Looking for an Alternative to Traditional Investments?

Looking for an Alternative to Traditional Investments?

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Investing your money can be a great way to increase your capital and even generate an income, providing you know where to put your cash. With numerous non-traditional investment opportunities available, you may want to try something different in order to maximize your returns. If so, take a look at these innovative investment options: 

1. Real Estate Crowdfunding

Investing in real estate is an extremely popular way of making a profit but you typically need a large amount of money to get started. Until now, that is. 

Real estate crowdfunding allows you to invest in the property market, even if you don’t have the capital to buy a house, apartment, or commercial premises. In fact, you can invest in real estate crowdfunding with a little as a few hundred dollars. 

Although you won’t own property via this form of investment, you can choose to invest your cash into property funds. Depending on how the market performs, you could make a substantial return. 

2. Cryptocurrency

Fortunes have been made by savvy cryptocurrency traders in recent years, so it’s not surprising that it’s becoming increasingly popular. By buying cryptocurrency at a low value, reselling it for a higher amount, or holding on to it and hoping its value increases, you can increase your capital by a significant amount. 

However, you will need to familiarize yourself with the available platforms and the methods of buying cryptocurrency before you get started. In addition to this, you’ll need to consider the impact this type of investment will have on your tax liability. With a handy cryptocurrency tax guide, you can determine whether investing in the market is the right option for you. As more jurisdictions introduce legislation to ensure cryptocurrency returns are taxable, this is always an issue worthy of consideration. 

3. P2P Lending

Peer-2-Peer lending allows you to make money by lending to other people. Depending on the platform you use, you could lend as little as $50 or thousands of dollars at a time. In addition to this, there are numerous repayment options, so you can choose how long you want to wait to get your money back. 

The borrower will pay a pre-agreed rate of interest, which is how you’ll make your money. Of course, you’ll need to check what safeguards each platform has in place to ensure loans are repaid in full, or you could risk making a loss. 

4. Seed Investments

If you’ve got an eye for business, why not become a seed investor? Working with startup companies can be a fun way to boost your capital and you may be surprised at how much you could make. Seed investors typically provide funds to budding business owners in return for an equity stake in the enterprise. It can take quite some time for you to make a return and, if the business folds, you won’t get anything at all. Despite this, it can be a lucrative way to make a large amount of money if the business is a success. 

Choosing the Right Investment Opportunity

Before you decide where to put your money, consider how much risk you’re willing to take, how much you can afford to lose and how quickly you might need to access your funds. By assessing these three core issues, you can narrow your search and find the best investment opportunity for you.

3 Survivalist Techniques Everyone Needs

3 Survivalist Techniques Everyone Needs

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Have you ever wondered how easily you’d survive if dropped into a wilderness? Some people pride themselves on being excellent survivors who could weather any storm, while others are self-admitted pampered princesses. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, surviving has been on everyone’s minds. When our way of life is threatened by an invisible enemy, many people’s instincts have kicked in, and everyone has felt more protective over themselves and their families than ever before. 

If you have ever wondered how you’d cope on a survivor-reality-show, or simply in an extreme circumstance, and thought: ‘I’d probably be the first to go!’ – there are ways to change this. If you want to learn how to survive against the odds, here are three survivalist techniques we all need to learn. 

  1. How To Grow Food

Not only a survival skill, growing your own food has come into fashion too. Growing your own fruit and vegetables used to be a household skill that most people had; nowadays, we have all grown accustomed to our home comforts and supermarket privileges. However, in a growing climate crisis and a rise in food shortages across the world, there has never been a more important time to learn this skill than now. 

Growing your own food doesn’t require a huge patch of land, and can easily be learned online for free. All that’s required is a few basic tools and containers, a little knowledge, and patience!

  1. Don’t Believe Everything You Hear

In this information age, it is becoming apparent that not everything we are presented with by governments and newspapers is a fact. Of course, there are conspiracy theories which spiral far away from the truth, too. But in general, it is important to have a healthy relationship to the truth, and not believe everything that politicians and newspapers say. 

