Posts tagged: tax

That’s Your Lot! Why Auctions Are Great Real Estate Investments

money in real estateWhen a person invests in real estate, he or she doesn’t go to an auction. Usually, they find a realtor, view a variety of properties, and make a few bids. There is nothing wrong with this method. In fact, it’s a tried and tested technique which has provided excellent results on many occasions. But, that doesn’t mean that an investor only has one path to walk. Regardless of how you feel, auctions provide a range of benefits which make them a no-brainer. For the non-believers, below are the reasons why they are great places to find cheap properties.

Seller’s Circumstances

No one likes to address this topic, but the conditions of the seller play a significant role in the price. Anyone who can afford to wait doesn’t have to go to auction. Instead, they can put their house up for sale and go through the normal channels. By definition, people at auction can’t do the same thing. They either have to make a quick sale for financial reasons or have gone bankrupt. Again, it isn’t nice to admit, but this is an opportunity. Because people need an immediate injection of cash, they will accept lower offers and you can pick up a bargain. Sometimes, the bank will set the price and that will reduce the value further.

Less Popular

There is no doubt that the majority of people use the method above to find an investment property. Therefore, auctions are less attractive and not as well frequented. The reason this is important is due to a lack of competition. If there are fewer people at an auction, the price is bound to stay steady. When that happens, you pay less for the building than normal. Yes, auctions are usually packed, but not every person bids on every lot. For the most part, you will have competition from one or two people and that will keep the price low.

Perceived Risks

Another reason an average investor stays away from traditional and online auctions is the risk factor. In their eyes, the negatives outweigh the positives. Yes, there are risks and you will have to take a gamble of sorts. Still, the dangers aren’t as big as people like to imagine. After all, everything is in document form, signed and accounted for. Plus, there is a description of the house flaws. By reading this, you can get an idea of what to expect. Ultimately, the stigma keeps investors away and increases the chances of a bargain.

Play The Game

Think of an auction like a game of poker. By bluffing the other people in the room, you can keep your cards close to your chest. If they don’t know which properties you find appealing, they won’t up bid and increase the price. For example, a great trick is to bid on lots which aren’t attractive. This will get the ball rolling and people thinking the property is a keeper. When it comes to the one you want to buy, the competition will be less as everyone will have made their bids.

As you can see, an auction is an excellent place to find an investment property.

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Why Every Small Business Needs QuickBooks

small business taxFinances are very crucial to business organizations. They are basically the main reason organizations are in business. Firms invest their resources and through their operations and product offerings, they aim to recoup as much finances as possible. To be able to tell their financial position after all this, businesses have to account for every penny invested into the business as well as funds earned from the products and services rendered. Initially, firms would rely on excel sheets for their accounting processes. Different columns would be created for funds invested into the business and another for funds generated from the business operations. The figures had to be entered manually of course and the firm’s bottom-line generated manually as well. This method was error prone and as a result, it could not be relied upon to give the best financial position of a firm at a given time. Accounting software were invented specifically for this purpose. Using these software, and particularly QuickBooks, businesses are now able to manage their finances in a stress-free manner. This post about QuickBooks explains in detail why every small business needs QuickBooks for its business operations.

1. QuickBooks provides real-time financial insights into a firm.

QuickBooks has an online version known as QuickBooks Online that allows firms to access their financial data and information online and in real-time from their PCs and mobile devices. You, therefore, don’t have to be at the office for you to access your company’s finances. This ensures that you can go about your business remotely and this goes a long way to help you save time. This online visibility gives you secure access to information such as profits and losses, incomes and expenses at a given time. Other activities that have been made possible with this online feature is the management of payrolls as well as sending invoices. Impressive isn’t it?

2. Minimizes accounting errors.

The use of excel spreadsheets for business operations results in a lot of errors. Misplaced figures and data entry errors can put the entire bookkeeping process into disarray and this makes the financial position arrived at using excel sheets false and misleading. QuickBooks feature a level of automation whereby financial information is fed directly from your bank and other financial institutions. QuickBooks is also quick to identify mistakes early in the bookkeeping process and this helps the concerned parties to correct them early in advance.

3. Filing your taxes is easy.

Filing tax returns was a labor-intensive process that small businesses had to go through way back before QuickBooks was invented. Firms had to rifle through its paper records to find receipts and invoices needed for filing the returns. This process has been made easier with QuickBooks whereby you get to update your tax figures in real time every time you upload financial records into the system. This takes place throughout the year and when the time comes to file your returns, you are able to do it in a very short time.

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Paving the Road to Financial Security

financial safetyFor many people, financial security is something that always seems to be just out of reach. And while there is no doubt that it cannot be achieved overnight (unless you have a big lottery win) paving the road to financial security is something that you should be aiming for your entire life. Ultimately, it is all about getting into some good habits and making some savvy decisions. So, here a few financial points that you should consider whatever point of life you are at.

Recognize Yourself as Your Biggest Asset

Developing your skills, knowledge and experience will stand you in good stead when it comes to your financial future. You never know when you may need to call on these things that you have learned over the years. Rather than squirreling away that extra bit of money every month, you will be far better off treating yourself as an investment. So you could decide to complete a course or have some lessons in something instead.

Set Short-term Goals

Many people have long-term financial goals that they aim to achieve, but it is impossible to predict what twists and turns your life will take. Instead, you should choose some measurable and attainable short-term goals to focus your time on. As an example, you could aim to pay off your credit card debt. Make sure that you set a specific time limit on this, as you are much more likely to enjoy success if you do this rather than letting it drag on indefinitely.

