Chimney Tips for The Average Joe

Hiring a Chimney Cleaner in Marysville

Having a chimney in your home is one of the best things you can consider in your house. A clean chimney will always look presentable all the time. You will find out that your chimney will be seen by people from far distance. One should always make sure that your chimney is clean if you do not want to have a bad reputation about your home.

It is not good for you to go up on your chimney and clean it if you do not have the skills to do so or the experience of doing so. There is a lot of risks involved when one gets up the chimney if you have never done it before. You need to make sure you have your chimney cleaned by the right person if you do not have the experience or the skills to do so. It might not be easy for you to get a chimney cleaner who has the best skills to help you.

There are some important things that you must consider first if you must get the right service provider. Here are some of the factors that you must consider when choosing the best chimney cleaner for your house.

Consider the skills that the person has. In most nations you find out that chimney cleaning industry is unregulated. It is the right of anyone to have this as their business idea and get started immediately. Hence, you must be keen to consider the skills of someone since it is a risky task. You need to get someone whom you are assured of safety when they are working for you It will be nice knowing that the one whom you have hired has the best skills and will offer you the kind of services you need.

It is important for you to consider a service provider who is insured. An insurance is a sign that the service provider is more careful with their services and also minds more about their clients. Something bad might happen to your property or to them when you least expect. If one has an insurance policy, then that should not be a problem since everything will be covered easily. You might have to take care of anything bad that might happen to you or to your service providers if anything unexpected occurs.

It is important for you to consider their references. You need to work with someone who is the best in offering chimney cleaning services. For you to be sure on the kind of services that you are about to receive, you should consider what other customers have to say about their services. If someone received the best services from anyone, then they will make sure they give positive compliments about the service provider and the kind of services they offer on their web page if they have one.

Getting To The Point – Houses

Amazing Advantages of Building Timber Frame Houses

Thanks to the introduction of technology in the world, there are a lot of changes that have occurred in the world that has to lead to the world being modernized, the living standards in the modern has increased thanks to these different changes in the world. Having a house of one’s own is one of the key goals that a lot of people have in their life in the modern world this helps them in reducing the cost of living by eradicating the cost of living. There are a lot of house frames that are out there that you can choose from to consider when building a house. One of the many frames available that one can choose from is the timber frame house. The article below gives some of the many benefits enjoyed from building a timber frame house that should compel you to consider putting up one for yourself.

The first important reason why you need to use the timber frame house is that they offer good solar insulation. When you consider building timber frame house you are guaranteed of a good solar insulation on your house and reducing the effects of the solar rays that may be harmful to you and your family, this is because of the inability of the wood to conduct heat and transfer it through its particle, this is much more advantageous compared to the steel framed house that is not effective solar insulation because of their ability to conduct heat thus passing through the heat to you.

The timber frame houses are easy to work on and also install, this is the other key reason why you should opt to build a timber frame house. The wood used in the timber frame houses are easy to work on since there are no complex used and needed to be able to work on them unlike when working on steel framed houses which needs one to use complex tools that may make the work on them much more difficult and hard compared to the timber frame houses, the ease of working on the houses also makes the installation much easier.

The energy consumption in your house is reduced, this is the other important reason why you need to build a timber frame house. With the timber frame houses, the timber does not allow heat passage in the house, this reduces the use of your air conditioner to help regulate the temperature in the house unlike when building a steel frame house. You are in the position of making a decision of building a timber frame house knowing the benefits as given in the article above.

If You Think You Get Maintainers, Then Read This

Benefits of Hiring Professional Pool Repair and Maintenance Services

It is genuinely bewildering to have a pool in your yard since it gives unlimited activities, fervor and holding minutes for your family and sidekicks. It is a great activity to relax and cool off especially during hot summer days. Regardless, you ought to recall that owning a pool in the yard goes with staggering commitment in light of the fact that the tidiness of the pool should be kept up similarly as its condition. At whatever point done all things considered, it will be perfect for swimming as you keep up a pool that is totally clear. In any case, it may be hard and it may require a huge amount of your time and effort if your do it without any other individual’s info, that is the reason you need to enroll the specialists for the maintenance and repair of the pool. To have a better understanding about this, here are the amazing benefits of hiring professional pool repair and maintenance services that you need to take into consideration.

