Simple Diversification Techniques for Safe Investing

Almost all savvy investors know it is critical to diversify their investments to protect themselves from major losses. And new investors also know they don’t want to lose their shirt so there has to be something they can do to protect their money, to invest safely.

Numerous books or chapters within investing books, magazine and online articles have been written about diversification. Usually these sources focus on splitting your money amongst different types of investments, i.e. a large-cap mutual fund, an energy ETF and perhaps a sector ETF or fund.

There are other ways to diversify that are often overlooked.

Strategies – your actual investment strategies can form a method of diversification. Instead of putting all your eggs, your money, into one basket, one style or type of strategy a variety of strategies can help protect your funds and, even more so, enable you to grow your portfolio during almost every economic situation.

Having two or three different strategies for each type of investment can enable you to keep abreast of market twists and turns, ups and downs. For example, if you are investing in sectors as one part of your portfolio then you should have two or three different sector strategies. These can differ from each other based on types of relative strength analysis (e.g. alpha, relative strength momentum or return).

Knowing when to switch from one strategy to another can be easily accomplished by viewing a performance chart with each of your strategies represented in one chart – not all of your investment strategies, just the ones that focus on the same type investment; i.e. sectors or large cap funds or energy ETFs. Checking this chart every week or two can tell you in a glance which strategy to use.

Another method of diversification is to differentiate your strategies based on your buy-sell rules. For example, one strategy could have a market exit signal with a short setting for rapid response to market ups and downs while another could be set for a more moderate response that allows for normal market variations without bumping you in and out of your positions with every turn of the market, or perhaps is set for a long-term holding that only reacts to a prolonged market slump. Again, viewing a combine strategy chart will tell you which strategy is currently the best to use for investing.

A third diversification technique is similar to viewing the strategies for a particular group or investment type. This technique involves comparing the overall performance of each investment group or category (the large-cap fund, energy ETF, sector ETF, etc.) to see if one group or multiple groups are not currently giving you solid gains. Just like one or more industry sectors may not be performing well, so you may have a group that underperforms during a particular market. This is one reason to follow six to eight groups or universes of investments so you can capitalize on those that are performing best at any given time.

Looking at the equity curve of your strategies and groups or a combination chart will take but a few moments and quickly tell you which ones are underperforming.

In essence you can maximize your investment growth potential by diversifying based on:Different type of analysis

  • Having 2 – 3 strategies for each type or group of investment
  • Compare strategies with a quick view of a combo chart
  • Vary strategy buy-sell rules to take advantage of different types of markets (flat, volatile, steady upward, etc.)
  • Compare investment groups to focus on those that are growing

Thus the key to growing your portfolio, to safe investing involves diversification that goes beyond simply buying a number of stocks.

How to Succeed at Getting an Investment Green Card in America

The U.S. Investor Visa program, also called “EB-5″, is a popular federal program with two goals: first – stimulate U.S. economy through capital investment and job creation, second – enable foreign investors to obtain their permanent resident visas (“Green Cards”) through such investment. Any investment under the EB-5 program could therefore only be successful if it keeps these two goals in mind. An uninformed investment, which centers only on the amount of investment, and not the end result of creating jobs through a successful enterprise, is far less likely to result in a Green Card.

In other words, an EB-5 investor must make thorough due diligence to ensure that his or her investment is a “good investment”. Only then is such an investment more likely to fulfill the rigorous requirements of an EB-5 program. The first step to success in ensuring this is understanding the two different ways to make this investment: investment through a “Regional Center” (hereafter “RC”) and investment through a “traditional” EB-5 program (without a RC).

Investment Using a RC

In 1992, the U.S. Government created the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program which provides for economic units known as “Regional Center(s).” These centers are private entities which submit economic growth proposal to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. They explain to the USCIS the mechanism of how their center will have a positive impact on the job market in the geographic region of the center. This allows the foreign investor to piggyback on the RC’s explanation and the economic proposal. The Center then seeks funding from numerous foreign investors, compiling each of their investment to create a more successful economic strategy than the one in which an individual investor attempts to fulfill different job creation requirements.

Nevertheless, foreign investors are wary of these centers because the investor does not have a control over their money once they invest through a RC. This is a legitimate fear. However, the advantages in an investment through a Regional Center far outweigh its risks. It is imperative that an EB-5 investor understands these risks before ruling out a Regional Center route to EB-5 Green Card.

The first advantage is benefiting from an expansive definition of “creating jobs” in an investment through a Regional Center. An EB-5 investment must create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years (or in some other cases within a reasonable time after these two years) of the investor’s admission to the U.S. as a Conditional Permanent Resident. Usually, these jobs must be direct, that is, these must be identifiable jobs located within the commercial enterprise into which the investor directly invested his or her capital. However, unlike the traditional EB-5 route, an EB-5 Regional Center investor can also take advantage of the indirect jobs that will be created in the geographic region as a result of his or her investment. Indirect jobs are defined as jobs created collaterally or as a result of the capital investment in a commercial enterprise affiliated with a regional center by an EB-5 investor.

Secondly, an “approved” RC has a stamp of approval from the US government that the center’s business plans are likely feasible and will directly or indirectly lead to job creation. Although such designation does not mean that an investment in those centers is backed by the government, it is easier to convince USCIS that the investment will lead to its proposed goal of job creation if the RC is approved.

Investment through a Traditional EB-5 Program – Without a Regional Center

Investment in a traditional EB-5 program is generally trickier and more complex than an investment through RC. Here, the investor must come up with the entire business plan of how he or she will generate the requisite number of jobs. The complexity is brought about by the numerous USCIS requirements for such a business plan.

Firstly, the capital requirement for an EB-5 Green Card is a usually minimum of $1 million. The exception is that such investment may be $500,000 if the investment is in a targeted employment area (TEA), that is, an area of high unemployment or a rural area. Individual investors often find it hard to explain that the area they are investing in is indeed a rural area or an area of high unemployment. Therefore, they often end up investing the higher amount – $1 million for their green card. On the other hand, most of the approved RCs are approved as TEA investments, and thus qualify for the reduced $500,000 requirement.

Secondly, all EB-5 investors must invest in a “new commercial enterprise”, that is, a commercial enterprise established after November 29, 1990, or established on or before November 29, 1990, that is either purchased and the existing business is restructured in a way to result a new commercial enterprise or it is expanded through an investment so that there is a 40 percent increase in the net worth or number of employees. While the definition of a commercial enterprise is broad, many investors do not have the requisite technical or managerial skills required for such businesses, and resultant, their investment is not very successful. Good RCs, on the other hand, have tremendous technical, engineering and managerial expertise at their disposal which allows them to run create new commercial enterprises without much of a difficulty. Consequently, with a Regional Center EB-5, the foreign national does not have to be tied with the new commercial enterprise. He or she can live, work, or travel far more easily than someone who has to continuously manage and control the EB-5 business to fulfill USCIS requirements.

Conclusion

As explained above, the standards for individual EB-5 petitions are very restrictive, and therefore, Regional Center EB-5 petitions now amount to more than ninety percent of all EB-5 petitions filed. At the same time, there are more than five hundred Regional Centers approved by USCIS. The benefits of a Regional Center EB-5 do not in any way imply that investing in any Regional Center is always a better strategy for a successful U.S. Green Card. Only a handful of Regional Centers have an established track record of returning positive investments. The investor must conduct a thorough due diligence of different Regional Centers and decide which one to use only after consulting various experts in this field.