Investment #5 – Real Estate

Allison just made $83,000 from a $20,000 investment. Ten years ago, she had bought an apartment as a real estate investment.

Real Estate Investment

Properties that generate income for a buyer and that are bought to make money, not to live in.

When Allison bought the house 10 years ago, she planned to rent it out and then eventually resell it for more than she had bought it. This way, she would make money from the monthly rent payments, and the increase in property value.

So how exactly did she make $83,000 from only $20,000 with this investment? Here’s how:  

Allison bought the house for $100,000 using $20,000 of her own money and $80,000 that she borrowed from the bank at a 3% annual interest rate. This means that until Allison paid back the $80,000 loan to the bank, she’d have to give them $3,000 per year or $200 per month.

But that was easy, because by renting out the apartment, she received $1,000 per month – enough to pay the bank $200 and enough to keep $800 to herself. She continued to do this for 10 years, until she saved up $96,000 to herself ($800 x 12 x 10)!

During this time, the value of the apartment had also gone up from $100,000 to $120,000. She sold the apartment, and ended up with $120,000 + $96,000 = $216,000! Of course, Allison had to pay back the $80,000 she had borrowed from the bank. Also, since she made profit from this investment, she had to pay taxes of $33,000, leaving her with $103,000. After removing the initial $20,000 that Allison had invested of her own money, Allison has made a $83,000 profit from this investment… wow!

Of course, as a property owner, Allison was responsible for maintenance, finding tenants, collecting rent, etc. So there are other difficulties and expenses to consider. Also, the house market can go up or down. So, the risk of the apartment decreasing in value was also possible. Luckily for Allison, everything went as planned and she was able to make a lot of money from this investment.

Investing in real estate is one of the most popular types of investments, as it can provide you with huge returns! But like every investment, there are always risks to consider.

Would you invest in real estate? Let us know in the comments below!

Submit Your Story

1. Don’t hold back. 

Everyone has a personal finance story that we can all learn from. Whether you are a millionaire, homeless, or living paycheque to paycheque, we want to hear from you. Even if you simply want to share money tips about travelling, shopping, food… the sky is the limit.

2. No topic is too serious, or not serious enough.

Saving money by going to a free yoga class is just as good as giving top notch investment advice. It’s all about living better and smarter.

3. Share your mistakes.

None of us are perfect. In fact, 99.9% of us have already made major mistakes in our lives. By sharing your mistakes, you are helping others avoid doing the same, or making people feel better about the fact that they are not alone. We’re all here to learn and grow together, so don’t be shy, be proud.

4. Share your successes.

In life, it’s important to constantly learn & grow, but it’s even more important to celebrate our successes! Of course, some our luckier than others. But either way, by sharing your successes to others, you are giving them hope and inspiration. Let’s celebrate these together – you deserve it!

5. Write something you would want to read about.

Don’t focus too hard on impressing people with your writing skills. All we want to hear is a story that is funny, honest, interesting, inspiring, valuable, fun… you get the point. Just have fun with it and others will too.

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Difference Between Mutual Funds & ETFs

As seen in our previous articles, we learnt that Mutual Funds and ETFs are like very similar cousins. They are both a collective investment – a pool of money from a bunch of different investors that purchases and invests in a variety of securities.

So what are the main differences between the two? Find out below:

Mutual Funds

ETFs

1. Price is set once a day

2. Actively managed by an expert

3. Less research needed from you

4. Purchased from a broker, advisor or fund

5. Higher fees

1. Traded all day – price constantly changing

2. Managed by yourself

3. More research needed from you

4. Purchased on the stock market

5. Lower fees

It’s totally up to you to decide which one you prefer. Up until now, Mutual Funds have been more popular. Today, there are about 13 trillion dollars invested in Mutual Funds compared to 2 trillion in ETFs. However, ETFs are growing in popularity.

Which one would you invest in? Let us know in the comments below!

Investment #4 – ETFs

Victoria is an environmentalist, and is really interested in the green energy sector. Because of increasing Global Warming and other research, she believes the green energy sector will grow a lot over the next decade.

Victoria is interested in investing the little money she has in one of her favourite green companies. But the problem is… there are just too many to choose from! So, Victoria decides to invest in a green energy ETF.

ETF (exchange traded fund)

An investment fund that trades on the stock market. Just like mutual funds, it is a pool of money from different investors that purchases and invests in a variety of securities.

Just like mutual funds, ETFs invests the fund’s money into different securities (stocks, bonds, etc.), providing investors with diversification. In addition, ETFs are traded on the stock exchange, making them very easy to buy and sell.

So why would Victoria chose to invest in an ETF over other alternatives? Well, there are a variety of ETFs to choose from; some ETFs invest in stocks & bonds, some replicate the performance of an entire stock market (stock index), and others replicate the performance of a specific industry sector… In Victoria’s case, she can invest in a Green Energy ETF, which replicates the performance of all of her favourite green energy companies put together.

Overall, Victoria likes ETFs because:

  • It’s an easy way to get a diversified portfolio (less risky)
  • It’s easy to buy and sell on the stock market
  • It allows her to invest in a wide variety of investments
  • There are no management fees and very low transaction fees  

So how will this let Victoria to grow her money? When the fund’s assets (stocks, bonds, etc.) rise in value, so does the value of her ETF shares. In this case, she can sell her shares at a profit. The ETF also pays out dividends to Victoria, which is a portion of the fund’s earnings.

Of course, if the fund’s assets go down in value, so does the value of the ETF shares. Therefore, Victoria makes sure to do research in advance to ensure that the fund’s securities (companies) are good ones!

 

Which industry would you invest your money in?

