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Hello! Today, I have a great article to share about how to become an Amazon Vine Reviewer from a reader, Nicole Nicolet. She is a member of the Amazon Vine program and she has received over 100 free products from Amazon and has saved over $4,500 in the last 6 months. If you want to…

Hello! Today, I have a great article to share about how to become an Amazon Vine Reviewer from a reader, Nicole Nicolet. She is a member of the Amazon Vine program and she has received over 100 free products from Amazon and has saved over $4,500 in the last 6 months. If you want to learn how to get free products from Amazon, this is a very helpful read!

Did you know that you can get hundreds of free products, worth thousands of dollars every year from the Amazon Vine Program?

It’s surprisingly easy to join, and once you are a member you have access to thousands of everyday items that you can use, gift to friends and family, and even make money from.

Though there are certain rules that you will need to follow to maintain good standing with the program, it is worth all the effort. 

So, if you’re looking to save, and maybe even make a little bit of money, the Amazon Vine Program may be a good fit for you.

How To Become An Amazon Vine Reviewer

Below is what you need to know if you want to become an Amazon Vine Reviewer.

Recommended reading: 7 Ways To Get Paid For Amazon Reviews

Here’s a screenshot from Amazon showing how much free stuff I’ve received so far.

How I’ve saved thousands with Amazon Vine

I have been a member of the Amazon Vine Program since November 2023. During this time I have received over 100 products from clothing to home decor, to health and beauty products, and even some electronics. 

Just the other day I got a pretty awesome projector that looks and works amazingly! And, I also got a pretty sick electric guitar too!

Because the Vine program allows you to request 3-8 items per day, I have been able to find gifts for friends and family, start new hobbies (like making sourdough bread!), and even find nearly all of the decor I need for my wedding.

Over the past 6 months, the total value of all the items I have requested comes out to a little over $4500.

So, as you can see how easy it is to save money as a Vine Voice.

What is Amazon Vine?

Amazon Vine is a program that Amazon offers to its stores and businesses to help them get product reviews for their products sooner than they would have otherwise.

This helps businesses make more sales since most customers read reviews before they decide to buy. 

When a business or store decides to put some of its products into the Vine program, Vine Voices (like myself) will test out the product and leave an honest review. 

As a Vine Voice, you get these products for free. However, there are some legal requirements that may affect your taxes, depending on your tax situation. More on this in a moment. 

So, who does Amazon choose to become Vine reviewers?

The Amazon Vine program is an exclusive program where they will hand-select people to join the program. These people will need to have written consistent ‘helpful’ and insightful reviews from their previous Amazon purchases.

You may be eligible to be an Amazon Vine Voice Reviewer if:

  • You have written consistent reviews of your previous Amazon purchases
  • Your reviews are considered ‘helpful’ to other customers
  • Your reviews are honest and trustworthy

How do you join Amazon Vine?

If you are eligible to join the program and Amazon has decided they want you to become a Vine Voice, you will receive an exclusive invitation by email.

Once you join the Amazon Vine program, you will have access to the Vine Voice dashboard where you will find thousands of products from houseware to beauty products and more.

All Vine reviewers start in the Silver member status and have the ability to upgrade to Gold member status (that’s where I’m at now!)

Tips to increase the likelihood of receiving a Vine Voice invitation:

  • Go back into your previous purchases and write a thorough review
  • Include pictures or videos in reviews of your previous purchases
  • Provide helpful insight into your reviews (include both pros and cons)
  • Include tips on how you use the product in your reviews

When Amazon has decided they would like you to join their Vine review program, they will send you an invite through your email. So, keep an eye out for whichever email account you have connected to Amazon. 

Check your spam folder if you think you missed the invitation.

Here’s a screenshot of some of my reviews.

How to become a Vine Voice (how to become an Amazon Vine Reviewer)

You can become a Vine Voice once Amazon has decided you provide trustworthy reviews. This is important because they only want members who provide honest, relevant, and insightful feedback. 

Anyone is eligible to join the program as long as they have left enough reviews that other customers have rated as ‘helpful’. 

So, unfortunately, there is no exact or magic number that I can give you as this varies by the quality and quantity of your reviews, as well as the number of visits those products may get.

However, when I was invited, I had just caught up on about a half dozen reviews and received the invite in my inbox about 2-3 weeks later.

Does it cost anything to be a Vine Voice?

No, there is no membership fee, or one-time fee to join the program. However… it is important that you know that taxes are involved in the process.

While you are never charged for the products themselves, Amazon is required by law to account for the value of products as ‘self-employed’ income. If you have requested products for a total amount over $600, Amazon is required to send you a 1099 form.