Hiring professional pool repair and maintenance services helps to ensure that the water in the pool is in good quality. It ensures that the pool and its part will keep going for a long time by testing and adding synthetic substances routinely to keep up its condition. With their knowledge, aptitudes and experiences during the time in the business, they will in all likelihood keep your pool water splendidly.

Employing proficient pool repair and maintenance services spares a great deal of your time and exertion. Cleaning the pool requires a great deal of your time and exertion and on the off chance that you intend to do it independent from anyone else, you may pass up a great opportunity different things which are progressively significant like investing quality time to your family. When you procure proficient pool maintenance services, they will take every necessary step for you to keep it perfect and looking extraordinary.

Employing proficient pool repair and maintenance services likewise guarantees that the filtration framework is in great condition. They try to check the system and choose issues as on schedule as possible to fix it and shield it from breaking down. On the off chance that it deteriorates, it might be more expensive for you as opposed to having it kept up consistently which encourages you set aside cash. It moreover makes you get out from the disquieting things to keep up a pool.

These are the amazing benefits of hiring professional pool repair and maintenance services that you need to take into consideration. To find out about pool maintenance or wellspring maintenance, you can visit this site and find out additional.

Getting Down To Basics with Experts

Key Details to Consider When Selecting an Emergency Electrician

The current world heavily dependent on power, and it is almost impossible to do without it. When the electrical system fails, one is likely to experience losses because they may not be able to do some of the things they have to do every day. One is required to carry out various maintenance activities regularly, but you may find that the system fails all of a sudden. The services of an emergency electrician will come in handy at such a time. You can have an emergency electrician by so that they can offer you the necessary emergency electrical services when unexpected failures happen. These guidelines will help you choose the best emergency electrician for your requirements.

Even though you need to promptly get a technician to solve the challenges with your electrical system in an emergency, it is not proper to get someone who is not qualified for the job. It is possible for you to be risking yourself to experience danger when you get someone unqualified to handle your electrical issues. Electricity is a sensitive thing to handle, and it can cause damage and even loss of life if mishandled. This is why you have to look into the qualification of a specific emergency electrician. You first need to find out if they are certified since this can be an indication that they have gone to school and received the necessary training to handle electrical systems. You can also find out the experience level that they have in providing solutions for electrical system challenges. Getting an emergency electrician who seems to have been competently handling various electrical systems can assure you that you will get similar services.

The emergency demands that you consider the availability of an electrician. It is possible for you to wait to get your trusted electrician to handle regular maintenance activities for your electrical system, but you cannot do this with emergency electrical problems. You need an electrician who is available at the time when you need their services. Your needs can likely be handled with the immediacy require when you get a company that has a pool of qualified electricians because it is likely that there will be one who is available at a time when you require emergency electrical services. Such a company can also have many vans or other means of transport to get to your location as soon as possible and the situation.

It is also necessary to consider the variety of services that a specific emergency electrician can provide. It is necessary that the electrician who you get can handle multiple areas of the system.

Questions About Drugs You Must Know the Answers To

Factors to Consider when Choosing an Online Pharmacy in Canada

Conducting business online is something that many people are adapting to today. It is much better for one to order for the type of medicine that you need rather than going to the pharmacy to buy the medicine yourself. In simple people have started visiting their doctors for diagnosis and prescription of the type of medicine they need to use before visiting any online chemist to purchase the medicine they need.

There are different reasons why many people love using the online pharmacies to purchase medicine. The first one is you can get medicine from a chemist located in a different nation, you will be able to get different type of medicine and also the medicine that you will get will be the best.
There are many people in the world who are using an online pharmacy in Canada to buy their medicine. They do not have to waste their time walking into any traditional chemist. It is easy for them to order for any kind of medicine that they need and later have it delivered to where they are. Most people are eager to get medicine from the online pharmacies found in Canada.

You can be assured that online chemists will always offer you the best drugs ever. For online pharmacies to conduct their business they have to acquire a working license, get insured and have the right certifications from the right bodies in Canada. Meaning you are dealing with the legal people.

