I'd much rather call stocks companies and I'd urge you to consider buying an entire company before you buy a single share. Time shares are 1/52 of a home, or one week's value of the full value, so in order to consider buying a time share you must also consider the full price of the home. If you feel the home or condo is worth $52,000 then $1,000 seems like a fair price for the time share. Likewise, if a company is worth $1 million dollars and there are one million available shares, it seems as if $1 per share would be a fair price.
How do you value a company?
There are numerous formulas online to determine what a company is worth. Marcus Lemonis of The Profit uses a vague formula of [Assets - Liabilities + (Earnings X 3)]. Warren Buffett is much more conservative due to his mentor Benjamin Graham and uses a vague formula of [Assets - Liabilities], or Total Equity (also known as Book Value). Buffett only buys a company (stock) if the total equity equates to more than the total outstanding shares. Technically, every company that Warren Buffett buys could liquidate the next day for more money than the outstanding shares are worth. Not only that, Buffett also makes sure that the company has been in business long enough to withstand the wrath of a horrible economy, world wars, recessions and depressions, along with a longstanding dividend payment and increased earnings. But that sounds like a once in a life time opportunity, right?
Stop looking at charts and start looking at financial statements, if you can handle it, that is..
I've spent 12 years after my 21st birthday investing my savings into real estate because I've always wanted to survive on rental income as a full time job. Even though real estate is the retirement plan I think about, I also have a Simple IRA that I contribute to at work. A Simple IRA is different from a 401K plan because I'm allowed to invest the money in particular stocks such as Google if I choose to. I add my contributions to the symbol SPY which is an index fund with low fees that follows the S&P 500 index of the 500 largest companies in the US. Aside from my current contributions to a Simple IRA and real estate, I'd like to start thinking about compound interest. Albert Einstein says that it's the eighth wonder of the world and Warren Buffett has followed the strategy since he was 10 years old. Warren Buffett doesn't like to sell his investments, he continues to buy more. When you sell a stock or a home the IRS will want a portion of the profits (capital gains tax), so the longer you keep your asset the faster it grows by compounding on itself. Also, if you cash out $10,000 in profit, then pay 30% in tax, your next investment needs to grow 30% to get back to even. Selling an investment when you're 65 is different, you pay tax once and use the money without trying to invest in something else to recoup the taxes and fees you paid.
It's easy to avoid capital gains tax, never sell anything.
After you launch your 5-10 page website, the next question you type into Google is, "How do I get to the top 10 results?" The simple answer is to write quality blog posts about your products and services every day. Keep the nice clean look of your 5-10 page site while you fill the blog with content about your previous jobs, and how your services are top quality every time. Don't tell your readers how bad your competitors are or how much better you are than them, simply describe how you handled your job in a professional manner with quality in mind.
50 Blog Posts
Google doesn't care about your 5 page website, or any other 5 page website. Google cares about reputable companies and very large websites. You absolutely need at least 50 blog posts (Owning a Blog) before you can think about ranking in the search engines. Each blog post is another title that the search engine spiders can pick up and rank, so if you have 60 page titles you have 60-times more chances of being ranked.
The best possible investment you can make is in yourself and your education. Most of us make less than $100,000 per year and most of us don't manage 20 people because we aren't educated enough to do either. The founders of FaceBook, Google and Twitter didn't just collect millions of dollars for having an idea. They worked endless hours on their education and then created their companies from scratch.
Where to Start
One class at a time. Don't compare yourself to friends and family members that already have degrees, and don't focus on any specific major when you begin. Your associate's degree takes about 2 years to complete one class at a time and there won't be too many classes specific to any major. The classes will be compiled of English and Math courses because you need English and Math expertise to handle most of the more difficult classes later on. There will be many electives that you get to choose along the way in order to find out what specific major you want to focus on. Later on, the classes will get much more focused.
Real estate fluctuates just like stocks, however people need a place to live much more than they need Google stock. Real estate can create a nest egg for you that many other investments cannot because it's tangible and it's something that people will always need. It can be easier to think about real estate as a retirement plan because the thought of growing your savings account to $500,000 or $1,000,000 sounds insane. We all know that you'll spend the money on something before it reaches a million dollars.
