Top Tips for Navigating the Process of Buying a House

Did you know that buying a house is an easy task where all of the paperwork is straightforward and simple to file? The reason you didn’t is that it isn’t true! In any way! However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t do it, you just need to know a few tips and tricks. Below are some great things to keep in mind when buying a home.

Get Your Finance in Advance

There is nothing that a seller hates more than waiting for your mortgage to be approved. This is for the very reason that they could miss out on a good price waiting for your mortgage application that eventually falls through. For this reason, it’s important that you don’t even approach any agents or sellers until you have a provisional mortgage approval from your mortgage provider.

Be Present at Your Property Inspection

Yes, you hired a property inspector to perform the task and complete a report, however, if there is anything in particular that you wanted them to pay attention to or you would like to discuss any problems they find in the moment, attendance is key. It also gives you your own opportunity to notice any concerns of your own which aren’t related to the property report, but ones that you would like to discuss with the other prior to signing the papers.

Title Insurance

Title Insurance includes a thorough search of the title to any property you are considering purchasing and protects you from any claims made against its ownership once you sign. For example, if the sale is made without the knowledge of a required party, then that party could raise a claim of ownership against your new home.

Treat Your Estate Agent Well

Your real estate agent is a busy person and they appreciate your patience. To say thank you for spending time on your property and getting you the most possible for it, get them a small gift like something from the Groupon Coupons page for Things Remembered. A small token is all that’s required and can set a great precedent for any future business that you may have together.

Read Everything Before You Sign

Do you know who is responsible for honoring an agreement once you sign it? You! Not the agent who told you to sign the paper. Not the plumber who just needed a signature. You! There are going to be a large number of times where your signature is required to continue the process. During these times, it’s important that you always read anything and everything that is put in front of you.

Speak With Friends and Family

You aren’t the first person to go through this process, so learn from those who have. In addition to these tips, speak with your friends and your family who have purchased property and get their advice. Whether it’s a story about a bad experience or one that went smoothly, each has aspects that you can learn from. Whether it’s forgotten paperwork or an angel of an agent, it all helps.

Problems with Not Paying Employees Properly

You as an employer have to understand that paying your employees in time is very important. Nowadays there are less and less middle-class people, and money is more important than ever. If you don’t pay your employees on time or don’t pay them properly, you shouldn’t be surprised if they quit or they don’t work hard enough. Not getting the earned paycheck can be very hard thing to process, especially for people that don’t make a lot of money anyways.

The Law

If you are the employer, then you should know that you have to pay your employees up regularly, if not, you will have problems with the law. Depending on the state, you can face different consequences. Not one of those consequences is good for you or for the future of the business. The law is strict about paying workers properly. In some states, there is a law that tells you that you have to pay extra the employees that have worked more than 40 hours per week. That is because 40 hours is the standard time every worker should work and if they pass that standard time they need to be paid extra.  If you want to avoid having problems with the law as a business owner, then we recommend that you pay properly each month every worker.

Overtime

When your employees are working overtime, you have to pay them that time just as you would their regular time. There should be no exception, you can get in trouble with the law the same way as for not paying out the regular time. So, our suggestion is that if you are having troubles paying your employees their regular time to not allow overtime working.

Lawyer Assistance

If you are a regular worker in a company and you don’t get your payment, or the payment is not proper, you need to hire a lawyer. They will help you with your income issue, they will contact your employer and make sure that you get all your earned money. Income is very important to every worker, that is the main reason why we are working in the first place if there was no income nobody would work and nothing will function without people that are working.

Therefore, if you ever have any problem with a payment you know that you need to contact a lawyer. If the employer still refuses to pay you the money that you have earned, then your lawyer will start collecting evidence and you can sue the employer for not paying you properly. If you have enough evidence to prove that you earned the money, you will get all of it and even more.

How Spot Investment Fraud

One of the best ways you can spot an investment fraud is if you hire a Fraud Lawyer. These types of lawyers have dedicated half of their life to learn how to recognize an investment fraud. If you have experienced investment fraud in the past, we strongly recommend that you hire a fraud lawyer because he will help you spot the fraud if there is one. It is the safest way to go, and most likely the smartest because you are probably investing large amounts of money into some idea or project.  If you don’t want to lose all the money to some guy who is trying to scam you, you should hire a fraud lawyer.

