Learning About Preferred Stocks and Common Stocks

StocksIn the business of investing, especially if you will be dealing with stocks, you must know their types and what exactly will they do to your money. This way, you can keep your options open, as to what kind of stock would work better for you. But first, let’s first handle their definition, then allow me to break down their differences to you so you have a better understanding of them.

Let’s start with preferred stock. Anyone who holds it gets a fixed dividend. If a company is making more than its assets than their common stock, then they belong to this class. The dividends should be paid out from its preferred shares before dividends to common shareholders. Note that shares of this one has nothing to do with a stockholder’s voting rights.

Now, I’m not talking about one gets to vote who in the next presidential election. This is about who gets a say from decisions regarding the corporate rules and regulations to who gets to be a part of the board. Basically, if there are any major changes in a corporation, stockholders have the right to have a vote on it, otherwise, changes can’t be made.

This stock has all the features of debts, which also helps in paying fixed dividends and even common stocksequities. Preferred stocks could have a higher value just because of those things that it could do to a stockholder’s investment.
I would like to say that if you are a stockholder in this kind of stock, you are someone of priority compared to those who belong to the class of common stockholders in the area of dividends. The advantage of this one is that its stocks get a lot of yields than the other one and stockholders can get their shares on a monthly basis and even quarterly (depends on the voting of course).
If you are wondering how do they fix the dividends? Well, the basis is through a benchmark interest. This is a good option because supposed a company is starting to go downhill, shareholders on this stock could get their payment in arrears before common shareholders can get theirs. They might not get it in cash, but they would still be able to get it accumulatively.
Let us now talk about the common stock. Basically, it is the money or fund that a corporation has.

The people who own it are generally under the management of the board. If you are a common stockholder, then keep in mind that you are not the priority when it comes to exactly owning funds in the corporation. But don’t get me wrong, you still have your rights to your investment in the company when it is time for liquidation, BUT only after other stockholders superior to you are completely paid.
Now, that you know about these two, you can now decide what type of a stockholder would you rather be. I’ll be glad to walk you through other finer details about being a stockholder if you stay tuned.

HOW TO SURVIVE IN A CURRENCY WAR

China just devalued the Yuan, setting it at 6.4 to the US Dollar, its lowest in four years.

Thus rings another cannon blast in the currency war unfolding in today’s world economy.

The foreign exchange market is always a zero-sum game.  One currency always has to win against another.  A currency can only rise or fall in value relative to another going in the opposite direction.  And in the present global economic climate, most countries want to boost exports and grab a bigger share of international trade by devaluing their currency.  Everyone wants to go in the same direction.  But since a country can only devalue its currency by conversely increasing the value of another, we are now in the present wartime scenario of the currency markets.

currency wars

In a currency war, however, everyone actually risks losing something.

We can look back in history – to the 1930s – when a currency war also erupted in the world.   At that time, then United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt confiscated gold and authorized the immediate devaluation of the US Dollar by 69%.  Prior to that, countries like Japan, New Zealand, Britain and France had also already left the gold standard and were devaluing their currencies to stimulate their exports.  After the United States, the Swiss, the Chinese and the Dutch also followed suit in devaluing their currencies.  Back and forth, those nations’ economic policies went against each other.  Each nation inching to pull one over the other.  That currency war was eventually resolved – by World War II.

Fast forward to today.  The United States began printing money in a frenzy in 2008 in order to arrest the economic collapse caused by a bursting housing bubble.  In effect, the US was significantly devaluing its currency by doing so.  Brazil was enraged at this, and decried how the western economies had defrauded it in trade.  The European continent, not to be outdone, also began its quantitative easing measures as a means of solving the economic crises that beset it.  Japan then followed. And then China.  In a currency war, each country trying to outmaneuver the rest.  Everyone going back and forth on their wins and losses.  But ultimately, everyone is bound to suffer net losses in trade.

How does an individual protect himself in a currency war?