Become Financially Literate

Saving money every month is obviously a good habit to get into, but it is not helping you to become financially literate. For example, have you done the necessary research that tells you that this account is giving you the best return on your investment? Are you aware of the other investment opportunities that are out there? People who keep up with the finer details of finances are much more likely to enjoy financial security in the future.

Keep an Eye on Your Lifestyle Costs

Making sure that you aren’t living beyond your means is one of the best habits you can get into during your life. The best way of doing this is by keeping a close eye on your expenses. Write out a list of your regular outgoings so you can decide whether or not there are any savings that can be made. As your living situation changes and your expenses adjust, it is important that you reassess and reapportion your expenses.

Don’t Borrow to Finance a Lifestyle

If you decide that you want to start a business, you may well find that you need to borrow some money to finance your venture. This is an example of a calculated financial risk. If you want to buy a new car, you shouldn’t be racking up credit card debt in order to do this as this will never stand you in good stead in the future. Not buying what you can’t afford is one of the most important financial lessons you can learn.

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The Top Three Ways To Invest Your Pension Fund

yearly investmentsSaving for our future is one of those things we all know we should be doing. However, whether we actually get around to it is another point entirely. It is so easy to just put off sorting out for another day. But when the time comes for you to retire, you will need to have some kind of plan in place for your next steps. Chances are you will have been putting money into a pension scheme in addition to the workplace pension you will be entitled to receive. But, what do you do if this isn’t enough to tide you over? With other financial issues looming over us as we approach retirement age, such as whether you have the best life insurance policy, our retirement funds should be the least of our worries. If you are thinking about investing your pension fund, don’t rush into it. We all want to enjoy our retirement, but make sure that whatever you are investing your money in is right for you.

Property investment

Real estate is quite literally hot property these days. If you’re looking to invest your pension somewhere, look no further than the real estate sector. The best way to go about this is by acquiring property through a real estate IRA. This way, you open yourself up to unique investment opportunities and you can be sure that you are putting your money into a secure asset. It also has the added benefit of being able to rise in value, which is perfect for if you are hoping to pass the property down generations. You also don’t need to be restricted to houses or apartments when investing with an IRA. You can also claim farmland or holiday resorts, or commercial property such as shopping malls.

Stocks and shares

The stock market might initially seem like a bit of a daunting minefield. But, it could be the perfect place for your pension to go if you have chosen to self-invest. In fact, in provides a great opportunity to protect against rising inflation and bring in higher returns than cash and bonds. You can go into ‘direct investment’ into the stock market via a stockbroker. This essentially means that you buy shares in a single company, which makes you what is known as a shareholder. If you want to minimise the risk associated with investing in stocks and shares, instead consider investing indirectly. This way you can invest your money in a number of different companies rather than just one.

Precious metals

This may appear unusual at first, but precious metal investment has soared in recent years. They are a hard investment, which means that they are also hedged against inflation. If you are looking to invest in precious metals, you will need to comply with the rules and regulations set up by your pension account. Gold, silver, palladium and platinum are all approved by IRA accounts. You will need to purchase the metals yourself through a dealership, and then keep them in an approved depository.

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How to Keep Your New Business’s Finances Under Control

control your financesIf you are not able to keep your new business’s finances under control, then things can spiral pretty quickly. Businesses only succeed when they are financially secure, so here’s how to keep your money issues in order.

Budget

Budgeting is something that every business should do. If you are not budgeting for the year ahead, then you will face problems later on down the line. A strong budget will outline how much money you aim to bring into the company through revenue streams. And it will also outline how much you plan to spend. Then you obviously need to make sure that you make more money than you spend. Otherwise, you’ll make a loss, and that’s clearly not what you want. You can take advantage of loans and maximize loan budget in order to stretch your cash a little further if you really need to. This should all be prepared and planned out in advance though.

Organize Tax Documents from the Start

Nobody particularly enjoys paying taxes, but it has to be done. And failing to pay your business’s taxes is a criminal offence, so it’s not something that you can afford to ignore. Making sure that you pay the right amount of tax and meet all the relevant deadlines can be a challenge though. If you are not properly organized, then the whole task becomes so much harder than it really needs to be. So, you need to make sure that all your payroll documents, tax deductible expenses and other paperwork are kept in order. Then, when it comes to filling in your tax return, your life will be so much easier.

Consider Seasonal Cash Flow

Many businesses will see variable sales rates over the course of the year. This is pretty obvious for some companies. For example, a company that sells sunglasses will sell more in the summer than the winter. This is just common sense. But there can also be season cash flow variations for businesses operating in less obvious sectors too. You need to get to grips with your company’s sales cycles as quickly as possible. Once you know when your sales are at their highest and when they dip, you can organize your finances accordingly. If you don’t, you could be caught short when those sales dip.

Always Ask for Discounts

The amount of money you spend is one of the key financial considerations for your business. If you are spending more money than you need to be, that extra money will eat into your finances. Whereas, if you were to cut the amount of money that your business spent, there would be less pressure on your sales efforts. You can afford those sales dips if you are keeping your monthly expenditure as low as it possibly can be. One of the things that you should always do is ask for discounts. If you have suppliers that you are buying from in bulk, then you should be able to get some for of discount from them. This will certainly be possible if you can show them loyalty.

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