Choosing Between a Conveyancer Or Solicitor

If you’ve recently made an offer on the purchase of a property, you’ll know that the next step in the process is hiring a solicitor or conveyancer in order to legally transfer ownership from the seller into your name. This process is called conveyancing, and that’s why you can choose the services of a conveyancer. You can also choose to hire a solicitor, another legal profession that specialises in property transfer. But which one should you choose?

In order to answer this question, first you’ll need to know what each of these does, and then decide on whether a solicitor or conveyancer is better for your needs. Both solicitors and conveyancers are licensed and regulated by the government, and they will also act almost identically when handling your property transaction. However, there are a few differences.

Solicitor Or Conveyancer – The Differences

Conveyancers are property lawyers who focus especially on residential property transfers, whereas a solicitor is a qualified lawyer and is trained in many other aspects of the law. Sometimes, a solicitor may charge more than a conveyancer to complete a property transfer. This would still depend on the complexity of the process of the property you wanted to transfer.

What To Look For In A Conveyancer or Solicitor

There is a lot of bureaucracy involved in conveyancing, but all the legal paperwork is necessary to ensure that the transfer of the property goes through. The last thing you want as a buyer is for unnecessary delays because your solicitor or conveyancer has not handled the process promptly. So, you really need to find someone with a good track record to handle your conveyancing efficiently, such as River City Conveyancing based in Brisbane, who has an excellent reputation.

Make sure that your solicitor or conveyancer is ready to answer your questions whenever you need them. Conveyancers are often office-based, as opposed to solicitors who may have other legal duties.

Before hiring either a conveyancer or solicitor, ensure that the quote you are provided is final and doesn’t include hidden costs that will sting you later. Two things to avoid are quotes that do not fully itemise all charges, and also any conveyance service that charges an hourly rate.

Making The Choice Between A Conveyancer And Solicitor

The bottom line is that in most cases of transferring property ownership, the conveyancer will be able to handle your complete transaction. There may be reasons you need to take on a solicitor, especially if there are legal complications involved in the conveyancing, such as boundary disputes. In these cases, the legal knowledge will be superior to what a conveyancer is trained for, and you will need to ask the services of a lawyer.

You might be tempted to just go ahead and simply hire conveyancers. However, for a more expensive property, hire solicitors for they can tackle problems involving higher value homes.

 

The Importance of Predictability in Finances

Many people enjoy a lack of predictability in at least some facet of life. Surprises can keep life interesting and exciting, after all. However, there are situations where surprises are not desirable at all. One case of this applies very much to personal finances.

People generally want their personal finances to be as predictable as possible so that they know exactly how much they will be making or how much they will need to pay for a certain bill every month. Of course, there are pleasant surprises when it comes to personal finances, like when you end up having to pay less than you had expected, or you end up getting a surprise bonus check at work, but these types of surprises are very rare. When it comes to personal finances, it’s much more common for surprises to entail a loss of money rather than a net gain.

Predictability is often the most desirable state when it comes to personal finances, as people like to know when their payment due dates will be every month and that they will not have to pay more than they are expecting to pay. Having to pay more for an unexpectedly high bill will take away money that you may have been planning to spend somewhere else, which can be highly frustrating.

With this in mind, it pays to know as much as possible about a financial arrangement before putting your signature down. For example, learning what are installment loans repayment plans can be determined by reading the details outlined by lenders on their websites. It might seem like a lot of confusing financial language, but similar to learning a foreign language, eventually you start to catch on to the lingo. Furthermore, a good sign of a trustworthy lender is the level to which this information is provided.

Another common source of undesirable unpredictability when it comes to personal finances is earning less money than you had expected to earn. This can happen when your hours have been cut back at work due to a decision that was out of your control, or when you suddenly lose your job with no warning and do not have time to get a new job without having a gap in employment. In these situations, which commonly arise, you will have to make do with a smaller amount of money and may have to cut back on what is already the bare necessities.

As you can see, there are many reasons why predictable personal finances are highly valued by anyone who does not want to end up in a financial crisis. Ideally, the situation will always be predictable, with no unexpected losses of income or surprise bills popping up, but the reality is that this is not always the case. If you end up with less money in your budget than expected, it is important to be prepared for the situation and know how to deal with this less than ideal predicament, and have a backup plan if necessary, such as an emergency fund. If you are already in this situation and have no idea how you are going to get through it, keep this in mind for next time so that you are better prepared when the situation arises again.

