Tuesday, July 16, 2019

How to Plan Financially for When You’re Gone



No one likes to think about dying, but you need to plan ahead if you want to protect your family and loved ones. With the proper plan in place, you can rest assured that your family won’t have to deal with overwhelming end-of-life expenses or a complicated legal battle after you pass away.

Organize and List Your Assets


The first step in this process is taking stock of all the assets that you own. In addition to homes and cars, you should also list all of your financial accounts, investments, heirlooms, jewelry, and memorabilia. Once you have that list, it is going to be much easier to plan out your estate or write a will.


Establish a Will or Trust


Even though wills and trusts are somewhat similar, there are a few important differences that you should be aware of. A will is a legal document that describes where you would like all of your assets to go once you pass away. 




Trusts specify where you would like your assets to go as well, but they are overseen by a designated individual known as a trustee. Once you pass away, the trustee can immediately begin the process of transferring all of your belongings.

Consider Setting Up a Living Will


If you are worried about your health, then you should think about setting up a living will. Those documents inform doctors of your wishes if you are incapacitated or can’t make reasonable decisions regarding your health. 


Some living wills also designate a healthcare proxy who can make decisions for you. Keeping an incapacitated individual alive can be very expensive, and many people don’t want to leave those bills to their family members.

Rethink Your Insurance


The final step in this process is taking a fresh look at your insurance to see if any of your policies need to be altered or updated. Life insurance is a great start, but you might want to consider some other policies as well. Options such as end-of-life and burial insurance will help your family cover specific expenses that can sometimes be overwhelming.

In addition to these few tips, you also need to speak with your loved ones about your wishes so that everyone is on the same page. Transferring assets and paying off debts after an individual passes away can be very complicated, and you don’t want to leave a huge legal mess for your family members and friends.


Monday, July 15, 2019

How to Manage Your Savings to Grow Instead of Fall With Inflation



Saving money is always a wise idea. Unfortunately, simply putting your money away and leaving it alone won't actually save you anything - in fact, due to inflation, you'll lose money when it's in a savings account. If you're really looking to grow your savings, you should try one of the tactics below.

Look at Your Savings Interest Rate


The current interest rate in the United States is hovering around two percent. As such, the worst financial mistake you can make is to put your money in a savings account with a lower interest rate than two percent. 


Keeping some money back is advisable, though, so you'll need to make a compromise. Look for savings accounts with the highest possible interest rates - you won't find anything that matches inflation, but the closer you can get, the less you will lose.

Look at Real Estate


Investing in real estate is a common way to generate passive income. At the moment, growth is slowing a bit - but housing prices are still rising. The current growth rate of the real estate market is estimated to be around two and a half percent, or almost a full percentage point about the next year's estimated inflation rate. As such, investing in property seems to be a safe way to keep your money growing slowly but steadily.


Low Risk Investments


Putting money into your investment portfolio is also a useful way to save. If your goal is to simply keep your money safe, then you'll want to look solely at safe investments that have historically trended with more than two-percent growth. 




Though you're certainly not going to become a millionaire overnight with these investments, you'll slowly grow your savings and avoid losing money due to rising inflation.

Work with an Asset Management Company


Finally, you'll want to make sure you're working with professionals if you are dealing with complex assets. A good asset management company will help you to make sure that your assets appreciate in value and that you don't lose money due to rising prices. 


Asset management companies are useful when you're dealing with anything that has a complex market history or that requires a significant amount of hands-on interaction in order to grow in value.

Remember, your goal is to make sure that all of your investments beat inflation. Keep an eye on inflation rates and adjust accordingly. If you can stay ahead of the curve, you can rely on the money you've saved.


Saturday, July 13, 2019

Building a Business: 4 Unique Sources of Startup Capital



There’s no denying that lack of capital can make starting any kind of business tough. It can often even make it impossible. It’s hard for many to admit that finances are 100 percent essential for getting any kind of business started these days. If you’re looking to finance your startup, then it may be time for you to explore these rather interesting options.

