With Stormy Economic Times Ahead, Americans with Retirement Funds are Jumping on Gold

With Stormy Economic Times Ahead, Americans with Retirement Funds are Jumping on Gold

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Why Investors are Rushing to Gold as Global Risks Mount

These days, it seems like investors around the world are rushing to gold. Just a year ago, things seemed to be going on well around the world. The Trump administration had just passed a sweeping tax reform bill. The administration was also removing the many unnecessary regulations that were holding the country hostage. The unemployment rate was low, business and consumer confidence were soaring, and everybody seemed happy.

Signs That US Economy Has Weakened

Today, things have changed and the sentiment has weakened. Consumer and business confidence have eased, wages have stagnated, the housing starts are easing, and confidence has waned. There are a few  reasons for this. First, Donald Trump’s trade wars have led to caution from companies and investors. Consumers too are worried about the impact these wars will have on their purchases. Second, economies in Europe and Asia have worsened.

Third, the ongoing political drama has made congress dysfunctional. Companies, especially retailers are also laying thousands of people off. Fourth, the United States debt is getting out of hand. The recent deal between democrats and republicans and the recent tax cuts have led to a huge debt.

The impact of these risks is evident, especially in the financial market. Recently, the yield curve of the U.S bonds has flattened, leading to more talk of an upcoming recession. A yield curve inversion happens when the yields on short-term bonds become higher than those that are dated for longer. Historically, this yield curve inversion has been a good signal about an upcoming recession.

Another sign of potential risk in the market has been the CBOE volatility index, commonly known as the VIX. This is an index that uses options to measure fear among investors. This year, the VIX has risen by almost 30%. Further, the so-called safe havens have risen too. Two currencies that are known as havens are Swiss franc and Japanese yen. The two have gained by 1% and 2% respectively against the USD.

Why Investors are Rushing to Gold

Another safe haven asset that has seen its price increase is gold. As of this writing, the gold price has risen by 17%, meaning it has outperformed the overall stock market. Gold price is currently at the highest level since 2013.

It is easy to explain this situation. For centuries, gold has been the most valued metals in the world. Old manuscripts like the bible talk about its value. In recent years, gold has become an important store of value that is mostly bought by central banks and large investors. Recently, countries like Russia and China have moved to boost their gold holdings. This is because these countries have been critical about the US use of the dollar. This has led to an increase in demand for physical gold at a time when gold reserves are easing.

Gold is unlike other currencies and its price is affected by the monetary policy of the Federal Reserve. After having a hawkish year in 2018, the bank has now been forced to change tune. In July this year, the bank slashed interest rates for the first time since the financial crisis. In its decision, the bank said that the economy had started to weaken, mostly because of the trade war. Today, most investors believe that the Fed will be forced to slash interest rates again. As a result, the value of the US dollar could drop as investors move to other safe havens. Gold will be a beneficiary to this.

The Future of Gold

In recent months, there has been talk about the gold price reaching $2000. Other analysts have predicted that the price could reach $5,000 in the next few years. All this has attracted hedge fund heavyweights like David Einhorn, Ray Dalio, and Stan Druckenmiller to own gold.

Therefore, most Americans are moving to gold IRAs to protect their wealth as risks mount. There are some more reasons why gold IRAs make sense. First, gold will always be worth something in case of an economic collapse, gold will move up even when the dollar is devalued, it has outperformed stocks in the past six years, and it is a global store of value that is held by most central banks.

Follow this link if you are interested in gold IRAs.

 

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10 Smart Ways to Generate Passive Income

10 Smart Ways to Generate Passive Income

Passive income ideas are much sought by most people today. In fact, a single Google search of the term passive income generates more than 127 million results. A search of passive income ideas has more than 84 million results. It’s easy to know why. Who doesn’t like the idea of making money for doing nothing?

Still, passive income is highly misunderstood concept. This is because most people think that passive income is an easy way of making money. They forget the hard work that is required when starting. In this article, we will look at the 10 best passive income ideas you can start using today.

Peer to Peer (P2P) Lending

P2P lending is a concept that allows ordinary people like you to lend your money to other people or to companies. This is done through intermediary companies that provide the technology that powers the marketplaces. The biggest company in the industry is Lending Club. Other companies that are popular in peer-to-peer lending are Upstart and Prosper. To start investing in p2p lending, you need to check whether you qualify. Basically, if you earn above $70k per year you do qualify. After this, you should create your account, deposit funds, select people to loan the funds to, and wait for your payments. Alternatively, these companies have algorithms that can help you create your portfolio.

