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Investment platform Qooore rebrands as Qure.Finance – Private Banker International

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Investment platform Qooore, which touts itself as a social investment platform for Gen Z, has rebranded as Qure.Finance.

Subsequently, the firm also launched paper trading in its iOS app to allow users to carry out risk-free trades based on insights from “finfluencers”.

Qure.Finance will also allow users to practice trading approximately 10,000 securities, including US stocks and ETFs, as well as more than 20 cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

The firm will provide each user with $100,000 in virtual money that they can be used to make simulated trades on its app based on real-life market quotes.

The move is expected to help users enhance their trading skills without risking their money or paying fees.

Qure.Finance CEO Igor Sheremet said that paper trading will help to enhance both the financial literacy and trading skills of the community.

 Sheremet said: “Today marks a new chapter in our company’s development, as we launch paper trading under our new brand name.

“Thanks to paper trading, our users will not only be able to receive trading insights from leading content creators, but also test them out in real life, free of charge, with no financial risks attached – all within a sleek and user-friendly interface.

“We are making investing solutions more accessible to everyone, regardless of their level of skills or financial resources.”

The company plans to paper trading functionality for Android users in the coming months.

The San Francisco-based firm was founded in 2020 to provide social-media style trading insights from global financial influencers to young investors.

This April, women-focused robo advisory platform Ellevest secured an investment of $53m in a Series B funding round to expand its offerings and product solutions.

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Smart Money: The Top 10 investment mistakes – Alaska Highway News

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I have been doing this work for a long time. Nearly 30 years. And over that span I continue to see people make the same, preventable mistakes, over and over.

Here’s my Top 10 list of unforced investment errors.

1. Getting your financial advice from social media. If you have a question about money, what makes you think your equally uniformed friends have the correct answer? People with accounting questions will consult an accountant. People with medical concerns will seek out a doctor. But people with investing questions turn to Facebook or TikTok. It’s nutty.

2. Believing in fairy tales. Yes, I understand the allure of instant riches. Especially if someone is promising outsized returns with no risk. But huge returns with no risk is a fairy tale. Or a scam.

3. Being a perpetual GIC investor. Guaranteed Investment Certificates have their role in financial planning, but if you find yourself continuously rolling over your GICs at maturity because you don’t know what else to do then what you end up with is a permanent string of low-paying investments. On an after-tax, after inflation basis you are almost certainly losing money. How safe is that?

4. Buying on greed. If the reason that you want to buy an investment is because it is showing impressive past performance and you want to get in on the action, chances are very good that you are not making a rational investment decision. And if the investment has already gone up by that much already chances are that its too late.

5. Selling on fear. If the reason that you want to sell a quality investment is because it is showing disheartening past performance and you want to get out to avoid the pain of loss, chances are very good that you are not making a rational investment decision. And if the investment has already gone down by that much already chances are that it’s too late.

6. Confusing investment costs with losses. Buying the lowest cost investment is not the same thing as buying the best investment. If you can replace the diversification and investment decision making process at a lower cost, you might be on to something. But buying an investment only because it is cheap is a good way to end up with junk.

7. Overthinking. You really don’t need to wait until you master the nuances of a covered call strategy or do up a 200-column spreadsheet with correlation analysis before you take action. People can get overwhelmed by the choices and end up paralyzed into inactivity. Simple is usually better than complicated. Just get started.

8. Overconfidence. This one is a biggie. Way too many people think they know what they are doing with their investments, but that’s only because they don’t know what they don’t know. The tricky part is few readers will recognize themselves as being overconfident, just like everyone thinks that they are an above average driver. But if the roads are filled with great drivers, why are intersections with four way stop signs so difficult for people to figure out?

9. Burying your head in the sand. Sometimes financial decisions cause great angst, and the way that some people deal with money decisions is by not dealing with money decisions. Ignoring the situation might be a coping strategy, but it’s not going to get you anywhere. Unpleasant jobs are a fact of life. Pretending that they don’t exist doesn’t make them go away, and procrastination can allow small problems to fester into big ones.

10. Confusing wants and needs. You may want a shiny new toy right now. But you still need to eat when you get to retirement. A high consumption lifestyle is fun, but draining your retirement funds to finance it is short-sighted.

These preventable mistakes are well-known. Even so, I can assure you that people all over the world will continue to make all of them.

But you don’t have to be one of those people.


Brad Brain, CFP, R.F.P., CIM, TEP is a Certified Financial Planner in Fort St John, BC. This material is prepared for general circulation and may not reflect your individual financial circumstances. Brad can be reached at www.bradbrainfinancial.com.

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Three strategies to help you take the emotion out of investing – Financial Post

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Martin Pelletier: Never let emotion drive the investment decision-making process

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Investors sometimes need a friendly reminder to play the long game, especially during these uncertain times when many are wondering if the recent market rally is just another head fake or the beginning of a sustainable recovery.

