“Those who remain calm in the eye of the storm are those who stand tall when the smoke clears.” — Myself.
“The time to buy is when there’s blood in the streets.” — Not myself, but Baron Rothschild.
Yes, it’s all over the news. It’s here so we might as well make the best of it. And the best part of all?
It’s the best time to be a resourceful entrepreneur. Like the good Baron says, when there’s blood in the streets, is the time to get down.
I wrote a story awhile ago on BiggerPockets, based on a coffee chat with super entrepreneur Neil Patel, basically outlining why mass scares are gold rushes.
Here are three ways this “COVID-19 pandemic” are creating mass opportunities to get ahead in the game. Especially as it pertains to real estate (which never will go out of style), stocks, and just opportunity, period.
1. Stocks are plunging for no other reason than panic
The world is pausing right now. Shutdowns everywhere. Stocks, with solid fundamentals, are plunging into the abyss with no end in sight.
Per the New York Times, the airline industry alone is seeking more than $50B in grants, loans and tax relief from Washington.
So what does that mean? Well, it means that you can pick up stocks for pennies on the dollar. And when the dust settles and life goes back to normal (trust me, it will), you will have INSTANT gains.
If you’re looking for a place to look, CNBC’s stock expert Jim Cramer picked out 10 strong tech stocks to look into (Shopify and Square were two; not bad ideas) where the fundamentals are robust but value plunged for no other reason than…you know.
2. Interest rates just dropped to (near) zero…
In Europe, negative interest rates have been a thing for quite a while with outrageous mortgage rates in the 0.5% range.
Now, because of all this chaos, the Federal Reserve took emergency action, cutting interest rates suddenly and dramatically to close to 0%.
The move was done in a reactive attempt to try to offset the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and stimulate some spending action.
So what does that mean? Well, it means that if you own real estate, assets, anything, you can refinance and cash out.
In even more layman’s terms. If you have a mortgage at 4%. Cut that bad boy to whatever low ish they’ll give you, save that extra.
Or even better, refinance your property. Let’s say you owe $300K on your $500K property. With interest rates down, refi at $350K, pocket the $50K and launch your business idea.
(And don’t forget about all the tax benefits that await on the other side.)
3. People are going to get tired of each other
According to Forbes, divorce rates go up when the economy goes down, with economic uncertainty putting a strain on once-happy homes.
These quarantines are forcing people to be with their spouses, which leads to either one of two things: family additions or family reductions.
“Scary times have the potential to drive people together or apart,” Pepper Schwartz, a psychology professor at the University of Washington, told Quartz in an email.
And when couples split, the assets have to be divided evenly, opening up opportunities for shrewd investors.
See where I’m going with this? Yes, we must prepare for the strain. But also prepare for the opportunity.
4. People are sitting at home, BORED
So what does this mean? Well, it means that no sports are on, no entertainment options, reducing attention to Netflix and social media.
That also means that NOW is the perfect time to start blogging, posting stuff on social, testing out your new business idea. Launch a #corona drop-shipping clothing line on Shopify.
Whatever it is, hit ‘em with the Nike (#justdoit) and do something. The majority of people are at home going crazy, trying to figure out what to do.
Take advantage. And let’s face it. Do you really want to be this exposed to a crisis in the future? If you have your own business, you wouldn’t have to worry about your job shutting down…
Wealth-Building Conference Headed to Philly This Summer
Senator Sharif Street and Temple University are bringing community wealth-building to North Philadelphia with a big conference.
Co-hosted by fintech NYCE, the Senator’s office announced its inaugural WealthCon event July 23, 2022, at Temple University’s main campus.
Closing the racial wealth gap is a major challenge we face in creating a fair and inclusive society,” said Street, who represents the Third Senatorial District of Philadelphia, one of the poorest communities in America, “Investing in people is how we elevate communities with a history of divestment and educating folks on financial literacy is a critical step toward that goal.”
WealthCon is a community-first experience dedicated to providing direct access to wealth-building programs across Pennsylvania.“
We’re a big advocate of NYCE’s mission of wealth equality and are excited to help address some of the grave issues that have impacted the communities for decades,” Street said.
More than 1000 Pennsylvanians, including officials from state, local, and federal governments, will attend WealthCon, including leaders in housing, lending, education, and community development.
The conference will offer panels and keynote conversations, covering the latest opportunities in real estate investing, financial literacy (including stocks, NFTs, cryptocurrency), retirement planning, public safety, entrepreneurship, and more.
“Financial literacy is critical to long-term community building,” NYCE CEO Philip Michael said. “We’re excited to make that available to everyone.”
The evening will conclude with cocktails and networking at the invite-only VIP dinner honoring WealthCon’s Innovators of 2022.
Innovators are recognized for their commitment to closing the wealth gap in America, both within their communities and beyond. (To submit your candidate for this year’s Innovators Award, please email email@example.com.)
Tickets are free for members of the community. All ages are welcome.
Net Operating Income (NOI), Explained
Goes without saying, if you’re a new landlord, there are some metrics you just have to know. And if this is the most important metric to master, this one may be the most important, period…
(Pause for dramatic effect…)
Whether it’s vetting, buying or managing real estate, NOI—short for Net Operating Income—is arguably the most crucial metric for real estate investors.
