How To Start Investing For Financial Independence, Part 1

Today, I am going to start a multi-part series about how to go from being a beginning investor to being "financially independent" in a steady and predictable way. At our website, we get tons of e-mails about how do I start, how do I start with little $ 's, etc., etc., etc. If you are asking this question, congratulations because you are ahead of most. All of us have been there at some point.

I must warn you …. What I am about to share here for free is what "gurus" across the nation charge thousands of dollars for in weekend seminars. The "secrets" disclosed are going to seem pretty simple because quite frankly, there are no secrets. The methods used here have been done for centuries and there is no real reason to complicate them. Let's apply these principles to see how fast someone might become financially independent without betting the farm.

Realize that everyone has wildly different starting points and different financial goals. For this series of articles, we assume that an individual has access to at least $ 15,000 liquid capital (or home equity) to start, is at least breaking even with their current income income expenses, and has decent credit to obtain financing. Note there yet? …. See the footnote below.

To start, what you need is to make your money grow while keeping your current income stream, and current expense level in place. I can not say this more plainly ….. To change your current financial path, you have to us your money and your time to grow additional income streams that increase wealth. There is many ways to do this but we are going to use investing in real estate as an example.

Now for beginners, here is the really bad news …… As an investor, you reap rewards by placing your money in HARMS WAY. You do everything in your power to minimize your risk but bottom line is that real investors make money by taking CONTROLLED risks. As investors get better, they learn how to make fantastic investment returns doing things that all their friends and relatives thing is crazy ….. However, they know exactly what risks are small in comparison to the potential Rewards.

One reason people really like real estate investing is leaseage; Ie, you can purchase an expensive property using 0-20% of your own money while financing the rest. So if you put 10% down for example, and then the property goes up by 20%, you have made a 200% return (ignoring expenses, taxes, etc. for simplicity). Of course this works in reverse … If the property drops by 20%, you have lost not only your original investment but have to come up with another 10% as well ….. Ouch!

For someone beginning, here is what I would suggest:
1) Look for an opportunity that will return at least 150% in 2 yrs or less;

2) Be mentally and financially prepared if the investment does not work out;

3) Have VERY good reasons why you do not think you will lose money …… You may not make as much as expected but you would rather not lose money at this stage.

4) Be patient. This single result should not either make or break you but it is crucial to a longer term plan.

In our Mastermind Group, we are bringing out a land project (see related article Land Investing that appears to meet these criteria (each investor has to decide for themselves.) So let's say the purchase price is $ 150,000, with 10% down and another $ 3,500 In closing costs. With good credit, then the financing obtained would make the land payments for 2 years while waiting for growth.

Now let's say after you did your analysis, looked at what had happened in the past, looked at why you thought more and more people would want this property, etc., you decide that you think this property will average 20% / Yr escalation over The next 2 years. MORE IMPORTANTLY, you decide that barring a major meltdown in the market, you think there is little chance that you can not at least break even after 2 years.

So if you end up being right about the growth, then you might net a tidy $ 43,000 (before taxes) or so after everything is considered. After long term capital gains at 15% let's say, then you just picked up about $ 36,000 of the "market's money". That is money that if you take a loss on the next investment will not be nearly as painful as if you lost your original money. When you combine this with your original investment amount, you now have around $ 55,000 of operating capital for step 2.

Realistically, you can not predict how much you will make from the investment. When I invest, I try to establish in my mind what is reasonable. Frequently, I have been surprised to the positive and made much more than expected. Sometimes I have made less. The key being put to yourself in a low risk situation where you have a strong reason to believe the market will go in your favor.

To accomplish this first step, let's look at what you really had to do:

1) Had to be willing to put $$ in harm's way;

2) Had to educate yourself enough to evaluate the risk and the opportunity;

3) Had to find the opportunity or be in a position to have the opportunity presented to them;

4) Had to act.

I would like to comment on the education side. As a former professor, I have seen very smart people spend 1,000's of hours and 10,000's of thousands of dollars educating themselves to "earn a living"; This is a great move in many cases. On the other side, I have seen very smart people who want investing to be a major source of income but will not spend any time or any money educating themselves.

To me, this is a recipe for disaster. By the time we finish this series, you will see that with a few simple steps, implemented over time, many people can easily produce more money than their regular job. Tomorrowmore, many people will put 100's of thousands of dollars at risk but know almost nothing about what they are doing. If you chose the path of making your investment dollars grow steadily with time, I hope this does not end up describing you.

