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Realistic Thoughts On Diversifying Your Art Investment Portfolio

Do you know the difference between an original print and a limited-edition print? Some would contend that they are one and the same as far as originality goes, but you can certainly purchase a limited-edition print which is not an original work of art. An original print, therefore, is basically created by hand from a stencil or plate that has been hand created by the artist in order to produce the finished result. You will see that the artist signed the original in pencil as a fraction number, to indicate it’s part of the total edition. In other words, it could be 24/100, which means that the print itself is 24th in an edition of 100. In these situations the artist is very much hands on when it comes to this entire process and he or she will often experiment before being happy with the plates used to generate the finished product. The final printer’s proof is also called a BAT.

Note that the limited-edition print may not be the work of, directly, the artisan as outlined above. It could be a simple reproduction of a painting or drawing and even though it may be signed once more by the artist, it might not be the direct work, per se, of the person.

Today, with our advanced levels of technology it’s perfectly possible to produce digital files of an image stored on a computer in a process known as Giclee’s. Other transfer methods are tending to blur the line between what can be classified as an original print and a reproduction. Purists argue on both sides of the equation and it’s true to say that when you buy signed limited edition prints as a fine art investment you should have a fairly clear idea of how that product has been produced in the first place. This will give you a clear indication of its value and how it may help you to boost the ultimate value of your portfolio as time goes by.

Whenever considering diversification of your biggest investments it’s well worth your while looking at fine art as a part of this. Many studies have shown that art collections can help you to get a 10% compounded return over a lengthy period of time, which is as good or better than many of the major stock market indices. In fact, with the stock market being as volatile as it is right now many experts consider that you should shift some of your investments into other areas that may be somewhat less susceptible to current, political and economical machinations.

Whilst no one can predict the future of course and there is always a certain element of risk whatever you plan for your economic future, people who diversify into art in this way often say that they feel that they have a more involved and hands-on approach and therefore feel as if they are in some way contributing more to their potential gains. Somehow or other the events of recent years should make us all feel that we ought to be more “in control!”

Rehab Projects Are Often Great Investment Opportunities – Why Can They Become Huge Disasters?

A rehab project is easily seen as a great investment opportunity. You are able to purchase the project at a fraction of the replacement cost. After all the cash is invested, the total cost per square foot is far below the competition. You can see an easy path to much greater cash flow after the vacancy is filled and after the rents are increased. Unfortunately, there are a ton of issues that can throw the plan off of the expected course.

A rehab project did not get in the current condition because the owners wanted a run down dilapidated apartment complex. While the situation can be and often is the result of extended neglect, the buyer must consider that neighborhoods change, crime problems develop, basic infrastructure issues become insurmountable.

Where to begin?

First, is the property in a rentable location? Spend time understanding the schools that service the property. Look at access to employment and shopping. Find out what the crime issues are on the apartment complex. Determine what crime in the surrounding area is. Check out the demographics of the area and check with local merchants, consumer, and other sources about the reputation of the area. If too many red flags begin to develop, then you may have identified a project that could resist your best efforts to rehabilitate.

Next, if the property demonstrates solid performance, look at the physical issues with the project. Are the kitchens unable to meet expectations for today’s consumers? Is the foot print to small? What changes are required to meet utility cost expectations? Does the project require central AC? Is parking inadequate? Do the units require washers and dryers in the market and for the demographic the project will serve. What about dishwashers? Are the amenities inadequate? Are the floor plans positioned wrong for demand in the market?

In the case of infrastructure issues like those suggested for review above, the right rehab plan may well be able to resolve the issues. The key considerations are putting together a detailed rehabilitation plan that resolves the issues thoroughly for rentability. If the costs begin to rise to high for the project to be viable, you will know to abandon this prospective project. However, if you can meet the project well below your affordability considerations you have identified a potentially strong performing asset.

While the considerations above can protect against a bad decision because a rehabilitation requires repositioning the project the risk is much greater because rentup may not occur as expected. Renting costs can be too great. Rehab costs may over run. Rent rates may be weaker than expected. Management issues may be greater than anticipated. In all cases, the project can become continually more challenging and lead into failure.

Three Women Entrepreneurs and Their Important Considerations For Launching a New Product Or Service

Launching a product can mean lots of things to a business. It can mean branching out and snagging a new buyer in a different market. It can also mean creating residual income for a service-based business. And it may be just the thing needed to turn a struggling business into a cash cow. This article examines things three of the five specific types of female entrepreneurs (also known as “Janes”) should keep in mind as they plan for (and launch) new products.