However, it is important for one to consider a few factors before you get to choose one of the best online pharmacies to buy medicine from in Canada since they are many. Here are some factors that you must consider for you to be safe and be able to get the right online pharmacy.

It is easy for one to get anything from the internet. Using the internet is an easy thing that anyone can do in the world today. Your cell phone can help you find anything you need from the internet easily. Making it easy for one to conduct the research from anywhere since a cell phone is portable. Before choosing an online pharmacy to get medicine from, you need to make sure you have found several online pharmacies first.

Check their credentials first. You must make sure you have checked the certifications of the chemist for you to know that you are dealing with the right pharmacy. You need to be sure you are buying medicine from the best online pharmacies in Canada.

Questions About Services You Must Know the Answers To

Main Tips for Selecting the Right Painting Company

With lots of cracks on the walls and peeling off paint, it is time that you get easy ideas on the ways that you need to keep interiors in good shape as this matters very much when determining how you can enjoy the right procedures as this matters very much. Having the right ideas of painting will keep you being able to keep off pests and moisture that may accumulate on various parts of the walls as this matters much. It is time that you know that we can be able to the correct procedures that we can help you stay focused, ensure that you follow the ideas that we have analyzed here. With all the details out there, it can be hard to choose a residential painter, therefore use the information that we have used here to help you know how this can be of importance.

It is crucial that you first know precisely the kind of experience that needs to be considered. With the right reviews, you can have a great impact on the society and choosing a person who has what it takes is very important in keeping you enjoying the best. Be sure that you choose a procedure that keeps you enjoying the best services as this is one thing that can have an impact on what you have been working on as this is very important.

It is important that you know that having proper certification and licensing will show that you are working with a person who is well experienced. The documents of your expert will clearly show that you have been able to keep your business working in a great way and this is one thing that will help you stay focused as this is very important. It is possible to carry out the practices in a more generalized manner, ensure that you get all the details helping you stay focused as this is very important.

You should know that having a residential painter starts who with preparation works is very easy for you. When you know the right sanding and proper wall treatment strategies to ensure that painting services happen, it will be imperative. You find that preparation works need to be handled by someone who is well versed with the procedures as this is very important. Only when you know very well about the kind of services that are being offered will you be able to make it to another level when you utilize these ideas as it has been seen to have a significant impact.

The packages need to be consistent so that you feel worthy of the investment that you are having this time around. Only when you get the best ideas will you be able to make it to the next level in life, ensure that you have the best as this matters much whenever you are dealing with the ideas that we have considered today.

If You Think You Understand Houses, Then Read This

Signs That You Need A Roof Repair Services Now

Many homeowners will find themselves in the valley of the decision whether they should replace the roof or not. Especially when you consider the cost that comes with repairing the roof if it has been damaged a lot, one can get stressed up. Some people cannot tell if it is the right time to repair or replace their roofs. All you need to answer this question is a few tasks. Some of the roof issues can be fixed within minimal cost and offer you an additional year of functionality. Embrace fixing roofs when you find an issue. You will know that it is the right time to contact a roof repair company when you see these signs.

The condition of the current roof will tell it all. If a roof has a big problem, the condition will be visible to you by just observing it. Some of the visible signs are cracked shingles, missing or even warped. you can check if the granules are collecting in the gutters. If you find some leakage of water in your house then you know that there is a problem somewhere in your room. There are some conditions that cannot be fixed unless you replace the entire roof. In case you find some of these signs ensure that you contact an expert so that they can help you understand the problem can be fixed, or you need a new replacement of your roof.

The age of the roof can also tell if it is time for a replacement. Different types of roofs have different qualities of materials that make them. This means that they do not have the same period of service. Proof that is old enough might be difficult to repair or rather costly. In such circumstances, therefore, it is wiser to replace it. If the roof has not served you for a long time yet, and there are no visible signs then you can maintain it up to a point when you will need to repair or replace.

If you intend to bring your house into the market, then consider replacement services. A new roof house will sell faster than a house with an old roof. an old roof can cause the value of the house to be low. If you intend to sell your house then you might consider making some repairs or roof makeover all the same. Most importantly, a new roof will deliver the best of the returns in any home improvement project, and this attracts customers who are according high-value today house. No one does not want to make a profit where necessary, and this is an improvement that you can make and never regret.

