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Your Biggest Asset: Your Mind, Financial Knowledge and Information

Investment GuidePeople often forget that their biggest financial asset is not money, stocks, bonds, real estates or business. Your and my biggest asset is financial knowledge and information.

It is heartbreaking to learn that people work hard for years only to trust their money blindly to the so-called fund managers of mutual funds.

Not that mutual funds and the likes are bad – but it is about time that people start to put their money to what matters most – financial education.

The premise is, if you have the right education, you can control your financial in whatever your personal financial endeavours.

Why you need to invest your money and time to obtain financial education and information

Your mind is your biggest asset – your mindset, what you know, and what you believe can command your decision making.

What many people experience in today credit crunch and financial slumps is mainly due to their lack of financial knowledge and information. Lack of these commands your decision making quality, as people act according to the reality they have in their mind.

Well-informed mind will result in well-thought decision making, and this includes decision making that involves money.

How the lack of financial education affects you

Many personal bankruptcy stories are evolving around people that lost their money due to the stock market crash. The most irritating thing is, they lost their money not because of their bad investment decision, but because of their blind trust to fund managers to manage their fund.

The truth is, it’s not the fault of the fund managers – they do whatever they can, but the money owners themselves, for their lack of financial knowledge and information.

The moral of the stories is that people should regain control of their money – they have to decide where to invest in what, and when.

That is achievable through proper financial education, that can comes in many form – courses, seminars, mentorships, and many more. Unfortunately, those could cost you hundreds to thousands of dollar.

Fortunately, there are large amount of free resources available, thanks to the Internet

The best thing of the Internet is information. You can access finance articles, such as loans articles, personal finance articles, and other finance-related articles.

However, the Internet is so flooded with information, that you can get yourself biased due to the pros and cons, as well as different perspective of a financial issue.

The best way to choose which ones are the right ones for you, you can consult finance forums for recommendations, as well as, of course, visiting financial authority sites, such as Financial Times’ FT.com. Visiting finance section of large networks is also a good start – sites, such as Yahoo! Finance, CNN Finance, and other similar sites can offer you credible information that will help you in your personal finance endeavours.

Conclusion

Every single person should take care of their own financial welfare – The Government can’t do that for you. Your boss can’t do that for you. Your parents can’t do that for you. You have to stand up, take responsibility of your personal finance management.

Learn as many as you can, as knowledge will set you free – literally.

Image by Duncan Rawlinson.

Real Estate Market Slowdown: It is Time to Self Direct Your IRA to It?

ForeclosureThe real estate market is in a decline, with some experts say that it will reach the bottom-low valley in two or three years. Worsen by the credit crunch, the real estate market is now in a defensive position.

Right? Well, not entirely.

Some investors and businesses are thriving in the real estate market – foreclosure ‘hunters’, buy and rent back, and other opportunities.

Another way to take benefit in today’s real estate market slowdown is investing in real estate through self-directed IRA.

What is self-directed IRA?

The IRA (Individual Retirement Account), along with your 401k is often invested on the stock market, which is the reason why many people lose their retirement fund due to the stock market crash.

It is about time to be independent in managing your personal finances. Knowing and understanding the whereabouts of your money is key in protecting yourself from economic downturn, as well as allowing yourself to find better investment vehicles for your hard-earned cash.

One of the ways to enjoy the pretax savings, as well as deciding how you want to invest your retirement fund (and how much profit you want out of it) is through self-directed IRA.

According to Wikipedia.org:

A Self-Directed Individual Retirement Account is an IRA that requires the account owner to make investment decisions and investments on behalf of the retirement plan.

In essence, through a self-directed IRA, you can invest your retirement fund not only on the stock market, but also on many investment opportunities, such as real estates, franchises, partnerships, and many more.

Not all investments are allowed within a self-directed IRA account, though – for example, investments in the form of life insurance or collectibles.

Nevertheless, the self-directed IRA offers you a way to grow your fund with the most yielding investment methods.

Self-directed IRA to secure your money and give you peace of minds

Choices liberate people – Freedom (with responsibility) allow people to choose what’s right for them. Therefore, this will give them the confidence and peace of minds in living their life.

