Investing in Haiti's Future Means Listening Humbly to People on the Ground

Investing in Haiti's Future Means Listening Humbly to People on the Ground

"Who is wise? One who learns from all people." So teaches a passage in the Pirkei Avot, an ancient collection of Jewish texts. I'm reminded of this insight's relevance today when I see how governments and international organizations are responding to
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Your Questions About Investing For Dummies

Thomas asks…

Can someone explain in “english” how to invest?

I would like to know how the whole investing in stocks thing works. Its something I would like to look into, but I don’t want to be bogged down with a whole bunch of banking jargon and mumbo jumbo. When you answer this question, think “Investing for dummies“.

financi4 answers:

Borrow the book “Investing for Dummies” from your local library. It will help you far more than any answers you can get from here.

Chris asks…

whta’s a good stock simulation game where i can play and learn for free?

i also would like a good book to read that is easy to understand. i have investing for dummies, but would like to get a good understanding of the ins and outs

financi4 answers:

You can go to top10traders were you can buy stocks they give 100,000 dollars to start with its great i have 1 the best acounts

James asks…

hey, i would like to know what’s the official website for investing money into federal bonds?

basically i’d like to view a website explaining the basics of federal bond investments… something like ‘investing in federal bonds for dummies?’ lol

financi4 answers:

Http://www.treasurydirect.gov/

http://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/products/products.htm

https://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/resources/faq/faq_fedinvest.htm

http://www.investopedia.com/terms/t/treasurynote.asp

Michael asks…

21 yr. old, where can I find good info for learning about investing money?

I’m just looking for a good website or book to educate myself on investing money, something simple like a dummies guide or a beginners book.

financi4 answers:

Congratulations on attempting to learn investing at such an early age.

Let me share with you a little rule that Albert Einstein once claimed was “the greatest mathmatical discovery of all time”. It is called the Rule of 72. It is pretty simple…

If you take an interest rate and divide it into 72 you get the number of years it will take your money to double.

For example, lets say you have $40K to invest if you were to get an interest rate of 12% your money would double every 6 years. So your 40K would turn into 80K in 6 years, 160K in 12 years……and $1,280,000 in 30 years.

Keep this rule in mind as you make your investment decisions and you will do quite well.

As to what areas to invest in. The stock market has done quite well for the past couple of years and mutual funds allow you to diversify your portfolio. Personally, I have been having the greatest amount of fun and success in the foreign currency market…..Forex.

What is really nice about Forex is that you can open a practice account while you are learning and not risk any of your money.

In fact I am assembling another Trading Team to evaluate some Forex trading strategies. You would be most welcome to join the team and learn along with us. Just drop me a line if interested.

Best wishes for a prosperous 2007!

Paul

http://www.teampip.com

Robert asks…

Stock Market Investing for a Dummy?

roughly,how much money do I have to pay a stock broker?and also is it possible to lose 100% or more of the money I invest?

financi4 answers:

A full cost stock broker can charge up to 40% commission on a trade, so avoid them. I would go with an on-line brokerage where the commission costs per trade are much lower. Scottrade on charges $7.00.

Yes, it is entirely possible to lose all your money. So, know what you are doing before you start investing in individual stocks.

Paul asks…

How can I learn about Stocks? I don’t know a thing. Beginner…?

I don’t know even the basics like what a share is or trading is. Where can I learn? Is there a website? I just bought Stock Investing for Dummies but I need to know the basics first.

financi4 answers:

Congratulations on getting started. It’ll help you more than you know!

Your first dollars should be spent on getting educated on investing. You don’t have to train to trade them professionally, but we are talking about your future here. So the more you learn, the more it’ll help you! So let’s start there.

You ask a very broad question, so be prepared for a pretty long answer. Just take it in chunks!

How to invest depends on what you already know. We’ll assume that you’re beginning since you say you are!

A good primer is How to Make Money in Stocks by William O’Neil. You can get it cheap just about anywhere. It’s widely available new or used. You can read that after the Investing for dummies, but I wouldn’t necessarily follow any strategies in the I4D book. I’d use the I4D book more for terms and to better understand how the markets work.

Another good one is one of Jim Cramer’s books like Real Money (he’s got a few).

But books will only get you so far. At some point, you’ll also want to get at least a little training. There are some great education companies if you want to make the investment. Investools.com or optionetics.com are both very good companies.

For free, you can start by visiting thestreet.com and investopedia.com. That’ll get you a pretty good primer so at least you’ll understand what the markets are and what a stock is, etc.

If you get a chance, watch Mad Money on CNBC. Don’t trade any of his picks until you track many of them over time. Just use the show to get you to understand some basics and get a feel for the market itself. He’s great at breaking things down.

