May 25, 2022

How To Make Money In The Metaverse

How To Make Money In The Metaverse

 

The metaverse revolution is here - and so the rush for virtual gold begins. This new digital frontier is attracting plenty of attention, from big tech names to average users looking to be the first to seize the infinite opportunities that come with the metaverse. From taking on a virtual job to creating new forms of art and entertainment, there are several ways of generating and exchanging value for real-world benefits as a result of your experience in the metaverse. And it’s probably much simpler than you imagine, too. So here’s a list with 11 ways in which you can make money in the metaverse.

CREATING NFTS

The NFT craze is all gas and no breaks at the moment. In 2021, they’ve mostly exploded in the art world, with headline-grabbing news like Beeple’s $69 million NFT auction or the Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunk’s incredible price run. But in the metaverse, you’ll be able to turn any of your creations into an NFT (or non-fungible tokens) and sell them in open marketplaces. The metaverse will rely on avatars, mansions, apparel, collectible cards, equipment among other digital items - entirely designed and created by users - to grow and support open economies. There are plenty of tutorials online on how to create an NFT, which is essentially a digital proof of ownership and authenticity of a given item, virtual or not. But for those who’re not particularly interested in this, there are other options to consider like simply opening an NFT art gallery and selling someone else's work in return for a cut of the profits, or becoming an art broker, advising metaverse clients on how to best navigate this newly-minted NFT world.

REAL ESTATE

Virtual real estate has seen a massive boom lately, with the rush for digital land seeing plots in metaverses like Decentraland, Axie Infinity and The Sandbox selling for millions. Clearly, there a number of opportunities ready for the taking:

Real estate flipping: Purchasing plots of virtual land or digital properties and re-selling them for a higher price, pocketing the difference.

Real estate brokering: With so much real estate business to be made, the need for virtual real estate companies has only become greater. You could make generous commissions from connecting buyers and sellers, or simply giving out advice as a real estate broker.

Renting: Just like in real-life, you could buy a plot of land, build a house or another type of property, and then rent it out. You could also use your property for advertising, especially if your properties are located in high traffic areas.

Real estate management: Another great way of monetizing your expertise in the metaverse real estate is to become a manager of other user’s properties, including overseeing how virtual venues like concert halls and pieces of land are being best used.

Real estate designing: Conceptualizing and bringing to live plots of land and metaverse buildings can be a very lucrative business. Whether it’s a private property, a shopping mall or a stadium, the need for specialized 3D designers will soon become one of the most in-demand jobs in virtual worlds.

ADVERTISING

 

Many companies are rushing to the metaverse to set their virtual presence, but also to use it as a major advertising platform. Much like in the real-world, brands can open stores in virtual malls and advertise products and services across a number of virtual platforms, including leasing and selling virtual reality ads. As more users join the metaverse, it’s only expectable that it will become a massive marketing and advertising platform.

FASHION

One of the first uses of the metaverse has been fashion. High-profile fashion houses like Louis Vuitton and Gucci are already experimenting with virtual clothing in the form of NFT collections. Gaming has also been another successful avenue for brand collaborations with initiatives like Burberry x Blankos Block Party and Valentino x Animal Crossing. But just about anyone can create a digital clothing line and generate revenue in the metaverse. Even if you’re not a fashion designer, you might enjoy coming up with different creations for your own avatars and help your friends customize theirs.

EDUCATION

With the pandemic forcing schools to shut down and millions of students around the world having to sit online classes, the potential of virtual schooling has become evident. As it continues evolving, the metaverse will become an increasing immersive space that will allow classes to become even more personalized and highly interactive. As such, tutoring and educational initiatives are sure to take off.

BUSINESS CREATION

The metaverse is the perfect breeding ground for entrepreneurs. Users can open stores and kick start their businesses more easily than in the real-world. Be that in fashion, sports collectibles, real estate or entertainment, there are an infinite number of businesses that can help you earn money in digital worlds.

GAMING

Currently, gaming is the leading activity in metaverse-like environments like Roblox and Fornite. Either by playing blockchain-based games or investing in metaverse activities, users are able to collect and trade in-game assets in return for tokens that could have real-world value, as in the case of play to earn games (check out our earlier intro to P2E). You could also make money by building games others to play and enjoy in the metaverse.

TRAVEL AND TOURISM

With the world facing lockdown after lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many have turned to virtual reality tours for some much-needed escape (don’t know where to start? we’ve put together a list of the best VR traveling experiences you might want to try now). The metaverse will be a continuation of just that and the idea is that historical sites and events of the physical world could eventually be recreated in virtual worlds. This will give rise to a number of jobs in the metaverse tourism sector, like tours guides and travel agents.

EVENT PROMOTION AND HOSTING

Entertainment will play a vital role in metaverses like Sensorium Galaxy, which will be hosting concerts by superstars like David Guetta and Armin van Buuren. Parties, concerts and sporting events are sure to attract thousands (if not millions) of fans, and so promoters and hosts will as much needed as they are in the real world to make sure that virtual worlds have mind-blowing events.

TESTING METAVERSE PRODUCTS

As more products will start appearing in the metaverse, it will lead to the need of users who can test them and provide feedback. With such a vast array of industries and businesses that are set to step into the virtual universe, the possibilities to experiment with digital assets are limitless.

VIRTUAL LABOR

In order to build a metaverse and to keep it running, virtual workers will be in high-demand. No matter the sphere, you’ll be able to offer up your services, either for corporations like Meta or Microsoft, or as a freelancer. 3D artists, virtual reality architects, community managers, developers, coders, graphic and fashion designers, recruiters and metaverse content creators are just some of the jobs you’re likely to see most in need.

 

Source: sensoriumxr.com

Posted in Business Ideas
May 25, 2022

What Is Drop Shipping? And What Are The Benefits?

 

As online shopping continues to grow in popularity, entrepreneurs are increasingly looking to ecommerce to create a high profit, low investment businesses. Which is where drop shipping comes into play.

What is Drop Shipping?

Wikipedia defines drop shipping as, “a supply chain management technique in which the retailer does not keep goods in stock, but instead transfers customer orders and shipment details to either the manufacturer or a wholesaler, who then ships the goods directly”.

The main concept is that you’re selling products you don’t actually own. It means that you can set up an online store, include a mark-up price, and sell products to clients and forward the order to your supplier. They in return, ship the product to your customer on behalf of your company. There are many benefits and drawbacks to this business model, here are just a few:

 

Benefits of Drop Shipping

 



Low Investment. One of the biggest attractions to drop shipping is that it’s possible to launch a store without having to invest thousands of dollars in inventory in advance. Physical storefronts need large amounts of money before even opening their doors to purchase inventory, however with the drop shipping method; you do not buy the product, until a customer has made a purchase. This means low start-up costs and reduced risk.

Saving Time and Money. When you do not have to deal with a physical storefront, it’s easier to start your business. You do not have to find, manage and pay for a warehouse to store your products. You do no need to pack and ship your orders. There is no need to monitor and maintain stock levels. You do not need to handle returns or track inventory. Each of these things will save you time and money.

Flexible Location. Your business can be based anywhere. Your dining table. A pool in Cabo. A tent in Squamish. As long as you have an internet connection, a good relationship with your suppliers and are able to communicate with your customers then you have the freedom of the open road.

Diversity. When you purchase inventory it is easier and cheaper to buy a small number of items in larger quantities, however with drop shipping you can ultimately sell as many different items as you want, at no extra cost. If you have the time to list them on your site, you have the ability to sell them.

Scalability. With drop shipping the majority of the work falls on the suppliers. Yes to get those sales will require work, but if your business unexpectedly doubles, your workload will not.  Meaning less growing pains for you as you scale your business.

The drop shipping model is not perfect however. Convenience, flexibility and price are all great attractions, but you must also consider the shortcomings of this method.

 

Source : smallbusinessbc.ca

 

Posted in Business Ideas
May 25, 2022

Predictions for Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard Defamation Trial

The defamation lawsuit filed by actor Johnny Depp against his ex-wife Amber Heard has been making regular headlines across the country for the last few weeks. The case is irresistibly compelling for a number of obvious reasons. Depp and Heard are both major movie stars and the case involves allegations of abuse, infidelity (with other famous people) and relationship drama.

In this post, we will provide a legal breakdown of the case including the relevant factual allegation, the legal claims, and the potential outcomes. We will also offer our own prediction for the most likely outcome of the trial and why.

Backstory Behind the Johnny Depp Amanda Heard Lawsuit

Johnny Depp is one of the most famous actors in the world. He first became a household name after his roles in odd movies like Edward Scissorhands. Depp took his fame to a new level starting in the early 2000s as “Captain Jack Sparrow” in the Disney movie franchise Pirates of the Caribbean.

depp heard lawsuit

Amber Heard is also a famous actress, although she is not nearly as well-known and popular as Depp. Heard has been in a bunch of movies, with her biggest role coming recently as “Mera” in the blockbuster movie Aquaman.

Depp and Heard Meet on Set (of course)

Depp and Heard met on the set of The Rum Diary and began officially dating in 2012. In 2015, Depp and Heard were married in a private ceremony in Australia. In May 2016, a little over a year after their wedding, Heard filed for divorce.

Divorce Comes Quick

A few days after filing the divorce petition, Heard filed for a restraining order accusing Depp, for the first time, of physically abusing her.

Depp’s lawyers claimed that the restraining order and abuse allegations were false and were done in an effort to coerce money out of Depp in the divorce. Three months later, an out-of-court divorce settlement was reached in which Depp agreed to pay Heard $7 million.

Odd Joint Statement

When the settlement was finalized, Depp and Heard released a joint statement claiming that there was never any abuse, and that “neither party has made false accusations.”

Allegations of Trying to Leverage Money

The odd joint statement after the divorce settlement led to speculation that Heard had, in fact, fabricated the abuse allegations to leverage money out of Depp in the divorce. In an apparent effort to undermine these suspicions, Heard publicly announced that she would donate all the money she got from the divorce to charity (specifically, the ACLU and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles). Whether Heard actually followed through on this promise would later become a major issue.

Positioning as Domestic Abuse Victim

After the divorce settlement, the story of Depp and Heard’s ill-fated marriage (and the short-lived abuse allegations) quickly faded out of the spotlight. Then in December 2018, Heard wrote an op-ed piece that was published in the Washington Post portraying herself as a victim of domestic abuse. In the Post article, Heard writes: “I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.” Although Depp’s name is not mentioned in the article, Heard that is clearly what Heard is referring to her brief marriage to Depp.