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We can’t blame them for their trepidation, because pundits keep telling us to place our bets on red or black and whether central banks such as the United States Federal Reserve are going to pivot or not with their ongoing tightening.

Strong employment data has central banks hiking rates by 75 basis points, sending markets lower one day, only to be followed by consumer price index data that has them hiking just 50 basis points, sending markets higher with the magnitude dependent on the level of duration exposure.

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This isn’t surprising given just how addicted we’ve become to loose monetary policy.

That said, there is something that we think can really help keep you centred and on the right path going forward: Instead of getting caught up in all this binary nonsense, remember that both bear and bull markets come and go, at times faster or slower than others, but they all ultimately come to an end at some point.

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The bottom line is that over the longer term, there must be a return on invested capital or else the system breaks, and the winners have always been those betting on capitalism, not against it.

Therefore, you shouldn’t get distracted by the daily ups and downs, but stick to your investment plan and play the long game. This doesn’t mean not being active in the management of your portfolio, especially when it comes to managing risk, far from it.

But, most importantly, never let emotion drive the investment decision-making process. Here are three ways to help prevent this from happening to your investment process.

Goals-based benchmarking

The problem with indexes is figuring out which is the correct one to choose to compare against your portfolio. This can lead to performance chasing even among investment pros who face career risk for not beating the hottest market.

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Since the Fed began quantitative easing back in 2009, the low-rate, longer-duration tech-orientated U.S. equity market has been the top performer, but many forget that during the prior decade, resource-based, commodity-oriented markets such as Canada and emerging markets were the ones in the spotlight.

Avoid all this by charting your own course. Set a target return to meet a certain financial goal specific to you and your family and reflective of the market conditions of the time. Then, position your portfolio to try to meet it by taking as little risk as possible.

Risk management

Understand there is a time to add risk and a time to reduce it, but not in an all-or-nothing fashion, otherwise there is the chance of missing out on market recoveries by capitulating at the bottom or, worse, adding at the top just before a market meltdown for fear of missing out.

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We’re eating our own cooking when it comes to this. Our risk-managed, goals-based approach meant slightly underperforming on last year’s rally, but greatly protecting this year’s downside. As a result, this has given us the ability to add more risk to portfolios over the past few months following this year’s large market drawdown.

This is another reason why my outlook has been more bullish over the past few weeks than others. By minimizing losses, I’ve prevented emotion from clouding my vision.

  1. A construction worker works on a new house being built in a suburb located north of Toronto in Vaughan.

    Martin Pelletier: The end of cheap labour is a good thing for society, despite inflationary fears

  2. Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

    Beware of cherry pickers: Mixed economic data means bulls and bears both have strong cases

  3. The Federal Reserve building in Washington, D.C.

    Normalized interest rates are the cure, not the problem

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Always keep moving

Movement is life, and those who become complacent end up being left behind. It is common among those in my industry to tout buying, holding and forgetting about it. For the most part, the thesis is right, but it shouldn’t be used as an excuse to not actively rebalance.

For example, a few months ago, we were adding to our underweight position in longer-duration growth segments of the market such as the S&P 500 given its large multiple contraction, which more recently is showing its merit. At the same time, we’ve been selectively adding to the energy space on the large selloff in June given our favourable long-term outlook for the sector.

Remember to play your own game, not someone else’s and you will do just fine. This is easier said than done, but we think deploying the aforementioned strategies around an individualized investment plan can greatly increase the probability of achieving your financial goals and objectives.

Martin Pelletier, CFA, is a senior portfolio manager at Wellington-Altus Private Counsel Inc, operating as TriVest Wealth Counsel, a private client and institutional investment firm specializing in discretionary risk-managed portfolios, investment audit/oversight and advanced tax, estate and wealth planning.

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Time to sell? How to manage your investment property as interest rates rise – Financial Post

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There are a few key things that owners should consider to decide if their investment is worthwhile

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Inflation is up more than 8%, the highest yearly change in almost four decades, according to Statistics Canada. And in a scramble to bring that inflation rate down, the Bank of Canada raised its benchmark rate to the highest amount since 1998: 2.5 per cent.

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The hope is that inflation gets back to a normal two per cent by 2024. For borrowers with fixed mortgage rates, they would have locked in a certain interest rate when they purchased their property. For variable-rate mortgages, the interest rate that the borrower pays is tied to the central bank’s inflation rate.

Canadian borrowers are dealing with a five-year fixed rate of around 4.5 to 5.5 per cent. Variable rates are in the 3.8 to 4.5 per cent range. And rates are at least two per cent higher than a year ago.

Now that the days of easy money are a distant memory, real estate investors affected by higher interest rates may have to adjust behaviours in order to maintain a positive cash flow—or at least break even during this difficult time.