Important Factors that Will Determine Your Investment Success

Many people often get excited at the possibility of getting good returns on their money through investing. If you already have some extra cash and want to invest, it’s important to be cautious about the type of investments you make. The groundwork needed for investing takes some time, effort and a bit of self-evaluation to build up.

https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2017/09/07/08/53/money-2724238_960_720.jpg

For anyone planning to invest, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. With new decisions to make, complex ideas to learn and understand and a lot of conflicting information about investment choices, there’s a lot to learn. Here are five important factors that will determine your investment success:

What You Invest In

The way you decide to divide your money among different types of investments is key to achieving your investment goals. Research shows that up to 90% of the investment return that you’re likely to get is largely dependent on the kinds of things you decide to invest in, rather than the specific investment choices you make.

In addition to traditional investments, you may want to consider investing in a small business. One option is to look into low-cost franchises. According to Franchises Under 10k, there are quite a few cheap franchise options that didn’t exist in the past. This alternative to stocks can allow you to diversify your investment strategy.

Diversification

How you diversify your investments will also play a role in your success. Instead of putting all your eggs in one basket, you need to invest your money in different things. Diversification is the key to decreasing your investment risk without necessarily decreasing your expected returns. Asset allocation is one of the best ways to diversify your investments.

For instance, you could put some of your money into stocks and some into bonds. You could even go further and split those stocks into international stocks and U.S. stocks or international bonds and U.S. bonds, just to spread your money Diversification helps decrease the risk of loss without decreasing your potential returns which is ideally what any investor wants.

What You’re Willing to Pay

With most things in life, higher quality comes at a higher price. This is not so in the world of investing. In fact, investment experts agree that when it comes to investing, you get what you don’t pay for. The proven way to increase your investment returns is actually to lower your costs. Investment experts note that cost is the single best predictor of an investment’s future returns.

The less money you’ll be paying for the opportunity to invest in what you want, the more money you’ll have available to invest in your future. As an investor, you have to be on the lookout for unnecessary or additional fees across your investment portfolio as you watch your returns improve and grow over time.

Stick to Your Investment Plan

Many people who decide to invest their money make the mistake of changing their investment strategy along the way. While it’s not a bad idea if your investment option is only making losses, being tempted to change your investment plan can lead to stagnation. As an investor, you don’t want to give in to investment market temptations that may end up lagging your returns.

https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2017/07/30/10/12/economy-2553894_960_720.jpg

Whatever type of investment you choose, you need to keep doing what you set out to do, no matter what market changes are happening around you. Stick to your regular contributions and investment choices and don’t let the news of the day change your plans. While this may not be easy, maintaining consistency is what will keep you on track through the ups and downs.

How Your Save

Your savings rate and how much you’ve actually saved is perhaps the most important factor as you venture into investing. What matters most when investing is your willingness to maintain a stable and sustained savings rate in the first few years without necessarily focusing on the investment return. In fact, your savings rate will likely outweigh the returns you earn.

Keep in mind that saving for the future is key to ensuring a stable financial future, as well as a stable platform for making investments. Start saving some money and slowly increase that amount over time. Understanding these important factors will help you strategize better and achieve your investment goals.

 

The Art of Making Profits from Penny Stocks

While day trading and making money from penny stocks is highly technical, it is also something of an art. There are nuances and things to learn from hours, days and months of screen time, watching monitors for the consistencies and inconsistencies that are inherent in the market. You need to spend that time to understand them and be able to spot them. That is how you become profitable.

When you think about trading penny stocks you need to look out for pump and dump schemes. These happen when a particular person or entity buy a large amount of shares of the stock and then use methods to pump up the value of the stock with inaccurate information. Many times they use fake websites, segments on friendly investor-centric television shows and online message boards. These stock manipulators then sell their stake in the company and make a profit. That is where traditional investors that are employing a buy and hold strategy, can really take a hit.

Day traders have an inherent advantage when it comes to penny stocks, because they are not looking for the long-term hold. They are searching for volatility throughout a day or two. The instance of seeing a stock’s price start to go up wildly during a Wednesday morning should quicken your pace, if you are a true day trading protege. That belies an opportunity. The true pros see that Wednesday spike before it happens and get all their money into that stock, ready to sell at the precise moment, when there are others looking to buy and get in on the action.

The stocks on a national exchange, such as the NYSE or the NASDAQ, by definition, are not penny stocks. The stringent reporting that is required from such stocks mean that the SEC is not going to designate companies on those exchanges as penny stocks. And if the share prices drop low enough, the gatekeepers at the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ will drop those companies right quick.

