Sunday, 24 September 2017

Rely Upon These Investments To Get Through Financial Crisis

Investors have moved away from poorly performing stock markets and bonds, and are instead investing in alternative investments to get through a financial crisis.

Since the global financial crisis that occurred in 2008-2009, investors have taken a much more cautious approach to investing in traditional investments. Over the course of the last decade, their attention has been focused on moving away from the risks and poor performance associated with stocks and bonds, and instead they are adopting an investing strategy that includes exposure to alternative investments.

Motivated by the fear of another financial crisis, the investment community has grown fond of tangible, hard assets that have proven they can consistently deliver great returns; especially in adverse and uncertain economic times. If you invest in containers for example, the established lease agreement will provide a steady monthly return, that many investors use to supplement their income. Like any other commodity, shipping containers retain much of their value in times of crisis. This means they can be relied upon to strengthen your portfolio from any shortcomings resulting from your exposure to traditional holdings.

Aside from container investments, other hard, tangible assets include gold, fine wine, and real estate, to name a few of the most common alternatives. These investments are touchable and therefore more appealing and appreciable to cautious investors. In contrast, the stock and bond market is driven by vision. Stock prices for example are based upon forecasted profits, not actual revenues. Likewise, a country’s outlook can affect the value of their bonds. If investors lose confidence and do not share the company’s or country’s vision for predicted prosperity, the stock’s or bond’s value drops.

The allure of stocks and bonds have faded and investors are recognizing that they have alternatives.This, in partnership with the fact that private investors are ditching investment advisers and are taking control of their investment portfolio, means that a decreasing number of investors are relying upon traditional methods and strategies to fuel their financial success. That is bad news for the future interest in bond and stock markets.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

International Investors Remain Committed To UK Real Estate

New research has found that, despite the ongoing uncertainty over Brexit, international investment-seekers remain committed to the UK's real estate market.

One of my greatest concerns since the vote to leave the European Union has been whether the international community will continue to view of the UK as a financial hub and appealing place for investment. One area that could be the most adversely affected by a hard Brexit is real estate investments. In 2016, investing in real estate accounted for £44.4 billion of the total investment in the UK.

Uncertainty naturally has an impact on the industry’s attitude towards investing in the UK, but these attitudes also vary by investor, the origins of capital, investment strategy and the stance on Brexit. - Andy Pyle, KPMG’s UK Head of Real Estate

There have been many studies to help the investment community understand the effect leaving the European Union could have on the United Kingdom. New research has found that international investors remain committed to the UK's real estate market despite the ongoing uncertainty over Brexit. A survey of 60 of the world’s leading institutional investors found that 46% intend to continue with the same level of investment in UK properties; only 10% said they expected to stop investments altogether.

On a positive note, data from residential property adviser London Central Portfolio (LCP) shows that Indian investors have increased their spending in London, with the country’s buyers now accounting for 22% of prime property sales in 2016-2017. The Middle East slipped into third place, representing 21% of all sales. The “Prime” areas of London include Kensington and Chelsea, and the City of Westminster

Recent surveys have demonstrated the continued appetite among global real estate investors for opportunities in the UK, despite ongoing economic and political uncertainty. What Brexit means for real estate investing remains unknown over the long term, unfolding day by day. That is why there is a vital need to be prepared for the unexpected.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

This Caused Investors To Reassess Their Investment Holdings

The Global Financial Crisis exposed how risky traditional investments could be. This caused many investors to reassess their investment portfolio holdings.

In 2008 and 2009 the world experienced a major financial crisis; some investors lost their entire life savings, other people lost their homes and livelihood. The disaster exposed how fragile the global financial system was, and how risky traditional investments could be. These crippling events caused many in the investment community to reassess their portfolio holdings, as well as revisit their tolerance for risk.

During the reevaluation process, many investors discovered other investing options and quickly moved away from an investment marketplace that has traditionally been populated with overvalued stocks and poorly performing bonds. This exodus from equities, bonds, and real estate (to name a few of the common choices) to the safety of alternative investments, demonstrated how frustrated the investment community had become with the traditional holdings in their portfolio. It would seem that nowadays investors want to invest in containers, rather than the S&P 500, REITs, or Treasury bonds.