You can check in your Vine account dashboard to keep track of your total running amount.

How much are you taxed for the products? 

Each product will have an ‘estimated tax value’ that Amazon has to report. This value is totaled up on your 1099 tax form. 

However, as for what percentage you are taxed all depends on your specific financial situation. The percentage you are taxed will vary by state and your tax income bracket. 

One tip though, to avoid higher taxes, is to request more health-related items that have no estimated tax value. Or, otherwise try to keep your total value down so that you pay less in taxes.

Unfortunately, this can be difficult when you become a Gold Member as the items can be any priced value and are usually better quality. Plus, some products are hard to turn down. Like that projector screen I mentioned earlier.

Here are some of the items I’ve received for free through Amazon Vine.

What are some of the best products you’ve received from Amazon Vine?

Well, for one, a projector that works great for indoor and outdoor entertainment. 

But, here’s a list of some other really neat products I’ve gotten from Vine.

  • 3 shade lamp ($90 value)
  • Shoe rack bench with a cushion ($60 value)
  • That cool projector I keep talking about ($160 value)
  • Gorgeous blue electric guitar ($140 value)
  • Camping gear ($100 +)
  • Wedding decor and gear ($500 +)
  • Leather car seat covers ($173 value)
  • Wing shaped book ends ($40 value) (P.S. these look super cool!)
  • Brand new silverware
  • 21-piece knifeset ($199 value)
  • Stationary ($100 +)
  • Gifts for friends and family ($400 +)
  • Clothing ($100 +)
  • Automated pet feeder ($60) (My cat’s an absolute unit, so he eats through his food quickly)
  • Rainfall showerhead ($55 value)
  • Christmas projector lights ($60 value)

I could keep going with this list, and I will keep adding to this list as long as I am still a member of Vine. But, needless to say, there are some great finds on here that will save you money on many household items, gifts, and more.

And, if you’re a parent, I will mention that I have seen tons of baby items and things for kids. So, if you’re looking to save money on your kids, becoming a Vine member can be a great way to save some money.

When I searched for “baby”, almost 2,000 items popped up. 

How to get free products from Amazon Vine

Requesting free products through the Vine program is both fun and easy. You can select from a list of thousands of products in just about any category.

After becoming a member, you can follow these steps to request products.

Log in to your Vine account, navigate to your dashboard and locate the “Recommended for You”, “Available for all”, and “Additional Items” tabs. 

The ‘recommended for you’ items are based on your previous Vine searches. And, if I’m not mistaken, may also be partially based on your regular Amazon purchases and searches.

There was one time that I looked for, and eventually purchased a specific lamp on Amazon. And, not one week later that same exact product showed up on Vine. You win some you lose some, right?

You can also search for a specific product using the search bar. But, if you don’t find what you’re looking for, try broadening your search or using a different but related keyword. 

Sometimes a product is ranked under different keywords than you might expect.

Once you have found the item you want, you can look into further detail by clicking through to that link, or by reading the details when selecting the “see details” button. Then, once the product pops up, hit the “request product” button.

Now you just wait for the product to ship to you! 

You will find the shipping information in your item orders on your Amazon account or Amazon App. There is no special place for just for shipping information of Vine products. It’s all on your regular Amazon account.

Do you get paid with Amazon Vine?

You do not get paid in cash as a Vine Voice. You do, however, receive free products that you can later sell if you choose.

There are some restrictions as to when you can get rid of the products you have requested.

Amazon requires you to keep the products you request for at least 6 months before you get rid of the product you’ve requested. This means you are not supposed to gift, give away, sell or otherwise toss the product for 6 months.

How Amazon can track this, I don’t know. How strictly do they monitor this, I don’t know. 

But, what I do know is that you definitely shouldn’t sell any of your Vine products online within the minimum time frame if you want to remain in good standing as a member of the program.

What countries have this program?

The Amazon Vine program is available in the US and a few other countries.

Unfortunately, the products that are available are only the products that ship within that country or may be stored in local distribution centers. 

Some larger items may also only be shipped very locally to where they are stored.

So, if you live outside the U.S. you may still be able to join the program but may be much more limited on what products you have access to request.

Process of reviewing Amazon Vine products

In your Amazon Vine dashboard, you will be able to find products recommended specifically to you, products for all Vine reviewers, and any other product that is available to request for all members.

It’s best to check back frequently for any items you want as this changes daily, and sometimes hourly. 

There have been times when I’ve found an item I wanted several weeks or even a month or two later than when I first checked. Give it time and most likely what you want will become available.

