Nov 122015


Minimalist living is the idea of getting rid of things we don’t use or need to live a simple and uncluttered life. It’s about giving up the material possessions and lifestyle activities that bring us more stress than happiness. :) There isn’t a conclusive definition of what a minimalist lifestyle should be, but many self-proclaimed minimalists describe it as the pursuit of living a simple lifestyle by making choices important to the individual “rather than adopting the consumerist mindset that most people have.” Since there’s no clear definition of what minimalism is, the term is as subjective as the idea of frugality. 😕

I’m not a minimalist myself. But I wonder how parents who practice minimalism raise their children without depriving them of a proper childhood.

Simplicity may be the ultimate sophistication, but is that true for kids? Many studies show children under the age of 12 learn the fastest. Important skills such as pattern recognition and reasoning start to develop during this crucial time of brain development. Minimalists value experiences over material possessions. But what if toys, television, birthday parties, skateboards, presents and other types of stimulation are all important things that children need to experience for healthy mental development?

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Nov 122015

In this present economy, we can no longer count on job security to achieve our future financial goals. If you’ve always been interesting in learning about investments, but you don’t know where to start, here’s a little primer on how to get started. Many of these options are available with as little as $100.


Cash Investments

These are investment platforms were you make a deposit and allow your money to draw interest. The most common are regular savings accounts and Certificates of Deposit (CDs); the interest you earn is usually tied to the going market rate. Traditional savings accounts allow you to withdraw your money whenever you need it, but they offer very little return on your investment (ROI). CDs have a fixed time limit, and the interest earned is higher than you’ll get with a traditional savings account. Both a safe, low-yield investments.


These are the next safest investment, and they have a fixed rate of return. Bonds are usually issued through a company or by the government. They basically amount to a loan provided by you to the bond-issuing organization in exchange for a set amount of money on top of the face value of the bond.


Stocks allow you to buy shares in the ownership of a publicly traded company in exchange for a portion of the profits in the form of dividends. This can be the most lucrative way to invest, but you should do your homework before choosing a company to invest in.


Unless you’re independently wealthy, there’s little chance that you can afford to lose your investment. In the U.S. one relatively painless way to put away money for the future is to buy into a 401(k) retirement fund through your employer. The money will be automatically deducted from your pay, and then invested in a mutual fund or other investing platform. Many employers will even match your contribution; best of all, you won’t have to pay taxes on any income you put into your plan.

If you’re self-employed or your company doesn’t offer a 401(k), you can start by putting aside 10% of more of your earnings each week to build an investment fund on your own. There are a few smart ways to begin, and you can do it for little money. One of the best choices for the novice investor is to purchase Exchange Traded Funds, or ETFs. These are traded based on exchange indexes, just like regular stocks, but they carry less risk than traditional stocks, and they offer a higher return than bonds or money markets.

Never put all of your money into one company or type of investment; a well-rounded portfolio that consists of binds, stocks and money market accounts will stand a better chance of building your fortunes without taking on too much risk. Once you learn the ropes and become more confident about your depth of knowledge in investment strategies, you’re on your way to a more secure financial future.

No matter how savvy an investor you become, it always helps to have the guidance of a professional whose job is to keep an eye on your investments and guide your financial decisions. Practical investment advice could benefit anyone from world-renowned CEOs like Ehsan Bayat to young professionals planning ahead for retirement. It’s easy to find investment advice online or through a brokerage in your area.


Aug 222015

This is an important balance that every adult has to make in life. Some people are suited to the…shall we say…Ascetic lifestyle: one where very little money is spent and very little is consumed. This is the message that you see preached on a thousand different frugality blogs. Some people seem to really get into it, making a hobby out of finding new ways to live on beans and rice and never going on vacation.

Then you’ve got people who are devoted to living an enjoyable life now. We’ll call them the YOLOs. They aren’t going to put off their chosen lifestyle for even a minute, and they’re certainly not going to wait for retirement to start letting their hair down a little. Nope, they want life on their own turns immediately. As such, they’re going to have to start making money. These folks tend to become career people, investors, and even con artists. While I don’t advocate the last, I do recommend a healthy dose of this tendency in the life of everyone who wants to experience the good life. But what “the good life” is depends on your own personal definition.

Clearly, most people aren’t going to enjoy living either the Ascetic or the YOLO lifestyle, at least not completely. But if you’re a reader of this blog, you are interested in financial freedom sooner than later. For most people to achieve this, you are going to have to make a way for yourself down the middle path: a combination of the Ascetic and YOLO lifestyles. But how?

Independence is key. Even if you don’t make more money than anybody else, you’ve got to learn to do some things for yourself. This may include educating yourself, cooking your own food, renovating your own home, and the like. Teaching yourself investment is key for the FreedomThirtyFive way of life. To learn, I would recommend CMC Markets, which can include investment education and the brokerage of many easy-to-understand day trading options. Even if you never risk a dime, their educational demo accounts are invaluable for the would-be investor, teaching important skills which cross over to every form of investment you’ll ever make in your life.

Residual or Passive Income is also a vital step in this process. These money making arts earn you money even when you’re not actively working for it. This can be accomplished in a number of ways. As a writer, for instance, I’ve got articles all over the web. Some sites pay money according to how widely clicked the articles are, meaning that money can come for weeks, months, and years after the article is written. Many industries have techniques built into them which allow residual income like this. Another common method is Real Estate. By owning properties in addition to your own home, you can be getting rent from tenants who can be paying your mortgage for you. Many landlords receive money over and above what they pay for mortgage and upkeep combined, earning a tidy profit without having to lift a finger. Management companies make this even easier.

