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IMPORTANCE OF DIVERSIFYING YOUR PORTFOLIO - NEW!

Diversification is one of those frequently used investment buzzwords that can be heard in several different contexts. However, no matter the situation, it essentially equals risk management through variety, that is, not putting all your eggs in one basket.... read more

THE CURRENT FOREIGN EXCHANGE CRISIS AND YOUR US DOLLAR INVESTMENTS -

Trinidad and Tobago’s economy suffered significantly due to the decline in oil prices since 2014, and coupled with shrinking output, energy revenues have drastically declined. Revenues from petroleum plummeted by over 90% over the last two years, from over TT$19 billion in 2014 to less than TT$2 billion in 2016. This has caused major challenges for the Government, which has had to respond by implementing fiscal adjustments in order to raise... read more

HOW CAN INVESTORS BENEFIT FROM THE US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION? -

The United States is one of the world’s largest economies and has the top fi nancial markets worldwide, trading trillions of dollars daily. Thus, with the 2016 presidential election carded or ovember, the question is often asked "how will the upcoming election affect the fi nancial markets?" and ultimately, “howwill this affect my portfolio?”. Based on history, the average returns in a presidential election year is 6.6% and market returns ... read more

HOW TO BE MORE RISK DIVERSE, NOT RISK ADVERSE -

A person’s risk tolerance is extremely important to proper financial planning as risk is at the core of any investment decision. Ultimately, one cannot make any money without taking some risk and we do know that xcessive or irrational risks can be disastrous. However, our UTC Financial Advisors have indicated that they have seen numerous clients in Trinidad and Tobago who have developed investment portfolios that are so risk ... read more

A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO EXCHANGE TRADED FUNDS -

An Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) is a pooled investment vehicle with shares that can be bought or sold throughout the day on a stock exchange at a market-determined price. ETFs were first introduced in the 1990s but they started being used significantly about a decade later. Since then, ETFs have matured and have become one of the most popular investment vehicles for both institutional and individual investors... read more

FALLING OIL PRICES AND YOUR PORTFOLIO -

The oil industry is full of economic booms and busts. Over the period of 2010 to 2014, world oil prices remained relatively stable at $110 a barrel as shown in Chart 1. However, in 2015, oil prices plunged globally by almost 70 per cent in the wake of rising oil production and concerns about global economic growth. As at February 15, 2016 crude oil stood at $29.67 per barrel, a price that has not been seen since the Great Depression (1929-39)... read more

BEHAVIOURAL BIASES -

One of the main assumptions that have pervaded the investment field is one of rationality. Investors are assumed to be rational beings and thus act rationally. A rational investor is one that considers all the available information that is out there before making a decision, thus decisions are always prudent and logical. This decision is assumed to lead the investor to a choice that will allow him / her the maximum benefit... read more

WHAT IS ASSET ALLOCATION -

Asset allocation is an investment strategy that involves spreading your funds across various asset classes such as stocks, bonds, cash and cash equivalents. The importance of dividing your money in various asset classes is to reduce investment risk. Investment risk is reduced by investing in assets that do not have the same risk and return characteristics, meaning they do not respond in the same way to the same market forces at the same time... read more

UNDERSTANDING THE STOCK MARKET -

The stock market is a central location where investors come together to buy and sell shares of public companies. The best known stock exchanges are the New York Stock Exchange and the American Stock Exchange while locally there is the Trinidad & Tobago Stock Exchange.... read more

STOCKS AND THE BUSINESS CYCLE

Some of you may be wondering – what is the Business Cycle and what is its relation to stocks? The Business cycle is essentially the many phases that an economy goes through over a period of time. The phases are characterized by the level or intensity of economic activity and is gauged by critical economic indicators including Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the unemployment rate, the inflation rate and the level of interest rates, just to name a few... read more

UNDERSTANDING IPOs

An Initial Public Offering(IPO) is essentially when a company issues stock for the first time and arises when the company decides to go from being a private company to a public company. Companies are generally categorized as private or public – a private company normally has a few shareholders and are not obligated to publish their financial accounts. The capital pool of a lot of private companies tend to be limited as it is influenced by the resources of the few shareholders... read more

UNDERSTANDING BONDS AND THE BOND MARKET

A bond is similar to a loan that the buyer, or bondholder, makes to the bond issuer. Bonds are issued by companies and government bodies to fund their day-to-day opera­tions or to finance specific projects. When an investor buys a bond, he or she is, in fact, loaning money for a certain period of time to the issuer of the bond. In return for loaning funds, investors receive the principal amount back, with interest, at the time the bond comes due or... read more

