General site information.
In the past I’ve written about what you would do if you had $100k to invest online. The answers in comments as well as the emails I received were really interesting.
Today I want to discuss (please leave a comment about your opinion) what to do with liquid savings. If you’re not funding your Roth IRA, 401k, and other retirement plans, those are always great for tax deference. But what do you do with your emergency fund?
People are much more careful with their money these days than ever before. The recession that started in the United States and expanded across the world has made conservatives of even the most speculative of investors.
However, there are still some tried and true methods for saving expendable income so that it can work for you in the long run. Below are just a few of the many ways in which you can continue to create more wealth for yourself even in the midst of a recessionary economy.
As fixed interest accounts go, savings accounts are the norm. However, there are many different types of savings accounts that you can invest in. There are variable interest savings accounts, high interest savings accounts and many others. The more expendable income that you have, the more options are open to you.
The trick with savings accounts is to find the ones that have interest rates that will outpace inflation. As long as you can overcome the detrimental effects of naturally rising prices, you can make money with a savings account.
Certificates of Deposit
Certificates of deposit, or CDs for short, are perhaps the most well known of the long term accounts. They are certainly safe, as most of them are protected by federal law.
CDs are a great way to save if you have less than perfect discipline. There are many penalties that an investor must incur if money is taken from a CD prematurely; most of these fees are not worth the early withdrawal.
As with savings accounts, CDs are also of a heterogeneous nature. There are many different types of CDs, including variable rate CDs and CDs in which you can deposit more than one time. CDs also pay higher interest rates the more money that you initially deposit into them. Look over your personal finances as they relate to the macroeconomic conditions of the world and choose the best option for yourself.
Government treasuries are by definition the safest investment that can be made at any point in time. These are investments that are wholly backed by the full faith of the United States government, and the interest rates on the treasuries are what set the rate for all other investments.
Invest in government treasuries if you cannot find any other investment that suits you. They are a great place to hold your money until you can think of a better place to put it.
Qualified Wealth Advisors
Finding the right wealth advisor can net you more profit than any of the above investments. The right wealth advisors will be able to diversify your portfolio with further research and a more practiced eye. As with all advisors, you still need to make your own choices.
This was a guest contribution by business professional and journalist Rebecca Leeb. Rebecca has a wide range of professional niches including, business, marketing, legal matters and real estate. For more of Rebecca’s work and professional opinions visit New Wealth Advisors Club.
Brandon’s Note: I first started writing this post April 22, 2007. It’s been 4 years in the making…For everything that has changed, I’ll put a “2011 change:” so you can see progress from 2007 till now.
Death isn’t something anyone likes to talk about, but is something we must all plan for. So I ask you, what happens to all of your websites when you die?
What happens to the income and value of your websites and domains?
My wife and I are having our first child in less than 3 weeks (2011 change: My daughter will be 4 years old this week). I have life insurance so they’ll be taken care of, but what happens to my websites? What happens to the income that I make every month through my business, Adsense, Amazon, Azoogle, ShareASale, etc?
I currently have almost 100 websites (2011 change: over 350 sites now!), about 30 (2011 change: now about 100) of them make money every month. Some make money every quarter, and almost all of them make something yearly.
If I do nothing, my income will slow down, my wife will still receive checks (or deposits) for some future months, but eventually my domains will expire, my landing pages will become outdated and the link codes for my affiliates will change. Then the money will be gone, and someone will pick up some sweet domains when they expire.
You’ve put in thousands of hours into your web sites and now, nothing. Horrible right?
There are a few things you can do to stop this from happening, I do all of them to some extent:
1. Trust a friend with your account info.
If you have a friend in the business, he/she would be a great asset in your planning. I have such a friend. This friend isn’t as experienced as I am, but would be able to renew my domains and hopefully either keep them going or sell them off for what they are worth. Either way, my wife doesn’t lose out on all my hard work.
I have encouraged my friend to sell all of my websites one by one on at various places like such as Flippa, forums, or a brokering service. I have made it very clear that selling one by one will take a lot of time, but will also bring in a lot more money than a bulk sale will. If he were to try to sell all of the sites as a group, the amount of people with that much money would hinder the total amount of the sale.
This plan could very easily backfire on you.. Remember, your friend has access to your FTP, affiliate accounts, maybe even bank accounts. A lot of power. The only way to now remove this power is to change all of your passwords. For me, changing all of my passwords would take a long time.
There is one way to avoid this however, tell your friend you have a file or printout physically located in your house or safe deposit box in the event of your unexpected death. Then he can get the file that has everything he will need. This will give him access to all of your accounts, but only after your death.
2. Write down everything and hope your spouse can remember what to do.
This is something else that I have done. I’ve written down all of my account info including passwords, direct deposit information and how the accounts should be managed. My wife however won’t be able to change anything on my websites, she just doesn’t know how. So even though she has this information the income will dwindle if this is my only after-death strategy.
The other option in this strategy is to create very detailed plans of what to do with your website(s) and clearly write down how to accomplish these things.
For me, I would write something like, “Open Cyberduck FTP. It is the little yellow duck in the dock at the bottom of the screen.” With instructions like this, my wife would be able to follow along. However, writing these instructions down would take a long time, and I doubt my wife would want to maintain my websites.
3. Sell everything now for market value.
I know you didn’t build your website portfolio just to sell it now. You plan to keep it, make more money from it, and maybe someday sell it to Yahoo! (2001 note: Google’s probably the better buyer now) for a million bucks. Isn’t that everyone’s exit strategy?
Using this method you might be able to sell your websites and just keep a limited amount of “inventory” on hand. Then, if you die unexpectedly you have less income to worry about and already have money in the bank from the sales of most of your portfolio. I have contemplated this idea. Should I sell 75 of my websites and just keep a portion of them? Should I sell 99 and just keep one?
If you go this route, your after-death losses will be minimal, but your future potential will also be seriously hindered. There is an increasing amount of value in domains and websites that are old. As Jim Boykin says, “I like ’em old.” If you don’t consider the value of your domain age, you’re losing money on every sale.
Obviously these are not the only methods that you can use to play for your untimely death, but hopefully they’ll get you thinking about that unfortunate day and planning ahead for the sake of those you care about.
2011 change: There are now a few companies that provide a service for distributing your information after your untimely death. A few of the popular ones are Entrustet, DataInherit, and AssetLock. This will not help with handling your website business, but will distribute the information to the correct people.
Do you have any additional ways to plan for that unfortunate day? Would you be interested in a service that handled your websites after your death?
Twitter has become one of the most common ways I find people, services and even support. With Twitter, you can create a strong brand, or you can weaken your existing brand.
Let me give you two unnamed examples. Example 1 is a SEO that sells SEO services. I have no doubt that he is great at what he does, but when I view his twitter stream, it’s full of tweets about getting drunk, having random sex and not remembering much of every weekend.
Example 2 is a friend of Example 1, I know this because Example 1 frequently references Example 2 in his drunken tweets talking about where they are going and what they are doing. However, Example 2 never tweets about anything inappropriate.
If you were going to hire someone, aren’t you going to do a little research? For both men, their Twitter account ranks #2 or #3 behind their blogs and company websites. Googling someone’s name is the first thing I do to find out about them. When I find Example 1’s twitter stream am I going to hire him? Definitely not. Even though Example 2 is partying with Example 1, I don’t have any clue because his stream is professional (with occasional personal tweets).
What does your Twitter stream say about you?