Five Excellent Investment Characteristics

We favor investments that are low cost, tax efficient, diversified, liquid, and simple. Many investors often run into trouble when they invest in things that do not have these five characteristics. Investments with these five characteristics have been profitable over time, but typically are not very exciting. There is generally not a “hot story that you need to act on now!” associated with them. The financial services industry generally does not favor these type of investments because they generate very little profit from them. We are in the business of helping to maximize the wealth of our clients, not the financial services industry. Keep in mind that this list of investment characteristics is not comprehensive. Other factors to look for in investments might include attractive valuation, low correlation to your other holdings, a nice dividend yield or interest income, a tilt towards areas of the market that have produced higher returns such as value stocks, an appropriate risk level for you, etc.

Low Cost. We typically invest in low cost index based funds and exchange traded funds (ETF’s). The funds we invest in have an average expense ratio of only.30% per year. The typical actively traded equity mutual fund has an average expense ratio of 1% or more. With investment funds, the best predictor of future relative performance is the expense ratio on the fund; the lower the better. Hedge funds typically have annual expense ratios of 2% plus 20% of any profits earned. Some variable annuities and permanent life insurance “investments” can have annual expenses of 2% or more. By keeping a close eye on the costs of our investments, we can save our clients significant amounts of money each year and help them achieve higher returns over time (all else being equal). With investment products, you don’t get better performance with a higher cost product, in fact you typically get worse performance.

Tax Efficient. Our investments (index based funds and ETF’s) are extremely tax efficient and they allow the investor to have some control over the timing of the taxes. These types of funds have low turnover (trading activity), which is a common characteristic of tax efficient investments. We recommend avoiding mutual funds with high turnover due to their tax inefficiency. After the recent big increase in the U.S. stock market, many active equity mutual funds have “imbedded” capital gains of as much as 30%-45%. If you buy those mutual funds now you may end up paying capital gains taxes on those imbedded gains even if you didn’t own the fund during the increase. ETF’s typically do not generate long and short-term capital gain distributions at yearend, and they do not have imbedded capital gains like active mutual funds. Hedge funds are typically tax inefficient due to their very high turnover. In addition to investing in tax-efficient products we also do many other things to help keep our client taxes minimized such as tax loss harvesting, keeping our turnover/trading low, putting the right type of investments in the right type of accounts (tax location), using losses to offset capital gains, using holdings with large capital gains for gifting, investing in tax-free municipal bonds, etc.

Diversified. We like to invest in diversified funds because they reduce your stock specific risk, and the overall risk of your portfolio. Bad news released about one stock may cause it to drop 50%, which is horrible news if that stock is 20% of your whole portfolio, but will be barely noticed in a fund of 1,000 stock positions. We tend to favor funds that typically have at least a hundred holdings and often several hundred holdings or more. These diversified funds give you broad representation of the whole asset class you are trying to get exposure to, while eliminating the stock specific risk. We are not likely to invest in the newest Solar Energy Company Equity Fund with 10 stock positions, for example. We don’t believe in taking any risks (such as stock specific risk) that you will not get paid for in higher expected return.

Liquid. We like investments that you can sell in one minute or one day if you decide to do so, and those which you can sell at or very close to the prevailing market price. With liquid investments you always (daily) know the exact price and value of your investments. All of the investment funds we recommend meet this standard. We don’t like investments which you are locked into for years without the ability to get your money back at all or without paying large exit fees. Examples of illiquid investments would be hedge funds, private equity funds, annuities, private company stock, tiny publicly traded stocks, startup company stock or debt, illiquid obscure bonds, structured products, some life insurance “investments,” private real estate partnerships, etc. We prefer investment funds that have been around for some time, are large in size, and have high average daily trading volumes.

Simple. We prefer investments that are simple, transparent, and easy to understand. If you don’t understand it, don’t invest in it. All of our investments are simple and transparent; we know exactly what we own. Complicated investment products are designed in favor of the seller, not the buyer, and usually have high hidden fees. Examples of complicated and non-transparent investments that we generally avoid are hedge funds, private equity funds, structured products, some life insurance “investment” products, variable annuities, private company stock, startup company stock or loans, etc. “Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.” -Albert Einstein.

