Investing

Few creepy and not-so-famous predictions for the investment world in 2017

As we turn the calendar to the New Year, 2017, this is again the time of rigorous speculations about what is going to come in the New Year. As we know that there are no crystal ball experts out there, predictions are often funny to us and we mostly love to read them, even though we have it at the back of our mind that the predictions are wildly incorrect. In fact, if so many expert politicians and doctorates couldn’t predict the winning of Donald Trump based on the data in their hand, why should the world even bother for the other opinions given by any other analyst? Check out some unpopular and creepy predictions for 2017.

#1: Twitter won’t be acquired

Yes, if you have seen that news in headlines, don’t ever both to click on them. Twitter (TWTR) is nothing but a money-losing product which shows no signs of growth along the path and their part-time CEO isn’t a material for initiating change. Hence the best that could happen with Twitter is a noble purchase by some non-profit group in order to save it from the trash but unfortunately, this $15 billion acquisition isn’t going to happen soon in 2017!

#2: AI will become the topmost tech world acronym in 2017

All of us love to go through a well-written tech post and if you go by the reports, VR or Virtual Reality was probably the most overhyped and overused tech of 2016. This was probably possible due to the 180% run in shares of Nvidia NVDA and also the buzz in augmented reality of Pokémon Go. Sadly, tech bloggers always give way to something new and shiny and this year, it’s going to be the year for Artificial Intelligence (AI).

#3: The US stock market is not going to shift places

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA is at 20,000 and the market has priced a business-friendly environment in Washington with high hopes of moderate global growth in the New Year. Valuations are also at their highs and corporations can keep investing over a long term growth to profits and revenues. There may be few good alternatives to US stocks which might add some percentage points.

#4: Unemployment won’t go above 5%

The labor market fully participates with the companies but the employers currently don’t have enough pool to draw their applicants from. If the Republicans go tough with the sources of immigrant labor as they had resolved, it would be rather impossible for the unemployment market to see a better and prospective future in 2017.

#5: Big tax changes won’t take place in 2017

You would wonder that the news of Donald Trump would give you some sort of tax reforms but if the members of GOP think similarly, you perhaps didn’t pay attention to what the President is planning. In between the Tea Party and the establishment and between moderates and bright red states, the legislators wouldn’t possibly be able to do anything regarding the tax policy.

Therefore, if you’re a non-believer of all the nonsense, the stock market and the US would definitely be better than what it was 2 years back. Don’t fall for pessimism and the fear that keeps mongering momentarily on Facebook.

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So, You Want To Get Started With Investment?

Have you ever noticed that your money seems to disappear? You can’t keep track of it – it goes and you’re caught short between paychecks.

If this is you, you need to take your money seriously. Track your spend, open a savings account, try to leave a small amount of money at the end of each month and deposit this in your savings account.

Have you done it? Congratulations, you’ve just made a budget and an investment! This is key.

But do you want to take it further? Good! Investment is something that can secure our financial future and ensure we are never in a difficult place.

But there are so many questions! Do we simply save in a standard savings account? Do we find an investment fund to invest in? Do we take an educated gamble on the stock market or so we put our money into a workplace pension?

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Ideally, the answer to all of the above questions is simply – yes. This is called diversifying. Each investment represents an installation of a chapter of your investment portfolio. The bigger your portfolio and the wider the finances are spread, the better. This is good in case a market does crash as you’ll have plenty of other investments protecting your loss. The chance to invest, though, is at a premium of sorts and you’d be insane not to thoroughly consider each and every investment opportunity before putting the money down. Investing can be so confusing, and it can be dangerous to our finances – that’s why you need to research and take on board the experience of people like Jason Colodne if you want to invest! Listen to others before making what could be a silly gamble

One thing, though – you need to understand that you cannot outsmart the markets you are investing in, despite what some might be far too eager to tell you. There are probably three people in existence that can outsmart a market, and the big chance is that you aren’t one of them. If you try to outsmart the market, others will benefit from you at your cost. Always make sensible decisions with your money and invest wisely at all times.

If you want to play it really safe, invest in property. It could be the best decision you could ever make in terms of money. Income from rental can pay off a mortgage and put cash straight into your pocket. It’s not a gamble at all unlike the stocks. You should never rest on your laurels, though; the property is a physical thing that exists for you to improve. If a property falls apart on your watch, the dream is over. Don’t be negligent with your property.

