Can You Retire Earlier By Investing In Real Estate?

There is an old saying in real estate that has been around for decades: “Buy land! They’re not making it anymore!” Well, many folks reading this article can probably relate to “missed opportunities” like real estate deals that never materialized or recalling what a family member said about stock market investment that was never jumped on.

All that said, here is a short primer on things you need to know when making an investment on retail property like a business and what is required when buying a home to rent out, so you won’t regret it five years from now.

First, let’s talk about residential real estate investments. According to Than Merrill, CEO of the real estate investment/education company Fortunebuilders, “Real estate investing is a wonderful asset as an investor. (It) offers a magnitude of strategies for those with insufficient retirement savings, including the ability to provide future retirees with short and long-term advantages, whether approaching retirement age, behind on savings or looking to retire early.”

There is a process you need to follow if you want your future home search and purchase to go smoothly, and here’s a few tips:

Common Sense Real Estate Investment Advice

  • If you can’t pay cash, arrange your financing first so you will know what you can afford. Then get loan approval from a lender.
  • Real estate agents/brokers can be helpful, but be selective on who you hire. Some are better than others and make sure they are state licensed.
  • Make sure you have a complete inspection on the home by a professional inspector.
  • Make a “fair” offer on the property regardless of what the agent or current homeowner says.

How To Buy A Retail Business Investment

  • Have a business plan that is thorough and ready to go way before you buy.
  • Never purchase any type of retail business that’s away from where the “action is” unless the investment is of the “industrial” type.
  • Don’t locate your business investment within a mile of any strong competitor.

How To Buy A Rental Investment
A rental investment could be a condo, apartment, four units, or a new manufactured home in a rental park for seniors.

  • Once again, if you can’t pay cash, get pre-approved from your bank or other lender. If you have to borrow all the funds and have a credit history that is at or below the 650 mark, you may want to rethink your investment goals.
  • Make sure the location is in a “rental area” and not out by an airport or bad part of town. Verify what units are renting for.
  • Read up on rental investment tips from professionals and keep learning!


Fracking to Provide Energy to Consumers

Fracking refers to hydraulic fracturing, a drilling type that has been in use for about 65 years now. Basically, Hydraulic fracturing involves drilling downwards while gradually turning horizontally. While using this method of drilling, mining companies can drill multiple wells in a single site. Once the wells have been drilled, they are cased and cemented.
Tiny perforations are then made along the horizontal section of the well pipe. A mixture of sand and water, along with other additives is then pumped through these perforations at high pressure. This high pressure creates micro-fractures within the tight rock formations and the sand holds the new openings. The application of Fracking by companies across the globe may be attributed to the many benefits it has to offer, some of which are discussed below.
Economic Benefits of Fracking
The use of new technology in hydraulic fracturing has had a direct economic impact. For instance, it has increased gas and oil production considerably. The natural gas from shale gas wells in the USA in 2011 was worth about $36 billion, at the rate of $4.24 per thousand cubic feet. This increased production and value of oil and natural gas has also created employment opportunities for more people within the production and delivery processes.
According to information by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the oil and gas mining sector employed 267,000 people in 1980. This figure declined in over the two decades that followed as a result of reduced oil production in the country. However, the number of people employed by this industry has been increasing steadily since 2003. This increased production has also enhanced the energy trade balance involving the USA and other countries.
Other Benefits Associated with Fracking
In addition to the economic benefits offered by this mining method, it has also had an impact on other industries as well. One of the industries that has benefited from the use of hydraulic fracturing in the USA is the energy industry. Based on data released by EIA, the use of natural gas in the country has increased drastically to 24.757 quadrillion Btu per year in 2011. A considerable amount of the natural gas consumed in the country is used to generate electricity. This may be attributed to the fact that more electricity generation plants are switching from the use of coal to natural gas.
Owing to the increased production brought about by shale and fracking, it is projected that the USA may become the leading oil producing country by 2015. This is according to projections by the International Energy Agency projects. EIA, on the other hand, projects that gas production in the country will increase by 56 percent by 2040.

Notable Harvard Alumni Gives Back

A renowned real estate investor from New York and owner of the Island Capital Group, Andrew Farkas is a Harvard alumni and holds the institution in his heart. He has immense respect for the university and its philosophies. Farkas has been a long-standing member of the Hasty Pudding Club, which is a theatrical student society at Harvard University. It is the nation’s oldest theater company and is a medium of expression for many Harvard’s undergraduates and alumni members. Andrew Farkas recently contributed to the renovation and expansion of this 1888 structure to celebrate the stunning cultural space and give back to his alma mater. He devoted this gesture to his father, Robin L. Farkas who has been an immense influence in his life. It was his father who urged Andrew to join Harvard and the rest, he says, is history. The building is renamed as Farkas Hall and now houses a 270 seat state of the art theater, an elaborate stage and dance studios for students along with many offices for the members. The Hasty Pudding lobby displays the club’s pivotal role in the university’s growth. The renovation has preserved the rich history of the club through posters, plaques, and photographs which the lobby displays.

