Investments Create Business Opportunities and vicer versa

23 Nov

Investments create business opportunities and business creates investment opportunities. It’s a continuous cycle and it begins with you and your ideas.

There are only 4 categories to invest in Business, Cash, Property and Paper. Business generates cash, cash provides the money to buy property or paper assets. As each asset grows there are more opportunities to build other streams of income. With each income stream a new business opportunity will present itself.

Using property as an example. By building a property portfolio there are services required to run the portfolio each of which can be a separate business. A management company can be created to manage your portfolio and the portfolios for other property investors. An inventory company can be formed to do 3 monthly rental property checks for your portfolio and other customers. Other potential businesses can be cleaning, maintenance, gardening and utilities. Each providing a service to your property portfolio investment. Each business can have external customers to allow a more organic growth within the business structure.

As each company becomes a successful standalone business it will generate more profit and income which can then be added to your cash pile for reinvestment into more properties and more paper assets. As each company grows it will need more suppliers for the business which can be new businesses created by you.

There are various ways to grow your business. Franchising is one where you sell a successful business model providing access to your proven systems. This will allow a business to grow without the normal exposure to overhead and financial liabilities that often stifle business growth.

In the previous blog we discussed changing the mindset to that of an investor. With an investor mindset you will continually see opportunities around you. Sometimes, there are so many opportunities it’s hard to decide which to put into the ‘not now’ categories and which to put into the ‘yes, now’ category.

Business can be used to offset taxes legally and reduce tax liability on investments. An accountant is the best person to advise you on which structures will fit best within your investment strategy.

The next time you are wondering what you can invest in remember – Investments create business opportunities and business creates investment opportunities. It’s a continuous cycle which starts by investing in you and your ideas.






Change your Mindset

9 Nov

There are 4 categories for earning income – Employee, Small Business Owner, Business Owner and Investor. Each category has a different mindset. A different way of thinking about business and money. The mindset you develop will determine your success in each category.


The mindset for an employee is usually based around ‘What’s In It For Me?’ They will be concerned with the hours they work. How much money they get paid either on an hourly basis or salary basis. How far do they have to get to work? What sick leave entitlement will they have. How much holiday pay? Is there a pension.

Small Business Owner

This is probably the worst category to be in but this category results in employment for 80% of employees. A Small Business Owner will be thinking about products and services; marketing; customers; staff; the location of their business; what equipment is needed; infrastructure; accounts; pay; pensions; hours of work; travel; holiday pay; holiday coverage; legislation and the list goes on and on.

Business Owner

A Business Owner is someone who has grown their business to such an extent they now have managers who run everything for them. Their mindset will be based around the structure of their business; how managers are performing; strategy for the business and are targets being met; is the business local or international; financials and legals although they will have specialists who deal with each area for them.


An investor will have a totally different mindset from the other 3 mentioned above. An investor is focused on

  • ROI (Return on Investment) how much will it be and is it worth the effort.
  • Exit Strategy – how quickly will you get your capital back? The quicker your money comes back to you the quicker you can get it invested elsewhere and be earning more investment income
  • People – who are the people who want to do business with you? What sort of track record do they have? Are they someone you think you can trust to invest with?
  • Markets – are they investing in the right market at the right time? They will look at investment cycles and determine if this is the best time to invest in that category
  • Taxes – legal ways to reduce tax liability

Which mindset do you have?

Do you have the right mindset for what you are doing right now?

Each mindset can be learned through practice. By being aware of where you are at this moment you can decide which mindset you need to move to the next level of where you want to be? Practice the mindset that suits that level best. Once you have the right mindset the rest will fall into place naturally.

Only you have the ability to change your mindset and change your outcome.


19 Oct

What is P2P and can it form part of an Investment Plan?

In New Zealand in the 1990’s there was a little lending scheme run by some wealth management companies which allowed private investors to invest $500+ into privately lent money schemes. The money was normally secured against a farm or land development. Interest rates were high and paid on either a quarterly or six monthly basis. This was my first introduction to P2P lending.

In 2000 when I arrived in the UK this type of investment was not easily assessable. How times have changed. Lending was traditionally the domain of Banks and Building Societies. With the Great Recession in 2008 onwards Banks & Building Societies stopped lending and Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending companies such as Zopa, Rate Setter, Thincats and Funding Circle became the norm.

P2P offered lenders, such as you and I, the chance to earn higher returns for lending small amounts of money. The maximum you could lend to one borrower was £10. Several lenders were needed to make up loans of £1000 for borrowers. You were paid interest each month on your money but you took the risk if the borrower failed to repay the loan.

Over recent years the main P2P Companies have introduced a repayment guarantee by putting aside money into a pot so if the borrower defaults your payment plus interest is guaranteed. You now have a very secure investment with interest guaranteed at a better rate than can be obtained through a bank.