For day trading purposes, you can consider any stocks that are prices between $2-$10 as penny stocks. That is where you can make some real money, if you are careful about what opportunities you jump on and which ones you leave by the wayside. The skill required to discern and act on these opportunities is greater than you can imagine. It takes years of penny stocks on the brain to be able to safely trade these stocks.

Day trading is a discipline that requires hardcore study before you can really get good at it. Spotting the trends and being able to properly assess the risk and understand it all is a set of skills that take many years to develop.

That is why finding a day trading education site that you like and trust is so important. You need to be able to find a set of instructors that can express these techniques in accessible terms, while also finding a chat room community that can help you grasp the day-to-day nuances of the racket. Happy trading!

Investing in Household Improvements

It is likely that buying a house will be one of the biggest investments that you will make in your lifetime. This means that you should work towards protecting your investment. To ensure that  the value of your house goes up, you should be investing in household improvements. Keeping everything maintained and repaired will prevent your home from deteriorating over the years. Knowing which aspects of your home should receive the most attention is tricky. Allocating your time and resources to your home is a balancing act, and therefore you should focus on a few points in particular.

Replace the Roof

Having a leaky roof can be disastrous to your home. Rain can seep in and flood the house, ruining all of your possessions. Replacing your roof can be a big decision, but it will definitely pay off for you in the end! Having a new roof can drastically improve the overall look and function of your house. If you are planning on selling your house, a new roof can increase the value. A new roof is a selling point to buyers who usually seek the advice of an inspector before they purchase the house.

Landscaping

The backyard of a home can sometimes be overlooked, so do not make this mistake yourself! Backyards can bring a lot of value into your home. They can also add enjoyment to your lives, because you can spend a great deal of family time there. Taking the time to add grass and plants can improve the look of the whole property. To assist you on your landscaping journey, you can look into some good quality equipment. For example, you can browse through some of the best rated wheelbarrows and pick one out. If you are really feeling adventurous, you could try adding something bigger to your yard, such as a pool.

Kitchen Remodels

The kitchen is a room that will add the most value to your home if it is redone. The kitchen is an area that will get very high amounts of traffic throughout the day, with people coming in and out. This is why you should focus your efforts on making the kitchen look newer and updated. The finishes do not need to be high-end, but they should look functional and nice. You could update the countertop and use a higher-grade material. Repainting the cabinets can go a long way towards the overall appearance of the kitchen. Replacing the fixtures is another quick way to give your kitchen a makeover. It is the little things that potential buyers will look for and will spend more money on.

Bathroom Remodels

Bathrooms are the other major rooms that you should focus on redoing. They will bring in a lot of value with a few changes. The most important investment you can make in a bathroom is to make sure that it is functional. If you have a bathroom that is leaking or shows signs of water damage, this won’t be bringing up its value. Fix up all the possible areas that are not working. Then you can start to work on the cosmetic changes. Changing the countertop and sink is a good way to increase the value. If the bathroom is very obviously dated, it may be a good idea to bring it up to a modern style. This will make you love the new facelift, and you will not be forced to use a decrepit, unstylish bathroom.

The Small Things

If any of the reno ideas we’ve listed are not within your budget, but you still want to invest in updating your home, then consider doing various small projects. Repainting all the walls inside can really spruce up your home and give it new life. It’s also really affordable. Another great idea is to replace all the hardware like door knobs, cabinet handles, and faucets. For the exterior, try your hand at resurfacing your deck and stairs. You’d be surprised what a difference it can make.

Conclusion

If you are investing in your home, you are taking bold steps in the right direction. Houses are big responsibilities, but they will give you back everything you spent on them and more if you do it correctly. Maintaining and updating your house is important if you want to increase it’s value. This might be for your own benefit, or it might be because you are thinking about selling it. Either way, your house will shine with your efforts, and the value will be raised. Living in a house you worked hard for and love will be a great thing for you and your family! Remember that small changes can go a long way if you are not ready to renovate the whole place. Later on, when you have more saved up, you can go back and tackle the projects that you did not get to before.

Are Precious Metals a Good Investment for you?

Precious metals are undoubtedly one of the most popular commodities to trade, not least because of the strength they add to the average investment portfolio. There are, of course, many factors to consider before investing in them, so it is worth knowing how they behave on the market and when the best time to invest is. Here are some considerations on precious metals.

Market Behaviour

Often traded through brokers like LCG, precious metals (gold, silver and platinum) exhibit unique market behaviour, and are considered a fairly steady investment. Gold is often used to hedge a portfolio against investment risk.

