How to live your life debt free

Do you spend a large amount of your time worrying about money? Are you overwhelmed by the stresses and strains of daily life? Would you do anything to enjoy a more relaxing and straightforward existence? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, you should set yourself the challenge of becoming debt free. Don’t worry; achieving this goal is much easier than you would first think! If you are wondering how to make the first move, you should simply work your way through the following four steps. They will help you to turn your life around and to take complete control of your personal finances.

Hold yourself accountable

Firstly, you will need to get a lot better at holding yourself accountable. Whenever you are wasting money, dodging bills, or stacking up debt, there needs to be a voice in your head that speaks up. You could even place your trust in a loved one and ask them to keep you on track. Perhaps you could send them your monthly bills, or maybe they could assist you with the completion of your taxes. Whatever you decide, the most important thing is that you are unable to run away from your responsibilities. If you are going to live your life debt free, it is vital that you take a stand.

Organize your finances

The next step is organizing your finances thoroughly. Instead of wasting your time rifling through a pile of receipts or a mess of bank statements, you will need to create a system for storing your financial information. You should also get to work establishing budgets for your monthly expenses, along with your annual outgoing costs. Depending on the current state of your personal finances, this could take you quite a while. However, once you have pushed through the initial stages of managing your money, you will be well on your way to a life of order and control.

Find helpful resources

Although it is essential that you take responsibility for your finances, you need to recognize the fact that you are not alone. There are so many helpful resources for you to rely on if you are struggling to wrap your head around your money problems. For instance, if you are trying to decide between personal capital or mint, you can find out everything you need to know online.

Surround yourself with positive influences

Last but not least, you should be surrounding yourself with positive influences. If you are determined to reach your goal of a debt free life, it is a good idea to spend your time in the company of people who share your outlook. It is also a good idea to keep your distance from reckless individuals who encourage you to take chances and forget about your future goals. Choosing the right friends and family members to connect with will help you to remain focused, motivated, and enthusiastic at all times. You never know, you might even inspire those around you to follow in your footsteps.

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15 Ways To Start Getting Smarter With Your Money

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If you’ve recently found yourself in a less than perfect financial situation, you may be looking to really turn things around for yourself. But sometimes, you can’t always find the motivation to do that. There’s something about being in a less than ideal financial place that just makes it so much harder for you to turn things around. The motivation isn’t always there. But, if you know that you want to be in a good place with your finances, then you should find that actually, being able to get there should be motivation enough. Even if you are really motivated to turn things around, a lot of the problems for you could be that you just don’t know what you need to do. But when it comes down to it, you just need to get smart.

So, what does being smart with your money look like? In short, you really need to ensure that you’re stepping back, assessing your situation, and making a commitment to chaining things around. Once you know your habits and the patterns that you find yourself doing over and over again, then you need to work on changing them. Maybe you don’t even realize what you’re doing is causing the issues. Whether you’re overspending, not making the most of your money, or you’re struggling to earn more, you’ll want to get smart about your financial future from now on. And here’s exactly how you can do it.

1. Track Your Spending

The very first thing you need to do is absolutely non-negotiable. If you want to be smarter with your cash, then you absolutely have to ensure that you’re tracking what you spend. If you just buy what you want and purchase as you feel like it, you’ll never know where your money goes. Instead, you have to know exactly what you’re spending. So track it. There are apps that help you to track your spending, you could also look to do it manually by keeping your receipts. Either way, you’ll want to start tracking right away.

2. Set Up A Budget

Alongside tracking your spending, you really have to have a budget in place. This isn’t about limiting what you spend, but more about controlling it. By creating a budget, you have more of a say over where your money goes. You can allocate money to whatever you want, but it has to be accounted for. This is the only way to ensure that you’re being smart with your money.

3. Think Before You Swipe

A big step for you here will be to think before you swipe your card. Whenever you are purchasing anything, make sure that you have thought it out, that it’s something you need or that you really want. Try to do as many planning purchases as possible and avoid anything impromptu.

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4. Cut Those Small Expenses

From here, one of the best ways to get smart is to watch the small amounts that you’re spending. Any little expense that you have, that you don’t really need, will be good to remove from your expenditure list. Think coffees on the way to work or small subscriptions that don’t add value to your life. Buy cutting out things that don’t matter, you could save a significant amount of money overall.

