Is the Media Keeping You From Buying Your Dream Home?

The public is constantly bombarded with conflicting information about the state of the U.S. housing market. Are we experiencing a housing recovery and now is the time to buy a home, or is the real estate market still suffering with no end in site? No one truly has that crystal ball, and the only way to know for sure when the housing bottom happened is long after we are on the way up. Unfortunately for you, the news media makes money through dramatic and often misleading headlines that can only lead to fear and confusion. The negative national headlines have lead to unwarranted problems in many the local real estate markets like what we have seen in Colorado Springs. So what are the experts really saying about the housing market? Karl E. Case (co-creator of the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller housing index – an index that track housing price appreciation and depreciation in many of our larger cities), The Wall Street Journal, and Fannie Mae, have all recently published articles stating that now is the time to buy. So should you listen to the media or the experts?

Carl Case and the Case-Shiller Index is considered by many as the premier expert in the real estate market price trends for the U.S. On September 1st, 2010, The New York Times published the article, “A Dream House After All – Enough with the doom and gloom about the housing market”, by Carl E. Case. Carl states, “It means having a solid and fairly safe long-term investment that is coupled with the satisfaction of owning the house they live in. The dream is still alive… For people with a realistic version of the American Dream, buying a house now can make a lot of sense.”

Fannie Mae also released positive information regarding consumer sentiment of the housing market and price trends in their most recent “National Housing Survey”. Their results concluded the following:

Eight in ten respondents consider homeownership important to the economy.
Nearly two-thirds of respondents think it is a good time to buy a house, and nearly 1 in 3 think now is a very good time to buy a house.
Nearly three-quarters think housing prices will go up or stay the same over the next year.
Seven out of ten respondents said that they believe buying a home continues to be one of the safest investments available.
Finally, the Wall Street Journal recently posted the article, ” – Enough with the doom and gloom about home ownership” Here is the condensed version of the 10 reasons that The Wall Street Journal mentioned;

You can get a good deal
Mortgages are cheap
You can save on taxes
It will be yours
You’ll get a better home
If offers some inflation protection
It’s risk capital
It’s forced savings
There is a lot to choose from
Sooner or later, the market will clear
You most likely won’t hear these positive housing market viewpoints in the nightly news or on the front cover of your newspaper. When considering if you should purchase a home in today’s market you should tune out the conflicting media talking points that are not created for your best interest. Instead you should focus on what is best for you and your family along with your local market conditions. Real estate is very localizes and The Colorado Springs real estate market will be much different than a market like Las Vegas. Now more than ever, home buyers and sellers need the guidance of an experienced REALTOR to help them navigate the purchase or sale of their home.

No one in the media can tell you whether or not now is the right time for you to buy a home, yet many of the experts believe that right now is an ideal time for many to purchase a home. History proves that we are not often presented the opportunities that we are seeing today for buyers. Lower housing prices, historically low mortgage rates, a lot of homes to choose from, and an edge in negotiating price and terms that benefit the buyer, makes now the ideal time to purchase a home for many.

Choosing The Right Plasma Wall Mounts for Your Home

You have just bought a Plasma TV and for sure you do not want anything to happen to it. Make sure to buy Plasma wall mounts that are of good quality, sturdy and strong and can bear up the weight of your Plasma TV. You certainly do not want to put your expensive electronic equipment on a rickety, wobbly, low-priced wall mount.

Plasma TVs require mounts that are made from the finest materials so that they will not fall off and come crashing down. To buy Plasma wall mounts is not a daunting task as there are several models to choose from, eye-catching and lovely which will easily go well with your television sets. These wall mounts come with diverse attributes so you will be able to select fixtures that would fit the materials of your walls and the weight and size of your Plasma TVs.

You will be able to buy Plasma wall mounts that lean forward and backward. You can use these types of mounts in small rooms where space is a problem. Have an enjoyable time watching television from these mounts without hurting your neck. Mounts with scissor like brackets make it possible to extend the mounts away from your walls and your television can be moved a bit farther from the wall. These are appropriate for huge Plasma televisions and attached to walls that are made of concrete or other strong materials capable of sustaining both the weight of your television sets and the mounts.

You can also buy Plasma wall mounts that allow you to turn your television 360 degrees is by far the most flexible in the market. These mounts are equipped with electrical mechanisms that will keep your television sets stead without any fear of them falling down. This may be the latest in wall mounts designs but you will be surprise that they are not steep.

