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Sources of Real Estate Investing Education

Books – As the old saying goes, “Those who lead, read.” Books are fundamental in gaining an education in real estate and perhaps the most widespread learning method for investors. Real estate books are produced each year by the thousands, and every major bookstore in the world contains a whole section on real estate investing. Chances are, if there is a way to make money from real estate, there has been a book written about it. If reading books, however, is not within your arsenal of skills, you are in luck. Today, we live in a world where nearly every new book is also made into an audiobook.

Blogs – Blogs, short for an older term called a “Web log” are a collection of short essays written about a topic. Blogs can be an amazing source of information, and there are fantastic ones for every topic you can imagine. There are many great ones written by people living in the trenches of real estate worth checking out.

Mentors – Perhaps the most powerful way to gain a good education in any field of study is through a mentor — and the same holds true in real estate. While there are dozens of professional real estate mentors who charge for their service, there are also millions of mentors all over the world that will cost you as little as a cup of coffee – they are your local investors. People enjoy sharing what they know, and seasoned real estate investors are no different. By introducing yourself to a successful local real estate investor who you would like to become more like, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from someone in the field who knows your market and who can ultimately become a partner as you come to become successful yourself.

Podcasts – One of the newest innovations in the world of real estate investor education is the Podcast. A podcast is simply a recorded audio program, similar to a radio show, that can be produced by anyone with a computer and a microphone. There have been a number of great podcasts that have emerged in the last few years. If you have a smartphone or MP3 player, you can listen to hundreds of hour long shows covering a wide variety of real estate topics whenever you want – whether in the car, jogging, or lying in bed — for free.

Real Estate Investing Terms

Cash Flow – Cash flow is simply the amount of money left over at the end of the month after all expenses are paid. To determine the cash flow, simply subtract the total expenses from the total income.

ROI – Your “return on investment” (also known as ROI) is a fancy way of describing what interest rate you are making on your money per year. For example, if you invested $250 and you made $250 from that investment (for a total of $500) over the course of one year, you would have made a 100% return on investment. Similarly, if you invested $5000 and made an additionally $2500 over the course of a year (for a total of $7500) you would have made a 50% return on your investment. The actual calculation for Return on Investment looks like this:

ROI = (V1 – V0) / (V0), (where V1 is the ending balance and V0 is the starting balance) A simple scenario for using ROI to calculate an investment return would be as follows: On January 1, you put $1000 into a bank account. On the following January 1, you cash out the account for $1100. Your ROI on the investment is:

ROI = (1100 – 1000) / (1000) = .1 (or 10%)

You start with $1000 and end up with $1100 after a year for a return of 10%. These simple concepts present the foundations upon which almost all other real estate calculations are based. The rest will come in time, but most calculations are simply related to these.