Depp Sues Heard For Defamation

Just three months after Amanda Heard’s op-ed was published in the Post, Depp filed a defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife. Under choice of venue rules, the lawsuit had to be filed in Fairfax County, Virginia because that is where the Washington Post is published (and therefore where the defamation “occurred”).

Judge Says the Implications It Was Depp Are Strong Enough

Depp’s lawsuit claims that Heard’s op-ed piece falsely accused him of abuse and that those false accusations have caused him significant economic harm. Heard filed a motion to dismiss the Depp lawsuit arguing, among other things, that Depp was never specifically named in the op-ed piece. The motion was denied after the judge found that there was enough evidence for a jury to find that the article implicitly named Depp.

A few month after Depp filed his defamation lawsuit, Heard filed her own separate defamation lawsuit against Depp. Heard’s lawsuit, which was also filed in Virginia, accuses Depp of making false accusations in legal pleadings. Heard’s claims were not consolidated into Depp’s case against her, so we could get yet another Heard vs. Depp courtroom showdown next year.

Depp Loses Libel Lawsuit Against British Newspaper

This is not the first time Jonny Depp has filed a defamation lawsuit over allegations that he abused Amber Heard. In 2018, a British tabloid newspaper called The Sun published an article that called Depp a “wife-beater.” Depp promptly brought a libel lawsuit against The Sun’s parent company, News Group Newspapers, in the British courts.

Depp’s libel suit against The Sun went to trial in London in 2020. The law of libel in Britain is much more favorable to plaintiffs and the burden of proof was on The Sun to show that its statement about Depp being a “wife-beater” was actually true.

Heard testified at the trial in London and recounted multiple instances in which she claimed that Depp was physically abusive.  In November 2020, the judge in the libel trial ruled that The Sun had presented sufficient evidence to show that its claims were true and denied Depp’s libel claim.  Shortly after the ruling, Depp publicly announced that Warner Bros. asked him to resign from his role in the Fantastic Beasts movie franchise.

Defamation Trial in Virginia

In April, a long jury trial begins in Jonny Depp’s defamation lawsuit against Amber Heard. The trial is held in Fairfax County, Virginia and every scandalous minute is televised. Highlights from the trial have been regular features on national news broadcasts.  (Do I hate myself for watching?  I do.)

Depp’s Testimony at Trial

In the first part of the trial, Depp took the stand and testified over the course of 4 days. During his testimony, Depp portrayed himself as the victim of physical abuse in the relationship. At the close of his testimony, Depp claims that Heard’s false allegations have cost him “nothing less than everything.”

Heard’s Testimony at Trial

Heard took the stand on May 4 and gave several days of very emotional testimony. Heard claimed that Depp was heavily addicted to drugs throughout their relationship, and she detailed numerous instances of physical and emotional abuse. Heard claimed that in 2013, Depp went into a drunken rage when he saw her hugging a female friend. Heard claims that Depp grabbed the woman by the wrists, threatened her, and then hit Heard and trashed the cabin they were staying at.

Another incident occurred in Australia in 2015. Heard claims that Depp went on a violent, drug-induced tear over the course of 3 days during which he physically assaulted her several times. Both Depp and Heard acknowledge that Depp severed the tip of his finger during this trip. Depp contends that the injury occurred when Heard got violent and threw a glass bottle at him. Heard claims that Depp did it to himself while punching a wall.

Depp Claims No History of Violence

Depp’s legal team is making an effort to highlight the fact that Depp has no history of violence, while Heard does. Depp has never been accused of physical violence in the past and he presented testimony from ex-girlfriends that he was never violent or abusive with them.

By contrast, Heard has had a number of incidents. In 2009, Heard was arrested after getting into a physical altercation with her girlfriend at an airport. Charges were never pressed. Depp also called Heard’s former personal assistant, who testified that Heard spat in her face when she asked for a pay raise.

Did Heard Give Her Divorce Money to Charity?

Depp’s legal team is also drawing attention to the fact that the Heard apparently did not keep her promise to donate the money she got from her divorce settlement to charity.

In an effort to undermine claims that she accused Depp of violence to squeeze money out of him the divorce, Heard publicly announced that she was donating the divorce money to the ACLU and L.A. Children’s Hospital.

Heard promised to donate $3.5 million to the ACLU, but Depp’s lawyers have established that Heard only donated $1.3 million and that $500,000 of that donation actually came from Elon Musk (who Heard briefly dated). The implication of this is that Heard did, in fact, make false abuse allegations in an effort to get money out of Depp.

Predictions on the Depp vs. Heard Defamation Verdict

I believe that the most likely outcome is that the jury will come back with a defense verdict in favor of Heard. Although public sentiment clearly seems to be with Depp, there seems to be ample evidence that Depp was occasionally abusive to Heard. There is also evidence that Heard may have gotten physical with Depp on numerous occasions. But that doesn’t really defeat Depp’s defamation claim.

Remember, Depp presented virtually the same legal claims in his case against The Sun tabloid in the UK. The legal standards for libel and defamation in Britain are much more favorable for plaintiffs, yet Depp still lost that case. Depp is facing a much tougher legal standard in Virginia. So there is little reason to think that the result will be any different.

One major difference between the UK case and the current case against Heard in Virginia is that the UK case was decided by a judge. The defamation case in Virginia will be decided by a jury. This may give Depp a ray of hope for a different outcome.

Why Wasn’t Heard’s Countersuit Consolidated?

Uniquely rare and captivating courtroom dramas like the Depp vs. Heard defamation trial don’t happen very often, but in this case, we may actually get a second serving again in 6-8 months. As mentioned above, Heard responded to Depp’s defamation lawsuit by filing her own counter defamation lawsuit against Depp. In a classic “tit for tat,” Heard’s lawsuit essentially claims that Depp “published” false and defamatory statements about her when he filed his defamation complaint in Virginia accusing Heard of lying.

Heard had to file her lawsuit in Fairfax County, Virginia based on the same choice of venue and forum rules that compelled Depp to file in Virgnia. In defamation cases, the court with jurisdiction and which is the proper venue for the case is the location where the defamation occurs. For Depp’s original lawsuit, the alleged defamation occurred when Heard’s op-ed piece was published in the Washington Post. The Post is printed in Springfield, Virginia which made Virginia the place where the defamation “occurred.”

When Heard filed her own defamation lawsuit, she was bound by the same choice of venue rules. The defamation in her case occurred when Depp filed the civil complaint containing written allegations that Heard lied in the Post story. That civil complaint was filed (and therefore “published”) in Virginia, so once again Virginia was the appropriate venue.

In many cases where two parties are suing each other, the cases are either consolidated or the defendant asserts his or her claims against the plaintiff as “counterclaims” within the same case. Neither of those things happened here. Heard filed a totally new and separate defamation lawsuit against Depp and the 2 cases have not been consolidated. So why?

The reason Heard’s case has not been consolidated is that the two cases are too intertwined for a single court (or jury) to fairly decide both within the same proceeding. Remember, Heard’s defamation claims are based entirely on allegations Depp made in the pleadings in his lawsuit. If Depp wins the current trial (meaning the jury finds that Heard made false, defamatory statements in the Post article) then Heard’s lawsuit will probably be dismissed under the rule of collateral estoppel. If Depp loses this trial, however, collateral estoppel would not automatically apply and Heard would have to adjudicate her claims in a separate trial.

SOURCE: www.lawsuit-information-center.com

 

 

Posted in Recent News
May 25, 2022

18 passive income ideas for building wealth

 

 

1. Create a course

One popular strategy for passive income is creating an audio or video course, then kicking back while cash rolls in from the sale of your product. Courses can be distributed and sold through sites such as Udemy, SkillShare and Coursera.

Alternatively, you might consider a “freemium model” – building up a following with free content and then charging for more detailed information or for those who want to know more. For example, language teachers and stock-picking advice may use this model. The free content acts as a demonstration of your expertise, and may attract those looking to go to the next level.

Opportunity: A course can deliver an excellent income stream, because you make money easily after the initial outlay of time.

Risk: “It takes a massive amount of effort to create the product,” Tresidder says. “And to make good money from it, it has to be great. There’s no room for trash out there.”

Tresidder says you must build a strong platform, market your products and plan for more products if you want to be successful.

“One product is not a business unless you get really lucky,” Tresidder says. “The best way to sell an existing product is to create more excellent products.”

Once you master the business model, you can generate a good income stream, he says.

2. Write an e-book

Writing an e-book can be a good opportunity to take advantage of the low cost of publishing and even leverage the worldwide distribution of Amazon to get your book seen by potentially millions of would-be buyers. E-books can be relatively short, perhaps 30-50 pages, and can be relatively cheap to create, since they rely on your own expertise.

You’ll need to be an expert on a specific topic, but the topic could be niche and use some special skills or abilities that very few offer but that many readers need. You can quickly design the book on an online platform and then even test-market different titles and price points.

But just like with designing a course, a lot of the value comes when you add more e-books to the mix, drawing in more customers to your content.

Opportunity: An e-book can function not only to deliver good information and value to readers, but also as a way to drive traffic to your other offerings, including audio or video courses, other e-books, a website or potentially higher-value seminars.

Risk: Your e-book has to be very strong to build up a following and then it helps if you have some way to market it, too, such as an existing website, a promotion on other relevant websites, appearances in the media or podcasts or something else. So you could put in a lot of work upfront and get very little back for your efforts, especially at first.

And while an e-book is nice, it will help if you write more and then even build a business around the book or make the book just one part of your business that strengthens the other parts. So your biggest risk is probably that you waste your time with little reward.

3. Rental income

Investing in rental properties is an effective way to earn passive income. But it often requires more work than people expect.

If you don’t take the time to learn how to make it a profitable venture, you could lose your investment and then some, says John H. Graves, an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF) in the Los Angeles area and author of “The 7% Solution: You Can Afford a Comfortable Retirement.”

Opportunity: To earn passive income from rental properties, Graves says you must determine three things:

  • How much return you want on the investment
  • The property’s total costs and expenses
  • The financial risks of owning the property

 

For example, if your goal is to earn $10,000 a year in rental cash flow and the property has a monthly mortgage of $2,000 and costs another $300 a month for taxes and other expenses, you’d have to charge $3,133 in monthly rent to reach your goal.

Risk: There are a few questions to consider: Is there a market for your property? What if you get a tenant who pays late or damages the property? What if you’re unable to rent out your property? Any of these factors could put a big dent in your passive income.

