What You Should Know About Bitcoin

The following is a guest post

All of a sudden, Bitcoin seems to be one of the hottest topics in investing. It’s not exactly new because it first emerged several years ago and has been gaining attention and influence ever since. But in the last 12 to 18 months people certainly seem to be starting to take it more seriously. Specifically, some are starting to address the idea of buying Bitcoin to fund retirement.

Whether or not this is a good idea isn’t a question you can answer by reading one article. Like most any other type of investment, buying Bitcoin carries some risk, and it shouldn’t be done lightly. But Bitcoin should be evaluated at least, given its growing significance both as a currency and a commodity. Given that, here are a few things you should know about it.

What Is It?

If you’re not sure about the answer to this question, don’t worry. A lot of people are still a little unclear on the details. Bitcoin is a complex concept, but not one that’s necessarily difficult to grasp. Basically, it’s a brand new currency that exists solely in digital form. There’s a finite amount of Bitcoin that can be generated (only 21 million), and it’s initially acquired via a mathematical “mining” process. But most people don’t really need to know about that part. What you need to know is that once it’s been mined, Bitcoin is out in the world and can be traded and stored as digital wealth. You can literally buy it with your own currency and use it to purchase goods and services at participating merchants. Or, if you wish, store it away on a safe digital platform as an investment to be sold later.

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Which Companies Affect the Value of the S&P 500 Index?

The following is a 3rd party contribution

Index trading online enables traders to invest in major national indices such as the French CAC40, the German DAX30, and the British FTSE 100. The 3 major Wall Street stock indices are the DJIA (Dow Jones Industrial Average), the S&P 500 (Standard & Poor’s 500) and the Nasdaq.

The Dow usually gets most of the attention, but the S&P 500 is more important to traders and is generally considered the most representative of the U.S. economy, as it is made up of 500 leading companies.

Founded on March 4th, 1957, the S&P 500 represents about 80% of U.S. market capitalisation. It is the most accurate tool for investors to monitor the overall health of the U.S. economy and is widely accepted as the best gauge of large cap equities. Worldwide indices are highly correlated and U.S. markets are usually the leading indicators of global economic forces, with European and Asian markets often following their performance.

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The Best Sources of Capital for an Events Startup Business

The following is a 3rd party contribution

In most business startups financing is usually a concern. Entrepreneurs are faced with a hard time trying to bring to life what they have envisioned for their startup. It can be disheartening when you compare all the beauty and greatness dreamed of and the limitations in access to funding.

However, just because funds are scarce doesn’t mean taking money from any source. Some sources of capital are incompatible with your business model and can wreak havoc to the startup.

There are institutions and individuals with zeal to see entrepreneurs transform ideas into success stories. In this article, we will point out some of the best sources of finance for an events business.

Family and friends

Apart from serving as a source of low-cost capital, they will also provide the required social proof for outside investors. When pitching this group, make sure you communicate the idea clearly enough to make them believe in you.

Even when they can’t provide large sums of money, they offer a valuable ingredient in startup funding. Most professional investors will be keen to see if the people closest to you believe in the proposed business. If they do, that could mean money flowing in towards your course.

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Moving from Questrade to Interactive Brokers

Recently I noted in a post that I opened up a new Interactive Brokers account in order to trade options more economically. Here in Canada, we have always lagged our US cousins when it comes to competitive pricing. The volume simply isn’t there for most financial products to be competitive. As a result, we end up paying higher fees for most products and services.

Interactive Brokers (IB) has been on my radar for a while, but when I looked at it years ago, they did not offer tax sheltered accounts such as RRSP and TFSA. That has now changed, as IB offers both types of accounts. However, the minimum amount necessary for opening an account is still the same — a slightly steep US$10,000. If you do not have $10K lying around, but have the funds in other accounts at other brokers, you can transfer them in when opening an account — this is exactly what I did.

Based on some requests from readers, here is the process to open an IB account in Canada while moving funds from another broker (I show how to move from Questrade here, but other brokers will have the same steps).

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Understanding Health Savings Accounts

The following is a 3rd party contirbution
Even with insurance, the cost of healthcare in America can still feel like sustaining another injury, only this time it’s to your wallet. A new type of personal savings account, called a health savings account (HSA) can make it more affordable for certain individuals to pay for medical costs without ruining their budget or bank account. Learn how HSAs work as well as their advantages and disadvantages.

Definition

An HSA works much like any other personal savings account, but they’re only available to individuals who have a high-deductible health insurance plan. Even though these insured individuals have high deductibles, their monthly premiums are often low. If you like the idea of getting your up-front healthcare costs as low as possible, a high-deductible plan might be perfect for you. Generally, HSAs are a better fit for those who are near retirement and those in a financial position where they can save for future health care expenses.

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