Certified Financial Planners Play Critical Parts in Maximizing Profits and Economic Efficiency

Does your mind tend much toward monetary matters? Have you enjoyed an illustrious investment itinerary and want to reveal the road map to others? Perhaps you just want a broader base of knowledge to base your own basic way to wealth. If you have been itching for a career that offers all the above options and more, look no further.

A Certified Financial Planner career may be the best plan for your panting for pecuniary proselytizing. The flexibility of this course of financial study pays off in any currency desired. The altruistic satisfaction of helping others achieve their economic destinies, rich remunerative rewards, and social recognition are just a few of the attractions of this career field. Prepare for a brief pause while we explore this exciting world. That’s right; class is once again commenced.

What are Certified Financial Planners?

A Certified Financial Planner (“CFP”) assists consumers with a wide variety of financial decision making. A CFP must possess specialized knowledge about insurance, various investments, retirement accounts, taxes, and other financial products. The CFP suffix behind one’s name is a professional designation.

Requirements for becoming a CFP

Candidates for CFP designation must pass a specialized examination in addition to attaining minimum educational requirements. Conferred by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., the CFP mark will mark you as a competent professional who is truly tried and true.

The first prerequisite to reaching this mark is maintaining satisfactory marks in a bachelor’s degree program. That’s right, class; you cannot sit for the CFP exam until you’ve already passed enough college exams to earn a degree. Although there is no specific major required, you would be well-advised to select a well-rounded curriculum of courses pertaining to Finance, Economics, Statistics, and Mathematics. Of course, the school that you obtain your degree from must be accredited.

A training course that covers almost 100 topics related to integrated finance is also required prior to attempting the CFP examination. These topics include:

Insurance Planning
Investment and Securities Planning
Estate, Tax, Gift Tax, and Transfer Tax Planning
Asset Protection Planning
Retirement Planning
Estate Planning
Employee Benefits Training
General Principles of Finance and Financial Planning

Those with PhDs in related disciplines such as Business or Economics, attorneys, Certified Public Accountants, or those holding related designations in other fields may be
exempt from the pre-exam training requirement.

Even after passing the exam, the student must also undergo an extensive background check; this encompasses a character and criminal record review. Finally, once licensure is attained, annual continuing education requirements and a bi-annual fee is required to maintain CFP certification.

Functions of a Financial Planner

CFPs provide many valuable consumer advisement functions. Counseling for major purchases such as a home, car, or vacation; routine household budgeting, and retirement are common services provided by CFPs. By assisting the client’s long-term objectives with specialized advice, CFPs facilitate greater efficiency and ease in attaining major financial goals.

In addition to spending money, CFPs assist people in preserving money by avoiding unnecessary excessive expenditures. Excessive credit card debt, high interest on consumer purchases such as furniture and other such personal property, and superfluous spending in other areas can often “bleed” family budgets dry – one drop at a time. By helping consumers plug these draining drips, solvency can often be restored without resort to more drastic measures like bankruptcy.

More long-term objectives such as the best investment vehicles for maximum mileage in retirement savings plan are also areas in which CFPs can be of valuable assistance. Many workers are unaware of the best investment strategies to obtain highest yields on hard-earned funds. Retirement planning is a growing field, as people become more conscious of the shortcomings of government plans and life expectancies lengthen.

The specialized knowledge CFPs offer in identifying investments that yield the highest payoffs and profits can make a tremendous difference in whether one’s Golden Years will be full of toil and tears or fine fiscal fitness.

Many CFPs also act as consultants to businesses. Small companies desiring to implement or expand employee benefits packages frequently seek professional counsel for the best means of so doing. Tax consequences, profit preservation, and employee satisfaction are all parts of the economic equation that must be properly balanced.

In short, a career as a CFP offers the chance to play a key role in benefitting society through insuring that individuals and businesses achieve maximum economic potential. Through facilitating maximum financial productivity for consumers and companies, the entire American economy can only benefit in the long run. Start maximizing your own career and financial potentials today by investigating this most investment-worthy professional path. Class is now dismissed.

