Category Archives: Investment

Invest $400 Dollars

One common fallacy amongst new investors is that they must make huge investments to see huge returns. While it’s true that the more you can invest, the more you will see returned, it’s also true that you have to start somewhere. Even if you can only invest $400 dollars, you can turn it into huge money faster than you probably have imagined.

One way to invest $400 is to buy small gifts and treats to make gift baskets. While these can be big sellers during the holiday season, they also make great gifts for weddings and baby showers. People are busy these days, and they’re always looking for a gift to give that looks like it has thought and heart put into it. By creating nice gift baskets that are personalized, you can make a ton of money. It’s easy to advertise these types of things on the internet, and reach a huge customer base.

Another option is to focus on advertising services you might have to offer. These could be anything from lawn work, to babysitting to editing services. If you think about it, I’ll bet you can find a way to make anything you’re especially skilled at into a lucrative career. The problem is that you must make your services known to others. No matter how good you are, if people don’t know you’re out there you won’t make any money. $400 dollars can go a long way towards creating a complete marketing package.

Either of these options will be sure to bring you great returns on your $400 dollars. You can utilize some or part of these ideas, twist them into your own and find yourself with more money than you’d imagined.

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LIC Systematic Investment Plan

The LIC systematic investment plan has a huge appeal with the Indian masses as the company is a household name.

The SIP LIC mutual fund offers a number of schemes under the titles of equity, debt, balanced, liquid, redeemed and floating. As you already know, LIC is the top insurer in the country.

Also, what makes its one of the best SIP investment plans is India is its NAV options for you i.e. there are available NAV history options for that of Daily NAVs, Monthly, Weekly, Holidays, Historical.

The LIC mutual funds are ideal for NRIs out of the country to invest.

Invest as minimum as less as Rs.500 or Rs.1000.

LIC offers investor’s guide as well as a LIC Mutual Fund Calculator to help you calculate your returns.

You can easily plan your retirement or your finance using the planning medium available on LIC’s end.

Since the investment fee is as low as Rs. 500, you can extend your approach to 2 to 3 schemes together including a special Children’s investment by LIC.

The LIC systematic investment plan through ECS i.e. electronic clearing service or Auto debit is available online and in only available to the few cities mentioned on the site.

Existing customers need not apply through a common form but just provide their account number.

The LIC mutual funds site promotes a common application form for all its schemes.

Also, along that, is the additional information statement document that can be downloaded by an investor to read about the profile of the company.

If you wish read about all its schemes, download the whole portfolio which holds pdf files with details of all the schemes. The LIC website is a one stop junction for an investor to know everything about their SIP plans.

You can either contact the back or agents and brokers to get your LIC systematic investment plans done.

Next Step – What should you do?

You have to analyze the performance of the various LIC schemes and spot the best to invest.

Best Solution for Condo Investment

Why condo investment is by far your best solution

I was pondering/contemplating/thinking about the income property business this morning (contrary to popular belief I do think from time to time) after speaking to a client, and I thought about two categories in particular: the new investor, and the professional investor.

Both groups have a similar problem: getting an investment portfolio going. Career oriented professionals cannot afford to have me “sell” them a second job. New investors have generally had an inability to get over fears and concerns of investing, as for the majority it is the first time in their lives they have taken a calculated risk with their money, and it is completely natural to dither as a result. It pains me to see how some of you are now entering year 2, year 3, year 4, have all the investment knowledge in the world – and still don’t own an income property.

Why I write is because there is a viable solution that we have been using more and more; condo investment. They are by far the safest investments, have by far the lowest time commitments, have the best residential tenants overall, are easy to obtain financially, and have by far the lowest maintenance costs.

