How To Invest In Stocks

Investing in stocks can be an excellent way to grow wealth but it does come with risks and it ain’t gonna be fast.  There are many safer ways to grow your money, such as CDs or money market accounts. But, let’s say you have decided to put some of your hard-earned dough into the stock market, how do you actually start? Follow the steps below to begin your journey.

Select your investing style

There are basically two ways that you can go about investing. Either you are the do-it-yourself type and want to choose stocks or stock funds for yourself, in which case you will need to know a few things about hands-on investing. Or you would like to invest but would also prefer that somebody else manages the whole rigamarole for you. In the latter case you might be a good candidate for what is called “robo-investments.” Robo-investing is a service that offers low-cost investment management and most brokerage firms offer this option nowadays. Of course, there is always a human stock broker to choose from but that begins to run into money as you have to pay hefty commissions and fees.  Robo-investing is a good alternative.

After you have decided if you are more of a DIY-type or a robo-type, it is time to shop for an account.

Opening an account

To invest in stocks you will need an investment account, which means that you will need to open a brokerage account, which allows you to place orders to buy and sell stocks or other investments. An online brokerage account likely offers you the quickest and least expensive path to buying stocks, funds and a variety of other investments. It will also probably not require a minimum investment. If you chose to use an actual stockbroker, be sure to understand their trading commissions and account fees. They will offer some services that online/discount brokerage accounts will not but it will cost you. Here is a step-by-step guide to opening a brokerage account if you would like a deep dive into that.

You can also open a brokerage account using “the passive approach,” otherwise known as a “robo-advisor.” A robo-advisor offers the benefits of investing in stocks but doesn’t require its owner to do the legwork required to pick individual investments. You will be asked about your investment goals and a portfolio will be built that aims to achieve those investment goals for you. This may sound expensive, but the management fees here are generally a fraction of the cost of what a human investment manager would charge.

Stocks versus stock mutual funds

For most people, investing in the stock market means choosing among these two investment types:

  1. Stock mutual funds or exchange traded funds (ETFs): These mutual funds let you purchase small pieces of many different stocks in a single transaction. Whereas ETFs track an index. For example, a Standard & Poor’s 500 fund replicates that index by buying the stock of the companies in it.
  2. Individual stocks: If you’re after a particular company or a particular sector of the economy, you can buy a stock or a few stocks as a way of dipping your feet into the stock-trading waters. Building a diversified portfolio out of many individual stocks is possible, but it takes a significant investment.

Stock mutual funds have an upside: They are inherently diversified which lessens your risk. But they’re unlikely to rise in meteoric fashion as some individual stocks might. The upside of individual stocks is that a wise pick can pay off handsomely.

Setting a budget    

New investors often have two questions in this step of the process:

  •       What’s the minimum I need to invest?

The amount of money necessary to buy an individual stock depends entirely on how expensive the shares are. If you want mutual funds and have a small budget, an exchange-traded fund (ETF) may be your best bet. Mutual funds often have minimums of $1,000 or more, but ETFs trade like a stock, which means you purchase them for a share price (potentially $10 or less on the low end).

  •       How much money should I invest?

The amount of money you should invest in stocks depends on two factors:  How much can you afford to lose and, will you need the money you’ve invested in the short run.  By and large, the way to make money on stocks is to hold the stocks you buy and to receive dividends that you reinvest.  Stocks, as has been said before, go up and down. If you cannot afford to lose money you should go back to those safer investments.  If you are investing through funds, then you should allocate a fairly large portion to stock funds. For example, if you have a long investment horizon such as a 30-year old investing for retirement. The person in that example might have 80 percent of his portfolio in stock funds and the rest in bond-funds. Individual stocks, however, should be kept to 10 percent or less of your investment portfolio in order to minimize your risk.

Start investing

Stock investing is filled with intricate strategies and approaches, yet some of the most successful investors have done little more than stick with the basics. That generally means using funds for the bulk of your portfolio, buying individual stocks only if you truly believe in the potential of the company at hand, and keeping them to a small percentage of your portfolio.

If individual stocks appeal to you, learning to research stocks is worth your time. If you plan to stick primarily with funds, building a simple portfolio of broad-based, low-cost options should be your goal.

