3 Ways to Boost Your Monthly Income

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woman standing with open arms amidst falling moneyIf you are preparing for a special event

or are planning to raise fund for an upcoming big expense, it might be a good solution to start seeking alternatives to boost your income. Some simple or out-of-the-box ways might be available to raise some additional money. These are listed below.

Start Freelance Work

Various sites online propose effective solutions for people to sell their skills by doing additional projects and raise funds. This is done either by bidding on projects or creating pages where buyers would be able to contact sellers for particular products and services. One would only need to be aware of which skills might be in demand and to tap on that.

Cover your car with advertisements

This is a new method of advertisements that allows individuals to earn up to 1000 dollars a month by just placing ads on their car. The persons selected for this would then just have to travel their normal route regularly. The selection depends on the area that the person lives in.

Become a Mystery Shopper or join a focus group

Being involved in market researches is quite lucrative. Several people can earn up to 300 dollar per focus group participation. In order to enrol, you might want to gather information from a local market research agency and they would ask you for information to assess whether you would be eligible. Mystery shopping is quite selective but people who get involved in it would need to provide their opinion on products and get paid for it.

3 factors to consider when choosing a retirement portfolio

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eharprefinanceGoing on retirement is liberating. It is the moment when you would finally get to relax and forget about your work and intent with which you were focusing on your career. The following questions will help you decide how to allocate assets for your retirement distribution.

Determining your budget and expenses

Making a list of all your necessary expenditures will help you evaluate how much you would be needing from your retirement plan. Your expenses are the main influencing factor of your retirement and having a strong understanding of how they are broken down is key. If are able to determine how much you would be withdrawing for your retirement, you would be able to find out what you would be expecting from your investments.

Determining your expected rate of return

By determining the rate of return on your investment that you would be needing, you can decide what would be the amount of money to allocate in your pension plan. Factors such as risk and time would also have to be taken into consideration.

When would you be needing the money?

Determining when you would actually require the release of your funds would determine which mode of retirement investment to choose and adhere to. Adopting a long-term approach can be beneficial, especially if you are investing in relatively risk-free plans. Factors such as taxes, inflation and the market trends would also have to be considered when devising your long-term retirement investment plan.

Calculations for a Comfortable Retirement

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retirement-calculatorGenerally, owners of small businesses decide to finance their through the sale of their company. While this may be a good plan, business owners often do not consider the amount of money that they will receive during the sale.

Develop a retirement budget in today’s dollars

While developing your retirement budget, you could start by considering your current expenses and forecasting whether these would still exist when you would be retiring. For instance, if you have children, they would probably have grown into adulthood and become self-sufficient. Other financial aspects such as a mortgage would have been paid off. Your retirement income would also need to cater for activities that you might want to indulge in once you would be free from professional obligations.

Estimate any income you will have in retirement

In some cases, you would be eligible for a person scheme. Even though social security might be around, you might want to disregard this income in your calculations. Moreover, some people do not plan to go on full retirement. They would therefore still be receiving an income and this would reduce the amount needed from the retirement scheme.

Consider the effect of inflation

Supposing that you would be about to retire in 15 years. You might need to take into consideration the forecasted level of inflation for the forthcoming decades. Assuming that the inflation rate would be at 2.5% for the next 15 years, to gather a capital of $3.3, the retirement fund would need to be at $4.8.

How To Budget for an Event

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budget-pen-graph3dBalancing the budget for an event is one of the challenges faced by planners. The cause of most money issues is generally related to initial discussion stages. The design and planning of an event should start with the financial resources at the disposal of the planner. The tips below might help you estimate the cost.

Outline Each Event Expenses

Expenses related to an event would come from various sources. Once you have all these sources listed down, you would be able to assign budgets to each one. For any event the most obvious expenses would be venue and catering. Overlooking one expense might cause a disbalance in the initial budget.

Discussion with the planner

The role of an event planner is to provide expert guidance on the coordination but also on how to balance your budget. The planner should be able to advise when your ideas are going too much over the top so that you are aware of budget restrictions. You might sometimes also have to adjust your expectations with this regards.

Build a Basic Event Budget

Once you have formed an idea of how the event will be and have an idea on the overall budget, you would have to break it down for each component. Another factor to consider is that your initial budget is only a working draft. Other expenses might come in. It is therefore important to keep a buffer, just in case. A 10% buffer is generally adequate. You will also have to include your event planner’s fees when considering your budget.

