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Wealth Hacks

Here’s Why You Should Never Sit On Too Much Cash…

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According to a recent NerdWallet survey, Americans sit on an average $32,286 in cash. Yet, a whopping 39% say they aren’t investing.

And yes, while nest egg is great, being too liquid also comes with a lot of downside. According to NerdWallet’s calculations, every $10,000 kept in cash over 30 years (vs. investing) comes out to $44,000 in lost returns.

“They’re potentially losing tens of thousands of dollars in compound interest,” financial expert Chris Hogan told FOX Business’ “Morning’s with Maria.”

Here’s why you should never sit on too much cash.

Interest rates (and inflation)

Interest rates are at an all-time low. Back in the day, 5% was common. These days, the average savings account offers a pathetic 0.6% return

Needless to say, those kind of rates won’t beat inflation over time. In other words, your money literally loses value just by sitting in your savings account. 

Despite this, the average saver—somehow—thinks it’s better to sit on the cash.

Of the participants in the study, 32% responded that they prefer to be able to access their money easily, so they choose to not invest. Another 28% said they didn’t know how to invest.

How much you should save

So what’s the alternative? Instead of having a nest egg, keep three to six months of expenses “parked in a money market account, not a savings account,” he said.

A money market account is basically a savings account, but you need at least $10,000 minimum deposit.

You can also consider moving it to a mutual funds or ETFs trading on the stock exchange, since most of them allow you to withdraw your funds anytime—and they offer much better returns than a savings account.

All in all, any cash over this 2% inflation threshold can be invested across various asset classes, most of which offer great returns on your investment.

How to choose an investment

The trick here is to research and invest in the funds that fit your bill and investment horizon.

The takeaway from this move is the massive compounding growth your investments will gain over time.

One of the best examples of this is Grace Groner’s, a regular American who bought three shares of Abbott for $180 back in 1935.

Due to compounded interest, the value grew to a $7M fortune less than seven decades later. Now that’s what you call a #WealthHack.

Personal Finance

DIY: How To Improve Your Personal Finances

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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.

Pay Attention

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.

This article originally appeared on IdealREI. Follow them on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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Wealth Hacks

How To Fix The Challenge Of Wanting Learning Opportunities But No Time To Learn

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Ready for a staggering statistic? According to LinkedIn’s 2018 Workplace Learning Report, 94% of team members said they would stay at their company longer if it invested in their career development. Now, here is the kicker: the report also said that the top reason team members said they felt held back from learning is because they didn’t have the time to learn the skills they needed to.

How do we fix this dilemma? By providing a workplace that offers learning opportunities that also provides the time for team members to take advantage of those learning opportunities. This will spark creativity because I know that I’m always happiest and most productive when I’m learning something new.

We get it – everyone is busy. We go to work and we are chained to our desks (or today: our laptops and iPhones) with mounds of work to get through and we form routines and things eventually become mundane and ultimately boring. Things don’t have to be this way, though.

HOW ARE TEAM MEMBERS ACTUALLY SPENDING THEIR TIME?

The first step is to get feedback from team members on how they are spending their time at work. These questions can be asked on many subjects at work. For example, how many meetings are absolutely necessary? Rethink why you have meetings. If there is too much email or point-to-point communication preventing people from learning, it is time to really rethink the company’s time management.

WHERE DO TEAM MEMBERS LIKE TO LEARN?

Second, find out how, when and where employees like to learn so you can gain context to establish a new way of learning, which we are all trying today to facilitate via different workplace spacial designs. In the LinkedIn report, team members said the following:

·       68% of team members want to learn at work

·       58% of team members want to learn at their own pace

·       49% of team members prefer to learn at the point of need

Not every type of learning is going to happen in a classroom or even warrants days off at a time. There are plenty of informal and social settings to learn in. The real key is to connect the bridge between how your team is spending their time and what the actual definition of learning looks like in this day and age.

It is entirely too easy to say that we are too busy to learn new things, but the truth is, we are hurting our careers and our companies by staying stagnant and not growing towards new ideas and processes. Dig deep and talk to your team and find out what they want to learn, how they want to learn and when they want to learn it.

Make it happen for you and your team and your business will experience success it has never experienced before.

