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Want to start investing? Here's what you need to know – CNBC

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Narisara Nami | Moment | Getty Images

You may be thinking it’s time to get into the stock market.

Whether it is a resolution for the new year or you want to get in on the gains you saw others make, you’ll want to make sure you do it right.

To be sure, stocks climbed higher in 2021, with the S&P 500 up about 25%. It was also a year that saw a surge of retail investors into the market, buying into meme stocks like AMC and Gamestop, as well as other investments, like cryptocurrency.

Yet, investors would do best if they kept things simple, said investing legend Charles Ellis, author of the book “Winning the Loser’s Game.”

In fact, most people do way too much decision-making about investing, Ellis told CNBC contributor Jenny Harrington in an interview for CNBC Pro. (Harrington is CEO of New Canaan, Connecticut-based Gilman Hill Asset Management.)

“Fewer instructions works better,” added Ellis, an advocate of passive investing, such as index funds, over active investing. “Fewer decisions work better.”

Starting slowly and understanding the importance of diversification and asset classes is what certified financial planner Crystal Alford-Cooper tries to impress upon her clients.

“This is the age of distraction,” said Alford-Cooper, who is vice president of planning at Glen Echo, Maryland-based Law & Associates. “In your mind, you need to stay away from the noise and stay focused and disciplined about the things you can control.”

How to start

For those just getting into the stock market, Ellis advises beginning with the basics.

“It’s a little bit like ‘how do you start eating ice cream?'” said Ellis, founder and former managing partner of Greenwich Associates. “You start eating vanilla, and plain vanilla would be either the total market index or the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index, which represents a very substantial fraction of the total market.”

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Gilman Hill Asset Management’s Harrington agrees.

“As with most things in life, you’re not going to be an expert on day one, and with around 7,000 ETFs and 3,500 stocks publicly traded in the U.S., it can feel overwhelming to make a choice,” she said.

Harrington recommends starting with something like the SPDR S&P 500 exchange-traded fund, which replicates the broad market.

If you are buying stocks, pick a handful that you know and where the underlying companies have proven track records.

“Start with investments that are easily understandable and use that foundation to learn more and to develop your investment understanding and vocabulary over time,” Harrington advised.

For Alford-Cooper, one of the most important things to have is a written investment plan that works with your risk appetite. Then, stick with it.

“You can pick a great index fund that has companies that you know and use every day,” she said. “Keep away from people telling you what they do and what they made last year.”

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CHECK OUT: Nearly half of Americans selling their homes don’t plan to buy another: Here’s what they’re doing instead via Grow with Acorns+CNBC

Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.

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Darren Herft believes ETFs present a unique investment opportunity – Net Newsledger

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Darren Herft

Exchange traded funds (ETF) are securities that track a sector, commodity, or an index. Unlike mutual funds that can only be traded once a day, Exchange traded funds (ETF) prices fluctuate all day, much like specific stocks being exchanged on the stock market. 

According to veteran investor Darren Herft, ETFs have opened a new vista for investors as they can be traded on most stock exchanges in the same way as regular stocks. 

“Exchange traded funds (ETF) can be organised to track a diverse array of investments, ranging from individual commodity prices to any number of securities,” says the Australian entrepreneur. 

“They can be designed to track investment strategies!” he adds. 

Darren Herft believes that the lower expense ratios coupled with lower brokerage fees makes them a lucrative option for investors looking to diversify their holdings. 

“For investors looking for more liquidity, Exchange traded funds (ETF) provide a better avenue than mutual funds,” says Darren Herft. 

He believes that in many ways, Exchange traded funds (ETF) hold an edge above stocks. 

Darren Herft says, “Rather than holding only one asset like a stock, Exchange traded funds (ETF) hold multiple assets and that has helped their popularity.”

A single Exchange traded fund (ETF) could have numerous stocks under its umbrella. While some are nationally focused, others are global. 

Darren Herft says that even within the Exchange traded fund (ETF) world, there are various options for investors to consider. 

“Their utility can range from income generation to hedging or partly offsetting risks in an investor’s arsenal,” says Herft. 

He thinks that more fiscally conservative investors might find Bond Exchange traded funds (ETF) to be suited to their needs and temperament. Bond Exchange traded funds (ETF) provide regular income to their holders depending upon the performance of the bonds under their umbrella. 

“Bond ETFs could have government bonds, corporate bonds or municipal bonds in their ambit and unlike bonds, they don’t have a maturity date,” says Herft. 

Herft says that more risk-tolerant investors might find their match in Stock Exchange traded funds (ETF). Consisting of a basket of stocks that track a whole sector or industry, they provide an investor with a uniquely diverse portfolio with established high performers coupled with newer stocks with growth potential. 

“It’s a good collection of stocks and investors don’t have to worry about high fees associated with stock mutual funds,” adds Herft. 

Other types of Exchange traded funds (ETF) include Industry ETFs, Commodity ETFs, Currency ETFs, and Inverse ETFs. Herft thinks that the most attractive quality of this investment vehicle is its ability to be diverse and specialized at the same time. 

While the AFL aficionado believes that Exchange traded funds (ETF) can be a useful vehicle for many investors, he is of the opinion that they should not be put on a pedestal.

“As with any investment, there are pros and cons and I would recommend anyone looking to invest in anything to do their own independent research and consult experts if they can, before making a decision,” he adds.

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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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