Tips To Avoid Student Loan Debt

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student-loanFederal student loans has experienced considerable progress in the past years. Borrowers who were struggling with their debt have been offered several options in terms of loan repayment and even loan forgiveness programs have been put into place to help them out. However, borrowers having opted for private student loans often do not have so many facilities. The tips below might help you avoid private student loan debts.

Get To Know Your Loan Terms First

It is really important to keep track of the terms of your private student loan. Essential information such as the person dealing with your record, contact details, the repayment status and balance of your loan would need to be constantly checked. This might be hard to keep up with especially if you have contracted different private student loans through each school year. You might want to use your credit report to get all required information to contact your lenders and update them with your address to receive regular statements.

Negotiate With Your Bank and Focus On Earning Extra Income

If you find that you are in difficulty to repay your loans, you might consider contacting your bank to explain your situation and find a solution. Generally banks will propose a win-win solution. The solution might be in terms of lower repayment for a longer period. Another solution would be find alternative ways to generate extra income. It might be by working more shifts or engaging in a side activity that would make your earn some extra money.

Benefits of having a long-term home mortgage

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house-cashLong-term mortgages are those that last for 40 years or more and tend to be more expensive due to the greater risk involved in lending for a considerably longer time compared to other loans. If you are reluctant at considering a mortgage, the following reasons could help you in your decision.

  1. Mortgages enable you to build equity

The value of your home will rise over the years and having a mortgage does not affect that value. Instead of spending all your money on buying the property, getting a long-term mortgage will have the effect of increasing your equity while at the same time the value of your home will increase. An increase in equity can help you fund major life events such as weddings, education or retirement.

  1. Mortgages carry low interest rate

Mortgages have low interest rates since you would be putting your house up as a guarantee of your payment. The bank’s risk with this loan is considerably lower as you are offering something huge as collateral, therefore they are willing to reduce their interest rate.

  1. Mortgage interest is tax-deductible and tax-favorable

The interest that you pays on your home loans up to a certain amount is tax-deductible in the U.S. This provides savings on federal and state income taxes.

  1. Mortgage payment gets easier with years

Mortgage payment, especially fixed-rate mortgages become comparatively cheaper over time as your income will undoubtedly increase. Mortgage payments might seem high during the first few years but as income increase, things would start to look easier.

How to protect yourself against credit card hacks

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As per a Consumer Reports Survey carried out in 2012, 22.5% out of five thousand consumers who have received notice of a security breach have found out that they were victims of identity fraud. There are certain actions that you might take to protect yourself in case you find out that your account has been subject to a data breach.

creditcard-87874698

Get a Replacement Card

If you have been informed that you are involved in a data breach, immediately demand that the company get you a new card or you would close down the account. The company should be able to meet your demand.

Daily Check Your Account Online

Finding suspicious activities and disputing them promptly is the best way to be able to solve any issue. Check your account everyday when your new card arrives for a least one month.

Freeze your credit

If you find out that you are the victim of a data breach, you can call the three main credit bureaus and request to freeze your credit report. This would ensure that nobody would have access to your report without your prior consent. In extreme cases of real breaches, you could also freeze your accounts.

Order your credit reports

As per the law, you are eligible to one free credit report each year. If you are a victim of fraud, you would probably to eligible for more regular free reports. Even if you have not been a victim yet, you might be cautious by getting reports every quarter year.

Investment tips for beginners

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finance3Investing can be an intimidating process for beginners. The following tips could be helpful to ease up the process.

  1. Choosing the right investment partner

The most crucial choice when it comes to investment revolves around which brokerage company to solicit. This is an important decision as it will impact on the amount paid in fees, the type of investments that you would be proposed and the expected returns on investment that you would get. A good long-term solution is to choose a discount broker. Choosing one that would not charge high fees and charge low commissions would be ideal. Brokers that offer mutual funds or ETFs (exchange-traded funds) without charging for a commission are perfect for beginners.

  1. Start with basic funds

Mutual funds and ETFs are great for beginners. The advantage of these funds is that they would split your investment across several stocks. This creates a buffer for risks associated with the downfall of any given individual stock. Mutual funds and ETFs are ideal if you want to learn about investment. Some target-date mutual funds offer the advantage of automatic computation of the risk level associated with your investment as you approach the goal you had set (such as your retirement, for instance).

