Investment Banking Interview Preparation

For undergrads and MBA students, the news that they have been selected for an interview at an investment bank comes with both excitement and dread. A position as an analyst or associate in corporate finance can be the first step towards a highly successful and highly lucrative career. Investment banking interviews, however, can be some of the most intimidating interviews out there, so let’s take a look at how to get prepared.

Before we jump into interview practice mode, we should take a step back and think about how we want to come across in the interview. In short, investment banking candidates should come off as bright, confident and likable.

In the final cut of selecting a hire, investment banks have already determined which candidates are smart and capable, so the decision comes down to who they like the best. So in addition to knowing a thing or two, candidates must remember to come across as a fun person to work with as well.

Know Your Story

Like any interview, candidates should have stories prepared about their lives that discuss their past, present and future. These are great answers for the standard questions:

“Tell me about yourself.” Or “Walk me through your rsum.” “Why are you interested in investment banking or this firm?” “Where do you see yourself in five to ten years?”

Candidates are highly likely to receive these or similar questions in any interview, and having succinct, practiced answers to them will give the impression of a polished candidate.

Your past story should highlight events that have qualified you for or gotten you interested in investment banking. Your present story should demonstrate why you want the particular position, how it is a logical step from where you are coming from and perhaps touch on where you hope the position will lead.

Your future story should discuss how investment banking will lead to where you want to go. Good future ambitions might be a managing director position in investment banking, a principle at a private equity firm, a CFO or perhaps and entrepreneur. In any case, you should communicate that those are long-term ambitions and you look forward to the experiences you’ll have in the position you’re interviewing for.

Know the Industry and Firm

Where investment banking interviews begin to get trickier is that firms will expect you to know what you’re getting into. If you confuse an equity analyst position with an analyst position in corporate finance, for example, you will not make it any further in the process.

You should understand the major divisions within an investment bank – sales & trading, corporate finance, research, etc. You should understand the hierarchy of positions within corporate finance – analyst, associate, vice president, managing director – and what each position does.

At the macro level, you need to understand the major differences between bulge bracket investment banks, middle market and boutique investment banks. You should also have a good answer for why you would prefer one type over another (and be sure that you prefer the type you’re interviewing with).

Berrscott, Elliott & Associates A choice Investment Approach

At Berrscott, Elliott & Associates we are dedicated to give our clients access to the latest variety of financial services and products available on the market. Berrscott, Elliott & Associates knows the right strategy, the right investment and the right product. Whether its advice, investments or financial planning Berrscott, Elliott & Associates are here to answer all your questions and assist your financial needs.

A choice Investment Approach For Offshore Investments – Offshore investing can take many forms. Alternative investment vehicles often include a component of offshore investments, such as offshore real estate, or offshore farm land and agricultural production, or even offshore gold and silver storage.

Berrscott, Elliott & Associates: Advantages of Offshore Investments as Alternative Investment Vehicles. Almost anyone now can move funds into the more exciting and profitable world of offshore investments. Knowledge of how to enjoy the advantages of offshore investing is much more expensive and rare than with standard home country investing however.

Moving funds out of your country of origin has largely been a winning trade for the past decade when calculated with currency fluctuations. China, Brazil, and India have all offered higher returns during bulls markets then the U.S. stock indexes over the past decade for instance. While these markets can be played with ETF’s, there are several key shares that must be purchased using offshore investing houses.

Key advantages of offshore investing within an alternative investment framework includes: Higher potential returns than the domestic market, much broader range of stocks to choose from, often better pricing than domestic ETF’s, early availability of smaller capitalized issues, protection against single market dependence in real estate, stocks, weather effects, political effects, and currency devaluations.

Offshore money management can steer towards main line investing in big projects or companies, or more towards alternatives to the main companies, much like domestic investing. While the risk can be greater with alternative investments, the rewards can be significantly higher and come much faster with a systematic approach to evaluating alternative investing ideas within an offshore portfolio.

Six ideas for moving funds offshore and potentially enjoying high alternative investment returns: offshore direct company investment, offshore private placements, offshore currency investment (FOREX), offshore fund investment, offshore gold and silver storage, offshore investment account denominated in a local currency, such as USA Dollar, Australian Dollar, Singapore Dollar, or GBP Pound.