Takeaway

Although it is scary, one of the best ways to earn yourself extra dough (or massive amounts, depending on luck and skill) and of letting your money work for you, is through investing in the stock market. It takes a little bit of decision making at the start and some serious self-analysis as to your risk-tolerance.  But, it can bring substantial rewards as long as you don’t expect completely smooth sailing. So, put your investing pants on, and give it a go!

 

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How To Invest In A Stock

Although investing in stocks can be a great way to build wealth, it can also be a bit confusing — or maybe just a tad bit overwhelming — when starting out. There are several ways to approach investing in stocks. First, you will want to determine your how you want to buy your stocks. After that, you choose the stocks or stock funds you want to buy. Then you calculate your budget. Then you buy your stocks and hopefully watch them grow. Here is how to do all of that.

Select your broker

Remember when I said that you most likely are going to just want to select a stockbroker? That is both true and somewhat untrue at the same time. Your basic choices are what’s called a ‘full-service broker” who charges a commission to buy or sell stock. The full-service broker will make recommendations and will watch your portfolio. Then there is the discount brokerage where you will make all your own decisions and pay a small, standard commission when you buy or sell. You sometimes also can buy stock directly from a company.

Choose stocks or stock funds

You can buy individual stock in one company. Individual stocks are all about going big with one particular company. By buying individual stocks, however, it is harder to diversify your portfolio — it is possible, but it requires a significant investment. You also can buy stock mutual funds, which are funds that allow you to buy a small piece of many different stocks through just one transaction. Then there are ETFs or Exchange-Traded Funds, which are investment funds traded on stock exchanges that track indexes.

This means that they aim to match the market instead of to beat the market by solely seeking to “replicate indexes.” Replicating indexes usually means buying the stocks of the companies within the index that is being tracked. Investing in funds means that you own not only small pieces of each stock but also small pieces of each company. Owning multiple funds is a good way of diversifying your portfolio.

Set a budget

There are generally two questions involved in this step of the process and they are: How much money do I want to risk, holding aside my rainy-day or emergency fund? and How much can I afford to lose? You also should think about not putting all your eggs in one basket — diversifying is the name of the game. If you have a small budget, you might want to buy a mutual fund or an exchange-traded fund.

Investing in funds is a good way to invest a fairly large amount of your portfolio in diverse kinds of investments. A young person investing for retirement could have up to 80 percent in stock funds (the rest would be in bond funds, which is a fund invested primarily in bonds and other debt instruments.)

Open an account

Once you decide what kind of broker you want, you will have to open an account. You can either get a face-to-face broker, an online broker to buy stocks or funds, or invest through your 401(k) at work (you might already be invested through mutual funds as we speak thanks to your 401(k)). Your broker also can help you set up an individual retirement fund (IRA). Here’s a step-by-step guide from Nerdwallet on opening a brokerage account if you need a little bit more information.

There will be a few factors to consider when deciding which type of broker and which type of account, including costs like fees and commission, your investment selections (like commission-free ETFs if you favor funds) and what type of investor research you will expect from your broker.

 

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Money Lessons Worth Learning By Age 18

It is bad news bears when most high schoolers do not know how to manage their money. But it is a far worse state of affairs when millennials, in general, seem to feel like a fish out of water when it comes to their financial education. An unfortunate reality in the United States is that neither high schools nor colleges do enough to get their students world-ready, come graduation day. And that includes teaching them how to handle their money. What’s more, many parents — themselves bad with money — can’t do the teaching job, either. Be that as it may, it is still important for high schoolers fresh out of their senior year, and millennials who never learned, to have a bit of finance-knowledge up their sleeves. Some of this knowledge includes, but is not limited to:

Both saving and investing are important

Of course, saving is important. But it is also important to learn all about investing, and how to do so as lucratively and as safely as possible. It makes sense that so many millennials are conservative at best when it comes to the stock market. After what happened to much of the baby boomer population — aka millennials’ parents — during the Great Recession of 2008, the skepticism, even fear, is understandable.

But did you know that 42 percent of millennials invest conservatively compared to 23 percent of boomers (according to a 2018 Fidelity Investment study)? Perhaps, having just entered the workplace during the last recession, the fear is too strong with this generation. The problem is that you miss 100 percent of the shots that you do not take, as the old saying goes. In other words, there can be no return on an investment that was never made in the first place.

Lesson: Don’t hide from the stock market!

