Saturday, June 13, 2020

Why Are The Wealthy So Keen To Snap Up Unused Land?

When the vast majority of people think about what it means to be wealthy in the modern economy, stocks and bonds are the first assets that come to mind. But when you study the portfolios of the wealthiest people, you find a different story. The vast majority of them plow a good chunk of their money into land. 


Why Land Is A Source Of Wealth


Land doesn’t sound like a significant source of wealth. And when it sits there doing nothing, it isn’t. Land, though, is still a substantial chunk of the economy and represents a vast amount of the total wealth it contains. 


When investors think about the economy, they typically believe there are two sources of returns: labor and capital. You can either sell your time directly for cash. Or you can store it up in the form of savings and then spend that on assets that you hope will generate returns.


People tend to forget, though, that land is a separate asset class with the potential to generate returns all by itself. What’s more, the returns to land are higher than you might imagine. It, like other resources in the economy, is scarce. We don’t have infinite space on the Earth's surface to construct new developments or provide space for agriculture. The room that we have is limited. 


Furthermore, land is becoming increasingly scarce as populations grow. It is highly likely that it will become a significant source of wealth in the future as pressures increase. 


The Returns To Land


When you look at the long-term returns to land versus equity, you find some fascinating patterns. In most countries, the returns to property are mostly the same as they are for investments. There are some exceptions, like the UK, but, in general, there’s virtually no difference. In the US, for instance, historical returns to both housing and equities are identical. 


Even so, homes with land for sale tend to be undervalued. The vast majority of non-wealthy people don’t understand the real value that lies in land, and so they tend to ignore it. This behavior means that people who do understand the returns that it offers can snap it up on the cheap. 


Next time you do a property search, take a look at the cost of properties with land compared to similar examples without. Ask yourself whether the price difference between the two reflects the value of land or not. Usually, it doesn’t. 


While there are some technical issues in buying property, the critical point here is that it offers similar appreciation over the long-term. Property taxes are a problem in some cases. And the market is rife with friction. But many researchers have shown that the primary driver of wealth inequality is land. People who own more of it tend to remain wealthy, compared to those who own less. 


That’s what primarily drivers the wealthy into snapping up unused land. They know that the market underappreciated the returns that it offers. So they invest heavily in it, taking advantage of whatever opportunities that they can.


Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Your Long-Term Retirement Plan And Life Insurance


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A life insurance policy, which pays out a sum of money upon the policyholder's death or after a set period, is typically designed to ensure financial protection for any dependents that rely on your income or support. That is why a family's primary breadwinner often purchases one. Does life insurance have a place when it comes to financial planning for retirement?


Here is a look at the many benefits associated with incorporating this into your long-term retirement plan.


  • Make sure your assets are distributed equally among your heirs -- First and foremost, one of the main benefits associated with life insurance for retirees is to ensure that your assets are divided equally among your heirs. For example, if you wish to leave your house to your first child, and your stock portfolio to your second child, you could then use the benefit of your life insurance policy to equalize those gifts for your third child.

  • Cover any unexpected costs -- A cash value policy such as life insurance is beneficial because it can assist you when paying off any unexpected expenses. You can do this by either taking out a loan against the policy or withdrawing some of the cash value. Of course, this means that the death benefit will get reduced, but in times of need, this can be extremely advantageous.

  • Protect against downturns in the stock market -- Are you worried that a market crash could impact your investments? If so, it is a good idea to take out a life insurance policy, as this could be a useful backup plan should the value of your portfolio go down to the point whereby your lifestyle gets affected and your income stream reduced.

  • Effective estate planning -- Another reason to incorporate life insurance into your retirement planning is that it is an excellent estate planning tool. Worrall, Moss, Martin Lawyers can assist with your estate planning. For instance, you can pay estate taxes by using life insurance death benefits as opposed to having to sell assets at a time that is inopportune.

  • Pension replacement -- Finally, one of the key reasons to consider life insurance is to replace your pension. If your pension furnishes a big part of your retirement income, life insurance is ideal if your dependents cannot access your pension once you die.


