Types of mutual funds

Saturday, February 14, 2009

So, you’ve decided to jump into the mutual fund investment game. While mutual funds have shown themselves over time to be a safer bet than regular stock trading, there is always the chance you could lose your shirt. But the type of fund you choose will have a lot to do with the amount of risk you take on and the kind of return you’re looking for. For starters, mutual funds are usually broken down into six main categories.

Equity mutual funds allow you to invest in typical shares of common, everyday stock.

Fixed income mutual funds allow you to invest in corporate or government securities that usually offer a set rate of return on your investment.

Balanced mutual funds allow the investor to take on a fund that includes both stock and bond options.

Maybe the safest form of mutual funds are known as money market mutual funds. They offer a high degree of stability for your principal, as well as high liquidity if you need to back out.

Bond mutual funds are popular since they invest in tax free as well as taxable ones.

And finally, sector/speciality funds are used to help diversify your holdings within a particular industry.

Each of these types of funds can be both aggressive and risky with a high level of reward possible, or they can be safer and lower risk. It all depends on which fund you choose.

To break things down further, equity funds are usually divided up into four different categories: Growth and Income mutual funds, International mutual funds, growth mutual funds and aggressive growth mutual funds. Each different type of fund has a particular goal in mind. For some, it’s to aggressively pursue income, even in risky situations, while others seek to preserve the initial investment and only take smaller chances.

As you can see, the mutual fund landscape is filled with so many options, it can make a newbie’s head spin. But fear not, there is almost limitless information available on which mutual fund is right for your particular investment strategy. Not only do most mutual funds and those that run them have their own website, there is endless advice as to which fund is right for you on the Internet, as well. Don’t forget to utilize publications like the Wall Street Journal, as well as friends and family who might have had particular luck with a specific fund. Welcome to mutual fund investing!




Understanding mutual funds in the newspaper

We’ve all seen the financial pages in the newspaper. Usually we flip past it on the way to the comics, the horoscope, of if you’re like me, to the sports section. But what do all those squiggles and arrows mean anyway, and now that you’re thinking about investing in mutual funds, can you see how your fund is doing every day in the morning paper?

The answer is, of course, yes. And not only that but mutual fund listing are a bit easier to read with less complicated jargon that reading the stock prices next to it. Most major daily newspapers have the mutual fund section separate form the rest of the stock and bond information. There is usually a large, bold headline showing where the fund are listed.

Now that you’ve found where the mutual funds are listed, let’s try to decode all this information. Your fund will be listed alphabetically in the column under the name of the company that manages it. You’ll see three column next to each fund name. In the first column, you’ll see “NAV”. This is short for “Net Asses Value.” Don’t panic, this is just a simple mathematical formula that shows what each share in that mutual fund is worth. To determine how much your shares in that mutual fund are worth, just multiply the amount of shares in that fund that you own by the NAV.

The second column says Offer Price. This is what you would pay right now if you wanted to buy more shares. Often, you’ll see a NL in this column instead of a price. I bet you can figure out what that means. Yep! It means it’s a no-load fund and you would pay what the NAV is if you wanted to buy more shares. Not so scary anymore, is it?

The final column is the change column. This information is the same essential thing that you would see if you were reading the stock page: a + in this column shows that the value of your fund has gone up since the last day’s close, and a – shows that it’s gone down.

And that’s it! While the mutual fund page in your newspaper may look bizarre, once you break it all down you can see that it’s all pretty basic. So start checking your funds today and you can watch your money grow!




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A Day In The Life Of An Affiliate Marketer

Being in the affiliate marketing business is not that hard now with the internet at your disposable. It is much easier now compared to the days when people have to make use of the telephones and other mediums of information just to get the latest updates on the way their program is coming along.

So with technology at hand, and assuming that the affiliate is working from home, a day in his or her life would sound something like this…

Upon waking up and after having breakfast, the computer is turned on to check out new developments in the network. As far as the marketer is concerned there might be new things to update and statistics to keep track on.

The site design has to be revised. The marketer knows that a well-designed site can increase sign ups from visitors. It can also help in the affiliate’s conversion rates.

