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February 20, 2016

The Benefits of Adding Alternative Investments to Your Portfolio

alternative finance ideasTraditional assets consist of stocks, bonds, or money. Individuals capitalize in such products with the expectation of capital appreciation, surplus on the original investment, and earnings on interest. For many years, people have been limited to financing only these asset products.

Alternative investments have created a broader field for individuals to capitalize in. This type of investment relies upon asset classes that have little to no correlation with more traditional forms of ventures.

Types of Alternate Financing

Private equity: there are a greater number of private corporations than there are public ones. These private companies tend to take on investor capital. Private equity firms are essentially ones that raise the necessary funds from a variety of investors. These resources will then be placed with favorable private corporations. The money is then returned to investors once an IPO or acquisition has taken place.

Venture capital: this is a division of private equity. Here the investment takes place among companies that are just beginning, before they have had a chance to grow. Venture capital firms gather funds from various groups. They then disperse these reserves to a variety of companies that are just starting out. This type of financing is usually more of a gamble. In the event that these start-up corporations succeed, however, the investors can expect an impressive return of their capital.

Hedge funds: these funds consist of a compilation of several investments. These are then placed in a variety of schemes and assets. The difference between hedge funds and private equity is that hedge funds will also place ventures with public companies. There is also more liquidity offered with hedge funds. This way investors have more access to their money and can withdraw it with greater ease. Some of the more typical hedge fund strategies are distressed investments, arbitrage, and macro-trends.

Advantages of Alternate Financing

The inclusion of alternative financing asset classes in a portfolio will greatly increase its diversification. This is because they have very little or no association with more traditional asset classes such as stocks. This means that your investments are less likely to be affected by the performance of the stock market. Thus, the inclusion of this type of investment reduces the overall volatility of the portfolio.

Alternatively, this type of investment has a good correlation with inflation. This property ensures that it serves well as a hedge against inflation. This indicates that it would provide a solid return rate on a long-term investment.

In certain instances, alternate investments can actually produce greater returns than traditional investment. One of the advantages afforded to this non-traditional form of investment is the wider range of financing opportunities. The investors can choose to invest in both public and private corporations. They also face less constraints and are subject to fewer regulations. This can result in better returns subsequent to long-term performances.

Typically, these types of investments have always been considered more of a risk than stocks, bonds, or cash. It is, however, this increased gamble that can ensure that the return against the venture is also impressive.

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February 12, 2016

Junk Silver Can Be the Start of Coin Collecting

coin collecting ideasCoin collecting is an interesting hobby pursued by many across the world. If you’re a lover of history or rare artifacts than coin collecting is for you and a good start could be with junk silver.

Coin collecting refers to collecting coins ranging over many eras and made of different materials. Each coin tells a story in itself. The imprints on the coin signify an important event or a phase of a ruler. Some people also collect coins mainly to systematically study the evolution of modern day currency. Such systematic coin collecting is referred to as numismatics.

While coin collection is informative and engaging, there’s also a good monetary value attached to it. Many coin collectors also have gold and silver coins. Coins in the past that were silver in color had a component of actual silver in them. For example, dimes produced pre-1965 have 90% @0.07 oz of silver. This silver in today’s market will sell for over $2! Such coins containing silver in them are referred to as junk silver coins since they do not have any real historic value attached to them but provide monetary benefit to the coin bearer. Similarly, there are gold coins as well.

HowTo Begin

Coin collecting is not as difficult as it might appear. There are many places where coins are traded and to begin with, you can just purchase a few of them. You can follow the following steps to kick start your own collection of coins.

Figure out what kind of collection you wish to make – historic? Time series? Artistic?
Based on your interest, start reading up on what kind of coins you want to collect. Not knowing enough can mean that you don’t know the value of the coin even if it’s in front of you.

Look for places that offer coins for sale. Visit coin stores around and look them up on the internet. It is advisable; however, to not buy a coin without seeing it first.
Read up well about the coin, its historic or artistic importance, the era of usage etc. This will help you better understand the value of the coin.

