Financial Investment Services

Financial Services

Financial Services is a term used to refer to the services provided by the finance market. Financial Services is also the term used to describe organisations that deal with the management of money. Examples are the Banks, investment banks, insurance companies, credit card companies and stock brokerages.

It is part of financial system that provides different types of finance through various credit instruments, financial products and services.

These are the types of firms comprising the market, that provide a variety of money and investment related services. These services are the largest market resource within the world, in terms of earnings.

The challenges faced by the these Services market are forcing market participants to keep pace with technological advances, and to become more proactive and efficient while keeping in mind to reduce costs and risks.

These Services have been able to represent an increasingly significant financial driver, and a significant consumer of a wide range of business services and products. The current Fortune 500 has listed 40 commercial banking companies with revenues of almost a $341 trillion, up a modest 3% since last year.

Importance of Financial Services:-

It serves as the bridge that people need to take better control of their finances and make better investments. The financial services offered by a financial planner or a bank institution can help people manage their money much better. It offer clients the opportunity to understand their goals and better plan for them.

It is the presence of financial services that enables a country to improve its economic condition whereby there is more production in all the sectors leading to economic growth.

The benefit of economic growth is reflected on the people in the form of economic prosperity wherein the individual enjoys higher standard of living. It is here the financial services enable an individual to acquire or obtain various consumer products through hire purchase. In the process, there are a number of financial institutions which also earn profits. The presence of these financial institutions promote investment, production, saving etc.


Customer-Specific: These services are usually customer focused. The firms providing these services, study the needs of their customers in detail before deciding their financial strategy, giving due regard to costs, liquidity and maturity considerations.

Intangibility: In a highly competitive global environment brand image is very crucial. Unless the financial institutions providing financial products and services have good image, enjoying the confidence of their clients, they may not be successful.

Concomitant: Production of these services and supply of these services have to be concomitant. Both these functions i.e. production of new and innovative financial services and supplying of these services are to be performed simultaneously.

Tendency to Perish: Unlike any other service, financial services do tend to perish and hence cannot be stored. They have to be supplied as required by the customers. Hence financial institutions have to ensure a proper synchronisation of demand and supply.

People Based Services: Marketing of these services has to be people intensive and hence it’s subjected to variability of performance or quality of service.

Market Dynamics: The market dynamics depends to a great extent, on socioeconomic changes such as disposable income, standard of living and educational changes related to the various classes of customers. Therefore financial services have to be constantly redefined and refined taking into consideration the market dynamics.

Promoting investment: The presence of these services creates more demand for products and the producer, in order to meet the demand from the consumer goes for more investment.

Promoting savings: These services such as mutual funds provide ample opportunity for different types of saving. In fact, different types of investment options are made available for the convenience of pensioners as well as aged people so that they can be assured of a reasonable return on investment without much risks.

Minimizing the risks: The risks of both financial services as well as producers are minimized by the presence of insurance companies. Various types of risks are covered which not only offer protection from the fluctuating business conditions but also from risks caused by natural calamities.

Maximizing the Returns: The presence of these services enables businessmen to maximize their returns. This is possible due to the availability of credit at a reasonable rate. Producers can avail various types of credit facilities for acquiring assets. In certain cases, they can even go for leasing of certain assets of very high value.

Benefit to Government: The presence of these services enables the government to raise both short-term and long-term funds to meet both revenue and capital expenditure. Through the money market, government raises short term funds by the issue of Treasury Bills. These are purchased by commercial banks from out of their depositors’ money.

Capital Market: One of the barometers of any economy is the presence of a vibrant capital market. If there is hectic activity in the capital market, then it is an indication of the presence of a positive economic condition. These services ensure that all the companies are able to acquire adequate funds to boost production and to reap more profits eventually.


How to Manage Your Investment Holdings

The uncertain condition of today’s economy is not encouraging investors. This lowered investment trend can be traced back to the past 5 years where investments have been slow with subscriptions to how to manage your investment holdings magazines taking a dip. Many investors are uneasy over investing their money into a volatile market as stocks have been plummeting in value in recent years, with small rebounds here and there, now and then. This does not give investors enough confidence although there are many investing associations that offer courses or tips on how to manage your investment holdings.

