Written by H.J. Chammas on March 29, 2021
When it comes to investing, there are three guiding principles, if followed carefully, you're set up for success:
1- Free is not necessarily a good thing;
2- Free advice is the most expensive advice; and
3- Don't invest in something you don't understand.
There has been a sudden surge in the number of online investing accounts being opened in the past year, driven by brokers not charging clients any commission. This was like an open invitation for many to jump on the ship with no idea where they're going. The fact there is no cost for trading online on those platforms Keep reading >
Written by H.J. Chammas on March 22, 2021
Since the 2008 global recession and with the pandemic hitting the globe in 2020, most governments are offering economic support programs to bring the economy back on its feet. This has resulted in record-low interest rates, which might make buying a house seem like a good idea. When asking yourself 'Should I buy a house now?', run the numbers to see if the time is right.
The pandemic is still having a negative effect on most businesses, and we're still witnessing many companies restructuring to manage their overheads. With millions of people out of work, why is the housing market hotter than it’s been in years?
We've seen a recent increase in the sales price of properties across most major cities like Dubai, the UK, Singapore, and the US since December 2020, but why? Keep reading
Written by H.J. Chammas on March 15, 2021
It's true, what you feed your mind becomes your reality.
It has been scientifically proven that our mindset is a critical component of success in business, sports, and life. Psychologists at Stanford have concluded through research that children who have a growth mindset are better able to overcome academic challenges than those who have a fixed mindset. Other researches on adults also revealed that those with more positive beliefs around aging lived 7.5 years longer than those with less positive self-perceptions of aging.
When it comes to financial success and success in business, ... Keep reading
Written by H.J. Chammas on March 8, 2021
One of the coaches who left a big impact on my life, Stewart Black, once asked a team of executives: “What is your dash?”
Sitting on the table, we all looked at each other with an exclamation mark drawn on our forehead. I thought it was a trick question.
When he saw me a bit confused between answering him and being hesitant to look stupid, he paused for a few seconds to allow me some time to think and then gave me a hint to imagine what might be written on the tombstone of a person who died.
I immediately made the correlation that he meant the dash that separates the date of birth and date of death of a person, which is the time a person spends alive on earth.
He asked me again: “What is your dash? When your eulogy is read, would you be proud of the things they will say about you and about how you spent your years from birth till death?”
Then he addressed everyone around him at the table and... Keep reading
Written by H.J. Chammas on March 1, 2021
It seems like almost everyone in our circles of friends and colleagues is into bitcoins, even though they don't understand what they're getting themselves into nor the high risk of investing in digital currencies.
When they read how other investors were able to make thousands of dollars in a few days, during 2017, with the help of cryptocurrencies, they jumped on the wagon when the ride going up is smooth.
Only time will tell whether the ride is still going up or if Bitcoin investors need to brace themselves for a downward ride at a speed that might make it derail and throw everyone out! Keep reading
Written by H.J. Chammas on February 22, 2021
Need advice and mentorship for your next career step, investment, or entrepreneurial start-up?
Make sure you follow the steps of someone who’s been there, done that.
We’re living in one of the most blessed times in our entire human history. We have the freedom to completely study anything we want, where we want, and whenever we want with... Keep reading
Written by H.J. Chammas on February 15, 2021
Most homebuyers require a mortgage to finance the purchase of their home. However, for some, the traditional route of homeownership may not be an option, since they might not qualify for such home loans due to their bad credit or insufficient capital to pay for the down payment.
Written by H.J. Chammas on February 8, 2021
COVID-19 has shaken the world and changed the way we live, breathe, socialize, do business, and even our personal finances. We have witnessed illnesses, deaths, and thousands of businesses either downsizing or closing, hundreds of thousands of people losing jobs, and prices of some asset classes plummeting. While at the same time, other asset classes, such as rental property, were not seriously affected and we producing steady rental income to their investors.
So how do the next 18 months look based on the facts?... Keep reading
Written by H.J. Chammas on February 1, 2021
Before we dive in, I would like to ask you a question, "Are you grateful?"
Almost every one of us, deep in our heart, will respond, “Yes! I’m very grateful for everything God has done for me!”