Once you find the items you want, go ahead and request the products. Most products will be shipped to you in a couple of days, or within a month.

Being an Amazon Prime member does not change how quickly something is shipped to you though. But, there are tons of other great benefits as a Prime Member other than free 2-day shipping.

Step-by-step process to review Vine products:

  1. Request the product you want
  2. Test the product within a thorough, but timely period
  3. Write a complete and honest review of the product (include pictures, video, and/or other information you feel is ample for that product). Real reviews are great, they aren’t just looking for positive reviews
  4. Submit the review and wait for it to be approved (usually a few days to a week)
  5. Update the review if you feel this is necessary

If you struggle to find the products you want to review, try using different keywords. Rather than looking up “bridal shower gifts” try just looking up “bridal” or “wedding”.

This will greatly broaden your search as some items may be ranked under a certain keyword, but not another. 

If this does not work, try also using another term for the product. 

For example, when I type in ‘tumbler’, I see an insulated thermos, and I also see some stickers that go on thermoses. When I type in ‘cup’ I see thermoses again.

Contrary, when I type in ‘bookends’ with no space, I find a dozen products. But when I type in ‘book ends’ with a space, I only get one product. This is because of how businesses add their products to Amazon when using keywords. 

What is required to maintain Amazon Vine membership?

To be in good standing with the Amazon Vine program you will need to write reviews in a timely manner. For some products, a thorough review may require several weeks of testing, whereas other products can be reviewed almost right away. 

Some products I really try and include an image of. Things like electronics, clothing, and other things that are difficult to see in scale from a product image alone. Real life images work best for buyers to make an informed decision.

As a Silver Status Member, you will be able to request up to 3 items per day and up to $100 value each. You will need to review at least 80 items, and 90% of your items by or before the end of your evaluation period. After your evaluation period, you can get upgraded into the Gold Status.

As a Gold Status Member, you will be able to request up to 8 items per day with any price value. The review requirements are the same with at least 90% of 80 products reviewed by the end of the evaluation period. 

You will need to have at least 60% of your products reviewed at any time to stay in good standing. However, this will take some time while you are getting enough products to review, so don’t worry too much about this in the beginning. 

If you do not keep up with your reviews, your account may be placed under review (no pun intended here). I had this happen to me at one point around last Christmas when I became too busy for a while to write any reviews. 

But, I got caught back up and was able to return to good standing status as a member. And, I was still able to request items during this period, just in case you were wondering.

I have noticed there is some confusion among many Vine Voice members as to when you get upgraded to Gold Status. At one point I thought if I reached the minimum requirement of 80 products with 90% of reviews I would be upgraded. 

But, you will not be upgraded until the end of your evaluation period, unless you are somehow an exception to this rule. 

I recommend catching up on your reviews about once a week. Or, more often if you would like. This helps you to avoid getting behind. 

How to make money from Amazon Vine

According to the rules of the program, you cannot sell, gift, or otherwise give away your Vine products for a 6-month period. After this period, you may do with the items as you wish.

At this point, you may turn or flip the products and sell them for profit. However, if you decide to make some extra cash with this, please do not sell a product for more than it is valued on Amazon. 

This is wrong, deceitful, and may cause bad blood among those involved. So, it is best to sell the items for less than the original value. 

You may also use any products you get in your business if you wish. They are still just products, so if you use a Vine product in your business to make money, then more power to you.

Example: One item I had requested was an off-brand KitchenAid mixer attachment. I could easily use this to make money from baking. 

When can you sell the products you get?

There is a required 6-month waiting period before you get rid of any products by any means. It is best to wait this period before you decide to gift or sell any product.

If you decide to gift or sell any products sooner than this period, you can and may be removed from the program. So, if you are concerned about this, make sure to date the products you receive so you don’t forget. 

You can also look in your account to check on those dates.

It’s best to not sell any products for more than the taxable value. You also should not market any products as any brand other than what they actually are.

So, when I mentioned I got an off-brand KitchenAid attachment, it would be wrong and deceitful for me to market it as an ‘official’ brand attachment. 

Can you gift the products you get?

Yes. After the 6-month waiting period required by Amazon. If gifting an item is necessary for a thorough review, however, and the product is within your family, in most cases this should not be too much of an issue. 

But, this does not guarantee that you aren’t breaking the program rules. So, do this at your own risk.

Can you be both an Amazon Affiliate and a Vine Voice?

As a blogger, I am also a member of the Amazon Affiliate program, and I am also a member of the Amazon Voice program. 

As of June 2024, I am not aware of or have been informed of any restrictions that an Amazon Affiliate can’t also be a Vine Voice. Nor, have I found any information that states otherwise. 

