Inside Your Investments – Placing Your Finances as a Homeowner

We’ve all heard the term ‘dead money’. If you have equity in your home and are not utilizing it to seed and grow your investment portfolio, then dead money is exactly what you have. A common mentality among the rich is to continually be investing capital to perpetuate financial growth to ensure a comfortable future.

There are numerous investment strategies which are touted as being the safest and/or most profitable vehicles to grow wealth including the two most common – property and shares.

Shares vs Property

Property

In the eastern states of Australia, affordable rental properties are always in demand, and by securing expert property management in Melbourne or Sydney, where your investment is well managed and cost-effective, you can be building a solid investment portfolio. With property prices stalling and negative gearing under possible threat for future home purchases, the time to buy is now!

The way it works for many investors with substantial property portfolios, is to purchase a single property and either add value through renovations or wait until the property increases in value over time. Once there is enough equity in the property, use that as collateral to purchase a second property and then a third and so on – their own personal monopoly game.

One word of warning I would give is to careful consider investing in inner-city apartments in multi storey tower blocks. Instead look for house and land near infrastructure and amenities – see below.

Shares

Some investment gurus, often with a vested interest in selling you a particular product or stock, may advise you to invest your money in shares. They often use the logic that you can’t sell off a small piece of land if you need some fast cash but you can quickly cash in shares. What they don’t happen to spend much time focusing on, is that if the market drops or crashes, your money can literally vanish into thin air.

Tax is another thing which can take a bite out of share profits. Unless you have swathes of cash to burn, shares are best left to moderate investments.

The Key to Property Investing

The most crucial part of the process is to purchase properties whose rental income covers or almost covers the mortgage repayments and secondly, those which have a high tenancy rate to ensure steady income. This is where property managers are key factors in sourcing, securing and servicing the needs of outstanding tenants – with fees ranging around four percent of the rental yield, it is a small price to pay for the service provided which includes:

  • Marketing and advertising
  • Attending inspections
  • Organising maintenance and repairs
  • Receiving and monitoring rental income
  • Organising mandatory fire equipment checks and other legal requirements
  • Conducting regular property inspections

So what should you be looking for in a rental property? Easy, you should be looking for the things a tenant would prioritise.

Solid ground

People will always need homes to rent. The trick is for an investor s to identify a desirable property by thoroughly researching the rental market. Look for:

Affordability

Crunch you numbers. It seems simple to buy a cheap home but many investors fall into the trap of paying more for a property than the rent can cover the repayments. Remember, you must plan for every contingency and the property may not be producing a rental yield for weeks at a time.

Infrastructure

A property which is located walking distance to schools, universities, transport, shops and medical facilities, will be a far more rentable prospect than a one which is not.

Low Maintenance

Wiring, plumbing and heating units can be some of the big ticket repairs landlords will have to fork out for. When buying an older property, ensure these units are contemporary and well serviced.

Gardens should be drought-resistant and attractive yet minimalistic. Tenants are generally less house-proud than owner-occupiers.

Features

Unlike homeowners, tenants are less attracted by large blocks of land which they may have to maintain. Likewise things such as swimming pools may be fine on luxury properties but can be expensive or difficult for a tenant to take care of. They also require conformity to stringent regulations around fencing etc. and can be more of a headache than an attraction.

Look for properties which offer a little bit extra or features such as:

  • Ducted heating
  • Dishwasher
  • Garage
  • Ensuite

Types of housing

Whilst it can be tempting to look at apartments or units as a cheap investment prospect, you are limited as to your ability to develop or add value to these types of properties. Beware of hidden exorbitant body corporate fees, particularly in complexes which offer selling points such as gymnasiums and swimming pools – many investors have been burned by the ongoing costs of these properties.

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Investing has long been recognized as the best way to grow wealth. Done wisely and with a great deal of research and planning, investing in property may be the key to secure a comfortable and prosperous retirement.

Leasing a Luxury Car

When shopping for a luxury car, you’ll find yourself with two options – either buy your car of choice outright, or lease it. For many years, the standard option for purchasing a luxury car has been to buy one, but the option of leasing a luxury vehicle is becoming more popular with drivers across the country. Here are four reasons why leasing is being considered a great alternative to buying when it comes to purchasing a luxury vehicle.

  1. You only have to worry about one monthly payment

Perhaps unsurprisingly, leasing a car is somewhat cheaper than buying a car outright. As the keeper of a leased car, you will be expected to pay a monthly fee to the lease company in return for use of the car. The monthly amount is calculated before you lease the car by subtracting the car’s estimated value at the end of the lease period from the car’s value at the time of leasing. The cost of your monthly payment is also likely to be influenced by the number of miles you are estimated to drive in the vehicle; a lower estimated mileage will ultimately translate into a lower monthly fee.

  1. You don’t have to think about affording car repairs

Leases are great for people who aren’t interested in keeping their vehicles for long periods of time. The average lease runs between 2 and 4 years and after that time you simply hand the car back to the lease company and pick out a new one. Because the lease times typically span just a few years, it’s likely that the manufacturer’s warranty on the vehicle will remain in force throughout your time as the keeper of the vehicle. This means that you won’t have to worry about paying to fix any problems that arise during your lease. As well as being covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, you’ll also have the opportunity to take out some form of maintenance contract with your lease provider; as part of your maintenance contract, you will be absolved from paying for tyre repairs, maintenance costs, or service charges throughout your lease period.

  1. You aren’t affected by vehicle depreciation

All cars depreciate in value – typically at an alarmingly fast and ultimately unavoidable rate. The good news for keepers of lease cars is that you don’t have to worry about your vehicle’s rate of depreciation. The car’s depreciation was estimated at the beginning of your lease and used to calculate your monthly fee. At end of your lease term, all you have to do is hand your car back to the lease company; the depreciation will then be absorbed by the lease company who own the car.