  1. Opt for safer stocks

Safer stocks can come in the form of consumer staple products such as food, clothing and medical supplies. These stocks tend to be less volatile as even when the economy is tough, people would still be looking for buy those products. These stocks have a good long-term prospects but require patience to yield their return.

How to Solve Financial Shortfalls

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If you notice a financial shortfall after calculating your expected expenses, you might have to find solutions in order to eliminate it. Several possibilities might be presented to you and you might have to adapt your solutions as per your situation. The guide below might help you come up with ideas to raise some extra funds.

financial freedom

Reconsider your expenditures

You might wish to go through your expenditure again and to try to eliminate anything that feels unnecessary. However, there are certain expenses that you must not drop. For instance, you might feel tempted to drop your insurance coverage, but dropping them now might be turn out to be problematic in the future. And this decision might turn out to be detrimental in the future.

Review bills and find out how to save

Take a moment to review each of your bills and think about ways to reduce your expenses. You may gather around with your family to decide how you may save on groceries, clothes and other items. You might have to change some of your consumer habits.

Consider your employment

To eliminate certain financial shortfalls, you might think about working extra hours or doing a part-time activity. If your children are teens, you might encourage them to find a job to be able to earn some extra pocket money.

Start Keeping a Log

The log would help you keep track of your expenditure and find out where the money goes. It might be some expensive lunch that you tend to forget about or a habit that has become part of your routine, such as smoking. It could be useful to note these down.

3 tips for choosing a mortgage

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Choosing the right mortgage can be a tough decision. There are many factors that ought to be taken into consideration in order to avoid any contingencies in the years to come. The tips below might be helpful.

mortgage

Know what you can afford

Most financial decisions would start with this step. Knowing what you can afford is about knowing where you stand financially. You might think about going through your monthly spending to determine what is within your budget in terms of the house, insurance, mortgage and property taxes. You might also think about including monthly maintenance and utility costs. Your credit report would also have to be checked to ensure that get the lowest interest rate possible on your mortgage.

Compare Loans

This shopping around takes time and energy, but it is unfortunately required in order to guarantee the best decision and more savings. You can consider a mortgage lender or mortgage broker. Brokers would sell you a loan from a lender. However, neither of these professionals would be finding the best loan for you. You would have to carry out the research yourself.

Understand loan prices and fees

Customers often make the mistake of accepting the first loan that they are being offered without thinking about looking around for a better deal. You might also keep in mind that lenders and brokers alike have a consideration for the profit that they would receive once you agree to the terms of a particular loan with higher interests or higher fees. Understanding and comparing prices yourself is the best way to strike a deal.

Responding to negative reviews online

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Online reviews are an integral part of customer purchases as customers consider online reviews to be unbiased. Research suggests that most customers will conduct their research before making a purchase and are known to consider negative reviews. Although most businesses see negative reviews as bad publicity, they can also be an opportunity to showcase a business’s excellent customer service skills.

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are popular for customer reviews. Additionally, private review websites like Revdex.com, Yelp, and TripAdvisor are also known to help both customers and businesses communicate more effectively. Here are some simple tactics that can help when handling negative feedback.

Respond as soon as possible – Avoid a rushed response and aim to replay to a customer preferably within a few hours. A quick response will build confidence and show the customer that the business can be trusted.

Leave a personal message – Generic messages will not calm a dissatisfied customer. Instead, leave a personal message that informs the customer that you are looking into their complaint.

Apologize – The simplest way to calm a customer is to apologize and empathize with their situation. Offer a direct contact number to a customer service representative who is briefed and able to handle the complaint.

Compensation – If a customer is addressing a legitimate issue, the business must look at ways to compensate them. Offering a discount, a refund, or redoing a service can improve the customer’s relationship with the business.

Revdex provides a place for consumers to read online business reviews and report bad business experiences. Revdex’s aim is to improve the connection between consumers and businesses. Consumers can find new businesses and services and businesses can create profiles to be found. Reviews can be posted for any kind of business. For example, you can file complaint about mortgage loans or you can file complaint about internet service.