How They Work

It is very hard and complicated to understand how investment frauds work. it is obvious that if it was easy to recognize, it wouldn’t work and nobody would get scammed. For that reason, the fraud lawyers exist because they have dedicated a big part of their life just to study the many ways of investment fraud. However, we can talk about what is the idea behind a fraud and tell you the most common process.

First of all, the reason why people are doing these scams is to benefit themselves, these are very selfish people that will do anything in order to get their hands on the money. Not everyone can plan out a fraud because it is as we said a very complicated process. The person must have financial and economic knowledge in order to convince someone into a false investment. They have to sound and act like they are professionals that know what they are doing. That is a great deal behind it, that’s why it is so hard to recognize because you have to have better knowledge than they have.

They are people that are searching for their victim, they want to find someone that is acting confused and maybe scared about investment. They want to find inexperienced people because they are easier to fool. When they find the victim, they will try to get close to them offer them help and act as a professional broker or advisor. Sometimes they will even take money for their services that they offer to the victim. People that don’t have any experience will not recognize that it is a fraud, they will do exactly what the fake broker tells them because they don’t know better.

Stock Market Investing For Beginners

Stock markets, beyond The Wolf Of Wall Street!

A lot of us have seen the iconic films based on investing, The Wolf Of Wall Street, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Big Short to name but a few. Beyond the quick wins, apparently lavish lifestyles and fast paced life on the street, let’s take a step back and see the stock market for what it is – an exchange.

At any given time, thousands of individuals are selling or buying corporate securities on one of the stock exchanges or the NASDAQ. Some are wildly successful while some make a decent living.

Others get too emotionally involved, panic and lose everything! but the application of a few simple principles derived from the experiences of millions of investors over countless stock market cycles.

Having a few key indicators to look for when considering a stock investment is a more solid approach than just betting on luck! Below are a few tips to help you make wiser decisions about your stock market investments:

  • Think long-term

What are your reasons for wanting to invest in stocks? Where will you be in a year or three years from now? Will you need to call on your cash? Are you hoping to build a nest egg for your retirement? Maybe you want to build an estate to leave your family.

Before you invest, be grounded in your reasons for investing and consider the most likely future date when you may need the funds. The stock market is volatile, so if you might need your funds in the short term, consider another investment option.

  • Know your tolerance to risk

Psychologically, your risk tolerance is the trait that’s genetically based but is positively influenced by education, your income, and obviously your wealth. There’s a positive correlation between increases in these to increases in your risk tolerance while conversely there’s a negative correlation to increases in age (as you get older, your risk tolerance goes down).

Basically, your risk tolerance could be summed up as this: your general feelings and the degree of anxiety when you are faced with a risk. As an example, if you had $100 to invest now, for the opportunity to potentially make $500, how would you feel about it?

  • Be the master of your emotions

When stocks are going up and down and potential gains or losses are being watched by an investor, their biggest challenge lies in controlling their emotions, while thinking rationally to make informed decisions.

In the short-term, company share prices reflect the collective emotions of an entire investment community.

For example, if the majority of investors have concerns over a company, chances are that the particular company stock price will decline or when they feel positive towards a company’s future, then its stock price tends to increase.

Before you make millions

The stock market is a somewhat level playing field, due to its transparency, regulatory authorities and high liquidity, meaning the investor is more informed at all times.

Historically, this has led to significantly better returns that other investment vehicles. The younger you are when you start investing, the greater your end results will be. But remember, do your homework, be patient and don’t risk too much capital!

Living Within Your Means – As A Young Person

March 25, 2017

Living within your means is one of the better financial decisions young people who are in full time employment can make. This simply means not maxing out credit cards, taking out nunnery loans, using overdraft facilities and paying bills as they come in, while also saving away into your nest egg to cover any unforeseen circumstances down the line.

Budgeting – the pros and cons

The prospect of living below your means can be a challenge when you are young. If you have just graduated, then there’s a high possibility that your first job will be the lowest-paying job in your whole life.

