Archives for May 2014

5 Investment Strategies to Avoid in 2014

Investing in nothing at all has few advantages; it certainly can’t help you get ahead financially. However, one of the reasons people put off investing is the fear of losing money. This fear is logical and very sensible – you work hard for your money so you should think carefully before committing to an investment strategy which you feel to be high risk, but how do you tell? Doing something with your money is far better than doing nothing – but how do you choose the right something? Some investment strategies to avoid are listed below.

investment

You work hard for your money so you should think carefully before committing to an investment strategy.

The Sure Thing

Whenever you hear you can’t lose, or it’s completely risk-free regarding an investment, listen for the alarm bells too. You hear the same sort of claims at the race track. Any investment that claims to be a sure thing is, at best, misrepresented and at worst, a scam. No investment returns consistently high yields every year. If the investment doesn’t show any poor returns at all then the sales information may be questionable.

Ostrich Farms

Believe it or not, these are still offered as legitimate investments. The promised returns (in some cases over 200%) are highly suspect. Like any pastoral enterprise, there are risks associated with this type of investment. While ostriches are known to be hardy and long-lived birds they are also prone to pests and disease, just like cows or chickens, and the farms are just as vulnerable to drought and weather damage as any other. Unlike most other farming enterprises however, there is little demand for the product and this, couples with the capital-intensive nature of the investment means the promised returns are unlikely to materialise.

Movies

Investments in film sound glamorous but – contrary to popular Hollywood myth – movies rarely make money. While it has never been cheaper to shoot a film than it is now, the costs of distribution and promotion remain high – and the support of critics and/or the public remains capricious.

Art

Like film investments above, the value of art is highly subjective. Investors who choose art as a wealth creation vehicle are taking a big risk. Should fame in any large measure elude their artist of choice, the money spent on their work will likely never be recouped. If the painter were to die, their work could well increase in value but there is no guarantee of this, or that another investor won’t sell their collection at the same time, thereby flooding the market and reducing returns for everyone concerned. The associated costs of investing in such a high-risk enterprise (storage, insurance, etc.) are also high and will impact any potential return.

Timeshares

Timeshares may be a great way to holiday cheaply but as an investment there is no resale value. They are also quite time intensive. To get the best out of this sort of investment, you will likely be doing a lot of trades. These investments offer no capital growth – you’re unlikely to sell for more than you bought, and it doesn’t deliver any sort of income. It may save you money, as you can holiday less expensively but that’s about all it gives you.

Learning to tell the difference between a sound investment strategy and those you ought to avoid is all about developing your own financial intelligence. For more ways to enhance your knowledge of sound investment strategies, financial planning companies like My Wealth Solutions offer informative blogs. With the right guidance you’ll jettison fear and make the smart money decisions.

What’s the riskiest investment strategy you’ve ever heard? Share your comments below.

The information provided in this article has been provided as general advice only. We have not considered your financial circumstances, needs or objectives and you should seek the assistance of your GPS Wealth Limited (GPS) Adviser before you make any decision regarding any products mentioned in this communication. Whilst all care has been taken in the preparation of this material, no warranty is given in respect of the information provided and accordingly neither GPS nor its related entities, employees or agents shall be liable on any ground whatsoever with respect to decisions or actions taken as a result of you acting upon such information.

Image Credit:Ponsulak – FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

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Where in the World is the Best Place to Invest in Real Estate

Every investor knows that real estate properties hold a lot of promise. This type of investment is often intended for long term gains. It is also a fact that the real estate industry can rise and fall too. There are a lot of factors that go into the valuation of and demand for real estate properties. A lot of it is dependent on the country’s economy. Some people would then ask for advice on the best place to invest in real estate. The answer is not quite simple and requires a bit of research. Information about the past and the present developments in any country’s real estate sector is necessary. Future forecasts are also important in deciding where to invest.

Dubai

In Dubai, for example, the prognosis for the real estate sector is optimistic. Many people consider it as the best place to invest in real estate today. Construction projects and community development are currently on the rise to meet demand. This country is enjoying a lot of attention in the economic community as it is seen to be one of the best places for both leisure and business travels. A lot of foreign investors are coming in to fund projects in various industries. The tourist attractions are also being discovered by more and more people. It is fast becoming a thriving melting pot of cultures, spurring business growth and development.