  1. You’ll have plenty of choice

If you’re interested in leasing a vehicle, there are plenty of car brands and vehicle models for you to choose from, whether you’re looking to lease an Audi, an Aston Martin, or a Ferrari. As the keeper of a lease vehicle, you’ll also be at liberty to swap your car at the end of your lease agreement for a newer, up-to-date model with all the latest gadgets. Unlike a car owner, you won’t have to worry about how much your car has depreciated during the time it has spent in your possession, how you are going to sell your car for a sufficient profit, or how you are going to negotiate the best deal on a brand new car.

 

Recovery: It Isn’t Just Physical

Your whole adult life, you plan for emergencies. You plan a savings account to back yourself up if you need it for rent or utilities when times get tough. You plan for a retirement account for when you finally take a step back from working in the office. All this planning is done to make sure that you have a cushion for when things either go wrong in life, or change. The trouble comes when the unexpected happens and you aren’t quite covered enough financially or emotionally to cope with it. When things change abruptly, the two casualties after your physical body are your mental state and your financial state. Both of these are up in the air, because the unexpected doesn’t mean you have a troubled time and carry on as if nothing has changed. Sometimes in the event of an accident or injury, everything changes.

Being in in accident or finding yourself out of work can cause havoc on your finances and the idea of having to plan for the aftermath of an accident or redundancy can feel relatively morbid! Getting into trouble with an accident usually means that the first thing you think about is recovering from injuries. You don’t immediately think about much more than the pain or medication, and even having to think about health insurance and medical bills can feel like too much to deal with at once. The thing that you have to remember is that your recovery from an accident is more than just about the physical recovery. Once you have healed on the outside, you have to work on your mental and emotional health as well as your financial health, which an accident can greatly affect. When it comes down to it, the medical care you receive isn’t the end of your recovery, and you have to know what to do next. We’ve put together some ways you can help yourself to recover fully from the aftermath of injury caused by accidents, in the hope that should you ever find yourself in a position of needing extra care, you can manage.

Emotional Health.

Going through an accident, whether that’s at work or on the road, is traumatic. Sure, the injuries you may have picked up may be superficial or they could be more worrisome, but the lasting effects are not often the ones you find on your bones or skin; they’re in your head. Post-traumatic stress is very difficult to deal with, and if you have been in a car accident, then you could even find it difficult to get back into a car for a while. Emotionally, an accident affects the way you view a situation, can tear down self-esteem and self-assurance and make you feel extremely panicky about the general world around you. Flashbacks are the norm after a trauma, but it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with.

After a traumatic time, you experience shock straight away. This is the brain’s natural way of protecting you from your own emotions. Sometimes the shock dies away gradually, but there are times where one day you’ll feel just fine and then the next your accident will come into sharpened focus and your world will feel like it crashes down. The unfair result of what you are going through could prompt you to contact personal injury lawyer Kate Stebbins, as compensation will be something you could claim in the aftermath. Contacting someone to help with compensation after an accident may feel overwhelming, but you have to think about how your injury has affected and changed your life and go from there.

Anxiety often rears its head after a trauma, as the fear of being back in that situation can consume your thinking. Seeking professional help is usually the answer when it comes to anxious feelings, but the problem there is that your financial situation after an injury may prevent you from getting the help you need. This then sinks you into a cycle of not knowing whether you can get the help you need at all, and thus never recover from the anxiety fully. There are some techniques such as these that you can do at home to help anxiety after trauma, but ideally professional help is the best route to go down. It’s simply one of the ways that you can be financially troubled after an accident.

Financial Health.

We’ve mentioned planning for the unexpected in life, but what can you do if your life has been dramatically changed after an accident, and you cannot work for some time? Savings only take you so far, and you need to be able to plan your outgoings with very little incoming. You may have to contend with medical bills, as these are the most obvious cost of an injury. The severity of your injuries will often dictate how badly your finances will be in the future and life changing injuries can mean you never go back to work at all. Accidents come with transport to hospital, scans, tests and time to recover and none of that is cheap, even with a solid health insurance plan like these. You also have to factor in how much of your wages you will lose if you have time off work, which can end up affecting your career altogether.

Finances often become difficult after an accident and recovering your finances means you need help. Compensation after an accident can help, alongside government benefits like these to support you while you get through the trauma. No one likes to rely on family or friends after an accident, but you shouldn’t feel ashamed if it comes down to that. People always want to help and relying on them means that you have a good support system who are with you through anything. This should help your emotional health as well as prop your finances immensely. Pain and suffering after an accident isn’t easy to quantify, and so you can’t truly tell how long it will take you to recover physically, mentally and financially after a traumatic time.

There is a finite amount of time you could take away from the workplace before your employer has had enough and can’t keep your job open anymore. Of course, you legally cannot be fired for being in an accident, but there will be a period of time that you can take to recover and if you go beyond that time your employer may have no choice but to replace you. When you can finally go back to work, you may have to take reduced hours due to rehabilitation of your injuries and other physiotherapies. The simple fact is that no matter how prepared your finances are, recovery after an accident can be extremely difficult.

Life-changing incidents that result in injury do not just refer to the time spent in hospital or away from work. These incidents affect you long term effects can last for years, and even with therapy you could find yourself in dire straits when it comes to your lifestyle. You will have been accustomed to a certain way of living, as well as a certain comfort within your own mind. Traumatic accidents and injuries can displace you and that recovery takes a long time. Physical recovery is always hard, but life in the after of a trauma is always harder to cope with than bumps, bruises and broken bones.