Airbnb is an online community marketplace that connects people looking to rent their homes with people who are looking for accommodations. Airbnb users include hosts and travelers: hosts list and rent out their unused spaces, and travelers search for and book accommodations in 192 countries worldwide. A diminution of “air mattress B&B,” Airbnb has grown from appealing to couch-surfing budget-conscious tourists to business travelers seeking a more memorable experience that allows for a different level of collaboration amongst colleagues. Last year Airbnb raised $1.5 billion in funds that brought the value of the company to about $25.5 billion. This made it worth more than the Chicago, Ill.-based Hyatt Hotels Corp (NYSE:H) and the Parsippany-Troy Hills, N.J.-based Wyndham Worldwide Corp (NYSE:WYN), respectively.
For more on companies that are shaking up their respective industries, check out How do ride sharing companies like Uber make money?
While questions about the substantial valuation have dominated Airbnb-related news in the past, many people are asking whether or not Airbnb is something that could work for them. Here, we look at Airbnb – what it is, how it works, and the pros
Tax time is around the corner, which means many people are going to be sitting on a windfall thanks to Uncle Sam. While the knee-jerk reaction is to cash that check and spend it, a smarter option is to invest it.
But before you can begin investing it, you need to figure out your goals. For example, are you investing with an eye toward a big purchase like a home or car, or are you socking it away for retirement or for a college education? Or maybe you can create an emergency fund. Either way, your goals are going to dictate your investment style, which is why you need to first figure out what you want to do with your tax refund.
Short-term Goals Mean Your Investment Needs to Be Protected
For investors who are saving for the purchase of a home or a car, the idea is to see your money grow but at the same time keep it protected. After all, you don’t want to lose your entire down payment because you chose to invest in a high-flying stock that imploded. If homeownership is around
When the Affordable Care Act went into full effect in 2014, it gave uninsured Americans a powerful incentive to go out and obtain a health policy: a fee if they didn’t comply. And while the penalty was relatively mild then, it’s only been increasing since 2015. As a result, many individuals who never thought they could afford health insurance are being pushed into the marketplace.
There is some good news for those on a budget, however. The ACA provides more insurance options than before. And those on the lower end of the income scale qualify for subsidies that make premiums a lot more manageable.
If you’re one of the many Americans looking for insurance on their own because they don’t get coverage through work, here’s what you need to know to keep your payments as low as possible.
See if You Can Get a Subsidy
If you’re buying an individual health care plan, you can either do so the old-fashioned way – purchasing it directly from a carrier – or shop policies on your state’s health insurance exchange. An exchange, or “marketplace,” is comprised of private insurers who
Becoming a successful real estate agent is a combination of investing time in education, researching a broker who can help you get your first clients and passing state and national licensing exams. But that’s not all there is to the industry. Read on to find out some of the more overlooked aspects of the real estate business.
1. Get Educated
No matter in which state you live, you must take pre-licensing courses. However, state requirements differ greatly. For instance, California requires three college-level courses. Others (such as Idaho, which requires two courses totaling 90 hours) require a set number of hours of education. Contact your state’s real estate commission for your state’s requirements for licensing.
Some real estate agencies have specific education requirements. Thus, you may have to take an additional course after being hired on with an agency.
2. Choose a Brokerage
A real estate brokerage is the agency or office from which real estate agents and brokers work. Since working with a broker is a requirement in order to practice as a real estate agent, you will need to contact a broker before graduating from your training course. Brokers have at least three years additional real estate training, and can guide you through
Although many people believe a home mortgage requires a 20% down payment, that’s just not true. Putting down 20% is simply what it typically takes to avoid being required to take out private mortgage insurance (PMI). (For more see: Private Mortgage Insurance: Avoid It for These 6 Reasons)
Now there’s a way to put down significantly less than 20% and still avoid paying for PMI.
3% Down and No PMI
A new mortgage product from Bank of America Corp. lets a borrower put down as little as 3% of the selling price on a home loan. What’s more, you don’t have to take out private mortgage insurance, a move that could save you hundreds of dollars on your monthly house payment.