** Footnote: If you are not yet at that level, here is what I suggest. First, read Michael Masterson's book called "Automatic Wealth". This is an excellent book on how to quickly change your financial position while staying employed. Next, I would read Van Tharp's new book called "Safe Paths To Financial Freedom". Van uses a very different thought process from many and so adds a great deal of rounding. Like anything else, you will not agree with everything written in these books but they provide some great thought processes. When you have some capital and are cash flow positive, they come back and revisit this article.

How to Save Money on Your Calls While You Travel

1) PLAN AHEAD

If you know you will be traveling in the near future, start planning for it. Many calling providers have special plans for use abroad . If your provider does – you might want to use it. Typically, they offer an add-on for a small charge a day. If you are the type of person that spends a lot of time on your phone, it is probably worth it to go for that add-on to your regular plan. Just remember to stop it when you get back, you do not want to be paying that extra charge forever.

If you provider does not have an international add-on or you do not want to use it, there are still plenty of other options to call your home town while you are abroad at a cheaper rate.

Consider buying a local SIM when you are abroad. This is an excellent solution if you travel to the same place often or if you are going to stay in the same place for a long time. When you buy a local SIM card in the place you are visiting, you will usually pay for a bundle of minutes and the price will probably work out a lot cheaper than using your regular phone plan plus you will not need to pay roaming (in Most countries).

If you have a locked phone, you will not be able to use a foreign SIM card without unlocking your phone first.

You can also buy a local calling card which you can then use to call from hotel phones, pay phones … Calling cards are not that popular anymore these day, but if you need a solution for cheap international calling then they are a good option . Also here you have the advantage that there are no roaming costs.

2) WHEN YOU ARE ABROAD

Whenever you need to make a call, think of what you want to say beforehand . This will usually make your call shorter and it will also prevent you from forgetting to say something and then needing to call back.

Text messages are cheaper than calls, so sometimes it may be worth it to send a text message instead of calling , if it is just a short message you need to give over. Remember that text messages are free to receive while calls are not. If someone needs to tell you something, ask them to text instead of call.

Beware though that a back-and-forth text conversation will probably work out the same price as a phone call.

Even if you do not call abroad, you need to pay for incoming calls – so you need to pay when people call you and also some provide make you pay if someone leaves you a voicemail while you are abroad (depending on the country you are In).

You can eliminate at least one of these problems by deciding – do you want people to be able to contact you while abroad or do you want to enjoy you holiday in peace and quiet without being disturbed by anyone calling?

If you do not want to speak to anyone, divert all your calls to voicemail . This way you will not be charged for roaming. You might have to pay if anyone leaves a message for you though.

If you do want to stay in contact with people and answer calls, then disable voicemail . This will eliminate any charges for voicemail (if applicable) and when your phone rings you will be able to see who is calling and decide if you want to answer of not. If you answer you will need to pay roaming charge and if you do not answer, there will be no charge.

Do not listen to voicemail when you are abroad unless you really have to. Calls to voicemail are charged at the same rate as regular calls so you can end up paying a lot of money for just listening to your voicemail.

3) DATA AND WIFI

For many people, high phone bills when abroad do not actually come from speaking on the phone that much, but rather from high data usage. When abroad, your provider will charge you a high rate per megabyte used. If you need to use the internet then by all means use free WiFi when possible, there are loads of places where you can get free WiFi. Some hotels offer you internet at a small charge but that will probably still be cheaper than using mobile data. Just to make sure your phone does not switch to data automatically, it is best to switch off your data for the duration of your stay.

If you are using your phone for GPS and need to download maps, do so before your trip or when you have WiFi. Many navigation programs allow you to download the map beforehand and once it is downloaded no internet is needed for the navigation itself.

4) INTERNET CALLING

Many people these days are turning to internet calling when they are abroad as it offers so many benefits. Internet calls are practically free if both end users are on the same network and provided there is WiFi. If there is no WiFi then you need to count in the cost of data. If both users are not on the same network, then there is a small charge for using VoIP but it is still a lot cheaper that using your regular phone plan.

So obviously the price is a major factor as to why people use VoIP when abroad. But also, VoIP is not connected to a physical place so it can be taken anywhere. Think of business people who want to keep the same number when traveling. With a business phone this would be impossible but with VoIP, people can call you anywhere if you have your mobile / PC with you and there is no roaming charge.

In addition, many VoIP service providers offer features that are not offered with standard phone plans. These may include video calling, sending locations, group chats, and more

There are different types of internet calling:

• Phone to phone calls – using regular phones, VoIP adapters are used to connect the phones to the internet. If both end users are on the same network – the call will be free. If they are on different networks – there will be a small charge.