So, I say the more the merrier!

Final thoughts on how to become an Amazon Vine Reviewer

The Amazon Vine program is a great program for companies, customers, and Vine Voices alike. It’s actually a fairly easy program to join and can be a great way to save and even make money.

While there are some important requirements you’ll have to follow as a Vine Voice, the benefits far outweigh any negatives. 

So, if you’re looking to save some money this year, start reviewing your previous Amazon purchases to increase your chances of becoming a Vine Reviewer, and keep an eye out for that email!

Did you know that there was a way to get free stuff from Amazon?

Author bio:

Hey there! My name is Nicole Nicolet and I am a blogger at Let’s Make Life Great. When I first learned that blogging could make you money full-time I was skeptical, but decided to give it a try as a way to make passive income on the side. So, after taking Michelle’s free blogging course, I jumped in! 

I started writing and researching different ways to save money, make money, and budget better. I also tried different side hustles like making digital printables, online courses, and more. Even though I’m still learning and growing, I enjoy writing posts about my blogging journey to help me document the tricks and tips I’ve learned since I started. 

I aim to help my audience make more money, grow a business, and reach their financial goals through the content I create. And I even have a free resource page on my site, because who doesn’t love free stuff?

So, one day, when I stumbled upon the Amazon Vine program I decided to try it and see if I was eligible. And, sure enough, I was.

I’m inspired to share my journey with you in hopes that you too can learn different ways to save thousands each year as an Amazon Vine Member.

Making Sense of Cents Note: I hope you enjoyed this article on how to become an Amazon Vine Reviewer. This invitation-only program looks for high-quality reviews to help improve a product’s visitibility. This can be a great way to get free stuff from Amazon and save some money! I’ve read that there are around 5,000 to 10,000 Amazon Vine reviewers currently, and it looks like they are still accepting many new product reviewers.

Recommended reading:


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New York City, often referred to as “The City That Never Sleeps,” is a place of endless possibilities. With its towering skyscrapers, vibrant neighborhoods, and a cultural scene that rivals any other city in the world, it’s no wonder that millions of people dream of calling NYC their home. However, life in this iconic metropolis comes with its own set of challenges. So whether you’re searching for a trendy loft in Brooklyn or a cozy apartment in Manhattan, you’ve come to the right place.

In this ApartmentGuide article, we’ll explore the various pros and cons of living in New York City, helping you decide if the Big Apple is the right place for you.

Fast facts about living in NYC

  • Population: Over 8.3 million residents
  • Average rent: $5,098 per month for a one-bedroom apartment
  • Median home sale price: $815,000
  • Subway stations: 472, providing extensive public transit options
  • Public parks: More than 1,700 green spaces for recreation and relaxation
  • Languages spoken: Over 800, reflecting the city’s rich cultural diversity
  • Annual tourists: Approximately 65 million visitors each year
  • Restaurants: Over 27,000, offering a wide variety of cuisines from around the world

1. Pro: NYC is a cultural and entertainment hub

New York City is a cultural mecca, offering unparalleled access to world-class theaters, museums, and music venues. Broadway shows, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the New York Philharmonic are just a few examples of the endless entertainment options. The city also hosts numerous cultural festivals and street fairs, celebrating everything from film and literature to food and dance. Additionally, iconic landmarks like Times Square, Central Park, and the Statue of Liberty add to the rich tapestry of experiences available.

2. Con: The housing in NYC is extremely expensive

The real estate market in NYC is notoriously expensive, with housing costs being 408% more expensive than the national average. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in New York, NY is $5,098 per month. The median sale price for a home in NYC is around $815k, reflecting the high cost of ownership. While outer boroughs like Brooklyn and Queens can offer slightly more affordable options, the prices are still high compared to the national average. Renters may need to consider shared living arrangements or smaller apartments to manage costs.

3. Pro: There are lots of job opportunities

New York City is an economic powerhouse with opportunities in a wide range of industries, including finance, technology, media, and fashion. Major companies such as Goldman Sachs, Google, and NBCUniversal have a significant presence here. The diverse job market means there’s potential for career growth in nearly any field.

5 of NYC’s top employers

  • JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Verizon Communications Inc.
  • Citigroup Inc.
  • Pfizer Inc.
  • Mount Sinai Health System

4. Con: High cost of living

The cost of living in New York City is 128% higher than the national average, making it one of the most expensive cities in the United States. This encompasses various daily expenses beyond housing. Transportation costs are substantial, with monthly subway passes priced at around $132, and the occasional need for taxis or rideshares adding to the expense. Groceries and dining out are also more costly compared to other parts of the country, with basic items and meals often carrying a premium price tag. 

