Your Investment Portfolio need diversification for safety

Situational Analysis:
Recently, Wall Street’s major market averages have seen limited movement as investors remain cautious. The blue-chip Dow fell 0.2%, the benchmark S&P 500 remained flat, and the tech-focused Nasdaq Composite moved up 0.1%. Treasury yields are mixed following Friday’s spike; the U.S. 2-Year Treasury yield slid 1 basis point to 4.88%, while the U.S. 10-Year Treasury yield climbed up 3 basis points to 4.46%.

Stress Analysis:
The market’s reaction to these economic indicators has been mixed, with varying impacts across different sectors. Energy stocks led gains, while financials suffered the most. The recent spike in treasury yields reflects tempered expectations for a rate cut in the near term, with CME’s FedWatch tool indicating approximately a 50% chance of a cut at the September FOMC meeting. The May Employment Situation report suggested the US economy added more jobs than anticipated, even as the unemployment rate ticked higher.

Short-Term Focus:
In the short term, the upcoming NFP report is expected to have a significant impact on market sentiment. The April 2024 Jobs Report showed a 175,000 job increase, lower than the average monthly gain of 242,000 over the prior year. This has led to decreased treasury yields and increased demand for long-term bonds, such as the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond (TLT). Additionally, the market’s focus is on the Federal Reserve’s decision and CPI data due this week.

Long-Term Focus:
From a long-term perspective, the global industrial growth outlook has turned positive. Industrial production growth is anticipated to bottom and turn up in 2024, indicating a recovery in industrial activities. This recovery is expected to drive rising demand and industrial activity, contributing to global trade growth. However, it also poses the risk of increasing international inflation pressures due to higher goods demand. China’s industrial sector is gaining traction, and this global upturn includes significant contributions from China, the US, and Europe.

Actionable Steps:

Short-Term Strategies:

  1. Buy Idea:
    • Natural Gas: Given the recent 14% rise and the 26% increase in CVOL, natural gas presents a short-term opportunity.
    • Energy Stocks: With energy leading sector gains, consider short-term investments in energy stocks benefiting from higher oil prices.
  2. Sell Idea:
    • Tech Stocks with High Volatility: Given the cautious market sentiment, selling off highly volatile tech stocks may mitigate short-term risks.
    • Retail Stocks: With financials underperforming and mixed market reactions, retail stocks could face short-term pressures.

Long-Term Strategies:

  1. Buy Idea:
    • Global Industrial Stocks: With a positive global industrial growth outlook, investing in companies benefiting from increased industrial activity could be advantageous.
    • Precious Metals: Given the inflation concerns and the role of gold as a hedge, long-term investments in precious metals like gold could be beneficial.
  2. Sell Idea:
    • Overvalued Tech Stocks: Rebalance portfolios to reduce exposure to overvalued tech stocks, focusing on sectors with stable growth potential.
    • Commercial Banking Stocks: Due to potential job declines and efficiency drives, commercial banking stocks may face long-term pressures.

Disclaimer: I’m not your financial advisor, so please check these ideas with your advisor for personal suitability.

Warning Volatile Markets Ahead, Surf your portfolio to Safety

Weekly Market Analysis: we are talking a hike in Interest Rates, instead of rate cut, Deadline the American Elections

The current market environment is challenging, with increasing talk of interest rate hikes compared to the previously anticipated cuts. The Federal Reserve’s cautious approach, despite inflation creeping up to 3.4%, may delay significant rate hikes until after the upcoming elections, unless urgent economic indicators prompt earlier action. This cautious stance has significant implications for market dynamics. Investors betting on lower yields have driven up the price of long-term bonds like TLT. At the same time, sectors like defense and aerospace are benefiting from government spending, with companies such as Lockheed Martin (LMT) and General Dynamics (GD) seeing positive impacts from military hardware investments.

