Hope for your financial life and beyond

Is Investing in Collectibles Like Valuable Baseball Cards Worth It?

Like so many young boys, my love affair with baseball cards began in Little League. Each week our coach would give us a $1 to spend at the concession stand after the game. I spent my money on a cream soda and a pack of cards (none of which would become valuable baseball cards).

valuable baseball cardsIn those early days I didn’t have a lot of money so the collection grew slowly. I amassed several hundred cards and kept them rubber-banded together in a shoebox. I shuffled through them a lot so the surfaces became dull and the edges worn.

In 1986, I scrounged up enough money to buy my very first complete set of Topps baseball cards. I bought plastic card pages in which to insert each card and a three ring binder to hold all the pages. So began a decade of collecting the full sets and the update sets each year. By the time I ended college, I had amassed about 20,000 baseball cards.

Then marriage happened and grad school and buying a home and kids and a career and more kids. Through all that, the baseball cards spent years boxed up in the back of the closet rarely seeing the light of day.

My love affair with collecting baseball cards resurfaced about 10 years later in my early 30s. Some life events reinvigorated my love of the hobby. The best part was that I had more money than when I was 8.

I decided to do something different instead of purchasing individual packs or complete sets. My focus shifted to buying individual cards, ones where I could be more certain about their projected value. This can only be done by collecting those cards that are professionally graded.

This change of strategy required me to understand what I was getting into and why I was doing it.

How Do You Define Investing in Collectibles?

The above question is tricky to answer in part because it depends on your definition of “collecting” and “investing.”

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Tips for Managing Your Debt Responsibly

Whenever you look for financial advice, you probably see articles that advise you to avoid debt. In fact, I’ve written a lot about that here on this site. In fact, getting out and staying out of debt is a common characteristic that is listed among those who have reached millionaire status.

With that being said, it is becoming increasingly difficult – if not impossible for some – to get a college education or buy a house without borrowing money. College tuition continues to escalate, putting the funding of it out of reach for those families who did not start saving early enough. So many turn to the federal student loan program to fund part or all of their college education. 

Additionally, many see renting as “throwing away money.” I’m not one that subscribes to that. There are times when renting is the wisest choice. But it’s a hard mental hurdle to overcome. A mortgage where you can have a forced savings plan by paying yourself each month through the reduction of the principal, seems like the best course of action.

In many people’s eyes, the two types of debt listed above are considered “good debt.” In other words, they are the type of debt that can lead to further benefits down the road. Let’s explore that concept some more. And let’s look at some tips that can help you know when it might not be such a bad idea to borrow and how to manage the debt that you have.

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Why Millennials Are The Best Renters and How Landlords Can Attract Them

The number of people renting properties instead of buying them is still at a historically high level. Increasing house prices and stagnating wages make it more difficult to put together the necessary down payment. That down payment is important if you are looking to avoid extra costs of homeownership like mortgage insurance.

This leave many people in a position it makes the most sense to rent. And as a property investors, that is good news for you. It provides an excellent opportunity to make money as a landlord because it’s easier than ever to find tenants. 

making a bedOf all the age demographics, millennials (defined as young adults between 25 and 40 years old)  are the group most likely to live in a rental property right now. They are also set to become the largest living generation in a matter of years, so if you are investing in a rental property, they are your target market.

Unfortunately, a lot of landlords do not realize this. When they are buying and renovating properties, they don’t take specific steps to attract millennials. So, if you want to maximize your profits and reduce any issues with tenant turnover, these are the best ways to attract millennials. 

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The Easy and Hard Parts to Becoming a Millionaire by Age 65

Would you feel financially secure if you became a millionaire? I’d say most people would. A million dollar net worth provides the cushion you’d need to weather almost any financial storm. Becoming a millionaire should set your financial worries at ease.

becoming a millionaireThat doesn’t mean though, that when you reach that milestone, you can live recklessly and spend money on whatever you want. Do that and you might find yourself broke before you know it.

Nor does it necessarily mean you can stop working. A millionaire at 75 can sit back and enjoy the fruit of their labor. A millionaire at 35 still has many more years of life expenses in front of them that one million dollars may not cover entirely.

Becoming a millionaire is both easy and hard. That may seem contradictory. How can something be both easy and hard? As you can see from the following graphs, the contradictory nature of that statement can best be viewed through three variables:

time, income and choices.

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Bringing Business Agility Into Your Interactions

What is business agility? Maybe the more important question to ask is “Does your business have it?” And if not, how do you go about getting it? 

Put into simple terms, business agility is the process and ability to constantly adapt to a changing environment. Someone once said that the only thing constant in life is change. How ironic. That proves true in our personal lives as well as in the business world.

Look no closer than the pandemic of 2020. The pandemic hit businesses by surprise. It forced them to adjust rapidly to survive. According to research, over 9 in 10 organizations developed their digital strategy as a response to the global pandemic. That is a little scary – that around 90% of businesses did not have a digital strategy in place before the crisis hit.

