Playing the market, playfully

by Mrs Money

Some people like to play with their money, and some people like to play more seriously than others. Different folks, different strokes, we’re not here to judge – as long as everyone pays their taxes and generally behaves in an ethical manner.

Ordinarily we would not spend a lot of time talking about gambling, but Financial Spread Betting (FSB) is not your everyday gamble. In fact, it’s one part gamble, one part investment. On that basis, we thought it was worth bringing to your attention; that and the fact that it is weirdly quite fascinating.

What is FSB? In a nutshell, it’s a way to bet on the stock market. At its simplest, you pick a stock or a currency and you place a bet on whether you think it might rise or fall. If it goes the way you’ve predicted, you win. If it doesn’t, you lose. Simple!

Obviously, it is possible to research different markets and the businesses whose shares trade on them in a way that is far more rigorous and scientific than an ordinary bet. The trades that you and I might make are essentially the same as someone on Wall Street or the London Stock Exchange. The big difference, though, is that whilst Mr Wall Street might be trading in tens of millions we can do it for just a few pounds.

What is more, with no dealing fees, commissions or taxes to pay there is no cost to entry. All it takes is an internet connection and a few pounds to put down as a deposit. In fact, there are even demonstration accounts that you can open up for free that give you the full experience of being a trader without having to part with a penny. The demonstrations are designed as a taster and as a way to get up to speed before you start playing for real. But in a world that is quite complex it is no bad thing to start out slowly and carefully anyway.

The way it works is that you have a fully-interactive dealing screen. You see share prices flicking up and down in real time – they are the actual real-life market prices – and, with a notional balance in your virtual account, you decide what to invest in and how much to put down. There are historical charts and all sorts of analytical aids helping to inform your decisions.

From that point on it’s a roller coaster ride of ups and downs as you see your winnings turn into losses and flip back into winnings again in the blink of an eye. If it’s exciting to play for pretend cash, imagine what the buzz is like when you’re looking at turning a £5 stake into £100. It’s the ultimate video game for finance geeks.

Some people have made fortunes with FSB, but others have lost big, too. We’re certainly not advocating it as a lifestyle. But as a way to play, and a deeply engaging way to play for a real profit, it is definitely worth looking at.


Reasons Why the Top 1% Should Be More Involved Within the Community

by Mrs Money

The richest people in the world are often targeted for a variety of reasons. While some can attribute the disdain to jealousy, it’s usually the actions and comments of those with money that gets the most attention. Although there are a few individuals that make headlines now and then for their generosity, there could be more that can be done. Why would it be in the best interests of these wealthy people to connect deeper to communities?

Marketing Advantages

From a capitalist’s point of view, the marketing aspect of being generous should be cause enough to donate large sums of money. When a wealthy individual donates or helps raise funds for an organization, many times it’s covered by the media. Not only does this highlight the person’s name as a donor, but it’s shameless advertising for the companies that this person is involved. This doesn’t have to be seen as a negative aspect when you consider the ramifications of what it could entail. For instance, it could be a superb method to raise awareness for a charity or help kickstart an organization.

Enlightening Others

Those that donate large sums of money to various needs are helping organizations enlighten existence for others. In a sense, it could be akin to capturing immortality for your good deeds. Director John Studzinski assisted the London museum to help pay for it’s new wing. Depending on how long this establishment remains standing, Studzinski’s contribution will benefit droves of people for years to come.

It’s There, Why Not Use It?

When you have an extraordinary amount of money, it’s less of an imposition to donate. As long as you can maintain your lifestyle, what’s the harm in helping others realize their dreams or even putting food on the table? For most of the top one percent, more than half of their assets can be donated while still providing a lifestyle of the rich and famous. While many of these individuals seem to be in a race to accumulate the most wealth, it all boils down to how you feel about your life at the end of the day. How much money does it take to make you truly happy?

Tax Deductions

Many of the top one percent are concerned when taxes and liabilities are talked about in media. A lot of these people enjoy the loopholes and benefits of being ultra-rich. Even if higher tax rates were imposed on these individuals, deductions are still an outlet that can help balance the imposition. For instance, many charitable donations are tax deductible regardless of how much money you make. Why not give it to those in need instead of being penalized for amassing wealth?

Growing Your Own Consumers

The more money people have in their pockets, the more likely they are going to spend. As opposed to “trickle down” economics, handing it directly to the community gives them an immediate power to buy goods. Regardless of your business niche, growing your consumer-base in such a way can help build job security for your organization. What would happen if the majority of the people simply could not pay for goods and services? In a sense, you are hurting your own consumers by not helping to improve society potentially putting your companies at risk.

By using a fraction of the wealth from the top one percent, society can be improved upon in a variety of ways. From assisting in economic development to marketing the brand name, charitable acts can go a long way within communities. Once these people realize that their wealth depends on the wellbeing of those under them, life could become enriched for everyone involved.

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