NOI is simply your net profits from rental income, after your expenses are paid. Here’s why it matters and why it’s more important than you think.
Your bottom line
When you have a rental property, your end game is to make a profit. You get your rental income. Deduct your operating expenses like maintenance, repairs and so on. Now you have your net operating income, which is your bottom line.
Net operating income is real estate’s equivalent to corporate finance’s EBIT. Here’s how it looks:
NOI = all revenue from the property – all operating expenses
It’s a simple enough formula, but there are ways you can manage it.
In business, there are two ways to increase profits. 1) Increase revenue. 2) Decrease expenses.
Simple enough, right? With rental income, there’s only so much you can do to increase revenue. So managing your OPEX is a basic but extremely important metric to monitor — and very often the hack for value-add investors to unlock crazy profits.
Here’s the real beauty of NOI. Unlike single-family properties, the value of income-producing real estate (using the cap rate formula) is derived directly from the net income you can squeeze from it. Not supply and demand. Not the market. Not the S&P. Not bubbles. None of that.
“Net Worth Hacking”
In other words, if you manage your NOI, you can literally enhance your asset’s value. This is at the core of the value-add strategy. This New Jersey group bought a building for $57 million, hacked the NOI through upgrades and management, and BOOM! Sold it three years later for $101 M’s.
DIY: How To Improve Your Personal Finances
Even if you’re not looking for a property this exact second, you always want to be improving your position.
So, focus on the downtime to improve your finances, get your debt squared away, and put yourself in a better position when you are ready to buy!
It’s important to be sure of your financial position before you buy a property because you might find it’s harder to get that property than you would have originally thought.
Here are a few ways to quickly improve your finances to help you save more, pay down more debt, and qualify for better loans.
One of the most common reasons that people struggle financially is because they simply don’t pay attention to what is going on in their own financial life. If you are not paying attention, you can’t hope to know what is going on and therefore know how to improve matters.
So, the first item on your list is to start paying attention to your finances!
When I’m working on a project, I’m laser-focused on the budget, the details, the costs, etc. But, sometimes in my personal life, I let this slide.
The reality is, when we do have a budget and focus on sticking to it, our bank account balances grow so much faster than when we aren’t using one.
I love to eat out, and my wife loves to buy small things around the house. One day, we looked back over the previous year of spending and found we each averaged over $1,000 per month on our hobbies!
By pulling back a little in each area, we were able to save over $1,000 per month but still do the things we enjoyed.
So, start by having a budget!
Even if you are financially well off and can afford most of what you want, by budgeting for the items and spreading the costs out over several months, you’ll find that you buy less, spend less, and save more.
Also, if you budget to pay down certain debts faster, you’ll see those balances dramatically drop!
So, do not overlook the importance of a family budget.
Save On Other Purchases
There might be a number of other big purchases you need to make before you get hold of your next property, and it is a good idea to make sure that you are only spending as much on those as absolutely necessary.
For any big ticket items, we actually start searching for them months or even a year in advance. For example, let’s consider kitchen appliances.
As you know, a full set of appliances can easily cost $5,000-$10,000 if you are getting high-end products. It includes a fridge, double oven, gas cooktop, microwave/fan, and dishwasher.
The first thing we did was go to the store and decide on two or three brands, styles and product lines we wanted. It’s hard to compare prices unless you are looking at similar products between stores.
Then, for months we’ll watch these items and their prices. Occasionally there will be sales and by tracking the pricing all year, we know which sales are worth getting or not. When we feel we are getting the best price, we’ll buy.
And by doing that, we can easily save $500-$1,000 or even more.
We did something similar with our TV, computer monitors, etc. Basically, anything that is currently working that we want to upgrade. Over the course of a year, we are saving thousands of dollars.
You might also use a money saving app to help.
Saving money in all these places will make an enormous difference when it comes to saving for your next down-payment
Pay Down Debt
With all the money you are saving by budgeting and by planning out major purchases, you might want to use some of it to pay down debt.
You’ll have to decide if it’s better to pay down debt or have a larger down payment because both will hold you back on your next purchase.
But, generally, paying down $1/month in debt is worth about $3/month in income. At least, as far as loans are concerned.
If you do decide to work on paying down your debt, I fully detail a unique debt pay down method to get you into your next rental property faster.
Increase Your Income
Most people just focus on debt, but the reality is you can only cut your expenses so much.
Income, on the other hand, has unlimited potential. So, why not focus on growing your income?
Increasing your monthly income can be done in a number of passive and active ways, and it is worth looking into as many of these as you can to find the right one for you. I outline a number of ways to increase your income in this article on how to earn $10,000 per month.
While earning $10,000 per month in side-income might seem a long way off, it’s important to start! Even if you can earn an extra $500 month now, and grow it slowly over time, it’s worth it!.
Don’t Focus on Just One Thing
As I mentioned already, focusing on just budgeting, or debt paydown can be detrimental to your overall financial goals. It’s important to combine a number of different things into an overall strategy, which includes budgeting, debt paydown, and increasing your income.