canstockphoto10466726A career as a landlord is great because you can work for yourself, and enjoy a healthy income. But, you also need to be aware that it can be complicated as well. Here are a few ideas to help you make your life as a landlord easier.

Choose the Right Tenants

When it comes to building a career as a landlord, you need to make sure you pick the right tenants. Your livelihood is dependent upon people being able to keep up with rental payments. And you need for make sure you screen prospective tenants carefully. It’s important that you accept the right people for your property. Building a strong relationship with good tenants is the key to success as a modern day landlord. So you need to do everything you can to help you make the right choice.

Pick the Perfect Property

The most important part of being a landlord is making sure you pick the right property. Whether this is your first time, or you’ve bought property before, you need to be prepared. It’s important that you understand and appreciate what is involved in choosing the right property. So, you have to make sure you figure out the type of property you want to go for. There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to choosing the right property. You have to think about what will get you the best return on investment, as well as what you can afford.

Property Management

Let’s be honest, you may not have the time to be looking after several properties at once. You have to deal with paperwork, finances, tax, repairs, phone calls, etc. And it can all get a bit much, especially if you’re doing it on your own. So, you need to make sure you bring in people to help you with these things. That’s why a property management company can prove so crucial for you. They can take care of important things such as maintenance, upkeep, and tenant screening. It’s important that you bring them on board, so you free up time in your busy schedule to dedicate to expanding your portfolio.

Landlord Insurance

You have to perform due diligence and take steps to look after yourself as much as possible. There are a lot of problems you may encounter, and many of them will be unforeseen problems. So, the best thing to do is to take steps that allow you to deal with these. Landlord insurance is a must-have for any landlord who’s starting out. This will help protect you in the event of building damage, fire and flooding, and non-payment of rent. So, you need to make sure you do as much as you can to

We all know how difficult it can be to carve out a career as a landlord. There are a lot of costs involved, and you need to think about a lot of different things. So, it’s essential to make sure you make your life easier. You want to be able to enjoy your career as a landlord, and use it to help generate income for you and the family. Use the ideas on this post to help you make your life much easier.


canstockphoto31025682401k loans can be very rewarding, but also incredibly intimidating for those who haven’t yet conducted a thorough amount of research into how to properly manage them. Fortunately, learning how to manage your 401k is simply a matter of having the patience to sit down and read the numbers. In time, even the most inexperienced 401k manager can learn that mastering 401k management doesn’t require a genius-level intellect; it is simply a matter of diligence, patience, and the willingness to learn. Some of the most important core factors in successful 401k management are as follows:

  • Choosing between professional and online management
  • Keeping tabs on your statements
  • Exercising discretion
  • Accounting for fees and expenses

Choosing between professional and online management

One of the first questions that someone who wants to learn how to manage a 401k may ask is whether or not they should consult a professional or invest in automated online services. In a report published by Financial Engines Incorporated, it was demonstrated that professionally managed assets, on average, saw 3.32% more in returns than accounts that had no professional management whatsoever. Generally speaking, if you don’t have extensive investing experience, then you’re always going to be better off investing in the professional expertise of a reputable manager. It is common that some of the over-the-counter management services may be offered for as little as 0.1%, while professional managers may charge as much as 4 or 5%; be advised, you will usually get exactly what you pay for.

Keeping tabs on your statements

In order to make sure that you stay on top of all of your investments, you are going to want to make a strong effort to become very adept at reading your account statements on a regular basis. Your statements will contain all kinds of information that is integral to understanding the exact status of your account. Your account statement will let you know all of the different changes in value of your account that can occur with every period.

Naturally, you will want to be aware of just how frequently you receive your account reports. Your account report frequency will depend directly on the value of your accounts, or perhaps even the frequency with which your account value is determined by different record keepers. The valuation of your accounts will also be contingent upon your portfolio reallocation frequency. In the event that you decide that your assets need to be reallocated, then take note of whether or not your plan is valued on a quarterly basis. If your plan is valued quarterly and you decide to reallocate your assets, then you just might be better off waiting until the end of the period.

Exercising Discretion 

It can be extremely tempting to exclusively invest in what you believe are only the winning assets, however, you must not make this mistake. The market is always rising, falling, and fluctuating in more ways than even the most seasoned professionals can keep 100% track of. If you want to be sure that you can optimize the growth of your savings, then the best course of action is to simply remain diligent in making constant contributions to your plan.

Accounting for fees and expenses

You will always want to be completely aware of the direct impact that various expenses and fees have on the potential ROI of your 401(k) plan. In addition to having an effect on the investment return, all of the asset-based fees will also have an effect on your 401k plan’s general level of security overall. One of the greatest challenges facing anybody who has a 401k plan is the difficulty of pinpointing exactly what expenses are incurred by the subtle, unpaid fees that are easy to miss.

