How to Protect Your Investments in an Unstable National Economy

The U.S. economic downturn of 2008 caused investment losses for many, leaving everyone unsure about economic instability. You may wonder how you can keep your investments safe in an unstable national economy. Educating yourself, seeking unique opportunities, avoiding staying too liquid, employing defensive stocks, keeping selling separate from buying, and considering commodities are several ways to keep your investments safe.

Paper with Financials

Image via Flickr by Andreas Poike

Educate Yourself

Proper education is critical for both the investor’s comfort level and investment success. Just as the housing bubble contributed to the Great Recession of 2008, future bubbles could threaten your investments. Recognizing the characteristics of a bubble could help you get out of risky investments. While there is no one formula for determining whether an industry is in a bubble, businesses with small revenues with large market caps should cause concern. Understand that industry bubbles have large-scale impacts on the entire economy.

Understanding other economic indicators is helpful for proper investment selection. Fisher Investments supports investor education. Their YouTube videos about investing outlooks and education offer insight on ways to make the best financial decisions.

Seek Unique Investing Opportunities

Everyone knows that diversifying your investments is a great way to protect them from volatility. However, are you considering unique opportunities? Peer-to-peer lending is unique and can provide an additional investment strategy to keep you protected during an unstable economy. These loans are higher risk because they involve unsecured loans to individuals, but the lending platforms generally bundle loans to decrease the risk of failure. Depending on the loan you choose and your risk level, these can have attractive returns.

Invest for Your Timeline

Your response to economic instability should relate directly to where you are in your investment timeline. If you are close to retirement, you are investing conservatively to protect your assets. However, if you are early in your investing, economic instability should have less bearing on your longterm goals as the ups and downs will level out over time. Continue to exercise caution in an unstable economy but be comfortable taking risks as long as you are comfortable with losing that investment. In a long-term investing strategy, you have time to recuperate any losses from risky investments.

Avoid Staying Too Liquid

In an unstable economy, keeping cash on hand might be tempting. While it is good to keep some cash, too much cash prevents you from enjoying market returns. In an unstable economy, increase cash but do so modestly. This allows for a balance between having a safety net and benefitting from market growth.

Stacks of Money

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Employ Defensive Stocks

Defensive stocks are from sectors that stay consistent despite the economy. Examples of sectors with defensive stocks include healthcare, food companies, utilities, and consumer staples. If another economic downturn occurs, these stocks continue to offer growth. The downside is that these lower risk stocks offer less lucrative returns. Use a diversity model consistent with your investing goals when adding defensive stocks.

Keep Selling Separate from Buying

While common practice tells you to always buy more stocks when you sell, this is not always the best move in an unstable economy. By sticking to the rule that you should only sell when you have something else you want to buy, you may miss opportunities to sell your stocks at their best price. Instead, when your stock hits its target price, sell. You will have other opportunities to buy stocks that align best with your investing goals.

Consider Commodities

Commodities are a possible option for keeping your investments protected. If an unstable economy begins to drive up inflation, people will still need to purchase commodities. A diverse portfolio with commodities allows you to capitalize on this. Because commodities present greater risk, buy according to your investment goals.

There is no foolproof plan for keeping your investments safe during an unstable economy. Incorporate these tips into your investments so that they align with your level of risk and comfort. These steps can lead you towards a better-protected portfolio. What are some other ways to protect your investments in a shaky economy?

How to Identify, Evaluate and Implement the Best Advertising Methods for Your Shopify Store

The following is a guest post by a Beating Broke supporter.

Companies that operate on overcrowded digital markets usually know what it takes to witness amazing popularity and profitability growth. Undoubtedly tested, personalized advertising methods play an important part in this equation and open the door to a whole new world of tempting possibilities; you just have to know how to select the right ones for your e-commerce store.

While some advertising strategies are free and easy to use, some trigger considerable expenses and should be analyzed with maximum care to avoid wasting valuable resources. In this context, how could inexperienced business owners make an informed decision? Follow the guidelines listed below to attain success the easy way by following these best ecommerce advertising methods .

