Should You Think About Investing in Crowdfunding Projects?

No doubt you’ve heard of crowdfunding by now. The idea is you pledge a certain amount of money to a project through a crowdfunding website. If the project hits its target the money is used to set up a business or achieve whatever goal the project set out to achieve. Investors receive something in return for their investment, although the nature of the return depends on the specific project.

This form of investment has certainly made headlines in recent times. It has been around for a few years and plenty of projects have been successfully funded in that time. But is this the ideal investment opportunity for you?

Know your limits

The great thing about crowdfunding is you generally get to choose how much – or how little – you want to invest in a project. Sometimes this could be as little as five or ten dollars. This isn’t much of a risk if you believe in the project and feel supportive of it. However you can invest thousands and in this situation you are taking on much more of a risk. No matter how successful a new business start-up is at the beginning, it can fail – and for a number of reasons too.

What do you get in return?

You should be very clear on this before you invest. The rewards can be very diverse. The upcoming Veronica Mars movie – funded purely by fans of the former TV series – has granted walk on parts to those who invested a certain amount in supporting the making of the movie. Artists have given free tickets to exhibitions funded in this way, while businesses of all kinds have granted discounts to those who invest in the business model. Make sure you know exactly what you get in return for your investment.

Don’t expect miracles

This is definitely an innovative model for investing in all manner of different businesses and projects. This is undoubtedly what attracts many people to this form of investment. However you should be aware of the risks that are involved. Don’t be tempted to invest without finding out as much as you can about the project first. Furthermore you should consider a sensible amount to invest, rather than being tempted to sink too much into a single project.

Indeed, it is wise to follow the ‘eggs and basket’ theory, in that you should have more than one basket to put them in. If you spread the wealth, so to speak, you stand a chance of reaping more back for your investment.

It should be said that crowdfunding is not for everyone. It is an easy investment to make and there are plenty of worthwhile projects to look at. But it may not be right for you, especially if you want reasonable odds that you will get your money back and more besides. As a side dish to your main course it may work, but be sure to consider all the options before you start investing.

Are You Ready for Risky Investments?

Most of us are aware that risky investments come with the potential to bring us bigger rewards. The higher the risk the bigger the potential reward can be. However, it is all too easy to get caught up in the idea of significant rewards. If you are considering sinking some money into this kind of investment, you should remember the all important word in the sentence above:


When we are talking about potential rewards for a risky investment proposition, we should really think about chances. How big is the chance you’ll receive the reward advertised for the investment you are looking at? This is one thing you need to bear in mind if you are seriously considering this type of investment. And just as there is a chance of getting good rewards in this situation, there is also a chance you could lose out on them. Not just that, you could also lose the money you originally set aside for that investment.

Are you ready?

The basic piece of advice to remember with regard to risky investments is only to put money into them that you aren’t relying on for some other reason. For example, let’s say you have $5,000 set aside for your daughter’s college fund. You might be tempted to put that $5,000 into a risky investment so you have the potential to make a much bigger sum out of it. However, there is also the potential to lose the lot. In this situation you’d be best advised to go for something much safer.

Now let’s look at a second example. Let’s suppose you have your finances organized and you have $5,000 left over that is basically ‘free money’. In other words, while you don’t really want to lose that money, it wouldn’t be the end of the world if you did. You’d still be able to cover every other financial need and requirement you have (including that college fund). In this case you’d be more amenable to making the most out of that excess cash, and you might be more willing to try a riskier investment than you would otherwise.

You can probably see how your financial situation has a major bearing on whether you should go for risky investments or not. Your own demeanor also plays a part, since some people are automatically more willing to try riskier investments. Others wouldn’t go anywhere near them, instead preferring to make sure they could rely on safer propositions. These two elements combine to provide the answer to whether you are ready to consider this type of investment or not. It’s not a failure if you don’t like the idea and never want to risk your money in this way – indeed, some would say it’s a smart move. It just depends on which group you happen to fall into.

Providing you make the best decision for your own financial situation, you can always be sure of doing the right thing with your money.

Diversifying Your Home’s Investments the Right Way

Diversifying your assets is one of the smartest decisions someone could make when it comes to reducing risk in their investments.  In terms of your home, this essentially means that should the market take a turn somewhere down the road, you’ll have made enough investments into your house in various areas that you won’t be entirely affected by what’s happened.  It gives you much more freedom later when it comes to your money.

