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30 Budget Backyard DIY Ideas That Will Make Your Neighbors Jealous

30 Budget Backyard DIY Ideas That Will Make Your Neighbors Jealous

The idea of DIY has changed considerably in recent times, both inside and outside of the home. Creative thinking and the rise of online video tutorials have enabled home-owners to revamp their properties and make their homes look luxurious (for example), even if they are operating on a tight budget. This creates an even playing field throughout society. Now, even modest homes can be transformed into picturesque abodes.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at the some examples of affordable, low budget backyard DIY ideas that will optimize your outdoor space. Consider the following options to make your neighbors jealous.

1. Create Grand and Innovative Outdoor lighting using Solar Power

Even if you are unfamiliar with how solar energy works, this technology offers a sustainable way of lighting the exterior of your home. With this in mind, consider replacing all outdoor bulbs with solar lights. Place this in a waterproof frame or case that can be hung from a tree or the facade of your home. If you use a simple wooden case, be sure to treat this with a suitable and protective varnish.

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    2. Install Exterior Mirrors to Create the Illusion of Space in your Garden

    While this may sound odd, clean and simple mirrors can be strategically placed in your garden to create the illusion of space. Whether you want to use interior mirrors or create a product that has been recycled from old windows is unimportant, as long as you fit them securely and position them in a way that makes your back garden appear bigger in size.

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      3. Create Mirrored Lawn Ornaments Using Looking Glass Spray-Paint

      On a similar note, you can also create an eclectic array of garden ornaments using looking glass spray-paint. Simply select ornaments of various sizes and shapes and apply two coats of the paint. Leave them outside to dry overnight, before giving them pride of place in your garden.

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        4. Make a Multi-Person Swing

        Here’s another breathtakingly simple idea. It is possible to take a pallet and some discarded rope to create a functional, multi-purpose swing. Pallets can be sourced for free from local warehouses or supermarkets. Brand new lengths of rope can be purchased for a nominal fee of between $5 and $15, depending on the size. You can then secure the rope to each corner of the pallet. Remember to ensure that it is hung safely from a sturdy tree branch.

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          5. Coat Planters and Plant Pots with Glow in the Dark Paint

          Whether you are an avid gardener or not, most households have access to large planters or smaller scale plant pots. Furniture brand IKEA stores even sell basic plant pots for as little as $1. You can transform these into affordable and sustainable night lights using glow-in-the-dark paint. The whole project can cost as little as $5 to add a definite wow factor to your garden.

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            6. Use Wooden Stakes and Material to Create Outdoor Lounge Hammocks

            Hammocks offer an ideal resting place during the summer. Homemade versions can be easily be made using wooden stakes and your material of choice. Simply take your wooden stakes and fix them securely in the ground, using a total of four to create a triangular shape. Then take your material, like recycled nylon hammocks or simply use discarded bed sheets, and attach them to the stakes to create three individual resting places.

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              7. Fashion a Makeshift Splash Pad Using Tarp and a Spinkler

              If you have a garden slide but are struggling to find a suitable landing space, you can create an effective splash pad using some tarp and a sprinkler. Tarp can be purchased for up to $20, depending on the precise area of material that you require. If you do not have sprinklers in your garden, you can achieve the same effect with an outdoor hose and running water.

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                8. Take Glow-in-the-Dark Necklaces and Bracelets and Create a Fun Outdoor Game

                Those long summer nights are ideal for outdoor entertainment. They also offer you an opportunity to develop a host of fun, interactive and creative games. If you want to challenge your kids to a few evening rounds of ring toss, for example, you can create this by fixing a wooden stake or metal pole in the ground while using glow-in-the-dark bracelets and necklaces to pitch.

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                  9. Create a Waterproof Frame filled with Flat Stones to Wash your Feet after Frolicking

                  Frolicking outdoors can create mess, and the last thing you want to do is tread this back into your house. So after a day playing with your children or gardening, why not rinse off your feet and hands outdoors with a DIY frame? Simply craft a wooden box and coat it in waterproof sealant before filling it with flat stones and placing it near your back door. You can then wash using a fresh water supply, while also giving your feet or hands a smooth massage.

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                    10. Paint the stones in your garden

                    While stones may seem like mundane garden objects, they often have smooth surfaces that are receptive to paint and color. This offers you a unique opportunity to infuse your garden space with brights shades and hues. You apply block colors or mix it up and paint intricate patterns. So long as each stone is painted as part of an overall vision and theme, you can create a colorful aesthetic that will be the envy of your neighbors.

