Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Easy Path To Property Investing Success

Many people think that real estate investment is beyond them. It has such a mysterious sound. Surely, successful Minnesota real estate investors like Donald Trump were born with a tip sheet in their hand and prospects in the back pocket of their baby jumpers. But the fact is, even those who were born into families of real estate moguls had to start from scratch to learn the family business. They just got an early start.

You can start now.

Willingness to learn is the other key to success when it comes to real estate investing. In truth, it's just like any other specialized task you must become familiar with in order to perform well at, but that anybody who is ready to devote time and mental energy can become proficient at. A good example is that of piloting an airplane; the process seems complex, but as long as your eyesight is decent and you don't have an insurmountable fear of heights, you could learn to pilot an aircraft, and, given time, you could probably develop the skills necessary to work for a commercial airline.

Just like all the flashing lights and mysterious devices in an airplane's cockpit seem absolutely mystifying to the beginner, most have absolutely no idea where to start when it comes to learning the real estate business. Just like a pilot, a prospective property investor must start out by sitting down at the metaphorical cockpit and become familiar with what each little switch and lever does.

If you start investing in properties, and do it wisely (by learning as you go and by getting advice from the experts) you will soon find yourself making a little bit of money at it. Then you will find yourself making more money at it. Eventually you will make a lot of money from it and wonder when exactly you stopped being a novice and started being an expert. It is a gradual process, like anything else.

The Rich Dad, Poor Dad books by Robert Kiyosaki are a great starting point for those who want to learn more about just how easy it can be to break into the business of investing. In addition, 'The ABCs of Real Estate Investing,' by Ken McElroy do a great job of laying the process out in a logical, easy-to-understand manner.

At the end of the day, becoming a successful real estate investor is only difficult if you're unwilling to try, or if you insist on throwing your money at wild guesses (that's gambling, not investing). The one critical fact that you must remember about investing is that in order to succeed, you must constantly be learning; if one becomes complacent, or acts as if he or she is a born investor, a rude awakening is sure to come.

After all, you wouldn't want to climb into the cockpit of an airplane, fire it up and hope for the best, would you? Of course not. That would be suicide. On the other hand, you would expect to become a good pilot if you went through a prescribed program and logged enough hours behind the wheel. Approach real estate investing in the same way and the sky's the limit.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Real Estate: The Secret Weapon of the Rich

Taxes are a necessary evil in our society, and for many it seems natural to grouse about having to pay a large percentage of our earnings to the government while those who have more money seem to be bearing less of the burden than they ought. It's certainly disheartening that it works this way - as the fortunate shirk their obligations through legal loopholes, the rest have to pick up their slack. It's frustrating and unfair, and there's no question that many of the complaints against the upper class are quite legitimate.

Unfortunately, simply recognizing injustices and complaining about them isn't sufficient to change the ways of the world. The rich will inevitably have money and therefore power, and they will use this power to stack the deck in their favor, particularly when it comes to using tax breaks to keep their money. They will claim that there simply isn't enough money for everyone to get what they need, all the while cutting corners and keeping their spoils for themselves. This extends to elected officials as well - how many poor politicians have you heard of?

That's why you are going to have to take action. Don't be one of the downtrodden masses. If you want more money, you are going to have to go get it yourself. And yes, you too can get more money in the form of tax breaks.

Robert Kiyosaki, author of the "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" books, makes the sensible suggestion that those who are not rich but would like to be should watch what the rich do, and then do the same. You don't really need to watch too closely, however, to learn the open secret of the wealthy- that secret is real estate.

"One of the reasons I chose to work predominantly in the B and I quadrants are the tax advantages," he says in his book, "Cash Flow Quadrant." The cash flow quadrant, after which he named the book, is his rich dad's diagram of the four different kinds of people, with respect to where they get their money and their philosophy about procuring money which, oddly enough, match up. In other words, people who are Employees have one set of values while the people who are Self-employed have another.

According to Robert Kiyosaki, the real money is in the business and investment quadrants of the Cash Flow Quadrant.

As they say, if you can't beat 'em, you've got to join 'em. This is doubly true when you're talking about the wealthy. With this mindset, you'll realize that tax breaks for the rich aren't really so bad, since you can take advantage of them when you become rich.

The path to riches is actually very simple; all you've got to do is start investing, or join the 'I' quadrant. If you have a high-paying job, you may be able to do this without leaving the 'E' (employee) or 'S' (self-employed) quadrants, but Robert Kiyosaki advises that you move into the 'B' or business quadrant, devising a system that will make you money regardless of whether you are putting time into it or not.

So, invest - invest in apartments, condos, vacation homes, whatever suits your fancy. This is the true, time-tested road to wealth.

Author: Alexandria P. Anderson specializes helping people to find and purchase Golden Valley MN Homes, as well as Golden Valley property for her Minnesota realty clients.