10 Ways To De-Stress

10 Ways To De-Stress
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Written by Harveer Singh

Life can be quite stressful and I think it is universally known that 2016 was one hell of a year no matter how you look at it. If you do not reduce your anxiety and stress, it can take its toll on your body and mind. Professionals of all fields feel it. Stress is a killer.

It is important to find ways to relax and clear your mind. So in this blog post, I am going to go over some of the tactics I use to de-stress.

Try to keep an open mind, as some of these suggestions may seem silly at first, that is until you actually need them.

 

Alleviate

  1. Work Up a Sweat: Go on long walks, to the gym, ride your bike, do an at-home workout (YouTube has good workout videos), do some stretches. The idea is to sweat out the stress.
  2. Meditation & Breathing: Breath slow and deep, close your eyes, and clear your mind.

How-To: During deep breathing exercises, close your eyes focus on your breath. Breathe in deep through your nose for 3 seconds, hold it for 2-3 seconds and exhale through your mouth slowly and repeat for a full minute. Do this whenever you can, but at least once a day.

There are some apps that go through different breathing exercises. I use the app breathe (clever name) on my iPhone.

  1. Massages: When you are stressed you sometimes tense your muscles and get stiff. This discomfort is going to work against you and stress you out more. You can also get at-home massages with the app Soothe: With the following code, you will receive $30 off your first massage: MHKON
  2. Think Positive: Stop being so negative. The more you think of negative things the more you will experience them. Even when you are feeling the worst, you have to try to think of the positive aspects of your life. Focus on what you are grateful for and picture yourself achieving your goals. Think positive and good things will start happening to you.

Distract

  1. Read a Book/Watch a Movie: Sometimes diving into a new world can get your mind off a stressful situation.
    1. Reading: Read something relevant to your business or something different altogether. Go with what you think will relax you most at the time. For good business book recommendations, check out my blog post Essential Business Reads.
    2. Audio (Audible & Podcasts): Listening to someone else’s voice can help calm you down. As far as podcasts go, there are so many different genres out there. Some of which relate to business, mystery, horror, movies, reviews, etc. My favourite non-business related podcast is the first season of Serial. The best motivational podcast I have heard is School of Greatness.
  2. Make Yourself Feel Closest To Home: Studies have shown that at times of great stress, one feels most safe when closest to “home.” Do things that relate to your youth. Things you liked to do when you were a child. Maybe go back and watch a childhood movie, play with Legos, do a puzzle, build a blanket fort, etc.
  3. Go on a weekend trip: Sometimes you just need to get away from it all. Look at local trips within a few hours driving distance. Book a hotel and just get away from it all.

Hotel Tonight: I use this app a lot. It allows you to book hotels up to a week in advance for pretty cheap! With this code, you will receive $25 off your first booking: HSINGH117

Blade: Go to the Hamptons in a helicopter. If you are a high roller/big baller, you can receive $100 off your first flight with this code: HarveerS71

Lyft & Uber: If you live under a rock and haven’t used lyft or uber before, you can use this code to get $10 off your first ride with Lyft: HARV3 and this code to get $15 off your first ride with Uberharveers7ue

  1. Cleaning & Organising: Sometimes focusing on tedious activities like cleaning and organising can help to distract you. Not to mention that a clean and organised environment can be relaxing.

Take Action

  1. Make Lists & Plan: Make lists. Today’s To Do list, This Week’s To Do List, This Month’s goals. Planning things out can seriously reduce stress. Procrastination is the killer and makes things SO MUCH worse when you are stressed and anxious. The only way to feel better at this point is to plan things out. It will make a complex situation seem simple.
  2. Get to Work: If you are procrastinating, it may just be helpful to get to work. If it is a lot of work that you need to get done that is stressing you out, pushing it off will only make it worse.

 

Alright, let’s enter 2017 relaxed and ready to rumble!

 

Mentioned Apps & Promotional Codes:

Audible: Look up their current promotions. They usually give the first month free.

Blade: Receive $100 off your first flight: HarveerS71

Breathe: This free app will help you meditate and focus on your breathing.

Hotel Tonight: Receive $25 off your first booking: HSINGH117

Lyft: Get $10 off your first ride: HARV3

Soothe: Receive $30 off your first massage: MHKON

Uber: Get $15 off your first ride: harveers7ue

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How to Calculate Your Net Worth

How to Calculate Your Net Worth
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What am I worth!? No, I am not talking philosophically, I am talking mathematically. I figured this would be an interesting post because it is so easy to calculate and it is always good to know how you are doing financially.

An individual’s Net Worth is their current economic position. Basically all of the assets you own minus all of the liabilities on your head. Sounds simple enough right? Let’s jump right in. I’ll make it even simpler by giving you an example with MADE UP numbers.

