Four global hot-spots for real estate investment

The world has experienced a huge property bubble and in many cases this house price inflation has eased or in some cases crashed. If you have money to invest then real estate is still a great bet compared to other asset classes such as gold or stocks.

As a global citizen owning property can enhance your passive income and add further security for your advanced years but you must be careful where you choose.

To invest in countries like the UK, Australia, France you would be completely nuts as rental yields are generally under 5% and any income will be swallowed up by fees, maintenance and voids.

I am no expert but those that are suggest a minimum of 7% yield. My top four global hotspots are all up around 10%.

1. Indonesia (Southeast Asia)

Indonesia, the giant of SE Asia comes in at a nice 10% rental yield. This huge country of a thousand plus islands is well placed to succeed in the new world order, being placed well for India, China and Australia.

Indonesia, the largest Muslim country, is also a huge holiday vacation destination for people around the world.

Jakarta can offer yields up to 13% but ownership is not straight forward and one should approach Indonesia with a lot of research before diving in. Bali is also a good option as it has a well established expat scene.

2. Moldova (Europe)

Moldova is a small country with high rental yields. The capital, Chisinau, has very steady prices and offers up to a huge 13% yield on small apartments which is better than anywhere else in Europe!

If Moldova ever becomes EU members then there is the real possibility of capital growth too in the future.

3. Jordon (Middle East)

Apartments in Amman are good, at around 7.5% – 10%, with the expectation that this will grow along with the economy of the country.

There are some minor buying issues with Jordon but this is out-weighed by the low taxes available.

4. Jamaica (Americas)

Yields remain very strong, especially on apartments in Kngston, the capital. The year round sunny tropical climate also makes it a good bet for investment.

There are a couple of downsides to Jamaica with security and taxes being an issue so it would be quite a risky venture but with yields up and around %10 then it might just be worth.

If visiting any of the above locations then you should be looking at cheap airline tickets to keep your expenses down.

Secrets to Making Money Online – B.U.I.L.D

How do you make money online is something I get asked a lot so I have decided to let you into some secrets which can be summed up nicely in one word: BUILD

B – Business
U – Useful
I – Interested
L – Long term
D – Diversify

BUSINESS

You should always treat any money making venture as a business and running websites and selling online should be no different. This means having a business plan, registering with the relevent tax authorities and if your idea becomes successful then look at incorporating.

By treating your idea as a business you will also be in a stronger position to negoatiate with suppliers or partners too. So from day one, get respect and remember your idea is a business!

USEFUL

If you are going to create a website or an online product then ensure it is useful. For instance, if you are going to start a blog, make sure the subject area has a decent following and that the information you will provide is actually of use.

If you idea is useful to your site visitor, then they will do your marketing for you, and recommendations is very much the thing in a world of social networking.

INTERESTED

I have always been interested in travel as its a big passion of mine. Therefore creating sites on the subject of travel has always come easy to me and I rarely struggle to come up with new articles and ideas.

My readers are also hopefully engaged more as I have attempted to become an authority on niche areas of travel, so through my interest I have gained online respect.

Had I created a site about flower arranging I would not have been able to engage people who know about the subject purely because I have no interest, and that would have been obvious.

Having to write about a subject you have no interest in is very tiresome and not fun, so its unlikely you’ll be able to maintain the site.

LONG TERM

It took me over 6 months to really make any significant income and probably over two years before I was earning a decent wage so you should never expect riches overnight because this will not happen unless you are lucky on the lotto!

So be prepared to go in for the long term. Thats where its at.

DIVERSIFY

Once you have a successful website(s) or product then you should always be looking at diversifying. The reason is if your website suddenly loses all its traffic overnight then you are likely to lose all your income.

If your interest is broad, such as travel, then consider other areas of travel to get into. You can still stay within the main interest and diversify.

Its no different to putting all you money in one investment. Clearly no financial advisor would ever advise you to do that so look at alternative markets and products and keep B.U.I.L.D.ing.

An open invitation to work with me

I have just released a new site with friend of mine that is Hotels in Port Vila (capital of Vanuatu)! She did much of the donkey work looking for the domain name and I put the website together pretty quickly and will further promote and market it.

Working this way has given me a real boost and I feel much more motivated to make this work than when I just create stuff on my own. The overspill is that I am motivated to get other sites updated too!