When you buy Plasma wall mounts there are also fixtures that swing from one side to the other or adjusted up and down. All you have to do is click on a button and settings are altered without you getting up from your seat. There are also TV mounts that you can place on top of your fireplace. You can go for the common plasma wall mounts. Whatever you choose make sure that they are durable and permit your units to be immobile. You can also do your own research and find out what else is available in stores for you. Make it pleasurable while you go searching for the perfect mounts for your costly but beautiful investment.

The good thing about Plasma wall mounts is that they save a lot of space especially if you are living in an area where your space may be cramped or confined. Despite the cramped spaces, you will still be able to watch television at a distance that is relaxing and easy on the eyes. Do not waste time and look for the mounts to protect your Plasma TV.

TV Buying Guide – Which One to Choose?

If your looking into buying a new TV, chances are your tossing up between a number of different options. There are a number of different things to consider, and this buying guide is designed to help you wade through all the decisions that should be made. The following are the key questions that will be answered as you read on:

1. How big should I go?

2. Plasma, LCD, LED… What type of TV should I buy?

3. What do all these features and specifications actually mean?

4. What connections do I need to look for?

5. What is digital TV and how will “Freeview” impact upon the TV I buy?

It is important to remember though that being a guide, many of the statements in here are based on opinion and do not necessarily represent facts. At the end of the day, the decision is a personal one and preferences will very from person to person.

1. How Big Should I Go?

The first thing to consider is your budget. It goes without say that the larger the TV, the more expensive it is likely to be, at least when compared to a TV of the same features and quality. Budget will therefore have a large impact on the size of TV that you can look to purchase. Having said that, there are other things to conider.

A major consideration should be the size of the room in which you will be putting the TV. Even more specifically, how far from the screen will you be when watching the TV? As a general rule, the viewing distance should be at least twice that of the diagonal size of the screen. For example, if you will be sitting 2 metres from the screen, a 40-46? TV is the size for you. a TV 50? and bigger would be appropriate for those sitting 2.5 metres from the screen.

2. Plasma, LCD, LED… What Type of TV Should I Consider?

We’ve broken this section into 3 easy to read and understand sections, with explanations as well as the pros and cons of each type of big screen TV. We’ve limited the descriptions to the 3 mainstream, popular types of TV. If you would like us to add a section about projectors, CRT or any other type pf screen, let us know and we’ll happily work on it for you.

A. Plasma

Plasma screens contain a series of very small gaseous cells, called sub-pixels, which produce ultraviolet light when electricity is applied. These cells are bunded in groups of three, with each cell in a group being red, blue or green. These groups of three are called pixels. The different coloured cells glow differently depending on the signal they receive. The large number of pixels, combined with the particularly small size, is what allows a plasma screen to produce such a clear picture.


* Normally very good picture quality

* Considering their size, they are relatively very thin.

* They won’t distort at the edges due to the flat screen

* Assuming you take care of it, the screen’s brightness will remain consistent throughout it’s life.

* It is usually possible to wall mount them

* The 16:9 aspect ratio common to the format is well suited to both DVDs or Blurays and digital TV broadcasts.

* A plasma screen is unaffected by strong magnetic fields, like those you can find in some powerful speakers.

* The clarity of vision is not adversely affected by large screen sizes.

* Plasma screens are known to have the sharpest display of the colour black, perhaps the most important color when viewing a TV.

* They can accept a wide range of input signals, including most TV signals (PAL, NTSC and SECAM) and have a number of input types, such as standard RCA jacks, S-video, component video and increasingly HDMI. Also, most will accept output from a computer via RGB inputs.


* Servicing them down the track can be problematic, and will usually be expensive if possible at all. Extended warranties are recommended.

* Difficult to find in small-medium sizes. The majority of models start at 40? and increase from there.

* Plasma screens can be effected by “burn-in” which can happen when one constant image is left on the screen for a long time. This may happen, for example, if a DVD menu is left on for too long.

* Some Plasma screens are only a display without any TV tuner. In this instance you will need to purchase a set-top box or PVR in order to watch TV.

* Compared to other types of TVs in comparable sizes, Plasma screens are quite heavy. Be aware of this before setting one up or trying to move it. You may need a hand.

* Each pixel has to be lit individually so the screen as a whole uses far more power, making them more expensive to run and worse for the environment.

* Due to their capacity to produce more heat than other screen types, Plasma’s will often have a fan in them to keep them from overheating. Usually they are very quiet, but they can be a little distracting without sound. This particularly so in older models.


* Panasonic G10 Full HD Plasma, available in three sizes; 42 inches, 46 inches and 50 inches. The top of the range plasma from the best plasma makers. Panasonic’s G10 plasma won the recently awarded Editor’s Choice Award from CNET, which is a big deal in this industry. Enough said.