 

screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-1-13-41-pmNote: This is just an example. There may be other line items that I am missing. The idea is to have your assets subtracted by your liabilities.

 

Notice that I did not add Salary. This is because your Net Worth calculates what you already/currently have and not what you may have in the future.

If after calculating you end up with a negative number, don’t worry, it doesn’t mean you are worthless (you guys are all invaluable to me)! This usually means you may be young with a significant amount of student loans or perhaps you have a lot of credit card (or other forms of) debt. Over time, as you pay them down your net worth will increase.

You can usually find Net Worth calculators online where you can just fill in the blanks with your numbers.

Hope you enjoyed this post. Until next time…

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You’ll get our newsletter containing additional information about how to better your Startup business in areas like Managment, Marketing, Finance, Funding, Time-Management, Leadership and more. We are here to help!

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Calculating the ROI of a Rental Property

Calculating the ROI of a Rental Property
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Along with the management consulting and social media work, I also invest in residential rental properties. It is important to know how to calculate if a property will be profitable and what the return on investment (ROI) will be. The first thing you should know is if you are Value or Cash Flow investing.

Value Investing is when the primary purpose of purchasing a property is to hold it with the hope that the value of the property will increase. Purchasing a property in a high growth area for $100k and selling it a few years later for $500k would be an example of this. With these properties, it is okay to just break even with rental income.

Cash Flow Investing is when the primary purpose of purchasing the property is to make money through rental income. All costs considered, your rental income should be high enough that you can consider it income.

Of course, the ideal case would be that you find a property that falls within both parameters. That can be hard depending on where you are located and how much capital you have.

For the purpose of this post, we will be focusing on Cash Flow Investing.

Now let’s get into calculating if a property is profitable if you are financing the property.

Firstly, let’s go over all of the costs that you have to consider initially and then on an ongoing monthly basis of owning a rental property.

Out of Pocket Cost:

Initially, you would have to consider how much money you have to put down to purchase the property. Usually, it can be anywhere from 5-20% depending on your credit and the type of property. Let’s say you are purchasing a property that is worth $150,000 and have to put down 20% ($30,000). You also have to consider closing costs. For this example, closing costs are $10,000 for calculation purposes. Another cost that you usually have to pay that most people don’t consider is the following year’s property taxes. Say that property taxes for this property are $10,000 per year.

In total, the initial cost of purchasing this property will be $50,000. Meaning you will need this cash on hand right off the bat to purchase this property.

EDIT: I forgot to add Inspection costs. I have seen them range from $500-$2,000 depending on the property size and location. For this blog post, I will keep the math the same, but be aware that it is usually mandatory to have an inspection done.

Ongoing costs:

Now it is time to calculate what your costs will be on a monthly basis. Continuing with the example from above, we will have to finance $120,000. People usually pick between financing over 15 or 30 years. We will finance over 30 years here. For investment properties, the interest rate is around 7% or 8%. We will use 8% to be conservative. You can use many online tools to calculate your monthly mortgage costs. Google search Mortgage calculator.

The monthly mortgage cost alone will be $880.52 per month on the $120,000 over 30 years at an 8% interest rate.

Next, you will have to also factor in the property taxes for the next year into your calculation as well as a Landlord Insurance Policy. Our property taxes for this property is $10,000 and let’s say the insurance policy is $2,000 per year.

The total monthly cost of this property is $1,880.52.

Other hidden costs to consider:

-In some cases, if you put less than 20% down you will be charged what is called PMI. PMI stands for Private Mortgage Insurance and you will have to add this to the monthly mortgage cost if needed. I have seen it being anywhere between $150-$300 per month.

Common Charges: Some properties charge common charges to maintain the property (cutting the grass, snow removal, pools, etc.). These costs will also need to be considered on a monthly basis. The price of common charges really depends on the type of property and where it is located.

Is it profitable for Cash Flow Investing:

Now its time to do some research on the average rental costs in the area. Look on Zillow and other sites like it to see what the rental prices are for properties on the same block/building and in nearby locations.

If the average rental is $2,400 in the area, this may be a good Cash Flow property.

If it is $1,900 or below, I would not consider it for cash flow.

I usually only choose properties that can generate a monthly return of $600 or more, but it is based on personal preference.

Calculating simple ROI:

For rental properties that you have financed, it is good to calculate your return on investment.

For the purposes of this example, our monthly cash flow from the property is $500 per month (rental income minus ongoing monthly charges). This would result in an annual return of $6,000 ($500 x 12 months) from rental income after all costs.

If the out of pocket cost (initial cost) of purchasing the property is still $50,000, our ROI will be calculated as follows:

$6,000 (annual cash flow) ÷ $50,000 = 12% ROI

This formula can get very complex as some people use an amortization table to also factor in the principal (mortgage) paydown. I would say that a 12% simple ROI is very good. It would take roughly 8 years to break even on your initial investment ($50k/$6k).