Given that their core value doesn’t really decrease, they are seen as the go-to commodity in times of political and economic uncertainty. This is because other, more volatile assets (like currencies) become incredibly difficult to invest in due to their unpredictability, and thus their value can often decrease dramatically.

Current Performance

It is worth noting that the behaviour of each individual precious metal is often mirrored by the other precious metals, Silver’s market behaviour, for instance, is incredibly similar to gold’s. Precious metals have, by their standards, had a fairly volatile year, with the value of gold currently standing at around $1,338/oz (as of 06/09/2017), almost exactly the same value as it was a year ago.

This is up from $1,157 at the start of the year. It is likely that tensions between the US and North Korea have contributed towards this surge in value, and it could well be the case that gold’s value decreases if this eases off. Silver’s market behaviour has been much the same over the last year, so compared to earlier in the year these metals are now very expensive.

Are They a Good Investment?

Compared to their value five years ago, precious metals are trading are a fairly low price. That being said, it seems as though they could well be on the rise again after a significant period of geopolitical turmoil, so watching the market carefully is bound to be a good idea.

Silver and platinum also have fairly widespread industrial uses, so any surge in demand for them could well see their price rise sharply.

Precious metals will always be a good investment to hedge against risk, but currently they may be seen as overvalued/too expensive by buyers. Many may be looking to sell in the short term future to take advantage of their current value.

Proper Investing Means Using the Right Channels

As the world evolves every day there are more and more people who are considering investments for their future endeavors.  Whether they are planning for their retirement or investing in a multi-national company, there are advantages to those investments as well as regulations that come with the territory.  For example, there are plenty of people who’ve chosen to immigrate to the United States in recent decades.  The regulations for their investments are quite a bit different than for a current resident of the United States, due to the legal status of the individual.

What kind of steps need to be taken in order to invest as an immigrant?

One of the most important steps anyone will need to handle is their EB-5 Visa Application process.  This process can be quite confusing and the legal language used is often hard for US residents to understand, let alone someone who is immigrating from another country.  This is where a solid EB-5 Visa attorney is nearly essential.

Immigration and investments are what these attorneys handle the best.  Advisors will openly tell you to find experienced immigration lawyers to help your EB-5 visa application process in order to make the process as smooth as possible.  One of the reasons for this is the obviously confusing legal language often used in the process.  Another important reason for this is so you have an experienced attorney overseeing the process and ensuring that any of your current investments are properly analyzed.

Why would my current investments matter?

With the current state of affairs in the world, many governments are taking a much harder look at the investments of those immigrating to their countries.  They want to be sure that no money is being passed to organizations who may be on a watch list, etc. and your investments can and will likely be looked at as a result.

While this may seem a bit nosey on the outside, it is a sign that the ruling government is actively protecting its citizens, which should actually put you much more at ease knowing they will be protecting you as well when the next person comes along wishing to immigrate to the country.

Taking the right steps and contacting knowledgeable lawyers is important to your investments

Whether you’re considering investing post-immigration or already have investments, taking the proper steps and obtaining outstanding legal counsel is important to not only your immigration process, but also to your investments overall.  Not only can an experienced EB-5 Immigration Attorney help you to speed up and smooth out your Visa process, they will also be able to give you a bit of insight into the many regulations that you will encounter after your process is complete.

By taking counsel, you are investing in your future, as you’ll learn a great deal about the process, the laws you should be aware of, and even smaller details such as general conduct.  Be sure to ask your immigration lawyer about any local, county, state, and federal regulations that may affect your investments and your family, making your future a bit brighter with the knowledge that you have experienced counsel to help you along.

Nick Murray: Simple Wealth, Inevitable Wealth

I got my first “real” job at the age of 23 and could not wait to begin investing.  I knew that if I was going to achieve wealth I had to start young and with my parent’s financial advisor.  Turned out I was wrong.  I only had thousands of dollars to invest, and my FA had clients who had hundreds of thousands, even millions.  I paid fees to the FA, still to this day I’m not sure what they were, that were at least 1%.  I took the advice of my advisor believing they were the “expert”.  Eventually I learned they weren’t.

A friend of mine introduced me to a book that forever changed my life and investment philosophy.  That book was Simple Wealth, Inevitable Wealth, Revised Edition.  In the past four years since being introduced to this book, I have read it many times, bought copies for friends and family, and seen my net worth increase dramatically.  I have the confidence to say that this book alone will allow me to achieve millionaire status before I reach the age of 40.  I am also confident in the fact that this book will help me achieve wealth that I never once dreamed I would have been able to.  I will dive into the three most important aspects I gathered from the book and how they will benefit my wealth creation.