Additionally, utility bills are 5% more expensive, groceries are 15% more expensive, and healthcare is 25% more expensive than the national average. While higher salaries in New York City can help offset these expenses, many residents still find it challenging to manage their finances, save money, or afford discretionary spending.

5. Pro: Public transportation

With a transit score of 89, one of the benefits of living in NYC is its extensive public transportation system. The subway and bus networks make it possible to get around without a car, which can save money on vehicle expenses. The MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) operates 24/7, covering all five boroughs, with 472 subway stations and over 300 bus routes. Monthly unlimited MetroCards provide cost-effective travel options for residents. 

Additionally, the city’s walkability and availability of bike-sharing programs like Citi Bike, which offers thousands of bikes across hundreds of stations, make commuting convenient for renters who might not own a vehicle.

6. Con: Crowded and noisy

New York City is known for its hustle and bustle. The constant activity can be intense, with crowded streets, busy public transportation, and noise that rarely stops. Finding peace and quiet can be challenging, especially in lively neighborhoods. The high population density means personal space can be limited, and the sounds of construction and traffic are common. For those who prefer a quieter environment, adjusting to the city’s vibrant energy might take some time.

7. Pro: Diverse neighborhoods

NYC is a melting pot of cultures, with each NYC neighborhood offering unique character and charm. From the historic streets of Harlem to the trendy vibes of Williamsburg, there’s a place for everyone. Explore the vibrant art scene in Chelsea, enjoy the bustling markets in Chinatown, or relax in the quaint cafes of the West Village. This diversity also means a variety of cuisines, festivals, and cultural experiences are available year-round, ensuring there’s always something new to discover.

8. Con: Weather extremes

New York experiences all four seasons, which means hot, humid summers and cold, snowy winters. While some enjoy the variety, others may find the weather extremes challenging to handle. Snowstorms can disrupt daily life, affecting transportation and causing school and work closures. Summer heat waves can be uncomfortable, leading to increased energy costs for cooling. The transition seasons, spring and fall, can also be unpredictable, with sudden changes in temperature and weather conditions.

9. Pro: Access to education and healthcare

The city boasts some of the best educational institutions in the world, including Columbia University and NYU. Additionally, New York has top-notch healthcare facilities, such as NewYork-Presbyterian and Mount Sinai. This access to quality education and healthcare is a significant advantage for residents. The abundance of specialized programs and advanced research centers attracts students and professionals from all over the globe. 

10. Con: High taxes

New York State has some of the highest taxes in the country, including income, property, and sales taxes. The combined state and city income tax can reach up to 12.7% for high earners, and the property taxes can also be quite burdensome. Additionally, the cost of living in New York City is significantly higher than the national average, which can exacerbate the financial strain caused by these high taxes. Residents often find themselves paying more for everyday expenses, such as groceries, utilities, and transportation. For businesses, the high corporate taxes and regulatory costs can be challenging, impacting overall profitability and growth.

11. Pro: Green spaces

Despite its urban nature, NYC offers numerous green spaces where residents can escape the concrete jungle. Central Park, Prospect Park, and the High Line are popular spots for relaxation and recreation. These parks provide a much-needed respite from the city’s fast pace.

Popular NYC parks:

  • Bryant Park
  • Washington Square Park
  • Riverside Park
  • Brooklyn Bridge Park
  • Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

12. Con: Competitive lifestyle

The competitive nature of NYC can be a double-edged sword. While it drives innovation and excellence, it can also lead to high-stress levels. The fast-paced lifestyle and constant pressure to succeed can be exhausting for some individuals. This environment often demands long working hours and a relentless pursuit of career advancement. Balancing work and personal life can be challenging, and the high cost of living adds to the pressure to excel.

13. Pro: Iconic landmarks

Living in New York City means having iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, and the Empire State Building at your doorstep. These sites are not only great for sightseeing but also contribute to the city’s unique character and charm.

Iconic landmarks in New York City:

  • Brooklyn Bridge
  • One World Trade Center
  • Rockefeller Center
  • Central Park
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art

14. Pro: Rich cultural diversity

Known for its cultural mosaic of vibrant diversity, New York City is home to people from around the world, speaking hundreds of different languages. In neighborhoods like Little Italy, Chinatown, and Harlem, residents can experience a wide array of cuisines and traditions from different cultures. This blend of backgrounds creates a unique environment where diverse perspectives and traditions thrive. Cultural institutions, festivals, and parades throughout the city highlight this diversity, from the Lunar New Year celebrations in Chinatown to the Puerto Rican Day Parade and the annual Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy.