Understand student loans

And understanding means more than just understanding that it will help you out with paying for college and whatnot. You also must understand what the impact of your college loans will be. You also must understand exactly how to look ahead into the future and see what is on the horizon. Surveys show that borrowers often regret borrowing come graduation day. It is not always a bad move — sometimes it is the only move — but it is a move that is worth thinking over well before pulling the proverbial trigger on taking out a student loan.

Before borrowing, it might be worthwhile to try to make a rough estimate of how much you think you will be earning after college. Sometimes you have no clue. But it helps if you know what you are studying. That way, you can investigate how much an average salaried worker with that degree earns. Also, pay close attention to the interest rate on your loans and how that interest will accrue over time. Will it begin accruing during college or only after you graduate? Finally, what do your repayment plan options look like? Will you be graduating early?

Because student debt has been the reason for so much hardship in recent years — including putting off marriage, kids and retirement — it is important to think long and hard about student loans.

Lesson: You don’t absolutely have to avoid student loans, but if you can it is your best bet. If you cannot, at least know what you are getting into. Do research!

Respect the credit score

Don’t ignore your credit score because it might be just this number that stands in the way of you buying a home, a car or other things that you may want later on. Remember to do things like pay off your credit card balance in full each month when it is possible, as it helps to build up a nice, pretty credit score (the higher the better!).

It is important to understand that late payments on credit cards very often trigger fees and result in lowered credit scores. Be wary of your grace period on a payment and do not exceed the time that has been allotted you to pay off something.

Lesson: Credit scores are important. Don’t ignore them.

Minimum wage isn’t always bad

I mean, it sucks if you are trying to nourish yourself to a point beyond utter starvation. That is a given. But, having said that, if you can afford to be paid minimum wage, there are reasons why taking a minimum-wage job may not always be the worst thing in the world. The main reason is if it will build up your resume and credentials in a field in which you want to have a career. It is not unheard of that a $15 an hour job can lead to a $100,000 a year job in the long-run, for instance.

In addition, it isn’t all about the money when it comes to the availability of an excellent mentor, or just plain old decent role models. Even just a good manager can make up for poor pay in terms of workplace and career-education. Another thing to consider is a work-life balance. You might make great money and have to be away from family for months on end. Or you might make minimum wage but get to come home to your family every evening at a reasonable time.

Lesson: Consider more than just the pay, if you can afford to do so.

Cut out unnecessary purchases

There really is no good justification for buying that third Gucci handbag or the $300 pair of jeans, try as we might to justify those purchases to ourselves. What is important is creating a budget. Delayed gratification is an important skill to learn as you enter into adulthood. It’s not that you don’t get to buy the thing eventually, but learning to save for something will prove valuable to you in the long-run. Studies have shown that those who learn to tolerate anticipation rather than expecting instant gratification also have better stress levels, social skills and even healthier weight.

Lesson: Learn to put off unneeded splurge purchases, and start a budget.

Takeaway

By being born in the United States of America, the odds are against you gaining a suitable financial education through proper means. That does not imply, however, that you cannot educate yourself. Information, in this modern world, is at your fingertips. It all comes down to whether you click on the right links or not.

 

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What Is Culture Shifting Labs And What Do They Do?

Bold Biz: Does Diversity Improve A Company's Bottom Line?

Andrea Hoffman, CEO of Culture Shift Labs & Richard Kerby, Angel Investor joined #BoldBiz to discuss culture shifting weekends & how to invest in the diverse venture capital community. #BoldTV

Posted by BoldTV on Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Culture Shifting Labs advise big companies, nonprofits, government and philanthropists on diversity and inclusion in investments and marketing. According to CEO Andrea Hoffman, these organizations have to learn to allocate money to untapped diverse markets, which have incredible purchasing power. And, at the same time, the company is interested in helping diverse people access capital.

Focusing on the lack of diversity in investors and venture capitalists

Richard Kerby, who does research for Culture Shifting Labs, found that there is very low diversity among venture capitalists. Only 2 percent of venture capitalists are African-American and only 12 percent are women. And, there is even a lack of geographical diversity in that most venture capital goes to only three states: California, Massachusetts and New York.

How do people of color, ethnic minorities and women get access to capital?