Instead of only being dependent on major stock indexes, the above investments offer security against single market dynamics. Not only is there potential for higher returns, but potential for avoiding massive loses if all of your investments are based on one market and are susceptible to political, economic or natural disasters.

About Berrscott, Elliott & Associates – Berrscott, Elliott & Associates is an Investment Management Firm focused on small and mid cap value equities. We manage $1 billion and specialize in valued stocks-since the firm’s founding in 1995.
Our Investment Team adds value through our own detailed fundamental research, discounted cash flow-based valuation analysis and Portfolio Management tailored to balance risk and return.

Why Investment Properties Melbourne Best

Even in todays less than stable economy, many investors in the Melbourne area are finding that they are able to achieve financial success by looking into investment properties Melbourne . This can be a fun process that requires less knowledge of hard financial procedures than other investments, such as investing in the stock market. Instead, a basic ability to research housing trends, and a good source of information could point you in the right direction. However, before you sign any contracts, be sure that you have a firm idea of how to evaluate the real estate. You will need to know if this property has a good chance of succeeding. With a few simple evaluation techniques, you should be able to narrow down the options. The first step towards purchasing any investment properties Melbourne is of course to locate them. To do this, you will have to conduct a fair bit of research. Checking local real estate sites or getting in touch with brokers will give you access to the latest listings. However, its important to remember that older or more obscure properties, which might be a good investment, arent always on the internet for you to locate from your couch. You might have to go out in the field with a qualified broker to see these types of properties. Newspapers often have these listings, so its worth browsing through the real estate section on Sundays.

Those that are thinking about getting involved with off the plan Melbourne investment opportunities for the first time should know that it can be a complicated and overwhelming process. It helps to work with a real estate investment firm that specializes in these types of concept and design driven situations so that you can make the best decisions for your financial future. The firm that you work with should have a good reputation in the Melbourne market and should have experience with all types of properties, from apartments to terraces.

You might be keen to find your investment properties Melbourne on your own, but a real estate broker can help out in several different ways. They can not only help you visit properties, but they will also be able to tell you what comparable properties have sold for, which will help you make a sound financial decision. Something may look good on paper to the untrained eye, but be virtually unsellable to the real estate professional. Once you have narrowed down your initial search to a few promising properties, you will then need to further evaluate them.

That rate of return is something to keep in the back of your head before you purchase the investment properties Melbourne. Although purchasing a piece of older property with the intention to renovate it could yield a high return, it will most likely take a great deal of time to do so. Making repairs takes time and effort. Therefore, those who are looking for fast cash may wish to search elsewhere.

The term “House & Land” package is often used loosely. In an ideal world every Home & Land Package promoted would include fixed price site costs completely checked against developer guidelines and council requirements, etc. In reality this is very difficult with so many homes that could potentially be packaged onto so many blocks of land.

Cult Wines Ltd – best place for fine wine investment

People are always looking for some new investment sector as per their risk appetite. Yeah many times wrong investment can burn all hard work into ash. So, after having a big recession and still Europe economic crisis on the go one always look for safe investment. In last decade one sector has outperformed in an all recession and it is wine investment and fine wine investment.

Before doing any investment there is certain thing which is very important to take care to be safe and secure. One must have to identify some risk factors and all. So first step is to decide on which sector you want to invest then how much amount, and would you like e o one amount or you want systematic investment plan.

Timing of investment is also plays a big role in high return on investment. The most important point is that when you are investing, the time is very important; its totally depending upon current market condition. If you have analysis of market condition you would opt for wine investment. Look at the statistics for wine investment In UK, before a decade, fine wine portfolio was around 10000 and after decade it is almost 50000.

Wine investment will not have adverse effect if any economic crisis happens globally. As we can see in last recession wine investment standout and gave high return. So one can easily say wine investment can give return even in recession. In last 10 years wine investment has given 900% return which is really impressive and attractive.

Cult wines Ltd is the leader where you can get the rarest wines at very competitive rate and if anyone wants to go to the most safe and secure investment than will preference go to the Cult Wines Ltd also Cult Wines Ltd provides solutions for sourcing, investing, storing, selling and consuming Fine Wine of any kind to the investors or for any type of businessman. Cult Wines Ltd provides the fined tuned portfolio mainly designed for high capital growth and accounts and regulated mostly at warehouses. Cult Wines Ltd mainly deals with active foreign and domestic holdings and if any beginner wants to invest in the market than no safe investment except in wines and Cult Wines Ltd where you will get higher returns on investments and also provides the portfolio management services.