Of course, remember to diversify and no investment decision can really be considered a bad one unless you chuck your money away on unfounded rumors regarding stocks. Play it safe and tight to your chest and let your money work for you


Investing in the Global Financial Markets: Surviving Brexit

We live in a fast-paced world with an ever-changing geopolitical and socio-economic landscape. As 2016 come to its end, we can say this has been a year of ups and downs. The last six months alone have shown how global political events can instil havoc into financial markets.

Brexit is a prime example of how a geopolitical event can inflict the global financial markets with instability. The unexpected result of the Brexit referendum cost the world’s stock markets trillions of US dollars. According to the UK’s Guardian newspaper, in the first 24 hours after the results of the vote were made known, Brexit cost the global financial markets about 2 trillion US dollars, while the British pound had to endure its biggest slide-down against the world’s major currencies in recent history. To add insult to injury, at the same time, Moody’s downgraded Britain’s economic outlook to negative. Observers were watching, and continue to watch, the value of one of the greatest currencies, the GBP, restated and revalued in what seems to some as a fall from power.

Brexit continues to make headlines

Juliet Samuel, in her opinion piece published in the Telegraph, writes that British Prime Minister, Theresa May, has admitted that she lies awake worrying about the consequences of Brexit and how to achieve the best trade deal for the UK. In attitudes that are far from ideal for anybody, EU spokesmen keep on reiterating that they are going to make it as difficult as possible for Britain to leave the EU, and that they are going to demand major financial penalties from the British government for leaving the European Union. Threats they might live to regret however, as the UK is Europe’s biggest export market.

For the average man on the street, the sticking points between the EU and the UK consist in: (a) Britain wants the freedom to trade with the EU as she is currently doing; and (b) she is not happy with a policy of open borders where migrants with terrorist inclinations from war-torn countries such as Syria are allowed to move through Europe and enter Britain endangering her security.

The EU, on the other hand, wants exactly the opposite, and they are saying they will not allow free trade if Britain does not capitulate on the movement of migrants through her borders. But this is not the full story. In fact, the heart of the tensions is about ‘sovereignty’. Specifically, the sovereignty of the UK banking system. UK bankers know EU member states cannot grow economically without serious constitutional reforms of the EU, and if the EU is not growing economically this is bad for UK prospects for growth.

On top of this, the Euro shall remain weak until its member states show some sustainable growth that is not related to actions of quantitative easing by the EU’s central bank. In short, the EU and UK economies are inseparably related. If the UK’s economic growth outlook is poor that is definitely bad news for Europe in general. The real experts know Brexit is a wake-up call for EU statesmen to get real, to depart from rhetorical ideas, and practice some Realpolitik.

Partnering for success

Despite these volatile times, it is always possible to make profits from binary options and to trade successfully on the world’s financial markets. Your online trading partner, or broker, will play a large role in determining your trading success. In order to find a world-class broker, you will need to do a fair amount of research by reading reviews, looking at websites, and talking to other traders via discussion forums.

I have just completed a similar exercise and discovered that Stern Options has everything I am looking for in an online trading partner. They offer the following:

  • A state of the art online trading platform with 24/7 uptime. Stern prides itself in the fact that they are able to keep their online trading platform operational any time during the day or night.
  • A security system par excellence, so your personal details and trading activities are kept safe and secure. A must for my peace of mind!
  • An online, free to use, education centre that consists of a comprehensive trading academy, instructional videos, glossary, and FAQ.
  • A customer support centre. Stern has made it their mission to employ some of the most qualified, experienced financial analysts in the industry. These analysts are experts at interpreting complex data about any of the assets you are interested in trading on. They are also on hand 24/7 in order to answer any online trading questions you have.

Final thoughts: Investing safely and successfully

If you take all of the above into consideration, Stern offers a powerful package to each and everyone one of their traders. Their technological applications are reliable, easy to use, designed to help you invest safely and trade successfully.

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Could All Your Investments Be Wiped Out In A Single Flash Crash? Mark Cuban Thinks So

Recently, Mark Cuban, the billionaire entrepreneur and maverick did an interview for Business Insider. He told the online news outlet that he thought at investing in the stock market for the vast majority of people was a seriously bad idea. At any moment, he said, the stock market could undergo one of its flash crashes, and all of an investor’s gains could be wiped out in an instant.

