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Archive for May, 2009

What the heck is a stock warrant anyhow?

May 15th, 2009 at 04:43 am

A stock warrant is a certificate issued by companies that gives the holder the right to buy a certain number of shares at a particular price within a specified time frame. There are two different kinds of stock warrants. One is called a call warrant and that is the one just mentioned. The other is called a put warrant and gives the holder the right to sell a specified amount of equity back to the issuing company within a certain time frame. On each stock warrant certificate will be written the expiry date, which is the last day that the buy or sell may take place. There are two classes of stock warrant certificates; those whose equity can be bought or sold at any time within, up to and including the expiry date, and those where the buy and sell equity can only be exercised on the actual date of expiry.

While a stock warrant mostly represents shares in a company, it can also represent other investment types such as currency, index or commodity. When the stock warrant is bought or sold, the price paid is called the exercise or strike price. It is usually much lower than the normal price of the shares represented. The stock warrant is a high-risk, high return investment tool. Those considering investing in stock warrants should realize that their losses can be much greater if things go wrong than if they invested in ordinary shares.

The History of the Cash Management Trust

May 15th, 2009 at 04:35 am

A cash management trust is an investment vehicle that provides returns for investors by buying into short-term liquid assets such as interest bearing securities and bank bills. The concept was first introduced in Australia in 1980 by the Macquarie Bank and became a popular means of investing due to the soaring interest rates.

Previous to this it was only those investors who had hundreds of thousand of dollars to invest who could use a cash management trust for investing. Nowadays cash management trusts are available to investors with just a few thousand dollars as their money is pooled with many others - as it is with other kinds of managed investments.

The cash management trust is suited to investors who prefer low risk, liquidity and capital security. There are attractive returns and the investors have ready access to their funds and a regular savings plan.

Management fees and costs incurred by the investors are expressed as a percentage of the fund’s net asset value, but this does not include brokerage costs. As with all other investments, those wishing to take advantage of a cash management trust should research carefully to make sure it is suited to their needs.

What did Einstein refer to as the world's greatest discovery?

May 14th, 2009 at 08:21 am

Most of us have heard of interest. That's what you have to pay when you get a loan. That's what makes it so hard to pay back the loan when the interest rates keep on rising! Ah yes, and that's the measly little bit of extra money the bank gives - grudgingly, it appears - when we have a few bucks saved up. But wait! It's not as bad as it seems.

Those two magic words "compound interest" that Einstein referred to as the world's greatest discovery are put to work for us when we have a savings account. But those of us who have just a few hundred dollars don't seem to notice it all that much. That's because it shows up better on larger amounts - and if you don't keep withdrawing. These days most savings accounts work on compound interest.

The interest that you earn on your $100 may not seem much, but it is added to the balance, and then in the second year interest is paid on that total, rather than just on your original $100. So you are basically getting interest paid on your interest. When this keeps on every year - as it does, so long as your keep your savings account going, then that total really begins to add up.

Are Men Better Savers Than Women?

May 8th, 2009 at 03:11 am

The research study by Celsius Research of online savers, commissioned by RaboPlus, the online banking division of AAA rated Rabobank Australia Limited, shows men are more disciplined about their savings than women, and are saving more each month.

The research also found that 83% of respondents claim that a better ongoing interest rate from another institution would prompt them to shop around for a better savings product and males (21 %) were more likely than women (9%) to be lured by cash incentives, and promotional rates (39% compared to 27%).

Do you agree that men are better when it comes to saving money?

Retirement Plan B

May 6th, 2009 at 08:23 am

If you think you will have enough money to retire on think again. You may have, of course, but unless you know for sure it’s time to analyse your retirement plan and your investments. In these days of longevity, it may be that you will actually outlive your nest egg unless you do something drastic to prevent that happening. Do something drastic to your savings, that is.

The best thing you can do is add more money to them. While this may not be easy, there is nearly always some way you can cut costs or get a little bit more money. If you go for cutting costs, then don’t forget to save what you cut off your bills, don’t just go out and spend it on something else. It is quite possible to do this subconsciously if you have an attitude of rewarding yourself for all that cutting back. A coffee out here and a meal out there, plus that new tool you’ve been wanting for ages all add up very quickly.

Postposing your retirement, or going into part-time work so that you can add to your super or other savings may be the way to go. Or if you are lucky enough to have an investment home that is not as good as the one you live in, consider swapping for a few years. You could live in your investment home and lease out your fancy one for a great deal more money.

Another way to save money is to downgrade your present standard of living. Forget that holiday, stay home more often, and cook in instead of eating out. Every little bit counts and the more you save now, the better off you will be later on.

Don’t forget that if you retire in your early sixties you may have another thirty or so years to live. Will your retirement investments last that long? There could easily be rising health costs and of course there is always the rising cost of living to consider. Retirement planning is so necessary.

To find out what you’ll probably need to live on once you retire, add up all your present costs, leaving out such things as payments that you will be finished with when you retire e.g. mortgage or car payments. Then add up all your sources of income that you’ll get when you retire. Subtract your costs from your income and whatever is left will be your retirement income - approximately.

If it is not enough then you need to put Plan B into action immediately.

Are Managed Funds a Cool Investment?

May 1st, 2009 at 08:14 am

Managed funds are also known as unit trusts. Their attraction is that they offer a great deal more diversification than you could manage if investing with a smaller amount of money. This creates a diversified portfolio that can be considered much safer than one with fewer investments. Diversifying is one of the best ways to minimise loss when investing.

While you may not have day-to-day control over your money in a managed funds, you do have the ability to choose what kind of managed fund to invest in, in the first place. You can choose Australian shares only, international shares or a mixture of both. You can also choose the type of risk you are happy with. Growth funds give a better return for greater risk, while those funds that are considered safest have a much slower growth rate.

Another good point about managed investment funds is that they don’t need a lot of work from you. There will be a fund manager - or a team of them - who will look after your money and make all the decisions necessary to ensure the best return possible. No matter what kind of managed investment fund you decide on, you do need to know that there is always some risk. Whether that is small or great is up to you.