30 June 2009

Madoff Receives 150 Years in Prison

Bernard Madoff has received 150 years in jail, a sentence which although talked about was unexpected even by his victims. Still, most of them greeted the news with joy and relief. The Madoff saga has been in the news for some time now, and now the future for the former pillar of Wall Street is sealed.

But for the hundreds of victims - some whose money was indirectly placed in his hands via banks - the story continues. There are many and various stories, ranging from Hollywood directors to plumbers to large banks. Those who had not much money to start with are now sitting in serious trouble and there is even one suicide linked with the fraud case.

But while the mess is still being sorted, questions are still being raised as to the underlying financial regulation in place both in the US and the rest of the world. How confident do you feel now, when you seek a new investment fund or investment manager? How much of the regulations and policies policing the financial world are being addressed? Not enough, according to some of Madoff's victims and many in the general public.

Will the Madoff case mean more is done quickly to build up a stricter, more tightly regulated market?

19 June 2009

Share Dealing - In it for the Long Run?

It just suits some people better than others. Paul, a stock broker in London's Canary Wharf, tells us: "There are different types of investors. Some want the thrill and adrenalin rush of Spread Betting and CFDs, others want to stay in it for the long run and prefer shares."

And that is it - you don't have to go for the latest trend in order to see great returns. Perhaps that kind of high-risk trade just isn't for you. Share dealing has been conducted for centuries and today is a huge global market, which anyone can access via the internet.

Just make sure that either you or your investment manager are clued up on the trends and research for the markets. Only that way can you make good, strategic choices. Make sure you diversify your portfolio as well, so that the risk is spread across a range of industry sectors.

17 June 2009

Financial Spread Betting in the Spotlight

Investing. It is at the forefront of our minds but where to start? Ok, let's say you want to get involved but just as a short-term, fast way to returns. So why not look at financial spread betting?

But isn't financial spread betting just another online gambling scam? No, this is not the case. Financial spread betting is a perfectly legitimate form of investment trading and as such is fully regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

Many large investors partake in financial spread betting as a high-energy, high-speed way to make big returns. It's fun, but it's also high risk. Do not forget this is derivatives trading so it is made on margin. That means you can make big wins but massive losses. Losses can go beyond the actual position: you may be required to pay extra funds to cover the loss to the broker.

Try it, give it a whirl but do make yourself aware of the risks.

Sainsbury's Shares Down

Sainsbury's have today announced plans to expand and grow, by selling shares and bonds up to a value of GBP 445 million. This will raise the necessary funds to grow the already successful business.

But while there is nothing to worry about where the strength of Sainsbury's is concerned - after all, they have beaten Tesco in the period up to 13th June and have recorded sales up by over 7 per cent - shares in the supermarket have gone down in this morning's trading. Tesco shares have remained much the same.

Overall, savvy shares traders will know to keep their shares and enjoy the fact that Sainsbury's as grown despite recession and the global downturn.

16 June 2009

Shares Dealing or CFDs - Find Your Trade Type

Investment trading does not have to be scary or difficult. Ok, so it is important to do some background research before jumping into a market, but almost anyone can get involved. You may have some extra cash on the side and want to invest - where to start? Well, they key is to consider the various types of markets and trades, then see which one appeals to you most.

You might be someone who wants to invest slowly and across a range of industry sectors - then share dealing might be right for you. Or you may like excitement and speed - then the tougher Spread Betting or CFD trading might be more your style. Test the markets with free demo accounts, which all decent online brokers offer. Try their platforms, compare their services (do they offer support and training? What hours are they available? How much additional software - if any - is required?)

The most important question you need to ask yourself is: how much money can you afford to invest, and risk losing? Once you have covered some of these main topics, you can look towards an exciting and challenging trade experience.

Emerging Markets Jostle with Western Giants

BRIC are meeting in Russia.

If you haven't heard of BRIC, watch out. This team is growing in strength and are commanding more attention on the world map. After, all combined they cover 25 per cent of the world's land mass and 40 per cent of the world's population. They are the four nations Brazil, Russia, India and China. China is also the world's third largest economy.

They are 'emerging market nations', that is they are non-western nations who want to be taken more seriously by the western giants. Indeed, they have even increased pressure for an alternative global reserve currency to be considered.

This will not be on the agenda after all but caused concern in the US financial market and amongst US politicians. After all, who wants large holders of US dollar assets to switch elsewhere?

15 June 2009

Reserve Currency Status to Remain for US Dollar

The US dollar rose against 15 of the 16 world major currencies on announcement that its status as the world's reserve currency would not change.

China and Russia had been keen to see another currency considered as the world benchmark but this will no longer be discussed at a summit this week of emerging nations in Russia.

Brazil, India, China and Russia will meet this week in Russia to discuss financial policies and how to prevent further economic disaster by focusing on regulations of financial institutions.

The euro was down today as it has been shown that in Germany growth is at its lowest since records began in 1970. Exports are down as is foreign investment, and as the largest economy in the Eurozone it will certainly come as a blow.

11 June 2009

UK Recession Over According to NIESR

According to respected independent research body NIESR (the Institute of Economic and Social Research), the recession is over for the United Kingdom.

So far, NIESR's reports have been known for their accurate predictions and data analysis, but can they really be on the right track this time? After all, when the Chancellor released the last Budget report, and talked of a return to growth by the end of the year, many rubbished his claims. Could it be true, months early?

The foreign exchange market is seeing a return to risk appetites - a sign for return to health - and the US dollar is continuing to weaken against high-yield currencies, another good sign.

But perhaps one should stay steady and wait a bit before becoming complacent?

10 June 2009

Barrel of Oil over $70

The price of a barrel of oil has reached to over $70 today, rising sharper than expected. Analysts, economists and even traders are growing in confidence and some are even forecasting the price to hit $80 within the next couple of weeks.

Oil has had a rollercoaster ride over the past year, hitting soaring highs and low depths in 2008 alone. The drop was down to the global financial downturn as not only confidence but demand lessened.

Now with ever more positive news coming from the world's financial sectors, so the appetite for risk is growing in the Futures market and trade in general.