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Up your game in 2020 with these five quick and easy investing moves – MarketWatch

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This article is reprinted by permission from NerdWallet.

It happens every year. January 1: You’re feeling motivated. This is the year you’ll go to the gym every day, meditate and prep meals like a boss. February 1: Yeah, not so much.

This year, pick some New Year’s resolutions that will stick. Here are five investing moves that will get your portfolio in order so fast, it might still be 2019 when you finish.

1. Diversify your accounts with a Roth IRA

Most investors know they should diversify their investments, but did you know you can diversify your investment accounts? If you’re contributing to a 401(k) at work, it’s a good idea to contribute at least enough to earn any matching dollars from your employer. After that, you should consider putting any additional retirement savings into a Roth IRA.

A Roth IRA provides tax diversification alongside a 401(k). 401(k) contributions are typically made pretax and then distributions in retirement are taxed as income. But Roth IRA contributions are made after-tax, which means your money grows tax-free and you don’t pay taxes on retirement distributions.

If you haven’t yet started investing for retirement, a Roth IRA is also a great first account, especially if you don’t have an employer retirement plan like a 401(k). If you do, be sure to max out that employer match before you invest elsewhere. You can open an IRA at any online brokerage.

2. Invest more money with automated deposits

In a recent survey conducted by The Harris Poll for NerdWallet, more than a third of investors said they wish they would’ve invested more money in 2019. One easy way to ensure you’re saving the amount you want is to set up an automatic deposit into your investment account.

Also see: ‘Watch gold in 2020,’ says one of Wall Street’s most influential stock-market investors

If you can, send that money directly from your paycheck. If you never have the cash in your checking account, you never have the temptation to spend it. If your employer can’t split your direct deposits into more than one account or doesn’t offer direct deposit, schedule automatic transfers to occur from your checking account after your paycheck is deposited.

Automating your investment contributions takes just a few minutes and saves you the time you’d spend moving your money manually. Saving the same amount on a regular basis makes it easier to budget for your contributions instead of stomaching larger deposits all at once. If you feel like going the extra mile, try to raise your contributions by 1% every year. You might not even miss it.

3. Review how much you’re paying in fees

Account fees, transaction charges, high investment expenses: All of these costs eat into your portfolio’s return. If you put $500 a month into a brokerage account for 30 years, earn a 6% average annual return and pay fees of 0.50% of your balance each year, you’ll end up sacrificing over $44,000 in returns.

While fees are hard to avoid completely, there are certainly ways to reduce them. Start by looking through your investment account statements to find what fees you’re being charged by your brokerage or account provider. If you’re invested in mutual funds, also take a look at each fund’s prospectus. These documents are available on your broker’s website, and the first few pages will outline the fee, called an expense ratio, charged by the fund.

Read: What was the top stock of 2019? And should it be in your retirement account?

“You should question any mutual fund or exchange-traded fund that has an expense ratio greater than 0.50%,” said Spencer Stephens, a certified financial planner and owner of Rooted Interest Financial Planning in Holladay, Utah, via email.

If you’re investing through a 401(k), you might not have an alternative fund, as these plans have small investment selections. But in any other investment account (like an IRA), you can shop around for lower-cost funds. Most online brokerages offer fund screeners, which you can use to sort available mutual funds and ETFs by expense ratio. And if your brokerage is still charging you a trading commission, consider switching to one of the many online brokers now offering free trades.

4. Roll over old 401(k)s

A 401(k) is a valuable employee benefit, which means you don’t want to leave it behind when you leave a job. If you have old 401(k)s lingering at past employers, take a bit of time to roll them over into an IRA.

It’s important to do the rollover correctly, though; otherwise, you could trigger taxes. Don’t cash out your balance or have your provider write you a check directly. Instead, ask your 401(k) plan provider to do a direct rollover into an IRA. You may also be able to roll your balance into your current 401(k).

5. Update your beneficiaries

When you’re in the throes of planning a wedding or dealing with swollen ankles from pregnancy, the last thing on your mind is updating the beneficiaries on your investment accounts. But these selections are important, and New Year’s resolutions are a good reminder to make them.

Be sure to visit MarketWatch and Learn: how to buy stocks, bonds and mutual funds

“A beneficiary assignment (on an IRA, 401(k) or otherwise) supersedes the will of the deceased. So whoever the beneficiary is will receive the money, regardless of what the will says. This applies to both retirement and nonretirement accounts,” Ian Bloom, a CFP and owner of Open World Financial Life Planning in Raleigh, North Carolina, said in an email.