As you can see, there are lots of benefits associated with incorporating life insurance into your retirement plan. However, you need to consider carefully whether this is right for you. One thing you need to look at is whether your spouse and children are self-sufficient. If you have a young family, it is likely you will need the security provided by life insurance, but this need can change over time. You also must consider whether you need to pay estate taxes, as life insurance can be an excellent estate-planning tool, as mentioned above.


Thursday, May 28, 2020

How to Borrow Money With Bad Credit: 3 Short-Term Cash Options


Around 1 out of 3 Americans have a credit score of lower than 601, which is considered bad credit. If you're one of these Americans, then you'll know how hard it is to get things accomplished, such as rent an apartment or buy a car.

When you fall on hard times, it can be even more difficult, as lenders are hesitant to front you cash. Although there are some legitimate ways to make extra money from home, it’s also not impossible to source some money with low credit. You just have to be smart about it.

If you need to borrow money with bad credit, here are 3 short-term cash options you can try.

1. Ask for an Advance

You might already have a side hustle job in addition to your regular job. But for some, as hard as you try, you still can't make ends meet.

In this case, you might want to ask for an advance at either job. Depending on how generous your employer is, this may be just enough to tide you over to pay for next month's rent or some groceries for the next few weeks.

2. Consider Personal Loans for Credit Score Under 550

There are lenders who specifically have personal loan requirements that are more lenient when it comes to credit scores. This enables people with less than stellar numbers to take out a loan when they need it.

However, do know that this option comes with a caveat; since lenders are taking a bigger risk with you, interest rates of these loans could be slightly higher than with someone with good credit or loan with collateral attached. So make sure you can make your payments on time. Otherwise, you're not only paying late fees and more interest, but you're also risking your credit score dropping even lower.

If you're confident in your repayments, then personal loans can be excellent for building your credit score back up. 

3. Take out a Payday Loan

If you're currently employed, you can also consider getting a payday loan. This is also a type of personal loan and you can get a loan approved basically instantly.

A payday loan is great if you need money quickly and can't wait for a normal loan to be processed. However, do be aware that just like with personal loans for bad credit, the interest rates for payday loans are very high.

Plus, your next paycheck is used to pay the amount back. So if you have plans for your next paycheck, you might end up needing to take out another payday loan to get through the next period until you get more income.

It's Possible to Borrow Money With Bad Credit With These Tips

As you can see, it's definitely possible to borrow money with bad credit. Just remember to be responsible and pay back the amount as soon as you can. Otherwise, you may get into a vicious cycle where you get into more debt since you keep being unable to repay the full amount.

Would you like to get on the road to financial freedom? Then take a look at our Make Money section. 


Friday, May 22, 2020

Maximising Your Business' Profits




When you run a small business, everything you do is with one main goal in mind - making sales and consequently making profits. We all want to make as much from our ventures as possible. It allows us to invest further into our businesses. It gives us bigger salaries. It propels us down a path towards success and feelings of fulfilment. But profits don’t come easily. You’re going to have to put a whole lot of work into securing profits and maximising your business’ profits. Here are just a few different steps you can take to achieve this!

Don’t Be Afraid to Take on Staff

The majority of small business owners start out alone, taking on full responsibility for all aspects of their business. They’ll plan the products, they’ll take care of marketing, they’ll do their own market research… the list goes on. Sometimes they’ll outsource tasks beyond their personal skill, such as web design or logo design. But all in all, responsibility tends to fall on their shoulders. If you’ve started out in your business this way, it may be daunting thinking of taking on permanent staff. After all, they’re a big financial commitment. But at the same time, your business will suffer if you continue trying to do everything yourself. One person can only do so much work or have so much expertise. So, take on staff as soon as things start to become difficult. You can take time with the recruitment process to feel comfortable that you’ve definitely found the right person for the job. But you should take on staff eventually! 

