The Zen of Financial Investment

by official on December 8, 2015

Investing and the esoteric might seem as far removed as the earth from the sun, but it’s these distances that MFS is trying to span, waxing philosophical in their new marketing campaign. In an ad called, simply, “Believe”, MFS makes the case that there is something to be said for living in the moment, even as we prepare for a distant future. The commercial uses wide-eyed imagery to discuss our lifelong fascination with space, with distant objects. We try to understand our relationship to them, distant though they seem, by the light which travels between heavenly bodies and our own eyes. It’s a mysterious process, one that most of us understand only abstractly, but it’s one that we nonetheless put a lot of stock in. After all, it’s a process that enables us to see at all.

Investment, in this mindset, is all about finding a place in the present moment from which a future preparation can be made. The attention to the moment can’t be overstated. Just as this is a precept of many religions and forms of spirituality, it’s essential to the investor. Without this financial foundation, investments can’t be maintained and seen through to their completion. MFS also finds a place for attention to the future, amidst all of this present-mindedness. They define a forward-focused mindset as a belief in something more.

If this is language that would seem foreign were it to come across the desk from the mouth of your investment manager, you aren’t alone. But just because this is a framework unfamiliar in investment circles doesn’t mean that it isn’t true. Investment is an inherently optimistic act. In a world that is volatile, to say the least, many people don’t invest at all. It takes a person both confident in the present moment, and hopeful about the future, to initiate an investment that may play out over decades. It’s not for everyone, but the seeds of this journey are in all of us. Watch the MFS video to understand.

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How to Choose a Good Investment Manager

by official on April 2, 2015

You’ll get a lot of contradictory advice about investment managers. That’s because it takes a lot of work to become a great investor. It takes time and commitment. Many investors lack this discipline and would do better to simply invest in long term mutual funds or something, taking advantage of decades of future growth without ever having to get their hands dirty. You see, some investors learn just enough to be dangerous. By acting where they should wait, and vice versa, they cheat themselves out of yields and perform more poorly than an unmanaged index fund would! And some investment managers are little better, just taking 1-2% of your annual yields and getting you less payoff than you would without an active manager.

That’s what a bad investment manager looks like. Here’s what a great investment manager looks like.

MFS is an example of a management group who outperform the market all the time. Because individual stocks jump up and down at rates never seen in the overall market, it’s always possible to get rich or go broke, as long as you’re able to consistently pick winners. Because no one can see the future, good analysts like MFS look at thousands of securities and only act when they find a near-sure thing. They accomplish this in 3 ways.

1. Paying for a Global Perspective. MFS employs managers all around the world, to give them a broad, global perspective of market realities that will make you money.

2. Risk Management. MFS doesn’t invest or give you the advice to do so, until they’ve found something really special. This is often a waiting game, but you can have confidence that when they bring you something, it’s a great option.

3. Long Term Thinking. When waiting, inexperienced investors can become afraid. “Should I cut my losses?”, “Is another good investment ever going to come along?”. MFS knows the sit and wait game and how to use it to get rich. They’ve done it thousands of times over.

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The importance of responsible borrowing

by official on July 1, 2014

The popularity of payday loans has drastically increased over the past few years. They have made it easier than ever before for consumers to get the money they need, when they need it.However, despite the positive effects they can offer, payday loans can also potentially lead to further financial troubles. Therefore, it’s imperative to make sure if you do borrow from a payday lender, you do so responsibly.

Understanding responsible lending
As published on Experian, payday lenders are required under the responsible lending act, to provide clear information on their rates, terms and conditions. They are also required to assist consumers who fall into difficulties while repaying their loan. All lenders should carry out checks to see that the customer can repay the loan before they accept the application.

When they first started out, payday loans were so popular because many lenders didn’t carry out a credit check. It meant those who have had financial troubles didn’t get penalised. However, after it became apparent that many consumers were getting into further financial difficulties due to borrowing more than they could afford. This is what led to a change in the regulations.

These days all responsible lenders are required to carry out adequate checks before they accept an application. That’s why when you apply to a company, they will carry out a credit check to ensure you can pay the loan back.

Wonga has gained an excellent reputation in the payday loan industry. Not only do they carry out adequate checks, they also offer clear pricing and terms of conditions. In addition, if customers struggle to repay their loan, the company will help in any way that they can. Repayments can be extended or a repayment plan can be set up.

Even the Church of England is getting involved
Recently, the Church of England has become so concerned over irresponsible lending it has released a rap highlighting the dangers.

As reported in the Anglican Communion News Service, the rap is aimed at young people who are thinking of taking out a payday loan. It was inspired by the comments made by the Archbishop of Canterbury on irresponsible lending. Created by Charles Bailey, the rap entitled ‘We Need a Union on the Streets’ even features popular money expert ‘Martin Lewis’.

Lewis has long expressed his concerns over payday lenders. The trouble is, it’s become so easy to get the cash you need at just a click of a button that it’s become part of normal day life for many people. It is important people do understand the risks of borrowing before they apply to a lender.

Using payday loans responsibly
While there is no denying the fact there are risks involved in borrowing from a payday lender, there are also a lot of positives that can come if you borrow responsibly. When used correctly payday loans can:
– Help out in emergencies
– Lower stress levels
– Tide you over until your next payday
They are primarily designed with emergencies in mind. It could be an unexpected bill or emergency home repairs. Whatever the emergency, being able to get your hands on the cash to fix it can really help.

It lowers your stress levels as you don’t have to worry about how you’re going to survive until your next payday. Many people have found them to be useful in their time of need. The question is how can you make sure you’re borrowing responsibly?

