Gold as an Investment: Built to Last, or Cash in Now?

 

For new investors or those who already own a certain amount of gold, the question of whether it is worth holding onto as an investment or to cash it in becomes a common concern.

Gold has held an important place in the world’s economies for thousands of years. It is valued not only for its monetary worth but also for its aesthetic appeal. It’s no mystery why people attach sentimental value to this precious metal.

While some see investing in gold as an outdated practice that ought to be replaced by a more modern equivalent, many still see gold as a necessary investment; especially for those looking to diversify their investment portfolios.

So how is gold doing in our present economy? Is it still considered a good investment or should investors look into other investment vehicles to diversify?

Benefits of Investing in Gold

Gold has proven valuable as protection against inflation, declining currencies, and as insurance during economic and political turmoil. Many financial experts would advise the average investor to invest at least 5% of their assets to gold for diversification.

Different forms of Gold

Gold bullion coins

While there are certainly many benefits to investing in gold, especially for the long-term, the value of your investment will depend greatly on the type of investment you choose. Gold bullion coins are perhaps the safest and easiest to acquire, because they can be purchased at most central banks and can be sold quickly when necessary.

Gold jewelry

Of all the types of gold investments, perhaps the most appealing to the novice investor is gold jewelry. Gold jewelry is not a good investment. Jewelry has very high markup and its price is largely determined by the labor put into making them – not the base value of the gold and gemstones it’s made with.

Gold bullion/bars in vaults

Gold that is stored in high security professional vaults is a cost-efficient  investment option as it solves the problem of finding a safe storage for your gold and is much more liquid as you no longer need to prove its purity once you decide to sell. Gold in this form is also bought at the lowest markup since you no longer have to transact in smaller quantities with gold dealers.

Gold in the form of bullion bars and coins is a good investment in the long run but gold jewelry, while pretty, has poor resale value. Unless it can be classified as an antique or is incredibly rare, it will not go up in value and would be better suited as something to pass on in an inheritance if it carries sentimental value.

The price of gold has dropped quite dramatically in 2015 because of the strengthening US dollar. The outlook for 2016 is not looking so positive either but it is worth remembering that gold prices have always been cyclical throughout history and is likely to go up eventually. If you’ve got some gold, cashing it in now or in the near future would be the way to go.

If you have some old gold jewelry lying around that you don’t use anymore, you can turn jewelry into cash and invest in other vehicles that would give you higher returns in the future.

Review 4-Hour Workweek (Timothy Ferriss)

4hour workweek

I am starting a new section in my blog where I summarize books that impacted my life in a positive manner.  One of these books is The 4-hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris. The book provides practical ideas on how to escape the tardy life plan and create a lavish New Rich lifestyle. The following points summarize what the book is all about.

  • The New Rich

A person wishing to become rich should not obsess over gold accumulation but rather utilize the “New Rich” currency which is Time and Mobility. Doing so will enable you to lead a lavish lifestyle where you are mobile, flexible and have the freedom to do what you enjoy. The secret to having such a life is creating a steady and automated passive income. As long as you have the guarantee of cash inflow even without you actively working, you can dedicate your time and energy to pursue other activities likely to add you more wealth.

  • Have life defining rules

You must come up with your rules. The rules should be ones help to raise your standards and also set you apart from second-rate living. Most people end up living in mediocrity simply because they are afraid of dreaming big or setting high standards for themselves. You need to come up with rules that help you live a good and meaningful life.

  • Take immediate massive action

There is no time like the present. If you intend to change your life and get into the New Rich lifestyle, you ought to start now. However, most people remain trapped in their monotonous unfulfilling life because they prefer staying in their comfort zones. Consequently, they keep postponing taking steps that can help them reach their dream lifestyle. Even though the comfort zone offers short-term gratification, it is always painful in the long run. Go out of your comfort zone and take immediate massive action to transform your life. Even though the actions might seem scary at first, master your courage and keep going at it. On a daily basis do something that unnerves you. For instance, if you see someone you feel attracted to, do not hesitate, approach him or her and initiate conversation.

  • Set up an income revenue stream

To be successful, you need a source of revenue. The ideal way to go about it is to create a business that generates steady income even without you being present. Set up the different streams of revenue in such a way that you can seamlessly oversee their operation. Where possible outsource and delegate so that other people make money for you.

  • Have a minimum viable product

To have a successful business, you need a product that appeals to the customers before investing too much of your time in developing your product. You, therefore, must carry out enough research to identify what consumers demand. A novel way of determining the level of market demand is to set up a fake eCommerce website or a fake online advert selling the products. Observe the customer behavior, and determine what products seem to elicit more interest from the consumers. In case consumers try to make a purchase, just tell them that the product is out of stock. In the process, have in place some mechanism for capturing the visitor’s email addresses.