Here are the tips for succeeding in peer-to-peer lending

  • Diversify your investment across the platforms.
  • Invest only a small portion of your funds in these p2p platforms.
  • Understand the risks involved.
  • Have a strong emergency fund.

Invest in Stocks, Mutual Funds, and ETFs

Investing in the stock market is a good way for you to make passive income. People who invested in a company like Shopify when it went public have more than doubled their returns. Also, people who invested in the main stock indices like S&P after the crisis have doubled their funds. If you are a good stock picker, we recommend that you invest in individual stocks. If you are not, we recommend that you create a good portfolio of low-cost mutual funds and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).

Here are a few tips for investing in stocks and mutual funds

  • Do your research before you invest in anything.
  • Create a diversified portfolio.
  • Have proper risk management strategies.
  • Hold the assets for the long-term.
  • Don’t follow the crowd.

Affiliate Marketing

Online marketing has become so popular today. In fact, most companies are selling their products online. To attract more sales, most companies are using influencers and digital marketers. They then pay them a commission that is based on the amount of sales they generate. If you are good at online marketing, you too can do that. If you are interested, create several niche sites that will recommend your products to your audience to the companies you are recommending.

Here are a few tips to be a great affiliate marketer.

  • Focus on unpopular products. It will be difficult for you to compete with other popular influencers if you focus on popular things like smartphones.
  • Create quality websites. These will help you appear like an authority in your industry.
  • Embrace social media. This is the best way for you to become successful.
  • Rank high on Google.

Dropshipping

This is a method very similar to affiliate marketing. Dropshipping is a process in which you create an online store that sells things you don’t own. Once a customer buys these items, the seller sends them to them. The advantage of dropshipping is that you don’t own any inventory. Like with affiliate marketing, you should work hard to ensure that your website is ranked high in Google. You should also embrace social media to ensure that most people view your products.

Create a Course

The demand for online courses is on the rise. So many people are turning to the internet to learn new skills. This has created an excellent opportunity for people trainers to make money. One way of doing this is to create your courses and post them on your website. You will then charge people to access your trainings. A better way is to use the existing training platforms like Udemy and Coursera, which have millions of monthly users.

Tips for creating quality online courses

  • Produce courses in an industry you are familiar with.
  • Do your research before you start.
  • Make the courses interesting.
  • Invest in a good sound equipment.

Create a Mobile Game

If you are an experienced mobile developer, you can create a mobile game and post it on Android and iOS. With billions of people using smartphones, the market for a good quality game is enormous. In fact, most well-designed games make their developers millions of dollars every year. If you are not a good developer, you can use the services of a good developer.

Tips for creating a successful mobile game

  • Ensure that it has a good user interface.
  • Make it as simple as possible.
  • Don’t over-monetize it
  • Reply to the user reviews.

Write a Book

If you are an expert in any industry, you could write a book. These days, you don’t need a publisher to be a successful author. Instead, you can write a book and post it in Amazon or sell it on your website. If the book does well, you will be waking up and seeing money on your account.

Here are the tips of writing a good book

  • ­Give it a good-looking cover.
  • Ensure that it is well formatted and edited.
  • Write in an industry you are familiar with.
  • Use social media to market it.

Ride Hailing Services

If you need free money, ride hailing is a good option for you. It is a good thing because it actually costs you nothing. For example, if you drive to work every day, you can easily sign up with Uber and Lyft and carry a passenger on your way to work. You can do the same as you go home in the evening. By doing that continually, you can make a lot of money.

Tips for successful ride hailing

  • Ensure that your car is well-maintained.
  • Offer a good service to your customers.
  • Don’t overdo it.

Use Robo-Advisors

If you are not experienced in investing in stocks and bonds, you can use the popular robo-advisors. These are companies like Betterment, Ellevest, WealthSimple and Wealthfront that offer cheap money management services. These companies invest in various instruments and offer great returns for investors. All you have to do is to create your account, get verified, deposit money, select your risk profile, and the algorithms will do the rest.

Here are a few tips for using robo-advisors

  • Diversify across the various companies.
  • Have a long-term approach.
  • Don’t over-react.

Build or Buy Rental Houses

This is an easy way of making passive income. However, unlike the rest, it requires a lot of initial capital. To build, you need to select a good location, get approvals, hire a contractor, and have the house built. After this, you should hire an agent to advertise and lease your property. If you are buying, do your research, buy good houses, renovate them, and find tenants.

