Sunday, February 28, 2016

Getting Crafty With Your Budget

money budgeting
If you are on a budget but still want to look good, and have fun while you are at it, crafting is going to come in as a saving grace. Many people think that crafting is not enjoyable or takes too much work, but actually it can be very fun, and productive in just a short manner of time.

It takes time to learn how to knit, crochet, or sew, but once you begin to acquire these skills you will be able to supply yourself (and your friends and family) with homemade, unique clothing. Your friends and family, and strangers too, will admire your unique “brand” and ask you where you got it from. You can proudly reply that you crafted it yourself. Nobody needs to know that you are knitting your own socks to save money- but it can certainly do that! A homemade knit pair of socks can last you a long time, because you’ll also know how to darn them should a hole or rip appear.

Repairing your clothes is a useful skill that can save you loads of cash. Just because a pair of pants has a hole in them does not mean they are garbage. I once patched three different holes on a pair of pants that lasted me about eight years- through high school, college, and a few years of agricultural work- that was a great pair of pants! And those pants were great because of the work and energy I put into them. Each time I or someone else noticed one of the patches I had sewn on, I was proud of the fact that I was still using these pants years after the fact, even though many would’ve thrown them away long before. Not only was I proud, but the pants were functional, too. They were my favorite pants, which was why I had taken great pains to sew them properly! On top of it, I was saving a lot of money- while others would’ve thrown out one or two or even three pairs of pants by the time I finally parted ways with that particular pair of pants, I had not done so- that translated to money saved to spend on other things!

You might not think of crafting to recuse your troubled budget, but it certainly can help you out while providing an enjoyable hobby and a unique wardrobe to boot!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Three High Yield Funds with Reduced Risk

concept of high yield funds
The popularity of high yield bonds are steadily increasing. Investors are in earnest search for an alternative to the stock market. The stock market tends to be quite unstable and unpredictable and usually proves to be more of a risk than a reward. Financiers are looking for a replacement that removes them from such a risk but still provides a better return than other forms of investments.

High yield funds have been the favored alternative amongst such investors and it shows. In 2015, 22 billion US dollars were invested in such funds. This is more than double the amount recorded the previous year. The allure of this type of financing is that its ‘risk’ factor actually results in a greater return rate than other asset classes. The best way to balance the gamble with the return is to invest in a fund that has a considerably lower risk than most. Here are a list of the best options:

Metropolitan West High Yield Bond Fund

This fund is more commonly known as MWHYX and has 2.3 billion US dollars in asset. It has also received a five-star rating from Morning star. 86 percent of this account consists of United States corporate bonds while the rest are overseas bonds. The annual portfolio turnover rate currently stands at 34 percent.

The MWHYX has a yield of 7.5 percent and has shown a steady increase over the past five years. In 2015, it showed an increase of 16.2 percent in a year.

Similar to other funds, MWHYX main investments lie with bonds that are rated BB and below. In an attempt at stability, the fund discerns the patterns across asset value, flow of money, and seniority to assess certain matters.

Janus High Yield Fund

Denoted as JAHYX, this 2 billion US dollar fund is a conservatively managed fund. It has received a four-star Morningstar rating. 88 percent of the account is comprised of United States corporate bonds while the remaining 11 percent consists of foreign bonds. The annual portfolio rate is typically estimated at 91 percent.

JAHYX has a yield of 7.06 percent. In the year of 2015, it held a total return of 4.1 percent. The previous year showed 18.4 percent. It has a 10-year annual return of 7.6 percent. The expenses of this firm are calculated at 0.86 percent. The least initial investment into the fund is US dollars 2,500.

The majority of the bonds in this fund are from firms that produce solid free cash flow. This leads to an enhancement in the value of the balance sheets and by default a stability in JAHYX credit quality profile. The conservative stance of the company ensures that its losses are smaller than its counterparts.

The Fidelity and Capital Income Fund

Abbreviated to FAGIX, this fund has assets of 11 billion US dollars. It has received a five-star rating from Morningstar. 81 percent of this fund consists of United States corporate funds while the rest is from overseas corporate bonds.