VACATION BLUNDER$ YOU CAN AVOID

While vacationing is an excellent way to de-stress and enjoy your free time, we have heard the experiences of some clients returning from a memorable vacation getaway to meet mounting debt or be harassed by financial difficulties later on in the year. However, if you are aware of the common mistakes that are made when planning and experiencing a vacation, you can apply smart financial principles to ensure that you have the peace of mind while enjoying it and staying... read more

FINANCIAL PLANNING FOR YOUR VACATION

So you’ve worked hard and you deserve a vacation! But what happens when you make last-minute decisions rather than carefully plan and budget for your vacation in advance? The result is that you’re forced to either cancel or put it on your credit card which can be stressful upon return! To avoid difficulty, a little planning now will set you up nicely for next year's vacation. This article will help you to plan ahead and secure your finances before you travel so that you get... read more

BUDGETING 101: PREPARE FOR THE NEW SCHOOL TERM

“Mom, I need a new pair of school sneakers” or “Dad, my school bag is old and I need a new one”. Do these requests sound familiar? If they do, then the new school term is most likely around the corner. In addition to the cash spent on new books, money for extra lessons and extra-curricular activities, you can end up spending a small fortune to send your children back to school at the start of each new school term. Here are some financial tips to guide you. read more

HOW CAN A FINANCIAL ADVISOR HELP YOU?

The question of whether or not to obtain professional financial advice may be lingering on the minds of many persons who have had to deal with the reality of a fixed salary, rising expenses and wading through the maze of savings and investment options available. Since proper and consistent financial planning is the key to dealing effectively with these realities, how can the services of a Financial Advisor help you?...read more

WHY RETIREMENT PLANNING IS IMPORTANT

Picture yourself at the end of your working years with family in tow and you are able to keep the lifestyle you had enjoyed during that period. You are well equipped financially to handle all your expenses, treat yourself to some fine dining at least once or twice per month, and take Mrs. Retiree on that long transatlantic cruise you promised when you were still on the job thinking that retirement will not come around any time soon....read more

WHY YOU SHOULD AVOID DEBT FOR YOUR SPECIAL DAY

A couple’s wedding day is one of the most memorable days of their life and the start of a wonderful life together. However, the average cost of a wedding can be in excess of $100,000. While some couples are fortunate and receive an abundance of financial gifts from family and relatives, many couples today pay almost all of their wedding costs out of their own pockets. Thus, we are faced with the question of can a couple really avoid debt for their wedding? Seven out of ten couples pay for their weddings with savings, but thirty percent use credit cards and loans for all or part of the cost. ...read more

THE FORGOTTEN INSURANCE: DISABILITY INSURANCE

You have taken steps to insure your valuable assets such as your car, your home and your life, but do you have insurance on your ability to work? This type of insurance is called Disability Insurance, which is insurance that provides financial benefits to a policyholder in the event of sickness or injury that inhibits the ability to work...read more

8 TIPS TO CONTROL VACATION SPENDING

While taking a vacation is an excellent way to de-stress and enjoy your free time, it may lead to accumulating unnecessary debt or financial difficulties later on. However, if you apply smart financial principles when planning your vacation, you can ensure that you have the peace of mind to enjoy it while staying within your budget. There are essentially eight simple tips that you can follow to control your vacation spending...read more

    EASTER

4 FINANCIAL MUST-DO ACTIVITIES OVER THE EASTER WEEKEND (INSURANCE, RETIREMENT, HOME, EDUCATION)

As the Easter holiday season rolls around and you start thinking about beach limes, trips abroad or simply, an Easter egg hunt, our Financial Advisors urge that you take some time out over the long weekend to assess your financial situation, to avoid sinking into more expenses from holiday spending. Getting yourself on sound financial footing is of paramount importance and financial security would not happen by accident, but by careful and deliberate planning. As you take some time out this Easter weekend,... read more

CHEAP & FUN FAMILY ACTIVITES FOR THE LONG EASTER WEEKEND

It happened out of pure exhaustion one day as we sat in another long line of after work traffic, counting the number of cars that had the number 5 in the license plate. My kids were in utter delight as they fought to find those plates before I did. They could not even believe we got home so fast and actually wanted to be in traffic the next day! It dawned on me that kids really don’t care what you do with them once you are right there with them. I heard a saying once, ... read more

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