All posts by Financial Independence Hub

Top global investment trends of 2017

By Sia Hasan

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

One of the most important things anyone can do for their future is to invest. There are many ways to build wealth over time if you start early and stay consistent no matter what the market is doing.

There are many global investment trends in 2017 that you need to know about. With all the changes that are going on around the world, this is one of the most important things you can look at changing in your personal finances. When it comes to investing, it pays to look at ways that you can improve constantly.

Real Estate

In many parts of the world, real estate is starting to heat up. With fewer properties on the market, many investors want to take advantage of real estate demand. In some developing nations, there are still opportunities to invest in growing areas. In certain places like the United States, the real estate market is so competitive that it is difficult to find a solid deal for the future. You always need to think five or ten years down the road when you are investing in real estate. This is true whether you are buying a home to flip or if you are just buying a home to rent out.

One other reason to consider real estate is that interest rates are still low. With the low rates, the amount of interest you have to pay on your debt is minimized and you can make more money as an investor. If you borrow money this year, it will be cheaper than in the future.

Equities (Stock Market)

When it comes to investing in the stock market, many are worried that we are in bubble territory. The stock market has been on a positive run for nearly a decade now. At some point, there is going to be a correction, and no one wants to invest right before a crash. If you are going to invest in the stock market, you need to have a plan for the future. Investing in the stock market is all about thinking many years down the road. Continue Reading…

Chinese A-shares to go mainstream with inclusion in MSCI EM Index

(Sponsored Content)

Chinese equities will be going mainstream next year following a decision by the MSCI to include 222 China A-shares in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index (EMI). China A-shares were traditionally only available to domestic and qualified institutional investors, but have recently expanded global investor access through the Hongkong-Shanghai and Hongkong-Shenzhen Stock Connect programs.

The A-share market, including shares from Shanghai and Shenzhen markets, is worth roughly $7.5 trillion, the world’s second largest after the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq.[i]

“The decision to include China’s A-shares on the MSCI Emerging market index is very positive for the onshore listed companies as well as foreign retail and institutional investors, who will now benefit from more investment opportunities in China’s domestic growth” says Christine Tan, Chief Investment Officer and Senior Portfolio Manager with Excel Investment Counsel Inc.  “This decision comes after four years of consideration, during which the Chinese regulators have made many positive changes to improve investor access to the onshore equity market.”

Christine Tan

“These A-share corporations will benefit from increased investor interest and flows,” says Tan. “In turn, mutual funds such as the Excel China Fund and Excel Chindia Fund will now invest directly in China-listed companies for further diversification and access to sectors that were not well-represented on the HongKong exchange.”

Almost $18 billion to move into Chinese stocks

According to the MSCI, the inclusion of A-shares on the index will result in about $17 billion to $18 billion of global assets moving into Chinese stocks initially. Continue Reading…

Estate Planning: Half of us STILL lack Wills

By Rowena Chan, TD Wealth 

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

Creating a will can be an emotional experience, but it’s an important step in ensuring peace of mind for you and for your loved ones. According to our recent survey, it was surprising to learn that half of Canadians do not have a will, a crucial step in allocating assets after death.

Moreover, more than a quarter (28%) of Canadians without a will are between the ages of 53 and 71. Even more concerning is the stat that 39% of boomers  have not even discussed estate planning wishes with their children.

The risks of not having a will are two-fold: first, the government can intervene and distribute your assets which could mean that your wishes are not fulfilled; and second, not having a will can create unnecessary conflict and animosity among members of the family during an already difficult time.

The survey found that one in five Canadians (19%) who received a family inheritance say they experienced conflict with their siblings and other relatives over the division of those assets, with two in five (41%) saying they considered taking a smaller share of the inheritance to maintain family harmony.

Although some may believe estate planning is only necessary for those with significant financial assets, the truth is that it is essential for everyone, regardless of the total value of assets. To help manage your estate and avoid potential tax implications and family conflicts, we offer the following tips:

Personal property

Items like the family home, summer cottage or jewelry are all considered property assets, regardless of what they’re worth. A professional appraisal is an important starting point for valuing these assets. Once you understand the dollar value, you can get a sense of how to distribute them among your loved ones.

Continue Reading…

How to set long- and short-term financial goals

By Angela Baker

Finances are always problematic, and everyone struggles to find balance in this field.

At the beginning of our professional careers, we are on a tight budget with little perspective for any progress. As time passes, our financial goals get higher and desires may seem unrealistic.  There are many ways to plan finances and to set long-term and short-term financial goals. Below, we will try to explain steps for success in this activity.

Define goals and objectives

If you decided to set financial goals, start with clear contemplation about what you need and how you will achieve that. This is the first and most important step. Decide how much money you want to possess each day, month or year. Then after you have determined the amount, start to plan the way for realizing the financial goal.

This may include a new activity like running a website, opening a store, renting houses or finding a well-paid job. No matter what is it, you need a lot of planning and counting. Also, you must research a lot, listen to advice from friends, people around you, and acquaintances. Only with fully-planned action will you be on the way to achieve short- and long-term financial goals.

Identify your financial requirements

The second strategy in setting your financial objectives includes identifying personal needs about money. Everyone spends a certain amount of money daily for basic needs as food, car, hygiene, or meetings with friends. If you live alone, it will be easier to recognize personal requirements because we all know our own needs. Otherwise, if you have a big family and  have to maintain all of them, it will cost you days to count how much money you need. Also, you should not leave out extra spending for a holiday, services in the house, clothes, etc. The final list could make you scared or nervous, but you must face it.

Improve your saving habits

Continue Reading…

Confident domestic investors fuel Indian markets

 By Dwarka Lakhan (Sponsored Content)

In a display of overwhelming confidence in India’s booming stock markets, domestic investors have for the first time ever invested more money than foreign institutional investors (FII) in Indian equities.

The surge in investments is being led by mutual funds and insurance companies, which over the 1-year period ending May 26, 2017 pumped Rs 71,665 crore (US$ 11.1 billion) into the market, compared to foreign institutional investor (FII) net purchases of Rs 60,000 crore (US$ 9.3 billion.)[i]

Mutual fund inflows into the market have been primarily channelled through systematic investment plans that have become increasingly popular in the lower interest rate environment, following the demonetization of large currency notes.

“Demonetisation pushed interest rates down and a large section of investors became wary of investing in gold and real estate. That increased the flow towards mutual funds,” says Susmit Patodia, Associate Director & Head, Institutional Sales with Motilal Oswal Institutional Equities.[ii]

Domestic Indian investors see more value in local equities

Traditionally, Indian investors have been more risk averse but their shift to equities over the past year is an emerging sign of market maturity and the recognition that they could derive greater value from investing in domestic equities. Continue Reading…