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Cuban, of course, is referring to the situation many investors found themselves in during the flash crash of May 6 2010, when in the middle of the afternoon, the US stock market lost over a trillion dollars in the space of a couple of minutes. The market did eventually recover before the close of play, but it got investors all over the world wondering what the heck had happened and how so much value could be wiped off the stock market in a single event. It turned out that the flash crash was caused by algorithmic malfunctions, where simple computer programs were blindly carrying out rules for their investors, without really thinking about whether their decisions to buy or sell made any sense. Cuban’s take away from the whole incident was that, for the average investor, plowing money into the stock market was a bad idea.

He’s not alone. Recently, there’s been an upsurge in the number of people expecting there to be another crash at some point in the future. The president elect himself, Donald Trump, has frequently predicted that the stock market is in a bubble, which appears to be reaching new heights since the billionaire real estate mogul won the election on November 8th. This has led many people to try to find assets to invest in that aren’t at risk of crashing in value in the near future. As this good guide on alternative investing points out, these assets have a low price correlation with mainstream assets, meaning that they don’t fluctuate up and down as the stock market moves up and down. That means that they are an excellent choice for people who don’t want to just stuff money under their mattress. So what are they?

Fine Art

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Fine art has historically been a form of alternative investment because the value of fine art doesn’t tend to go up and down with the values in the stock market. It does, however, tend to track wealth, which over the course of the second half of the twentieth century, increased dramatically. According to the Mei Moses Fine Art Index, the value of fine art rose by a staggering 10.5 percent per year during the latter part of the twentieth century. That means that it actually outperformed practically every other form of mainstream investment out there.

It’s worth noting, however, that those are average gains. Despite the fact that the market for fine art doesn’t usually track the stock market index, it is subject to its own fluctuations, which can on occasion, be dramatic. For instance, sales of fine art were booming back in the 1980s, thanks to a new class of investors from places like Japan and Taiwan. But then, once the recession of 2008 hit and trillions of dollars was wiped off the value of some of the world’s wealthiest investors, prices in the fine art market tanked.

Those who want to get into the fine art market should start off with a minimum investment of $10,000. Any amount less than this, and you risk buying a piece that might lose its value. Some new investors buy pieces of art for as little as $500 if they believe that they have found an undiscovered artist whose art will increase dramatically in price in the future.

Fine Wine

According to Reiss, wine investors can make a healthy annual return of anything between 6 and 15 percent per year. The good thing about wine investing is that the scarcity of wine increases considerably over the years. Investors who manage to hang on to vintage bottles of wine from allegedly good years tend to see the value of their wine increase are more of the existing bottles are opened and drunk.

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According to Opdyke, wines from the Bordeaux region of France tend to make the safest investments. They are highly prized by collectors, thanks to the quality of the wine making in the area, as well as the fact that the quality of wine from each season is well chronicled. Other highly collectible wines include Burgundies, Super Tuscans from Italy, and Spanish reds.

Investing in fine wines isn’t just a matter of buying them from the supermarket and then just keeping them in the pantry. It’s a lot more sophisticated than that. Buyers of fine wines can tell if the bottles have been stored incorrectly, and so investors need to invest also in the correct storage facilities for any wine they buy. Wine should be kept at a constant temperature, between 12.7 and 14.4 degrees celsius and at a relative humidity of between 60 and 75 percent. To make a return on wine investments, buyers usually have to buy a significant quantity, so it’s imperative that investors have sufficient storage facilities.

Coins

Coins, yet another collectible, are a great way to store wealth, and perhaps hedge against future inflation. In general, there are two types of coins that investors can buy. The first are the so-called bullion coins, minted by national governments. These coins are made from either gold or silver, and their value is derived from the precious metal that they contain. Buyers can go to gold dealers and purchase these coins in exchange for regular, paper money. The other type of coin used for investment purposes is what are called numismatic coins. These coins may contain some precious metals, but this is not the primary source of their value. Instead, they are valuable because of their individual rarity.

Take the 1918/7-D Buffalo Nickel, for instance. The coin itself has a face value of a nickel, but some of these coins have fetched as much as $285,000 at auction.


