December 12, 2017

Don't Approach A Commercial Property Investment With A Residential Head

This post has been contributed.


Investing in any sort of property is a pretty sound bet to make, but please don’t think that all forays into this market are born equal because they are not. So, if you have been approaching the possibility of investing in commercial property in the same way you would for residential housing then you need to stop, take a deep breath and start again. Why? Because the two are not the same.

There is much more you need to consider and that means there is more risk to contend with, from current events in global economics to what services your property offers. To help you out, we’ve pulled together a tick list of the most important things to think over before you commit your autograph to any dotted line.

1. Location, Location, Location
What is deemed to be successful on this front depends on what sort of commercial property you are buying. In residential properties, you look for nice neighborhoods, good schools and good transport links. With commercial, you need to consider the end user, and supplier, accessibility and connectivity; all of which are important to a business’ success.

2. Listen To The Law
When buying residentially, there are codes you need to meet and living standards you need to uphold, but they are nowhere near as stringent as with commercial investments. It is about meeting the Americans with Disabilities Act imposed on public buildings, which you can go to to learn more about, and knowing what a building's allowable purposes are. Essentially, this means knowing a property’s lawful use before finalizing any deal, should it be with an office-based company or a manufacturer of goods.

3. Consider Support Services
There are a lot of support services you can offer that crossover with residential investments, such as supplier a gardener or a concierge or simply hiring a lettings agent. However, there are more to consider in commercial, many of which can affect the rent you receive and the resale value of your property. This is things like parking, security, elevators, service elevators and a plethora of other services. They affect the running of a business and they affect the price you command, so give them due thought.

4. The Clock Is Ticking
Having a timescale in mind is another thing that separates the two different types of property, Yes, in any and all investments, you will likely have a timescale of what you want to achieve financially by when, but this becomes a lot more flexible with commercial investments. That’s why you should be asking yourself certain questions: do you want an immediate return on your investment? Are you acting fast because of a local opportunity? Is this a one-off or are you planning on building a commercial portfolio? The more you can ask yourself, the more you will be able to determine the answers and that is what will encourage the right decision.

As you can see, there are some similarities between the two types of property investments, but the crossover is very tenuous. Residential is bought with the intention of renting it out to a specific demographic. That luxury is not granted with commercial properties.

Decluttering Could Be the Best Financial Decision You’ll Make Before 2018

This post has been contributed.

Who wouldn’t love a nice clear home? Unless you’re a real packrat that loves to hoard things, then pretty much everyone could appreciate a nice and tidy home to live in. Sadly, mustering up the motivation to keep things in order is difficult. However, after reading this article, you might find that decluttering your home could actually be one of the best financial decisions you could make before entering 2018. Sound strange? It really isn’t!

Organising Paper Documents

Let’s face it, as much as we’d love to go paperless it just isn’t happening until everyone decides to unanimously get rid of letters and switch to email. Some important documents, be they tax returns or claims, are going to end up in your mailbox as a physical letter. As shown in this article from, there are plenty of businesses that just haven’t gone paperless yet and there are some reasons for it.

By decluttering, you’ll have an easier time sorting out all of your documents so that you can organise them into folders and have them be easier to manage. You won’t be looking around your entire house for a single invoice and you’ll never lose track of your paper bills. It’s more important than you think to keep these paper documents organised, so start doing it today by decluttering. You’ll find that your finances are much easier to handle and this is incredibly important if you’re running your own business from home. In short, don’t neglect the importance of sorting out your paper documents!

Selling Unwanted Items

If you've ever had an interest in electronics, music or video games then you've probably got dozens of unwanted CDs, DVDs and games laying around doing nothing. A swift decluttering will help you manage your unwanted items and you'll even be able to make a bit of money from it by selling them on sites like It's easier than you think to make a little cash off your unwanted goods, so head over to your loft or garage and start cleaning it up to make a little bit of side money.

If you've got unwanted items that don't have barcodes for easy identification, then you may want to look at local classified ads or look on online auction websites. However, the prices you'll get for larger unidentifiable items will vary greatly, so try to get the best price you can with a little haggling!

Home Efficiency

If you use the central heating in your home then you've probably caught on that if you have lots of clutter, it's less efficient. If you place objects in front of radiators and block sunlight with cupboards and other large items that you don't want, then it's going to make your home that much more inefficient at staying warm over the winter season.

Make your life more comfortable and warmer by decluttering your home so that you spend less on energy bills during these upcoming cold months. It doesn't sound like much, but it's a surprisingly effective way of improving the temperature in your home.

December 07, 2017

How to Make Your Life Generally Calmer

This post has been contributed.

Do you often feel like all the stresses and pressures of life are getting on top of you and making it difficult to function properly? It’s time to destroy that stress and make your life and lifestyle generally calmer if that’s the case. Stress is not a minor problem and it’s certainly not something that can be ignored, contrary to what many people think. It’s a genuine mental health problem, and it can lead to other mental health issues and even physical problem as well.