Crowdfunding Campaigns


No one in the world knew what “crowdfunding” was merely a few short years ago. The situation has changed drastically in recent times, however. For instance, a best practices crowdfunding campaign is an option among motivated startup entrepreneurs these days. If you want to harness the strength of the Internet, crowds, and numbers in general, then you should orchestrate a crowdfunding campaign as soon as possible.


Angel Investors


If you need startup capital, then you may want to delve into the universe of “angel investors.” Financial assistance from angel investors can do a lot for entrepreneurs who are strapped for cash. 



It can also be helpful to entrepreneurs who may benefit from outside guidance that pertains to rather tough choices. It’s crucial for entrepreneurs to summarize their startup approaches vividly and in manners that make full sense.

Relatives


It doesn’t matter if you have a great aunt who lives three states away. It doesn’t matter if you have a grandfather who used to be a culinary powerhouse. It may work out in your favor to ask family members if they can give you capital for your startup mission. 

Loans from relatives can do a lot for entrepreneurs who do not want to have to panic over the thought of sky-high interest rates. If you get a loan from a relative, he or she may not request any interest at all.

Property Rentals


People who are trying to fund startups often have to use their imaginations as far as financing goes. If you want to gather the wherewithal you need, you should think about renting out your residential property to tenants. This can be a terrific avenue for people who want to get cash relatively swiftly. You may want to temporarily reside with a parent, a sibling, or a close buddy.

Startup capital no longer has to be a mystery to you or to any other bright-eyed company leader. If you’re in need of funds for your business, there are an abundance of ideas out there that may aid you. Don’t turn away from them.


Friday, July 12, 2019

Business Management Strategies For The Entrepreneurially Challenged



In today’s dynamic business world, entrepreneurs face a ton of challenges. They need to be able to run their business from the ground up while also paving the way for potential successful ventures. It’s just as difficult as it sounds. 

Having a good strategy doesn’t come intrinsically, it requires lots of patience and learning. You have to use every resource available to you in order to better your business strategies. Here are some examples to keep in mind.

Improve customer service


Great entrepreneurs listen to their guts, while the greatest entrepreneurs simply let the customers talk. No matter where you’re at with your current business, you can never neglect the opinions of your customers. 


They are the only voices that truly matter in any line of work. They know what they like and what they don’t like. Catering to customer feedback will net you good results no matter what.

Make sure that you are able to handle the back-end support systems of your business. Elements such as delivery and order fulfillment need to be prioritized in order to keep customers happy. 

When things go wrong, you need to be able to win their trust back with good customer service. When they feel satisfied with how your business handles things, you can call it a job well done.

As the business grows, finances must evolve


Success seems like an open and shut case. Either you’re successful or you’re not. However, there’s a lot of effort that has to be invested just to take advantage of a successful business. You would be surprised at the number of businesses that are somewhat successful, but they can't handle the financial changes that come with it.

Business mentors often stress the importance of collecting outstanding debts when the ball starts rolling. When your audience reaches high numbers, consider slashing your service and product prices by at least ten per cent. This will further stimulate business and become very attractive to potential clientele. 






Customers should be given attractive offers that will benefit your company in the long run. If they are able to pay for something upfront and without delay, give them some good discounts. This type of positive reinforcement will further increase business and attract new customers, which will, in turn, lead to more positive reactions from your company.


Mentorship can help


Let’s face it, entrepreneurship is ten per cent ideas and ninety per cent experience and management. In order to be the best possible business leader, you will need knowledge that goes beyond books and infographics. The best way to learn would be to consult someone that has already gone through the gauntlet of competitive business management and come out on top.

Everyone in the business world is tangentially connected. It shouldn't be too difficult to run into someone that has the necessary knowledge and experience to give you a couple of tips here and there. 

