Financial Tips For The New Investor

The new year is only a few days away. Get a jump start on financial success and claim what’s yours!

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  • Getting 2019 started right concentrating on three key steps.

  • Results may vary depending on your investing style.


The new year is on its way and you are ready to get serious about investing in the stock market! Now you can either jump right in and invest, or you can take necessary precautions and plan for success.

It took me some time to really get a grasp of how the stock market works and what investing style worked best for me. I look back and wish I wouldn’t have rushed the process at first, and because I did it cost me hundreds of dollars. So learn from my mistakes and check out these financial tips before you dive right in this year.

Minimize your expenses and relinquish your debt.

Be Aware Of Your Spending Habits

This is the most challenging part of all, but if you are afraid to check your personal bank account on a daily basis, don’t invest in the market. Learn to manage your personal finances, minimize your expenses and relinquish your debt. Being responsible for your spending habits is a must if you want success with your investments.

Life catches us by surprise often…

Emergency Savings

I was told by a wealthy businessman to always have at least $1,000 emergency fund on the side of your investing endeavors. And once you have started with that, build it to $2,000 (and so on). If you have a family, your emergency fund may need to be $3,000 – $10,000. But, if your main source of income stopped today, how long could you survive from your current savings?

Why?

Life catches us by surprise often, so it’s best to have a side savings fund to be prepared- sudden surprises such as car repair, house repair, etc. It’s not recommended to have all of your savings placed in the stock market. If you placed it all in a brokerage and suddenly needed the money, it could take several business days to complete the transactions (fees could be involved). You may also consider holding your securities long-term for tax purposes.

Concentrating on these two tips will help you to become a better investor in 2019. Be patient and learn from others. It’s very common for investors to have come excited, but have a strong game plan and keep your eyes open to new opportunities.

Please see About Me & Disclaimer for additional information about Black Tea.
Closing Disclaimer:

I am not a certified professional, nor responsible for any of your gains or loses. I’m simply a passionate stock investor who loves to share my experience with other women/men who want to learn general information about the market. May I encourage you to study and evaluate before you make any purchase or sale in the stock market. We are a participant in the Amazon Affiliate Services LLC program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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A Tool For Every Stock Investor

Do you have investments in Mutual Funds, Index Funds, or ETFs? Find out what tool investors are using to find hidden managment fees.


ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) are great investments due to their low management fees and flexibility. However, many new investors forget that even ETFs can have high expense ratios and have great potential to eat away at your profits overtime.

Meet Fund Analyzer

Fund Analyzer is a website made by the FINRA (financial industry regulatory authority) that calculates and compares fund expenses. This is an excellent tool to use if you are searching for any fund to buy and hold for a long period of time. The analyzer breaks down funds costs for the investor and shows the following:

  • Front-End Loads (fees upon purchase)
  • Redemption Expenses (fees for early checkout)
  • Annual Operating Expenses (operational costs)
  • Back-End Loads (exit fees)
  • Additional Account Costs

To use the analyzer: Simply search for a fund by typing the stock ticker symbol or the full name that you are looking for. Select your fund or find additional funds to compare the fund to. Once the fund(s) are selected, select “ANALYZE” at the top right of the screen and view the results! There are advanced search options, but the base example they give is preset on an initial contribution of $10,000, rate fo return set at 5.00%, and holding period set for 10 years– you can change this if you like depending on what you are looking for.

The analyzer gives ratings based from MorningStar. The “fee category” shows a vivid graph of comparable funds that range in the same field as your investment funds (you can click the graph dots and find other funds in the same expense ratios).

The Fund Analyzer is also a recommended tool to use by the SEC to deliver appropriate information for investors and awareness of brokerage fees. This analyzer is a simple way to work smarter, not harder.

Honest Review

Personally, I wish I would have found this analyzer before I started investing. A majority of my portfolio consists of ETFs and it’s important to understand how much fund expenses will cost you overtime. I definitely suggest this to be a tool for you to use on a daily basis or when you find it necessary to rebalance your stock portfolio.

 

Disclaimer:

This blog is not a paid advertisement from any financial institution or the owners from Fund Analyzer and I was not paid prior to writing this post.


We are a participant in the Amazon Affiliate Services LLC program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Please see About Me & Disclaimer tab for additional information about Black Tea.

Information Attained: FundAnalizer.com

Honest Review: Acorns Investing App

Honest Review for one of the hottest investing apps on the market!

