When it comes to investing, there are never “sure things.” Anyone who tells you otherwise is probably engaged in illegal activities, and you want to get as far away as possible, as soon as possible.
The fact that you can never guarantee a return on an investment shouldn’t keep you from investing altogether, though. While there is always some level of risk, there are ways that you can effectively evaluate investment opportunities and make smart choices. In fact, the secret to smart investing usually comes down to a few basic factors — most of which you learn in a Business 101 course.
Trends: The Key to Smart Investments
If you’re a new investor, it might feel like everyone you know has a different approach to choosing which companies in which to invest. However, one of the most effective approaches is to look at trends. Trend investing involves looking at the overall direction of stock prices over time — whether they go up or down — and then riding the wave of upward trends.
Because trend following relies mostly on technical analysis, and looks at overall performance over time, many trend followers don’t pay a lot of attention to the individual factors that often predict how a particular company will perform over time. The most successful investors, though, often use a combination of approaches. By gauging performance with tools found on sites like www.trendsinvesting.com, combined with analysis of business basics, it’s easier to make solid investment decisions that are more likely to create higher dividends.
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Before staking that “For Sale” sign in your front lawn, consider a few renovation projects that will return the best bang for your buck. At the onset, it can seem like a daunting and endless list, but consider only those remodeling projects that will help you sell your home quickly and at asking price. Because unfortunately, just because you put $20,000 into renovations doesn’t guarantee you’ll recoup the same value (though expect about 80 to 90 percent if you choose wisely!) The key to adding value is to focus on what’s most important to a buyer, rather than what may be important to you.
Boosting Curb Appeal
First, let’s discuss curb appeal. Potential buyers judge your home on that first drive-by, and an attractive first impression can lure people into that all-important open house. According to Bankrate.com, a good first impression can add 5 to 10 percent to the value of your property. If the exterior color of your home is fading, fix that first. Choose exterior paints and details that match the period and style of your home, while making sure another house on the block doesn’t already have those colors. Another easy fix is updating your front door with a new color of paint and new hardware. This will help set up a buyer to envision the first time they walk into their new home and start their new life.
Photo by Allan Ferguson via Wikimedia Commons
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You need brand evangelists!”
If you’ve studied marketing at all over the past few years, you’ve probably heard this from more than one person. It’s no longer enough to simply attract a loyal customer base. You want to have evangelists, people who are so enthusiastic and supportive of your business that they freely share information about your company and your products with others. They aren’t paid spokespeople parroting your marketing messages in exchange for a paycheck. They aren’t compensated for their time with free products. They are real, engaged consumers who want others to share the great experience that they have had with you.
Attracting brand evangelists isn’t always easy, and there is tons of advice out there on how to go about doing just that. What few experts fail to share, though, is what you should do with these people once you have them on your side. And that’s a problem. You need to maintain relationships with your brand evangelists so they will continue to talk about your company — and stay on point with your message and brand identity.
So how do you do that?
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