One of the main issues that limit education in management is the fact that every business is different. No one can tell you what the perfect way to run your business is unless they've worked in that same exact field. Still, even an entrepreneur from a different field can give you some useful pointers.

One of the key things you should ask a more experienced business manager is what tools they use to make their job easier. You have to take advantage of every possible avenue to make day-to-day grunt work less time-consuming because it allows you to focus on other parts of your business. 

Some managers go the paper route and focus on schedules while letting employees in key positions run specific areas of the company, while others prefer to use business management softwares to help them run their business. The key to good business planning is finding the best tools and people to make it simpler and easier on yourself.

Delegate


You can't run a business like a totalitarian monarchy. There are too many cogs in the machine for you to be able to manually control each and every single one. Think of your business as more of a feudal kingdom. You call the shots while delegating key tasks to the people who are best suited for the job. 

Even the greatest business leader in the world doesn’t have top tier knowledge in both HR and transport logistics. The wisest business manager knows exactly what he isn’t suited for. The bigger your company gets, the more likely it is that you’ll delegate just about everything.

You have to become the glue that holds the business together. Those who are closest to you in the company have to keep everyone underneath them together and so on. Make sure you’re picking individuals that are equally as ambitious and dedicated as you are. 

Unfortunately, a lot of businesses fail when loyalty is put on a higher pedestal than skill. It’s an admirable attribute, but you want to have someone that has both in positions that are crucial to your business.

Conclusion


Running a business is hardly sunshine and rainbows. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there and you constantly have to be three steps ahead of the curve. When a business opportunity presents itself, you need to know how to handle it like an experienced manager. 

Even success isn’t an open-and-shut case. However, with some experience and useful pointers, you can cleverly get your company to the top of the business food chain.


Thursday, July 11, 2019

Beginner’s Guide To Collecting Gold And Silver Coins



Coins, Money, Pay, Savings, Cents, Collection, Wealth
Image Source: Pixabay

More individuals are investing in gold and silver as concerns about economic stability rises. Based on its long history of resilience against other currencies and commodities, these precious metals are highly recommended for investments and wealth protection.

If the idea of collecting gold or silver is appealing to you, then read on to know the basics of collecting coins for the first time.

Getting Started With Your Coin Collection


1. Be familiar with “mint lingo.”


Coin collecting, just like any other specialised hobby, has its own language that collectors are familiar with. So, it is important for beginners to get to know the key terms in the industry in order to know what they are dealing with during transactions. 


For example, you should educate yourself on the many types of coins available, whether they are circulation coins, uncirculated coins, commemorative coins, proof coins, or numismatic coins that can be added to your collection. 



It would also help beginners to understand the difference between the face value (nominal value displayed on the coin) and its intrinsic value (actual value) because this would determine how much one should be willing to pay for a coin.

It is also important to learn the “coin anatomy” as the body of a coin has its own terms for reference. These include the obverse (“heads”) and the reverse (“tails”), relief, field, rim, and edge.


2. Start acquiring coins.


Typically, there are two ways to begin your coin collection: acquiring coins that appeal to you and acquiring coin sets. For collectors, any coin can be considered of high value for many reasons, including its emotional significance to the owner, its intrinsic value, or its rich component materials such as pure gold and pure silver. Gold or silver coins you can get from City Gold Bullion can be great starters for your upcoming coin collection.

Aside from procuring coins that pique your interest, you can also invest in coin sets, a collection of uncirculated or proof coins that are in true “mint” condition, as a beginner’s set.


Gold Coin, Metal, Money, Gold, Coin
Image Source: Pixabay

3. Determine what type of collection you are building.


Eventually, you will notice similar attributes in the coins that you are collecting. Whether it’s the design or the colours, or whatever characteristic, these will help define what your collection will be and influence the coin sets you will continue to collect. 


While collectors have the freedom and flexibility to collect bits and pieces of varying types, it will be more exciting to search for particular coin sets and more rewarding when you successfully acquire them.

