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Sunday, April 11, 2021

How to make money during a pandemic

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Eric Caliboso
Eric has been involved in the real-estate business within Los Angeles county since 2008. His experience of nine years in the financial and property management operations has given him unique and valuable insights that would serve well any buyer and seller.

In the midst of a very divisive environment, there is one thing that we can all agree on – we are in an uncertain territory! 

COVID-19 is still here and creating too many challenges in our lives and we are unsure of what will happen next. We experienced different levels and versions of economic lockdown. Some of us are fortunate to keep our jobs and work from home. Some were not and are now dependent on government assistance. Some were furloughed hoping to get back to work soon. Some were obliged to stay home to attend to household needs. Some have lost their businesses and some are trying to get by. With companies closing doors left and right, it is easy to lose hope, stress out, and feel lost. So how to survive and make money for ourselves and our family during this pandemic? How to thrive in this economy? 

The good thing is we are also in a territory where we can navigate the economy remotely in any part of the world and in any market condition. We have been prepared and equipped in so many ways to defy the adverse impact of this pandemic. The only requirement from us is to learn how to adapt to survive. It is not easy and it could be tedious but hey no one signed up for this pandemic so we have no choice but to adjust and act!

If you still have your job and have savings then you are in a better position to decide your next move. Either to wait in the sideways and see where the economy leads us or cautiously invest your money in various options present in the market. If you lost your job, you can look for another one based on your skills or learn a new one that could be easily explored and used with the help of technology. If you lose your business or in the middle of losing it, you can explore what technology can offer to keep it afloat. We do not need to be creative or invent a new concept to survive during this pandemic, we just need to learn how to explore the existing options and ideas and be consistent in getting things done.

Here are the options to make money you can explore during this pandemic depending on your skills, interests, age, financial condition, needs, and goals:

Financial Technology (Fintech)

Fintech is a term used to describe financial technology, an industry encompassing any kind of technology in financial services – from businesses to consumers. In a study conducted by MoneyUnder30, Millenials have shifted their attention to securing their financial futures. One of the platforms they are using is some popular FinTech tools to support their financial goals. These tools include software, stock market, mobile apps, cryptocurrency. It is time for you to check FUNDRISE, WORTHY, ROBINHOOD, BETTERMENT, ACORN, BITCOIN, etc. These are just some of the platforms to explore where you can invest in real estate, stock market, cryptocurrency, etc, using your mobile phone or computer.

Gold

Seasoned investors are recommending to invest about 10% of your net worth in gold. If the market crashes, gold usually follows historical trends and goes up and holds its value. According to Real Wealth Network, gold is a great way to protect yourself from losing everything during these times of uncertainty.

Savings Account and Cash

If you are unsure and do not have a positive outlook in our economy, you can always keep your money in your savings account until you are ready to make your next move. It is also strongly recommended to keep around 5% to 10% of your net worth in a safe box at home in the event the economy crashes and banks limit your withdrawals or freeze all accounts to avoid economic collapse.

Stock Market

Investing in the stock market is still a good option to put your money during a pandemic. However, it is imperative that you do your due diligence in investigating your stock brokers or financial advisors if you have one, the company/stock you are investing in, and the trend of the stock market in general. If you have not yet explored any of the online stock brokers in the market such as TD Ameritrade, E*Trade, Fidelity, Charles Schwab, etc, this is the best time to learn and trade through their platforms. 

Rental Properties

If you have enough money saved up, investing in rental properties could be a better option considering the record low mortgage interest but you need to be very careful in selecting the type of property you want to invest in. Rental real estate, in general, is in a shaky territory but if you are planning to hold this investment and not flip it in the next 3 to 5 years, then it is still a safe place to put your money.

If you lost your job and you are prepared to learn new set of skills, here is the list of new platforms to explore:

E-Commerce

Have you heard of Amazon.com, Alibaba.com, eBay, Rakuten, or any other online markets where sellers and buyers transact to sell or buy items anything from clothing, household items, electronics, groceries, toys to big ticketed items such as furniture, cars, etc? If you have not, it’s time to do so. If you have and are interested to set aside some time for this, these platforms could help you augment your income but you need to be very patient. Learning to navigate these types of business could be very tedious and stressful. I have friends who are doing well with e-commerce and I strongly recommend trying this business if you are up to challenges.

Service-related On-Demand/ Gig Economy Companies

Prior to COVID pandemic, on-demand companies such as Postmates, Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Grubhub are already trying to play an important role in our economy. That role became more apparent during this pandemic. Dine-in is prohibited and people are staying at home. With these on-demand companies, food and groceries can be delivered to your home in just a few clicks on your mobile phone. This helps both the restaurant industry and people who lost their jobs or those who want to augment their income. This could be a new job or an additional job for you to explore!

Virtual Assistant

If your home is equipped with a computer and internet access, you can hop in and try to be a virtual assistant. You lost your office job but you are good at computers, research, cold calling, organizing schedules, graphic design, or accounting, then you could be a good candidate as a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant is generally self-employed and provides administrative, technical, or creative assistance to clients remotely from a home office. With the right attitude and work ethics, you could land a good-paying job at the convenience of your home.

Social Media Influencer

I can’t think of one person who has no social media account but of course, it depends on which part of the world you are in. In the U.S., social media usage is one of the most popular online activities. Almost eighty percent of the population has a social networking profile. It is clearly a market to explore to make money. If you have the knowledge, communication skills, good timing, authenticity, and charisma, then being a social media influencer is worth exploring [Pxxxt]. The average influencer can take home anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000 per year by promoting products. It takes time to reach that level but with the right attitude, patience, and persistence you could be the next influencer everyone knows on IG either on fitness, clothing, cooking, toys,  entertainment, etc.

Back in January 2020, everything seems to be very promising, at least on how I perceived the world at that time. I was very optimistic. I promised myself to do better in advancing my career in real estate sales. And then come March, everything has changed rapidly. I was lucky to keep my regular job as an operations manager for a property management company in Los Angeles but I did experience the impact of COVID, socially and mentally. I was worried I would lose my job in a blink of an eye. It was really stressful. I told myself to be prepared to look for another job and explore what technology can offer. Fortunately, I did not end up losing my job but the experience taught me how to pay more attention to securing my financial future, to save and invest more, and to be more flexible so I could easily adjust and adapt to a given situation. Whatever situation you are in, you can either stay or find ways to get out, adapt and be better.

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