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You might think that risk-rated funds are the only solution for the core hold of your portfolio. After all, it is what you would normally hear from others. But, in reality, the secret to ensuring their assets match the ones you aim for is to supplement them with so-called “satellite” funds and shares.

Fortunately, it is not too late to turn things around. Here are some tips on how to customize your portfolio to suit your goals. Be sure to keep them in mind from now on!

#1. Cheap Is Not Necessarily Cheerful

Believe it or not, many tend to focus more on fund charges, which seem to be the trend since time immemorial. But what you may not know is that most, if not all, are not necessary. Some might have a charge for the platform or advice, especially if you are taking it. More importantly, there is always a charge for the investment funds.

Remember that a cheap fund does not necessarily mean it fits your purpose. The same thing can be said for an expensive fund – it does not convey superiority. Your best course of action is to look out for performance-related charges, as well as those platform costs (i.e. when trying to move money around).

#2. Always Identify Your Goals

It holds true that your appetite for risk is – and always will be – a significant consideration. But do not forget that there are other contributing factors involved. This is the point where you need to ask yourself: “What are my investment goals?” Do you require a short- or long-term objective? Or perhaps you are in need of a certain amount just to guarantee an annual growth for your investment goal in the stock market?

These questions, while all may not necessarily apply to your current situation, can help you gain concrete knowledge about your stand. Even more so, it will help you realize the fact that there is more importance emphasis when it comes to risk analysis. The latter, in particular, conveys the message that your fund may either underperform or take too much risk.

#3. Keep Everything in One Place

Do you know what a balanced portfolio should be? Well, it is the type that holds bonds, cash, and even shares. As soon as you achieve a solid core portfolio, expect a great number of adventurous investors to add riskier holdings in order to diversify. You may find it difficult to acquire this type of ideas, but as long as you are willing to think outside the box, you will be introduced to more tantalizing investments.

Being a professional means utilizing a wide range of left-of-field investments – a crucial element in achieving diversification. This includes, but not limited to, private equity, currencies, commodities, and student housing.

#4. Remember To Consider All Assets

A lot of investors these days tend to consider their investment portfolio as something that is merely their shares and/or composite funds. Unfortunately, this is a worn-down idea that needs an overhaul. Why exactly? That is because there are other factors involved, and they may refer to cash accounts and properties. All of them, regardless of size and shape, are to be accounted as assets as well.

Let’s say you own multiple properties. This is where you want to be extremely wary of purchasing a fund, particularly the type that comes with property exposure. Likewise, if you hold a lot of cash, it is imperative that you find a liquid fund which is totally invested. Otherwise, there is a possibility that you will be hit by extremely low-interest rates.

#5. Regularly Review Your Holdings

This is definitely a no-brainer. It is even something that you should always consider. Keep in mind that risk-rated funds – no matter how you perceive them – are a one-stop-shop for life. Your goals will have the potential to change as time passes by. As such, you must ensure to review all of them as you would with investments. A general rule of thumb is to look at your portfolio at least once a year, though doing it twice has become a more acceptable narrative.

Sure, you may not find the need to purchase or sell funds, say, as often as twice or thrice a year. But, in one way or another, you will chance upon certain life stages that will force you to consider tweaking your portfolio. It could be about purchasing a property or simply becoming a parent.

Shares and bond markets have climbed on what is expected to be the first rise in US interest rates in nearly a decade.

The Federal Reserve is expected to announce the start of the gradual rate rise process at 19:00 GMT.

US markets opened higher, but lost ground as oil prices slumped.

A US rate rise would have global repercussions, and could adversely affect emerging economies, experts say.

The Fed is expected to raise its benchmark overnight interest rate from near zero, encouraged by a strengthening US labor market.Federal Reserve interest rate rise

Analysts have been speculating for months as to when the first rise might be, with global stock markets rising and falling as Fed rate meetings come and go.

Low interest rates have generally been helpful for stock market investors, but Fed officials have indicated the likely decision in advance, removing some of the uncertainty that investors dislike.

In London, the FTSE 100 gained 0.72% by the close of the market. Paris and Frankfurt markets made smaller gains.

Many Asian markets closed significantly higher – Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 2.6%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rebounded, rising 2%.

Markets have already priced in a US rate rise, but investors will also be looking at the Fed’s announcement to gauge the likely path of future rate rises, analysts said.

The prospect of gradual rises could bring some stability to markets, but if the Fed were to raise rates more quickly, markets may take fright, analysts said.

The World Bank warned in September that a US rate rise could increase the risks to emerging economies caused by disruptions to capital flows.

With the US offering better returns, investors may decide to move money out of emerging economies.

Foreign governments could also have to pay more for debt issued in US dollars.


