A few things you should know about selling your gold!

7:46 am by

If you’ve been considering taking advantage of the escalating price of gold you should know more than just where to sell gold. There’s money to be made, there’s no doubt about it. But maybe just a few pointers wouldn’t be a bad idea.Just a few words to the wise

Below are some things to keep in mind when it comes to selling off your gold.

  • Just in case… get a receipt! One never does know if a future dispute will arise, though hopefully you did your homework in advance and checked out your gold buyer ahead of time. Still, it never hurts to have a receipt for any transaction. What should be included on this receipt? The date of the transaction, name of the precious metal purchased (gold in this case), fineness of the gold purchased, the weight of the gold, standard measures of weight and the prices paid for gold, signature, address and name of the gold seller and of course the address and name of the buyer.
  • When possible, watch the weigh-in. If you are sending away, just make sure you’ve done your homework. Research the company, look at testimonials and get unbiased reports off the internet.
  • The same goes for testing. But once again, if you’ve checked out the company and have faith in them, all will hopefully be fine.
  • Know your gold. Don’t just send off your stuff without having at least some idea of what you have in advance. There’s no harm in getting an estimate before you send off your gold.
  • Got a scale? Weigh your gold before shipping it out. Remember that the entire weight of a piece might not be all gold. You want me to meet you where? Do not meet someone somewhere even remotely questionable. The rear room of grocery stores, laundry mats and garages is not where you want to ‘do a deal’.
  • If you do your gold selling in person, never, ever let it out of your sight. There is nothing that buyer needs to do that can’t be done in front of you.
  • Would you buy the first car you see on the lot? Hopefully not. Research, shop around, compare. Don’t go for the first offer no matter how ‘generous’ it seems. And never fall for ‘this is a limited offer’, ‘one time only’ or ‘I can only offer this for another 5 minutes’. Puh-leeze.
  • How can you see the gold over the phone? Believe it or not, some buyers actually give phone quotes. How on earth will that be accurate?
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Think Residual Income!

7:29 pm by

Part of being cash clever is avoiding pointless capital outlay – not spending money – part of it is making sure you have plenty coming in the other direction, filling up your coffers with cash!

After all, you can’t begin to Be Cash Clever unless you actually have some cash, can you…

Now, before I get all Rich Dad Poor Dad and start talking about income streams, its important to note that the number one cash clever way to secure your financial future is to get yourself a good job.

Whatever your political ideology might be, I think everyone, including the Communist republic of China, accepts that the world functions with money, and the best way to achieve a little bit of lucre is to trade time, and labour, for a salary.

This is income stream number one.

You need this one to be as high as possible.

But, once you’ve got your regular wage coming in, there’s lots of other income streams that you can get going without too much effort, and these range from the Safe Investments up to the Riskier Investments.

I’m not a financial advisor, but it always helps to have an opinion or two – you never know, you just might get an idea you had not considered.

So here is a non exhaustive list of Low Risk Income Streams because taking risks is like gambling: you can lose, and losing money is not the Be Cash Clever way!

  1. Use an Instant Savings Account – don’t leave large sums of money floating around in your bank’s current account: they wouldn’t lend to you for free, so don’t do it the other way around! Get an instant access savings account and transfer all of your credit into and out of it as required – takes literally minutes with online banking. Make sure you leave enough in to cover any bills that could be scheduled to go out, though 🙂
  2. Save Long Term – if you have a large amount of money you’d like to save, save it over a period of 1, 3 or 5 years to achieve a higher rate of interest.
  3. Buy Bonds – There are lots of guaranteed low risk bonds out there. Shop around and add some to your portfolio. Ideally, you should buy bonds every month or two, so that, in a year or two, you will begin receiving regular income from them.
  4. Pension Plan – We are all going to get old. We are all going to want to finish work some day. We should all be pension planning. Whether you buy a pension, or simply invest in savings yourself, you need to think seriously about how much cash you think you’ll need in your retirement and begin saving now.

The above list will mean that your spare cash works for you, creating residual income while you do other things, multiplying your effort in your day job and providing additional funds for your future.