Image Credit


Acorns is a stock investing app that has many special features customized for the beginner investor. Its main selling point for customers is their specialized “round up” feature. If you connect your bank account to the app, they will monitor your personal bank account and round up every dollar spent and use the cents toward your stock account.

For example: If you bought a cup of coffee this morning that cost you $2.75, Acorns will round up to the nearest dollar to $3.00 and place the $0.25 cents towards your stock portfolio to be invested.

(Another example presented by Acorns to round up to $4.00)

Fees Involved

  • $1 a month for holding an account Acorns Core (standard). However, this feature is free for college students
  • $2 for Acorns Core + Acrons Later (standard account and retirements
  • $3 for Acorns Core + Acorns Later + Acorns Spend (standard account, retirement account, and Acorns exclusive checking account)
  • Additional fees may vary

Investments Allocated

Simplified, Acorns does all the work for you. When you sign up for a free account, you will be asked a few questions that will customize your investment portfolio. You will be able to choose your investing style from categories that range from conservative, moderate conservative, moderate, moderate aggressive, and aggressive. These customized stock portfolios will have a range of investments from government bonds and real estate stocks to corporate bonds and emerging market funds.

Image Credit


In my humble opinion…

This is a very simplified way to invest into your stock account, however, I didn’t make many purchases and I found that it was best for me to add my own money instead of using their automated feature.

Acorns use stock advisors form Vanguard and Blackrock to customize their managed portfolios. This is exceptional, however, Blackrock’s ETF’s at times has higher fund management expenses that may give your a less return from other ETFs.

Also, I prefer taking charge of my own investments and arranging my own stock portfolio. Acorns didn’t give me the liberty to add or take away any stocks.

This app is best for the new investor that doesn’t want to put a lot of time into studying the market. If you find yourself in the position with a very busy career or you find the stock market confusing but you still want to invest, this may be an application for you to try.

Please see About Me & Disclaimer for additional information about Black Tea.

Stock Investing 101: What Am I Looking for When I Start Investing?

Do you want to start investing but you don’t know what to look for? Let’s take the first step together and find out what is important.

  • There are many things you could look for in a company, but if your new to stock investing it can get be overwhelming.

  • Today we are looking for a company that has two characteristics: a special product or a special service.
  • Always look for consistency and growth and any long-term investment. Let’s get started.

There are many exceptional companies you can find on the stock market, but some of the greatest corporations will have at least one of these characteristics: a special service or a special product. And if the company has both, you may have found the jackpot. Now, this sounds very simple considering most corporations have something to sell to make a profit from, yet what is special about this product? What is unique about this service that attracts repeat customers to want to use more than other companies? Let’s dig deeper into what to look for in a company if they have a special service.

A Special Service

Leading companies on the stock market that have a special service may be companies such as WFC (Wells Fargo), WTW (Weight Watchers INTL. INC.), AWK (American Water Works Company Inc.), or FDX (FedEx). You will find that most of these companies listed are businesses you have already heard of because they have mastered the technique to be people specific.

For example: If you want to lose 10 pounds, you may want to subscribe to a Weight Watchers meal plan. Or perhaps you want to mail a monetary gift to a friend who is getting married? You can use FedEx or send money through an app through Wells Fargo. These companies have solved and everyday people problem and these everyday solutions have made these companies millions of dollars in revenue.

 

Read: How To React When Your Portfolio Is Plunging

A Special Product

You may not have to look far to find a special company that owns a special product. The fastest place to look may be your bathroom counter or you daily vitamins that are placed in your pantry. Companies such as PG (Proctor & Gamble), USANA (United Health Sciences Inc.), or EL (The Estee Lauder Companies, Inc.) are companies that mastered a way to sell a special product to maintain repeat customers. Their special product(s) aim to solve a problem for the consumer and if the products are good enough, there is no need to make revisions this lead to fewer company costs that will save the company more money in the long run.

Fast Analysis: Sysco Corporation Ready, Set, Goals!

There are many great corporations I may not have mentioned today, but when looking for a particular company to invest in, find a company that has a durable competitive advantage over other corporations. This company with a special product or service needs to stick out from the crowd from their competitors. After you have found the company’s niche, look through their history of performance and look for consistency of growth in areas such as revenue, gross profit, dividends, and production. Is the company holding profit or are they struggling with debt?

Take your time to do your research on the company that deserves your money and time for maximum profitability.

 

Closing Disclaimer:

I am not a certified professional, nor responsible for any of your gains or loses. I’m simply a passionate stock investor who loves to share my experience with other women/men who want to learn general information about the market. May I encourage you to study and evaluate before you make any purchase or sale in the stock market. We are a participant in the Amazon Affiliate Services LLC program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Please see About Me & Disclaimer for additional information about Black Tea.