It may be a touch challenge to make that first starting salary meet all living expenses, and even more so if you are carrying debt from university/college. And it is difficult to resist urges to spend your money and live the high life if some of your friends may be.

Conversely, when you are young, you also do have lower and fewer expenses as you are probably only looking after yourself. Typically, people in their thirties to forties are most likely to settle, purchase a home, and have children, all of which can rapidly absorb money.

On average, the annual costs of raising a child are in the region of $12,000 to $14,000. This would include child care costs, feeding them, housing and transportation costs also. These are all expenses that you, fortunately, wouldn’t have as a young person.

It is for this reason that many financial planners would recommend that the best time to start saving is in your youth. Sure, trying to live on low starting salaries without credit cards and loans isn’t the easiest of feats.

It might mean having to move home with family for a couple of years or having to share a small apartment with a stranger or indeed putting a limit on your entertainment and dining expenses. On a positive note, it could also mean that you enter your thirties with money banked, rather than the burden of card debt or loans.

Some tips to make saving a little easier

  • Set yourself goals so it is easier to stay motivated. Have something specific to work towards. When you keep that goal in mind it eases the pain of saying no to passing luxuries like $15 cocktails and designer clothes.
  • Automate your savings. Have a percentage of each paycheck sent directly to a savings account, separate from your main day-to-day account. Keeping your money less accessible, makes it much harder use on a whim.
  • Have a budget. Work out how much your monthly expenses are, food, rent etc. Then keep an eye on these expenses to ensure you are within their limits.
  • Keep those expenses low. After making your budget, be creative in ways to cut back in each category. For example, you could cut back on food by home-cooking and maybe start to shop in thrift stores to reduce your clothes budget. You don’t need to give up everything, just find ways to do them cheaper.

Financial Planning – What You Need To Know

Hiring a financial planner

The first step you would take when considering purchasing a home, extending your family or planning for your retirement would be the hiring of a financial planner.

Financial planners can offer you guidance and hep with strategic decisions for any important life choice that may involve your assets and the supporting legal paperwork.

Reaching retirement

They offer you direction as regards how much money you need to be saving and investing for you to achieve your retirement goals.

It’s easy to do a quick online calculation for retirement savings and projections but some of us might actually need help with certain things, such as tax-advantaged retirement accounts, help choosing the best investment vehicle and help us to understand the real cost and risk tolerance associated with each investment type.

Financial planners will also be able to help you with advice on purchasing and owning a home and various real estate issues may fit into your current financial plan.

They can also help you with budgeting for your children’s future. In addition to advising, a lot of financial planners can also act as the broker for investments and can help you to fulfill specific insurance needs.

Where to find a financial planner?

You can find a comprehensive list of nationwide CFPs (Certified Financial Planners) at CFP.net. There are a number of other credentials in this industry so do your research and pay attention to who you are going to deal with for the expertise you need.

What does it cost?

CFPs charge people in a number of ways. Charging a commission, seeking a % of the assets under management, or maybe using a fee-based structure are all typical options. If CFPs are charging on a per hour basis, they would typically seek between $125 and $350 per hour.

CFPs who charge using a % of assets under management will typically charge in the region of 1% to 2%.

Costs will vary greatly depending on the area of the country you are in and the services on offer. If you are somebody with a complicated financial situation, for example with a number of properties, different assets, and a large family to provide for, then it may cost you more to develop a financial plan to cater for your needs.

In this case, it could be up as far as several thousand dollars.

The next steps

Following up with your financial planner regularly is important – at least annually and if any adjustments are needed on your retirement accounts. As an example, if you started a new job that is paying you a salary higher than before, then you would usually check with your financial planner about a roll-over of your 401k and put a higher percentage of salary towards those retirement goals.

Routine check-ins are typical to ensure you are on the right track towards meeting your goals and not under pressure for your day to day spending.

Consume But Avoid The Bandwagon Effect

February 21, 2017

Bandwagon Effect

We have all heard of the phrase “jump on the bandwagon”. This simply means to agree and follow the crowd rather than making a conscious decision yourself. The fashion industry is a prime example.

For example, if a fashion trend changes and all of a sudden everybody starts wearing slim fit jeans instead of the baggy ones, then that is the bandwagon effect in action.