Farkas has been actively involved with the club since his undergraduate days and is now leading his 30th reunion class gift committee with the fellow alumni. He was the president of the club for 2 years and several generations of his family have been associated with this creative space. His wife Sandi is a playwright and screenwriter and choose to renovate the great club with her husband to preserve the legacy of The Hasty Pudding Club. The club has been home to many great visionaries including 5 presidents of the United States. It has supported and displayed creative freedom since its inception in the late 1700s. Farkas chose to renovate this club as a gesture of appreciation and respect towards his father, the Harvard university, and the Hasty Pudding club.

Andrew Farkas devotes his success to the university as it transformed him into a confident young man and made him what he is today. He actively supports cultural and art scene in New York and has been a regular attendee of all dedications held at the Hasty Pudding club. His 13-year-old daughter is also a member of the club which shows how this club has been an invaluable part of the legacy of the Farkas family.

Learn the Innovative Ways to Recycle Foam

The environment has dominated the news cycles of years and rightly so. This is our only home, and it deserves to be treated with the utmost of respect and appreciation for the life it continues to house. As global warming and climate change continues to spiral further and further out of control with unnecessary carbon emissions, new oil spills every week, and politicians who continue to either have their heads in the sand or allow themselves to be purchased by corporate interests, we need to continue to find ways to save this planet. Many cities across the United States have looked to implement a polystyrene foam ban, claiming it cannot be recycled.

While their hearts are in the right place, foam actually can be recycled. In fact, many places across the United States are already recycling the foam for reuse, cutting down on the damage and trash buildup we leave in the environment. For more information on how to recycle this foam, see below!

In truth, only about five percent of a foam package is actually the substance polystyrene. Most of the packaging is actually air. This is the reason why this foam is easy to break with your hands. This means there is actually less to deal with than appears on the surface. It helps to insulate packages, keeping them both safe and warm.

The negative campaign against this material comes from the fact that it is made from the same substance we use to power our cars: petroleum. This contributes to the negative media campaign and the banning of this substance in over 20 cities already.

Despite these issues, foam can actually be easily recycled. The recycling process starts by collecting foam and using conveyor belts to feed the material into a shredding machine. This breaks the foam down into small amounts that can be transferred to a plastic machine that uses both heat and pressure to melt the foam. Once the foam is broken down into this early form, the molten mixture exits and machine and solidifies again into a solid state. It is then transported to a separate machine where it is broken down into foam again for further use.

While it is important to care for the environment, it is important to collect all of the facts before making a decision. foam can be recycled and thus does not deserve to be banned from cities.

Executive Recruiters – The best are in DC

In the world of business, it is critical to be able to find the right people to fill executive positions in key sectors. You want to make sure that someone fills the positions that will bring skill and experience to the company or corporation. That is why it is important to use Nels Olson’s executive recruiters. These specially trained talent acquisition specialists are also known as headhunters. They are hired to seek the best and the brightest to occupy the most prolific executive jobs around. If you live in Washington D.C. and need to find a skilled and qualified professional to fill a top spot in your company or business then you need to use the best executive recruiters in the area.

Companies such as JDG & Associates and The Lucas Group can successfully present you with a variety of options and will help facilitate a positive working agreement that will help to propel your business towards success.

Make sure that you use a qualified and experienced talent acquisition firm that knows exactly what you are looking for in professional executives. They will be able to determine if the particular individual is a good fit for you and your business. They can sort through a variety of possible candidates and pursue them in an effort to fill your available position with a top notch selection.

The previously mentioned companies have years of experience providing companies with high-quality leadership and providing the results that matter. This is an important aspect of any executive recruiter. They should have proven results that they can present to you for your review. Make sure that they have a good reputation for placing businesses and employees in a good working relationship.

If you need the best talent be sure to choose the best in the D.C. area. Be sure to look at their reviews online and do a little background research and this should help you to determine which firm is the best to fulfill your needs.

