Investing for Beginners: How to Start Investing | investing

When most people have extra money, they tend to purchase things that they don’t really need. While the items they’re buying may be useful, that extra hundred they just dropped on the latest in tech gadgets could be put to better use by investing.Many people don’t even consider investing because they think they need thousands of dollars to get started. Not true. In fact, you can get started with as little as $25 a month. Any little bit helps and the earlier you get started, the better.Having a Safety NetInvesting is a risk, even when investing conservatively. It’s not always a huge risk, but any risk is something to consider. For this reason, you should have an emergency fund.Most experts will recommend that you have at least six months of income in the bank or in low-risk accounts such as CDs (certificates of deposit) and money-market accounts.Savings accounts grow interest slowly. The interest grows so slow, that outside of the benefit of keeping your money in a safe place, the account isn’t doing anything else for you. A CD on the other hand, will grow interest much faster, but the downside is that you can’t withdrawal your money without penalty fees, unless you’re past the maturity date.Money market accounts are more similar to the traditional savings account, but they provide higher interest. There are only a few limitations. In most cases, you will need to maintain a higher minimum balance in the account. You are also limited to the amount of checks you can write or withdrawals you make per month.It doesn’t really matter whether you choose a CD, a money market account or a regular savings account, as long as you have money to fall back on. With your safety net in place, you should start investing with money that you can spare.Creating an Investment StrategyWith investing, it’s important to set goals for where you want to be later in life. If you know where you want to be in 10 years, you can create a plan designed to get you there. Without a plan in place, you’re not likely to get there.What is that you want your money to do for you in the coming years? Do you want to get married and buy a house in five years? If you have kids, perhaps you want start saving for their college tuition? Use these big time periods in your life to create a plan for investing.You certainly want to plan ahead for retirement. When do you plan to retire and do you want to retire early? Where do you want to live when you retire?Consider all of the details, such as the cost of living where you want to live after retiring. If you want to retire early, you might have to start investing 20% or more of every paycheck, if you want to have enough money to live on for the next 30 or more years. If you’re fine with working part-time in your retirement years, you can invest much less.Types of InvestmentsOnce you have your goals in place, it’s time to start thinking about how you want to invest your money. The three most common options are stocks, bonds and mutual funds.Mutual funds are great for beginners. Without a lot of money, it’s difficult to invest in a diverse group of investments. A mutual fund makes it possible, by pooling the money of thousands of investors and using it to buy a portfolio of stocks, bonds and other securities. Professional fund managers run mutual funds.Bonds are another option, and are one of the safest ways to invest, but also have one of the lowest interest rates. With bonds, you are basically loaning money at a fixed interest rate. A treasury bond is a loan to the U.S. government, a municipal bond is a loan to the local government, and a corporate bond is a loan to a business.Purchasing stocks means to buy partial ownership in a company. When you buy a share, you are entitled to a percentage of the company’s annual profits. Because of the constantly changing prices of shares, stock market investing can be considered aggressive. The general idea is to buy low and sell high, but it’s hard to predict something like that. For long-term investing, it’s safer to invest in companies that you’re sure will grow or companies that are already successful.There are other types of investment options other than the three mentioned, but mutual funds, bonds and stocks are the most common.InvestingFinally, it’s time to invest. You’ll need either an individually licensed agent or a brokerage firm to help you buy and sell bonds, stocks and mutual funds. At the most basic level, they can simply help you make the trades, but many professionals will also offer advice and portfolio management.Brokers earn money from investors by charging commission and collecting fees. Discount brokers might charge as little as $15 or less per trade, but they will only execute the trade and nothing else.A full service broker is often a professional financial planner or money manager, who will work with you to develop a strategy and maintain your portfolio. Full service brokers will charge anywhere from $100 to $200 per trade.Always research the broker or brokerage firm before deciding to hire. Some have been accused of encouraging clients to make unnecessary trades in order to make more commissions. It’s not often, but it has been known happen.