Only spend money on appreciating assets.
It doesn't count as "spending money" when you buy something that can appreciate in worth. For instance, Google stock and real estate are different than buying a car or a toy. Google has plans in place to increase in value over the next 10 years and you can simply hop in the car and ride with them. There's no financial plan for real estate, but everyone that sells a home must turn around and buy another home.
I just signed a Purchase and Sale agreement to buy a 2 bedroom condo in Merrimack NH for $110,000. I could have offered $105,000 or waited for a foreclosure or short sale to come on the market, but I was more interested in the return on investment rather than the purchase price. Instead of comparing recent sales in the area or current inventory on the MLS, I looked at the monthly figures, monthly cash flow, tax deductions and rental income.
Monthly figures involve the mortgage payment, monthly condo fee, monthly taxes and monthly insurance. Mortgage rates are still low. Refinance & Lower Your Payment! Each of the monthly expenses change for each home or condo which makes it important to look for low condo fees, low taxes and the best insurance rate possible. As homes increase in value taxes and condo fees also increase, but it's not as relative as you might think. Tax assessments are only done once every 5 years and can vary dramatically for comparably priced homes. Condo fees also vary depending on the amount of units, property conditions and possible assessments. This particular home, my 4th piece of property, has low fees across the board along with a low mortgage payment over 30 years.
Real estate is the most powerful thing in the world. It's Earth. How could you not want to own a piece of Earth at some point in your life? Expert after expert will drive you to think that it's a perfect time to buy, or a horrible time to buy, or to wait six months for prices to hit rock bottom, then buy. Experts on television are not always paid for their thoughts, sometimes they're paid to read from the teleprompter. What do you believe? Who do you believe? The bubble is coming! It's about to pop! Sell all of your real estate now!
Deciding what works best for yourself can be difficult when you have experts telling you to do something else. However, the experts are part of the problem because every situation has two opposing experts telling you that their way is the best way. Should you pay down your current real estate or should you leverage additional money to buy more real estate? It's a tough question to answer because both ideas are smart and well thought out.
Pay Down Your Real Estate
No one can argue that paying down a loan is a bad idea, no matter what type of loan it is, but people argue that there are better ways of spending additional cash. Adding money to your mortgage payment saves you from paying interest on that money, it lowers the amount you owe the bank and it increases your credit score. Mortgage rates are still low. Refinance & Lower Your Payment! If you continue to save money and add it to your mortgage you will save thousands and thousands of dollars by the time it's paid off completely.
The best way to think about investing no matter your income level, is to add a zero. Focus intently on turning $100 into $1,000, then you can focus on turning $1,000 into $10,000. You may think of Mark Zuckerberg as an overnight success, but it took years of hard work, previous years of education, over $1,000 of investment capital, and finally, partners willing to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars once the idea was almost a success. Even with 1 million users and almost $1 million in capital it was difficult for him to turn a profit as the CEO.
Remember that making money is difficult, it's only the elite that figure out a way to get their hands on large amounts of it.
Humans have easily trainable brains that can copy, mimic, master, and even alter body movements and information. Do you seriously believe something is so differently inhuman about you that you can't lose the exact amount of weight you want to within a year or two? Or so wrong that you can't learn a sport, or run the marathon? You may not master your favorite sport tomorrow, but you can start practicing and you'll learn new tricks before you know it. Hanging out with others doing the same activity will spike your interest level and give you the determination to learn something. Personal Loans are available for most people these days, and you can use it to start a business or to start a new chapter of your life!
Knowledge is Power
Some people that you may not want to call smart have plenty of cash in their pocket for various reasons, but those with knowledge hold their own talent. They choose to learn more every day. They didn't just go to college, "get super smart", and start making money. These particular people still take classes online or in person forever. Their difficult high paying jobs force them to take training classes within the company or get licensed for something in their field, which forces them to study and read continuously. Knowledge doesn't always win, but it's a key to success every time. You can buy & rent college textbooks for less. Sell textbooks for more.