Go Jane Go is passionate about her work, and has no problem marketing and selling herself, so she has plenty of clients-but she’s struggling to keep up with demand. She may be a classic overachiever, taking on volunteer opportunities as well, because she’s eager to make an impact on the world and may really struggle saying “no”. Because she wants to “say yes” to so many opportunities, she may even be in denial about how many hours she actually works during the course of a week. During the worst of times, Go Jane Go may tend to run herself ragged or feel guilty about all the things on her “to do list” that aren’t getting done quickly enough to satisfy her exacting demands.

If you’re the Go Jane Go type, you should think long and hard before deciding to develop a new product or service right now. Yes, you may have come up with something truly innovative that will help the market you serve. But remember that not everything needs to be done at once. Sometimes, when you have a great idea, you don’t need to say “no” – but you DO need to say “not right now”.

Create a special file for yourself to house all your fantastic ideas. Before allowing yourself to put another item on the “active projects” list, first require of yourself the discipline to make room for it! This is especially important if you are feeling like your plate is too full already.

When you truly feel ready to commit to the new product or service launch, several things can make it easier for you to experience success without frustration:

1. Find something you are doing now that you can remove from your list or delegate to someone else. This will give you time to work on the new project. Alternatively, hire someone (even part-time, virtually) to design and implement the new product for you, under your direction.
2. Estimate how many hours of your personal time the new project will take. Then triple your estimate. (As a Go Jane Go, you’re excellent at what you do-but you may not realize just how much effort you’re putting into tasks. To preserve your sanity, you need to give yourself plenty of cushion for the inevitable unexpected events.)
3. Don’t just put it on your list-actually put each step on your calendar. This way, you are assured of reasonable timelines, rather than falling behind and feeling like you have to do a major crunch at the end.

Merry Jane. This entrepreneur is usually building a part-time or “flexible time” business that gives her a creative outlet (whether she’s an ad agency consultant or an artist) that she can manage within specific constraints around her schedule. She may have a day job, or need to be fully present for family or other pursuits. She realizes she could make more money by working longer hours, but she’s happy with the tradeoff she has made because her business gives her tremendous freedom to work how and when she wants, around her other commitments.

As a Merry Jane, when you come up with a new product or service idea that you are considering launching for your business, you want to make sure it really makes the most of your time. Before you begin, make sure you put in a step to research your market’s interest in the product first. A simple way to do this is to reach out to some of your current customers today to find out if they are interested in the overall business idea. Using your blog, you can ask provocative questions about the topic and see if it generates response. You can also send out a quick survey or even call some of your most trusted customers on the phone. Choose the method based on the size and type of customers you have.

By putting this step in place, you can feel confident the new idea is worth the investment of your time to develop. And, by reaching out to your customers first, you will likely gather information that will help you refine and strengthen the idea even further, ensuring yourself a successful launch.

Accidental Jane is a successful, confident business owner who never actually set out to start a business. Instead, she may have decided to start a business due to frustration with her job or a layoff and decided to use her business and personal contacts to strike out on her own. Or, she may have created something that served her own unmet needs and later found other customers with the same need, giving birth to a business. Accidental Jane enjoys what she does and is creating a satisfactory level of income.

If you’re an Accidental Jane, you love where your business is right now, so you may feel uncertain about whether to launch your new product idea or not. The key to making this decision lies in visualizing the various scenarios that could play out if you did decide to launch it. By creating a “pros and cons” list for each of the scenarios, you can determine which path is most likely to create results you desire. Below are some probing questions to ask yourself about your new product idea before taking the additional steps to create it:

o Will doing this be something I really enjoy? Will it give me “job satisfaction”?
o How much time will it take to create this new product the right way? Am I willing to add that many more hours to my plate? Are there things I can give up to make room for it, without diminishing my income or happiness?
o What if this new product really takes off? If there’s more demand that I can serve right now, what will I do? Will I feel comfortable hiring people to help me? Will I feel comfortable letting go of other work I’m doing today to make room for it? If it really took off, how would it change the financials of my business and how I spend my time?
o If this new product doesn’t work out, how will I feel? Will I be willing to invest additional time required to fix it or market it to make sure it works? Will I feel like a failure or do I see this as an important opportunity for personal growth, even if it fails?

Since Accidental Jane is generally happy with the way things are right now, using these questions as filters to determine whether or not to launch a new product will help her make sure she doesn’t “accidentally” create results that take away some of her joy or income.

Even though all three Janes- Go Jane Go, Merry Jane and Accidental Jane- have distinct ways of doing business, each can benefit from the launch of successful new products and services. The key to doing so lies in appreciating herself and her own business needs, and pursuing new opportunities in a way that will really serve the life she wants to live.

Interested in learning more about the five Jane types and which Jane you are? Check out http://www.janeoutofthebox.com.