Along with their exit from traditional investment holdings, an increasing number of investors are leaving their money manager and choosing not to rely upon a financial adviser. Instead, more and more members of the investment community are conducting their own investment research to uncover safer, more profitable investing options. In doing so, investment-seekers are likely to consider investments that otherwise may not have received any of their attention or interest.

Because investment-seekers can independently pursue answers to their financial questions, they have become less dependent upon the traditional avenues of investment. With the help of interviews, books, and reviews, international investors are discovering ways they can educate themselves, and dig up appealing opportunities on their own. This new, more detailed approach to investing is helping private investors make better, more confident investment choices. In the current uncertain investing environment, this has become increasingly important to the world’s cautious investment-seekers.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Container Investing is an Alternative You Haven’t Considered

Because of the poor performance and increasing risk associated with traditional investments, a growing number of investors are considering other alternatives.

Investors’ steadily decreasing tolerance for risk has them moving away from bonds with poor returns and the risky stock market, to the safety of income-generating assets like shipping containers and real estate. Revenue-producing investments, particularly those alternatives which deliver a monthly return, offer investors the opportunity to supplement their fixed-income or reinvest profits for compounded returns. Those investors who invest in containers and real estate understand this well.

The tangibility of these investments is also very appealing to the investment community. Historically during times of crisis, conflict, and war, investors have sought the safety of hard assets to protect their wealth against financial threats, like inflation. That said, amateur and experienced investors alike are allotting a portion of their investment portfolio to alternative assets that enjoy a lower risk and consistent demand. For more than fifty years shipping container investments have met this criteria.

The fact that shipping containers are needed in every region of the world, ensures that there will be a strong demand for them for decades to come. Even during times of economic uncertainty, government officials must constantly encourage growth in their economy. To be successful, this requires important contributions from shipping containers, the container shipping industry, and the investment community.

Transport and logistics companies appreciate the value of cargo containers. Thus, to capitalize on opportunities across the globe, they are repeatedly making investments to maintain and improve their shipping container fleet. This continued investment demonstrates their commitment to meeting the demands of their clients and facilitating growth in the global economy. In much the same way container lines do, private investors can invest in containers and profit from steady economic growth and prosperity around the world.

Monday, 29 May 2017

War And Conflict Affects Investments And Investment Returns

There is more than just a cost for the military when there is war. Conflicts in areas across the globe are affecting investments and investment returns.

Conflicts in areas across the globe are affecting investments and investment returns. There is more than just a cost for the military when there is war. Shipping and logistics can be interrupted, and disrupt the regular flow of goods to key economic  regions. This can have an adverse effect on the performance of businesses' profits, and hurt economies across the globe. In turn, this affects investments and investors’ returns.

Because most of the world's conflicts are focused in developing and emerging markets, where manufacturing can be done more cheaply, there is the possibility that a war could affect the supply of important products; and thereby cripple any number of key industries. For example, a conflict with North Korea could prevent the flow of goods from manufacturers in South Korea, China, Malaysia, The Philippines, and/or Vietnam. Such a disruption would certainly damage the performance of the world’s leading businesses - like Sony and Samsung. This will create instability and uncertainty, and further hurt international stock markets.

Aside from the disruption in manufacturing, shipping, and logistics sectors, the collapse of international trade deals and the rise of protectionism will certainly contribute to the threat of inflation around the world.  You can expect that when the existing global supply chains are altered to accommodate protectionist policies, the cost of goods will rise shortly thereafter. With the price of things rising because of inflation, this means that an investor's dollar will not go as far when investment returns are paid.