Conversely, the commercial banking sector faces potential job declines as banks focus on operational efficiency. This is evident in mixed performance among major banks, with TD Bank (TD) and CIBC (CM) showing strong results, while Bank of Montreal (BMO) struggles with higher credit loss provisions. By focusing on these factors and analyzing sector-specific performance, investors can better navigate the current market landscape.

Situational Analysis: Investors and analysts are closely monitoring several key economic indicators this week, including the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting, inflation data, and the highly anticipated non-farm payroll (NFP) report scheduled for release this Friday. These factors are crucial in understanding the Fed’s interest rate policy direction. The April 2024 Jobs Report, which showed a lower-than-expected increase in employment, played a significant role in boosting the stock markets over the past month.

Stress Analysis: The stock market’s performance is intricately linked to bond yields and the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decisions, both of which are heavily influenced by job data. The market’s reaction to these economic indicators has been mixed, with varying impacts across different sectors such as retail, defense, and aerospace. Investors are advised to keep a close eye on these developments to navigate the market effectively.

some new jobs are increasing in the transportation sector

Short-Term Focus: In the short term, the upcoming NFP report is expected to have a significant impact. The April 2024 Jobs Report saw a 175,000 job increase, lower than the average monthly gain of 242,000 over the prior year. This has led to decreased treasury yields and increased demand for long-term bonds, such as the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond (TLT), which saw a 3% rise in the past month despite being down 7.4% year-to-date.

Long-Term Focus: From a long-term perspective, sectors with potential job growth include transportation and warehousing, and retail trade. For instance, United Parcel Service (UPS) and FedEx (FDX) are expected to benefit from ongoing demand, although their stock prices have seen recent declines. In the retail sector, companies like Nike (NKE) are focusing on consumer engagement and innovation to drive growth, while Deckers Outdoor (DECK) has shown strong performance due to its direct-to-consumer sales strategy.

Actionable Steps:

Short-Term Strategies:

  1. Buy Idea:
    • Long-Term Bonds: With treasury yields decreasing, consider investing in long-term bonds like iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond (TLT).
    • Defense and Aerospace Stocks: Companies such as Lockheed Martin (LMT) and General Dynamics (GD) are benefiting from increased government spending.
  2. Sell Idea:
    • Commercial Banking Stocks: Due to potential job declines and efficiency drives, stocks in commercial banking may face pressure, making them less attractive in the short term.

Long-Term Strategies:

  1. Buy Idea:
    • Transportation and Warehousing: Companies like United Parcel Service (UPS) and FedEx (FDX) are expected to see continued demand growth.
    • Retail Trade: Focus on companies investing in innovation and consumer engagement, such as Nike (NKE) and Deckers Outdoor (DECK).
    • Technology and Renewable Energy: These sectors offer strong long-term growth potential.
  2. Sell Idea:
    • Overvalued Defensive Stocks: Rebalance portfolios to ensure a mix of growth and defensive stocks, avoiding overexposure to sectors that may not perform well in the long run.

Disclaimer: I’m not your financial advisor, so please check these ideas with your advisor for personal suitability.

Easily spend 600 AED and difficult to Invest it

In a world where every dollar counts, it’s intriguing to explore the choices we make about where our money goes. Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a Dave Chappelle show in Abu Dhabi, which cost me 600 AED. Though a fan of his work, this experience led me to a surprising reflection about entertainment spending in general.

Is spending 600 AED on a single session of entertainment a wise choice?

This amount could easily cover my basic needs such as food and clothing for a significant period. It raises a question about the broader economic implications and our personal values. Or even  weekend getaway.

Why do people decide to spend in what might seem like fleeting experiences?

History shows us that entertainers have always played a role in society, from the jesters in royal courts to the comedians on today’s global stages, and the transformation in how they are valued is a mirror reflecting our evolving society and economy.

This scenario makes one wonder, if an alien were to visit us, would they find amusement in our seemingly frivolous expenditures?