Real Estate Dealings in the Big Apple

Business is all about the right decisions and capitalizing on opportunities as they present themselves. The New York real estate market is quite vibrant. In fact, it is one of the most competitive in the world, making it ripe for various types of property investments. Andrew Farkas is a man who understands this, and that is one reason he is very dominant in the real estate sector. The billionaire, through NAI Global, struck a deal with EVO Real Estate Group of New York. NAI Global is a services network that specializes in real estate across different countries. Since it was purchased by Farkas’ C-III Capital Partners, the network has accumulated offices in various cities globally.

Working Together

When EVO agreed to work with NAI Global, it gave the network a much-needed boost in the New York market. Although NAI Global has been very successful, it was missing out on NY business due to lack of a network office in the city. Now, the deal designates the EVO office to be the NY network office for NAI Global. The C-III Capital subsidiary chose to go with EVO because the brokerage firm had established a significant presence in the city as it had been based there since its inception. Before it was EVO, the firm was Winoker Realty Co., which had to be sold when the owner perished in an unfortunate accident.

The brokerage has handled lucrative deals in New York and is responsible for over 3.5 sq. ft. of commercial space. Combine that with the contacts that EVO has acquired over the years and it makes an ideal choice. What NAI Global brings to the deal is a vast network of 165 firms spanning across 204 cities. The deal between EVO and NAI Global comes with mutually assured growth as long as the two maintain the upward trends. EVO will be responsible for bringing in New York clients and use NAI Global’s exposure to provide property investments in other cities in the world.

Different Dealings

NAI Global prefers a network structure that most larger firms don’t use for their business deals nowadays. What NAI Global does is get well-established offices in different cities and come to an agreement as opposed to having the network own its brokerage firms. It means that the member brokerage firms remain independently owned. For this reason, firms are required to drum up business, meaning that services have to be superior to maintain the clientele that first attracted the attention of the network.

Real Estate Investment Ideas – Southern California

Rent rates in Southern California are hitting record highs. New investors need to focus on Southern California’s fixer-uppers, especially to try and lure buyers with flips or find a median priced home that could fetch a better rent. As a beginner in real estate in real estate you will require a few tips that will help you succeed.

Consider the returns on renting the property

As an investor in real estate, you need to do the math. Calculate the amount you will be receiving in rent from the investment over the duration of time. Remember that brokers might quote a figure that is too high in a bid to entice you to invest in real estate. It is good that you consider the real rent of that area by reviewing the rent of similar house for rent in the same area.

Examine the cost of buying the house

Calculate and determine how much it cost you if you would purchase the home. Most people in most markets think of taxes, water, mortgage, sewer and insurance to be the responsibility of tenants. Avoid relying on estimates. It is wise to use real figures by talking to experts in tax bills, insurance rates, and water bills.

Find a real estate guru for mentorship

Mike Cantu of Upland, Ca. has more than 30 years’ experience as a full-time real estate investor. Cantu manages the portfolio for rental houses and he also operates a buy and sell venture. Other real estate gurus in that area are Robert Fragoso, the executive vice president of Anchor Loans in Orange County, Than Merrill of FortuneBuilders, and Brice Norris of the Norris Group in Riverside California.

Reasonable vacancy rate

Brokers will always entice people to buy houses for real estate investment. They will assure investors that their houses will forever be occupants and that they will never be vacant. As a wise real estate in Southern California, you need to get the real vacancy rate impute and not just trusting the opinion of brokers that the house will never be vacant.

Management of the property

Think about getting an expert who will be in charge of the management of your real estate. An investor must also take into account the fees or charges incurred in managing the property. Consult other investors who have similar properties to find out the reasonable reserve for maintenance and to carry out the repair. Having considered all the above factors, do the math to determine if you will be making profits or running into losses.

How Corporate Crime Settlements Play Out Today

Corporate crime settlements are now mostly settled by deferred actions and non-prosecution agreements. What this means is that most corporate violators of law, whether they are a financial institution or energy company will get delayed penalties. Or, instead of having to admit guilt of breaching a law or of fraud, the corporation will simply agree to a set of terms laid out by the government, regulating agencies and or law enforcement agencies. Attorney Sean Hecker of Debevoise & Plimpton gave insight into the issue in an article with Corporate Crime Reporter.

There are several factors that play into why very few corporations admit guilt. The first is that admitting guilt could be a deathblow to the company’s reputation. Companies know that admitting they knowingly behaved in an illegal way could put them out of business. The government knows this too. So this is why there is a sharp increase in non-prosecution agreements and deferred actions against corporate crime settlements.

