RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

Investors: Keys to Successful Portfolio Management

February 5, 2015 1:33 am

(Family Features) Investor optimism has steadily climbed since 2006, and more investors are managing their own investment portfolios. For the growing number of self-directed investors entering the market, here are three steps to take to manage a portfolio.

1. Gauge Accessibility Needs
Those who self-direct their investments tend to check their portfolio and log into their accounts more frequently. Every investor and trader has different needs, and it’s important to identify how to interact with the investment company.
  • Want to be able to walk into a branch? Not all investment firms operate a branch network, or only have a handful of offices, while others have local offices across the country.
  • Need to call someone after market hours? Many investment firms operate call centers to handle customer questions.
  • Trading on the go? Investment firms have evolved to meet the needs of investors and traders by expanding their availability to include mobile apps. The majority (60 percent) of investors who own a smartphone report using them for banking and investment transactions and related needs, such as checking account information.
  • Want to interact with the firm on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube? Find a firm that provides the opportunities to connect via social media platforms.
By prioritizing needs and comparing the various offerings at investment firms, self-directed investors will be better equipped to find the right firm with which to partner.

2. Research Your Resources
Explore an investment firm’s online resources. Whether pre- or post-log in, most online research tools are available free of charge. More than one-third of investors say they taught themselves how to invest by using online investment education tools.
  • Learn what research tools each investment firm offers. Make sure real-time information is available to track a portfolio with charts and news. Learn about customizable features within each account and set up a system to easily see relevant information and take advantage of market momentum.
  • Look for market calendars that present expected activity (such as initial public offerings, earnings reports, dividends, etc.) in ways that are easy to understand.
  • Check for on-demand webcasts and live webinars to educate investors and traders on a variety of topics that interest them and meet their trading experience levels.
  • Engage in an online trading community. These virtual groups bring investors and traders together, allowing them to swap investment strategies and learn from like-minded people. Most communities are also moderated by an investment firm with professionals who can answer investment-related questions and provide customer support.
Many find investing fun. Self-directed investors’ confidence has strengthened as the Internet has made information about the markets, rules and guidelines more accessible. While online trading saves investors and traders time and money, it does not take the homework out of making investment decisions. Before making a trade, investors need to understand the risks of each investment and the goals of their portfolios.

With the right tools at hand and by partnering with a reputable investment firm that meets individual needs, self-directed investors can take charge of their investments with confidence.

Source: Scottrade, Inc.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Map Out Your Winter Weather Safety Plan

February 5, 2015 1:33 am

Most homeowners retreat indoors when faced with a brewing winter storm, but even staying inside can be risky. Fierce winds and heavy snowfalls can leave homes without power or homeowners unable to travel.

Stay safe during winter weather this season with these tips.

Ensure you have water.
Power outages mean no water for homes that rely on wells, so families should stock up on drinking water. Filling up the bathtub before power is lost is also a good idea. The water can be used to flush the toilet if pumps stop working.

Buy non-perishable food.
Families should have three days of non-perishable, ready-to-eat food items on hand. Buy crackers, canned food and cereal.

Prepare for furnace failure.
Even gas furnaces will not supply heat in a power outage since the fan and pilot are electric. Wood stoves and fireplaces are safe ways to heat the home, but no other indoor fires should ever be lit. Operating outdoor BBQs (including propane) inside and inhaling deadly carbon monoxide is the leading cause of death during a power outage. If you don't have another heat source, dress warm and grab plenty of blankets.

Clear HVAC exhaust.
Heavy snow can also disable a furnace by blocking the exhaust vent on the outside of the home. Be sure to keep it clear as snow drifts push up against the house.

Keep medical supplies stocked.
Make sure the house has a supply of bandages, ointments and rubbing alcohol in case of cuts. Those who rely on daily prescriptions, such as insulin, should have an ample supply on hand.

Source: Aprilaire

Published with permission from RISMedia.