Investments

The latest thing to put a smile on the face of canny investors is the growth of the nascent graphene industry. Still very much in its infancy the world production of graphene, and its application in numerous other industries, is soon to take off. Investing in graphene early could, therefore, be a very wise financial decision.

The graphene industry is only just getting started, and with every new industry there always remains some doubt as to how it will fare. However, as anyone that has been following this story will know, there are a few things about this miracle material that make it an entirely different proposition.

For instance, graphene holds more records in the world of physics than any other; it is the strongest material known to man and also the most conductive; it is thought it will revolutionize the solar panel industry and is likely to be incorporated into countless products as a composite.

Graphene is made by two main production methods, each of which produces a slightly different variety of graphene. Nanoplatelet graphene, from exfoliation, can be used in super-efficient battery manufacture, while graphene films, made from chemical vapour deposition, can be used to make super-tough flexible electronics.

What does all this mean for the investor? Well, as a recent report by Lux Research projected, the graphene industry is set to grow from a base size of $9 million in early 2012 to a phenomenal $126 million in 2020. That’s an incredible 40% annual growth.

And Lux Research’s estimates are conservative. Another strategic analysis of the graphene industry by Technavio places the rate of growth closer to 50% year on year.

Importantly for investors this growth has been identified as occurring initially in the nanoplatelet market, so composites and energy storage, along with exfoliation production methods, are the areas investors should be focused on. Graphene films are currently too difficult to make on a large scale basis, and therefore graphene screens remain just beyond the horizon.

For any investor interested in the industry I would suggest they take an initial look at a company called Grafoid. They are jointly owned by a Canadian mining company and have immediate access to the superior grade graphite required for exfoliation. The company is highly regarded and poised to capitalize on the interest that graphene is generating.

Similarly, two companies, Aixtron and CVD Equipment Corporation, are well positioned for growth arising from the technical challenge of producing graphene films. Both have good track records in the nanotechnology industry and are expected to grow in the coming years.

With some scientific commentators suggesting that graphene will change the world in ways similar to that last experienced with the invention of the lightbulb, and with market experts expecting the industry to emulate the growth seen in the computer industry and the internet, there seem to be few reasons not to act on the latest analysis.

As always, I would advise any potential investor to do their own research. Fortunately for them there are a couple of websites already focused on this subject and these will be able to provide greater insight and background detail that I just can’t go into here. Balance your research across a number of sources and base any decision on all available evidence.

In the first instance, I would recommend any investor visit here. Invest wisely, and good luck.

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A broker is in many ways what the painter is to the canvas. Many people owe their riches or wise investments to their broker. However, there have been cases of how brokers exploited their clients and this guide is to give you direction on the best way to go.

Wise investments last a lifetime, they create wealth and then riches are just an add-on. A trading firm worth its salt will have brokers whose main goal is to make their clients wealthy, because by doing so, their clients stay with them longer. Then the question becomes, what do you look for in identifying a firm best suited for your investment needs?

1. Identify where you want to invest

The investment market is a large playing field and stocks come in a wide variety. It is imperative to understand the kind of stock you want to trade because the trade markets come saturated with such firms; the key here would be to understand what each firm does. When you identify what you want to invest in, it will be easier to identify the kind of firm that can help you.

2. Identify the firms source of strategy

The worst thing that can happen to an investor is to be tied down with a firm that has all the wrong strategies. Most reputable firms have an information database on the stocks they deal with, and they share this information with their clients to help the make the right investment choice.

They also have a user-friendly trading platform that their clients can access even through their phones which makes it easy for them to observe their stocks at the convenience of their homes or offices. Good firms have in-depth knowledge of market changes and expectation; in stock lingo, it is called market speculation.

3. Know the firm’s risk margin

Any reputable firm will not put your money where a lot of risk is involved. Any reputable firm will know what type of risk you are likely to face in investing in a certain stock. They then give value to the stock against its current price to know whether the stock is stable or volatile. A volatile stock has a higher risk margin. The firms that have interest in stocks that are volatile increase your risk of losing out in an investment. It would be advisable to keep off such firms.

4. What are their requirements for starting capital?

Depending on the firm and the class of clients it maintains, there will be a great variation on the amount of starting capital thy will demand from you. Mostly the starting capital varies depending on the stock you want to buy, but getting this information beforehand (through research); it will help you strike off the firms that are unaffordable at that time.

5. Reputation, reputation, reputation!

The best firms survive in the industry mainly because of their reputation. Those that have questionable reputations do not survive and are to be avoided. Research online can give you names of firms that have been in one way or the other tainted by malpractices; and you can use your discretion to decide the right course of action.