Good Monitoring of Investment
It is crucial to monitor your investments especially in this time of market uncertainty or volatility. Choosing the best investments is no guarantee of positive returns, much less huge returns, if you are not tracking the movements of your portfolio. As in any investment, there will be profits and losses; you can waste a lot of time and your hard earned money if you do not have good tracking habits or strategies such as proper record keeping. It is essential for any serious investor to review their portfolio’s performance when you are serious about how to manage your investment holdings for good returns.

There may be taxes that are incurred, retirement computations which may lead you to make further decisions on your portfolio or opportunities that come by your way to grow your wealth. There are now many online resources for your picking to assist you on how to manage your investment holdings by keeping careful records on every investment you make, be it stock, bond, mutual fund or security. Once the easy setup is done, you will only need to commit to a weekly or bi-weekly check up on the performance of your portfolio. This way, you will not be taken by surprise on any adverse news as you monitor the organizational news of your portfolio.

Online Investment Services
Online investment tracking services will update your portfolio automatically to reflect any price changes on a daily basis with a re-computation of your assets. They also assist in comparisons of your investments to your targets and the expected returns of your portfolio. These online investment services also alert the investor on potential purchases to add on to your portfolio. They may even have tips on how to manage your investment holdings that will benefit you.

Self-directed investing
This is for those who want to manage their own portfolio; those of you who might be retirees and are keen on how to manage your investment holdings can consider monitoring your own investments with a sufficient bit of basic understanding of the various investment types available for your own consideration. You will need to be familiar with tax consequences as well as investment earnings and related costs with any investment you plan to undertake.

You will need to be computer savvy if you are engaging technology in your own monitoring of your portfolio as well as be comfortable with the investment terms and conditions.

Self-directed investment requires online accounts monitoring, evaluation and understanding before an investment transaction can be performed. There may be a substantial online research required to confirm or refute financial assumptions.

Other factors
There is still a need to engage an investment company or professional broker to perform some of your trades or investments. An online broker may charge certain fees for his services. You should check out the reputation and performance of online brokers first before engaging their services.

When you get going on how to manage your investment holdings, you may need to consider it as a long term goal so that you are able to pace your time and effort on the portfolio that you are going to set up. A good investment plan is usually for the long term to enjoy its good returns. Discipline and patience are two virtues that are required when you want to manage your own investments as most stocks do not bring in huge returns in the short run. It’s a great commitment to those stocks which you think will fare well in the long run.


Is a House a Good Investment For You?

Are you among the crowd who is still thinking of where to invest the money they earned from years of working hard? There may have been unsolicited advises convincing you to put your share on various networking companies. Some may have even told you to put up a startup company. But is this the most practical thing you could probably do to your money? Perhaps, yes, if its your choice.

However, investing has its ups and downs depending on the industry you’re going to delve into. Yet, do you know that buying a house or owning one is one of the most intelligent investments you would probably make. Why?

Homes can be turned into rental properties. With necessary adjustments and with proper leasing or rental documents, you can turn your house into an additional income stream. What’s even good is rental fees tend to increase on regular intervals. There are persons who often move because of job changes. They constantly look for homes which they can rent, and yours can be their next rental homes.

Depending on a home’s location, it can also be a perfect vacation house. Typically, families, especially those with children, and those which embrace the concept of extended families – do love to have vacation houses. During specific periods of the year, the house can serve as a reunion spot for relatives to gather. So, thinking of having a vacation house? Should it be near a beach, the woods, or perhaps one that offers mountainview or cityview otherwise?

Home values typically increase. Thus, if you’re going to put your house for a resale – chances are you’re going to get good profits. So you better ask your local real estate agent which areas have markets in which home prices experience surges. Commonly, these areas include those where professionals flock because of employment opportunities.

Buying a house is also seen by financial houses as a better investment than credit cards. This is one reason why there are many lenders that charge low-interest rates on home mortgages.

Are these reasons still not enough to convince you how good of an investment is owning a house? Another bonus benefit of owning a house is the local community attachment you’re going to build. You’re start to have acquaintances who’ll later become your friends. Your neighbors will likely become close to you like family. There will be some sort of emotional attachment.


How Genuine Is Your Home In Terms Of Investment?