This, in essence, is one of the most compelling reasons why business agility matters. A company that remains static is digging its own grave. 

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9 Things To Consider Before Relocating

My wife and I have moved 5 times in our adult life. Two of those moves were into and out of apartments. The three others were into and out of residential homes. Each was necessary at the time as we were entering a new stage of our lives together. 

But wow – how much work it took! Way more than we thought. From the time the thought of moving entered our minds, to the time we had finished unpacking in our new place, so much effort went into the move.

Moving into a new home will be more work and commitment than it seems. Although you may have moved before, or multiple times, each move is different. Each property requires different attention, time, money and effort. 

So before you move, it is important to weigh the pros and cons. Relocating takes many shapes and sizes, whether you are moving to a new city, across the country or to a new country altogether. It’s a big commitment and there are many things to consider. Here are just a few. 

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How Long Do Common Household Items Last?

Did you have an appliance or other household items that need repairing? We have had several big household items hit our budget over the years. The washer-dryer combo, a new refrigerator and a new stove have all needed to be replaced over the years. And who could forget the really big one – the new heating and cooling units that brought in a new air conditioning and furnace. Wow – those were really expensive!

All in all, having lived in three homes over the course of our marriage, my wife and I have had to replace the following list of items:

3 new air conditioning units, 2 new furnaces, 2 new refrigerators, a new stove, a new dishwasher, a new microwave, a new garbage disposal, 2 new water heaters, a new dryer, 2 new washing machines (bad luck here), 5 new vacuums (we buy the cheaper ones), 4 new televisions, 2 new garage doors (main and basement), 3 new lawnmowers and countless other electronic devices (computers, iDevices, clocks, etc.)

In case you didn’t know, this is the reality of owning a home. All these items will break at some point. When that occurs, you will either have to a) do without or b) replace them. So it may be helpful before you purchase to know how long these items will last.

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4 Tips to Break Out of Your Career Rut 

If you love your career, you are in a great position. That is because many people don’t. But even those who love their career may find it becoming tedious or boring at times. And if those moments extend to longer periods of time, you may be dealing with something else. So, if you sense that you’re no longer excited about your job and feel a lack of purpose with it, you might be dealing with a career rut.

career rutHow might you know this? Typical signs include complaining about your job most of the time, feeling under-stimulated at work (things are boring to you) and being apathetic and uncaring towards your responsibilities. Joint research by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Lumina Foundation, and Gallup revealed that over 50% of workers are unhappy with their jobs because they can’t find purpose in what they’re doing.

That’s not a great place for anyone to be. For most, a career is such an important part of their lifestyle and personal identity. The impact of not enjoying work, will leak out and find its way to impact other areas of your life.

Fortunately, you don’t have to remain in this situation forever. You can get yourself out and have a rewarding career. Here are some things that’ll help you break free and move on to something better. 

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7 Ways to Future-Proof Your Business

As we have seen in the last year, the future is unpredictable. You never know when a major event is going to pop up and disrupt your plans. It is something you should prepare for even if you don’t know when the event will happen. 

This is true for your personal financial life. You need to have an emergency fund in place to pay for unexpected events.

But it is also true for those who run their own business. The steps you take today will determine how well your business can face unexpected challenges.

The pandemic is a perfect example of how unforeseen challenges can disrupt the status quo. It really shook up the business world. Research is showing that 91% of businesses have adopted some form of digital strategy as a way to future-proof their business from issues like the one we just faced. This is just one way that companies need to adapt to an ever-changing world. 

So what plans have you set in place to guard your business against a drastic economic shake-up? Can your company survive in any unforeseen circumstances? If you are not sure, then consider a few of these practical and effective ways to protect your business against unforeseen situations in the future. 

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The Beginner Bitcoin Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

Within the last few years bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been in the news a lot. It’s become very fashionable to talk about these as a legitimate, new form of investing. Many people are looking at it as a way to make money and become wealthy.

But is it better than traditional investing in stocks and bonds? And should everyone be investing in these currencies? Are there issues to consider before you tackle the cryptocurrency world? 

It would be good for you to know that there are some common Bitcoin mistakes beginners tend to make. So if you are thinking about dipping your toe into the Bitcoin trading and investing world, it’s important to understand what to avoid doing. You don’t want this new venture to end in disaster.  

So, let’s look at some of the mistakes Bitcoin investors make and how you can avoid them.

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How To Take To The Open Road (And Earn Money When Doing So)

Covid-19 has caused a lot of havoc with people’s finances. You may have noticed a significant dip in your expendable income, the amount you have left over after paying your basic bills. Whether whether this is the result of reduced working hours or company cut-backs doesn’t matter. You see it and feel it in your everyday life.

There are steps you can take to combat this issue, like prioritizing your spending habits when making a budget or trying your hand at investing. However, one of the ways you probably thought of immediately was to be on the lookout for a new way in which you can earn more money. Whether you call it a side hustle or just getting a second part-time job, when a crisis hits, this is the route many people take. 

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