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Fidelity Is Getting into Trading Cryptocurrency + How to Start Your Cryptocurrency Portfolio

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Crypto

To Crypto or Not to Crypto? That is the Question! Since the Bitcoin rise and fall of 2017 many people have been on the fence about the status of cryptocurrency, not knowing whether it is a good investment option or not. Now The world’s fourth-biggest asset manager will begin dealing in bitcoin and ether, the two largest of the currencies that allow users to bypass governments and banks. Fidelity Investments has opened a crypto unit to store and trade digital currencies for hedge funds and other investors. It’s the first Wall Street titan to get into the crypto game that is filled with regulatory and security risk. So the question remains… To Crypto or Not to Crypto? For those who are willing to start investing Forbes has created a How To Start Investing In Cryptocurrency guide:

1.Decide which kind of cryptocurrency you’re interested in.

As important as it is to decide how much to invest in cryptocurrency, it is also necessary to be strategic in understanding the fundamentals of a digital asset, as this can play a major role in the level of risk involved.

Fundamental analyses are the best indicators for long-term investors, so you’ll need an understanding of how a coin or Initial Coin Offering (ICO) functions, its history and what it brings to the table before choosing to participate in its development.

It might be best to look at the purpose of the cryptocurrency you’re interested in, how long it has been in the market, its market capitalization and its underlying tech solutions. Cryptocurrencies that solve problems are less likely to fail than those that are essentially ICOs.

Also, the longer a cryptocurrency has been in the market, the more trusted it is.

2.Decide what type of investment you’re after.

Naturally, you’ll want to create a plan if you want to enter the crypto market. The question is whether your trades will be short-term or medium- to long-term endeavors. This is an important consideration that affects the amount of money you’ll place in your investments. If the plan is to trade regularly, then understanding market trends, the culture driving the markets and the mentality of investors is a step in the right direction.

If you want to go further, then studying up on market indicators, fundamental and technical analyses, incoming market-moving events, general tech news and developer announcements — among other things — is the next step to up your game.

3.Remember: Crypto market statistics matter.

As I mentioned previously, gauging market behavior during different time periods is part of a well-ordered strategy. While this might be confusing to follow up on at times, market dynamics shouldn’t be overlooked — especially if you plan on trading in the short term. To make it simpler, streamline your cryptocurrency choice to the ones you prefer, look up their charts and try to spot trends via market indicators.

4.Find out whether the digital asset is widely accepted and trustworthy.

As in most markets, trust is crucial for prospective investors. In order for someone to put their money behind a cryptocurrency or ICO project, that person must, through some process of their own, conclude that they trust the idea enough to put their money behind it. In the crypto universe, one could predicate this process on three key factors about new technology billionaire philanthropist and entrepreneur Peter Thiel has discussed: a unique idea (that offers tangible solutions), incremental improvement (which requires a good development team), and the ability to coordinate complex ideas.

In reality, these three points are the best indicators a long-term investor can consider in regard to cryptocurrencies.

In a talk at the Economic Club of New York in March, Thiel analyzed the trustworthiness of cryptocurrencies by drawing parallels between Bitcoin and gold. Both are considered a store of value, are not backed by any government, have unclear inherent values and are immutable in different ways.

5.Take a look at the major Crypto players so far.

In any field, learning from the knowledge of predecessors can never hurt, but it can help. Cryptocurrency is no exception. In fact, this move might be more important due to the market’s volatility, as a small mistake could cost a fortune or your entire holdings.

The most common saying by crypto investors and finance experts is that you should only invest money you are willing to lose. Put into perspective, this translates into a low percentage of your net worth. The question is: Do they really do as they say? Crypto millionaire Erik Finman, for instance, invested $1,000 in cryptocurrency when he was 12 years old. He had very little money, yet he went for a high-risk,-high-reward strategy and earned millions in the process.

At one point, Jeremy Gardener invested most of his stock holdings in crypto investments and has since become a millionaire.

At the end of the day, these individuals took huge leaps by investing in cryptocurrency. Even so, the important thing about their investments is that they were willing to lose the money.

6.Invest the right amount of money.

The rule of thumb that you should “only invest what you are willing to lose” is nigh on impeccable. Think about it this way: If you woke up one morning with your investment in a shambles, would it make you unable to pay your bills the next month? If so, you’re investing too much. Of course, losing money will always hurt. But if you invest properly, it won’t be a devastating event if the worst comes to pass.

I believe investors should always ensure that they maintain 95% of their investments in a well-diversified portfolio across different asset classes, sectors and geographical regions. This helps position investors to mitigate risks and take advantage of opportunities as they arise.

