Does It Take Money to Make Money?

My kid brother and I are both entrepreneurs. However, we’re very different in the way that we approach business. A fundamental difference between us is that he wants to start a business with a lot of startup capital from investors so that he can get in at the top level of the business as quickly as possible. In contrast, I prefer to invest as little money as possible in a business while exploring whether or not it’s what I really want to do. Either approach is fine for starting a business as long as you know why you feel the way that you do.

Thinking about this topic has brought up an interesting question for me – does it take money to make money? Ultimately, despite the fact that I approach the initial startup of a business different from my brother, I do believe that it takes money to make money. This doesn’t mean that you can’t start a business with no money but it does mean that I believe you have to re-invest your immediate earnings into the business if you want it to actually get off the ground.

What do you think? Does it take startup capital to make a business work or does a gradual process of starting with what you have and then re-investing regularly in the business work just as well?


Connecticut Mortgage Rates Reflect Nationwide Trend

Now is a really great time to invest in real estate if you can find a way to do so. That is because housing values around the nation have begun to stabilize and are likely to start climbing again soon. At the same time, mortgage rates have probably reached their best offers yet and are not likely to get significantly better in the months to come. This means that right now is ideal since housing costs are at their lowest and mortgage rates are at their best.

A look at Connecticut mortgage rates reflects this general trend nationwide. Mortgage rates in CT are at an all-time best. This is particularly true for 30-year-mortgage rates. All predictions indicate that rates in the state will not improve (or if they do, it will be an insignifcant improvement) in the months to come. This means that if you can manage to qualify for a mortgage then it’s the best time ever to do so.

At the same time, home values in Connecticut are at an all-time low. This means that you can get a great deal on a mortgage for a home that is a really great price. However, this convergence of two ideal trends isn’t likely to last for long. What will happen is that people will jump on the trend and begin purchasing housing. This will create new competition in the CT real estate market and therefore housing costs in the area will rise. Even if CT mortgage rates stay low, the corresponding increase in housing will diminish the true value of the good deal.

Connecticut isn’t the only state that is seeing this situation. It just happens to be a state that serves as a good example of what’s going on around the nation. That’s because the real estate market there has been less impacted by bank-owned housing sales than other states so its housing economy is more accurate in terms of what’s to come than would be seen in states where bank sales are currently high.


The Difficulty of Talking About Money

Everyone says that couples fight most about sex and money. Although there are many reasons for this, I think that a big one is that these are the two core topics that seem to be off limits for discussion in our society. We need to learn how to talk about each of them more openly and less defensively in order to reduce the amount of negativity that we experience surrounding them.

I recently wrote an article with 100 Tips for Talking about Money. The article covers different tips for discussing money with different people at different times. For example, there are tips for talking about money with a romantic partner before you move in together as well as after and there are tips for talking about money with your parents when you still live with them, after you move out and later when it may be time for them to move in with you.

Money impacts all of our relationships. It is a factor in friendships when it comes to how often to eat out, where to go and whether or not you can talk about money together. It’s a factor in proper parenting and the education and independence of our children. It’s a factor at work where salaries can cause controversy. Because it’s such a prevalent part of our lives, we really need to learn how to talk about!


Divorce and the Economy

I have been reading a bunch of interesting news articles online lately about divorce rates and the current economy. It’s interesting stuff because it seems to be this nasty cycle.

On the one hand, the poor economy is causing a lot of stress in marriages which means that there are a lot of couples interested in getting divorced right now. On the other hand, divorce is expensive. It’s complicated by the fact that couples usually own houses together and this is definitely not a good time to sell a house which is what usually happens in a divorce. So even though more people may want to get divorced, it’s actually a really bad time to do that.

Fascinating stuff. In my opinion, it’s a bad idea to make a decision about something as huge as divorce when you’re going through tough times because of other things. A marriage will go through rough times and getting through them together can really serve to strengthen your relationships.

Take a look at my two newest articles on this topic: How to Avoid Divorcing Because of the Economy and How to Delay Divorce Until the Economy Improves. Then come back and let me know what you think about those tips and whether you have any additional advice for people who are thinking about the pros and cons of divorcing in these rough economic times.


Impact of Economy on Mobile Phone Market

The changes in the economy are affecting every single industry out there. However, different industries (and different segments within industries) are being impacted in very different ways. Whereas some types of businesses are really going under, others are hanging in there and a few (like businesses supplying churches with products and services) are actually doing well in the new economy.

As someone who researches and writes regularly about the mobile phone market, it has been really interesting to see how this industry has been affected by the change in the economy. People still need mobile phones but they’re making different (smarter) choices about which handsets to buy and how to take care of them so that they last longer.

Certain segments of the mobile phone industry are thriving (application downloads, mobile VoIP services) whereas others are having trouble (handset sales in general are down, for example). Learn more about the many changes from my recent article entitled 10 Changes the Economy is Causing for Mobile Phones.