Another year has gone by. Sure, you've spent a lot of money, but have you saved any? Before the clock strikes midnight, now is the time to plan for 2017. Where do you start? ETFs are a great way to help to simplify the investment process.
What is an ETF?
An ETF is an Exchange Traded Fund and represents a basket of stocks and other securities. ETFs have several advantages over buying and holding individual stocks such as diversification and ease of purchase. Most people have heard of the Dow Jones Industrial Average going up and down to reflect daily stock market performance, but there is an ETF that attempts to mimic the 30 stocks it contains. It is called the "DIA," and as of November 30, 2016, it is up 12.39% year to date. Of course past performance isn't any guarantee, but the Dow has been around for 100+ years and is thought to be the oldest continuing U.S. stock index. Current components include Apple, Boeing, Disney, McDonalds, Microsoft and Wal-Mart. If you use a Mac or like a Big Mac after a night out, this one may be for you. Why not support the home team?
Types of ETFs
Many ETFs have specific themes. For example, some focus on large capitalization stocks like the DIA and represent the biggest companies on the stock exchange. This portfolio includes many household names (IBM, Home Depot) and offers the protection a long track record. In addition, there are ETFs based on certain industry groups. Are you interested in leaders in healthcare? IBB has biotech giants Celgene and Biogen. Been on a train or received a package? IYT has transportation stocks such as Fedex and Union Pacific. With more than 1,500 ETFs available, you are likely to find one or more that match your interests.
ETFs are bought and sold every day on the stock exchange, so in order to purchase shares you will need to have a brokerage account. Opening an account isn't a big deal and can be done online through a low cost brokerage company such as TDAmeritrade.com in minutes. They also have very strong customer service so if you have any questions, they are available twenty-four hours a day for late night or weekend conversations.
Like any investment, you should take the time to review the fund information to make the best and most informed decision before committing your money. Investing can be both fun and lucrative over the long term, so perhaps now is the time to consider having your money start to work harder for you.
Airbnb offers an affordable option for people looking to be more comfortable as they travel.
However, there are downsides to staying in a host's home rather than a hotel. Whereas hotels are designed for constant streams of visitors and often have furniture built to last, at an Airbnb, you may be staying on old or cheap furniture that a host is using in order to maximize their profits.
And while most reputable hotels will have regular room inspections from staff to check for any wear and tear, Airbnb damage disputes are oftentimes he said, she said situations. If you are in an Airbnb and something breaks, there are a few steps you should take in order to ensure that you are not on the hook for damages out of your control.
If you're keeping tabs on the art and tech worlds, you've probably been hearing whispers about "NFTs" for the past month. Just over the past week they've entered the mainstream lexicon.
Twitter founder Jack Dorsey made the news for selling his first ever tweet. The app has been teasing paid subscription models and newsletter-like features, but tweets for sale is "the next frontier."
just setting up my twttr— jack (@jack)1142974214.0
The 2006 tweet went up for auction as an NFT, and the current bid is $2.5 Million. But what does it mean to own that? Why would anyone want to? And what even is an NFT?
Long gone are the days when the majority of Americans dreamed about owning a home with a white picket fence.
The traditional American Dream may be on its deathbed, but that doesn't mean a core component of the vision can't survive. It simply takes a diverse perspective. People can still believe they can attain their own vision of success in society with hard work, knowledge, and risk-taking. Investing in today's American Dream may literally mean investing money in our modern economy, starting with our infrastructure.
Real estate investing in particular is a lucrative method that can boost income and secure a better financial future for many. There's always risk involved, but the payoffs can far outweigh the uncertainty. Selecting solid financial investments is about confidence and competence. If you're looking for some advice on this kind of investment, here are a few savvy tips for new real estate investors.
Stick To a Specific Strategy or Niche
Real estate is a challenging sphere of the business world, one that requires several key skills: groundwork knowledge, networking, perseverance, and organization. True knowledge of the real estate market will come with time and experience, but it's a smart idea to select one area of the market and stick to it. This is the best way to attain in-depth familiarity with your specific niche.
First, choose a geographical area close by and then a niche strategy within it, such as house flips, rental rehabs, or residential or commercial properties. By doing so, you can become aware of current inner working conditions in the market and you'll have a better idea of how these trends may change in the future.
Be Vigilant About Viable Financing Options
While it takes money to make money, you don't have to use all your own money. A common misconception about real estate investing is that you must be wealthy to start off. This isn't straight fact, however. A majority of people can test the waters of real estate investing without a lot of initial cash in their pocket.
Aside from traditional financing options from banks and institutions, private lending options can be worthy solutions. Hard money lenders are popular, reasonable choices, and they tend to have fewer qualification requirements upfront. However, be sure to strategically choose a hard money lender to find the best possible fit.
Master the Art of Finding Good Deals
There may be hundreds of thousands of available properties for sale on the current market, but the bulk of them will never amount to the final money-making result you desire. Another great tip for new real estate investors is to use good math to estimate profit. Taking risks is part of the process, but you have the ability to analyze properties and use networking sources to find the greatest deal. You can't win every deal, but you can steadily work towards a thriving financial future.