What’s In It For Me? Four Reasons Why You Should Consider Overseas Property Investment


The great thing about investing in property overseas is that you can do what suits you best. Few other forms of investment offer this.

For instance, ask yourself why you want to invest in the first place. Do you want to

  • create a second income;
  • have a holiday home that pays for itself;
  • retire to a warmer climate;
  • run a full-time property business?

You may even be interested in a combination of these.

You also have options about the way you deal with your investment. Do you prefer to have a completely hands-off approach and leave everything to other people? Or do you intend to get personally involved with property development and renovation; bookings for tenants; and rent collection?

The choices are yours to take. And you can base these not just on economic factors but on your personal inclinations.

Investment strategy

Strategies for some types of investment are complex. This certainly doesn’t have to apply to overseas property.

The first question to ask about your investment strategy is do you want to use all of your own money? Financial institutions recognize properties worldwide as valuable assets. You can therefore pay the incidental costs (legal fees, etc.) and a deposit; a bank may then give you a mortgage for the balance.

And never rule out the possibility of using a bank located in the same country as the property. A good lawyer can guide you through the legal aspects – and give you the confidence to proceed.

Once again, you have a choice! And this is linked to what you intend to do with your property and the strategy you have for future years. For example, you may hope to

  • buy property with a mortgage and offset this with rental income;
  • resell the property, make a profit and buy something larger (or purchase two properties);
  • buy a property outright with your own money and use it as equity for expanding your portfolio.

Whatever route you take, you have a flexible approach that conventional investment opportunities often lack.


Financial gurus will tell you that profitable investment is about successful risk management. In other words, you need to reduce the chances of losing your money.

The advantage of overseas properties is that they are tangible. They’re bricks and mortar. You can see exactly what you’re getting for your cash. The financial nature of overseas property is also relatively simple to understand. After all, the basics of an apartment or villa in Spain, Italy or Venezuela are no different to those of your home in the UK.

Three elements therefore make up the potential risk.

  1. Location and quality.
  2. What you plan to do with the property.
  3. Future price fluctuations.

You can put your mind at rest over these by conducting research. This needn’t be difficult. Overseas property investment is a well-trodden path. There are plenty of professional people commenting about the market and producing financial forecasts.

You can also spend time visiting the area you have in mind. Take time to enjoy the weather and make your own assessment. This isn’t something you can do with most other forms of investment!

Making money

No investment can guarantee that you’ll make money. But when you research the potential of overseas property, you’ll find that the right place can bring you regular income and a worthwhile resale profit.

Regular short- or long-term lets to tenants generate the income. This can not only cover your costs but give you money to spare. A good resale profit depends on a number of factors. But without being too simplistic, if you buy in an area that is developing fast and has good transport links, you can watch the price of your property rise steadily.

This, in a nutshell, is the ideal investment. One which earns you money and increases in value. Overseas property can provide you with these and help you achieve an investor’s ultimate goal: financial freedom.

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Affordable Health Insurance Options in Ohio: An Interview With Ohio Department of Insurance Director

According to the United States Census Bureau, 87.7 percent of Ohioans had some form of health insurance coverage during 2005, while 12.3 percent were not insured at any time during the year. Additionally, 14 percent of Ohio residents under the age of sixty-five did not have health insurance during 2005.


Most Ohioans who have health insurance are covered by either employer based plans or government programs. What options are available for individuals who do not have access to such coverage? Ohio Department of Insurance Director, Ann Womer Benjamin, references the “increasing number of options with Health Savings Accounts. There may be a person, or a family, generally comfortable paying for health care costs, but wants a high deductible policy. Also, for fairly young, fairly healthy individuals, an HSA coupled with a High Deductible Health Plan could really work.”

Health Savings Accounts are not feasible for everyone. Ohio residents who are not interested in HSAs should try to take advantage of alternative plans and programs. “Ohio has an Open Enrollment Program that takes (uninsured individuals) regardless of pre-existing conditions, but is likely costly”, Womer Benjamin explains.