This country is the best place to invest in real estate for people who are looking for investments that will bring them a steady stream of income over a number of years. While the prices of real estate property are rising, these are expected to return high yields in terms of regular income. Hotel apartments and transient residences are particularly popular as the number of people visiting Dubai for business and leisure is expected to continue to rise in the coming years. Rental income will undoubtedly rise with the demand for temporary residences for people staying from a couple of days to perhaps several months.

It is worthwhile to explore investment opportunities in the Dubai real estate market both for business investors and individual investors. Ultimately, however, the choice of the best place to invest in real estate would boil down to what the investor can afford and successfully manage from wherever else in the world he is.

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commons.wikimedia.org

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Cash or Plastic? Payment Modes for Online Businesses

Any purchase transaction will not be complete without the business receiving the payment and the customer receiving his goods. This exchange used to be as simple as handing cash and goods over to each other. These days, there are modern innovations to the way people pay for their purchases. This, of course comes with various changes in the way goods are made available to consumers. There are various payment modes for online businesses nowadays. While they would still offer their customers to pay for their purchases with cash or their plastic debit or credit cards, online businesses often accommodate several other payment modes.

payment modes

The most popular of these payment modes for online businesses is the credit card or the debit card. When consumers pay using plastic, the business owner immediately gets his money. There are no clearing times to wait for and there are no transfer fees to worry about. The chances of the buyer not paying for his purchases are also eliminated since payment is automatically transferred to the business owner’s account once the transaction with the credit card company or the debit card company pull through. The only information that online businesses will have to get, other than the customer’s full name, is his card number.

While a lot of people who shop online use their bank cards to pay for their purchases, there are some who are still hesitant to give out their card details online. Understandably so because there have been reports of credit card fraud or identity theft online. Businesses will have to assure their customers that they have a secure payment processing system. There are security systems specifically programmed for payment processing. It is recommended for online businessmen to ensure that any information given by their customers are kept secure and confidential.

Even in the online world, gaining and retaining customers is all about trust. Your customers should be able to trust you with their payment information to consummate the sale. Most online shoppers would ask about payment modes for online businesses and their security measures before finalizing their purchase. Not a few have actually walked away from a purchase just because they do not trust the online site with their card and personal information.

Image Credit:
SixNinePixels – FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

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The Use of Social Media in Business

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and other social media networks are more than just sites to shout out to friends and post pictures. Businesses can take advantage of these thriving networks populated by consumers from all over the world. These networks in effect open your potential market up significantly to millions and maybe even billions. While it is best for small businesses to target a specific market segment, the vast online population at least gives them the flexibility of expanding their reach to other market segments too as they see fit. Having a strong presence in the social media networks put businesses in the hub of their customers’ lives.

social media

Take a look at the following ways through which you can use social networking sites for your business:

Spread Awareness – start by opening a corporate or business account in these sites. You can opt to put up ads to if you have the means and budget. Otherwise, you can start the ball rolling by populating your networks. Make these sites your online bulletin board. You can post information about your business as well as any updates your customers would be interested in. Allow your potential customers to get to know you through these networks. Encourage your contacts to “share” or “like” your page to send ripples through the rest of the virtual community.

Create Positive Noise – it is not enough that you have information and pictures posted on your site. You have to actively create positive noise. Get people to talk about your business and your products and services. At the same time, be vigilant about negative posts and bashers. You want to be proactive about these since they can ruin your business too. Keep an eye on conversations about your business so that you can do a spin in a timely manner. Better yet, drown negative noise with positive noise.

Interact with Customers – while you are at it, you might as well engage your customers in meaningful conversation. Use your social networking account to talk to them on a personal level. Get to know what they are interested in, what they will settle for, what they will definitely spend their hard earned money for, and many other personal preferences that you would not otherwise learn about. With this kind of information, it will be easier for you to come up with products and service that are more responsive to your customers’ needs.

Image Credit:
Master Isolated – Free Digital Photos.Net

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