ETF (Exchange Traded Funds) – What is this!?!

I am back, had some busy weekends. Moved to a new place. Hope new home will help to deliver even better content to this blog. Today, we will continue with the subject of various assets. The particular asset we will be reviewing will be ETFs. I personally believe that this is one of the best options for many retail customers and is a fantastic tool to diversify your portfolio with minimal time, cost and effort. Also one of the easiest way to invest in foreign countries with minimal cost.

ETF Definition:

There are many options for ETFs in the market. It can be a bit overwhelming, they can cover various assets, regions, sectors and markets. The key thing to keep in mind, you what to minimise cost and get good diversification, also need to look into your overall portfolio and make sure that there are no considerable overlapping. For example, if you have a significant investment in technology stocks, you need to ensure that your ETF has lower exposure in this sector. Of course, if you like more exposure opposite is true.

Let’s go now via name and what means:

Exchange – The asset class is traded on some exchange like LSE or NYSE. This is a venue, where buyers and sellers can exchange financial products like ETFs, stocks, bonds.

Traded – You can buy and sell this product in exchanges any time while these are open.

Fund – Mean that include multiple assets in a particular combination.

ETFs are run by computers, thus, low running cost (0.2%-0.8%). You can have ETF tracking FTSE 100, small-cap stocks in all over the world, world index, bond index, etc.

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UPDATED: Stock, Equity and Shares how do you choose them?! :o

So you have learned about stocks in my previous blog. But how do you choose them?! This part of the blog will look into a very basic of how to make your decision on shares.

I have to warn you, it takes years to master stock picking if you expect extraordinary returns. However, a basic understanding will let you create a portfolio with a reasonable return, and this part of the blog will be a starting point.

Everyone whats to find out whether the stock will go up or down. Guess what, there is no easy answer to this question because everyone would be rich then. Although it is prudent to start with fundamentals. The idea is to try to decide what is a good price to pay for a stock-based on underlining company and not just some speculation.

So let’s begin. There are thousands of stocks traded on international exchanges and around 3K in London. Most of them will not be a suitable investment for you due to various reasons. One could be due to significant transaction costs buying from international exchanges, or the company may have a lot of debt, and when times go bad, it will go broke. It could be simple as stocks became too popular and overvalued.

Based on your needs, risk and expectation you will need to choose between growth stocks or dull-but-worthy and often safer income shares. The difference between the two broadly are as follows:

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Shares, Stocks, Equity – What are they? Where do they come from?!

This is the first blog, that will start to look into a building block of Asset Allocation in more detail. This will be exciting series that will cover bonds, equity, alternatives, funds, etc.

Please keep in mind that blog is about investing and not trading. We aim to buy low (or when the price is going down) and sell high (or when the price is going up). Opposite to trading, where you buy when the price increase and sell when the price goes down.

From previous blogs, you may have decided, how much you would like to invest in stock, but before you start, we should understand these a little better.

You may have heard before that when you buy a share, you buy part of the company. Easy to remember, no? Of course, it is a quite small part in the beginning. But why do companies sell their shares? Well,  it is all to do with the capital structure of the company, they do not want to take more debt and could raise funds by offering part of the company to the public. This is also what is called IPS (Initial public offering). Companies’ usually use funds for expansion or paying back some debt. In UK, companies are broadly classed as Limited (Ltd) or Public (PLC). Both can sell shares to investors, but as retail investors, we are interested in PLCs, these companies offer their share via the stock exchange, which is called London Stock Exchange. For the reader, who is not in  UK structures are still very similar.

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Simple and Sustainable Asset Allocation solution in just 5x6min videos!

Introduction:

After I have created my blog and started writing about investment, I, also, started investigated what else is available on the internet. Pages like Investopedia, which is a great source. Also, I come about the same name book as my blog, with some great short videos from the author. Therefore, I have decided to share these with you.

Have fun watching. This will help you better understand subjects we will review in the future blogs. Also, keep your mind open there isn’t just one investment strategy. Continue reading →

From Zero to Professional Investment (IPS)!

This part of the blog is to help you to stick with your goals and help to create a customised portfolio for you.

When you come first time to wealth adviser Investment Policy Statement (IPS) needs to be prepared. To finds out more information about you and help adviser to provide products that are most suitable for your current needs. The statement is usually reviewed yearly or if your financial situation changes. So we will create one for you…

The primary goal is for you to be decisive and stick to your goals. However, also we will determine what reasonable goals are. Create IPS, and you will remove most of the stress from the investment. The result will be a gift you will make to yourself when you start investing. You will not need concern yourself with market volatility. We will try to get you to a position where your money is working for you within given boundaries, which we will create.

True, it will take some time at first. However, you do it once and later you will need just updating it. You can download a simple copy of IPS here (IPS).

At end I have also attached document form The Great Life Assurance Company. It is quite good summary document for our dicsussion and can be used for your decsion making.

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What will be considering in IPS?!?

Objectives:

  • Return
  • Risk

Constrains:

  • Time
  • Liquidity
  • Tax
  • Legal
  • Unique circumstances

Additional information:

  • Target Asset Allocation
  • Diversification
  • Financial Goals
  • Any additional information which is relevant to investment decision making. Like, where you would like to invest.

Now we will go into more detail on each element to help you to learn more about yourself and potential investment portfolio, which you can construct.

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Return: Continue reading →

The practical way to create investment Portfolio!

Here we go my first blog, where I will be providing some useful information on how to start investing! We will touch on bonds, stocks and exchange traded products. This particular Blog will be very efficient and practical. Multiple subjects will be mentioned without expanding for now. Thought I will prepare linked blogs to expand these.

So shall we make some investment! What will we need to create our first investment portfolio?!?

Ingredient 1: Savings:

No way around it. You need to start saving. You cannot invest safely without any initial capital, even if this is just minimal. If you have any debt, you should pay it back first as debt is outflow with certainty in your life. Make sure you have sufficient cash flow after paying your debt & other expenses. When all is considered you start saving and can start allocating residual to your investment portfolio.

So how much cash flow we will need to start? Well as little as £20 pounds a month will do in the beginning. However, more you save higher your portfolio in the future as all powerful cumulative interest will kick in. Also, your transaction cost will be the lower percentage of the overall portfolio.  I would recommend saving anywhere from few hundreds (100,200 etc.) to few thousands a month.

Simple example on Cumulative interest rate:

Save £20 a month with the annual return of 5%, time period 5 years.

>>> After five-year:  Portfolio Value £1,385.79, Profit  £185.79.

Save £500 a month with the annual return of 5%, time period 5 years.

>>> After five-year: Portfolio Value £34,644.72, Profit £4,644.72.

Ingredient 2: Portfolio allocation decision: Continue reading →