Questions to prepare for a financial adviser - Zanesville Times Recorder Questions to prepare for a financial adviser - Zanesville Times Recorder

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Questions to prepare for a financial adviser - Zanesville Times Recorder

Questions to prepare for a financial adviser - Zanesville Times Recorder

Are you currently shopping around for a good financial adviser? Do you have questions in the back of your mind about the one you have now? What questions do you need to ask to weed out the ones you don't want? We want to make it simple for you. Make sure you cut out this article and save it. You never know when you will have to go shopping for quality advice. Some of these questions came from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. Here they are:

1. What experience do you have?

2. What are your qualifications and what did you learn specifically from them?

3. What services do you offer and are you independent?

4. What is your approach to financial planning?

5. Will you be the only person working with me?

6. Do you have a succession plan and who is it with?

7. How will I pay for your services and how much do you typically charge?

8. Have you ever been publicly disciplined for any unlawful or unethical actions in your professional career?

9. Can I have it in writing?

10. Why do you do what you do?

These questions might help you find a really good adviser to work with. Look at how they answer the question. This could tell you a lot about the person during this session. Some people spend more time shopping for a car than a financial adviser. Which is more important to you?

Financial shock would never have happened under sharia - Irish Times
The Irish Times - Monday, May 21, 2012


LEGAL OPINION: IN THE West we have, over many years, created a range of financial instruments to meet the needs of business, of investors and of the man and woman in the street. In the recent past, institutions in the Islamic world have developed a parallel set of instruments which seek to fulfil those needs in a way which is consistent with sharia law.

Islam dates its foundation to the year 622 CE, when the prophet Muhammad fled from Mecca to Medina in the incident which Muslims celebrate as the Hijra. However, Islamic finance as we now know it has a much shorter history, having its origins in the post-war world.

To the extent they think about such things at all, it is probable that many in the West regard Islamic finance as a harmless eccentricity. Some may see its arrival in Europe and North America as an unwelcome intrusion. Few would ever take the time to examine its underlying principles.

In the decades which followed the Reagan revolution, we came to think that markets, including financial markets, could, by and large, look after themselves. Since the onset of the global financial crisis, many in Europe and America have come to believe we need to apply a new ethic to the conduct of financial markets. However, in the West, where public morality is divorced from revealed religion, there is as yet no consensus as to what form this should take.

In the Islamic world, the problem is different. To pious Muslims, it is self-evident that financial markets should be organised in accordance with sharia law, which reflects the truths revealed in the Koran, and the example set by the prophet in the Sunnah.

Most of us are aware that Islam prohibits usury and few would be surprised to learn that a Muslim should not profit from the sale of alcohol or from the distribution of pornography.

What most of us do not know is that the sharia presents a positive vision, based on principles of equity, as to how business should be carried on. In a financial transaction, the person who brings the money should share risk with the person to whom it is brought.

An investment should normally be backed by a tangible underlying asset. One should make an investment only if it is reasonable to suppose it will bring a return.

How are these principles applied in practice? Some conventional instruments, including many of the more exotic creations of Wall Street, are so irremediably unIslamic that no amount of ingenuity could produce an equivalent which was sharia-compliant.

Into this category would fall the high-risk products of casino capitalism and instruments which derive their value not from assets but from algorithms.

Other, more familiar, financial products have their Islamic equivalents. A Western bank pays a saver interest by reference to the “time value of money”. A depositor in an Islamic bank shares in the profit and losses which the institution generates when it puts the deposit to use. An Islamic institution cannot grant a mortgage but it may lease a property to its customer.

In the Christian (or post-Christian) West, Islam can resonate negatively. We often focus on aspects of that civilisation which are foreign and threatening to us and ignore features of Muslim life and beliefs which we might consider more benign.

Our Government is anxious that Dublin should develop as a centre for Islamic finance and, with that in mind, we have amended our tax code so as to create a level playing field for conventional and Islamic financial instruments. So where a bank depositor receives a share in the profits (and losses) generated from, for example, the deposit, the Revenue Commissioners will treat such return as if it was interest.

Opinion in the West is often suspicious of, or antagonistic towards, sharia. Is it right then that our law should accommodate practices which are informed by that code?

In the US housing bubble of 2005-2006, unscrupulous institutions lent money to poor people on the security of their homes. By some form of financial alchemy, investment banks converted these mortgages into triple A securities which they then sold on to fund managers. Some shrewd investors could see this market was heading for a fall and placed their bets accordingly. In the resulting debacle, the global economic system received a shock from which it has not yet recovered.