If there is one important idea today, it is this: Have a pension plan, no matter how young you think you are.

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Blogging to Riches?

11:34 am by

More and more, when I listen to people talking about saving or making money, their conversation turns to the internet. Quite frequently, somebody raises the wonderful carrot of Blogging to Riches. So, is this a Cash Clever plan for immediate retirement?

The Premise

The basic premise – perhaps it is a general misconception – many people have is that it is possible, or even likely, to make huge amounts of money writing in an online blog.

The Reality

Yes, it is possible to make a lot of money writing an online blog. It is also possible to spend a lot of time for very little reward, blogging online.

General Rules

As someone who has developed a business out of blog based websites almost entirely, I can provide perhaps more insight into this than your average commentator. Here are some rules that I would lay down when considering whether or not to embark on a career as a blogger:

  • Can You Write? This is something you need to be honest about. How good a writer are you. How easy will you find it to produce one, or more, truly engaging articles or blog posts every single day of your life. That’s what you’ll need to do. An alternative is a video blog, or a daily podcast, but these involve startup costs and would require different skills. Be sure to start a blog that draws upon your best assets.
  • Do you have an interest? Blogging about a subject you are not interested in, or know little about, is possible, but not to be advised: you’ll get bored, and so will your readers.
  • Can you go “Full time”? Okay, your blog might be a hobby for you, but there are professional media organisations out there doing your subject, and doing it better. Can you really compete in between your day job and your private life? If not, then perhaps consider scaling back the commercial side of things altogether and making your blog totally ad free – at least until you have a few thousand avid readers.
  • Be realistic! Don’t expect to make thousands or even hundreds a month from one or two well written daily articles, no matter how many blocks of Adsense and Amazon content units you surround them with. The fact of the matter is, people are online readily consuming free information all the time – in certain niches, you can expect to earn pennies for tens of thousands of visitors. Yes, unfortunately, that means your X Factor blog won’t earn you much lucre.
  • Monetise Sensibly – the word “monetize” (or monetise for Brits) essentially means turn your site traffic into money. This is easier said than done, but you should consider who your target user is, and what makes them dip into their wallet. With a fairly personal project, such as a blog, the target user is someone like you. What would you spend money on? Those are the ads you should be running.
  • Don’t rely on affiliate marketing – if possible, once you have a good body of readers, you should look to diversify the range of income streams flowing into your blog or website. This means selling an actual ad or sponsorship to someone upfront. Affiliate advertising is fraught with late payments, and wearisome affiliate managers who will email you all day long and generally push you to promote them for free. Get yourself an upfront payer you can rely on.
  • Be honest – don’t lie to promote a product. If something is a lemon, call it a lemon. People can see right through your sales pitches. A blog is not the place for them – think soft sell.
  • Treat your readers with respect – don’t overstuff your site with ads – we all want to make money, but, come on, it isn’t for nothing, you’ve got to entertain, inform and even delight in order to do so: you cannot do this if I can’t find your article for text link ads.

Number One Rule

Be honest with yourself – accept your limitations. If you know you won’t keep it up, don’t start. If you know you have a potential to be rude to people in comments and emails, make a pact with yourself never to respond to them. If you know that you aren’t a great writer, consider getting someone who is to proof read or edit your posts.

At the end of the day, what you know is interesting, and can be presented in an interesting format; the question you need to ask yourself is simple: is it worth anything?

Only you, and the market, knows the answer to that.

The Conclusion – Is it Possible to “Blog to Riches?”

Blogging to Riches is about as likely as becoming a professional footballer or a pop star: only the few very talented and dedicated will achieve it. That is including a number of right-place-right-time lucky breaks; and the willingness to learn from every bitter experience.

Consider this before you start, not after 6 months, and you could save yourself a lot of effort – there are a million and one well-intentioned “blogging to riches” efforts floating around in cyberspace with 2-6 months of effort on them, which should now serve only as a warning to those with a laptop and dollar signs in their eyes.

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