1. INVEST IN STOCKS, NOT BONDS

Most advisors will tell you that you need an appropriate mix of stocks and bonds, especially the older you get.  Why do they tell you this?  Bonds have a lower volatility than stocks, but that lower volatility also means lower returns.  Nick Murray states in his book, “You should be an owner not a loaner”.  A good FA will allow you not to freak out and sell when the market turns south.  By owning stocks and not bonds, you ensure the highest possible return on your portfolio.  After all, the S&P 500 has returned an average of over 10% per year for over the past century.

2. GET A GOOD FINANCIAL ADVISOR, OR CONVINCE YOURSELF NOT TO SELL

Nick’s reasoning for a financial advisor is that he or she will make sure you won’t sell equities when times get rough.  He uses the following example in his book:

“Warren Buffet’s net worth declined over six billion dollars between July 17 and August 31, 1998.  His net worth decreased by six billion in 45 days, but how much did he lose?  The answer is zero.”

Times got tough during those 45 days for equities, but since Warren didn’t sell he didn’t lose.  The natural tendency of people is to sell when the market heads lower and buy when the market goes up.  If you can wrap your head around this philosophy that markets will go down and up, but keep in mind the long-term investing horizon, I say there is no reason for an FA.

3. INVEST CONSTANTLY AND FOR THE LONG TERM

Stocks may not return 10% in the short run, but the best predictor of the future is the past, and over the long-run they should return about 10%.  Invest with a long-term horizon and invest on a constant basis.  Investing on a constant basis means every week, paycheck or month, add to your investments and let compound interest work its magic.

Finally if you get a chance I definetly reccomend that you pick up a copy of Murray’s book. Its available on Amazon for around $20 bucks. Thats a lot, but its definetly worth the investment. Click here to get it.

Budget Smart, Invest Wise

Should You Rebalance Your Investments?

If you are fairly new to investing you may have already heard a little bit about rebalancing. According to Wikipedia, rebalancing is the action or trading strategy of bringing a portfolio that has deviated away from one’s target asset allocation back into line. But if you’ve looked at your portfolio to find it hasn’t changed all that much yet, you may wonder whether or not you should rebalance your investments?

Continue reading

Diworsification: How Much Diversification is too Much or Little?

Image result for diversification
Diworsification

When I was picking stocks, I saw my portfolio lose 15% of its value in one day.  Simply put, I had too many of my eggs in one basket or too many of my investment dollars in one stock.  I wasn’t diversified.  Sure, I could hit it big with a stock, but I could also lose.  I saw the amount of time I was spending on picking stocks and knew it could be put to better use if I let the professionals handle my money.

My portfolio was under diversified, but many people also suffer from too much diversification of their portfolio or diworsification.  Diworsification occurs when you continually invest in the same asset class and keep your risk low but hurt your overall return potential.  It would be the equivalent of investing in many different mutual funds that only contained U.S. stocks.  If you want exposure to the U.S. domestic stock market that is great, I highly recommend it, but pick a fund that gives you just that and move on.

My investment strategy has come a long way from my earlier days when I was picking and choosing stocks.  I thought just like many that I could pick homerun stocks that nobody else could.  I did well on some and poorly on others.  I would come home every day from work and watch Jim Cramer’s show Mad Money.  I soon realized that the effort I was putting in wasn’t yielding the rewards I desired.  I quickly shifted all my investments to a mutual fund.  Being young, I knew I wanted a large exposure to stocks.  What better stocks to invest in than the U.S. Stock Market?  Warren Buffett has been noted to say that when he passes he wants the remainder of his fortune put into a low-cost index fund that mirrors the S&P 500.  That’s right, just one fund.  If he wanted his fortune to be spread across many funds that mirrored the S&P 500 he would be subject to diworsification.  I decided to follow Warren’s advice.

While my investment dollars are placed into a single low-cost Index fund that mirrors the U.S. Stock Market, not everyone will agree with this position, and that is fine.  Investment advice can be given to you from a hired professional or you can decide on your own.  My knowledge came about through the reading of numerous books.  If you want to invest in South America, there are funds for that.  If you want exposure to corporate bonds, there are funds for that.  If you think that the pharmaceutical sector is the next big thing, then by all means find a fund that suits you for that investment.  There are many ways you can invest your hard-earned money, but try and keep to the One and Done Philosophy when investing in mutual funds to prevent diworsification: Pick one mutual fund that covers the class or sector you are wanting exposure to and leave it at that.  Not only does it simplify your portfolio, but it keeps you diversified and away from diworsification.