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13 Mistakes New Vacation Rental Owners Always Make

13 Mistakes New Vacation Rental Owners Always Make | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
New Vacation Rental Owners Take Heed - Read This List Of 13 Mistakes For New Vacation Rental Owners and Successful Avoid Disaster.
Richard W J Brown's insight:


Holiday lets are another niche sector within the property rental market and by definition operate in a different way to longer-term tenancies. This article focuses on some of the mistakes made in marketing a holiday let.

 

We have a holiday let in the family - just the one - and have so far elected to outsource all of the rental management including the marketing activities. Given that the results have been mixed I guess we have most likely made most of the mistakes highlighted in this article.

 

I am resolving therefore to adopt at least 3 of the recommendations going forward:

 

Having a standalone website for the property - long overdue
Using multiple social media & other online platforms to market the property
Look into paid for advertising such as Google Adwords - particularly mid-season which seems to be where the biggest gap exists 

 

Making a start, right here, right now - any readers of this insight can claim a 15% booking off any rental as long as it is booked directly through me at richardmb@iib.ws quoting "Scoop.it" rather than by contacting the management company listed on the following booking link...go on have a peak at how you can enjoy some Algarve sun in a quaint, old fishing town with its new marina, old town and sandy beaches all within walking distance :) http://www.holidaylettings.co.uk/rentals/lagos/232895

 

Unashamed plug over and on a more serious note - holiday lets will typically break even at around 14-18 weeks rental per annum during the peak season...it is in driving this number up in the off and mid-season that it will turn into a more profitable venture and so many of these marketing tips are very practical and necessary therefore.

 

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Bornstein Law & Bay Property Group's curator insight, November 20, 2013 4:11 PM

Buying, renting and managing a new vacation home can be a tricky situation, here are some pitfalls to avoid!

If you are seeking rental properties in the SF Bay area please reach out to baypropertygroup.com for listings. 

The Property Voice
Residential Property Investment - buying, selling, renting, managing & financing residential property or real estate from www.thepropertyvoice.net UPDATE: Book & Podcast out now!
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Another bright plan to tax Landlords

Landlord taxation in the headlines again.http://www.home.co.uk/guides/news/story.htm?government_urged_to_introduce_new_buy_to_let_tax_on_nightly_letting
Richard W J Brown's insight:
Watch out, they are coming after you if you short-term let in London beyond 90 days without planning permission. Plus the lobbying begins for more tax just for fun!
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Limited companies ‘the norm’ for buy-to-let landlords

Limited companies ‘the norm’ for buy-to-let landlords | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
If you’re making your money through being a professional landlord you’ll carry on doing so.”
Richard W J Brown's insight:
"If you’re making your money through being a professional landlord you’ll carry on doing so.”

Amateur landlords are sleepwalking into a storm - it appears that many are unaware of the impact of the loss of higher-rate tax relief on their mortgage and won't wake up until they submit their 2018 tax return in a year's time.

Meanwhile, those in the know are already making adjustments, be that buying in higher yield locations or switching to company ownership instead.
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Man Who's Made Over $400,000 Investing in Bitcoin Reveals His Strategy

Man Who's Made Over $400,000 Investing in Bitcoin Reveals His Strategy | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
Ever since Nas Daily’s video came out about how I earned over $400,000 with less than $10,000 investing in Bitcoin and Ethereum, I’ve been getting hundreds of questions from people around the world about how to get started with cryptocurrency investment. First: I’m super glad there’s so much interest in cryptocurrency right now. I firmly do believe that cryptocurrency and …
Richard W J Brown's insight:
Not gonna lie...this is a mini-marathon of a read BUT so worthwhile if you want to understand Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies! The pricing references are little old now but the principles and content are so useful it’s worth saving and sharing. Part 1 covers the history of Bitcoin in some depth Part 2 addresses some of the inherent issues that amateur investors and speculators experience and gives these a name. It also suggests what the writer believe to be the best strategy of all. Part 3 gives a thankfully by the time you get there a short explanation of how to buy and safely store your Crypto Enjoy!
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UK property prices: the next five years Part 1

UK property prices: the next five years Part 1 | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
UK property prices: the next five years Part 1
Richard W J Brown's insight:
This suggests that London and the South-East will bottom out and indeed bounce back over the next 5 years. Interesting.
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Budget fall-out: More bad news for buy-to-let

Budget fall-out: More bad news for buy-to-let | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
Budget fall-out: More bad news for buy-to-let
Richard W J Brown's insight:
That sneaky Chancellor!

I will be honest with you, I did see the mention of the withdrawal of the indexation allowance when I prepared my Budget review podcast episode for this week, but decided not to mention it.

