Bitcoin has become frequently talked about in the financial media. Despite this the general public is still relatively under informed when it comes to this digital currency. Criticism of Bitcoin overwhelmingly comes from the uninformed, while support often comes from the technologically competent. Paul Graham, a prominent venture capitalist, refers to Bitcoin as a paradigm shift that is unfortunately “derided as a toy, just like microcomputers.” Accomplished venture capitalist and entrepreneur Marc Andreessen has written that the potential of bitcoin today is analogous to personal computers in 1975 and the Internet in 1993. Today, it is the preoccupation of “nerds.” Tomorrow, it can change the life of everyone. So, what is Bitcoin? Bitcoin is a virtual currency. As with all currencies, they function as a mean of exchange and a store of value. As a mean of exchange, you can use them to purchase goods and services just like you will with your physical ...

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On ETFs: Understanding what it is about As part of our financial weekly column I shall be collating a series of articles and facts that I have gleamed through the internet about, and crystallize the content in posts like this. Today, our first post will be on ETFs. What Are ETFs? In the simplest terms, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are funds that track indexes like the NASDAQ-100 Index, S&P 500, Dow Jones, etc. When you buy shares of an ETF, you are buying shares of a portfolio that tracks the yield and return of its native index. The main difference between ETFs and other types of index funds is that ETFs don't try to outperform their corresponding index, but simply replicate its performance. They don't try to beat the market, they try to be the market. ETFs have been around since the early 1980s, but they've come into their own within the past 10 ...

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As defined by Stockopedia, value investing is extremely simple in theory, but tougher in practice.  If you compare the price of a stock with a confident valuation of its true worth (intrinsic value) and find you can buy it at a considerable discount (margin of safety) then you may be onto a winner. But value investing is much harder than it looks for two reasons, firstly the real intrinsic value of a company can be tricky to calculate but also the practice of buying beaten down stocks also runs contrary to almost all human instincts. Who wants to be the guy holding the bombed out engineering stocks when everyone else is buying Apple?  But it’s precisely these tendencies that lead to so many investors over-reacting, driving prices down so low that value stocks become so profitable in future. The main reason behind their trendiness today is thus an extension of what it is able to ...

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On Index Funds As part of our financial weekly column I shall be collating a series of articles and facts that I have gleamed through the internet about, and crystallize the content in posts like this. Today, our first post will be on Index Funds. What is an index fund? An "index fund", as described clearly on the US Security Exchange website , describes a type of mutual fund or unit investment trust (UIT) whose investment objective typically is to achieve approximately the same return as a particular market index, such as the S&P 500 Composite Stock Price Index, the Russell 2000 Index or the Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index. An index fund will attempt to achieve its investment objective primarily by investing in the securities (stocks or bonds) of companies that are included in a selected index. Some index funds may also use derivatives (such as options or futures) to help achieve ...

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