So how can you make your life generally calmer and easier to deal with? That’s what we’re going to discuss right now so keep reading.

Change Your Manic Routines

If the routines you currently stick to each day are hectic and manic, it might be a good idea for you to change them completely. Doing so will allow you to get more done without the usual stress you’re used to. Create routines for yourself that are simpler and more sustainable; the difference they’ll make will be massive.

Walk and Slow Things Down

Walking rather than cramming yourself onto a train or joining that massive traffic jam can make your start to the day so much calmer and relaxing. There’s something wonderful about walking to work and taking things easy. Slowing down generally and avoiding sources of stress will do you a world of good so you should definitely give it a try. It will also be great for your health too.

Learn How to Say No More

Sometimes, you just need to learn how to say no to people when they’re demanding more and more of your time throughout the day. By taking on less work and helping out fewer people in the office, you will be able to stay on track and do the things that matter most. And most importantly of all, you’ll have less stress to contend with, which has to be a good thing.

Explore the Wonders of Pet Ownership

Plenty of studies and research have shown that owning a pet and having that animal companionship can calm human beings down and make them generally more relaxed. Which pet you choose is entirely up to you and your own preferences. Look for goldfish for sale if you want the simplicity and calming nature of watching them swim. Or if you have time to dedicate to a dog, take that route.

Stop Putting Yourself at the Mercy of Your Phone

This is one of those modern developments that’s definitely not helping us at all. If you are constantly checking your phone and changing your plans based on the latest call or email, not only will you waste time because you’ll be staring at your phone for half the day but you’ll also stress yourself out more. So try to stop putting yourself at the mercy of your phone.

Take action now rather than putting off these kinds of changes until tomorrow. The sooner you act, the sooner you will secure a lifestyle that works for you.

November 30, 2017

The Disturbing Rise Of Social Media In Politics

This post has been contributed.

A group of protestors at the Women's March near the Capitol in Washington

Over the last couple of years, social media platforms have had some dramatic changes which have made their work a lot different. In the past, sites like these were designed for sharing information about your day, not keeping up with hot-button issues and world topics. Of course, though, nowadays, this is completely different. Social media websites are the new political arena. But, as this change becomes more widespread, what does it mean to you?

Before you can start to explore the potential issues caused by information social media, it’s a good idea to look into the things which make it so popular. A lot of people using these services the most are those willing to be the most outspoken. Having somewhere to have your voice heard is a great thing. Along with this, though, a lot of users on these sites won’t be interested in the politics and will be more concerned with the other offerings on the site. Popularity is only an issue when it is being abused, too.

In the modern day, though, it certainly is being abused, and this makes it very hard for normal users to enjoy their browsing. Most people are used to seeing news articles on the websites they visit. In most cases, these sorts of resources are trustworthy, and won’t be annoying to read. But, sometimes, the information they supply will be completely made up. Being designed to look like a normal story, it can be hard to notice these on a feed. This has lead to a lot of confusion in politics, as this shortcoming is highly exploited.

When thinking about something like fake news or misinformation, it can often be hard to understand why someone would do it in the first place. In most cases, this sort of tool is used to get an advantage in the political arena. Of course, though, a lot of the fake stories being produced simply don’t stick and will be very hard to market. To avoid this issue, companies making these sorts of ads will make them more discreet.

Finally, as the last area to consider, it’s time to think about the sort of damage fake news on social media can cause. Take a quality account, like the Moshe Kantor Twitter, and think about the content being produced. Genuinely insightful opinions like this are often pushed down by fake articles. This is a shame, though, as it means that a lot of people are missing out on ideas which could be helpful to them.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start disregarding the news you see on websites like Twitter and Facebook. As time has gone on, it has proven impossible for these news stories to be moderated. No matter what a site tries to do, the articles will keep coming through, and removing entire features will be the only way to make it better. Of course, though, this isn’t an issue; you have loads of places to get your political fix, and social media doesn’t have to be the one you choose.

November 29, 2017

Becoming Rich Without Breaking Your Ethics

This post has been contributed.

A big question in the world of wealth management is whether or not you can come into big money without breaking any of your ethics. The important first question here of course is: what are your ethics? All joking aside, no matter what you believe about how money should be earned, it is highly likely that you can make yourself rich without stepping over those boundaries. This often surprises people. Many assume that riches must be got by shady deals alone, or at least by subverting one’s ethical paradigm. But there are many ways to make a lot of money in ethical and even socially positive and useful ways. Let’s have a look at a few examples.