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                      11. Spray-Paint Metal Outdoor Chairs for Outdoor Entertaining

                      Most of us own at least one or a handful of metal garden chairs, which tend to rust or deteriorate over time. They can be refreshed easily and cheaply, however, simply by spray-painting them in your choice of colors. Don’t forget the importance of a suitable and purposeful spray-paint. Rustoleum primer and Krylon are amongst the best for this particular task.

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                        12. Use Toilet Paper to Fashion Effective Seed Paper

                        Growing colorful plants and flowers remains the best way of embellishing your garden space, but it can be expensive to ensure that they achieve their full potential. You can use toilet paper to fashion cheap and effective seed paper, however. The tissues help to absorb moisture and space out smaller seeds, such as carrots or smaller vegetables. Considering how cheap toilet paper is, this can help you to save money without compromising on the look of your garden.

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                          13. Place Diapers in the Bottom of your Plant Pots

                          Interestingly, toilet paper is not the only money saving tip that can help you to effectively grow your plants. By placing diapers at the bottom of your plant pots, you can ensure that your plants retain their moisture and look fresher for longer. This will improve the overall look of your garden without forcing you to spend outside of your means.

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                            14. Repurpose your Tree Stumps

                            Tree stumps are often considered in a negative light, although they can be creatively re-purposed to create a unique garden feature. Simply by placing and securing plywood or oak over the top of an exposed tree stump, you can create a functional table for little or no cost. Alternatively, you can decorate a stump in attractive summer flowers or moss to create a unique exterior adornment.

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                              15. Use Exterior Latex Floor Paint to Bring your Patio to Life

                              The concrete tiles on your patio are an often overlooked aspect of your garden, but typically they can present a dull and faded aesthetic. You can correct this with a single tin of exterior latex floor paint. This will add color to your patio, while giving the surface tough and long-lasting protection. Be sure to apply two coats, and use non-glare paint to create a low level of sheen.

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                                16. Invest in Low Cost Rope Lighting to Line the Boundary of your Garden

                                Available online from sites such as Amazon, rope lighting is sold in fixed lengths. Consumers can usually purchase up to ten meters for as little as $30. This is waterproof and can be used to line the boundary of your garden, creating a chain of light that illuminates the space at light. You can even put it on an automated timer. You can also use ropes as dividers to separate the rope from the lawn or decking.

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                                  17. Integrated a Beer Cooler into your Patio Table

                                  If you want to add functionality to a stylish patio table, you should look to integrate a beer cooler into the surface. This is easy enough to do if your table is manufactured from a thick material such as oak. You can simply hollow out a small, rectangular section of the surface and line this with a standard cooler. Then add some ice and store your beers inside during summer barbecues and parties.

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                                    18. Use Part of a Dismantled Trampoline as a Makeshift Diving Board

                                    Sometimes, the best DIY ideas can be created free of charge using existing household items. If you have ever owned a trampoline, for example, you will know that this is a product sold in single parts that need to be fitted together to create the finished product. By taking the surface of the trampoline, you can align it with your pool to create a safe and makeshift diving board. If you do not own a trampoline, simply head online and buy a flat jumping mat for between $50 and $60.

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                                      19. Create an Outdoor Shower Using just a Hose and Homemade Rigging

                                      As recent reports concerning the dangers of radioactive exports from Japan prove, the U.S. and European nations are fortunate to enjoy an uncontaminated supply of water and food. If you want to capitalize on this to turn your garden into a makeshift campsite for the summer, you can use a standard hose and a ladder to create an outdoor shower. The hose itself will connect to an outdoor water supply. The ladder can be made with tree branches to create secure rigging.

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                                        20. Use Decorative Sheets to Create a Colorful Canopy

                                        Similarly, you do not need to invest in a high quality and expensive tent to make the most of the summer weather. These products cost a great deal as they are designed to resist wind, rain and adverse elements. Remember these properties are not an issue during warmer periods. So to reduce the cost of your homemade camp site, simply take decorative and colorful bed sheets and suspend them over a secured wash line to create a unique canopy.

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                                          21. Build a Wooden Bar and Drawstring Cover to Form an Outdoor Bar

                                          Whether you are relaxing or working in your garden, there is always a pressing need for liquid refreshments. To this end, why not create a basic wooden bar that can house your favorite tipples and a selection of glasses? You will simply need to construct a basic, wall-mounted shelving unit and easily attach this securely to an exterior wall. Then add a drawstring door using two pieces of rope. This way you can keep the bar closed when necessary and also provide a flat service to pour beverages.