So far by this information I hope one can easily take decision for wine investment and Cult wines ltd can help you to build right wine portfolio.

Understanding the most important investment concepts

It’s always good to have at least a basic foundation of fundamental investment knowledge whether you’re a beginner to investing or working with a professional financial advisor. The reason is simple: You are likely to be more comfortable in investing your money if you understand the lingo and basic principles of investing. Combining the basics with what you want to get out of your investment strategy, you will be empowered to make financial decisions yourself more confidently and also be more engaged and interactive with your financial advisor.

Below are a few basic principles that you should be able to understand and apply when you are looking to potentially invest your money or evaluate an investment opportunity. You’ll find that the most important points pertaining to investing are quite logical and require just good common sense. The first step is to make the decision to start investing. If you’ve never invested your money, you’re probably not comfortable with make any investment decisions or moves in the market because you have little or no experience. It’s always difficult to find somewhere to begin. Even if you find a trusted financial advisor, it is still worth your time to educate yourself, so you can participate in the process of investing your money and so that you may be able to ask good questions. The more you understand the reasons behind the advice you’re getting, the more comfortable you will be with the direction you’ve chosen.

Don’t be intimidated by the financial lingo
If you turn on the tv to some financial network, don’t worry that you can’t understand the financial professionals right away. A lot of what they say can actually boil down to simple financial concepts. Make sure you ask your financial advisor the questions that concern you so you become more comfortable when investing.

IRAs are containers to hold investments-they aren’t investments themselves
The first area of confusions that most new investors get confused about is around their retirement vehicles and plans that they may have. If an investor has an individual retirement accounts (IRA), a 401(k) plan from work, or any other retirement-type plan at work, you should understand the differences between all the accounts you have and the actual investments you have within those accounts. Your IRA or 401(k) is just a container that houses your investments that brings with it some tax-advantages.

Understand stocks and bonds
Almost every portfolio contains these kinds of asset classes.

If you buy a stock in a company, you are buying a share of the company’s earnings. You become a shareholder and an owner at the same time of the company. This simply means that you have equity in the company and the company’s future – ready to go up and down with the company’s ups and downs. If the company is doing well, then your shares will be doing well and increase in value. If the company is not doing well or fails, then you can lose value in your investment.

If you buy bonds, you become a creditor of the company. You are simply lending money to the company. So you don’t become a shareholder or owner of the company/bond-issuer. If the company fails, then you will lose the amount of your loan to the company. However, the risk of losing your investment to bondholder is less then the risk to owners/shareholders. The reasoning behind this is that to stay in business and have access to funds to finance future expansion or growth, the company must have a good credit rating. Furthermore, the law protects a company’s bondholders over its shareholders if the company goes bankrupt.

Stocks are considered to be equity investments, because they give the investor an equity stake in the company, while bonds are referred to as fixed-income investments or debt instruments. A mutual fund, for instance, can invest in any number or combination of stocks and bonds.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
An important investment principle of all is not to invest all or most of your money into one investment.

Include multiple and varying types of investments in your portfolio. There are many asset classes such as stocks, bonds, precious metals, commodities, art, real estate, and so on. Cash, in fact, is also an asset class. It includes currency, cash alternatives, and money-market instruments. Individual asset classes are also broken down into more precise investments such as small company stocks, large company stocks, or bonds issued by municipalities, or bonds issued by the U.S. Treasury.

The various asset classes go up and down at different times and at different speeds. The purpose of a diversified portfolio is to mitigate the ups and downs by smoothing out the volatility in a portfolio. If some investments are losing value at some particular period, others will be increasing in value at the same time. So the overarching objective is to make sure that the gainers offset the losers, which may minimize the impact of overall losses in your portfolio from any single investment. The goal that you will have with your financial advisor is to help find the right balance between the asset classes in your portfolio given your investment objectives, risk tolerance, and investment time horizon. This process is commonly referred to as asset allocation.

