Under30CEO » Personal Finance http://under30ceo.com Wed, 23 Jul 2014 13:00:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.6 Under30CEO interviews successful young entrepreneurs to hear about their story and journey while starting their company. These young founders have over a million dollars a year in revenues and have been through many ups and downs to get there. These stories are meant to inspire, educate and motivate more young people to take a leap and do what they are passionate about. Under30CEO clean Under30CEO jared@under30ceo.com jared@under30ceo.com (Under30CEO) Under30CEO Interviews with Young Entrepreneurs on Starting Businesses entrepreneur, business, interview, young entrepreneur, business advice, startup advice, founder interview, ceo Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/u30logo300x250.png http://under30ceo.com/category/personal-finance/ Top Business Books and Must Reads for Entrepreneurs http://under30ceo.com/top-business-books-must-reads-entrepreneurs/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=top-business-books-must-reads-entrepreneurs http://under30ceo.com/top-business-books-must-reads-entrepreneurs/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:38:02 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=40384 Hey Under30CEO, This is our list of all time top reads and business books for entrepreneurs and small business owners.  It includes some new releases and best-sellers you should be reading now. Here’s our list of must reads! We are big fans of anything that gives us the edge in our personal and professional development […]

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top business books of all time

Hey Under30CEO,

This is our list of all time top reads and business books for entrepreneurs and small business owners.  It includes some new releases and best-sellers you should be reading now.

Here’s our list of must reads!

We are big fans of anything that gives us the edge in our personal and professional development or business.  We’ve authored over 4,000 articles here on Under30CEO and interviewed countless best selling authors including Seth Godin, Donald Trump, Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, Peter Shankman, Eric Ries, and Sharon Lechter.

New Releases & Best-sellers picked by our staff:

Choose Yourself! by James Altucher (Recommended by Co-founder Matt Wilson)

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking (Recommended by Editor Cara Murphy)

101 Daily Thoughts and Affirmations to Create Positive Change (Recommended by Community Manager Cesar Romero)

Thrive by Arianna Huffington (Recommended by Co-founder Jared O’Toole)

Our all time top reads

The Four Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss

Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill

How to Win by Mark Cuban

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard

The E-Myth Revisted by Michael Gerber

How to Win Friends ands Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Start with Why Simon Sinek

Thinking Fast and Thinking Slow by Daniel Kahneman

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

Good to Great by Jim Collins

Our Top Book Lists

26 Awesome Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read

17 Lessons from 17 Books to Learn from in 2013

Under30CEO’s Must Read Books from 2012

Under30CEO’s Must Read Books from 2011

Under30CEO’s Must Read Books from 2010

Under30CEO’s Must Read Books from 2009

10 Billionaire Biographies You Must Read

Giveaway: Comment below with your favorite books for a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card! 

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Does a Bitcoin Weigh More Than a Gold Coin? Alternative Assets in Retirement Plans http://under30ceo.com/bitcoin-weigh-gold-coin-alternative-assets-retirement-plans/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=bitcoin-weigh-gold-coin-alternative-assets-retirement-plans http://under30ceo.com/bitcoin-weigh-gold-coin-alternative-assets-retirement-plans/#comments Fri, 09 May 2014 15:00:00 +0000 Cara Murphy http://under30ceo.com/?p=38900 The problem with being young and successful is that right now you’re, well, young and successful. However, that’s a situation which eventually takes care of itself. At some point most intelligent people come to that realization, and they start thinking about saving for retirement. The problem is that they start thinking about it a little […]

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bitcoins

The problem with being young and successful is that right now you’re, well, young and successful. However, that’s a situation which eventually takes care of itself. At some point most intelligent people come to that realization, and they start thinking about saving for retirement. The problem is that they start thinking about it a little too late. Most Americans never save enough of a nest egg to adequately supply their retirement needs. Even starting just a few years earlier with retirement investing could mean conservative differences in excess of a $100,000.

Sold!

So you’re willing to put aside a few bucks for the coming rainy days, but the question still remains. Where should that money go? You could go the traditional route and just park it in a mutual fund. That’s a popular choice now with most people betting that the market and the funds will keep on delivering. Or you could go a completely different route. One of the more exciting alternatives in retirement investing is Self Direction. In Self Direction investors choose retirement assets that they understand (e.g. real estate or private business). The draw is that the profits can be higher and more consistent than typical market returns. Let’s take a look at some of the more popular alternative assets, and find out which ones make sense as a retirement investment.

Gold

Out of all the alternative assets, gold has definitely received the most extensive marketing campaign.Numerous companies have trumpeted their gold investment platforms as the best alternative to the stock market, but is gold really worth the hype? In actuality gold is a commodity like any other and its price follows the standard laws of supply and demand. Currently gold is riding a huge wave, but there are no guarantees that the wave will continue. With the somewhat chaotic nature of single asset prices in general, a prudent investor would not want to bet his/her entire retirement fund on gold alone. Gold, though, does have one unique feature that makes it attractive as a retirement investment. Namely, you can hold the physical gold and take it with you if the situation ever calls for it. Not allplatforms allow for physical possession, but those that do allow gold to function as a kind of insurance policy. Presumably gold will retain a large percentage of its value at any given time, and, more importantly, in any given location. That renders it a highly portable store of wealth.

Real Estate

Real estate has always been the classic venue for those who want to branch out on their own. It comes in a variety of forms, and it seems that rehabs and flips have captured the minds of today’s investors. However, flipping is not necessarily the best retirement investment. A successful flip requires real estate knowledge as to which properties are the most suitable, as well as how much it really takes to do a proper rehab job. Novices jump in, but then find themselves in trouble when they’re stuck with a property that doesn’t sell.  This approach could knock out your retirement fund before it even gets off the ground.  For most investors, a more conservative approach is in order. In real estate terms, conservative means foregoing the big deal and instead securing a small but steady stream of income. This can happen with a rental. Many retirement investors have found long term success by placing their funds in a single or multifamily rental. With the help of a qualified real estate agent, you should be able to find a rentable property that will provide your funds with a steadystream of retirement income.