I would also suggest reading the book HOLD: How to find, buy and, rent houses for wealth by Steve Chader if you are considering residential real estate investments.

You can also find other great books to read in one of my older posts called Essential Business Reads.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post. More will be coming soon! Until next time…

 

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Startup Dictionary: Words & Phrases You Need To Know

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In this post, I will go over essential terminology in the start-up world. These are words and phrases that I often hear when dealing with my clients and entrepreneurs. If you want to be able to intelligently follow a conversation in this world, make sure you enhance your vocabulary. This is the newest FBS blog post, “The Start-up Dictionary.”

 

Accredited Investor – It is often required of private companies to take investments only from those who qualify as “accredited investors.” These investors are generally high-net-worth individuals who have the access and ability to invest in higher risk investments such as Venture Capital, Hedge Funds, and Angel Investments. To qualify as an Accredited Investor in the United States, one must have a net worth of at least $1 Million (excluding the value of their primary residence) or have income of at least $200,000 each year for the last two years (or $300,000 combined if married) and be expected to make the same or more in the current year.

 

 

Angel Investor – An angel investor is an individual who provides financial capital to startups and entrepreneurs, usually in exchange for convertible debt or equity. These investors are often among the business owner’s family and friends.

 

 

Boot Strapping – Boot strapping describes when an entrepreneur starts a company with very little capital. The founder(s) usually use their own money or revenues to get the company going.

 

Burn Rate – This is the rate at which a company spends its money. It is important to know this number for budgeting and investment purposes. Knowing how much capital a company has and how fast it will disappear is essential knowledge for an investor or company management.

 

 

Churn Rate – The percentage of subscribers of a service or application who unsubscribe from that service during a given time period is the churn rate. It is important to know because your new subscribers must exceed the churn rate in order to continue growth.

 

Crowdfunding – This is an alternative way to raise money (without going through a PPM or other offering document). The people who are donating to the cause do not need to be accredited because they are not purchasing ownership shares. Using websites like Kickstarter, Gofundme, Crowdfunder, etc. business owners can raise small amounts of money from a large pool of people.

 

MAU (Monthly Active Users) – The MAU is used as a performance measure to see how many unique users visit an app during a given time period (usually 30 days). This helps determine the value of the company, website, app, etc. As long as your user growth is higher than your churn rate, you have a good product.

 

MVP (Minimum Viable Product) – The MVP refers to building a product with the least amount of effort that can also return customer value.

 

PPM (Private Placement Memorandum) – A PPM is a legal document used to sell debt or equity of a private company. In this document, you will find the business summary, risks & terms of the investment, financial position of the company, management biographies, and other information. It may also be referred to as an “Offering Memorandum” or “Offering Document.”

 

Seed Funding/Capital – This is usually the initial capital that is raised for a company (although there may be pre-seed rounds of funding as well). These funds usually come from the founders of the company, their friends, and/or family. These funds are offered in a form of a securities offering for an equity stake in the company.

Note: I have often seen the mistake of new companies taking in seed money outside of a securities/offering agreement. It is highly recommended to not do so in this manner for various reasons, one being that the terms may be unclear causing issues in the future.

 

 

Seed, Series A, Series B, etc. – These are the differentiators between funding rounds. The names are often seen as arbitrary, but they are used to differentiate the rounds of funding. Seed being the first, Series A second, and so on. Sometimes they are used in differentiating what type of money is being raised. For example, Series A can be to expand, B to grow revenue, C to grow users, etc.

 

Shoe String Budget – I know, what’s up with all the footwear lingo? Well, this refers to when someone is stretching a budget (aka using less money than is required).

Sweat Equity – This is when a party contributes effort and time to a company instead of capital. Start-ups will sometimes use this model when it is on a “shoestring budget” or is “bootstrapping” (Oh yeah, I just used them in a sentence). The owner will often pay with stock or stock options instead of capital for work done.

 

Term Sheet – This document outlines the basic terms and conditions of which an investment is made. It is usually a non-binding agreement that is used as a template to develop a detailed binding agreement that will be created later. It usually states what type of equity, debt or convertible notes (as well as what equity rates are received when converted)  are involved.

 

Value Prop (Proposition) – A value prop identifies why a consumer should buy one product or service over another and how your product uniquely creates value.

 Knowledge: Nolo.com, Investopedia.com, Forbes.com, Fundable.com, Techopedia.com, & Personal Knowledge

Images: funderbuilt.com (accredited image), wsj.com (angel investor image), businessinsider.com (burn rate image), causevox.com (crowdfunding image), wired.co.uk (seed funding image), virtue-marketing.com (shoestring budget image).