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                                            22. Use Discarded Pallets to Create Additional and Diverse Seating

                                            We spoke earlier in the article about how full-size pallets could be used to create a multi-person swing in the garden. Discarded pallets also have additional purposes, as they can be sawed or cut into segments to create additional seats of various shapes and sizes. Simply use a wood-cutting tool to create the desired shape and number of seats. Then you just need to add some cushions so you can sit and relax.

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                                                  23. Install a Chalkboard Outside to Create a Multi-purpose Play Area

                                                  Rather than creating extravagant solutions to embellish your garden, you can sometimes make simple additions that will revolutionize the space and drastically improve the layout. Simply by buying a $20 chalkboard and securing it to a fence, for example, you can turn your garden into a recreational area with multiple dimensions where children can express their creativity. It can also serve as a positive focal point for their interaction and activity.

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                                                    24. Develop Dens and Play Pods from Shower Curtains and Hula Hoops

                                                    In terms of creating an interactive and fun space where children can play, it is important to offer them a colorful den or hide away. This can be created extremely cheaply, simply by suspending hula hoops from a tree branch using string. Then attach a shower rail using clips to the perimeter of the hoop. Now your children have a play pod that they can make their own. These can even be decorated to embellish them further.

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                                                      25. Build a Simple Table that Opens out from the Fence

                                                      Have you ever been hosting a barbecue and found it difficult to rest your beer while also cooking the meet? To solve and other garden issues, why not create a foldaway table that is connected to one of your fence panels? All you need is a flat piece of plywood (or preferably treated lumber) to act as the surface, and a set of hinges that are to be attached to the fence. Then you have a convenient table that can be used as and when you choose.

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                                                        26. Add Steel Pipe Edging Around the Perimeter of your Garden

                                                        When creating your garden layout, you may want to section off any designated planting areas. This can be done simply using discarded steel piping, which is cut into sections of a desired size using bench sheers. These pieces of pipe are then inserted into the ground and filled with soil, in which you are able to plant smaller seeds and succulents. If you are not keen on the rustic look, be sure to treat your pipes first using a colored primer.

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                                                          27. Offer Birds Comfortable and Colorful Nesting Materials

                                                          Birdhouses add a loving touch to any home exterior, but you can also create structures that add color and character. With this in mind, you can buy colorful yarn in bulk for a pittance and add it to your birdhouse or station. Gathering birds will then take this and use it in their nearby nests, adding dashes of color and hue to various areas of the garden. This is also a good way to reuse any excess yarn that you may have in the home.

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                                                            28. Create Tiki Torches for Illuminating the Garden

                                                            With an emphasis on creating variable shades of sustainable light, the construction of tiki torches offer an affordable and innovative solution. Simply take a clean empty wine bottle, add a tiki torch refill wick, a dash of citronella lamp oil, and a metal washer to hold your components in place. Then place them in elevated spaces throughout the garden and embellish them with flowers, decorative petals or moss.

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                                                              29. Turn Discarded Keys into a Stunning Wind Chime

                                                              If you have ever moved home or changed locks, you will find that your house is littered with useless and discarded keys. These can be put to use in your back garden, as they have the potential to be combined and turned into a stunning wind chime. Simply gather your keys and color them with primer. Now they’re ready to be hung up. Use yarn and attach them to a large branch. You can also choose to paint your chosen branch using an acrylic shade of choice, so long as this is part of a wider color scheme.

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                                                                30. Construct a Stream in your Backyard

                                                                While the sound of running water is restful and comforting, not everyone is fortunate enough to have a stream or brook in their garden. You can fashion a man-made stream in your backyard, by applying a little elbow grease and creative thinking. Simply dig a shallow trench that meanders through your garden space. Make sure to avoid any utility lines before bordering this with discarded wood or steel pipes. You should also construct the stream on a downhill slope, which will aid the natural flow of water. Then gather rocks, stones and other decorative elements of your choice to complete the project.

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                                                                  Published on November 3, 2020

                                                                  How to Start Investing Without Taking Major Risks

                                                                  How to Start Investing Without Taking Major Risks

                                                                  No one loves risk. This is the uncontested truth about us human beings. We love gaining but never losing. This is not abnormal in any way because human beings exist to increase. Any form of loss is strongly resisted by our brains. This article will teach you how to start investing as a risk-averse individual and get optimal results.

                                                                  All forms of investing are risky. The only thing we can do is minimize the risk, not eliminate it. This is why every investor needs to tolerate some level of risk. People who do not have any risk tolerance end up not investing at all.

                                                                  It is important to note that not investing is very risky. This is the greatest risk you can take on your financial future. Being a financial consultant and advisor for years, I have realized that successful people avoid losing possible returns while average people avoid losing investment capital.