If this is something that fascinates you, you can investigate spycraft and other survival techniques used by professionals to move through the world. Many people actually use spycraft as a hobby, which helps them understand how professional spies and other classified jobs are operated. 

  1. Fitness and Strength

This seems like an obvious choice, but the USA has an increasingly unfit population. Not only is fitness important for your health, but it also helps your body survive in difficult conditions. These conditions don’t have to be like an apocalypse movie, in which you live in the woods and hunt your own meat. No, surviving often means fighting off disease and injury which you didn’t see coming. 

In the COVID-19 pandemic, obesity has played a huge role in the decline of victims’ health. The World Obesity website states, 

‘Persons with obesity who become ill and require intensive care present challenges inpatient management as it is more difficult to intubate patients with obesity.’ 

These challenges, among others, are a great risk to your health. Fitness and strength don’t just prepare you from an apocalyptic, animalistic lifestyle, but also prepare you for things which can reach you just as easily at home. 

Save, Invest, Grow: Simple Steps To Improve Your Finances

Save, Invest, Grow: Simple Steps To Improve Your Finances

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Money worries are the most common source of stress among US adults. Most of us would like to have more disposable income, but it can be challenging to save when it feels like money is flying out of your account on a continual basis. If you’re keen to improve your finances, we’re here to help. Here are some simple steps you can take to save, invest and grow your money. 

Saving money

The first step on the road to improving your financial situation is saving. This involves reducing outgoings and putting more cash aside each month. The most effective way to take control of spending and identify areas where it could be possible to make savings is to learn to budget.

Budgeting is not everyone’s idea of fun, but it can make a monumental difference to your bank balance. One of the main reasons we struggle to manage our money is a lack of awareness when it comes to where our monthly paycheck goes. If you don’t check your balances on a regular basis, and you have direct debits, you shop online and you use contactless payments, it’s very easy to lose track of how much you’re spending. Use your budget to monitor outgoings, to set spending limits and to try and save more every month. You can draw up a budget using an app, create a spreadsheet, or stick to good, old-fashioned pen and paper. Your budget should cover your income, your regular outgoings and any additional expenses you expect to incur during the month ahead. Once you have a set of figures in front of you, you can work out how much you can afford to spend, how to divide your income and how much to save. Update your budget as you go, use accurate estimations, and always round up if you don’t have the exact figures. Once you’ve compiled your budget, take a moment to look at your outgoings closely. Many of us spend money on things we don’t need or even want, and having a budget is a great way to eliminate any non-essential expenses. Are you paying for a gym membership you never use, or have you forgotten to cancel a free subscription that is now costing you money?

You can also save money by making your cash stretch further and altering your spending habits. Take your weekly grocery shop as an example. Do you go into the store thinking that you’re going to spend $100 and get to the register to find that your bill is closer to $150? Supermarket layouts, marketing campaigns and promotions are designed to encourage us to spend, and it can be difficult to resist the temptation to fill the cart with all kinds of items that you don’t actually need in the name of grabbing a bargain. If you are heading to the store, and you’re keen to save money, always make a list in advance and ask yourself if you really need any of the items you put in your basket that aren’t on that shopping list. Use a calculator to track spending as you go, and avoid special offers that don’t feature products you plan to buy. 

Comparing prices on household expenses like utilities, TV and broadband and insurance is also beneficial for maximizing disposable income. The Internet enables us to look for better offers and cheaper deals in a matter of seconds without even leaving the couch. If your health, auto or pet insurance deals are due for renewal, for example, don’t automatically renew with your current provider. Take a few moments to enter some details into a comparison site and see if you could save by switching to a different company. Competition is fierce, and businesses often go all-out to impress new customers with incentives like low introductory prices and free gifts. 