The reason for not mentioning it was because it currently only affects a small minority of landlord / property investors i.e. those who own their property through a company and dispose of their BTL at a profit. It's a subset of a subset boiling down to a small minority currently affected.

However, for those affected it could be significant as it will increase the company equivalent of capital gains tax.

When we own property personally, we get an annual CGT exemption of around £11k, which we deduct from our gain before we pay our CGT. With a company, there is not annual exemption, rather the indexation allowance instead. The indexation allowance allows us to deduct inflation from our gain instead of a flat annual exemption and then pay our tax on what's left. The comparison between the two varies depending on how long owned, how much gain, the average rate of inflation and of course the different tax rates. 

However, the indexation allowance was a generous offset, which has not been removed GOING FORWARD. If you own or plan to own BTL properties through a company and intend to sell them at some point, it will affect you. If you plan to hold them forever, perhaps selling the company or handing over the shares as an inheritance, then it won't directly affect you.

It's a sneaky one though that's for sure!
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Think tank claims immigration will have big impact on housing demand in UK

Think tank claims immigration will have big impact on housing demand in UK | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
Successive Governments in the UK have misled the public over the true extent to which immigration exacerbates the demand for additional housing, a new report claims. The Department for Communities and Local Government principal projection of future household growth estimates that over the 25 years to 2039 there will be an average increase of 210,000 …
Richard W J Brown's insight:
I will say two things about this... 1. I am not surprised that migration data is understated 2. The Government actually wants more economically active migrants not only to do certain jobs but also to help us outgrow our huge debt problem! The flip side of this is of course increased demand for houses....
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Why you sometimes have to quit to win

Why you sometimes have to quit to win | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
There’s a downside in hanging on to your job or goals for too long – but most people don’t see it. Amanda Ruggeri explains.
Richard W J Brown's insight:
Seriously...what should you be quitting right now?
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How to find a property sourcer

How to find a property sourcer | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
Using a sourcer is often the best way to access the deals you need. Here are some pointers on finding and doing your research on them.
Richard W J Brown's insight:
I agree with Rob; I don't recommend property sourcers either. There are good and bad sourcers and then there are good and bad deals too. So, you need to find a good sourcer presenting a good deal...which is often hit and miss for many of the reasons he mentions.

There is another way though...try the Property Deal Tips service for around £100 instead of several £000s: http://www.thepropertyvoice.net/propertydealtips/
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House for sale: only problem is the neighbours own half your bedroom

House for sale: only problem is the neighbours own half your bedroom | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
A couple only discovered that the boundaries of their new-build are wrong when they tried to move, and they’re not alone
Richard W J Brown's insight:
This seems incredible...until you hear how often it happens!

This fiasco highlights just how important the legal side of a property acquisition is. In fact, it possibly even more important that the structural aspects of the property in some respects, so it could lead to a property being unsaleable in certain circumstances.

Choose your solicitor wisely therefore!
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Money changing - see the future

Money changing - see the future | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
The future of banking is with software companies, it is not going to be your traditional banks.
Richard W J Brown's insight:
"The future of banking is with software companies, it is not going to be your traditional banks."
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Uncertainty and lending constraints to slow 5 year house price growth. Rents to keep pace with wages, but landlords feel the squeeze

Uncertainty and lending constraints to slow 5 year house price growth. Rents to keep pace with wages, but landlords feel the squeeze | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
Richard W J Brown's insight:
This is worth a read..trend predictions over the next 5 years. It's not just about house prices, but rents too, so make sure you always look at both sides of the return equation...capital and revenue growth.

So, where will be a decent bet to invest in then? Almost anywhere outside London it seems, with a slight advantage for the north-west of England.
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Infographic: The Power of Smart Contracts on the Blockchain

Infographic: The Power of Smart Contracts on the Blockchain | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
The applications of blockchain tech go way beyond just payments. See how smart contracts work in this infographic, and how they may shape entire industries.
Richard W J Brown's insight:
If you are wondering how all this Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and Blockchain stuff relates to property, then read this.

It is the Blockchain and it's capability to facilitate Smart contracts that will bring significant change to Real Estate / Property, Insurance & Banking / Financial Services industry sectors...all of which are relevant to property investors!

I suggest you sit up and take notice. I also suggest that you look towards Etherium more so than Bitcoin, as Etherium is the Daddy of Smart Contracts right now.

You heard it here first...
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Your biggest financial decision - in charts

Your biggest financial decision - in charts | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
Your biggest financial commitment is your home. Here is the story of the last 10 years in 10 charts.
Richard W J Brown's insight:
Some interesting and at times surprising analysis in here.