Key investment strategies for the reckless millennials – Measure your steps

As long as investing is concerned, millennials are infamous for their reckless attitude. According to a study by an eminent group earlier in 2016, Americans in between the age of 21 and 36 are the most financially orthodox generation since the time of the Great Economic Recession. The economic turmoil that they’ve been through since the recession has forced them to adopt a ‘better-safe-than-sorry’ attitude towards their finances. They seem to be always ready to face the unique challenges of the financial world. As the job market is more competitive than it ever was in the last few years and the newly passed-out college grads are saddled with the astronomical debt levels, it’s easy to conclude the reason behind millennials adopting this aggressive approach towards their handling savings.

So, in case you’re a part of this breakneck Generation Y who’s ready to dip your hands into the investment world, you should remember a few basic points in mind. Check them out and try to follow them while making your personal investment decisions.

Look for a financial advisor whom you can trust

Have you ever delved into the world of bonds, stocks and mutual funds ever before? If answered no and if this is the first time, it is pretty easy to feel overwhelmed by the large volume of investment choices that you’ll find in the market. Therefore if you find someone who can offer you rational and unbiased service on what financial moves to make is vital for your financial health. You might feel tempted to seek help of the financial advisor who helps your parents, but it is always better to take advice from advisors who specialize in advising people of the same demographic as yours.

This is perhaps the right time to start investing

That you can’t afford to put off saving is one of the most vital monetary lessons that the millennials learned from the last recession. If you are still not shelling away a portion of your income on a daily basis, your first priority is to find out the most ideal investment vehicle. If your employer offers a 401(k), that should be a decent start for you. You can reduce your taxable income by investing in 401(k).

Know that you may face challenges in the near future

Knowing the reason why people under the age of 30 aren’t engaged in any investment portfolio is a rather good way of gauging the difficulty of investing. One of the biggest reasons behind millennials not investing money is that they don’t have enough money or at least this is definitely why 54% of the surveyed millennials didn’t invest. The next reason is financial ignorance as more and more investors don’t have enough knowledge on what to do and what not to do.

Avoid incurring debt as debt can mar your investment goals

Millennials are that generation which have incorporated enough advances of the entire financial sector and they are also poised to reap benefits of the future advancements of this industry. Whichever store you visit nowadays, you will find the credit card processing machines and businesses which speak about 0% down payment loans. Hence, if you think you’re in debt at present, do everything that you think you can do to repay the debt. Once you pay off debt, get in touch with a credit repair firm to bring back your personal finances in order.

Millennials are usually lucky enough to have the element of time on their side. You should know how to position your finances and grant yourself a safe retirement sans debt. Follow the investment tips listed above to make some measured and informed decisions.

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Will Amazon withdraw operations from India?

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Amazon clearly hasn’t been able to live up to expectations as far as their performance in India is concerned. Yes, the brand has been proactively pushing its investments in the country by expanding its offerings. However, results are dismal to say the least. It was Brian Olsavsky, Amazon CFO who had hinted a few days back that though the company’s investments in the country had slowly started showing results, they have actually hit margins resulting in dis satisfactory figures in the third quarter.

Weeding out negative sentiments

Head of India Operations, Amit Agarwal, on the other hand was quick to convey that India was (and is) very much a part of the company’s eCommerce plans as a result of which its investments will continue to pour in the country. The company may still be in its nascent stages in India as far as eCommerce is concerned but they said that they are committed to transform ways in which India buys – irrespective of how many years it takes.

The Success of Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime, for instance, is one of the newest service offerings. The company is mulling a big loyalty program to dominate sales in the coming days. Incidentally, Prime, the subscription service, did emerge as the top seller in the month of October and Amazon expects similar results from its loyalty program as well.

With Diwali, Amazon witnessed a 2.7% hike in its sales as compared to the previous year. It even claimed to speed past Flipkart during the second season. The company is looking forward to more such exploits by launching at least four labels in the near future.

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Is Buying Your First Home Really A Good Investment?

Buying your first home will always be the biggest financial commitment you make. It takes months of searching for the perfect property, followed by weeks of form filling to get the mortgage in place. Every area of your financial life will be scrutinized, and you still may not get offered a rate that is affordable. It’s stressful, time-consuming, and hard work. But your time and energy aren’t the only things you’ll be investing in that property.