Those homeowners who take up residence in Texas will be able to peruse an interesting website that collects information on all of their local electricity providers and find a wealth of helpful knowledge about what people can do to help increase the value of their homes.  They have compiled great lists of the different upgrades and daily routines one can take to help grow their house from just a living space to a much better investment.

One of the biggest investments homeowners can put into their homes is taking the time to reevaluate and replace their front doors.  This is the first thing people will notice about the house, outside of the yard area, and it’s an extremely easy way to get interest as many people have the tendency to judge a book by its cover when it comes to browsing homes.  A stable and good looking entrance into your home can give you a return of as much as eight-five percent on this particular investment.

Windows are one of the most expensive upgrades that can be made when investing in your home, but it’s also one of the most important if you’re really looking to get a good recovery from the money you’re putting into your house.  For most households, much of the heat or air conditioning goes quite literally straight out the window all year round, making them one of the biggest absorbers of energy and utilities.  Quick fixes such as caulking or those store-bought draft mats can help this a little bit, but if you really want to put your money in the right place, you’ll need to upgrade those panes. If you’re lucky enough to live in Florida, there are numerous credits and incentives in place you can take advantage of in upgrading your windows.

There are tons of windows on the market now, both premade as well as completely customizable and homeowners can find anything between energy efficient models to those that help keep out the sunlight for the most part.  Figure out what it is you’re looking to do (cut down utilities, keep down the sun’s glare, allow better airflow, etc), and replace them accordingly.

Homeowners should keep in mind that the current real estate experts are saying that natural lighting is one of the biggest assets a home can have in the current market.  More than ever consumers are obsessed with large windows that allow in tons of light and give houses a nice organic feeling, particularly if there is a nice backyard or garden to be seen.  These types of windows will bring the biggest return later down the road.

For many people, their homes are their biggest investments so it only makes sense to do what they can to keep their assets as profitable as possible, which includes diversifying where they put their money.  There are quite a few ways that homeowners can invest further into their homes and still be able to get most of that money back, especially if they research the market.


Advice for Property Flipping

Property flipping is the process of investors purchasing a property at a price below market value, then re-selling quickly at a profit. The below market price can be for any number of reasons, for example, the property is in need of major renovations.

Investors use flipping in communities to purchase a discounted property

whereby the property is in a state of disrepair. In areas such as these, properties are often offered at below market value and the surrounding area is generally in a rundown condition. Flipping is used to increase the value of the area and produce economic growth within the area by investors purchasing a number of properties. This in turn will increase the value of the properties, once renovations have completed and the re-sale value is closer to market value. This encourages communities to flourish with families and has a knock on effect for the wider area.

Recognising a way to make a profit, flipping has now become booming business. Companies like As Is Now are available who will purchase your property regardless of its condition at below market value. Vendors have a number of reasons for wishing to sell the property quickly and the convenience of a company who will project manage the conveyancing, removing stress of endless viewings and fear of offer withdrawal. This can be particularly useful in the event of vendors having to relocate to another area. A company can also relieve the stress of pending repossession.

Property flipping may appear to have an element of risk in the current housing market. Investors may be wary with the current lending criteria being stricter and more regulated following the financial crash of 2008. With repossessions at an all-time high, there are properties available for purchase and an astute flipper can still snag a bargain. It is important to note that flippers will need to do their research and ensure that they can flip a property quickly and at a profit. Careful thought is needed and investors who have access to credit are wise to research and look at the surrounding area. This is important for future market value and to profit, this relieves the risk of investors being property heavy and running into problems.

Flipping has pitfalls. More commonly known in the UK, for MP’s using flipping to take advantage of tax allowances, it has become quite a scandal infuriating tax payers. This process of flipping involves a second home closer to London aside from their constituency. Flipping the second property involves renovating the property and claiming the cost of the expenses from the public purse and selling the property to avoid capital gains tax. However, important to note that flipping to avoid capital gains tax is not solely used by MPs. Anyone who can afford a second home is able to use this loophole to their advantage.

House flipping takes time, patience and money. It is easy to make expensive mistakes, but with the right advice, an investor is able to make a profit. House flipping is a business venture and like any other business venture it is wise to research all avenues and invest wisely.

If you are looking for great below market value properties visit

Tips for Building a Solid Mutual Fund

If you’re thinking about building a mutual fund, it is well worth finding out as much as you can about it before you get started. One thing you should know is there are lots of options out there for building a mutual fund. You can choose different advisers or figure it all out on your own. You can use a systematic approach or simply ‘go with your gut’. Of course we wouldn’t recommend the second option, but one thing is for sure – you need a lot of knowledge to make an informed decision on what to buy and when.

