Say these five words out loud real fast: Bifurcation, Backwardation, ZIRP, NIRP, Contango.
Did you do it?
If so, did you sound like a cheerleader chanting some foreign language?
These are actual words used by many traders, gurus, and Wall Street promoters.
They may sound funny or confusing but they serve several purposes. (1) They reveal or describe certain market conditions. (2) They act as “signals” for trading purposes. (3) They’re meant to confuse and/or impress you.
And they’re only a few of the many words, acronyms, and sayings that make up Wall Street’s “Secret Language.”
Funny thing is, most people (myself included) aren’t impressed with words that don’t make sense.
However, if you have a basic understanding of them, you’ll be better equipped as an investor and more likely to stay ahead of the crowd. Think of it as learning how to “connect the dots” of a financial puzzle.
Compare this with trying to run a business in a foreign language (German, French, Japanese, Greek, etc.). If you don’t understand the language, you’ll most likely lose money… a LOT of money.
So, like learning any language, you need a good teacher or translator that makes it simple and easy to understand.
That’s where we come in.
In this article we’re going to feature a few words so you can see how easy it is to learn the language and, at the same time, realize how Wall Street makes things so confusing.
Let’s start with ZIRP. It’s an acronym meaning “Zero Interest Rate Policy.”
It was initiated after the 2008 meltdown to “supposedly” stimulate the economy. The truth is ZIRP has caused critical damage to most of the nations Pension Plans. (They need interest rates to be high in order for them to fund their plans for their pensioners.) ZIRP has also crippled most senior citizens who depend on the interest from their investments to live.
Even though rates are slowly going up, it’s going to take a long time to unwind the damage done by ZIRP.
But, let’s move on to NIRP. It’s another acronym meaning “Negative Interest Rate Policy.” Yes, you read that right. NEGATIVE Interest Rate Policy.
It’s more collateral damage from the 2008 meltdown and has been in effect mostly in European countries.
Here’s the crazy part. When a country’s government bonds have negative interest rates (currently -0.05% up to -0.36% or higher) investors have to PAY THEM to hold their money.
It’s a losing proposition for the investor and it’s hard to imagine anyone buying bonds with negative rates but millions have been sold.
We’ve only scratched the surface here but hopefully you see how these acronyms are very confusing and misleading.
WHAT ARE ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENTS?
An alternative investment is a class of investment that are not covered under any Government regulatory like RBI, SEBI, IRDA, and PFRDA. It refers to a privately pooled investment fund – a trust or a company.
Here are some alternative investments approaches that may influence your investment decisions –
#1 FOCUS ON ABSOLUTE RETURNS
You invest to end up with more money than what you started with. It means you are looking for an absolute return: how much did you actually make, is the main focus.
Invest in assets that you believe will do well; don’t invest in a product just because it’s likely to outperform the market. Have your analysis on hand.
#2 RETURNS ARE ONE-DIMENSIONAL, RISK IS MULTI-DIMENSIONAL
When it comes to investments, returns are easy to calculate. Keep your focus on Risk involved with the alternative investment asset as well. Prepare a list of the relevant risks. You need to have a clear idea of the risks involved in your investment, as it will help you to take a calculated decision.
Also, if at all something unexpected happens, you will be more likely to make better decisions if you’ve thought about the risks before investing.
#3 KNOW THE SOURCE RETURN
Understand what will influence and drive the returns on your investment. While you hold the investment, monitor the value of your investment.
Constantly revisit your assumptions of the return drivers of investment, in case they don’t match your parameters or expectations rethink your investment.
#4 UNCLEAR IS GOOD
Anything that’s not traditional is alternative. An alternative investment is populated by investment ideas that may not be immediately obvious. For instance cryptocurrency.
Continuously learning, exploring, researching, studying, and looking outside your comfort zone is the key to financial success.
#5 DIVERSIFICATION IS A MUST
Holding a mix of assets that are equally good, but which behave differently, will leave your portfolio’s return intact, and lower its risk as well.
Diversify means constructing a portfolio with very varied return drivers and risk parameters, not just different assets.
Most of us see investing in alternative investments highly risky. However, if you desire to live a successful and fulfilling life and retire with enough money to enjoy your retirement years, you must take calculated risks. This includes risks in your relationships, risks in your career, and risks in your investments.
While taking smart calculated risks is vital to reaching your goals in life, remember that taking bad risks and losing can set you back, sometimes significantly. It may help, however, to remember that taking smart risks is as simple as making wise decisions.
A Framework for Good Decision-making
I’ve learned a lot in my life from observing others and through my personal experiences-both good and bad. Therefore, when I consider taking a risk in any area of my life, here are the questions I ask myself:
1. What are the risks? Be honest. Don’t let your emotions prevent you from carefully considering all possible risks. This is where the landmines exist.
2. What are the odds of one of the risks coming true? Be truthful. Use real data whenever you can by doing research and talking to others.
3. What are the rewards? Be realistic. Can you really quit your day job and devote ten hours a week to something and make $100,000 a year? (Probably not.)
4. What are the odds of those rewards? Be sensible. Find out how many others have done something similar and how they have fared.
5. What other options do I have? Be creative. Don’t limit yourself. Consider all possibilities.
6. Do I need to make this decision today? Probably not. Take the time you need to do your research and explore your options.