Never forget that these small fees are always deducted prior to your final return. If you ever need clarification of just how much money that you have paid for investments and services of any kind, be sure to consult your account statement documents. In addition to taking notes of your statements, you should also make a point to look into your summary plan document (SPD) and human resources/personnel department as well. The United States Department of Labor can serve as a comprehensive resource for finding out as much information as you need to know about all 401k charges.

canstockphoto7295829Property investment is a popular way of building up a nest egg for retirement. Pensions still rule, but in recent years many people with an eye on retirement have chosen to buy properties with their surplus income. It isn’t the right decision for everyone, but if you are fed up with abysmal savings account rates and you would like to generate an income as well as see your capital grow, property can be a smart investment. So what is the best way to fund your purchase?

Mortgage Finance

Mortgage finance is the most common way to fund the purchase of an investment property. Traditional mortgages are not suitable for investment properties, but many lenders now offer mortgage products for buy to let investors, so look at refinance rates in NJ or approach your lender for an informal chat about releasing equity from your existing property or taking out a new deal.

One thing to remember is that it is not easy to secure funding these days. Most lenders had their fingers badly burned when the sub-prime property market crashed, so the days of quick and easy lending are long gone. These days, you need to have an excellent credit rating and a fairly large down payment if you want a lender to consider you for mortgage finance. Ideally have at least 25% of the property value as your deposit, but more is better.

Tap Into Equity

If you own your home outright or have very little mortgage left, you can tap into the equity and use this to finance an investment property.

Hard Money Loans

Hard money loans are a bit different to regular mortgages. Sometimes known as fix-and-flip loans, hard money loans are short-term lending for buyers who want to sell a property on quickly. This allows buyers to invest in a below market value home that needs some work, do it up, and sell it on for a profit. As long as the lender believes the property to be a profitable one, they will agree to the loan.

This type of lending is useful if you are not interested in a long-term investment, but be aware that fees associated with hard money loans are higher.

Check Your Credit

Check your credit report before you approach any mortgage lenders. If there are any mistakes on your credit report, it will jeopardize any application you make. Mistakes can usually be rectified, but it will take time. The better your credit report is, the easier it is to find a lender willing to hand over money at a favorable rate.

Interest Rates

The advertised rate of interest is not always what the lender offers. They take a number of variables into account when deciding on your risk status, including credit history, what the property is worth, and how much you want to borrow. If the bank views you as a risky proposition, it may still lend you money, but at a higher rate of interest.

Don’t always assume that large lenders offer the most favorable interest rates for loans on investment properties. An underwriter working for a smaller bank will take a more personal approach to lending and instead of ticking boxes on a screen, he or she will evaluate your application on its individual merits. This can make it easier to borrow money if there is anything unusual about your application, such as your age or your income.

Term Life Insurance

Cashing in a life insurance policy is another way to fund an investment property purchase. If the policy is not large, it could still give you a sizable down payment on the purchase, which means you don’t need to dip into your savings. However, check the small print first, as there may be a penalty for cashing in the policy early.

Cash Buyer

Buying property for cash is less risky than taking out mortgage finance. Interest rates are very low right now, so money squirreled away in a savings account doesn’t work very hard. You could invest your savings in high interest bonds or take a punt on the FOREX markets, but investing in property is low risk and you stand a very good chance of achieving a good return in the long-term.

The one thing to be wary of if you use up your savings is that once your money is tied up in property, you won’t be able to access it easily. If you have plenty of money, this should not be a problem, but never leave yourself short, as property is expensive to maintain.

Investment properties make useful nest eggs for retirement, but consider your options carefully and always take professional advice before you buy.

canstockphoto12385282Contracts for differences (CFD) have become popular in the financial markets in the recent past. About 100,000 investors in the UK have used financial spread bets or CFDs in the last year. For those that are starting out, it may be difficult to decide what to place a bet and when to place it. Expertise in CFD trading is built over time.

All you need to do is understand simple but effective strategies to establish a sturdy and growing equity curve with least drawdown. If you are looking to get a solid foundation that will weather all market conditions, here are 5 tips when trading CFDs.

  • Establish clearly defined and realistic trading goals

Whether it is at an advanced stage of trading or just starting out, it is important for the trader to have clear goals on what is to be achieved from the trade. These goals could be short-term or long-term; however, it is advisable to have long-term goals broken down into small short-term targets especially at the beginning.

When starting out CFD trading, an almost automatic goal is to keep the account intact and remain in the trade for the first year. Survival is very important especially if you intend to make a sustainable earning from trading CFDs.Write the goals down so that they can serve as a guide while plotting the trading path. Identify what you want and focus on it every day.

It will also help in killing all the distractions such as doubling up or selling off prematurely. They should also include the number of hours to be spent on trading and the times that are most appropriate. Also, touch on important trading aspects such as leverage strategy and levels.