Key to borrowing responsibly
There are a number of measures you can take to ensure you’re borrowing responsibly. Firstly you need to be sure you can pay back the full amount, plus interest on the money you need.

It can be tempting to apply for more money than you actually need. Don’t do this. It may seem like it’s only an extra £20, but when payday arrives you could soon find that £20 makes all of the difference.

Another important thing to look into is the lenders reputation. Are they a well-known lender? If not you need to know that you’re taking a big risk if you apply with them. It’s always better to apply for the bigger lenders as you know they are more likely to follow fair lending guidelines. Be sure that the prices and terms and conditions are made perfectly clear.

AUTHOR BIO

Jessica French is a full-time mum and part-time blogger. She advises her readers on how to save the pennies.

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Starting a career in finance

by official on December 19, 2013

Some of the best-paid careers are to be found in the world of finance, and this has been the case for many years.  The financial industry also offers a wide range of possible career paths and specialties; however, to make the most of the prospects on offer it pays to get off to a good start by choosing the right subjects to study.  It is also important to consider whereabouts on the career ladder to make an entrance into the business.

Different finance careers 

The breadth of career options within the finance industry is such that there are positions and career paths for people with many different talents and interests.  From ‘shop-front’ positions, such as a bank cashier or personal financial advisor, to roles that are more behind the scenes, such as a stockbroker or auditor, the world of finance brings a wealth of challenges and makes possible high reward.  In specialties such as investment banking, bookkeeping, mortgage lending, and others, it is helpful to have sufficient background knowledge and education to be able to either start in a good position, or to move swiftly up the career ladder within a given organization.

Different options available for studying finance

One of the best possible starting points for any career in finance, regardless of the specialty involved, is a sound and respected education with a suitable degree.  While this does not necessarily have to be a finance degree, studying finance as at least part of a degree programme can provide an advantage in getting ahead in a financial career. A number of options for studying finance can be found on an online course listing for a finance degree.  In addition, successful studies in subjects such as mathematics and economics can add substantial weight to a job application. The right combination of studies can lead to an initial role in banking, insurance, financial services, and a number of other different broad sectors within the finance industry.  These different options for studying finance can open up career possibilities in a field of business that touches nearly everybody’s everyday life.

Some sectors to be studied in a finance degree 

The course listings and the options available are, of course, strongly tied to the different sectors of finance that can be studied.  There are many such sectors, some of which are more popular or more specialist than others.

Accounting  

This is a field that should not be ignored for the valuable background that it provides in the nuts and bolts of financial transactions.  Budgeting and reading financial reports rely heavily on skills in accounting, and these are widespread tasks in finance.

Personal finance  

This is another sector that has a wide significance, with its links to the loan market, banking, and insurance.  It is also an area that can contribute to an individual’s life skills, giving insight into managing and investing private funds.

Investment banking  

A potentially highly profitable sector for an individual with the right skills and stamina that likes the rush of adrenalin.  It is also one of the sectors with a higher profile in the media in recent years, and it is an area of study that can provide extensive knowledge to apply to the wider financial world.

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Most people are attracted to medical credit cards because of their excellent terms of use. Most of these cards offer financing on long-term and interest deferred plans – besides carrying an instant approval for loans. The credit card options benefits are too attractive – yet, it is very important that you do not accept the first card you see if you want to get the best deal out of these types of credit.

You need to set your excitement aside and look a little deeper in to the options offered by these types of cards before you make an informed decision. Here are a few factors that are very important for this decision:

Do Not Go For Face Value – Most people learn about medical credit cards in the office of their family doctor. This is because most of the providers would use the offices of doctors to promote the cards. These cards are a boon for health conditions that are not normally covered under health benefits. Doctors who have such patients usually partner with 3rd party providers to provide attractive financial deals to their patients.

This looks like it is a win-win situation where the doctor gets paid fast, and the patient can pay the bill in installments without any major financial pressure. However, this is not the case always. It is not that the doctor is knowingly pushing you into any deal; rather, that the doctor too thinks it is a good deal – but he is no finance expert. Hence, be careful of any deal – even when it comes through your doctor.  It will never hurt to check the deal over again and compare it with similar offers in the market of other providers.

2.    Pay Attention To The Terms And Conditions – Make it a point to read the fine print. The deal is not always a bed of roses. For example, when a loan repayment is deferred over 24 months at much lower interest it sounds wonderful. The fine print will mention however, that if the repayment is not completed within this pre-agreed 24 months period, standard charges will apply with effect from the time of the first purchase you made on the card. This will be totally crippling. Do not sign up for the deal unless you are sure that you can abide to the terms and conditions with which they are offered.

3.    There Are No Free Lunches – Keep this in mind when you are signing something because they charge 0% interest for a period. Do not let the lender tell you how much you need to pay per month. More often than not, the tiny amount that they quote as the due repayment per month is just the minimum payment for the amount lent. In the end, the monthly installments can shoot through the roof and if you are not prepared it can upset your budget significantly, or worse push you to default when you will end up paying penalty and higher rates of interest. When offered the loan take out your own calculator and calculate your monthly installments. If the amount does not match, ask for clarifications then and there. You will be surprised with the answer.

 4.    There Are More Fish In The Ocean – It is wonderful to be offered a loan when you need it most, i.e. when you are told by your doctor that you need a medical intervention that costs an arm and a leg. However, no matter how relieved you feel, do not rush into anything. There are more options out there, more providers, more schemes, more offers, more discounts, more avenues. In other words, when you are looking for a deal ensure that you looked at all possible options available in the market on medical care loans before you sign on the dotted line.

 This guest post was submitted to help readers find better ways to save on their credit card expenses.

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