Nothing remotely like this could have happened if the actors in this drama had been constrained by sharia principles, so we should not be surprised that many Muslims feel that, in the era following the collapse of Lehman Brothers, we might when we come to regulate financial markets consider taking a leaf out of their book.

John King is a partner in Ivor Fitzpatrick Company Solicitors, where he specialises in media and commercial law.

Stocks turn higher on better manufacturing report - Yahoo Finance

NEW YORK (AP) -- The fastest growth in U.S. manufacturing in 10 months gave stocks a lift in early trading Tuesday and put the Dow Jones industrial average on track for its highest close in more than four years.

The Institute for Supply Management said its national manufacturing index rose to its highest level since last June. Orders, hiring and production were all higher.

A measure of manufacturing employment rose to a nine-month high, a hopeful sign ahead of Friday's monthly jobs report.

The manufacturing report jolted stock indexes out of a morning stupor. The Dow was up 96 points to 13,310 a half-hour before noon, putting the average on course for its highest close since Dec. 28, 2007.

In a separate report, the Commerce Department said construction spending ticked up slighly in March, following two months of declines.

Sam Stovall, chief equity strategist at S&P Capital IQ, said the two reports looked like evidence that the U.S. economic recovery is on solid footing despite turmoil in Europe and a weak jobs report last month.

"I think investors are encouraged there's at least one place in the world where it's still worth investing," Stovall said. "They're not ready to give up on this bull market yet."

Other indexes pushed higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 14 points to 1,412, seven points shy of its closing high for the year, set on April 2. The Nasdaq composite climbed 32 points to 3,079.

Major car companies are reporting monthly auto sales on Tuesday. Industry watchers expect overall sales to rise 2 percent for April compared with a year earlier.

The S&P finished April in the red, its first losing month since November. The Dow managed a tiny gain.

Among stocks making big moves:

— Chesapeake Energy Corp. jumped 7 percent on reports that the company will replace its chairman, Aubrey McClendon. McClendon, the company's founder, was under fire for taking out more than $1 billion in loans using the company's wells as collateral. Chesapeake recently agreed to end the program that allowed McClendon to take personal stakes in the wells. McClendon will stay on as CEO.

— Archer Daniels Midland Co. gained 7 percent after the food conglomerate reported profits that beat analysts' expectations. Profits dropped by nearly a third over the past year, pulled down by one-time charges and lower weaker results from its ethanol and oilseeds businesses.

— Avon Products Inc. fell 8 percent, the biggest drop in the S&P 500. The company said earnings plunged 82 percent, hurt by a bigger restructuring charge, commodity costs and rising labor costs. The results were worse than analysts had expected.

NYMEX-US crude flat above $91, economy weighs - Reuters UK

PERTH | Mon May 21, 2012 2:25am BST

PERTH May 21 (Reuters) - U.S. crude prices were flat above $91 per barrel on Monday as concerns about the European economy continued to weigh on prices despite world leaders on the weekend pledging to combat financial turmoil.


* NYMEX crude for June had slipped 7 cents to $91.41 a barrel by 0103 GMT. On Friday, crude settled at $91.48 a barrel in New York, down 12.82 percent in the three preceding weeks, its biggest three-week loss since the week to Aug. 14, 2011.

* ICE Brent crude futures for July delivery rose 26 cents to $107.40 a barrel on Monday.

* Leaders of the Group of Eight major economies raised the pressure on Iran on Saturday, signaling their readiness to tap into emergency oil stockpiles quickly this summer if tougher new sanctions on Tehran threaten to strain supplies. The G8 put the International Energy Agency - the West's energy adviser responsible for coordinating reserves - on standby for action.

* Russia's deputy foreign minister said on Sunday that military action against Iran over its nuclear programme was being considered in some Western countries.

* The United Nations nuclear watchdog chief said he did not expect to go to Iran's Parchin military site during his visit to the Islamic state but was positive about his talks with Iranian officials scheduled for Monday.

* G8 leaders backed keeping Greece in the euro zone on Saturday and vowed to take all steps necessary to combat financial turmoil while revitalizing a global economy increasingly threatened by Europe's debt crisis.


* The euro started the week on a subdued note, although it was a touch firmer than its New York close on Friday and commodity currencies remained mired at multi-month lows as markets saw the G8's comments as short on details and long on rhetoric.

* Gold inched up on Monday to extend last week's rise. (Reporting by Rebekah Kebede; Editing by Joseph Radford)

Asia Stocks Rise After Wen Comments - Businessweek

Asian stocks rose, with the regional index rebounding from its biggest drop in six months, after Premier Wen Jiabao said China will focus more on bolstering economic growth. Gains were limited before German and French leaders meet today to discuss the euro as the Group of Eight exposed disagreement on a rescue strategy.

