Extra currencies added – December 2018

Extra currencies added – December 2018

We’ve recently added these extra currencies to the list of foreign coins and banknotes accepted for exchange at Leftover Currency. Check out if you have any of these in your drawers. If so, you can convert them in three easy steps to cash, free of charge.

Retirement contribution limits will rise in 2019

Retirement contribution limits will rise in 2019

Good news retirement savers: The Internal Revenue Service announced cost of living increases to the contribution limits for retirement-related plans in 2019.

Annual contribution limits to 401(k)s will increase to $19,000 from $18,500.

And the annual contribution to an IRA, last increased in 2013, rises to $6,000 from $5,500.

“This is another win for investors and savers,” says Stephanie Bacak, a financial planner at Capstone Global Advisors. “For so long there were really no cost of living increases in the IRA so it is a great opportunity for so many to be more prepared for retirement.”

Catch-up contributions, available to those age 50 and over, will remain unchanged at $6,000 for 401(k)s and $1,000 for IRAs.

In addition to 401(k)s, limits for 403(b)s, most 457 plans and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan will also increase to $19,000.

Also rising next year are the income ranges that determine eligibility for deductible contributions to IRAs, to Roth IRAs, and to claim the saver’s credit.

For example, the income phase-out range for taxpayers making contributions to a Roth IRA increased to $122,000 to $137,000 for singles and heads of household, up from $120,000 to $135,000. For married couples filing jointly, the income phase-out range is $193,000 to $203,000, up from $189,000 to $199,000.

The IRS increases are helpful, says Shane Mason, certified financial planner at Brooklyn FI, but only if you are able to make the maximum contribution.

He says those who want to continue to max out their 401(k) should revisit their contributions to make sure they’re putting in enough with each paycheck.

Those that are paid semi-monthly (twice a month or 24 times a year) should be contributing $792 per paycheck and those paid biweekly (every two weeks or 26 times a year) should be contributing $731 per paycheck.

CNNMoney (New York) First published November 1, 2018: 4:50 PM ET

Forex Broker

With hundreds of Forex brokers to choose from, selecting the right one can be both challenging and time consuming. To ease the process, we’ve tested and reviewed dozens of the top Forex brokers and compiled our findings into thorough Forex brokers reviews. But don’t just take our word for it – each Forex broker review also includes feedback from real traders, so that you can make a comfortable, informed decision.The basic criteria to use in choosing a broker are few and simple. Without doubt, your number one priority should be ensuring the safety of your funds. Firstly, this means making sure that the broker you choose will not steal your deposit. You can best take care of this by making sure that you only use a broker based in and regulated by a financial authority in a respected financial center. Secondly, you need to make sure that even if the broker operates honestly, but goes bankrupt for any reason, that you will be able to recover your deposit. One measure that can be taken here is to only deposit with brokers whose regulators offer deposit protection for clients (such as regulated brokers in the U.K. or Australia, for example). This means that even if your broker goes broke, the government will bail you out by paying back your funds up to a certain amount, although it might take some time. Beyond that, try to choose a broker with a healthy financial situation and a good reputation. Once you have taken these precautions, you can look at what your potential brokers offer in terms of range of available assets to trade, spreads and commissions, overnight financing charges, and speed and reliability of trade execution – and make your choice accordingly.

Regulation, Safety of Funds & Legal Issues

Regulation and compliance are – beyond the shadow of a doubt – the most important things to consider when choosing a broker. An unregulated broker can essentially do as it pleases with its traders’ funds. Such a broker might be nothing more than an online scam, so it worth being extremely wary of any unregulated brokers.

Regulatory Compliance
The activity of a trustworthy broker should always be governed by an official regulator designed to protect and promote the integrity of brokerage operations. All types of abusive practices linked to the sale of futures and options should be out of the question, as traders should be protected against fraud as well as manipulation. A US broker must be registered with the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as a merchant and retail Forex dealer. It also must be a member of the NFA (National Futures Association). These credentials are usually listed in the About Us section of the broker’s website. Equivalents of these trade associations and regulatory bodies are present in nearly every country in the world. Depending on where their broker is based, traders should always research and look for these credentials. In this respect, it’s also worth researching the year when the broker obtained its license as this might carry some significance as well, in regards to the overall reputation and operational history of the broker.

Safety of Funds
Regulated brokers must comply with a set of rules that are meant to safeguard investor assets. This is the primary reason why regulation is so important. Every regulated broker is subject to a “Net Capital Rule” which prescribes a minimum amount of capital to be kept in liquid form. This way investors are protected with a ‘safety net’ in the event that a broker is forced to close. In addition to the requirement of maintaining minimum capital requirements, regulated brokers in most jurisdictions are required to keep all client funds separated in segregated accounts so that client funds won’t accidentally (or purposely) be used for any reasons other than to execute the client’s trades. Some nations, such as the United Kingdom, even offer government-backed deposit insurance for its regulated brokers so that clients can recover part or all of their funds even if the broker manages to misappropriate them.

