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How to Win Mother’s Day: Three Ultimate Gifts

Category: Personal Finance | May 1, 2016 | No Comments

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, you don’t have a lot of time to be creative. If you want to blow mom’s socks off this year, here are some great gift ideas to get your ball rolling. Take some of our tips and add a personal touch to them. This will show her that you care, and give her something to remember this special day for years to come.
Say it With Flowers

Despite what they tell you, women love flowers. It’s more a matter of what type of flowers they don’t care for. Red roses are so common and typical, they don’t mean as much. If you really want to get mom something nice, investigate what her favorite flowers are, and have a local florist make you a custom arrangement. The flowers will eventually wilt and die, but she will remember the effort you put into them.
What Does She NEED

Sometimes it’s hard to buy for mom because anything she wants she just buys. Look deeper and see if there is something that she really needs. If she’s been wearing the same old watch, check out the selection Ashford has. If she doesn’t need a watch, get something that has a special meaning between the two of you; something that reminds you of old memories, university, etc.
Let Her Go

Sometimes, moms just need some time away from the craziness of life. Take the kids for a day, and schedule her a full spa day. See what treatments spas in your area offer and book her the ultimate package. This is the one day all year that she can actually not care about anything. Reassure her that you and the kids have plans and will be fine so she can just sit back and relax.
Make Her A Cake

While mom is out at the spa, gather the children and make mom a special cake. In the end it doesn’t even matter what the cake tastes or looks like, mom will be ecstatic with the idea. Moms love their families and children, anything from the heart is sure to make a lasting impression for years.


A Beginner’s Guide to Trading Forex

Category: General Investing | April 29, 2016 | No Comments

The global currency market is the largest financial market in the world, with an average of over $5 trillion traded every day. This works out to be $220 billion per hour, dwarfing the futures, equities and stock markets. It is also the most liquid market in the world, which provides many advantages for traders hoping to enter and exit the market.

There are many benefits to trading forex on the currency market and it can be an appealing option for those looking to make worthwhile investments and a bit of money on the side, or turn it into a full-time career. It can be a lengthy learning process, especially when coming into it from a non-financial background. This brief guide provides an overview for beginners wanting to start trading forex.

How Forex Trading Works

Forex trading is essentially buying one currency with another, which results in the two being exchanged. As the common trading advice goes; “buy low, sell high” is the motto for success. The most successful forex traders make their profits by exchanging one currency for another that then increases in value, then selling before it falls again.

There is more to it though. In forex trading most currencies come in pairs with an exchange rate that will fluctuate on a daily basis. Through this relationship one currency will appreciate (or strengthen) against the other, while the other will depreciate (or weaken). Successful traders buy into the one they believe will strengthen and sell when they believe the exchange price has peaked.

Currency Pairs

To start off you will need to decide which currency pair to begin trading. If you already use the US Dollar or Euros then it is best to start with this currency and trade with one of the other major currencies. There are eight major currencies: US Dollar, Euro, Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Swiss Franc, British Pound, Japanese Yen and New Zealand Dollar. These make up six most tradeable currency pairs:


The US Dollar is the most popular currency to trade, which makes it a good option to start with. You are also far less likely to make large losses trading with major currencies, so it can help prevent against this.


As with anything, the more money you put in the more you can make. One benefit of forex trading is that leverage can be used to significantly increase the returns on investment. The leverage available when trading forex is one of the highest investors can ever use, usually 50, 100 or 200:1.

This allows traders with smaller funds to make much larger trades and therefore profits than they would otherwise be able to afford. It may seem risky but it is rare that currency prices fluctuate by more than 1%, so you are unlikely to lose much on unsuccessful trades as long as it is exited before too long.

Where to Start Trading Currencies

When you’ve done plenty of research and read up on a lot of information about the currency market and how to go about forex trading, there are still a few decisions to be made. Forex trading can be done part-time as a financially rewarding hobby, as an extra investment opportunity or those truly serious may consider attempting it as a full-time job.

You will also need to choose which currency pairs to begin trading. It is advisable to begin with just one currency pair, as it will provide a quick learning curve, before expanding your portfolio. Start with one of the six major pairs as their prices should not change too much to put you in a disastrous position.

