Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How Do I Know What To Invest In?


Before you know the quickest path to take, you have to know where you want to go. Do you want to invest in order to pay for your child's college? To retire? Or for reasons that are short term, like going on a trip? Are you looking to quit your job and just live off your investments? These are questions you must ask yourself before you know which vehicle is appropriate for you.


Once you have a figure in mind about why you are investing and the time line it is going to take to get there, educate yourself as much as possible.

The three types of investments are:

1. Real estate

2. Paper assets

3. Business

The majority of the world will advise you to invest in paper assets, but it is a very slow and risky way to become wealthy.

Look at it this way:

There is a reason why the bank won't lend you money to invest in the stock market, but they will lend you money to buy investment property.

There is also a reason why the insurance company will secure your real estate, but not stocks, bonds and mutual funds. I am sure you've noticed at your bank that mutual funds are not "FDIC" insured.

Banks and insurance companies are the leading financial institutions in the country, if not the world. Part of being a good leader is being a good follower! If you want to get rich, do what rich people do!

Real estate is a very lucrative investment for 3 major reasons:

1. Cash flow

2. Equity

3. Future appreciation

For instance, if I buy a house that appraises for $100,000 for $60,000 dollars, I have created a very lucrative investment for myself.

I can either:

A) Put it on the market for $100,000 dollars and net $80,000 once Realtor fees and closing costs are paid, and make $20,000 using NONE of my own money to buy the real estate in the first place. It is hard to do in this market climate, but still possible.

B) I can offer owner financing on the property to these sea of buyers who are denied bank loans, due to the financial crisis. I can sell the property to them for $100,000 and 20% down - which would be $20,000 upfront. The new balance on the note would be $80,000. And if my original payment on $60,000 dollars was close to $400 dollars - I could charge 9% interest to my owner financed buyer on $80,000, which would be $600 dollars per month.

In this example, I would make $20,000 upfront, and cash flow $200 dollars per month, month after month. And when the buyer refinances, I make an additional $20,000 (without Realtor fees, because you don't need a Realtor to sell an owner financed deal)

C) I could simply rent out the property for let's say $850 per month (if the market warrants that) and cash flow $450 per month and wait to sell when the market conditions improve. Because in 5 years, the property value may appreciate (especially if you live in the Midwest, where real estate markets are not so volitile) So the same property that is worth $100,000 may be worth $110,000 or more in 5 years or so.

I can also take the proceeds of the sale I make, and reinvest them BACK into real estate tax free. It is called a 1031 exchange. So, I can continue to re-invest over and over and over again, using Uncle Sam's money interest free.

And last but not least, you can start your own business.

Right now is the age of the entreprenuer, with all of the jobs going overseas and corporate lay offs - more and more people are starting home based businesses online. It can be something as simple as writing an Ebook one time, and selling it for $20 dollars. Just in case you don't know, an Ebook stands for an "Electronic" book, or a digital product.

You create the asset, and it is something you can sell over and over again for the rest of your life. You can also sell OTHER PEOPLE'S Ebooks for a commission. This is just one example out of millions for a business you can start online. You can also open a restaurant, or any number of things.

The most important key is to find a person you really admire and respect when it comes to money. Some people have greater ambitions than others. But the most important thing I can tell you is to not take advice from somebody who's driving a Honda if you want to drive a Mercedes.

A lot of people take financial advice from 20 somethings fresh out of college who work at investment firms. They make $40,000 per year, and it is their job to sell you their companies products. So OF COURSE they are going to tell you their companies products match your needs the best!

The best thing to ask your financial advisor is "How much money do you make per year?" And if that is the type of money you want to make yourself, then listen to them. If you want to make one million dollars per year, find a person who has that level of income. (They are more common than you think!) Most of those people hang out at a business that they own, or at the real estate investors association.

Find a person you admire, who has what you want, and let them help you draw up a plan. You have to know what it is that you want before you can make a plan to achieve it. If you want to retire in 5 years, you will have a certain plan. If you are comfortable retiring in 20 years, you may want to invest in mutual funds, CDs, or maybe buy one or two properties per year.

YOU have to decide what is best for your situation, and know that anything is possible.

What Are Some Good Investments With Quick Returns?

This question reminds me of the genie who grants 3 wishes. What would your wishes be?

Hopefully, one of your wishes... would be to wish for more wishes! ;-)

There are courses available online about "How To Raise Private Money" which cost anywhere from $500 dollars to $2,000 dollars. Basically, you can learn how to get other people to lend you money to buy steeply discounted real estate, and it is a great time to buy in this market!

There is no limit to the amount of private money you can raise. You can raise millions of dollars, if you'd like. Then, you can buy great deals on real estate that are 50% or less value. If the house doesn't sell, you can offer owner financing or lease option as an exit strategy and partner with people who have money to invest.

