Saturday, 25 February 2012

Jump-Starting Your Personal Finance - Achieving Higher Rates of Return

For many people, it is usually after years of not paying much attention to how they handle money, or after taking bad advice from others they've trusted (including professionals), that they finally realize: "Hey, this is my money and no one really cares more about it than I do. And it will not multiply unless I do something about it". At this point, the path you take can have long-term effects. Let me bring a few important points to your attention to help you on your journey.

Higher Rates of Return
When you finally come to the realization that you need to take a more active role in handling you personal finance there is a natural tendency to look to the stock market. That's usually because stock in a company is one of the easiest securities to acquire. There is also a sense of excitement or prestige with being in the stock market. However, lets put the emotions aside and look at what the real issues are.
One thing you must consider, especially when starting out is the return on investment. The stock market historically gives 7-10% annually. This is not a bad return if you are looking to park a huge amount of cash (say a few hundred thousand and up). But if you are starting out with not much excess cash, you need to get higher rates of return. If you have $5000 and you invest that at a rate of 10% a year, in 5 years you will have about $8000. That is not fast enough if you really want to take control of your personal finances. You will need to learn how to get higher rates of return than that. Remember the higher your rate the less time it takes for your money to multiply.
Assessing Your Options
The question then becomes how can you achieve higher rates of return. Many, at this point tend to gravitate towards using aggressive stock strategies or short-term trading to get higher rates of return. This could take years and many dollars (both in the cost of educating yourself and bad trades) to learn how to do and the probability of success is not very high. But if you are just starting out you don't have that kind of money to loose. Your best alternative for higher rates of return is to start a business that meets certain criteria.
The kind of business you want to start is one with low startup cost and high profit potential. Yes, it does take more effort to manage than a passive instrument such as stocks. But this is where you have a higher probability of getting returns that are in the 100% per year range, and even higher if you play your cards right. And these returns can be much more consistent than with stocks. Here are some other points to consider about starting your business for higher rates of return:
1. No longer is the option of starting your business limited to huge upfront investments (such as buying a franchise). Today it is possible to start businesses with very little money and have high profit margins.
2. The time requirement need not be prohibitive. Many successful businesses are started part-time buy full time employees. Also, depending on the kind of business you start, the internet can help to make it easier to manage.
3. You have more control of your investment. Once you place your money into a stock you have no control over what the price of that stock will be. With your own business, you control it. And there are many resources to help business owners.
4. The long-term prospects of starting your own business are good. You may not hit a home run on your first try (although that has been done before, and is far more likely than making a million on the first stock you pick) but if you keep at it you will improve and so will your personal finances.
Remember to approach your business like an investment. Learn how much is required to start, the expected rate of return, when you expect to make your money back etc. Even if you do decide to take a more active path in the stock market (i.e., trading stocks), take the time to learn how it is done before risking your hard earned money.
To your success.
Rodger Campbell is an entrepreneur and writes on various topics including personal finance and investing. For more insights similar to the article you just read, go to []

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Jump-Starting Your Personal Finance - Achieving Higher Rates of Return
by Rodger Campbell

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