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How To Optimize Your Self-Directed IRA

IRAs are gaining attention around the globe. How best can you optimize them? That is the subject of this guide.

Best Hacks On Self-Directed IRAs

In order to understand the basic misconceptions about the IRA, we first need to have a full grasp of what an IRA is, and what is the major difference between traditional and self-directed IRA.

An IRA or Individual Retirement Account is a way to save money for post-retirement with tax-free benefits. It is an investment option designed for building saving funds for the time of your retirement.

The concept of self-directed IRA has been introduced for quite a long time now, but people are still not comfortable with the idea and have various concerns about it.

 There are multiple misconceptions about the use of funds in self-directed IRA that should be clarified for the better understanding and benefit of common folks

Self-directed IRA is a magnificent financial tool that can help you to generate a huge amount of wealth easily and legally. It opens a huge range of investment options for you that can have huge valuations for your portfolio.

Traditional VS Self Directed IRAs

There is a very small but major difference between the two types of IRA. The difference is about the authority of the custodian about the investment restrictions in either type of IRA.

The custodian has a much more active role in traditional IRA, and it decides the investment direction of your funds. It usually allows people to invest only in areas like bonds, stocks, annuities, and mutual funds, and no other form of investment is welcomed.

Whereas, in self-directed IRA, the custodian doesn’t have that much active role in investment options. The custodian’s responsibilities are limited to mainly tax management and allow you to manage your investments as you desire.

Hence, for self-directed IRA, one can have multiple investment options, in addition to the traditional options, like real estate investment, new start-ups, cryptocurrency, etc.

Self-Directed IRA Misconceptions

Many people have certain misconceptions about the mechanism and processing of the self-directed IRA.

These misconceptions misguide them badly and lead to bad investment decisions and negative financial consequences. So, here we have enlisted all these major concerns to clarify them once and for all.

1. The first misconception is about investment options. As discussed above, traditional IRAs have a limited room for investment options. The reason for the fixed policy is that conventional markets are relatively easier to engage with and monitor compared to alternative options.

For example,cryptocurrency is a very risky investment option that can be unacceptable for traditional IRAs. On the other hand, the self-directed IRA has no such issues and are open to every kind of investment option.

2. The next misconception about self-directed IRAs is that these firms have absolute authority over the money. Whether traditional or self-directed, no IRA firm has any such authority. Their mere responsibility and control are about keeping your money safe.

They can’t invest your money without your permission, and even after investing, you have the authority to cancel their access to your funds.

3. Another common misunderstanding of people is that real estate investments in self-directed IRAs could be used personally. It is not true at all. The only purpose of the IRA-based real estate investment is to make a profit. You can’t use the property or live in it.

4. The biggest misconception of self-directed IRAs is about their legality. The non-traditional investments are generally considered illegal.

Cryptocurrencies, tax liens, venture capitalism, etc. all these are legal forms of investment, where markets are regulated by safety measures and laws.

Uncertainty is at the core of investment. Just because alternative investment options are not widely discussed doesn’t elevate them as riskier than traditional methods.

Real estate is the safest investment option while cryptocurrency is volatile but not overly risky.

 Even in traditional investment options like bonds and stock, uncertainty is inevitable. The more you concentrate on one specific market the higher the risk will be. In any investment market, the simple and best way to avoid risk is diversification.

Conclusion

The self-directed IRA makes you more empowered concerning your fund investment.

You have more liberty to make more money compared to traditional methods by adopting alternative ways.

Take advantage of the greater options and the possible gains available for you and get benefited excessively in your future.

6 Entrepreneurial Traits That Make The Difference

To become a successful entrepreneur requires the development of vital traits that can make the difference. Learn more..

Though there is no hard and fast rule to success it can be achieved through hard work and simply following the common habits, characteristics, and qualities of the successful entrepreneurs.

There are generally six common habits or qualities that I have sorted out here. With every quality, I am going to give you an example of who and how it has benefited others to be the best they can be.

1.Persistence

Arianna Huffington is one the biggest examples of persistence, who after repeated rejections didn’t stop trying to get her second book, ‘After Reason’, published.

She had been rejected by almost 36 publishers at the age of 23 before she finally got it published. She didn’t stop here and ran for governor of California in 2003 but dropped out of the race soon after seeing only 2% support in her favor.

