Even Beginners Can Make Money Investing in Mutual Funds

Even if you don’t really understand stocks and bonds and the markets they trade in, you and other beginners can make money investing in mutual funds once you get a handle on the mutual funds universe. Here we take the mystery out of investing for beginners.News flash: Tens of millions of Americans make money investing in mutual funds without knowing what they are doing. Caution: They also lose money unnecessarily and they are not investing as beginners, because they have been doing it for years. Let’s look at what you really need to know to make money investing on a more consistent basis while avoiding serious losses.Mutual funds were created and promoted as the average investor’s vehicle for investing money in stocks and bonds. That’s just what they are – packages of investments managed for investors by professional money managers. They make investing for beginners simple. You simply open an account, and put your money down with instructions as to how much to invest in which funds. Example: You send in $10,000 to buy shares of ABC Stock Fund. Soon you will own shares in that fund and will own a very small part of a very large portfolio of stocks. The number of shares you will own will depend on the share price at the time your purchase order is processed.Whether or not you make money investing in mutual funds without taking much risk depends on which funds you invest money in and how you go about it. There are basically three traditional fund alternatives: stock (diversified), bond, and money market funds. You should invest in ALL THREE TYPES if your goal is to consistently make money investing in mutual funds. You also need to understand asset allocation, so you can tailor your total mutual fund portfolio to fit your risk profile. And remember, investing for beginners need not be difficult.Diversified stock funds are the riskiest of the three and they are your growth engine for earning higher returns. They invest your money in a broad spectrum of stocks representing a number of different industries. This makes investing for beginners simple compared to picking your own stocks. You make money investing here primarily through price appreciation (the fund share price going up) and through dividends. The major risk: share prices fluctuate and can fall significantly when the stock market falls. One year you can make 20%, 30% or more; and you can also lose that much. Over the long term, investors have averaged about 10% a year. Notice I said LONG TERM.Bond funds invest your money in bonds, which are debt securities that pay interest. Their primary objective is not growth, but rather to earn higher interest for investors than they could earn from safe investments like bank CDs. Traditionally, you make money investing in these mutual funds primarily through the dividends they pay you from the interest they earn. Normally they pay considerably higher dividends than stock funds do, but similar to stock funds their share price fluctuates (usually much less). You can profit from higher share prices, but you can also lose money here. They are considered to be safer investments than stock funds, but bond funds are not necessarily safe investments.Money market funds invest your money in high-quality short-term debt instruments (IOUs) and pay current interest rates in the form of dividends. Unlike the other two mutual funds, their share price is pegged at $1 and does not fluctuate by design. As interest rates go up the dividend increases, and as rates fall so does the dividend. You make money investing in these mutual funds only through the dividends paid. These mutual funds are considered to be safe investments, and can be used as a cash reserve awaiting bigger opportunities.To make money investing in mutual funds without worrying your head off you should invest in all three to have a balanced investment portfolio. Here’s what I mean by balance and why it is so important to investing for beginners. Holding either stock or bond funds involves the risk of losing money. If you invest in both this will lower your overall risk. Reason: oftentimes losses in one are offset by gains in the other. Money market funds add flexibility and a cushion of risk to your overall portfolio of mutual funds. The more safety you want the more you allocate to money market funds.An example of investing for beginners follows. You invest $10,000 equally allocated to the three basic fund types. A couple of years later you see that the stock fund is worth quite a bit more than the other two. The good news is that stocks performed very well. The bad news is that a major decline in stock prices could wipe out your profits and more. To keep things in balance, rebalance once a year so that you are back to equal amounts in each fund. This is very important if you want to make money investing in mutual funds on a consistent basis without unpleasant surprises every few years.Investing for beginners is not about getting rich quick and neither are mutual funds. If you want to grow your money for a long term goal (like retirement) this article was written for you. You can make money investing in mutual funds without much effort or worry once you get a handle on the basics.

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Golfing, Grand Kids & Travel – Plan NOW For Your Retirement