My Colleges and Careers helps students connect with the best schools to earn their college degree and embark on a rewarding career! A powerful resource for individuals of all walks of life, My Colleges and Careers connects people with the programs that help them earn degrees on campus or online.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Is Export Trade Finance Important Today?

For businesses concentrating only on the domestic market, they may miss out on different opportunities the international market offers. If you make a foray into the international market, you may increase your profit as well as protect your business from the negative effects of slowed-down growth. Apart from that, this will allow you to diversify your portfolio.

Among the most crucial ingredients for success in the exportation business is export trade finance. Exporters want to get paid for their products as fast as possible. On the other hand, customers from foreign markets would want to delay payment until they’ve received the products or perhaps resold these. To become competitive, your company must be capable of offering payment terms which are very attractive to possible partners.

Important Factors To Consider When Selecting The Best Financing Option

The amount of time in which the product is financed – This is considered the most important factor to consider. Experts highly emphasized that your choice of financing will be greatly influenced by how long you’ll wait before receiving the payment.

The cost of financing options – If there are several financing options to choose from, you have to look into them meticulously, most especially the interest rates. Be reminded that these costs can greatly influence the products’ price along with your potential profit.

Risks – Transactions are not created equal. There are those that are riskier than others. Experts have emphasized that the riskier the transaction is, the more you’ll find it hard to finance. Economic and political stability can actually compound or increase these risks.

Amount of orders – If you are receiving plenty of orders, your working capital might not be sufficient to meet such increased demand.

Getting Expert Help

You can actually get help from commercial banks with an international department when it comes to dealing with the export trade finance needs of your company. Choose banks that are familiar with the export business. These banks will provide your firm with a wide range of international banking services.

After finding this kind of bank, consider scheduling a visit with the international department for you to know and be aware of the different matters like your export plan, banking facilities, services, and the applicable charges. In case your partner importer fails to pay for the transaction, your business will bear the responsibility of paying for the loan. With the use of instruments like letters of credit as well as credit insurance, you and your chosen bank can greatly benefit from the improvement of the export receivables’ quality.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Manage Personal Finance During Youth

Personal finance of everyone are important in achieving personal goals and to obtain success. With this in mind each person should look after his personal finances, but this is not the case when considering the few people who haven’t a personal budget, or those who live beyond their means without pay no attention to their personal finances. When should you begin to manage your personal finances and why?

Franco Modigliani, Nobel Laureate in Economics in 1985 developed the model life cycle in which he analyzes the consumer behavior of an individual during his life. It takes into account in its analysis of changes in income and savings of the individual. He proceeds to the study of several facets of personal finance economic agents during different stages of their lives. The author divides the period of life into two parts which is the activity and inactivity or retirement. The period of activity which includes both sides reveals changes in personal finances of individuals. During the first phase, their personal finances are not very good because their consumption is very high, sometimes exceeding their income.

They are using consumer credit through credit cards and have no heritage. During the second phase people borrow to purchase consumer goods and investment. Indeed, they accept credits for the purchase of cars, credits for the purchase of real estate; credit cards…At that time, personal finances are beginning to improve as savings becomes positive and important heritage until the end of their life. This is due to the decrease in consumer spending since their children can grow up and leave the family roof and have less recourse to credit. During the period of inactivity, personal finance begins to deteriorate as their incomes fall and they want to maintain the same standard of living. They reduce their savings in order to satisfy a higher consumption, and income declines. To maintain their previous level of consumption, they draw on their savings; sometimes tend to dispose of their heritage.

This shows us the importance of dealing with finances during our youth, because it is the best time of our life because during this period we have the opportunity to influence our personal finances through of our revenues from our activities. How positively influence our heritage, our savings, and our brief finances?

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Behavioural Finance: Focus on Intrinsic Value

INTRODUCTION

The volume of research in the field of Behavioural Finance has grown over the recent years. The field merges the concepts of finance, economics and psychology to understand the human behaviour in the financial markets, to form winning investment strategies.