The deterioration in the value of investment returns will be most worrisome for those investors who are investing and saving for retirement. This is unless investors have prepared for the volatility by investing in income generating investments that supplement their earnings while retired. These investments often pay a monthly dividend at a higher rate of return, to help investors recoup losses incurred from inflation and/or conflict. Because of their important contributions during times of war and conflict,, investors should consider including investments that produce income, as part of a well-balanced, diversified portfolio.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

With Brexit at Forefront of UK Vote Investors Watch Closely

With Brexit at the forefront of the 2017 UK election, investors across Europe are watching the conversation closely. At stake is $240 billion in trade, and approximately 44 per cent of the UK exports, which comprised almost 12 per cent of the value of the British economy in 2015. That figure has been at around 13 to 15 per cent over the last decade. In 2016, 53 per cent of imports into the United Kingdom came from countries in the European Union.

The share of UK goods exports going to the EU has been trending downwards for the past 15 years as the rest of the world has grown at a faster pace than Europe – yet the share going to the Continent seems to have stabilised at about 45 to 48 percent since 2014. For example, according to the Office for National Statistics, total goods exported in May 2017 were £23.7 billion. Of those, £11.4 billion (48.4 per cent) went to the European Union.

When goods and services are sold across borders they can face barriers including tariffs (taxes applied only to imports), limits on the amount, and standards that are different from those in the seller's domestic market. This does not mean countries cannot trade. However, it does make doing so more costly and more challenging.

The rules on trade in the future will depend on the agreement the UK is able to reach with the EU following its departure from the union. Trade in services will be of particular importance, given that approximately 80 per cent of the United Kingdom's economy comes from providing services. If no new trade deal is negotiated and trade takes place under World Trade Organisation rules, the United Kingdom would have to pay tariffs and face other barriers to trade. For 2015 as a whole, services exports to the EU were worth £88.9 billion – 40 per cent of all services exported.

Pro-Brexit advocates argue that the UK’s chronic goods trade deficit with Europe will put pressure on the European Union to do a rapid trade deal. This is especially true given that the United Kingdom is a major sales market for European goods and they will want to safeguard their own exporters’ interests. In the first quarter of 2016 it is estimated that UK services exports to the EU amounted to  £23.5 billion.

Aside from markets in the European Union, retailers and manufacturers in the United Kingdom will have to also look overseas to discover additional markets to sell their goods/services. This is strongly recommended regardless of whether there is a soft or hard Brexit for the UK.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

What is an Exchange Traded Fund or ETF?

An exchange traded fund, or ETF, is an investment fund managed by a professional money manager and traded on domestic or international stock exchanges.

Much like traditional stocks, an exchange traded fund - often referred to as an ETF - is an investment fund managed by a professional money manager and traded on domestic and international stock exchanges. An exchange traded fund is an investment fund that owns underlying assets, such as shares of stock, bonds, oil futures, hard assets, foreign currency, etc., and divides ownership of those assets into shares. The fund's shareholders do not directly own or have any direct claim to the investments in the fund; rather they indirectly own these assets.

An exchange traded fund seeks to track the performance of a particular index by holding in its portfolio, either the contents of the index or a representative sample of the securities in the index. The first and most popular exchange traded funds track stocks. ETFs can also be sector funds which invest in broad sectors, like finance, container shipping, and technology, or specific niche areas, like green power. Most exchange traded funds are index funds, but some ETFs do have active management.

Exchange traded funds have been available in the United States since 1993 and in Europe since 1999. By 2013, ETFs emerged as the most popular type of exchange-traded product.  Between 1993 and 2015, more than US$2 trillion was invested in exchange traded funds in the United States.

ETF shareholders are entitled to an investment income from the profits, such as earned interest, dividends or capital gains. Unlike many mutual funds, exchange traded funds do not reinvest an investor’s cash distributions in more units or shares. That said, investors can expect to pay commissions and management fees to invest in exchange traded funds. As well, there may be costs associated with setting up an ETF investment account.

Exchange traded funds typically have higher daily liquidity and lower costs, as well as tax efficiency and stock-like features, which make them a great investment alternative for individual investors. By owning an exchange-traded fund, investors get the diversification of an index fund, with the ability to sell short, buy on margin, and purchase as little as one share. Because ETFs can be economically acquired, held, and sold, some investors invest in exchange traded fund shares as part of their long-term investment strategy.