Non-QualifiedIn the world of retirement planning, there is one option that many are considering in the form of deferred compensation plans. This type of plan will allow an employee to postpone receiving wages and income for a period of time. While this might seem risky, it is the employer’s responsibility to keep and manage this money in a special fund unit where the employee is no longer working with the organization. One of the greatest benefits to deferred compensations plans is that taxes on this money are not paid until it is withdrawn from the plan and not during the period of earning. It is important to remember that employers will use broad tax regulations during the structuring of this type of plan. One aspect of non-qualified retirement plans is that they do not usually include employee contributions, and are solely based on the employee’s gross income. This means that an employee can build their retirement without paying taxes until the money is taken out.While non-qualified retirement plans are considered painless, there are a number of considerations that an individual needs to be aware of before he or she uses this type of retirement model. The first consideration is that this type of plan is not retroactive. This means that it can only be based on an individual’s current income withholding. Because most plans have very specific maturation dates, it is not possible for an individual to borrow or withdraw money from this type of plan. There are some plans that will require specific events to take place before an individual can receive their funds. The last consideration is that this type of retirement plan is not protected from creditors if an individual owes an outstanding debt.QualifiedQualified retirement plans or structured retirement plans are required to comply with certain government regulations. An individual can establish this type of plan through either an employer, bank, or financial institution. It is important to remember that the IRS has special codes that detail provisions regarding qualified retirement plans. One advantage to qualified retirement plans is that they are eligible for special tax considerations.There are two main types of qualified plans. The first is employer based in the form of pensions or profit sharing programs and each must comply with certain government regulations that grant the employer certain tax privileges. One advantage for the employer is that they may be able to deduct any contributions to a pension as a business expense. The employee will have an advantage as well in the form of not being liable for taxes until he or she retires and withdraws the funds. It is vital to remember that depending on the tax structure and the employee’s income, he or she, after retirement, will generally be required to pay taxes on any amount withdrawn from his or her plan.Individual retirement plans better known as IRAs are a popular options for both the self-employed and those who want additional protection during retirement. It has become one of the most popular individual qualified retirement plans, and it allows a person to deposit a portion of his or her income into a plan without being required to pay taxes. As with other retirement plans, the individual will be required to pay taxes once the funds are withdrawn. One aspect of an IRA is that due allow tax-deductible contributions only up to $4000 per year, unless the person is over the age of 50; in this case, the contribution can be higher.

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Total Health Care For the Elderly With Effective Individual Health Coverage

Elderly Health Care A Financial Challenge for FamiliesTotal health care for the elderly poses an enormous challenge for many families in the face of ever-rising individual healthcare costs. Typically such costs can set you back five and a half thousand dollars or more yearly.Elderly Care Services Are ExpensiveToday, drugs to treat older people are becoming extremely costly and not getting the right individual health coverage early with affordable health insurance plans can mean bearing an exceptionally and financially heavy burden that will more often than not turn out to be crippling for the ‘man on the street’.Older People Are Medically More VulnerableWhen it concerns some of the more pressing elderly health care issues, vascular dementia will most likely top any list that may also include conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Among so many different conditions, vascular dementia is one big concern. Though it doesn’t get much media attention, it can severely affect any older person suffering from it and so, should be regarded seriously and addressed appropriately.Costs of Healthcare Only Go UpWhat’s more, every day senior health insurance costs are rising and are going through the roof. Not all of the costs are covered by individual health plans and even the cover from Medicare is low at best – particularly when treating serious, chronic health or medical conditions for older people.However, all isn’t lost because by having a look at certain health care resources that are especially catering to the needs of elders that pay for total health care for the elderly costs including hospitalization costs as well as visits to doctors, you can ease the heavy financial burden.Elderly Health Insurance – It Pays to Start EarlySelecting the right, affordable elderly health insurance plans before reaching the age of sixty-five can prove to be extremely useful in covering costs of total health care for the elderly. By paying a certain elderly health insurance premium on an once a month basis you can cover some of the high costs of dedicated elderly care services.Lastly, keep this in mind: Unlike individual healthcare for the average joe, money alone may not help when it comes to offering holistic elderly health care with the right individual health coverage.

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Why the Current American Health Care System Does Not Work and Why It Should Be Changed

