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5 Tools You Need to Build Your Passive Income ‘Empire’

How can you make your money work for you while you sleep? With these tools.

Sujan Patel

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Passive income – money you make on the side with little effort –is the hottest way to build wealth, and for good reason: Millionaires, entrepreneurs and the average Joe all understand that passive income makes it easier to compound your overall returns even further.

Generate enough passive income, and suddenly you have the chance to become truly wealthy.

But, wait: Nothing is ever that easy; And, there’s no such thing as 100 percent passive income. Building passive income actually requires hustle and an investment of time upfront to get your money off the ground and growing while you eat, sleep and play.

Maintaining that growth means making sure that you’re using the right tools and strategies to automate the work for you.

Here are five recommended passive income tools to help your build your wealth.

Related: 5 Time-Management Tools for Small Businesses to Improve Productivity

1. Streamline your systems

Whether you run a business or hold investments of any type, the money, time, teams, technology and communication you add in all need to be managed.

So, start with the right organisational systems, to maximise your time, minimise your headaches and transition any income streams, from hands-on investments to passive cash generators.

Collaboration platforms, like Slack, keep conversations open, searchable and conveniently stored in one place. These platforms are also known for cutting down email clutter. Task management tools, such as Trello, enable everyone involved to keep things moving with any given project. And when those things seamlessly integrate, it’s an added bonus.

Fine-tuning a system that removes you from daily cash-flow generation takes time, but it’s worthwhile when your system runs like a well-oiled machine.

The more organised you are, the more you can get done. And when everyone, from employees to contractors to assistants, is on the same page, it makes going from active to passive much easier.

2. Hire virtual assistants

virtual-assistant

You don’t have to be a big corporate executive to need an assistant. Filing, emailing, scheduling and organising the results of your moneymaking ventures takes time. And that’s time you don’t want to waste while building your passive income empire. Nor do you want to expend any more time and money training and paying a new employee than you need to. Instead, consider hiring a virtual assistant.

Virtual assistants can do anything that doesn’t require a physical presence: Scheduling appointments, making calls, sending emails, creating and processing invoices and general project management can all be done virtually. And tasks beyond administrative work are possible, too: Virtual assistants can be trained for customer prospecting and other key business operations. In short, it’s worth learning how to use their talents to your benefit.

Outsourcing day-to-day tasks saves you time in the long run, and makes it possible for you to focus time and energy on growing revenue. It’s not a fantasy; it’s a virtual assistant.

Related: 17 Free Online Tools to Help You Grow Your Blog to 1 Million Visitors

3. Rent out your stuff

You don’t always need to invest in something to grow passive income. You can start with what you already have. From bicycles to wifi networks and everything in between, renting platforms allow you to make money with items you already own.

Renting out your stuff is also easy and convenient. Rental services do the work, and you make the money. Popular services like Airbnb and VRBO make it easy to rent your home whenever it works for you. But you don’t even have to rent something as big as your home. Bicycles, parking spots, and household goods are options, too.

So, if something is lying around the house unused, why not do something with it? Rental services let you decide what, where and when. And most established platforms offer protection or insurance plans for both parties involved.

Opportunities to build passive income are out there waiting for you. With the right tools, an appetite for wealth and the drive to do some initial work, you could be making a steady stream of automated profits.

4. Lend money to your peers

colleagues

Crowdfunding is more than a trend. It’s a movement. And it’s a way for you to grow your passive income. By the end of 2016, more than 2 000 crowdfunding sites will exist worldwide. Lend Academy predicts that platforms will merge and mature in 2016, resulting in better security, service and product mix.

With the help of websites like Prosper and LendingClub, individuals can generate returns from lending money to other people. It’s a win-win option for everyone.

Investors provide capital in exchange for earning interest, and borrowers have access to capital without the hassle of large financial institutions.

Peer-to-peer lending is straightforward and simple and can offer strong returns. Make the right choice, and your investment will do the work for you.

Related: 16 Entrepreneurs Share 16 Tools They Cannot Live Without

5. Invest in crowdfunded real estate

If you’re looking for an investment that offers a seamless user experience, real estate crowdfunding is your tool. Companies like RealtyMogul.com connect investors to debt and equity investment opportunities online, without the hassle of dealing with large banks or financial institutions.

