Basics for Newcomers to the Stock Market

If you live in Arizona then you’re probably familiar with the shaky housing market that has affected many people. Arizona still has a ways to go toward stability and with so many investing a large portion of their livelihood in the housing bubble, many lost big. As an article on State Press reported, houses are not stocks and it ís time that people stop using them as such. If you’re looking for ways to introduce more stable assets into your portfolio, consider investing in the stock market. If you’re looking to move your assets out of the housing and into the stock market, but youíre just not familiar with how it works, there are a few basics terms and principals to get you started.

  • Defining Stocks

  • Why Most People Invest?

  • How To and How Much?

Defining Stocks

A stock is capitol raised by a corporation through the issuing of shares. A share is a divided-up portion/unit of the value of a company. A stock is simply a share in the ownership of a company and is a representation of the company’s earnings and assets. The more stocks acquired in one company, the more ownership stakes a person possesses of any given company. Owners of stock are known as shareholders, and these shareholders are entitled to their share in the companyís earnings.

Why Most People Invest?

The overarching goal with stocks is to make money. Many people were lured into the housing market because they saw it as a similar opportunity but ended up loosing their livelihoods. Investing in real estate proved to be a volatile investment and it hurt a lot of people who bought into the hype. This isnít to say that stocks don’t carry a certain level of risk but you can more easily manage your assets than other types of investments because you have greater control. If you’re looking to shore up your investments then some wise planning and approaches could help any person in establishing finically stable future.

How To and How Much?

There are stocks sold through a formal stock exchange, such as AMEX or NASDAQ and there are also stocks known as “over-the-counter”. Over-the-counter stocks refer to stocks traded by a dealer network rather than a centralized exchange like the more traditional NASDAQ. The variety of stocks you can buy is extensive and the prices of stocks also vary considerably. A person can invest in stocks in upwards of $500 or as little as a $0.01. It all depends how much capital you have on hand to invest and what kind of companies you wan to invest in.

Once you’ve done your research on which stocks you want to invest in, youíll need to have a broker or set up a brokerage account to handle your purchases. This can easily be done online. A broker will give you the stocket market help necessary to diversify your investment portfolio, and will determine whether you want to put your funds in long or short-term investments. Itís really up to the individual as to what kind of level of risk they’re comfortable with.

Consult A Market Professional

These basic terms and approaches will be helpful towards getting you started but for a more compressive understanding with the intricacies of the stock market, you’ll want to consult a market professional that can better guide you through the process and advise you on which stocks are right for your unique investment needs.

If you live in Arizona then youíre probably familiar with the shaky housing market that has affected many people. Arizona still has a ways to go toward stability and with so many investing a large portion of their livelihood in the housing bubble, many lost big. As an article on State Press reported, houses are not stocks and itís time that people stop using them as such. If youíre looking for ways to introduce more stable assets into your portfolio, consider investing in the stock market. If youíre looking to move your assets out of the housing and into the stock market, but youíre just not familiar with how it works, there are a few basics terms and principals to get you started.

Defining Stocks

A stock is capitol raised by a corporation through the issuing of shares. A share is a divided-up portion/unit of the value of a company. A stock is simply a share in the ownership of a company and is a representation of the companyís earnings and assets. The more stocks acquired in one company, the more ownership stakes a person possesses of any given company. Owners of stock are known as shareholders, and these shareholders are entitled to their share in the companyís earnings.

Why Most People Invest?

The overarching goal with stocks is to make money. Many people were lured into the housing market because they saw it as a similar opportunity but ended up loosing their livelihoods. Investing in real estate proved to be a volatile investment and it hurt a lot of people who bought into the hype. This isnít to say that stocks donít carry a certain level of risk but you can more easily manage your assets than other types of investments because you have greater control. If youíre looking to shore up your investments then some wise planning and approaches could help any person in establishing finically stable future.

How Much Money Do You Need?

There are stocks sold through a formal stock exchange, such as AMEX or NASDEQ and there are also stocks known as ìover-the-counterî. Over-the-counter stocks refer to stocks traded by a dealer network rather than a centralized exchange like the more traditional NASDEQ. The variety of stocks you can buy is extensive and the prices of stocks also vary considerably. A person can invest in stocks in upwards of $500 or as little as a $0.01. It all depends how much capital you have on hand to invest and what kind of companies you wan to invest in.

How to Buy Stocks?

Once youíve done your research on which stocks you want to invest in, youíll need to have a broker or set up a brokerage account to handle your purchases. This can easily be done online. A broker will give you the stocket market help necessary to diversify your investment portfolio, and will determine whether you want to put your funds in long or short-term investments. Itís really up to the individual as to what kind of level of risk theyíre comfortable with.

These basic terms and approaches will be helpful towards getting you started but for a more compressive understanding with the intricacies of the stock market, youíll want to consult a market professional that can better guide you through the process and advise you on which stocks are right for your unique investment needs.