Information Attained:

TheStreet.com

Stock Investing 101: What Are Dividends?

Find out what dividends are and how you can use them to make you wealthy!

Stock analysts talk about them often and investors love them, yet what exactly are they? Let’s have a crash course on what dividends are and how they can help you and your stock portfolio.

A dividend is a specific amount of money paid to you on an annual or quarterly basis from the company’s profits. Think of it as…well, sharing the wealth.

Types

Though there are several types of dividends, the two most common uses in the stock market are cash dividends and stock dividends.


Cash Dividends

  • A cash dividend is when the company pays their shareholders in the form of cash payments (most common).

Stock Dividends

  • A stock dividend is given to the shareholder by the company increasing the current amount of shares by percentage.

Find more details about cash and stock dividends here.


Dividends are paid to investors on a quarterly basis (four times a year). Yet, depending on the company’s board of directors they can be scheduled to be paid once a month, semi-annually (twice a year), or annually (once a year). There are also times when a company may choose to not set a particular schedule and may randomly, this is also known as “irregular dividends”.

But Wait…There’s More

Dividends within a company are managed at the discretion of the board of directors and may be increased, decreased or eliminated at a time of their choosing. Dividends are also taxed at long-term capital gain rates.

Please see a certified tax consultant for additional information on taxes and if your dividends are “qualified or “non-qualified”. View more tax information here.

Dividends to some investors are a sign of “financial health” for a company. Investors can create a customized dividend schedule or algorithm to support their current income or support their income for retirement. This schedule is customized to receive dividend payments from companies in a systematic fashion (payments made daily).

If you want to buy a stock in time to catch their dividend payment, you must buy before the company’s ex-dividend date. Find more information here.

Related: 5 High-Yield Dividend Stocks You Might Love

Not For Everyone

Though most investors enjoy dividends, not every investor concentrates on having a dividend portfolio. It’s also not common for startups and higher-growth companies to have dividends. Startup companies are in their “new years” and revenue will fluctuate from quarter-to-quarter. This may be a time when these new businesses need to keep their profits to reinvest. And higher-growth companies (big corporations) may not use dividends so they can reinvest and use the extra cash flow to fund new projects.

Dividends are a wonderful tool and when used responsibly, they can make you very wealthy. Be wise about all of your investments and enjoy the wealth.

Please see About Me & Disclaimer for additional information about Black Tea.

Information Attainted:

Dividend.com, Investopedia.com, USANews.com, Intuit.com

Stock Investing 101: Should I Invest In Marijuana Stocks?

Do they belong in your stock portfolio?

Cannabis/Marijuana stocks have become increasingly popular since they have opened up in the stock market. This question is more opinionated than anything, but let’s see the long-term benefits of investing in cannabis stocks.

Some companies offer recreational cannabis while other companies focus on medical cannabis. According to Forbes, the international market for cannabis is projected to exceed over $30 billion in 2021. Cannabis stocks have turned the heads for investors for medical companies to embark on new medical inventions as well as more business for recreational businesses- as long as the government approves of course.

Screenshot graph from Wikipedia


There are 7 main uses for medical cannabis:

  • Chronic Pain Multiple Sclerosis
  • Nausea Epilepsy
  • Concussion Alzheimer’s Disease Bipolar Disorder

Speaking for those who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, it was reported by Alz.org, in 2017, that 5.5 million people suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. Large pharmaceuticals are using medical cannabis as an aid for this disease and investors see great potential in revenues for these companies.

Read: Why You Need To Keep Reading SEC Filings.

While some investors tease the investing idea similar to investing in Bitcoin, the cannabis industry will eventually grow into a large empire. Yet, investors aren’t sure of the stability of the industry long-term and would much rather place their investment in more profitable sectors. All of this depends on the individual, yet look for innovation, value, and stability in your investments.

Some of the Top Cannabis Stocks:

CRBP (Corbus Pharmaceuticals)

GWPH (GW Pharmaceuticals)

INSY (Insy Therapeutics)

CBIS (Cannabis Science)

Please see About Me & Disclaimer for additional information about Black Tea.

Information Attained:

ALZ.org, CNN.com, Wikipedia.com, Forbes.com

Tariffs: What Are They? How Are They Affecting My Portfolio?

What are tariffs? How do they affect the stock market and investors?