Value choice:

* Panasonic X10 Plasma range, available in 42 or 50 inches. Panasonic are the best at making plasmas and this one represents excellent value for your hard earned.

B. LCD (Liquid Crystal Display)

LCD Screens are effectively made up of two sheets of glass with an thin layer of liquefied crystal cells squeezed between them. These cells act as flaps which allow varying amounts of backlight through them when an electric current is applied. Backlight is provided by fluorescent light tubes. These cells are filtered with either Red, Green or Blue colouring to allow the screen to display the correct image as required. LCD screens are the most widely produced TVs on the market today.


* LCD technology has advanced a long way due to their wide range of applications. LCDs are common-place in TVs, computer screens and portable media players.

* LCD Televisions are available in a great range of sizes, starting at 22 inches and going right up to 55 inches.

* The brightness of LCD TVs make them appropriate even in rooms that have a lot of light.

* The picture quality is extremely good on an LCD TV, particularly on high definition units with the capacity to show higher resolutions.

* LCDs are very thin, allowing for relatively easy wall mounting.

* The LCD TV market in Australia, and indeed elsewhere, is highly competitive. This means there are plenty of options available and ensures that prices continue to fall.

* Cheaper to run and better for the environment as the consume less power.


* Blacks are not as sharp on LCDs as they are in other TV types.

* Fast motion can leave a blurry trail on some LCDs. This problem has largely been fixed now though and is more an issue in older model LCDs.

* LCD pixels are known to get stuck on a given display from time to time. This is referred to as a “dead pixel”. Whilst a single dead pixel will not be visible from a regular viewing distance, a clump of them together in one area would be very annoying. This is generally covered by warranty. As such it is definitely worth considering an extended warranty when purchasing your TV.


Samsung Series 7 200Hz LCD TV, available in 40, 46 and 52 inch sizes. This is the most expensive of the Samsung LCD family, but the added price is worth it. Full network and USB connectivity combined with fantastic picture quality and a stunning design makes it unbeatable. The only problem is Samsung are discontinuing them in favour of their LED range, which is making them increasingly difficult to get ahold of.

Value Choice:

Anything branded Hisense is the best value choice. The quality of the picture is very good for their price, and the build is solid. So much so in fact that Hisense throw their we

C. LED (Light Emitting Diode)

LED Screen TVs operate in much the same way as LCD Screens. They have the same Liquid Crystal sandwiched in between two sheets of glass. The crystal behaves in the same way, allowing varying levels of light through each of the coloured sub-pixels. The difference is that the backlighting used in an LED TV comes from powerful Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). This allows the lights to be more widely dispersed, enabling for the ultra slim designs common in most of the LED TVs today.


* Sharp picture resolution, particularly in the higher end models.

* Ultra slim design for easy wall mounting.

* Same levels of brightness as in LCDs, making them appropriate for high lighting situations.

* Top end models have fantastic connectivity options, including built in network streaming, internet connectivity and USB ports.


* Still relatively expensive.

* Blacks are not as sharp as on other TV types.

* As they operate in the same way as LCDs, pixels are liable to get “stuck”, which will not impact viewing in isolated cases, but may do so if you have a few stuck pixels clumped together.


Samsung Series 8 Full HD LED, available in 46 and 55 inch models. Whilst the price is still quite prohibitive, the array of features set it apart from it’s competition. This is the top of the range model from Samsung, the leaders in LCD and LED production. Honorary mention goes out to the LG 90QD Borderless LED range – purely for levels of cool. It’s frame has no borders!

Value Choice:

See LCD suggestion above. LED and value don’t really go hand in hand at this point in time.

3. What do all these features and specifications actually mean?

In order to understand everything there is to know about a TVs features and specifications, you’d need some sort of diploma. The following pages are meant as an introduction. They will hopefully give you a reasonable appreciation of what is important to look for when buying your new TV.

Screen Size – Usually given in inches, and often converted across to centimetres, a television’s screen size is literally a diagonal measurement of the size of the actual screen. It is important to remember that if you need your TV to fit into a confined space, the screen size is different to the size of the TV including the frame. The total dimensions of a unit are usually listed in that model’s specifications.

Contrast Ratio – A Contrast ratio is a measure of a screens ability to maintain levels of detail in particularly bright or dark parts of the screen. Generally it is understood that Plasma screens have better contrast ratios than LCD panels because plasmas can completely deactivate the light source in partiular areas of the screen, whilst LCDs just cover it up. This means that entire sections of the screen can be dark whilst other parts display bright colours at the same time. In terms of what to look for – the higher the better. Many new model TVs quote extremely high contrast ratios of 1,000,000:1 or more. These are mean that the contrast ratio is dynamic and should not always be taken at face value.