You can also begin with simple roll of dimes and create a collection of all dimes year over year. This is a simple way to begin teaching coin collection to children. It is also a good motivator for beginners.Once you have a few coins, you can begin trading them for a coin you might find more interesting to add to your collection.

There are few tips that can prove very helpful in the coin collection process:

• Have patience – Coin collecting requires looking through many coins to find the one you want
• Set goals – Setting goals keeps you motivated and focused
• Seek help – Don’t shy away from seeking help from a professional or an experienced collector for advice.

Conclusion

Coin collecting is both a hobby and an investment. The value of the coins grows over years and rare coins can be sold any day. Coin collecting can be practiced over very long periods of time and can even be passed on generation after generation – building bonds and creating memories.

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February 11, 2016

Barcelona an Attractive City for Investments on 2016

estate investments in barcelonaDesigning stands for exhibitions in Barcelona has become a lucrative business in a city that has become one of the most attractive destinations on the Mediterranean for events. Plus, it’s definitely a city we should keep a watchful eye on, in terms of investing.

Despite its turbulent political situation, Barcelona has remain in the last year an attractive destination for events and 2016 seems to keep on that track.

It has been ranked number 12 by the Telegraph on the list of European cities with the best investment prospects in property. If you are looking for foreign investments this year, you might consider take a look to Barcelona.

Besides the events and huge summits like the Mobile Congress that will start in a couple of weeks, the city has grown strong in other areas like:

Fashion

Home of famous international brands like Mango, Custo Barcelona or Desigual, the recent Barcelona fashion Week (080 fashion) demonstrated that fashion and textile industry is strong not only in the city bit in Spain.

Startup Hub

Barcelona has struggle in recent years to become a leader on entrepreneurship and independent initiatives, and under that principles it struggled to attract a massive event such as the Mobile Congress.

Barcelona wants to be known internationally for more than tapas, Gaudí and soccer, it wants to be consider as one of the main tech hubs in the world like London or Silicon Valley, and so far it has succeeded attracting a different number of big startups to open offices in the city: Airbnb, Uber, Booking or Amazon are a few examples of big multinationals that have recently open offices in the city.

On 2015, Barcelona´s tech startups perceived 60% of the funding destined to these types of companies in Spain, making it the main technology hub in the country and an interesting destination for investors.

Barcelona´s startup ecosystem is composed mainly of e-commerce, videogames companies and classifieds that attracted only last year 44 venture capital funds, a reason to believe there is something going on on this sector.

Tourism

Chinese and Russian tourists always include Barcelona on their routes, because is a city that has everything: culture, beautiful landscapes, soccer and shopping. Investing in luxury shopping in Barcelona might be very profitable considering the increasing interest the city is generating among Chinese tourists, the top global expenders according to a recent survey made by Business Insider.

La Roca Village, a luxury shopping mall located on the outskirts of the city, has arranged logistics that include a non-stop private bus that will take the buyers to the doors of the shopping mall and will bring them back for a 12 euro fee to the center of Barcelona.

Although a bit saturated, tourism is another possible way of investing your money in this city, which involves not only tourist operators or hotels but has also to do with luxury spas, accommodations and transportation.

Real Estate

If you are thinking on investing on real state on a foreign country the timing couldn´t be better. Real state prices are slowly starting to rise after the economic meltdown that almost finishes with Spain’s real state industry, and Barcelona offers new attractive projects in exclusive areas that you might consider.

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November 25, 2015

How To Make More Money

Make more moneyYou’re not alone if you’re asking the million dollar question; “How am I going to make more money?”! In fact this question is on the minds of so many of us. Now some of us are thinking about it, because we are strapped for cash not able to make ends meet and get by every month without landing ourselves in the read. While others ask themselves this question as a way of improving their financial status and security.

Discovering new ways to make more money can be really exciting, especially if you’re thinking creatively and out of the box. But before you jump the gun, take a look at your money earning strategies that you currently have and see how those can be improved, before adding more to your repertoire!