It’s important to get a simple understanding of how tariffs are affecting the stock market and our economy. Tariffs are hurting many stock investors and it’s important to get an understanding of what they are doing.

A Tariff is a tax or duty to be paid on a particular class of imports or exports.

Simply put, a tariff is a tax on an import/export. When the money is collected they are known as duties or levies. Tariffs are usually charged as a percentage of a “transaction price”. These percentages vary from country to country. Analysis done by Greg Daco of Oxford University, discovered U.S., Japan, Europe and Canada charge a tariff percentage of 3.1% and below whereas Mexico and China reach to 4%.

Read: How Entrepreneurs Can stay Ahead Of A Slow Growing Economy.

Tariffs raise our government revenue and decrease pressure on our competitors. However, U.S. and China are two of world’s two largest economies and economists are declaring that China can stand to “hold their breath longer” in the trade-off than America.

The biggest concern lies with our fragile economy and corporate businesses. The “tax war” is effecting some of America’s most important businesses; soybeans farms, automobile manufacturers, steel and aluminum shipments, etc.

Rod Sides of Deloitte (U.S.) recently stated,

Consumers are feeling good, but if they see prices start going up, there could be a backlash. The average consumer hasn’t yet internalized what the tariffs mean to them and haven’t seen the prices rise.

Read: Bearish Behavior: How To React When Your Portfolio Is Plunging.

The tariffs can contribute to price changes of imports/exports which may contribute to the delay of corporate investments and new projects. This has investors concerned for price changes on the stock markets and America’s wealth. The tariffs don’t only effect our portfolios as investors, but this also affects the global economy. The world is watching every move President Trump makes and how he responds to China. The pressure is on.

Please see About Me and Disclaimer for additional information about Black Tea.

Information Attained:

Finance.Yahoo.com, InvestingAnswers.com, CBSNews.com

Why You Need To Keep Reading SEC Filings

SEC stands for Security Exchange Commission, it’s a place where most businesses submit company reports; 10-Ks, 8-Ks, S-1 forums, and etc. It’s often you will find companies praising about the revenue they made in their recent quarter or profits gained from a particular project, but it’s crucial to know the companies overall progress on their balance sheet.

Is the company showing consistency? Are they keeping profits high and production costs low? Are they truthful about their paid taxes? You can find all of this information on the SEC.gov.

Though earnings calls have their own matter of importance, viewing reports on the SEC will give you accurate information you can copy and save for later. You may also find additional background information on the CEO of the company (criminal record or education) on the Schedule 13D forum. Catch up and read our recent post about Investing Secrets here.

 

Investors also visit SEC.gov to view S-1 forums for additional information on IPOs. Don’t invest based on what your friends told you, visit the main source and find out for yourself. Though companies hold their own annual/quarterly statements, these reports can be very “colorful” and have a picture perfect outlook on in future they are expecting. It’s important to read the SEC filings because it will keep you knowledgeable about your investments and the long-term potential the company holds.

Please see About Me & Disclaimer for additional information about Black Tea.

Information Obtained: Investopedia.com, SEC.gov, Fool.com

Stock Investing 101: What Are Robo-Advisers?

Robo-Advisers have become increasingly popular and many investors enjoy the features that come along with the investing program. Let’s get a quick view of what they are, how they work, and how they may work for you.

According to Investopedia, robo-advisers are “digital platforms that provide automated algorithm-driven financial planning services with little to no human supervision“. Simply put, it’s a digital financial planning service that manages your account for you- who needs people anyway? Read one of my most recent posts about tech stocks here.

Pros of Robo-Advisers

Robo-Advisers are known for their award-winning software for their algorithm techniques, simplicity, low costs and fees. They offer more affordable fees than human financial advisors and most companies provide 24/7 customer service hours. Annual fees may be as low as 0.2%, whereas fees for “human” managed portfolios have a flat annual fee for 2%. That may not sound like a lot, but a little goes a long way over a period of time.

Cons of Robo-Advisers

There are many advantages advertised for robo-advisors, however, they require online access to operate. If you enjoy day trading, swing trading or options, you more than likely won’t get all of the technical features that come with active trading. Robo-Adviser programs are aimed towards buy-and-hold investors and have their own set of hourly rates/fees involved with the program.

There are many robo-adviser programs that leave investors very satisfied. Two of the most popular companies you may be familiar with are Betterment and Acorns. Robo-Advisers are great and if your interested in opening an account, contrast and compare from other companies and do your own research on what you’re looking for in your investment portfolio.

Please see About Me & Disclaimer for additional information about Black Tea.