Personally, I invest around 5% of my portfolio in cryptocurrencies because, like a growing number of investors, I believe that there is no longer doubt that cryptocurrencies in some form are the future of money.

 

Ash Exantus aka Ash Cash is one of the nation’s top personal finance experts. Dubbed as the Financial Motivator, he uses a culturally responsive approach in teaching financial literacy. He is the Head of Financial Education at BankMobile and Editor-in-Chief at Paradigm Money. The views and opinions expressed are those of Ash Cash and not the views of BankMobile and/or its affiliates.

The Daily Digm (News)

Credit Union Loans Getting Riskier + How-To Not Get Risky with Your Student Loans

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Credit unions have increasingly taken on high-risk loans, which could lead to borrowers or taxpayers getting burned in the event of another financial crisis, reports The Wall Street Journal. The member-owned alternatives to banks are designed to provide lower borrowing costs and higher deposit rates. Yet, credit unions’ assets have grown almost twice as fast as those of banks over the past ten years. High-risk loans from banks contributed significantly to the 2008 financial crisis. This is dangerous because unlike a traditional bank Credit Unions are owned by its members so it is the members who stand to lose the most. But how can you make your Credit Union loans less risky? This is the same question we ask when it’s time to pay off our student loans. Who will be the first? Or How can you pay off your loans faster? Here are six ways:

1. Develop a plan

Develop a plan to pay off your student loan debt before you graduate.

2. Save your money

Each summer throughout your college education, get a job or internship. Save half the money in a high-interest savings account. After a few months, consult a financial advisor to earn the highest possible return on your money. After college, you can use the money saved during all four years to pay down your college debt.

3. Consolidate your loans (But use caution)

Consolidating student loans combines your loans into one payment but may or may not provide you with a lower interest rate. Do extensive research before consolidating your student loans. In addition, you may not be eligible for various student loan forgiveness programs if you consolidate your student loans.

4. Exchange work to reduce debt

Perform volunteer work or work for the following in exchange for reducing student loan debt: teaching in certain locations with low-income students or areas with a shortage of teachers, providing legal and medical services in low-income areas or working for Americorps or the Peace Corps.

5. Get a work-study job

To help pay for the costs of college get a work-study job on campus to help defray the cost of college. Go to your campus employee office to ask about their work-study program. Work-study jobs pay at least the minimum wage for that state.

6. Apply for grants + scholarships

Apply for as many grants and scholarships as possible. Unlike loans, grants and scholarships never have to be paid back. Some grant websites are Zinch.com, Fastweb.com, ScholarshipPoints.com, Cappex.com, and Scholarships.com.

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Black Friday Sales Could Hit $7.4b + How to Control Your Cyber Monday Spending

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You get a deal, you get a deal, you get a deal and you get a deal!!! This year everyone from Amazon, Walmart and Target are offering “holiday deals” ahead of Black Friday so it’s safe to say, Black Friday isn’t even a thing anymore? Right??? Wrong!!!! Looking at early numbers Black Friday is very much alive and well. According to CNBC shoppers spent a record-high $4.2 billion online on Thanksgiving, a 14.5% increase from last year. In addition, their data suggests Black Friday online sales are expected to hit $7.4 billion, with shoppers having already spent $5.4 billion as of 9 p.m. ET, or a 22.3% increase from last year. 

While we know that Black Friday is intended to help us save money on things we wouldn’t purchase anyway, Black Friday has now been fueled by intense FOMOOD (Fear of Missing Out on Deals). The pressure of having to amass dozens of holiday gifts coupled with the frantic message that you’ll never see these deals again often sends shoppers into a tizzy of overspending, eventually culminating in personal debt.

To avoid the deep despair that can haunt your bank account long after Thanksgiving weekend, heed the following tips:

1) Be honest: how much can you afford to spend on Cyber Monday?

Try to answer this question rationally and honestly. Do you live paycheck to paycheck, or have you saved up a little bundle that you can use on deals? Make sure that if you are going shopping on Cyber Monday, you’re not behind on any bills, and you are not using your credit cards to finance your splurging.

2) Think like Santa Claus and make a dang list.

It’s all about planning ahead. If you go into the insanity of Black Friday shopping without a plan to keep you tethered to reality, you’ll get swept up in the excitement of seemingly attractive deals and overspend, resulting in a buyer’s remorse that could ruin the whole holiday season. So make that list — and stick to it.

3) Figure out a hard budget.