We believe most investors should have the majority of their portfolio invested in things that have these five excellent characteristics. By doing so you will avoid plenty of mistakes, negative surprises, and risks along the way. In addition, we believe your after tax investment returns will likely be higher over long periods of time. Of course not every smart or good investment will have all of these characteristics. For example, income producing real estate property is illiquid (and often not diversified) but can be an excellent long-term investment if purchased and managed properly. Owning your own business is illiquid and not diversified but can be an excellent way to build wealth as well. We believe these five investment characteristics become even more important as you enter retirement, since at that point you may be more focused on reducing risk and preserving your wealth than building it, and you may need the liquidity to spend and gift part of your wealth during retirement. These five excellent investment characteristics can be a good screening device for possible investments and good factors to think about when investing.

The Top 5 Key Benefits of Purchasing and Owning Investment Real Estate

So… You may ask yourself, why should you buy or invest in real estate in the First Place? Because it’s the IDEAL investment! Let’s take a moment to address the reasons why people should have investment real estate in the first place. The easiest answer is a well-known acronym that addresses the key benefits for all investment real estate. Put simply, Investment Real Estate is an IDEAL investment. The IDEAL stands for:

• I – Income
• D – Depreciation
• E – Expenses
• A – Appreciation
• L – Leverage

Real estate is the IDEAL investment compared to all others. I’ll explain each benefit in depth.

The “I” in IDEAL stands for Income. (a.k.a. positive cash flow) Does it even generate income? Your investment property should be generating income from rents received each month. Of course, there will be months where you may experience a vacancy, but for the most part your investment will be producing an income. Be careful because many times beginning investors exaggerate their assumptions and don’t take into account all potential costs. The investor should know going into the purchase that the property will COST money each month (otherwise known as negative cash flow). This scenario, although not ideal, may be OK, only in specific instances that we will discuss later. It boils down to the risk tolerance and ability for the owner to fund and pay for a negative producing asset. In the boom years of real estate, prices were sky high and the rents didn’t increase proportionately with many residential real estate investment properties. Many naïve investors purchased properties with the assumption that the appreciation in prices would more than compensate for the fact that the high balance mortgage would be a significant negative impact on the funds each month. Be aware of this and do your best to forecast a positive cash flow scenario, so that you can actually realize the INCOME part of the IDEAL equation.

Often times, it may require a higher down payment (therefore lesser amount being mortgaged) so that your cash flow is acceptable each month. Ideally, you eventually pay off the mortgage so there is no question that cash flow will be coming in each month, and substantially so. This ought to be a vital component to one’s retirement plan. Do this a few times and you won’t have to worry about money later on down the road, which is the main goal as well as the reward for taking the risk in purchasing investment property in the first place.

The “D” in IDEAL Stands for Depreciation. With investment real estate, you are able to utilize its depreciation for your own tax benefit. What is depreciation anyway? It’s a non-cost accounting method to take into account the overall financial burden incurred through real estate investment. Look at this another way, when you buy a brand new car, the minute you drive off the lot, that car has depreciated in value. When it comes to your investment real estate property, the IRS allows you to deduct this amount yearly against your taxes. Please note: I am not a tax professional, so this is not meant to be a lesson in taxation policy or to be construed as tax advice.

With that said, the depreciation of a real estate investment property is determined by the overall value of the structure of the property and the length of time (recovery period based on the property type-either residential or commercial). If you have ever gotten a property tax bill, they usually break your property’s assessed value into two categories: one for the value of the land, and the other for the value of the structure. Both of these values added up equals your total “basis” for property taxation. When it comes to depreciation, you can deduct against your taxes on the original base value of the structure only; the IRS doesn’t allow you to depreciate land value (because land is typically only APPRECIATING). Just like your new car driving off the lot, it’s the structure on the property that is getting less and less valuable every year as its effective age gets older and older. And you can use this to your tax advantage.

The best example of the benefit regarding this concept is through depreciation, you can actually turn a property that creates a positive cash flow into one that shows a loss (on paper) when dealing with taxes and the IRS. And by doing so, that (paper) loss is deductible against your income for tax purposes. Therefore, it’s a great benefit for people that are specifically looking for a “tax-shelter” of sorts for their real estate investments.