Select a Forex Broker by the Type of Trading Platform :

Broker Types
The type of broker used can have an impact on one’s overall trading performance and results.

Dealing Desk vs. ECN Brokers
Dealing Desk brokers work similarly to the dealing desks provided by various financial institutions and banks. A Forex broker who uses a dealing desk and is registered as a Retail Foreign Exchange Dealer and Futures Commission Merchant (or equivalent in another country) can offset trades. The No Dealing Desk system on the other hand offsets positions automatically and then transmits them to the interbank market. Brokers working through a Dealing Desk system do not work directly with market liquidity providers, therefore only one liquidity provider remains in the equation, and that gives birth to a fundamental conflict of interest.

An ECN broker on the other hand, offers its traders direct access to the other market participants through an Electronic Communications Network. Why is an ECN broker the superior of a Dealing Desk one spreads-wise? Simple: because it deals with price quotations from several trading entities, it can offer much better bid/ask spreads.

The business model of an ECN broker is an entirely fair one, as it eliminates a major conflict of interest: because it matches trades between various traders, it cannot become the sole market-maker, thus it cannot trade against its own clients. Another advantage of the ECN is that because of the lower spreads it offers, such brokers can charge a fixed commission on every transaction.However, you should not see ECN brokers as a panacea. Under certain conditions, their liquidity can dry up completely, creating much greater slippages than Dealing Desk brokers’ client might be suffering. Another sad reality is that many brokers describe themselves as of the ECN type, but have an element of dealing desk within their operation, so are not “true” ECNs.

Top Rated Forex Brokers

Fees & Commissions
This brings us to the third most important brokerage selection factor: costs

Brokerage fees – Price isn’t everything
Brokerage fees are fees that the broker charges for the services it offers, which are services focused on facilitating transactions between buyers and sellers. The amount of these fees depends on the broker type, and the type of service to which the trader signs up. For the purposes of retail traders, the situation is best summarized by saying the Dealing Desk Brokers charge spreads only, while ECN Brokers charge spreads as well as commissions.

Commissions & Spreads (Fixed or Non-Fixed)
The key difference between fees and commissions that all traders need to understand, is that fees represent a flat charge, while commissions vary depending on the delivered financial product and the size of the transaction.

Premium services offered by the broker?
Full service brokers offer all sorts of additional perks and premium features, some of which are indeed extremely useful. Such services do cost extra though. In this respect, what you should be looking for is a broker who includes as many premium services as possible, as cheaply as possible. In the premium service category, we have features like advice and research covering a wide range of traded assets, retirement advice, tax planning etc. You need to carefully weigh whether you need such services or not. If you’re only looking to execute trades, there’s no point in getting embroiled in any premium-service intricacies. Discount is probably the way to go then.

Does the broker credit or debit daily rollover?
Another factor to consider is daily rollover. The daily rollover is interest credited or debited to the entity holding a Forex position overnight, depending on the relative interest rates of the currencies involved in the trade. Positions which are kept open past 5PM EST are considered positions held overnight. In such cases the broker will consider which national currency the trader bought relative to the other national currency of the pair. If the interest-rate difference favors the bought currency, the trader will have rollover interest credited: in theory, at least. If it’s the other way around, the interest will be debited. The problem is that most brokers make sure their clients pay for holding most positions overnight, and there is nothing to stop them doing this beyond the true market cost.
Most brokers roll over open positions automatically. It is important to know that the rollover interest (whether it’s debited or credited) is calculated on the full amount involved in the trade and not on the margin alone. Another important thing regarding the rollover interest is that it represents a separate revenue stream from the capital gains and as such, it will be taxed separately too, as interest income.

Trading Terms
Time to shed some light on the expressions and terms you may have come across within this guide but that haven’t been fully explained until now.

Select a Forex Broker by Country/Region

Margin
Through a margin account, the investor essentially borrows from the broker, with the intention of controlling larger positions than he’d be able to control based solely on his own invested capital. There are special margin accounts that traders can use for this purpose. The margin percentage is set to 1-2% in the case of accounts which trade in 100,000 currency units. What this means is that in order to control a $100,000 position, a trader needs to deposit $1,000. Margin accounts come with their own risks, and special operating procedures meant to reduce risk for the trader as well as for the broker.

The difference between margin and leverage is simple. Let’s say a broker requires a deposit of $1,000 to make trades worth up to $100,000. The leverage is the factor by which the deposit is multiplied to reach the maximum trade value: in this case, 100, so the leverage is 100 to 1. The margin is simply the amount of deposit required as a percentage of the maximum trade value. Here, it is 1%. It is just the flip side of the earlier calculation.

Leverage = Maximum Trade Value / Deposit

Colloquially, “margin” is often used to refer to the cash deposited with a broker.

Initial Deposit
The initial deposit is the first deposit a trader makes with a broker. This deposit may be subject to special rewards, such as bonuses.

Bonuses & Promotions
Bonuses and promotions are marketing tools used by the broker to “sweeten” its offer, and thus to attract more business. You might want to consider whether a really top-quality broker would feel the need to offer such incentives.