Don’t be limited to onshore investments (advice I learned from lom).  Some economists are predicting a collapse of the US Dollar within 2016.  If an American has one hundred percent of his asset holdings denominated in US Dollars, he is bound to lose everything he has should such a collapse occur.  However, if the individual holds his assets in different currencies, he is hedged against a significant drop in the value of the US Dollar.  Our current global economy is characterized by highly interconnected markets and greater accessibility to all those markets.  Innovations in the bond, equity and foreign exchange markets have also increased the options available to investors.  An investor can and should spread his eggs across many and varied baskets especially since diversification is possible now, more than ever.   Hedge funds also offer many possibilities not only to be protected but to also even profit from the collapse of a currency such as the US Dollar.  Foreign mutual funds invested in foreign bonds, currencies and gold are also another investment option.

Keep assets as liquid as possible.  If one’s portfolio is tied up in real estate or art that require a longer turn-around time, he might not be able to quickly respond and adapt to sudden changes in market conditions.  Having liquid assets makes an investor more mobile and enables him to shift his assets from one class, market or geographic location to another.

Hold some investments in gold (or similar precious metals).  Gold has always been considered the reserve currency when all other reserve currencies fail.  This is primarily because no one can create gold by fiat.  It has a fixed and limited supply, contrary to the currencies we have today, which can be set and reset by governments at whim.  At the same time, gold has shown itself to have an inverse relationship with the US dollar through history.  Investors run to gold in times of market uncertainty as it has proven itself as a reliable store of value time and time again.

China recently revealed that it has been quietly hoarding gold reserves since 2009, to the tune of an average 100 metric tons per year.  Although analysts anticipating a possible rate hike by the United States Federal Reserve are not so bullish on the price of gold, some investors, like the People’s Bank of China, continue to build their stockpile of gold as a means of diversifying their portfolios.

In summary, the ravages of a currency war on nations’ economies may be inevitable, but individual entities can still take precautionary measures that will help them survive and even thrive under such harsh economic conditions.

How To Invest Money In The Stock Market

Putting your money in the bank as your savings account is not enough if you want it to grow. The interest rates that bank offer in an annual basis is ridiculously low that you probably would enjoy all your hard earned money by the time you already have grandkis. The best way to make your money flourish is to invest it in a profitable place like a stock market. Although it is a good idea, there are still some things that you must know regarding it before you just throw all your savings in there without completely knowing what it is in the first place.investment risks

There are risks involved (just like any other investments) and it is a must that you are prepared for some unexpected negative outcome along the way. Keep in mind that the market or pretty much any industry or company cannot be stagnant with its money flow. One day it could go up and there are days when you will see it going down and I have to tell you that when that happens, it is not the end of the world.

The first thing you must do is research for the right company or business where you want to put your money in. Don’t just read about a company, but instead do thorough research. Usually, a broker would entice you to buy a specific stock in a market, I would suggest to not buy immediately without weighing the pros and cons.

Most brokers (especially in Wall Street) are trained to hard sell that you will just find yourself buying some stocks you probably haven’t even heard of. Worst is that you might even encounter some companies that would sell some fraudulent accounts, only to find out that in the end your money went to nothing because the said account does not even exist.

Make sure to find a go-to person when it comes to this who is trustworthy enough and someone knowledgeable in the field of finance. I would also say not to place ALL your money, especially NOT ALL your savings in one stock. That is not a wise move because there is a big chance of you losing them all. There is also a chance that you might gain even more than 100% of what you gave out, but it is best to keep your expectations low because the market is always fluctuating on a daily basis.

Allow me to summarize this, research the company you want to invest in. Find a broker who would help you out through the process and before you give out your money and sign any deal, make sure that you read the terms and condition of the company and your broker’s so you won’t have problems in the end.

The stock market is a tricky place and it is very unpredictable. It is also important that you have your own decision before buying a stock. This means, you can’t just be easily influenced by the people around you.