Falls in house movers and BTL investors, increases in 35-44 year-old renters and the significant difference in cost of a 4-bed house all suggest an opportunity if you look closely enough.
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Is Bitcoin Just a Brilliant Wealth Redistribution Scheme?

Is Bitcoin Just a Brilliant Wealth Redistribution Scheme? | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
bitcoin favors risk takers, innovators, savers, and people who are curious and persistent enough to learn new technology as well as history. It favors the little people who are willing to take some risks, over the old elite fighting to maintain their privilege. By rewarding these positive qualities, the voluntary bitcoin wealth redistribution creates a positive incentive cycle, much different than the old model based on bureaucratic force.
Richard W J Brown's insight:
If you have not invested (or rather speculated) in Bitcoin, or other Cryptos yet, this is a good article to read.

It talks about a 'sophisticated wealth redistribution', which does not mean from rich to poor, it means from old guard to smart, tech-savvy, risk-taking early-adopters.

It talks about 'intellectual hard work' because you need to get your head around something quite new, quite complex and quite varied in terms of technology, ease of access, security and sustainability.

It also touches on, but does not fully consider the full implications of, the 'old guard' (politicians and bankers) being threatened by the whole Crypto-currency revolution, which is what it was designed for! 

It is this last point that I want to make more clear. If the old guard are threatened by something, do you think they will stand idly by and just do nothing as their power and control gets eroded? I think not! 

So, what will they do then? I currently see 3 possibilities:

1. Fight it with regulation, resistance  and penalties in the form of laws potentially restricting the market (and ordinary folk being able to access it), strangling the growth (by limiting or ceasing Fiat or regular currency to Cryptocurrency exchanges), or taxation (to deter 'super profit-taking').
2. Join in the party by opening up the market and embracing the technology, or even building upon it...to milk it with profits and taxation.
3. Manipulate the market so that the bubble pops to teach all the little rebels a painful lesson.

In truth, I think all 3 possibilities could apply! Not all at once, but at some stage. Why do I think this? Well, history, both recent and past, has borne this out several times...

The US introduced a law in 1934 outlawing individuals to own gold, forcing them to sell it to the Government Treasury for $20 an ounce and later revalued gold at $37 an ounce...that's a double whammy!

Then, in 1971, the USA came off the gold standard. This meant that where previously someone owning US Dollars could ask the US Central Bank to give them the equivalent in gold, it was replaced with a promise...to give them the equivalent in US Dollars instead! In other words, backed by nothing more than their word and backed by nothing more tangible than that.

But these events were many years ago, so we won't see anything like that again will we? Well, in 2013 the EU and the IMF bailed out the Cyrpus banks, who were a bit broke after the Global Financial Crisis. However, if you held over the 100k Euro insured limit on deposit in their main bank, it was 'levied' or in other words, confiscated by the State to help pay off the bank's debts! Yes, individual saving deposit were used to effectively subsides the bailout without consent.

OK, so that was a small country in a crisis, so not relevant. But Brazil is a big country and ceased people's foreign currency holdings, then China, which is pretty big, recently banned all Cryptocurrency exchanges from operating, forcing their closure and Bulgaria, a member of the EU, recently closed 3 major Crypto exchanges overnight.

The conclusion of this little money history interlude is that NO currency or asset class is actually 100% safe, secure and trustworthy...it's just that Cryptocurrency is a little like the peasants revolting, so might just be at greater risk right now that's all.

My personal prediction is that Cryptcurrency, and the Blockchain on which it is built in particular, is here for the long-term and will revolutionise how we think of money, assets and contractual exchanges. 

Whether Bitcoin, or any of the other current Cryptos will survive the roller-coaster ride is hard to tell...but I do believe there will be a place for both Cryptocurrency as a true medium of exchange (currency) and also a storage of wealth (asset class). I also believe that the current energy-consumption it requires is a threat not only to the Crypto-system, but also to our planet's energy resources...so that certainly needs sorting out!

So, do your homework, spread your bets and seriously...only invest (or speculate) what you can afford to lose (or potentially have confiscated!), so that should be a very small part of your total net worth IMHO. Or, if you want to trade, only do so in what you understand and can protect the downside against, as daily swings of  up to +/-100% have been known to happen more than once. If you want to mine Crypto...well, do consider that there is some pretty big competition out there with access to high-end tech and low-cost energy sources, so be careful!

Maybe do consider joining the revolution...but quietly, thoughtfully and certainly safely ;)
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Infographic: A Timeline of Every Major Disruption in Payments

Infographic: A Timeline of Every Major Disruption in Payments | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
From the Chinese invention of paper money in 806 AD to the birth of Paypal, we count down every major disruption in payments in one giant timeline.
Richard W J Brown's insight:
Look back in history for context.