And economic downturns can pose challenges, too. You may suddenly have tenants who can no longer pay their rent, while you may still have a mortgage of your own to pay. Or you may not be able to rent the home out for as much as you could before, as incomes decline. And home prices have been rising quickly due in part to relatively low mortgage rates, so your rents may not be able to cover your expenses. You’ll want to weigh these risks and have contingency plans in place to protect yourself.

4. Affiliate marketing

With affiliate marketing, website owners, social media “influencers” or bloggers promote a third party’s product by including a link to the product on their site or social media account. Amazon might be the best-known affiliate partner, but eBay, Awin and ShareASale are among the larger names, too. And Instagram and TikTok have become huge platforms for those looking to grow a following and promote products.

You could also consider growing an email list to draw attention to your blog or otherwise direct people to products and services that they might want.

Opportunity: When a visitor clicks on the link and makes a purchase from the third-party affiliate, the site owner earns a commission. The commission might range from 3 to 7 percent, so it will likely take significant traffic to your site to generate serious income. But if you can grow your following or have a more lucrative niche (such as software, financial services or fitness), you may be able to make some serious coin.

Affiliate marketing is considered passive because, in theory, you can earn money just by adding a link to your site or social media account. In reality, you won’t earn anything if you can’t attract readers to your site to click on the link and buy something.

Risk: If you’re just starting out, you’ll have to take time to create content and build traffic. It can take significant time to build a following, and you’ll have to find the right formula for attracting that audience, a process that itself might take a while. Worse, once you’ve spent all that energy, your audience may be apt to flee to the next popular influencer, trend or social media platform.

5. Flip retail products

Take advantage of online sales platforms such as eBay or Amazon, and sell products that you find at cut-rate prices elsewhere. You’ll arbitrage the difference in your purchase and sale prices, and may be able build a following of individuals who track your deals.

Opportunity: You’ll be able to take advantage of price differences between what you can find and what the average consumer may be able to find. This could work especially well if you have a contact who can help you access discounted merchandise that few other people can find. Or you may be able to find valuable merchandise that others have simply overlooked.

Risk: While sales can happen at any time online, helping make this strategy passive, you’ll definitely have to hustle to find a reliable source of products. Plus, you’ll have to invest money in all of your products until they do sell, so you need a robust source of cash. You’ll have to really know the market so that you’re not buying at a price that’s too high. Otherwise you may end up with products that no one wants or whose price you have to drastically cut in order to sell.

6. Sell photography online

Selling photography online might not be the most obvious place to set up a passive business, but it could allow you to scale your efforts, especially if you can sell the same photos over and over again. To do that, you might work with an organization such as Getty Images, Shutterstock or Alamy.

To get started, you’ll have to be approved by the platform, and then you license your photos to be used by whomever downloads them. The platform then pays you every time someone uses your photo.

You’ll need photos that appeal to a specific audience or that represent a certain scene, and you’ll need to tease out where the demand is. Photos could be shots with models, landscapes, creative scenarios and more, or they could capture real events that might make the news.

Opportunity: Part of the value of selling or licensing your photos through a platform is that you have the potential to scale your efforts, especially if you can provide pictures that will be in demand. So you could potentially sell the same image hundreds or thousands of times or more.

Risk: You could add hundreds of photos to a platform such as Getty Images and not have any of them really generate meaningful sales. Only a few photos may drive all of your revenue, so you have to keep adding photos as you search for that needle in the haystack.

It may require substantial effort to go out and shoot photos, then process them and keep up with the events that may ultimately drive your revenue. And motivation could be hard to maintain: Every next photo might be your lottery ticket, though it almost certainly won’t be.

7. Peer-to-peer lending

A peer-to-peer (P2P) loan is a personal loan made between you and a borrower, facilitated through a third-party intermediary such as Prosper or LendingClub. Other players include Funding Circle, which targets businesses and has higher borrowing limits, and Payoff, which targets better credit risks.

Opportunity: As a lender, you earn income via interest payments made on the loans. But because the loan is unsecured, you could end up with nothing in the event of a default.

To cut that risk, you need to do two things:

  • Diversify your lending portfolio by investing smaller amounts over multiple loans. At Prosper.com and LendingClub, the minimum investment per loan is $25.
  • Analyze historical data on the prospective borrowers to make informed picks.

Risk: It takes time to master the metrics of P2P lending, so it’s not entirely passive, and you’ll want to carefully vet your prospective borrowers. Since you’re investing in multiple loans, you must pay close attention to payments received. Whatever you make in interest should be reinvested if you want to build income.

Economic recessions can also make high-yielding personal loans a more likely candidate for default, too, so these loans may go bad at higher than historical rates when the economy worsens.

8. Dividend stocks

Shareholders in companies with dividend-yielding stocks receive a payment at regular intervals from the company. Companies pay cash dividends on a quarterly basis out of their profits, and all you need to do is own the stock. Dividends are paid per share of stock, so the more shares you own, the higher your payout.

Opportunity: Since the income from the stocks isn’t related to any activity other than the initial financial investment, owning dividend-yielding stocks can be one of the most passive forms of making money. The money will simply be deposited in your brokerage account.

Risk: The tricky part is choosing the right stocks.

For example, companies issuing a very high dividend may not be able to sustain it. Graves warns that too many novices jump into the market without thoroughly investigating the company issuing the stock. “You’ve got to investigate each company’s website and be comfortable with their financial statements,” Graves says. “You should spend two to three weeks investigating each company.”

That said, there are ways to invest in dividend-yielding stocks without spending a huge amount of time evaluating companies. Graves advises going with exchange-traded funds, or ETFs. ETFs are investment funds that hold assets such as stocks, commodities and bonds, but they trade like stocks. ETFs also diversify your holdings, so if one company cuts its payout, it doesn’t affect the ETF’s price or dividend too much. Here are some of the best ETFs to choose from.

“ETFs are an ideal choice for novices because they are easy to understand, highly liquid, inexpensive and have far better potential returns because of far lower costs than mutual funds,” Graves says.

Another key risk is that stocks or ETFs can move down significantly in short periods of time, especially during times of uncertainty, as in 2020 when the coronavirus crisis shocked financial markets. Economic stress can also cause some companies to cut their dividends entirely, while diversified funds may feel less of a pinch.

Compare your investing options with Bankrate’s brokerage reviews.

9. Create an app

Creating an app could be a way to make that upfront investment of time and then reap the reward over the long haul. Your app might be a game or one that helps mobile users perform some hard-to-do function. Once your app is public, users download it and you can generate income.

Opportunity: An app has huge upside, if you can design something that catches the fancy of your audience. You’ll have to consider how best to generate sales from your app. For example, you might run in-app ads or otherwise have users pay a nominal fee for downloading the app.

If your app gains popularity or you receive feedback, you’ll likely need to add incremental features to keep the app relevant and popular.

Risk: The biggest risk here is probably that you use your time unprofitably. If you commit little or no money to the project (or money that you would have spent anyway, for example, on hardware), you have little financial downside here. However, it’s a crowded market and truly successful apps must offer a compelling value or experience to users.

You’ll also want to make sure that if your app collects any data that it’s in compliance with privacy laws, which differ across the globe. The popularity of apps can be short-lived, too, meaning your cash flow could dry up a lot faster than you expect.

10. REITs

A REIT is a real estate investment trust, which is a fancy name for a company that owns and manages real estate. REITs have a special legal structure so that they pay little or no corporate income tax if they pass along most of their income to shareholders.

Opportunity: You can purchase REITs on the stock market just like any other company or dividend stock. You’ll earn whatever the REIT pays out as a dividend, and the best REITs have a record of increasing their dividend on an annual basis, so you could have a growing stream of dividends over time.

Like dividend stocks, individual REITs can be more risky than owning an ETF consisting of dozens of REIT stocks. A fund provides immediate diversification and is usually a lot safer than buying individual stocks — and you’ll still get a nice payout.

Risk: Just like dividend stocks, you’ll have to be able to pick the good REITs, and that means you’ll need to analyze each of the businesses that you might buy — a time-consuming process. And while it’s a passive activity, you can lose a lot of money if you don’t know what you’re doing. Like any stock, the price can fluctuate a lot in the short term.

REIT dividends are not protected from tough economic times, either. If the REIT doesn’t generate enough income, it will likely have to cut its dividend or eliminate it entirely. So your passive income may get hit just when you want it most.

11. A bond ladder

A bond ladder is a series of bonds that mature at different times over a period of years. The staggered maturities allow you to decrease reinvestment risk, which is the risk of reinvesting your money when bonds offer too-low interest payments.

Opportunity: A bond ladder is a classic passive investment that has appealed to retirees and near-retirees for decades. You can sit back and collect your interest payments, and when the bond matures, you “extend the ladder,” rolling that principal into a new set of bonds. For example, you might start with bonds of one year, three years, five years and seven years.

In a year, when the first bond matures, you have bonds remaining of two years, four years and six years. You can use the proceeds from the recently matured bond to buy another one year or roll out to a longer duration, for example, an eight-year bond.

Risk: A bond ladder eliminates one of the major risks of buying bonds – the risk that when your bond matures you have to buy a new bond when interest rates might not be favorable.

Bonds come with other risks, too. While Treasury bonds are backed by the federal government, corporate bonds are not, so you could lose your principal if the company defaults. And you’ll want to own many bonds to diversify your risk and eliminate the risk of any single bond hurting your overall portfolio. If overall interest rates rise, it could push down the value of your bonds.

Because of these concerns, many investors turn to bond ETFs, which provide a diversified fund of bonds that you can set up into a ladder, eliminating the risk of a single bond hurting your returns.

12. Sponsored posts on social media

Do you have a strong following on social media such as Instagram or TikTok? Get growing consumer brands to pay you to post about their product or otherwise feature it in your feed.

You’ll need to keep filling your profile with content that draws in your audience, though. And that means continuing to create posts that grow your reach and engage your followers on social media.

Opportunity: Leveraging your social media presence is an attractive business model. Draw eyeballs and clicks to your profile with strong content and then monetize that content by setting up sponsored posts from brands that appeal to your followers.

Risk: Getting started here can be a Catch-22: You need a large audience to get meaningful sponsored posts, but you’re not an attractive option until you get a meaningful audience. So you’ll have to focus a lot of time first on growing your audience with no guarantee that you’ll be successful. You can end up spending tons of time following the trends and building content, in the hopes that you eventually get the sponsorship that you’re aiming for.

Even when you’ve got the sponsored posts you’re looking for, you’ll need to keep posting to draw in your audience and remain an attractive option for advertisers. That means committing to more time and monetary investment, even if you do have a lot of autonomy on exactly when to do it.