So this is an open invitation to anyone with any ideas for websites or making money online. The Internet is still new and there are lots of areas to exploit. It is a bit like digging for gold but if you find a nugget then it can turn out to be a very nice passive income.

You can contact me via this site, twitter, facebook or whatever. I am always willing to hear out ideas and work on them and I can bring a lot to the table.

You do not have to be someone I know or that lives nearby. I am willing to work with anyone anywhere providing they can demonstrate commitment to the idea.

I am always interested in buying domain names too so if anyone fancies investing with me in the new hot real estate of domain names then let me know!

You’re never too young to retire

Why do we work our butts off for 40 yrs straight to enjoy just one retirement? Doesn’t it make more sense to enjoy some of your retirement time when you are younger and generally more healthy? Similar to career breaks, mini-retirements are generally longer and will often be spent doing interesting things such as learning new skills, volunteering or simply living in a new country.

There are many ways of spending your mini-retirement, some of which may even uncover an economic alternative to returning to life as a stressed out rodent.

Mini-retirements may only last a few months but are more likely to span a couple of years. Shorter periods tend to be career breaks.

So how do you fill in your days when you are retired?

One area is to learn new skills. in fact thats pretty much what I did back in 2005. My online marketing skills were pretty raw back in the day but by embarking on a mini retirement meant that I could teach myself the skills to ensure I would not have to go back to working for other people.

A classic is to learn a language. Why not take off to a French speaking part of Africa or Latin America and live like a local and end up talking like a local. Having a second language is huge asset in this globalised world now.

Language learning can be combined with teaching English which again can equip you with new skills that will be useful back home.

Mini retirements can also be cheap. You don’t have to live in a hotel if you plan on spending three months in Buenos Airies learning Spanish. There are plenty of apartments which can be very affordable in cheaper countries and it’s even possible to have a more expensive lifestyle than you would expect at home.

Volunteering is another way to take a mini retirement providing you avoid the many companies offering short term volunteering holidays. Some volunteer posts will even pay for your food and lodging too. A good place to look at volunteering is idealist.

Finance is obviously an issue and mini retirements do need to be financed. I financed mine by working online in affiliate marketing making a modest amount and choosing to live in places with low cost of living.

Mini retirements do not need to eat too much into your savings though. Consider the money you would save by temporarily cutting your ties with your home country. No rent to pay, no council taxes, no car to run…If you own a house then why not rent it out for one year?

Doesn’t it make more sense to enjoy some of your retirement time when you are young and healthy?

The concept of the mini retirement might be new now but I predict the next generation will be taking them regularly.

Check out the book below for more on mini-retirements…

If you are interested then check out San Jose Costa Rica Hotels website.

Five reasons to quit your job

Am I serious? You bet ya! There are many others out there quitting their jobs, downsizing, starting new businesses, living the dream, so why can’t you? Do you realise that one of the dumbest things is only getting paid for the time you work? So here are five reasons to escape the rat race.

1. Freedom, or loss of it

The office of the 21st century is no different to the factories of the 19th century. We are beckoned in with promises and are then systematically broken by the organisation by a number of methods including dress codes, behaviour training and the dreaded company manual full of ridiculous rules and regulations.

The employee is further stripped of their freedom by being told where to be and when, what to say and when and what to do and when.

After the individual’s spirit has been totally crushed the company can then rule by fear which keeps the workers in line and allows for unfair expectations such as working long hours unpaid, taking on other people’s workloads when downsizing departments and having salaries frozen because the business only made £400 million that year.

2. A social life that’s inbred at best

It would be unfair of me to say that I have not made good friends from work colleagues, but when I line up everyone that I ever worked with and then pick out the ones that were good friend, I am basically looking at a handful. Is that because of me or the places I worked at?

The problem with this is that many peoples’s social life revolves around their work mates and this seemed particularly the case when I worked in London. Would I really choose to spend an evening in the pub with a moron who’s weekend involved building network servers at home (that was our day job!) and who kicked his girlfriend out only so he could spend more time fiddling with his computers!

No I wouldn’t!

Have a got a better social life than the average person who works in an office?

Perhaps because working on your own forces you out there.

3. Commuting

I think it is no conicidence that I rarely suffer from colds these days compared to when I use to be crammed into the creaking public transport of London.

The aroma of some sweaty stressed out executive next to me smelling of stale beer, curry and berrocca is something I do not miss. Neither the lack of seating, personal space or being held hostage by striking tube drivers or above inflation fare rises.