As mentioned earlier, each asset class can be internally diversified further with investment options within that class. For example, if you decide to invest in a financial company, but are worried that you may lose your money by putting everything into one single company, consider making investments into other companies ( Company A, Company B, and Company C) rather than putting all your eggs in one basket. Even though diversification alone doesn’t guarantee that you will make a profit or ensure that you won’t lose value in your portfolio, it can still help you manage the amount of risk you are taking or are willing to take.

Recognize the tradeoff between an investment’s risk and return
Risk is generally looked at as the possibility of losing money from your investments. Return is looked at as the reward you receive for making the investment. Returns can be found by measuring the increase in value of your investment from your original investment principal.

There is a relationship between risk and reward in finance. If you have a low risk-tolerance, then you will take on less risk when investing, which will result in a lower possible return at any given time, relatively. The highest risk investment will offer the chance to make high returns.

Between the taking on the highest risk and the lowest risk, most investors seek to find the right balance of risk and returns that he/she feels comfortable with. So, if someone advises you to get in on an investment that has a high return and it is risk-free, then it may be too good to be true.

Understand the difference between investing for growth and investing for income
Once you make the decision to invest, you may want to consider whether the objective of your portfolio is have it increase in value by growing overtime, or is it to produce a fixed income stream for you to supplement your current income, or is it maybe a combination of the two?

Based on your decision, you will either target growth oriented investments or income oriented ones. U.S. Treasury bills, for instance, provide a regular income stream for investors through regular interest payments, and the value of your initial principal tends to be more stable and secure as opposed to a bond issued by a new software company. Likewise, an equity investment in a larger company such as an IBM is generally less risky than a new company. Furthermore, IBM may provide dividends every quarter to their investors which can be used as an income stream as well. Typically, newer companies reinvest any income back into the business to make it grow. However, if a new company becomes successful, then the value of your equities in that company may grow at a much higher rate than an established company. This increase is typically referred to as capital appreciation.

Whether you are looking for growth, income, or both, your decision will fully depend on your individual financial and investment objectives and needs. And, each type may play its own part in your portfolio.

Understand the power of compounding on your investment returns
Compounding is an important investment principle. When you reinvest any dividends or other investment returns, you begin to earn returns on your past returns.

Consider a simple example of a plain bank certificate of deposit (CD) that is rolled over to a new CD including its past returns each time it matures. Interest that is earned over the lifetime of the CD becomes part of the next period’s sum on which interest is assessed on. At the beginning, when you initially invest your money compounding may seem like only a little snowball; however, as time goes by, that little snowball gets larger because of interest compounding upon interest. This helps your portfolio grow much faster.

You don’t have to go at it alone
Your Financial Advisor can give you the investment guidance that you need so that you don’t have to stop yourself from investing in the market because you feel like you don’t know enough yet. Knowing the basic financial principles, having good common sense, and having your Financial Advisor guide you along the way can help you start evaluating investment opportunities for your portfolio and help get you closer toward achieving your financial goals.

What You Need To Know About Investment Property~How Investment Property Works

An investment property refers to that property which is purchased in order to gain returns.~Classified as an investment property is any property that is obtained with the purpose of gaining and expecting returns. Apartment building, single-family dwelling, a vacant lot or a commercial property are the forms of investment property.~A vacant lot or a commercial property is a sample of an investment property form. Real estate is one of an essential type.~This is an essential real state type. Pertaining to the property that the owner does not occupy is termed investment property.~Not occupying the property by the owner even though in certain instances the owner may occupy a portion of it pertains to an investment property.

The following are examples of investment property.~These are samples of an investment property.

For undetermined future use the land was held.~Holding a land for undetermined future use.

Under an operating lease or a vacant building that is to be rented.~Rented vacant building or under an operating lease.

Any currently constructed property.~Any currently constructed or developed property for future use.

For a long term appreciation the land was held.~Holding a land for long term appreciation.

Whether bought as a home or as a business venture, buying a property is a lucrative venture.~A lucrative venture is buying a property whether bought as a business venture or a home. Purchasing a multiple unit is a beginners approach.~Purchasing a multiple unit dwelling as an investment property is a beginners approach. While renting out the remaining units, one can live on the other unit.~The remaining units can be rented out while living only in one unit. This way you can use the rent money for mortgage payments that you earn from your renters.~In this way, you can use the rent money you earn from renters for mortgage payments. Owners can enjoy the collected rent and at the same time they can fully pay their property in the long run.~In the long run you can fully pay the property while enjoying the profit you made from the collected rent at the same.

