The rise of Green Bonds: Do they represent a viable Investment Opportunity?

canstockphoto17374129If you were to hear the term green bond, you could be forgiven for thinking that a Hollywood director had decided to merge the Incredible Hulk with Britain’s favourite secret agent. You would be sadly mistaken, however, as green bonds are in fact tax-exempt investment vehicles that are beginning to take the financial market by storm. Issued by qualified organisations and municipalities, the value of this market more than trebled to $36.6 billion in 2014, while last year it peaked at an impressive $100 billion.

The Rise of Green Bonds: Do they make for Good Investments?

As a general rule, bonds have always represented a safe and reliable store of money for anyone who is able to commit the required amount of money for a year or more. The rise of green bonds has added a unique dimension to this market, however, especially as a growing number of countries have begun to issue these to mainstream investors.

Mexico is the latest country to enter the fray, with a national development bank having recently issued a total of 2 billion pesos ($109 million) in green bonds. The proceeds from these seven-year green bonds will be put towards the development of green power generation in the states of Puebla and Nayarit, as Mexico looks to follow the United States lead as a purveyor of sustainable energy. This is a prerequisite of green bonds, as all money generated must be used to finance environmentally-friendly projects.

This is part of a wider trend gripping the investment market, with the US have generated an impressive $10.5 billion in green bond sales last year. South American nation Brazil also delivered $600 million through a similar initiative, while Mexico’s most recent efforts is expected to generated $500 million in revenue.

Beyond the Headlines: Are Green Bonds good for Investors?

While green bonds are becoming increasingly popular and sought-after, however, it is worth considering whether or not they are suitable for you as an investor? After all, Latin American traders in Mexico were initially loath to make their move, while gaps in knowledge and a volatile economic climate as made others cautious of new investment vehicles.

Make no mistake; however, green bonds represent a progressive and exciting investment choice that will become increasingly accessible over the course of the next decade. It cannot be escaped that green and sustainable initiatives are part of an incredibly popular global trend, and one that is sure to continue over a concerted period of time. This, along with the highly favourable regulatory measures and tax advantages that likely to be made available through associated investments, mean that vehicles such as green bonds are fast-emerged as a secure and lucrative store of wealth in the current climate.

Beyond this, green bonds (and similar, sustainable investments) offer traders the opportunity to further diversify their portfolios, which can prove invaluable during of economic or geopolitical uncertainty. Such diversification enables traders to tailor their portfolios to suit the real-time climate, while it also helps them to evenly spread or in most case diminishes their level of risk. So if you already invest in volatile markets such as the foreign exchange, green bonds can help to balance your portfolio while providing the type of modest but sustainable returns that drive regular income.

The Last Word

Ultimately, the choice of whether or not to invest in green bonds is a personal one. What cannot be denied, however, is the rising popularity and relevance of this investment vehicle, particularly when you consider the prominence of government-backed green initiatives and incentives. So regardless of your outlook or appetite for risk, green bonds represent a long-term investment option that are likely to add incremental value to your portfolio.

Four Things to Remember Before Your Big Day in Court

canstockphoto3915894Whether you’ve been in court thousands of times or just for a traffic infraction, it is always a nerve wracking experience. Although you can’t calm all of your nerves before walking through the courthouse doors, there are a few things you can do to make the big day a little bit easier. Here are some basic but important factors to consider when preparing for your court date.

  1. Dress to Impress

Since first impressions are lasting impressions, it is very important to dress a little nicer than you might normally. If you need to refresh your wardrobe, check out some of Macy’s formal wear. That way you can save some money and leave a great impression on the rest of the courthouse.

  1. Know Your Stuff

As you approach the bench, it is absolutely crucial that you are familiar with your case front to back and know where you want to go with it. You need a strict game plan, a back up, and a plan C. The more prepared you are, the more confident you will be and the more confident you are the better you will do in front of the judge and jury.

  1. Respect the Courthouse

This should go without saying, but always respect the members of the court to the utmost level. Always refer to the judge as your honor, and the jury by their proper titles. By being polite, yet still addressing them, they’ll feel a connection with you and be more likely to agree with you in the verdict.

  1. Keep it Minimal

Not that you have anything to hide, but the less everybody in the court knows, the better. Obviously you will need to answer any and all questions truthfully, but if it isn’t a vital detail to the case, it is best to simply leave it out. If the opposing counsel brings it up, try to answer with as much detail in a short answer. This way you’ll look professional, prepared, and totally comfortable.

Lastly, remember to relax and breathe on the big day. Keep your cool and be confident. You’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve prepared, and you’re ready to go… Now just go get it done!

The Best Ways to Transfer Money Internationally

canstockphoto6784077If you need to transfer money abroad, whether it’s as a gift, to pay a supplier or for any other reason, there are a number of options available. Choosing the best one that will save you cash and avoid getting ripped off can take a lot of time and effort when searching around. Here is a rundown of some of the most common ways to transfer money internationally so you can decide which is the best choice for you.

High Street Banks

A lot of people sending money internationally for personal purposes will probably head to their bank or building society on the high street first. This can make it quick and easy to arrange transfers, especially as they have many branches around. However, the actual transfer can take anywhere between four to eight days and if you’ve got a large amount to send, usually over £5,000, it can be cheaper to use another option.

