Beware of Phone Scammers

So you just filed your taxes and you got a reasonable amount of money back from federal and state taxes. Right when you were ready to plan your next vacation, you receive a call from the “IRS”, urgently demanding $5,000 in unpaid taxes! Ever received a call like this? These are special con artists and they successfully steal millions of dollars every year. Here a way you can spot a phone scammer.

Sense of Urgency

The urgent caller may tell you that if you hang up the phone or don’t pay within 24 hours they will have to take immediate legal action and call the authorities. You can report these callers to your local police, but if you haven’t received state warning letters in the mail this is something you don’t have to be concerned about.

Payment Options

Usually, these con artists will tell you that you need to pay buy submitting your personal information online and pay through a gift card (Apple Store, Grocery Gift card, Retail, etc.). They will tell you that paying through these options has been approved to act as a government bond.

Some of these clues are totally obvious, but when you on your lunch break in the middle of the day and receive and an urgent phone call from the “IRS”, it may catch you off guard. I’ve never been fooled this way, but I have had friends that have lost over $8,000 dollars. But lesson one too everyone, simply be a good citizen and simply pay your taxes!

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What Are Bull And Bear Markets?

Are you new to stock investing and ever wondered what people meant by referring to markets being bull or bear? Well, let me explain it to you in simple terms what they mean.

A Bull Market is when the overall market’s share prices are rising. This is a time when many shareholders are buying a lot of shares in the marketplace, causing higher prices and more profitability. Don’t we all love Bull markets?

A Bear Market is when the overall market’s share prices are falling. Shareholders are selling off their shares causing lower prices, profit loss, and less profitability.

You may notice when stock analysts describe a particular market or stocks having a bullish trend or bearish sell-off. They are simply referring to highs, lows and the attitude of the market. Do you think we are in a bear market, or is it bearish? Leave your answer in the comments below!

Stock Talk: Panic Selling

With the recent tariff troubles between U.S, China, and the typical New Year lows, it can be difficult to try not to panic sell. “Mrs. Market” is quick to tell you about the newest stocks to add to your retirement and the major sell-off in the month of February and March may have hurt your stock portfolio.

It is said that the average Bear market may descend to 28% and the average Bull market may ascend 130%. However, I cannot stress enough to you about how crucial it is to have your own set of rules.

I am apart of many investing groups and the difference between the common speculator and the seasoned investor is the seasoned investor is not quick to sell her/his securities. The seasoned investor is very patient, willing to wait until it is absolutely necessary to sell. In many cases, she/he will have a written strategy of the exact percentage that is customized to their portfolio.

Though I feel the market is still undergoing a correction (and it may be that way for quite some time), it’s very easy to lose money right now. Hold on tight and sell when absolutely have to.

What I Didn’t Know About Being An Entrepreneur

Being your own boss can be very difficult. It requires long nights and getting up early in the morning to get a head start on the day. Here are a few things I wish I would have known before starting a business.

Money

It takes a lot of capital to start and maintain a business. Most new businesses fail within 3-5 years and then they may fail within the next 10 years. Business loans are great, but if you do not manage your finances correctly (including taxes) you’re absolutely doomed to failure- no one wants to end a business with a pile of debt.

Time

A lot of the time entrepreneurs give up too early on their business. A business may take over 5 years in order to see profitable results. Keep in mind that perseverance is everything.

Rejection

There will be many times when you will be rejected from other businesses or receive negative customer reviews. What do you do? Fix the situation immediately and move on. Not everyone will be happy with you or be pleased with what you’re doing. But if you maintain a positive and friendly attitude, you will build the right connections for a successful business.

Start Over

Perhaps you’re in the position when you need to start over? Understand this…it’s okay! Ending a business is very painful, but if it didn’t work out simply start over and try again.

Being an entrepreneur is very challenging. Depending on the field of work, it can be exausting and mentally draining. However, if you do what you love it’s always easy to get back up if you knocked down. If you feel exhausted and having doubts, keep going! Those who make it to the top never give up. Stay encouraged, associate with like-minded entrepreneurs, and win the race.

Stocks & Bonds: What Are They?

Do you want to invest in the stock market but you don’t understand all of it? I definitely understand how you feel. Understanding how to invest in the market can be difficult and very complexed. Let’s get started by understanding what stocks and bonds are.

A stock is a partial ownership of a particular business or corporation. Once you purchase a stock(s) with the company, you then become a shareholder of that corporation. You can buy a stock through a stock brokerage. There are two types of stocks you can purchase, common stock (speaks for itself) and preferred stocks (exclusive, similar to bonds).

A bond is an investment loaned to a company or government for a period of time- this can range from 3-15+ years. As the bond matures, you gain profit from the ending term. There are seven types of bonds that pertain to their own investment purpose: high-yield bonds, municipal bonds, GSE bonds, Treasury bonds, investment-grade bonds, foreign bonds, and mortgage-backed bonds. Bonds have not maintained their credibility within the past few years due to inflation and recent political events. However, it thoroughly depends on the individual investor to make his on her decisions for their portfolio diversity.

There are also other ways you can make orders in the stock market such as stop limits, futures, options, etc. Young or old, investing is a decision away and perfect time to get started is…now!

Stock Talk: F.A.A.N.G Stocks

I’ll let you in on a novice secret and tell you that it took me a month to figure out what in the world acronym meant- I was being lazy but I had a general idea. F.A.A.N.G is FB (Facebook), APPL (Apple), AMZN (Amazon), NFLX (Netflix), and GOOG (Google). If you enjoy investing in the technology sector, it is crucial that you choose one of these five for your stock portfolio because these are the top leading stocks in the market. According to Investopedia.com, the combined market capitalization is over $3 Trillion. This power five also makes up 1% of the S&P 500 list. I put most of my investments into index funds, but it doesn’t hurt to have a few individual shares with a couple of these companies. Do you have any shares investing in F.A.A.N.G? Like & comment below!

Stock Talk: Don’t You Lose Money?

One question I hear often when stocks come up in conversation: Don’t You Lose Money in the Stock Market?

This is one of many commonly asked concerns. I had this same impression many years ago, escpeciallly after what happened from our recent stock market crash. When it comes to stock investing, yes, you certainly can lose a lot of money.However, If you invest wisely, stocks can make millions for you.

Let’s say you had $1,000 aside from your emergency fund. Would you buy a Givenchy bag with that money or invest it into an agressive index fund? Let’s say you buy that goregrous bag. You sure will be stuntin’ for two seasons, but there is always something nicer out there and fashion is an ever-revolving industry. While you were busy keeping up with the Joneses, the other woman invested her $1,000 into and agressive index fund and made a 45% increase within’ six months (give or take).

It all depends on the individual, but consider looking at the value of stock investing. People lose money every day by overspending- not properly managing their finances, and buying on impulse. Yes, you can lose money in stocks, but you can also create more for your retirement.