National Business

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MoneyTips


By Laurence Jankelow, cofounder at Avail

Whether you've owned your two-flat duplex for years or you're trying to decide whether real estate is the right addition to your portfolio, it's important to think of rental property as an investment. Like any investment, your goal should be to maximize returns.

You don't need to predict which neighborhood in town is about to see skyrocketing home values. Instead you should buy a property that has a lot to offer tenants – over time, sustained revenue from rentals is a savvy way to earn money.

Once you have the property, you'll need to know how to manage it successfully, from repairs to tax payments. In this post, I'll outline four strategies to help you maximize your ROI.

1. Take the Time to Invest Wisely

When looking for an investment property, it's important to consider its location, amenities, and construction quality. You should also look for a property that's already fully rented. I...

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MoneyTips

Even though retiring is the furthest thing from the minds of most twenty-somethings, you need to invest sooner, rather than later for one reason – you have an advantage over everyone else: time. Time to let your money grow exponentially. There is a reason Albert Einstein is credited with calling compound interest "the 8th wonder of the world." It can work either for you or against you. Those who understand it, earn it. Those who don't, pay it. Let me elaborate.

To understand truly how time affects money, let's look at Einstein's Rule of 72. This rule shows how long it will take to double your money, based on an anticipated interest rate. It's really easy to figure out and super-important to understand. In my opinion, it's one of the most important things to learn and apply throughout your life. For example, if you were to earn a 4% return on your money, it would take 18 years to d...

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MoneyTips

Congratulations! You've made it through college and are looking forward to using your new skills in the real world. Here's our gift to help you start your journey – a copy of your credit report.

If you aren't familiar with your credit report and how it works, now's the time to check it out.

Your credit report is a collection of all of your borrowing activities. Whenever you borrow money and make payments (or miss them), your creditors report that information to the three major credit reporting agencies (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax). If you have part of America's nearly $1.5 trillion in student loans, your repayment record will show up here. Your future credit cards and loans will show up here, too.

The credit reporting agencies use your credit report information to calculate your credit score – a single number between 300 and 850 that tells creditors how risky it i...

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MoneyTips

Congratulations! You've just finished paying off your mortgage – probably the largest debt you'll ever have in your life. Should you expect your credit score to increase as a result? Not necessarily.

Your credit score is calculated from your credit report, a history of all of your borrowing and payment activity. While your mortgage was probably a huge part of that history, it's just one part. Credit reports also consider other installment loans, your credit card payments, and any payments for non-borrowing related charges (like cable or utility bills) that have gone into collections. Every account matters and contributes to your credit score.

Consider the factors that go into calculating a credit score, starting with payment history – the most influential factor. Mortgages require regular payments for a long time. With those payments removed, that's one less regular payment that proves you...

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MoneyTips

Welcome to parenthood! You are a proud new father, simultaneously overjoyed and terrified. Since you are now responsible for another human being, you should know that the estimate of what it will cost to raise your child is approximately a quarter of a million dollars, without accounting for inflation. If you would like to send him or her to college, you will probably need at least that much more.

A 2017 report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated the cost of raising a child from birth to age 17 at $233,610 ($284,570 adjusted for inflation). That is for the average middle-income couple; costs ranged from families in the Northeast that will spend around $264,090 to residents in the urban Midwest and rural regions who will spend about $227,400 and $193,020, respectively.

Unfortunately, that figure is not likely to drop, and inflation-adjusted w...

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MoneyTips

Americans appear to be feeling more confident in their finances – at least with respect to their credit card payments.

According to a new survey from CompareCards.com, more Americans are paying their credit card bills in full. As of January 2019, 39% of survey respondents paid all credit card bills in full over the last six months and 69% paid at least half of their bills in full over the same time period.

"It's great news that more Americans are paying their card statement balances in full each month," said CompareCards.com Chief Industry Analyst Matt Schulz. "Job No. 1 for anyone with a credit card is to pay your balance off as soon as possible, and it's a positive sign that more Americans are able to do that every month."

If consumers follow through on their survey statements, momentum for full payments will keep growing.

Almost half (48%) of respondents are very confident they will pay all credit card bills in full for the current month's ...

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