You Don’t Need to be a Millionaire to Invest

When people think about investing they always think about films like Wolf on Wall Street, The Big Short, or Boiler Room. It’s fast-paced, it can get dirty, there are a lot of men shouting at each other in a hot room filled with computers. The deals aren’t always legit, but there are millions to be made. And, that might be true for some people. But there is a much easier way for people to invest small amounts. Yes, the returns are more modest, but it’s something you lead to learning as you go. In general, making smart investments will help you grow your wealth, and you don’t need to be a millionaire to invest either.

Who Are You

DIY – You want to learn from the ground up, you have an idea where you would and wouldn’t like to put your money. You want to know the best combination of indicators for day trading and you’re happy to put a lot of time into it.

Half and Half – You are comfortable being hands-on but want someone or something else to help you make the final calls. You want the stocks all processed for you, and you want to manage a varied portfolio. You have a little bit more money and some clear goals. A robo-investor is going to be great for you.

Think about what it is you want to get out of it. Do you want to learn the details, and handle everything, or do you want to be hands on but have a helping hand too.

Check Account Options

If you want to invest, you’ll need an investment account to do it. If you are going down the DIY route, then a brokerage account is what you’ll need. Going half and half? You can get yours through a robo-investor.

A brokerage account is like the quickest and cheapest way to start buying stocks, funds and open up the rest of investment types for you too. You will probably need to pay a transaction fee for every trade you make, which might sound expensive, but you won’t have a robo-investor creaming the top of your investment profits. But, it is all on you to make wise decisions.

Getting some help? You can sign up to something like Betterment, which has a $0 minimum and start buying. You’ll be charged a management fee, which is typical of all investors, and it varies depending on what you have invested in and how much you have made. The robo-investor will keep checking in on your goals to make sure you are getting the best service.

Even Easier?

If you aren’t ready to do any of those, but you still want to have some investments – Plum can help. Not only will it allow you to set up automatic savings each week, but you can also use those savings to make some investments. They have a range of options from sustained, small growth to the significant growth great gamble options like Technology. It keeps track of everything for you and gives you a breakdown of where your money is. You can withdraw it at any time too.

7 Proven Strategies To Successfully Manage Your Investment Property

Properties have always been considered a safe and profitable investment. In most of the cases, these assumptions are true. However, there is one common belief the real estate newcomers are usually wrong about – troubles don’t go away once you find a hot property and sign the papers. They are just beginning.

Although it doesn’t seem that way, rental investments require a great deal of careful management, and their eventual success hangs on the investor’s ability to perform it. Let’s take a look at a couple of strategies that can make this job considerably easier.

Keep the reliable tenants happy

The properties that are not necessarily considered hot and have a history of sitting vacant for months before finding reliable residents can cause their owners huge financial problems with each turnover. That is why landlords have to go out of the way to make tenants happy. Here are some of the ways you can do this:

  • Maintain open and friendly communication.
  • Be quick to respond to tenants’ requests.
  • Make strategic upgrades to accommodate tenants’ habits.
  • Do your best to keep neighbors under control.
  • Encourage longer leases even if that implies discounted rates.

Create a financial plan

Rental properties are not that different from any other business. As a result, if you want to make them profitable you need at least a rudimental business plan. This document should cover the property’s market value (as determined by size, location and amenities), expected revenue, monthly and annual expenses, and the list of upgrades intended to increase the property’s market value. This simple plan prevents rash decisions, excessive spending and gives landlords an excellent reference point for measuring their current progress.

Take care of the maintenance

Keeping up with property maintenance is one of the most important things you should do with your investment. This issue is so complex that some countries like Australia demand that strata managers and lot owners provide professionally made initial maintenance schedule that specifies obligations of maintaining the common property assets. These documents are a great roadmap for all future property interventions, so it is a good idea to hire trained professionals to make you one.

Study the law

Knowing the legal provisions regarding the landlord-tenant relations can be of tremendous help in handling potentially troublesome situations and streamlining the management process. Some of the most important topics you need to cover are the regulations regarding the security deposit, reasons for evicting the tenants out of the property, the very process of eviction and the circumstances in which tenants are allowed to legally withhold the rent.

