Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Got some money to invest? Five ways to make it work harder

The past decade has been a difficult one from an investment perspective. Tough economic conditions meant fewer of us had spare finances to invest in the future, and even for those that did, low interest rates made it a challenge to find an investment that would generate a reasonable return.

This has led to a rise in alternative investment ideas, but has also thrown the spotlight on one of the oldest strategies of all. If you have come into a little money and are uncertain what sort of investment strategy to follow, here are some ideas.

1) Gold remains the safest investment

Today’s currencies might not be measured against the “gold standard” but the fact that we still use the phrase to define the ultimate in valuation tells you all you need to know about the precious metals market. When all else fails, gold holds its value and enjoys steady appreciation.

You can buy gold in a variety of forms, from collectible coins to traditional gold bars weighing anything up to a kilogram, and this website will tell you everything you need to know about how to do so.

2) Don’t overlook the stock market

Investing in the stock market might sound a little 20th century, but plenty of people are still doing so today, and enjoying success. Nobody is suggesting you should invest everything in stocks and shares, but by trickling a little money every year into some carefully selected investments using a technique known as dollar cost averaging, you can limit your risk and come out with a tidy profit.

Even if you don’t know much about the stock market, there are virtual brokers, sometimes known as robo advisors that will help you make the right choice.

3) Real estate

Recent years have seen an explosion in private landlords, as individuals have sunk their money into investment properties. The arguments in favor are compelling – after all, this is an asset that will appreciate in value and will also bring in a healthy monthly rental income. Surely that’s a win/win?

That’s true as far as it goes, but bear in mind that being a landlord has additional cost and hassle factors that other investments do not. You’ll have maintenance and repair issues to deal with, as well as the potential risk of problem tenants. Also, real estate is not at all liquid, so you need to be comfortable with the fact that your money is tied up for the long term.

4) Invest in yourself

Your biggest asset could be yourself. Invest money in getting better at what you are good at, both personally and professionally. You won’t just be making yourself more marketable, you’ll also experience the benefit of improving yourself finding out what you are really capable of – and ultimately, that is something you can’t put a price on.


In the final analysis, it is not a case of choosing from the above options, but of spreading the risk and investing money as widely as possible. That allows you to get the best from all worlds.

Monday, May 21, 2018

How to Build the Home of Your Dreams

Image Credit: Pixabay

Everyone wants to own the perfect house, but not everyone thinks to build their own.
One of the reasons for this is that building can take a long time and may be quite
stressful if you come across problems. And yet, this is the best possible way of getting
exactly what you want.

To build the house of your dreams, you only ever need a few things: a fabulous architect,
a great team of builders and the right location. From here, you will be able to figure
out exactly what your needs are and how to get everything you want - and you’ll never
have to move house again!

Why You Should Consult an Architect

The first reason that you should consult an architect is very simple: it’s their job to
take all your wants and needs and translate them into a flowing home that sits well
in its location. Using their intuition and artistic capabilities, an architect will also help
you to make a statement with your home.

Most architects are also very good at project managing, or at least, will be able to
recommend a project manager to help you out. This will free you up from the day-to-day
running of the building site and give you more time to think about the fun stuff like
fixtures and fittings.

How to Choose a Team of Builders

If you are looking for a luxury property, perfect down to the smallest of details, you
will need an exceptional team of luxury house builders. Minimalism is making a huge
comeback right now and this type of building requires an excellent eye and no
tolerance for imperfections.

Look for a team who have completed similar work before and don’t be afraid to ask for
examples of work to see for yourself whether they will suit your project too. High
quality craftsmanship doesn’t just extend to the building, though, you should also
look for other craftsmen to design features of your house such as the stairs or

Where is the Right Location?

The location you choose is vital to the whole project and will affect everything from
the design of your house to what you can afford. For example, a site with a steep
slope will be very different to a flat site in the same way that a thin inner-city site
will be very different to a large country site.

You must also consider things like school catchment areas, proximity to work and
other local conveniences too. If you are happy to drive everywhere, you might like
living in the countryside but if you like to go out and be able to walk into town, you will
need a very different site. Approach the location of your dream house in the same
way that you would any house - how you live is very much bound up with where you live.