This isn’t just about budgeting but understanding the intrinsic value we place on joy and diversion. It’s a dialogue worth having.

What does your spending on entertainment say about your values?

Capital Structures Simplified, Curious about Corporate Finance?

Capital Structure is the key of Corporate Finance, Debt vs. Equity is the delicate dance between a risk reward perspective for investors and cost of capital for the business leaders.

ven the most innovative products, a stellar sales force, and a dominant market share may not insulate a company against financial distress if its capital structure and financial strategies are not sound.

A company’s viability hinges on its operational prowess and, critically, on how it manages its finances.

Here’s an in-depth yet simplified look at how the intricacies of capital structure play a pivotal role in a company’s viability – consider it an X-ray into the financial backbone of corporate strategy.

This examination is crucial not only for the company but also for its investors, creditors, and stakeholders.

For savvy investors, understanding a company’s capital structure is key to evaluating its financial health and investment potential. It offers insights into risk levels, financial stability, and the company’s strategic approach to balancing debt and equity, which are essential factors in making informed investment decisions.

What we call capital structure, comprised of various types of debt and equity, is the foundation upon which businesses build their operations and growth strategies.

Let’s have a look at these structures and understand their significance in corporate finance.

1. The Balance of Debt and Equity

At its core, a company’s capital structure is a mix of debt and equity, each carrying its own set of implications for both the company and its investors.

Debt Definition:

Debt includes funds borrowed by the company, which must be repaid over time with interest. Common forms include bank loans and corporate bonds.

Investor Perspective on Evaluating Debt:

Debt-to-Equity Ratio: Investors often look at a company’s debt-to-equity ratio to gauge its financial leverage and stability. A higher ratio can indicate higher financial risk.

Interest Coverage Ratio: This measures a company’s ability to meet its interest obligations, which is crucial for debt sustainability.

Advantages and Risks: While debt financing offers tax benefits due to the deductibility of interest payments, it also imposes fixed repayment obligations, increasing the company’s financial risk in times of downturn.

EquityDefinition:

Equity involves raising capital by selling shares of the company. Equity investors become co-owners of the business, sharing in its profits but also bearing its risks.

Investor Perspective on Evaluating Equity:

Dividend Yields and Growth Prospects: Investors assess the potential for dividends and the growth prospects of the company. High-growth companies may not pay dividends but offer the potential for capital gains.

Price-to-Earnings Ratio: A common metric used to evaluate a stock’s value relative to its earnings, giving an indication of how the market values the company’s growth potential.

Risk and Return: Equity is riskier than debt, as shareholders are last to be paid in liquidation. However, it also offers potentially higher returns through capital gains and dividends.

2. Security: Secured vs. Unsecured Debt

The type of debt a company holds can significantly impact its risk profile.

  • Secured Debt: This is backed by collateral, such as property or equipment, offering lenders a degree of security. In case of default, secured creditors have the first claim on these assets.
  • Unsecured Debt: Lacking specific collateral, unsecured debt carries more risk for lenders, reflected in higher interest rates compared to secured debt.