Simple steps to prevent negative reviews

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Negative reviews are disheartening as they can influence new customers and reduce future sales. But businesses have now realized that negative reviews are a common concern and therefore they should be addressed professionally to minimize their effects.

Here are some simple steps that can help any business prevent negative reviews.

Request to fix the issue – It can be difficult for businesses to ensure that every customer transaction has no flaws. Instead, businesses are taking responsibility for their faults by contacting the customer directly and fixing the problem. Additionally, encouraging customers to communicate with the company can discourage them from posting publicly. Private review websites such as Revdex.com, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and BBB are excellent platforms for customers to address their concerns while providing companies with a central platform to follow up on negative feedback.

Surveys – Customer surveys are a wonderful way to get customers talking about how the business can improve. Customer surveys can be sent via email after each purchase or can be offered in-store. Requesting customer feedback before it is offered, can help a business change to meet their customers’ needs.

Competitor audits – Competitors can provide a business with valuable feedback. Experiencing a competitor’s products and their customer service procedures can provide a business with information on how they could change to meet customer expectations. Even the smallest adjustment can help to reduce negative feedback in the future while increasing sales and customer loyalty.

Revdex is a new online business directory. Consumers can post a review for any business, even if there is not an existing profile. Businesses can create their own profiles and respond to reviews. Revdex tries to provide a positive experience both for consumers and businesses.

Consumers can report internet scams or report social media scams.

How to Use the Abundance Mindset in Leadership

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No matter how talented you are, your talent will fail you if you are not skilled at the particular task you are performing. You can excel when you put in place the work ethics and systems necessary to carry you forward. Great leaders are not simply born; they achieve success by following certain principles and by working with determination.

The two most important substances in an entrepreneur’s character are:

Courage-You must take risks and have the ability to endure year after year until you finally succeed. Look at the circumstances and conquer them. Understand that worry is a state of mind based on fear and make a decision that you will not give up in times of economic hardship.

Persistence-Make a decision to continue no matter what. And if you have to do it one hundred times, so let it be. Get up each day with the same tenacity and zeal you had when you first started and know that there is only one option: Winning!

Don’t get discouraged if you see that you need to acquire skills unfamiliar to you. The good news is that you have been wired to learn anything you set your mind to. You can become a great business leader. You have the skills and tenacity.

Work on your belief system. You must get to the point where you believe in your dream. Putting a belief system in place may be one of the most difficult elements, but the best part about it is that it is possible. Once you put that plan of action into place, believe in it as if it has already come to pass. Envision your success. Never let the dream die.

Below is a quote from Create Abundance by Zhang Xinyue:

Growth is neither what you can wait to attain in a deep valley as a hermit. Nor what you can find on the other pure land after you die.

With many years as a well-known spiritualist leader and teacher in her field, Zhang Xinyue is known for a variety of achievements. Her creation of the Abundance system aims to promote a meaningful and straight forward approach to life’s philosophical issues. In 2012, she finished one of her best-selling books, Create Abundance. The book is a collection of quotes containing words of wisdom on how to develop body-mind-spirit cultivation.

Create Abundance was initially released in Chinese, but it is also available in English and other languages now. A second version of the book has also recently been released.

How to Achieve Good Physical and Spiritual Health

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The article was provided by The Global Spiritualist Association

One thing we all have in common: we’d like to get in better physical shape. We each have our favorite excuses for why we haven’t been able to do this yet. These can range from lack of time to just feeling that gyms are boring. Many of us work in offices where we simply don’t get much physical activity though. You may sit at a desk most of the day and eat out at fast-food restaurants several times per week.

If this sounds like you, then you have probably put on a few extra pounds that you’d love to get rid of. Usually, once we realize that we’re totally out of shape, we buy the latest work-out video or join a local gym. After only a few short weeks, we lose our zeal and go back to our sedentary lifestyle.

One thing we often neglect is our spiritual health. There are no tell-tale signs as with our physical bodies. You can’t see that you’ve gained weight so you may not be aware. Good spiritual health is important as you move forward and try to build your business. When we keep our spiritual-self strong and healthy, then we can more fully enjoy our success in business.

Of course, your physical health is important too. Most of us can find at least a dozen ways to add some physical activity to our day without really making much of a change to our lifestyle. Look for those opportunities each day to walk somewhere instead of taking the car. Just these few minor adjustments can get more oxygen into your blood stream and get your heart pumping more efficiently.