Look forward in time for future prospects.

Who is your money on in terms of payments disruptors, innovators and big bets?
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Typical home sells £10,623 below original asking price, says portal

Typical home sells £10,623 below original asking price, says portal | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
The average home in England and Wales now sells for very nearly four per cent under its original asking price - a gap that is large
Richard W J Brown's insight:
Now that you know this...selling prices tend to be around 5% below asking price on average...what will you do about it as a professional investor?
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Nethouseprices guide: dealing with Japanese knotweed

Nethouseprices guide: dealing with Japanese knotweed | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
Nethouseprices guide: dealing with Japanese knotweed
Richard W J Brown's insight:
Day of the Triffids!

Nobody wants it, but if you do find yourself with a case of Japanese Knotweed, this article summarises how to go about dealing with it. The cost of treatment is around a couple of thousand, so not the end of the world as it portrayed in the book and film...
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Homeowners sitting on £6 trillion of housing wealth

Homeowners sitting on £6 trillion of housing wealth | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
The value of privately owned housing stock in the UK has grown considerably, largely due to the equity rich regions of London and the south east, says Halifax.
Richard W J Brown's insight:
Top 3 takeaways The total value of UK homes has broken through the £6tn barrier for the first time Nearly two-thirds of this wealth is owned by people aged over 54 The country’s private residential property is now worth £6.02tn, nearly £2tn or 48% more than a decade ago Two conclusions: 1. Get on the property merry-go-round as early as possible. 2. Don’t get off! That’s it...
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Mandatory adding of rent payments to credit scores is now a step closer

Mandatory adding of rent payments to credit scores is now a step closer | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
The House of Lords has given the Creditworthiness Assessment Bill its second reading and a step forward to ensuring that tenants’ rental payment record count
Richard W J Brown's insight:
It is a good idea, provided that the assessment method is not too onerous on the industry at the same time.

On that note, if you are a bit of a tech-whizz, then you could land yourself a £2m prize for fixing this technological challenge...see the article for more info.
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Infographic: Visualizing the Journey to $10,000 Bitcoin

Infographic: Visualizing the Journey to $10,000 Bitcoin | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
How did Bitcoin jump 10X in value in the matter of just 11 months? This timeline visualizes the events in the journey to $10,000 Bitcoin.
Richard W J Brown's insight:
Maverick saviour and liberator of everyday people...or masquerading worthless hot air of an asset class and useless medium of exchange?

Whichever it is, it look likely to breach $10,000 per Bitcoin some day really soon.

The thing is...will the status quo allow it to take hold and capture mass market appeal?
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WhatsApp is steadily becoming the preferred method of communication when buying or selling a home

WhatsApp is steadily becoming the preferred method of communication when buying or selling a home | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
Richard W J Brown's insight:
#PropTech does not have to be complicated! See how using WhatsApp makes things easier and faster at times. The other benefit with WhatsApp over standard SMS is the search facility and the option to use WhatsApp outside of the cellular network, such as on WiFi on the mobile or desktop version of the app.

I already use WhatsApp with my project manager and trades teams to get updates on projects. It allows the exchange of text, voice messages and images, so it's a very versatile app...plus exchanges are free if included in your data / Wi-Fi allowances.

The future is coming, perhaps it is already here...
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Meero's curator insight, November 29, 12:02 PM
L'agence EastHaus a laissé savoir que  80%  de leurs offres cette années ont été réalisées par le biais de WhatsApp.
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Bitcoin Mining Now Consuming More Electricity Than 159 Countries Including Ireland & Most Countries In Africa

Bitcoin Mining Now Consuming More Electricity Than 159 Countries Including Ireland & Most Countries In Africa | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
According to Digiconomist's Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index, as of Monday November 20th, 2017 Bitcoin's current estimated annual electricity consumption stands at 29.05TWh.
Richard W J Brown's insight:
It is worth keeping the cost of mining in mind, although claims that Bitcoin will consume all of the world's electricity by 2020 are clearly impossible, let alone realistic.

Bitcoin mining using a cost of extraction in the form of electricity was deliberately designed into the system. Think of it as mining for a precious metal, which also has a cost of extraction. That's the intention...to have a cost of extraction, which at the same time rewards the miners who receive new Bitcoins in return for their twin efforts: mine new coins and maintain the Blockchain with transfers of existing coins.

Once there are 21 million Bitcoins, there will be no more new Bitcoins to mine and all that will remain is maintaining the existing Blockchain.

