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The Rise of ETFs

ETFs are very popular and some investors use them for day trading. And ETF is abbreviated for Exchange Traded Fund. Similar to Index funds, it’s a diversified collection of assets that trade on an exchange (like a common stock). ETFs were made to simplify investing- giving the option to invest in a fund instead of choosing multiple common stocks. There are managers behind the scenes doing the trading for you. These funds are great for investors. They are tax-efficient, low cost, and have high volatility.

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

But comparing ETFs from TIFs (traditional index funds), ETFs have given the name for “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” due to the aggressive volatility. They were made to hold, not trade (short-term for 5 years, unlike TIFs for 10+ years). However, there are many kinds of flexible ETFs and it’s up to the investor to make her/his decision on what is right for their portfolio. They are heavily diversified, affordable and an if used wisely, an appropriate investment for the novice investor.

Stock Talk: Why Aren’t Black Women Investing?

It’s not that I don’t think we aren’t investing, it’s the fact that investing is not promoted in the African American community. Besides idols such as Daymond Jon from Shark Tank and Debra L. Lee, owner of B.E.T., there aren’t many black women (or people for that matter) that I know who are stock investors. Though to my surprise, there are a lot of black women who are real estate investors, why not stocks? Is it because it is a male-dominated community? Or perhaps we have been portrayed as the black single mother who only works from job to job?

Nonetheless, stock investing is taught because it is the choice of the individual. Regardless of your race or gender, stock investing is for everyone! Though this game is tough, it takes great knowledge and patience. All of the stock investors I know are wonderful people who are always willing to share great lessons from their mistakes. How did you find out about stock investing? Like and comment below!

4 Steps to Make 2018 the Best Year of Your Life

Do you see yourself going through the same routine every year? Are you tired of going through the motions and want a positive, yet permanent change this year? Below are four simple steps I’ve discovered how you can make this year the best year of your life.

Treat Yourself

Everything in our world is fast paced. We heat up breakfeast with quick heating microwaves, drive to work in fast cars and drive to pick up fast food for lunch. By the time you get home and settle down for the night, it’s already 11:00 p.m. and you’re already tired from the long day. It’s difficult to squeeze in time for yourself, but if you demand one hour out of your day to take a longer shower, get up and hour early to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee or cook a special meal for yourself, you will then value the extra time you cut out of the day that was specifically made for you.

Books

There was a time when I used to loathe reading, but look at me now, writing blogs and reading at least three to five books a year! That’s quite a change from five years ago, sitting in community college bored out of my mind. Now I know that it wasn’t reading I hated, but the type of books I was reading. I used to read fiction, but I learned that I really enjoy reading self-improvement books and books about personal finance and investing. I love the fact that I can learn so much from reading one book and improve my financial gain and not pay but $10 dollars for it. What kind of books do you like to read? Knowledge is power and reading helped me become more confident in myself when handling business and learning how to hold presentations. Pick up a book at the store and read 3 pages a day before bed or in the morning. A positive read can begin or end a great day.

I’m Busy

Have you ever asked someone how they have been and all the response you recieved was, ” Oh i’m fine, just busy” Or ” I’m always busy”. I hear these responses so much, I think the words “I’m busy” is just an automated response we use to make up for common conversation. May I advise you to take a different turn this year and evaluate your busy. What exactly are you busy with? Determine this year to be productive instead of busy. Don’t let life carry you out to sea with anxiety and angst, but be the captain of your own ship and sail to where you want to go.

Closer Friendships

Austin and I are always meeting new people and building new relationships. The main thing that I’ve learned is that people love talking about themselves. When you take an honest interest in the person you are speaking to, they immediatley take interest in you-though at things these can become an endless conversation about themselves. This year, take the conversation with your good friends (or associates) a step closer and talk more about their interests and the things they like to do instead of grumbling about what your co-worker did to you today or who cut in front of you in traffic. No one wants to be around Negative Nelly. A positive approach is always the best approach.

Conclusion

Overall, if you can take the time to value you, appreciate others and start off the day positive, every year can be a great year because you decided that you will start to have great days. But making 2018 to be the best year starts with you. How will you end this year? There is still time to make a change. Be the best you this year and make it the best year of your life!

Stock Investing 101: Long Haul

If I have one word for my stock investing journey thus far it is patience. Investing in the stock market is not for the faint of heart, but if you commit to studying the market, you can win. But before you jump in with the sharks, there are a few more things you need to have before you need to know.

The Right Brokerage for You

Most brokerages require you to open with $5,000 for a standard account, while there are others that don’t require money to open. Starting out, may I recommend you starting with a stock app such as Stash or Acorns to get your feet wet. When I started investing, I had as little a $5-$20 dollars a week. These app brokerages make it simple and explain step-by-step how the market works. Once you have more money and experience, check out the zero fee and commission free brokerages- these brokerages I have found to be wonderful companies that are great for the novice investor as well as the seasoned investor. I currently us Robinhood and Ally (TradeKing), but I certainly wouldn’t advise the novice investor to start here. Though there are other larger brokerages such as Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, and Chares Schwab, there are other companies (just as good) that require a fee and high commissions. If you choose to use a larger brokerage, they may have more varieties of stocks and funds, but if you could buy shares of AAPL (Apple) or AMZN (Amazon), why not get it with zero fees?

The Long Haul

Long-term investing is the best investing. Buy as low as possible, and when you sell, sell when everyone is buying and when the stock is reaching high records. For taxes, longevity, and maturity, hold your stocks for at least a year before you sell. From my personal experience (and still learning) you cannot be easily swayed by your emotions. You have to be strong in bull and bear markets.

Closing Disclosure

Again, I am by no means a professional or paid to write this from a stock brokerage, nor responsible for your gains or losses. I am simply passionate about stock investing, looking to share more information to women of all ages about the stock market. Have I made hundreds of dollars, yes. Have I lost hundreds of dollars…unfortunately, yes. But Financial education means everything in this game. Study hard, stay calm, and secure your future.

Get over whatever is holding you back. -Sallie Krawcheck

Price is what you pay, value is what you get. -Warren Buffet