For example, and without getting too technical, assume that you are able to depreciate $15,000 a year from a $500,000 residential investment property that you own. Let’s say that you are cash-flowing $1,000 a month (meaning that after all expenses, you are net-positive $1000 each month), so you have $12,000 total annual income for the year from this property’s rental income. Although you took in $12,000, you can show through your accountancy with the depreciation of the investment real estate that you actually lost $3,000 on paper, which is used against any income taxes that you may owe. From the standpoint of IRS, this property realized a loss of $3,000 after the “expense” of the $15,000 depreciation amount was taken into account. Not only are there no taxes due on that rental income, you can utilize the paper loss of $3,000 against your other regular taxable income from your day-job. Investment property at higher price points will have proportionally higher tax-shelter qualities. Investors use this to their benefit in being able to deduct as much against their taxable amount owed each year through the benefit of depreciation with their underlying real estate investment.

Although this is a vastly important benefit to owning investment real estate, the subject is not well understood. Because depreciation is a somewhat complicated tax subject, the above explanation was meant to be cursory in nature. When it comes to issues involving taxes and depreciation, make sure you have a tax professional that can advise you appropriately so you know where you stand.

The “E” in IDEAL is for Expenses – Generally, all expenses incurred relating to the property are deductible when it comes to your investment property. The cost for utilities, the cost for insurance, the mortgage, and the interest and property taxes you pay. If you use a property manager or if you’re repairing or improving the property itself, all of this is deductible. Real estate investment comes with a lot of expenses, duties, and responsibilities to ensure the investment property itself performs to its highest capability. Because of this, contemporary tax law generally allows that all of these related expenses are deductible to the benefit of the investment real estate landowner. If you were to ever take a loss, or purposefully took a loss on a business investment or investment property, that loss (expense) can carry over for multiple years against your income taxes. For some people, this is an aggressive and technical strategy. Yet it’s another potential benefit of investment real estate.

The “A” in IDEAL is for Appreciation – Appreciation means the growth of value of the underlying investment. It’s one of the main reasons that we invest in the first place, and it’s a powerful way to grow your net worth. Many homes in the city of San Francisco are several million dollars in today’s market, but back in the 1960s, the same property was worth about the cost of the car you are currently driving (probably even less!). Throughout the years, the area became more popular and the demand that ensued caused the real estate prices in the city to grow exponentially compared to where they were a few decades ago. People that were lucky enough to recognize this, or who were just in the right place at the right time and continued to live in their home have realized an investment return in the 1000’s of percent. Now that’s what appreciation is all about. What other investment can make you this kind of return without drastically increased risk? The best part about investment real estate is that someone is paying you to live in your property, paying off your mortgage, and creating an income (positive cash flow) to you each month along the way throughout your course of ownership.

The “L” in IDEAL stands for Leverage – A lot of people refer to this as “OPM” (other people’s money). This is when you are using a small amount of your money to control a much more expensive asset. You are essentially leveraging your down payment and gaining control of an asset that you would normally not be able to purchase without the loan itself. Leverage is much more acceptable in the real estate world and inherently less risky than leverage in the stock world (where this is done through means of options or buying “on Margin”). Leverage is common in real estate. Otherwise, people would only buy property when they had 100% of the cash to do so. Over a third of all purchase transactions are all-cash transactions as our recovery continues. Still, about 2/3 of all purchases are done with some level of financing, so the majority of buyers in the market enjoy the power that leverage can offer when it comes to investment real estate.

For example, if a real estate investor was to buy a house that costs $100,000 with 10% down payment, they are leveraging the remaining 90% through the use of the associated mortgage. Let’s say the local market improves by 20% over the next year, and therefore the actual property is now worth $120,000. When it comes to leverage, from the standpoint of this property, its value increased by 20%. But compared to the investor’s actual down payment (the “skin in the game”) of $10,000- this increase in property value of 20% really means the investor doubled their return on the investment actually made-also known as the “cash on cash” return. In this case, that is 200%-because the $10,000 is now responsible and entitled to a $20,000 increase in overall value and the overall potential profit.