Today, very few companies will take on government regulators or enforcement agencies in court to fight corporate crime accusations. This is due to a number of factors. Regulators and enforcement agencies overseeing the banking, finance and energy sectors hold greater power than they used to. This is due to fact that the financial collapse was blamed on a lack of government oversight of the finance, banking and mortgage industry. Laws like the Dodd Frank act give regulators much greater power and oversight to prosecute and pursue suspected fraud and violators.

The greater power of the regulators, combined with the potential backlash of a guilty plea is why few companies go to court to fight corporate crime. However, this does not mean that no companies go to court to fight accusations. A few companies have gone to court to fight accusations of crime or fraud and have won. However, this continues to remain rare.

Some experts in the field of law, believe that the current field is not level and that regulators have too much power. Other experts believe that the playing field is becoming fair towards corporations, and that the number of cases going to trial will increase, but only by a small amount.

In the end, both companies and the government have one thing in common. Both want their industries and their workers to play by the rules and be in compliance with regulations. The government does not want companies to go out of business for minor infractions as this leads to the loss of good jobs. The companies don’t want to pay massive fines or risk going out of business for small infractions or a few bad characters within the company. This is why it is expected that deferred and non-prosecution agreements will continue to rule as the major way of settling corporate crime cases.

UAE Ambassador Urges Class of 2016 to Spread Tolerance and Peace

NYU Abu Dhabi celebrated its third graduation ceremony for the Class of 2016 this May. 135 excited seniors from over 50 different countries awaited their hard-won diplomas. Some 1,300 guests were also in attendance for this historic event.

This year, the graduating seniors were treated to a keynote speech from His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba (, the current United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ambassador to the United States. Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba took over the post for the UAE’s Ambassadorship in 2008. Some of the goals the Ambassador has were for in his professional life were reflected in the themes he urged students to embrace as core values in the globalizing world: increased cooperation, opportunity, and security between all peoples.

Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba encouraged the students to try to incorporate the following values into their lives: innovative thinking, tolerance, respect for others, hospitality, and hope. These values, the Ambassador said, will help students “write the next great chapter in the history of human endeavor.”

At this same event, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba was awarded the NYU Abu Dhabi Global Leadership Award for his help promoting the university over the years. NYU Abu Dhabi has been an inspiration in the triumph of education and understanding in the United Arab Emirates region, and the Ambassador only hopes that NYU Abu Dhabi can continue to grow. Indeed, Ambassador Al Otaiba has been a firm supporter of building bridges between the USA and the UAE in any way he can, such as through trade, education, and philanthropy.

The students graduating from the NYU Abu Dhabi will undoubtedly take the Ambassador’s words into their post-NYU lives. Many of the students are going off to graduate work in diverse fields all across the globe and values of multiculturalism and tolerance they have learned through their four years at NYU Abu Dubai will transition into their graduate studies around the world.

The two distinguished guests who delivered the previous keynote addresses here include President Bill Clinton in 2014, and the UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown in 2015.

As for Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba’s own educational background, he got his bachelor’s degree from Cairo American College, and later went on to pursue his International Relations degree at Georgetown University.

Choosing the Best Boarding School

A good education is something that will be of great value later in life. If you’re considering enrolling your child in a boarding school, then chances are you want to be sure that they are getting the best education possible. To ensure this consider doing some background research and investigating multiple schools. Parents often look to big names in US boarding schools like Phillips Exeter Academy, St. George’s School and Church Farm School.

This article will list some of the most important factors to consider when selecting which boarding school you want to enroll your child in so you can make the best decision possible.

Academic Programs

A key area to research when looking at schools is the variety of academics and the availability of academic support to students. This includes things such as small classroom sizes. This allows each student to receive individual attention from the teacher during class. It also means having teachers who are willing to interact with students outside of class, having open office hours available throughout the day so that students can seek out academic guidance or clarification on subjects they are finding difficult in the classroom. Just because they are attending a boarding school does not mean that the child’s parent is uninterested in their academic performance. Teachers and faculty should be willing and able to work with parents to resolve performance issues when they arise.

Variety Of Courses

Generally speaking, students do not know exactly what direction they will be heading professionally and in their personal lives. As such, rather than attending a specialized school, it is good to investigate the width and breadth of a school’s available curriculum. A well rounded student is more appealing to colleges and employers. It is also good for the student as it allows them to participate in a wide range of subjects and makes it more likely that they will find the one that sparks a genuine personal interest.

Athletics and Art

Consider less traditional programs such as athletics and art. These programs are great for padding out college resumes but they also teach important skills that are not learned in the classroom. This includes things such as teamwork, competitive spirit, creative problem solving, and skill development.

Your child’s education is important to you so take the time to investigate their educational environment. This helps ensure you find the best match for your child’s academic needs.