There are currently two bills in the Ohio Legislature, Senate Bill 272 and House Bill 5 / Senate Bill 5 that are generally supported by the Ohio Department of Insurance as methods of expanding access to health insurance coverage.

Senate Bill 272 would repeal the Open Enrollment Program, as well as the Open Enrollment Reinsurance Program. In its place, the Ohio Health Insurance Risk Pool would be created to provide health care coverage to individuals who are unable to obtain affordable health care coverage in any other manner. This would eliminate the annual periods of open enrollment that sickness and accident insurers, health insurance corporations, and multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWAs) are currently required to hold. “The Ohio Health Insurance Risk Pool would provide a state fund for those without health insurance coverage. We would support this concept and have various suggestions for funding. We would theoretically be able to reach ten times more individuals than the Open Enrollment Program does currently”, says Womer Benjamin.

House Bill 5 / Senate Bill 5 would permit small employers to offer health care plans that do not provide benefits otherwise required by law. The bill provides for the operation of health savings accounts that are consistent with federal law, and places a limit on an insured’s liability for co-payments and deductibles under a health benefit plan. ODI Director Womer Benjamin asserts that the bill “would provide more options for small businesses, and we are hopeful that that will pass”.


On April 4, 2006, Massachusetts House Bill 4850 was overwhelmingly passed by the state legislature. All Massachusetts residents will be required to obtain health insurance coverage by July 1, 2007. The state’s plan dictates that businesses with more than ten employees that do not provide health insurance coverage will be charged a fee of as much as $295 a year for each employee. Government subsidies to private insurance plans will provide affordable health insurance to a greater number of the working poor, and individuals who can afford private health plans will be penalized on their state income taxes if they do not have coverage. Should Ohio consider a similar plan in order to achieve nearly universal health insurance coverage? Ohio Department of Insurance Director Ann Womer Benjamin says that we need to “watch Massachusetts and evaluate the plan’s success and funding”. “Ohio has a larger number of uninsured individuals and is different than Massachusetts, politically.”

Ohioans have a large selection of health insurance carriers and government programs to choose from. Regardless of the provider, it is extremely important for individuals to obtain a health insurance plan. Director Womer Benjamin emphasizes that she is “concerned with people who don’t think they need health insurance coverage”.

About The Ohio Department of Insurance

The Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI) is an informative resource for those seeking information regarding health insurance options in the state. ODI asserts that its mission is to be “responsive to and safeguard consumer interests through education and vigilance while promoting a stable and competitive marketplace among insurance providers”. The Ohio Department of Insurance can help uninsured persons sort through their options, depending on their individual circumstances. For more information, call the ODI Consumer Hotline at 1-800-686-1526.

The Department is headed by Director Ann Womer Benjamin, who was appointed in January of 2003, and is the first woman to hold this position. Prior to this appointment, Womer Benjamin served in the Ohio House of Representatives for eight years.

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Find the Best Small Business Financing Company

Starting a small business is not a simple task as it sounds to be. There are many factors which are to be taken care of before getting started with any kind of business. If you are not self financed, then you have to look out for an ideal small business financing company which would help you establish you business successfully. Establishing the company is not the only thing which is to be taken care off. In fact this would be the beginning. You may have to take loan in order to cater some requirements such as buying raw, equipment and even paying salaries etc. There are several organizations which provide business start up loans. You need to research the market and find the best one in the lot with the best offer.

Once you are clear with all the requirements to set up the business, you need to plan on how many employees you would require. These employees have to be trained so that they can bring growth to your business. They have to be trained with new skills in order to prevent being stagnant. By any chance if your employees run out of ideas then it would affect you business drastically. Small business training programs would be advisable for every sales team. Training programs would help the employees in enhancing their communication skills and at the same time it would sharpen their marketing skills. The modules should be designed as per requirements of your business set up. Sales leadership training would be one of the appropriate training programs for small business training.

