Investment Trends in Europe and How You Can Use Them


While the United States investment pattern is seemingly limited to American soil, across the way in Europe the focus is more on the emerging market. For those considering investment from Europe, the focus is more on emerging markets, such as Asia and Africa. Rather than putting money into established economies, companies are investing in developing countries which taken in more foreign direct investment.

China is the top of the list of the top five receiving investment, which will come as no surprise to some. The others on the list include Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa, as their multinational companies become more successful and more prominent on a world scale. Foreign direct investment increased by a whopping 7% to Asia in 2012, bringing the total to €407 billion. Countries thought to be making an increase in the near future are Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam and the Philippines.

So how does this affect your choices for investment? Although in the previous post “Investment Trends in the United States” talked about what to invest in on our home shores, it might be worth taking a look at oil from Brazil, or agricultural companies taking advantage of Latin American resources. Emerging markets offer greater growth, though of course they also offer the higher rate of failure given the countries’ relatively new and unstable economy. Experts think that investing some money into these markets is wise, but to exercise caution as these tend to suffer more in the short term. That being said, these markets tend to outperform in the long run as they are an untapped source of investment gain.

For example, the Indian stock market is looking quite favourable, and with little demand from developed economies such as the United Kingdom and its investors, it is ripe with potential. However, with its recent bad press, stocks may fall in price if the world’s negative reaction does not improve. Of course, the United States is still a good option for investment. Foreign companies invested well over $160 billion into the United States last year, proving the dollar is still a very strong currency. However, China and Hong Kong followed shortly behind, with $121 billion and $75 billion respectively. It is worth taking these figures into account when considering investments, as the sums definitely do add up to some serious gains on investments.

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College Rates Keep Climbing, Leaving Several Families Wondering How to Pay.


College tuition rates are climbing at an alarming rate, this is leaving several families wondering where the excess funds to pay for their children’s college education will come from. Families are expecting to pay for 62% of college expenses; this is up 5% from what they expected to pay last year at this time.

Parents have begun putting money into 529 college savings plans for their children. 529 savings plans are a tax advantage and encourage people to save for the educational future of their young. The amount of people who have these accounts has risen more than 20% since 2008.

This may not help them out much though. The cost of public college tuition went up 8% last year alone. With Obama announcing a possible rating system of colleges that would control how much financial aid a college and its students receive, colleges could end up raising the tuition rates even higher. The current cost of college has put thousands students in debt. The average student debt is so high that most will not be able to pay their loans back in their lifetime.

This is also due to the lack of positions in the fields people are going to school for, combined with lay-offs, and company’s cutting back the number of employees they have in lieu of Obama Care and budget cuts. Companies are cutting back, colleges are raising tuition and associated costs, and this could mean big trouble for future and current college students.

The ranking system Obama is proposing would not go into effect until 2018, that’s 5 years away and won’t help current college students whose parents are already suffering the rise in tuition costs. A 529 college savings plan won’t really help those who are currently pursuing a higher education degree. There are some ways students can help with the costs, although it isn’t much.  For students who file taxes, they may be able to file for tax credits. The American Opportunity credit is one of them; this credit depends on a student’s financial situation and could up to $2,500 for full time students. There are other tax credits that might be available as well.

Rising Cost of Childcare


Childcare is becoming more and more expensive. Especially if you want to enroll your child in a reputable center that actually teaches your children. Childcare cost also depend on what state you reside in. Some states are cheaper than others, but overall, it is still expensive.

Infant care is especially high because the needs of infants are far greater and more time consuming than older children. It would cost a family between $4,500 and $12,000 annual. These numbers are approximate, but reflect current and recent childcare rates. This is for one infant child, which, depending on your family’s annual income could be equal to one month’s pay.

If you have more than one child the cost can really skyrocket. This is why many families have chosen to return to more traditional roles of stay at home mothers while fathers provide financial support for the family. There are also some families that choose to have a stay at home dad. The annual cost for two children under the age of 5 attending full time is between $9,000 and $26,000. The higher number is more than an employee working full time at $13.50 an hour brings home annually.

To offset the rising cost of living many stay at home parents find ways to work from home. There are several websites dedicated to freelancers and one can make a decent living if they have the time. Some might do writing projects, sell arts and crafts, or things such as Scentsy and Pampered Chef. Virtual companies are also on the rise, there are a couple of virtual call centers. One of them is Alpine Access.

If you have one child, it might be worth it for both parents to work, of course this is dependent upon your combined incomes. If you have 2 or more children it may not be worth it unless each parent is bringing home close to the national income average of $50,000 a year. The cost of living is going up, and so it means that all necessities are going to cost more, including childcare. It might also be wise to see if a family member can help out with childcare as this is often much less expensive, not to mention safer for your family.

Investment Trends in the United States

ImageInvesting is on the minds of many as our economy is finally beginning to bounce back from the recent recession. One could invest their money in many things such as a home, new vehicle, or they can turn to the stock market. Stock market trading isn’t nearly as difficult as it may seem, but you should do your homework before investing money. Losing money is never a good thing, especially if you invest a large sum.

Many consumers are putting their money into their futures and the futures of their children by purchasing homes. The housing market is actually on the rise. The recent recession, combined with the foreclosure of homes has driven the cost of homes down. For home buyers this means they might be able to purchase a home at lower cost and a lower interest rate. Home buyers should try to get a fixed interest rate because our economy is still somewhat shaky and inflation could strike again.

Investing in natural gas might also be a good choice. The prices of natural gas are expected to drop which means higher return rates on stock shares. The switch from coal to gas power is happening a high rate, which means better business for natural gas companies. In the long run this can mean a big return on your investment.

Another area to invest in is stores, and companies that produce necessities. People are still very being very cautious with their money. Walmart, Macy’s, and Cisco all reported lower than expected profits for the second quarter. This is because consumers aren’t making as many big purchases, or purchasing “luxury” items. They are saving money wherever they can and only purchasing necessities.

No matter where you choose to invest your money, it is a good idea to invest in a market that is going to continue to grow, is sustainable, and won’t suffer if the economy crashes again. In addition, our economy is still recovering from the recent recession; the stock market is still unstable and seems to be having a yo-yo effect on its investors, especially those markets that don’t include necessities.