But she learned from this incident how vital the power of the internet is while running the fundraising campaign. As a result, she launched HuffingtonPost.com, 2 years later, which she sold to AOL.com for $315 million ultimately in 2011.

A successful entrepreneur understands the importance of failure. Rejections and failures are the signs to keep pushing forwards instead of stopping due to failure.

They provide you with learning experiences and serve as steppingstones towards success. Being persistent despite the hurdles is the most rewarding experience for entrepreneurs.

2.Forever Learning and Self-Improvement

The CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, Elon Musk, is famous for being a fast learner.

He declared in an interview that before starting the corporation, he spent a lot of time in reading as many books as he can about rocketry and propulsion to learn about building rockets. In an interview on Reddit, he compared knowledge to a semantic tree.

He stressed that it is important to understand the fundamental principles of the tree like the trunk and big branches before going into the details like leaves, otherwise without basics or the branches, there will be nothing for leaves to hang on to.

Even after all the success with PayPal and Tesla, Elon knew that he would have to learn all about the rockets and rocket propulsion system to become the competent leader of a space flight company.

A feedback loop is very important for constant success. It allows you to think about what you have done, how you have done, and how you could have done it.

Constantly question yourself and get the chance to become better. A successful entrepreneur always strives for knowledge. They know that no matter how successful they are, or how much knowledge they have gathered, there is still room for more success and personal growth.

3.Risk Taking

One of the greatest risk-takers of all times is Bill Gates, who risked his future at the age of 20 by dropping out of Harvard to co-found his software company, Microsoft.

Bill Gates writes that in business and even in real life, you need to take big risks to achieve great success. A big risk can either mean big success or a big failure. Now if we look back, the success of Microsoft seems inevitable, but it wasn’t the case at that time.

At that time, it was the biggest risk of all to start the first personal computer software firm, and everyone thought it is going to be a huge failure.

To be a successful entrepreneur you need to look the potential to take your business to rise heights. What are the potential risks that you are afraid of? What could they benefit you and your business?

The best way to overcome these fears is to get exposure. Surround yourself with other risk-takers and people who encourage you to move forward, rather the ones who discourage and think you would fail.

4.Leadership

During 2008’s massive recession, when Starbucks was at the brink of failure, Howards Schultz’s leadership helped them to get out of the crisis.

Talking about his leadership techniques and what helped him to revive Starbucks, he mentioned that according to his views, leadership is something which has to be decisive, where you need to be ready to take decisions without having perfect information.

The core of leadership is transparency and truthfulness. You don’t need to be vulnerable all the time but there are times when you have to share your mind with people to tell them what you are and what you think, without being afraid.

Leadership is about being decisive and implementing things that will lead to the betterment and success of our business.

If you also have other people as employees, then being a leader you also have to explain to them the logic of your decisions. Taking initiative and responsibility are two main things that you can start with to develop leadership skills.

5.Hustle and Incredible Work Ethic

Oprah Winfrey, the host of The Oprah Winfrey Show, while working hard for the show was not afraid to take on other projects. She worked in about 12 movies and cameos, many other TV shows, documentaries, and even movies.

She kept on appearing in and working on several other projects while keeping her main TV show among the top-rated and winning various awards for it.

Even after the end of the show in 2011, she continued to be a media tycoon by owning her own television network, a channel, a website, a magazine, an XM satellite radio channel and various movies and TV show cameos. 

There is no big secret to success. It only comes to you when you are willing to go for it and work hard to get successful. Oprah worked hard to build up her personal brand. She managed to appear at every channel without compromising the quality of her work.

 It is up to you how you manage to expand your brand on business and can put it on how many platforms. It is time to get activated and bring awareness to your business and brand.

Do not be passive and wait for opportunities to come towards you. Work proactively in the market for your product and make a name there. No one can help you to be successful but you.

6.Focus

In 1996, when Steve Jobs came back to the declining corporation of Apple, what he noticed was that the organization had lost its main focus. By the next year, he reduced the product line from 350 to 10 key products.

Apple’s poor management had caused the company to spread a lot but became too thin. I was very tough for Steve Jobs to focus and kill off various products and projects of the organization. In a conference in 1997, Steve Jobs stated that focusing is no about saying yes, rather about saying no.

A successful entrepreneur knows that the business must not be spread to limits that would make the corporate so thin and feeble that it will lose focus from the originality of the brand.