Colour Saturation – A determinant of how vibrant the colours are when they are displayed on screen. Good colour saturation will enable a TV to accurately display even the most subtle changes in colour so that the human eye can distinguish between them.

Viewing Angle – The quoted angle on which the TV can be viewed whilst still seeing a ‘perfect’ image. Once again, the higher the better for viewing angle as it means it can be viewed from more parts of the room. It is important to note that most manufacturers quote overly high viewing angles, approaching a full 180 degrees. This is a theoretical measure only as it is impossible to see a perfect picture at such angles. What you do see will be ‘perfect’, it’s just that you won’t see all of it. LEDs generally have superior viewing angles as their backlighting is not centrally located in the TV panel, but rather evenly distributed around the sides.

Response Time – This important specification represents the amount of time it takes for one pixel to go from ‘active’ (black) to ‘inactive’ (white) and back to black again. It’s quite similar to a camera’s shutter speed. What it actually measures is the speed at which an LCD panel’s crystals ‘twist’ to block and/or allow light to pass. It is measured in milliseconds (ms) with a lower number meaning faster change between active and inactive pixels and resulting in less image blur, particularly in faster moving images. The lower the response time the better.

Smooth Picture Motion – A measure of the screen’s ability to quickly refresh, measured in hertz (Hz) – frames per second. This reduces an effect called ‘ghosting’, whereby an image seems to trail behind, usually in fast motion pictures like sport and action movies. Most newer model televsions avoid this ghosting issue. Top of the range LCD screens are available up to 200Hz, whilst Plasmas are available up to 600Hz. This does not mean a Plasma is three times better in this area, rather it is because Plasma’s display ‘sub-frames’, which means more frames per second will be counted.

Resolution – Since the advent of HDTV (High-def TV), resolution has become all the rage. It is what controls the crispness and level of detail which is displayed. Full high definition is a resolution of 1920 x 1080, with ‘1080i’ being the highest level of digital TV broadcast whereas ‘1080p’ is the highest level of television output. The reason is is good to get a 1080p capable TV is because many digital media players and Bluray players display 1080p high definition.

4. What connections do I need to look for?

There are many different types of connections in use in today’s televisions. Some of them are more important than others. There is two types of screens available, display monitors and TVs. The difference is that televisions have inbuilt tuners whilst display monitors do not. Many of the inputs on both TVs and regular display screens are the same. Some of the more common and important connection points, as far as TVs are concerned, are listed below, along with a brief description of what it is they are for.

HDMI – HDMI stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface. In terms of the widely used cables, an HDMI is the most practical high quality cable available today. That is why it’s so popular. It is important that you TV has HDMI inputs as most modern DVD players, Bluray players, Digital Media Players, Gaming consoles and even computers and video cameras transmit both audio and video signals via this cable. It is a high definition input, capable of producing the best picture quality on your TV. The more HDMI inputs a TV has, the better, as it will allow for media player, bluray player, pay-tv and other video sources to be directly plugged in together. Of course, if your TV only has 1 HDMI input, that’s OK too as it is easy to get an HDMI splitter these days.

Composite – A partcularly old form of cabling, composite cables are analog signal tramsitters, made up of three different heads, A Yellow one for video, and then Red and White ones for right and left audio respectively. Older TV sets relied on these cables to relay signals from VCRs, DVD Players, Gaming consoles, Camcorders and other video sources to the screen. Most new TVs still incorporate these inputs in recognition of the number of older products still relying on them to send their output. All modern TVs however also have HDMI inputs (see above), for higher quality signal transmission.

Component – Also known as YPbPr, component inputs allow for a higher resolution signal to be tramsitted compared to Composite cables. The video signal within Component cabling is transmitted via the Red, Green and Blue headed cables. Component is an analog form of video, which still allows for high definition viewing, generally up to 1080 interlaced resolution (1080i). Component audio is also still an analog signal, transmitted via the same audio inputs used in composite transmission.

S-Video – Yet another form of analog cabling, S-Video cables and their respective inputs are not widely used in modern home entertainment equipment, even though many of the major TVs and external video sources still provide S-Video inputs. Like Composite and Component, HDMI has largely usurped S-Video cabling, the inputs still being available for people wishing to connect older devices.

USB Input – A USB input will allow you to plug in just about any device which is USB connected. This includes HD Video Cameras, Digital Cameras, USB Flash Keys and USB Hard Drives. Such TVs generally have some ability to play back multimedia directly through the TV, without needing a computer nearby. For example, the Samsung Series 7 LCD TV, our recommended LCD model, allows viewers to plug in a USB device and playback a whole slide show of photos. This is a really good feature to have and will only become more useful as time goes by and multimedia is integrated further into our living room.