Calls can also be made using IP phones instead of VoIP adapters to make the calls.

• PC to PC calls – using an app to make calls between PCs.

If the person you are calling has the same app on his PC – the call will be free. If the person you are calling does not have that app there will be a small charge.

• PC to phone calls – make calls from PC to a phone.

If you are calling a phone on the same network the call will be free. If the phone is not on the same network, there will be a small charge.

• Mobile to mobile calls – using an app to make the calls between the mobiles.

If the person you are calling has the same app on his PC – the call will be free. If the person you are calling does not have that app there will be a small charge.

Many apps also allow you to call mobile to PC and PC to mobile.

Whatever type of calling you use while abroad, if you plan a little before your trip you definitely save yourself a lot of money in the end

Thinking Like An Online Entrepreneur – E-Commerce Tips

So much has been written about entrepreneurial thinking that I won’t try to distil it here. However, there are certain behaviours I have noted about how some web owners approach the development and running of their e-commerce websites which deserve a little discussion.

Let me start with the most important, influencing factor to any web owner’s success: belief.

Belief

Starting your online entrepreneurial activity with the right mindset and beliefs is like winning the match before you’ve stepped out onto the court. It’s what separates the really successful businesses from the average ones.

Ask any sportsperson or sports psychologist and they’ll tell you that your beliefs profoundly affect your performance.

What we believe is possible in our online entrepreneurial life is the limiting factor in our success.

Let’s take an example. Lots of people wish they were millionaires, but of those who want to become millionaires, very few actually believe they will be millionaires. Those that do, however, stand a far greater chance of becoming what they believe. Why? Because at a conscious and subconscious level they are doing everything they can to pursue that one objective. Now I’m not suggesting that being a millionaire should be your life’s goal; I’m just using it as an example. The point is that your underlying beliefs in what you are capable of fundamentally affect the actions you take and the choices you make.

All this may seem more like some New Age incantation rather than hard-edged business-speak, but there is good reason I mention it. Owning and running an e-commerce website is not for the faint-hearted. It is complex and demanding and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Be prepared for long hours, headaches and hard work, but also be prepared for more customers, a growing bank account and a sense of achievement. Your belief that you are doing the right thing is what will see you through and keep you on course for success.

Owning an e-commerce website can be a wild ride but how you handle it is totally dictated by your mindset and your beliefs. For example, many e-commerce websites fail because their owners give up – they lose confidence, interest and commitment, especially in the early days of their website’s life. It’s easy to give up if you’re struggling or faced with outright failure. However, those who believe they will succeed don’t see failure as a setback but as a learning experience – they have the right mindset and they will do well because of it.

I’m telling you this because you know that success isn’t a set of purely mechanical step-by-step processes. (If it were, we’d all be millionaires.) Success comes from your mindset: what you believe you can achieve and the expectations you set yourself. This mindset is as important as knowing how to Search Engine optimize your e-commerce website or write compelling sales copy.

Best Digital SLR Cameras – How to Choose The Best DSLR Cameras

Best Digital SLR Cameras – All about DSLR Cameras

Hi, this is Steve, thanks for reading my DSLR Reviews . I enjoy taking photos, so I appreciate it captured my enjoyable moments. If you are interested to learn more about digital SLR and how to pick the best cameras to invest in for taking extraordinary photos, here's the right place!

It should bear in mind what you need your camera to do before buying any one, so now I've added information and facts that you will find helpful for you to choose the best camera. I took the details from my own experience while shopping for the perfect camera to buy.

What is the DSLR Camera?

A great number of hobbyists are desiring for a DSLR, the fact is that they have no idea what it is exactly, if have, just like "It is like the compact one in my pocket, it will be better, it is a big one . "

In my way to describe a DSLR, it would be 'All-Round'; You can use the DSLR for almost anything, taking pictures of lovely animals, beautiful landscapes or amazing astronomy, recording vivid high quality video clips.

And there is a significant difference on the price too. How much are you willing to pay for a decent camera that fits your needs? I will recommend several cameras with affordable budget!

Why a DSLR Camera is better than Compact Camera?

