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Wealth Hacks

The Guide Through Every Stage Of Life Using Investment Vehicles

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The moment you enter the workforce and start making money, you should already start thinking about where and how to maximize your investment vehicles. Whether you’re a freelancer, a full-time employee, or a business owner, making your first investment can bring you closer to your financial goals.

There are many investment vehicles to choose from, such as stock and bonds, real estate, VUL insurance, mutual funds, and many others. For a lot of people, creating an effective investment strategy can be overwhelming. Some want quick returns and forget that there’s a lifetime ahead of them to make their investments and other resources work for them, while others are content with having bank accounts that earn little to no profit.

But when it comes to investments, it’s not about which one you should put your money in – it’s about which investment vehicles are right for your individual financial situation and goals.

Before Investing: Factors to Consider

The key to becoming a smart investor is to match your resources, requirements, and priorities in relation to a particular period or stage in your life. This means your investment decisions will have to be based on several factors, including your monthly income, assets, expenses, financial goals, and risk appetite for investment, among others.

Since investing can take a considerable chunk of your finances, you need to check your cash flow. Do you have a regular office job or a flourishing business that gives you a stable source of income? With the income you’re getting, are you still left with surplus cash that you can use toward investing? It’s important to ask these questions as these allow you to set proper expectations about your financial responsibility as an investor.

It’s also advisable for you to take stock of your financial position for the short term. Ideally, you should have saved six months’ worth of salary to help you minimize the impact for when your ability to earn – and consequently, invest – is affected by economic factors or personal emergencies. It simply isn’t wise to go into investments when you’re struggling with your finances, especially when there’s no real guarantee that your return on investment (ROI) is going to be quick. The idea in investing is to part with money, which you can afford not to use or spend for months or years.

Your readiness to invest may also depend on how much you’re paying your billers to cover for your monthly expenses, such as housing, education, transportation, food or groceries, and the like. Aside from these, you have to factor in your lifestyle and personal expenses, too. If you’re spending more than what you’re earning, it’s a red flag indicating that you don’t have a healthy financial status and may not be ready to invest.

Here’s a sample of the recommended expense-to-income ratio for various types of expenses:

Housing: 20% to 25% of your income

Transportation: 15% to 25% of your income

Living Allowance: 20% to 25 of your income

Debt Payments: 5% to 10% of your income

Savings: 10% to 15% of your income

When it comes to your financial goals, you can tap on your investments to help you reach those objectives. If you’re a new parent, some of your high-priority goals may be to buy a house, establish your child’s educational fund, and make sure you have readily-available cash in your bank account.

In this case, you’d do well to put your assets in different investment vehicles. Doing so helps you manage the risks that come with investing, and as a result, gives you more chances of achieving your goals as the money you invested starts growing.

Speaking of risks, it’s another factor you need to consider when you decide to invest. Since almost all forms of investment come with a risk, you need to determine if you’re open to the prospect of having your investments depreciate at some point in time. This is known as your risk appetite. If you’re not too comfortable with the thought of incurring possible losses, then you’ll have to be conservative in investing. Consider investments with lesser risk.

Your timeframe for investment vehicles may also influence how much risk you’re willing to take. Generally speaking, your risk appetite decreases as you age. If you start building your investment portfolio while you’re in your 20s, you can have more time to recover any money you might lose than if you choose to invest when you’re already nearing retirement.

Which investment vehicles Should You Invest In?

Once you’ve assessed the various factors described above, the next step is choosing the right investment vehicle. This is one of the biggest dilemmas that investors tackle, especially if you’re barely getting started. You might find the decision process easier if you first line up your goals, and from there, make a comparison of what investment vehicles might be suitable for your timeline.

It’s likely that you’ll be coming up with short-, medium-, and long-term goals. Naturally, each of these will require investments that are aligned with yet a different set of factors, such as interest rates, liquidity period, and overall value for your hard-earned money.

For short-term goals, the most common types of investment may include fixed deposit, liquid funds, or short-term debt funds. Meanwhile, you may opt for balanced funds and equity-linked savings schemes for your medium-term goals. Obviously, your long-term goals will give you the widest range of options, from stocks and bonds to real estate.

Indeed, investing your hard-earned dollars is a major venture that requires a lot of homework, careful planning, making projections, weighing your options, and so on, to grow your money over time. In our featured infographic, we discuss more of the things you need to consider, so you can have a clearer perspective about investing at whatever life stage you may be.