Three Challenges to Getting A Mortgage in 2011

Three Challenges to Getting A Mortgage in 2011

Unfortunately, for many people, getting a mortgage, even a VA Loan, in 2011 is still a challenge. Below what follows is a quick look at some of the most common challenges that mortgage applicants are facing as they try to qualify for a mortgage. The three most common problems in 2011 for getting a mortgage are: home values (appraisals), income sources, and employment stability. 

Below, I will look at each of these areas.

  • Appraised Values

  • Income

  • Income Sources

Appraised Values

No matter whether you are buying a home or are looking to refinance your current mortgage, the value of the property is critical to whether you can get a mortgage or not. Home values in many parts of the country are still well below the values they were several years ago which is where many current home owners get into trouble. With sagging home values many homeowners around the US are finding it nearly impossible to refinance because their mortgage balance far exceeds their home’s value. With this as the case underwater homeowners are left with no option to refinance and only the option of staying put, short selling their home, or letting their home go back to the bank in a foreclosure process. For purchase deals, the flip side of the coin is that the property valuation required by the mortgage company can often come in less than the negotiated sales price which could mean the seller declines to sell the home leaving the buyer looking for a new place.

Income

Proving income is an extremely important part of qualifying for a mortgage. The thumb rule is simple – you want to be able to provide a thorough paper trail for your income for at least the past 2 years if not 3 and your latest 30 days worth of pay stubs reflecting a year to date figure. If you have any significant gaps in your income over the past 2 years or so you will need to be able to explain what happened.

Income Sources

As a result of the sagging economy, many people have found additional ways to make to stay afloat. For many applying for a mortgage – having and counting on different streams of income is critical. The challenge about income streams is that they must be seasoned for at least 2 years. What this means is that being a strong credit candidate with money in the bank for down payment may not be enough if you are self-employed and have only been self-employed for less than 2 years. You may also have problems if you are just starting to get overtime, or you are just starting to get commission income with your new job.

What To Do

In summary, it is best to work as much as you can for as long as you can with no layoffs, while saving as much money as you can. I know this seems like a pipe dream, but in all cases it will help you with qualifying.

Best Ways to Lower Homeowners Insurance Rates

Best Ways to Lower Homeowners Insurance Rates

For first-time homebuyers it may come as a surprise that they should purchase homeowners insurance immediately. The mortgage companies want to protect their investment, and your home is the biggest and most long-term investment. Additionally, homeowners should want to protect their home and belongings against disaster, theft or other calamities.

There are several ways to find the best deal on rates or lower your existing insurance rates by following a few important tips.

 

  • Shop Around

 

 

  • Double Check

 

 

  • Compare

 

 

Shop Around

Firstly, buyers should shop around for homeowners insurance before buying any insurance policy. For homebuyers, a real estate agent can be a good person to recommend a specific company and can give you tips on what kind of coverage you need. Consumer guides are also a good place to look when searching for lowest rates, but remember, the lowest price may not be as important as seeking the appropriate level of coverage. When inquiring with an insurance agent about rates, ask what discounts you would qualify for in order to cut costs.

Double Check

Check with your state department to see if it publishes a comparison guide for homeowners insurance. Most state departments also post complaint information on their web sites for homeowners. Ask your friends, neighbors and relatives who they would recommend, and check reviews for insurance coverage online. Good customer service is important when dealing with claims so companies with too many complaints shouldnt be considered in your search for a policy.

Compare

Use comparative shopping to narrow down policies offered by different companies, but before that, consider what coverage and policy limits you need to accurately compare quotes. Some companies may charge more for the same or similar coverage, so its a good idea to compare rates before committing to an insurer.

 

Lower Your Rates!

Once youve found an insurance company that suits your needs you consider what you can do to lower your rates. Some factors that may influence your rate are:

  • Raising the deductible could save you up to 25% on your premium.
  • Buy your home and auto insurance policies together
  • Updates for your home includes electrical and plumbing systems, installing storm shutters, etc
  • High credit score affects the cost of premiums
  • Senior discounts those 55 and older could see discounts up to 10%
  • Check your policy annually review policy and update your list of valuables and home value
  • Improve home security and safety installing smoke detectors, deadbolt locks, fences and alarm systems can save on premiums
  • Know rate killers Pools, hot tubs and trampolines cause accidents and will raise rates considerably, and certain breeds of dogs, such as Rottweilers and Pit Bulls, can increase rates.

When considering different insurance companies make sure you understand the policy terms and choose coverage that best suits your needs, because protecting your most valuable asset could be the smartest decision you ever make.

This site is for informational purposes only. It is not sponsored or in any way affiliated with the government. If you are in need of a mortgage loan, consult with a licensed mortgage professional. All fair housing and equal housing opportunity laws apply when applying for a mortgage or buying a home. Copyright 2012.