Although leverage is considered a benefit, like everything else, there can always be too much of a good thing. In 2007, when the real estate market took a turn for the worst, many investors were over-leveraged and fared the worst. They could not weather the storm of a correcting economy. Exercising caution with every investment made will help to ensure that you can purchase, retain, pay-off debt, and grow your wealth from the investment decisions made as opposed to being at the mercy and whim of the overall market fluctuations. Surely there will be future booms and busts as the past would dictate as we continue to move forward. More planning and preparing while building net worth will help prevent getting bruised and battered by the side effects of whatever market we find ourselves in.

Many people think that investment real estate is only about cash flow and appreciation, but it’s so much more than that. As mentioned above, you can realize several benefits through each real estate investment property you purchase. The challenge is to maximize the benefits through every investment.

Furthermore, the IDEAL acronym is not just a reminder of the benefits of investment real estate; it’s also here to serve as a guide for every investment property you will consider purchasing in the future. Any property you purchase should conform to all of the letters that represent the IDEAL acronym. The underlying property should have a good reason for not fitting all the guidelines. And in almost every case, if there is an investment you are considering that doesn’t hit all the guidelines, by most accounts you should probably PASS on it!

Take for example a story of my own, regarding a property that I purchased early on in my real estate career. To this day, it’s the biggest investment mistake that I’ve made, and it’s precisely because I didn’t follow the IDEAL guidelines that you are reading and learning about now. I was naïve and my experience was not yet fully developed. The property I purchased was a vacant lot in a gated community development. The property already had an HOA (a monthly maintenance fee) because of the nice amenity facilities that were built for it, and in anticipation of would-be-built homes. There were high expectations for the future appreciation potential-but then the market turned for the worse as we headed into the great recession that lasted from 2007-2012. Can you see what parts of the IDEAL guidelines I missed on completely?

Let’s start with “I”. The vacant lot made no income! Sometimes this can be acceptable, if the deal is something that cannot be missed. But for the most part this deal was nothing special. In all honesty, I’ve considered selling the trees that are currently on the vacant lot to the local wood mill for some actual income, or putting up a camping spot ad on the local Craigslist; but unfortunately the lumber isn’t worth enough and there are better spots to camp! My expectations and desire for price appreciation blocked the rational and logical questions that needed to be asked. So, when it came to the income aspect of the IDEAL guidelines for a real estate investment, I paid no attention to it. And I paid the price for my hubris. Furthermore, this investment failed to realize the benefit of depreciation as you cannot depreciate land! So, we are zero for two so far, with the IDEAL guideline to real estate investing. All I can do is hope the land appreciates to a point where it can be sold one day. Let’s call it an expensive learning lesson. You too will have these “learning lessons”; just try to have as few of them as possible and you will be better off.

When it comes to making the most of your real estate investments, ALWAYS keep the IDEAL guideline in mind to make certain you are making a good decision and a solid investment.

What Is The Difference Between Investment Management and Stockbrokers?

The investment services industry can be daunting and ambiguous for individuals who seek a return on their capital. After working hard earning your wealth, it is important to understand the different services offered by professionals and what solutions fit you personally. One of the main questions we get asked here is:

“What is the difference between investment management and stockbrokers?”

Firstly, let’s discuss what stockbrokers are – we all have a much better, clearer, idea of what they do and who they represent. Stockbrokers are regulated firms that offer financial advice to their clients. A stockbroker buys and sells equities and other securities like bonds, CFDs, Futures and Options on behalf of their clients in return for a fee or commission. A brokerage / stockbroker will receive a fee on each transaction, whether the idea is profitable or not.

A brokerage can specialise in any investment niche they wish for example:

  • FTSE All-Share stocks,
  • AIM stocks,
  • European Stocks,
  • Asian Stocks,
  • US Stocks
  • Combinations of the above
  • Straight equities,
  • Straight derivative trading (CFDs, Futures & Options)

The main reason why investors choose stockbrokers over any other professional investment service is simply down to control. Due to the nature of a brokerage firm, they can only execute a trade after you instruct them to do so. This means it is impossible for a brokerage to keep buying and selling securities without you knowing – known as churning for commission. This doesn’t however prevent stockbrokers providing you with several new ideas a week and switching your positions to a new idea.