Keep yourself focused on the original vision of your organization. The only way to do that is to keep things simple. Try to make fewer but quality products, rather making dozens of okay products.

Conclusion

You don’t need to focus on all of these qualities altogether. Adopt one or more that applies to you and start working to improve your business today.

Trading ETFs: Strategies You Need To Know

ETFs belong to a growing sphere of investment that hugs the headlines in financial markets around the globe. Here are important strategies for trading in them.

ETF Strategies for Traders

ETFs usually track the bonds, stocks or index, and other securities. These can be extensive market indexes like Nasdaq or Bloomberg Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index, targeted regional indexes, or niche indexes.

ETF might have hundreds of securities in their portfolio that tend to create prompt diversification to help in reducing the risk, as compared to owning individual stocks.

There is also some chance to further expand by structuring a basic portfolio with multiple ETFs. Each of these ETFs will hold a different type of security across asset classes.

ETF adoption is growing fast due to being a tax-efficient mode to continue with your investment ideas and through providing a low-cost and flexible mean to enter the potential of the markets.

At the start of the 21st century, the ETF assets were even less than $100 billion. Now, by 2018 the ETF assets have exceeded $4.7 trillion around the world and are still increasing its number of products.

According to an estimation by BlackRock, by 2023, ETF assets will rise to more than $12 trillion.

Let’s have a look at each of its characteristics in detail.

  • Choice

First of all, you need to determine what you are looking for. Whether you are a retiree that is shopping for funds to have some speedy source of income, or you are a Millennial who has just switched his job and now trying to find a way to roll over your assets so that they could help them after retirement.

There are almost 1800 ETFs that are enlisted in the US, and BlackRock’s ETF business, iShares have about 300 to offer just in the US, and more than 800 around the world, which represents a huge range of geographical regions and asset classes.

You have the option to select an ETF portfolio that is most suitable for you, your passion and your goals.

Do you want to reflect your value through your money? With viable iShare ETFs, you don’t need to go against your personal beliefs while investing.

 For example, if you are an environmentalist, you can always invest in companies dedicated to providing positive environmental, governance and social business practices.

Or if you want to invest in some long-term future-shaping forces, like rising technology, various ETFs are there offering collaboration with companies that work in technological advances and also working to shape our global society and economy.

  • Value

Investing in mutual funds that are being actively managed can be a bit costly as their professional asset managers and all the researching staff has to be paid for their working and the decisions they make.

iShares ETFs usually charge a very small amount of fees. It can be said that iShares ETFs charged fees in on average, one-third of an active mutual fund, and still they generate half the tax compared to the average of an active mutual fund.

The value keeps adding up. By 30 years, hypothetical investment of $10,000 made in an active open-end mutual fund with a fees of 0.96%, the monthly assistance of $1,000 and an expected compounded rate of 8% for return, will be likely to grow to an amount of $1.2 million and is going to lead to $270,000 in the fees.

Keeping every other calculation same for an ETF charging 0.34% fees, it will be likely to rise up to $1.4 million and leading to just $100,000 in fees.

  • Accessibility

Get in the game without any hassle. One of the major benefits of ETFs is that you can sell and buy them all day round, similar to stocks. What you need for that is just a brokerage account.

For a mutual fund, you need to buy and sell typically through a mutual fund broker. You will get your reimbursement three days after you place your order, but according to the net value of the asset of the day when you placed your order.

But with ETFs, you don’t need to wait that long. Markets are open all the time and you can sell out whenever you want and get you to cash at the moment.

For some mutual funds, there is a limitation of buy-in or minimum amount that you have to invest. But there is no such limitation with ETFs. Buy your shares just as you buy stocks for individual companies without any minimum share. If you can afford the share price, you can buy it without any condition.

These differences make ETFs for young investors worth considering. You can also use ETF as a modern-day gift to cherish major events in your life like wedding, graduation, communions, etc.

iShares ETFs gives you the opportunity to choose from various options and make the most suitable choice to assist in your needs, with the transparency and assurance that you are getting right value for your money and investing in the easiest way that suits you.

But look at the bigger picture, you can use the iShares ETFs not only to help you to reach the goals of your life but also assist you to keep up with your personal passions.

Risks Involved in Investing, Including the Risk of Loss

The environmental, social, and governance investment strategy restricts the form and frequency of the investment choices available to the fund. It usually results in underperformance of the fund as compared to other funds that do not focus on ESG.