The preference for minimal government oversight and ideas of individualism are responsible for the way American health care system is structured. However, access to health insurance and health care has been a pressing issue in this nation for a long time; rated by the WHO as one of the worst among industrialized countries, the United States’ health care system is too costly and fails to cover everybody. Despite president Obama’s attempt to bring about change, many continue to question the effectiveness of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act the concerning both costs and overall coverage. The issues regarding health care reform directly affect the feasibility of the American Dream because adequate health care and insurance are necessary to full citizen participation and it is the government’s responsibility to provide access. I believe that given this nation’s strong anti-statist values it will be difficult to implement a federal health care policy; therefore it is more feasible for states to create health reforms like the one in Massachusetts and ensure universal health care.In 2007, the US health system presented many problems concerning the amount of people who were both uninsured and underinsured and the fast rise of insurance premiums causing many Americans to report debts and problems due to medical bills (Commonwealth Fund Commission, 232). The cost of American health care is inarguably one of the major setbacks of the system; it is the highest amongst those of other industrialized nations but not necessarily more effective. For instance, a case study in the town of McAllen, Texas, shows how the overuse of medicine and the “fee for service” incentives available to doctors can really drive up the cost of medicine. McAllen is one of the most expensive health care markets in the country where most doctors focus less on preventive care and more on running extra tests, services and procedures out of fear of malpractice, influenced by differences in training, or simply to make a few extra dollars. (Gawande, 340-342). Although the situation in McAllen might be an extreme example, it does not fail to explain how the “culture of money” partly affects the cost of health care system. Unlike systems such as Canada and Japan, the American government plays a minimal role in bargaining down prices or setting price standards, this lack of control allows doctors and medical institutions to often purchase the latest technology, but not the most efficient (Klein, 256). Nevertheless, doctors are not to be labeled as the villains because private insurance companies add to the problem by expending a quarter and a third of their revenues on administrative costs (Weissert and Weissert, 350).The high number of uninsured Americans (45 million in 2007), is another disconcerting fact regarding the downfalls of the American health care system; it is unfortunate that in an industrialized nation, once considered the most powerful in the world, people are often forced to put their career dreams on hold in order to gain access to employer based insurance. This has a negative impact on the nation’s economic and political development because people who could create the latest technological innovations are “locked” at Wal-marts and the likes. Low income uninsured families like Greg and Loretta, who struggle to keep their children healthy, lose all faith in the American dream and essentially become a burden for the rest of society. Some argue that good health is a personal responsibility, and yes eating a burger everyday will obviously have negative impacts on a person’s health and they should be held accountable for those poor choices. Consequently, some would blame Greg and Loretta for their unfortunate condition, but the question is; how can their children be expected to become productive citizens if they lack basic health care? The American Dream encourages individualism, but individuals cannot perform to the best of their abilities if they lack the necessary tools to do so.In 2006, the state of Massachusetts passed an “ambitious” health care reform that improved access to care and lowered the rate of uninsured working age adults; in spite of its high costs, this plan exemplifies how reforms at the state level can perhaps be easier to implement and regulate, consequently having successful results. The plan is essentially composed of three parts: expansion of the state’s Medicaid progress (establishing income-related subsidies), creating new private insurance plan open to individuals, and lastly it requires that both individuals and employers participate in the health insurance system or pay a fine. Furthermore, it provides individuals with the alternative to buy from private insurers if they do not have access through an employer (Long, 321). Mixing public and private markets achieves near-universal and gives citizens options.Two of the most important elements of this reform are the certainty of having access to coverage in the case of unexpected unemployment and not having to worry about rejection due to pre-existing conditions (Kaiser Family Foundation, 325). The economic downturn has and continues to hurt many families, many jobs are uncertain and health insurance is no longer secure, therefore by making sure citizens continue to have access to health coverage, the state of Massachusetts is essentially contributing to the overall development of the nation’s economy. When people are not worried about paying astronomical medical bills, they have more time and money to spend on purchasing houses, cars, etc which ultimately results in consumerism and more profits. Lastly, the Massachusetts provides citizens with high quality care that allows them to make regular doctor visits and access specialists, tests and medications as needed (Kaiser Family Foundation, 328). This approach is similar to the preventive care practiced in countries like Great Britain; essentially it is more beneficial for both the doctor and the patient to treat any conditions before they get out of hand.Although the Massachusetts health care reform has proved to make significant improvements, like any other reform it has its downsides which may lead people to focus on the inequities and overlook the success. For instance many Massachusetts residents believe that more education about key aspects of the health reform would help better understand how the programs work. Residents are specifically interested in income limits to qualify and how to apply for coverage (Kaiser Family Foundation, 331). It is expected that citizens have questions about newly implemented programs and that they may not understand specific medical, political or economic jargon, but this is not a major concern because education can be easily provided. On the other hand, some would argue that the high cost of this plan is indeed a significant problem which must be addressed; nevertheless Massachusetts legislators are aware of the cost and are working to stabilize the finances. Firstly, they want a new payment of method that rewards prevention and effective control of chronic disease instead of paying according to the quantity of care provided. Secondly, the commission is looking to reimburse physicians for episodes of care rather than individual visits. Health experts agree that if Massachusetts is able to implement this changes, it will be as “audacious an achievement as universal healthcare” (Sack, 334-336).Today, the future of president Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is somewhat uncertain. Republicans want to repeal it and skeptics argue that it is not going to solve the existing problems. Although this reform promises desirable aspects like overall coverage and cost reductions, the results are solely based on projection, making it difficult to guarantee that it is going to be successful. The Massachusetts health care plan has already been implemented and proved to create significant improvement. Essentially this model presents an effective alternative for health care reform and it celebrates the values of anti-statism by allowing states to make their own decisions.Works Cited
Commonwealth Fund, “Why not the Best: Results from the National Scorecard on US Health Performance”. July 2008
Gawande, Atul. “The Cost Conundrum”: What a Texas town can teach us about health care. The New Yorker 1 June 2009
Kaiser Family Foundation, “The Uninsured: A Primer”. October 2008
Klein, Ezra. “The Health Nations: How Europe, Canada, and Our Own VA Do Health Care Better”. The American Prospect. 7 May 2007
Long, Sharon K. “On the Road to Universal Coverage: Impacts of Reform in Massachusetts at one year”. The Commonwealth Fund. June 2008
Sack, Kevin. “Massachusetts Faces Costs of Big Health Care Plan”. The New York Times. 16 March 2009

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