Before you invest your money, you need to think about what the wisest investment to make is. Here are some of the best investment options this year.

Mutual Funds

Mutual funds are good for beginners because you don’t have to take any big risks or decisions for yourself. Mutual funds pool together the money of many different investors and then the manager running the operation will invest that cash in bonds and different stocks. It takes out a lot of the risk involved in investing.

You should make sure you check out the experience and track record of the manager before you invest though. Some mutual funds are managed passively and other actively. Actively managed funds are the best option because the manager reacts to trends in the market to find the best results.


Gold is like a port in the storm. It’s the best investment option for people who don’t like the risks of investing but still want the rewards. Gold goes up and down in value the same as other types of investment. But it’s nowhere near as volatile as other types of investment. This means you won’t lose huge amounts of money if you invest in gold.

Other types of precious metals like silver and platinum are good for investing in as well. If you’re going to invest in silver, make sure it’s 90% Silver. That is the best form of silver to invest in at the moment. Platinum is doing very well on the market at the moment, so don’t rule out that option either.


Buying stocks and shares is the most conventional and straightforward form of investment. Playing the stock market isn’t for everyone. You have to be attentive and on the ball at all times. You need to monitor the market and adjust your investments accordingly. This can make it a lot of fun as well though.

When you’re starting out, it’s important to remain cautious. Don’t be tempted to put all your money into one company. You should spread your investments so that you don’t run the risk of losing your cash if they company fails. By spreading your investments across various companies, you’ll be able to handle setbacks.


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Real Estate

Investing in property takes time and effort, but it can be hugely rewarding as well. You have to start by finding the right property to buy. It should be something with a lot of potential and pulling power on the market. Having said that, it doesn’t need to be in great shape. Look for rough diamonds that you can improve and sell on at a profit.

Once you have your first home bought and renovated, you can rent it out, or you can sell it on immediately. When you have the taste for it, you’ll probably want to go back for more. As your confidence grows, you’ll be able to build up a solid portfolio and make a lot of money in the process.

These options are the best forms of investment in 2015, so think about which one is best for you.


Twitter’s shares opened at $45.10 each in the first minutes of trading on the NYSE.

That is a 73% jump from the initial asking price of $26 a share, and it means the company is now valued at a little over $31 billion.

More than 13 million shares were traded once they became available an hour after the stock exchange opened.

It is the biggest technology listing since Facebook in 2012.

Twitter floated on the NYSE and not, as some initially expected, the technology-rich Nasdaq exchange, where the likes of Facebook are listed.

It was a big win for the NYSE, which decorated its exterior with banners promoting the offering on Thursday.

Twitter has more than 230 million users, but is yet to make a profit.

Shares in newly-listed companies are often volatile on their first day of trading.

Twitter’s shares opened at $45.10 each in the first minutes of trading on the NYSE

Twitter’s shares opened at $45.10 each in the first minutes of trading on the NYSE

Within minutes, Twitter’s stock price soared more than 80% before falling below its opening price by midday.

When Facebook launched on Nasdaq, its shares were priced initially at $38 each. The stock soared within hours of its debut to a high of $45. But its price later slumped.

It only recovered those losses by September 11, 2013, when shares again touched $45.

Its initial public offering (IPO) was also marred by technological glitches and delays.

To prevent Twitter’s stock sale from having a similar fate, the NYSE ran tests on October 26 using larger-than-normal share volumes.

Twitter is selling 70 million shares, which will raise more than $1.82 billion.

The company, which invites users to send tweets in 140 characters or less, has 232 million active users. According to its IPO documents, these users send 500 million tweets a day.

Twitter’s financials have been under greater scrutiny since it announced its plan to float, especially given that the company is still loss-making.

It lost $69 million in the first six months of 2013, on revenues of $254 million. About 85% of revenues come from advertising on its site, and more than 75% of Twitter users access the site from their mobile phone.

Mary Jo White, head of US regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission, recently warned investors to be cautious of the metrics used by technology companies like Twitter, nothing that investors have become overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of data.

“In the absence of a clear description, it can be hard not to think that these big numbers will inevitably translate into big profits for the company,” Mary Jo White said in a speech.

“But the connection may not necessarily be there.”

Twitter’s founders saw their paper wealth soar to $4 billion in the wake of the stock surge early this morning, although boss Dick Costolo said that none of the founders would immediately be selling their shares.

The company’s co-founder Evan Williams has a 10% stake in Twitter, making him its biggest shareholder. That stake is now worth a little over $2 billion.

Jack Dorsey, another co-founder, also stands to make a fortune from the IPO. His 4% stake is worth more than a billion dollars.