I would like to ask you to reflect on your answer if my question is tweaked, “Are you still as grateful in the tough times?”
I bet you will take some time to really think about that question. After some soul search, many might respond... Keep reading
Written by H.J. Chammas on January 25, 2021
Everyone can make money, but most will not keep it and never grow it due to their lack of control over their personal finance.
Managing one's personal finance boils down to being in control of how the money is flowing (the cashflow) and how the money is being put to work hard to grow one's wealth (the net worth).
The process is basic, but since it's never taught at schools, most of us think of personal finance as an overwhelming chore that we can never master, and hence we lose control of cash flow and never save enough to invest to grow our wealth. Keep reading...
Written by H.J. Chammas on January 18, 2021
Whenever you apply for a loan to finance your rental property investment, any lender needs to approve both you and the property before the loan is released.
This means lenders are required to make sure you are eligible for a loan before they even evaluate any property. So it makes sense to sort out the first half of that equation by getting yourself prequalified for a loan. Keep reading...
Written by H.J. Chammas on January 11, 2021
Have you ever thought about how long does it take to double your money?
We all are programmed to graduate from school and work hard for the money so that we can save some money that looks after us when we retire. Schools never taught us the topic of personal finance; and therefore, most people end up saving their money (if they could), thinking it's the wisest investment ever. Little did they know that saving their money makes their wealth idle, and at best keeps up with inflation. Read more...
Written by H.J. Chammas on January 4, 2021
Did you ever hear of the Crab Mentality? This idea of the crab mentality is best explained by the phrase: "if I can't have it, neither can you".
The comparison is derived from a pattern of behavior observed in crabs when they are trapped in a bucket. So, while anyone crab could easily escape, its efforts will be weakened by others that are pulling it down - ensuring the group's collective failure. Read more...
Written by H.J. Chammas on December 22, 2020
Do you want to accumulate wealth and achieve financial freedom? Do you want to know how to avoid ever going broke? It all depends on your money mindset!
The truth is everyone struggles with one financial challenge or the other. Regardless of how little you earn or how huge your income is, no one is above a financial challenge. The way you train your mind to react to a financial situation is very significant. Read more...
Written by H.J. Chammas on December 14, 2020
Before you can start the process of building wealth, you need to have a very clear picture of where you are financially, right now. To determine this, you will need to understand some basic financial calculations and assessments.
As you begin to build your investment portfolio or your business, financing will be a crucial enabler to getting you started. Any bank or financial institution makes money by lending money and earning interest on this money. Read more...
Written by H.J. Chammas on December 13, 2020
Almost every one of us has heard stories from our parents or other senior family members about how their home is now worth five times more than the original purchase price from fifteen years back. Without using any technical jargon, they are simply referring to price appreciation, which is the increase in the value of an asset over time.
That kind of stories gave insights to property developers and their real estate agents to push the sales of their properties with the promise of capital gain - which is another technical jargon used to describe the rise in the value of an asset (such as real estate) that gives it a higher worth than the purchase price. Read more...
Written by H.J. Chammas on December 1, 2020
Real estate is generally considered one of the most stable and tangible assets. If done properly, real estate investing could be the most effective and reliable way to generate income. Sophisticated investors diversify their portfolio with cash flowing real estate to benefit from rental income, tax advantages, leverage, and appreciation.
Although this is common knowledge, very few do get into real estate, and from those who take the step, not everyone becomes successful. There are numerous reasons for this; however, much of it boils down to a lack of education on the secrets and hacks within this niche. Read more...
Written by H.J. Chammas on November 9, 2020
In any asset class, investors diversify their risk in their investment portfolio by not having all of their funds in a few picks. In a stock portfolio, diversification is achieved by owning many different stocks in different industries that are not correlated.
When it comes to real estate, this is often a challenge! In the conventional way of investing in the property market, an investor needs to have his skin in the game, which is translated into a large downpayment of 20% of the property price. Read more...
Written by H.J. Chammas on September 28, 2020
In their quest to build wealth, any person needs to acquire assets that pay them unearned income (or passive income) as long as they hold or control those assets. The golden question is which asset class will be the best income-producing asset?
