7 Tips for Low Risk Investing in Real Estate

Real estate investing can be an exciting adventure and a very lucrative business. But it’s that seductive high profit potential that makes many investors jump in with no net, no plan and very often, no resources. The truth is that real estate investing is a risky investment. In order to minimize those risks, investors must take specific steps before jumping in. Below are 7 strategies for minimizing your risk with real estate investments.

1. Define your Financial Goal

Have clarity about what you want from a financial investment. Many investors make the mistake of falling for someone else’s idea of what’s a “good deal.” The truth is that everyone has their own different financial goal. You should be clear about your own goal. Are you looking for quick cash? Are you looking for monthly cash flow? Are you looking to park your money for a few years and get future appreciation? The clearer you are about what your financial goals are, the easier it will be to gage if your investment is on track or not.

2. Find your Purpose for Wanting to Invest

Real estate investing can be very intimidating and it’s easy for a new investor to be paralyzed with fear even in the presence of the “deal of a lifetime.” The truth is that real estate investing is a number analysis game that can easily be stopped by emotions. To keep yourself from getting overwhelmed and hiding under a rock, be aware of your motivation for investing. Are you looking to eliminate debt? Are you looking to secure a financial future? The vision of your purpose will keep you in the game.

3. Select your Investing Strategy based on your Financial Goal

There are many, many, many ways to make money in real estate. So, to avoid being swayed by the “deal frenzy,” you should always select your investing strategy based on what you already decided that you wanted financially. This will keep you from buying cheap vacant land when what you really want is cash flow. No matter how tempting that cheap vacant land is, it’s not in line with your goals. Pass it up or change your goals.

4. Establish your Investing Rules before you start looking at deals

Once people find out that you’re a real estate investor, deals will start coming out of the woodworks and you will be tempted every day by the “deal of a lifetime.” What do you do? Consult your investing rules and decide if the deal is in harmony or in conflict with those rules. Knowing what you want, what your investing strategy is and what resources you have available are will help you set parameters and guidelines for investing. And that in turn, will keep your risk of losing money down as low as possible.

5. Find your Market based on your Investing Strategy

Look for a market that has plenty of properties that support your investing strategy. Most new investors insist on investing in their own backyard because it keeps them within their comfort level. That’s a great idea only if their neighborhood will support the strategy that they need to make the financial goal they’re after. If not, they’ll either have to look for another market beyond their own neighborhood, change their investing strategy, or stop their investing efforts altogether. Forcing an investing strategy on a market will increase your risk of losing money.

6. Select your Team within that Market

You need to find, interview, and hire team members in the market that you invest in. You will hire individual people and companies to support your investing strategy and help you make money. If you cannot find good team members in the market that you chose, your risk of losing money will go up and you should seriously reconsider investing there.

7. Find your Properties based on your Strategy, your Market, and your Team

Now that you are clear about your investing strategy and your investing rules AND now that you’ve found a market with a good team, now you can look at specific properties to invest in. Look for properties that are in line with your strategy and your rules. This is the surest low risk method of investing in real estate.

It’s easy to be seduced by the profit potentials of Real estate investing. That’s why you need to make your investing decisions up front without the deal in front of you to distract you. The biggest mistake that new investors make is to buy properties on a whim without a plan. They spend more time trying to get out of their bad deal and less time making more money.

Learn to keep your risk down and get educated on real estate investing. Learn to create a realistic investing plan to keep your profits high and the risk of losing money with real estate investing as low as possible.

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Auto Insurance FAQs: Your Questions Answered

When it comes to auto insurance, most consumers have questions about the kind of coverage they buy, what they’re required to have and if there are options for high-risk drivers.

Learning the answers to these and other questions can help you make better purchasing decisions when it comes to car insurance. And now, finding answers is easier than ever!

Frequently Asked Questions about Auto Insurance

Can I drive without car insurance?

No! Almost every state requires its motorists to carry liability insurance, which covers damages to people and property resulting from an accident for which you are at fault.

All states also have financial responsibility laws, which require you show the state that you have the funds to pay claims if you have a bad accident. If you don’t have proof of sufficient funds (which varies by state), you’ll need to purchase at least the minimum state-required coverage.

What are the minimum insurance requirements?

While minimum coverage amounts vary by state, all state-required insurance will cover your liability for bodily injury and property damage.

For example, if the minimum auto insurance requirement in your state is listed as 25/40/15, this means that you’ll have coverage up to $40,000 for all motorists injured in an accident, up to a $25,000 for one person in an accident and $15,000 for damaged property.

While this may seem like a healthy amount of coverage, purchasing the state minimum is really purchasing a bare bones insurance policy. The Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) recommends carrying at least $300,000 liability coverage per accident and $100,000 per person–and your insurer will encourage you do to the same.

What happens if I can’t find car insurance?