Find a reputable fund manager with a good track record

Sure, you can figure it all out on your own. But there is a reason why some fund managers have had great success in this field – they know what they’re doing. Finding the best funds to get the best returns is a full time job, so instead of trying to figure it out in your spare time, rely on a full timer instead.

Look for an index fund

This is one of the most basic options available to you. However, don’t assume basic means uninteresting or unable to bring you rewards. The opposite is true. The index fund may not make as much for the adviser, but it stands to balance out the amount of risk for you. This means you’ll be able to stay safer and still stand a chance of getting a good return on your investment.

Watch out for the associated fees you’ll pay

Mutual funds mean fees – there are no two ways about it. But this doesn’t mean you have to settle for paying large fees on your funds. In fact if you do your research you can watch out for funds that have much lower fees overall than others. Crunch some numbers and compare funds and see which ones offer the best deal so you pay as little as possible.

Think about other investment types as well

Mutual funds are popular among Americans, and they’ve gotten more so over the years too. But while they are popular for good reason, they’re not the only type of investment out there. No matter how much or little risk you like to take with your investments, you should definitely consider balancing your mutual funds with one or two other types of investments as well. This will ensure any risk is balanced out – a good option since mutual funds don’t carry any kind of guarantee.

But perhaps the biggest and best tip is to know what you’re going into if you intend to build a mutual fund. Don’t just invest in one because you know a lot of other people who have done the same thing. Just because they’re good for others it doesn’t mean they’ll be good for you. They could be excellent, but only you can decide which ones to get and why – and how much you should invest in them as well.

10 Tips to Succeed With Mutual Funds

Investing in a mutual fund is one of the easiest things you can do if you want to get more involved in the financial markets. They enable you to invest in a range of ways that wouldn’t be possible any other way.

Here are some tips to ensure you reap the rewards from your own mutual fund investments.

  1. Are the returns consistently good?

This is very important to find out. Some mutual funds do not perform as well as others. Always look into past history to see whether there is a good or bad pattern there to consider.

  1. What are the fund managers like?

If they are not well known or do not have a good track record, steer clear and find some who do. If you cannot research their history, ask why.

  1. Stick with no load funds.

These will provide you with more in the way of profits and you’ll pay fewer charges too. There are other options but this is the best one.

  1. Learn more about the stock market.

Don’t dive in without finding out more about how the stock market works first. The more knowledge you have, the easier it is to pick a good fund.

  1. Know whether you want to opt for passive or active funds.

Passive funds tend to be safer than active ones, so you should think about whether you want to strive for a potentially bigger return, or whether you’re happier being safe.

  1. Know which strategy the fund managers will adopt.

Find out how they decide how to manage the mutual fund. This could have a large bearing on whether or not you want to join that particular fund.

  1. Buy into an established fund.

Never opt to get involved in a mutual fund that has only just got started. Look for an established one instead – it will have a history that may help to predict its future.

  1. Consider what else you are investing in.

What other financial vehicles have you invested in, or want to invest in soon? Will a mutual fund fit into your overall plan?

  1. Think about your appetite for risk.

Some people naturally gravitate towards risk, while others shy away from it at every opportunity. How much risk would you be happy with? Choose a fund which appeals to your sense of risk.

  1.  Think about growth or value funds.

Different mutual funds offer different things. For instance value funds can offer a better outcome than growth funds, which are more likely to backfire and lose money. Nothing is certain of course, but you should know the difference between the two.

So you see there are lots of things to consider if you are thinking about investing in mutual funds. The more you know and understand in advance, the easier it is to ensure you are going to invest in the right mutual fund for your needs and goals. Go back through those ten steps again to see how they assist you.

Do You Know Enough to Be a Successful Stock Market Investor?

For many people the obvious route to take when thinking about investing is to head for the stock market. But is this really the wisest route for everyone?

There is certainly a lot of money to be made with stocks and shares. However there are significant losses that can be made too, especially if you don’t know what you are doing. Unfortunately some people are tempted by the potentially big gains available. This means they can end up investing money in shares that are not right for them.

So if you are considering investing in this way, here are some points worth bearing in mind before you do so.

Can you invest money you would be happy to lose?

This is the main point to bear in mind, even if you know little about anything else. Investing your life savings in stocks and shares is not a good move. If the stock market were to crash – and as we know it has happened before on more than one occasion – you could lose everything.

This is why it is wise to split your cash and invest it in a number of different ways. It spreads the risk you are taking as well.