Reach Out to a Worldwide Audience

Sure, catering to the needs of consumers in your local vicinity is important. But nowadays, with the rise of E Commerce, selling to a much wider audience has grown a whole lot easier. With the simple addition of international shipping options, and by accepting money in different currencies, you can drastically expand the number of people who can shop with you. You never know where your biggest market could be and by opening up to the world, you can find that you tap into huge markets in other countries, helping your brand to become recognised and established in these places. This is how you take your first steps towards becoming a global company! Just make sure you can accept money and refund money properly, for example, accepting payments from Vietnam and being able to
send money to Vietnam online. As you experience more and more success, you may want to set up offices and departments overseas to specifically cater to the different markets buying from you!

Invest

When we think of investing money, we tend to think of investing in other companies, stocks, shares and more. But you should consider investing in your own company! So many business owners try to minimise their spending and outgoings to the extent that it’s detrimental to their own business and its progression. At the end of the day, you often have to spend money to make money. Pumping money into areas of your business that require improvement can make these areas more profitable. Often, you’ll make the money you invested back, plus more going forward! Here are just a few different areas you need to consider investing in!

Offer Multiple Payment Methods

People want to pay in various different ways. By offering multiple payment methods, you can maximise your sales and meet as many customers’ preferences as possible. This is great for profits and great for customer satisfaction. Of course, you need to take card payments when operating online. But also consider adding the option of Paypal to your items. This will encourage more impulse purchases, as customers don’t have to fish out their card to complete a purchase - instead, they can just click pay now and their card details will automatically be available, wherever they may be.

These, of course, are just a few varied steps that you can take to maximise the amount of money that your business makes and to minimise losses. So, start incorporating them into your business’ regime as soon as possible. What works for one business may not be ideal for another, but it’s going to take a process of trial and error for you to determine what best suits your company and has the most financially beneficial outcomes! Hopefully, some of the above advice really will work in your favour!

Saturday, May 16, 2020

How to Maintain Work/Life Balance As a Business Owner


It’s hard enough to maintain a healthy work/life balance as an employee, but as a business owner? Then it becomes even more difficult. Because you’ll have so many responsibilities and duties, plus a nagging sense that you may slip behind if you’re not putting in as many hours as you could, you might find that there is no work/life balance. Everything is weighted in favor of work. However, though you might find yourself in this position, you shouldn’t stay there. Ultimately your business will suffer if you’re working too much. Burnout, after all, is a real threat. In this blog, we’ll take a look at some effective ways to get more “me time” into your life.



Delegating Tasks
You can’t do everything by yourself. Even if you wanted too, you wouldn’t have the skills to do everything. If you’re going to free up some of your time and do what’s best for your business, then it’s important that you’re bringing other people on board to help you. This can be in the form of employees or third-party companies, to whom you can outsource certain tasks. You’ll find that it’s much easier to work -- and that you work better -- when your workload is reduced. Be careful, however: if you’re going to hand over some responsibilities to others, then you’ll have to let them get on with the work, rather than micromanaging them

Look Out For Yourself
To keep your life in sync, then you need to be in sync with yourself. You can’t burn the candle at both ends. You may want to work your best, but if you’re not looking after yourself, then your work will begin to suffer. Some business owners get so wrapped up in their jobs that they forget to do the basic things of self-care: for example, eating well and exercising. Make yourself number one, and your business number two priority, and you’ll find that everything’s much more straightforward. 

Regular Breaks
Some owners are reluctant, so take time off from their business, but they shouldn’t be. For starters, all the most successful business leaders take breaks. Second, setting work aside for a week brings a host of other benefits -- you’ll return to work refreshed, reenergized, and bursting with good ideas. One good way to build regular breaks into your schedule is to make things as straightforward as possible. Caravan park homes are particularly recommended, because they’ll allow you to take a refreshing break in a place that feels like home. You can even just go for the weekend if you can’t take longer time off work.

Avoid Work-Creep
Finally, it’s important to stay on top of your work/life balance. Many business owners say that it’s not going to become an issue for them, but then...it does. That’s because our lifestyles can sometimes creep up on us. Before we realize it, we may be working more hours than we originally planned. Make a habit of reviewing your weekly hours and make changes if necessary!