Culture Shifting Labs runs Culture Shifting Weekends, which are designed to help diverse people, like people of color, get access to capital and where people of color who have capital can spread information and make deals. Hoffman referred to the weekend as a “button” that institutional investors and angel investors can press and find hundreds of diverse people gathered, including the largest convening of black venture capitalists. This is what she refers to as “democratizing the information,” but the event is not just about information, it’s also about deals. And, there were very practical and impressive outcomes from their last Culture Shifting Weekend: $17 million were invested into three people and their funds. They are holding their next Culture Shifting Weekend on Nov. 1 to 3 in New York City.

How can we change this at an earlier stage?

Educational institutions can help change this lack of diversity by teaching people what it means to invest, how to become an entrepreneur. And, especially, by having role models that are ethnically and racially diverse. Just by having venture capitalists who are black or women come forward so people know that people who look like them are venture capitalists. There are at least 125 black venture capitalist who attended last year’s weekend and even they didn’t realize how many diverse venture capitalists there were in the United States.

 

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Millennial Investors Are Having Flashbacks To 2008

Millennials are having a hard time with investing. They are generally more cautious when it comes to choosing investments as well as starting to trade stock. Millennials also do not fully trust investing, since 30 percent believe that cash is the best and most efficient investment. With the recent volatility in the stock market, millennials may be questioning the value of investing in stocks. In fact, 57 percent of millennials say they will never invest in any form of stock due to the high levels of volatility around the outcome. Millennial investing is scarce. 

Why the hesitation around investing?

Many millennials remember the stock market crash of 2008. The anxiety that our parents felt during that time has crept into our current economic era. That 2008 crash was caused when the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 777.68 points in a single day. The Dow is a stock market index that represents the U.S. economy within three categories: transportation, industries and utilities. That 2008 drop was the largest drop in history… until the one earlier this year. The effects of that first sudden crash can still be felt. For millennials, memories of 2008 have led to a tentative behavior in actually investing as well as a large distrust of financial markets.

Last week, the Dow fell to the lowest point in two years. In the beginning of February, the stock market lost $1 trillion dollars in value. This led to a rapid market sell-off. The sudden, dramatic turn of events gave millennials even more of a reason not to start investing. But you shouldn’t panic. The stock market has not truly crashed this early in the year. In fact, the market is back up currently. If anything, this sudden volatility is a lesson for millennial investors. Volatility refers to the increases and decreases in the price of securities in a certain circumstance. The market is unpredictable, but that shouldn’t scare you away from investing.

How can we get millennials to invest?

Millennials are working toward paying off student debt, while saving for future families and retirement. They often do not have a lot of money lying around to invest. However, investing does not have to start with an enormous amount of money. New smartphone apps make it easy to start an investing career with as little as $5.

Education around investing is also important. In general, millennials have a low financial literacy. If you are in college and can afford it, enroll in a financial class. You can also take advantage of affordable online education programs such as Coursera. This way you can ensure you choose worthwhile investments.

If millennials don’t invest, they may lose out on retirement funding. If we assume an annual raise of 3.7 percent, a 25-year-old now earning $40,456 annually who puts 15 percent into stocks yearly would accumulate $4.57 million by the time they turned 65. This equation makes it seem unwise to not invest at least some part of your income, even with the fears of volatility.

Takeaway

Millennials are scared of investing. It is largely a fear left over from the 2008 recession that affected our parents, but this worry of possible loss of funds is resulting in the loss of potential retirement money for millennials. It is understandable that millennials are hesitant to invest the little money available to them once they pay off student loans. However, we as a generation are missing out. Investing even a tiny amount of income can have huge benefits down the road. Despite the uncertainties, investing does not need to be so terrifying. With a little more financial education, millennials will soon understand why it’s smart to invest.

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Cryptocurrency 101: Why It Is Here To Stay

Cryptocurrency: the new buzzword of the past few months. Everybody thinks they know what it is because of the Bitcoin boom that happened late last year. However, many people have no idea what cryptocurrency is, though they really want to get involved. For those people, you’re in luck — here is a quick breakdown of cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrency 101

If you take away all of the fuss and hype around cryptocurrency and focus on its definition, you will realize it’s simpler than you thought. Cryptocurrency refers to “limited entries in a database no one can change without fulfilling specific conditions.” This actually matches the definition of, well, most things. Think about it — there are always pre-existing rules or regulations that need to be cleared. Think of withdrawing money from a bank — you need to have a certain amount in there to withdraw from in the first place.