Do you have an interest in the stock market?

You don’t need to know the ins and outs of how a car works in order to drive one. But when it comes to the stock market it does make sense to have a rough idea of how it works and what kinds of ups and downs you can expect. Otherwise there is a much higher chance of investing money in volatile stocks. There is also a higher chance of viewing the market through rose tinted glasses – seeing only the potential gains and not the potential losses.

Do you understand not all stocks are the same?

Here we simply mean that some are issued by big name companies we’re all familiar with – Coca Cola or Microsoft for example. Others are issued by small companies that are just starting out.

Everyone wants to invest in the next big global success. If you know what to pick you stand a chance of making a lot of money – just as you would have done if you had invested in Microsoft shares right at the very beginning. But picking future successes is very difficult to do – and best done with money you can lose if that’s what it takes. It is almost a form of gambling when you think about it.

While the breakout successes will achieve the highest returns, they are very few and far between. You are more likely to make gradual returns on a more stable stock from a well known company.

So you see you may not necessarily be the right person to invest in the stock market. It all depends on your level of knowledge, how much you are willing to invest and whether you can accept the ups and downs of this particular type of investment.

Is it Too Late to Make Any Smart Investments for Your Future?

It’s often said that if you want to invest in a pension plan for your old age, you need to get one up and running as quickly as you possibly can. This means you have more years to save the amount you’ll need to get the results you want when you’re older.

But does this apply to all investments? For the most part it does. Take stocks and shares for example. We’ve seen many shares take a tumble in value over the past few months and years, owing to the recession most of the world has been experiencing. But if you were to look at the performance of shares in general over a much longer time period, you’d see they were actually performing quite well in the long run.

Time really is in your favor in many cases. So what does that mean if you are in, say, your forties and you’re thinking of making some investments for your retirement? You’d have been better off making those same plans in your twenties, sure, but does that mean there is no point making them now?

Planning for the future

The main thing to remember here is that you must make the most of the time you have left before the target for your investments arrives. So if you are saving for your retirement and you are currently in your forties, you still have a good few years before you actually retire.

However if you delay your plans because you are worried about whether you have enough time to save for them, you will automatically give yourself a lot less time to save. You should know the difference between delaying because you are gathering information about various options and delaying because you are hesitant about whether it is worth it or not.

To be truthful any amount of time you have to make investments in is worth using. The trick is to find the right investment for the amount of time you have available. Some are naturally time limited so you have to find a vehicle you can use that will get you the best return without posing too much of a risk to your cash. We all have different levels of acceptance when it comes to risk of course, so it makes sense to consider where you sit on that subject.

Another option to consider is whether to spread your money around. This can help to negate the risk of any one single investment you are considering putting your money into. But some investments will spread the risk for you, meaning that one vehicle can put your money into several places.

Clearly you have a lot to think about here. However old you are or whatever goals you have in mind, it is never too late to make an investment choice. The nature of the investment you make could differ depending on your age, but there are always opportunities to consider.

What Should You Do When an Investment Dives in Value?

When you look for investments that stand a chance of paying back more than just a meager rate of interest, you will automatically put your cash at a higher level of risk. For example if you buy into stocks and shares you may end up seeing your investment appreciate considerably – or it may take a nosedive, leaving you with less than you had originally invested.

Some investments are designed to run for specific lengths of time, while others give you more freedom over when you can withdraw your money. If your investment happens to be losing money now, what should you do?

Number one – don’t panic

We’ve seen many instances in the past where people have immediately withdrawn all their money – the classic ‘take your cash and run’ reaction. In many cases the people who hung on and sat back to see what happened found their investments returned to near normal soon afterwards. Those who cashed in early lost money, while those who waited didn’t.

Of course this is not guaranteed to happen. But it is definitely worth finding out more about the situation and the likely outcome before you decide what else to do.

Research how the situation could play out

The most important thing to do is not to rely on one single source of information concerning your investment. Before opting to withdraw your cash, make sure you find out the potential consequences of doing so. Remember that reading any news reports concerning the state of any investment are likely to be overly dramatic in many cases. Find out the real truth and base your decision on that.

Consider how long you were going to hold the investment for in the first place

It has long been the case that when it comes to stocks and shares, it is the overall performance that matters. Even in the case of a recession, when the value of shares can drop remarkably, the share value can eventually bounce back again.

If you were intending to cash in your shares or other investments anyway then it may be prudent to cut your losses now before things worsen. But if you were holding onto them for the long haul it may be better to hang onto them even through tougher times.