Ethernet Port – Some of the higher end TVs have an ethernet port which allows you to connect your TV to a home (or other) network. This may seem unnecessary, but in actual fact it is quite a brilliant feature to have on your TV. It effectively turns your TV into a fully functional Network Media Player, capable of streaming a variety of multimedia content which may be stored on a computer elsewhere in the house. In addition, many of these newer, high-end TVs have at least some capacity to connect to the internet. An example of this is the Series 8 LED from Samsung, which allows you to view YouTube content from the comfort of your living room.

5. What is digital TV and how will “Freeview” impact upon the TV I buy?

Without going into too much detail, digital TV is quite simply a new, improved means of delivering a television signal. Currently, Australian TV is broadcast using both digital and analog signals. the benefit of digital TV is that most viewers will enjoy greatly improved picture and sound quality. The broadcast is also set to be more consistent, meaning less signal dropouts for the majority of people.

Over the next few years, starting in 2010 and to be completed by 2013, the analog signals will be gradually phased out across Australia. This phasing out will effect different regions at different times during this period. To see the Governments official regional timeframe map for when analog broadcasts will be switched off in your area, click here.

With the new, higher quality, digital signals comes an increased number of channels. This improved channel package has been labelled “Freeview”. The term Freeview is actually a brand name given to the group of free-to-air channels, representing a collective marketing effort to compete with PayTV, and Foxtel in particular. Freeview will increase the freely available channels to 15, with each of the major networks controlling 3 separate digital channels.

This digital switchover will require one of two courses of actions; purchase a digital set-top box or Personal Video Recorder which can be added to your older analog TV to pick up the digital signal, or purchase a brand new TV with a digital tuner already integrated into it. Naturally, the cost of this upgrade varies depending on your preferences. It is possible to pick up an entry level digital set-top box for around $100. At the other end of the scale, a high-end digital ready television can cost as much as $5000 or more. There is of course an array of options in between these two extremes, too many in fact to go through here. To explore these options more extensively, either browse our product range or contact one of our staff members who will be able to help you through any questions you may have.

Making A Home For Your Media Collection

Buying furniture for electronic equipment and media collections can be challenging. There are TV and entertainment stands, television armoires, wall and modular units, all of which are designed to hold a variety of media. Since media storage comes in a variety of types, styles, sizes and diverse configurations, it might seem like an overwhelming task.

Examine the size of your current selection. Take stock of how many different types of media you own and how many of each kind that you have. This will determine how much room you will need to house your CDs, DVDs, etc. If you have a smaller sized media collection, it is possible that it can be conveniently stored in an entertainment center.

The type of media storage you select will depend on how you wish to organize your collection. When selecting the kind of unit best suited to your requirements, consider accessibility. If you want to be able to spin them around when looking for something, a tower on a swivel base would be the best choice. But if you would prefer to store them out-of-sight in drawers, a wall unit or cabinet with doors would be the ideal solution.

Types of Media Storage Furniture:

Freestanding Wall Units:

Freestanding wall units typically resemble a bookcase and can range from one unit to several ones that fill an entire wall. Although a media storage wall unit might resemble a bookcase, the shelves of a media storage unit tend to be slightly narrower and it is designed specifically to hold a variety of media. When purchasing a freestanding wall unit, keep in mind the number of CDs/DVDs you own. Some units can hold over 1500 CDs. If your collection will never be that large, a smaller unit will probably be ideal for your needs. If you are a serious collector, multimedia wall units with two or more sections will allow you to easily organize and access your collection as it grows and changes.

Wall Mounted Cabinets:

When space is an issue, choose a compact wall mounted cabinet that will hold a large number of CDs/DVDs. To make your collection very accessible, select an open wall unit that will allow you to easily identify and reach stored items. Consider the shape of your wall mounted cabinet. If the wall mounted unit is long and rectangular, it will use the space horizontally, while an oversize, square or tall cabinet will utilize the space vertically. If you are an avid collector and are concerned that this type of media storage will not grow with your collection, many wall mounted units are stackable, meaning you can add more shelving as needed.

Cabinet with Doors:

A multimedia storage cabinet with doors is ideal for someone who wants to protect their collection from dust and light. This type of media storage is also good if there are children in the home. If securing your collection is a further concern, select a CD/DVD cabinet with a turnkey lock. Since many cabinets come with doors that open outward, check to see if opening them will disrupt traffic flow. Because multimedia cabinets have become central pieces of furniture in their own right, it is important to select a color and style that will blend with your current decor.