                                                                  This means that successful people work hard to gain what they do not have while average people work hard not to lose what they have. As they say in sports, the best form of defense is offense. As successful people go for what they want, they find it easy to protect their investment.

                                                                  How to Start Investing Without Taking Much Risk

                                                                  As I have pointed out, you cannot eliminate the risk, you can only mitigate it. These 5 tips will help you secure the returns while taking minimal risks. It is possible.

                                                                  1. Get Investment Intelligence

                                                                  Investment intelligence refers to a set of information that helps you make prudent investment decisions. This is what the greatest investors like Warren Buffet and George Soros have. They can judge different opportunities from an information point of view. With that, they avoid making mistakes that could potentially cost them billions.

                                                                  As Robert Kiyosaki points out in his book, Rich Dad’s Cashflow Quadrant, investors can be placed in 5 levels:

                                                                  • The “zero financial intelligence” level
                                                                  • The “savers are losers” level
                                                                  • The “I am too busy” level
                                                                  • The “I am a professional” level
                                                                  • The capitalist level

                                                                  The first 3 levels, which consist of 90% of all investors, do not have sufficient information to make prudent investment decisions. Many would rather not invest, others will rather put their cash in a bank account, and the rest will choose to delegate the responsibility to someone else and entrust them to multiply their money.

                                                                  The last two levels of investors have some investment knowledge. They end up becoming the most successful people in the world. As I usually say, making money is not the problem, multiplying it is.

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                                                                  Therefore, knowing how to start investing without much risk starts with self-education. Read books and blog posts to learn how to reduce the risk involved while still getting acceptable returns. The more you learn, the more you earn. Getting more knowledge will help you look at the numbers and the facts as presented by the numbers.

                                                                  2. Start Small

                                                                  It is almost guaranteed that as a new investor, your first investment capital will be lost. This is because you do not have the right information and skills to make a return.

                                                                  Even though you may have some basics, it takes practical experience and skills to become a successful investor. Therefore, it is prudent to start small. As you make returns and learn, you can increase your investment capital over time.

                                                                  Do not borrow millions to make an initial investment. This is a grave error many people make. When the investment goes down, they are left heavily in bad debt. First, invest your savings and test your principles of investment. After you have gotten returns, you can now consider risking more and more capital.

                                                                  3. Diversify

                                                                  Diversification is usually the first answer given by all financial advisors when asked how to start investing by risk-averse people. This answer is correct. Diversification of your investment portfolio means investing in different asset classes to spread the risk.

                                                                  There are 2 types of diversification:

                                                                  • Inter-asset diversification: This is where you invest in assets from different industries. For example, you can invest in stocks and real estate. These are different asset classes.
                                                                  • Intra- asset diversification: This is where you invest in the same asset class. For example, investing in stocks of different companies falls in this category.

                                                                  Inter-asset diversification is more effective in mitigating risk because it cautions your finances from systemic risks that affect different individual industries. For example, some situations affect the real estate market only. Therefore, if all your assets are in this market, you will be highly affected. If you have diversified to stocks, businesses, precious metals, bonds, etc. you will not suffer major losses.

                                                                  Diversification aims to have some assets bringing returns even if others make losses. This is a key secret when it comes to how to start investing while minimizing risk.

                                                                  4. Do Your Due Diligence

                                                                  Due diligence is different from getting investment intelligence. Getting investment intelligence entails understanding the general principles of investment. Doing your due diligence, on the other hand, entails understanding the facts behind a certain investment opportunity.

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                                                                  When someone tells you of an investment opportunity somewhere, go after the facts. The facts will tell you whether it is a good opportunity or not. Never focus on people’s opinions when judging different investment options. The best thing is to do your research and justify the claims by the facts. Facts will never mislead.

                                                                  The best approach is to study the past and project the future. This is called forecasting. Similarly, you can follow what is called scenario planning. This is where you try to understand the future and make appropriate decisions today.

                                                                  For example, you might foresee that electric cars are going to take over in the future. This way, you will decide to invest long term in car companies that are focused on that area. This is due diligence.

                                                                  5. Avoid Making Emotional Investment Decisions

                                                                  Emotional decisions lack logic and rationale. They are not supported by the facts. Emotional decisions are therefore risky. When it comes to making investment decisions, always use logic. This is using your brain rather than your heart.

                                                                  For example, a friend you love and respect may tell you of an investment idea and ask you to invest. The natural tendency is to comply with their demand. When you bring your emotions here, it will be impossible to resist even though the deal does not favor your financial future.