To finance further the property you purchase you can use any equity you have in your property.~Any equity you have as a property owner can be used to further finance property purchases. Pertaining to the fair market value of the property is equity.~Fair market value of the property less the existing liabilities inclusive of any liens refers to equity. To borrow against the equity in a property is a common practice.~Borrowing against the property equity is a common practice. Because of the property that will serve as collateral in securing your loan, rates are then somewhat competitive.~Rates of the property that will serve as collateral in securing loans are then somewhat competitive. The lesser risk there in the better rate you are going to be offered in lending.~Better rates are offered for those less risk in lending.

Investment property is bought at a tax sale sometimes.~Sometimes those bought at a tax sale is an investment property. The property will be auctioned when the original owner fails to honor the property tax payment for certain period of time.~Property will be auctioned if there is a failure of the owner to honor the property tax payment for certain period of time. A minimum bid as a starter which will be high enough to cover the back taxes and other related expenses incurred during the sale.~Minimum bid will be a starter then it goes higher, enough to cover the back taxes and other related expenses incurred. At a relatively minimal cost the investor can still buy the property.~But at the relatively minimal cost the investors are still allowed to buy the property. When an owner has the opportunity to resell the property at the market value or upgrade it and sell in a premium price is an example of an investment property.~This is an example when the new owner is given an opportunity to resell the property at the market value, or renovate or upgrade the property and sell at a premium price or to hold and have it rented to bring a regular income in a hope to have a capital gain.

Abraham Moss Centre Launched After 42million Investment

If you are a newly qualified or experienced teacher, Tradewind Recruitment can help you to find the very best vacancies in top Manchester schools. A leading Manchester teaching agency, they are the premier provider of primary, secondary and SEN teaching vacancies in Greater Manchester and the North. Make sure you are up to date with the latest education news with Tradewind.

Abraham Moss Centre Provide Education Hub For Local Communities

After five years of development and a 43million investment, the Abraham Moss Centre in North Manchester has re-opened. At the heart of the Crumpsall and Cheetham communities since the 1970s, the refurbished Abraham Moss Centre offers local people a central hub for education, health and leisure facilities.

At the centre of the refurbishment is the new Abraham Moss Community School. Representing Manchesters first newly built primary school for over 40 years, it is the citys first through school, providing 420 primary places for children aged 5 16 yrs.

“Abraham Moss has been at the heart of the north Manchester community for generations, and this major transformation will make sure the centre continues to play a vital role within this community” said Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council.

The centre and new community school is complemented by a newly opened library. Situated on the ground floor, residents will be able to browse a selection of books, some of which have been acquired specifically for the new library. The centre will also be home to the award-winning Manchester Adult Education Service (MAES) and the College of the 3rd Age for students over the age of 55. As such, the centre represents education and development opportunities for all ages; from 5 100yrs.

On top of the educational facilities, the Abraham Moss Centre will also feature a 250 person theatre space. Designed to compliment studies at the Community School, this unique facility will allow local talent in music and drama to be nurtured whilst also providing a performance space for the community to use.

Leese commented “Offering life-long education and development services, along with leisure, health and fitness facilities, all under one roof, Abraham Moss is a true community hub that is perfectly placed to enhance and improve the lives of north Manchester people.”

Register With The Leading Manchester Teaching Agency

Looking for rewarding teaching jobs in Manchester and the North, register your CV online with Tradewind Recruitment. A leading Manchester teaching agency, Tradewind can offer you the very best primary, secondary and SEN teaching vacancies in Manchester and Greater Manchester.

For more information on available vacancies, call their Manchester teaching agency today on 0844 327 1275 or email .

Source: http://www.manchester.gov.uk/news/article/6845/abraham_moss_centre_relaunches_after_a_five_year_transformation

Factors That Influence Your Property Investment

There are many people who look at property investment as an income-generating opportunity. To achieve their goal, they develop a plan to calculate their returns, the total investment required, their income and their present and future expenses. These people also consider the risk-reward ratio before they invest in a property.