Jonathan Schultz is an entrepreneur, real estate tech investor and influencer. He’s the co-founder of Onyx Equities, a leading private equity real estate firm, and has been voted one of the most powerful people in real estate. Follow Jon’s blog here.

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Business

(WTF?!) Is The MBA Dead?

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Well, well, well, what do we have here.

So according to a (totally non-biased) press release from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) earlier this year, MBA grads are making more money than ever.

(Just for clarity, the GMAC is a “global association of leading graduate business schools.”)

Apparently, US employers plan to offer new MBA hires a starting salary of $115,000, the highest ever recorded in the US when adjusted for inflation.

Key words: PLAN. TO.

In spite of these lofty, non-scientific projections, the number of MBA applications—as a whole—is on the downslide. Here’s a chart from the otherwise very optimistic GMAC.

(Yes, the entire WealthLAB crew is MBAs, too. Jury’s still out whether that makes us marks or smart. 🙄)

And according to Forbes, this makes it the best time ever to pursue an Ivy League MBA.

So what does this all mean? Let’s unpack it for a second.

Top 10 programs are letting everyone in…

According to the various reports, some programs across the country have seen double-digit drops, with the top 10 business schools seeing serious declines. 

At the highly selective Yale University, the acceptance rate jumped by nearly 44%. Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, another Top 10 program, admitted more than one in three of its applicants, a 48% increase in a single year.

Meanwhile its applications dropped by 22.5%.

“The joke among deans is that ‘flat is the new up,'” Andrew Ainslie, the dean of the University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business. “If we can just hold our numbers, that is an incredible achievement.”

Other Ivy League schools have dropped also, with Harvard measuring a fall of 4.5%. Meanwhile, big names like Stanford saw a bit more at 4.6% and UC-Berkeley Haas at a shaking 7.5%.

And outside the Top 10?

When these numbers are narrowed down to individual schools, like University of Michigan Ross School of Business, the picture gets worse. This university saw the biggest reduction, noting an 8.5% decline with just over 3,000 candidates applying. 

There are only a few reported exceptions to this overall decline, but the biggest business schools in the nation agree that there is a serious reduction in MBA interest. 

Ainslie says up to 20% of the top 100 MBA programs in the country are likely to close in the next few years. 

But why?

Uncertainty over work visas for international students, the strong US economy with decreasing job loss, and the rising costs of degrees are all noted as potential causes. 

The positive side to the story, as Ainslie pointed out, is that it’s going to spark new development in the design of existing MBA programs. One particular program has been built around entrepreneurship.

In addition, the prestigious post-MBA job paths—think investment banking and management consulting—have been replaced by jobs in the tech world and Silicon Valley.

Is entrepreneurship the new MBA?

“Tech has displaced consulting and finance as the preferred career path for top-tier college students,” says David Minnick, founder and CEO of Camino Data, and former president of beverage company, Purity Organic.

“When I started Princeton in 2003, it was still a big deal to get a MBA or JD/MBA after college,” he tells Forbes. “That was the thing to do.

“Four years later, when I graduated, we wanted to be more entrepreneurial. We saw people who had started successful tech businesses. We saw there were low barriers to entry, and that it was okay to fail.”

Image: Dunk The sum total of all human knowledge via @James_Kpatrick/ Flickr

Student debt vs. MVP?

There’s also the whole cost thing. Business school can run you $200,000, making it a cringe option for 20-somethings already riddled with debt. For founders, this is money better spent building an MVP.

(No, not Most Valuable Player. Minimum Viable Product.)

Not to mention the experience it brings.

“When I interviewed people with an MBA, or experience at a big beverage company like Coke or Pepsi,” says Minnick, :I was concerned that their personality type wouldn’t be the right fit for a young and growing company like ours.”

In his view, hustle, skills and culture fit are far better predictors of performance than a degree.

Ivy League MBA fire sale…🗑

Apparently this all means that IF you are one who’s always dreamed of an MBA from a prestigious school, there’s no better time than now.

“With an unprecedented decline in MBA application volume at many business schools – including iconic, top-tier programs – there’s definitely a ‘perfect storm’ happening for prospective applicants,” Alex Min, CEO of The MBA Exchange, a top admissions consulting firm, says.

“Deans and admissions committees are feeling strong pressure to fill available seats with qualified candidates, even if some of these individuals might not have been admitted in previous years when application volume was growing.”

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