Foreign Exchange Brokers

For those who need to send higher amounts of money internationally and on a regular basis, using a foreign exchange broker is probably the best choice. They offer low fees for individuals and businesses transferring thousands of pounds abroad, and as they specialise in currency transactions will deliver a great exchange rate. FX Brokers aren’t as good for small amounts and there is a higher amount of risk involved as their services are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Currency Specialists

Currency specialists such as CurrencyFair offer the benefit of solely focusing on transferring currency. Unlike banks and some other financial institutions that have other aspects to their businesses, this means they have more time to find the most cost-effective way to send your money abroad. Usually it can be done online, which also means the money is in the recipient’s bank account a lot quicker than waiting a few days. It also makes it a lot more convenient.

Costs to Note

When transferring money internationally there are two key costs to be aware of and factor in when working out the most cost-effective option. Commission and charges will be added on, but don’t be fooled by fee-free rates that are advertised, as these often make up for it with a worse exchange rate. The actual exchange rate is the other main cost, as it will differ from place to place in order for the financial institution to profit. Decide which option is best for your international money transferring requirements.

Everything You Need to Know About Spread Betting

canstockphoto27905600During the past decade, the global financial markets have seen some truly groundbreaking ups and downs. From the economic crash of 2007 to indices reaching new heights as of late, such volatility has left some investors worried. Now that the Brexit has been confirmed, there are even more traders who are looking for a viable alternative to traditional stocks and shares. One method which is worth noting is seen in spread betting. To get a better understanding of the processes behind this principle, it is prudent to examine it in greater detail.


Bi-Directional Strategies


The main point behind spread betting is that an investor can make money even if the markets fall. This is in direct contrast to other methods which will require a positive movement in order to turn a profit. Spread betters simply predict in which direction an asset moves. Should this direction be estimated correctly, he or she will walk away a winner.


There are two main options when taking up a position. Those who “go long” assume that the asset will rise. Traders who instead “go short” are assuming that this same asset will lose a portion of its value within a certain period of time. Of course, any movements that are the opposite of either prediction will result in losses.


Many astute traders took advantage of short positions during the financial crisis. As the majority of assets lost a considerable amount of value, they turned healthy profits. In the same respect, other individuals went long in safe-haven commodities such as gold. They were also able to reap rewards.


Defining the Spread


Every spread bet comes with two prices:


?      The buy price is associated with those who go long and expect the value to rise.

?      The sell price is for short-selling traders who expect the price to fall.


If either of these margins are reached, the investor can liquidate his or her assets for a profit (depending upon which strategy they employ). The difference between the buy and sell prices is simply known as the “spread”.


Simple Spread Betting Tips


Not only can predicting the movement of a discrete asset be challenging, but investors will also need to employ a sound strategy to build sustainable wealth over time. Perhaps the most important suggestion is to place limits on the number of markets to be traded. Simplicity here can very well be the key to success and it can be very difficult to monitor numerous markets without missing important movements. Therefore, stick to two or three which are very familiar.


Another trick is to place limits on the amount of capital invested during any given session. It is wise to never risk more than three per cent of the total available funds. Even if the entire session turns out negative, you will still be able to walk away and trade another day.


Other methods include:


?      Setting clear entrance and exit points.

?      Avoiding emotional trading.

?      Monitoring politics, interest rates and related global news at all times.


These three final tips are much easier to embrace when utilising the turnkey solutions that can only be found at reputable spread betting companies like CMC Markets. Please examine these tools and advantages in more detail to fully the efficacy of this software.

How to Use Personal Loans and Save Money

canstockphoto16670337There are a lot of financing options to use when you’re in an immediate need for cash, but personal loans are still the most flexible of them all. Personal loans allow you to borrow anywhere from $100 to $10,000 – sometimes even more, depending on your lender – for up to 5 years. This means the loan can be used to deal with financial emergencies and various other needs.

Personal loans can also be used to save money. In this article, we’re going to take a look at how your next loan can help you save a lot of money and keep your credit score at its best.

Personal Loan Cost vs. Late Charges

You can take out a personal loan to fill gaps in your monthly budget. The loan can be used over a short period of time. Since most of today’s best personal loans also don’t charge for pre-payment, you can settle the loan as soon as you have the funds to do so.

When your credit card bills are due and you are still a couple of weeks away from your next paycheck, taking out a personal loan to cover the bills may be the cheaper way to go. To be extra certain, check the costs of using the personal loan and compare them to late charges and other fees you will have to pay when you miss your credit card payments.

Most – if not all – of the time, you’ll be able to save over $100 in late charges alone. You can also avoid having late payments added to your credit history, which means you can keep your credit score in tact and unharmed.

Compare Personal Loans

Whether you’re looking for the best personal loans in Canada or you are thinking about taking one out from a lender near you, it is always best to compare personal loans before making your decision. The interest rates on personal loans vary from lender to lender. You are also looking at a different set of fees for using the loan.

Avoid comparing the loans based on interest rates alone. The actual cost of using the loan is what you need to focus on if you really want to save. Check the total amount you have to pay in order to settle the loan and you can easily spot the best deal to get.

Discounts and Special Offers

The market for personal loans is as competitive as it can get, so there are plenty of deals and special offers too. If you’re not taking advantage of these deals, you’re missing out on chances to save a lot of money and still get the financing you need.

A simple act of asking for a better deal, for instance, can land you a nice interest rate deduction. The lower interest rate means you’re saving money over the course of the loan. The same goes for the pre-payment fee, insurance fee and other charges. You can even ask for these fees to be waived and certain lenders will grant you your request in an instant.

Personal loans can be very affordable and are great for helping you deal with financial emergencies. On top of that, you can save not only on the personal loan itself, but also on late charges and other fees you will have to pay if you miss your bills. Find the best deal today and use these tips we just discussed to help you save even more.