Interest rates vary depending on a variety of reasons. Level of risk to the borrower. A* borrowers will be given loans around 3%. Higher risk borrowers could be up to 10%. Once the company’s management fee is deducted. Usually 1% there are still some good returns available for investors.

P2P investing fits nicely into a ‘Cashflow’ style Investment Plan. It provides regular monthly income which can easily be invested back into further loans simply by using the automatic invest option on your P2P account. This will increase your return on investment per year to greater than the advertised interest rate due to the compounding effect.

Regular automatic investment amounts can be set up with a standing order from your bank to your P2P lending account. The P2P company will immediately, upon receipt of your deposit, queue your money to be loaned to a customer on a first come first lent basis.

Once you are earning a reasonable income per month you can vary the amount reinvested and drawdown income as you require simply by removing the automatic invest option and manually allocating the amount to be reinvested.

If for any reason you find you need your money back quickly there are opportunities, with conditions, to resell the loans to other lenders and get your investment back.

Some SIPP (Self Invested Pension Plan) companies have their own P2P lending schemes which can be included in SIPPs. Watch out for the fees though as some have a minimum charge and a minimum investment per year requirement. Check the small print and if there is a repayment guarantee.

The government announced in last year’s budget that P2P would be available through ISA accounts. This has taken longer than anticipated to come into effect. As I write this I am not aware of any ISA opportunities. But things change on a daily basis so you never know how quickly this could be available.

P2P has come a long way since from the privately offered investments in the 1990’s to one which offers every individual the access to high return guaranteed investments on small investment amounts. Good compounding effect structure and guaranteed returns. What more can an investor ask for?

Karen Newton is an Entrepreneur, Investor, Author and Speaker.  For more information visit


Yes, I Can ….

5 Oct

Investing is not only about making money it’s about continuous learning, personal development and over coming our fears.

On the weekend I was on a training course about identifying limiting beliefs and overcoming them. I was in a room of 50 very successful business owners, working in small groups to identify what they believed was holding each of them back from even greater success. To the outside world these people are the epitome of great entrepreneurs. Many of you reading this have the mindset and belief that you could never emulate them. Yet, here they were in the same room saying there are things they believed they could not do. Things that were holding them back from achieving more.  They were human just like you and me with the same doubts and disbelief.

Does that sound familiar to you?

When I speak to groups about investing I see doubts in their faces. The look that says ‘I could never do that.’ Or ‘I’m not clever enough to be an investor.’ The same doubt I had 15 years ago when starting on my journey to become an investor. I had no special qualifications, I didn’t know anything about investing. I even had the wrong image about what an investor was and what they did. But I had a dream of a lifestyle that I wanted. Investing became the vehicle that let me start building that lifestyle. So, I willingly put in the hours of learning and practicing to achieve my dream. I am no different from you in my skills or abilities except I was willing to give it a try. I was not clever at school. I left with few ‘O’ levels or GCSE’s as they are called today. I was just willing to give it a try.

In my latest book ‘Homebiz Millionaire – Building Lifestyle and Wealth’, I tell the story of wanting an apartment in a ski resort in the French Alps. How I worked out the costs of running such an apartment and then using the skills I’d learnt about investing found an investment that provided me with the income to afford the apartment.

In investing jargon, I used leverage to buy an income producing asset that offset the expenses of an asset liability. I’m sure if that was said to you it would be enough to put anyone off. But, in layman terms I bought a rental property using a mortgage. Once the mortgage is paid from the rent the money left over pays for my apartment in the Alps. Understand the language of investing and you are 90% of the way to becoming a successful investor.

What is holding you back from building your dream lifestyle?

There is nothing complicated about what I’ve done anyone can do it. There is nothing stopping you from doing the same except for you. Your perception of what investing is, how complicated it is, or if you have the skills and knowledge to do it. Investing is easy. We just have never been taught how to do it. Sadly, many of us don’t take the steps to learn. We see barriers and excuses for not doing the necessary things for success. When all we really need to do is look in the mirror and say ‘Yes, I can…

When To Invest…

28 Sep

Ferrari weekend at Beaulieu National Motor Museum with around 100 cars on display was an amazing sight. A sea of red interspersed with the odd colours of predominantly yellow and blue. There was an air of excitement as kids quietly asked if they could have a photo taken with the car. Stunned when you offered them a chance to sit in the car for the photo. For many it’s the first time they’ve been up close to one of their dream cars.

It was fascinating talking to the owners about their cars. Most own them for the pure joy others have bought them as an investment. The classic car market is enjoying a growth spurt. A Ferrari Mondial which only 4 years ago could be bought for £10,000 – £12,000 is today selling for £30,000. A Ferrari 360 F1 which during the great recession was down at £30,000 is today worth £60,000 and in some cases selling around the £70,000 mark. At recent auctions classic Ferrari’s sold in the millions. Ferrari is not the only marque to benefit from the upward trend in the classic car market.  Classic cars around the world are going up in value.