Short or Long Term Trades

Making short term trades can be a good way to get a feel for forex trading. Opening a position early on and closing it by the end of the day will quickly show how currencies can increase and decrease in value. However, longer trades are a better choice for minimising risk which is useful in your first few trades. The forex market is essentially open 24 hours a day, five days a week, as ones all across the world open and close at different times. Stick to one time zone when trading to avoid confusion.

Choose a Platform

In order to begin trading you will need a quality platform, such as one of the ETX Capital models available. Professional trading platforms link across computer desktop, mobile and tablet devices so you can trade using the same account and software from anywhere with an internet connection. These provide all the latest information in charts and graphs with simple to use interfaces that are great for beginners.

Pay Attention to Financial News

Real world events have a big impact on currency price, so it is important to stay up to date with global and financial news and events. National elections, wars and financial events can be used to make predictions on future price changes and your own trades.

Demo Accounts

Before you start making real life trades it is a good idea to take advantage of the demo accounts. Most platforms offer this service and it is a much safer way to see whether your forex trading strategy is likely to be successful or not. They provide as realistic a platform as any so make the most of them before putting actual money on the line.

Key Forex Phrases

Here are a few key phrases to be aware of that will help you be a success trading forex:

  • Bid/ask: Bid is the buying price for a currency and ask is the selling price.
  • Spread: This is the difference between the bid and ask prices. Every broker attaches a spread to currency they trade where they make a profit.
  • Stop loss: Setting a stop loss ensures you will only lose a small amount of the investment if its value decreases.
  • Margins: The credit brokers extend to traders so much larger amounts of particular currencies can be traded without large investments.
  • Leverage: The use of credit and margins to make large gains and losses.

This brief beginner’s guide to forex trading should stand you in good stead when you feel ready to take the plunge and start your currency trading career.

What You Should Consider Before Jumping Into Forex Trading

Category: General Investing | April 26, 2016 | No Comments

Do you feel that you are ready to take the proverbial leap into the lucrative world of the Forex markets? Are you confident that you have developed a winning strategy and have you studied the various metrics behind currency trades? If so, you are likely very confident that you have the skills necessary to succeed. However, there are a few other variables that may need to be addressed. In order for you to be the most prepared as humanly possible, let us take a look at some things that you may have missed.

Choosing the Best Platform

All of the knowledge and foresight in the world will be of little value if you choose an obtuse or otherwise inefficient trading platform. It is critical to compare and contrast those which are considered to be the best in the business. CMC Markets offers proprietary architecture that is centered around the discrete needs of the trader. User-friendly software combined with the latest analytical tools are only some of the advantages to keep in mind.


Every trader has his or her own unique fiscal limitations. These are always important to address, for negative trades can quickly eat into a financial portfolio. Therefore, set clear limits in regards to how much money you allot to the Forex markets on a weekly and monthly basis. Even if profits are accruing, never exceed this figure.


In this sense, we are referring to setting up concrete times when you plan on trading during the week. These can range from the first thing in the morning to late at night. The choice of currencies and markets will likewise have an impact upon this decision. Once you have delineated such time slots, stick to them and try not to deviate. Your mind and body will become habituated to trading at these moments. In turn, your levels of focus and control can both be heightened.

Your Ultimate Goals

Every individual enters into the Forex markets for very unique and personal reasons. Some are naturally looking to amass long-term wealth during a period of months or even years. Others could instead enjoy the thrill of day trading. There are even some professional traders who began this journey as a means to pay off existing debt. Always make certain that your goals are clearly outlined from the very beginning. This will help to maintain focus and motivation. Traders without such vision tend to become emotionally blunted and eventually, they can lose interest before ever having experienced the benefits that the currency markets have to offer.

This should only serve as a rough outline in regards to the things to consider before entering into the Forex industry. Different investors will naturally have different concerns. Above all, preparation is the ultimate key to success. Possessing a veritable “road map” well in advance of actively trading is the most secure way to build sustainable wealth and benefit from all that this enticing sector has to offer.

Businesses Should Keep One Eye On Rival Stocks – Here’s Why

Category: Business | March 24, 2016 | Comments Off on Businesses Should Keep One Eye On Rival Stocks – Here’s Why

Businesses are all essentially in one giant competition, and there are winners and losers. The winners will be the successful companies that build a massive audience and spark consumer interest. Of course, there are businesses that just aren’t very successful, and are swallowed up as quickly as they began.

