Where to Invest Your Money in 2018

You finally have some money to spare and you’re looking for a way to invest it. Perhaps you got a pay rise at the start of the year that’s burning a hole in your pocket. Or maybe you still can’t decide where to stash that Christmas bonus. If you’re new to investing, you may be at a loss for where to start; after all, there are myriad ways you could invest your money, but not all of them are profitable.  If you want to make the most of your extra cash, you need to invest it right away. If you don’t, you risk those extra dollars getting consumed by bills or other everyday expenses. With this in mind, here are five of the smartest ways you could invest your money in 2018.

Real Estate

Attracted by the idea of investing in real estate but don’t want to be a landlord? Owning property comes with a lot of stress, and sometimes the bang just isn’t worth the buck. If you don’t have the time or inclination to deal with physical property, another option is to invest in real estate notes – this means you invest in another landlord’s property or properties, then you’re paid a dividend or interest from the owner’s profits.

Agriculture

Due to many environmental factors, there is a global reduction of farmland, resulting in a need to produce more food on less land more sustainably. Agriculture is emerging as a new investment opportunity that offers low-risk opportunities for stable returns and inflation protection. If you want to make an impact (both financially and environmentally), you can invest your money in sustainable farmland like Crawford Park Farming AG for farmland investment.

Peer-to-Peer Lending

Once upon a time, they had a bad rep, but peer-to-peer lending platforms have become increasingly popular among investors. With these companies, you’re able to lend money to individuals in increments as small as $25, with a return of 6% or more. These companies make it easy for you to sign up and get started, and you can typically open a new account with as little as $1,000.

The Stock Market

Want to invest but don’t trust the unstable financial markets? You’re not alone. Many people consider the stock market so overvalued right now that they’d be crazy to pour their hard-earned money into it, but you don’t have to invest a large amount to make a return. Instead, you can invest small amounts of money over time using a method called “dollar cost averaging.” Dollar cost averaging allows investors to trickle their money into stocks over any length of time, which is considered far less risky than investing large amounts at once.

Bitcoin

The value of Bitcoin appears to be on the rise again, so now is the perfect time to start purchasing cryptocurrency if you have money to invest. It’s worth bearing in mind that it can be easy to lose bitcoin and even tougher to get it back. It’s also easy to get duped by malicious websites posing as Bitcoin wallet services, so always proceed with caution. Use a trusted provider like Coinbase, Blockchain.info or Xapo, and only invest small amounts at a time.

April 1, 2018 at 11:08pm
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What Is Going on in Equities Markets Around the World

 

Global stock markets are agonizing through some of the worst selloffs in recent history. The performance of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the NASDAQ Composite Index, and the S&P 500 has been nothing short of disastrous heading into the month of love. Equities traders, speculators, economists, and media talking heads have used every conceivable adjective in the book to describe the torrid time that markets are enduring. Equities traders have used terms like writhing convulsions to meteoric drops, bearish markets, corrections, and worst multi-year performance.

This begs the question:  Where are markets headed?

It’s important to take a step back from the current grim reality before simply weighing in on the otherwise lackluster performance of global markets. If we look at the following major indices, we can appreciate how well they have performed, and how significant the current market movements are:

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average is currently down 6.58% over 1 month
  • The S&P 500 Index is currently down 6.05% over 1 month
  • The NASDAQ composite index is currently down 5.75% over 1 month

When we extrapolate further, we can see that the Dow Jones has a 52-week trading range of 20,061.73 on the low end and 26,616.71 on the high-end. Clearly, the current level of 23,715.44 (Friday, February 9, 2018) is firmly in the middle. The S&P 500 index has a 52-week trading range of 2,296.61 on the low end and 2,872.87 on the high-end. The current level is 2,583.74 – again right in the middle. The tech heavy NASDAQ composite index has a 52-week trading range of 5,685.15 on the low end and 7,505.77 on the high-end. It is currently trading at 6,744.55, 1,000 points above its 52-week low.

Why Are Markets Convulsing Right Now?

Major investors, and everyday folks are scared that runaway inflation and rising interest rates could hurt stock market investments. It must be remembered that the fundamentals of the US economy are sound – there is no questioning that. According to Olsson Capital trading guru, Edward Bronstein:

 

‘We have to appreciate the bigger picture here. The Fed has been pushing to raise interest rates ever since the US economy turned the corner. By December 2015, we started to see incremental increases to the federal funds rate in 25-basis point intervals. Come Wednesday, March 21, 2018, we are likely to see yet another rate hike if stock markets stabilize and employment numbers continue to shine and inflation keeps rising.

 

According to the CME Group FedWatch tool – a great barometer of sentiment for interest rate movements, there is a 71.9% likelihood of a rate hike of 25-basis points in the region of 1.50% – 1.75% in March. Unfortunately, stock markets don’t like rate hikes, especially when they are part of a series of ongoing rate hikes. When the monetary authorities decide to raise interest rates, the value of stocks declines. The thinking is that consumers have less personal disposable income, companies are paying more in interest, and naturally this is going to lead to lower demand for company products and services, and ultimately to lower prices.

 

So, to be safe, investors take their money out of stocks and put it into safe-haven assets like gold, gold ETFs, treasuries, and interest-bearing accounts. They are also going short on derivatives trading options like CFDs and spread betting. Is the stock market going to continue its massive selloff? Probably not. But for now the safe money is on a market correction before the value-investors jump back into the markets to pick up bargain deals on top stocks.

 

While the year to date gains have been erased from major bourses around the world, we should take pause and see what US inflation figures will be before determining whether Fed action is warranted. Meanwhile, German, US and UK bonds have reacted with high volatility to current economic conditions. Oil is down, gold is down, copper is down, and the USD is down. The current trajectory of financial markets is attributed to bearish sentiment.

 

 

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