Certain points should be discussed mandatorily during the training session. To begin with, the business name should convey what exactly are you are going to give to the consumers. There should be a determined vision where in you will have an ideal about what you will be five years down the line. Sales fitness training should be focused on this vision in order to aim and achieve it. The business should stand out among its competitors by maintaining its unique value propositions. Perfect timelines should be set in advance in order to achieve the goals. This would help you a lot in establishing and getting popular because of the performance. It is very important to recognize the strength, weakness, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis, no matter you are starting a small business or already running it. You need to plan each and every step towards success. Without planning it would be very difficult to achieve the targets. Financial planning is one of the important aspects of planning. Last but not the least you need to keep examining constantly on what you are expecting to achieve.

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Choosing the Tools for Social Media for Small Business

The initial part of this series explored the need for small businesses to use social media and what were some of the critical steps in the process. Questions were raised to assist the small business owner to focus their efforts in the best way possible to achieve the desired results based upon the overall objectives and goals of the marketing plan. It gave a few tips on how to specifically identify the target audience and where they could be found on social media.

It is possible to compare the selection of the tools for social media to how a farmer selects the tools. First he/she surveys the land to determine the best type of crop to plant. This is similar to the owner reviewing the business website. The website for the small business is very much like the land for the farmer. It must be easy to use, provide content, contains various ways for people to interact with business and other ways to link with the business. As the farmer begins to make a choice of crop or crops to plant, he/she identifies who will be buying the crops. For the owner, it is the identification of the target audience. The farmer then makes the selection of the crop or crops that will produce the greatest results for them and develops a plan or process that will be used to plant the crops. This includes the review of the tools the farmer has on hand and the tools he/she needs to purchase or lease to complete the job of planting. Thus the farmer reviews each of their tools to ensure they are in good condition and able to perform effectively the tasks that need to be accomplished.

As the farmer makes the decisions about crops, the owner has to make the choice of the products or services he/she are going to provide to customers. The owner must review the website and began asking the questions that will assist in making the correct decisions on improvement.

For instance,

  1. How effective has the website been in assisting creating more sales?
  2. What kind of content are we providing that helps prospective customers?
  3. What is on the site that keeps the customer captured in order for them to spend more time looking at other products?
  4. Do I have links to other social media sites?
  5. Do I have a place for them to sign up for something free I am giving them?
  6. What other things can I offer to them to keep them on the site longer or have them buy a product or service?

The implements for the farmer are limited by the type of product they are going to produce and the overall size of the area to be planted. For the owner, the implements for social media are much more varied and are dependent on the target audience and the overall time that a small business owner plans to expand on social media. Presently, the major tools being used include: Facebook, Twitter; LinkedIn; You Tube; and Google+.

While the ones listed above are the most popular and used most often, they are not the only tools that are available for a small business. Some other tools being used are Tumblr, Slideshare, Instagram, Foursquare, Yelp, Pinterest, Gentlemint and Merchant Circle. Each one of these tools provides different formats and reaches different audiences.

So much as the farmer decides on the best tools for planting the crops, small business owners must do the same thing. As we review the popular tools, it is important for you as the small business owner to keep in mind your target audience; also, the amount of time you want to expend in using social media.

Social media tools discussed below have requirements that you create a profile. The profile will differ somewhat between social media platforms. It is important that the owner complete each of the profiles. This becomes the key for people to learn to know about the owner and the services or products that the company provides. Some of the requested information include: name, picture, professional headline, current title, web sites, public profile, summary, specialties, experience, education, interests, groups and associations, skills, personal information, contact settings, and companies.