Next, subscribe to something like Investorsbusiness daily or something like that that can help you identify good stocks.

Once you understand stocks, go to 888options.com. It’s a website that’ll help you understand options (what they do, how they work, etc). You don’t need to trade them, but the more you know, the more you’ll see how options can really be the safest way to invest (once you’re educated).

For discipline (which is crucial to successful trading), probably Trading in the Zone by Mark Douglas or Mastering the Trade by John Carter

I know that’s a LOT to absorb. Just take it one step at a time for now. Start with a book or two to give you an idea of where to begin. Take your time, and let it seep in.

As you get up to speed, you should papertrade to practice (highly recommended). This should help reduce your losses in the beginning as you get used to buying/selling.

You can practice for free on almost any reputable broker site (optionsxpress, scottrade, thinkorswim, etc). And yes, you can definitely deal easily online.

Start slow, then as you figure things out, you can buy more shares.

Congrats again on getting started. If you have any questions, please let me know.

Hope this helps!

Mark asks…

How to buy stocks for dummies etc? What is the least amount of money that you can invest in?

I would like to learn the basics of buying stocks or learning how to buy stocks that would give me a good return on my investment. The issue is I would like to know if there is any solid advice one should know before investing in as well.

More or less I would like to know how you can buy stocks online as well. Do they charge a fee for one stock at a time to buy online or you can pay a monthly fee to trade stocks for a set price?

I would like to know the best way to seek out a stock broker to trade for you as well as a good guide?

financi4 answers:

Get help from a big broker, like E.F. Hutton or Fidelity Investments. They will hold your hand and help you set goals.

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Your Questions About Investing In Vintage Guitars

Richard asks…

How many of you invest in a guitar ?

Just as you invest in a painting, sculpture, vase, real estate, vintage cars, a Harley, etc,a good quality guitar in good condition will appreciate greatly especially if the tone has seasoned well after the years.

A relic guitar will do the same if it had been used by a well known guitarist.

With the amount of guitars in the market since the early fifties, how many of such guitars qualify to be a good invest?

financi4 answers:

Most guitars of high build quality dating pre-80″s (and even some 80’s) are a good investment assuming that they play well and have all or most of the original parts to them. Be careful though, it’s a lot like real estate, when the market is up, it’s great and when times are tough, well it may be worth holding on to your vintage axe until the market is right again. Personally, I don’t think any guitar is worth more that a couple thousand, no matter what, with the exception that it was Elvis’ or John Lennon’s guitar or something like that, Music comes from the notes you put into it and an old guitar doesn’t make you better, it just makes you a pain in the ass guitar snob who through the powers of suggestion, get people to pay hugely inflated prices on a piece of wood connected to another piece of wood and then has strings on it, I’m mostly talking about electric guitars here though. Acoustics, well they do get better with age – most of them assuming they don’t warp out anywhere and then yes, I can justify paying whatever it takes to get that specific tone. Given that rock music has been a mainstay for 30-40 years now I will be interested to see what collectors find most valuable in the next 20 -30 years. I think solid body Les Paul’s, (a true rock guitar) will be the best bang for the buck as far as investments. My generation (younger) will want to play a Les Paul over a Gretsch Country Gentlemen for example most any day of the week. So ya solid body Gibson is where I would put my coin if I were to collect. I think the older solid body Gibsons will appreciate two fold where the older hollow / semis might be worth only a little more than what they are now. Though a nice older ES335 semi – Man that’s the cat’s meow in my book!

Thomas asks…

What are some good bass guitars for beginners?

So I want to buy a bass guitar – I have no experience with bass so I was just wondering which one I should buy. I have a budget of around £300. Also, can I plug a bass into a normal guitar amp or do I have to buy an amp made for bass?

financi4 answers:

To deal with the amp question first: a guitar amp will produce notes when you play a bass through it, it won’t explode or anything. If that’s what you have, and the budget is tight, it will be OK to use just for learning and practice in your bedroom. Guitar amps, however, are not designed to handle the deeper frequency notes that the bass produces. You won’t get good tone nor very good volume out of one if you’re going to play with a band or in public. So you should invest in a good bass amp as soon as you’re able to.

As far as buying a bass goes, the best thing to do is just go into a guitar shop and hold some in your hands. Some people like big round chunk necks, other people like slim “fast” necks, and so on and so forth. Pick an instrument that feels right in your hands and that you like the look of. It seems superficial, but to be honest, people usually are reluctant to practice an instrument if they hate the look of it.