Your mind might be wondering right now whether paper assets (in the form of stocks, bonds, or mutual funds) will outperform real estate. Let’s examine the different asset classes by comparing them from different angles, which are: Read more...
Written by H.J. Chammas on September 1, 2020
Real Estate Investment can be intimidating to newbie investors. Most wannabe investors become anxious about the idea of investing in real estate due to the high initial capital required for a down payment, as well as the complexity of managing a rental property from both sides: property operations and tenants management.
Those are on top of the list motives for investors to become Passive Investors and invest in property syndication where an experienced real estate investor would finance, purchase, rent, and manage rental properties on behalf of the investors for equity in the property and a cut from the returns. Read more...
Written by H.J. Chammas on August 30, 2020
Smart real estate investments can be quite lucrative and build your wealth. The keywords here are "smart" and "wealth".
There have been creative and "smart" strategies, being adopted by many real estate investors, that have made them profit and increased their net worth, but did not necessarily build their "wealth". Please take a moment and reflect on this statement! Read more...
Written by H.J. Chammas on August 20, 2020
Regardless of your level of experience in real estate, weathering a financial downturn can be a challenging task. As an investor in rental properties, you will need to protect the positive cash flow from the rent by keeping the rent steadily coming in, while controlling your operational expenses.
During economic downturns, like the one the world faced with the COVID-19 epidemic, cash money becomes scarce and the pool of buyers dwindles. This decrease in demand brings the price of real estate down a roller coaster. This is when you start reading and hearing about the term "distressed sale" in your community. Read more...
Written by H.J. Chammas on August 18, 2020
Investing is a vital approach to begin your journey to financial independence. Not everyone with a nine-to-five job can earn the type of salary that would make them rich. So, you may need to get an extra source of income, which is where real estate investments come in handy. Real estate investing is uncharted territory with great returns.
Smart real estate investments can be quite lucrative and increase your net worth. A survey indicated that real estate accounts for about 60% of the global mainstream assets, and adds considerably to the overall national, commercial, and individual wealth. You can reap huge rewards without necessarily buying properties. Read more...
Written by H.J. Chammas on August 7, 2020
“Diversify your investments” is the most common advice offered by financial advisors.
Why do you think Warren Buffet believes otherwise when he said “Diversification is a protection against ignorance”? Read more...
Written by H.J. Chammas on July 22, 2020
Interest in real estate investing has never been stronger. More and more people are catching on to the amazing benefits of this lucrative investment. However, it also comes with some risks, especially if you don't know what you're doing.
You don't just buy any property (with no clear set of criteria), without proper financing, and then sit and pray for money to roll in!
It's important that any starting investor understands what makes a good rental property, how to find it, and how to make a profit going in. If you aren’t equipped with the right knowledge and process, you can easily lose your time and money on mistakes that could have been easily avoided.
In this article, we’ll cover 5 of the most common pitfalls that real estate investors fall into and how to avoid them. Read more...
Written by H.J. Chammas on July 10, 2020
Don’t you just wonder what it would be like to have enough:
Time to spend it with your family, beloved ones, and friends, or just travel the world?
Money to buy what you want when you need it?
Choices in life to stay in a job or career that fulfills you or just leave a boring nine-to-five job that you dread?
Well, you are not alone in this. One thing we all have in common is our desire to be financially independent, but the most important is your... Read more...
Written by H.J. Chammas on July 3, 2020
When purchasing rental property for investment purposes, there are two schools of thought. Most investors would benefit from leverage and would opt to purchase properties through a mortgage loan; whereas, some other investors still prefer to purchase their investment property on an all-cash basis.
For those investors who would choose to finance their rental property purchases through a mortgage or a loan, not all of them would prefer the highest possible loan to value (LTV) so that they pay as little from their own capital. There are many investors who would prefer a 50% LTV over the standard 75 - 80% LTV or the maximum LTV of 100%. Read more...
Written by H.J. Chammas on June 28, 2020
Since I was a kid, I always wanted to become rich when I grow old. At that time of my life, I never had a strong enough “why” that made me move toward something I wanted in life. In fact, my “why” was just a fearful one of ending up like my parents who were often fighting about money.