Bitcoin

Bitcoin is the first fully digital currency that has achieved some degree of general acceptance. It’s also one of the hot alternative flavors of the day. The question, though, still remains: is it a good retirement investment? For the answer to this, let’s take a lesson from the medical world. When a new pharmaceutical is released to the general public, it has already gone through extensive FDA safety testing. Still, many doctors recommend waiting a few years before taking it. The reason for this delay is that even with all the testing, the long term effects in real world scenarios have not yet been determined. This idea also holds true for new investment assets. When something as new and revolutionary as Bitcoin comes around, it might potentially be very profitable, but the long term stability is not yet known. As a retirement investor its best not to place your retirement solely in unproven assets. If you’re the adventurous kind, then take the plunge with some of your funds, but leave the majority of them to safer investments.

Alternative assets can definitely provide higher returns than a standard mutual fund, but caution should always be your first response. The best thing to do is choose a reputable financial firm  that offers alternative investment options. Next up, get educated. Choose an asset that appeals to your investment sensibility, research it fully, and then make a sensible judgment with all of the facts.

Cara Price is a caffeine based life form who ardently believes in the convergence of technology, communication, and art to help businesses thrive. She is currently working as a content and communication specialist for Broad Financial, a leading custodian of enhanced retirement platforms. She loves people, Pinterest, and the written word, and she can be contacted via cprice@broadfinancial.com

Image Credit: www.theverge.com

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7 Unconventional Ways To Save Serious Money http://under30ceo.com/7-unconventional-ways-save-serious-money/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=7-unconventional-ways-save-serious-money http://under30ceo.com/7-unconventional-ways-save-serious-money/#comments Thu, 08 May 2014 13:00:03 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=39364 Bootstrapping.  The very word conjures visions of Ramen noodles, re-worn shirts, and sleeping on the floor. But it doesn’t have to be torturous.  I’ve personally saved over $2,550 a month while living like a king using the tactics below. That makes a big difference for a fledgling business (and fledgling business owner). These tactics are […]

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o-WORK-OUT-OUTSIDE-facebook

Bootstrapping.  The very word conjures visions of Ramen noodles, re-worn shirts, and sleeping on the floor.

But it doesn’t have to be torturous.  I’ve personally saved over $2,550 a month while living like a king using the tactics below.

That makes a big difference for a fledgling business (and fledgling business owner).

These tactics are battle tested and non-obvious for many.  Yes, you need to cut back on the $6 lattes, expensive vacations, and yacht parties: but you don’t need to read that here.  Instead, here are some tried-and true tactics that will save you lots of money without sacrificing the things that matter most.

Move into the main room and Airbnb your room

This is a revenue generator or a cost saver depending on how you look at it.  Either way, it is the simplest way to rock your budget while you’re bootstrapping.

Put your room up on Airbnb.  In cities like NYC or San Francisco you can charge AT LEAST 2x what you pay in rent per night.  Which means that if you have a guest two weeks out of a month, you have your rent covered.  Any more than that and you transform your single biggest expense to cold hard cash.

Know what else is awesome?  You can meet AMAZING people.

I met a guy who does Infusionsoft setup and I’ll definitely solicit his help when we switch over.  I met a designer who created a book cover for us for free.  I met a guy who has several million dollars worth of equity in a mobile startup.  Believe it or not, Airbnb counts some serious ballers in its ranks.

Cold hard cash plus potentially awesome relationships, all at the cost of sleeping on your couch a few nights a month?  Yes please!

Want to take it to the next level and make it a part-time job?  Check out this article.

Total saved: $1,000+ depending on the city you live in.

Stop drinking

Most people in their mid twenties spend HUNDREDS of dollars a month on alcohol.  Even when they’re broke they’ll pickup a six pack of beer or a handle of Vodka on a Friday night.  Then they’ll top it off at the bar once they’re sloshed and their wallets have loosened up.  With late night food, taxis, and phone(s) lost while hammered, drinking likely adds up to your most expensive discretionary habit.  Add to that the lost productivity of your Saturday and Sunday mornings…you can see where I’m going with this.

When you drink, you are literally paying money to ingest poison.  The costs are steep, both financially and physically.  Conversely, going out sober has the benefit of forcing you to develop social skills WITHOUT the aid of liquid courage.  Think that might come in handy when pitching or networking?

I recommend going cold turkey on alcohol.  You can still go out as much as you like, but your nights will be 90% less expensive and you’ll actually get stuff done on weekend mornings.

Total saved: $400+ plus 6 hours a week in productivity

Learn bodyweight exercises and lift outdoors

Bootstrapping is all about cutting out the inessential and an expensive gym membership is definitely inessential, even if you’re a fitness buff.  A playground has everything you need to get shredded.  Sprints, pull ups, push ups, dips, handstand push up, lunges, high jumps: none of these require a fancy gym membership.  All can provide a great workout if done with the right intensity.  Add yoga and cardio intervals and you can get in the best shape of your life for free.

What about during winter?  Buy yourself a pull up bar and go to town.  There’s really no excuse.

When you decide to drop the gym, be careful to check your credit card statement.  I’ve cancelled my account at a certain gym (cough**NYSC**cough) and been billed for months after.  My recommendation: cancel in person AND THEN cancel the credit card they’re billing.  Unfortunately vampiric billing seems to be common in the industry and this is the only way to ensure you’re not paying for gym time you don’t use.