Among all of the worldwide categories of collecting, comic books are relatively new. At one time, only kids were interested in reading them for entertainment. In June 1938, Superman, the first superhero appeared in Action Comics #1, most kids were attracted to the man dressed in blue and red holding up and crashing a car above his head. Suddenly, a run of other types of superheroes had most kids paying a dime to buy one. If they had a dollar, they could have bought ten books with zero tax. However, kids read them up to a certain age and their mothers generally threw them away, which is a shame because they would have been valuable.
So, can comic books still be lucrative investments? Absolutely. This is why so many serious collectors wish they had time machines, so they could go back to the past to buy those good oldies. They could imagine getting their hands on Action Comics #1, or Detective Comics #27(the first appearance of Batman) and selling them for millions of dollars today. However, collectors must put fantasy aside and look to more recent and possibly less expensive prospects.
What kind (genre) of comic is it? For this article, I refer to the most popular superheroes. Although they are usually worth more than other genres that include: Cowboy; Romance; Famous Cartoon characters like Disney, Warner Brothers; War; Comedy and others.
Period: Comic books belong to different “ages”: “Platinum Age”(Printed on or before 1938); “Golden Age” (1938-1955); “Silver Age (1956-1969); “Bronze Age” (1970-1981); “Copper Age” (1981-1991).
Is the book “DC” or “Marvel”? Some better known DC superheroes include Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, the Flash, and Green Lantern. Marvel Comics began in 1939 with Captain America, Human Torch and the Submariner. Before 1961, Marvel Comics were originally named “Timely Comics”. Some titles became popular, such as: “Tales to Astonish”; “Amazing Fantasy”; “Tales of Suspense”. These titles introduced some of the famous characters that movies widely feature today: Tales to Astonish 27 introduced Antman; Amazing Fantasy #15 introduced the world to Spiderman; Tales of Suspense #39 featured the first appearance of Ironman. Other well-known comics brought groups of superheroes: Fantastic Four #1 (1961); The Avengers #1 (1963), The Xmen #1 (1963).
Edition Numbers: The lower the edition number, the more the book will be worth. As you know from the last paragraph, many heroes’ first appearance didn’t originate in issues #1. Superman originated in Action Comics #1, but, a year later he got his own comic book – Superman #1(1939). Also, Batman got his first appearance in Detective Comics #27, but soon got his own comic with, the first appearance of Robin – Batman’s sidekick in Batman #1(1940). Wonder Woman’s first appearance happened in Sensational Comics #1, which later became “Wonder Woman”.
Original price: Comic books have gradually increased their newspaper prices. The lower the original selling price, the older they are and in most cases worth more: $.10, 12, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 50, 60, 75 (from 1938-1988). Today, the lowest priced comic books cost around $3.99-$4.99.
Are you willing to invest in a more long-term and reliable organic traffic source for your website? Then let’s look at a search engine that can assist you in increasing your traffic.
Interview an Influencer or Get Interviewed by a High-traffic Website
Have you heard of Tim Ferriss, the author of the Four-Hour Work Week?
His podcast is nowadays a staple content type that he provides to his viewers. Tim’s show has world-class performers who share their insights on a variety of topics, and he is well-liked on social media. Do Tim’s fans enjoy the show? So far, the show has received over 50 million downloads. On most days, it’s the most popular business podcast on iTunes.
Interviews, whether on video or audio, are inherently conversational, lively, and engaging. The great aspect is that it’s a win-win situation for both sides. The interviewer is exposed to a new audience, while the interviewee is able to provide his website visitors with new fascinating and authoritative information. You can ask an industry influencer to share your interview with their followers on social media if you interview them. Consider the organic traffic you’ll get from their social media followers, which number in the hundreds of thousands. Consider the level of interest generated by a prior Derek Sivers interview on the Tim Ferriss Show. Derek shared the show’s URL with his 283K followers on Twitter. It won’t hurt if you establish a relationship with the influencer as a result of the interview.
Similarly, being interviewed by a high-ranking website can result in a significant increase in search engine traffic. Harsh Agrawal’s blog, Shoutmeloud, received 35,000+ views in a single day after he was profiled by YourStory. That was the blog’s most popular search engine traffic source (with 600,000+ monthly visitors). Because interviews provide consolidated value, they can be used as a long-term lead generating source for your company. Consider how many bloggers you’ve learned about through interviews on YouTube and other high-authority websites.
You may also conduct a Reddit AMA if you have a very compelling storey to tell. Mateen’s AMA got about generating $85,000 in profit by selling TeeSpring shirts/hoodies received 2000 page views. He also boosted the number of visitors to his website on a daily basis.
By registering as a source with HARO, you can also answer queries from journalists. On HARO, Christopher from Snappa came across this question from Inc Magazine about the future of content marketing. He swiftly responded with a thorough response. He was mentioned in Inc a few weeks later as a result of this. HARO is an excellent strategy to have your brand mentioned on authoritative news sites such as Entrepreneur and Inc. Those backlinks will enhance your search engine traffic and increase your marketing strategy by improving your reputation in Google’s eyes. Contact an SEO agency to find out how you can do this and how they can manage it for you while you work on the bottom line of your business.