What makes an investment ethical

People want their money to work hard to deliver the best possible return on their stake. There are many ways that people can grow their money, from traditional savings and ISA accounts to more diverse investments such as commodities.

Current times are quite challenging in terms of what investments actually do provide a decent return on customers monies, and many people are turning to ethical investment opportunities.

What is an ethical investment?

An ethical (also known as Sustainable) investment is an investment that not only offers a good return on the clients money but also helps the planet. This is done by investing in commodities such as timber, where plantations are created and harvested over a designated period of time. These opportunities often come with social and environmental objectives. They can provide jobs to communities whilst creating sustainable fuels and forestry for years to come.

Why should you chose an ethical investment?

Investing money is all about getting a return at any cost. Ethical opportunities are different in that respect. Ultimately the end goal is getting a return on investment, but alongside this investment you know that the money is being put to good use in both a socially and environmentally responsible way. By choosing an ethical investment you can be sure that your money will be put to use in a way that will also help the environment both now and the foreseeable future.

What are the risk of ethical investments?

There are always risks in any investment and ethical opportunities are no different, however they do tend to often perform well under poor market conditions. It is important to note, however, that an ethical opportunity might have a higher risk profile than other investment opportunities where a companies activities are more mainstream.

What types of ethical investments are available?

There are many different types of sustainable opportunities available to people who are serious about socially responsible investments. These can range from Forestry and Farming to alternative energy sources and eco-housing.

Before you embark on any type of investment, be it ethical or not, you should always seek guidance and where possible have a look at how the market has been performing over a period of time. Sustainable investments can offer a very high return on your investment, but as with any investment there is an element of risk involved. In some cases the element of risk may be higher in an ethical investment than in a non-ethical option so you should always research the market prior to departing with your hard earned cash. You should only ever invest what you can afford to potentially lose.

Sustainable investments can provide you with a high return on your money, whilst also helping to build a sustainable planet.

Unit Trusts And Open Ended Investment Companies Collective Investments

Unit Trusts and Open Ended Investment Companies Collective Investments

Unit trusts and Open Ended Investment Companies (OEICs) are types of collective investments. In a collective investment, each individual investment is pooled with every other individual investment and then invested as a whole by the manager of the investment.

Different unit trust and OEIC funds invest in different asset classes – shares, bonds, cash and property. Some funds focus on just one asset class, while others invest in two or more. Irrespective of the asset class or classes they invest in, most fund managers will hold a wide spread of investments in their chosen asset class. That is one of the reasons why unit trusts and OEICs are popular with investors spreading investments across a range of businesses can help reduce a funds volatility and the risks for its investors.

Although unit trusts and OEICs are both open-ended investments, where the size of the fund varies according to market supply and demand, there are a number of key differences between the two types of funds.

Investors in unit trusts buy and sell a portion of the total fund in the form of units. The price unit holders initially pay for units (the bid price) is higher than the price they can sell the units for (the offer price): the difference between the two prices is known as the spread. In order for unit holders to make a return on their investment, the closing bid price must always be higher than the opening offer price. An OEIC fund on the other hand, does not trade in units but issues shares to its investors and is therefore an investment company – a less complex entity than a unit trust. Shares in an OEIC have a single price, which is determined by the value of the fund’s underlying investments. All shares in an OEIC are bought and sold at one single price, so theres no bid/offer spread to take into account.

The value of an investment in a unit trust or OEIC will vary according to the total value of the fund, which is determined by the performance of the investments the fund manager makes. Unit trusts and OEICs usually impose an up-front charge and annual management fees, some of which are declared as a percentage of the investment, while others are built into the price.

Singapore Real Estate Investment

Real estate investment is about finding good deals; the crux is that money is made when you purchase.

Real estate investments are often treated as one the best ways of investing money. However, what you are looking for is not just any real estate investment, but real estate investment that can give you good returns. By real estate investment we mean investing money into property i.e. buying property at a low price and selling it at a higher price so as to make a profit out of it. So the most important part of good real estate investment is to get hold of such properties which can give you good returns.

Now, how can you get these potential profit-making deals?

1. Your first avenue for finding good deals is the local newspaper (the property newspaper). Just search for properties that are listed directly by the owners who want to avoid paying commission to the real estate brokers. Since the owner is saving on the commission that they would otherwise have to pay to the broker, they would probably be able to offer a lower price to you and be more open to negotiations.

2. You could also place your own wanted ad in the local newspapers. On the same lines, you could use internet to search for the real estate investment avenues. In fact, you would be astonished by the number of real estate investment opportunities you are able to locate on the internet. Not only that, searching for real estate investment opportunities (i.e. property for sale) is much easier on internet than anywhere else.