Investment Guide Through Every Stage of Life

Investment Guide Through Every Stage of Life

Investment Guide Through Every Stage of Life

Investment Guide Through Every Stage of Life

Investment Guide Through Every Stage of Life

Investment Guide Through Every Stage of Life

Investment Guide Through Every Stage of Life

Wealth Hacks

Riding The Flow Of Life And 4 Other Ways To Make Great Things Happen

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(Editor’s Note: The following article is a guest post by superstar entrepreneur and tech investor Jonathan Schultz.)

Going with the flow can be a scary idea for some people, simply because it means letting go of expectations —the number one killer of confidence. If you feel like you are constantly disappointed, it can be hard to just ride the flow. If you go with the flow, this does not mean that you have no power to create the life and career you want.

Here are four ways to make great things happen just by riding the flow of life.

PLAN LESS; FREE FORM

Do you have a plan for every hour of every day? If so, you are leaving little room in your life for riding the flow and being spontaneous. Maybe something larger would appear by just taking the action steps necessary to go in the DIRECTION you want to go, but not necessarily know the outcome in advance. Personally, any plan I’ve ever put on paper has never been the plan that ended up being successful —it was constantly pivoting while riding the flow. It is perfectly okay to have a solid plan for the day, but don’t overwhelm yourself by planning every moment of your day. Let yourself flow with the day.

CONTROL YOUR THOUGHTS, IT’S THE ONLY THING YOU HAVE CONTROL OVER

Practice gratitude, positive affirmations, and positive visualization to help your channel your thoughts into positive ones. There’s a reason why athletes, entertainers, and CEOs all take training in this discipline. A negative state of mind will keep you from going with the flow. Being able to look at things with a positive mindset will help you stay in the flow.

DON’T PLAY THE VICTIM

Image result for no victim

Many people don’t even know when they are lost in the victim role. They think they are strong and in control, but in reality, they are not. They are blaming their negative circumstances on everyone and everything else. This keeps you from riding with the flow because other people and other situations are controlling the direction you go.  You are in control of your thoughts and direction in life, even if you do not have control over everything that comes your way.

BE MORE COOPERATIVE AND WILLING TO HELP

Make the best of every situation that happens to you by being more cooperative. Look at everything from every angle and not just from your own perspective. A lesson can always be learned. Go with the flow and be patient when something does not go your way. Not every bad thing ends up being the bad thing you thought it was — it’s just a time where you were forced to follow a different course that was probably always the right way in the first place.

CHOOSE YOUR RESPONSE

Keep in mind that your reactions and responses dictate how you experience life. As things happen, learn to choose the best response possible so you continue to move in the positive flow of life. Choose patience, understanding and react positively and you will find that your experiences are much more rewarding, as well as less stressful.

Trying to control every situation in life will lead you to a lot of disappointment and will cause you to miss out on some of the most fun experiences in life. Some of the best memories are made when there is no planning involved. Going with the flow doesn’t mean relinquishing all control, it just means that you allow positive things to happen to you without forcing it.

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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Wealth Hacks

3 Ways The World’s Wealthiest Man Stays Ahead Of The Competition

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In the past year of raging tech IPOs, Amazon’s taken “crushing it” to a whole new level

Along with Apple, Amazon has become a trillion-dollar company, making CEO Jeff Bezos the world’s richest man in the process.

So how does CEO Jeff maintain his edge in the face of new market entrants and a constantly-evolving industry? 

Here are three ways he does it:

1) Be a Missionary

“You have got to have some passion for the arena that you are going to develop and work in, because otherwise you’ll be competing against those who do have passion for that, and they’re going to build better products and services,” Bezos said at Amazon’s re:Mars conference in Las Vegas.

“Missionaries build better products and services — they always win,” said Bezos. “Mercenaries are just trying to make money, and paradoxically the missionaries always end up making more money.”

2) Embrace Risk and Failure

“If you come up with a business idea and there’s no risk there…it’s probably already       being done…[and] being done well…. So you have to have something that might not work and you have to accept that your business in many ways is an experiment and it might fail,” Bezos said. “And that’s ok.”

3) Change Your Mind

“The greatest tragedy of mankind — or one of them — is that people needlessly hold wrong opinions in their minds,”Dalio has said.

In fact, people who win typically have worked hard to recognize what beliefs or biases they hold and “actively try to look for evidence that disconfirms” them, Bezos said.

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Personal Finance

10 Ways To Avoid Financial Stress

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If financial difficulties are keeping you awake at night, take action and tackle your problems head on otherwise they are likely to get worse. The ability to pay for rent, mortgages, bills, and food are fundamental to our quality of life.

It is important to plan for future financial hardship by making saving a goal and budgeting carefully. It’s impossible to predict what will happen in the future, so to cushion any financial hardship, it’s worth putting a little money aside each month.

Developing a savings plan now will enable you to get on with living your life stress-free!