13. Invest in a high-yield CD or savings account

Investing in a high-yield certificate of deposit (CD) or savings account at an online bank can allow you to generate a passive income and also get one of the highest interest rates in the country. You won’t even have to leave your house to make money.

Opportunity: To make the most of your CD, you’ll want to do a quick search of the nation’s top CD rates or the top savings accounts. It’s usually much more advantageous to go with an online bank rather than your local bank, because you’ll be able to select the top rate available in the country. And you’ll still enjoy a guaranteed return of principal up to $250,000, if your financial institution is backed by the FDIC.

Risk: As long as your bank is backed by the FDIC and within limits, your principal is safe. So investing in a CD or savings account is about as safe a return as you can find. However, while these accounts are safe, they’re returning less these days than before. And that return can pale in comparison to inflation, which hit mid-single digits last year, hurting the real purchasing power of your money. Nevertheless, a CD or savings account will yield better than holding your money in cash or in a non-interest bearing checking account where you’ll receive nothing.

14. Rent out your home short-term

This straightforward strategy takes advantage of space that you’re not using anyway and turns it into a money-making opportunity. If you’re going away for the summer or have to be out of town for a while, or maybe even just want to travel, consider renting out your current space while you’re gone.

Opportunity: You can list your space on any number of websites, such as Airbnb, and set the rental terms yourself. You’ll collect a check for your efforts with minimal extra work, especially if you’re renting to a tenant who may be in place for a few months.

Risk: You don’t have a lot of financial downside here, though letting strangers stay in your house is a risk that’s atypical of most passive investments. Tenants may deface or even destroy your property or even steal valuables, for example.

15. Advertise on your car

You may be able to earn some extra money by simply driving your car around town. Contact a specialized advertising agency, which will evaluate your driving habits, including where you drive and how many miles. If you’re a match with one of their advertisers, the agency will “wrap” your car with the ads at no cost to you. Agencies are looking for newer cars, and drivers should have a clean driving record.

Opportunity: While you do have to get out and drive, if you’re already putting in the mileage anyway, then this is a great way to earn hundreds per month with little or no extra cost. Drivers can be paid by the mile.

Risk: If this idea looks interesting, be extra careful to find a legitimate operation to partner with. Many fraudsters set up scams in this space to try and bilk you out of thousands.

16. Create a blog or YouTube channel

Are you an expert on travel to Thailand? A maven of Minecraft? A sultan of swing dancing? Take your passion for a subject and turn it into a blog or a YouTube channel, using ads or sponsors to generate your income. Find a popular subject, even a small niche, and become an expert on it. At first you’ll have to build out a suite of content and draw an audience, but it can create a steady income stream over time, as you become known for your engaging content.

Opportunity: You can leverage a free (or very low cost) platform, then use your great content to build a following. The more unique your voice or area of interest, the better for you to become “the” person to follow. Then draw sponsors to you.

Risk: You’ll have to build out content at the start and then create ongoing content, which can take time. And you’ll need to be really passionate about the product, since that can help you maintain the motivation to continue, especially at the start as your followers are still finding you.

The real downside here is that you can outlay a bunch of your time and resources, with little to show for it, if there’s limited interest in your subject or niche. Your area of expertise may be too niche to really draw a profitable audience, but you won’t be sure of that until you experiment.

17. Rent out useful household items

Here’s a variation on renting out an idle car: Start even smaller with other household items that people may need but that may be collecting dust in your garage. Lawnmowers? Power tools? Mechanics tools and tool box? Tents or large coolers? Look for high-value items that people need for a short period of time and where it might not make sense for someone to own the item. Then put together a way for clients to discover your inventory and a way for them to pay for it.

Opportunity: You can start small here, and then scale up if there’s interest in a particular area. Do people suddenly want a tent for weekend camping when the weather gets warmer or cooler? Figure out where the demand is, and then you could even go buy the item, rather than having it right on hand. In some cases you might be able to recoup the value of the item after a few uses.

Risk: There’s always the possibility that your property is damaged or stolen, but you can mitigate this risk with contracts that allow you to replace the item at the client’s expense. If you start small here, you’re not exposed to much risk, especially if you already have the item and you’re not likely to need it in the near future. Pay particular attention to liability issues, especially if you’re renting out equipment that has the potential to be dangerous (e.g., power tools.)

18. Sell designs online

If you have design skills, you may be able to turn them into a money maker by selling items with your printed designs on them. Businesses such as CafePress and Zazzle allow you to sell items such as T-shirts, hats, mugs and more with your own designs.

Opportunity: You can start with your own designs and see what the market is interested in, and expand from there. You may be able to capitalize on surging interest in a current event and design a shirt that captures the spirit of the times or at least a snarky take on it. And you can also set up your own web storefront through a site such as Shopify to market your goodies.

Risk: Printing partners allow you to ship items without directly investing in the merchandise yourself, avoiding one of the biggest risks of tying up your capital. But you may be able to get better pricing if you invest in some of the inventory yourself. Another big risk here is that you could invest a lot of time with little payoff, but this avenue might be interesting if you’re already doing the design work for another purpose, such as personal interest.

 

Source : www.bankrate.com

Posted in Real estate blog
May 19, 2022

Eight Reasons You Should Consider Real Estate Investing

Property or real estate investment concept. Home mortgage loan rate. Saving money for future retirement. Miniature house model with stacked coins and dollar currency banknotes on wooden table.

GETTY


Real estate investments are often a great way to earn higher-than-average returns while also diversifying your portfolio. Some suggest real estate investing, when done appropriately, is the highest-earning asset class a portfolio can have. Let’s look at some of the reasons to investigate real estate investing as an opportunity to grow capital.

  • It’s one of the safest investments you can make.

Real estate investing is safe and secured by the asset itself — the building. Rarely will you see your investment lose value and if so, it’s usually only for a short period of time. Unlike fiat currencies like the dollar, real estate doesn’t lose value to inflation year after year — it performs better. Smart investors can even set themselves up well in down markets by buying value-add assets such as many did after the housing bubble burst in 2008.

  • There are multiple ways of investing in real estate.

In today’s digital-savvy world, it has never been easier to invest in real estate. With syndication groups introducing new and innovative ways to invest in all kinds of property, such as multifamily apartments and the likes, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from in this investment class.

  • There are several ways this asset class appreciates in value.

With real estate investing, your asset not only appreciates naturally with the market, but you can also force appreciation. Think of it like this: Natural appreciation occurs over time as the general market for real estate inflates. Forced appreciation is the revenue that can be made from the money you put in. New windows? That’ll bring in value. Just got the roof re-done or renovated some interiors? That raises your selling price, too. The reason for this is as you renovate, you can increase the rents and the increase in rents forces the value up. There are many things you can do to force the appreciation of your property and this can make real estate investing a real cash cow.

  • It can diversify your portfolio.

Many people never invest, and the ones who do rarely venture from the stock market. Perhaps this goes without saying, but the most successful investor is always the most diversified, as well. It doesn’t matter if you are an accredited or non-accredited investor, you can still invest in this asset class. It’s no coincidence that those who diversify have the most chances at success long-term.

  • Real estate investors generally pay fewer taxes.

The government loves real estate investors. Why? Because they develop society by developing land for the public. Because of this, they tend to look favorably toward real estate investors come tax season.

Here are a few of the breaks you can expect:

  • Property tax deductions
  • Travel costs associated with your investment
  • Cost of repairs and maintenance
  • Depreciation deduction/Cost segregation study
  • Legal and management services deductions

6. You can get easy access to loans.

Banks are nice to real estate investors, too. As long as you have reliable credit, a consistent job, some experience or a qualified sponsor, you can expect to get a loan from the bank, often at a reasonable interest rate. Depending on interest rates at the time of purchase, you may also have several options when choosing the length of your mortgage.

7. It can be passed down through generations.

Real estate is a tangible investment. It is one of the easiest asset forms to pass down from generation to generation. Many people like the fact that they can leave their property in their will for their children and, in some cases, defer some of the taxes.

8. You can earn passive income.

This is one of the best reasons to invest in real estate: passive income. That’s right, there are dozens of ways you can turn a real estate investment into passive income while a property manager or sponsor does the heavy lifting. Whether you are the sole owner or you are a part of a syndication group, passive income is normally the goal of any true real estate investor.

Real estate investing is one of the best-performing asset classes out there. Year after year, it yields some of the highest returns in any portfolio. Do it right, and you could end up retiring well before you ever considered possible.

Source www.forbes.com

Posted in Real estate blog
May 18, 2022

Bitcoin vs. Ethereum: Which Is a Better Buy?

 


Bitcoin. Crypto currency Bitcoin, BTC, Bit Coin. Bitcoin and Ethereum golden coins on a chart. Blockchain technology, bitcoin mining concept

The cryptocurrency market is experiencing massive growth, so naturally more investors are considering crypto investments for their portfolio. But which crypto is the best choice?

Market leader Bitcoin (BTC) has seen a 16% price rise within the past month alone, and it is currently valued around $45,000. The second-largest by market cap, Ether (ETH), the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum platform, handily beat Bitcoin's gain during the same period, with a return of more than 29%. Ether is trading at roughly $3,400.

There are thousands of alternatives on the market, but for most investors, these two are at the top of the heap.

Bitcoin has been one of the best-performing assets in the past decade. According to a February 2022 report by the Wells Fargo Institute called "Cryptocurrencies – Too Early or Too Late?" the digital currency's price has compounded at a 216% annual rate since its first recorded transaction in 2010. Ethereum has also had a breakout performance from inception due to the multiple use cases this blockchain-based crypto offers. Since it was created in 2015, Ethereum is up more than 115,000%.

[ READ: Sign up for stock news with our Invested newsletter. ]

Gemini, one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges, recently released its "2022 Global State of Crypto" report, which outlines attitudes, trends and adoption of cryptocurrency globally. Among the top findings: 41% of crypto owners surveyed globally purchased crypto for the first time in 2021, with the primary driver for crypto adoption being inflation. Nearly half of all crypto owners in the U.S., Latin America and Asia Pacific first bought crypto in 2021.

As Bitcoin and Ethereum continue on their road to global adoption, investors are still assessing which investment options are right for them as the crypto market matures. Since Bitcoin and Ethereum are usually the starting points for crypto investors, it's important to understand the differences between them and their growth potential. Here are some important distinctions between Bitcoin and Ethereum that investors need to know about:

  • What is Bitcoin?
  • Companies that invest in Bitcoin.
  • What is Ethereum?
  • Ethereum 2.0.
  • Bitcoin vs. Ethereum: Bottom line.