3. Another good way to hunt for real estate investment opportunities is by using the services of real estate brokers. Some people use real estate agents as their first (and maybe the only) touch point for getting real estate investment opportunities. The real estate agents act as information hub for people looking to buy property. In fact, a lot of sellers find it much more convenient to sell their properties by listing it with real estate agents.

4. Multiple listings service (MLS as known in the real estate industry) is another good way to find real estate investment opportunities. Since the multiple listing book is provided only to the real estate agents and not to the general public (unless you are very lucky), all the cream (good real estate investment opportunities) would have already been taken before you get to see the book. The key here is to look for expired listings that didnt get converted to a deal.

5. Another good way to get a property, that is a good real estate investment, is to look for foreclosures by banks or to visit public auctions. You can generally get a good deal here. Divorce settlements are another good real estate investment opportunity.

To sum up, real estate investment is really about knowing where to look. And finding good deals does require some effort.

Make Wise Investment Decision By Investing Money In Mutual Funds

In India, although a number of investment instruments are available which provide safe investment opportunities, Mutual fund is considered as one of the best instruments which help in capital appreciation and saving investors from gyrations of the market. For over the past few decades, stock market has shown tremendous growth and for accumulating substantial wealth, it is the need of the hour to include stock in the investment portfolio. By investing in mutual funds, one can actively accumulate huge capital within stipulated time period. Being regulated by SEBI, mutual fund is a company which pools money of numerous investors in various stocks, short and long term money market instruments, bonds and other securities.

An Overview about Mutual Funds

An investor can choose from plethora of mutual fund’s schemes depending upon his needs and requirements as different funds offer different benefits and even costs and expenses structure also varies from fund to fund. With the passage of time, the popularity of mutual funds has increased significantly. It is a fact that even small investors are able to invest in these financial instruments at a reasonable cost and for a longer period of time. Equity funds, fixed income funds, balanced funds are three types of categories in which mutual funds are divided.

On the behalf of the shareholders, mutual fund is professionally and efficiently managed by portfolio managers, who with their expertise knowledge diversify the money over various securities. For reaping the desired monetary benefits of the investments, it is necessary to avail the erudite services of portfolio managers. They keep a track of your investment requirements and give them desired shape by recommending investment alternative which is best suited for an individual.

Avail Advisory Services Online

By searching on the internet, one can find numerous websites that provides personal financial advisory services to an investor. By availing these services, even a novice investor can make wise decisions, depending upon individual investment’s requirements as these websites offer feasible suggestions backed by strong financial analysis. Business giant like network18 is an apt source through which an individual can acquire the investment advisory services or suggestions and fulfill his investment objectives. It is not wrong to say that there is no better alternative for minimizing risk and maximizing returns, then to invest in mutual funds. Therefore, multiply your money manifold by investing money in these instruments.

Property Investment Vs Property Speculation

Most people get Real Estate wrong for two simple reasons.:

1. They don’t understand the difference between an asset and a liability
2. They don’t understand the difference between investing and speculating

The broke majority live under the misguided belief that their family home is an asset. An asset by definition is Something valuable that an entity owns, benefits from or has use of, in generating income. The key is the words generating income. By that definition your home is not an asset, it is a liability. It does not generate income, it costs you money.

The broke majority will borrow as much as they possibly can, to buy the most expensive home they can afford, in the mistaken belief that this is a good investment. In fact they are are burdening themselves with the worst kind of debt. Long term, expensive, non-deductible debt that produces no income in return. The same kind of debt that lead to the housing collapse in the USA.

Successful investors understand this crucial point. Your home is not an investment.

The Business Dictionary defines an investment as Money committed or property acquired for future income. Now some will argue that an investment doesn’t have to produce an income and cite as an example gold bullion, collectibles or share futures contracts. By definition, none of these are investments, they are items of speculation. They can go up in value or, just as easily, go down. You are speculating on the future trade-able value, not investing in the inherent value of the income an asset represents. Tens of thousands of homeowners around the world discovered in 2009 that home values can fall and can fall dramatically and disastrously.

If you buy a house to live in with no income return expected from it, but in the hope it will increase in value, you are speculating not Investing.

If you buy a house to rent out, you are investing. The Australian government has long recognised the difference and that is why they allow you to claim the expenses relating to a rental property, including interest payments, as a tax deduction but do not allow any deductions for expenses incurred in buying a house to live in. In other words, the government is willing to share the risk of investing in income generating real estate because the risks are lower than tying up your money in your home.

Smart investors have a small or no mortgage on their own home and the majority of their borrowings are for rental property because that is the lowest risk strategy. They also get the best advice they can on quickly reducing the mortgage on their home.

The Hottest Gold Investment Strategy Available Today

Buying gold is an investment strategy which, in this current bear market, is unlikely to fail to make a real return on your investment and safeguard your personal wealth against ever rising inflation, but perhaps the hottest gold investment strategy available to private and institutional investors is certified gold coins.