5. Cut Expenses You No Longer Need

Then, you can do the same with the larger ones too. Make sure that you have a huge list of everything that you pay out. Then you can start to trim it down. There are lots of ways that you can save on your monthly expenses, but removing those that are unnecessary is one of them. That way, you allocate more funds to the things that you do want to be spending on.

6. Make A Switch

For things that you can’t cut out, you should look to switch them. You will find that this is a big way you can cut down the cost of your expenses, but it’s also a smart move to make with your utilities especially. Each year, look to get a better rate on your bills, and do the same whenever things like your calling plans or insurance are due for renewal.

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7. Downgrade What You Don’t Need

But there are going to be some payments that you think are fixed and that you can’t change. But that’s never the case. If you know that you’re paying a crazy amount for your car lease, then switch that too. Get a car that costs half the monthly price. It may not look as snazzy, but do other people’s perceptions matter more to you than your financial security? It’s the same with your mortgage. If your payments are incredibly high, then you should think about selling your property and getting somewhere cheaper than you can afford.

8. Get Smarter Cards

When it comes to your financial products, you need to get smart here too. Think about the credit cards that offer rewards or that add value. If you’re spending a lot on them, make sure you have a better rate or at least benefits that you can get a lot back from.

9. Switch Balances

When it comes to any debts that you have, if they’re large amounts, you’re going to want to ensure that you focus on paying them off in the smartest way possible. Sometimes, it’s best to consolidate them all into one loan so that you know you have one rate and one payment. But again, you need to work out if this is cheaper.

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10. Get A Consolidation Loan

When it comes to any debts that you have, if they’re large amounts, you’re going to want to ensure that you focus on paying them off in the smartest way possible. Sometimes, it’s best to consolidate them all into one loan so that you know you have one rate and one payment. But again, you need to work out if this is cheaper.

11. Pay More Towards Your Debts

But even if you do that, you have to be able to pay as much as you can towards any debts that you have. If you want them gone, you need to throw money at them. So think about how you can pay off your debts quicker. If you’ve freed up money from your expenses, this is how you can do it.

12. Set Up An Automatic Savings Payment

Now, we need to talk savings. If you want to make sure that you’re getting some money behind you each month, set up a payment to your savings account that you won’t notice going.

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13. Make Some Long-Term Investments

Then you’ll want to think about the long-term investment strategies that could work for you. If this means that you need to go slow to find your feet, so be it. Just make sure that you’re doing something for the long-term. You may not see a return here for ten or more years, but that’s the point. Because you will earn more the longer you have everything in savings.

14. Think About Your Retirement

From here, you’ll then want to make sure that you’re covering off your retirement planning too. Even if you have a 401k in place, there are other retirement ideas that you might like to go with, so ensure you give them some serious thought. If you know that you want to live out your retirement comfortably, then you have to have a plan in place. No buts!

15. Focus On Your Financial Goals

Finally, above all else, you have to ensure that you’re really thinking about your financial goals and where you want to go with your life. It’s important that you’re thinking about your lifestyle and the future, and not just today or the amount of money you want. Then, you’ll want to work on ways that you can prioritize your financial goals to make this happen. Then keep them in mind and you’ll easily be able to meet them.

Now that you’ve seen the list, you should find that you’re able to really change up the way that you approach your finances. Becoming smart with your money doesn’t have to be hard. But you do have to work at it. Each of the fifteen points above should help you to do that. Yet, you may find that not all of them work for you. And that’s okay. They’re not really supposed to. As long as you can find that some of them do, then you’re off to a great start.

Go slow and see what works for you. First aim to keep your spending on track, then see what you can do to start saving more money, and freeing up more cash for the things that you want to do with your life. It takes time, and it can be tough to commit to, but if you really want to make this happen, you will.

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Plan Now for a Brighter Financial Future

If you really want your financial future to be as bright as it can be, you need to start working on it now. It doesn’t matter how young you are; you’re almost certainly old enough to be making plans for your future. Even if you feel financially safe and secure right now, that could all change later on in your life if you’re not putting the right plans in place and preparing for what comes next. Don’t fall into the same traps so many others have by not planning properly.