With so many scare stories about people filing for personal bankruptcy or losing their life saving these days, people need ways to control their own destiny.

A self-directed IRA can offer you just that.

One caveat, though – freedom without knowledge is fragile.

In personal finance, such freedom can liberate people to invest in the most yielding or the safest investment vehicles of their choices. The choices are highly dependent on the people’s financial knowledge and personal traits about money.

Why I recommend directing your IRA to real estate

I am not a real estate expert, but I learn from experience and from the mentors I have that to achieve great riches, or at least higher yield of your investment, you need to invest when the time is bad, such as today’s recession.

I mentioned above about foreclosures ‘hunters’ and buy and rent back opportunities – those people, often negatively reputed as vultures – because they are said to benefit from other people’s misery, are actually taking the opportunities to help people getting out of debt, as well as creating wealth out of it.

This niche market in the real estate industry is flourishing today, and I, again, recommend you to direct your IRA to real estates or real estate business.

How to open a self-directed IRA

You can set up a self-directed IRA account through companies that offer you such service, such as IRA123.com.

There are set up fee involved, but choosing the right partner can allow you set up the account fast and properly.

I recommend you to seek information on such companies, to see whether the one you want to help you set a self-directed IRA account offer more benefits than the other.

One of the benefits to look for is a company that is not only helping you set up a self-directed IRA account, but also holding real estate licenses or offering business financing to help you invest in real estates or businesses.

Do you want to secure your money and have a peace of mind? Control your retirement fund uses through a self-directed IRA account, as the real freedom is achieved if you can control your life and personal finance.

Image by respres.

US Highest Unemployment Rate Since 1994 – What Can We Do About It?

UnemploymentWith all the euphoria and optimism due to the newly appointed US President, Barack Obama, the US economy is still haunted by nightmares.

This time – the unemployment rate.

President Barack Obama made busy early in his work at White House with the raving news about the US unemployment rate that is now 14-year high at 6.5 per cent in October 2008, surpassing the forecast of 6.3 per cent.

According to the article from Financial Times, the total of US job losses this year has now reached 1.2 million, which lead to Goldman Sachs saying that the US labour market today is in “full recession mode.”

What worsen the nightmare is the outlook – Goldman Sachs further predicted that the unemployment rate would hit 8.5 per cent next year.

What you and I can do about this news

Perhaps you are already aware that what happens to the US will affect globally – a sign that the global economic barometer is still lead by the US, not the much hyped China.

I have written about how to make a difference in today’s recession, and I will stress the importance again and again: Did you aware that the recession today is caused by you and I?

Yes – you and I, despite any personal finance issues we face, affect the people around us.

We affect our family, our family affects the community, the community affect the region, and so on, ultimately you and I affect the global economy.

Change is needed, and it better start from you and I.

I expect Money and Minds readers to be the agent of change in today’s negative sentiment about the global economy.

I am an unemployment myself – what can I do to change things?

Any situations you are in, you can make a difference.

People were talking about doing this and doing that to change the economy direction, but only a few really do change things.

I recommend that we start from our personal finance. The main idea is – if you can’t save your personal finance, you can’t contribute positive changes to the economy.

Don’t expect the government or authorities to do things for you – they have their tasks, you have yours to.

Your tasks:

  1. Stop whining – if you are made redundant, get yourself a job again – never linger in depression. Or better yet, start a business. Don’t give me “I don’t have money to start a business” – you can actually start one without any amount of money required, only if you want to look for it.
  2. Stop preaching bad economy to others – you are not only destroying yourself, you are destroying others, too.
  3. Turn off your TV, start digging business or job opportunities – the bad news are always on TV, but good news are hidden – ready to be found.
  4. Learn how to get out of debt and run your personal finance efficiently – there are resources on the Net for free – look for them!
  5. Never fall to get rich quick scheme – there are none of it. Work diligently, and riches will come to you eventually.

The question – Are you resilient? Do you have all the guts to bring out all you have?

Your answer will affect the global economy. Save your personal finance, save the world.

Image by woodleywonderworks.