Total saved: $200+

Buy cheap, healthy foods that require no prep and no cleanup

No one wants to live on Ramen.  It is bland and is awful for you in the long run.  Grocery shopping gets you higher quality food for cheap, but you’ve got to prepare, cook, and clean wasting valuable time (not to mention the hidden costs of spices, oils, dressings, pots and pans etc).  It feels like you’re being pulled between cheap, high quality, and easy to make and you can only choose 2.

What to do?

Discover the hidden group of cheap, healthy, tasty, and low-investment foods and go bonkers.  That’s exactly what I’ve done for you here :-)

All of these take zero cooking and less than 2 mins prep/cleaning.

Meals

Chipotle ($7.50 for double meat and guac when hacked, delicious, extremely healthy when you get the right ingredients)

Canned Tuna and Avocados ($3.50, delicious together, and awesome for you)

Pre-Cooked Rotisserie Chicken and Bagged Spinach (<$11, healthy, spinach adds much needed leafy veggies)

Snacks

Greek yogurt (<$3/serving, healthy, protein-chocked and cheap – buy in tubs for best savings)

Almonds and dark chocolate (<$1.50/serving high in calories, delicious, and health).  My personal favorites for cheap but still delicious are here: Almonds and Dark chocolate

Lunch meat (<$3/serving, healthy and cheap – turkey tends to be the least expensive)

Bonus: buy using Amazon shipments on non-perishables to save like crazy

Amazon shipments will save you 15% per shipment, plus time wasted in the checkout line.  Enough said

Bonus #2: All you can eat buffets

Every town has a buffet with decent food for approx. $20.  Park there midday and bring a book.  Some places have wifi so bring your laptop, too.  If you go often and make friends with the wait staff, they won’t ever rush you out.

Total saved: $150 – $300

Buy stuff with work/life crossover potential and expense them

Eventually you’re going to need to replace those shirts with holes and those ratty shoes.  The good news is that as an entrepreneur, some of your life expenses are also legitimate business expenses.  You just have to do some planning.

So go ahead, buy yourself a nice button down shirt for a pitch meeting.  Then wear it out at night to the dive bar (no drinking though!)

Need new shoes?  Buy one pair of black dress shoes that go with slacks or jeans.  Wear them everywhere, from business casual meetings to hanging out with friends.  Legitimate business expense.

Also, DO THE WORK UPFRONT to establish an office area in your apartment so you can expense it. This can add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars of tax refunds come April 15.

Total saved: $100, potentially much more if you set up a home office.

Coaching trades

There are a lot of skills you’re going to need to start your business.  And I promise you, no matter how smart you are, you don’t have all of them.  You can try to do everything yourself, but that is going to take a long time.  You might sink before your business can keep you afloat.

This is where coaching trades come in.  If you’re starting a business, you must be good at something.  Capitalize on this.  My partner, Ben, for instance teaches charisma with me.  While at an entrepreneurial meetup, he managed to make a good impression on some super successful entrepreneurs.  One of them was impressed enough to ask for coaching.  Instead of treating him like a dollar sign, Ben proposed a trade.  You help me develop my business, I’ll help you become incredibly confident and charismatic.  

Two months later that coaching trade has generated us thousands of dollars and some awesome contacts.  On the other side of the equation, the guy Ben works with has said he’s never been happier and that Ben’s coaching has been one of the most impactful decisions of his life.  Everybody’s happy, everybody wins.

When you have a would-be customer, ask yourself, “What if I just GAVE them my product or service?  What could we exchange that would create more value for both of us?”

Total savings: none, but huge potential upside

Check fiver

Yes, this is technically spending money.  But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to photoshop an image or format an ebook and wasted hours.  The next time you’re going to try something outside of your expertise, check fiverr.  There just might be somebody willing to save you 3 hours for 5 bucks.

Total savings: several hours and your sanity :-)

There you have it: 7 proven tactics to cut expenses while you bootstrap WITHOUT living like a pauper.  Implementing just a few of these could buy you the precious time you need to get your business funded or profitable.  I’ll be happy to accept retroactive donations once you’ve built your empire :-)

Charlie Houpert is co-founder of Charisma On Command.  He currently lives in Rio de Janeiro and spends his days writing, coaching, and enjoying life on the beach :)  WebTwitter.

Image Credit: www.huffingtonpost.com

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#EntrepreneurProblems: 6 Ways to Stay Healthy on the Road http://under30ceo.com/entrepreneurproblems-6-ways-stay-healthy-road/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=entrepreneurproblems-6-ways-stay-healthy-road http://under30ceo.com/entrepreneurproblems-6-ways-stay-healthy-road/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 13:00:00 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=38995   When I was younger, I always thought it would be so cool to be one of those career women who are always traveling from state to state for meetings, conferences, shows or any professional gatherings. Now that I’ve become one of those traveling career ladies, I still think it’s “cool” to see a lot […]

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 hotel gym

When I was younger, I always thought it would be so cool to be one of those career women who are always traveling from state to state for meetings, conferences, shows or any professional gatherings.

Now that I’ve become one of those traveling career ladies, I still think it’s “cool” to see a lot of places, but I’ve also realized it’s hard to stay healthy when you’re always on the road.

A lot of your meetings are based around food, like dinner meetings or networking luncheons. And the effort of traveling and busy schedule makes it hard to squeeze in a workout.

But the reality is, staying healthy on the road is critical to your work performance. I know if I don’t workout or if I eat unhealthily, I’ll be slower, groggy and not be on top of my game.

Here are some tips I’ve found that help me keep my health in check while traveling:

1- Bring snacks

Don’t wait until your dinner meeting to eat. It’s better to eat little snacks throughout the day to keep your metabolism up and you won’t feel so hungry at dinner. My favorite snack that keeps me full is Luna Protein Bars (the cookie dough flavor, duh). Other good options are almonds or anything with protein that will coat your stomach. I also bring oatmeal packs so I get my fiber in the morning!

