative impact to the stock prices. However, one needs to be wary of the fact that quite often analysts' upgrades or downgrades happen "after" some important news about a company. For example following a extremely disappointing earning result, many analysts will likely to downgrade the company stock. So, it is very likely that by then the stock price of that company has already priced-in the poor earning result, and analyst downgrade may not have further impact to the stock price. · Addition/Removal to/from Stock Index. Stock Index Fund are those funds that invest in those company stocks that are included in a particular stock index (e.g. S&P 500, Nasdaq-100, Dow Jones U.S. Large Cap etc.) . Therefore, an inclusion of a company stock to a stock index will generate buying interest in the stock for these stock index fund managers. The stock index fund managers will dispose of the stock that has been removed from the stock index. · Others. These include news about new technology, patent approval, war, natural disaster, product recalls and lawsuits that shall have positive and negative impact to the relevant company stocks. The health or mishap of a key leader in a company may also affect the stock price of the company. AndrewWBradley.ca

15
Jul
2015
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A recessed economy and bursting of the real estate bubble have pushed borrowers to the point where they can no longer keep up with payments on their credit cards and consumer debt. For those searching for solutions, the decision often comes down to choosing between a variety of debt relief options. The options include debt counselling, debt consolidation, bankruptcy, and debt settlement. Of the four, debt settlement and filing bankruptcy have become the most popular of the solutions due to their advantages relating to decreasing current payments and the reductions in outstanding balances of debt. For consumers, the two most common filings are chapters 7 and 13. Of the two, chapter 7 allows for much better outcomes for filers with steep reductions or outright dismissals of debt. Prior to the overhaul of the bankruptcy code in 2005 chapter 7’s were immensely popular for just that reason. Since the overhaul, the choice of which of the two chapters would be available to the consumer is decided by the court depending on the outcome of a means test which is the required first step in any bankruptcy filing. The means test is essentially an evaluation of the filer’s income and expenses which is then set against debt redemption standards as set by the IRS. Measured against the IRS standards, if the borrower falls short of income guidelines he can then file for bankruptcy under the auspices of chapter 7. The guidelines for qualifying for chapter 7, however, are stringent. If the means test reveals that a borrower can pay even one hundred dollars per month toward debt, the filing will automatically go toward a chapter 13 bankruptcy. In either situation, the borrowers are required to get credit counselling and budget analysis at their own expense. Chapter 13, while providing some relief on current payments, is not nearly as consumer friendly as chapter 7 and carries disadvantages that convince many borrowers that the option is just not for them. The biggest disadvantage is that once the terms of the filing are set, a borrower’s finances can be overseen by a trustee of the court. The invasiveness of having an outsider involved in day to day or monthly budgeting becomes an immediate deal killer and typically turns the borrower toward debt settlement. Debt settlement, also known as debt negotiation, is a relatively new and aggressive form of debt relief offering many advantages over counselling, consolidation, and bankruptcy. The first and most immediate advantage is an approximate reduction of 50% on payments related to each account rolled into the debt settlement. Accounts which can be rolled into the settlement include credit cards, department store debt, unpaid utilities, medical bills, and other unsecured debt. Other advantages include: * Being proactive in pursuing a debt settlement can prevent wage garnishments and attachments – Letting creditors know that you’re in a debt settlement process provides assurance they are going to be paid a least some of their money. Creditors are unlikely to initiate any legal action while a settlement is under way. * Debt elimination – Outstanding balances can be reduced by 40 to 70%, depending on the creditor. On average, the collective accounts in a settlement will be reduced by 50%. * Added security for secured assets - Reducing payments and eliminating a portion of unsecured debt relieves pressure on secured assets. Debt settlements, for example, are being combined with loan modifications to help homeowners reduce their total payments toward debt and improving the chances of getting approved for new mortgage terms. * Complete pay off of debt balances – After the debt reduction, payoff schedules are flexible but generally last no longer than 48 months. The same accounts maintained with minimum payments could take over twenty five years to pay off. * Faster improvement of credit scores - The settlement of accounts allows for borrowers to begin the process of re-building their credit scores faster than bankruptcy which can remain on a credit report for ten years and stay on the public record indefinitely. Debt settlement/negotiation is becoming increasing popular with struggling consumers because of its advantages over every other form of debt relief including bankruptcy. Consumers should still familiarize themselves with all forms of debt relief before making a decision. The best way to sort through the options is to work with an attorney with experience in all forms of debt relief to determine which will deliver the best outcome. Getting on the road to financial recovery is that simple. AndrewWBradley.ca