The online functionality appeals to all skill levels, from first-timers to veteran investors. In just a few clicks, investors can access the best real estate deals.

Historically, investors needed R500 000 or R1 Million and inside connections to get into the real estate investing game. Thanks to crowdfunding, investors can put up a little as R50 000, and a wide segment of the public can access quality deal flow that wasn’t available in the past.

Real estate is an attractive alternate asset class beyond stocks and bonds. It generally tracks lower volatility than other assets. Plus, it offers a hedge against inflation, as properties with tenant occupancy generate cash flow that rises with inflation and cushions against market crashes.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

In his more than 10 years as a marketer and entrepreneur, Sujan Patel has helped hundreds of companies boost online traffic, sales and strengthen brand reputation online. Sujan is the VP of marketing at When I Work -- an employee scheduling software solution for small businesses.

Personal Finance

(Infographic) The Financial Advice Millennials And Gen Zers Want To Know

Having a grasp on your financials is tricky, but it’s crucial if you want to be successful. And that starts with getting the right advice.

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Whether it’s saving for retirement or paying off credit card debt, money management can be a challenge. Of course, different people have different concerns – and that often comes with age. While a 60-something baby boomer might be organising their savings for retirement, your 20-something millennial might be focused on paying off student loans.

In a recent study, financial intelligence company Comet surveyed more than 1 000 people to uncover the top financial concerns of various age groups, as well as the financial advice millennials and Gen Zers want to know and what they hear instead.

Overall, saving for retirement was the top concern across all age groups, with saving for an emergency and affording monthly bills following in second and third. However, it’s no wonder these are some of the most pressing worries – according to the research, 23 percent of people admit they don’t have a savings account, and 43 percent reported not being on track towards their retirement goals. Perhaps that’s because they didn’t hear the right advice growing up. At least that might be the case for Gen Zers and millennials.

According to the research, these young people want to learn things such as how the stock market works, how to manage an investment portfolio, how to invest in real estate and how to build credit. Instead, they’re simply told how to create a budget, save for retirement and pay credit card bills in full every month.

Related: 7 Critical Things Your Financial Advisor Must Meet

Having a grasp on your financials is tricky, but it’s crucial if you want to be successful and comfortable. To learn more, check out Comet’s infographic below.

1532099434_2-cents-worth-infographic

Related: Financial Wellness Coach Nelisiwe Masango Shares Retirement Wealth Advice

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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Personal Finance

14 Ways To Make Quick Cash On The Side

If you need money quickly, here are some solid ideas.

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Need to make some fast money on the side, whether it’s to pay off a credit card or to make your rent?

Keep in mind, making quick side cash isn’t about making a lot of money or getting rich. It’s about getting a shot of capital to help tide you over and put something extra in your pocket. However, some of these side-income ideas can build up your wealth over time. There’s many ways to accomplish this: By participating in the gig economy, the sharing economy, online sales networks, passive income techniques and more.

If you’re looking to make extra money in a relatively short period of time, check out these 14 slides.

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Personal Finance

Take Advantage Of Financial Democracy Made Possible By The New Stock Exchanges

Why should financial democracy matter to entrepreneurs?

Etienne Nel

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Because it creates a society able to afford products and services. Without it, even the innovative products and services that are entrepreneurs’ bread and butter will fail.

What is financial democracy, exactly?

It’s both the right and the ability of the (wo)man in the street and business people to make the decisions that affect their financial circumstances.

Financial democracy does not automatically follow political democracy. For almost 25 years after South Africa’s political transformation, the exclusiveness of our financial markets continued to deprive the vast majority of South Africans of the means to invest, save, and build wealth. South Africa has, therefore, never developed a retail stock exchange environment. So, it has deprived the majority of small and medium sized business of access to capital.

For entrepreneurs to truly flourish, they need a mechanism that easily and seamlessly connects the investor pool with every size of business. And, they need affordable ways to enter both the retail and institutional market.

In short, they need stock exchanges. Ones on which listing takes weeks rather than years, doesn’t break the bank for listing fees, and provides the shortest route to the largest possible potential investor base.

That’s not been possible in the stock exchange monopoly that existed for six decades. Now, it is.

What’s changed?