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Remember, real estate is a long game

Big real estate investors, such as developers, buy properties to hold for years, through many up and down cycles.

“My views are that if you are going to invest you should be a long-term holder,” says developer Gino Nonni of Nonni Property Group.

“I don’t know how often you can buy something and then turn around and make a substantial profit in a short period of time. At minimum, mom and pop investors pay their mortgage down and typically the value of the asset will go up.”

He believes the shortage of land will always constrain supply and put pressure on prices. The result is a secure, long-term investment.

“That’s the way I view it, and that’s what I tell my friends when they ask. I tell them to always hold.”

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Put your investment in perspective

Millennial broker Jacky Chan, president of BakerWest Real Estate, has been investing in real estate his entire adult life. He prefers real estate to other investments because it’s less volatile, and with the world’s population growing by about 80 million people a year, people are always going to need a place to live. Prices may slow down, but overall they go up.

“The faster an investment moves, the closer you need to monitor it, especially with the recent hype of NFTs and cryptocurrency,” says Chan. “But look at any real estate market in the world with a growing population, and it was definitely cheaper 50 years ago than it is today.”

Two things matter in real estate investment, says Chan: positive cash flow and appreciation. If the investor isn’t over-leveraged by too much debt, they should maintain a long-term outlook and not get spooked by interest rate hikes.

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If you own a $1 million property and have a $500,000 mortgage at five per cent, you are, in simple terms, looking at $25,000 interest per year.

If the property increases by five per cent in a year on the $1 million investment, that’s an increase of $50,000, so the owner has a net positive of $25,000.

“Even though the rate has gone up, the real estate value is still increasing.”

When things are getting tight

Let’s say you purchased a condo to live in, and purchased another as an investment. With interest rates climbing, what happens if you took out a variable rate mortgage and the rent isn’t covering the higher mortgage payment? Mortgage advisor Alex McFadyen, of Thrive Mortgage, saw a lot of people buy second properties in the last couple of years, and they might now find themselves stretched. All experts will tell you that selling off the property should be a last resort, but how do you avoid that when costs are mounting?

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“Ask yourself if the property itself is really underwater, or are there expenses we can remove or eliminate?” says McFadyen. “That’s the first thing we determine.”

He gets his clients to write down all their property expenses, including management and maintenance fees, taxes, utilities, and any upcoming repairs on the home. If it’s a primary property that’s causing them stress, then he asks them to write out a cash flow budget spreadsheet to see what’s coming in and going out. McFadyen finds that the main culprit for expenses is often a car loan or credit card debt, or — more commonly these days — travel debt. Cut those debts and throw that money at your mortgage instead, he advises.

Take control of the situation

If expenses are truly unmanageable, McFadyen advises that clients consider consolidating debts with a loan, such as the possibility of taking out a second mortgage or home equity line of credit(HELOC) to get it under control. He predicts consolidation will be a “massive trend” in the next 12 months.

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“I ask my clients, ‘are you able to sleep at night right now?’ If someone isn’t able to effectively get out of debt, what is the downside of setting yourself up with a second mortgage or HELOC to help things?”

McFayden has a client who owes nearly $75,000, which caused their credit score to go down to the low 500s (a good score should stay above 650). By consolidating their debt, it became a more manageable single payment instead of several payments that were only covering the interest owed. The key thing is to do it before you’re drowning in debt.

Restructure for bumpy times

Long term, everyone agrees that real estate will go up in value, so do what it takes to get through the interim.

McFadyen is helping some of his clients to re-amortize their 20-year mortgages to 30 years, for example. With a longer amortization period, the clients have reduced monthly payments, which helpsto reduce expenses and eliminate payment shock.

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McFayden also advises mortgage holders coming up for renewal to consider a refinance option and lock into a one- or two-year mortgage, until rates settle down. If historical trends are an indicator, we are near the peak, he says. A lot of his clients are taking that approach because there is good value in short-term mortgages, if rates do come back down as expected. That means the borrower isn’t locked in at a higher rate. Additionally, they don’t face a huge penalty, if they do want to take advantage of lower rates.

“We’ve seen folks worried about rising mortgage payments and we’ve helped them lock into short terms, to stem the tide,” says McFadyen.

But also, know when to sell

That said, when a person is over-leveraged, with negative cash flow and sleepless nights, then it could be time to sell that investment property. You’ve got to think about your mental health, advises McFadyen.

“If you are significantly underwater and it’s not only impacting your quality of life and there are no options to re-amortize or consolidate debt, and you can’t afford to make payments and it’s impacting your quality of life, and if the property also has upcoming expenses, then we would recommend letting it go,” he says. “If they are in so much stress and they have the ability to get out from under it, they should consider it as a last resort.”

This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.

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