Certified gold coins as a gold investment strategy are pretty much the same as gold bullion bars with one exception; the rarity and scarcity value which is placed upon them because they are highly prized collectors items. It is the collectible value which tends to make them more expensive than bullion bars and harder to come by. A gold investment which comprises bullion bars and bullion coins is a wise investment, simply because the spread is wider and when it comes to selling and retrieving some of your gold investment and turning it into liquid assets it is sometimes easier to sell gold coins on the market because of their rarity and scarcity, and of course this can and does push the price over and above gold bullion bars.

Making a gold investment is something people have committed themselves to over the centuries and certainly there is documented evidence dating back some ten thousand years of gold ornaments and trinkets being gathered together as a safe haven for someones wealth and a protection against the then documented political unrest of the time.

The economy is in a precarious state which is reflected in the US dollars continuing devaluation and the gold bear market, which is now 12 years long and shows no sign of slowing. For investors in gold bullion products, just like in the distant past it is a safe and tangible asset to hold.

The modern era of gold investment and the free gold exchange began in the late dark days of 1974 when a little political skulduggery legalized the ownership of gold in private investors hands for the first time in well over four decades. Although it started with a trickle at first, the floodgates were well and truly opened, and by 1990 the entire gold and silver bullion and certified coin dealing business had become a bit of a feeding frenzy. Many investors got their fingers burned through lack of knowledge of this particular market and there were some really vicious sharks waiting to eat alive the unsuspecting punter and investor.

Fortunately all of that changed with the inception of the Certified Gold Exchange which from day one of trading earned and has kept a continuous A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, serving only to offer investors an honest and level platform for gold investment advice and a place where honest above board deals can be conducted.

Great Investment Tips For The Current Recession

With many headwinds threatening to send the US back into a recession, many smart investors are focusing their portfolios on only the income generating stocks and commodities (especially precious metals) that still have room to run.

Many astute economists now admit that the hangover from the financial crisis is still playing out and while many people are panicking and losing money there are many areas of growth out there at the moment. Investors just need to look past all the doom and gloom that is out there and being written in the papers and economic journals.

The 7 best ways to protect yourself from the coming economic troubles include:

1) Focus your efforts on High quality businesses and stocks that have A-Type balance sheets and strong yields.

2) Stocks that only provide reliable dividends and have a proven track record in a weak economic environment.

3) Choosing stocks and bonds that show low debt to equities ratios and high liquid asset ratios currently. This is really companies with good balance sheets and no heavy debts lingering from the financial crisis.

4) Choosing the hard assets such as oil and gas royalties, and similar real estate investments with a long term focus on various income streams.

5) Choosing sectors and companies that have high variable costs, and low risk entries such as utilities, consumers staples and especially health care services.

6) Choosing areas such as high growth potential in the Alternative / Clean energy sectors. Or also sectors that are not heavily reliant on bullish equities markets and volatile market swings.

7) Subscribe to the free trends alert with all the latest and greatest tips for investing in a poor economy at with regular updates from some of the best investing minds and forecasters in the world.

The best thing about a weak economic environment is that good opportunities stick out like a sore thumb. You just have to be on the lookout for them. Do not think that there are limited opportunities out there at the moment. There is an era of very aggressive growth coming when the US recovers from this credit crisis hangover. The best time to ride the coat tails of this booming period is before it happens. That time is right now, when everything is cheap and flat lining.

The best bet is to never put all your eggs in one basket. There are always opportunities out there, and no one ever made lots of money but not diversifying. Investment diversification will be your friend in the next few years at the US and economic situation start to get better.

Stock Investment Company – The ins and outs

These days, it is not at all rare for one to come across such a stock investment company that offers services with big promises. Stock investment is a serious proposition and stock market positions are very difficult to understand. It is good to do some in-depth research before you choose a stockbroker or stock investment company.

There are many stock trading companies but the choice has to be made based on research. It is important to know and consider the qualifications of the company. The company has to be competent and to ensure this the credentials of the company have to be looked into. The customer should try to get as much information as is possible about the company. There are other issues such as the fees and commissions, which the stock investment company will charge for the stock market trading. If the fees and commissions are excessive, they will take up a major part of your stock trading profits. Your investment goals will be affected. Your decisions in transactions will also be affected. The fees and commissions that the company will charge, therefore, is an important consideration.

There are three principal types of stock investment companies. Some companies just carry out your stock trades. This means that you will instruct and you will buy and sell stocks. The companies will do just this and little else. The next type of companies will carry out your trading instructions and, along with that, provide you with helpful tips and stock market quotes. A type of stock investment company also serves as your investment planner. These companies will see your resources and investment objectives and do the management of the resource on your behalf. It is up to you to decide which type of stock investment company will be the best suited for your purpose.