Becoming a Fashion Designer – Part II | Fashion

Before you venture into the fashion biz, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with industry terms and fashion seasons.Here are some fashion terms you may find useful in planning your fashion career:Haute Couture: This fashion term is French for “high sewing” or “high dressmaking” and refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted fashions. While the term is very loosely used, it’s actually a “protected name” in France, so it can only be officially used by designers that meet certain well-defined standards.Lookbook: A lookbook is used by designers and retailers to show the range of a collection. You can use these to send to buyers, editors, journalists or on your website for the viewing public.Off-the-rack: This refers to apparel made in standard sizes and available from in-stock merchandise. Also referred to as “ready-made” and “ready-to-wear”.Fashion SeasonsJust as the weather changes, so do fashion seasons. We’ve all walked into a store in early March and seen summer tops and wondered what they hey? The reason is that the fashion seasons change before the grass turns green or the first snow falls. Knowing the fashion seasons is critical if you’re going to become a fashion designer. You’ll also want to work with a fashion forecaster to predict the trends, so that when you present your collections to buyers-or to the public directly-they’ll buy it!Trend forecasts are based on the fashion seasons, taking into account color and fabric variations for different times of year. For example, earth tones are generally more popular in the fall, jeweled colors for the holidays, pastels and floral prints for spring and white and bright colors for summer. Of course, there are always surprises! But for the most part, designers and manufacturers include some of these standard colors in there collection planning.If you’re working on your first line, plan to work six months before any given selling season. Successful designers produce four or five seasonal lines a year. Targeting delivery a month ahead gives consumers a continual supply of fresh merchandise each season.Fall markets take place between February and April. The fall selling season is the biggest season of the year, so it lasts longer than the other seasons, which usually only last two months with some overlapping. “Fall II” starts in mid-April and goes through mid-June.Holiday is June-July; with the occasional show in August.Resort/Cruise is August through early September. Spring fashion is from October to November, with some shows in early December. Summer is shown in December-January with a late show in February.Since the buying shows happen in well in advance of upcoming seasons, you better have good insight into what buyers are looking for. For example, if you wait until February to show your spring collection, many buyers will already have placed their orders in the fall. They’ll be looking for some summer, but mostly fall and winter samples for the following year. Even if they like what you’re showing, they may have already exhausted the budget. Also, you will need to have your product ready in time for the promised ship dates.Stay tuned for more on How to Become a Fashion Designer

A Business and an Online Business Address That Work | online business

Even if online businesses could be fun, they might also entail a bit of work. And with the Internet, the first thing any business needs to work on is establishing its identity and getting itself known. Getting as much exposure as the business can ever get is of optimum importance and a prerequisite to that is a good business plan and a decent online business address.This is quite the serious stuff in the online business. Nevertheless, it is very important if you plan on making your online business a stable source of your income. Before you jump into anything, make sure that you already have a clear mission-vision, purpose or goal for your business. The secret is in translating your general purpose into specific goals that have long-term and short-term effects. Outlining a schedule and timeline for your business will work and indicating measures of success will also be helpful. A schedule or timeline will remind you that you have deadlines to meet, while measures of success will help you gauge the effectiveness of a certain procedure or method that you want to adopt or that you have already adopted for your business.Once your plans are all settled and laid down, the next step is to communicate to your target audience effectively by coming up with effective marketing strategies. You can start with a good website which is almost always a requirement, a wonderful blog that is regularly updated and perhaps you can even use autoresponder software that automatically communicates to both your existing and potential clients. The key to link building though is really to put in an online business address that is easy to remember and pertains directly to the nature of your business. Sure, you can come up with any.com name that you want, but you want people to remember you for what your business can do for them so your business address name is very important. Keep it short, simple and meaningful. Every other link that is related to your site should follow that maxim as much as it can, and a practical address definitely has the name of your company on it too.In case you’re wondering, people tend to trust online businesses that also contain a real address – like an office address where they could at least locate you. It is also helpful to leave some contact numbers whenever possible because with all the fraud that there is online, you can’t blame people for being just a bit more cautious. So if you have an office, go ahead and let people know about your location. You could give them visiting hours if you wish to, especially if it’s an online retail. If you don’t have an office on the other hand, you can say it right away and just indicate where you’re coming from. You can say things like, your business is located in this city, and this state.With a good business plan that is composed of some unique ideas and meets people needs, you are hardly ever going to go wrong. Success to online businesses lie in good promotional and marketing skills and as you now know, a good way to begin is to come up with a credible, striking and easy-to-remember online business address.