ETF stands for exchange traded fund. According to Investopedia ETF is valued at over $1 trillion assets under management. This financial instrument is often seen as a cheap and safe investment. I am a big fan of ETF’s and think that it’s a safe bet to make because it limits your exposure but you should still do your homework to figure out what works for you. According to Investopedia “The idea of index investing goes back quite a while; trusts or closed-end funds were occasionally created with the idea of giving investors the opportunity to invest in a particular type of asset. None of these really resembled what we now call ETF’s, though.The first real attempt at something like an ETF was the launch of Index Participation Shares for the S&P 500 in 1989. Unfortunately, while there was quite a bit of investor interest, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange sued to stop them and the advent of true ETF’s had to wait a bit.It wasn’t a long wait, however; the first ETF began trading in January of 1993. The S&P 500 Depository Receipt (called the SPDR or “spider” for short) was the first of its kind and is still one of the most actively traded ETF’s today. Although the first ETF launched in 1993, it took 15 more years to see the first actively managed ETF to reach the market.” ETF funds are in almost every sector. The largest is the S&P SPDR ( which follows a group of stocks on the S&P index), the second is SPDR Gold Shares with $73 billion in assets under management, the third is Vanguard MSCI Emerging Markets ETF, another ETF is PowerShares QQQ (NYSE:QQQ) mimics.
One of my favorite ETF is IAU, what is so great about IAU ? you can follow the price of gold at a relatively cheap price and since gold is a very good foundation for every portfolio, you win. Another favorite ETF is EWM which follows some companies in Malaysia, EWJ exposes you to Japan, CVY is good for dividends, LIT exposes to lithium power.
But don’t go out there and get all ETF’s, according to Investopedia you should still be cautious they go on to say that Mutual funds are key offerings in retirement and pension funds and some fund plans do not even allow investors to buy or hold individual securities like ETF’s. Mutual funds also offer active management and that is a key advantage to many investors; passively managed funds can only match a given index and reduce investing to strategic allocation decisions. Actively managed funds, though, can offer market-beating performances that accumulate significantly over time. While actively managed ETF’s could chip away at this advantage, it will take considerable time.
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If you fee like investing but are a little rusty there are some great websites one can use for practicing investing. A very good site to use is called updown.com. It’s free to start and when you enter into contests there is also a chance to win money. There are other benefits as well. For example, you can Create an Online Hub for Your Club Host Online Investment Contests for your Club and Campus. Plus Obtain Club Sponsorship from UpDown.com and its Affiliates. Updown offers a great way to find affordable brokerages as well as getting to know other traders to offer you advice. To get a complete list of financial directories go to stockmarketdirectory.com.
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There are numerous ways to locate a thrift store. One way is to simply google it. There are some reviews that have comments on it while others don’t. But perhaps the best way to get reviews about thrift stores is to simply visit the stores. There shouldn’t be any shame in thrifting it saves money, the environment and in many cases raises money for good causes.
No matter how many tips on thrifting one receives it can feel overwhelming once you are there. The overwhelming feeling can be the result of several things; the amount of people in the store, rude customer service, merchandize not properly stocked, the temperature in the store or maybe just maybe there are too many options. A tip I give to anyone who might feel overwhelmed when shopping is to breath and if need be temporarily step out of the store until ready to come back.
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There are hundreds of thrift stores in NYC. Some are well know and others are not. I’ll a admit that going to a thrift store for the first time made me nervous. However, I quickly go over it because I was saving money and many of the thrift stores raise money for good causes.
National Audubon Society is an organization that “works to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity”. Another example is the goodwill store located at 220 East 23rd Street #1, New York, NY.
My favorite thrift store is Housing works whose mission is “healing community of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Our mission is to end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS through relentless advocacy, the provision of lifesaving services, and entrepreneurial businesses that sustain our efforts. “ The first time I went to that store I bought myself a gap shirt for $10 in brand new condition along with a pea coat valued at almost $100 for about $40. The staffs were friendly , prices are reasonable, you always find something good to get and one can easily travel to the store by train.
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Blogs about personal finance are great ways to get ideas on how to handle your money. However, one should still do their homework about the effectiveness of the advice offered.
There are countless number of blogs about personal finance.In 2008 it was estimated that 112.8 million blogs existed. Furthermore, there are people who have created very successful blogs and have sold them off to other companies.
Mint life.com has a wonderful blog about a whole host of issues. For example on Oct 11, 2012 Investopedia.com contributed to the mint life blog by posting four Essential Questions to Ask at the End of a Job Interview. CNBC posted a blog about Colleges That Bring in the Highest Paychecks. The blog by mint is resourceful in that reputable sources are able to contribute and appeals to everyone regardless of their stage in life.
Wise Bread is a great well-organized blog about personal finance.The categories are Personal Finance, Frugal Living, Career, Life hack (“Do it quicker, better, and with less cash with our productivity and tech tips. Redesign your life to put more minutes and sanity into your busy day” ) Best Deals and credit cards. To get an idea of how frugal Wise bread is willing to go there is a post on the site about 5 Hair Conditioners You Can Make at Home.
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By helping individuals seek financial coaching they are able to learn skills to better handle their finance, included in the app will be a glossary of financial terms; that’s where the knowledge comes in. By helping individuals find credit unions and comparing those to traditional banks individuals have an opportunity to possibly get better service as well as maybe see their savings increase in value.