Two Ways to Beat Market Volatility

Posted December 5th, 2011 in Investing by Jeremy Waller

The following is a guest post from Jay Tyner, president and founder of Semmax Financial Group

The ongoing market volatility we have seen recently is a scary and frustrating time for many investors, regardless of their age and risk tolerance. More young people are considering pulling out of the market to focus more on safe investments and preserving their assets.

With so many investment options and strategies to choose from, opting out of the craziness may seem more confusing than staying put. However, some of the more obvious investments, such as ETFs and guaranteed income vehicles could help you overcome the market volatility.

Have a Conservative Income Portfolio that is Actively Managed

Having a conservative income portfolio is great for those who do not wish to experience large swings in portfolio value. To achieve this type of portfolio, consider using an ETF. An ETF is a security that tracks an index, a commodity or a basket of assets like an index fund, but trades like a stock or an exchange. ETFs also track economic and market conditions, indicators and trends while dynamically adapting to changing market conditions.

Although an ETF does a lot of the monitoring, it is also important to actively manage a portfolio, allocating capital to the most attractive asset classes, while avoiding the least attractive asset classes. An asset class breakdown is placing a percentage of an investor’s holdings in different types of investments, such as large stocks, international, bonds, etc.

Allocating assets to the most beneficial classes allows investors to have a consistent and positive investment performance. Moreover, assets should be reallocated based on your risk tolerance into diversified classes that will provide the most attractive risk-adjusted opportunities for income, capital appreciation and principal protection.

Invest in Guaranteed Income Vehicles

Another way to beat market volatility is to invest in vehicles that provide a guaranteed income stream. One option that can provide you with money throughout retirement is income annuities.

Although annuities have a negative reputation among some investors, their popularity has recently increased in light of the market ups and downs. Annuities are known to provide investors with a guaranteed income for life, which is great for current and aspiring retirees who are seeking asset protection and financial security.

Certain annuities can be selected that have no ties to the market and it is simply a contract between you and an insurance company. The way an annuity contract works is you make a lump-sum payment or a series of payments and in return, the insurer agrees to make periodic payments to you beginning immediately or at some future date.

This is a great way for you to have a secured income throughout your retirement, without worrying about the market’s future and losing your capital.

The market’s instability may continue for some time, but don’t let it stop you from achieving your retirement goal. If you need help setting up a conservative income portfolio and don’t have the time to manage your investments, consider seeking a financial advisor. Take control of your financial situation today and use the appropriate investments that best fit your risk tolerance.

Jay Tyner is president and founder of Semmax Financial Group, with locations in Greensboro, NC and Winston Salem, NC. He has over 20 years of financial experience, specializing in investments and retirement planning for pre-retirees and retirees.

Top Personal Finance Posts Of The Week – Awkward Christmas Card Edition

Posted December 3rd, 2011 in Blog Carnival by Jeremy Waller

Merry Christmas from Tom and Chuckles! (Tom is on the left)

Happy December to you! I suspect the holidays are in full swing for most of you. Our house is decked out in Christmas decorations. I actually got our Christmas lights up before it got stupidly cold outside!

We have our first Christmas party tonight. Though, since it’s Bedlam week – it’s actually a Christmas slash football party.(For the uninitiated, college football in Oklahoma kind of a big deal. Bedlam is the annual showdown between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.)

Now, pull up a chair under the mistletoe and grab a cup of peppermint hot chocolate as you enjoy this week’s roundup.

Top Posts of the Week

Carlos Sera presents An Actual Tale of How Financial Advisors Lie – “Today I release An Actual Tale – “How Financial Advisors Lie” for those that want to understand how the stock market calculates rate of return. If you think that the stock market averages 10-12% per year for example—you better understand what that means to your pocketbook. It does not mean you will make 10-12% per year. You will make less. If you’re asking yourself, “What is the difference between average returns and actual returns,” this tale will answer that question.”

Hank presents Four Places To Find Great Stocks To Invest In – “One of the biggest complaints that I often hear is that people do not know which stocks to invest their hard earned money in. Here are four easy ways to find great stocks.”

Kevin McKee presents Is a Small Business the Key to Being Wealthy? – “Learn from my experiences on what it takes to be wealthy. Is it better to own a company or work for a large corporation?”

Daniel Packer presents Why You Shouldn’t Do What You Love for a Career – “Making money is great, but a lot of people say that if you love what you’re doing, you’re in an even better position. I argue with that and will make a convincing argument that doing what you love for a living could be a bad thing.”

Aloysa presents The Best Things in Life Should Not Cost You a Thing – “Thanksgiving is the time to reflect on life, time, relationship and family. I asked myself one very simple question that was asked by humans a gazillion times. Can money really buy happiness?”

101 Centavos presents Centavos Dividend Portfolio: Uptrend Update – “The market popped a bit yesterday, and what better time to post a dividend portfolio update? Find out how my portfolio is doing.”

Control your Cash presents Making Money with Lease Options – “Welcome to the lucrative world of lease options. They’re a way to increase your wealth with almost zero downside.”

J.B. presents The Black Market They Don’t Make Movies About – “The majority of the “underground economy/Black Market” is actually common services that people simply perform for cash and then keep the tax man out of everyone’s pocket.”

Mrs. Not Made of Money presents Great Gift Ideas for a $40 or Less Budget – “You don’t have to have a big budget to give great gifts for Christmas. In fact, if you can spend $40 per person you have a lot of options. Here are a few great gift ideas for a $40 or less budget”

LaTisha Styles presents Controlling Expenses When Moving Out – “When you move you have to think about all of the costs before you get started. You should have at least $1000 in the bank for emergency moving expenses.”

SB presents How to Decorate Your Home with Used Furniture – “Thanks to several hours of thinking and rethinking and getting inspirations online, I told myself one day, “Why don’t I learn how to decorate home with used furniture?” So here is what I did”

Jackie presents Debt Consolidation vs. How to Get Out of Debt – “Suppose you’ve got 5 credit cards, a car loan, and a student loan, and you’re tired of all those payments. You’ve got the internet at your disposal, so what are you going to search for: “debt consolidation” or “how to get out of debt”?”

Money Green Life presents 6 Reasons People Overspend – “In order to stop overspending, we first need to understand the root cause of why we overspend in the first place.”

The Top Personal Finance Post of The Week

And my pick of the week is……

Robert’s post entitled: Everything To Know About Layaway – “Layaway is a favorite choice among consumers and it has started to make a comeback this holiday season. Overall it can be an excellent service to take advantage of, but there are a few things that consumers should be aware of before putting their next big purchase on layaway.”

This is a great post for this time of the year. Especially since major retailers like Wal-Mart are really pushing the service this year. Most consumers don’t realize that layaway may actually cost them more than if they were to use a credit card for the purchase!

I hope you all have a fantastic week!

Giving Christmas Gifts On A Tight Budget

Posted December 1st, 2011 in Budgeting, Frugal Living by Jeremy Waller

It’s that time of the year again. Christmas is coming. I love Christmas. It’s a great opportunity to spend extra time with your family. It’s a time for Christmas traditions. And for a lot of people it’s a time to totally blow their budget out of the water.

Christmas doesn’t have to be that way. It’s just that most of us have bought into this materialistic mindset.

It’s Christmas! You have to buy presents for everyone! Who are you? Ebenezer Scrooge? Continue Reading »