There is a reason why the bank won't lend you money to speculate on the stock market, yet they will lend you money all day long to buy real estate.

There is also a reason why real estate is insured, but stocks, bonds and mutual funds are NOT secured by the FDIC.

Banks and insurance companies are the two most powerful institutions in America. Part of being a great leader is being a great follower!

Why invest your own money into something that is not secure?

With real estate, the loans are collateralized by the real estate itself. Which is why it is so easy for you to get backing on good real estate deals, because even if you fail to sell it - your investors have a steeply discounted piece of real estate to show for it.

If you fail in the stock market, you may as well flush it down the toilet.

Also, you can't rent stocks and make a monthly, residual income off of them.

If my property doesn't sell, I always have the option to offer owner financing or rent it out.

Let's say I find a house worth $100,000 for $60,000 because the owner is motivated to sell.

I have a private investor back me on the purchase for $60,000 and pay them 12% interest on the loan. They want to lend me the money, because they know it is a great deal, based on the appraisal.

My payment is $600 per month. And let's say that during the 6 month period, I can't find a pre-qualified buyer. Well, I have several options:

1. I can offer owner financing, and get 10% down from a buyer. This is in very high demand, because banks aren't lending money right now.

2. I can lease out the property, and cover my mortgage payment.

If I rent the property for $850 per month, I make $250 per month cash flow, plus I have $40,000 equity in the property. But best of all, I never used a dime of my own money.

If I want to go to the bank and refinance it (if you have good credit) you can pull out between $10,000 to $20,000 cash and refinance your investor out of the loan. Or, your investor will be as happy as ever to get a 12% return while your new buyer or tenant keeps on making the monthly payment.

Also, in certain areas you can expect the property to appreciate in value, especially in the midwest. So, that same property that appraises for $100,000 now may be worth $105,000 to $110,000 in the next two or three years.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Stocks Versus Real Estate - Which One Is Best?

The leading financial institutions in America are banks and insurance companies. Part of being a good leader is being a good follower.

What I mean by this is that a bank won't lend you money to speculate on the stock market, nor could you obtain an insurance policy to guarantee your stocks will be secure. In fact, most banks disclose that mutual funds and other stock certificates are not backed by the FDIC.

In contrast, a bank will lend you money to buy real estate all day long, and I'm sure everyone has heard of home insurance.

The reason why banks and insurance companies are so eager to lend and insure real estate is because real estate is tangible, where business (stocks are shares of a business) is more of an intangible idea.

Also, with real estate you have more control.

If you cannot sell your property, you can always rent it out for a passive income. Also, there are three ways to make money in real estate:

1. Cash flow - residual income off of renters. Whatever you get above and beyond your principle, interest, taxes, and insurance is yours to keep.

2. Equity - If you buy a house for $50,000 that actually appraises for $100,000, you can either sell the house for $100,000 and collect a $50,000 pay check, or you can go to the bank to refinance the equity out of the property.

3. Appreciation - There is only so much land available on the Earth. There are booms and busts in real estate, but everyone agrees that there is only so much space on this planet to buy. So, the same property you bought for $50,000 that is worth $100,000 today - may be worth $125,000 in 3 to 5 years.

I have not even mentioned the tax breaks you get by investing in real estate. Here is just an example of what I mean:

There are three types of income:

1. Earned
2. Portfolio
3. Passive (Residual)

Earned income (doctors, lawyers, attorneys) are taxed in the highest brackets, and have to give 50% of their income to Uncle Sam.

Portfolio income is equity, or what your assets are worth but haven't sold for. Once you sell, you can be taxed up to 20% of your proceeds.

Passive is generated from royalties, copyrights or real estate rentals, and is only taxed up to 10% in most cases.

With real estate, you can sell that $50,000 for $100,000 then take that $50,000 proceed and RE-INVEST that money into more real estate, tax free. In other words, you can use Uncle Sam's money legally to invest and buy more real estate. The technical terminology for this is called a 1031 exchange.

There are NUMEROUS ways to invest in real estate, regardless if you want to buy rental properties, rehab and flip houses, or become a partner with a real estate investor like me and provide the funding while I find the deals, manage the contractors, secure a buyer, and do all of the leg work to make the business a success.

You can partner with an investor who buys steeply discounted properties, set up a self directed IRA where the money continuously rolls back into your account tax free, and your money is secured by a 1st position promisory note. In other words, if the venture fails and the house doesn't sell for full appraised value- you own a house that is at least 50% of the appraised value that you can either rent out or sell to get your money out of.

All you have to make sure of is that the title on the real estate is clear, which an attorney will provide for you for very little cost. And your money will be secured by the real estate.

You can form a partnership with me, own the real estate with me, and I will do all the leg work as far as finding the deals, finding a buyer or renting them out for a profit. We can show recent sales in the neighborhood, and provide contracting bids to show how much work each property needs.