  • Become indispensable at the workplace

The interesting thing is that you don’t have to quit your day job to adopt the New Rich lifestyle. You can comfortably live that life, travel the world, and attain as much freedom as you desire while you are still an employee. Just focus on making yourself indispensable to the company by acquiring expert skills that the organization cannot afford to lose. Some of the ways to learn such skills are by attending training, workshops, and seminars. Once your employer realizes your value, you could suggest a working from home test period, tipping that you are more productive in such conditions. The working at home could be for a day, week or whatever duration your boss seems comfortable. Make sure to meet and even exceed your boss’s expectation while working away from the traditional office setup.

  • Be effective

If you want to succeed, it is important to focus on the important things. Since only twenty percent of the activities we do results in eighty percent productivity, and twenty percent of the activities we do consumes eighty percent of our time, we need to eliminate the unproductive twenty percent. Channel your energy and resources in an effective and not efficient manner. Purpose to do the right thing and not doing everything right. Find out the activities that increase your chances of attaining your personal development goals and focus on those activities.

  • Utilize your time wisely

The New Rich calls for proper utilization of time. After all; time is money. Identify the activities that steal your time and eliminate them from your schedule. Similarly, go on a low information diet. Look only for information that is relevant and useful, and use the most efficient way to obtain it. Where possible capitalize on leverage. For instance rather than wasting precious time searching for information, consider calling an authority in the field to provide quick solutions. Moreover, go only to meetings that you have to and where possible avoid the unnecessary ones as they are time stealers. Also, identify the 20% of your customers that give you 80% of your income and focus on them. Offer them a simple purchase method and introduce premium products that will make more money for you.

  • Avoid distractions

There is always so much that needs your attention. For example emails, phone calls, and breaks. These, however, can be a waste of time. Avoid checking emails frequently, or the first thing in the morning. Instead, condition yourself to read the mail at specific times twice each day. You need to focus on what is important and not what is urgent. A simple method for determining whether a particular activity is important is asking if you will be happy with yourself if that is the only task you accomplish on that day. If you are proud of it, then do it.

  • Gain mega-credibility

To strike a rapport with your customers and gain credibility, you need to be professional in all your undertaking. Sure ways of obtaining mega-credibility are by getting a degree or vocational certification related to the work you do. Use the media to turn into a guru in that particular field. Similarly, you could write authoritative articles or hold workshops and seminars. Furthermore, you should carry out activities that create a picture of success in the minds of your audience. Those activities include having several email addresses on your website as well as demonstrating that your organization is large and has several employees.

I highly recommend reading the book .

The Long-Term Benefits of Short-Term Loans

 

When you’re struggling financially, it’s important to remain upbeat, and to remind yourself that your problems are not necessarily a sign of any failure on your part. Even the most sensible and careful among us can face the horrible reality of finding ourselves unable to meet our next bill, whether this is due to a sudden redundancy, a reduction in hours, or an emergency arising.

Rather than despairing if you find yourself in such a situation, you need to look for a solution, and you may find a short-term loan is the ideal financial instrument to help tide you over. Simple and easy to apply for through companies like Smart-Pig, they’ll ensure that you have money in your bank when you need it, allowing you a temporary respite to help get you back on your feet.

However, if you’re worrying about the long-term consequences on your financial health, here are a few points to put your mind at rest…

#1: Short-Term Loans Can Help You to Build a Positive Credit History  

Although a lot of people remain ignorant of the specifics of applying for a mortgage, you’ll find that a positive credit record is essential if you’re ever in a position to start climbing the property ladder, and a short-term loan can actually stand you in good stead when it comes to making an application. Many people who approach mortgage providers are surprised to find that their credit rating is rather poor, simply because they’ve never borrowed before, so lenders don’t have a history to base their assessment on. A short-term loan can help you to build one, and provided that you make your repayments on time, it could come in very useful further down the line.

#2: You Won’t Suffer the Consequences of Failing to Cover Your Bills 

You’ll also discover that taking out a short-term loan is often a better option than failing to meet your monthly payments. Should you choose to suffer without seeking help, you may find that your phone bill is cut off, your credit card repayment debts mount, or even that you lose your home because you can’t pay your rent or cover your mortgage. In these situations, the long-term consequences of not having money when you need it are far more severe than the fallout of borrowing from a loan provider.

#3: You Can Buy What You Need When You Need It

Of course, not everyone who borrows money from a short-term loan provider will be in dire straits. Some people approach lenders because they would prefer to buy something outright, as opposed to saving up for it for months on end. In truth, this is often a sensible long-term decision. Although you will be charged interest, it’s usually far handier to buy the car that you need so that you can commute to work, as opposed to catching buses every day whilst you save. Equally, many feel that it’s better in the long run to pay for the holiday they’ve been dreaming of, the refurbishments they’ve been yearning for, and so on, as opposed to living a life of frugality whilst they build up their budget. Their preference is to purchase what they want when they want, and pay it back in manageable instalments over a set period.

If you’re in need of a financial boost of your own, could a short-term loan be a viable option for you?