Sometimes we get so comfortable in our jobs that we lose track at what our markets offer in terms of salary, and we forget about other opportunities that could improve our income. Perhaps it’s time to give some thought into changing your job. When you have a job and you’re looking for a new job, you have the luxury of being picky and asking for exactly what you need! When you’re hired for a new position, after demand an increase on your previous income, you have automatically changed your earning potential for future positions, as you continue to move up the ladder. If you’re too nervous to jump ship, then see if your boss is willing to bump up your salary. A raise in dollars can go a long way!

So often, we have a full time job which is our primary focus, that we lose track of other money making opportunities, because we aren’t really looking for them. If you’re looking to make more money, then you need to change your mindset and actively seek out opportunities that will help you to do this. With every job we have we own a set of skills, and things that we do well. So why not use that to your advantage and try to find so freelance work in your free time, to add to your already steady stream of income.

Adding onto that idea, is to really give some thought, if you haven’t already, to the things that you are good at doing. Offering services, either locally or online have shown to be the quickest way to increase your cash flow. People like to hire others for short term projects, to help them do things that they aren’t so good at themselves. When you find what you’re good at, offer that service to others, or offer an online course to help others gain the skills that for you are so simple. In our society today we are taught not to brag and it’s sometimes seen as egotistical to say that you’re good at something. But when it comes to making extra cash, it’s important to be clear on what you’re good at and to not be afraid to publicise it.

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November 8, 2015

How to Exit a Commercial Property Lease without Making Mistakes

Property lease agreementThe business environment in most cases is extremely dynamic and fiercely competitive. It is not unusual for business to fold up even after making a great start. Many retail businesses need to keep on experimenting with location, and hence may be found to be closing down one store only to open up another one somewhere else. The reason for wanting to terminate commercial property leases can be varied; the business at that location could be bleeding money, or the demographics may have changed substantially, or the competition may have been too hot. Businesses need to enter into commercial leases for property all the time and may also need to foreclose them a lot many times too. Before walking out of the lease, you should carefully consider a number of things:

What Do You Really Want?

Closing a business at a particular location could often be the solution that is obvious but one that is not necessarily always right. Before even attempting to discuss the lease termination, be sure that you have considered every option available to you. If the reason for moving out is a need for more space, then your landlord could come to your rescue with offer for a fresh space and facilitate the lease termination. It is also important to evaluate if the necessity of terminating the lease is born out of personal circumstances rather than commercial ones. It is important for you to understand the real reasons for the change as this will give you a platform for effectively negotiating with the landlord.

Quantify Lease Termination Benefits

The option of terminating your lease can only be beneficial if the savings you get out of it is more than the compensation required to be paid to the landlord. The only way you can arrive at a rational decision is if you can quantify the value accruing to you so that you do not end up paying more than what you are benefiting by. One way of calculating the benefit is by finding the difference between the net profits expected to be delivered by the new location over the old one. If the reason for lease termination is to get time to attend to personal issues, then you would need to establish if the monetary loss on account of the termination is more than offset by what you are trying to achieve after you close down your business.

Identify the Landlord’s Financial Impact

To ensure that you are able to negotiate to good lease termination it is also necessary for you to establish the impact of the termination on the landlord. The most obvious is that he would lose out on the lease rentals till such time he can get a new tenant to occupy the space and start paying the rentals. If the business environment is down, then he may not get the same rental as what you had been paying, however the opposite could be equally true if the space is commercially attractive. Lease termination negotiation goes better of you can get an idea of the redeployment opportunities available to the landlord.

Compensate Your Landlord

Among the ways you can add value to the solving the landlord’s predicament is find creative solutions to what the landlord could do with the space becoming available. If you have been able to assess the location constraints that led to your business failing and how other business can thrive in the same property, you may be able to convince the landlord to change the usage of the space and get a better income stream. You could also tap the local real estate brokers for market information, including the duration that the landlord is likely to take to find a new tenant and the sort of rentals he can expect to derive out of his property. You could also try and identify a prospective tenant for him who can take over your lease. There are a number of internet resources that you can take the assistance of to locate a prospective lessee.

Nancy Mulligan is the senior business reporter at one of the top financial dailies. She periodically writes on trends in commercial real estate and financing. She also consults for leasequit.com.

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