Know When You Want to Retire

First of all, you should have an aim for when you want to retire. This is important because then you will know what you need to achieve by which age, and it allows you to plan out your career more clearly. It will also help with setting goals for your pension, but we’ll talk more about that later. Give this some serious thought and aim to retire early; it’s more than possible if you plan ahead.

Slowly But Steadily Rid Yourself of Debt

Your debt can really hold you back as you get older, and that’s exactly what you want to avoid. It should be your aim to rid yourself of your debt at the earliest possible opportunity. Put a plan in place for how to clear your debts sooner rather than later. This might sound like a pipedream right now, but if you keep working towards it, there’s no reason why you can’t make it happen.

Increase Your Future Appeal to Employers

Any sensible person wants to earn more money as they gain experience. You don’t want to be stuck on the same page at the age of 50 as you were at the age of 25. So it’s up to you to continually increase your appeal to employers so that you can keep moving up and earning more. You can do a masters in leadership online if you think this will help. Senior employees always need good leadership qualities.

Make Pension Plans

Pension planning is a lot more complex than many people think. If you’re not sure where to start, you might want to discuss it with an independent financial advisor. They’ll let you know where to start and what to do, so it’s something to consider. You should also look into enrolling in your workplace pension scheme, as well as any external scheme you might want to contribute towards.

Start Investing Your Money Now

Finally, you should think about investing in your money in stocks and shares. It might sound like an alien concept to you right now, but it’s much easier to get to grips with than you might think. It’s all about putting your money in secure stocks and watching them grow slowly but steadily. If you can do that, you will have more money available to you later in your life, providing you with more security.

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It’s so easy put off future planning when you’re so wrapped up in what’s happening in the here and now. That’s perfectly understandable, but it’s up to you to break out of that habit and work hard now to ensure you have a brighter financial future ahead of you for yourself and the rest of your family.

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Not Every Get Rich Quick Plan Is A Scam

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Typically, we’re taught that if we find a way to get rich quick, it’s probably going to be a scam. Of course, this isn’t always true. Take the lottery for instance. By playing the lottery, you could, potentially, get rich overnight. Ignoring the fact that you have more chance of getting struck by lightning three times than winning the lottery, it’s still one possibility of how you can make money overnight. Of course, any promise that you find online from an individual who claims they can make you rich should be approached with a healthy amount of scepticism. But that doesn’t mean that the opportunities aren’t out there on the market. So, let’s look at some of the get rich quick possibilities that you should buy into.

Go For A Hunt In The Attic

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Ah, now, this is certainly going to pay off most of the time. When you think about it, you collect a massive amount of junk every year. Think about Christmas presents, birthday presents, holiday souvenirs, things you inherit, and the list goes on. Where does it all end up? Well, assuming you don’t throw it out, it goes in the attic or the basement. You’ll probably be mocked for holding onto all these things, but as it turns out, it will be you who gets the last laugh.

You see buried in those unwanted gifts, and frivolous purchases will be golden nuggets with massive amounts of value. Perhaps there’s a beautiful crystal boat in a bottle that was made just long enough ago to be worth a fortune. Or, maybe it’s an old board game that was never used and has now become a collectable. Yes, these items can be your ticket to a hidden fortune, and all you need to do is go hunting.

Once you find the items, you’ll probably be wondering how to sell on. Most people opt for the standard yard sale and this, of course, is a mistake. You see, you won’t find the collectors by this type of sale. Instead, you need to reach the widest audience possible. The answer? eBay.

With eBay, you can gain a massive amount of attention, start an auction and get selling. Of course, before you can do this, you have to set yourself up as a trusted resource. You can do that, quite simply by buying a few small, cheap items first. This will raise the rating of your little online shop. After that, you should have no trouble at all attracting buyers.

Of course, this can just be the beginning. Once you get the hang of selling online, you can start making a lot more money by investing and reselling. It’s a great option for a second income, and you’ll make money faster than you’d think with this venture.

Get A Little Cryptic

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If you’re looking for one of the fastest ways people get rich, look no further than the cryptocurrency market. There are literally countless cryptocurrencies on the market today, and they are certainly not all winners so, like anything, you need to be careful. That said, it doesn’t take a lot of research to find out just how much people have made with this simple investment. For instance, the rapper 50 Cent invested years ago and found out that he had made millions through it without even trying. You might think it’s too late to get involved in this possibility, but it isn’t.