The tool called Facebook is one of the most popular of the tools and is constantly growing. Businesses of all sizes are using this tool. Businesses create fan pages and business pages to promote their business. They ask people to like their pages in order to create greater number of followers. When they post updates people who have asked to get notifications and feeds will get them. This is a way for them to promote their brands, events, and coupons. Before selecting this as the place where you want your business listed as an owner must understand that just posting a page is not sufficient. It requires time to place status updates and respond to updates in a timely manner. It is about the relationship you are creating. Prior to select this tool the owner should check for the demographics of the website to ensure it fits the target audience.

LinkedIn as a tool is one of the most powerful tools for connecting with professionals. It is a tool that allows a person to develop a professional profile, upload a resume and join groups, create groups and follow individuals and companies. It is a good source to find information about a person or company. It is an excellent way to connect to other professionals across the nation and world as well as generate request for introductions to others. It allows a user to maintain a contact list of people they know and trust in business and can use to help connect with others. As with other tools, it must be used professionally and needs to have ongoing maintenance. Interactions are also important in establishing your creditability with this tool.

Twitter is another of the more popular tools in social media. It requires more attention than others because it is more like carrying on several conversations. It is used worldwide and can be considered a micro blogging site. It is a good tool to keep people posted as to what is occurring in your industry and information that as a business should be shared with others. It is a means of connecting with leaders in your industry and finding out their thoughts and how they influence people. As with the other tools, it requires a time commitment to maintain and respond to twits or updates from people.

YouTube is a video sharing social media site that is owned by Google. This site has grown considerably and is now the number two search engine. Business and individuals use this as a means of connecting with people using a visual mode. Studies show that people will watch a short video rather than read a large amount of data. It is also used as an educational platform and provides various types of self-development information. It is a great platform for delivering video-based testimonials, how to guides and commercials promoting products and/or services. As with other tools, a business can subscribe to other users and receive information when new posts are made. Before selecting this medium recognize that new videos will need to be developed and uploaded to be an effective tool.

Google+ (Google Plus) is a relative new tool as far as social media is concerned. It is used by both businesses and individuals. It provides a few more tools to use within the site than some of the others. Some of them include: Circles, Hangouts, Messenger, Instant Upload of Photos, Hashtags, Explore posts, Find People, Events, Find Local Businesses, Create Business Pages and more. The features make it easy for an individual to use. Since it is part of the Google product line one must have a Google Email account to use Google+. As a whole when viewed with the other Google product provides a great arsenal of tools to assist small business become more successful.

The tools we have briefly discussed are some of the most powerful being used presently, but they are only as good as the owner who selects to use them. The owner must remember that as a farmer selects the tools, the owner must do the same that are best for the designed marketing plan. The use of the tools themselves for owner is most important. Once the farmer prepares the field with the right tools and plants the seed, it is now important to water the seeds and plants until it is time to harvest. The owner has prepared his website, selected the social media tools based upon the marketing design, prepared each of the sites with the requested profiles and published each of the sites.

Now as the farmer waters the owner must use the status updates, tweets, messages, videos, slides. Responding to comments is also the way that a owner works with small business to establish the know, like and trust factors. This must be done with consistency overtime. As discussed in the previous article, social media is the developing of relationships with people and that does not happen quickly. Thus it is of utmost importance that a regular schedule be developed and implemented on a weekly basis.

The next segment of the series will review and look at social media sites that are up and coming and sites that are very powerful but have not gained in the overall popularity. As with the others, each has its strengths and weaknesses. Each therefore has different demographics and different targets. The business owner needs to have an understanding in order to select the best tool. A discussion of some of the sites that are better for international use will also be discussed. The subsequent articles will deal with tools to use to make using social media a little easier and ways to measure the return on investment of social media. The final part of the series will discuss other web-based tools that can assist small business become more effective in delivering services and products to customers.

As a owner, take the time to review each of the demographics for the sites. If you do not have a social media site, then select one that fits your demographics. Ask questions, raise concerns, review your goals, and talk to those who are using the sites, and then move forward with your plan.

6/5/20132 Lonnie G. Juarez, Jr. Ph.D. Visionary/CEO Social Business Media Connections and Social Business Media Managers

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