Customer Service
Customer service is very important for new traders and experienced investors alike. Whenever one runs into any sort of trouble with his or her broker, it is the duty of the customer service agent to iron everything out. As such, the expertise, skills and availability of the customer service staff should be a factor within the broker selection balance.

Availability
Funds deposited into trader accounts through third party checks typically take some time to clear. Once they do, they become “available”. Availability hinges on the bank from where the check originates, and the availability schedule of the broker.

Trading Platforms
The trading platform is the gate between the retail trader and the markets. It is also the tool through which the trader performs his trading. A proper, simple, fast and user-friendly trading platform is critical in trading successfully.

Ease of Deposit & Withdrawal
Being able to make deposits and to withdraw money from your broker quickly and easily is highly important. This all depends on the type of withdrawal and deposit options your broker supports. The selection of these payment solutions needs to be as large and as diverse as possible. It is also a good idea to check the withdrawal time, as many traders complain that it can take up to a week to withdraw, when they wanted their funds available quicker.

Minimum Balances
The term “minimum balance” refers to the amount of money the trader needs to keep in his/her account to keep the account open and to receive the services he/she has signed up for. Obviously, the smaller this amount is, the better it is for the trader.

Instruments
In the context of Forex trading, an instrument is defined as a tradable asset, and any asset underlying a derivative. Commodities, stocks, indices and currency pairs are all trading instruments, because through them, value is held and/or transferred.

What is the value of a 100,000 Republika Hrvatska banknote?

What is the value of a 100,000 Republika Hrvatska banknote?

Does that mean you can exchange these 50,000 and 100,000 Croatian Dinara banknotes for these amounts? Again, unfortunately not. The exchange deadline for Hrvatskih Dinara banknotes expired shortly after they were replaced by the Kuna banknotes. Croatian Dinara banknotes have no more monetary value and should be considered as collectable items, or so called ‘numismatic pieces’. So are the 50,000 and 100,000 dinara banknotes maybe rare collector items with a high collector’s value? Again, no.

In 1996, the Croatian National Bank flooded the collector market with 600,000 sets of invalid dinar banknotes in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25, 100, 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 50,000 and 100,000 Croatian Dinar series, in uncirculated mint condition in the original packaging of cash receivers. 

According to the numismatic catalog ‘Coins and banknotes from Yugoslavia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia‘ by Zlatko Viščević, the collector’s value, or ‘catalog value’ of the two highest denomination Croatian Dinara banknotes is the following: 

Crooked sixpence love tokens

Crooked sixpence love tokens

As described by ex-metal detectorist John Winter, sixpence love tokens were common in the 19th century. A man would give his sweetheart the crooked coin, no longer spendable: It would be a statement to deliberately mess up hard earned money, and to give it away as a token of love.

Some sixpence love tokens would have initials or heart symbols engraved on them. They were popular on the Feast of Saint Valentine. The lady who received the coin could either keep the love token when the love was reciprocal. Or she could throw the coin away. Metal detectorists find many crooked sixpences at the site of old fairs…

Rock star money: These bands issued their own banknotes

Rock star money: These bands issued their own banknotes

15,000 of these rock star money bills were rained down on the Foo Fighters fans during the concert, launched from confetti cannons. From a distance the banknotes resemble $100 dollar bills. Upon closer inspection one can spot a number of interesting modifications. These include:

Extra currencies added – April 2018

Extra currencies added – April 2018

In addition to the more recent series of Luxembourgish Franc banknotes which are still exchangeable for a monetary value, we have added the older Luxembourgish Franc banknotes to the site as well. These demonetized banknotes from the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg only have a collectible value, no monetary value. We are able to exchange them and our exchange rate covers the collectible value of these pre-euro Luxembourgish banknotes.

Get started here: Exchange demonetized Luxembourgish Franc banknotes.

GDPR: our new Privacy Policy

GDPR: our new Privacy Policy

25 May 2018 saw the start of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, also known as GDPR. We have taken steps to ensure that Leftover Currency is compliant with the new General Data Protection Regulation. One of the required actions included updating our Privacy Policy.

500 DDR Mark and 200 DDR Mark: East Germany’s mysterious banknotes

500 DDR Mark and 200 DDR Mark: East Germany’s mysterious banknotes

There are a number of theories about why the banknotes of 200 and 500 DDR-marks were never issued. A popular theory is that the value of the banknotes was deemed too high, and that introducing them might have caused inflation.

Another theory is that the banknotes were printed only to be issued in case of war with the West. This is similar to the $4 Billion cash the American Federal Reserve stored in a the Culpeper cold war bunker near Mount Pony, Virginia.

Source: welt.de

Extra currencies added – July 2018

Extra currencies added – July 2018

Leftover Currency converts foreign coins, old banknotes and obsolete currencies to cash, quickly and easily.

Leftover Currency,
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207 Regent Street,
London W1B 3HH,
United Kingdom