Owning a Blog that generates income is hard work that can only be achieved with determination, knowledge and the perfect amount of optimization that doesn't get you banned from search engines. Search engine optimization and marketing was created by the search engines themselves to deliver better results to their customers. Start with a domain name and hosting. Paying for monthly hosting is like paying taxes on a plot of land, you need it for your domain. https://interserver.net/dock/vps-cj.html
Let your page flow by focusing on the title throughout your post. Don't listen to articles that tell you to pack your posts with keywords. Google is searching for titles, once the titles are clicked 1000 times, Google picks the top ten pages that were visited the longest, and those in which multiple pages were viewed. Think about visitors staying on your website rather than which keywords to use.
After a few headaches about your mortgage payments, expenses and home improvement ideas you might have thought, "What if I could just walk away." You feel like you would be better off without any of it. If you weren't a home owner you could get rid of the lawn mower, snow blower, rake and plenty of other items that take up space. Well it's not as hard as you think.
Plenty of people out there want your mortgage. They know it's costing you money, but half of the costs would be given directly to tenant that leases your home. The tenant still pays for their own heat, cable, electric and groceries. They also pay rent that most likely covers the mortgage payment and taxes. The tenant mows the lawn, shovels the driveway and pays the expenses all while the loan dwindles.
Buying a 2nd home is a big step into real estate investing because it's difficult to do in April 2015. I own 3 pieces of real estate, including one townhouse condo (left image), one garden style condo (primary home) and one residential home that I also lease. When I bought my 2nd condo it was 2006 and the real estate market was booming. I was able to get a Personal Loan and use it as a down payment, but that's not possible in 2015.
It was easy! I bought my first condo in 2005 for $205,000 with 20% down. Therefore, I had 20% equity in the home immediately. Since the economy was in good shape in 2005-2006 banks were offering 110% Home Equity Loans. So, 3 months after purchasing my first condo I went to the bank and got a Home Equity loan for $40,000.
I've learned an incredible amount from attending SHNU for an IT degree with a focus of web design. I had taught myself HTML and CSS while building a company website for my father's small company. We didn't have money for expensive programmers so I started using basic code while I took online courses.
I also learned how to rank a website in search engines by simply labeling web pages with keywords and phrases about your products and services. PHP scripting is by far the most difficult thing I've had to learn because there are numerous things happening at once. It takes 3 pages interacting with each other to build a simple log in form. Your name and password must be stored in a database (spread sheet) and then pulled from the database, validated, and approved with a landing page that welcomes you to the website.
Sounds confusing? That's why the jobs pay well at the end of an IT degree. I have 5 classes left and each class is directly focused on web design, storing information in databases and how to retrieve it once it's there.
Professor David Malan of Harvard University gives lectures on YouTube about PHP scripting language and many other areas of interest. I watched a few of his PHP lectures and they were loaded with useful information that few could understand after watching it only once.
If you have an interest in PHP I suggest you watch these videos. However, you should have prior knowledge in HTML and CSS because those languages are incorporated into PHP to structure and dress the page behind the function you're completing. PHP tells things to happen within the HTML pages such as "accept form field" and "place form field here" once submitted. Facebook uses PHP commands to accept your posts, likes and personal information updates.
I just began a new class in SNHU called IT-370, Web Server Design which is a beginner PHP class. There are a few coding languages that one must understand to build a website from scratch and PHP will help the website interact with the visitor. Here's what I've gathered thus far:
|HTML: Uses tables to structure a page with a Header, Body and Footer.
|CSS: Makes it pretty. Using Font, H1 tags, background colors and images.
I'm about 3 years into my web design degree. I just began learning how to build websites from scratch using HTML and CSS. I'm posting my progress here to see how I improve as I get closer to my bachelors degree.
The header shot of www.tradestockcheap.com is to the left. I started by putting the basic HTML functions in place such as, head, body, header, section, article and footer. From there I moved over to the CSS page to start formatting the look of each section.
I had a lot of trouble with the NAV attribute so I used a basic Table attribute in its place. I have more experience using tables so I was able to make it work with a:hover and rounded corners. I know it's not ideal code work so I plan on studying NAV elements in the next couple of weeks.