The Global Spiritualist Association was founded by teacher Zhang Xinyue in the year 1999 with the goal of bringing in the best Spiritual Teachers from various professional fields around the globe. The Global Spiritualists Association is well-known for focusing on creating a platform with international impact to exchange ideas for spiritual growth.

 

How to correctly deal with bad reviews

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Article provided by Revdex.com

Businesses can benefit from positive customer reviews as most customers shop online and often check reviews before a purchase. However, a negative review can lower a 5-star rating and cause new customers to doubt a business’s products/services.

When a business receives a negative review, handling the situation and customer correctly can greatly reduce the impact of the review.

Get in touch – Your first response should be to contact the customer. You can do this by replying to the review by thanking the customer for their feedback, followed by apologizing for the inconvenience caused and ending with a number to reach a customer service representative directly. Speaking to the customer can often make them feel a lot better about the situation and reduce the chances of them writing an additional review.

Be nice – Always speak to the customer in a calm voice and do your best to put yourself in their situation. The calmer you are, the more comfortable a customer will feel.

Explain how the review can affect the company – Let the customer know that their review was warranted, but that it affects the entire company.

Compensation – Disgruntled customers will feel a lot better if they are offered a refund, a gift, or an offer to redo a service.

In some cases, reviews can be in breach of the terms of service statement on a website. For example, if the reviewer is personally attacking an employee, the content is insulting or slanderous you can ask the website administrator to remove it.

Revdex provides a place for consumers to read online business reviews and report bad business experiences. Revdex’s aim is to improve the connection between consumers and businesses. Consumers can find new businesses and services and businesses can create profiles to be found. Reviews can be posted for any kind of business. For example, you can file complaint against mobile provider or file complaint about travel.

 

Mentors & Teachers from The Global Spiritualists Association

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Since the inception of The Global Spiritualists Association in 1999, the organization has worked hard to establish an atmosphere of positive energy for their members. They work as teachers and mentors to help others learn the path to positive spiritual energy. Their message of love, hope and charity is designed to enable people to overcome challenges in this life. They have at least 100 spiritual mentors who help spread this message of creating abundance through higher spiritual energy.

The Global Spiritualists Association was established by author and teacher, Zhang Xinyue. He works with international youth projects and many altruistic causes. Below are just a few of the many teachers from the organization.

Miao Miao, Mentor of the Global Association of Spiritual Mentor

She has a Master of Music Education, Central Conservatory of Music and has followed Xinyue for almost 10 years. With a beautiful singing voice, she has taught in higher music schools and believes that the highest form of singing is not simply to delight people’s ears, but awaken their hearts. She believes that singing creates positive energy that can leap across time and space to awaken the human soul.

Zhangyuan, Mentor of the Global Association of Spiritual Mentors

As a former manager at a bank, she had an effortless working life and beautiful family. Yet she did not find happiness. Then she discovered that life was more about achieving inner peace and joy from nature and the positive energy in our hearts.

Join Us

The Global Spiritualists Association invites everyone to take part in their annual activities to improve awareness and admiration for every ethos. For more information about this organization, please visit their website.

The Global Spiritualist Association, the largest Spiritual Growth Research Institute for Spiritual Teachers globally, is an organization founded by Teacher Zhang Xinyue in 1999. The Global Spiritualists Association promotes international cooperation and develops world youth elites’ cultivation by attracting the greatest Spiritual Teachers from around the world.

 

The Importance of Construction Law and Advisory Services

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Summary: Experts within construction law can provide services beyond simple consultation.

Construction law is an overlooked subfield of the law. The great thing about working with legal experts within the construction industry is that there are many professionals that are experts in a particular subject, so rather than having a single person look over everything, you can work with those that understand your delegated issue.

What is Construction Law?

Construction law encompasses a variety of legal issues that relate to the construction industry. Mane of these issues can fall under state, federal, or local laws.

On a federal level, some problems may involve safety regulations or employment law. Federal statutes often enforce worksite requirements. On a state level, a number of additional regulations will be added on top of the existing deferral ones. For example, safety regulations and environmental rules may be enforced when applicable. On a local level, city and county ordinances can enforce a variety of restrictions that can change the way a construction site operates, such as noise created or zoning laws.