THE CONCEPT OF BEHAVIOURAL FINANCE

Behavioural finance is the study of the influence of psychology on the behaviour of financial practitioners and the subsequent effect on markets. Principal objective of an investment is to make money. We usually assume that investors always act in a manner that maximizes their return rationally. The Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH), the central proposition of finance for the last thirty five years rests on assumption of rationality. But it has been proved that people are ruled as much by emotion as by cold logic and selfishness. While the emotions such as fear and greed often play an important role in poor decisions, there are other causes like cognitive biases, heuristics (shortcuts) that take investors to incorrectly analyse new information about a stock or currency and thus overreact or under react. Behavioural Finance is the study of how these mental errors and emotions can cause stocks or currency to be overvalued or undervalued, and to create investment strategies that gives a winning edge over the others investors.

I would like to bring out the behaviour pattern of a rational investor. This rational investor is assumed to act rationally in following ways:

o Makes decisions to maximize the expected utility.

o Fully informed with unbiased information.

o Absence of any distortion of judgement based on emotions.

It is to be kept in mind that risk resides not only in the price movements of dollars, gold, oil, commodities, companies and bonds. It also lurks inside us – in the way we misinterpret information, fool ourselves into thinking we know more than we do, and overreact to market swings. Information is useless if we misinterpret it or let emotions sway our judgement. Human beings are irrational about investing. Correct behaviour patterns are absolutely essential to successful investing – so to be financially successful one has to overcome these tendencies. if we can recognise these destructive urges, we can avoid them. Behavioural Finance combines the disciplines of economics and psychology specifically to study this phenomenon.

THE CONCEPT OF BUBBLES IN STOCK MARKET

A speculative bubble occurs when actions by market participants’ results in stock prices to deviate from their fundamental valuation over a prolonged period of time. Speculative bubbles are difficult to explain by rational trading behaviour, and theories have been put forward to explain market psychology through behavioural finance1. They propose that when significant proportion of trading activity in the market is characterized by positive feedback behaviour, it may result in asset prices to shift away from their fundamental valuation. This price deviation encourages rational investors to trade in the same direction.

Speculative trades are based upon investors’ private information held today, and are designed to provide investors with higher returns in the next period when that private information is fully revealed to the market. This implies a positive correlation in returns as market incorporate the information into prices. Trades due to portfolio rebalancing, or hedging, is not information based, and occurs when a trader may increase (or decrease) his stock holding by buying (or selling) a portion of his stock holding. This will be accomplished by increasing (or decreasing) the stock price to induce the opposite side of the trade.

FOCUS ON INTRINSIC VALUE

What are the implications for corporate managers? It is believed that such market deviations make it even more important for the executives of a company to understand the intrinsic value of its shares. This knowledge allows it to exploit any deviations, if and when they occur, to time the implementation of strategic decisions more successfully. Here are some examples of how corporate managers can take advantage of market deviations:

o Issuing additional share capital when the stock market attaches too high a value to the company’s shares relative to their intrinsic value.

o Repurchasing shares when the market under-prices them relative to their intrinsic value.

o Paying for acquisitions with shares instead of cash when the market overprices them relative to their intrinsic value.

Two things must be kept in mind as regards this aspect of market deviations.

Firstly, these decisions must be grounded in a strong business strategy driven by the goal of creating shareholder value.

Secondly, managers should be cautious of analyses claiming to highlight market deviations. Furthermore, the deviations should be significant in both size and duration. Provided that a company’s share price eventually returns to its intrinsic value in the long run, managers would benefit from using a discounted-cash-flow approach for strategic decisions.

It can thus be summarized that for strategic business decisions, the evidence strongly suggests that the market reflects intrinsic value.