New cryptocurrencies grow every day in value, and if you want the latest inside scoop on this market, you can see it here. You’ll be able to learn exactly how to boost your investment and the right ways to buy into this exciting new opportunity. For the biggest cryptocurrency Bitcoin, you’ll need a few thousand to spend at least. Or, you’ll have to invest with credit. However, there are plenty of others that are a lot more affordable and easy to handle that could allow you to make a fortune. You just need to choose the right one.

We suggest you research the market carefully, looking at the different options before committing to one possibility.

One of the things that you’ll hear recently on the market is that cryptocurrency has finished growing. In fact, many feel it has now hit a bubble. But before you accept this, speak to some of the hardcore investors who have been part of the movement since the beginning. They will tell you that there is a tremendous opportunity for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to grow further. Get involved now you could become a millionaire overnight.

Playing With Stocks

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If you’re hoping to get rich fast, you should definitely check out the stock market. In particular, pay attention to penny stocks. Speak to a broker and find out the most valuable penny stocks on the market today. These stocks are brilliant because they are totally affordable and could grow tremendously overnight. With penny stocks, you could be investing in the next Microsoft. The little startups we’re talking about always have the potential to grow into something tremendous.

You do need to be aware though that most startups fail. Indeed, over ninety percent of startups will burn out in their first year. That’s why you should speak to a broker. While they can’t point you towards a sure thing, they can help you find one that has the most potential to become highly profitable in the next few years.

As you can see then, there are plenty of options that could allow you to get rich quick on the market. Everything from stocks to cryptocurrency and selling items online could make you a fortune in a relatively short amount of time. The key then is to stop looking at those sites promising to make you a millionaire. Instead, go out take steps to find your own fortune. We’re just scraping the surface of the opportunities that exist on the market. You can even look into property investment. Buy the right property, flip it and you can double your investment in a matter of months.

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Working The Stocks Like A Pro

If you are considering getting into trading on the stock market, but you don’t know where quote to begin, you are absolutely not alone. Many people have been in that exact same position before, and it is one which is definitely hard to overcome. However, as long as you approach your difficulties in the right way, you should find that it is surprisingly easy to figure out what you need to do in such a way that you can hopefully succeed as much as you need to. In this article, we are going to give you a helping hand by looking at some of the things to consider if you want to work the stocks like a real pro. As long as you are thinking about the following, you should find that you can make much more of it than you might have thought.

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Learn The Charts

First things first, you need to make sure that you can know how to read the charts. Actually, anyone can learn to do this – you just need to spend a little time practising it. But it is vital to do so, as without this knowledge you can’t get anywhere at all. It can take a little time and there is something of a learning curve, but as long as you don’t mind that you should be able to get to grips with it in a relatively small amount of time. Soon enough you will be able to find a voo quote or anything else that you need – and that will mean you are essentially ready to get going with your quest to become a stock market expert.

Timing

In essence, you could say that timing is the most important aspect of any kind of trading, and in particular stock market trading. As long as you can get the timing right, it will mean that you are likely to be able to make a profit – and ultimately that is all you really need to worry about, making a profit. Timing is a matter of using your intuition combined with a sense of paying attention to what is going on. The closer you pay attention, the more likely it is that you can trust your intuition so in this way you can see how it is important to do both sides of the argument at once. As long as you do that, you will improve your chances of winning with the stocks – and that will mean that you are much more likely to come away winning, and smiling, than otherwise.

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Competition

It’s a good idea to remember that you are not going to be operating in a vacuum. For one reason or another people often make the mistake of thinking that they are not betting against anyone. But the truth is, when you trade in stocks you are betting against a whole marketplace of people. As such, the better you know the likely moves of those people, the more likely it is that you will win out over them. This is where it is important to regard the competitive element of the process, as without thinking about competition you are unlikely to do quite as well.

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Do you love your job?

There are a number of things I’ve learned over the past few years that I keep in mind and remind my love ones of. One of those things is the following…

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Confucius said that if you enjoy what you are doing, it stops being a job, a chore, a responsibility. What you enjoy doing becomes a normal part of your daily routine, your life. I do believe that.

