Tag Archives: savings

Save with Standard & Poor’s 500 Index

The equity performance in America is usually determined with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. Constituting of over 70% of the publicly traded companies in the U.S., the S&P Index is hugely popular given its close proximity with the some of the well-known mutual funds that are currently in operation. They are the Vanguard 500 Index Fund, and Spiders (AMEX: SPY), the first exchange traded fund (ETF). The investors can save effectively through it given the fact that the S&P comprises of 500 companies belonging to a diverse range of industries. It is often misapprehended that these 500 companies are rated due to their revenues or market capitalization. But it is basically, the best of the common stocks of the U.S. The factors the work in the selection are sector representation, liquidity and market size.

The investment of the investor stands secured when it is done following the notifications of the S&P 500 as he gets an opportunity to enjoy the benefits of earnings from diverse fund allocation. Nearly every relevant section of the American economy is covered and hence, all the market growth and movements that take place in these sectors earns you rich dividends. Savings is also substantial following the low expense ratios. But at times when the price movement of a limited number of stocks is taken into account, there can be an incomplete picture of the actual price movements.

A Small Cap Index Fund can be a Big Investment Option

Investors who have the skin to bear the heat of price fluctuations and market volatility can consider the Small Cap Index Funds as an amazing investment tool. These investors can attain savings as they go for indexing in stocks through an indexing approach. The investment can be diversified and it can experience substantial growth if you make it a part of the asset allocation program. This can also be a wonderful retirement investment option. The investor who desires to open an account in this type of fund simply requires an initial investment of $250. Here, $50 is regarded as an automatic investment.

Investment in Small Cap Index Fund is not a small term investment option. The investment offers you capital appreciation and the values may also experience substantial variations, depending on the market movements. The assets of this fund are collected as a separate series of the Master Fund, which is termed as the Russell 2000 Index Master Portfolio. 90% of the assets get invested in stocks in the form of Russell 2000 Index. The investor can earn good returns when the stocks of the small companies are purchased, as they can reap the maximum benefits of market volatility. The factors that need to be checked in this regard are like, the market risk and the management risks. It always pays off to diversify in a volatile market.

Saving through Vanguard Index Funds

Proper allocation and investment of savings is an important part of an effective retirement plan. Today, there are a number of retirement plan sponsors who are interested in making the index funds the focal point of the investment portfolio. Reports referring to surveys indicate that 17% of 150 employers desired to substitute index funds for a part or whole of their actively managed investment options. This constitutes to around 8% increase. According to Mike Lucci of Vanguard Institutional Sales, the enhanced interest in Index Funds is a great opportunity for investors designing a retirement plan, as it can help them to secure their capital and save in turbulent market conditions. The plans are characterized by supplemental passive investment options and active funds are replaced with a unique line-up of highly diversified low cost index funds.

Participant communication, a simplified plan design coupled with multiple levels of investment choices are marked as endearing attributes for retirees. Savings can be attained through the low-cost indexing, broad diversification and the cash drag is kept low.

Just a few points of caution:

The investor is required to take note of the inflation risks, credits and the prevalent interest rates while investing in bonds. Diversification may not shield you in a declining market. As a plan sponsor, Vanguard believes that they can effectively determine what the best interest for their participants’ prudence is.

How the FDIC protects your savings?

Even if your bank crashes down, the FDIC Insurance can effectively protect your savings. Investors consider banks as a safe haven for their hard-earned savings and capitals. The banks on the other hand loans out the money and invests it in a variety of projects. If any of these activities goes haywire, the money deposited by you may well face the danger. Under such circumstances, the FDIC Insurance offers security and helps the bank to shield your cash from any probable damage.

The FDIC covers deposits that fall under the category of Checking accounts, Savings accounts CDs and Money market accounts. Here, one needs to note that the money market funds are not covered by the FDIC. This insurance cover is not extended to the safety deposit box contents, the investments like the mutual funds or stocks and the insurance products of the likes of annuities. Further, the products mentioned above do not fall under the category of deposits. This is in spite of the fact that, these products might have been bought from the bank. The credit unions also do not fall under the purview of the FDIC Insurance.

The basic insurance limitations are:

  1. Every depositor can have up to $100,000, covered.
  2. For a retirement account, the depositor can have $250,000.

These limits can vary again with the different banking institutions. The depositor can well increase his coverage by going for multiple bank accounts.

Saving through Investment Company

Savings are required not only for specific events or to supplement the requirement earnings, but also to accumulate capitals to enhance the future securities. The career structures are very predictable in the current economic scenarios. Therefore, we can no longer depend on our states to sustain us in our old age. In such a situation, the investment companies can allocate our capital in a diversified portfolio of assets. These investment companies can be investment trusts, venture capital trusts or off-shore and AIM traded investment companies. After pooling in the investors’ money, these companies resort to the services of a professional funds manager to further the investment process. They help the investors with smaller capitals to acquire exposure at lower costs and into a professionally run diversified portfolio. The risks involved in the investment are also efficiently spread.