INVESTING IRRATIONALITIES

Often turbulence in the market isn’t linked to any perceivable event but to investor psychology. A fair amount of portfolio losses can be traced back to investor choices and reasons for making them. I would like to point out some of the ways by which investors unthinkingly inflict problems on themselves :

Herding

This is a cardinal sin in investing and this tendency to follow the crowd and depend on the direction of others is exactly how problems in the stock market arise. There are two actions that are caused by herd mentality:

o Panic buying

o Panic selling

Holding Out for a rare treat

Some investors, praying for a reversal for their stocks, hold onto them, other investors, settling for limited profit, sell stock that has great long-term potential. One of the big ironies of the investing world is that most investors are risk averse when chasing gains but become risk lovers when trying to avoid a loss.

If we are shifting our non-risk capital into high-risk investments, we are contradicting every rule of prudence to which the stock market ascribes and asking for further problems.

ISSUES

One of the most important issues in Behavioural Finance is whether the assumptions of investor rationality are realistic or not.

The concept can be explained with the help of an example. Let’s assume that Mr. X invests and manages his portfolio in an efficient market. Here only seconds are available for a response to the news. There are a great number of factors that affect the decision of Mr. X. Further, these factors can affect each other. How can Mr. X draw the right judgements when the information is updated very frequently? Probably Mr. X works on a computer, through out the day, on which a utility function program is installed for his work. Every decision Mr. X is based on the calculation given by his computer. As soon as the portfolio is rebalanced, the computers utility function program analyses new alternatives. This process goes on and on over the course of the day. Obviously, Mr X does not show any joy, when he wins and no panic when he looses. Can a human brain behave like this? We know that a human brain can master only seven pieces of information at any one time.

So, how could one possibly absorb all the relevant information and process it correctly? People use simplifying heuristics (shortcuts) in order to control the complexity of information received. Psychological research has shown that the human brain often uses shortcuts to solve complex problems. These heuristics are rules or strategies for information processing, which help to find a quick, but not necessary optimal, solution. Once the information is simplified to manageable level, people use judgement heuristics. These shortcuts are needed to resolve the decision making as quickly as possible. Heuristics are also used to arrive at a quick judgement, they can, however, also systematically distort judgement in certain situations.

SIMPLIFICATION BIAS

The first step in reducing complexity is to simplify the decision. However it also adds the risk of arriving at a non-rational conclusion, unless one is careful.

MENTAL ACCOUNTING

People focus on one account (say purchase of share x) in particular when weighing things, relationship with other commitments or accounts (say purchase of share y) are usually ignored. I would like to explain this with the help of an illustration. For instance, Company A produces bathing costumes, and company B produces raincoats. Both companies are new, extremely efficient and innovating, so that purchasing shares in these companies would be a profitable proposition. A financial gain, however depends to a large extent on the whether in both cases, Company A will produce huge profits if the weather is fine, while Company B will make a loss, even though this is kept to a minimum, thanks to its efficient management. The situation is reversed in the case of bad weather. With mental accounting, either investment is risky when seen in isolation. But if we take into account the mutual effect of the uncertainty factor, i.e. the weather, then a combination of both shares become a lucrative, and at the same time secure investment.

AVAILABILITY CONSTRAINT

Not everybody has same degree of information. Some people prefer to see business news on CNBC TV 18, NDTV PROFIT. But others may like to see the serials on STAR PLUS. Obviously the first one may have more information, as compared to second.

REPRESENTATIVENESS

This is one of the mental shortcuts that make it hard for investors to correctly analyse new information. It helps the brain organise and quickly process large stock of data, but can cause investors to overreact to old information. For example, if a company is repeatedly giving losses, investors will become disillusioned with this past data, and thus may overreact to past information by ignoring valid signs of recovery. Thus, the stock of the company is undervalued because of this bias.

CHLALLENGES

Under the paradigm of traditional financial economics, decision makers are considered to be rational and utility maximizing. The assumption of rational expectations is simply an assumption – an assumption that could turn out not to be true.

Behavioural Finance has the potential to be a valuable supplement to the traditional financial theories in making investment decisions. The following fundamentals of behavioural finance give us a glimpse of the pitfalls to be avoided. These are the challenges which need to be overcome and addressed.