However, there are natural flaws with the brokerage industry is that because trading ideas can only be executed after being instructed to list a few flaws;-

  • you may miss out of good opportunities due to moves in the market,
  • you may get in a couple of days later because you were busy and not make any money after fees,
  • you may receive a call to close a position but unable to without your say so.

The above are examples that can happen when investing with brokerage firms, but this is due to the reliance of gaining authorisation from their clients. So if you are ultra busy or travel a lot then you could potentially miss out on opportunities to buy or sell.

What are investment managers?

Now we understand what stockbrokers / brokerage firms are about, let’s discuss what investment management services can do for individuals.

Investment management firms run differently to brokerages. The core aspect to these services is that the professional investment managers use their discretion to make investment decisions. As a client of an investment management firm you will go through a rigorous client on boarding process (just like a brokerage firm) to understand your investment goals, understanding of the services being used, risk profile, angering to the investment mandate and allowing the service to manage your equity portfolio. The sign up with the service may seem long winded but it’s in your best interest to ensure the service is suitable and appropriate for you. In reality, it’s not a long winded process at all. Once you agree to the services offered then you will only be updated on the on-going account data and portfolio reporting in a timely manner. This means no phone calls to disrupt your day-to-day activities and allows the professionals to focus on your portfolio.

Investment management firms usually have specific portfolios with a track record, into which you can invest your capital according to you appetite for risk. These portfolios will focus on specific securities, economies, risk and type of investing (income, capital growth or balanced). All of this would be discussed prior or during the application process.

Another method used by investment management firms is different strategies implemented by their portfolio managers. These strategies are systematic and go through thorough analysis before investment decisions are made.

The fees usually associated with investment management firms can vary from each firm. There are three common types of fees and are usually combined, fees can be;-

  • Assets Under Management Fee – This is where you pay a percentage of the portfolio per year to the firm, usually an annual fee. E.g) 1% AUM Fee on £1,000,000 is £10,000 per year.
  • Transaction Fee – This is a fee associated with each transaction made through your portfolio – similar to the brokerage firm’s commission.
  • Percentage of Profits Fee – This is where any closed profits generated over a set time will be charged to the firm. E.g) 10% PoP Fee – the firm generates you closed profit of £10,000 in one quarter – you will be charged £1,000.

The main benefits provided from investment management firms is that after the service understands your needs and tailors the service around you, it is their job to build a portfolio around you. It is also the job of the investment management firm to adhere to the investment mandate you agreed on, we’ll take about this later, so you understand of the time frame given what you should expect. Another bonus why high-net worth individuals choose investment management services is because they are not hassled by phone calls every other day with a new investment idea.

The difference…

The main difference between investment management and stockbroking firms is:

  • Investment Managers offers discretionary services; no regular phone calls about stock ideas.
  • Stockbrokers give you more control as you can personally filter out ideas you think won’t work.
  • Investment Managers offer an investment mandate; this is where the investment management service provides a document of what they are offering you in return of managing your portfolio. You will understand what exactly they are targeting over the year, based on what risk, and should they achieve it – then they have fulfilled their service. E.g) the mandate could state that the strategies used and based on 8% volatility (risk), they seek to achieve 14% capital return.
  • Stockbrokers do not offer an future agreements but look to deliver growth during the time you are with them. They are not bound by their performances like investment managers.
  • Investment management firms have a track record for all of the strategies and services used, stockbrokers do not.

Which to choose?

Both services provide professional approaches to investing in the stock markets. Stockbrokers are chosen over investment managers by people who like to be in control and receive financial advice. Stockbrokers generally do not have a systematic approach to the markets but use selective top-down approaches to select stocks.

Investment managers are chosen by investors who want an agreement on their performances over the year and understand the risk up-front. Usually more sophisticated investors that wish to take advantage of the track-record and gain an understanding of the systematic approach used by the investment management firm.

Feel free to learn more.

DISCLAIMER: The above is not considered financial advice or any endorsement to use any particular service. If you wish to use any of the services mentioned, please seek independent advice.

RISK WARNING: Spread betting, CFD, futures and options trading carries a high level of risk to your capital and can result in losses that exceed your initial deposit. They may not be suitable for everyone, so please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved. Past performance of a managed service is not a guide to future performance.