In a nutshell – I refuse to over complicate such a simple concept – what we’ve been doing is selling 1 or 2 bedroom condos in the better/best run condo buildings, which my associate Brian Peltier and I have already identified for you. We then fill them up with a tenant; condo tenants are virtually always one of three classifications. Professional student (think law, MBA, graduate studies etc.), young professional, or retiree. These are the folks that give you 12 post dated cheques, shake your hand and say “see you in a year”. Because it’s their own home they generally upkeep the property very well, even taking care of the smaller repairs. I’ve seen many condos handed back to the owner in better condition than when they leased it out; it’s not an unusual phenomenon at all. Financing is generally 95% loan to value on the first one, 80% loan to value on the remaining ones. However, we’re finding that enough vendors are willing to hold a 2nd mortgage to help out with that heftier down payment, or get a line of credit of course.

You won’t get the largest cash flow a month – think $100-$150 – but you are getting property appreciation, your mortgage paid down, massive tax write offs, and a modest $1200-$1800 cash a year. The other nice thing is you can stack your investments in the same building; so if one condo is working, you can continue to reinvest into more condos and duplicate your already successful efforts. I have one client up to 10 units in one building and barely lifting a finger.

And finally I’ll provide you with the “money where my mouth is” statement: my associate Brian Peltier owns and rents out two condos, my assistant Jane owns 2, her sons own 3 more, and I own one. (Full disclosure: I live in mine, but after seeing how happy our condo investors are, and how little time it takes, I’ll be holding onto my condo for a long while).

Send me an email back or call me if you want to get started. We can send you out the best properties available and let’s get you moving on these opportunities before these pesky interest rates climb higher (another 0.25% yesterday) and property appreciation escalates (Windsor’s up 3.3% on property value so far this year, sales are up 14% — this is all great but it does mean get moving now, so you are on the good side of the appreciation).

How to Make Money Investing in 401K Plans in 2015-2016 and Beyond

Torie, like millions of other people, knows that she needs to make money investing in 401k plans in 2015-2106 and beyond (she has a couple) in order to retire comfortably.

What she also needs to know: 401k asset allocation, how to pick and manage her best 401k investment options, and the outlook for 2015 and 2016. Let’s take a look at how she and you can make money in 2015, 2016 and beyond (or at least make the best of it) if you’re in the same boat.

Although it’s been easy to make money investing in 401k plans in recent years, this is not always the case. The first thing Torie and you need to do is to set a goal (Torie’s is to retire in about the year 2040). Second, be honest about your personal risk tolerance. Torie’s is “moderate” – but definitely not aggressive! Third, review your present 401k asset allocation to determine whether the investment options you hold are in line with your risk tolerance. Are you in the best 401k investment options, and in the right proportion?

Finally, you need to understand that 2015 and 2016 could be a difficult time to make money investing in 401k plans. The reason: weak economic forecasts make yesteryear’s best 401k investment options vulnerable to losses. Stocks are pricey and so are bonds. Assuming your risk profile is similar to Torie’s (she would like to make money but wants to avoid heavy losses) what can you do now to stay on track, make money, and avoid heavy losses if 2015 and beyond turns ugly? We’ll use Torie as our example.

A number of years ago Torie decided that she wanted to make money investing in 401k plans, but wanted to keep things simple. She had changed jobs once and was planning on another change in the future. With both employers she had set her plan up with 50% going to a safe stable account and 50% to a Target 2040 fund. She was busy and pretty much ignored her statements over the years. After all, her goal was to make money investing, and she could see at a glance that her portfolio balance was growing. Now, she needs to take a closer look at her 401k asset allocation to see what percent is invested in each of her two 401k investment options.

In early 2015, a closer look revealed that both plans had a portfolio asset allocation far riskier than she had expected. The target fund represented almost 80% of her assets in her first plan and 75% in her current plan. What happened, and what action should she take to get back on track and still keep things simple? What happened was that her target 2040 funds turned out to be one of the best 401k investment options in her plans and they far outperformed her safe stable accounts.

The other best 401k investment options had been stock funds, but Torie considered them to be too risky. With the target fund most of her money was actually invested in stock funds, with the rest in bond funds; and both fund types had performed well heading into 2015. Her plan was to continue to make money investing in her 401k by holding her target fund and a safe investment. That way she was invested in stocks and some bonds as well to give here her portfolio some balance.