We now have four new stock exchanges. The resulting competitive environment will significantly reduce the cost of listing – and the cost for investors of buying and selling shares.

Instead of restricting share trading to people or organisations who already have tens of thousands of rands to invest or millions to spend on listing, by licensing four new stock exchanges, the Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA, formerly the FSB) has recognised that most financial decisions do not call for high levels of education.

Related: The Role Of Foreign Exchange In The Economy

Most people know how to spend their own grocery money. Most know that it’s better to keep their R1 000 monthly income in a coffee jar than spend R50 of it on bank account fees. People who can barely read and write are immensely skillful at manipulating air time deals to their advantage.

There is significant financial savvy in all social strata.

In the same way, although the mechanics of bookkeeping and accounting may be unfamiliar territory to many entrepreneurs, most have a clear understanding of the difference between profit and loss.

The FSCA has therefore enabled democratisation of the financial markets by enabling the broadest possible spectrum of entrepreneurs and investors to use stock exchanges to participate in and contribute to the economy – on their own rather than prescriptive terms.

How do you take strategic advantage of this democratisation?

  1. Base your business strategy on people’s instinct for making decisions in their own best interests. Trust financial decentralisation, such as one sees in crowd funding and in digital environments such as block chain, where people would far rather trust one another than institutions and governments. This is democracy innately at work in the financial environment and it’s accelerating organically as digital technologies give people more means and the confidence to help themselves – to information and opportunities. Ride the wave.
  2. Tap into people’s desire to innovate. Consumer organisations have proved that letting people interactively help them develop products is a powerful growth engine. Apply the principle by letting people grow your business by buying shares in it, giving you capital and themselves a platform on which to build wealth.
  3. Remember, the ultimate loyalty reward is equity.

Your financial democracy business plan

Look to list on an entrepreneurial stock exchange; one that was founded by entrepreneurs on entrepreneurial principles.

That means: A stock exchange that is already built on financial democracy and decentralisation. One that has, at its core, a single operational concept that keeps things simple for you, automatically gives you an immediate competitive advantage, and, ensures that no matter what your business needs in terms of attracting capital, the exchange can provide all the options in the same, consistent way.

What does such an exchange look like?

It has fintech capabilities. So:

It slashes your listing costs. It achieves this, among other things, by enabling you to populate an electronic prospectus, demonstrating your financial viability, and self publish.

It gives you control by having the granularity and agility to impose relevant governance right down to the individual investor. You get to decide the types and quantities of investors you want to attract. This also enables you to achieve black economic empowerment in perpetuity.

It leads the world by clearing and settling trades in T+0. No-one in the value chain has to hold large sums of money for days following a transaction. Small transactions become profitable. Investors don’t have to risk their life savings on a single large trade. A retail market is opened. An investment and savings culture is entrenched. The economy expands. Your business grows steadily.

It enables anywhere, any time trading via a mobile app that allows investors to see share value in real time. See economy expansion point above.

It integrates processes and procedures, simplifying them and ensuring rapid onboarding of issuers and, therefore, speed to market with new concepts and alignment with the digital economy.

It operates a principles-based regime. So:

It treats you, as an executive, with respect. It’s not prescriptive. It does not insist on excessive oversight, allowing the Companies Act to guide you to sustainability.

It does not attempt to squeeze your company into a pre-defined business or listings format. It recognises and works with your uniqueness.

It obviates the need for expensive specialist listings advisors.

It focuses on financial inclusion and access. So:

Shares can be bought and sold for no more than R1 000. See economy building point above.

Related: 27 Of The Richest People In South Africa

The new world of stock exchanges is integrated, synergistic, holistic, organic, self-fulfilling

Decentralisation of financial control, democratisation of opportunity leads to a whole new economy. One in which, for instance, a taxi operator can finance a minibus through a company in which his purchase gives him shares. A single purchase gives him two benefits: a vehicle on which to found his business and a longer-term investment in shares that he can trade. The funding company gains liquidity through access to a wider base of investors while being able to control who buys and sells and the conditions on which trading takes place. Increasing black equity in business becomes an organic, natural, self-perpetuating process.

Everyone wins in a decentralised, democratised financial market. And it’s the stock exchanges that drive the process.

As an entrepreneur, can you afford to ignore the acceleration that listing could give your business growth?

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