The yield of the fund was at 6.09 percent with a total return of 4.3 percent for the year of 2015. During the course of 2015, it accrued over 20 percent. The 10 year annual return of the fund is 10.2 percent.

Opportunistic in nature, FAGIX is saddled with greater risk than other funds. Its interests comprise of distressed securities and equities. Its investments lie with bonds with a rating of B. It also owns bank loans.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Why Traders Make Use of XFR Financial Ltd Software

helpful financial software
You may look at forex trading software as an associate who takes logical decisions for you without getting involved emotionally. It always remains watchful and searches trades that prove profitable for you and the best thing is that it seldom loses a chance of booking profits for you.

2 Types of Software

There is no dearth of software for forex trading, each having its own plus and negative features. Mainly there are two types of software. Type one has to be incorporated in XFR Financial Ltd trading account whereas type two gets synchronized with the Internet based trading platform that a trader may be using. Nevertheless, the features noted above remain common to both and irrespective of the type you may opt for you are required to lay down the limits while working with them.

The type of software you can employ at XFR Financial Ltd is entirely a personal decision. However, you'll be wrong in considering that software can be your financial savior. Of course, you should surely buy one but look at it as a useful tool that that works as template and makes rewarding trades for the user. Bear in mind that no software guarantees to produce profit all the time. Even the most excellent software is sure to be unsuccessful or fail to deliver expected results at one time or the other. Actually, it's not the failure of the software; it is failure on the part of the user in setting the right limits for their trades. Also, software isn't capable of predicting certain market movements.

It is unfortunate that many users being ignorant of the functioning of these software discard these as plain scams if they fail to deliver desired results. In fact, whenever any chosen software fails to come to your expectations, most often it means you need to change your settings of limits.

Trading At XFR Financial Ltd Without Using Software?

Yes, you can surely avoid making use of automated software while trading at XFR Financial Ltd. However, under such circumstances you'll be required to plan a trading strategy of your own and that will certainly demand several hours of continuous sitting opposite your desktop for constantly watching ongoing market movements necessarily needed for making profitable trades.

On employing automated software for trading forex, you can automate many of the essentially needed activities.

There are too many software programs available in today's market. Their availability in large number makes it challenging to choose the one most suited to your method of trading. Selecting a program isn't very difficult but you would need to spend plenty of time looking for the most suitable one. You'll be required to do extensive search. You may start by going through assessment made by traders who may have already used various software. Another helpful way to check the worthiness of software you are interested to buy will be to visit couple of forums to check the remarks of other users. It's a smart idea to buy program that comes with money back guarantee.

Having selected software, one should check it. That's can easily be done by opening a demo account with XFR Financial Ltd and tracking the results it delivers. Should you be unable to get expected results, you should seriously consider changing your parameters and check if the results improve. Before you start trading with your real money, ensure that you have learnt to make effective use of software through demo account. The price of such programs varies from just $10 to $200 and even more.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Investment Ideas For The Socially Responsible

helpful investment ideas
Are you looking for ways to invest your savings, but want to be careful about who uses your money? If so, this post is for you. We’re going to take you through the basics of socially responsible investment - or ethical investment - and give you a few ideas.

Whatever your personal beliefs about politics, health, and religion, there are ways to invest money that will fit your views. And, the good news is, that some of them will make you money - while offering good intentions to the world and the human race.

Let’s get started with some of the things you should be looking out for.

The basics

First of all, it’s important to understand that ethical investment is only down to you. One person’s idea of a moral business is another person’s evil. You could invest in a cancer drug, for example, and think that you are helping to wipe out this curse of a disease. But, someone else might avoid doing so. Maybe they don’t want anything to do with big pharma, who charge extortionate amounts for the drugs they patent. Also, you might want to invest in green energy, whereas your neighbor could think it is an enormous con. So, you can’t define an ethical investment as such - it is only your outlook that can make that decision. That said, there are some traditional areas of socially responsible investing, and various ways of going about it. We are going to take a look at those now.