Cryptocurrency, particularly Bitcoin, was actually invented accidentally after a digital crash in 2008. Satoshi Nakamoto, the person or group (their identity is unknown) invented Bitcoin, and calls cryptocurrency “a digital cash system without a central entity.”

Transactions get around on a peer-to-peer (p2p) network. A pending transaction can be formed, which is a drawback — however, once the transaction is done, it becomes part of a blockchain, which is a continually growing block of data.

Let’s break it down. To get digital cash, you must first have a “payment network” that has sufficient accounts and balances for your transaction. After this step is when it gets tricky: payment networks have to avoid what’s known as “double spending,” which is when the same entity spends twice. Each network needs to monitor this because there is no centralized bank that can do so.

To prevent anyone from abusing the system through two transactions or double spending, data miners are needed as a sort of governing body. Anybody can be a miner. Transactions are also anonymous and very secure; only the owner of a private key can send Bitcoin, and everyone has their own private keys.

Drawbacks

Of course, there are some drawbacks — for one, cryptocurrencies are difficult to track. They’re still taxed, too, as the IRS treats them like assets. Also, due to the lack of a centralized system to regulate transactions, it means that each entity needs to keep track of their transactions themselves.

If there is one small, minor disagreement about transactions, everything can fall apart. This can quickly lead to disagreements between peer-to-peer networks. It’s like doing a group project in high school, but one of your partners covers the same content in their PowerPoint presentations as you do, repeating the same information. Who gets credit for what? There is no way to know.

To top it off, identities are completely anonymous, meaning there is no link between people’s online personas and real-life identities. Transactions happen almost instantly and are global — it doesn’t matter if you are sending money to a neighbor or someone in Russia. With one wrong click, you can lose large sums of money if you’re not careful.

Back in mid-December, Bitcoin hit $19,850 but then plunged down to $12,000 in just a few days. As of this writing, it currently stands at $9,942 dollars, which is down 24 percent from one month ago but still up 935 percent from only a year ago. How did it drop that much?

This is known as a “bubble.” Other cryptocurrencies, such as ethereum, litecoin and Ripple XRP, have gained significant interest since the explosion of Bitcoin. This is a downside, as the market is extremely vulnerable (at least for now). Because it is based on a peer-to-peer system, somebody’s stake in cryptocurrency is only worth what people say it is at the time. Think of it as shrinking value of the dollar; whereas $10,000 was a lot of money when you were young, it is not enough money now that you’re an adult.

Takeaway

Cryptocurrency is still shrouded in unknown details, particularly in regards to its future, but it has shown temporary promise with Bitcoin. Regardless of its drawbacks, it is likely that it is here to stay as the global economy moves to combine with the realm of technology and online transactions of money. Who knows — perhaps it will someday be the main source of transactions between people in the way banks are today.

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This Cryptocurrency Rewards System Might Just Draw In New Users

Bold Biz: Current Media

Current Media Network rewards you for the content you consume!

Posted by BoldTV on Wednesday, January 31, 2018

 

If you’ve been paying attention to the news recently, you may have heard the term “cryptocurrency” floating around. This term was extensively used when referencing Bitcoin, which recently hit a record high before falling in value. How does cryptocurrency affect us today, and what are companies doing with it?

Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is a form of digital currency that is now being widely accepted as a legitimate payment system. It takes a step away from traditional print money and adapts to the changing (and preferred) means of doing everything: via the internet.

Dan Noveas is the CEO of Current Media. The company sells tokens, which are a rewards system with cryptocurrency. The idea is to “reward you for your data, time and hardship,” Noveas said. In exchange for your media consumption, Current provides incentives to maintain a user base, such as rewards points and tokens.

Amongst the initial investors into Current was billionaire Mark Cuban, a noted internet entrepreneur himself. The platform consolidates other companies, such as Instagram, Spotify, YouTube and Instagram, into one, easy-to-use platform. This eliminates the need to continuously switch tabs and go to each individual platform.

The tokens are called CRNC (pronounced “currency”). CRNC “reduces or eliminates premium subscription costs for users, creates an additional revenue stream for content creators, and rewards curators for finding content that users love.” Said “tokens” are to reward users for spending their time, money and effort on each partnering website.

Eventually, the user of CRNC can accumulate enough tokens to buy a subscription to the website. After a while, these so called “content creators” are rewarded for contributing to the productivity of the website, and they can even exchange their CRNC for actual money.