Maintaining up-to-date beneficiaries makes the transition smoother and ensures your money will go where you intend it to.

More from NerdWallet:

Alana Benson is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: abenson@nerdwallet.com.

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Feds announce $3M investment for Calgary’s Energy Transition Centre – Globalnews.ca

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As Calgary attempts to become a centre for a transitioning energy industry, a new hub that focuses on clean energy in the city’s downtown core has received a major boost.

Federal ministers, along with Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek, were on hand Wednesday to announce a federal investment of more than $3 million towards the clean technology sector in Alberta, including more than $2.1 million to help fund the Energy Transition Centre.

Another $900,000 is earmarked for the Foresight clean technology accelerator, to provide training and investment attraction for Alberta clean technology companies.

Read more:

Getting regulations right key to unlocking Alberta’s next energy economy

“We are moving in the direction of seriously harnessing the potential of Calgary’s energy sector — the technology that we have resident in this sector for the future of the energy second,” University of Calgary chancellor Deborah Yedlin said. “This is our Wayne Gretzky moment, we’re asking towards where the puck is going.”

The Energy Transition Centre will take up an entire vacant floor at the Ampersand building in Calgary’s downtown core.

Barring any issues with COVID-19, officials said the plan is for the centre to open on March 1.


Click to play video: 'IEA head says Canadian oil industry can be part of energy transition if it gets cleaner'



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IEA head says Canadian oil industry can be part of energy transition if it gets cleaner


IEA head says Canadian oil industry can be part of energy transition if it gets cleaner

“This innovation hub will help small- and medium-sized businesses develop clean energy technologies that will help meet a growing global demand for environmentally-friendly products and processes,” said Daniel Vandal, federal minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada.

According to officials, the Energy Transition Centre is set to be a space to connect Canadian energy companies with clean energy start-ups, innovators and investors with access resources and experts in the field.

Federal officials hope the centre helps to create 25 new businesses in the clean energy sector over the next three years.

Read more:

Alberta needs billions more to invest in energy transition: study

Calgary’s mayor said the investment provides both a boost to the city’s efforts to become an energy transition hub as well as its work to revitalize the downtown core.

“We are seeing bold, innovative and collaborative ideas coming forward that are inspired by entrepreneurial Calgarians,” Gondek said. “This will be a catalyst for success in terms of Calgary’s leadership in climate protection and energy transformation, as well as our downtown revitalization.”


Click to play video: 'From lithium to hydrogen: How Alberta hopes to power the new energy future'



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From lithium to hydrogen: How Alberta hopes to power the new energy future


From lithium to hydrogen: How Alberta hopes to power the new energy future – Jan 6, 2022

According to a study on energy transition released in December, a clean energy sector could create 170,000 jobs and contribute up to $61 billion to the province’s GDP by 2050.  However, the study also estimates a path to net zero would need $2.1 billion in annual investments by 2030, increasing to $5.5 billion by 2040.

Although Wednesday’s announcement was encouraging for some experts, there is some belief that policy changes and not just funding will be key to a successful clean energy sector in the province.

“There are ways that governments can use financial tools to provide guarantees that can stimulate a lot more investment to prove out new technologies, and also to make sure that support is structured fairly,” University of Calgary sustainable energy development masters director Sara Hastings-Simon said.

“We’re going to be in a world that looks very different from an energy perspective in just a couple years from now, and so we don’t have a lot of time really left to wait — we really need to be preparing now for that future.”

The investment was also welcomed by Alberta’s opposition NDP, who were also critical of the notable absence of the provincial government during the announcement.

“There is zero investment from the province in this initiative. Why is the UCP ghosting Alberta’s efforts to diversify the economy and promote clean energy?” NDP energy critic Kathleen Ganley said in a statement.

Read more:

‘Elon is watching us’: Calgary woman uses nanotechnology to create new lithium extraction technology

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Jobs, Economy & Innovation said the province wasn’t involved in the announcement because there was no provincial funding for the initiative.

“We remain committed to responsible energy development, reducing emissions and supporting jobs,” Alberta government spokesperson Tricia Velthuizen said in a statement to Global News. “Through innovation and technology, industry can continue to reduce emissions, even with increased oil and gas production.”