Most importantly, investing boils down to you as a person. Having searched for the best company to suit your need and found it. It eventually depends on you to trust your firm, cultivate discipline and self-control, be flexible and remain patient, because some stocks take time to yield fruit.

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Because we are emotional beings, most of our decisions are made not because they are the rational things to do, but simple because “it feels right”. This holds true for most of our moves, including the major ones such as investing money. However, we must not let our emotions take control over us especially when making decisions related to investing. If an investor invests through listening to and following his emotions most of the time, then this may end to less than stellar returns.

This is the reason why a clear mind is very essential when it comes to investing. After all, the truth is that the normal market cycle includes periods of prosperity and periods of decline – and only a person with a mind full of clarity can think properly on how to handle things during the period of decline. It is undeniably true that investors feel excited and confident when the market soars high. However, it is also undeniable that when the market falls, our trust and confidence in the economy also falls.

Diversification of Assets Through IRA

Employed individuals who have IRA investments must know how to be aware of their emotions when it comes to choosing the types of investment accounts to entrust their hard-earned funds with. We all know that an IRA is an investment vehicle which can hold several types of investments, and so diversification of funds can easily be achieved. This makes is so much easier for the investors to create a better portfolio through distributing his assets to different investments, as this is a good way to lessen the risks of incurring unnecessary losses.

So how do we choose the right investments? Many experts’ investing advice is for the investors to choose the kind of investments which they are familiar and comfortable with. Note that the word “familiar” comes first. This means that an investor must get himself educated about certain investments and he must know and understand the risks that may be involved with such. This is the rational part of investing – and that is, to get one’s self educated.

Once an investor understand all the possible risks that he may encounter, he has to evaluate himself as to how much he is willing to take such risks. Of course, he must also study the strategies on how he could surpass the downfall, in case the market will be down. He must also know how to handle these risks when they arise without having to suffer too much. As soon as the investor finished assessing himself, he can then make a decision about investing his funds to a particular asset class when he “feels” comfortable despite all the risks that he knows he will most likely encounter.

Seeing the Bigger Picture

Most often than not, investment goals cannot be achieved overnight (or in just a few days or weeks or months). Daily fluctuations should not affect an investor. It is also important to choose the best IRA company where we open our account with, and make sure to choose the one that charges lower fees.

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When you are interested in getting involved in investing, you’ll need to develop a relationship with a broker so that you can gain access to the market. In this situation, you have the option of going with a traditional investment broker or with an independent advisor. What is the difference between these two types of brokers and why should you go with an independent broker for your investment needs? There are a few factors to consider in this area.

Independent Brokers vs. Traditional Brokers

A traditional broker works for a brokerage firm that sells investments. When you work with a traditional broker, they will be likely to recommend investing your money into investments that the brokerage offers. These types of brokers are essentially a form of salesman for the brokerage that they work for. It is their job to push the investment options that are promoted by the brokerage and to make sales. By comparison, an independent broker does not work for a specific brokerage company. Instead, the independent broker works for himself in giving clients access to the financial markets. Because of this, the broker can find out what investments are the best for his customers and then recommend those securities. The independent broker does not have a conflict of interest in recommending investments. He will make money off of the investments that you buy, in most cases, but he won’t be pressured into recommending a particular brand or company to you. This means that you can feel more comfortable with recommendations that your broker makes if he is working on an independent basis.

More Choices

Another advantage of working with an independent broker is that you can gain access to more investment choices for your account. Independent brokers are not tied down to a limited selection of investments from their brokerage firm. Instead, they can go anywhere to find investments for their clients. If you have a particular type of investment in mind, you may be able to request access to it through your independent broker. This makes it possible to diversify your portfolio even more than you could with a traditional brokerage account, and limit the possibility of losses in your account.

Choosing a Broker

Although independent brokers are typically a better option to consider than a traditional broker, you still have to be careful when it comes to choosing a broker to work with. Not all independent brokers are ideal because some of them still charge high transaction fees for your investments. Before choosing a broker to work with, you should do a little bit of shopping around to make sure that you’re making the best decision. Talk to a few independent brokers and get a list of their transaction fees and other costs that you may have to incur. Find out what types of investments they offer and make sure that they are a good fit for your type of investment style.

Considerations

While many people are content to go with a traditional broker, it is probably not the best way for you to minimize costs and get the best investments. When you decide to go with an independent broker, you can feel confident that the investment choices they recommend are done in good faith. This helps ensure that your retirement money will be there when you need it.

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