Investment #3 – Mutual Funds

Every Monday night, Mila and her girl friends get together to watch the Bachelorette. Before the show starts, Mila asks her friends for investing advice. She’s new to investing and wants to start, but she doesn’t have the time to spend hours doing research on her own. Her friend Alexa suggests she checks out mutual funds.

Mutual Funds

A collective investment – a pool of money from a bunch of different investors that purchases and invests in a variety of securities.

Alexa explains that her and the other girls are all currently investing their money in the Super Sexy Finance Fund (SSFF). Here, all of their money is pooled together, and managed by an expert from the Super Sexy Bank. The expert from the Super Sexy Bank takes the money from the fund, and invests it in a bunch of different securities (stocks, bonds, etc.). This is known as the portfolio.

Portfolio:

A portfolio is a grouping of financial assets such as stocks, bonds and cash equivalents,

This expert constantly manages the portfolio, buying and selling different stocks and bonds overtime, while the girls sit back and relax. If Mila decides to buy a share in the SSFF, she’ll have a small stake of all investments included in the fund. This is great because it allows Mila to invest in a diversified portfolio, without having to spend a bunch of time doing her own research.

The girls love this type of investment for 3 main reasons:

  1. It’s a simple way to have a diversified investment (less risky)
  2. It’s managed by an expert, therefore saving you time
  3. It allows each girl to invest in a wide variety of investments

So…how do the girls make money? Mila asks.

Well, it’s simple. When the fund’s assets (stocks & bonds) rise in value, so does the value of the SSFF shares. This way, the girls can sell their shares at a profit. The SSFF fund also gives out dividends, which is a portion of the fund’s earnings.

Of course, if the fund’s assets go down in value, so does the value of the SSFF shares. So it’s important to make sure your expert knows what their doing!  It is also important to note that when buying an SSFF share, Mila will have to pay management fees & transactions fees to the Super Sexy Bank expert for his services.

As Mila is looking to invest without spending too much of her own time doing research, this is a perfect investment option for her!

 

What do you think? Is this a type of investment you would like to make?

The psychology of Money

This video was created by Beata Stanova, founder of Iconique – The Psychology of Everything. For more videos on the psychology of everything else, check out her page here!

If you won $1M in the lottery tomorrow, what would you spend it on? Let us know below!

Investment #2 – Bonds

With Fashion Week around the corner, the city of New York is thinking of opening a new high-end mall to feature all of the new designers and their clothing lines. In order to build the mall, the city of New York needs to borrow money. But instead of borrowing money from the bank, it decides to borrow money from the public, with the issuance of “bonds”.

Bonds:

A loan given to a company or government from an investor (like you).

So why would someone like you give money to the city of New York to build a mall? What do you get out of it? A lot actually. When you decide to lend money to the city of New York, the city of New York will pay you an annual interest rate as a “thank you” for lending them the money in the first place. Once the mall is built, they will give you back your initial payment in full.

For example, the city of New York is offering bonds priced at $1,000 over a 10-year period in exchange for 5% annual interest rate.

So, after paying $1,000 for a bond, you will receive $50 every year for 10 years. Once the 10 years is up, you will get your $1,000 back. Therefore, you made $500 profit from investing $1,000… Not bad right!

The par value (initial price) of your bond is 1000$ with a coupon rate of 5% (yearly interest rate) and a 10 year maturity date.

Buying a bond is a smart way to preserve your money while letting it grow on its own! Bonds are also viewed as safer investing options compared to stocks, since you know exactly how much to expect. Of course, like any investment, bonds still have risk. The risk is much lower than other alternatives, but there is always a possibility that the company or government goes bankrupt and can’t pay back the initial payment (aka default risk).

Usually, institutions with higher default risk provide higher interest rates per year (like corporations) while safer companies provide lower interest rates per year (like governments).

All in all, if you’re looking for a safe investment with stable returns, you might want to consider investing in a secure bond. It’s a great way to preserve your money while letting it grow in your sleep!

Would you invest in a bond? Let us know below!

Investment #1 – Stocks

Anna loves sports. She does Yoga on Monday and Wednesday and goes for 5k runs two times a week. Neighbours recognize Anna because of her trendy sport equipment. She prefers the latest outfits of winfit – a pink multifunctional bra which suits perfectly to her aerodynamic running shoes. When Anna meets her friends for dinner, they often talk about the latest sports footwear and apparel trends. She follows winfits blogs and is the first in line when a new sneaker is released in stores.

I met Anna two years ago and wondered if she also holds stocks of winfit. Anna admired winfit and was quite enthusiastic about winfit’s futures success. However, she never heard of stocks or public listings.

Winfit is a publicly listed company, which means that the company’s stocks are freely traded on the stock exchange. Examples of other publicly listed sport companies are Nike, Puma or Adidas. By buying winfits stocks,  Anna is able to own shares of the company, becoming a shareholder of winfit – she owns a part of the company. The more stocks of winfit Anna acquires, the greater becomes her ownership stake in the company.

Stocks:
Stocks are ownership certificates of any publicly listed company.

So what’s good about Anna holding winfit stocks?

Owning stocks comes along with three major benefits for Anna. Firstly, she might receive dividends (money) when the company makes profits.

Dividend:
A sum of money paid regularly (typically annually) by a company to its shareholders out of its profits.

Secondly, Anna has the right to vote in shareholder meetings. At such meetings, shareholders get information on the company’s financials and can vote for the new board of directors. And guess what – Anna’s vote counts for more, the more stocks she holds.

Thirdly, Anna has the right to sell her shares to someone else, and profit from this sale. How can Anna benefit or profit from selling her shares? This will be explained in another blogpost (here).

Pretty simple, right? Now that you understand the basics of stocks you might wonder – why would companies like winfit want to offer its shares to the public? Find out in our next article here.