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?

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How to Get Started with the Stock Market

Investing in the stock market has now become easy and affordable to everyone because of technology, today the stock market can be accessed directly from your mobile, tablet or any other device that supports the necessary App.

Most of the stock market operators have digitized their services, so are available online and can be accessed anywhere at any time. An individual planning to start trading online only needs to choose the company of preference and the platforms offered to starting trading immediately. The registration process is quick, done online and the monetary amount required to start isn’t too high.

For starters, investing in stock market can appear like a daunting experience. But in real the sense, with the dismal returns from building societies and banks, investing in stock market provides a golden opportunity to make greater returns. Investing in the stock market is an attractive financial investment as it has been made much more accessible compared to the traditional hold and buy investing.

The stock market can be accessed either directly or indirectly. Investing in the stock market directly means acquiring shares in the single company and thereby becoming a shareholder. Investing indirectly, on the other hand, means investing through a third party investment broker. There is a wide range of broker services currently being offered in the stock markets. Some of the services offered include tailored advice and bespoke services such as Redmayne Bentley, Charles Stanley, and Killik &Co. These are online based platforms where customers can buy and sell their shares independently via a share operating account without the advice of the third party.

For starters who desire to be more involved and experiment with their individual shares, it is important to open an online, performance only share operating account. This account keeps the cost of investing at a minimum level that is good for a beginner. Live markets have many advantages contrasted with the conventional buy and hold stock markets. The old framework required a large amount of money for one to realize great benefits and they are constantly overwhelmed by compelling speculators. This has made it difficult for new traders to wander in and begin trading. Live markets don’t require an immense measure of cash to begin trading. With a couple of Euros, one can put his money in the stock market and start trading. Determined traders can develop their little money contributed and turn out to be huge brokers inside no time. The key to internet trading is first to study, inquire about and figure out how the live market functions and works. It is likewise basic to be updated day by day on worldwide occasions that may influence money markets. It makes a broker savvier about where to invest and when to pull back their speculations.

Trading on live markets does not mean one needs to stop his or her occupation. Web-based trading is very easy and affordable because of the technology advancement. It requires just a couple of hours if not minutes to get on the web and place investment where one sees there is potential .The creation of cell phones and tablets and the high web availability around the world has made this exercise exceptionally conceivable. Built up organizations, for example, CMC markets additionally offers new traders with advice, patterns, and rules that make trading simple. New traders can begin investing in the stock market on their own or seek advice from established stock brokers.

Trading additionally has its ups and downs as there the individuals who make benefits while others make misfortunes. However, the secret is to be patient and learn how the market works and being regularly updated on daily events that can affect the stock market.

However, new traders are supposed to research about the companies they want to invest in before joining the stock market. It is also imperative to consider the types of platforms the company offers compared to other companies in the market. Companies with mobile phone platforms are the best option for new traders as they can access the stock market frequently and learn how it operates on daily basis.

Diworsification: How Much Diversification is too Much or Little?

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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.

How Rookies Can Invest in Real Estate

If you are interested in investing in real estate property, you may have started doing research about it. However, there is so much information out there about the topic that it can sometimes be confusing and leave you wondering how you should get started.  Fortunately there are a few not so complicated ways how rookies can invest in real estate.

1 Rentals

If purchasing a single family rental appeals to you but a lack of time to research and find an investment property is holding you back, there is a way to get it done fairly easily; Let someone else do the research for you. But saving time may not be the only thing making you hesitate. You also have to find renters, collect rent, do upkeep, and the many other tasks involved with owning a rental. It all takes time and it can be somewhat intimidating to a rookie real estate investor. So why not allow someone else to do some of the work for you? In addition, it is possible to purchase turnkey rentals even if you don’t have the expertise or time to manage the property yourself. Also, if you think you are locked into buying rentals only in the area where you live, think again. You can invest in properties in a different part of the country altogether even if you haven’t personally seen the property. Does this sound like a dream? There are companies in existence that can help you overcome these hurdles so you can purchase a rental and get started investing in real estate even as a rookie.

2 Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is another way to help you get started as a rookie real estate investor, especially if you don’t have much money to get you started. By choosing this method you can put your money together with money from others and invest in real estate so everyone benefits. This is done through an REIT, or Real Estate Investment Trust.

REIT’s are a lot like mutual funds in that they give investors the power to diversify their investments and have steady money coming in. They are made up of knowledgeable team members who devise ways of investing pooled money in real estate investment options not usually available to the lone investor. They do this by putting the investment capital into more than one property, which makes the risks low and raises the growth potential of your investment. There are several companies that offer this type of investing, so it shouldn’t take too much time to research and find one to your liking.

3 Partnership Investing

Of course, you could also pool your money with someone else without the help of an outside company. Choose someone you trust to get started with and you could still invest in real estate even if you don’t have a lot of money or experience. When you work with someone else who has real estate properties already, you can learn a lot from them about choosing, financing, and managing rental properties or flip properties. It may also allow you to start investing a lot sooner than if you were to try to purchase a property on your own.

As you can see, even if you are new to real estate investing, there are different ways how rookies can invest in real estate. Don’t let whatever is holding you back prevent you from securing your future.