Using a combination of methods like these, you’ll start to build a lifestyle of financial independence, one that is very possible to make perfect by age 35.

Nov 132014

The following is by staff writer, Peter.

Buying a new house can be an exciting and a stressful time for anyone. There are a number of different factors and circumstances that must be accounted for and considered. Whether you’re looking to buy a new home for you and your family, or looking to invest in residential property for financial gain, you need to do some research and be smart about your decisions. Buying for your family and investing for purely financial gain are two wildly different circumstances. While purchasing a house to live in is still an investment, there are additional points that need consideration in regards to your family and their needs. This article will focus solely on investment in residential property for financial gain. So if you need advice on house hunting for living quarters, you should go elsewhere. The following tips are not meant to be a foolproof guide to buying property, but if you keep them in mind and go about things intelligently, you’ll come out on top financially.

Type of Property, Location, and the Market

14-11-residential-propertyThe first thing you need to reach a decision on is the type of property you wish to buy. Condos, apartments, and houses all have their own unique advantages and disadvantages when you invest in them. All three can provide you with significant capital appreciation and rental profits, but other factors, like maintenance and documentation can differ.

Once you’ve decided on what type of property you’d like to invest in, you need to find a good location. According to NDTV, there are six cities that are leading the way in residential market recovery and appreciation; Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad,Chennai, and NCR have all shown growth over 2014 and are likely to continue growing. However, before you jump into buying property in one of those locations, it is still highly recommended that you do some research into the local residential property market. According to Money Crashers, researching local housing markets can help you discover whether the area you want to buy into is likely to continuing growing, or if a housing bubble is going to pop and drop prices and growth drastically.

Monitoring the market on a regular basis is a necessity if you intend to keep your investment for a prolonged period of time. Business Today states that keeping an eye on the fluctuations of the market can give you the necessary information, such as if the market has matured and limited growth is occurring, to decide whether to sell and exit that particular market before prices drop.

A good route to take when looking for a property is to look for residential projects by Unitech Group or other real estate agencies that will have a lot of the necessary information you’re looking for.

Investment Length and ROI

ROI, or Return on Investment, is the ratio of profit earned versus original investment cost. Investopedia describes ROI as a way to measure the efficiency of your investments through comparison and calculation. The usual formula for calculating the ROI on your investments is to take the gain you’ve earned and subtract the cost. The result of that is then divided by the cost, giving you a result that can be changed to a percentage displaying your ROI.

One of the major factors defining whether you get a good ROI is how long you hold on to the property. Business Today suggests holding a property for a minimum of three years (three years is also the period of time differentiating between a short-term and long-term investment for tax reasons). However, they state that the best returns are usually generated somewhere between five and seven years.

Buying a property in the hopes of selling it soon for short-term financial gain is a possibility, but not recommended. Not only are those profits taxed at a higher rate, but you will also miss out on the potential for the serious capital appreciation you can expect to see over a long-term investment.

Finances and Income Stability

Investing in residential property is not cheap. One route you can take to help keep your costs relatively low is to buy into under-construction projects, preferably just as they launch. Doing this is a good way to find investments for long-term capital gains. Regardless of where and when you buy a property, chances are you will need to talk to a bank to get a loan. Dealing with a bank can be stressful, but as long as you’ve done your research and have made sure all necessary documentation and clearances are present, you shouldn’t have any issues.

A reliable, stable source of income is a necessity before deciding to invest. If you don’t have a reliable source of income, getting a loan and investing in a pricey piece of property is liable to land you in some serious financial problems. While a property investment can provide you with a good deal of financial gain, it’s not going to pay off for a number of years, especially if you want to maximize your ROI. Regardless, Jago Investor states property investment is an excellent way to diversify your financial portfolio.



Dec 042013

Marketing in today’s world is very important. It affects how a company acquires new customers and how to maintain its relationship with them. I recently read a story about how a professor was able to explain complicated marketing terms to his students. He basically described the different kinds of marketing with simple to understand examples.

  • You see a girl at a party. You go to her and say “I’m rich, marry me.” – That’s called Direct Marketing :)
  • Your friend goes to a girl and pointing at you tells her, “he is very rich, marry him.” – That’s called Advertising 😉
  • A girl walks up to you and says you are rich, and asks if she can marry you. – That’s called Brand Recognition 😆
  • You say “I’m very rich, marry me,” and she slaps you. – That’s called Customer Feedback 😎
  • You say “I’m very rich, marry me,” and she introduces you to her husband. – That’s called Demand and Supply Gap 😐
  • Before you have a chance to say “I’m rich, marry me,” your wife arrives to the party. – That’s called Restriction from Entering New Markets 😕

Marketing isn’t just about sales and advertising. Even thanking customers through Twitter, or improving packaging design, will help to make a business more successful. The 4Ps of marketing are product (or service,) place, price, and promotion. This means understanding what unique advantage your company’s product has over its competitors, where the target audience is and how to reach them, don’t charge customers too much, and promote your company’s product.


Ultimately marketing aims to match a company’s products and services to the people who need and want them. Good job. Now you know as much about marketing as an MBA student :)

Random Useless Fact: A pancake is a cake, that you make in a pan. And Hershey Kisses.. are really just big chocolate chips.