If you dread your energy bills arriving, especially in the winter, it’s also worth taking some steps to increase energy-efficiency at home and try and reduce consumption. Using a smart meter can help you keep a close eye on usage and spending, and you can also lower bills by improving heat retention through insulation and double glazing, turning appliances off at the socket and replacing old bulbs and appliances with modern, energy-efficient versions. 

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Investing

If you have a pot of money set aside, and you’re keen to invest, there are several routes you could take. 

Real estate

One of the most popular investment options is buying real estate. With property investment, you can take on long or short-term projects, boosting your income through rental fees or sales. Buying bricks and mortar requires significant investment, but it can be extremely lucrative, especially if you buy at a time when demand is soaring. When acquiring real estate for investment purposes, it’s crucial to focus on the figures. This is a very different proposition to buying the home of your dreams. 

Before you start looking for a property, figure out how much you want to spend and what kind of house or apartment you’re searching for. Who is your ideal buyer or tenant, and what would they be looking for? Think carefully about location, and select properties that will appeal to your target market. If you’re keen to invest in a family home, for example, proximity to good schools and transport links is attractive, and it’s also wise to search for houses with features like large gardens and open-plan kitchens. Take your time to explore possibilities, research the local market and contact real estate agents, and keep a close eye on the news headlines. Buying at the wrong time can be costly. If you find a property that seems perfect, arrange a second viewing, make sure you know the local area well and consider whether it makes financial sense to proceed. It’s always worth trying to negotiate on the price if the house has been on the market for a while or the vendor is keen on a quick sale. 

Antiques and collectibles

Have you ever thought that your attic could be an unlikely treasure trove, or wondered if you could make a mint from a collection of vintage dolls, silver coins or oil paintings? It’s not easy to make money from antiques and collectibles, but if you make the right choices and you sell at the right time, this can be a lucrative option. If you already own antiques, or you have a small collection, take good care of each individual item. Damage and signs of wear and tear can affect resale value. You can use toothpaste to clean silver coins, protect vases and ceramics with heavy-duty wrapping and preserve decorative items like trinkets and ornaments by keeping them behind glass. If you’re a beginner, or you’re keen to add to an existing collection, always buy from a reputable dealer, negotiate on the price and carry out thorough checks to look at the condition of the item and its history and value before you shake hands on a deal. It’s hugely beneficial to research before you buy and to look out for products, collections or pieces that are in demand. 

Stocks and shares

Investing in the stock market can be exhilarating and it’s possible to reap substantial financial rewards, but this can also be a high-risk strategy. When you buy stocks and shares, you pay a price and then hope that the value increases. It is up to you to decide when to sell or to appoint a trader to act on your behalf. If you haven’t bought stocks and shares before, it’s useful to analyze the market, to keep an eye on movements in the weeks and days leading up to your first investment and to read business and financial news posts. If you’re a novice trader, take advantage of free trials, which enable you to use virtual funds to buy and sell. This will help you learn the ropes and get used to the processes. 

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Growing your money

Saving and investing go a long way to improving your finances, but it’s also useful to identify ways to grow your money and make your funds work harder. You can do this by putting money into high-interest accounts, setting up a side hustle and paying into pension and retirement schemes that offer incentives for savers. It’s wise to speak to a trustworthy, experienced financial adviser to help you make plans, reduce risks and protect your money. 

If you’ve already invested money, and you have more funds available, build on successes. If you’ve sold a property at a profit, for example, you could put the capital into a new property and eventually create a portfolio. Look for ways to keep adding to your balance, but be aware of risks that could threaten to undo all your hard work. Economic uncertainty has a direct impact on the real estate market, so it’s vital to buy and sell at the right time. 

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Many of us would like our financial situation to be healthier. If you’re looking to reduce debts, save money and work towards boosting your savings balances, there are ways to improve your finances. Start by learning to budget, lowering expenses and putting more money aside each month and work your way up to investing and growing your money. 

Be More Efficient With Your Business Tasks!

Be More Efficient With Your Business Tasks!