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Welcome to NerdWallet’s Smart Money podcast, where we answer your real-world money questions. In this episode:

Discover career growth strategies to boost your income, including negotiating raises and navigating promotions and mentorship.

What are some of the best ways to increase your income?

What are strategies for negotiating a higher salary and excelling in your current role?

Hosts Sean Pyles and Alana Benson discuss career growth techniques and salary negotiation strategies to help you understand how to maximize your earnings and achieve financial stability. They begin with a discussion of the importance of increasing your income rather than solely focusing on cutting expenses, breaking down the long-term financial difference that seemingly small increases in your income can make over the course of your career.

Then, “The Job Doctor” Tessa White joins Alana to discuss how to excel in your current role and position yourself for promotions and raises within an organization. They discuss the necessity of understanding the true expectations of your role, measuring your contributions through tangible metrics and effectively communicating your value to your organization. Additionally, they explore the importance of informal mentorship and how to enhance your skills by observing and learning from those who excel in specific areas.

Check out this episode on your favorite podcast platform, including:

NerdWallet stories related to this episode:

Episode transcript

This transcript was generated from podcast audio by an AI tool.

Sean Pyles:

You’ve heard it one million times, “Just cut out the daily Starbucks run and you’ll be rich.” But more often than not, your financial situation is going to be better aided by fixing what’s coming into your budget versus what’s going out.

Tessa White:

If you’re, say, 35 years old and you negotiate an extra $5,000 for your job, it’s not just $5,000 because in lifetime earnings, that’s several hundred thousand dollars in lifetime earnings. And if you invested that difference, it’s even more.

Sean Pyles:

Welcome to NerdWallet’s Smart Money Podcast. I’m Sean Pyles.

Alana Benson:

And I’m Alana Benson.

Sean Pyles:

This episode kicks off our Nerdy deep dive into what we are calling investing in your income. Another way to say that is investing in yourself by seeking out more ways to make more money.

Alana Benson:

Yeah, Sean, you alluded to this at the beginning, but there’s just so much advice out there giving people flack for spending on straight-up normal stuff like going to Starbucks, or getting some tacos at a food truck instead of making them in your kitchen. And yes, technically all of these things can have a negative impact on your bottom line, but like, you have to live.

Sean Pyles:

Absolutely. And I mean, we’ve had a foot in this camp on the show advising people to take a hard look at their expenses and see what they can pare back in an effort to get themselves to a better financial situation. We haven’t told people to forego a morning latte, but there certainly is a time and place for examining your spending habits. That said, there is another way to affect that bottom line.

Alana Benson:

Exactly, and that is to just make more money.

Sean Pyles:

Yes. Okay. So Alana, you pitched this series to us. What prompted you to start thinking about this?

Alana Benson:

I’ve talked about this on here before, but before I started working at NerdWallet, I worked at a small company where I was making less than $30,000 a year with no benefits. So I actually tried to negotiate to $32,500 and I was told that I was “greedy and selfish.”

Sean Pyles:

Wow. The gall you must have had-

Alana Benson:

I know. How dare I?

Sean Pyles:

… to ask for that much more money, yeah.

Alana Benson:

But it messed me up for a long time. And to any listeners who have been told something similar, I want to tell you right now that you are not any of those things. I had to check my bank account every time before I went grocery shopping at that job, and I felt stressed about money all the time. And then when I finally started working at NerdWallet, overnight I went from that stressed out lifestyle to being able to save for retirement and a down payment on a house, which was just like a fever dream before then, and then it was a reality.

Sean Pyles:

Right. Well, we wish everyone could work for NerdWallet, but for those who are looking for other ways to have that kind of income jump, let’s talk about what they need to be considering.

Alana Benson:

Yeah, Sean. And this is not to say that this is easy. These are a little more difficult, they may not happen overnight, but there are some really critical factors that make increasing your income almost imperative if you want to meet particular financial goals. If that’s buying a house, if you’re making a college fund, investing for retirement, these are all the things that you usually do after you fill out your emergency fund, or you pay down high-interest debt and cover your day-to-day expenses. And by those metrics, it just makes it really hard for a lot of people to ever get to the point where they can afford to save and invest for those long-term goals. And for a lot of folks, increasing their income is literally the only way they’re going to be able to afford to invest for retirement.

Sean Pyles:

Right. And increasing your income can also be far more effective than reducing expenses, particularly for those who don’t have many expenses left to cut.

