How to Gain Security In Changing Times
How do you feel about staking your entire future on the stock market? Risky, right! Who would do that? Surprisingly enough, a lot of investors are putting their money in the stock market directly or indirectly. If you rather invested in bonds to minimize the risk, you’re unlikely to gain the returns necessary to fund your retirement. That along with the changing federal interest rates makes bonds an unattractive investment option. So, how do you invest for retirement while minimizing your risk and still pocketing handsome returns? Investing in alternative assets with a self-directed IRA is an option to look into.
Why Invest in Alternative Assets?
The alternative investment strategies have helped smart investors gain competitive returns over the years. Here are some reasons to add them to your portfolio:
- True diversification & security: Investing in alternative assets allows you to achieve true diversification. You can minimize your risk profile by choosing different alternative asset classes. Real estate, precious metals, mortgage notes, tax liens, private equity, and real estate investment trusts (REITs).
- Competitive returns: Unlike security bonds, you can earn better returns by investing in alternative assets. If you’re a realtor, imagine the sort of returns you can achieve by using your expertise and industry knowledge.
For an average investor, investing in alternative assets might pose some challenges, especially in choosing assets classes that can achieve your retirement goals. It’s best to seek professional help and make sound financial decisions.
What is a Self-Directed IRA?
Solo 401k Real EstateSince you are investing for retirement, you’ll require a retirement tool that can invest in alternative assets with minimal custodial red tape around it. Self-directed IRA comes into picture.
A self-directed IRA is a retirement solution that offers investment discretion/control to the plan owner. Depending upon your plan custodian, you can access most of the asset classes discussed above.
Some of the popular self-directed retirement options include self-directed IRAs, Solo 401k plans, and 401k plans.
What are your investment options through a self-directed IRA?
- Real estate: The IRS allows real estate investing within retirement accounts. The trick is that it is not mandatory for financial institutions to offer it as an asset class. However, with a self-directed IRA, you can invest in real estate starting with residential, commercial, and third-party real estate LLC investments
- Private equity: If you have experience in business, you can use your retirement accounts to purchase private equity. While it is an exciting proposition, make sure to test the basics of the company and take professional advice.
- Mortgage notes/tax liens: If you’re looking for passive growth/returns, mortgage notes, and tax liens are the perfect additions to your portfolio. You don’t have to fret about property maintenance and utility bills.
- Precious metals: Gold and most of the precious metals are cyclical. They allow investors to hedge their investments against inflation, stock market movements and any financial fiasco.
- Stock, bonds, mutual funds: Self-directed IRAs allow you to put your money in traditional investment options, including stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. With a self-directed IRA, you as the account owner can initiate transactions without going through custodians. This also minimizes transaction costs and fees. In order to retire with sufficient money, create a balanced portfolio and restructure it routinely.
Who Should Choose Self-Directed Retirement Accounts?
The financial goals of every individual vary and so does their investing strategies. If you have a limited understanding of the investment realm, you may want to use a professional’s help. A self-directed IRA is good for you if you are:
- Ready to take control of your retirement account.
- Tired of having brokers handle your money.
- Wanting to diversify your investments
- Tired of paying high custodian fees and transaction costs.
It is your retirement at stake, so take your time and make the right choice! Talk with us at California Private Money Lenders about your options of investing your retirement portfolio in private money loans. Give us a call at 707-315-1119 or fill out our Contact Form and one of our private money lending specialists will be in touch promptly.
Money Tips That Can Make the Difference
Entrepreneurs have to wear many hats. One of their key responsibilities is to understand and properly manage their business’s finances. But they must also be careful with how they handle their own money.
Here are smart financial steps every young entrepreneur should consider:
Separate Business and Personal Funds:
It’s common for entrepreneurs to use their personal assets as startup capital. But as your business grows, it’s crucial to separate your personal and business funds. Simply knowing which is which is not enough; you must be able to prove the same to the IRS. For instance, in the case of an IRS audit, a sole proprietor or independent contractor would be required to provide proof of his or her business expenses and income, usually by providing receipts and spending records.
From the beginning, sole proprietors and independent contractors should create separate checking accounts for personal and business funds. If your business is a corporation, you’re required by law to keep business and personal funds separate, and you can’t use business funds for personal expenses. If you’re having a hard time separating these funds, seek professional help.
Monitor your Expenses:
One of the surest ways to go out of business is to have more money going out than coming in. Monitoring and categorizing your expenses can help you find ways to control overhead costs or any other spending that doesn’t generate revenue or add to your business’s growth. It may also help you identify and claim tax deductions your business may be eligible for, increasing your tax savings. Maintaining good records of your expenses will also save you the hassle of going through a pile of receipts during tax-filing season.
If you’re an independent contractor, have an owner-only business or have only a handful of employees, using something as simple as a spreadsheet or an online calendar to note your regular or recurring expenses will work. Make sure to include the type of expense — rent, utilities, supplies, etc. — and the recipient of the funds. If your business is expanding, you may need to use accounting software.
It’s equally important to have a budget for your personal spending. You can use something as simple as Mint.com to track your monthly expenses. Because your income is likely to vary, even though your expenses may stay the same, it’s particularly important to pay close attention to cash flow.
Build up an Emergency Fund:
Small businesses often experience profit fluctuations over the course of a year. That means entrepreneurship and irregular income go hand in hand. Without a buffer of savings, lean months could add to your mental stress. A lack of business capital could even force you to tap your personal savings, which could leave you with no cushion for emergencies. If you don’t already have a personal emergency fund in place, start working on one.
For entrepreneurs, the key to building an emergency fund is to save during your high-earning months. That will allow you to pass leaner months comfortably while ensuring that you can pay your bills on time.
If you have a spouse or partner who has a stable income, your emergency fund should be around six months’ worth of living expenses. However, if your entire family is relying on your business, you should save at least a year’s worth of expenses.
Purchase Disability Insurance:
Investing full time? With a business to run, worrying about your own future may not be a top concern. This mindset may work well for your business, but how do you plan to take care of your family if you become sick or temporarily disabled?
Disability insurance can provide supplemental income to your family while you recover. The type of disabilities covered and amounts of coverage will vary depending on your policy. Adding a cost-of-living-adjustment option to your policy is more expensive but ensures that payouts stay current with inflation.
You’ll also want to protect your business in case you’re ill or unable to work. For this, consider business overhead expense insurance. These policies are designed to help cover recurring business expenses like rent or mortgage payments, employees’ salaries, utilities, and taxes during your absence. This can help keep your business going while you’re unable to work.
Start a Retirement Savings Plan:
Without an employer-sponsored retirement plan, it’s entirely your responsibility to fund your retirement. While that may sound distressing, you may actually have the opportunity to save even more than other workers do for your retired life. There are several qualified retirement plans for business owners that allow you to make sizable contributions toward retirement. In most cases, contribution limits to these plans are higher than traditional individual retirement accounts or employer plans. Some of the prevalent retirement options for entrepreneurs include a SEP IRA, SIMPLE IRA or a self-directed 401(k) plan. The key to building adequate retirement funds is to start as early as possible. Having time on your side is your biggest advantage when saving for retirement.
Seek Professional Financial Advice:
Small-business owners are often too busy to attend to these important financial matters. Hiring a financial advisor for your business and personal finances might help you avoid costly money mistakes. A financial advisor could help you identify business tax deductions, set up a strategy for your personal finances and even help you create an efficient financial structure for your business
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