Having a DSLR Camera, you will benefit from:

  • Interchangeable lens – based on the kind of photography you desire, you can purchase lenses optimized for the task, rather than the one-size-fit-all lens of a compact.
  • Optical viewfinder which goes through the lens via a mirror or prism – search through the camera lens for perfect framing and find out far more detail than using the LCD screen.
  • Faster autofocus – the digital camera will focus considerably faster and with better accuracy.
  • No shutter lag – when pressing the shutter release button and taking the actual photos, no lag time in between them – you will not miss any memorable moment.
  • No delay in between pictures – you'll be able to shoot no less than 3 fps (based on the camera model it may be even to 12 fps), ideal for action shots.
  • Less noise in low light – it is possible to shoot in low light while still get usable image.

How to Choose the Best DSLR Cameras for Beginners?

Think economy

Here, economy means deep consideration on a brand: camera bodies, lenses, third-party lenses, accessories, stuff you find on, such as Amazon, eBay tutorials, seminars, and more.

All manufactures brag that their cameras have been armed with lots of features; Sometimes they provide the same thing under a different name.

Generally, I do not recommend you purchasing a high-end and most advanced camera as your first one. The money you spend on the most advanced camera can not automatically complete the amazing master piece, the miracle operator is behind of the camera – you. On the other hand, the complex options will confuse you, finally, you only work with the "fully-automatic mode", that is what your "Compact Camera" could realize. An entry level of camera could product better images with a good lens than the combination of advanced camera and crappy lens.

Which is the Best Brand for Digital Camera?

No doubt, Canon and Nikon are the most competitive and are likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.

The brand is not the most important matter, while the market share does, it should lead your choice. Let me tell you the reason, if you only need a camera and the kit lens, market share does not affect you

However, if you intend to keep investing and upgrading the hardware, choosing a most popular brand can save you money and your time, because you can easily find all sort of accessories for it, where you will have a hunt To find what you need, maybe with much more time and money.

High Resolution for DSLR Camera Is Always Necessary?

When choosing a digital camera, there are various important specs to take into account apart from which color to pick. Years ago, the way you'd approach this was to have the camera armed with the highest / biggest resolution. Everyone likes bigger one, right? It sees larger one means all-round, multifunction and more powerful. The fact under cameras is not that simple. Bigger resolution is truly fantastic, but do not forget the critical aspect – the final image quality depends a lot on the sensor size. Most DSLR cameras equipped with about 24X16mm APS (Advanced Photo System) sensors. As the resolution increases, noise increases too. The right balance is 16Mp for them. If you prefer a "Full-Frame" sensor which is very large and expensive and equipped in high-end cameras, you get a resolution of 24Mp by 36X24mm sensor. Being the first DSLR camera for beginners, it is a bit of earlier to talk about those details. Moreover, you could crop large portions of images captured through higher resolutions, but why not learn to frame the object much more effectively.

DSLR Camera: What is Live View?

A live view LCD on a digital SLR camera lets you preview the images you're about to capture using the large LCD on the back of the camera. A live view LCD is a fantastic feature for people who hate to peep the real world through a "Hole".

The continuous image shown on the LCD enables you to make sure you've got the composition right, no matter if your eye is not pressed to the viewfinder.

But hold on a sec … This " unique " feature sounds a remarkable lot just like the way every compact digital camera works.

It is, but adding a live view LCD to a digital SLR is not always a good option as it sounds.

LCDs can be handy, but they also do result in disadvantages in design overall performance; Especially, if you work with Live View, the auto-focus is going to be again slow, ending the speed advantages of SLRs over compacts. The most important aspect, the power consumption will be significantly increased. When shooting natural scenery in the wild, a DSLR camera with battery exhausted may be a good weapon against attacking from animals, instead of taking their photos back.

Optical Stabilization for DSLR Cameras?

Without using a tripod, taking pictures in low light and / or with telephoto lenses may be challenging. Almost all DSLR cameras get some type of stabilization. There is also a trick though: Canon and Nikon provide stabilization inside their lenses ( IS lenses for Canon and VR lenses for Nikon ), while Sony, Pentax and Olympus develop the stabilization function in camera body . The difference is critical simply because for Canon and Nikon you should buy IS / VR lenses , which may be quite more expensive than normal lenses, while with the other manufacturers the stabilization works with any lens. The effectiveness of stabilization is about the same in both philosophies (3-4 stops); The stabilized lenses provide the benefit of you seeing the exact stabilized image in the optical viewfinder, while stabilized bodies allow you to use any lens for the exact same effect.

Finally …

I tried to keep this guide as neutral as possible and offer you information to assist you make a decision, instead of making a choice for you. You could visit my website Best-Dslr-Camera-Guide.com, HERE for more details.