Stock Indexes: The Inside Story

10:36 AM

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Most of us have heard of stock indexes, but have only a fuzzy idea of them at best. This article aims to clarify some of the basics of stock indexes -- what they are and how they work.

What Is A Stock Index?

A stock index is simply an average price for a large group of stocks, either those on a particular stock exchange or stocks across an entire investing sector. Indexes are formed from stocks with something in common: they are on the same exchange, from the same industry, or have the same company size or location. Stock indexes give us an overall snapshot of the economic health of a particular industry or exchange.

Many stock indexes exist; in the United States the most well known are: the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the New York Stock Exchange Composite index, and the Standard & Poor 500 Composite Stock Price Index.

How Does It Work?

There are several ways to calculate an index. An index based solely on stock prices is called a "price weighted index." This type of index ignores the importance of any particular stock or the company size.

A "market value weighted" index, on the other hand, takes into account the size of the companies involved. That way, price shifts of small companies have less influence than those of larger companies.

Another type of index is the "market share weighted" index. This type of index is based on the number of shares, rather than their total value.

Index As Investment Tool

Another huge function of indexes is that they can function as investment instruments in and of themselves. Mutual funds based on an index duplicate the holdings of the underlying index. Thus, if index A rises by 1%, the Index A Mutual Fund rises by 1%. This has the tremendous advantage of lower costs. Plus these index funds have been shown to generally outperform managed funds.

The Big Indexes

One of the best-known indexes in the world is the Dow Jones Industrial Average. It is a "price-weighted average" index composed of the stocks of 30 of the most influential companies in America. Some feel that 30 companies are not enough to form an accurate assessment for so influential a measurement, but it is reported around the globe daily nevertheless.

The Standard & Poor 500 Index is based on 500 United States corporations, carefully chosen to represent a broader picture of economic activity.

Beyond the United States, the most influential index is the FTSE 100 Index, based on 100 of the largest companies on the London Stock Exchange. It is 1 of the most important indexes in Europe. 2 other important indexes are France's CAC 40 and Japan's Nikkei 225.
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Posted by, elifeblog

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Managing Forex Accounts Made Simple

8:00 AM

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Forex trading is a complex business that has to be maintained with extreme caution and detail. However, many of the investors who enjoy a high investment income from large or multiple forex accounts do not have the time or the energy to spend behind managing the same. Here is where the notion of a forex managed account comes into play. Companies, with experienced and skilled forex brokers handle the managed forex accounts on behalf of their clients. Contrary to popular belief that managed forex accounts are prone to frauds and money-laundering, a managed forex account is much more safer and a better high return investment strategy than self-monitored forex accounts.

Advantages of a Managed Forex Account

Forex is a trade option with extreme potentials – both for gains as well as losses. With trading centers around the world open for 24-hours a day, managing a forex account as a high yield investment venture is tough but if done deftly, is bound to be successful. Time is a controlling factor in forex trading. Managed forex accounts are hugely beneficial when it comes to forex trading as forex fund managers can maintain transactions throughout the day. Any buying or selling opportunity can be cashed in on the forex managed accounts by dealing with them in time. Managed forex accounts are also low-investment ventures, which removes the financial risk considerably. And because of the fact that forex trade does not consist of lock-up periods, the forex fund manager can withdraw the money invested instantly from the market. A managed forex account is perfect for amateur or large-scale investors, who do not wish to or are not capable of handling their forex trade accounts by themselves.

How One Identifies the Ideal Managed Forex Account

while the industry is teeming with several companies offering managed forex accounts as services to interested investors, it is up to the latter to identify and select the one that suits best. There are several factors that need to be looked into before opting for a final managed forex account. The investment size and the risk potential are two major concerns. The cost of the complete program of the forex managed fund should also be checked with the industry standards before settling on the final forex manged account service provider.