So, if you are going to look into socially responsible investment, there are a few ways of getting involved. First of all, it’s the investment itself. This is when you look at companies and organizations that share similar values to you. There could be environmental thoughts behind your decision, or any other reasons why that company resonates with you. Perhaps they offer exceptional levels of consumer protection, or they treat their staff well. Maybe the company comes from a similar religious background as you. In general terms, this is called ESG Investing - or Environmental, Social, and Governance Investing.


Of course, once you start investing in companies, you have a responsibility to make sure that they perform well. Most people are happy to watch their stock value rise, but others might apply a little pressure to make those companies more responsible. This is called ‘advocacy’ and involves being proactive and trying to influence the corporate board to work in a particular way. There’s a tricky balance to strike here, of course. But, companies and organizations rarely change if they don’t have to. And, being on the ‘inside’ as a stockholder puts you in a powerful position. Plenty of successful companies have undergone a change after pressure from shareholders. And that will continue for many more years.


Community investment is the act of putting capital into community services. This can be on a local scale, for things like child care, housing, education and health. Or, it could even be investing in other countries, who are undergoing development. There are plenty of places in the world - and the country - that can’t access funds from traditional lenders. So, the only option for them is from investors, who can give them low-interest loans. Check out for a good example of what to expect.


Plenty of investment funds are seeing the benefits of keeping within ethical boundaries. And, it’s fair to say that they are doing great business, as more people switch on to social responsibility. A quick search on Google for ethical funds will bring back plenty of results. However, as we mentioned above, it is down to your own due diligence to find a fund that shares your values. For example, some funds out there won’t touch any company in the gambling industry. You might feel it’s a personal choice issue rather than an ethical one. Also, there are funds out there that will avoid any investments in the defense industry - and you might feel otherwise. There are some tricky choices to make, but the only way you are going to find out is through research.

Direct investments

You can also invest direct into a company, too, rather than buy shares and stocks. For example, medicine and pharmaceutical companies often seek out private investors to fund research. Take a look here for an idea of what to expect - Going down the direct route will give you a lot more influence than you would have just for being a stockholder. So, you could start to bring important ideas to the table if you believe the company is lacking. This kind of active role is often a lot more efficient than screening out companies, as it can lead to greater change.


Another way of approaching a more socially responsible investment is through screening. This is where you - or your fund manager - discounts companies that don’t adhere to your principles. So, let’s say that you want to invest in a coffee company abroad. You are into fair trade and wish to ensure that your money goes to an organization that offers worker’s rights and treats their employees well. However, you then do your research on the company and find that the business in question violates a lot of working standards - so you don’t invest. Screening can take many forms, of course - many funds won’t go near the tobacco industry anymore. It’s important to understand that this type of ‘sin screening’ can decrease your options by a significant amount. Perfection does not exist in business - like anything else in life.

OK, so there are some of the basics of socially responsible investment. As you can see, there is a lot to think about when you are looking for a more ethical way of working your money. The trick is to find a fund that follows the same guidelines to life that you do, and always do your research. But, if you want to make a positive change, then the direct investment is the best option.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Keeping Finances Healthy When You're Unemployed

finances during unemployment
When you face a period of unemployment, your finances are going to be stretched to their limit. You will have to come to terms with the fact that you no longer have an income you can rely on. You’ll have to look for ways to cut back on spending, particularly if you have kids. It’s important that you find ways to save money around the home and make the best of the situation until you find yourself back on your feet. Here are some of the other issues you should consider.

Job Seekers Allowance

If you search for jobs regularly, when you’re unemployed, you will be eligible to claim job seekers allowance or a similar benefit. This will provide you with a small amount of money to help keep you float. It allows you to avoid borrowing, and that is for the best. Borrowing money is one of the easiest ways to end up in debt when you’re unemployed. Typically, when you apply for job seekers allowance, you will have to search for jobs regularly and take one that you are offered. If you do not do this, you will no longer be entitled to this particular benefit.

