When it comes to your money, you’re either spending, saving, giving or investing. I know that many of my clients are doing all four, which is always wonderful to see.
The last one, investing, is the one I want to focus on today. I talk a great deal about climbing out of financial holes, but sometimes one of the best ways to do that is to also plan for the time when you are OUT of that hole … or even give yourself (and your finances) some intrinsic motivation to climb faster.
Investing is a smart move at any age, but the earlier you start the better. However, like the old Chinese proverb says:
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
That said, if you’re buried in a BIG hole, this might not be for you.
But if you’re simply just not where you want to be … yet — and you’re waiting until ALL of your ducks are lined up, maybe the time really is now.
A good option to start with is real estate. It’s tangible (as opposed to equities, which can sometimes feel like imaginary assets), it can be both long-term and short-term, and it is something that can be moved into gradually.
Thinking Through Real Estate Investments
“The best investment on earth is earth.” Louis Glickman
Last week, we wrote about your “digital estate”, but now things are about to get a little more … real. (Did you see what I did there? Just checking.)
There are three things that come to mind when it comes to starting (and SUCCEEDING) in real estate investing. I’ve seen our clients do VERY well in this area … and I’ve also seen some of them lose their shirt.
So let me start with this…
Do the Research. Choose the Method.
There are different types of real estate investments – commercial, residential, apartments etc.
It’s important to know the highs and lows of each. And when I say “research” that typically means months (at least) of doing your homework, asking others in the industry, and potentially taking some classes to learn about real estate investments. There are countless books and podcasts dedicated to teaching on the matter, so chip away at some new expertise.
After you decide your conduit for investing, it’s time to put your money where your research is.
Find the Spot. Make the Deal.
You know where this one is going: location, location, location.
Even though that phrase is mind-numbingly redundant, it packs a whole lot of truth – especially when it comes to real estate investments. Once you narrow down options, making the deal is either the most fun or most daunting part of the process. And if you don’t like a little risk in life, then real estate might not be for you. But it does have big gains if completed early and accurately.
Think about nice neighborhoods around you. Have they always been that way? You need to have the foresight for which communities could grow and why. It’s definitely a chess match.
Honor the Commitment. Build the Team.
The last section leads well into the “commitment” piece of this article, and commitment is largely rooted in patience.
I can’t stress that enough – patience will either make or break you in the real estate investment process. Unfortunately, HGTV and DIY television make real estate tune-ups seem quick and lucrative. That’s not the case.
In real life, it’s imperative you build a team around you – attorney, accountant, realtor, marketing professionals – for the support you’ll need. Don’t think you can do this alone. And with that being said . . . we would love to be able to help you with the tax implications of whatever method you choose, and help in any other way we can.
We’re in your corner, no matter where your financial life takes you.
Emelia Mensa EA, CPA
Emelia Mensa CPA