Different people follow different types of life style. Some are always busy trying to earn hard money so they can think of investing in future plans. Thousands of people around the world make money for their future investments. The moment you go out and speak to the professional investment agent, most of them might give you different advices. Some of them might also advice you to try and invest all your hard earned money in different types of networking companies, bonds or financial institutes. Some of them might also advice you to invest in real time business by setting up a small or a big production of servicing unit. This depends on your choice where you want to make your best investment, but these certainly are not the only and the best options available.

Even before investing any money, you need to get familiar with all possible ups and downs of the investing industry. The factors may depend on the area of your interest. For many people around the world, who are also successful investors, investing money in real estate and home is a smart way to invest your money. One of the main benefits with real estate is that you can always have an option to rent it for more profits. This is not a very difficult task as you just need to make a few adjustments to the property and ensure that all possible documentations are valid.

Rental homes certainly are considered to offer you with a better income stream that is consistent for over a period of time. Apart from this, depending on the present market conditions, you can always expect the rental amounts to go much higher with time. Many people always look around for new rental homes as they are on move because of their jobs. Apart from renting home to a salaried person, you can also try and convert it into a nice vacation house. There are many people who try getting away from the busy schedule of their job and often look around for perfect escape vacation home.

The cost of rental can change according to the location of the home. So if you have invested in a home that is located in the deep forest, you always have a better chance to earn money. Also people with joint family always look out for extended homes for their loved ones and so you can try and come across to rent your home to them. If you are in contact of any social club then you can also try and offer your home as a perfect reunion spot.

As the value of real estate keep on increasing after regular period of time, you can always ensure to get best resale value after few years of investment. For many people, homes are always the best investment options as they get a chance to generate big profits over a period of time. As for homes, it is much easier to convince ourselves that they are always the best investment plans for anyone. So a smart investor always looks around for opportunities to invest in genuine real estate.


The New-Age Investment – Alternative Investment

Alternative Investment implies investing in assets other than the traditional methods such as stocks, bonds, cash, etc. These could be private equity, hedge funds, real estate, commodities, precious metals, wine, art, etc. These type of investments are held by high net worth individuals, or institutional investors. The addition of this type of investment to the portfolio allows diversification, reduces risks and enhances returns.

The performance of assets used in alternative investments is relatively lower when compared to those in the traditional methods. They are relatively more difficult to value. They are also less liquid when compared to traditional methods.

Some popular types of alternative investments being widely used are:

Private Equity:

This can be defined as investing in private companies such as start-ups, venture capital, and financing throughout phases of the company’s growth. This investment is done in companies that do not issue public stocks. These firms raise funds through capital invested by institutional and non-institutional investors.

Direct Investment in Private Companies:

This implies investing in a start-up or a private company directly instead of the equity. This is a high risk and high return proposition.

Real Assets:

This implies investing in physical assets which are of high value. Examples of such assets are precious metals, real estate, oil, wine, art, jewelry, etc.

Hedge Funds:

In this case, funds are collected from a number of investors to form a common pool of funds. These funds are invested using different types of strategies to earn the return on investments. They have the advantage that they need less SEC regulations than other funds.

Managed Futures:

This is similar to Hedge funds where a common pool of investor’s funds is created. These funds are invested in various financial instruments such as commodities, currency and interest rate markets.

Financial Derivatives:

A financial derivative is an arrangement where the investor is promised a payment when a certain asset reaches a certain level. These securities include futures, options, forwards and swaps.

Fund of Funds:

This is a means of diversifying investments. It is achieved by investing in multiple managers, asset classes or strategies.

Private Placement Debt:

Investors can receive a steady cash flow by investing in a private company through promissory notes.

As the stock market becomes volatile and unpredictable, people are seeking safe investment methods. At such a time alternative investment schemes have come to a safe secure option to private investors. Therefore, they are becoming highly popular. However, they cannot replace traditional methods completely. They should be used to complement them. This will help to increase and diversify the investment portfolio and minimize the risks of investment.

Minimize Investment Risk by Investing in Hedge Funds

Hedge Funds are a method of alternative investing. It is a form of investment where funds are pooled and invested using different investment strategies to generate profits in a financial partnership between the fund manager and investors.