Manage your property like a hospitality business

This plays out in two ways. On the one hand, you should treat your property with the same level of care and attention as you would if you were running a hotel. On the other hand, running the rental property like a hospitality business sets a great frame for establishing the relationship with the tenants. Yes, you should be pleasant and do your best to make them feel comfortable. But, at the same time you should maintain a professional distance and keep your doings within legally binding terms.

Market your properties

This is another topic where you could take notes from hospitality businesses. Waiting for the tenants to come to you instead of reaching out and marketing your properties to them is a horrible mistake. And remember this – listing your investments on Airbnb and similar websites is not marketing. Instead, your venture should follow all the steps other small businesses make and devise a comprehensive marketing strategy that includes branding, and actions across several different marketing channels.

Consider hiring a property manager

Managing several properties can be an overwhelming process. In such circumstances, hiring a professional whose sole job will be to manage your investments may be the only viable option. Managerial salary will make a cut into your profit, but your business will be set on solid ground, and you will have your hands free to explore other ventures. Alternatively, you may opt for businesses providing managerial services. This option practically outsources management outside your enterprise, but you do get a top-notch service for the price of a monthly subscription.

Managing a rental property is a task that requires a lot of patience and effort. And yet, a lot of landlords approach this duty like their job consists solely of picking up the rent and hiring contractors to perform annual maintenance. Such landlords don’t have staying power. Learn from their mistakes and use the seven strategies we gave you to turn your investment into a profitable business laid out on rock solid foundations.

About the author: Mike Johnston is a lifestyle and business blogger from Sydney. He is a regular writer at Smooth Decorator and Divine Magazine. He also contributed to real estate and environmental blogs as well. Mike’s goal is to create and share meaningful content that helps and inspires people.

Getting Help with Your Finances

Most of us are in debt. We’ve got credit cards, loans, overdrafts, store cards, and car financing plans. Some of us even owe money to our utility providers and landlords. Even those of us that aren’t are cutting it fine. We want to save, we even open savings accounts, but find ourselves struggling to put any money in them. Many of us want to set up businesses and build home offices, but our financial situations won’t allow it.

But, just as many of us are doing nothing about it. We’re getting by paying the minimums back on our debts.We’re letting any savings that we do have just sit there, instead of finding ways to make them grow. We’re living paycheck to paycheck without taking the time to improve things.

This is often because we’re embarrassed. We don’t want to admit that we need help or that we’re in debt. We don’t want to ask for advice on how to save or make our money grow because we are ashamed to admit that we don’t know already or that we’ve been wasting our money up until this point. We are afraid of speaking to an accountant only to find that we’ve been recording our profits incorrectly and our small business accounts are in a mess. We bury our heads in the sand because we are embarrassed and afraid. But,there’s really no need to be. There’s plenty of help out there, and plenty of people that need it. You just have to make that first move. Here’s a look at some of your options.

Visit a Financial Advisor

If you’ve got debts, you might find that their repayments are crippling. That you’ve got very little disposable income each month because paying off your debts is eating it all up. It doesn’t need to be like this, but it’s so hard to see a way out when it’s your money.

A financial advisor can take a look at your situation and help you to find ways to improve it. They’ll look at your income and expenses and recommend consolidation loans or other options that could help. They can even help you to create a budget to manage your money.

Most banks offer a free financial advisor service. But, remember your bank is only likely to recommend their own products. You may have to pay to see an independent advisor, but you could be offered a wider range of options.

Get Help with Investments

Investing your money is a fantastic way to watch it grow. But, it’s complicated and confusing. If you’ve never invested,you might worry that you can’t because you don’t know enough. The good news is,you don’t even need to meet an advisor in person, read https://budgetboost.co/etrade-review/for another option that’s great for beginners and novice traders.

