REIT’s

According to Investopedia ;”Definition of ‘Real Estate Investment Trust – REIT’ A security that sells like a stock on the major exchanges and invests in real estate directly, either through properties or mortgages. REITs receive special tax considerations and typically offer investors high yields, as well as a highly liquid method of investing in real estate.

Equity REITs: Equity REITs invest in and own properties (thus responsible for the equity or value of their real estate assets). Their revenues come principally from their properties’ rents.

Mortgage REITs: Mortgage REITs deal in investment and ownership of property mortgages. These REITs loan money for mortgages to owners of real estate, or purchase existing mortgages or mortgage-backed securities. Their revenues are generated primarily by the interest that they earn on the mortgage loans.

Hybrid REITs: Hybrid REITs combine the investment strategies of equity REITs and mortgage REITs by investing in both properties and mortgages.”

I am very cautious when it comes to REIT’s. They offer a great way to assure dividend earnings on your holdings which you can use to reinvest. The ones I followed are the following:

SPDR DJ GLOBAL REAL ESTATE (RWO)

What I love: It has global exposure; which means that reward is greater. It has the morning star rating of five-star. There is a dividend of $0.70 (Money it pays investors).

REVENUESHARES LARGE CAP ETF (RWL)

What I love: It has a morning star rating of four stars.There is a dividend of $0.17 (Money it pays investors).

ISHARES FTSE NAREIT RES PL CAP (REZ)

What I love: It has a morning star rating of five-star. There is a dividend of $0.37 (Money it Pays investors)

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Three Days to Good

Saw an article about seven ways that spending cuts will affect you. According to CNNMoney.com

“1. Shrinking unemployment benefits

2. Beef and chicken to cost more and even face a shortage.

3. Granny won’t get her lunch.

4. Your preschooler could be stuck at home.

5. National parks will close campgrounds or open late.

6. Longer lines at the airport.

7. Roofs blown off by Hurricane Sandy won’t get repaired. “

This could easily be solved with compromise. See where you can cut and find ways to raise revenue. It’s as simple as that.

After the Nightmare

Today is February 25, 2013 on March 1st, 2013 automatic cuts across the board will take place. You would think that politicians in Washington would come together get over their high horses and compromise. The optimism that I felt is now a realization that a compromise will not take place thereby making the cuts a reality. So what happens after the cuts take place ? according to CNNMoney.com

Scenario 1 – Shutdown threat pushes Congress to act: The current measure funding the government expires on March 27. Known as a continuing resolution, that law is separate from the one that mandates the automatic cuts. It sets spending levels and authorizes the government to continue operating.If lawmakers don’t agree to new funding levels soon, the government will shut down on March 28 and remain closed until Congress reaches a deal.A shutdown wouldn’t bode well for either party. Most government offices and services would be shuttered. The only exception: services deemed “essential” — those related to the safety of human life and protection of property. Taxpayer money would be wasted in the process because it costs money to close the government and to ramp it back up when Congress reaches a deal.The urgency to avert a shutdown might spur lawmakers to agree on a replacement of the automatic spending cuts as part of a final deal.

Scenario 2 – Lawmakers keep fighting over the cuts: The pressure to avoid a shutdown may be so great that Congress takes the threat off the table before it even addresses the spending cuts.One possibility is that House Republicans quickly pass a continuing resolution for six months until Sept. 30 at current funding levels, which would fall once the so-called sequester kicks in.Senate Democrats, not wanting to be seen as the ones risking a government shutdown, sign on and decide to fight for a replacement to the automatic cuts later.In that case, interest groups would step up pressure on lawmakers once the pain of the cuts really starts to set in.”The sequester is aslow bleed that gets worse as it goes on,” said Sean West, the U.S. policy director for the Eurasia Group.Indeed, its bite won’t be nearly as deep in March as it will be in April and beyond.For instance, while more than 2 million federal workers may face unpaid furloughs for a day or two a week, those furloughs likely wouldn’t start before April.And the White House budget office may be able to instruct some agencies to hold off on implementing cuts for a short period of time. “

Democrats need to understand that you can’t spent your way into prosperity and Republicans need to get that you can’t cut your way into it either. In order to balance the budget you need surgical cuts while increasing revenue one way or the other. uncertainty about spending and cutting is not good for our economy. My advice to you ?  balance your own budget, save money and get ready for a roller coaster.

Tesla Electric

 Ever heard of the company ? In case you havent; it is a company that makes upscale electric cars. The first time I heard of the company was in the History Channel and it appeared like a company with great promise; I still think it’s a company with a great promise. According to CNNmoney.com Shares of Tesla (TSLA) rebounded Friday, after their biggest one-day drop in more than a year. The stock had fallen 9% after Tesla announced a $75 million loss late Wednesday.During a conference call, Musk tried to balance the earnings miss with some good news, saying Tesla had increased production and decreased capital expenditures which, he said, should allow it to generate a slight profit for the current quarter.“Due to an enormous amount of hard work by a really dedicated group of people at Tesla, we’re going to be profitable, and I think that’s a pretty big deal,” Musk said. “

It goes on to say that recent gains of the company stocks is based on greater expectations. Will it deliver in the next quarter ? like I said its a company with good promise specially when you look at the uptick of gas prices. With high gas prices people will start looking at alternatives whether they are rich or poor. In order for Tesla to survive they need to bring their product costs down and perhaps make the car reachable to a lot more people.  Would I invest ? that’s a tough one; I would do a limited amount of investing. Purchasing two or three stock is enough.