The fund manager is referred to as the general partner and investors are known as limited partners. The role of the limited partners is the investment of funds and that of the general partner is managing them. The investors are provided a hedge prospectus which provides information regarding key aspects of the fund, such as the fund’s investment strategy, investment type, and leverage limit.

As the name implies, Hedge funds function in a manner to ‘hedge’ or avoid risks. So, we see that the objective of Hedge funds is profit maximization along with risk minimization. They are meant to generate profits irrespective of the fluctuations in the market. They minimize risk by offering the investors to go long or short stocks. Shorting implies making money when the stock drops.

An investment manager manages the funds through a company that is distinct from the hedge fund and its portfolio of assets. The investment manager uses the support of the following service providers:

Prime brokers

They help in clearing the trade, provide leverage and short-term financing.


They provide services of operations, accounting, and valuation.


They basically deal with distribution of securities. A distributor can be an underwriter, dealer or broker.

Investment strategies adopted can be classified as:

• Discretionary/Qualitative: These are strategies selected by the general partner or fund manager.

• Systematic/Quantitative: These are strategies suggested by a computerized system.

Characteristics of Hedge Funds:

• Available only to accredited investors

Investors need to have a certain net worth before investing in Hedge funds.

• Variety of Investment Options

It can be invested in various areas such as land, real estate, stocks, derivatives, currencies, etc.

• Use leverage

Borrowed money is often used to enhance returns.

• Fee

They charge a management fee and performance fee.

The main benefit of investing in Hedge funds is that the risk is lower than other types of investments. They can be said to be uncorrelated with market indices. However, the fact remains that they are prone to some amount of risk. Hence, it is a good approach to be aware of all the potential risks before investing. It is also essential to select a fund manager who is experienced in the field.


Purchase Investment Properties On A Budget Using Crowdfunding

What is Crowdfunding?

If you are tired of low returns from Certificates of Deposit, Thrift Savings Plan and other Equity Investments, check out Crowdfunding for double digit returns. Crowdfunding is gaining in popularity as an investment strategy for many investors. It is a unique process to raise capital through family and friends, potential customers and individual investors looking for different investment venues. To promote Crowdfunding, advertising is a focused approach utilizing social media and real estate investor forums and associated networks.

What Platform is Right for Me?

My preference is Crowdfunding with real estate investments which I will discuss here. There are many different strategies and models of crowdfunding platforms so you want to be sure that the platform you select is a good fit for you. Ask the question: Am I comfortable with the amount I’ll be investing? Do we share the same values? Are you in agreement with their investment strategies such as flipping houses or buy and hold for long-term passive income? The amount required to invest will vary with each venue so shop around until you find one suitable for your investment portfolio.

Do Your Homework

Do your homework before investing. Historical performance is a good indicator of future performance. Get to know the management team and see what they are doing on social media. How transparent are they and how willing are they to talk to you and answer your questions, including the hard ones. Those that a more willing to share beliefs, management and goals tend to do better for themselves and their customers over the long term. Also reach out to other investors to get their input and endorsement.

Do the Math

I have seen many attractive returns advertised to only find out they were tickler rates to get you to call. Do your homework to see if the numbers are realistic. Ask how much detail is provided on the business? How can I access my investment and returns after I have committed? How and when are investment returns distributed? What type of reporting (personal and legal) is provided to the investor? Make sure you are comfortable with the management team and security of your investment before taking that first step.

Crowdfunding Example

I personally invest with Holdfolio. Their buy-and-hold platform consists of 10 rental homes within a single portfolio. These houses are purchased, reconstructed for rental ready use and then leased. 60% ownership is provided to investors (the crowd) with a $10,000 minimum investment. 40% ownership is held by the Holdfolio management team. Advertised returns when I invested over a year ago were 10% to 14% and am currently realizing 11% returns annually. With each new portfolio, 10 additional houses are offered to investors at an average crowdfundng pool amount of $320,000 which is usually filled within 4 to 5 days. Holdfolio just finished Portfolio 10 and is beginning Portfolio 11 soon. This is just one example of many crowdfunding platforms.


Real estate crowdfunding is quickly becoming more popular today as investors move away from equities to search for greater returns in other markets. Be sure to do your homework and narrow your search to a top three. If this is your first time, once you make your selection start with a smaller amount until your comfort factor allows you to do more.