Alana Benson:

Yeah, exactly. So here’s an example. If you’re making $50,000 a year, the money you actually get on your paycheck after taxes, and generally this is without state taxes and everyone’s tax situation is different, but that would come to about $42,000 a year or $3,495 per month. The average monthly mortgage payment in the U.S. is $1,768. Now factor in groceries, bills, car payments, and other necessities, and the truth becomes something that we already know, which is just that life is really expensive and most of us are not making enough to cut it, let alone save for the future, or just make enough to enjoy life and take a vacation every now and then.

Sean Pyles:

Yeah. And the average millennial owes about $6,500 in credit card debt and those in Gen Z owe more than $3,000. Cutting your daily coffee habit and getting rid of streaming services simply cannot make up the differences here. And these numbers aren’t new, but they’re sometimes presented with little information about what we can do about them. Increasing your income is one of the biggest ways you can make a dent in those numbers.

Alana Benson:

Exactly. So over this three-part series, we’re going to talk about how you can get started increasing your income, some concrete steps you can take regardless of whether you want to change jobs or not, and what you can start to do once your income does increase. We’ll be talking about everything from sprucing up your LinkedIn profile to working with a career coach, negotiating, and whether that’s for a raise at your current job or a salary bump at a new one.

Sean Pyles:

All right, well we want to hear what you think too, listeners. To share your thoughts around ways to boost your income, leave us a voicemail or text the Nerd hotline at 901-730-6373. That’s 901-730-N-E-R-D, or email a voice memo to [email protected].

So Alana, who are we hearing from today?

Alana Benson:

We are going to the doctor for a checkup, Sean.

Sean Pyles:

Oh, no. What’s the copay going to be?

Alana Benson:

Well, hopefully nothing, because today we are talking with The Job Doctor, also known as Tessa White, who spent a good chunk of her career heading up HR departments, mostly for tech companies. She’s now founder and CEO of The Job Doctor and author of The Unspoken Truths for Career Success.

Sean Pyles:

That’s coming up in a moment. Stay with us.

Alana Benson:

Tessa White, welcome to Smart Money.

Tessa White:

Hello. Thank you for having me.

Alana Benson:

In this series, we are really focusing on ways to increase your income in kind of any form. So what would you say is the easiest way that people can increase their income?

Tessa White:

Well, I think they need to be very mindful that they are their best advocate for making money. The company’s not going to magically go in and decide that they need to pay them more money, because a company’s always going to err on the side of they’ll take as much as you’ll give. So making sure that you’re advocating for yourself is probably the greatest way that you make money.

Alana Benson:

Tessa White:

Yeah, salary negotiation, asking for money, which is uncomfortable for people to do sometimes. Understanding what the value of your role is or the position that you’re applying for versus just kind of going with the first thing that people ask. I mean a little bit of discomfort on the front end of negotiating on behalf of yourself really has a massive impact on the back end.

If you’re, say, 35 years old and you negotiate an extra $5,000 for your job, it’s not just $5,000 because in lifetime earnings, that’s several hundred thousand dollars in lifetime earnings. And if you invested that difference, it’s even more. So you need to look at it a little bit differently and say, “Every penny that I can negotiate on behalf of myself is the new basis for which other offers come in and other raises is based off of.” And it really does have a cumulative effect that’s significant.

Alana Benson:

I want to go back to something that you said about increasing the value where you’re at. Some people may have tried to negotiate or they’ve hit a financial ceiling for some ways, but how can you get extra experience at your existing job? For example, if you want a role in management in the future, maybe take on some mentoring to work towards that. For people who negotiating isn’t really on the table right now, how can people get some of that extra experience?

Tessa White:

First you have to know what to ask for. One of my recommendations is that you mimic a top-performer plan. Companies typically put people in this nine box, and they have these top performers and nobody knows who they are except the top performers. They get all these extra things. Some of those extra things are exposure to experiences which are very valuable to you. That might be sitting in on an executive meeting and just seeing how things operate.

And the thing about corporate America is your manager needs help. There’s always more to do than people to do it. And so if you ask for your own top-performer plan, you can actually ask for and be very direct with your manager to say, “Can I give part of a presentation in this executive team meeting? Can I run this little piece of a project that is holding us back that we need to get over the finish line? Can I sit in and listen to how a meeting operates? Can I help develop a dashboard for our departments so that we can show progression in some of the key objectives?”

So there’s lots of different ways you can do it, but the key is you have to ask because most managers are not really great at putting together growth plans for people. They’ve got a lot of people and it gets very murky what they need. But if you actually go to your manager, and direct it and say, “Can I do this one thing? Can you help make this one thing happen or these two things happen,” then your odds go way up and your credibility goes up in the organization, your visibility goes up. And therefore, your promotability goes up.