What Is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin has held on to its status as the world's most widely traded and held cryptocurrency since its creation in 2008 by a person or group with the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin is the world's first cryptocurrency and is considered the benchmark for how cryptocurrencies perform.

Bitcoin allows quick peer-to-peer transactions to take place globally without a central authority, such as a bank. No one controls Bitcoin, and anyone can take part. Bitcoin's secure transactions take place through a public ledger called the blockchain, which records every transaction that is processed.

Bitcoin's market cap is more than $870 billion, taking nearly 41% of the entire crypto market. Ethereum accounts for roughly 19% of the crypto market. One of the main characteristics that gives Bitcoin its value is its scarcity combined with growing demand from institutional and everyday investors. There can only be 21 million bitcoins created. So the 19 million bitcoins already created and circulating in the market represent about 90% of the total supply. As the creation of bitcoins gets closer to its limit, Bitcoin's value may continue to increase. Ethereum doesn't have supply limitations like Bitcoin.

Companies That Invest in Bitcoin

One way to evaluate investing in cryptocurrencies is to measure adoption by Wall Street. An increasing number of publicly traded companies have added Bitcoin to their balance sheets. MicroStrategy Inc. (ticker: MSTR) was the first public company to buy Bitcoin, and it has committed to continuing to buy the digital currency regardless of its volatility and price drops in the short term. But this wasn't the first crypto-related record it set.

MicroStrategy also was the first publicly traded company to adopt Bitcoin as its primary treasury reserve asset. Instead of keeping its reserves in cash, much of its cash reserves were used to buy Bitcoin as a store of value and to benefit from Bitcoin's adoption and market growth. MSTR's Bitcoin initiatives are spearheaded by the company's CEO, Michael Saylor, who is a strong supporter of Bitcoin and vocal about his bullish position on the crypto king.

The business-intelligence software company owned 125,051 Bitcoins as of Jan. 31, 2022, bought at an aggregate purchase price of $3.78 billion, according to its SEC filing. Since the company is heavily invested in Bitcoin, shares of MicroStrategy tend to increase as the price of Bitcoin rises.

Electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc. (TSLA) is another major company that has invested some of its cash in Bitcoin and accepts Bitcoin as a form of payment for certain products on its website. Tesla periodically accumulates and sells Bitcoin to capture some gains. As of Dec. 31, 2021, the value of Tesla's Bitcoin holdings was $1.99 billion. In the company's SEC filing, it stated its belief in the long-term potential for digital assets as both an investment and as an alternative to cash.

Other top names that hold Bitcoin include Square (SQ), Coinbase Global Inc. (COIN) and Marathon Digital Holdings Inc. (MARA).

Bitcoin is an emerging store of value, says Carlos González-Campo, research analyst at 21Shares. "Bitcoin is going to benefit more from this narrative over time and will be seen as 'digital gold,'" he says. "Bitcoin will consolidate as a store of value, while Ethereum maintaining the lion's share in the Web3 infrastructure remains challenged."

There hasn't been a company the size of the aforementioned names that has bought Ethereum. But with persistent inflation, more companies may choose to use Ethereum as a store of value.

González-Campo says Bitcoin will benefit from this narrative more over time because it isn't competing with any other asset, whereas Ethereum has multiple competitors, including Solana (SOL), Avalanche (AVAX) and Cardano (ADA).

[ SEE: 7 Ways to Diversify Your Crypto Portfolio and Limit Risk. ]

What Is Ethereum?

Ethereum was created in 2015 by computer programmers including Vitalik Buterin. It is a decentralized computing platform that has smart contract capabilities that allow a variety of decentralized applications to be built on the network.

Similar to Bitcoin, Ethereum is an open-source, decentralized project used to make peer-to-peer payments, but it is much more than that. Developers can execute smart contracts and build databases for decentralized finance, or DeFi; nonfungible tokens, or NFTs; and gaming. These applications are not possible on the Bitcoin network.

Ethereum, like Bitcoin, uses the proof-of-work, or PoW, protocol to keep the decentralized network running and maintain the integrity of the platform's operations. Ethereum's transactions tend to be processed faster than Bitcoin's, but this comes with higher "gas fees" that users have to pay. Gas fees compensate network participants who validate transactions on the platform. These fees can be costly to new investors, even for small transaction amounts.

Ethereum 2.0

The crypto market is patiently awaiting the rollout of Ethereum 2.0, a more energy-efficient and cost-effective model that uses the proof-of-stake, or PoS, protocol instead of PoW. The transition to PoS will allow the network to support more transactions per second to make the network more scalable.

"The blockchain behind the second-largest cryptocurrency, Ether, will soon undergo a highly anticipated upgrade that may lead to more institutional investors putting money in the network and help lift Ether's price," says Eloisa Marchesoni, a crypto entrepreneur and public speaker.

While Bitcoin today is the largest crypto by market value, Marchesoni says, Ether could become the leader after its infrastructure upgrade, also called the "Merge," marking the end of the proof-of-work for Ethereum.

One of the top concerns regarding Ethereum's current network is the amount of energy consumed during operations. Ethereum 2.0 promises to be a more sustainable alternative. The Ethereum Foundation estimates that Ethereum's PoS upgrade will decrease its energy usage by 99.95%. Ethereum 2.0 is expected to launch sometime in 2022 in separate phases.

Bitcoin vs. Ethereum: Bottom Line

There are some other key differences between Bitcoin and Ethereum. Some parts of the world use Bitcoin as a means of exchange for goods and services. Bitcoin has been adopted as legal tender in El Salvador, for example. This has been met with scrutiny because Bitcoin's volatility can be a challenge for the local population that uses it for transactions.

Ethereum's transactions are not monetary in nature; rather, a collection of codes, or smart contracts, are deployed on the network. These smart contracts are the building blocks of Ethereum applications.

"This feature makes Ethereum dynamic and growing, while Bitcoin wants to be boring and stodgy. Ethereum's value comes from what its network can create, while Bitcoin's value derives from what its network can protect," Marchesoni says.

Crypto investors commonly hold both Bitcoin and Ethereum, given their stronger fundamentals and longer track records compared with other cryptocurrencies. Although they have different roles, most analysts agree that both will have a leading position in the crypto market for the foreseeable future.

Source: money.usnews.com

Posted in Real estate blog
May 13, 2022

What is behind the recent crypto crash?

What is behind the recent crypto crash?What is behind the recent crypto crash?

 

A look at coinmarketcap.com confirms that most cryptocurrencies have incurred massive losses in recent days. Bitcoin has shed 30.4% in the past week alone (as of 12 May 2022), Ether 36.6%, and some of the other altcoins more than 50%. On the top ten list, only the stable coins Tether, USD Coin, and Binance USD have been stable.

Bitcoin in USD (05/2012 – 05/2022 – logarithmised

)

Bitcoin in USD (05/2012 – 05/2022 – absolute)

Sources: Trading View, as of 12 May 2022

Risk-off phase on the exchanges and a problem with the stable coin UST (Terra) as causes

The losses of recent days extended the trend that had been in place for half a year. Bitcoin has shed about 60% of its value since its high in November. The performance of Bitcoin follows a 4Y cycle that is based on the halving of the miner rewards. Shortly after a halving, a 1.5-year upward trend would typically start. The most recent halving happened in April 2020. The initial 1.5 years are then followed by larger losses (2022 seems to be such a year on the basis of this rhythm), followed by a slightly positive year.

Also, we are currently in a risk-off phase that was triggered by rising inflation, the war in Ukraine, and interest rates. For example, the growth values on the Nasdaq have lost more than 25% in the year to date.

Stable Coin UST (Terra) also responsible for the crypto crash

In addition to the aforementioned negative factors, another problem with the stable coin UST (Terra) that emerged on 7 May has contributed to the crash. UST (Terra) is a so-called algorithmic stable coin, i.e. it is neither covered by fiat currencies or bonds (e.g. Tether) nor by crypto currencies (e.g. DAI). The way UST works in theory is that a balance (i.e. UST = USD) is maintained by arbitrage transactions. For example, if the price of UST is above USD 1, Luna tokens are “burnt” (i.e. destroyed) and UST is bought at USD 1. This results in an arbitrage profit. As a result of these transactions, the volume of UST increases until an equilibrium has been reached. If the price of UST is below USD 1, market participants can swap UST for (newly created) Luna tokens at USD 1. This works as long as the price of Luna is (halfway) stable. And that is where the problems started. From 7 May onwards, so-called crypto whales were jointly selling about UST 285mn while short-selling Luna, as a result of which the USD peg started to crumble. This, then, set off panic-selling in UST, and the USD peg has not been re-established yet as the price of Luna imploded from USD 86 to below USD 0.1.

Chart 1: UST stable coin; source: Trade View; as of 12 May 2022

At the time of going to press, the exchange rate of UST to USD is at 0.48 instead of the theoretical 1. At its lowest, it was at 0.25. 

Chart 2: Luna price; source: Trade View; data as of 12 May 2022

The Luna Foundation Guard (LFG), i.e. the organisation behind the Terra-Luna system (an NGO), has announced to make every effort to re-establish stability. Shortly before the crash, the organisation released a statement that it had bought Bitcoin worth USD 1.5bn and it was then holding a total of more than USD 3bn in Bitcoin. These holdings are now to be used to save UST. Some are worried that these measures could in fact exert selling pressure on Bitcoin. Other coins are affected as well, for example Avalanche. Once the downward trend has started, it often tends to gain momentum because investors start panicking or stop/loss orders are being triggered. The panic is often exacerbated by news reports such as the one about Binance (N.B. one of the largest crypto exchanges), which said it did not want to allow any further withdrawals of Luna and UST. Binance justified the step with a capacity overload caused by the transaction volume. The exchange said it would retract the measures once the situation had calmed down.

Whether the “anything but stable coin” Terra will survive is unclear

In summary, we do not want to venture a prognosis on whether Terra will survive this attack. Terra would certainly not be the first algorithmic “stable” coin to fail. It would be one in a line behind Empty Set Dollar or Basis Cash that suffered the same fate. What does make Terra special though is its size. Behind Ethereum, Terra was at times the second-largest blockchain in the so-called decentralised financial world with a total value locked (i.e. value of coins staked/locked) of USD 40bn at its peak.

A massive loss of trust and increased uncertainty are currently burdening the crypto world

If Terra were to fail, this could be the end of algorithmic stable coins. Demand for stable coins will remain high, but investors will prefer credible projects that offer a transparent form of cover in fiat or crypto. Governments will be pushing their regulation agenda even more after this fiasco. In Europe, stable coins will be regulated under the MiCA Directive (N.B. on the regulation of crypto assets).