After twenty years of being an employee, I would have been broke any day I left my job. What a pity! I was navigating through life from one paycheck to the other without any big why that would act like my life’s purpose.
It took me quite a long time for my “Big Why” to start taking shape in front of my eyes. At that time, I was in... Read more...
Written by H.J. Chammas on June 12, 2020
Early in their investment career, starting real estate investors often get excited and start searching for properties to invest in. Although those investors could have a certain degree of clarity on the investment criteria for the property in question, many fail to have a clear budget in mind.
Not having a budget in mind would definitely send a message to the real estate agents (helping on the property search) that the investor is either not clear on what they want or are not really serious.
Below is a summary of the major advantages of securing a loan pre-approval: Read more...
Written by H.J. Chammas on March 5, 2020
It is true that investment requires some education and research on the part of the investor. Warren Buffet recommended that investors never invest in a business they cannot understand. He also added, “What counts for most people in investing is not how much they know, but rather how realistically they define what they don’t know.”
In other words, investing in what you don’t know or understand cannot be classified as investing. Actually, investing in something you do not understand is pretty much like gambling. Read more...
Written by H.J. Chammas on April 8, 2019
Wise investors invest with clear criteria and plan for worst-case scenarios. Once they are in the game, whenever opportunities present themselves, they will act upon them and achieve high returns.
For an outsider, the image is totally different. People hold the mistaken belief that successful investors really can time the market. They do not understand that those investors were already in the market and then took advantage of opportunities. Read more...
Written by H.J. Chammas on November 17, 2018
Among my friends and employees whom I interviewed to understand their views on investment, the majority believe that investment is complicated and risky. They eventually end up depending on their earned income and then wake up one day when their income goes lower or when they see themselves out of a job.
To me, this is risky. Actually, it is riskier to keep on depending on your job until you face the reality of diminishing income or losing all your earned income later in your life. Read more...
Written by H.J. Chammas on October 30, 2018
Indeed, it takes money to make money, but who said it has to be your money? In an earlier article, I have shared one of the best lessons my mentor, Papa Joe, ever taught me: “The road to wealth is good debt”. Check out this article, it has explained in depth the principles of borrowing and leverage to create wealth.
The reality is a large amount of money is required for investment in assets such as rental properties. Most of us do limit our own selves with thoughts such as: "I can never save that amount of money!" ... So, we end up spending our hard-earned money on discretionary expenses. Read more...
Written by H.J. Chammas on September 8, 2018
Most responsible and caring parents advise their newly graduating adult children who are about to join the workforce and build their careers to make sure they save their hard-earned money in long-term savings plans that generate some kind of interest.
Our parents’ advice is sound, but it can never lead to wealth if the saved money is never put to hard work by having it invested in income-producing assets that generate unearned income and build wealth. Read more...
Written by H.J. Chammas on May 23, 2018
When looking for rental properties, investors ask themselves the question: "what am I looking for?
Location is the first criterion that allows the decision-making to be focused. It allows the search for investment properties to be narrowed down to a certain geographic area. Zooming in on a specific location allows the investor to become an expert in this area by becoming specialized in a certain city or community. This empowers the investor to better understand the factors that determine local property values and rental rates. An important lesson I learned from my mentor: Location determines the price of a property, all other things being equal. Read more...
Written by H.J. Chammas on May 4, 2018
During my five-year assignment in the Philippines, I met a Lebanese-American businessman who lived most of his life in Asia, between China and the Philippines. He was in the business of producing clothes and garments in China and the Philippines and exporting them to the US. He was also a landlord to many residential and commercial properties in the Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, UK, and the US. He was well connected in the Philippines to influential people. His employees and business partners treated him and respected him as a father figure. He became my personal coach and mentor and helped me change my financial life and achieve financial freedom.
In one of our many coaching sessions, he wanted to share with me one of the biggest secrets about good debt. With a loud and assertive voice, he said: “You will become at least as rich as the amount of good debt you take in your life.” My brain started racing while trying to figure out what he meant. He explained that if I want to receive $1 million in the future, I need to borrow $1 million in good debt. Read more...