Remember there is no single solution for all circumstances

It is wise to remember that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to handling a weakening investment. You must consider a range of options before deciding which one would be best for you. But the most important thing to remember is never to react to the event without first looking at it from every angle. This will help you to determine whether you are better off cashing in your investment now, or waiting things out to see if or when they may improve.

There is always an element of risk in whatever decision you make. But in reality you could fare better by acting rather than reacting.

What to Do When an Investment Pays Out

Many investments are created with a specific time frame in mind. For example you might start investing in a particular financial product so you have some cash to spend on the vacation of a lifetime when you hit a certain age in life. You might have an investment come to fruition when your child reaches the age of eighteen, or when you reach a certain age in your working life. There are as many deadlines and goals for investments as there are people saving for them.

But sometimes you may not have any specific goal at all. You may just see the potential of saving a certain amount every month for, say, ten to fifteen years, in a particular savings plan. These plans tend to offer more potential for earnings than a standard savings account because they are often tied into the stock market. They’re one of the easiest ways to save for those people who dislike a lot of risk.

So what do you do when your investment pays out? There are several options worth considering.

#1: reinvest the money somewhere else

This is a good idea as you will have a lump sum to put into any new investment pool. Look around for potential opportunities and decide what level of risk you are content with.

Consider also whether you will continue adding money to your investment in future, rather than leaving the capital to hopefully appreciate over time.

#2: spend the profits but reinvest the capital

This is another option you could consider that will give you the best of both worlds. Let’s say you invested $5,000 over a period of time and you’ve earned $300 on that investment. You could use the $300 to spend on something while reinvesting the capital into something else.

Of course a lot depends on the plans you have for the future. Take your time – ideally in the run up to the investment reaching fruition you should think about your options. Even if the bank or organization you have your investment with offers you something else you should always look around and see what other options there are for you.

#3: spend the lot – after all we all have to splurge once in a while

Investing is important. But so is enjoying life and if you’ve been saving consistently for a long period of time it would be fair enough to feel as if you’ve earned a reward.

The important thing is to make sure you don’t just fritter the cash away. Think about how you could use it to improve your life. Maybe a new car is a good idea. Perhaps you’d like to renovate your home. There are lots of options here.

As you can see it is worth spending some time considering these three courses of action. This will enable you to figure out which one is best for you given your current situation – which may be very different from when you originally entered into the original investment.

Image Source:


Good Investments for the Conservative Trader

If you consider yourself a nervous stock trader, then go ahead and get in line. The market is not great right now – it doesn’t take a seasoned analyst to figure that out. That’s why now more than ever, protecting your hard-earned money by opting for only the most secure of investments is the best way to reduce your risk and grow your returns regardless of swings in the global economy.

You can choose from many different conservative investments in order to shelter your money from today’s economic fallout; you simply need to commit yourself to the fact that growth will take longer for these kinds of investments than it would for their riskier counterparts. Here are some tips for the choosing good investments for conservative trading.

Finding Safe Investments Means doing Your Homework

If you want to trade but you feel that you don’t really know the ins and outs of the industry, then you may want to call in some reinforcements. Meaning, you may want to consider an outside company or trading service so that you can place your money in hands that are more knowledgeable than yours.

A stockbroker can help guide you to conservative investments that will weather unsteady markets better than risky ones. You could also opt for a service such as E-Trader to help you along the way. You would not be as safe as you would with a traditional stockbroker, but you would be much safer than simply shooting blind and picking investments like you’re playing Russian roulette. That’s because sites like these have thorough online tutorials, help sections, and guides to help you every step of the way (if you actually read them).

If you plan on going it alone, then it’s risky, yes, but less so if you do your homework. For example, look at long-term trends for key indicators. You can also keep abreast of all the most current news and website updates about your companies of choice, and check out their annual statements before you decide whether to invest. And never invest based on a tip –that’s a surefire way to shoot yourself in the foot.


Should be an understood, but you’d be surprised. If you’re a trader and you have a good feeling about a company or two, don’t be tempted to sink all your money into stock with only a couple of entities. Instead, spread the love over a handful of large-cap, safe, growing companies with a good record of outperforming inflation and keeping the books in the black during recessionary periods.

Play the Market for the Long Term

If you’re planning on trading stocks, but you want to do it in the safest way possible, then keep in mind you need to keep your money in stocks for six months to a year at a minimum in order to shield your money from short-term ups and downs. Any shorter of a period, and you’re dangerously close to day trader territory.