You know when I was still in high school, I wanted to become a journalist. I am not a great writer but I love writing with a passion! I knew then that if I could get the proper education, I would be fairly decent in my writing skills. My mom had other plans for my future. She told me that it would be better for me to take up Accountancy. She said that there would be more jobs waiting for me if I become an Accountant. She’s right! I got a lot of job offers even before I graduated. I was able to start as soon as I passed the board exams. I forgot that I wanted to become a journalist for a while because I learned to love my profession.

But you know what? My love for writing was not diminished. It is still here even though I am writing numbers more than words. I am still an accountant but I went back to my first love which is writing. I realized that there are just some things in life that can make you happy even though you are not getting as much financially as you want to. That’s writing for me. I love it so much that it doesn’t feel like work even when I am spending hours and hours laboring over a paper. I also felt this way in doing accounting work but maybe because it wasn’t really my first love, it diminished over time.

Do you love your job? This is a simple test that you can do to know for sure. Spend more than eight hours doing your job and if you are not smiling anymore by the end of the day, you better find something else to do. Or stop and look into yourself if what you’re doing is still worth it.

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Mistakes Or Not, These Financial Issues Can Be Crippling

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How did your finances get in such a dire state? I made a mistake! You cry out in the hope that admitting you made an error will solve the problem. But of course, it doesn’t, and that’s why you need to avoid making the mistakes in the first place. There are various errors in judgement that will end up costing you a fortune and will put your finances in a difficult, somewhat dicey position of recovery. So, what mistakes are we talking about here? We’re glad you asked because once you realise what these errors are you should be able to completely avoid them.

Blood In The Water

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Do you know where loan sharks get their name from? Sharks are attracted in the wild by blood in the water. Supposedly, they can smell it from miles away. The name is particularly apt for a loan shark because they too feast on someone who is in desperate need of help and support. The difference is of course that a shark doesn’t pretend to offer first aid whereas a loan shark does. They’ll tell you how much the loan could help you providing you with the support that they can see you desperately need. They’ll offer you reassuring words about how it’s completely affordable and even give you friendly tips about how to make sure you can pay it back.

The problem is that this is a business and for a loan shark, it’s actually better if you pay it back later. This rises the interest to the point where they get big bucks from you and a lot more than you previously borrowed. A lot of people falsely assume that those who borrow from loan sharks do so for silly reasons such as a family trip to Hawaii. However, that’s not true, and most instead do it so they can cover the expense that they didn’t see coming but that they do have to pay. Or, they simply use it to pay off the bills that were a little larger than normal monthly charges. It’s easy to slip into a trap like this and far more difficult to climb out.

Before you turn to a short-term loan company, do make sure that you have exhausted every other possible option. Even paying on a credit card may be better than spending money on a loan company because at least with a credit card, you’ll typically know what type of interest you’re looking at before it grows out of control.

I’m Fine

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Arguably two of the most dangerous words in the English language and not just because they are often uttered moments before someone explodes in anger. To explain how these two words can impact your finances, we need to explore an example. Let’s say that you are involved in a car accident. Now, for many people, the first thing most people would do is either contact their lawyer or head to the doctor, particularly if the incident wasn’t their fault. However, some people don’t like to make a fuss, or they just don’t like these kind of jolts out of their daily schedule. And, if the insurance company is going to cover the cost of the car, there’s nothing to worry about right? After all, you feel fine apart from an aching in your back, but that’s nothing. That will surely go away in a couple of months right?

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Perhaps it does but then a year or two later it returns, worse than ever. Now, at this point, you might put two and two together, realising that the accident did cause a problem with your back. It is only then you decide to contact a lawyer. Firms like Lopez & Humphries PA see this all the time. The problem is that by this stage there’s not a lot they can do. A back injury could have been caused by a variety of incidents, and it’s very difficult to prove it was a result of the crash. Particularly, if you didn’t go and see a doctor. You see the problem? That’s why you should always contact both a legal rep and a doctor after an accident, typically in that order.