That done, it is time to submit the affiliate program to directories that lists affiliate programs. These directories are means to attract people in joining your affiliate program. A sure way of promoting the affiliate program.

Time to track down the sales you are getting from your affiliates fairly and accurately. There are phone orders and mails to track down. See if they are new clients checking the products out. Noting down the contact information that might be a viable source in the future.

There are lots of resources to sort out. Ads, banners, button ads and sample recommendations to give out because the marketer knows that this is one way of ensuring more sales. Best to stay visible and accessible too.

The affiliate marketer remembered that there are questions to answer from the visitors. This has to be done quickly. Nothing can turn off a customer than an unanswered email.

To prove that the affiliate is working effectively and efficiently, inquiries would have to be paid more attention on. Nobody wants to be ignored and customers are not always the most patient of all people. Quick answer that should appear professional yet friendly too.

In the process of doing all the necessities, the marketer is logged on to a chat room where he or she interacts with other affiliates and those under that same program. This is where they can discuss things on how to best promote their products.

There are things to be learned and it is a continuous process. Sharing tips and advices is a good way of showing support. There may be others out there wanting to join and may be enticed by the discussion that is going on. There is no harm in assuming what opportunities ahead.

The newsletters and ezines were updated days ago, so it is time for the affiliate marketer to see if there are some new things happening in the market. This will be written about in the marketer’s publication to be distributed to the old and new customers.

These same publications are also an important tool in keeping up to date with the newly introduced products. The marketer has put up a sale and promotion that customers may want to know about. Besides, they have to keep up with the deadline of these sales written in the publications.

It is that time to show some appreciation to those who have helped the marketer in the promotions and sale increase. Nothing like mentioning the persons, their sites and the process they have done that made everything worked.

Of course, this will be published in the newsletters. Among the more important information that have been written already.

The marketer still has time to write out recommendations to those who want credible sources for the products being promoted. There is also time to post some comments on how to be a successful affiliate marketer on a site where there are lots of wannabees.

Two objectives done at the same time. The marketer gets to promote the product as well as the program they are in. Who knows, someone may be inclined to join.

Time flies. Missed lunch but is quite contented with the tasks done. Bed time….

Ok, so this may not be all done in a day. But then, this gives you an idea of how an affiliate marketer, a dedicated one that is, spends the marketing day.

Is that success looming in the distance or what?



So Many Affiliate Programs! Which One Do I Choose?


Ask questions first before you join an affiliate program. Do a little research about the choices of program that you intend to join into. Get some answers because they will be the deciding point of what you will be achieving later on.

Will it cost you anything to join? Most affiliate programs being offered today are absolutely free of charge. So why settle for those that charge you some dollars before joining.

When do they issue the commission checks? Every program is different. Some issue their checks once a month, every quarter, etc. Select the one that is suited to your payment time choice. Many affiliate programs are setting a minimum earned commission amount that an affiliate must meet or exceed in order for their checks to be issued.


What is the hit per sale ratio? This is the average number of hits to a banner or text link it takes to generate a sale based on all affiliate statistics. This factor is extremely important because this will tell you how much traffic you must generate before you can earn a commission from the sale.

How are referrals from an affiliate’s site tracked and for how long do they remain in the system? You need to be confident on the program enough to track those people you refer from your site. This is the only way that you can credit for a sale. The period of time that those people stay in the system is also important. This is because some visitors do not buy initially but may want to return later to make the purchase. Know if you will still get credit for the sale if it is done some months from a certain day.

What are the kinds of affiliate stats available? Your choice of affiliate program should be capable of offering detailed stats. They should be available online anytime you decide to check them out. Constantly checking your individual stats is important to know how many impressions, hits and sales are already generated from your site. Impressions are the number of times the banner or text link was viewed by a visitor of your site. A hit is the one clicking on the banner or text links.

Does the affiliate program also pay for the hits and impressions besides the commissions on sales? It is important that impressions and hits are also paid, as this will add to the earnings you get from the sales commission. This is especially important if the program you are in offers low sales to be able to hit ratio.