3. Understanding Subordination in Debt

The Hierarchy of Debt Repayment

  1. Secured Debt:
  • Example: A mortgage loan taken by a company to purchase a property. If the company defaults, the lender can seize and sell the property to recover the debt.
  • Utility Case: Ideal for long-term financing of specific assets like real estate or machinery.
  • Investor Profile: Institutional investors, such as pension funds and insurance companies, or conservative individual investors.
  • Evaluation Criteria: Focus on the quality and liquidity of the collateral, creditworthiness of the company, and interest rate compared to the risk level.
  1. Senior Unsecured Debt:
  • Example: Corporate bonds issued by a company without specific collateral. These bonds are prioritized over other unsecured debts in case of liquidation.
  • Utility Case: Commonly used for general corporate purposes, offering a balance between risk and return for lenders.
  • Investor Profile: Risk-averse investors seeking higher yields than secured debt but lower risk than equity. This includes mutual funds, asset managers, and cautious individual investors.
  • Evaluation Criteria: Assess the company’s overall credit rating, debt-to-equity ratio, interest coverage ratio, and macroeconomic factors affecting the company’s industry.
  1. Subordinated Debt:
  • Example: A junior debt issued by a company that is repayable after all senior debt has been paid. It might be used in leveraged buyouts or acquisitions.
  • Utility Case: Suitable for companies seeking additional funding without collateral but willing to offer higher interest rates due to increased risk.
  • Investor Profile: Investors willing to take on more risk for higher returns, such as high-yield bond funds, aggressive individual investors, and hedge funds.
  • Evaluation Criteria: Analyze the debt’s yield relative to its risk, the company’s cash flow stability, and the potential for debt restructuring or conversion into equity.
  1. Mezzanine Debt:
  • Example: A mezzanine loan that may convert into equity or have attached warrants. This could be used in situations where a company needs capital but wants to avoid diluting existing shareholders.
  • Utility Case: Often utilized in growth financing and buyouts, providing a bridge between debt and equity financing.
  • Investor Profile: Investors looking for a mix of debt and equity benefits, like venture capital firms, private equity investors, and sophisticated individual investors.
  • Evaluation Criteria: Consider the terms of convertibility or attached equity warrants, the company’s growth potential, and the overall return on investment, balancing the debt and equity aspects.
  1. Preference Shareholders:
  • Example: Preferred stock issued by a company, offering dividends at a fixed rate. It’s an alternative to raising debt and can be attractive for investors seeking steady income.
  • Utility Case: Used by companies to raise capital without increasing debt load or diluting voting power, as preferred shares often don’t have voting rights.
  • Investor Profile: Income-focused investors, including retirees and conservative investors seeking stable dividends without the volatility of common stocks.
  • Evaluation Criteria: Examine dividend yield and history, the company’s dividend policy, and the preferential rights in liquidation over ordinary shares.
  1. Ordinary Shareholders:
  • Example: Common stock issued by a company, providing shareholders with a residual claim on assets and earnings. Common shareholders bear the most risk but also enjoy potential upside from growth.
  • Utility Case: Common stock issuance is a primary way for companies to raise equity capital, offering shareholders a stake in the company’s future success.
  • Investor Profile: A wide range of investors, from individuals to large institutional investors, who are comfortable with market volatility and are seeking capital appreciation.
  • Evaluation Criteria: Analyze company fundamentals, market position, earnings growth potential, and overall industry trends. Consider P/E ratio, growth prospects, and dividend policy (if applicable).

A Delicate Dance of Perspectives

  • Investors Risk and Return Balance: Investors choose among these options based on their risk tolerance and return expectations. Secured debt offers lower risk but typically lower returns, while equity and subordinated debts offer higher potential returns but with increased risk.
  • Corporate Capital Structure Strategy: Companies balance these instruments to optimize their capital structure, considering factors like interest rates, market conditions, and their financial objectives.

4. The Equity Hierarchy: Preference vs. Ordinary Shares

Equity is not a monolith; there are different classes with varying rights and risks.

  • Preference Shares: These shareholders get priority over ordinary shareholders in terms of dividends and asset claims if the company is liquidated. However, they usually don’t have voting rights.
  • Ordinary Shares: Also known as common stock, these shareholders are last in line during liquidation and dividend distribution but typically have voting rights.

5. Convertible Securities: A Hybrid Approach

Convertible bonds or preferred shares can convert into ordinary shares. They blend debt and equity, offering flexibility and potential for appreciation.

Capital structure is a vital aspect of a company’s financial strategy. It influences everything from risk management to how a company finances its growth. Understanding the nuances of capital structure is crucial for evaluating a company’s current financial health and for assessing its future potential and strategic direction.