The Benefits of Hiring a Construction Attorney

One of the more common problems of construction law surrounds money. Construction projects are extremely expensive and time-consuming, so construction claims management companies tend to get a call quite often due to delays and issues that involve financial disputes.

It is common to see delays or projects that go over budget, which indefinitely causes issues between all parties. This is where an experienced construction attorney like Lyle Charles of Lyle Charles Consulting, thrive and can provide his or her expertise in regard to the problems at hand.

Why Expert Witness Testimony is Crucial in Construction Claims

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Summary: Construction experts that testify in construction cases play a large role in dictating the outcome of the case.

A construction expert is an individual who has extensive knowledge and a particular skillset that is vital for today’s complex construction projects. With the help of their testimony during a dispute, the trier of facts on issues related to construction law such as delays for example, can be persuaded and claims can be handled in a professional and expedited way.

This article will showcase how construction experts have such a substantial impact on construction claims today.

Legal Claims

A legal claim that stems from a project may involve numerous property and construction laws. For example, the case may revolve around a breach of contract from previous construction & turnaround services or a wrongful death that occurred on-site.

These legal disputes may require the testimony of a construction expert to inform the case decision makers.

What Qualifies a Construction Expert?

A construction expert is someone who understands the legalities and intricacies surrounding the construction industry. They can also discuss and describe industry standards, technicalities, and certain issues that may pose complicated in court.

Depending on the facts of the case, it may be important to hire an expert that is experienced in the construction industry. Lyle Charles of Lyle Charles Consulting for example, is a seasoned construction expert who provides both testimony and construction advice for companies that require a unique perspective.

Expert witness testimony is a tactic that has proven to be an efficient legal strategy, especially when it comes down to persuading the trier of facts. Moreover, it can sway a case drastically due to the amount of knowledge that this specialist brings to the table.

Three ‘Numbers’ That Every Investor Must Keep Track Of

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Almost any investor worth his salt will know that it is imperative to keep track of the investment climate to succeed. This is done by monitoring a variety of indicators (not just one or two) that can help you make smart decisions and as to whether you should take a buying or selling position.

Here are three indicators that should help you decide what investment choices to make:

#1: Investor Returns

Instead of looking at your mutual fund’s trailing one, three, five or 10 years returns (the published returns), another approach would be to monitor ‘investor returns’ that measures an average investor’s return for any fund. These calculations will also tell an investor how much they could lose or gain based on when they decide to buy or sell. In most cases, balanced funds are considered to be much more profitable than volatile funds.

#2: Sentiment Surveys

Another important number to look for is the weekly release of ‘sentiment surveys’ by the American Association of Individual Investors which tell you whether investors are bearish, bullish or neutral over the next six months. Often, the approach that investors take causes the market to head in the opposite direction.

#3: The VIX

Also known as the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index (VIX), these numbers are considered to be a ‘fear gauge’ that describes complacent or fearful investors are at any given time. The index uses options prices to measure expected volatility for 30 days in the S&P500. Since these numbers are available on the Chicago Board Options Exchange website, one can easily get access to these numbers so that they know what’s happening in the market.

6 Tips entrepreneurs should know before investing in real estate

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Entrepreneurs invest in real estate because they know that the return on investment in much higher in real estate than investing their money in the bank. However, there are few tips that entrepreneurs should keep in mind when investing in real estate.

Plan your financial goals – Before investing in real estate, it is best to analyze what you expect from your investment. When conducting your analysis, look at the time you are willing to hold your asset in comparison to the return you will receive.

Don’t only look at learning – Learn the basics about real estate investments and then compare them with the goals you want to achieve. If you have any specific areas you need clarification, look at searching for this information online or delve into a book or a seminar.

Look at plenty of properties – Look at as many properties as you can and consider areas beyond your personal preferences. More options will provide you with a wide range of choice which will make for positive

Avoid postponing your investment program – Avoid waiting for that perfect deal as it may not happen. Perfect deals rarely exist. Instead look at if your investment meets your goals.

Do a thorough financial analysis – Once your analysis is complete, look at these details as guidelines to determine your price and your terms.

Avoid buying a property that the seller is not motivated to sell – If a seller is not motivated to sell their property, the chances are that the price of the property will not suit your financial goals.