The ESG strategy of fund results in major investments in the industry of security fields that lead to overall market underperformance or underperformance of other funds that are selected for ESG standards.

Those funds that tend to concentrate their investments in specific sectors, industries, asset class or market might underperform or can be more volatile compared to other sectors, industries, asset classes or markets than the general securities market.

Conclusion

Technology companies tend to be more affected by product obsolescence and excessive competition. ETFs as well as shares’ transaction lead to commissions of brokerage and ultimately generate tax. Every investment company has to distribute portfolio returns to shareholders.

The fees related to funding investment are not just borne by the investors in individual bonds and stock. The investment comparisons are only for explanation. To have a better understanding of the differences and similarities between investments one must read the product prospectuses.

Separating Facts From Fiction: Is Facebook Libra in ranking as Number 2 crypto even before its launch?

Facebook is drawing some ruckus around the globe with its Libra project. Is Libra already second-placed in the crypto world? Find out.

While Facebook is criticized for its lax approach towards privacy and the often-toxic business practices, it’s still one of the most important companies on the web. Just by the amount of users it boosts – 2.38 billion as of January 2019 – anything championed by the giant will gain lots of attention and traction.

Knowing that, it’s not surprising Facebook’s attempts to create its own cryptocurrency have gathered lots of press. In fact, after Bitcoin, Facebook’s fabled Libra project might well be the second most talked about crypto project in the mainstream.

But, does that buzz around it translate to the cryptocurrency actually being successful even before any details about it are officially unveiled?

Very little is known

Here’s the first fact: We know nothing about the Libra project. Other than a few of those involved, but not necessarily behind it, there’s no official information whatsoever.

At this point, all we know for sure is that Facebook is pursuing its own cryptocurrency. Everything else are rumors or assumptions.

This is important because, while many of these rumors might be true, this means that it’s all speculation at this point.

That works for the crypto market, since it’s largely speculative, and it keeps the Libra project in the news, which we’re sure Facebook likes, but… it doesn’t do much more than that.

And even how much it helps the Libra project in the crypto market can be argued, since all the rumors in the world won’t matter once an official announcement is out there.

Since the cryptocurrency can’t go on sale without such an announcement, all pre-release rumors and hype won’t really affect Libra’s success in the end.

Then, there’s something else: One of the chief rumors says that Libra will be a stablecoin. Which in turn means the token won’t be able to gain or lose value, no matter how well designed it is.

In a world where cryptocurrencies are seen as investment options by the mainstream, that’s a problem.

Expectations aren’t based on the token itself

As mentioned, since the token is believed to be a stablecoin, nobody is waiting to spend a fortune buying Libra tokens. Instead, what the crypto community is buzzed about, is how such a stablecoin could help drive crypto adoption.

Facebook’s reach is unprecedented for the crypto market. If Facebook pushes libra and gains many adopters, that will mean the crypto adoption rate will shoot up – which should in turn drive many people towards trading other cryptocurrencies.

In other words, the buzz in the community is about Libra working as a gateway cryptocurrency, but not so much about Libra being a game changer.

What ranking might mean

Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean Libra isn’t ranking highly. It just means whatever buzz it has now might well disappear before it officially releases.

But let’s assume it does have huge amount of buzz – then we should ask ourselves, what does “ranking” mean?

Regularly, ranking would be interpreted as market capitalization. However, since Libra isn’t out yet and it won’t be running an ICO, that would be impossible. Libra’s market capitalization is effectively zero.

There are other ways to assume ranking. Google search ranking is another one – one could reasonably believe that, due to the buzz around it, Libra is being constantly googled. This would be an interesting measure and give us insight into its expected success.

However, actual data quickly proves this to be wrong. Actual search stats put the Libra project behind both Bitcoin, Ethereum, and XRP, making it at the very least #4. To be fair, it does rank above Zcash.

Google Trends for Libra, Bitcoin, Ethereum and Crypto.

Another way to think about it is by how much it appears in the news – and it’s only here that Libra does rank well.

Bitcoin has been mentioned in 44,800,000 news items over the last month. Ethereum has been mentioned about 3,960,000 times. Facebook Libra? 8,860,000 times.

But while news coverage could be considered rating, that’s hardly a measure of success. It’s a measure of interest from news sites, which sure is important, but it doesn’t reflect market tendencies.