What other options do you know of how rookies can invest in real estate?

Kayla is a personal finance blogger in her mid-20s who loves to write about money topics of all kinds.

Should I Invest in Stocks?

The U.S. Stock Market is at an all-time high, and many are wondering how much longer this can be sustained.  People are asking themselves if it is still worth investing in stocks at this high.  The simple answer is: YES!

Below is a chart of the S&P 500, which covers the broad range of the stock market.  The chart below illustrates performance from 1950 until the end of last year.

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Should I Invest in Stocks?

As you can see based on the chart, there are rises and falls, some of which are quite big.  If you look at the chart as a whole, you can ultimately say that U.S. stocks have increased in value over time.  Here are three reasons why one should consider investing in stocks.

Should I Invest in Stocks? Reason 1:

U.S. stocks have outperformed almost every other investible asset over the past 100 years, especially government and corporate bonds.  People often think of bonds as a safer alternative to investing in stocks, but what they really mean by “safer” is less volatile.  Yes, stocks can fluctuate with higher highs and lower lows in a given period of time, but over the long-run they will outperform bonds.

Should I Invest in Stocks?  Reason 2:

Stocks are the easiest and safest way to build wealth.  What I mean by this is that continual investment in stocks will yield higher and higher returns over time if you let your returns compound.  Compounding interest is a great thing when it comes to building wealth and all it takes is two simple steps:

Step 1: Continued investment and reinvestment

Step 2: Time

By continually putting money into your stock investment on a consistent basis and allowing your returns to reinvest, after a period of time you will be able to build a substantial amount of wealth.  And again, since stocks outperform other investments over the long-term, you are compounding a greater percentage each year.

Should I Invest in Stocks?  Reason 3:

Because Warren Buffett says so!  At the time of this post, Buffett’s net worth is estimated to be in excess of $75 billion USD.  It has been said that he is the greatest investor the world has ever seen.  How did Warren and others like him make their great fortunes?  Through investments in stocks.  Warren has constantly invested in companies throughout his time via stock purchases in what he calls “value investments”, which is a simple way to say in companies he believes to be cheap in valuation.  Buffett has gone so far as to say that even upon his passing he would like the remainder of his fortune to be placed in a low-cost index fund that mirrors the S&P 500.  The greatest investor ever believed and still believes in the power of stocks.

Hopefully by now you have been convinced that investing in stocks is the right thing to do, but how do I get started?  Simple, to begin investing in stocks I would recommend investing in a mutual fund that covers a wide range of the U.S. Stock Market as well as knowing more about forex trading online. Investment firms such as Vanguard and Fidelity offer these sorts of funds that will allow you to get exposure to the broad range of the U.S. Stock Market and begin reaping the rewards.

How to Become Independently Wealthy

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How to Become Independently Wealthy

Becoming wealthy is a goal many of us hope to achieve in our lifetime.  Whether you want to be wealthy so you can have unbelievable lifelong experiences or to validate your success, the goal is often dreamed of but rarely achieved.  Ken Fisher, the author of The Ten Roads to Riches, discusses the many ways people can achieve wealth throughout their lifetime, ten to be exact.  All of these roads have proven to make someone independently wealthy throughout their lives.  Some are more common than others.  So if the question of how to become independently wealthy has crossed your mind, I will discuss two of the ten Ken illustrates in his book.




How to Become Independently Wealthy: Save and Invest Wisely

I usually sign off my posts with a simple phrase: Budget Smart, Invest Wise.  Budgeting allows you to allocate your funds to various categories, and hopefully one of those categories is savings.  Whether your savings vehicle is an IRA, Roth IRA or other type of investment, saving money is critical to building wealth.  However, saving is only half of the battle to building wealth this way.  The other key ingredient is investing wisely.  Investing wisely means creating a smart investment plan, be it with a financial advisor or through acquired knowledge, that creates a return on one’s investment.  For example, I have found that investing on a monthly basis in a mutual fund that covers the broad range of the U.S. Stock Market to be of most benefit to me.  I recognize that this investment, although it has risk involved, prevents me from being susceptible to the failure of one company or one sector of the market.  Saving and investing wisely is the road most traveled, but it also provides the greatest chance of reward.

How to Become Independently Wealthy: Invent Income

Inventing income can cover a wide spectrum of earning additional money.  For example, if you are a song writer or musician, you can create an ongoing stream of royalties from your lyrics or music.  If you purchase a property that you decide to rent out, you could turn it into a cash flow positive stream of income.  The possibilities are endless.  Maybe you have a specific skill that people are willing to pay for you to teach them.  Perhaps your area of expertise at work can lead to consulting other companies on the side.  Do you have something you’re passionate about that you can create into a blog or website and charge for ad revenue?  Many of us have the tools, knowledge and capabilities to put our talents towards creating additional income.

Becoming independently wealthy or successful all boils down to one’s level of commitment.  If you are committed to becoming independently wealthy, then most likely you can find a way.  Some individuals, like Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg, created an enormous amount of wealth.  Maybe you want billions like these company creators, or maybe you will be satisfied with millions or even a million.  Only you can determine what being wealthy is to you.