If you’ve applied for car insurance and been turned down because of your driving record or other factors, fret not–you still have options available to you. According to the I.I.I., you have two options: join a state assigned risk pool or buy a policy from a non-standard insurer.

An assigned risk pool consists of insurers in your area, who under state law, are required to participate in proportion to the amount of voluntary business they accept. As a result, insurers must accept motorists assigned to them and write policies accordingly. But because insurers have to take a substantial risk on insuring high-risk drivers, premiums are significantly more expensive.

Non-standard insurers may also be able to write you an auto insurance policy. These types of private insurers typically write policies for motorists with a poor history of accidents, people who live in “high-risk” neighborhoods and those who drive high performance cars.

While both of these options may have you forking over some extra cash, they might be your only source of auto insurance until your circumstances improve. Just remember to keep shopping around so you can switch insurers once you find a better premium price.

What are the differences between nonrenewal and cancellation of a policy?

You or your insurer can choose not to renew your auto insurance policy after it expires for a variety of reasons. You might decide not to renew your policy if you find a better deal somewhere else or weren’t happy with the service you were receiving.

An insurer may not renew your policy if you did something to substantially increase their risk to cover you–or if the company decides to write fewer policies in your area.

Cancellation, on the other hand, is more serious. According to the I.I.I., insurers cannot cancel a policy that’s been in force for more than 60 days unless:

  • You fail to pay your premium
  • You defraud the company
  • Your driver’s license is suspended or revoked

Cancellation of your policy may also make it harder to find insurance in the future, thus forcing you to buy a high-risk policy for a more expensive premium.

What if I’m not satisfied with my insurer?

As a consumer, you have rights when it comes to your auto insurance. If you’re not satisfied with your agent, let him or her know. If your complaint still goes unchecked, see if the insurer has a consumer complaint department and file a complaint.

If your issues remain unsolved, contact your state department of insurance. The department of insurance exists for consumer education and protection, and they can provide you with help and resources to take your complaint to the next level, or find a new insurer. You can contact your department of insurance by phone or find them online for more information.

A knowledgeable consumer is a powerful consumer!

Finding questions to your auto insurance answers is the first step to becoming an educated consumer–allowing you to make wise purchasing decisions about affordable car insurance. Find more answers to your auto insurance questions by contacting your state department of insurance!

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Business Growth With the Financing of Laboratory Equipment

To make this world a better place to live, everyone from the Greeks and shamans to the scientists- all of them have tried their level best towards the development of human lives. During the past few decades the medical health scenario of the world has undergone a substantial change in all respect. Much advancement has been made in the field of medical research which has considerably helped mankind to a great extent. The medical instruments which have been invented by the scientists are very expensive- no doubt; but those are pretty indispensable in medical field.

A chair of dentist’s clinic, for example, is not at all economical, rather high priced but is definitely needed commodity. In order to purchase high priced lab equipment, you may consider the option of laboratory equipment financing.

Nowadays, dental laboratory instruments are very vital and at the same time, highly expensive too. The instruments of dental department are costlier and are likely to exceed the buyer’s budget. You may need financing to procure the latest cavity filling equipment or advanced whole mouth imaging system. You can access loan to get the above said costly medical instruments from banks or other financing companies at a very low interest. But make sure that the financial company is an option.

Laboratory equipment financing can prove to be beneficial if you want to purchase equipment that are regularly used for example, X-Ray machines or C.T. scan machines, which are pretty expensive as well. You can buy sonograms, endoscope, ultra sound equipment, x-ray film processing materials and others by obtaining loans from trustworthy financing companies.

Medical instruments like surgery tools, oxygen tanks, optometry equipment and orthopedic instruments and other machineries come in almost in the same price tags. Hence medical and health equipment financing at times is a key factor for any health institute such as hospitals and nursing homes.

To run a business of your own in this medical sector you to need to keep one thing in mind; financing will be a useful formula to make your business firm and secure.

In a medical business you must have medical equipment ranging in size from large to small. To operate a business at ease one needs medical accounting equipment such as computers, accounting and tax software, business calculators and many more for the smooth functioning of your business. It is often said that while running medical business, one should have high purchasing capacity and for that to happen, laboratory financing from various companies and banks is an ideal option.

Home health equipment like medical beds, oxygen machineries, wheel chairs are the fundamental need for patients. Quality medical beds along with some other medical apparatus are also costly, so for home or business use financing is mostly required.

There are many types of laboratory equipment like analytical instruments, evaporators, microscopes, autoclaves, sterilizers, incubators, blood analyzing equipments are mandatory in the medical field. Every hospital must have these for diagnosing any form of illness. As a result of this, the cost of tools & other associated costs go up finance companies are there to help each & every medical entrepreneur.