You need to have an investment plan that will calculate your total cash outflow and inflow. This will give you an idea on the financial benefit of buying a property and give help you calculate the amount that you need to borrow. If you find it difficult to calculate these details you can use software packages that are available in the market.

When buying a property you need to calculate

a) The loan required
b) The cost of the purchase
c) The cost of maintaining the property

Loan Required

Most people take out a loan to finance their property investment. Here are a few factors that you need to consider when taking a loan

i) There many people who pay only the interest on the loan that they have taken. The interest that they pay can be deducted from their income. People usually opt for repayment of both the principle and the interest when the rate of interest is high.

ii) You also need to decide on the type of loan that you require. You can take out a fixed rate loan, floating rate loan, line of credit and split loan. If you feel that interest rate is likely to rise then it is best that you opt for fixed rate loan. A variable rate loan is usually opted for when the interest rate is likely to fall.

iii) Most lenders will give you loan only up to 90 percent of the property value. If you want to borrow more you will have to take mortgage insurance on the property, which could be expensive. The loan that you take will depend on your requirement and risk appetite. People who expect property prices to rise will gamble on the rise and have less equity in the property.

Once you have decided on the loan amount and the type of loan, you need to calculate the borrowing cost and cash-flow you need to generate to repay the loan taken.

Cost of Purchase

Land cost is not the only factor that you need to consider when you buy a property. You need to include expenses on legal representation, stamp duty, surveys, insurance, registration of title, investigations, valuation fee, commission to real estate agents and all other expenses you incur when buying a property.

Cost of maintaining the property

You also need to calculate the cost of maintaining the property. Some maintenance cost that you pay include water tax and water charges, maintenance and repair charges, local taxes, expenses on maintaining the books, insurance, security expenses and all other expenses that you incur in ensuring the safety of property.

Therefore it is important that all property investments must be made only after careful evaluation the financial feasibility of your investment.

Hypo Venture Capital Asset Allocation A Sound Investment Strategy Part 2

Here at Hypo Venture Capital we are committed to offering our clients access to the latest and broadest range of financial services and products on the market. We know that choosing the right strategy, the right investment and the right product is no easy task in this day and age! Whether its advice, investments or financial planning we are here to answer all your questions and facilitate all your financial needs.

In today’s complex financial markets, you have an impressive array of investment vehicles from which to select. Each investment also carries some risks, making it important to choose wisely if you are selecting just one.

The good news is that there’s no rule that says you must stick with only one type of investment. In fact, you can potentially lower your investment risk and increase your chances of meeting your investment goals by practicing “asset allocation.”

Asset Allocation Can Work

For instance, at age 25 you may decide to invest with the goal of retiring in comfort within 40 years. Most likely, your investment goal is to achieve as much growth as possible growth that will outpace inflation substantially. In aiming to reach this goal, you may allocate 70% of your assets into aggressive growth stocks, 20% into bonds, and 10% into money market instruments. You have years to ride out the wide fluctuations that come with stocks, but at the same time, you potentially lower your risk with your bond and money market holdings.

Because your goals and circumstances are unique, you may want to talk with an investment advisor who can help you tailor an allocation strategy for your needs. Generally, your asset allocation will change as you reach different stages in your life, as your investment goals also change along with these shifts in lifestyle.

If you have been investing aggressively for retirement for more than 20 years and are now less than 10 years from retiring, protecting what your investment may have earned from market ups and downs may become more important. In this case you may want to gradually shift some of your stock allocation into your bond and money market holdings. Keep in mind, however, that many financial experts recommend that stocks be considered for every portfolio to maintain growth potential.

A Simple Process, Some Dramatic Potential Results

Asset allocation is a simple concept, yet vital to long-term investment success. In fact, a landmark study cited in Financial Analysts Journal shows that about 90% of the variability of average total returns earned by balanced mutual funds and pension plans over time was the result of asset allocation policy.3 For many individual investors, the asset allocation decision amounts to choosing what types of mutual funds to invest in and the amount to invest in each type of fund. Others may want to add individual securities to this mix after exploring their investment options.

Regardless of the asset allocation strategy you choose and the investments you select, keep in mind that a well-crafted plan of action over the long term can help you weather all sorts of changing market conditions as you aim to meet your investment goal(s).