Click to play video: 'Kenney touts energy industry success at Chamber of Commerce speech'



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Kenney touts energy industry success at Chamber of Commerce speech


Kenney touts energy industry success at Chamber of Commerce speech – Dec 8, 2021

According to Vandal, the federal government is looking at projects with Alberta’s provincial government and that both are “aligned on job creation and diversifying the economy.”

“Those consultations and communications are occuring,” Vandal said. “All levels of government need to be on the same page.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Ford sees $8.2 billion gain on its investment following Rivian’s IPO – Driving

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Ford continues to gain, despite abandoned plans to jointly develop an EV with the startup

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Ford Motor Co. expects to record a gain of $8.2 billion in the fourth quarter on its investment in RivianAutomotive Inc. after the electric-truck maker’s blockbuster initial public offering late last year.

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The legacy automaker disclosed the gain Tuesday along with several special items it intends to report when Ford releases earnings on Feb. 3. The Dearborn, Michigan-based company will also reclassify a non-cash gain of about $900 million on the Rivian investment from the first quarter of last year as a special item, meaning it will be excluded from the full-year adjusted results, according to a statement.

The disclosures show Ford continues to gain from its connection to the startup even after the auto giant exited Rivian’s board in September and subsequently announced it had abandoned plans to jointly develop an electric vehicle. Ford, which has invested a total of $1.2 billion in Rivian since early 2019, has a 12 per cent stake that the company has said was valued at more than $10 billion in early December.

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  1. Rivian delays big battery packs to prioritize more deliveries

    Rivian delays big battery packs to prioritize more deliveries

  2. Tesla doubles down on accusations rival Rivian stole its battery secrets

    Tesla doubles down on accusations rival Rivian stole its battery secrets

Since a November listing that was the largest IPO of 2021, Rivian has been on a roller coaster. The shares peaked at more than $172, but have tumbled 57 per cent since then as the company faced new competition in the electric-vehicle market. Rivian was briefly valued at more than $100 billion, then more valuable than Ford, but Ford has subsequently reclaimed the lead after it topped $100 billion in value for the first time last week.

Ford shares were little changed in after-hours trading Tuesday in New York, while Rivian climbed less than one per cent.

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ByteDance reorganizes strategic investment team, causes panic – Yahoo Movies Canada

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What a roller coaster day for China’s tech industry. TikTok’s parent company ByteDance has dissolved its strategic investment team, sending worrying messages to other internet giants that have expanded aggressively by investing in other companies.

At the beginning of this year, ByteDance reviewed its “businesses’ needs” and decided to “reduce investments in areas that are not key business focuses,” a company spokesperson said in a statement.

ByteDance isn’t halting external investments outright, though; instead, the investment team will be “restructured” and “integrated across the various business lines to support the growth” of its business.

In other words, some members from its strategic investment team, which has backed 169 companies, according to Chinese startup database IT Juzi (some deals may not be public), will be reassigned roles in other business departments and continue to invest there.

The “restructuring” still stirred up a wave of panic in the industry. China’s cyberspace regulator has drafted new guidelines that will require its “internet behemoths” to get its approval before undertaking any investments or fundraisings, Reuters reported, citing sources. Some Chinese media outlets also reported similar drafted rules.

“Behemoths” refer to any internet platform with more than 100 million users or more than 10 billion yuan ($1.58 billion) in revenue, said Reuters’ sources. That rule, if true, will put a slew of Chinese internet giants, from Tencent, Alibaba, Pinduoduo, JD.com to Baidu, under regulatory review for their investment activities. Tencent in particular is famous for its expansive investment portfolio, which earns it the moniker “the SoftBank of China.”

In a surprising turn, China’s cyberspace regulator said that the “rumored guidelines for internet companies’ IPO, investment and fundraising are untrue.” Furthermore, the authority will “investigate and hold relevant rumormongers responsible in accordance with the law.”

ByteDance’s motive for restructuring may indeed be to generate more synergies between its external investments and internal businesses. We don’t know for sure yet. But there are signs that China’s antitrust action on its internet darlings are nowhere near the end.

Tencent recently sold a great chunk of its shares in two of its most important allies, Chinese online retailer JD.com and Singaporean video games and e-commerce conglomerate Sea. While antitrust pressure wasn’t cited as the cause for its divestments, speculation is rife that China is continuing to blunt the monopolistic power of its largest interent platforms. A handful of them have received various degrees of fines for violating anticompetition rules, but a pause on their investment game will carry much greater consequences. The question now is who’s next.

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