12
Jul
2015
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Many people use these terms interchangeably but there is a big difference between the two. A credit report is just but a nutshell of your credit use history while on the other hand a credit score uses the information in the credit report and assigns a number ranging from (300-900) showing lenders the probability of paying back a debt. The higher the score, the lesser the risks of defaulting. Credit Report A credit report shows personal information (name, address, social security number), what kind of credit you use, how long the credit line has been open, whether you have paid your bills on time (including any collection of information if a debt had to be passed on to a collection agency, how much credit you have used and what is outstanding, whether you have been looking to open sources of credit, i.e. any credit inquiries that have been made, banking information, public record (such as bankruptcy or a court-related judgment). Lenders look at your credit report to determine if they should either extend or withhold your credit. It's basically a view of whether you pay back your debts or not. Its mandatory by law that everyone in the USA is allowed free access once every twelve months to their credit report from the three national credit reporting agencies that is EQUIFAX, EXPERIAN AND TRANSUNION. You should check your credit report yearly to make sure all of the reported information is correct and that there are no fraudulent accounts that have been opened in your name. Credit Score A credit score is primarily based on credit report information typically sourced from credit bureaus. Lenders use scores to determine who qualifies for a loan, at what interest rates, and what credit limits. How are credit scores interpreted? First step is to identify the source of the credit score and its use. FICO produces and controls the vast majority of scoring models of the credit score in the United States. The interpretation of a credit score will vary with the lenders, industry, and the economy as a whole. All considerations about the score revolve around the strength of the economy in general and investors' appetites for risk in providing the funds for borrowers in particular when the score is evaluated. It is very clear there is clear-cut difference between credit report and credit finance and in their application in personal finance. With this knowledge of the commonly misused and misunderstood terms, it is likely that you will not only make informed decisions hence forth when it comes to personal finance, but also be proactive in approach. AndrewWBradley.ca

29
Jun
2015
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When we are talking about retirement, a lot of people especially young men will think that this issue doesn’t so important, or even never been in their mind, since we have to talk something far in the future. In nature, people like to live and think for today, instead of thinking about something unclear, moreover if the issue is 25 years ahead from now. But, on the other hand, all financial advisor always ask us to think and make some personal finances planning for our retirement age. Why this topic is crucial as one of our financial mission? For us who still enjoy your 20th years period of our life, we may think that retirement planning is something that can wait. So many thing to do and to think such as social life, romance, entertainment, and other ways of enjoy the life. Then, there’s a time when we get old and start to think about our retirement. At that time, may be the planning is too late and we have to work very hard to achieve our goal. So, how important is retirement planning for all of us actually? Let’s find the broad and simple answer. Assume that we started our career at our 25 years of age, then how many years time we have before retired? Up to 55 years old, there will be 30 years. Yes, we have 30 years to prepare. After that, if we can live up to 75 years old, how much time we have to spend without any significant income but just continuous monthly expenditure ? 20 years. It means, we have 30 years to secure our next 20 years life (2/3 of productive life period). To be emphasized here, 20 years is not a short time, and at that time we will need something to spend for our daily life. So, begin our retirement planning on 40 years of age is little bit too late unless at that time we have quite huge income to allocate. But, who can grant that our 40 years age will become our financial golden age? If we now 25 years old, and have 30 years to prepare our another 20 years life, I think such 20 years is quite important and fair to be included in our life planning. Otherwise, we will burden our children or family when we get retired without sufficient amount of money to spend. So, just keep invest our money when we are young. If we are still under 20 – 30 years period of our life, we can learn all investment instrument and don’t be scared to take some investment risk. When we are under 40 – 50 years period, please calm down and save conservatively. Just bear in mind, that we will have long 20 years road to walk when our body is too weak to work, our brain is too tired to think, and the most appropriate thing to do just to enjoy our life. Personal finances is sacrifice something in our current life for our better future life. Just make it as a natural process, enjoy our today’s life but also make a plan for our future life, so we will be able to enjoy our whole lifetime. That’s a dream of every human being, isn’t it ? So, once again, retirement planning is important just because we all want our whole life become enjoyable and valuable for us. AndrewWBradley.ca