For beginners, you can collect coins based on a particular year, a particular country, a specific time period, design themes, and metal or composition. 


Some collectors focus their efforts on coins made of certain metals like gold or silver. If you include high-end coins such as gold bullions in your collection, you will be happy to learn that their values generally increase over time too.

4. Invest in a starter kit.


As a beginner coin collector, you do not need to spend a lot on equipment in order to start collecting. You only need a basic reference book about coin collecting, a magnifying glass (at least 7x magnification) to help you inspect coins and check the details up close, a notebook or an app to keep track of your collection, a good quality storage holder, and cotton gloves for proper handling of coins to keep them in mint condition.


coins on gray surface
Image Source: Unsplash

Eventually, as your collection grows and your interest in the activity increases, you will also need to invest in tools and supplies specifically made for coin collecting.


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Home Upgrades That Actually Increase Value




When you purchase a home, it’s important to remember that your home is an investment, as much as it is your living space. Even if you plan to stay in your current residence for years and years, you should still be thinking of what you can do to improve the value that you will eventually cash out on, way down the road. As you fix things and improve your home, do some research on what types of things are going to really boost that value.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do upgrades that will make you enjoy living there more, it just means that you should be aware of the potential benefits of each project. Here are some of the home upgrades that will go a long way towards increasing your home’s value...


Never Underestimate Curb Appeal


First of all, never, ever underestimate the power of curb appeal. Anything that makes your home more appealing on the exterior is going to have a two-phase impact when you sell it. First, curb appeal increases the overall value of the home. Second, it makes it more desirable and increases the number of people who take an interest in the home, making it quicker to sell.




You can increase your home’s curb appeal in a number of ways. One of these is to focus on landscaping. Putting in more bushes, trees, and flowers are a great way to improve curb appeal, but you need to make sure that you are doing it in a way that is aesthetically pleasing and guides the eye throughout your property.

Some other great ways to improve curb appeal are to update the siding on your home, make it a color that is currently in style, or add exterior shudders to your windows.

The Kitchen is Your Best Investment (Usually)


One general rule of thumb for home upgrades is that your kitchen is always going to give you the most bang for your buck. On a dollar-to-dollar ratio of what you spend on a kitchen vs. its impact on home value, the kitchen can’t be beat. Kitchen upgrades can be thought of in different ways, too.

You can do a complete kitchen remodel for tens of thousands of dollars, which can be worth it in terms of value and your own quality of life within your home. However, you can also spend as little as $5,000-$8,000 and update the appliances in your home, put in new countertops, and give it a fresh coat of paint. 


Just doing those things will make you feel like you have a brand new kitchen! The cheaper option will still have a significant impact on the home’s value, too.

Your Bathroom Always Matters


Second to the kitchen, in terms of dollar value, is the bathrooms in the home. The quality of a bathroom can positively or negatively impact on your house’s value in a big way. For example, a bathroom that hasn’t been updated in years will look dated and is liable to have water damage in certain areas. 


That can greatly hurt your home’s value when it’s time to get appraised. Likewise, doing some simple updates or additions to your bathroom can make the whole home feel more desirable. Here are some simple bathroom updates that will help transform your bathroom.

Energy Improvements Save Money in More Ways than One


“Green” is a pretty big buzzword in any market, today. However, it’s a lot more than a fad. People are genuinely very interested in lowering the amount of energy consumption and waste in their lives. 


Because of this, upgrades that lower your home’s energy consumption is going to make your home a lot more attractive to potential buyers, who will be willing to spend a premium on “green” upgrades you have already put into the house.

Paint Packs a Punch


One of the simplest ways that you can make a room provide more value to your home is to give it a fresh coat of paint in whatever color is most popular. You don’t have to do this if you planning to live there for many years, still. 

At that point, by all means, paint it the color you want it to be! However, if you are getting your home ready to sell, painting to more neutral or “cooler” colors will help increase the overall value and attractiveness.


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