Reduce monthly bills

List all your current outgoings and look to see if you can make any savings. Often it’s tempting to keep the same standing order from the same insurance company for year upon year. You are likely to be paying too much for your premiums and it’s worth shopping around and switching.

Look at the amount of interest you are paying on loans, mortgages and credit cards, you could be able to secure a better deal. One thing to remember is to check your credit score if it is poor lenders won’t give you the best interest rate.

It is possible to repair your credit score by using the expertise of a credit repair company.

Utility bills can be reduced by switching utility providers. Use an online comparison site to secure the best deal. Switching is easy as most of the work is completed for you by your new supplier.

Budget

To budget carefully you need to be in control of your spending and to be in control you need to be aware of your income and outgoings. List every necessary outgoing that must be met on a monthly basis and you will be left with an amount which will have been spent on miscellaneous items such as eating out.

You can then design a budget plan so that you can put a certain amount into a savings account. You will probably be surprised at how much your morning coffee costs when added up over the month.

Cut it down to once or twice a week and you will make significant savings.

Make savings work to your advantage

Savings (if you have them!) can work to your financial advantage. Ensure you choose the best financial products that give the maximum return on your savings. Financial products change rapidly to factor in a financial audit of your savings every couple of years to check savings are in the best account.

You could also consider investing your savings property or financial shares. This has the potential to be lucrative but is not without risk. Consider hiring a professional and independent financial advisor for advice.

Ideally, you should set apart some of your salaries each month in order to build up an emergency fund. Life can be unpredictable and without savings to fall back on, your car breaking down or your roof leaking could plunge you into more debt as you borrow to rectify the situation.

Savings will cushion the blow of any financial hardship.

Stop Paying Extra Bank or Late Fees

Late fees are not helping you. They add up over time – fees can even accrue fees!

If you are the kind of person who always forgets to pay their bills on time, you can get around this by automating your finances so that the money automatically goes out of your account.

You should also avoid making any extra charges on your credit card unless you are sure that you are able to pay it off in full at the end of the month.

Don’t Pay Full Price!

Paying full price is a really common financial mistake that a ton of people make.

In today’s world, you can find a sale on just about any item. If you see something you need at the store, take a few moments to shop for it online and you’ll probably be able to save 10-20%

Not only does this method stop you from overpaying, it also gives you a moment to think and decide whether or not what you were thinking of buying is actually a worthwhile investment.

Create a Financial Defense Plan

All of us need to not only earn our living and grow our finances if we’re to live a comfortable and happy life, but we must also defend them.

That means ensuring you stay rational, sensible and forward-thinking in all matters related to your financial health.

There are a few considerations you can take care of in order to make this so, and generate a cognitive and systemic financial defense to keep your money yours, and flowing in the direction you most want.

Here are the keys to defending your financial interests

Know Good Lawyers

The most important thing is to have good counsel and good advice. So, hire the best attorneys that you can afford. From real estate to contracts to brand protection, you need someone behind you making sure you aren’t making any major missteps.

The world practically runs in the courtroom now, unfortunately. So, with good attorneys on your side, it will keep you out of the courtroom and focused on running your business.

Have A Contingency Plan

It’s always best to have a fail-safe.

This might mean never tying up all your investments in one basket. It might mean diversifying your investments .

Or, it could mean allowing only one or two financial handlers to have any kind of insight into your money matters in the first place.

The key is to be able to have a solid plan but also be able to pivot to something else should the first plan fail.

With the willingness to keep a backup plan, or a mode of operation to take when something fails or doesn’t go the way you expect, you at least won’t lose anything.

Keeping a solid contingency is also reliant on keeping solid discipline with your financial means – without this none of your decisions are likely to land effectively.

Pore Over Contracts

Whenever signing a contract, or forging a new one, you need to know exactly what terms are referring to.

You also need to read between the lines, and consider what situations a certain stipulation could affect in the future. Remember, even vaguely written terms in a contract do not fall there unexpectedly.

They are either there to make or defend a certain form of income, or persuade and dissuade a certain type of behavior. Every word counts.

Remember the first recommendation? Well, here’s where they come in. But, it’s important to know how to read and interpret the contracts yourself as well.

Study contract terminology and simply dedicate the time to observe and understand.

Look For Weak Spots

What are the weak spots in your defense system?

Could it be family members having access to your accounts? Do you think it could it be emotional family members asking for financial help, when this is not genuine?

Or perhaps it could it be the services you bank with.

Don’t forget about the way you log in to your accounts and store passwords.

To prevent your finances from being breached, keep up to date on modern security measures. From there, you should be settled.

Conclusion

To reduce your financial stress, the key is to lower your costs, increase your passive income, and protect your assets.

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

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