Saving up to cover that minimum ten percent of the purchase price is very hard to do for young people today. Of course, that isn’t the only upfront cost you’ll be facing. There are legal fees, removal costs, and administrative charges to cover before you get the keys to your place. Even before you’ve moved in, you’ve already paid a lot more than your deposit. Now you’ll be facing twenty-five years of interest payments on the 90% you borrowed. Is it all worth it?

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Many would argue that having a roof over your head and that first foot on the property ladder is an investment in your future. You’ll have the freedom to change the style of your home to suit your tastes. You may even have the space to start a family. Is the home you live in a good financial investment, though? Is there any question that renting is cheaper? Unless you are making a substantial step up regarding the size of your home, it is unlikely that your rent is less than your monthly mortgage repayment. Many mortgage lenders look at this as part of your affordability checks.

Buying wisely can help you maximize your investment. Start modestly. Don’t go for a four bedroom house if you only need an apartment right now. Do your homework. Check websites like www.searchbaltimorerealestate.com regularly to see what properties are on the market. Note the prices. Pay particular attention to the ones described as immaculate or impeccable. Compare them to the ones in need of modernization or refurb. If you’re willing and financially able to do some work, you could increase the value. Check with the agent what the ceiling valuation might be. If you can improve the property enough on a tight budget, you could make just enough to move up the ladder on your next purchase.

Market prices fluctuate. It’s important to buy at the right time for prices, not just the right time for your housing needs. There are usually taxes to pay on your purchase. It’s worth keeping an eye on news that these may change. It might prompt changes in the market. Or it might encourage you to buy quickly. To make your property a good investment, keep an eye on local issues. You should be aware of political and environmental issues affecting properties you’re interested in.

Buying a cheap property that requires a lot of work may be a mistake if you’re not skilled at DIY or building work. And buying an impeccable property now doesn’t mean it will still be in that condition when you want to sell it on. As with any investment, doing your homework can help reduce your risk.


The Secrets Behind Clever Property Investment

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For anyone who wants to get ahead financially, property investment is a must-consider option. The reasons for this are many, and quite clear even to the newcomer. Done right, investing in property can reap some significant rewards with little effort. Of course, knowing how exactly to do it right is most of the difficulty for the majority of people. In this article, we are going to go through some of the key things that you should bear in mind when investing in property. No matter how experienced you may or may not be, these are bound to help. What are some of the secrets to investing in property and making it beneficial?

Think Long Term

For many investors, it is all about the immediate rewards. However, these people are unlikely to do well overall. The reason? The best investments all tend to be long term. This is particularly the case for property investment, where you have to think long term as much as you can. The benefits of doing so are practically immediate. When it comes to investing in property, it is highly unlikely that you will experience any returns before long. This is simply down to the nature of the industry itself. It goes without saying that people do not normally stay in houses only short term. Chances are, you will be waiting a while before you see anything back. However, this is also something of a blessing. The longer you have to wait, the more likely that the return will increase overall. Sometimes, having a little patience really does make all the difference.

Buy New Where Possible

There are many different kinds of property you can invest in. What’s more, there are no hard and fast rules about what you should or should not buy. Really, as long as you can make it worthwhile, anything goes. However, there are certain types of property which give you a distinct advantage. A good rule of thumb for the beginner investor is to buy new properties wherever possible. It is not necessarily that new buildings bring more in returns. However, new apartments and houses are likely to need a lot less work. As a result, they are often the far easier choice to go for. Whenever you can, make sure that you look for new properties first and foremost. Of course, a lot of old properties do have significant value, so it is a case of comparing them as well as possible.

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Don’t Go It Alone

A lot of people do find that investing in property is something of a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it can offer you a fantastic way to make some serious money. However, there is also a chance that you can end up destitute. Often, those belonging to the latter category do so because they did not have anyone to help them. One good piece of advice is to make sure that you don’t go it alone. No matter what kind of experience you might have, it is far too easy to make a mistake when you operate on your own. However, if you have at least one other person with you, then you are much more likely to succeed.


Expert Advice To Help You Invest In The Right Property

Real estate is all about finding the right type of property to invest in. To help you out, I’ve listed four types and written some info on each of them.