In addition, the increased level of uncertainty on the capital markets is affecting the sentiment for crypto currencies. The uncertainty factors at play are the high inflation rates and the resulting interest rate hikes, the war in Ukraine, and the resulting, elevated risk of stagflation in the global economy



SOURCE : blog.en.erste-am.com

 

Posted in Real estate blog
May 11, 2022

Manipulate Time With These Powerful 20 Time Management Tips

We all have 24-hours in a day. But, why does it seem that some people are able to get the most out of every minute of the day? Believe it or not, they don’t have the power to slow down time. They do, however, know how to properly manage their time.

Want to know how you can become a master of time management as well? Start by using these 20 super-powerful time management tips.

1. Create a time audit.

When it comes to time management, the first step you need to take is finding out where your time actually goes. You may believe that you only send 30 minutes on emails, but in reality that task is eating-up an hour of your day.

The easiest way to keep track of your time is to download an app like RescueTime, Toggl or my app Calendar to track everything you do for a week. You can then access a report to find out what’s stealing your time. With this information, you can then make the appropriate adjustments.

2. Set a time limit to each task.

I've found that setting a time limit to each task prevents me from getting distracted or procrastinating. For example, if I want to write an article for my blog, I give myself two hours. So if I started at 8am, I try to get it written by 10am.

In a way, it becomes game.

Since I put buffers between tasks and activities, if I don’t complete the task on time, I can still work on it without eating into the time reserved for something else.

3. Use a to-do-list, but don’t abandon tasks.

“All goals and projects are made up of smaller parts that need to be accomplished in order to achieve the goal, or complete the project. Create to-do lists for each goal and project, listing all the measurable steps that need to be accomplished,” suggests William Lipovsky.

“Aside from keeping you focused, this also motivates you as you are able to see what you have already achieved, and what remains.”

At the same time, there will interruptions that may prevent you from completing a task. William recommends that you “make a point of always returning to and completing these tasks once you are able to. This may require you to set a limit on the number of tasks you are working on at any given time.”

4. Plan ahead.

One of the worst things that you can do is wake-up without a plan for the day. Instead of focusing on what needs to be done, you wander aimlessly and take care of more trivial matters.

That’s why you should always plan ahead using one of these options;

 

  • The night before. Before you leave work for the day, spend the last 15-minutes organizing your office and composing a list of your most important items for tomorrow.
  • First thing in the morning. During your morning routine write down the 3 or 4 most urgent and important matters that need to be addressed today and work on those when you’re most productive.

 

5. Spend your mornings on MITs.

Mark Twain once said, "If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first."

Gross? Sure. But, the point that Twain was making that you should take care your biggest and most-challenging tasks in the morning, aka your most important tasks (MITs) of the day.

There are a couple reasons why this such an effective time management trick. For starters, you usually have the most amount of energy in the AM. So it’s better to tackle these tasks when you’re not drained. Also, you can use that feeling of accomplishment to get through the rest of the day.

6. Learn to delegate/outsource.

Delegation and outsourcing can get a bit tricky. For some it’s hard to let someone else do work that they used to do. For others, they don’t have the time to train someone else to complete certain tasks.

The thing is, delegating or outsourcing are real time-savers since it lessens your workload - which means you have more time to spend on more important tasks or doing less work. Either hand over responsibilities to team members who are qualified or hire an experienced freelancer. And, if you do decide to do in-house training, the initial investment will be worth-it in the end.

7. Eliminate half-work.

“In our age of constant distraction, it's stupidly easy to split our attention between what we should be doing and what society bombards us with,” writes James Clear.

“Usually we're balancing the needs of messages, emails, and to–do lists at the same time that we are trying to get something accomplished. It's rare that we are fully engaged in the task at hand.”

Clear has dubbed this “half–work” and here are a couple of examples;

 

  • You’re writing a report, but stop randomly to check your phone for no reason.
  • You try out a new workout routine, but switch to a new program a couple of day later because you read about it online.
  • While talking on the phone, your mind wanders to your email inbox.

 

“Regardless of where and how you fall into the trap of half–work, the result is always the same: you're never fully engaged in the task at hand, you rarely commit to a task for extended periods of time, and it takes you twice as long to accomplish half as much,” adds Clear.

Clear has found that the best way to overcome half-work is by blocking “out significant time to focus on one project and eliminate everything else.” For example, he’ll pick one exercise and only focus on that exercise while working out. He’ll also carve out a few hours to devote to an important project, but will leave the phone in another room.

“This complete elimination of distractions is the only way I know to get into deep, focused work and avoid fragmented sessions where you're merely doing half–work.”

8. Change your schedule.

If you’re reading this article then it’s obviously because you want to discover some useful time management - and I’m more than happy to help you put. But, if you’re struggling with time management, the solution may be as simple as changing your schedule around.

For example, instead of sleeping-in until 6:30am, wake-up an hour earlier. Personally, I find 5:15am to be the most productive time of the day since it gives me time to exercise, plan-out my day, go through my emails, and even work on side projects without being disturbed.

Also, consider waking-up earlier on the weekends and maybe cut-down on the amount of TV that you watch.

9. Leave a buffer-time between tasks and meetings.

Jumping immediately from one task or meeting to the next may seem like a good use of your time, but it actually has the opposite effect. We need time to clear our minds and recharge by going for a walk, meditating, or just daydreaming. After all, the human brain can only focus for about 90-minutes at a time.

Without that break it’s more difficult to stay focused and motivated. Scheduling buffer-time also can prevent running late to your next meeting. I find 25-minutes between tasks and meetings an ideal amount of buffer-time.

10. Get organized and single-task.

The average American spends 2.5 days each year looking for misplaced items. As a result, we spend over $2.7 billion annually in replacing these items. Instead of wasting both your time and money, get organized.

Start by having a home for everything and making sure that items are put back where they belong. As the end of the day clean your workplace and create a document management system.

And, start single-tasking. Most people cite multitasking as the main culprit for misplacing items.

11. Follow the 80-20 rule.

“The Pareto Principle also known as the 80-20 rule suggests that 80% of results come from 20% of the effort put in. This is commonly used in sales as 80% of sales typically come from 20% of the customers,” writes Renzo Costarella in a previous Calendar post.

“When it comes to how you should manage your time this principle can also be applied. 80% of your results comes from 20% of your actions.”

Renzo suggests that you start by looking “at your schedule or to-do-list every day. For the sake of simplicity try to get down five tasks you need to accomplish. Using the principle you can probably eliminate the majority of the items on your list. It may feel unnatural at first but overtime this will condition you to scale up effort on the most important tasks.”

12. Use an online calendar.

Calendars have long been a fundamental tool for time management. However, online calendars have taken this to the next level. That’s because you can access it from multiple devices, easily schedule meetings and appointments, set up reminders, create time blocks, and schedule recurring events.

Personally, I use Google Calendar. I think it’s the best. But Outlook and Apple Calendar also work well.

13. Stop being perfect.

When you’re a perfectionist, nothing will ever be good enough. That means you’ll keep going back to same task over and over again. How productive do you think your day will be as a result?

So, stop being perfect. It doesn’t exist. Do the best you can and move on.

14. Just say “No.”

I know that you don’t want to upset anyone. But you can only handle so much. If you already have a full plate then decline that dinner invitation or helping your colleagues on a project until you have the spare time.

15. Instill keystone habits.

Charles Duhigg, author of "The Power of Habit," coined the term "keystone habits." But, what are they? Simply put, they’re habits that can transform your life, such as exercising, tracking what you eat, developing daily routines, and meditating.

These habits replace bad habits and solicit other good habits. As a result, you’ll be healthier, more focused, and better suited to manage your time.

16. Don’t waste time waiting.

I’ll be honest. I can’t stand waiting. It’s not that I’m impatient. It’s just that I know that this is time that could be better spent elsewhere.

However, instead of wasting this time, I’ve found ways to make the best of it. For example, while sitting in a waiting room I’ll read an inspirational book, listen to a podcast, or blueprint an upcoming blog post.

17. Telecommute.

Did you know that the average American commute is over 26 minutes? And, to make matters worse, that daily commute is getting longer. Add on-top the amount of time it takes getting ready and you can easily see how much time is wasted getting to and from work.

While not possible for every job, telecommuting even twice a week can end-up saving you several hours per week.

18. Find inspiration.

When I’m dragging, I use inspirational sources like a TED Talk or biography. It’s a simple way to reignite that fire to get me motivated and back-on-track.

19. Batch similar task together.

When you have related work, batch them together. For example, don’t answer your emails and phone calls throughout the day. Schedule a specific time to handle these tasks.

The reason? Different tasks demand different types of thinking. By batching related tasks together, your brain isn’t switching gears - which means you cut out that time reorienting.

20. Do less.

This is a tactic from Leo Babauta. He started the blog Zen Habits and it’s definitely a must read. So, what does Leo have to say about doing less.

Doing less doesn’t mean “less is more.” It means “less is better.” This is achieved by slowing down, being aware of what needs to be done, and concentrating only on those things. Once you do, make every action count. As a result you’ll be creating more value instead of just fodder.

Source : www.forbes.com

Posted in Real estate blog
May 9, 2022

What Is House Flipping?

 

House flipping is when a real estate investor buys houses and then sells them for a profit. In order for a house to be considered a flip, it must be bought with the intention of quickly reselling. The time between the purchase and the sale often ranges from a couple months up to a year.

There are two different types of house flipping:

 

  • An investor buys a property that has potential to increase in value with the right repairs and updates. After completing the work, they make money from selling the home for a much higher price than what they purchased it for. You may have also heard this called a “fix and flip.”
  • An investor buys a property in a market with rapidly rising home values. They make no updates, and after holding the property for a few months, they resell at a higher price and make a profit.

We’re mainly focusing on the first fix-and-flip definition and providing you with tips to help you choose a property, make renovations, and sell the smart way.

Is Flipping a House Profitable?

Flipping houses may sound simple, but it’s not as easy as it looks. Let’s be real: A house flip can either be a dream or a disaster.

Done the right way, a house flip can be a great investment and incredibly profitable. In a short amount of time, you can make smart renovations and sell the house for much more than you paid for it.

But a house flip can just as easily go the opposite direction if it’s done the wrong way. We’ve all heard house-flipping horror stories—the ones where what seemed like a good deal turned into a house with a shaky foundation and a leaking roof. At the end of the day, a house flip may not make you money. It actually could cost you thousands.