What she now needs to do is to REBALANCE her 401k asset allocation so that 50% of her portfolio assets are again equally invested in each of her two chosen investment options. That cuts her risk considerably and it fits her comfort level. Now, can you or Torie make money investing in 401k plans in 2015-2016 with a 401k asset allocation that is allocated half to safe investment options (money market funds or stable accounts) and half to stock funds or target funds? Yes, unless the stock market falls and bonds also take a hit.

How can you make money investing in 401k plans in 2015 and beyond if both stocks and bonds get hit hard? You would need to move the vast majority of your money to the safe havens available. In other words, your best 401k investment options would be the stable account that pays interest (if one is available) or the money market fund (which your plan should have, but currently pays very little in dividends). For the average investor who needs long term growth (like you and Torie) this is an extreme measure.

Remember, your real objective is to make money investing in 401k plans, so you can have a secure retirement. Moderate risk is part of the program. I use Torie as an example because her situation is typical. Her 401k asset allocation fits her (and likely your) risk tolerance and should produce growth over the long term. She has chosen the best 401k investment options to reach her goal of retirement in 2040 (if you plan to retire in 2030 go with the 2030 target fund, and so on). Half of her money is safe and the other half has growth potential.

Plus, she has a plan to manage her 401k investment options. If the markets get ugly in 2015 and 2016 she will not make money investing in 401k plans, she will lose money. But she has money going into her target fund every pay period buying shares at cheaper and cheaper prices, and money going into and accumulating in her safe investment. Anytime her 401k asset allocation shows that 60% or more is in the safe account she will REBALANCE back to 50%, which means taking money from the safe account and adding it to the target fund. Then, when the markets turn, she’s well positioned to make money investing in 401k plans for a secure future.

The Best Way to Invest 300 Dollars

If you have a spare three hundred dollars today, you have a choice between splurging it in the mall or paying your bills or invest the money. Splurging at the mall will provide pleasure but only for a short time.  Paying the bills will keep you updated but it will not make you any money. So, that leaves investing.  Well, you are better off with this choice for many reasons.  For one thing, you can earn money in the future to afford not just a shopping spree but even an exotic vacation.  For another thing, you can earn money to pay the bills even when you are retired from active employment.  There are couple of places to start out. Lets have a look at a few:

Certificates of Deposit

One of the safest investments possible in an uncertain world, certificates of deposit provide for higher interest rates compared to savings account.  You cannot, however, withdraw your principal investment before its maturity date lest penalties and fees are imposed on your money.  The good thing about certificates of deposit is that these are assured of return on investments regardless of the state of the economy.  Just make sure that you invest your accumulated 300 dollars in banks and credit unions with insurance from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and National Credit Union Administration, respectively.  This is a secure but slow method of getting your money to grow.

Mutual Funds

Now, if you want your $300 to be invested in a wide variety of investment instruments like stocks, bonds, short-term money market instruments and other securities, then your best bet is mutual funds.  Basically, you pool resources with other investors such that your $300 becomes part of a larger pool of money that is used for making investments.  The profits and losses are divided among the mutual fund investors according to a pre-set agreement.  In many instances, your $300 can earn you significant returns in a few years with minimal management on your part.

That’s not the only advantage to mutual funds.  First, your investment portfolio will be more diversified, thus, lessening your risk to market volatility.  Second, you have your money in good hands since professional managers are in charge of investing the pooled resources. Third, you can start for as low as $100 (or $300, for that matter).  Fourth, you can invest additional amounts for as little as $50 every month. Soon enough, your $300 can turn into thousands if you stay long enough on the fund.

Stock Investments

If you want to dabble in stocks, you can opt for short-term stocks or invest in stocks that allow for lesser amounts of investments.  Think Coca-Cola and Disney stocks.  Of course, the assumption is that you know the basics of trading in stocks – buy low, sell high, for one thing. Otherwise, you are better off hiding the money under the mattress.