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Houses

Houses are the prime property investment everyone wants to make. If you go through life without owning a house, you’ve had a hard time. They make excellent investments, for more than one reason. Firstly, the price of a house rises all the time. You can make to additions, and it will still increase in price because that’s how real estate seems to work. But, if you want to improve a house, you can! They’re great for buying, improving, and selling within eighteen months. You can earn lots of money property flipping like this. Plus, houses are probably the best investment for people playing the long-term game. Buy a house, live in it for years, and sell it for a profit ten years down the line. It’s so simple and well worth your money.

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Apartments

Now, apartments have numerous benefits that may make them the right investment for you. Firstly, buying an apartment can cost you less than buying a house. Plus, there are way more apartments for sale than houses. So, there’s more on the market for you to choose from. Not only that, new apartments are highly desirable amongst renters. People that don’t want to own property will often look for apartments to rent. For me, this property type is ideal for those looking to earn rent money. Buy-to-let experts often shout about apartments being the best investment you can make.

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Static Caravans

An interesting property to invest in is a static caravan. Often, people refer to these as holiday homes, and some call them chalets. They offer a very clever investment opportunity for the savvy property buyer. Personally, I think they’re ideal if you want to invest in something cheap. They’re the cheapest option out of the ones I’ve already mentioned. The main difference with these is that you’re targeting a very specific market. Holiday homes like this are very popular in the elderly community. This is because their location tends to private, which is what they desire. For me, these properties are great for building a big portfolio. You can easily purchase a lot of them, and own your own holiday village. There’s not as much money involved in static caravans compared to houses and apartments. But, on the flip side, it means you don’t have to contribute as much money either.

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Offices

While all of these ideas have been residential, some prefer to go more commercial. Investing in offices might be right for you. They do require a fair bit of maintenance, but the rewards are high. Simply because offices are in very high-demand. Especially if you own one in a busy area. Plus, you can always use the building yourself if you want. Have your business on one floor, and rent out the others. You get office space and make extra money while you’re at it.

Hopefully, viewing these options has helped you decide what type of investment you want to make. Think about which one suits you the best, and then go for it!


The Secret To Getting The Best Deal Possible On Your Next Property Investment

If you’re doing it for investment purposes, then you’re going to be even more particular about the kinds of deal you get on a home. You don’t want to overpay for a property. At the same time, pushing your luck can take a good investment out of your hands over what amounts to a matter of peanuts. Here, we’re going to look at how to be smart and get a good deal on your next property investment.

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Get your money prepared beforehand

Regardless of how you’re paying for the house, you should have it all sorted before you get to the point of talking with the seller. For one, it’s important that you know exactly how much you have to play with. Having an upper limit can give you a ceiling that you can drag potential home prices under. At the same time, it’s good to take time with a mortgage broker to see if you can’t get a better deal on financing your next purchase.

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Be thorough

It’s not just your money you need to have a good understanding of. You should also be thorough in how you actually look at that next property investment. First, don’t make the mistake of neglecting to have it inspected. In some cases, it may very well uncover some details that can help you when it comes to the negotiations table. In other situations, it might very well put you off what could turn out to be a bad investment. Don’t take the seller’s word for it. Take a closer look at the home every time.

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Negotiate

As we’ve said, the home inspection might bring price negotiations into your court, but that isn’t always the case. For one, know the market and the neighborhood. If the price stacks up well against the other homes in the neighborhood, you might be able to use that information as ammunition. That won’t be the case, however, if the home has a lot of viewers. In a competitive market, you have to be prepared to move quick if there’s a property you really like. That means cutting the nonsense and making your best offer first. Part of negotiating is knowing when to capitulate as well as when to hold.

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Adding value

If you want to make any home a good deal, then you need to go about making it earn you more than it earned the seller. Depending on what you want to do with it, there are a variety of methods to this. First, look at adding real value to the home in terms of more space. Finishing a basement or converting a loft will add real living space. Other changes, like renovations or exterior makeovers, will make it easier to sell. If you’re letting, it’s all about how you market it and who to, as well.

As with any kind of trade, you need to navigate the nuance of the deal. You need to be pre-prepared and flexible at the same time. Then you need to do what you can to make your purchase a profitable one.


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