You might say, okay I’ve been injured, and it’s clearly long term but how is that going to impact my finances? Well, people suffering from serious long-term injuries often need more medical care which costs more money. On top of this, there’s the issue of debt. You may not realise this, but people with serious long-term injuries are far more likely to experience debt at some point in their life.

No Service History? No Sweat

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Finally, sometimes, a crippling blow to your finances can just be due to a bad financial investment, and that’s certainly true in the case of second-hand cars. If you speak to a financial expert, they will usually tell you that buying a brand new car is always a bad monetary move. The reason? Well, it’s the depreciation. After owning a car for just a couple of years, the price of the vehicle drops far below what you bought it for. The only exception to this rule is if you accidentally buy a car destined to be a classic. But then the car is only valuable if you keep it in good condition. This means it can’t be a runaround vehicle.

This might all be true, but if you buy a car second hand, you run the risk of purchasing a dud. A vehicle that will cost you a fortune over the years in repairs and other problems. Eventually, that vehicle becomes a financial nightmare that you just want to get rid of. You can’t think of course because then you’ll have no car at all.

That’s why you always need to consider a second-hand car purchase carefully. Check around and make sure that it hasn’t been damaged seriously and that there are no signs of severe problems. If in doubt, hire a guy from a repair shop to check it for you, and they’ll tell you whether it’s going to be a money pit.

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Investment options for the self-employed

As a self-employed person, finding a suitable option for a financial pension is indispensable. Government and corporate funds offer a wealth of choice. Here are some other investment options you can consider.

Stocks are the star of the market

This security is the best known in the market. Blue chips are suitable as a beginner-entry and long-term investment option.

Stocks also offer dividends. This is distributed annually. Stocks could be used to generate a passive additional income. Careful adherence to principles and strategies can minimise risk and generate profits. Particular attention should be paid to IPO’s something of a double edged sword a company’s Initial Public Offering is often an incredible opportunity but one fraught with risk, the until now private company has clearly been doing well enough that it anticipates a positive reception however it is not uncommon for bounces early as the market has no historic trend data making technical analysis impossible.

Stock CFDs

With CFDs, (contracts for difference), you take a position on the value of the underlying asset such as a stock, currency pair or commodity.

When you trade CFDs, you do not physically own the underlying instrument. You only speculate on whether the financial instrument you are investing in will rise or fall. For this reason, CFDs are generally free from Stamp Duty. As a rule, CFDs are traded off-exchange.

CFDs can be a superb opportunity for the self-employed investor as they require only a small start up fund to make large trades due to the power of leverage, simply put you can keep the bulk of your money in your savings or other investments and still use it to trade. However it should be noted that with the potential for big risk there is also a potentially huge reward. If you’re left holding a bet when the market moves against you you can end up losing far more than your initial holding deposit.

Diversifying your portfolio: funds

Funds have the advantage of diversification. Many investors put their money in a variety of securities. A distinction must be made between active and passive funds. With active funds, your portfolio will actively be managed by a fund manager who will be able to respond appropriately to the prevailing economic climate. Passive funds on the other hand, have the advantage of lower costs and the chance of a long-term high return.

Exchange-traded funds

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs), for example, invest the collected assets in a specific index, such as the DAX, Dow Jones or Nikkei 225. This purchases the stocks that are in the corresponding index, ie the performance of the ETF is equal to that of the index. Savings plans make it possible to pay a fixed amount at regular intervals.

The ups and downs of the stock market are important in determining your profit. At low prices, the investor buys more shares for the same money than at high prices. If the index or market should collapse, there is the opportunity of a manual purchase at favourable prices. Nevertheless, risk cannot be switched off, and losses are always possible.

Bonds are an alternative to credit

Companies use investment bonds when they need capital and the sum cannot be borne by a single financial institution. The money needed is divided into many small bonds and offered for sale to the public in the market. In addition to annual interest gains, price gains are possible upon payment of the debt at the end of the term.

Creditworthy companies with an attractive interest yield are viewed by many as a potential investment opportunity, especially when market interest rates are low.

Finding the right product

Ultimately the level of risk steps up in hand with the level of reward, for a self employed person you may find that you’re asset rich, but cash poor for this reason margin products often look attractive, however these are inherently risky, other product fads such as cryptocurrency trading carry even more risk.

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