Spinning tower

Spinning towers combine compact organization solutions with accessibility and convenience. They are specifically designed to use a minimum amount of floor space. Today, spinning media towers are available in sleek, stylish colors and designs versatile enough to fit in anywhere in your home. They are especially useful in small rooms since a revolving rack requires two square feet, but will store a maximum number of CDs/DVDs.

A well designed media storage unit is a useful piece of furniture to have. No matter what kind of media storage you are considering buying, I hope this article has provided you with valuable insights that will help make the decision a little easier.

Surf and Shop – Tips For Buying Wall Art Online

With the boom in the information technology and the use of the Internet over the last few decades, we have seen how business people and entrepreneurs have utilized the power of the cyber world to get their products and services to customers and consumers.

The online market has made almost every type of product or service available with just a few clicks of the mouse. It offers an easy, time saving and convenient shopping route that is beneficial to a number of different people.

This is why even art lovers and art collectors who used to traverse from one gallery to another can now buy pieces of artwork whether it is a painting, a sculpture or a mixed media composition through the Internet. From music notes wall hangings to fleur de lis wall art, almost every type of artwork is now available in the cyber market.

However, it is important to know that even though buying online is highly easy and convenient, it does not come without drawbacks. For one, there are many frauds out there pretending to be legitimate suppliers of artworks. Another problem is the one where the buyer receives the wrong item or does not receive anything at all.

These types of problems can be resolved through cautious and safe online shopping. To do just that, here are some major tips to remember:

1. Buy from online art galleries that allow for a money back guarantee. This way, if ever you get the wrong painting or you are not satisfied with your order (sometimes, the actual artwork looks different from the photograph), you can still give it back to the gallery.

2. Go for online galleries that provide detailed information about the paintings they have for sale including the artist, title, size, medium and others. Photos posted in the website must be clear.

3. Make sure the size and style of the artwork fits your home or the room where you want to put it in. For example, you may want to place a sports wall d├ęcor in your activity area or some music notes wall hangings in your music room. The size is also an important factor because you do not want to end up with a painting that does not fit your room properly.

4. Opt for an online gallery that has a secure website. In order for you to know if a website is secure, check if it has a closed padlock symbol at the bottom of the screen. If there is no padlock or if it is open, that means that the website is not secure.

5. Study all the policies and charges on returns, cancellations and shipping. Make sure you understand everything completely before signing anything.

6. Check your orders carefully upon delivery so you can give it back to the courier immediately if you get the wrong product or if there is any defect with the item.

Through these practical and simple tips, you will be able to enjoy a fun and safe online shopping experience.

A Beginner’s Guide to Buying Shares Intelligently

Practically everyone takes a flawed approach to buying stocks. So, practically everyone ends up with a rotten loss-making portfolio.

So here’s a beginner’s (or for that matter, even an expert’s) list of dos and don’ts…

But remember… you have to do lots of “donkey” work to become a successful “bull” on the stock markets. You must also have monumental patience and play stocks with a long-term perspective. Hoping to multiply money in quick time is a definite recipe for disaster.

1. First and foremost, you have to understand and appreciate that when you are buying stocks you are NOT buying some symbols on the screen. Instead, you are buying an underlying business. You are becoming a partner in that business. Therefore, you share its profits and its losses. That is why the term… shareholder.

2. It is but obvious that you have to buy sunrise businesses. If the products and services of any industry are not in demand, it would be foolhardy to become a partner in such businesses.

3. However, quite often, two companies in the “same industry” follow diametrically opposite paths… one profitable and the other losing money. The answer to this oddity lies in the quality of entrepreneurship. Good managements make good businesses. Bad managements fail frequently. Backing proven managers is, therefore, the most sacrosanct and inviolable principle of investing in stocks.

4. Sometimes even good managements and good businesses go through tough times. Therefore, apart from ascertaining that the company is running a good business and managed by a good team, you have to ensure that it makes good sales and earns good profits. Never invest in a loss-making company, unless you see strong signs of a turnaround in the near future.

5. Operational performance is one part of the story. The other significant aspect is its financial foundation. All businesses have to withstand the vagaries of the economy. For example, too much debt may not be an issue during good times. But it can seriously threaten even the existence of the company when economic conditions turn bleak. As such, strong balance sheets always make a dependable choice.

6. Wait… a company with excellent business, excellent management, excellent financial strength and excellent profits, is not the green signal to cut your cheque. No. There is one more critical parameter – its market price. If the price is too high relative to its underlying valuation, even excellent shares will not make money for you. A reasonable PEG ratio determines a reasonable stock to buy.