Homebuyers who have little money for a down payment often turn to low-down-payment mortgages guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), but those require PMI. (For more, see: HUD vs. FHA Loans: What’s the Difference?) Sidestepping the FHA is the key to avoiding the PMI requirement. Going around the FHA also helps Bank of America since the FHA has a habit of fining banks for what BOA considers minor errors in loan paperwork, a move that cost the bank $800 million in 2014.
Your net worth can be calculated by subtracting your liabilities from your assets. If your assets exceed your liabilities, you will have a positive net worth. Conversely, if your liabilities are greater than your assets, your net worth will be negative. You might calculate your net worth to quantify how you are doing financially at this point in time, or to evaluate your financial progress over time. For certain applications, however, this basic net worth calculation may not be adequate. If you are the holder of copyrights, patents or other intellectual property (IP), you may need to calculate your tangible net worth – the sum of all your tangible assets minus the total amount of your liabilities. Businesses, for example, determine tangible net worth to determine the liquidation value of the company if it were to cease operations and be sold. This figure can also be important to individuals who are applying for personal or small business loans, and where the lender demands a “real” net worth figure.
What Is Tangible Net Worth?
Similar to net worth in that it takes into consideration assets and liabilities, your tangible net worth goes one step further and subtracts the value of any intangible assets,
Not everyone has the time nor expertise to prepare a complicated tax return or balance the general ledger for a small business. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it may be time to hire an accountant who can do the work for you.
But before you hire someone, it’s vital that you have a basic understanding of how much an accountant charges. In the world of professional services, the cost isn’t always transparent; that’s why it’s important to ask for rates ahead of time and compare it to other providers. (For more, see How To Find A Smart Accountant.)
Many individuals only talk to an accountant a couple times per year during the heart of tax season. The amount you can expect to pay for help with a filing depends on the complexity of your return and the type of company you engage.
According to a National Society of Accountants (NSA) survey, the average price tag for both a Form 1040 and state return with a standard deduction was $159 last year. Putting together a federal return with itemized deductions takes a little more time; these filings, together with the state return, carried an average cost of $273.
However, the base price will vary based
Employee compensation is a major expenditure for most corporations; therefore, many firms find it easier to pay at least a portion of their employees’ compensation in the form of stock. This type of compensation has two advantages: it reduces the amount of cash compensation that employers must pay out, and also serves as an incentive for employee productivity. There are many types of stock compensation, and each has its own set of rules and regulations. Executives that receive stock options face a special set of rules that restrict the circumstances under which they may exercise and sell them. This article will examine the nature of restricted stock and restricted stock units (RSUs) and how they are taxed.
What Is Restricted Stock?
Restricted stock is, by definition, stock that has been granted to an executive that is nontransferable and subject to forfeiture under certain conditions, such as termination of employment or failure to meet either corporate or personal performance benchmarks. Restricted stock also generally becomes available to the recipient under a graded vesting schedule that lasts for several years.
Although there are some exceptions, most restricted stock is granted to executives that are considered to have “insider” knowledge of a corporation, thus making it
For any number of reasons, many people consider retiring in another country. A foreign country may offer a lower cost of living, which can be important to seniors with limited retirement savings. Some countries may have especially appealing climates. For some retirees, it may simply be a case of a country they fell in love with during their life travels and vowed to themselves they would one day come back and retire there.
For a person planning to settle down permanently in a foreign country, it is usually desirable to obtain citizenship in that country since it simplifies things such as opening bank accounts and owning property. Some may choose to go for dual citizenship, obtaining a second passport, while others may prefer to dump their U.S. citizenship altogether and simply become citizens of their new home countries.
Some countries allow dual citizenship and some do not. It is no secret that more and more wealthy Americans, feeling their fortunes threatened by oppressive U.S. taxation, have chosen to renounce their U.S. citizenship in favor of becoming citizens of nations such as Singapore or Chile.
There are a number of factors to consider in regard to obtaining new citizenship and a second passport. Among