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Whether it is the tensions in the Middle East, Africa or elsewhere, it is becoming increasingly obvious that political and economic uncertainty is another reality of our modern economic environment. For this reason, investors typically look at gold as a safe haven during times of political and economic uncertainty. Why is this? Well, history is full of collapsing empires, political coups, and the collapse of currencies. During such times, investors who held gold were able to successfully protect their wealth and, in some cases, even use the commodity to escape from all of the turmoil. Consequently, whenever there are news events that hint at some type of global economic uncertainty, investors will often buy gold as a safe haven.
A cash bank deposit is the simplest, most easily understandable investment asset—and the safest. Not only does it give investors precise knowledge of the interest they’ll earn, but it also guarantees they’ll get their capital back. On the downside, the interest earned from cash stored away in a savings account seldom beats inflation and loses around 2% a year. Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have become quite popular since their introduction back in the mid-1990s. ETFs are similar to mutual funds, but they trade throughout the day, on a stock exchange, just like shares of stock. Unlike mutual funds, which are valued at the end of each trading day, ETF values fluctuate intra-day. Farrukh Kazmi is the founder of A&S Asset Management, I am committed to helping people achieve financial freedom by bringing Wall Street experience to the local investor.
Cryptocurrencies are systems that allow for the secure payments of online transactions that are denominated in terms of a virtual “token,” representing ledger entries internal to the system itself. “Crypto” refers to the fact that various encryption algorithms and cryptographic techniques, such as elliptical curve encryption, public-private key pairs, and hashing functions, are employed. The first cryptocurrency to capture the public imagination was Bitcoin, which was launched in 2009 by an individual or group known under the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto. As of February 2019, there were over 17.53 million bitcoins in circulation with a total market value of around $63 billion (although the market price of bitcoin can fluctuate quite a bit). Bitcoin’s success has spawned a number of competing cryptocurrencies, known as “altcoins” such as Litecoin, Name coin and Peercoin, as well as Ethereum, EOS, and Cardano. Today, there are literally thousands of cryptocurrencies in existence, with an aggregate market value of over $120 billion (Bitcoin currently represents more than 50% of the total value).
Many people seek out professional financial advice from a professional, but with so many options to choose from it may seem overwhelming to find an advisor. First, determine what level of advice and service you require and how much autonomy you’d like to give away to a professional. Look for professional certifications and designations after an advisor’s name, such as CFA, CFP, or CIMA. Determine the fee structure you’re most comfortable with – fee-only, commission-based, or based on assets managed. Ask for referrals and then run a background check on the advisors that you narrow down such as from FINRA’s free BrokerCheck service. All of our brokerage accounts are held and available for viewing at National Financial Services, a Fidelity Investments Company. Registered Representative of and securities offered through Berthel Fisher & Company Financial Services, Inc. (BFCFS). Member FINRA/SIPC. A&S Asset Management and BFCFS are independent entities. Read more info at Farrukh Kazmi.
Whether its student loans, credit card, or mortgage debt, being in debt often keeps us up at night and is incredibly stressful. But don’t worry a lot of people get out of debt every day and you can too. Also, all debt is not created equal. To learn more check out my post on good debt vs bad debt, but the basics are pretty simple. Managing debt is just a numbers game. Always pay down your debt with the highest interest rate first. In almost all cases, credit card debt carries the highest interest rates, followed by private loans, student loans, and mortgages. While there are many strategies for paying down your debt, like paying off your smallest balance first and then moving onto your next biggest debt (aka debt snowball) or paying down your biggest debt first (debt avalanche), these aren’t great debt repayment strategies because they don’t focus on saving you the most money.
Gold has historically been an excellent hedge against inflation, because its price tends to rise when the cost of living increases. Over the past 50 years investors have seen gold prices soar and the stock market plunge during high-inflation years. This is because when fiat currency loses its purchasing power to inflation, gold tends to be priced in those currency units and thus tends to arise along with everything else. Moreover, gold is seen as a good store of value so people may be encouraged to buy gold when they believe that their local currency is losing value.