Final Thoughts on the Best Passive Income Ideas

While there are many methods of making passive income, these are the most ideal ones for you. Remember, passive income is never easy. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and strategy to succeed.

 

10 Best Money Saving and Money Making Apps

10 Best Money Saving and Money Making Apps

 

Money Saving and Money-Making Apps

In recent years, the number of mobile applications has been on the rise. This is simply because of the large number of people who are using mobile devices on a daily basis. Around the world, more than 3 billion people have smartphones and the number is growing every day. Some of the best-known apps allow you to make and save money. In this article, we will look at the best apps that you can use to make and save money.

Upwork

Upwork

Upwork is a recently-listed company that provides a marketplace where companies and individuals can post their projects. After this, agents and freelancers from around the world apply for these tasks. Some of these tasks include content writing, website development, and graphic design among others. The freelancer who is selected makes money that they have agreed with the client. There are some freelancers and agencies who are making six-figure salaries every year. You can download the Android and iOS app here and here.

Other apps that are similar to Upwork are Fiverr and Freelancer.

Robinhood

Robinhood

Robinhood is a mobile application that is disrupting the world of investments. The company, which was started in 2013 and is currently valued at more than $7.6 billion. The company helps people buy and sell stocks, ETFs, and options without any commissions. With this approach, the company wants to replace the traditional companies like Schwab, TD Ameritrade, and Fidelity, which charge a commission of above $4 per trade. You can download the Android and iOS version here and here.

Acorns

Acorns

Acorns is an innovative company that gives you an opportunity to invest your spare change. After installing the app, it lets you link your credit or debit card. After you make a purchase, the company will round up the amount you bought and then invest the change for you. The company charges you a subscription of between $1 and $3 every month to manage your funds. You can download the Android and iOS version here and here.

Mint

Mint

Mint is one of the best-known personal finance app. The app is owned by Intuit, which is one of the biggest finance companies in the world. The app allows you to check your bank balances, create your budgets, and track your accounts in real time. The app helps you have a better life by having everything arranged well. It also links to your investment portfolios so that you can check how well they are performing. You can download the app here and here. This app is similar to PocketGuard, which you can download here and here.

Sell on Etsy

Etsy

If you are an artist, the Etsy app allows you to create and manage your shop. The company works as Amazon but for art and craft items. It went public in 2015 and is currently valued at more than $6 billion. To succeed, you will need to be very good at what you do so that your products can stand out. You also need to have a well-refined supply chain so that you can know how to ship and manage the orders. You can download the app here and here.

iBotta

Ibotta

iBotta is an app that allows you to score rebates whenever you go to shop. The company has partnered with the biggest retailers in the country like CVS, Walmart, Casper, Shell, Groupon, and Target. After downloading the app, you will create your account. After this, you should scan your receipt, and the company will give you a rebate. In the past few years, the company has given back more than $470 million to its customers. You can download it here and here.

Hotel Tonight

Hotel Tonight

Hotel Tonight is a company that was recently purchased by Airbnb. The company’s aim is to revolutionize the hotel industry. It does this by letting people book in the last minute. Hotels love it because it helps them get clients in rooms that would have instead went vacant for the night. A look at the Hotel Tonight charges shows that the hotels are usually relatively cheaper than those of other companies. You can download the app here and here.

Turo

Turo

In America, we all love cars. This is where Turo comes in. If you urgently need a car, you can go to the traditional car rental companies like Hertz and get ripped off or you can use Turo. Turo is a peer to peer car rental company that allows people to rent out their cars when they are not using them. As such, it is possible to get a brand-new SUV for less than $50 a day. You can download the app here and here.

SigFig Wealth Management

Sigfig

SigFig is a money management app that allows you to invest in the financial market for free. After downloading the app, you will be required to create an account and submit your verification documents. After this, you should deposit your funds, and the company will invest in a diversified account. If you have less than $10,000, the company will manage your funds for free. If you have more than that, the company will charge you a management fee of 0.25% per year. You can download the app here and here.

This app is similar to Betterment and Wealthfront.

Swagbucks

Swagbucks

Swagbucks is a company that made its name in the online surveying industry. The company partners with other corporations and helps them get feedback from their customers. After completing the surveys, you get rewarded using gift cards, which you can easily redeem from other retailers. The app is used by more than 18 million people who have received rewards worth more than $150 million. You can download the app here and here.

Summary

There are other great mobile applications that you can use to make and save money. Others that we could have mentioned are apps like RedLaser, Shopkik, iPoll, and Foap among others.