Hire an Accountant

If you run your own business or work as a freelancer, you might try to manage your own finances to save money. But, it can be all too easy to make costly mistakes. Hiring an accountant can actually save you money. They’ll ensure you are claiming any tax deductibles that you are able, and they’ll make sure you don’t face a hefty fine because you’ve either missed your tax return deadlines or made a mistake in your working out.Read more about deducatbles at https://www.raymondbenn.co.uk/services/businesses/detailed-list-of-tax-allowable-expenses.

7 Main Reasons Why Rental Properties Are the Best Investment

Although investment options is the term usually associated with the business circles,the truth is that this genie has long since left the bottle and ventured among the laymen. Recent economic crises have taught the older workforce that guaranteed jobs no longer exist, while the Millennial generation has developed a growing obsession with retiring as early as possible. A solution to both these problems lies in using the earned money to establish other ongoing sources of wealth. Here are seven reasons why rental properties should be your number one option.

You can purchase properties using leverage

In other words,even if you’re not able the pay the upfront price of the investment, you can secure the missing funds by borrowing the money from the bank, which is not the case with other popular investing options such as stocks. Of course, this means spending some time using returns to repay the debt, but time is your ally here. Because of the inflation,the price of the properties is constantly on the rise. Even if you are not making new investments, at some point, you will be able to raise the rent.

You are investing in a tangible asset

Investing in a business leaves you with a risk of ending up with nothing if the business fails. Properties are much different. Sure, you may face occasional value drops, but there’s no real way properties can fail because no matter what happens you still own a valuable asset you can later resell. This tangible, real-life value makes rental properties a very forgiving first-time investment for all newcomers that have yet to sharpen their business teeth.

You have direct control over your investment

Another thing that should be interesting to less experienced investors is that, as opposed to stocks and various trusts, properties give you full control over the fate of your investment. Here, finding a hot property is the hardest part of the job,and people who don’t have years of experience in the market should probably ask for the professional property investment advice.But, once the papers are finally signed and keys are passed to new owners,managing the assets is considerably easier.

A place to live is a basic necessity

Ever since the dawn of mankind, people always needed a place to live. And the number of living people is constantly on the rise. These two facts make properties more worthwhile than even the most lingering industries in the history. Tech trends are rising and falling, and even the fossil fuels are slowly going out of business. On the other, the number of people who will need affordable housing until they have enough funds to buy their own properties is only going to grow as the time goes by.

You are using a proven business model

Investing in rental properties is a business practice used by countless generations before us. There’s been more than enough time for us to discover all the possible dangers and learn how to avoid them. Today, the job of an average landlord is pretty simple and straightforward. The rules are already laid, and all the contracts are already written. Because of this strong foundation, new investors have a much easier job making their rental fortunes.

An opportunity for diverse investments

Unlike some other industries where finding an access point is very hard and buying a way in impossible for people with shallow pockets, the rental market is much more accessible and has to offer something for everyone ranging from small landlords to real estate barons. Single-family houses, multi-family properties, high end and low-end apartments, office buildings and office spaces… the list goes on and on, and even the lower tiers of the market are stacked with investment options with potential for great returns.

Freedom to establish other income sources

Finally, rental properties require very little actual maintenance, or any work whatsoever. As a matter of fact, aside from major remodeling that comes every couple of years, landlord’s monthly routine can be performed in a matter of hours, leaving you with more than enough time to commit yourself to a full-time job or another more time-consuming investments.This makes rental properties a perfect option for people looking for an early retirement.

As we can see, buying a rental property is very affordable,forgiving and accessible way for people to make their first investments. More adventures businessmen will probably be turned off by the fact that rental fees produce very stable, but also very slow returns, so this is definitely not the place for the sharks looking for overnight fortunes. But, for all those who seek safety rather than high turnarounds and need more free time to branch out to other fields, the rental market is more than worth checking out. 

About the author: Mike Johnston is a home improvement and business blogger from Sydney.He is a regular writer at SmoothDecorator and contributor on several interior design, real estate and eco-friendly blogs. Mike’s goal is to create and share meaningful content that helps and inspires people.