Does it even matter?

It’s impossible to gauge how successful Libra might or not be without knowing anything about it before. And even knowing, we won’t know about its success until it is out, and we start seeing real numbers.

This is important, because while Libra has potential right now the buzz is in part thanks to the air of secrecy around it.

That secrecy might work in its favor right now, but it’ll only help in the long term if the project delivers. And we won’t know that until later this year.

So while it’s hardly true that Libra is ranking as #2 crypto, that doesn’t matter right now.

What does matter is that it’s gaining some buzz – and that said buzz could well drive its adoption once it is launched.

12 Instagram Hacks Every Entrepreneur Must Know

Modern business is driven by online activity and networking. How can you use Instagram to get a business lift? Find out..

The Power of High-Quality Content on Instagram

Every success-focused entrepreneur needs to have an Instagram profile that can be of benefit in various aspects.

Most newbies set up an account but then get confused about what they should post on their profile to keep the followers engaged.

There are various ways to enhance your Instagram following and we are going to present you with some easy and convenient ideas to help you with that.

This is moreso as we all might know that the Instagram algorithm favors good content that actually attracts customers.

The platform also provides you an opportunity to create and nurture your relationship with the audience and help to convert them into customers.

Therefore, it is necessary to create quality content that blends different types of ideas to appeal to your online followership at different stages.

Keep in mind how your posts can affect your audience while going through the following points:

1.      Product Display

Probably the best way to start is by showing off the products you want to sell. Pictures, videos, and content related to the products will be a good way to advertise your business and will also generate traffic to your page. Be creative with your content and add some attractive captions.

You can post solo pictures of the product or make them a part of a lifestyle photo. You can also avail this as an opportunity to promote your product by highlighting its features, benefits and special characteristics.

2.      Product Tags

Product tags give detailed information about the product and how to purchase it. This not only saves the time of your customers but also make it convenient for them to make a purchase through their mobile gadget.

There is a greater chance for users to follow through with your account due to the products tags.

3.      BTS Glimpse

Your followers love to have a peek at behind-the-scenes (BTS)content.

This not only creates transparency but also makes your customers feel like they are a part of your actual life behind the brand and are interacting with the real you, making them more comfortable with you.

4.      Live Sessions

Make your followers feel important and valued by interacting with them through these live sessions. This will help to build a stronger and trusted bond you will value.

Try to announce that session beforehand so that your trusted audience is aware of it. Give them some time to join in and find a place with good light for your video. Make a plan and practice what you are going to say in your video.

5.      User-Generated Posts

Posting a user-generated content will have a positive impression on your customers, showing them that you are engaged with the community.

This is a good way to promote your business in a delicate and highly effective manner.

6.New Products Announcement

Updating new information about your product launch or business milestones through your Instagram account with interesting visuals is also an effective way to achieve the purpose.

It not only gives you valid content to share but also make your customers feel connected and updated about their favorite brand.

7.An Instagram Contest

Creating a contest will create a hype about your brand among the users and will generate more traffic for your goods and services.

This can even help you with innovative user-generated content. Select a prize more relevant to your target audience to get an actual engagement from your customers.

8.Fun Videos

Making videos is important to gain huge popularity on Instagram. Create content that is unique and interesting. It could be vlogs, Q&A sessions, product tutorials, success stories, etc.

9.Event Coverage

An easy way to get popularity among your followers is to showcase your involvement in some events related to your business.

Whether you are hosting it or are invited to attend the event, a before and after or during the event content can prove beneficial and boost your popularity.

10.Answer the Questions

The new ‘question sticker’ feature of Instagram can be used to enervate a response from your customers. Answering their queries may result in getting you more followers for your account.

You can also make a video to answer all the questions or interact with them directly in a live video session to answer their comments.

11.Video Tutorials

These valuable videos will not only help you gain popularity among the people but also help your customers to have a better understanding of your business and products.

By showing how easy it is to use your product, you might actually get some more customers.

12.Carousel Posts

In carousel posts, you can upload more than one image or select video in a single post.

This may help you to explain different ways of using a single product, show multiple related products together, step-by-step product tutorial, a series of pictures taken during an event coverage, etc.

Conclusion

Modern business is online-driven, and you can attain success with the Instagram hacks above to grow your following and bottom-line.