For Strategic Evaluation of Stakeholders positions:

  • Risk and Return Trade-off: The composition of debt and equity in a company’s capital structure directly impacts its risk and return profile. While leveraging through higher debt can potentially amplify returns, it also escalates financial risk, especially in volatile market conditions. This balancing act between risk and reward is a key consideration for any financial strategy.
  • Cost of Capital: Each component of the capital structure carries a different cost. Debt may be less expensive due to tax benefits, but it requires consistent interest payments, which can burden cash flow. Equity, while free of repayment obligations, can be costlier due to dividend expectations and dilution of ownership. Effective capital management aims to optimize the mix of debt and equity to minimize the overall cost of capital, thereby enhancing value for shareholders.

Investors, analysts, and corporate leaders alike must delve deep into a company’s capital structure to make sound decisions.

  • For Investors: Understanding how a company is financed helps in assessing the level of risk associated with an investment and in predicting future performance. Investors look at the capital structure to gauge the stability and growth prospects of a company, guiding their investment choices.
  • For Analysts: Financial analysts use capital structure as a key metric in valuing companies and providing investment recommendations. They analyze how the mix of debt and equity aligns with industry norms, the company’s business model, and market expectations.
  • For Corporate Leaders: For those at the helm of a company, decisions regarding capital structure are integral to strategic planning. The right balance can lead to sustainable growth and increased shareholder value, while missteps can result in financial distress or missed opportunities.

In conclusion, the capital structure is not just a reflection of a company’s financial strategy, but a fundamental driver of its success. Navigating the complexities of debt and equity financing is essential for sustainable growth and long-term profitability. As markets evolve and business dynamics change, the continuous reassessment of capital structure becomes imperative for staying ahead in the competitive corporate landscape.”

So you decided to cultivate a legacy of wealth

Cultivating a Portfolio of Evergreen Investments s necessary for Long-Term Growth

🌿 In a world where market trends come and go, evergreen investments are the backbone of financial growth. They are like oaks in a garden that weather the seasons with resilience. For investors seeking stability amidst economic fluctuations, evergreen investments offer a sanctuary of consistent returns and reduced volatility.

🌱 Evergreen investments are characterized by their ability to remain productive over an extended period. They are the blue-chip stocks that have stood the test of time, the bonds that offer a safety net, the utility companies powering our daily lives, and the real estate that anchors our communities. These investments are not flashy, but they are dependable, often providing dividends and interest that compound over the years.

🛠️ Building an evergreen portfolio requires a strategy focused on diversification and long-term growth. Start by identifying industries that have shown consistent demand and resilience. Look for companies with strong fundamentals, a history of dividend growth, and a competitive edge. Incorporate a mix of assets, including index funds and etfs that track the overall market performance, to spread out risk. Remember, the goal is not to chase the latest fad but to invest in assets that will thrive over decades.

⏰ The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago; the second best time is now. The same goes for evergreen investments. The earlier you start, the more you can leverage the power of compounding interest. Whether you’re just starting your career or looking to shore up your retirement plans, it’s never too late to add evergreen assets to your portfolio.

🌟 Evergreen investments are not just a financial choice; they’re a mindset. They reflect a commitment to steady growth and a belief in the enduring value of solid, foundational assets. Start building your evergreen portfolio today, and let time and stability chart the course to your financial well-being. #evergreen #income #investwisely

Financial Bond: Intimacy with Your Money Relationship

Investment Strategy Financial Bonding Emotional Finance Money Relationship Financial Health Wealth Building Financial Intimacy Personal Finance Tips

In the intricate dance of the financial markets, emotions play a pivotal role. While they can occasionally guide us to success, more often than not, they lead us down a path of self-destruction. One such behavior, often overlooked but incredibly potent, let us call it “Hopium.”