Takeaway

Media consumption is a global habit for millions of people. People are utilizing the majority of their time on the internet for free. Many people are unaware of the rewards they could be accumulating by browsing their favorite sites. Current aims to pay users back for this media consumption; however, many people are still unsure about cryptocurrency.

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The Ups and Downs of the Stock Market

 

The Dow Jones is up 0.47 percent this morning, and you probably have no idea what that means. You’re not the only one. Take it from comedian John Mulaney, who did a whole routine about it; the stock market is very hard to understand. But it doesn’t have to be.

Owning a stock is analogous to owning a percentage of a company. In other words, when that company does well, or its market value goes up, it is mutually beneficial for you as well. Here’s what to know before you start investing in stocks.

Stock markets

For many, stock investments can be appealing because it’s an example of working smarter, not harder. According to Investopedia, “there are many different ways to go about investing, including putting money into stocks, bonds, mutual bonds, ETFs, or real estate.” Think of stocks as a form of investment — these fields are largely represented by stocks, or corporations that you are able to buy a percentage of.

Stocks are not only for rich people — while it is true that wealthy people are able to buy more stock, they are not the only ones who are able to buy stocks.

In fact, it’s as simple as going to one of your banks and opening a brokerage account. This account will allow you to invest with your own money. For this kind of investing, people put their money in markets they believe have potential to grow in the next few years. Some people even go for the long-haul and invest with the knowledge that they won’t see returns on certain ventures until 10 or more years down the line.

If you were smart enough to be an early investor in a tech company, for instance, the return for when a company declares itself public (IPO) will be very high. For the stock market, be aware of the consistent see-sawing of value. Share prices change because of supply and demand. If demand goes higher than supply, the price will go up. If supply is greater than demand, the price will fall.

Brokerage accounts

To actually buy stocks, a brokerage account is needed. A stock broker is used to help manage your funds. Charles Schwab or Smith Barney from Citigroup offer accounts that require a broker. The actual trade itself is done by the broker, who then gets a commission. If you prefer to manage your accounts online, consider Etrade or Ameritrade.

From there, you choose what types of stocks you want to buy. If the purchase is done online, there will be a lower commission fee. You also can buy stocks without a broker by buying directly from a company. DRIPInvestor.com gives a comprehensive list of companies that allow direct purchase of stocks.

After this is done, you can set limits to your account to decide the prices you’d like to buy at. This is to give buyers a choice as to whether to make a “market” or “limit” order.

The market price of the stock is used for a market order, while in a limit order, you can set the price at which you’d like to buy a stock yourself. If a stock is above or below the limit you set, the broker would not purchase the shares until the price meets your limit.

Types of stocks

There are several types of stocks to whet your interest. The most commonly used and talked about stock are common stock, hence the name. This is the form that the majority of stock is issued in. Due to the natural prospects of time, common stocks yield more return than corporate bonds.

Preferred stocks are similar to bonds. These shareholders do not hold voting rights even though they own shares of a company. The dividends on these stocks are significantly higher than for common stocks. Because of this, they are safer than common stocks. These shareholders get preferred treatment, as the name describes. These types of stocks can be “callable,” which means that a company can buy its stocks back.

Common and preferred stock are the two most common forms of stock, but they are not the only ones. Different share classes are given to majority owners. For instance, class A shares have more voting rights than class B shares, and may own a higher stake in the company.

Takeaway

While stocks may seem like a fun, yet risky investment to make, it is important to keep a few basic principles of money management in mind before you buy all of the stock of fidget spinners.

Don’t put all your eggs into one basket. It is very common for people to lose all their money in their brokerage accounts on stocks due to the nature of the fluctuating market. If you put all of your life savings into stocks, you may be heavily disappointed when things make a left turn and your wheel is broken. Now you’re broke, too.

For first-time investors, consider opening a brokerage account and speaking to financial advisors at a bank of your choosing. There are also a bevy of online resources at your disposal — try investopedia.com for starters.

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How To Make Money While You Sleep

Most people in the world work to sustain themselves and their families but still find themselves in dire financial situations. Luckily, there are many ways to generate passive income in order to make money without directly working for it.