Discover the Huge Marketing Potential of Different Social Media Platforms

These days, there are numerous social media platforms that could contribute a great deal to the smooth, risk-free growth of your company. Nonetheless, you should know that all these gigantic online environments function differently, based on distinctive sets of terms and conditions. Thus, some of them may be better than others when it comes to promoting your business.

Facebook, for instance, takes pride in more than 1.11 billion active users according to Forbes.com. Advertising on Facebook is easy and convenient: you basically create an ad and pay Facebook to promote. The best part is that your online ad is seen only by people who may be directly interested in your products. It is one of the best ways to connect with a responsive audience and receive positive feedback from a larger number of buyers, without being forced to make a huge investment. The ads that people see are selected based on their personal preferences, location, interests, page likes, comments and shared information.

Twitter brings you different advantages: you can create your own message board and post updates related to the commodities that you’re currently selling on your store. At the same time, you can profit from online endorsement strategies by paying a local celebrity or a well-known public figure who is extremely active on social media sites. Basically, you can pay the person who you want to represent your store to tweet about your business and help you recruit new supporters and attract new buyers fast and with minimal effort.

A Google+ page can also reward your advertising efforts in record time. Create a page to promote your e-commerce store, bond with your customers and witness radical improvements without breaking the bank to attain your goal. This social media platform gives you the chance to be found by millions of buyers who are looking for companies like yours. It allows you to boost your online visibility, consolidate solid relationships and exceed the performance of your main competitors. Since more than 97% of all customers are searching for service providers and sellers locally, it goes without saying that this gigantic social networking website is an important resource that shouldn’t be neglected. It’s fun, easy to use, and most importantly, it’s absolutely free!

Rely on Discussion Forums, Bloggers and Industry Experts to Obtain Excellent Results

If you want to do whatever it takes to identify and implement the best advertising strategies for your business, start by conducting a trial and error process. You can’t assess the effectiveness of a certain promotion method before actually testing it. Start with the free ones, which don’t impact your monthly budget. Post comments on discussion forums, create a blog and link it to your website. Don’t forget to establish meaningful connections with industry experts and reputable bloggers who could write about your line of products and help you spread the word about your brand.

Keeping your finances in check over the festive period

Christmas is a time for giving, but it’s easy to let your inner Saint Nick get out of control. If you suffer from an excess of altruism, there are some easy ways to keep your spending under control this festive season.

Plan presents early

Avoiding the last-minute rush for presents is a good start. With consumer confidence rising, retailers aren’t rushing to discount goods – but many have been attempting to encourage early spends with offers and if revenue keeps rising, the discounts may disappear. Planning early also prevents those impulse buys that quickly add up – there’s a reason Santa asks for lists!

Plan meals sensibly

It’s a genuine joy to have a turkey with all the trimmings, but it’s costly and wasteful to throw away your leftovers. Instead of winging it with the turkey, use the wealth of recipes available online, as well as label advice, to get the portions just right. Any leftover turkey can be used in a delicious curry or casserole, which you could even freeze for future use if you need a bit of a detox first. 

Track your spending

If you have credit cards, set one aside specifically for your Christmas spend. That way, you can keep an eye on exactly where the money’s going. There are also several smartphone apps that help store and organise your spending - Expensify, for example, is a handy free app available from both the Apple App store and Google play that allows you to track designated expenses and even stores pictures of receipts.

Choose your financing wisely

When planning a Christmas splurge, many people turn to solutions like ‘Christmas Clubs’ to save ahead of time. However, since these don’t offer interest, it usually represents better value to save or invest your cash as normal. If you need a boost closer to Christmas, find a credit card or loan offering 0% purchase plans or interest free periods to spread payments.

Make use of offers

Cashback deals represent a great way to build small returns (usually between 0.5% and 2%) on your credit card spend, while certain reward schemes give goods and services that could be just the Christmas gift you needed. For supermarket shops, cards like the American Express Nectar Credit Card (representative 25% APR variable) can be a valuable boon if you’re hosting a big Christmas dinner. Of course, in order to really benefit from these you’ll need to pay the bill at the end of the month, otherwise interest payments will negate your gains. Usually, your card application will involve tests that can confirm that your limit corresponds with your spending power, keeping your budget under control.

This post  was brought to you by Eden Smith, a professional business analyst from London.