2- Use AthleticMindedTraveler.com

This site is a great resource to find hotels with the best gyms or pools. Or finding healthy restaurants or running paths near your hotel. Basically, it’s your go-to tool for healthy options in hundreds of different cities. It’s $19.95 per year, but definitely worth it if you’re a traveler.

3- Stay at a Westin Hotel

Westin Hotels now offer New Balance gear to borrow. For me, I try to pack light and it’s hard to make room for my sneakers and workout gear. Therefore, rentals are a lifesaver. Westin also offers complimentary group runs. Need I say more?

4- Bring a resistance band

If you’re really crunched for time and can’t hit the gym, at least do some resistance band training for 10-20 minutes after you wake up. Resistance bands are easy to pack and have a ton of different exercises you can do with them. The Xfinity Fitness Band ($30 at sportsauthority.com) comes with workout DVDs. If you really want to get in some good resistance training (and are willing to pay $200), get TRX bands (trxtraining.com) that hook onto a doorway. They’re pricy but you’ll feel it in muscles you didn’t know you had!

5- Get a guest pass to a gym

Most gyms offer some sort of guest pass for a day or a week depending on the gym. Some are free and some are a small fee (like $5-10). Usually hotel gyms are limited, so try to get to a real gym on your trip. Don’t waste your time just on the elliptical for an hour, get in some weights and interval training to wake up your metabolism.

6- Don’t beat yourself up

Relax. It’s very hard to stick 100% to your normal fitness and meal plan while on the road. If you get mad at yourself for eating that cookie at the luncheon, you’re only going to put yourself in a bad mood and lose focus of your professional goals (which is the reason for the trip in the first place, right?). Talk to yourself like you’d talk to your good friend. Don’t raise your voice, breathe in breathe out, and make healthy choices at the next opportunity. Also remember that indulging in your cravings can be a good thing. If you want a cookie, eat one and be done! Depriving yourself of cravings can lead to binging. More importantly, you deserve to treat yourself in moderation. So go for it!

Jess Ekstrom is the 22-year-old founder of Headbands of Hope . For every headband purchased, one is given to a girl with cancer and $1 is donated to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Jess is also a public speaker at speaker at CAMPUSPEAK and a start-up consultant. Check out Headbands of Hope on FacebookTwitter, Instagram (@headbandsofhope).

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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4 Reasons Why Getting Insured Might Not Be In Your Best Interest http://under30ceo.com/4-reasons-getting-insured-might-best-interest/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=4-reasons-getting-insured-might-best-interest http://under30ceo.com/4-reasons-getting-insured-might-best-interest/#comments Fri, 11 Apr 2014 17:00:25 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=38708 With the Obama administration pushing for young people to “get covered” and the high cost of medical care otherwise, getting health insurance may seem like a no-brainer. However, if you’re young and healthy, getting insured might not pay off. Here’s why: 1. You may not be legally required to obtain insurance The Affordable Care Act, […]

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health insurance

With the Obama administration pushing for young people to “get covered” and the high cost of medical care otherwise, getting health insurance may seem like a no-brainer. However, if you’re young and healthy, getting insured might not pay off. Here’s why:

1. You may not be legally required to obtain insurance

The Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, includes a requirement to have health insurance by March 31 or else face a penalty of several hundred dollars or more, depending on your income. But if at least one of the following applies, you’re not legally required to purchase health insurance:

  • Your religion opposes health insurance
  • You’re an undocumented immigrant
  • You’re in prison (don’t do this one on purpose!)
  • You belong to an Indian tribe
  • Your family income is below the federal filing threshold
  • Health insurance would cost more than 8% of your income

2. You may be able to avoid a penalty

Even if you’re required to obtain health insurance, the IRS has limited capabilities to enforce the penalty. The IRS’s options include:

  • Taking it from your tax refund
  • Sending reminder letters
  • Suing you

The only significant threat is the first option, as three in four Americans received a refund check last year. Reminder letters may be a nuisance, but that’s about it. As for suing you, the IRS would have to ask the Department of Justice to do so, which, as Texas Tech law professor Bryan Camp told Yahoo! Finance, “if it’s such a small amount, it’s unlikely the government would sue for the same very practical reasons you wouldn’t sue someone for $25.”

3. You’ll be subsidizing Grandpa

If you buy health insurance, you’ll really being paying for older people’s health care. That’s because as we age we tend to require more health care services, and you—being young and healthy—will likely pay more than your fair share. That’s a double-whammy since the median net worth of senior citizens is more than 13 times that of young adults, so you’ll effectively widen that gap!

To illustrate, the Wall Street Journal pointed out that Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito made a similar argument about the young subsidizing the elderly under Obamacare. He stated that young adults now spend an average of $854 per year on health care, but under Obamacare they’ll have to pay roughly $5,800 for insurance. “The mandate is forcing these people to provide a huge subsidy to the insurance companies … to subsidize services that will be received by somebody else,” Alito argued.

4. You’re not a knucklehead

First Lady Michelle Obama recently commented that young people need insurance because they are “knuckleheads”. She went on to explain that they’re the ones who are “cooking for the first time and slice their finger open, they’re dancing on the bar stool.” I don’t know about you, but I’ve never sliced my finger bad enough to go to the hospital. Also, I don’t dance on bar stools, and even if I did, I’d have to take one mighty fall to suffer anything beyond a few bumps and bruises. Thus, your health is largely within your control, so if you avoid risky behavior you may be able to skip purchasing insurance.

Every individual’s situation is unique. That being said, if these reasons don’t apply to you, sign up for health insurance to avoid a catastrophic loss in the future. 