Savings accounts

Investing your money in high-yield savings accounts can generate a high percentage of return. Online banks are known for having higher interest rates than physical brick-and-mortar locations. While previously lacking in competitive interest rates compared to a certificate of deposit, online banks have gone on to develop a respectable status over time.

Index funds allow you to invest in the general market without having to choose a particular investment. If your index fund is in the S&P 500, for instance, you are within the general market.

E*Trade is a great resource for a beginner interested in index funds.

Another easy option is maximizing your cash-back rewards and points. Cash-back rewards are crucial for getting more bang for your buck and are employed by many banks to increase their user bases. The Chase Freedom card offers 1 percent cash back on every dollar you spend and has many bonus categories, including gas and transportation.

Many credit cards also offer travel points that can be used to get free flights on airplanes. Another way to do this is even without credit cards; airline loyalty goes a long distance in stacking up points for free travel. Delta Skymiles was recently named number two in a list of best airlines rewards points. If you are planning a large travel trip, keep in mind all of the rewards you could be getting.

Other ventures

Passive income can be made without the use of a credit card, rewards points or cash-back incentives. Use social media to your advantage and be an influencer, which is a person who gets paid to promote products.

Even those without a large following can market niche clothing brands, makeup lines or other sponsorships. This can be maximized to generate income from simply posting on social media, which is something we all do anyway.

Put your creative talents to work and sell your photography. You don’t have to be Annie Leibovitz to sell your photographs — many people love doing photoshoots, and even the most amateur photographer can make a few hundred dollars per shoot.

After you get enough samples, build a portfolio and a website to display your work. Make sure your SEO terms are right, and soon people will come to you from searching on Google.

Also consider being a freelance graphic designer. Freelancers make most money when they tap into niches that most people cannot fill. Graphic designers are often hired by companies ranging from fashion to marketing and everything in between, and can make $30 to $40 dollars an hour for their services.

Takeaway

There are many ways to make passive income without working. You don’t always have to be afraid of the amount of money you have in your bank account. Cashing in on your learned skills, selling creative ideas, promoting your favorite brands — these are things the average person does anyway, even without realizing it. You might as well be getting paid for it.

Aside from that, maximizing your cash-back rewards and multiple point systems offered at banks can reward you for not doing anything. Lastly, consider high-interest savings accounts to save for a rainy day. If your pocketbook is suffering, it doesn’t have to be — understand that there are many ways to give it some breathing room.

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This New Book Will Help You Understand Cryptocurrency

Bold Biz: Crypto-assets

Crypto-currencies are all the rage right now, so we sat down with the author of 'Cryptoassets' to get a few investor tips on getting into the crypto-currency market!http://amzn.to/2GwjKps

Posted by BoldTV on Wednesday, January 31, 2018

 

The ever-unpredictable, complicated cryptocurrency market continues to fascinate many people. It’s proven particularly beneficial to some investors, many of whom are millennials, as they’ve reaped massive profits due to early adoption. This younger generation is uniquely positioned to understand this new form of money, and many want to use it to change the world’s economies.

“Cryptoassets: The Innovative Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond”

Even for the tech-savvy younger crowd, the stuff can seem impenetrably dense. Chris Burniske, the co-founder of Placeholder Ventures and the co-author of the book “Cryptoassets,” has a vast knowledge on the topic. In a discussion on Bold Business, he offers some explanations for how cryptocurrency works and why it’s a disruptive industry with the potential to revolutionize how money is used.

Regarding the latter, Burniske believes cryptocurrency’s ultimate goal is “decentralizing data, wealth and power.” He acknowledges that the road is going to be bumpy, as the recent devaluation of nearly all forms of cryptocurrency shows. Crypto, he says, needs a userbase that understands how the technology works. That’s one of the principal reasons he and co-author Jack Tatar wrote the book. As a lot of information relevant to cryptocurrency is, in his words, “fragmented” across multiple websites, the pair decided a more comprehensive guide was needed. Anyone who’s attempted to research even the basics of cryptocurrency can attest to this. This scattered nature seems to reflect the ethos of these decentralized networks themselves, but perhaps that’s a story for another time.

Takeaway

Is it a smart idea to invest in these assets? Burniske isn’t out to give investment advice, but he does want to educate potential investors. There’s certainly something to be said for investment opportunities that so strongly attract young millennials like him. Perhaps this is a space for millennials to have a shot at wealth that the older generations just don’t get. Time will tell.

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