4. Working for someone else is way too risky

So you are working for one company like many people do. That equates to one income stream that you are wholly dependent on. That income stream can be turned off in the time it takes your HR dept to say, ‘you’re sacked’.

By working for yourself you have far more ways of diversifying your income streams which will offer you more security than a regular job.

Committing yourself to one income stream is a taking huge risk, however good you are at your job or however healthy your company is.

5. Time

Your time is the most precious thing on this planet. You might not realise that when you are starting out as a fresh faced graduate on a corporate career path but as you become older and wiser you learn to put a greater value on time.

It has been said that working for someone else in a regular job is pretty dumb as you only get paid for the time you work, worse still, sometimes you don’t get paid for your time! Why do you think so many successful people work few hours and get paid more?

Its because they put systems in place to ensure they receive income when they are not actually working. Running websites, investing, property management, there are lots of ways to move to a more passive income.

So as long as your system continues delivering value to others, you will still be paid whether you’re working or not.

I will blog more about these systems soon.

So there we have it, five reasons to quit your job. I can already hear people saying thats easy for you to say, you don’t have a mortgage, family to support etc etc excuses etc more excuses etc.

Well that might be true but I decided to take that first step away from what society expects and I believe many people could do the same if they really wanted to. I still have bills and taxes to pay, car to run, pension to save for, food to put on the table like everyone else so I am no different.

If I have inspired just one person that there is another way then the time writing this will be time well spent.

Diversify and then diversify again

So December has hit me quite hard in the income stakes, although things have picked up a little. The days of $10,000 a month seem a long time ago!

My traffic to sites have been steady but a number of affiliate schemes that I promote have moved the goalposts and slashed commissions. I have come to rely on these schemes recently and now paying a little for not diversifying more.

In the early days all my sites were travel focused but about a year ago I decided to move into other areas which was a smart thing looking back. My problem is that I have not further diversified.

So I urge people to take diversification seriously if they want to maintain a web income. Things change fast and the best protection is to spread the risk.

How much is your site worth to advertisers?

I have a steady stream of enquiries now regarding direct advertising on my sites. This is all good but I often find myself not knowing where to pitch my rates.

I have been thinking for a while about creating a rate card for individual sites. I am wondering whether any of you guys have adopted this strategy?

So how do you value your site? I guess the value must be derived from these factors…

– How many impressions do you get on the page?
– What is your market and what is the value of the keywords?
– How large is the advertising space?

So one of my challenges is to come up with some sort of guide for how much you should be charging an advertiser.

I believe a lot of folk who are new to this game are giving away advertising space at well under the market value, simply because they are afraid to ask for more.

If anyone else has a guide they use for calculating rates then I’d be interested in taking a peek.

Starting an online business with a very small budget

One of the great things about making websites for online income is that you don’t have to spend much money initially to get things up and running. In theory you could spend nothing providing you have access to the Internet!

So assuming you have access to the Internet and a PC or Laptop you can have a site up and running in minutes. There are two ways of doing this.

1. Using blogger or similar service

Simply go to http://www.blogger.com&quot and sign up for a new blog and you are away!

Once you have your blog up and running then apply for the Google Adsense program and look for affiliate programs to promote.

2. Creating a traditional website with a domain name

This is the better option in my opinion but will involve a small outlay of money.

– You need to buy a domain name and the pay for hosting. This can be done very cheaply these days and there is a plethora of budget domain name and budget hosting options.

– You will need some sort of web page editing software to create web pages and perhaps an image editor.

– You will need some FTP software to upload your site.

So lets see how cheap we can make this.

Domain name and hosting

With 1and1.com we can register a .com domain name for free with 6 months hosting for a total of $23.94 (1&1 Beginner Package).

Web page and image software

A great free image editor is the open source http://www.gimp.org/&quot Cost $0.00

For making web pages a free authoring software that competes with Dreamweaver / Frontpage (not free) is;a http://www.nvu.com&quot Cost $0.00

FTP software (to upload your web pages)

http://www.internet-soft.com/ftpcomm.htm&quot
FTP commander is a simple FTP program that can also be downloaded onto a memory stick / flash drive. The Demo version is free and has no restrictions.

Cost $0.00

So the total cost for getting a web site online works out at less than USD $1 a week.

Now all you have to do is invest your time!