This is the safe, sensible and steady approach to buying shares. It would surely give you a lot more winners than losers. And, to succeed you don’t need ALL the players to do well. A few good performances, backed by at least average play from others will definitely win you most matches.

Buying Shares – Tips For Beating The Stock Market

In the present uncertain economic climate, many investors are wary of investing in the stock market. Some are even asking whether they should stop buying shares, and invest in items that are traditionally viewed as less risky, such as gold or government bonds. While it is true that investing in stocks and shares is risky at the moment, it should be remembered that such risk always exists, even in the middle of a stock market boom. There is no reason why the astute private investor cannot buy shares today and secure a handsome return overall in the long term, and this article offers tips on how to achieve that.

It is important to say that profit can’t be guaranteed on individual share purchases. For a variety of reasons – wider market conditions, global recession, issues specific to the company or group in question – it can happen that the price of a stock falls below the level at which it was purchased, and stays there. In this case, a classic strategy by small investors is to hang on to the stock until they can receive how much they paid out. This is wrong, as it can lead to an investment tied up long term in a moribund stock: it would be much better to sell at a loss and invest in shares that are likely to rise and make a healthy profit, over and above the money originally paid out. When buying shares it pays not to be too inflexible in strategy, but to be open to opportunities to make money, even at the risk of taking a temporary loss.

When buying shares initially, or when selecting which shares to buy, research is the key to avoiding losses. Never buy on a whim: always thoroughly research all of the issues surrounding any purchase. There are a number of different areas it is essential to research.

The first is to conduct general research on the stock market as a whole. Is the recent market trend for shares to rise or fall in price? Are any sectors performing better than others? Will any recent national or international events affect the performance of the market as a whole, or of individual sectors? All of these can determine which types of shares may be ripe for purchase. Places to research this information can be national newspapers and magazines, financial and political websites, and publications and websites particular to the stock markets themselves.

Once a sector or even individual company worthy of investment has been selected, then the relevant sector of the economy must be researched. Who are the big players? What are the trends in that sector? Is any new technology imminent that will change how the sector operates, bringing in new companies? Are any companies in danger of failing, and if so what is the cause? An effective analysis of these factors is of great use in finding a company to invest in whose stocks are undervalued and likely to rise. Sources of information can be trade magazines and websites, trade association publications, specialist scientific/technical magazines, and the usual financial publications and sites.

Finally, once a company has been selected it must be researched in detail before shares are purchased. What is the company’s trading record over the last five, ten or even twenty years? Is it profitable? Are there any potential threats to its income? Are there any new innovations it is developing that could boost income? How does it perform in relation to comparable companies in the same sector? All of these factors must be researched in detail before a decision is made to buy shares: a large amount of money could be lost if any corners are cut.

So it can be seen that many factors can influence the decision on which shares to purchase. Here are some key points to remember:

Be prepared to make a loss on individual stocks to ensure long term profits.
Never buy stocks and shares on a whim.
Research the stock market as a whole. What sectors are ripe for investment?
Research the target sector. Which companies’ share prices are undervalued compared to their potential?
Research the target company in detail. Are there any hidden problems? How does it compare to the rest of the sector?

Buying Shares

There are two different ways you can purchase shares; the first is from the actual company right when the shares are first being offered. This is when the company is trying to raise money by offering out shares to be bought by the public. The second way is to buy shares from other investors through the share market.

Before buying shares, you will probably need your funds available, as this will be required by most firms when buying shares of stock. In addition, you should also set up a trading account before trading as most brokers require this. Shares are always bought through stockbrokers, so before you start buying stock shares, you’ll need to find a stock broker.

There are many different types of brokers, some deal over the phone, some use post, and many use online services. Online dealing is the cheapest and most brokers use that nowadays. When choosing a broker, make sure that they are suited to fit your specific trading requirements, and that they provide you with quality information and quick execution when buying and selling stocks. Also, they should be well versed on the markets available and the different costs of services and shares.

When buying shares, many people like to do their own research on which shares to buy, they educated themselves and research on certain shares and then make well informed decisions on which ones to buy. People who do this will only need a broker to execute the actual act of buying the shares; these brokers are called execution-only brokers. These brokers will not provide you with any types of advice on which shares to buy, because the decision is yours, they’re only job is to buy or sell the shares for you. They may, however, offer a variety of different types of research tools and online tools to help get a background on the market.

The second type of share buying service is called the Rolls Royce service. These brokers will offer you a large amount of advice, they will help you to form trading strategies and try their best to suit your personal financial plan. These brokers will also help to advice you on buying shares and help monitor your investments, although the final decision rest on the client. There are some broker services however, which enable a broker to buy or sell different shares without having to ask for approval from the client. To do this, one must have a high amount of trust in the skills of the broker, this service can also prove to be very expensive as it is very highly tailored to the individual and require a lot of research from the broker.