28
Jun
2015
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In general, there are two kinds of investment way, ie direct investment and portfolio investment. Direct investment is done by embed capital investment into real assets, such as opening of factories, infrastructure projects, setting up some financial companies, and others. At its core, there are at least four characteristics of this type of investment : a part of money capital was changed to fixed assets, usually done by a company entities, there are some management of human resources in a relatively large scale, and long term in nature. While portfolio investment is embedding of money to one country’s / region’s financial instrument, such as investment in bond market or stock investing. In contrary to direct investment, in this type of investment investors change their money into marketable securities as one way of asset allocation and money management. The investment can be done by private or company entities, has flexibility in number of human resources employed to do it, shall be done both in short-term or long-term, and usually can be stopped immediately at the time as desired. In accordance with title of the article, this time I will discuss at glance about the kind of familiar portfolio investment, which have their own unique character that is quite different one to another. The first is investing in bond market. In general, bonds are a kind of debts issued by companies or governments. When making asset allocation by buying bonds, we lend money to the bonds publisher. As a return, publishers will give us interest on the money invested, and eventually return all the money we lend. A number of interest are paid regularly (every 3 months – 6 months – 1 year), so the bonds included in the fixed income investment group. Compared to other investment instruments, bond is relatively safe especially if you buy bonds issued by the government. But, because of low risk, potential profits of bonds does not so high. Generally, the level of profits in bonds is lower than other instruments. The second is stock investing. When we buy shares of one company, we automatically becoming the owner of that company. Therefore, we are entitled to receive benefits that are allocated to company’s shareholders, which called dividend. In addition to benefits such as dividend, we can also expect some profit (capital gain) of the increasing in purchased stock prices. However, this occasion does not always happen, for example, the current world stock price index has quite extremely decreased and the shareholders have some huge potential losses. In stock market, the publisher company also does not have any obligation to distribute dividends on a regular basis, so we cannot assure ourselves to get benefit from dividend. Because the risk is higher, stock investing provide relatively high benefits compared with bonds. Stock is quite good tool of money management. In other way of investment, we can raise our money through mutual funds. This investment instrument offers many advantages for us. In addition to flexible amount of initial capital required for the investment, we also need not spend much time to monitor our investment, because portfolio management is done entirely by investment fund managers of mutual funds company. In mutual funds, our money and other investor’s money will be collected by mutual funds company, and the company will manage the allocation of our money into stocks, bonds, or other investment instruments. As a return, we must pay some fees to fund manager of mutual funds company for their service by managing our money. Based on the investment focus, there are several types of mutual funds, consisting of fixed income mutual funds (bonds, protected), not fixed income mutual funds (stocks, money market, the index), or a mixture of both types. In addition to the three main instruments, there are also other instruments which have very high risk but also greater potential income, such as options market, commodity market, and foreign exchange (forex). While giving high profits, those typical investments have very high risk. Beside investments in marketable securities, we can also make asset allocation by buying gold or property. The risk of both investment types are relatively low, but we still need to have adequate knowledge before doing such kind of investment. Investing in the form of gold is more liquid than investing in properties, but usually both investment types are made for long-term investment purposes . With the development of information technology, nowadays people can do money management by on-line investment in these investments, in which the sellers, brokers, and investors do not need to meet each other but all transactions conducted through the websites. Regardless the type of investment that we will do for asset allocation and money management, whether in bond market, stock investing, mutual funds, or in the form of gold and property, should we learn enough about the characteristics and risks of each investment type from other people who have experienced in this field. AndrewWBradley.ca

AndrewWBradley.ca Financial Services Ottawa Registered Retirement Planner 613-286-6841 Email Me