Forex managed accounts vary in their request for initial investments. Some require thousands of dollars while some need a minimal amount. Usually the larger an investment is, the larger is the risk potential, and proportionately greater is the reward. Therefore, for a personal managed forex account, one should be aware of the combination of both and locate a forex fund manager accordingly.

Self-monitored forex trading is often done as a hobby or a part-time trade than as a professional act. Managed forex accounts, however, are hard-core business projects. Professional advice and thorough research with newsletters etc are necessary before you start investing money. The best forex investment strategy is always to test the waters before taking the plunge!
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Posted by, elifeblog

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Special Accents For Your Business Card

7:58 AM

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You may have heard all about how to design a good business card. I am sure a lot of people emphasized on the right color to use in business card printing. They may suggest using special pictures and images. Some may have suggested the right type of layout, the various fonts and font sizes to use and how online business card printing can benefit you. However, few people ever discuss how to really make your business card printing stand out. Oh, most people might say an eye-catching design is enough. But the problem is, everybody will be using an eye-catching design. When every color business card is “unique” with special colors and images, then who really will stand out among the rest? The answer is simple. The people with business card “accents” will be remembered.

Adding an accent or accessory to your business card is the key in standing out. Not everyone really considers adding accessories to their custom business cards. They are different, and may be even a little risky. However, if implemented well these accents will have people remember your name. Below are a few accents people have thought of to improve their business card.

The Scented Business card
Have you heard that smell is connected to memory? It is true. When you smell an old toy glove, or your old clothes, or even your childhood room, I bet all those memories come flooding in. The same is true if you put a scent to your business card. Of course always use a lovely scent in your business card. It may be a floral accent, or you can even explore possibilities and put in a vanilla or mint scent. This unique idea fixes your name and your card to the memory of the receiver with a smell associated with it. You’ll have your business contacts thinking, “I remember this business card with a mint smell, I think it was a supplier. Really unique, maybe we should check him out?”

Business card textures
You can add some texture to your business card as well. The skin is your body’s biggest sense organ and when it senses textures it automatically tries to identify it. If you have your business card printed in a special textured paper it will stand out from the rest. When people receive this special business card, they will feel the difference in texture and pay a little more attention to the card. This few moments of extra attention can be good for you to be remembered when it counts.

Embossed letters
Lastly, you can also use embossed letters. Like textures, embossed letters let’s people “sense” the business card in a different way when compared to other normal business cards. Have you seen people look at embossed letters and try to feel them? It is almost an unconscious gesture. People will always try to read characters that are embossed and feel them. So why not use this advantage to your custom business cards? The attention to detail in making these cards will convey an image to the receiver that you take everything you do seriously and with special attention. Hopefully they will think this also applies to your business practices and contact you.

Those are a few of the special accents people add to their color business cards. Be the first to use them in your business circle. It will your key to recognition.
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How to Start a Web Store - Why Outsourcing is a Best Bet

2:48 PM

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So your business is going well and you are thinking it's time to expand. What a better way to present your products and services to a wider range of customers than on the world wide web. You potential client list is going to increase infinitely but you are unsure of how to go about getting your store up and running.

While you are too busy running your business to get involved in creating your own web store, you always have the option of outsourcing that responsibility to another company. There are existing companies that specialize in web stores, but you must be wondering, what does a web store entail?

Most web stores contain:

Domain registration and hosting
Shopping cart
Secure, SSL-encrypted credit card processing
Marketing and Merchandising Tools
Product catalog

With a list of responsibilities, I would recommend outsourcing the duties of such a chore to a company that specializes in such business. Find a company that is an ecommerce solution that enables small and medium sized businesses to sell products and services online through a fully customized Web store. These web store companies make creating a Web store easy for your visitors to use, with built-in, step-by-step wizards that help you design the look of your store, upload products, and set up shipping and sales tax information.

Web stores are a by-product of company growth, and if you want to "keep up with the joneses", your only choice is to go online with a store of your own. The potential of your customer base will be increased in amounts you can only dream of right now.

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