It’s easy to go into Cyber Monday, believing you’ll be cool and rational and definitely won’t spend too much. You’re too smart for that, right? The most clever thing you can do is sit down ahead of time and figure out a hard budget — an amount that you’re sure you can spend — and write it down so you won’t forget. Without any limits set ahead of time, you can quickly go broke without even realizing it.

4) Only use cash — and leave all credit and debit cards at home.

This one’s tough, but you’ll be glad for it in the end. Once you’ve figured out your budget, take out that amount in cash so you’ll have solid, visual evidence of exactly how much you have left to spend.

This trick won’t work if you also bring along credit and debit cards; however, because the temptation to use them will become overwhelming. Despite your preparation, there will be many tempting deals that may cause you to go temporarily insane, and with access to money at your fingertips, that can be a dangerous blow to your finances. Keeping your cards at home removes the ability to fold to temptations.

5) Don’t be overcome by emotions.

There’s a dizzying, frenetic energy to Cyber Monday, what with all the “once a year” deals demanding that you buy now or forever hold your peace. Combined with the sentimentality of the holidays, when you may be feeling more generous than usual, it becomes a perfect storm of excitement, obligation, and anxiety, causing you to spend beyond your means.

Don’t forget that retailers are actually playing upon these emotions in order to get your business. In fact, the reason why Black Friday is called Black Friday is because this is the day consumers (you) help retailers (them) get in the ‘black,’ which in accountant terms means profitable. See, they aren’t even hiding the fact that they are using you for their gain. And the reason they don’t have to hide it is because they get you to buy by appealing to your emotions. Toughen up and don’t be lured into spending money you don’t have.

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The Daily Digm (News)

Mcdonald’s Settles Its Wage Dispute + How to Settle Between Being an Employee or Entrepreneur

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McDonald’s has finally decided to end a multi year-long dispute in California over wages by agreeing to pay $26 million to cooks and cashiers who say the fast-food giant didn’t pay them enough for their work. Tens of thousands of workers are behind the class-action lawsuit, which alleges in part that McDonald’s planned shifts so as to avoid paying overtime to its workers and did not allow fair breaks during shifts. McDonald’s denies any wrongdoing.

Issues like this has many people wanting to be their own boss, but what are the pros and cons of entrepreneurship vs. being an employee?

Employee Benefits vs Do It Yourself

As an employee, you get benefits, which include health, dental, vacation, sick leave, and holidays. This allows employees to have some time to create a work-life balance. They can enjoy paid time to work on personal relationships, hobbies, exercise, or just get some rest.

As an entrepreneur, you do not have a guaranteed income, so if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. Many entrepreneurs don’t consider this, so a lot of them find themselves stressed out and overworked. For those who plan early enough, they budget accordingly to afford themselves some rest and relaxation

Guaranteed Income vs. Unlimited Income Potential

Obviously, a huge advantage of employment vs. entrepreneurship is guaranteed income. As an employee, you get a fixed amount of money deposited on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis into your bank account, which means you get afforded some level of financial security. But in the same breathe as an employee, your income is limited to what you agreed on as your salary or hourly rate, which means you are capped on the amount of money you can make.

As an entrepreneur, you have unlimited income potential, which means there are no ceilings when it comes to your income. If you put in the work and sell the right products or services, you can make a lot of money, but on the flip side, there can be months that you go without a deal or steady income and other months where the faucet is overflowing.

Fixed Working Hours vs. Flexible Working Hours

As an employee, you will agree on a fixed amount of hours and schedule in which you will work. Overtime or any extra hours needed will be worked at the employee’s discretion and can include time and a half pay. Sometimes instead of extra pay, you can agree to get comped time, which means you get extra time off.

As an entrepreneur, you choose your working hours. Many entrepreneurs work 80-hour weeks when they’re first starting out, but eventually, they will get people and resources to allow them to sit back and work as little as possible.

Less Responsibility vs. Everything is On You

As an employee, you are often assigned a particular role and are only responsible for performing the tasks that are directly related to that role when you are working. You don’t really have to worry about how others are performing in other parts of the company because they too have their roles, and you are responsible for you.

As an entrepreneur, you are responsible for everything. You are the janitor, the cook, sales, marketing, promotion, operations and everything else in between.

There are many other differences, but based on what you read so far, which would you choose? There’s no right or wrong answer, and honestly, the decision should be made based on your preference. There are many successful employees who love what they do and thrive, and there are many entrepreneurs who wouldn’t trade their life for the world. Ultimately it’s about your happiness and what makes you feel full. I believe that And is better than Or, so if you get stuck on making a decision, try both.

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