If you decide to flip a house, you certainly don’t want to lose money. You want to make a wise investment and reap the rewards. That’s why a lot of people call in an appraiser to assess the value and then use the 70% rule to gauge whether it’s likely a fix and flip will pay out like they hope.  

What Is the 70% Rule?

The 70% rule means that the purchase price of a property should be 70% of the home’s after-repair value minus renovation and repair costs. This helps you avoid overspending on a property that will give you little return on your investment. Here’s how that looks:

Let’s say you estimate a home’s after-repair value to be $300,000. Start by multiplying $300,000 by 70% or 0.7.

$300,000 x 0.7 = $210,000

Now, let’s say it needs $50,000 in repairs. To figure out the max price you should pay for the home, subtract $50,000 from $210,000.

$210,000 - $50,000 = $160,000

That means the purchase price of the home needs to be no more than $160,000 cash—more on the cash bit later. And if you didn’t catch it, that leaves you making a $90,000 profit when you sell the home for its after-repair value at $300,000.

Don’t forget to factor in your two favorite things: time and taxes. Using the example above, let’s say it takes two years to finish and sell the house flip. That’s like earning $45,000 for each year of work. When you factor in long-term capital gains taxes, house flipping probably isn’t going to be worth it.

But if it takes you six months to finish the fix and flip, you’ve made $90,000 in half a year. Now, since you owned the house for less than a year, the profit is counted as a short-term capital gain and taxed at your normal, personal income tax rate, which is higher than the long-term capital gains rate. But this flip is still a sweet deal.

How to Flip a House in 5 Steps

1. Finance the House Flip With Cash

Flipping houses can be a risky business—especially flipping houses with no money. It’s easy to see why adding debt into the mix only makes things more dangerous. Here’s why we always recommend you flip a house with cash:

 

  • No interest fees. House flippers who borrow money may pay interest for months, which only increases the amount they have to sell the house for just to break even.
  • No rush to sell. Using debt to finance a flip can cause you to act out of desperation. If you can’t get the house sold, you’re likely to lower your price and cut your profit. Cash-only house flippers can wait out a slow market because they don’t have interest payments piling up against them each day it doesn’t sell.
  • No debt to hold you back. Most importantly, doing any kind of “investment” with debt is a dumb plan. Period. Trying to sell a flipped house for more money than you invested in it is already a risk—even with cash. Using debt in the process skyrockets your chance of losing money if there’s a hiccup in your plans.

 

 

Let’s look at an example to see why using debt to flip a house isn’t worth it: You take out a loan to purchase a house to flip and all seems to be going great until renovations take six months instead of four. When you list the home, it sits on the market for a month before you’re forced to drop the price and sell it for way less than you had planned to.

A month later you close and get your payout. But a huge chunk of your payout goes toward paying back the money you borrowed plus eight months of interest! And that’s on top of the usual selling costs like agent commissions, taxes and title fees.

If you’d flipped the house with cash, desperation wouldn’t have forced you to sell low. With no interest payments to worry about, you could’ve held off on selling until the market warmed up and the price was right.

Unless you can pay cash, the financial risk of house flipping is just not worth it.

 

2. Know the Market

A lot of house flippers get excited about their next project and can ignore this less glamorous side of the business. But if you don’t have a good understanding of the market and real estate trends in your area, you could run into the following issues:

 

  • You don’t know if you’re actually getting a good deal on the house you’re buying. The sale price needs to be low enough so you can do the renovations and still come out ahead when the house is priced at market value.
  • You can’t accurately identify the home’s potential value. Your vision for the home must fit the reality of the neighborhood and the ability of the neighborhood’s residents to afford the home you create.
  • You don’t know how to price the house. If you’ve bought a house in a neighborhood of mostly $130,000–150,000 homes, you’ll want to price your flip at the lower end of that range when it’s time to sell.

 

So how do you get a deep understanding of the market that makes for a successful flip? Find a real estate agent with years of experience in your area. Your agent can help you target your home search to the right neighborhoods based on your price point, budget for renovations and desired profit.

You may think that house you found online seems like a steal at $145,000 and has lots of potential. (Just think of what it could look like with a new kitchen!) But if the nicest and biggest house in the neighborhood sold for $160,000 three 

months ago, any renovations would probably outprice the neighborhood. And you’d be stuck with a house you couldn’t sell.

It pays to work with a real estate agent who knows the market like the back of their hand. When you’re ready to sell, your agent can use their knowledge to price the house competitively so that you get top dollar. Working with a rock-star agent can help you make a smart investment that keeps your finances on track.

 

3. Make a Budget for Your House Flip

Don’t wait until after you purchase an investment property to make a budget. Know your price range for purchasing a home, making any repairs, completing renovation projects, and paying selling costs before you seal the deal.

Make a list of any cosmetic projects as well as any expensive overhauls like plumbing or electrical problems. If you don’t have a background in construction, a contractor can tell you what needs fixing and how much it will cost. Surprise repairs can make or break a flip, so be sure to do your homework here.

When you’re under contract, get a home inspection and any other specific inspections you may need. It’s always better to spot problems on the front end than be surprised down the road.

4. Invest in Smart Renovations

Dreams of gleaming hardwood floors, on-trend light fixtures and fabulous kitchens with professional-grade stoves can quickly cause your renovations to get out of hand. That’s why it’s important to know your budget up front and then make sure your updates stay on track and actually boost the value of the home.

Don’t forget that big renovations—like kitchens and bathrooms—can easily make or break your flip. Take the kitchen, for example. According to the 2020 Cost vs. Value report, the average amount spent on a major kitchen remodel is almost $68,500.2 The average amount regained from that cost is only around $40,000.3 That’s not the kind of ROI you want to see when you’re flipping a house.

If you’re renovating a house that you hope to sell for $220,000, don’t put $60,000 into custom cabinet installations, high-end finishes and that dream kitchen island! Instead, consider a smarter renovation that focuses on refinishing the existing cabinets, adding granite counters and replacing appliances. You’ll spend less and have a much higher likelihood of earning back your costs when you resell the house.

While you might invest in a couple big updates on a flip, don’t underestimate the power of small tweaks. Things like a fresh coat of paint, updated hardware and new landscaping can make a huge impact!

5. Get Guidance From a Local Real Estate Expert

Can you make money from house flipping? When it’s done the right way, you definitely can! In the second quarter of 2021, flipped homes sold for an all-time high median price of $267,000 with a gross profit of almost $67,000.4 

Keep in mind that the gross profit doesn’t include the amount spent on repairs and renovations. But if you’re able to flip with cash and stay in your budget for renovations, it’s completely possible to make a great return on your investment.

The key to flipping a house successfully is to do it with cash, make a smart investment in the type of house you purchase, choose renovations in your budget, and sell it quickly. Having a real estate agent on your team helps make all of that happen!

Whether you’re buying a house to live in for years or to flip in six months, a quality real estate agent can provide the market knowledge and practical guidance you need to make a smart investment.

Source: www.ramseysolutions.com

Posted in Real estate blog
May 6, 2022

10 Clear Reasons Why You Need Digital Marketing

1. Affordability

Digital marketing is considerably less expensive than other marketing methods. Specific prices vary based on what you’re doing but ad spend tends to be lower than other forms of marketing.

2. Mobile Access

Why Digital Marketing

You may not know this but  77 percent of American adults own a smartphone and are likely to use that smartphone or another mobile device for news, social networking, and countless other activities. Digital marketing helps you reach them while they’re doing this. With remarketing ads, email and text marketing, and social media – you can be in front of your audience while they use many different apps on their mobile phones.

3. Flexibility

There are many forms and uses of high quality digital marketing, including banner ads, email marketing, content marketing, and social media posts. Thus by learning how to creatively market yourself digitally, you open up a wide range of possibilities for future publicity strategies. With digital marketing, you also have the flexibility of testing and stopping poorly performing campaigns in real time.

4. Expansion

Many consumers do almost all of their shopping online. Digital marketing lets you appeal to these people and thus expand the reach of your company. Between Google Shopping Ads and brand awareness campaigns, you can expand your brand recognition and boost sales.

Why Digital Marketing

5. Multimedia

Customers tend to engage more with marketing materials that combine multiple types of content, including photos, video clips, and audio. It is far easier to incorporate all these content types into digital marketing than any other type of publicity – and it is very important.

6. Interactivity

Digital marketing lets you communicate directly with the customers who see your content, notably through website comments, messages, reviews, and social media posts. This shows those customers that you care about what they say and think, leading them to feel respected and part of the community you’re building. It also allows you to gather invaluable information on customers’ reactions and preferences.

7. Tracking

Besides communicating with customers, digital marketing lets you track their activities. You can monitor which ads and types of content they have seen shortly before they make a purchase. This tells you which marketing methods are most effective, allowing you to refine and improve your strategy.

8. Authority

Digital marketing makes it easy to comment on issues and controversies that relate to your product or your industry. In this way, you can establish yourself as an authority on such topics, leading readers to trust you, come back for more information, and eventually make a purchase. Digital marketing allows you to come off as the industry expert that you are and will instill trust in your business.

9. Influencer Engagement

Many of the most influential figures in modern culture promote themselves online or through social media. Digital marketing allows you to engage with these influencers and gain their respect. If you play your cards right, you can get them to endorse you, leading their followers to become customers and spread brand awareness.

10. Print Enhancement

Digital marketing lets you expand on your print marketing efforts. By writing online content that explains claims you make in your print ads, you can go into greater detail, maximizing the effectiveness of all forms of publicity and integrating your campaigns.

Why Choose Digital Marketing Takeaways:

The benefits of digital marketing for businesses include:

 

  • Lower costs and higher flexibility for your marketing efforts
  • Access to consumers who rely on their mobile phones or do all their shopping online
  • The ability to speak with authority on topics related to your product or industry
  • A chance to engage with influencers, earn their respect and get them to endorse your company
  • Opportunities to incorporate multiple types of media into your marketing
  • The ability to track customers’ purchase journeys

 

For more information on the art and importance of digital marketing for your company or if you need help in developing a digital marketing strategy for your business, contact Ballantine today and explore our past digital marketing works!

Why Digital Marketing

 

The article below was written in February of 2017 and has since been updated.

There once was a time when developing and implementing marketing campaigns meant running ads on television and radio, and placing print ads in newspapers and magazines. However, as the world of commerce moves more and more toward a digital marketplace, businesses now have the opportunity to expand their reach and connect with their target market through digital marketing tactics.