                                                                  However, it is better to do what is emotionally incorrect to safeguard your financial interests. Demystify the options and make an informed logical decision.

                                                                  Low-Risk Financial Instruments

                                                                  Knowing how to start investing without taking much risk requires looking at different low-risk investment options.

                                                                  Here are some financial instruments that a risk-averse individual may consider investing in.

                                                                  1. Treasury Securities

                                                                  Government financial instruments are less risky. This is because the government can print money to repay its investors. Therefore, the possibility of default is considerably low.

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                                                                  It is, however, important to understand that these securities yield below-average returns. If you are in your prime age, only invest in them as a diversification tool and not as the main income-generating instruments. Therefore, consider your financial position and make an informed decision.

                                                                  2. Dividend-Paying Stocks

                                                                  Dividend-paying stocks are less risky compared to those that do not. Even if the stocks decrease in value, the dividends you get over the years will caution you against actual financial loss.

                                                                  Therefore, analyze the company in whose stocks you want to invest in carefully. If they do not have a dividend policy that suits your financial needs, move on. Fortunately, many companies pay dividends to their shareholders year in year out. You just need to do your due diligence.

                                                                  3. Preferred Stocks

                                                                  Preferred stocks are given priority over ordinary stocks. They are paid after bondholders are sorted. Therefore, in case the company is pushed out of business, preferred stockholders will be paid before ordinary shareholders upon liquidation of the company’s assets.

                                                                  4. Fixed Annuities

                                                                  A fixed annuity is an insurance contract that pays the holder a guaranteed interest rate on their contribution. The opposite is called variable annuities.

                                                                  The great thing about fixed annuities is that they are simple and predictable. There’s no need for you to learn about the stock market changes since you know what to expect based on your agreement.[1] Fixed annuities are guaranteed. They are paid as long as the company is in a position to do so.

                                                                  5. Money Market Accounts

                                                                  These are interest-bearing accounts provided by financial institutions. They pay a higher interest rate than the normal savings accounts. These accounts have insurance protection and are therefore less risky.

                                                                  6. Corporate Bonds

                                                                  This is a financial debt security that is issued by a firm and sold to investors. Bondholders receive a fixed or variable interest on their investment and receive their investment capital upon maturity. These are low-risk instruments especially if the issuer is an established firm in the market.

                                                                  7. Certificates of Deposits (CDs)

                                                                  This is a type of product offered by many deposit-taking institutions. They offer premium interest rates on deposits as long as the customer agrees to leave the money untouched for a certain period.

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                                                                  8. Value Funds

                                                                  Value funds follow the value investing strategy used by famous investors like Warren Buffet and Benjamin Graham. It involves identifying shares that are undervalued and putting money in them.

                                                                  Value funds are low risk because they are sold at a discount. They later bring returns when the market undergoes an auto-correction. However, it takes skilled managers to identify undervalued stocks.

                                                                  Word of Caution

                                                                  So far, we have looked at how to start investing without taking major risks and the instruments to invest in. It is also important to give a word of caution on the same.

                                                                  1. Let the ROI Outdo the Inflation Rate

                                                                  Inflation is a persistent increase in the prices of commodities. It serves as a measure of the changes in the prices of commodities and services over a period of time. Inflation impacts the cost of living and eats into the purchasing power of money.[2] If your return on investment (ROI) is less than the inflation rate, you have lost economic value.

                                                                  2. Consider Opportunity Cost

                                                                  Opportunity cost is the value of the foregone alternative. If you have different investment options, calculate the ROI, and invest in the option with the least opportunity cost.

                                                                  3. Consider Your Financial Position

                                                                  Where you are in terms of finance should determine the kind of investment option you choose. People who are just starting should seek both returns and security. If your investment is wiped out, you will have little left to lean on.

                                                                  People who are established financially can afford to take major risks. After all, when they lose the investment capital, they have enough to fall back on.

                                                                  4. Consider Your Financial Goals

                                                                  People have different financial goals. Some want to be very wealthy, while others just want to live a comfortable life. Choose your investment options carefully based on your goals. People who want to be super successful should seek to maximize ROI.

                                                                  Final Thoughts

                                                                  As we have seen, it is impossible to eliminate risks. The best you can do is to mitigate them. Therefore, tolerate a certain amount of risk to guarantee better returns. By following the tips in this article, you will learn how to start investing while significantly reducing the risks involves as you focus on the reward.

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                                                                  Featured photo credit: Chris Liverani via unsplash.com

                                                                  Reference

                                                                  [1] Annuity.org: Fixed Annuity
                                                                  [2] Financial Express: What is Inflation?

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