The share market has been in a downward trend over recent months. It has been long overdue. But how low will it last? In July 1984 the index low price was 978 it then started a steady climb until Dec 1999 when it closed at 6930. Despite the daily ups and downs during the period it was in a growth spell. By Jan 2003 the index had dropped to 3567 where it started another zigzag recovery until reaching it’s peak in April 2015 at 7122. As I write this article the market has today closed at 5958.

How low will this downward trend last? I don’t know. I wish I had a crystal ball that could see into the future. Instead I rely on data. Each day I check the closing prices in all the markets I follow. Each month I plot the information into a spreadsheet and watch the trend. A few minutes of research each day helps me to monitor and prepare for the next growth period.

Property has ups and downs just like any investment. Each month I check the sales information from Land Registry and record the information in a spreadsheet. I can then see the patterns for increases and decreases.

If you wait for information to appear in the newspapers you have missed the opportunities. Once a newspaper starts reporting regularly on the investment category you know the masses will soon start buying. This will force the price up quickly and there will be little profit to be made. Most investors use this period to sell, realise their profit and have money ready for the next up and coming investment cycle.

So what’s next? What currently seems to be out of favour? Start watching where the masses are selling. Keep your own records, plot the information in a spreadsheet. You will see trends starting to appear and before long you will see the start of a growth cycle. You are then ready to make the decision about when to invest in that market?

For more information about Karen and Investing visit

All Change…

14 Sep

Bright new uniforms dwarf kids as they start back to school for the new learning year. Within months those same uniforms will be too tight or too short. Shiny shoes will be scuffed and torn or out grown within weeks. Our kids are continually growing but we hardly notice the subtle changes in front of us daily.

Investing is very much the same. If like me, you have your investments fairly automated, that is you are putting a set amount away each week or month, you often don’t see the subtle changes taking place. Are your investments performing to expectations? Is that particular investment outdated? What is the best use of your money right now? It’s too easy to become complacent about your investments.

Like many people I tend to set goals for the New Year, well, do you realise, 2016 is just 15 weeks away.

Over the coming months I will start reviewing the performance this year for each of my investments. What could I have done better? What did I do really well? What do I want to achieve next year. My plan will start to come together and by 1st January 2016 I will be ready with my new plan for the New Year. What about you?

Monitoring your investments and giving yourself feedback on how you did is like producing your own school report on your performance for the year. Did you do all that you could to get the best out of your investment. Don’t be afraid to be brutally honest with yourself. No one will see the report except you. No one will see the successes or failures except you.

In previous blogs we’ve discussed ‘cycles’. All investments have growth times and downward times. Some cycles last for years while others for months. To make money you need to keep an eye on where your investment is in the cycle and be taking advantage at the right time in the growth and downward parts of the cycle. Investment cycles are continually changing and we have to be able to change with them.

The world of investing is changing. As the government changes laws they impact on investment strategies. As world economies change it impacts on the performance of our investments. As we grow as investors it impacts on our ability to see more opportunities around us and take advantage of them.

Education and learning is as important today as it was when we first went to school. Only now, you are learning to provide for you, your family and all your futures. Do you have any plans to learn more about investing? Should mentoring form part of your investment strategy?

As the world continually changes around you are you and your investment strategies ready to change with it?


Karen Newton is an entrepreneur, investor, author and speaker. Karen teaches basic investment skills and strategies. For more information visit

What’s your dream lifestyle?

25 Jul

We are taught from an early age that we need to work hard, save for retirement then enjoy what’s left of our lives. 
I believe we should build and live our dream lifestyles as we go along using income from our investments to make the dream affordable and a reality. 

Too many people are in the survival rut of work, eat and sleep. If you are lucky,  you fit in seeing the kids at weekends or school hols. 

Wouldn’t it be better to build a lifestyle that allowed you to spend more time with the kids?

 This week I was asked “how do you manage school holidays and work?” To which I could happily reply it’s no problem. I take whatever time I want with my family whenever I want as I have a guaranteed income through my investments. 

I’ve built and continue to build a lifestyle that I enjoy with the luxury trappings I want. All paid for through my investments. 

Why don’t you take a moment to plan your dream lifestyle? Decide what investments can help you achieve your plan. Then commit to start it. You’ll be amazed at the changes you can make over the next 12 months and how easy it can be. 

When I wanted an apartment in the French Alps, I visited the region. Found a place to suit my needs and budget.  Priced it and worked out the running costs. I bought a rundown property costing a few thousand pounds. It’s a work in progress meaning a little bit of maintenance and decoration is done each time I visit. I put an investment together that pays ongoing expensives and local taxes. I’ve enjoyed the use of the property for  the past 10 years. 

What a change to my lifestyle that created.

So, what’s your dream lifestyle and how quickly can you start enjoying it? 

Karen Newton is the author of Homebiz Millionaire – Building Lifestyle and Wealth. The book will be available from Septmber 2015. Website