For those who are very new to the market, you may need a broker that can help to advise you on which shares to buy or sell. Execution-only brokers are much cheaper services, however, and some brokers will not accept you as an advisory client unless you have a large amount of money to invest.

Shares Trading – How to Buy Shares

A share is defined in the world of finance as a unit of account for various financial instruments including stocks, mutual funds, limited partnerships, and REIT’s (Real Estate Investment Trust). In the English language the use of the word share to refer solely to stocks is very common and it has come to be synonymous with the word stock itself.

In laymen terms, a share or stock is a document issued by a company that entitles its holder to part ownership in the company. A share can be issued by a company or may be purchased from the stock market via a stock broker. We often hear the term “dividend” in the news media but people new to share trading can be sometimes be confused as to what exactly a dividend is. Dividends are payments made by a corporation to its shareholders. It is the portion of profits that the company has earned paid out to shareholders. Corporations can either re-invest their profits in the business, or pay profits out to the shareholders as a dividend. Often times, corporations will retain a portion of their earnings and pay the remainder as a dividend.

Dividends are one reason why share trading is so popular amongst investors and traders. If the company you own shares in makes a profit and pays out a dividend, you will earn the dividend and still hold your share position. If you choose to sell your shares you will make a capital gain in addition to the dividends you have earned over the years, a capital gain is the money you gain if your shares have increased in value since the time of purchase. However, it is also possible to incur a capital loss if you sell your shares at a price below what you bought them for. Proper research before buying shares in a company is crucial; if you find a company with good long-term growth prospects you can reap the benefits of increasing capital gains while simultaneously collecting dividend pay outs.

Buying shares is very easy today with ease of access that the internet has brought about. There are a few different ways in which to buy shares however, some people prefer to use a stock broker, this is a person or a firm that trades on behalf of the client, you tell them what you want to invest in and they will issue the buy or sell order. A full service stock broker will provide various services, at a fee, some of these services include investment research advice, tax planning, and retirement planning. There are also discount brokers who will allow you to buy and sell shares at a low rate but don’t provide any investment advice. Finally, for people who do not need or want assistance from an actual stock broker there are online brokers that allow you to buy and sell shares entirely over the internet with no need for a human stock broker.

Share trading has exploded in popularity recently with the advent of wireless internet and ever expanding Wi-Fi “hot spots”. It is entirely possible to now buy and sell shares in a company over certain cell phones that are internet enabled. For most retail traders and investors who spend the time to do a little extra research on shares of companies they are interested in buying, share trading is very lucrative and is a great way to diversify your finances. Share trading allows people to participate in all kinds of sectors, brands, and services. The ease and simplicity of internet share trading has made it possible for anyone who is interested in buying shares to do so.

Buying Shares – A Simple Share Buying Strategy

Have you been wanting to buy some shares but haven’t been sure when to take that leap? Taking the leap to buy shares can be hard to judge. So when do you buy into the market? It can be especially difficult for you if you are new to share trading. I think it is always a good idea to watch your chosen share for at least a week, maybe even a month if possible before deciding when to buy your chosen share. If you can stretch the watching out to the month it will be worthwhile as you will have a better idea of how the share works, and what price would be fair to buy the share at. If you wait much longer than the month you may miss an ideal buying opportunity.

This strategy is simple to execute and will ensure that you’ve bought at a fair price, it may not be the best price to buy the share but it will be fair. So here is a simple share buying strategy that you can use anytime regardless of how the market is tracking.

Divide the purchase of your chosen share into three parts. You will be buying your shares at three different prices. When buying shares this way it doesn’t matter when you get into the market, as it will even out the purchase price of your shares. If after your first share purchase the market goes up you have gotten you first share purchase at a discount, if it goes down then your next share purchase will be at a discount.

So while this may not guarantee that you will buy your shares at the best price it will give you an even buy every time. It doesn’t matter whether the stock market is bullish, bearish or even neutral you will have a high price, a low price and a price somewhere in the middle.

Tip: Set up a watch list

If your not sure what shares you would like to purchase set up a watch list of five to ten shares that you are interested in and watch how they perform. Most trading platforms will allow you to do this free of charge.

One Last Tip: Check the last five days

The Australian Stock Exchange website gives you the details of the last 5 days closing prices, high & low prices. It’s a great way to review where the share has been and if there are any trends. Most other stock exchange websites should be able to provide you with the same information.