Business owners and investors alike should be keeping one eye on their rivals – especially rival stocks. In most cases, these are publicly available figures that you can use to determine what future action you will take. While they aren’t a die hard indicator of the success of a company, they can still be used to glean valuable information about their current state.

What does my rival’s stock price tell me?

Anyone can access stock numbers; even an everyday iPhone user has this power in their pocket. Companies can live or die by their stock price, so it’s surprising that this information is generally made public.

That being said, this means you can use it to your advantage. If you notice that the the price of your rival’s stock has declined over the last few weeks, you should be finding out why. This can help you to avoid a mistake that they may have made which resulted in their stock price declining.

Conversely, if stock prices are soaring, take a look at what caused such success. See if you can apply these methods to your own business practices for similar results. What works for someone else won’t always work for you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give it a try.

How can I use stock prices to my advantage?

In the most broad sense possible, these figures are a relatively reliable indicator of current success. So, lower prices means decreased success. There’s decreased interest in that company for investors, and the price of shares has declined. Keeping an eye on the stock market allows you see the highs and lows of a particular company, and that’s something that can help your business out.

Here’s an example. Let’s say your rival, Company R, has shown a decline in stock price over the last few weeks. You have to look at their recent history, and identify why.

Then, you find the answer. They recently made a product announcement about the DVD players they manufacture. They will no longer play pre-owned discs, and users will have to buy brand new copies to watch films. This decision is met with uproar from consumers, and sales of these DVD players have bombed.

So, this string of publicly available mistakes are yours to learn from. It gives you insight into how and why a company is successful, and lays out the pitfalls for you to avoid. This is a very basic example, but you hopefully get the idea. As a business owner or investor, using the state of your rivals to improve business practices is key. If you are an investor, there are some things you should consider before you invest, and this is one of them.

So, hopefully you now have a better understanding of how to use stock prices effectively! As previously mentioned, it’s not a surefire method, but it can help you in a general sense.

What You Should Consider Before Investing

Category: General Investing | March 21, 2016 | Comments Off on What You Should Consider Before Investing

It is important that everyone invests at least a little bit of money in the market. This is not only beneficial to you but also the economy. Many people can be put off by investing because it can seem a daunting prospect. It is however, not as complex, as one might imagine. Once you begin to explore ventures and financing, you will see all the opportunities that you now have. You simply need a few guidelines before you begin. Here are some things to consider before you begin investing:

Type of Investment

There are many different industries that you can invest in. It may difficult to pick just a few from the many options you have. You should pick corporations or sectors that seem to have a strong footing in the market. For instance, in 2016, there are many who have chosen to buy gold. This is because the commodity is a stable investment at times when the economy is weak. Trends such as these are what you should look out for before you choose the type of industry or company that you want to invest in. It is best to stay away from volatile or complex elements when you are just starting out.

Risk vs. Reward

One of the greatest fears that plague investing is the fear of incurring losses. We are afraid of losing our money. It has been proven, however, that the size of the risk is often comparable to the size of the reward. This means that to truly experience any profits from your ventures, you must allow for a certain amount of risk. This is particularly true for long term investments. Investments such as these require patience. You cannot simply take a specific time period as a guarantee of future performance. Those who wait out their investments have often been the ones to greatly profit from them. You should, however, not gamble any money that you do not have. Always use surplus from your finances to invest.

DIY Investing

One of the cheapest ways to invest is to begin doing it yourself. Unless you have a large amount of money to invest, it is best to use fund companies. This will save you a great deal of money on unnecessary charges. It will also give you direct access to your investments, keeping you in the loop at all times. There are many free resources available to those who wish to learn about investment. They can be found online, from reputable sources. You can also ask agents at fund companies for assistance in certain manners. It is best to gather as much information as you can before you employ the services of an advisor. This way you will be able to make better decisions as you will be properly informed.

These guidelines will help you choose where you wish to invest your money. It will also help you structure your investments. This is the first step that you will take in your investment journey. You will be soon handling your own portfolio with the greatest of ease.

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