Who is the online retailer? Find out whom you are doing business with to know if it is really a solid company. Know the products they are selling and the average amount they are achieving. The more you know about the retailer offering you the affiliate program, the easier it will be for you to know if that program is really for you and your site.

Is the affiliate a one tier or two tier program? A single tier program pays you only for the business you yourself have generated. A two tier program pays you for the business, plus it also pays you a commission on the on the sales generated by any affiliate you sponsor in your program. Some two-tier programs are even paying small fees on each new affiliate you sponsor. More like a recruitment fee.

Lastly, what is the amount of commission paid? 5% - 20% is the commission paid by most programs. .01% - .05% is the amount paid for each hit. If you find a program that also pays for impressions, the amount paid is not much at all. As you can see from the figures, you will now understand why the average sales amount and hit to sale ratio is important.

These are just some of the questions that needed answering first before you enter into an affiliate program. You should be familiar with the many important aspects that your chosen program should have before incorporating them into your website. Try to ask your affiliate program choices these questions. These can help you select the right program for you site from among the many available.




Top 3 Ways To Boost Your Affiliate Commissions Overnight

The ideal world of affiliate marketing does not require having your won website, dealing with customers, refunds, product development and maintenance. This is one of the easiest ways of launching into an online business and earning more profits.

Assuming you are already into an affiliate program, what would be the next thing you would want to do? Double, or even triple, your commissions, right? How do you do that?

Here are some powerful tips on how to boost your affiliate program



1. Know the best program and products to promote. Obviously, you would want to promote a program that will enable you to achieve the greatest profits in the shortest possible time.

There are several factors to consider in selecting such a program. Choose the ones that have a generous commission structure. Have products that fit in with your target audience. And that has a solid track record of paying their affiliate easily and on time. If you cannot seem to increase your investments, dump that program and keep looking for better ones.

There are thousands of affiliate programs online which gives you the reason to be picky. You may want to select the best to avoid losing your advertising dollars.

Write free reports or short ebooks to distribute from your site. There is a great possibility that you are competing with other affiliates that are promoting the same program. If you start writing short report related to the product you are promoting, you will be able to distinguish yourself from the other affiliates.

In the reports, provide some valuable information for free. If possible, add some recommendations about the products. With ebooks, you get credibility. Customers will see that in you and they will be enticed to try out what you are offering.

2. Collect and save the email addresses of those who download your free ebooks. It is a known fact that people do not make a purchase on the first solicitation. You may want to send out your message more than six times to make a sale.

This is the simple reason why you should collect the contact information of those who downloaded your reports and ebooks. You can make follow-ups on these contacts to remind them to make a purchase from you.

Get the contact information of a prospect before sending them to the vendor’s website. Keep in mind that you are providing free advertisement for the product owners. You get paid only when you make a sale. If you send prospects directly to the vendors, chances are they would be lost to you forever.

But when you get their names, you can always send other marketing messages to them to be able to earn an ongoing commission instead of a one-time sale only.

Publish an online newsletter or Ezine. It is always best to recommend a product to someone you know than to sell to a stranger. This is the purpose behind publishing your own newsletter. This also allows you to develop a relationship based on trust with your subscribers.

This strategy is a delicate balance between providing useful information with a sales pitch. If you continue to write informative editorials you will be able to build a sense of reciprocity in your readers that may lead them to support you by buying your products.

3. Ask for higher than normal commission from merchants. If you are already successful with a particular promotion, you should try and approach the merchant and negotiate a percentage commission for your sales.

If the merchant is smart, he or she will likely grant your request rather than lose a valuable asset in you. Keep in mind that you are a zero-risk investment to your merchant; so do not be shy about requesting for addition in your commissions. Just try to be reasonable about it.

Write strong pay Per Click ads. PPC search engine is the most effective means of advertising online. As an affiliate, you can make a small income just by managing PPC campaigns such as Google AdWords and Overture. Then you should try and monitor them to see which ads are more effective and which ones to dispose of.

Try out these strategies and see the difference it can make to your commission checks in the shortest of time.

commissions overnight.