Bisi Ibrahim writes for NerdWallet Health, a website that empowers consumers to find high quality, affordable health care and insurance. Take a look at NerdWallets Affordable Health Insurance Guide that covers the health insurance basics you need to know before purchasing a plan.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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5 Most Common Mistakes Investors Make http://under30ceo.com/5-common-mistakes-investors-make/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=5-common-mistakes-investors-make http://under30ceo.com/5-common-mistakes-investors-make/#comments Tue, 11 Mar 2014 17:00:06 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=38221 Investment is studying the market trends carefully and yet not depending too much on past records of a particular stock that is showing up returns too good to last long. Investors make mistakes in not analyzing one’s risks properly, overdoing investment amount and showing impatience. As a newbie investor contemplating on making the best use […]

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active-investing-wsj

Investment is studying the market trends carefully and yet not depending too much on past records of a particular stock that is showing up returns too good to last long. Investors make mistakes in not analyzing one’s risks properly, overdoing investment amount and showing impatience.

As a newbie investor contemplating on making the best use of your savings by making an investment through opening up a brokerage account on pouring it on stocks, it is imperative to introspect and ponder carefully before taking plunge. For like every investor you are human and this means committing mistakes is something very commonly witnessed even in pro investors. Investment comes with uncertainty and hence there is no specific formula or computerized program that can give you the right idea of whether the money you pour in will provide you with valuable returns. Often emotional behaviors on investors’ part leave them making mistakes in their investment decisions. So before you invest and trigger circumstances where you relent later, here are 5 common mistakes you should avoid as an investor.

Inability to Analyze Risks:

You might have been prudent enough in gathering a whole bunch of assets that could help you lead a comfortable life after your superannuation. But when the question of investment crops up, you might be digging a dungeon for yourself by going for extremely risky investment which may turn its back on you anytime making your strategies go haywire. And yet there are young people who love to procrastinate in spite of possessing the ability to handle risks with their advantage of age, thereby ending up taking hasty investing decisions later which may be detrimental.

Impatience:

Investment is a matter of patience and making rash emotional decisions can turn out to be harmful bargain on your assets. You cannot expect your investments to give you prompt gratification and returns and to reap the benefits from the investment that you thought to be a quality one in the first place, you need to be hold on to your patience till the completion of the cycle. The duration of the cycle is something you get to know only after its culmination. Being too active in your trading sessions and making investment decisions too often or more than once in one year can really cost you a fortune.

Over-Investment:

Just like over-gorging can lead to indigestion putting too much money in one basket or into your favorite stock account calls for danger. For even though the particular portfolio may appear the most promising one, it is advisable not to go about representing more than 10 per cent of your investing money in one single position. A balanced diet comprises eating the right proportions of proteins, carbohydrates, fats and the likes. Similarly, to have a balanced financial investment strategy you need to diversify your investments and not over-do anyone. If you over-commit yourself you might find yourself whipped by your daily expenses as well which you need to maintain your basic living standard.

Frequent Changing of Mutual Funds:

Mutual funds should be invested by hedging your bets and committing to remain faithful to them for the long-term. Investors tend to get swayed by the latest dwindling performance of mutual bonds and sell them while buying the funds when their performance has been relatively much superior. Consequently you tend to buy at high prices and sell at low ones and losing a considerable amount that you could have earned had you shown perseverance and patience.

Here, the issue of “chasing yield” comes handy. You might be tempted to invest in a particular account simply because it is yielding handsome returns which look much more luring when compared to others. As noted by expert financial planners if a company is utilizing up its cash in its entirety for a quarterly dividend, it may so happen that it curtails its share value in future to meet the expenses of other quarterly bills, thus leaving you to lose on your shares as well as the dividend income that you could have earned.

Being Too Optimistic:

If you are among those investors who feel too optimistic about their investment overtures and their success and have a subconscious bias considering yourself a more discreet stock picker than the herd you might be ending up overestimating your capabilities. While you might be overconfident about your stock and refuse to learn from your mistakes you should also remember your stock does not care in the least about you.

Jennifer Winget is a marketing professional. Apart from her profession she loves to write and share articles related to business, technology, health, fashion and financial services. Follow her @jennywinget01

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Travel Hacks: How to Save Money and Find Cheap Airfare http://under30ceo.com/travel-hacks-how-to-save-money-and-find-cheap-airfare/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=travel-hacks-how-to-save-money-and-find-cheap-airfare http://under30ceo.com/travel-hacks-how-to-save-money-and-find-cheap-airfare/#comments Mon, 10 Mar 2014 13:00:29 +0000 Matt Wilson http://under30ceo.com/?p=38574 Finding cheap flights is a science.  As the co-founder of a travel company, we bring our team all over the world, and try to do it as wisely as possible.  We take travel hacking very seriously.  The more money we save on flights, the more money left to spend on incredible experiences. Here are ten […]

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Cheap flights and travel hacking Matt Wilson

Regional flights can be a lot of fun. I scored this seat on Cape Air to Nantucket…

Finding cheap flights is a science.  As the co-founder of a travel company, we bring our team all over the world, and try to do it as wisely as possible.  We take travel hacking very seriously.  The more money we save on flights, the more money left to spend on incredible experiences.

Here are ten awesome travel hacks to help you find cheap airfare:

First off:

Expedia has a best price guarantee.  If you find something cheaper anywhere else, Expedia will match it AND give you $50.  So I’ll let it be known upfront that we’ll be using Expedia.  Our goal now is to beat Expedia…

1) Book during the right time of the month

If you are booking on your credit card, you should be paying attention to your cashflow.  My billing cycle turns over on the 28th of every month, so you’ll almost always find me booking flights after that day.  Through American Express, I will have nearly two months to pay that off…

I just booked my flight for our Under30Experiences April 2-6 trip to Costa Rica.  Luckily for me, March’s bill will come to me at the beginning of April, and I’ll have until the end of April to pay it.  Pretty sweet.

