What to Look Out For in a Stock Broker

The first thing you need to think about if you want to get into the stock market in Singapore is where and who to get as a stock broker. This is especially true if you are a maiden investor and even if you are a veteran, it is impractical to think that you can manage the actual trading of shares yourself.

Stockbrokers are not just qualified but experienced in buying and selling shares. They could help you navigate the big bad world of the stock market and come out alive and hopefully richer at the end. That being said, they can make bad decisions as well so you should be involved in the trading and make sure you are up to speed on market trends in order to make informed decisions.

So how do you choose your new best friend (yes, we are still talking about the stockbroker)? Well, the most obvious criterion is the brokerage fee you will have to pay. In this regard, it will depend on how much you have to spend and on what kind of services you will need. It is important to note that the cheapest may not be the best so look into a few more things before settling on your broker.

Another of these factors is the reputation and reliability. You need to know if you can trust this person with your hard-earned cash. The best way to find out this information is asking one of your more experienced share traders for a recommendation. You could also get information online that could steer you in the right direction or simply go for bank or large security firms brokering divisions in Singapore, which are generally reliable.

If you want to follow your investment closely, you need to get a broker that does their trading online. This not only helps you with closely monitoring your investment while learning a lot about the share market, it is also cheaper since most brokers in Singapore charge lower fees for the online trading option.

Keeping with the money, you need to know whether the broker will require you to have a minimum balance in your account or not. The minimum balance varies depending on your portfolio and the broker and it could set you back anything from $1,000 to $5,000. Depending on how much you have to spend, you may need to choose a broker with a low balance requirement or even better, none at all.

Getting a broker is inevitable so make sure you choose one that is affordable, trustworthy and skilled enough to manage your oh-so-precious investment.

What is Your Life Worth? Defining What ‘Enough’ Life Insurance Coverage Means

One of the most important things that every family should think about when planning their finances is the life insurance coverage. What life insurance does (just in case you weren’t aware) is that it provides protection for you and your family in the event of death, critical illness or any form of permanent or total disability that could affect your ability to work and overall quality of life.

The challenge for every family, therefore, is to decide which life insurance plan to take and how much coverage to get. So first off, let us see what kinds of plans are out there. There are whole life insurance plans, endowment insurance plans, term Insurance plans, and Investment-linked Insurance Plans.

These all come with various terms and conditions so you can choose the best plan for your needs and financial goals.

Now let us see how much life insurance coverage is enough. You and your family will have to look at the following as you decide you much cover is enough:

Debt – any kind of debt beyond your mortgage means that because you are spending above your income you will need more life insurance to pay the debt off.

Expenditure – what does your family need each month to live comfortably? Get the exact amount and that will help you decide how much cover you should get so that your family will receive due care should anything happen to you.

Savings – if you paid attention to your elders and have developed the discipline of saving money, then you do not need too much coverage.

Long term – this has to do with long term saving goals such as the kids’ education and your retirement. Again, if you have enough savings, you do not need a lot of coverage.

Annual income and expenditure – The number of years you will need to provide for dependents. Family dynamics such as single or double income, elderly parents etc.

All these factors will determine how much coverage is enough for your specific set of circumstances. Often, the cover required will exceed what you are practically capable of obtaining given your income and expenses and financial goals.

This means that more often than not, families must look beyond their life insurance covers to find other means with which to secure themselves in case anything happens to the main income earner of the family.