Some Of The Best Ways To Protect Your Business Financially

It’s no great secret that if you want to run a business while and for the long term, you need to make sure that you are protecting it financially as well as you possibly can. Of Course, it can be difficult to do this if you are not sure exactly how, and the truth is that it often takes a prior knowledge, or plenty of research, to ensure that you have a good grasp of what you really need to do. In this article, we are going to take a look at just a few of the things you can do to ensure that you are protecting your business financially as well as you possibly can, and that is something which you should always aim for in the life of any business.

Insurance

You might well have been aware of the fact that insurance can be helpful for a business, but it is almost certain that you haven’t thought of every kind of insurance which might benefit you and your company. There are a number of different kinds of insurance, in fact, which you can think of trying out, and you will find that the more protected you are in this way, the safer you feel on the whole, so it’s worth looking at. Having insurance for your building, contents and everything else of that sort is vital, but you should also think about insuring against potential future losses too. Having Professional Indemnity Insurance – Qdos Contractor or otherwise – can help you to protect your own finances if you are at the receiving end of a claim in which it is claimed you have caused a customer financial loss. Preparing for these kinds of situations is invaluable, and something that you should be aiming to do as early on as possible.

Legality

One of the biggest ways that companies need to pay out is by getting in trouble legally in some manner or another. So in general you will find that it is financially sensible to make sure that you stay out of trouble with the law, and that you don’t do anything which could cause you to have to pay out large amounts. This is easier said than done, and in fact many businesses accidentally get in trouble with the law. But having a legal advisor can be a great way to get around this, as can ensuring that your tax accountant is happy with what you are doing. These preventative measures will ultimately mean that you are much less likely to be in financial trouble in the future, so it’s clearly definitely worth it.

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Source

Assets

You must know your assets if you are to protect your business financially, as knowing where the actual money lies ensures that you can do something about it when you are in a position of struggling. If you don’t really know your assets, you might want to think about looking into whether or not you can list them, as this will ensure that you are in a better financial position overall anyway.

Is Buying Stocks The Best Option For Business Investors?

If you’re looking at ways to increase your business income through an investment strategy – or even as a way to gather sufficient fundings and launch a startup business using effective investment approaches – it’s likely that you’ve figured that the most effective way is to sell your stock for profits. The most common solution for new investors is to buy a stock and sell calls against it. However, it can be difficult to implement as a strategy as it relies on the availability of capital. Indeed, to sell a call you need to have at least a minimum number of stocks – 100 – which can be tricky to afford if you don’t have the financial means to do so. It’s therefore fair to ask whether there is a low-risk alternative to buying stocks to grow your profits from the investment market.

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How do you best sell stocks?

Selling options for your stocks

First of all, if you’re new to the idea of using calls to sell your stocks, you need to understand one key factor of your investment strategy: What are covered calls? A covered call in an options strategy that involves buying or owning a stock and selling call options, and waiting for the options contract to be exercised. If you’re looking to gather funds from this strategy, you need to focus on collecting your income via option premiums. It’s a demanding strategy that requires available capital and understanding. Indeed, an error in this trading approach can be costly. Investors who sell at the wrong strike price or who let the contract expire may find themselves out of pocket.

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Covered call strategy

The poor man’s alternative

If you prefer to make the most of the investment market to generate huge returns without needing to own multiple stocks, you’ll be more interested in using a LEAPS – Long-term Equity Anticipation Security – strategy. However, in this approach, the options are available on longer terms than traditional options. LEAPS options can typically extend for terms of 2 years out. Rather than buying 100 shares, the investor can simply buy the in-the-money LEAPS calls and sell an out-of-the-money call against it towards the end of the term. The main reason for this approach is to reduce the extrinsic value and facilitate the purchase. It’s a good way to enter the market for small budgets.

Growing your investment strategy

The advantage of getting to understand some of the main stock market strategies, as a business owner, is that you can develop a feel for the performance of companies and, therefore the fluctuation of their stocks. For small business owners or startups, the ability to keep a small part of your budget and dedicate it to stock market investments means that you can not only grow your market knowledge and identify business and financial trends before our competitors, but you can also accumulate the income you need to grow your company. Admittedly, you may even decide to build a team dedicated to the management of your stock options once you’ve developed a taste for the investing world.