2) Book during the right time of the week

By looking at historical data and watching trends over the last several years, you’ll notice that sitting down to book flights in the middle of the week, Tuesday – Thursday is most economical.  FareCompare.com did a study here and said Wednesday at 3PM ET is the best time to book flights.

3) Find off-peak flights

Most people need to fly home on Sunday afternoon to get back to work on Monday.  But if you have more flexibility, why not fly home off-peak hours?  Nobody wants to fly on Saturday night, or on red-eyes, or super early in the AM.  Be sure to use the +/- 3 days button on Kayak.com to see what day is cheapest, and you can save a fortune.

4) Search other destinations and buy a connecting flight

Flying to Asia or Europe?  This works really well.  If you are flying to Bali, first research flights that fly in to the Bali’s DPS airport.  Then, compare those prices with flying to other cities like Hong Kong, Singapore, and Shanghai. These major hubs are going to be way cheaper, so, search a local carrier like AirAsia to get you the rest of the way there.

For our U30X trip to Bali, I found JFK to Taipei nonstop for $1000, and then TPE to Bali for $300.  Even more fun I’ll get to check out Taipei for however long I want… remember… it’s all about the experience!

Superhack: Search your flight to Bali, and then see through what airports the cheapest flights connect in.  This is how I found Taipei– not a city in Asia I would ever thought to fly into, but it’s where most of the cheap flights were stopping. I’ll buy a second ticket and get my to Bali for less.

5) Take advantage of free-stopovers

A lot of the cheapest flights are the ones most people consider the worst–with long layovers.  This mindset is for people who simply aren’t good at life.

Last year, I found myself flying Emirates Air (amazing) with a long layover in Dubai.  I called the airlines, and arranged an even longer, 24 hour stopover, and had a blast.  I rode camels in the desert, swam in the Persian Gulf, saw the Burj Khalifa, Palm Islands, indoor skiing, and had dinner with a friend from college.  Not a bad day.

Icelandair offers up to seven days free stopover if you connect in Reykjavik.  Flying to Europe this year? Book your flight on Icelandair, and go spend the day relaxing in the Blue Lagoon. It’s natural beauty will blow your mind, and it’s very close to the airport.

6) Watch the price predictors

Many sites including Kayak and Bing Travel use data from past flights to predict the prices of upcoming airfare. For flights to places that are undiscovered like Nicaragua, we always notice that the price predictors say to wait.  It’s not uncommon for flights to go to Managua only half full, and get cheaper as time goes on.

Keep an eye out, because on any given day flights can jump up if it gets too close.  I recently couldn’t get on a flight from Miami to Managua, because our attendees bought up all the flights.  I had to pay a lot more on another airline and travel alone.

7)  Buy travel insurance ASAP

This one sounds obvious but you need to protect yourself against flight cancellations, or unforseen circumstances.  We suggest World Nomads Travel Insurance to protect yourself against trip cancellation, if you or a business partner get sick, a relative dies, or your trip gets interrupted because of inclement weather.  This might not save you money off your flight, but it’ll save your ass in an emergency.

8) Find the right credit card for you

My life and business is devoted to travel, so I choose to pay for an expensive charge card with American Express Platinum. This isn’t an article about selecting credit cards, but yes, I did get 30,000 miles just for signing up… Find mileage bonuses on a low APR credit card theoretically will let you travel with no money down for a year or two… Be careful here.

9) Know your frequent flier alliances

Mainly, be sure you are signed up with one of the big three airline frequent flier groups, Star Alliance (United, US Airways, Copa, Luthfansa, SWISS, EVA Air)One World (American, British, Cathay Pacific, Iberia, LAN, Qatar), and the new Sky Team (Delta, KLM, Aero Mexico, Air France, China Airlines…)

Try to book with them, even if they are a little more expensive. You’ll make up for it in the long run with free flights.

I prefer Delta because when I book via American Express Travel I get triple points. Yup. Double points for every travel dollar I spend with AMEX, and then the frequent flier miles with Delta on top of that. You get this deal with any airline on AMEX, but the nice thing with the Delta / AMEX partnership is that you can transfer your points between the two programs.

10) Know your booking sites

With Kayak they let you compare to the big guys like Orbitz, Expedia, Booking.com, etc… but don’t forget about the other sites like CheapOair, Airfarewatchdog, Skyscanner, and Google Flights. Of course, you should always check the airline’s website directly, and local regional carriers.

11) Setup price alerts

You’ll be able to setup fare alerts on a lot of these sites, and they’ll notify you via email of any price change. You want to watch the flights for a little while, but in general, the earlier you book the better. You’ll be able to wait until the right time of the week or month (as mentioned in tips #1 and #2), but don’t wait too long or you’ll miss out. Price predictors (as mentioned in tip #6) rarely say they flights are going to come down in price.

Superhack: Put it all together. Here’s my general process when booking flights:

Search Kayak for the flight you want, and check the price predictor.  If the flight is more than 3-4 months away, I’ll set a fare alert, and watch the price. On a Tuesday or Wednesday, at the beginning of the month, after my credit card is on a fresh billing cycle, I’ll check the flight on the search engines again, and then head over to American Express Travel where I can pay with as many points as I have, bringing down the fare, and put the rest on my card.

Happy savings… and when you do, be sure to get that $50 from Expedia!

Matt Wilson is co-founder of Under30CEO and Adventurer in Residence at the travel company Under30Experiences.  Read his free e-book The Escape Manual, the secret to temporarily escaping your job, living a life that makes your friends jealous and making memories that last a lifetime.