There are many authentic banks and finance companies which are hugely experienced in laboratory equipment leasing and they appreciate the basic necessity of such equipment and easily sanction applicants’ desired loan amount. The process of loan application is pretty simple and hassle free. Therefore, in laboratory equipment financing, medical professionals, health care institutes, hospitals find it sensible to rely on financial institutes to buy their supplies.

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Home Business 101 – Record Keeping For a Home Based Business

To introduce this topic “Record Keeping for A Home Business”, I must repeat a statement you have seen many times before in this series – “a home businesses is just that, a Business.” New statement – YOU CAN’T RUN A BUSINESS WITHOUT KEEPING RECORDS! Many people planning to start a small business from their home are surprised to find that keeping records of the business is one of the requirements. It is. I can’t help you there, but I can give you a few tips to make it easier.

Why do you have to keep records?:

Taxes – the most obvious reason is to prepare your tax returns. For more information about taxes I would go to the Internal Revenue Service website (irs.gov) and check three items under “Business” – “Starting a Business” – “A-Z Index For Businesses” – and, “Small Business Forms and Publications.”

To monitor progress and prepare financial statements – good records help you monitor the progress of your business. What products or services are selling and returning the most profit? Did you realize positive results from your last marketing campaign? Which sales letters or landing pages are making the best conversions? Are you really making any money? We could go on and fill this page with questions, but the bottom line is that without accurate and adequate records you don’t have a clue.

Customer service – there will be numerous times you will have to go back to your records to resolve a customer inquiry or provide information.

Managing cash flow – even a small home business can benefit from managing cash flow. Cash coming into the business never equals outflow. Good records let you anticipate these differences and prepare for them by making wise purchases to minimize outflow, or offering sales or new promotions to increase inflow when it is needed most.

Marketing – anyone who has been in business (any kind of business) for any length of time has heard “the money is in the list (of customers, prospects, leads)” and “test everything to see what works and what doesn’t.” That is excellent advice, but can’t be done without keeping records.

What Records do you have to keep?

The very simple answer is all records having to do with money flow into and out of your business. A far more precise answer (having to do with tax records) will be found in the Internal Revenue Service website (irs.gov) under “Small Business” – “Starting A Business” – Record Keeping.” There are, as we’ve seen, reasons other than taxes to keep records, so let’s get back to the statement “all records having to do with money flow into and out of your business.

Money flowing into your business might be:

  • Money from selling your own goods or services
  • Commissions from selling goods or services for others
  • Bonuses for recruiting or special sales (Network / Internet Marketing)
  • Money you (or a partner) contribute into the business
  • Money from other sources such as borrowed from a lender or investor
  • Money you make from sale of all, or part of, your business

Money flowing out of your business might be:

  • Home expenses for that portion of your home used as an office
  • Payments for product to be re-sold
  • Payments for all services and expenses, such as marketing, advertising, supplies, accounting, education, etc. required to run your business
  • Payments to buy or replace business assets, such as computers etc.
  • Payments to yourself (or partners) in the form of a draw against equity

What is the best way to keep these records?

My experience in small business leads me to say – without hesitation – QuickBooks. I don’t have space in this Article to tell you all the reasons why, but QuickBooks is a good system that eliminates repetitive record entry, is accepted by all Accountants, and is quick and so easy that even I can do the books.

One thing I can tell you about small business record keeping is this – if you don’t organize your records from the start, and stay on top of your record keeping chores daily, I can almost guarantee that you will come to grief – probably sooner than later.

I’d like to leave you with eight tips CRITICAL to business record keeping success and sanity:

  1. Never mix business and personal paperwork. For instance, by using one checkbook or credit card for business and personal use.
  2. Make sure your records can be understood by anyone, not just yourself. I strongly suggest you use one of the widely accepted automated software record keeping systems. My personal recommendation is QuickBooks Pro.
  3. Always use the memo section of your checks to record the specifics of the expense.
  4. Record transactions as they occur, or at least on a daily basis. Reconcile bank statements the day you receive them. Retain all bank statements.
  5. Get help before things get out of control. Your Accountant, or Business Counselor should be able to help, or at least point you in the right direction when help is needed.
  6. Develop and maintain a good back up system. If you are using computer software back up daily onto disk or jump drive (my preference) and store the disk or drive in a fire resistant cabinet or other safe place. All permanent records of the business like licenses, contracts, organization filing papers, etc. which are paper documents, should be copied or scanned electronically, and stored the same way.
  7. Unless you have a tax accounting background, plan to have your taxes prepared by an Accountant (at least the first year). Check with the Accountant to make sure you understand what records will be required, and that you will be able to supply them.
  8. Prepare and carefully review a Profit and Loss Statement and a Balance Sheet monthly. Flaws in your record keeping system (or mistakes) will show up there, and can be corrected in a timely manner before they get overwhelming.

For more information about starting a business form your home, look for the next article in this series; “Home Business 101 – Doing Business On The Internet.”

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