I’m not sure exactly what brands are available in the UK or how far 300 pounds will go (I’m in the US), but you should definitely try a Yamaha or Squiers in the Vintage Modified or Classic Vibe series (not the Squier Affinity series). The Yamaha RBX374 would be great, or a used BB414. The Peavey Millenium is also pretty good IF you want a super-slim neck.

Steven asks…

Which guitar would be better suited for a beginner?

I’m having a hard time deciding on a guitar for myself (im a beginner) and I was thinking either the Epiphone Les Paul Special 2, or the BC Rich Warlock Red Bevel. Price really isn’t an issue so much as quality and ease of use.
Could someone tell me which one would be a better purchase?

financi4 answers:

“Epiphone is more versatile than BC Rich”. What a crock of nonsense! It sound more like the author of that answer doesn’t like BC Rich.

So, to decide which guitar is better depends on which BC Rich Warlock you’re talking about. From what I can tell, the guitar in question is part of the BC Rich Bronze series with a fixed bridge. It’s junk, so forget it. If you want a BC Rich, the lowest quality Warlock that’s worth playing is the Platinum Series. You can find a good one for a decent price on eBay. It has a tremolo (floating bridge) and it’s a nice guitar. The only thing you might not like about a warlock is that it’s rather pointy if you want to practice sitting down.

That pointiness has never bothered me, however, because I usually noodle laying down on the sofa or practice seriously standing up. All my guitars are pointy – custom Warlock, vintage Flying V, etc. But if you like to practice seriously sitting down, a warlock might drive you crazy unless you are tall and the points don’t hit you in the boobs.

Now, the Les Paul – in your case an Epiphone – is a very chunky ax. Personally, I don’t like the feel of the body because it is thick and I don’t like the bridge because it always feels too high and in the way when I want to palm mute. That’s just my feeling. That doesn’t mean it’s not right for you. Ace Frehley – the master of feedback – has always played a Les Paul. (Whether he can play anything else is … Ahm.., er… No comment!)

One thing I like about both BC Rich and Gibson guitars is that they have a D-shape neck, which is thick and round. It’s easy to rest your thumb on the back of the neck if you want to play fast neoclassical or metal riffs, and you can easily wrap your hand around it if you’re playing rock and use your thumb to fret the lower strings when you’re playing power chords. Vivian Campbell does this a lot if you happen to watch his videos.

That said, the only Epiphone Les Paul worth playing is the Studio Elite . Again, you can look for a good used one on eBay.

The problem with both guitars you have listed is that because they are complete crap, you will disatisfied 6 months from now and you won’t be able to sell either one for what you paid for it. So, you would be much better off to invest a couple hundred more dollars and get a real guitar – one that has decent wood, decent workmanship, will stay in tune, has good sustain, will hold its value over time, and one you will still be happy with it 2 years from now when you can shred like a madman.

A Platinum Series Warlock used will cost you about $400 and the Epiphone Studio Elite about $550. Of the two, I think you get more guitar for your money with the Warlock.

However, if you insist on something cheap, then get a Fender Mexican-made Stratocaster. The workmanship is good and if you test drive a few of them, you will find one with good sustain. Or consider a Yamaha guitar. Even their cheap ones made in Japan are decent. Do NOT get any guitar that’s manufactured in China.

Because you are a beginner, consider purchasing a Marshall Pocket Amp for $40 instead of a bigger amp at this point in your guitar career. You can put a pocket amp anywhere you want to practice and it is surprisingly loud (enough so that someone in the next room will tell you to turn it down). You might want to get a fuzz pedal to go with it and DOD makes some good ones, so get a used fuzz or distortion pedal on eBay. Save your money for a bigger amp after you’ve played a year and have some idea what kind of amp you want. I have a Marshall pocket amp and my pro musician friends think it’s cool.

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TheStreet: iPhone 4S Savings, Budget Collectibles, Investing Myths

TheStreet: iPhone 4S Savings, Budget Collectibles, Investing Myths

TheStreet: iPhone 4S Savings, Budget Collectibles, Investing Myths. Published: Friday, August 10, 2012. Here are some of the stories making news in today's report from The Street, a leading financial news and information site: How to Save $50 on the
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The Next 20 Years of Sustainable Investing

The Next 20 Years of Sustainable Investing

Sustainable investing can no longer simply present itself as an alternative to traditional investment approaches that ignore environmental and social issues.
Triple Pundit: People, Planet, Profit

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Make This Your First Rule of Investing

Make This Your First Rule of Investing

Psychology and finance overlap in some debatable ways. One way, technical analysis, in which traders attempt to analyze past prices and volume to determine the future, can be likened to palm reading. Another debate centers on the value of gold; "it is
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