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How to Save Money without Sacrificing Your Lifestyle http://under30ceo.com/save-money-without-sacrificing-lifestyle/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=save-money-without-sacrificing-lifestyle http://under30ceo.com/save-money-without-sacrificing-lifestyle/#comments Thu, 06 Mar 2014 16:00:27 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=38028 Nobody wants to waste money unnecessarily. That means everyone loves saving money, right? Not necessarily. I’m sure everyone knows that saving money is hard work. We often spend less by sacrificing on certain things, i.e. eating home-cooked food most of the time, buying fewer clothes, skipping vacation days and many more. While effective, these methods […]

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Nobody wants to waste money unnecessarily. That means everyone loves saving money, right? Not necessarily. I’m sure everyone knows that saving money is hard work. We often spend less by sacrificing on certain things, i.e. eating home-cooked food most of the time, buying fewer clothes, skipping vacation days and many more. While effective, these methods are often painful as it sacrifices your lifestyle. What if I told you there are other ways to save money that are relatively pain-free?

By being a little bit imaginative, you’ll notice that there are many ways to reduce spending without drastically hurting your lifestyle. This article will attempt to get you started and will offer several money-saving tips which are guaranteed not to let you feel the pinch.

Take care of your health and stay healthy

The first one is to get healthy. As most of us might realize, eating healthy and staying fit is easier said than done. But here’s the thing, if you are in good shape, a lot of money can be saved on life insurance and health insurance plans. Why waste the extra money? If you’re already fit, good job! If not, get started. It’ll be worth your while.

Review and re-examine your auto insurance

It is recommended that you review and reexamine your auto insurance policy every year for opportunities to save. Consider this: should you be raising your deductible to a lower premium? If you’re driving an old vehicle, do you really need to have collision coverage which covers damage to your car when your car is hit by another vehicle or objects? Also, it is a good habit to compare between auto insurance quotes by different companies annually. This can be done online within minutes. Why not do it?

Improving your credit score

Many successful people will tell you that that the best way to save money without hurting your lifestyle will be to improve your credit score. This is very true and improving your credit score is arguably one of the most important tips you can follow. Every loan you take, whether it is a home loan, car loan or even credit cards and auto insurance, the interest rate all depends on your credit score. By improving and maintaining a good credit score, you will save yourself quite a small fortune which can easily reach to tens of thousands of dollars.

Invest on the cheap

It doesn’t matter if you are a passive investor who invests only in mutual funds or whether you invest on active stocks and options, there are many ways you can consider to save your hard-earned cash. If you are investing in mutual funds, only invest in funds that have reasonably low expense ratios. The rule of thumb is to make sure the weighted average expense ratio for all mutual funds stays under 50 basis points which is 0.50 percent. When compared to funds that fee charges are over 1 percent annually, you’ll notice that the savings can be substantial in a long run. As for active trading, it is recommended that you stick with brokers that charge $10 per trade or less.

Save on your internet, cable and phone bills

In this age of technology, it is a necessity to stay connected. This does not come cheap and paying for internet, cable and phone services is undoubtedly one of the biggest monthly expenses for most households. The majority of providers today often offer discounts when you bundle together all three of these services together in what is called a triple play. This way you will also get the convenience of a single bill every month.

Pay as you go

Consider switching over to prepaid services for your cellphone. While this option is not for everybody, you can save a small fortune with prepaid cell phone plans. There are prepaid cell phone plans that charge only just $0.10 a minute. Do your research and get yourself the best rates. Also, since they are prepaid, there is no need to commit yourself to long-term contracts and be tied down for years to come.

Get cash back on your credit cards

If you have a good credit score, there are many credit card providers which offer cashback solutions that can pay up to 5 percent on purchases. Forget about loyalty points, get cashback for your purchases. To maximize your savings, use the card for monthly bills and everyday expenses which you would have to pay for anyway. Do not charge items that you do not need. For monthly bills that can be paid by credit card, put in an instruction for auto-debit standing instructions. It is vital for you NOT to forget to pay the credit card bills on time every month to avoid late charges.

Jenny Corteza blogs for Better Price Paid and regularly writes about money-saving tips. She delights in finding change underneath her sofa as it pleases her no end. When she’s not helping people save money and avoid bad debts, she can be found laughing at viral cat videos and trying to recreate her own kitty memes with her temperamental Manx, Elvis.

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Balancing Your Income Between Your Needs and Wants http://under30ceo.com/balancing-income-needs-wants/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=balancing-income-needs-wants http://under30ceo.com/balancing-income-needs-wants/#comments Mon, 17 Feb 2014 16:00:17 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=37947 The best time to start saving is while you’re still young. You still have plenty of time to make mistakes and the luxury of time to fix them, along with some bad spending habits you might’ve developed over the years. You also have more opportunity to consider a ton of options involving money early on […]

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Want-Need

The best time to start saving is while you’re still young. You still have plenty of time to make mistakes and the luxury of time to fix them, along with some bad spending habits you might’ve developed over the years. You also have more opportunity to consider a ton of options involving money early on in life.

However, just as there are opportunities, so are there plenty of distractions that could make it difficult for you to save up. Before you make any more brash decisions or mistakes, it’s best to assess your spending habits.

First off, let’s classify the different types of Wants and Needs.

Wants

These are the pretty, eye-catching, and more often than not—expensive things you’d like to buy every moment of every day, if you could. You don’t really need these but if you want to show off signs of your social status or enjoy the momentary convenience they offer. Among these are:

  • Designer clothes, bags, and shoes
  • Luxury cars
  • Latest gadgets
  • Coffee
  • Taxi fares
  • Eating out
  • Shopping
  • Things you usually want to buy once you see them

Prioritizing your wants may give you instant gratification, but that’s about it. It drains a huge chunk of money out of your savings fund—all for a product or service that won’t benefit you in the long term.