Another co-founder, Biz Stone, is thought to have made millions of dollars by selling share stakes over the last few years.

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Twitter plans to join the stock market in the most hotly anticipated flotation since Facebook’s last year.

Referring to the official paperwork needed to join the market, the company tweeted: “We’ve confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned IPO [initial public offering].”

Investors value Twitter, founded in 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone and Evan Williams, at more than $10 billion.

Twitter gave no further details as to the timing or price of the offering.

The microblogging service is on track to post $583 million in revenue in 2013, according to advertising consultancy eMarketer, up from $288 million in 2012.

Most of Twitter’s funding comes from advertising, with companies paying for “promoted tweets” that appear in users’ Twitter feeds.

Advertisers are keen to target Twitter’s 200 million active users, who send more than 500 million tweets a day.

Twitter plans to join the stock market in the most hotly anticipated flotation since Facebook's last year

Twitter plans to join the stock market in the most hotly anticipated flotation since Facebook’s last year

But some analysts believe the risk for Twitter post-flotation is that if the drive for greater advertising revenue leads to increased numbers of adverts in and around the site, they could become intrusive and unpopular with users.

Nearly two-thirds of users access Twitter via mobile devices that have traditionally been difficult for advertisers to reach.

This is one reason why Twitter has acquired MoPub, a mobile-focused advertising exchange, for a reported $350 million.

Facebook listed on the stock market in May last year. Although it initially created excitement among investors, its share price performed poorly, before recovering this summer.

The timing of the IPO is likely to be related to renewed activity in stock market flotations. There have been 131 IPOs priced so far in 2013, according to IPO tracking firm Renaissance Capital – a 44% increase on the same period last year.

Analysts say Twitter must continue to innovate under the scrutiny of public ownership.

Once a company has filed paperwork with US regulators for a planned IPO, it enters a so-called “quiet period” when it is not allowed to speak to the media.

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s website, a company can file a confidential prospectus for a public share sale if it is classified as an “emerging growth company” with revenue of less than $1 billion.

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Carmaker Ford shares have fallen 3.9% in early Wall Street trading on the rising cost of fixing its European business.

Ford cautioned that 2013 losses in Europe would be $2 billion, greater than its previous $1.5 billion estimate.

The stock market reacted negatively, despite Ford reporting profits for the last three months of 2012 that beat expectations thanks to strong US sales.

Earnings after tax for the quarter were $1.6 billion, with underlying profits up 55% from the same period in 2011.

Revenues rose 5% overall, driven by a 13% rise in North America.

Ford boasted that its North American unit had enjoyed its most profitable fourth quarter and year since it first began recording the region’s performance in 2000.

The contrasting fortunes of the number two US carmaker on either side of the Atlantic reflect the broader market trends. While total US car sales hit a post-financial-crisis high last year, 2012 sales in Europe fell more than 8% from the previous year.

Ford shares have fallen 3.9 percent in early Wall Street trading on the rising cost of fixing its European business

Ford shares have fallen 3.9 percent in early Wall Street trading on the rising cost of fixing its European business

Ford, like many rivals, is in the process of downsizing its European business to reflect the shrinking market, with resulting losses due to redundancy payments and the write-off of the value of factories and other assets it owns in the region.

The company said these costs were turning out to be more than expected, thanks to the strength of the euro and the higher valuation of employee pension claims. It has also marginally cut its forecast for total European sales in 2013.

To add to the firm’s woes on the continent, chief financial officer Bob Shanks admitted to investors that the delayed launch of the new Mondeo in Europe would cost Ford several hundred million dollars in missed revenues.

Microsoft has made the first quarterly loss in its history after it wrote off some of the value of its online advertising business.

The loss came after it wrote down the value of Aquantive by $6.2 billion (5 billion Euros), which failed to bring the profits expected by Microsoft.

That led to a $492 million loss in the three months to the end of June, compared with a profit of $5.9 billion a year ago.

The computing giant company has not made a loss since it joined the stock market in 1986.

It took over Aquantive in 2007 but it struggled to compete with rival Google.


Microsoft has made the first quarterly loss in its history after it wrote off some of the value of its online advertising business

Microsoft has made the first quarterly loss in its history after it wrote off some of the value of its online advertising business


Microsoft paid $6.3 billion for Aquantive.

Microsoft is doing well in other areas, despite the decline in popularity of its Windows operating system, which dominated the personal computer market for years.

Revenue for the three months to June rose by 4% to $18.06 billion.

Excluding the adjustment for the asset write-down, and the holding back of some income related to the launch of its Windows 8 system, Microsoft profits beat those expected by investors.

Shares were up 1.6% after the results were announced.