When you lead any business, SME or large business, you will be on a constant mission to tackle any issues that arise, such as sales problems, content marketing issues relating to social media, customer service and customer problems, bookkeeping and keeping on top of all your finances. Being vigilant is the key to success. It can feel like a difficult task if you are struggling to make ends meet or if you are wanting to move forwards and scrambling to keep up.There are however plenty of online tools and services that will help you move forward but it’s important that you listen to your staff, look at your stats and looking back over customer complaints or feedback. 

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How to harness new ideas and move forwards with the technology needed 

Certain ideas that you have in your business may need to be funded. You may have already built an impressive database up but when you start reaching out to new people to build business relationships, that can lead to collaborations. If you are already quite savvy with social media, it may be beneficial to look at digital marketing campaigns and email marketing.  You may need to improve some of your current systems and if you work with companies abroad, setting up a bilingual answering service could be important to allow people to get in touch with you.  Building a network in your community will be great for smaller businesses as it shows that you have passion and that you care about your customers. You need to show that you’re willing, in terms of providing them with the best possible services and friendly teams. 

Keep on top of your priorities because they will be the most vital to your company

You need to be money savvy with all areas of your business but sometimes you do need to sink some capital into certain areas.  Prioritizing your mail and tasks will help and thankfully there are a lot of free tools to help you but most importantly, the internet can help you greatly to reach a bigger market and achieve your bigger potential. It is a good way to find your full demographics list as well as building the necessary relationships. Prioritizing tasks doesn’t have to be difficult but making to-do lists will be a big help. How are you selling to your customers and what are you selling them? Are you giving them a service that is online only? Do you need to order new stock? Will your inventory need to be updated? Provide clear contact information and provide excellent customer service to everyone which will ensure people keep coming back and by keeping on top of your tasks you can be sure that you will be able to continue to keep on top of all work. Having work left over or having to return to old tasks takes up time and money. Make the right lists. Tick them off as you go. Delegate tasks if necessary and utilize your staff if you can.

4 Valuable Ways To Secure Your Business’ Future

4 Valuable Ways To Secure Your Business’ Future

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To make sure that your business is as secure as possible, you will often need to think about future-proofing it. That is something that all business owners do in their own way, often without really being aware of how they are doing it, and it is a hugely valuable thing which you need to try and be aware of. In this article, we are going to discuss some of the most valuable ways that you can secure your business’ future, thus keeping it safe from a range of potential pitfalls and problems. This is vital if you want it to be a major player for longer.

Protect Your Data

Data really is becoming increasingly important to protect. Given the nature of much of the data that you hold, and the fact that a lot of it will be personal or sensitive data regarding your employees and customers, you obviously need to protect it as best as you can. And when it comes to your plans for the future, product ideas and so on, the last thing you want is those to be hacked by nefarious competitors. So encrypt everything necessary, and ensure that your digital protection is up to scratch.

Insure Your Most Central People

It is often necessary to think about the worst case scenarios when you are trying to protect your business from possible problems, and one of the very worst is when someone important to the business passes away suddenly or unexpectedly. Of course, the worst part of this is that you have lost a close friend. But it’s also a problem for the company itself, and you need to find ways to protect your interests when this happens. You can do that by insuring those key people using key man life insurance, which will pay out when a key person dies.

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Automate Your Threat Response

If you feel that you are merely constantly trying to keep up with the latest threats, digital or otherwise, you are not alone. Very often it can feel that way, and sometimes it is true that all you are really doing is desperately trying to protect your business from a range of attacks one after the other. The best threat response is an automated one, as this means you are not having to spend too much time or money on it, and that the response is going to come into play as and when you need it to anyway. Automate this stuff as much as you possibly can.

Go Paperless

There are many great benefits to going paperless in your office, and it’s a good idea to make sure that you are considering this. One of the main reasons to do it is that you are going to be so much more secure in terms of your intellectual property. It is much easier to secure digital data than paper in an office, especially at night. This is a deceptively valuable way to future-proof your business, and it’s something you should try not to overlook.

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