  • Prepare a proper trading plan

Just like any other business, it is important to have a plan for the CFD trading. It does not matter if you are a mechanical system or discretionary trader, a sensible plan with proper strategies must be in place. Some of the areas that the plan should address are entry, money management, risk management, in profit stop loss and record keeping strategies. When looking for an entry strategy, test several set ups and then select the one that works.

A money management strategy will guide on how much capital will be put in and if any leverage will be required. A risk management strategy is important in the trading plan to guide the level of risk to allocate to each trade. For instance, for a new trader, the target can be to leverage by about 3 times the current stock level before the end of the first year.

  • Keep a CFD trading journal

When in profit, it is important to identify a Stop Loss such as a trailing stop loss. Then keep a record of all the trading statistics for every day. It is actually important to keep a CFD trading journal as a record of reasons for entering or exiting a trade. In the journal, record what was bought or sold and whether it was at a profit or loss, time of the trade, reasons for the trade such as technical, fundamental or tip and a chart to show proposed entry, stop and profit target. This way, it is easy to track progress and market dynamics without forgetting or leaving out anything.

  • Avoid trading on impulse or acting on gut feeling

It is actually common for traders to say that they have a gut feeling that stocks from a particular company will go up or fall. Sometimes it may yield results, but in the long run it is too risky to base trading on a gut feeling because it reduces trading to a game of gambling. Often, novice traders look at the chart and decide that the price is at its lowest and cannot go any worse. They then decide to go long – buy because in their opinion the price cannot go any lower.

Such mistakes can be quite costly because of placing a bet against the trend without evidence that there will be a change. It is important that the trader has a reason for a trade and not act on impulse. Long-term and remarkable success in CFD trading can only be attained through brand and market research, together with industry knowledge on future predictions on the performance of a given sector.

  • Diversification

Diversification is one of the most effective strategies for risk mitigation. CFD trading allows traders to engage in different industries to their advantage. Multiple pots in different industries will help you mitigate risks in one industry with gains in another.

When stock in one industry goes down, it is highly likely that other stocks in the same sector will go the same path. In the case of a major hit to your portfolio, diversified portfolio allows you to keep stocks from other industries. When it comes to diversification, it is not just about the industries that you are trading in. It is also about the market analysis strategies.

Do not rely on either fundamental or technical analysis; instead, combine the two for a fresh market approach. For instance, CMC Markets recommends using fundamental analysis to trigger a trade and then applying technical analysis for market entry and execution.

These 5 tips when trading CFDs will guide you to a successful investment curve for your future retirement whether you a new entrant or an established trader.

canstockphoto18632526How to Step Away from Your Business and Keep it Growing

Can taking a step back from your business actually help you to move forward? For many entrepreneurs, taking a break from their company and using the time to make some major decisions is the best way to develop both their own career and their business. Each year, major life decisions are made – both business-related and personal – which can be shaped by taking the time to step away from your business to try to get a clearer perspective.

Too Busy?

If you think that you’re too busy to take a break away from your business, you’re mistaken. In fact, your ‘busyness’ is one of your business’ worst enemies. Looking at taking time off in order to advance your business isn’t the same as taking a vacation, this is actually investing time in your business by stepping away from the office in order to gain perspective. The entire purpose of stepping away from your business in order to help it develop is to intentionally get away from the daily routine and develop a fresher, clearer perspective on the steps that you need to take to keep your business on track. You can discover more about alternative methods of growing your business with lean six sigma training.

Too Expensive?

You might be thinking that taking a weekend, week or even a month away from your business is too expensive to even consider, but the truth is, it may well be something that you can’t afford not to do. Can you really afford for your business to get stuck in a rut, or not be able to get a new perspective on things? The real cost here isn’t taking time to step away and advance – it’s what’s at stake if you don’t. When it comes to innovation and development for your business, if you are standing still when your competition is not, you’re essentially going backwards. Don’t view taking time away as an expense – instead, it is a necessary investment.

Fear of Missing Out

Fear of missing out – it’s not just something that millennials these days suffer from by being constantly glued to their smartphones and other devices in order to make sure that they don’t miss out on the next big thing on social media. No, it’s also something that business owners experience too – except for it’s not social media, it’s e-mails, memos, voicemails and letters. However, although it’s often important for business owners to be connected, sometimes it’s essential to step away and take a break in order to get a better perspective. If you’ve ever had a great idea come to you whilst you were doing something such as taking a bath or going for a run, you’ll understand that there’s no need to be constantly glued to your work laptop in order to come up with a new perspective and fresh ideas.

You might think that taking time away from your business is going to have the opposite effect, but the truth is, making the effort to step away from your daily routine can help you to come up with a better perspective and outlook.