As a business owner, you might find the investment world a little difficult at first. But using your business acumen alongside key financial strategies, you can maximize profits through the calls you make.

4 Ways Market Research Helps Your Business

Market research represents a number of activities conducted in order to gather valuable information about customers and competition. It is commonly done by businesses that want to get more familiar with their target groups. Typically, market research is not the research of the entire market, but is concerned with just one bit of it that’s of most interest to a certain company or industry. It should be a part of every business strategy and implemented at various stages, starting well before you launch a new product or even before you start a business altogether. Here a few basic ways one can benefit from it.

Learning about your customers

Naturally, in order to reach your potential customers, you need to know very well what your target group likes, and what their habits, passions and preoccupations are. Getting acquainted with their opinions on your industry, your brand and various products is indispensable. Before investing in anything at all you’ll need some very concrete and straightforward feedback about all this. Without doing proper analysis that will provide you with some exact numbers it’s impossible to design a thorough and serious business plan.

Knowing your market doesn’t come down only to what people think about your branch or your newest line of products. It’ also about getting familiar with more general habits and practices of the target group in question. This will help you genuinely understand people that make up your target group and get some fresh ideas on how to stay close to them. Also, find out who their role models and idols are – this info can be very useful when it comes to choosing a potential influencer you’d like to link to your brand.

Market research can help you find practical advertising solutions for different segments of your target group. Finding a common interest or habit for different groups of people you wish to reach can be very beneficial. Also, have in mind that the market is a living, dynamic entity that changes over time. Teenagers today don’t want the same things as teenagers ten years ago. Finally, target groups for specific industries and products change as well. For instance, companies that make gadgets of all sorts didn’t use to address older generations back in the days, but today these people make up a significant share of their market.

Analyzing the market has been made much easier with the development of new technologies. There are all sorts of tools you can use in this respect, but having a direct, authentic feedback from particular individuals is equally important as having comprehensive stats, graphs and numbers. Focus groups and phone surveys are traditional, common methods used for decades for this purpose. Among relatively new methods, using paid surveys online as a means of market research has many advantages and is definitely worth considering.

Learning about your competition

Analyzing your competitors can be a very effective method to get to know your market. You can learn a lot by studying the brands that belong to the same niche as yours. Watch the big players, their business and marketing strategies and check how they differ from yours. Monitoring the feedback for different companies from your industry is also valuable – avoiding repeating their mistakes can give you some competitive advantage over them. Try to spot new trends and recognize what the industry is lacking at the moment. At the end of the day, just delving into workings of your competition and trying to understand how they function is thought-provoking in itself and can result in some new ideas for your business.

Optimizing investments

A natural consequence of getting acquainted with your customers and competitors is minimizing unnecessary expenses. Investing money in something that your target group is obviously not interested in would be pure madness. Just knowing the scope of your market and the financial capability of the people you want to reach is invaluable. Studying all these factors is absolutely crucial for making any serious financial projections for the future.

Choosing the right timing

You might have a product that’s brilliant and ground-breaking, but then again, this product might sometimes be a bit too ground-breaking to be profitable. There’s the right time for any new brand, product or service to be launched and sometimes it’s just too soon for that. For instance, you want to invest a great deal of money into an app that adds great features to a certain social network. However, if that social network is still not popular or developed enough, no matter how innovative your app is, you might end up losing a lot of money. Sometimes good ideas and solutions need to wait for the right time to be introduced, and you need to do proper research to be sure if this is the case with your project.

All in all, market research is not just a useful little business strategy, it’s a must for any serious company. Sometimes your instincts and intuitions will be helpful but you’ll also need concrete info and deep knowledge of what people you’re targeting feel, need and want. Try listening to them carefully. Caring about your customers is necessary if you want to reach them properly, keep them interested, build your brand and make your business grow steadily.

Guest Author, Raul Harman, s a B.Sc. in Innovative entrepreneurship and has a lot to say about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing.  While he’s not enjoying travel, football and great food, you can find him on Technivorz.com.