Think of Bitcoin more like gold than a paper or digital currency and you can see how the two correlate a little better.
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House prices aren’t the issue – land prices are

House prices aren’t the issue – land prices are | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
There’s a simple solution that will give us cheaper homes – if only the chancellor would listen
Richard W J Brown's insight:
Controversial to some no doubt, but I quite like the Dutch model mentioned in here, with perhaps one amendment. Gaining planning permission does require innovation and creativity, so does add value to land. Therefore,land with planning permission should carry a premium above 'existing use'...but not fully developed value clearly.

That aside, it could help to stop land banking, if used in combination with a Government-led social house building programme, including relaxing the Green Belt.

As concluded by the writer of this piece - it ain't going to happen, not in this Parliament at least.
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Could you afford £1,162 pa interest rate hike?

Could you afford £1,162 pa interest rate hike? | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
UPDATE: The Bank of England raised the base rate from 0.25% to 0.5% on Thursday 2 November. Odds on the Bank of England raising interest rates for the first time in more than a decade are now so low, that it’s hardly worth placing a bet; but what would a rate hike mean for landlords…
Richard W J Brown's insight:
If you have been a BTL investor for the past 10 years, then this month saw uncharted water for you...a rise in the Bank Base Rate!

Look at the table in the article to see by how much mortgage payments change based on certain interest rate rises. If we look at the example with £100,000 mortgage, a 0.25% rise, as has just happened, will be a hardly noticeable £20.83 per month to pay. Still that's £250 a year that I would rather retain that give away to a bank as I am sure is the case for you too.

Now, look at the 1% rise figure...it's £83.33 a month...yes for every 1% rise in interest rates, that's an extra £1,000 a year to shell out.

If you consider that many properties with a £100,000 mortgage will have a net cashflow of around £200 to £250 per month based on a 75% LTV mortgage, you can see that a 3% rise would wipe out this cashflow pretty quickly.

So, what to do about it? Here's a 5 ideas:

1. Fix your interest rate...longer is safer than shorter, but work out the Total Cost of Finance over a 5,7 or 10 year period assuming remortgaging as many times as necessary AND allowing for 1% to 3% interest rate rises in the same period.
2. Reduce your borrowing...take on lower LTV loans to begin with and pay down balances on existing loans as well.
3. Stress test your portfolio...work out exactly how sensitive you are to rises in interest rates...knowing starts the doing process.
4. Review your rents...don't automatically put them up, but do consider how much 'headroom' there is for an increase. remember, it is better to retain a tenant that suffer a void period between tenancies...1 month void costs 7.7% a year in lost rent alone! But do think about small and steady increases, even to train your tenant to expect them. Personally, I don't tend to increase rent until the second annual renewal and then it's usually a small inflationary rise, around 2%, then maybe not again the next annual renewal, skipping years and upping rents every other year instead. If I have a great long-term tenant, then I want them to stay...sometimes I will keep the rent fixed for longer to encourage them to do just that...but not indefinitely, it is a business after all.
5. Update your properties...the best properties attract and retain the best tenants, so always keep on top of repairs, maintenance and general appearance. Not doing so is actually a false economy.
6. Have a contingency fund set aside...contingencies are there to cater for unforeseen events...although unforeseen usually means almost guaranteed extra cost coming from one of several possible costly areas. Unexpected rises in interest rates are one of these. So, you might think interest rates will rise by another 0.25% next year...but what if they rise by another 1.25% instead? The contingency fund will help to cushion the blow, until you can figure out what else to do, such as one of the above ideas.
7. Invest for yield and return on cashflow, but return on debt is better...higher yield implies higher cashflow as well, so it's a hedge against interest rate rises to use banking and finance terminology. However, if you work out your 'return on debt' and 'debt safety margin' it will show you how safe you are in the event of a rate rise. Then, have a rule of only investing where you have at least a 2% (ideally more) debt safety margin to protect yourself.

If you need help running any of these numbers, then get in touch and I can give you a steer.
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Everything you wanted to know about bitcoin but were afraid to ask

Everything you wanted to know about bitcoin but were afraid to ask | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
The value of cryptocurrencies is rising fast. But is it sustainable? And how does it work, anyway? These questions, and many more, answered…
Richard W J Brown's insight:
I have been reading up on Bitcoin and other 'Cryptocurrencies' lately, this is a useful intro piece to get you started.

I can also highly recommend the book Bitcoin: The Future of Money by Dominic Frisby.


Before I end, just consider the volatility of Bitcoin and others like it with these price points over the past month:

14 Oct $5,810
8 Nov $7,459 (it touched $7,700 during the day)
12 Nov $5,857

Expect a bumpy ride!
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