Microsoft says the update of the Windows systems is the most important redesign in more than 10 years.

Windows 8, which will launch in October, will feature a new look that will present applications in a mosaic of tiles.

Importantly, it will also enable the operating system to work on tablet computers, which along with smartphones are the fastest-growing sector of the computing market.

Microsoft is also planning to release its own tablet, the Surface.

Earlier this week, Microsoft previewed its next version of the Office system, which is expected to be released next year.



[googlead tip=”patrat_mic” aliniat=”stanga”]Are you among those who don’t invest in the stock market? Do you think stock market crashes doesn’t concern you?

But… the truth is… they do!

It’s not only those who actively trade who lose money. The average person loses money and opportunities as well. To show how, 24/7 Wall St. put together a list of eight ways market collapses affect people’s lives:

Stock market collapse affects average people's lives.

Stock market collapse affects average people's lives.


[googlead tip=”vertical_mare” aliniat=”stanga”] 1. Employee benefits cut

Stock market collapses hurt employee benefits in several ways. Initially, when the market is soft, companies tend to pull back on retirement benefits, eliminating pensions and matching 401(k)s. Motivated by the same concern, they also reduce other types of benefits, like health care and dental plans. The 2008 Employee Benefits study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce showed that “employers began scaling back on employee benefits as the economy slowed down in 2007, even before last fall’s economic tailspin partly unleashed by the constriction of the credit markets,” according to The Wall Street Journal. “The average dollar amount of employee benefits fell 14% to $18,496 in 2007 from $21,527 the year before.”


2. Retirement deferred

Nothing kills retirement like a cratering 401(k) — when the value of savings meant to fund life after people stop working plummets. The difference between a $1 million portfolio and a $500,000 portfolio can be the difference between retiring at 65 or working until 70 — as large numbers of people found out when the market collapsed in 2009. According to USA Today, a 2009 AARP study found that “35% of those ages 45 to 54 have stopped putting money into their 401(k), IRA or other retirement accounts, 25% said they have prematurely withdrawn funds from their retirement accounts.”


3. Home sale

Are the stock markets and home markets tied to one another? Absolutely. Over 20% of home loans in the U.S. are underwater. To sell those homes, owners have to come up with the difference between what they can sell the house for and what they owe the bank. That difference can certainly be well into the tens of thousands of dollars. If the money needed to bridge that difference is tied to the stock market, owners will have a hard time selling.


4. Home purchase

It has become difficult to get a mortgage even though rates are at historic lows. Banks are leery of lending when house prices continue their free fall. A down market makes the banks even more cautious: they tend to tighten lending standards, require higher credit scores, shrink credit limits, raise minimum payments and make it generally more difficult to qualify for a loan. On top of it, any assets potential home owners set aside for down payments are often partially in equities.


5. Education deferred

College funds, kept by many parents for their children’s higher education, are generally comprised in part of equities. A correction in the stock market drags the value of these funds down, and as a result makes paying for tuition harder. During the middle of the last recession, enrollment in low-cost colleges, and public community colleges increased an average 16 percent in 2009, according the U.S. News & World Report. “One reason: ‘reverse transfers.’ Students at expensive four-year universities are switching to lower-cost two-year schools to get their basics completed inexpensively.”


6. Unemployment

Businesses feel the ripple effects of a market collapse fairly fast. Some hold the money on their balance sheets in cash, but that is often mixed in with equities. A rapid and sharp drop in the markets can erode a company’s assets. This, in turn, makes it more cautious about expenditures, which includes payroll. The other reason companies review employment levels when the markets sell off is that the drop is likely to be the precursor of an economic slowdown. If a company sees a recession in its business coming it may lay off workers preemptively.

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7. Car purchase

One thing that car companies found out three years ago is that consumer confidence is harder to come by when the market corrects by 30% or 40%. The psychological effect is only part of it. People with a part of their net worth in the stock market usually curtail their spending on anything more than the essentials until they see a rebound in value. And, after a huge correction, a rebound can take years. Added to that, much like a home loan, getting financing becomes much more challenging. J.D. Power & Associates lowered its estimate for U.S. auto sales in 2011 by 300,000 light vehicles to 12.6 million.


8. Small business start-up

Small business start-ups are not funded by venture capital money. People use their own savings or borrow from friends and family the seed capital needed to start a new company. A market sell-off hurts start-ups in two ways. First, it shrinks the nest eggs people might use to begin a new enterprise. Second, it makes it hard for the start-up to flourish as business and consumer confidence are low. The Wall Street Journal reports that according to the Census Bureau, the number of new companies that were started in the 12 months ended March 2009 was down 17.3% from a prior year — the fewest since 1977, when the Census Bureau began keeping records.