Understanding Hopium

Hopium is the intoxicating blend of hope and optimism that convinces investors they’re just one step away from hitting it big. It’s the song that lures them into making irrational decisions, often with disastrous consequences. Here’s how it manifests:

  1. The Big Win Mirage: Investors often chase the dream of that one significant win, sacrificing consistency in the process. While they might strike gold occasionally, the lack of a consistent strategy often leads to more losses than gains.
  2. Euphoria & Overconfidence: A few successful trades can lead to a surge of overconfidence. This euphoria blinds investors to potential risks, making them more susceptible to making impulsive decisions.
  3. Dangerous Bets: Hopium convinces Investors to take large positions, often without a clear exit strategy. They position themselves without exit plans, to cover losses or protect gains

Overcoming Hopium

Recognizing and admitting to being under the influence of Hopium is the first step towards recovery. Here are some strategies to combat its effects:

  • Educate Yourself: Knowledge is a powerful antidote. The more you understand the markets and trading strategies, the less likely you are to make decisions based on blind hope.
  • Have a Clear Plan: Before entering any position, have a clear plan for both entry and exit.
  • Practice Emotional Discipline: Train yourself to recognize when you are Investing based on emotion rather than logic. Then arbitrate yourself for logic control. Take breaks, meditate, or engage in activities that help you maintain a clear head.

While hope and optimism are essential in many aspects of life, in the world of investing, they need to be tempered with logic, strategy, and discipline.

Falling prey to the allure of Hopium can lead to significant financial and emotional distress.

Stay informed, stay disciplined, and always Invest with a clear plan in mind.

In the “Personal Habits” – The Importance of a safety fund

An emergency fund is a financial safety net designed to cover unexpected expenses or financial emergencies. Here’s why it’s a crucial financial habit:

Financial Security: Whether it’s a medical emergency, sudden job loss, or urgent home repairs, an emergency fund ensures you have the means to handle it without going into debt.

Avoiding Unplanned Liquidation: Without an emergency fund, you might be forced to liquidate investments at inopportune times, potentially incurring losses.

Peace of Mind: Knowing you have a financial cushion can reduce stress and allow you to make investment decisions with a clear mind.

Building Your Emergency Fund:

Start Small: Even saving a small amount regularly can add up over time.

Aim for 3-6 Months of Expenses: While the exact amount can vary based on individual needs, a good rule of thumb is to have enough to cover 3-6 months of living expenses.

Keep It Accessible: Your emergency fund should be easily accessible, so consider keeping it in a savings account.

Stay informed, stay disciplined, and always invest with a clear plan in mind. Your financial health is paramount, and as your financial doctor, we’re here to guide you every step of the way. Stay tuned for more insights in our next edition of The Financial Pulse.

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Tax-Efficient Investment Structures for International Investors

As an international investor, you may find yourself navigating the complex waters of tax implications when investing in U.S. stocks. If you reside in a country without a U.S.-based tax treaty, the standard withholding tax rate of 30% typically applies. However, there are strategies that can help manage your U.S. tax exposure.

In this article, Mohamad Mrad, a seasoned financial engineer, explores professional examples of tax-efficient structures that can help you optimize your investments. These structures include Pension Funds, Investment Funds, Life Insurance Policies, Trusts, Offshore Companies, and ETFs or Mutual Funds domiciled outside the U.S.

Understanding the Tax Implications

Before delving into the tax-efficient structures, it’s crucial to understand the tax implications of investing in U.S. stocks as an international investor. The U.S. imposes a withholding tax on dividends paid by U.S. companies to foreign investors. The standard rate is 30%, but this can be reduced if there’s a tax treaty between the U.S. and the investor’s country of residence.

However, the tax implications don’t stop there. If you sell your U.S. stocks and realize a capital gain, you may be subject to capital gains tax in your home country. The tax rates and rules can vary widely, so it’s important to understand the tax laws in your country of residence.