Nightmare

Ok, it seems the U.S economy is bracing itself for yet another storm. March 1 is that deadline for automatic across the board cuts unless a deal is made in Washington (highly unlikely). According to CNNMoney.com “They give spending cuts a bad name. The law governing them requires that they be applied in a uniform way across the board. In other words, the meat of the federal government will be cut along with the fat, and by the same percentages in many instances. So needed projects and investments will be cut in equal measure with bloated projects that are duplicative. And people doing good work will lose jobs or pay right alongside people who do shoddy work. “There’s no business in the country that makes its cuts across the board. You … try to surgically cut those things that have the least adverse effect on productivity,” Erskine Bowles, who co-chaired President Obama’s fiscal commission, said at a Politico breakfast this week. ” The cuts if they go through will somehow affect all aspects of American life, for example airport check-in lines will take longer and military personnel wont get enough training. The total cuts will be $85 Billion dollars. So pay attention to what comes out of Washington because it will affect you if it goes through.

Should you Refinance

Should you refinance your mortgage ? well maybe this calculator can help you make a decision about it. The calculator was brought to you by Practicalmoneyskills.com. Hope you all enjoy it. Just click on the following link: http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/calculators/calculate/mortgageRefinancing.php?calcCategory=loans

G 20 &The Yen

The G20 meeting took place in Moscow Russia. In case you don’t know what G 20 is , it is a club of the top 20 economies in the world. The big topic was about currency war and currency manipulation. The focus in terms of these topics was on Japan. In order to increase exports Japan doesn’t need an increase value of the Yen. For the past few weeks it has been loosing value against the dollar. At the end of the meeting Japan wasnt singled out. I don’t really know much about currency trading but if I was to invest in it my basket of currency would definitely include the Yen. Japan still has a competitive economy with many multinational companies. According to Bloomberg News”  The yen weakened after the Group of 20 nations stepped back from censuring Japan over its currency policy” plus “The yen fell against all 16 of its major peers, extending losses that made it the worst-performing major currency in the past three months. South Korea’s won climbed 0.3 percent to 8.679 yen, the highest since October 2008.Japanese officials in Moscow denied driving down their currency, arguing that its weakness was a byproduct of their effort to revive the world’s third-largest economy, which would benefit trading partners. The yen may weaken toward 100 per dollar in the next few months, UBS AG said in a report.”

Stocks Loved by CNN Money

I was looking at the CNNmoney.com page this morning and came across an article of stocks loved by CNNmoney.com. Looking at each of the stocks they presented some good reasons why to get them. However, I wasnt in love with all of the stocks picked by them . My first love was QCOM, I love this company because as CNNMoney.com said “The company’s wireless and mobile technology can be found in the latest Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) iPhones and iPads, BlackBerry’s (BBRY) new BB10 devices, Microsoft’s (MSFT, Fortune 500) Windows phones and Surface tablet, as well as many devices that run Google’s (GOOG, Fortune 500) Android mobile operating system” This is a company that is involved with something we use all the time; our phones and other mobile devices. My second love is Green Mountain Coffee Roaster GMCR we all drink coffee and its a company with good reputation. Additionally, according to CNNMoney.com “Shares of Green Mountain (GMCR) have more than doubled over the past six months, as coffee lovers continue to show their affection for the company’s Keurig single-cup coffee makers. During its fiscal first quarter, Green Mountain sold nearly 5 million Keurig brewers, up 18% from a year earlier.” Moderate love are DSW and Dick Sporting Goods. Here is the link to the full article http://money.cnn.com/gallery/investing/2013/02/11/stocks-we-love/5.html

Transatlantic Trade; EU and US

I am glad that I wasnt the only one who found the proposed EU and US free trade agreement amazing.I honestly wasnt expecting it to happen but I could see the many benefits. There could be significant economic growth on both sides of the Atlantic at a time of high unemployment and other economic troubles. It could also help the facilitation exchange of ideas. According to BBC EU-US trade is worth around 455bn euros (£393bn; $613bn) a year. In the end its a great idea that is worth further exploration. I know there will be those who are strong protectionist and probably don’t see this as a good thing but it could work it negotiations are balanced. In order to view the full article click on the following link; http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21439945

Allowance Comparison

This is a fun calculator; not sure how much allowance your child should get ? Well click on the link below:

http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/calculators/calculate/allowanceComparison.php?calcCategory=budget

and you can calculate the allowance your child should get based on age. This calculator should allow you to give the right amount without second guessing and offers a great to teach your child about money.