Best Investment Strategies for 2012

Best Investment Strategies for 2012

A common dilemma among several investors, professionals, non-professional and institutions is, what should be the approach to investing for the year 2012, amidst economic turmoil. Some of the best investment strategies for 2012 have been presented here, looking at an economic slowdown in the near future, play safe is the motto for investors.
As Europe faces the mother of all debt crises and the ripple of economic slowdown spreads all over the world, 2012 begins on a somber note financially. With natural disasters ravaging the world economy, recession doing its share of damage and wars, coups and economic policy changes, a lot happened in 2011. Now investors world over are looking towards 2012, expecting slow, but quiet economic recovery. In the new year, 'caution' is the buzz word as far as economic investments are concerned. Though the fundamental ideas behind sound investing remain the same, it is a need of the day, that one shifts focus towards low risk financial investments in choppy economical waters of 2012. Here we have attempted to provide the best options for investing in 2012, but you must remember that it's only for reference purposes. Like the weather, the current mercurial economic climate may just surprise us with new developments which may be completely unpredictable. Go through some of the investment ideas presented in here and choose to follow them only if they agree with your own reason.

Investing Basics

The problem with any strategy for investment is that not all of them are completely foolproof. Hence, we need to resort to multiple strategies at the same time to ensure that we keep on getting back, quite a handsome rate of return on the money that we have put in. Before that, let us try to understand some basics of investing.
  • Return on Investment (ROI) is a very important figure or rather percentage which you can calculate, in order to know, which investment option is better and more profitable. It is a ratio of profits from investment to the actual invested amount.
  • The second factor is the assured returns. Assured returns are promised by a legal obligation, upon a certain investment. Mutual funds, insurance policies, annuities, Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) and Collective Investment Schemes (CIS) often have such a clause, known as 'guaranteed returns'. Bonds, Certificates and such other instruments by default have the assured rate of return of about 5-6% and in several cases it is even more. Hence again, more the assured returns, the better is the investment.
  • Lastly, the security of the actual investment and returns also matter a lot. Hence as a common strategy it is wise to invest some amounts into sources which have a high degree of security, such as investment options provided by banks and government.
Best Investment Strategies for 2012

Strategies for investing always consist of channeling or allocating your resources into appropriate investment channels. Diversity is the key to reducing overall risk involved. Now for the sake of explanation let's say that you would be investing 50% of your monthly income into investment channels and on the other hand, you shall be spending or saving the remaining half. Here's what you can do.

Half and Half of the Investment
Now this one is the kind of investment which suits young guns, the best, as it involves an investment which is not exactly, very safe and secure, but success may provide great returns. On the other half side is a set of investments, which would act as a risk offset, for the other half. Here's what you can do:
  • The first half, you invest into shares, gold, variable and indexed funds, and other sources, the returns of which you cannot simply forecast and deduce. Here you will have to keep on researching the market, and also your own investment to make a profit. Remember the returns are risky and depend upon your research and decisions to sale and purchase.
  • The second half is the one where you would have the investment options which have an assured rate of return no matter what. Such investments ensure your financial security and stability. Some such investments include, fixed annuities, mutual funds, systematic investment plans and collective investment schemes, bonds and certificates with a guaranteed returns clause.
Real Estate Investment Strategy
Well, this one is really effective, especially if you are targeting real estate as an investment option. With the recession hitting the real estate market in USA quite hard, property prices have fallen substantially. Ergo, this is a good time to buy good properties for low cash. In such a type of investment, you will be again splitting your investment fund of 50% of your income into two or three parts. Here's what you can do; also take into consideration that all your investment options and amounts that you actually investment are going to depend upon how much is your mortgage installment.
  • Now a giant chunk of your investment is going to go into paying off the mortgage installment, so let's assume that it's going to be about 20-25% of your income.
  • The remaining part you can invest into funds that are professionally managed and also have a certain guaranteed returns clause. Plus you can also have the benefit of the returns that are gained as a result of a well performing portfolio. Have a significant part of your income invested in money market accounts and certificates of deposit, that can earn decent returns for you.
For the 40 Years Olds
Now this one is for the 40+ age group. At this age, you would be having a family, plus you have to think about 3 important things, one is your retirement, your kids' future and your security. Hence you can divide your investment into 4 parts and invest into the following avenues.
  • Firstly, you can invest into rather risky, but to some extent assured, professionally managed funds such as mutual funds, variable annuities, collective investment schemes, etc.
  • Next, you can invest into relatively secure channels such as bonds, fixed annuities and systematic investment plans.
  • Apart from the other two options, a life insurance and health insurance are two externally important investments, for all people in the age group.
  • Lastly, you can pool in money into IRA and 401(k) or other such secured sources like money market savings accounts. Another alternative is government bonds and securities such as treasury certificates.
Gold is no longer an attractive investment option as it has become highly speculative in recent times. Bonds and mutual funds with a diversified portfolio are your best bests in 2012. Decide the degree of risk you are willing to take and the amount of money you may safely invest in high risk options. See to it that you have a decent amount of cash stored into secure investment options like IRAs, 401(k) plans, IRA CDs and money market accounts. The rest can be invested in medium to high risk options like mutual funds, stocks and bonds. Stay positive and be ready to adapt to the changing market conditions. Only invest into financial sectors which you understand. Avoid falling prey to speculation and base your decisions on sound financial data.
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