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Buying Platinum Jewelry As an Investment

Investing in a precious metal like platinum can be a good long-term hedge against the volatility of the stock market, and there are many ways to invest in it. One of the best ways is to buy jewelry made from pure platinum. This allows you to hold a valuable commodity as well as wear a beautiful piece of jewelry – sort of like having your cake and eating it too!

Here are some great reasons to buy platinum jewelry as an investment:

  • The strength of platinum allows jewelers to make quite intricate, yet extremely durable, pieces without mixing in other metals. Thus, you can have a piece that is practical both as jewelry and as a bullion-type investment.
  • Platinum is about 30 times more rare than gold, yet is usually valued in the same general price range. Since it is so rare and so useful, many people believe that platinum could drastically increase in value in the coming years.
  • Platinum is stronger and more durable than either silver or white gold, and is impervious to rust or tarnish, and so is a great alternative to these metals as jewelry.
  • Platinum is important in the auto industry, for use in anti-pollution devices. As environmental regulations get stricter over the years, the value of platinum should continue to rise. And as emerging markets like China and India continue their explosive growth (car sales in China grew by more than 50% in 2009), the demand for platinum will continue to grow as well. All these factors point to a steady increase in the value of platinum jewelry in the coming years.

‘Toss Your Boss’ and Go into Business -The Easy Way- Top 10 Tips on Buying a Pre-Existing Business

Maybe you’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur, or maybe you’ve just decided you are sick of working for someone else. Whatever your reason, the prospect of starting a business is exciting, but daunting. If you’ve looked into it, you probably know the statistics: 96 percent of small business startups fail in the first three years. Who wants to risk those odds?

Fortunately, there is a better way to become your own boss, with a much higher success rate. You can buy an existing business and skip the startup struggle. Sounds great, right? Before you plug “business for sale” into your favorite search engine and start looking for offers, there are a few things you should know.

Buying a business is a process, not an event. If you head into the process without knowing what you’re doing, you negate the advantage of buying versus starting from scratch. Here are 10 tips to help you navigate the business market and pick a winner:

  1. Do some research into the process of buying a business, and educate yourself on the steps you will have to take. Don’t rely solely on advice from an attorney or an accountant. You, the buyer, must know what is involved so you don’t get suckered.
  2. Don’t start looking for businesses for sale, and then narrow your choices down according to what you find available. Instead, identify the type of business you’re going to run and look for those types of businesses for sale. This will save you a lot of time in the initial stages.
  3. Speaking of the business you’re going to run, identify your strengths and weaknesses and let them determine your choice. It’s good to follow your heart, but sometimes the business you dream of running is not the best one for you to buy. Be honest with your self-assessment.
  4. Prepare your personal financial statement beforehand. You will be required to produce one at some point. Don’t forget to check your credit report and rectify any mistakes.
  5. Determine your investment level. Know exactly how much you’ll be able to invest yourself–don’t rely on friends or relatives who have “promised” to invest with you.
  6. Your main objective should be to negotiate seller financing for a good part of the purchase price. However, you should consult an SBA (Small Business Administration) specialist to research all possible avenues of financing. The SBA provides loans for all types of entrepreneurs.
  7. If you have a spouse and/or immediate family, make sure they’re on board with your vision of buying a business. Successful entrepreneurs have the moral support of those closest to them.
  8. Consider using a business broker to help you with your purchase. Be sure to do your research and choose a reputable broker, and don’t rely on the seller’s broker to provide unbiased information.
  9. Don’t be afraid to say no if you enter into negotiations and discover the business you’re looking at isn’t right for you after all. It’s better to temporarily hurt someone’s feelings than to be saddled with a business you hate.
  10. The average business buyer spends 18 months looking for and buying a business. However, it is possible and feasible to complete the process in 6 months. Commit yourself to a deadline for buying (not just looking) and set aside at least 10 hours per week dedicated to the process.

It’s more than possible to realize success in buying a business. Do your homework, make smart decisions, and cultivate your patience and observation skills, and you can become a business owner without the startup hassles. Happy hunting!

Rehab Projects Are Often Great Investment Opportunities – Why Can They Become Huge Disasters?

A rehab project is easily seen as a great investment opportunity. You are able to purchase the project at a fraction of the replacement cost. After all the cash is invested, the total cost per square foot is far below the competition. You can see an easy path to much greater cash flow after the vacancy is filled and after the rents are increased. Unfortunately, there are a ton of issues that can throw the plan off of the expected course.

A rehab project did not get in the current condition because the owners wanted a run down dilapidated apartment complex. While the situation can be and often is the result of extended neglect, the buyer must consider that neighborhoods change, crime problems develop, basic infrastructure issues become insurmountable.

Where to begin?

First, is the property in a rentable location? Spend time understanding the schools that service the property. Look at access to employment and shopping. Find out what the crime issues are on the apartment complex. Determine what crime in the surrounding area is. Check out the demographics of the area and check with local merchants, consumer, and other sources about the reputation of the area. If too many red flags begin to develop, then you may have identified a project that could resist your best efforts to rehabilitate.

Next, if the property demonstrates solid performance, look at the physical issues with the project. Are the kitchens unable to meet expectations for today’s consumers? Is the foot print to small? What changes are required to meet utility cost expectations? Does the project require central AC? Is parking inadequate? Do the units require washers and dryers in the market and for the demographic the project will serve. What about dishwashers? Are the amenities inadequate? Are the floor plans positioned wrong for demand in the market?

In the case of infrastructure issues like those suggested for review above, the right rehab plan may well be able to resolve the issues. The key considerations are putting together a detailed rehabilitation plan that resolves the issues thoroughly for rentability. If the costs begin to rise to high for the project to be viable, you will know to abandon this prospective project. However, if you can meet the project well below your affordability considerations you have identified a potentially strong performing asset.

While the considerations above can protect against a bad decision because a rehabilitation requires repositioning the project the risk is much greater because rentup may not occur as expected. Renting costs can be too great. Rehab costs may over run. Rent rates may be weaker than expected. Management issues may be greater than anticipated. In all cases, the project can become continually more challenging and lead into failure.