1. Hubris hypothesis: it is the tendency to be over optimistic. It results from psychological biases. The investor gets swayed by the momentum generated in the markets in recent past.

2. Sheep theory: it is a phenomenon where all the investors are running in the same direction. They follow the herd – not voluntarily, but to avoid being trampled.

3. Loss aversion: it says that investors take more risk when threatened with a loss. Thus mental penalty associated with a given loss is greater than the mental reward from a gain of the same size.

4. Anchoring: this causes investors to under react to new information. This can lead to investors to expect a company’s earning to be in line with historical trends, leading to possible under reaction to trend changes.

5. Framing: this states that the way people behave depends on their way decision problems are framed. Even the same problem framed in different ways can cause people to make different choices.

6. Overconfidence: this is what leads people to think that they know more than they do. It leads investors to overestimate their predictive skills and believe they can time the market.

RELEVANCE TO INDIAN STOCK MARKETS

Behavioural finance holds definite clues and appears apt in the current IPO craze as regards Indian markets are concerned. The herd mentality is evident in the scramble for shares. As the positive information of excess subscriptions comes, more investors enter the bandwagon. When Prices of the stocks start soaring, everyone one is thinking of the same thing: I am going to sell on listing and book the profits. Can money making be so simple? Is life and the financial markets so predictable? One will see investors selling the stocks as soon as they get the allotments. Herd mentality will be at work with people trying to sell faster than the neighbour, thus eroding stock values at a faster rate. Greed thus becomes the graveyard. One needs to understand that there are no shortcuts to earning money. One has to work hard and have patience.

It is believed that perfect application of Behavioural finance can make an Indian investor successful, making fewer mistakes. Even if we learn to identify some common psychological and cognitive errors that plague even the wisest investment professional, it may be enough. To put it in Simple words, economic theory starts with a flawed basic premise that the investor is a rational being who will always act to maximise his financial gain. Yet, we are not rational beings, we are human beings.

In stock markets, behavioural finance can help explain situations such as why we hold on to stocks that are crashing, foolishly sell stocks that are rising, ridiculously overvalue stocks, jump in late and never find our right price to buy and sell stocks.

Let’s take the example of the recent discovery of gas by Reliance industries. The stock starts spurting as everyone starts buying on this news. Newspapers start flashing stories as to the size of such a discovery.

But let us analyse the situation without becoming a prey to mental heuristics. Gas has been discovered but the same needs to be drilled which takes a lot of time and money. What is the quality of the gas? How many wells would be needed for drilling? How much time will it take? How much money would be required and what are the plans to finance the same? How easy it is going to be to extract the same? These are all important and pertinent questions. In this time lag there are so many uncertainties the company will have to go through, before the profits are reaped. However, analysts have started predicting the future profitability of Reliance and on such hopes investors start buying the stock at rising prices.

This is how mental heuristics work when the brain takes a shortcut in processing information and does not process the full information and its implications. Thus behavioural finance has a pivotal role to play in Indian Capital market.

CONCLUSION

Knowing the heuristics shall help the investors to which they are susceptible and this will help them in neutralizing to some extent the distortions in the perception and assimilation of information. This will in turn, help the investor to take a rational decision and get a cutting edge over the other not-so-rational investors.

More research on behavioural finance should take place not only in asset pricing but also in areas like project appraisal & investment decisions and other areas of corporate finance, so that managers can avoid the decision traps. Psychology and irrational behaviour matter on financial markets. Behavioural finance is relevant in many ways. It educates investors about how to avoid biases, designing long and short term strategies to exploit biases; and being aware that decision-makers in financial markets are human beings with biases. We also need to realize that an implicit assumption of behavioural finance is that their findings at individual level are scalable to market level.

Mr. Amarendra B. Dhiraj is a frequent speaker at internationally renowned global events, CEO/CTO/CIO Roundtables, Technology Conferences and Symposiums. He hosted and organized the Executive Technology Leadership Forum. He specializes in strategy, innovation, and leadership for change. His strategic and practical insights have guided leaders of large and small organizations worldwide.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off