Needs

These items aren’t as exciting or attractive to you and often refer to items that are hard to save up for. People often take some of these for granted:

  • Emergency fund
  • College tuition
  • Retirement fund
  • Credit card debt
  • Things you put off saving for or paying

As you can see, it’s easier to make a list for wants than needs. The list may be short, but these items take a whole lot longer to save for. However, being able to save or spend for these things will definitely make you worry-free once they’re taken care of.

How do you start, for real?

Honestly speaking, it’s easy to “prioritize” because it’s all talk. However, walking the talk is the real challenge. This article could go on and on about why putting your needs first is the best thing option to go for. If you really want to push through with what’s important to you, here’s what you do.

1)      You DECIDE.

I don’t know how you’ll manage to convince yourself to WANT to save, but this is the starting point of your savings career. Draw a line here and stand by it.

2)      Make it a CAREER.

Consider it an art you’ve to master. You need to start from the bottom, and make your way up the ladder of success. It’s not easy, but you’ll get there somehow.

3)      REDEFINE success and happiness.

Being able to buy all your wants and suffering the consequences of those purchases isn’t what success is all about. Those material things won’t ever make you happy—not for too long, at least.

4)      SHARE the burden.

Get your family in on it. Tell your friends to help you out. Feeling accountable to other people might help you make better financial decisions knowing they have their eyes on you.

5)      Don’t CUT, practice PRUNING.

Going cold turkey seems like it’s more practical, more efficient. Sadly, tough love isn’t going to cut it sometimes. Instead of making drastic changes in your habits, make little adjustments. Walk instead of taking the cab. Start buying in the market instead of going to the grocery store. Live below your means. To do this, you need to:

6)      Do the MATH.

If you’re allergic to doing math, the more you need to do it. Start computing how much you spend monthly. Let the numbers disgust you. Let the numbers frighten you. See how much you actually waste away on nothing. Then, you should:

7)      Learn to SAY NO.

You’re used to giving in to your every whim every single time. If there’s something that needs tough love, it’s your conviction. Unless you’re the prince or a princess of a certain business empire, you’re not allowed to splurge on clothes, food, shoes, or watches. You don’t have that luxury.

8)      Use TIME to your advantage.

Don’t hate how long it takes to save money. Instead, research on the best interest rates banks have to offer in a savings account and put your money there. This will surely benefit you in the long run.

Like any new experience, saving money takes some getting used to. Once you get the hang of picking your needs over your wants, however, rest assured that your future can only be safe, sound, and secure from hereon.

Ryan Del Villar is a writer and online marketing specialist at Money Max, Philippines’ leading online comparison portal. Ryan is also a freelance writer at Helm Word, an Online Reputation Management company. He worked as an online video editor before he started his writing career.

Image Credit: www.farewellstranger.com

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Home Renovation Nightmares and Lessons You Can Learn From http://under30ceo.com/home-renovation-nightmares-lessons-can-learn/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=home-renovation-nightmares-lessons-can-learn http://under30ceo.com/home-renovation-nightmares-lessons-can-learn/#comments Thu, 30 Jan 2014 17:00:00 +0000 GuestAuthor http://under30ceo.com/?p=37914 A home renovation is one of the riskiest financial ventures that most people will get involved in and there is a lot of potential for things to go wrong. When things go right during a renovation you will beautify and modernise your home in a cost efficient way, but when things go wrong it can […]

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home renovation

A home renovation is one of the riskiest financial ventures that most people will get involved in and there is a lot of potential for things to go wrong. When things go right during a renovation you will beautify and modernise your home in a cost efficient way, but when things go wrong it can cost you an unbelievable amount of money, time, stress and headaches.

So what are the most common nightmares that occur when homeowners undergo a large renovation project? Here are some examples of home renovation headaches and what you can learn from them:

Hiring Cheap Non-Professionals

Sometimes a home owner, in an attempt to save money on their renovation, will hire a non-professional who offers to do the work at a cheaper price. However, cutting corners in this way doesn’t usually work out in the long run. Think about it – the contractor can probably charge a cheap rate because they have unlicensed or inept workers or because they are scrimping on their materials. Too often, these non-professionals will short change the client by delivering poorly executed and incomplete work.  You might save money new, but it will cause you big problems in the future.

Usually, they will not have set out a written contract, so the home owner can’t really do anything about it. The lesson learned? Always hire a professional and complete a written contract.

When Sub-Contractors Let You Down

In some cases, when you hire a contractor they will hire sub-contractors to do some of the work. However, when the sub-contractor provides you with shoddy workmanship, the contractor will fail to hold them accountable. This means that you will be stuck with dealing with the problem and the extra cost of fixing the problem. Before you hire a contractor who will be sub-contracting the work out – clarify what happens if the sub-contractor’s work isn’t up to standard.

Misjudging Your Renovation Costs

One of the most common nightmares that happens during a home renovation is when your costs start to slowly creep up well beyond your original budget. Perhaps when you rip away the walls, you start to notice that your home needs all new wiring or that you need to reinforce the structure of the walls – a cost that you never anticipated.

Remember, there is always a chance that these renovation problems will manifest when you start working on your home – so you should expect from the beginning that your original budget won’t be enough. Always add at least 10-20% percent extra for unexpected surprises.

Reducing Your Home Equity too Much when Refinancing

Many home owners decide that their best option is to take out a home equity loan on their mortgage in order to fund the renovation. (visit NPBS to learn more about this option). While this can be a smart financial move, it’s important to do it properly.

Before the real estate bubble burst some home owners were refinancing their home based on property values that were overinflated and didn’t last. This meant that they took all the value away from their home when they refinanced then found that the investment didn’t pay back when they tried to sell later when property values were down. If you are planning to use your home equity to fund your renovations, make sure that you work with the professionals and do it the right way.

These are just a few examples of how home renovations can go very wrong and cause a lot of stress and turmoil – so try to refrain from making the same mistakes when you are fixing up your home.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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