Tax-Efficient Structures for International Investors

Now, let’s explore the tax-efficient structures that can help international investors manage their U.S. tax exposure:

  1. Pension Funds: Many countries offer tax advantages for investments held in pension funds. These advantages can include tax-free growth, tax deductions for contributions, and tax-free withdrawals in retirement. Some pension funds can invest in foreign stocks, including U.S. stocks, and may be exempt from U.S. withholding tax on dividends.
  2. Investment Funds: Some countries have investment funds that are structured to be tax-efficient. For example, in the UK, investors can use Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) and Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs) to invest in U.S. stocks with tax advantages. In other countries, similar tax-efficient investment funds may be available.
  3. Life Insurance Policies: Some countries allow investments to be held within a life insurance policy. These policies can offer tax advantages, such as tax-free growth and tax-free withdrawals, and may be exempt from U.S. withholding tax on dividends.
  4. Trusts: A trust can be a tax-efficient way to hold investments, especially for estate planning purposes. Trusts can provide a degree of control over how and when assets are distributed, and can offer tax advantages in some countries. However, trusts are complex structures that require professional advice to set up and manage.
  5. Offshore Companies: In some cases, it may be possible to hold investments through an offshore company. This can offer tax advantages, but it is a complex strategy that requires careful planning and professional advice.
  6. Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) or Mutual Funds domiciled outside the U.S.: These funds invest in U.S. stocks but are not subject to U.S. withholding tax on dividends. Instead, the dividends are typically reinvested in the fund, and you may be subject to tax in your country of residence when you sell your shares in the fund.

Choosing the Right Structure

Choosing the right tax-efficient structure for your investments depends on many factors, including your tax status, your investment goals, and the tax laws in your country of residence. It’s important to consider all these factors and consult with a tax professional or financial advisor before making a decision.

Remember, tax laws are complex and can change, and the tax consequences of using these structures can depend on many factors. It’s always a good idea to consult with a tax professional or financial advisor to understand the best options for your situation.

Conclusion

Investing in U.S. stocks can offer significant potential returns, but it’s important to understand the tax implications and use tax-efficient structures to optimize your investments. By understanding the tax laws and using the right structures, you can maximize your after-tax returns and achieve your investment goals.

Ridiculous Bank Charges – A Story by Mohamad Mrad

“It’s been half a year since I initiated conversations with FH. After considering various advisory firms and solutions, FH chose to become my client in January 2022. This journey, I must admit, is thrilling.

Our goal is for FH to retire at 45, setting our strategy timeline to seven years. The strategy, crafted by Mohamad Mrad, involves several asset classes and aims to accumulate the necessary working capital by 2029. However, I won’t delve into the strategy specifics here.

One element of our strategy is what we term “sustainable investment plans”. These involve monthly investments to bridge the gap in our total investment pool, which consists of real estate, bonds, private equity, and alternative investments.

As we implement this strategy, we’ve noticed that each card transaction costs us between 2.5 to 3.1% monthly, depending on the bank. This fee, charged by banking solutions like Visa or Mastercard, amounts to a significant $6,000 USD over a decade.

An alternative is a bank standing order. However, each transaction on an elite or premium account incurs an additional $11.4 (equivalent of 42AED) + 72AED, or around $19.5, charged by the corresponding bank. This totals to about $31 USD per transaction, which is nearly 55% of the card cost option.

This is unacceptable. A sustainable investor making monthly transactions to build an investment pool shouldn’t be charged exorbitantly for a standing order. Banks should significantly reduce these charges.

DeFi will soon force a change in this behavior. For now, we’ve found an innovative solution to drastically reduce these costs. Unfortunately, I can’t yet apply this solution to all my clients.

Truth or Dare

In the aftermath of the pandemic-induced stock market crash in February 2020, savvy investors like Mohamad Mrad were poised to seize the countless opportunities presented by relatively cheap stocks in April 2020.

This led to a swift market recovery and an unprecedented rally, fueled in part by stimulus injections. However, this environment could hardly be labeled as a healthy economy.