Any modern brand that wants to get ahead in the current business climate will need to adopt digital marketing tactics as part of their overall strategy. This doesn’t mean that you have to throw out the traditional print ads, especially if your business is already seeing great response from these types of ads. However, by using digital marketing tactics in combination with your current traditional marketing strategies, your business can start to optimize your campaigns for maximum results.

Why Digital Marketing

But don’t take our word for it! Industry trends and statistics show that digital marketing really does work, regardless of your industry or company size. Below, we will outline the top 10 undeniable reasons that your brand needs digital marketing to attract new leads, connect with customers, and close more sales in 2017 and beyond:

 

1. More modern consumers are going digital.

The modern consumer is increasingly moving toward a more digital experience when it comes to researching and making purchases. Search engines like Google remain the most popular channel for consumer research. Whether consumers are at the beginning stages of the customer journey or ready to buy, they often use search engines to find the information they need to make an informed purchasing decision and research specific brands. It is vital that companies’ work is visible during these digital searches so they can engage the customer and work to influence their purchasing decisions by providing valuable information.

Though search is an important digital marketing tactic, it is not the only tool that the modern consumer uses to make an informed purchasing decision. A study from Blue Nile Research shows that between 79 percent and 82 percent of consumers use search, brand websites and customer reviews for research. Between 14 and 25 percent use social, mobile and blogs to discover new solutions, products, and brands. All of these digital marketing tactics work together to help your brand deliver information to consumers who are looking for products or services just like yours. If you do not engage in these digital marketing strategies, you may be missing out on an opportunity to reach these customers.

 

2. Digital marketing strategies are affordable.

Even big companies with large marketing budgets need to be conscious of how they spend their marketing dollars. One of the greatest benefits of digital marketing is that these tactics are both affordable and effective. Businesses can market through email, social media and SEO-driven content marketing at only a fraction of the price that it costs to produce and distribute print advertising or develop and place ads on prominent radio stations or television channels.

Not only can digital marketing strategies be more affordable, but they also often offer an attractive ROI for business owners. In fact, content marketing costs 3 times less than some traditional marketing tactics.  Additionally, marketers who consistently publish relevant and valuable blog content are 13 times more likely to experience a positive return on investment. Content marketing is not the only affordable digital marketing tactic that offers an excellent ROI. Overall, digital marketing tactics can help you get more for your money.

 

3. It is easy to track and monitor your digital campaigns.

It is vital that the modern marketer has a way to track the success of their marketing campaigns. This helps brands see what is working and what isn’t when it comes to their marketing tactics. With this information, companies can not only more accurately measure their return on investment, but they can also identify areas of improvement and work to create more successful campaigns based on the findings. Digital marketing makes these tasks easier than ever by taking all of the guesswork out of tracking and monitoring marketing campaign success.

Digital marketing offers marketers and business owners the advantage of having a wealth of useful campaign data at their fingertips. With easy-to-use digital marketing analytics tools and software, business owners and marketers can test different ad content to see what resonates best with their target audience. Whereas traditional marketing tactics require you to wait until the campaign has run its course to review what worked and what didn’t, digital marketing analytics tools allow you to see how your campaigns are performing in real-time and make adjustments to your campaigns in the moment.

Overall, the ability to track and monitor your digital marketing campaign success closely allows brands to get more out of their marketing budget. By having access to real-time analytics, you can work to make changes to improve campaigns before you waste any more money on ineffective tactics. By reviewing these analytics periodically, you can also work to optimize your marketing budget by allocating more of your budget to the tactics that provide the best results.

 

4. Your brand can provide a more interactive experience through digital marketing channels.

Digital marketing channels also allow companies to provide a more personalized experience through interactive video ads and tailored product recommendations. Online video has quickly become a part of consumers’ daily lives. In fact, Cisco predicts that by 2019, 80 percent of the world’s internet traffic will be video with video accounting for 85 percent of total U.S. internet traffic. This presents a great opportunity for brands to engage their target audience. Businesses can use online video to grab the attention of their on-the-go audience and inform, entertain, and engage their ideal consumers.

When it comes to personalization, product recommendations are the best way to encourage repeat sales, cross-sell, and up-sell to your current customers. In fact, 56 percent of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand if they are given a personalized shopping experience. Businesses can take advantage of the wealth of data that digital marketing offers to provide personalized recommendations based on user behavior. Through email and social ads, you can target your current customers and provide personalized recommendations based on past purchases or browsing behavior.

What’s more, digital marketing allows you to reach back out to customers who have visited your site, filled their shopping cart, and left without purchasing. With remarketing ads on social media, you can increase sales by showing consumers what they left behind or remind them why your brand is so great. By re-serving personalized ad content to customers who have not yet followed through with their purchase, you can stay top of mind and work to encourage their future purchasing.

 

5. Digital marketing channels allow you to be a part of the conversation about your company.

Social media marketing is a popular digital marketing tactic that allows your company to be part of the online conversation about your brand. Over the past few years, it has become clear that social media is here to stay, and it’s not just for young people. Research shows that 79 percent of all internet users in the United States have Facebook profiles and 68 percent of all Americans have profiles.  These statistics show that there is an attractive opportunity for brands who want to reach their target market and start a conversation on social media.

What’s more is that consumers are not just using social media sites frequently, but they are often influenced by the information that they find there. According to Ironpaper, 93 percent of shoppers’ buying decisions are influenced by social media. This shows the power that social media can have on consumer purchasing decisions. Whether consumers are looking at reviews on Facebook or asking their friends and family for advice before making a purchase, social media engagement can go a long way in determining a consumer’s ultimate purchasing decision.

 

6. With digital marketing, you can respond to trends in real-time.

Digital marketing allows you to respond to popular trends in real-time. This helps your business take advantage of consumer response to current events, trends, topics and technologies. Whether your brand is using the latest technologies to reach out to customers, communicating in conversations about popular current events, or using the most popular platforms to deliver targeted ad content, digital marketing makes it possible to stay ahead of the game. By taking advantage of what’s popular in the moment, businesses can increase their visibility online and reach more leads and customers.

One example of this is using digital marketing channels that social media and blogs to deliver relevant and useful content on popular trends in your industry. No matter what type of product or service your business offers, there is bound to be trends in your industry that change over time. With digital marketing, you can respond to these trends in real-time by participating in the conversation or delivering targeted content that speaks to the current concerns of your target consumers. This can help build brand loyalty and establish your business as a leader in the industry.

7. Your business can significantly increase reach.

Traditional marketing materials can be quite effective for reaching a targeted audience. For instance, if you want to target a certain geographical location, radio and television ads can be a great way to reach that local audience. Similarly, print ads in newspapers and magazines are an effective way to reach the specific demographic who spends time reading these publications. However, if you are looking for ways to move beyond these targeted audiences or reach new targeted audiences across the nation or the globe, digital marketing can help you increase your overall reach.

Consumers across the United States are online right now searching for information about products and services or looking up brands that might help them solve their biggest problems. Why limit your reach to local consumers or a limited publication audience when you could be engaging with consumers across the country? If you provide a product or service that may be useful to a larger demographic, you can use digital marketing tools to reach this audience online.

In addition, digital marketing provides new ways to target your audience. With traditional marketing, you might place a print ad in a magazine that is read by consumers who are most likely to buy your product or service. This is a great way to gain exposure in your target market and build brand recognition. However, there is a good chance that this publication does not reach every consumer who is part of your target demographic. This is where digital marketing comes in. With digital marketing, you can reach out to more consumers in your target market. Through tailored blog content, relevant social media platforms, and search engine marketing, you are able to reach those consumers who may have missed your initial ad or need a bit more engagement before making a purchase.

 

8. Digital marketing can help brands improve their customer relationships.

Another reason why digital marketing is a must for most modern brands is that it allows companies to foster better customer relationships. Whereas most traditional marketing provides one-way communication with the consumer, digital marketing allows for two-way communication in real time. This makes it easier for brands to effectively address their consumers’ questions and concerns without delay while also fostering brand relationships through quality consumer engagement.

Social media is a great tool for improving customer relationships. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter allow brands to communicate with customers and engage them in a significant and genuine way. When customers have questions or concerns, they will often contact a business on social media for information or resolution. The fast-paced nature of social media allows companies to address these questions and concerns quickly before they escalate. By improving customer service relations, social media also helps improve overall customer satisfaction rates, which can lead to repeat sales and customer referrals.

 

9. Digital marketing tactics pair well with traditional print marketing.

Many companies are under the assumption that once they go digital, they can’t go back to traditional marketing.  However, using the two in conjunction allows “the best of both worlds” when attracting and engaging your customers. The key to finding success with an integrated marketing strategy is to consider the strengths of each marketing tactic and take advantage of these strengths to maximize results.

Many modern brands find success in pairing traditional marketing tactics like print ads with digital marketing tactics like social media to maximize the overall success of their marketing campaigns.  Traditional marketing tactics like print and television ads are successful in offering a broad reach that can build brand recognition and help you stay top of mind in your target market. Whereas many digital marketing tactics like social media, blogging, and SEO can help you deliver more targeted content that informs and educates your audience. Not to mention, some consumers respond better to one type of marketing over another. Both of these approaches to marketing are valid and successful, but combining the two can make for a stronger marketing strategy that covers all the bases.

 

10. Your competitors are doing it!

If you want to remain competitive in your industry, it is vital that you keep up with your competitors. And there’s a good chance that many of them are already using digital marketing strategies to reach new leads, engage current customers, and influence purchasing decisions. According to Content Marketing Institute, 76 percent of B2C marketers and 88 percent of B2B marketers are currently using content marketing strategies like blogging to engage their target market. With the majority of brands reaching and engaging consumers through digital marketing, consumers have come to expect this type of digital engagement from the brands that they buy from.

In addition to gaining organic or unpaid traffic, modern brands are also using paid digital marketing strategies to reach out to their ideal customers online. One report found that 66 percent of B2B marketers report using SEM, making it the most used paid marketing tactic for B2B brands. While B2C marketers (64 percent) also report that SEM is the most effective form of paid advertising. It is clear that paid channels like search and social media ads are just as important to a brand’s digital marketing strategy as those that are aimed at driving organic traffic.

 

 

Why Digital Marketing

We could write a book on all of the ways that digital marketing can positively impact your brand, but the 10 reasons illustrated above should be enough to at least peak your interest. If you don’t currently have a digital marketing strategy in place, you may be losing out on an important opportunity to reach out to more consumers and make a stronger connection with your current customers.

Source: www.ballantine.com

 

Posted in Real estate blog