It’s All In The Approach

It might well be true that the world is full of stories about people making huge amounts of money in dodgy ways. But there are also plenty of people who have made their money without stepping on anyone’s toes. The key is to have the right approach. As long as you approach it in the right way, you should be able to make all the money you want without stepping over your ethics. Take the example of Dr Moshe Kantor, one of Russia’s richest individuals. He has famously earned his money in quiet and fair ways, and yet her has become a billionaire. Stories like this should remind you that you can surely achieve whatever you want without being unethical.

Such A Thing As Ethical Businesses?

One of the single most effective ways for anyone to make money is to start and run a successful business. But it might often seem as though the most successful are those which take advantage of the poor in some way. If you would rather avoid that altogether, then you can do so by running an ethical business. This could be a charity, for example, in which the primary reason for existing is to help the less fortunate. In this case, you shouldn’t feel too bad about taking a big salary, as long as you are not taking resources away from those you are trying to help. Remember that ethical businesses do exist will ensure you can make money and still be an entrepreneur people can look up to.

Clever Approaches

If you don’t want to run a business, you could instead make your money just by rolling whatever you already have. Playing on the stock market or engaging in something sure like matched betting will mean you can earn all the money you like without hurting anyone or engaging in anything illegal or unethical. This is a great option for those who want to become super rich but still have a heart, so it’s worth looking into. The truth is that many of these are extremely effective ways of making money, so they are definitely going to help if you are keen to become rich - and they won’t prey on the less fortunate or the poor in the process.

November 28, 2017

Empower Your Church Youth Group Today

This post has been contributed.

Helping out with a church youth group can be extremely rewarding. It sometimes can be challenging too, especially if you think your group might not be getting as much from the experience as they could. Empowering your youths is an important part of the program, and many of them might feel like they don't have a voice or much confidence. Help them feel more empowered by using the following tips.

Encourage Them to Use Their Voice

Your youth group should feel like they're able to speak up, both while doing church activities and out in the wider world. Encouraging them to use their voice is a start, but you should also help them foster the belief that they should use their voice for good. It's also important that they're able to listen.

Help Them to Reflect on Their Thoughts and Actions

Everyone should be able to analyze and reflect on their thoughts and ideas. Sometimes this involves dissecting a certain reaction or opinion they might have, and sometimes it means exploring thoughts more so they can be turned into helpful actions.

Give Them the Power to Lead

Being able to work as a team is an important skill, and learning leadership skills can help make it easier to learn. Being in a leadership role lets them see the challenges of being a leader and gives them a new perspective on how people can work best together. It's great for encouraging confidence too.

Help Them Do Good

Doing good deeds is a great way to help empower your youth group. They can see the positive effects that their actions can have. A service trip is one way for them to do something charitable.

Infographic Design By Youth Unlimited

November 24, 2017

Dangerous Moves for First-Time Investors

This post has been contributed.

If you are planning on making your first investment, it can be difficult to know where to start for a lot of people. For others, they feel like they have stumbled across an amazing opportunity, and this is why they are investing to begin with. No matter what situation you find yourself in, irrespective of how much money you have available to invest, you need to be aware of the danger moves that you should avoid.

  • Chasing news – Chasing news is a terrible move for first-time investors. However, this is something that a lot of investors get sucked into. They go searching for a hot stock tip or the next Apple. It’s important to recognise what you are up against here. You are going to be competing with professional businesses that get this knowledge the second it becomes available, plus they know how to evaluate it correctly and quickly. In most cases, you will end up jumping into the investment when it is too late, or you will make a misguided investment.
  • Investing cash you cannot afford to lose – It is vital to recognise that nothing is guaranteed in the world of investing. There is no such thing as a sure thing. You should never invest using your emergency funds. You should only use cash that you can afford to lose. Of course, the aim is to make sure you don’t lose this money, but you do need to be prepared to.
  • Going all in with one investment – This is something that a lot of first-time investors do when they feel that they have stumbled on an amazing opportunity or someone they trust has informed them of a great money making opportunity. No matter how incredible something seems, investing 100 per cent of your capital into a certain investment is not a good move. Any business, even the greatest ones, can have problems, which can see a dramatic decline in their stocks.
  • Not doing enough research – Diving in headfirst is another danger. On the surface, the basics of investing seem very simple. You want to buy low, and sell high. However, it is a lot more complicated than this. You need to know what low and high really mean if you are to put this into practice effectively. Different conclusions can be drawn from the same information when it comes to this, which is why you need to understand the market and conduct extensive research. You need to look at stock data. For example, Alibaba stock data shows performance, as well as conclusions regarding risks. This information is an essential part of your research because you need to ensure the stocks you are considering are in align with your risk profile.
  • Not having a plan – Last but not least, not having an investment plan is a big risk. Your personal investment policy needs to address your objectives and goals, risks, diversification, asset allocation, and appropriate benchmarks. Without an investment plan, it is incredibly easy to fall off track.

Don't Approach A Commercial Property Investment With A Residential Head

This post has been contributed.   Image source Investing in any sort of property is a pretty sound bet to make, but please don’t think...