Out Of Work Due To Injury

You might be off work due to an injury that means you are unable to complete your job. In this case, it is worth considering legal action. Particularly if the incident wasn’t your fault, caused by factors beyond your control. A massive number of people are believed to be living with disabilities caused by work-related injuries. If you have been injured and are out of work due to a injury, you must take legal action as soon as possible. Speaking to a personal injury lawyer will give you your best chance of winning your claim. If you do this, you may find your financial troubles are over.

Long Periods Of Unemployment

Some people find themselves unemployed for longer periods of time. In this situation, there are a few things that you should do. You should start looking for jobs that are not in your chosen career but that you do have the skill for. Working in a shop when you have an engineering degree may seem ridiculous. But, it might be your only choice in a poor job market. It’s also worth considering downsizing in this situation. Owning your house is an advantage because you can sell it, move to a smaller place and use the extra money to get by. This will give you a few more months where you’ll be able to look for a job that you want.

Once you financial situation stabilizes you can buy back everything that you lost.

The Road To Recovery

After you find a new job, you’ll have a chance to improve your situation in case you face another period of redundancy. The best way to do this is to save emergency funds. Put these in an ISA account with a high interest rate. That way you’ll make more money that you can use when times are hard. Be aware, this is the worst case scenario. Hopefully, you will never face another long period of unemployment.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Top 5 Most Sought After Precious Metals In The World

precious metals
When you think of precious metals, what comes to your mind? Normally, people place gold and silver on the top list because of their widespread use in jewelry and official recognition as a basis of monetary system. However, there are other substances that are equally precious that you need to learn more about. Meet the top 5 most sought-after metals in the world.


Gold is often referred to as the king of precious metals, all thanks to its reflectiveness, durability and malleability. The rare metal occurs in its purest form in South African and American mines and is retrieved using methods like metal detecting, cradling, panning, dredging and sluicing. For ages, the soft metal has been used as a tool of monetary exchange and to this day, most countries have their wealth indicated by amounts of gold reserves. Other than that, gold is used in jewelry-making and high-end electronic applications.


Silver is found in its native form (and in the form of mineral ores) in South America, Australia and Colorado (USA) and mined using a variety of methods including alkali fusion, lead collection and carbon pre-roast. Known for its shiny texture, the lustrous metal is ranked as the element with the highest electrical conductivity. This much-sought-after metal has many uses ranging from making of utensils, jewelry, currency coins, dentistry amalgams and electrical conductors. Silver for sale is one of the most attractive products on the precious metals marketplace nowadays.


Platinum is a noble metal that is malleable, ductile and non-reactive. It is the most recognizable member of the platinum group of metals and holds the top title when it comes to market demand. The highly dense metal is used to make electrodes, jewelry and thermometers. Some compounds of it are used to make artificial fiber. 80% of the world’s platinum is in South Africa where it is mined through methods like narrow reef and open-pit strip methods (just like palladium and iridium).


Of the platinum group of elements, Palladium is the hardest to find. It is known for being soft, ductile and does not react easily with oxygen. However, its pure metallic form can catch fire easily. Its most important use is in purification of hydrogen as it’s capable of absorbing 900 times its own volume. It’s also used to make electrodes, surgical equipment and jewelry.


Iridium is a transition metal that is categorized in group 10 of the periodic table (also a member of platinum metals family). It is brittle, hard and silvery to whitish in color and has two naturally occurring isotopes. The most important use of this metal is in making electrodes which are used in production of chlorine. Besides that, iridium is used in spark plugs due to its high corrosion resistance. Because it is one of the hardest metals, it highly sought after by jewelry makers from across the world.

Final Word

Investing in precious metals these days has become much easier because you can complete the transaction(s) online. However, you should always trade with a prudent and established seller. It’s recommended to find a reputable seller who offers instant trade execution, continuous trading hours, price charts and competitive fees. A good example of a top seller with a long- standing record is Golden Eagle Coins, a company that empowers its clients to make informed decisions on each and every transaction.