The Rollercoaster of Interest and Debt

The Rollercoaster of Interest and Debt

Feel whoozy these days when you think about your mortgage and climbing interest rates? The Bank of Canada says rates may climb several percentage points this year. Homeowners, with floating mortgages and variable interest rates, may be hardest hit. More so, if you overextended your budget to buy the most home possible, at the lowest floating rate you could find. Now that great room may not seem so great. Even a one- or two- point rise in interest rates can mean hundreds of dollars difference each month on big mortgages. Where can you find those dollars to help you keep your home, and meet this rising cost?

Get professional advice. Even in extreme circumstances-illness, job loss, or other dire situation-there are experts who will show you how to save money-yes, even hundreds of dollars each month. These experts are often available to you for free, through your mortgage lender, bank, or government service. Some are even available online, and you can submit your questions anonymously, by email. Use them. They know their stuff.

Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. Money management is something few of us have ever been taught. And it’s only through hard money knocks that we get smart about our finances. Save yourself some pain, and ask for help before your debt overwhelms you. For example, it’s sometimes possible to lower your monthly mortgage payments by re-amortizing your loan over a different period, or making fewer payments. You can contact your credit card company and ask for a lower interest rate. Does this feel like you’re admitting financial defeat? You’re not. This is a smart financial tactic to keep your debt under control, your bill payments out of arrears, and you out of collections.

Find money pockets. Your chequing account eats green. Take a look at your chequing account for the past month, and start adding up all the overdraft charges, debit charges, and ATM charges to just give you one small example of where you can save money to help make up that mortgage gap. Start using cash, and stop incurring those costs.

Income tax returns. Put that money into a savings account or short term GIC. Use it to help make up that mortgage gap, not to go south for the winter. HST rebates, Child Tax Credits, and other government money can also be set aside for that mortgage increase.

Lower your income taxes. It might be worth your while to see an accountant to be sure you’re getting all the income tax back that you are owed. You can go back as much as seven years to be sure you haven’t overpaid on your taxes. You might be pleasantly surprised. Oh-and the cost to see that accountant? Deduct it from next year’s tax return.

Start a home business. You bought your home, now make it pay for you. If you start a home-based business, and put it into that great room you own, you may be able to deduct a number of home-related … READ MORE

Forex Money Management – 4 Tips for Keeping Your Equity Intact and Building Huge Profits

Forex Money Management - 4 Tips for Keeping Your Equity Intact and Building Huge Profits

There are many ways to make money but all successful traders know that if you want to win, you need to protect what you have; Successful Forex trading is built on strong money management.

When dealing with leverage, you have to make it work for you and that means cutting your losses and running your profits. All great soccer teams have great defenses and they know that if they don’t concede points, the offense will get a chance to win the game and it’s the same at Forex.

You lose 50% and you have to earn 100%, only to break even and the moral is:

If you lose money, you have to work harder to get it back, so let’s see how to keep your equity intact.

1. All Trades Are Equal in Risk

Never make the mistake of calculating your target minus your stop as a reward for your risk! This is just an opinion and in the case of money management always consider the worst and everything can only get better. All the same trades there have the potential to lose money.

At risk per trade, you will hear a lot of people telling you that you should only take a 2% risk but on a small account you need to take more risks, also do 5-10% and also don’t diversify, do one trade at a time .

2. Trade Breakout

Breakout trading, means buying new breaks to map the highs and lows of all trades starting and continuing from this gap, a good break offers the best risk for prizes in Forex trading. Your stop, just behind the runaway point, becomes tight and at the best run, you see big movements so you have a big risk to be rewarded.

3. A Place to Stop Outside Random Volatility

The main mistake by many traders is to place a stop in random volatility and day traders do it and lose it. Why did they lose? Because all volatility in the daily time frame is random so you can flip a coin. Focus on greater trends and greater profits so that your stopping can go further but the chances of a three digit increase are higher.

To make money, you need to provide market space for breathing, so don’t try and limit the risk so much you make it – there’s no point in stopping close, if the opportunity is to be hit.

4. Do 50 – 50

This is my favorite money management trick. We all know big trends last for weeks, months or years but it is very difficult to sit on long-term trends because they always retreat back to open equity earnings and eat them. Try this, as soon as the market moves upward by buying at a 50% bull trend bank and leaving 50% in the market. Then wait for the next breakout or pullback to support, to put the other 50% back and keep on doing it.

This keeps you in trend and if … READ MORE

Online Stock Market Trading Continues to Rise in Popularity

Online Stock Market Trading Continues to Rise in Popularity

Even though the stock market has seen healthier days, online stock market trading continues to rise in popularity. A number of reasons account for this. The technology is widespread, and people from all corners of the nation are able to become day traders and invest in the stock market. Everyone who has a computer connection will find that they can get connected with a brokerage site and begin trading. This gives people opportunities that they did not have before. For many people, the closest they came to taking part in the stocks market was through their 401Ks, and now they have many other options.

Another reason that the popularity of online stock market trading grows is that smart investors see opportunities. They can find stocks at good prices and then wait until those stocks start climbing again. They are buying low, just as every good investor is told to do, and then they are just waiting until they can sell when the stock is high. This make good business sense for the investors and this is something that other traders will be able to do as well.