The investor stands to attain certain benefits by saving their investment through the investment companies:

You get to pool your money – as the investor purchases shares in an investment company, your money gets pooled along with the other investors and this provided potential to the economies with regard to dealing with costs and administration.

The risks get spread – The investor need not solely depend on the success of shares of just one company. An important point to be noted in this aspect is that the investment company shares are equity investments and the prices of the shares and the associated earnings can fluctuate.

Save on your trading losses

Investment can incur losses and you need to have a way out to beat those losses. This is important if you desire to secure your savings. The loss deductions originating from the net trading losses can be creatively invested.

Here are three basic options:

You can go for the S&P futures – Once you own an S&P 500 Index fund, the 2.5% yield is sure to benefit you. With Obama planning to raise the dividend tax by just 20%, the investor will be able to effectively secure his savings. It is usually noticed that the stock yields are higher compared to the short-term interest rates. If the Treasury’s yield 0.5%, the stocks yield 2.5%, the futures offer you 2% annualized discount to the spot price. For you, the capital gains will be tax-free.

Go for the Short Treasury Bonds – If you’ve suffered trading loss, the investment income will be tax-exempt. The interest rate that is currently 0% for you will rise as the bond matures. Here, you need to take investment advice from an investment broker. It is advisable to lock the bond with a term-purchase agreement.

Exit the bonds prior to the dividend – Once you redeem the bond before the stipulated date, a good section of your interest incomes can be converted to capital gain. If you are tax-deferred, the distribution of your taxable income need not bother you.

Investment management – The basic way to save

You might think about savings and investment in isolation. But, what you really need to focus on is the fact – what would you like your money to do for you? Once we are decided about the manner in which the money is slated to be used in future, an effective investment strategy can be formulated. This is also related to the prospective performance of your investments, as it would be a marker for your savings and your financial status.

Asset allocation plays a big role here. It will help you determine the portfolio returns and aid you to devise mechanisms through which you can improve them. It can aid you in mitigating the risks involved. If you are able to devise a effective plan to diversify your major asset classes, in the form of cash, commercial property, fixed interests and equities investment, to name a few, you would find yourself in a better position to manage your investment.

Each investment portfolio incurs a specific variant of risk. So, as you develop a precise idea of your investment requirements, building the rest of the strategy would become easier. Be it the purpose of investment, the time horizon for the investment, the amount of risks undertaken or the corresponding security you stand to attain. These are all vital factors that need to be considered to efficiently safe-guard your savings.

Save with Index Investing

Index investing can be an amazing savings option. As an investor, you first get to have a clear idea about what are Indexes. Well, The Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq 100 or the Wilshire 5000, all of them are indexes. Indexes are basically groups of stocks that are carefully selected in order to effectively represent certain sections or portions of the stock market. Majority of the index investments are based on S&P 500 or the Wilshire 5000. As you invest in them, you become a part-owner of these companies

As you delve deep into this investment pool, you would notice that the broad market index does match very closely to the return of the overall stock market. Majority of the mutual funds do not really manage to achieve this. The statistical data of the last ten years would reveal that less than 20% of the large-cap mutual funds have managed to outperform the S&P 500. This makes index investing a great option.

Then, the cost-efficient factor makes it a great way to save your investment too. Investment through the index funds are carried out only in those companies that are enlisted in the index. You don’t require an analyst to get this data! So, this way, you are saved on the operating fees that are usually charged by the funds from the shareholders. This indeed offers you high savings option.


Retirement Savings or Student Loan – A long-standing Dilemma

An investor in his late twenties or thirties has long been troubled by the dilemma that whether he should opt for paying down his student loan debts or focus solely on retirement savings. This is undoubtedly not an easy decision and it is the ultimate objective of one’s life that should decide on what he/she should choose. The decision becomes easier when you take into account the following points:

The 401(k) employer-matching programs –Maximize the amount of your 401(k) in accordance to your employer’s willingness to match up. This contribution to your savings will offer you instant and complete return on your investment.

Check and compare the Interest Rates and ROI – As you swing between the payment of your student loan debt and investment, just compare the interest rate on your debt with your expected Return on Investment. If the interest rate on the loan is higher, there is no point in paying off your debt.

What are your emotions on ‘debt’ – There are people who cannot stand the thought of being in debt. If you are one of them, ease off your burden.

Consider paying yourself first – It’s obvious that whatever savings you make, belongs to you. You can pay the minimums of your student loan debt for a certain number of years and you will have your retirement savings intact; just because you’ve paid yourself first!