Points to Remember

1.Asset allocation is the way in which you spread your investment portfolio among different asset classes, such as stocks and stock mutual funds, bonds, and bond mutual funds.

2.When prices of different types of assets do not move in tandem, combining these investments in a portfolio can help reduce the variability of returns, commonly referred to as “market risk.”

3.Mutual funds are pools of securities, usually offering diversification within a single asset class. Some mutual funds may include several asset classes.

4.The asset allocation that is right for you depends on your investment time frame, goals, and tolerance for risk.

5.As your investment time frame and goals change, so might your asset allocation. Many financial experts suggest reevaluating your asset allocation periodically or whenever you experience a milestone event in your life such as marriage, the birth of a child, or retirement.

Want to know more?

Hypo Venture Capital is an independent investment advisory firm which focuses on global equities and options markets. Our analytical tools, screening techniques, rigorous research methods and committed staff provide solid information to help our clients make the best possible investment decisions. All views, comments, statements and opinions are of the authors. For more information go to www.hypovc.com

GICs Offer Predictable Investment Returns and Some Have Insurance Benefits Too

Its a rather strange question to be sure, but after experiencing one of the worst economic downturns since the Great Depression, many investors are looking for safe investment products that are capable of producing predictable investment returns. For many, this means investing in guaranteed investment products, such as guaranteed interest Contracts issued by insurance companies (GICs) or Guarantees Investment Certificates issued by banks (bank GICs).
These guaranteed investment products that earns interest may not seem as appealing or exciting as investing in an emerging market mutual fund or commodity index the variable chili peppers of the investment world. In fact, to some people, they are uninteresting investments in the same way that broccoli can seem uninteresting when compared to the latest gourmet food trend. We all know that broccoli is very good for you, and it is highly recommended by nutritionists everywhere. But, given the choice between a side of boiled broccoli and a side of roasted garlic “smashed” potatoes, its not unusual to find the better-for-you option politely left behind.
Nevertheless, with many stock market indexes reporting negative returns, a little certainty can go a long way towards providing you with more confidence when saving for your retirement. And there is a lot more to todays insurance GICs than many people may realize, making them healthy additions to any well-balanced financial plan.

GICs A Healthy Addition to Every Financial Plan
Diversifying your investments among equities, fixed-income investments and cash has been the cornerstone of sound financial planning strategies for some time. And GICs can be a great fit for many investors looking to add more certainty to the fixed-income portion of their portfolio.
GICs do offer one very important advantage when compared to other fixed-income investments: they offer a guaranteed interest rate, no matter what the financial markets are doing. This can help to reduce overall investment risk within your portfolio while youre saving for your retirement years.

The Insurance Advantage
Many investors realize that you can purchase bank GICs at your local branch. But did you know you can buy similar investment products offering very competitive rates from insurance companies?
GICs issued by insurance companies offer three distinct features that set them apart from bank GICs: an estate planning benefit, more extensive potential protection from creditors and tax advantage for non-registered contracts. The estate planning benefit means that if you name a beneficiary other than your estate on the insurance GIC contract at the time of purchase, the proceeds (including interest) of your investment will bypass your estate if you pass away. This is significant because it means that your beneficiaries will receive the proceeds privately* and directly, without administrative charges, while avoiding potential probate** and estate fees.
Insurance-based GICs may also protect your personal savings from professional liability. As long as the GIC investment is made before an individual or business runs into financial difficulties, generally the proceeds of the GIC will be protected from creditors with the appropriately named beneficiary. This can be an attractive feature for owners of small businesses or those in any other profession where liabilities have the potential to threaten your personal savings.
* Not applicable in Saskatchewan
** Probate is not applicable in Quebec

For Clients age 65 and older, interest from a non-registered GIC is eligible for the pension income tax credit and pension income splitting.

Say “More Please” to Todays GICs
If you are looking for ways to add more stability to your overall financial plan, speak to your advisor about adding insurance GICs to the fixed-income portion of your portfolio. Not only are insurance GICs a healthy addition to your financial plan, but with options that include cashable, non-cashable, laddered, escalating rate and equity-linked, todays GICs are a lot more interesting too.