Despite the S&P 500 indicating a healthy increase of above 15.2%, the reality of redundancies across various industries, layoffs, and poor earnings reports in sectors such as oil and gas, banking, and hospitality towards the last quarter of 2020, raised questions about the authenticity of this rally. Was this rally real or just a mirage?

As a technical investor, Mohamad Mrad understands the price action and the moves created by the trader’s order flow. The greed of investors is creating a positive stock performance and consequently a positive index performance. Yet, the fundamentals do not reflect the same.

Let’s consider some key indicators: Manufacturing jobs, GDP, Interest Rates, and the Consumer Price Index. All these indicators are signaling an unhealthy economy. Even the $ US dollar index (DIX) started revealing reversal signs from its bearish momentum, signaling an uptrend.

On 28 January, the S&P index dropped below its critical level 3,732.86 signaling an end of the bullish momentum. Yet other major indices like the Nasdaq and Dow Jones didn’t break their respective critical levels. However, bearish signals are starting to appear with a mix of rising investors fear and diminishing buyers’ sentiments.

Mohamad Mrad suggests that the coming trading sessions will be crucial to indicate one of the following scenarios: This could just be a correction in the markets, after a strong sprint, with a sideways period, which in all cases isn’t healthy given all the fundamental indicators are weak and it will increase the sentiment of fear. Or, the market will fall sharply heading toward a recession as a delayed reflection of the weak fundamental indicators.

With this uncertainty in the air, more signals are adding up in the support of bearish markets. The best strategy for intraday selling and buying opportunities when they appear: Keep some liquidity and be ready to have another shot. Focus on long term investments when the markets reach new lows, and the indicators support a healthy growth.

Investment Manager Ethics

Serious Investors acting to build and protect their wealth, who work with financial advisors or private family offices may face a range of challenges, that hinders the relationship and in return affect their financial future, these challenges can be categorized mainly in the following groups:

  • Conflicts of interest
  • Lack of communication
  • Disagreements over investment strategies

One of the most common challenges investors face is conflicts of interest. Financial advisors may have incentives to recommend certain investment products or services that may not be in the best interest of their clients. To address this challenge, investment manager must disclose with their investors any conflicts of interest, fees and commissions in full transparency and ensure that all investment recommendations are aligned with the investor specific objectives by setting:

  • Quantifiable benchmarks
  • Time frames
  • And expected volatility

Another common challenge that investors face is “lack of communication” from their advisors. Investment managers must establish clear communication protocols with their investors and ensure that they receive regular updates on their portfolio performance and investment strategy. If communication is lacking, investors are recommended to consider finding a more proactive asset manager.

Disagreements over investment strategies is a critical challenge for the future of the relationship. it’s important for the investment manager to communicate their concerns to their Investors and work together to find a solution that meets the Investment Objectives. This may involve adjusting the investment strategy or finding a changing financial advisor who is better aligned with the investment philosophy.

Fortunately, there are a number of steps an Asset Manager can take to address these challenges and ensure a positive working relationship with their Investors, like:

  • Education
  • Communication
  • Setting expectations
  • Attention

Finally, Financial managers should make sure that they have a clear communications on the fees associated with the advisory services. Advisors may charge a variety of fees, including management fees, performance-based fees, and transaction fees. It’s important for investors to understand these fees and ensure that they are reasonable and aligned with the value of the services being provided.

In summary, to address these challenges, investment managers should establish clear lines of communication with the investors, ensure that investment strategies are aligned with the investor financial persona. and By taking these steps, Investment managers can ensure a positive working relationship with their investors to achieve their financial objectives. Because investment managers are responsible of the most important asset the investors family hold, which is currency. A positive and long relationship will affect the investors family and their wealth for generations to come. Hence the Investment Manger must maintain this integrity framework through the relationship and earn trust dividends over time.