You may also come across such a stock investment company that does not work with the stock market. The customer has to ensure that the stock investment company operates in the market where the customer intends to invest. If this is not the case, there is a waste of money and time. The advisory services of the stock investment company to help you out should be there. When you choose your stock investment company, you should notice whether it has the right investment advisory services. In stock market investing, no two persons are the same. The capacities of investing in stock markets vary from person to person. The best services are offered by the personalized services of the stock investment company.

Remarkable Spanish Wines To Compete With Bordeaux For Wine Investment Attention

Although when it comes to wine investment it is usually either Bordeaux or Burgundy wines that attract the most investor attention, the upcoming Sothebys (NYSE:BID) April sale in Hong Kong will see clarets facing some Spanish competition with a fine wine selection from the legendary Vega Sicilia winery featured at the auction.

Stupendous Vega Sicilia Collection

On March 11, Sothebys announced that the highlights of its Hong Kong Spring Sale 2013 would include an impressive selection of 234 lots of wines direct from the legendary Spanish winery of Bodegas Vega Sicilia. In the auction houses press release, Serena Sutcliffe, International Head of Sothebys Wine, pointed out that it was a great privilege for Sothebys to bring to auction this stupendous collection of wines direct from Vega Sicilia, adding that the auction would present a unique opportunity for collectors to acquire decades of vintages.

As reported by the Decanter magazine, a vertical lot of 22 magnums of Vega Sicilia Unico, which comes from the personal collection of the winerys managing director Pablo Alvarez, is expected to bring HK$95,000-160,000 (8,240-13,878). In addition, a lot of Vega Sicilia Unico 1942 is estimated to sell for HK$80,000-120,000. The sale will also feature the winerys Reserva
Especial and Valbuena No 5 bottlings.

Sothebys Hong Kong Auctions

At Sothebys Hong Kong sales, the Vega Sicilia wines will compete for wine investment attention with some top clarets including Chateaux Petrus 1990, which is expected to go for HK$200,000- HK$280,000, and Chateaux Cheval Blanc 2000, priced between HK$120,000 and HK$200,000.

Wine with a Soul

As reported by Bloomberg, on February 25, Mr Alvarez showcased a rare tasting of Vega Sicilia wines to the media and buyers at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in New York. Mr Alvarez outlined the challenges associated with wine making, including sweltering-hot weather in the vineyards during the day, and near-freezing temperatures at night. Our entire philosophy is to make a wine of great elegance, he noted, as quoted by Bloomberg.

Vega Sicilia wines which have been produced in the Ribera del Duero region of northern Spain for almost 150 years are ranked by connoisseurs alongside Frances Premier Cru Bordeaux and are likely to receive significant wine investment attention at the upcoming Hong Kong auction.The Decanter magazine quoted Sothebys Ms Sutcliffe as describing Vega Sicilia as a wine with a soul which at the same time is a true reflection of its region, climate and the areas oenological traditions.

The 12 UK Land Investment Guidelines

Following these guidelines will help you proceed wisely with investing in UK land:

1) Is the investment land in a region with high demand for housing?

The property should be in area that is viable and not at risk of future decline. Review statistics and trends about violent crime, school performance, industry loss or retention, and poverty, as these factors are crucial to determining housing demand. Find out what the city’s position is on funding for, and commitment to improving any of the aforementioned housing demand indicators.

2) Has a full sustainability study been carried out on the land investment site?

The land investment site must be evaluated to see what impact land development would have on the environment and natural resources. Any disturbance or potential harm to archeological sites, protected species, or conservation areas should be noted. Inspect the land’s topography for any sloping or flooding potential. Assess the effect that your potential investment might have on the present character of the land and buildings. Consider if a new development would “fit in” with the existing developments’ character?

3) Does the land investment site have road access? Is there an existing transport infrastructure?

Inquire about any plans for modification of roads that may affect the property in question. If there are such plans, are they already funded and scheduled or are they still in the planning stages? Research factors that affect the importance of access, such as the number of people who commute to work as opposed to working locally.

4) Does the area where the investment land lies have sufficient amenities to support residents of a new development?

Evaluate the quality and enrollment capacity of local schools availability of recreational facilities. Consider not only the quantity and variety of shops, but ask about longevity versus or high turnover of those businesses. Look into the ease of accessing both inpatient and outpatient medical care. Ask about immediate or future plans for addition or removal of any of the above amenities.

5) Does the company with whom you are investing have a successful record of accomplishment with UK Land Investments?

Ask for referrals from current and previous clients and actually contact them. Search public records, industry journals, and periodicals to be apprised of the company’s reputation, stability, and expertise with investing in UK Land.

6) Does the company contractually retain a holding in the land investment site?

Investigating matters such as this may seem to be obvious and unnecessary but will save you time and money in the long- run

7) Does the company contractually commit funds to the planning application for the land investment site?

Be sure that commitment of funds to the planning application for your potential investment in UK land is specified in the contract.