Make a Mountain of Cash through Renting

Becoming a landlord and making the most of the buy-to-let market is a tantalising prospect for many people who wish to combine their love for renovating property and their love for generating income. If you have an interest in both of these activities, as well as an interest in mountains and mountaineering, then why not combine them all and invest in buy-to-let properties near a mountain range?

It makes practical sense as there is a big call for people wanting to relocate near to a mountain site. This is because of the fact that doing so mixes the opportunities to remain in a city-like environment, whilst still offering breathtaking views every morning as if you had in fact decided to up sticks and live off the grid. Living near a mountain may also be a big draw because of the fact that there is a huge, natural place to explore on their doorstep all year round and maybe even snowboarding opportunities during the winter months. There are also great health benefits to doing so too. For one, having a huge mountain looming over you day in, day out is going to be enough inspiration for anybody to want to get active; as well as this, science has concluded that spending so much time in high altitudes is a sure-fire way to lower the risk of obesity and fight heart disease, and you can’t argue with science.

So, if you’re looking for your next rental opportunity, or wanting to get on the rental ladder for the first time, then look no further than properties in areas that sit in front of a mountain. One of America’s favourite mountain towns is Asheville, North Carolina where there is a host of real estate on offer. If you wish to tap into the market that prospective buyers look to when they want to find the perfect temperature, all year round, then this is the place to look to as temperatures here never exceed 75 degrees. However, if you fancy locating your rental empire in a place with far more distinctive seasons, and building the foundations of it on a far flatter plane, then you wouldn’t go far wrong looking for houses in Meridian. It is the state of Idaho’s fastest-growing city, which means both that it is obviously a place that is growing in stature and reputation, and that you should move quickly if you want to snap up property in this area that is overlooked by the Owyhee Mountains in the south.

For all your would-be-landlords out there, there are still a host of things to consider before you become a landlord other than the location in which you will basing your rental empire. There are aspects such as mortgage, landlords’ insurance, stamp duty, tax, rates, management of property and registration fees to tackle. Ensure your profits don’t take a tumble by just focusing on the location of your property. For now, happy renting, and happy mountain climbing!

A Kraft-Heinz Unilever Merger May Still Happen

The world’s oceans are not measured by their economic value, but some economists say they should be. If the oceans were considered a country, they would be the seventh largest economy in the world. Economist put a dollar value on the oceans two years ago, and they came up with a $24 trillion as the value they generate from shipping, fishing, tourism, renewable energy, and oil, and gas. The oceans deliver $500 billion in dividends to humanity every year, according to Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, director of the Global Change Institute. That fact is rarely mentioned. The value of the oceans is completely ignored by many countries. Marine resources are being degraded by pollution, plastic waste, and climate change. But even with the amount of pollution the oceans still perform a valuable service that impacts the bottom lines of hundreds, if not thousands, of corporations every year.

A good example of how oceans play in the global scheme of economic negotiating is the proposed merger between Kraft-Heinz and the U.K.’s mega-consumer driven giant, Unilever. The $143 billion merger would be the third largest corporate deal in history. But Unilever is not impressed by Kraft’s offer. Unilever thinks Kraft-Heinz would be getting some very recognizable brands on the cheap. Kraft-Heinz is not giving up, however. Both companies are facing challenges in the ever-changing consumer market. More consumers on both sides of the ocean are giving up on the products that don’t fit into the all-natural category. Kraft-Heinz has Oscar Meyer meats, Philadelphia cheese spreads, and Maxwell House coffee as their lead products and Unilever has Dove soap, Best Foods/Hellman’s mayonnaise, and Lipton tea in their product assortment.

The mega-consumer product deal has some heavyweight investors pushing for closure. Brazilian investment firm 3G Capital, and billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway own 51% of Kraft-Heinz. Buffett is the catalyst behind the Kraft-Heinz proposal, according to James Dondero, the CEO of Highland Capital Management. Dondero thinks Kraft-Heinz won’t stop until a deal is done. The only stumbling block is the price, according to Dondero. Unilever thinks they are worth more than a $143 billion.

Even though the deal is still up in the air, shares of Kraft-Heinz rose 10.7 percent recently. Unilever stock hit $44.90 a share, and that is a $5.42 jump. Both companies are worth more than $100 billion, according to Dondero. Dondero thinks Unilever is actually worth more than Kraft-Heinz.

The merger between these two giants shows the importance of the oceans in the economic growth of the world. A merger between two companies like these two would not have taken place without the value oceans provide in terms of shipping, and other logistic issues. The distance between the two corporate headquarters is divided by an ocean, but they are also economically connected by the same ocean.

Jim Dondero is the president and CEO of Highland Capital Management. Dallas-Based Highland Capital Management has more than $16 billion in assets under management. Dondero is an expert in emerging market investing and asset allocation management. He earned his accounting and finance degrees from the University of Virginia. He is the Chairman of NexPoint, NexBank, Cornerstone Healthcare. He also sits on the board of MGM Studios. Jim is responsible for supporting several high-profile nonprofit organizations in the Dallas area through the Highland Dallas Foundation. He supports clean ocean initiatives and several other environmental organizations.

You Have More Debt Management Options Than You Think

When it comes to dealing with debt, it’s easy to let panic to set in. You might scramble to create a budget, to start saving money, to downsize the home, sell what you don’t need, and do anything to tip the scales in your favor. Those are all good ideas, but they’re not the only options available to you.

Order your debts

Setting up a budget to start paying off your debts is a good idea, there’s no doubt about it. But it’s only one-half of the organization you need to really create a stable and smart approach to paying off debt. The other one is to start prioritizing between different debts, to find out which one you should pay first. Every debt should get the minimum payment, that’s non-negotiable. But you need to think about what will help you pay the least amount of money. This means ordering them in terms of urgency and interest rates. Tackling smaller debts and getting them off the board might be easier, but is it worth it if you’re accruing more and more interest elsewhere?

Shuffle your debt

When you’re digging your way out of debt, having multiple debts can sometimes make it harder to manage, not easier. Especially if some of them have interest rates you just can’t keep up with. Moving debt to other creditors and consolidating can sometimes be a very smart move to give you more breathing room to deal with them. However, sometimes it’s not the best option. If you have a fixed interest credit card debt you’re dealing with, for instance, it might be better to keep it there where it will grow slower, than in a debt loan where interest could grow further.

Look at the niche providers

If you’re not happy with the deals currently on offer for you, then you might need to look beyond the usual loan sources and see if there’s any assistance for people specifically like you. For instance, if you’re an ex-service member, then organizations like Omni Military Loans might be able to offer a much better consolidation service than you would otherwise find. If you’re a cancer patient, the Cancer Finance Assistance Coalition can help you deal with costs that might otherwise put you into debt. Think of the specifics of your life and see if they might qualify you for any further help, in loans, grants, or otherwise.

Talk to your creditors

It’s not an option that a lot of people take because they are justifiably scared of coming into contact with the people whom they owe money. However, many creditors don’t want to see you have to start giving up your assets to pay them back. Get in touch with them early enough and you can ask for lower interest or an extended repayment period. Even if it gets to the collectors instead, you could negotiate a debt settlement before it goes too far and becomes too difficult to deal with.

It pays to be calm and to see what circumstances you’re really in. To know where exactly you should be putting your money, when you can get a debt settled much better in your favor, and when a bit of niche assistance can really help.