It’s human nature to do this. We like to feel like we are part of something. For example, if you’re a woman, you probably wear skirts instead of trousers, as this is what the majority of women wear.

If you, on the other hand, choose to start wearing jeans or trousers as a normal thing, you would be making a fashion statement to stand out from the crowd. It is a normal phenomenon throughout society to affect people’s dress, conversations, and actions.

Often, people follow the crowd regardless of if they need to or not. We see it every day where we will choose brands, listen to music, or even vote for political candidates because we see or know of other people behaving the same way! This is what we call a bias.

How the bandwagon effect bias will cost you money

The bandwagon effect bias could lead you to consume products that are not the best value for money but simply because they are popular or fashionable. Smartphones are good examples. If everybody you know buys the latest Samsung smartphone, you may feel pressured into thinking that you also need one.

But ignoring what everyone else is doing, you may realize that an alternative smartphone would be better suited to you. Perhaps you don’t even need one at all!

Maybe because you other people carrying the new Samsung, you assume that you also need one, to keep up and fit in. You may find that your smartphone and plan are a waste of money when you strip back what matters to your needs.

Unwise financial decisions

This bandwagon bias could also lure you to make unwise financial decisions. For example, you could just take out a car loan thinking “that is just what most people are doing, everyone is on credit!”.

Alternatively, you could save yourself lots of money by buying the car with cash when you have it or by going for an older car that is affordable right now. The bandwagon effect clouds our judgment, so all of your options might not appear obvious at first.

Beating the bandwagon bias

This may sound like a contradiction but following the crowd isn’t always necessarily the wrong move to make. The wrong move is to take action without thinking the decision through. Perhaps the new car or flashy smartphone is the correct decision for you. But the only way to know is if you actually think through the decision yourself.

Before making any financial decision, do your homework. This applies to small choices, like purchasing a pair of jeans, and bigger ones, like investing money into your retirement fund.

Look at all of your options, do the calculations, and make a decision based on your own judgement – get off that bandwagon!

4 Beginner Tips On Real Estate Investment

Real estate is one of the solid assets people invest in as it generally stays relatively consistent over time.

For those of you just starting off in real estate investments, then you will find a lot to learn if you want to make gains and grow your wealth. Believe it or not, investments in real estate are more complex than stock market investments, due to financial, legal, and detailed due diligence required to make a solid judgment.

So, arming yourself with the correct knowledge, tips and looking at some properties that might be similar to the ones you are looking at investing in will give you a good foundation before making any first-time property purchase.

So, before you grab your money and call to you nearest real estate agent, have a read through these five tips below on the basics to real estate investing:

  1. Location is key

It might sound a bit cliched but location does matter. Before handing over a bunch of money for a property down payment, do make sure that its location is good.

Additional tip: Go to the best street and find the worst house. That is a general rule of thumb for real estate investments.

The general area or neighborhood is good but the house just needs some work, so this presents the opportunity. Often, real estate investors call this fixing and flipping, where they repair and enhance the house only to sell it for a profit.

  1. Wholesale properties

Look for the best deal. The Warren Buffett principle is to buy at rock bottom prices when everyone else is selling, so you have lots of headroom to turn the investment around, as it will go up again at some stage.

You should avoid paying the asking price for properties. Instead, so-called “wholesale properties” offered at a steep discount are a diamond to invest in. While they might need some work, calculate if the investment is worth the number should you go to sell later.

It’s not uncommon to triple your investment on a property like this.

  1. Be aware of your tax benefits

The government encourages private real estate investors to provide housing for people. In this way, they aren’t left with the responsibility of it.

So this that in mind, it’s good to know that the government will offer significant tax breaks to real estate investors. You can even write off depreciation, so when you buy a property as an investment, the depreciation of that building could be tax deductible.

Consult your tax adviser for the specifics of your property and overall tax position.

  1. Credit check

You’ll more often than not require some financing to invest in property. So, you will need to check your credit history prior to any real estate investing.

If your credit report shows up any problems that appear to be mistakes, you should get them resolved as soon as possible. Alternatively, you may need to improve your credit rating.

Ready to invest?

Great returns can be made from real estate investing. Do your homework and have a solid credit rating before you get started!