Building your own home might sound daunting, but with the right help, you will be able
to get exactly what you want from the project. This is the best way to invest in your
dream house.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Things To Consider When Designing Residential Housing

Designing property is no easy task as there’s much more to it than simply meets
the eye. It’s not just planning the layout and size of rooms, it’s arranging everything
around it like costs to build, whether they will be for sale or rented out, who the
housing is aimed at, and features that you want to add to the property(s). Make
one wrong move and you could be stuck with housing that’s not appealing to
anyone and end up struggling to sell or rent it out. Take a look at these things to
consider when designing residential housing to help better make some of your
decisions.

Solar panels

Anyone who sees that a property they are looking at has solar panels will immediately
become more interested. The earth is suffering more than ever thanks to pollution
that we have created, so fitting solar panels to extract and use energy from the sun
will spark interest from many different angles. They might be an investment that
you’re not keen on because of the cost, but they pay for themselves within a year
and help make energy bills dramatically drop. Definitely a selling point for your
residential housing!

Pool

Who doesn’t love the idea of having a pool nearby that they can take advantage of?
Whether you decide to fit a personal pool in each home or make a residential pool for
everyone to enjoy together, it will immediately allow you to bump up the price of
selling and even rent prices. Swimming pool construction is now easier than ever
thanks to Brisbane Pools and can come in many different shapes and sizes. Imagine
creating a luxury complex for new residents to enjoy and reaping the benefits of the
higher rent prices!

Air conditioning

Installing air conditioning in your housing is always a good idea. No matter what kind
of climate you live in, there’s always times where the air in the room simply isn’t fresh
enough or it’s too warm. Consider adding air conditioning to each of the homes that
you’re building so that not only can people take advantage of it, but it will add yet
another selling point to the properties that you’re building.

Tinted windows

Like air conditioning, having tinted windows can help keep the air and the heat of
your properties at bay. Not only that, having tinted windows adds immediate privacy
to the homes and also helps save furniture from fading due to the sunlight hitting it.
It’s fairly inexpensive and can add an amazing selling point to your properties.

Consider these four ideas when designing residential housing and you’re guaranteed
to add value to either the selling price or your asking price for rent!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Boosting Your Income as a Freelancer

Have you ever wanted to improve your income as a freelancer? Perhaps you feel
like you’re not charging enough for your services, or maybe you’re not attracting
clients as often as you’d like. There are plenty of ways to boost your income as a
freelancer, and in this article, we’ll be spilling the beans on five different ways to
do just that.


1. Chase your invoices with some help

Whether it’s using cloud accounting services to help you chase invoices or using
an invoice financing service you help you chase down your money, it’s incredibly
important to look for different ways to ensure that your clients pay on time. You can
look at more information here if you’re interested in invoice financing. In short,
make sure you chase down your invoices zealously; they are your source of income,
after all.

2. Charge more for your services

Sounds obvious, right? Sadly, far too many freelancers undervalue themselves and
believe that they’ll get more customers by simply lowering their prices. This isn’t true
at all. In fact, many people are put off by low prices because they’ll expect you to
provide a low-quality service. If anything, offer more services such as a mid-level
piece of work or a high-end piece of work that takes more time to finish. This
will give your clients more choice to pick from and ultimately help you figure
out a pricing structure that allows you to charge more.

3. Get yourself out there

You might just use a single social media platform right now, but if you actually use
several (such as Twitter and Instagram together) then you can actually get many
more customers. It’s all about spreading your wings and trying to get attention
from a wide audience.

4. Get your credentials

It’s always better to pick a freelancer that has some credentials to their name. For
instance, if you’ve worked with certain figureheads or celebrities before, then you
may want to mention these so that you get a little boost of internet traffic and so
people are willing to pay higher prices for you.

5. Pick a niche instead of a general requirement

Picking a niche usually means that you get fewer customers, but you can also
charge more pay as a result. Niches can be difficult to find, but it’s all about figuring
out what your equipment and skills of choice can do. For instance, if you’re
currently a writer, then you could specialize in writing for people’s blogs or product
reviews to show something off.

There are many more ways to boost your income as a freelancer, but we believe
that these five tips are the most straightforward and general tips that we can offer.
They’ll apply to most freelancers in the world and they’re virtually guaranteed to
help you make more money as a freelancer. They won’t instantly make you rich,
but they’ll certainly give you more money to work with every time you get paid.