Fanuc Corp. (6954), a maker of industrial robots that gets almost half its revenue from Asia outside Japan, rose 2.8 percent in Tokyo. Regional lender Hokuhoku Financial Group Inc. (8377) jumped 5.2 percent after saying it plans to buy back shares. BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) climbed 1.5 percent in Sydney after RBC Capital Markets said the world’s largest mining company may start a new share buyback., a unit of China’s biggest e-commerce company, may be active today in Hong Kong after its parent was said to near an agreement to buy back a stake from Yahoo! Inc.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) rose 0.3 percent to 112.91 as of 10:15 a.m. in Tokyo. About three stocks advanced for every two that dropped before markets in Hong Kong and China open. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average climbed 0.4 percent today. The broader Topix Index was little changed after a drop last week that capped the longest streak of weekly losses since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index increased 0.5 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi Index rose 0.6 percent.

China’s Wen said the government will focus more on bolstering economic growth, indicating policies may be loosened further as inflation moderates. “We should continue to implement a proactive fiscal policy and a prudent monetary policy, while giving more priority to maintaining growth,” Wen said during a tour of Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei province, from Friday to Sunday.

China Investment

China’s foreign-exchange regulator has approved $26 billion in quotas for 138 qualified investors looking to buy into its domestic securities as of May 16, according to a statement posted on the State Administration of Foreign Exchange yesterday.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble will for the first time discuss the 17-nation currency at a meeting with his newly installed French counterpart, Pierre Moscovici, in Berlin today as European Union leaders prepare for a summit meeting in Brussels on May 23.

Fanuc rose 2.8 percent to 13,22 yen in Tokyo. The company will expand its production capacity for equipment to control machine tools by 30 percent, the Nikkei newspaper reported without saying where it got the information.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kana Nishizawa in Hong Kong at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at

World stocks volatile amid Greek political turmoil - Yahoo Finance

BANGKOK (AP) -- World stock markets were volatile Tuesday as the initial shock from election results in Europe faded but skepticism grew over whether Greece could form a government capable of fixing its financial mess.

European shares fell in early trading, failing to sustain a recovery in the prior session. Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.2 percent to 5,645.31. Germany's DAX slipped 0.6 percent to 6,531.02 and France's CAC-40 dropped 1.4 percent to 3,168.96.

Futures pointed to losses on Wall Street. Dow Jones industrial futures fell 0.5 percent to 12,899 and S&P 500 futures dropped 0.5 percent to 1,359.

Asian shares posted modest gains. Japan's Nikkei 225 index edged up 0.7 percent to close at 9,181.65, a day after closing at its lowest level in three months.

Markets were thrown into a tailspin Monday after weekend elections in France and Greece led to a sharp shift in the political landscape. In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy was thrown out of office by voters opposed to his belt-tightening program. Investors are worried that a changing of the guard in Europe's leadership could jeopardize its plans for fighting a two-year debt crisis.

"Although the French election result has now been deemed to not be a threat, Greece remains a significant concern and is likely to be a source of volatility through the week," Stan Shamu of IG Markets in Melbourne said in an e-mail.

In Greece, voters punished the two parties that have overseen the country's harsh austerity measures and left no party with enough votes to form a government. Efforts to patch together a coalition so far have failed.

While Hollande has managed to reassure investors with his commitment to economic growth, worries intensified about Greece's ability to stay solvent and remain in the 17-member euro currency bloc.

The anti-austerity verdict from European voters will likely force leaders to come up with more acceptable solutions to the debt crisis. The deep cuts in government spending have already worsened the situation in many countries, leading them into deeper economic distress and increasing already high unemployment.

In other Asian markets, South Korea's Kospi added 0.5 percent to 1,967.01. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.3 percent to 4,314.30.

Benchmarks in Taiwan, Indonesia and Singapore also gained. But Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.3 percent to 20,484.75. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.1 percent to 2,448.88 and the Shenzhen Composite Index slipped 0.1 percent to 980.26.

Among individual stocks, big Japanese exporters clawed back territory lost in Monday's sell-off. Yamaha Motor Co. gained 2.1 percent and Nissan Motor Co. rose 3.1 percent. Toshiba Corp. jumped 2.9 percent.

Benchmark oil for June delivery was down $1.16 cents to $96.78 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 55 cents to settle at $97.94 in New York on Monday.

In currencies, the euro fell to $1.3010 from $1.3050 late Monday in New York. The dollar fell to 79.85 yen from 79.94 yen.

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