How does one start online stock market trading? Well, the first thing that you are going to want to do is learn all of the intricacies and rules of stock markets. Learn the language and learn how things are done. Learn how to spot trends and learn the best time to buy and sell. Learn how to cut your losses, and learn how to let it ride. The best way that you will be able to learn these things (and many more) is by taking a course. The money that you invest in one of these courses is going to be well worth it. It is better to spend on a course and learn than it is to buy a bad stock and make a mistake that will probably be even more costly.

With a quick search of the Internet, you will find many seminars and classes that will teach you online stock market trading. The key is to find the course that gives you the most bang for your buck. Some of the popular courses out there can show you the ropes in little time. Home study courses are of great benefit to many people because they don’t have to change their work schedules or family schedules to make sure they can meet for a class – they are able to work on the course when they have the time. This is perfect for someone who still has a full-time job and is only interested in trading part time.

Online stock market trading is more than a fad – it is here to stay as long as the markets exist. If you are interested in making money and playing the stock market, then it is a good time to start investing. Learn the ropes, take the courses, know the basics, and you will be able to make extra money in the stocks … READ MORE

Don’t Ignore the Similarities with the Last Two April!

Nearly a year ago in this column I showed a scary similarity in April (2011) with the conditions in the previous April (2010). And of course the similarity continues into a market correction of nearly 20% before the market rises again.

Don't Ignore the Similarities with the Last Two April!

And here we again this year see a scary resemblance when March is almost over, this time for the last two April.

I heard many guarantees that this time was different. This will oppose the opportunity for the market to follow the same pattern for three years in a row. In addition it is an election year, and the Fed has already made a vote about coming to the rescue if needed.

Using that logic will also oppose the chance that the surrounding conditions will follow the same pattern for three years in a row. But that is what is happening.

Like the last two years, the S&P 500 has had an impressive rally for overbought conditions that are potentially above the 200-day long term m.a., and technical indicators, while still using buy signals, are in their overbought zone.

Meanwhile, investor sentiment, usually very bullish at the top of the market and very bearish at the bottom of the market, has reached a high bullish level, low fear level, similar to what was seen near the market peaks in April 2010 and 2011.

That can be seen in the VIX Index, also known as the Fear Index. Usually at a high level of fear at the lowest position of correction and a good buying opportunity, and at a low level of fear (a level of bullishness and high self-satisfaction) at rallies and market tops.

Then there’s the U.S. economy In each of the past two years, economic recovery has shown surprising strength during the autumn and winter months, and then as we approach April, economic reports begin to show that the recovery is a stumbling block.

This year has been an identical repeat so far, with surprisingly strong economic reports over the winter, but a series of negative surprises in recent weeks, including unexpected reversals in home sales and home prices, in the Fed’s business and manufacturing index, and in consumer confidence. On Wednesday it was reported that the Chicago Fed National Activity Index, designed to measure national economic activity, fell into negative territory last month for the first time in three months.

In each of the past two years, dark clouds have also drifted from Asia in the form of fears that China would slow down its economy too much in an effort to prevent a rise in inflation, and from Europe in the form of fears that the eurozone debt crisis would explode and plunge the European economy into recession.

And here we are this spring, with major Asian markets in sharp decline on indications that China has indeed slowed down its economy to what would be a difficult landing, and evidence that 17 eurozone countries are already in recession.

Also in each of the last two … READ MORE

Improving F & I As a Profit Centre

The motor finance landscape is changing; fewer independent finance companies are a part of this change. The long term survival of these companies is vital to the dealer market. Dealers need to work in partnership with the finance companies to ensure mutual profitability and to positively change perceptions of dealer finance.

For many former finance companies the return on investment from motor finance had become unsustainable. Competition between the players meant that retailers were able to negotiate aggressively, pushing finance company margins ever lower; the balance of power has now shifted and in reality this is a good thing for the long term future of dealer finance.

Improving F & I As a Profit Centre

Retailers need finance companies to be profitable and encouragingly Carlyle Finance which is reporting record profit levels has now committed itself to achieving significant profitable growth – with plans to more than double it’s lending in the UK motor sector.

But there is unlikely to be any return to the Income per finance case retailers achieved 3 – 4 years ago. Market and regulatory pressures are part of this change, but so is the reality that today’s consumer is better informed in terms of their options and rates when looking to purchase a car on finance. The internet has been a key part of the consumer education process and it is vital that dealers engage in communicating the value of dealer finance through the web in a far more engaging fashion than has been delivered to date.

When it comes to finance, dealers have to ensure that finance information (quality, detailed information) is positioned ‘front and centre’ so that the consumer can learn for themselves the full picture about why dealer finance makes so much sense.

“Retailers can make money from F & I, but things have to change” Mark Standish “To ensure the dealer is seen as the natural place for buying a car on finance we have to ensure finance is available where and when the consumer wants it with clear unambiguous explanatory information, so that they can make a conscious buying decision – and this means getting finance on-line in a far more transparent and obvious fashion than we see currently. Naturally it must be seen as good value, so competitive pricing is a given”.

Mark notes; “Whilst income per finance case may fall, there is no reason why income per unit overall should not be sustained or even enhanced. The mantra must be to earn a little from a lot, increasing overall finance penetration securing dealer finance as a natural good value choice in the minds of the consumer”.… READ MORE