Alana Benson:

I love what you said about visibility because I think that is so, so important, especially a lot of people are now working in remote environments and so you don’t really get that face-to-face time. And so what are some ways that people can kind of increase their visibility? Kind of like you said, talking about a presentation, but just ways to get exposure and then how does that value come back to them?

Tessa White:

Well, let’s start with something that I think people might find interesting. I’ve sat in on hundreds of promotion meetings where they decide who gets the promotions that year. And almost without fail it’s like a broken record. The people that don’t get the promotions, people will say, “Well, they sound great, but I don’t know who they are. I haven’t worked with them.”

One of the big keys to getting the promotions is visibility across the organization and being able to collaborate well with other departments. And it’s really important that when people know you, you have a greater chance of getting the promotion, and when you intersect with them. So that’s the first thing is that having that exposure is really important.

One of the first practical things that I would do in a job is to go talk to the people that intersect with my role and say, “Tell me what do you expect out of this role? What are the problems that I am helping solve for you and where are your pain points?” And I would get very, very aligned with what those people and constituents need because the job on paper is not the real job. It never is. And this helps you determine what the real job is and how you win, more importantly, how you align yourself to win. So I would be having those conversations at least twice a year because that’s what’s going to point you towards how you actually work on the things that are going to get you promoted in a company, and how are you going to get visibility for you and what you do.

Alana Benson:

I think about that a lot where I work in terms of even just posting on Slack and making sure that I post regularly in the channels that my boss, and my boss’ boss, and even my boss’ boss’ boss are because that visibility is so important. So they say, “Oh, I know who this person is, I know what they’re working on. I know they’re doing X, Y, and Z.” So what are some other ways to make sure you’re getting that managerial attention that could potentially lead to a raise or a promotion?

Tessa White:

I’m a big believer in planting seeds in an organization with other managers and other places in the organization so that you know what’s coming. Managers are planning six months, eight months in advance, sometimes a year in advance of what they need and what’s coming. And you need to be talking with them about how are you going to be evolving, what are the big problems you’re trying to solve? What are big initiatives and things that are going to help you over the next couple of years move into the next level of efficiency? And when you understand those things, then you get a better idea of how you fit into the ecosystem and you also get a better idea of maybe where you want to go in the future. And then you can begin to craft the kind of experiences that you need so that you will be somebody that they can pay attention to.

I would absolutely treat your company like a big homework assignment. And I would be trying to listen to the quarterly reports, listen to the CEO. What are the big objectives that we’re trying to accomplish? And it helps you establish that narrative. Because I get mad when people come and say, “I interviewed but it didn’t work very good,” or, “I don’t think they understood my value.” And I say, “If you don’t understand your value proposition, I promise you the company won’t.” It really is your job to figure out what your value proposition is, and in order to do that you have to have information.

Alana Benson:

So when you go into those meetings, it’s so hard to kind of know what your value is or what people call your market value. So how do we figure that out? How do you essentially see if there’s space to grow in terms of pay in your existing role? How do you figure out what you should be getting paid?

Tessa White:

Well, that’s a lot of different questions. Let me start with value proposition, first of all. It’s kind of a big word, but how do you know what value you bring to an organization? This is a really hard thing for people. But if you think about leverage, that’s what you want to have as leverage to get what you want. Leverage at its core is “I have what you need.” And so if you can define what is it that I see the company needs, where are they going and what have I done so far that shows I have that skill, and you can then turn it into numbers.

“I was able to come into my department and move the needle on these particular criteria,” then you have more leverage. But what most people do is they say, “I’m really good at working with customers.” Well, that’s, in and of itself, doesn’t mean anything. But if you say, “My customer service scores are 20% higher than most of the other people in the department,” or, “I was able to decrease call time by X and increase customer satisfaction by X,” then you actually have something that the company understands and you’re speaking their language.

So part of your job in determining your value proposition is saying, “How am I solving problems for the company? And then how do I turn what I’ve done into metrics or numbers?” That’s why I tell people, “You should go to work every day and be measuring. If you don’t have a department metric that tells you am I doing good or am I not doing good, figure out what it is and start measuring things. Because those numbers become so critical to how you position yourself for a company.”

Alana Benson:

There’s two things, figuring out what the company kind of needs from you and what you can bring to it, and then obviously what can the company do for you?

Tessa White:

Well, your market value, it’s like a house. When we put a house up for sale, we don’t have some neat, perfect numbers to what its value is. What we know is that other houses sold at this amount that were similar, and the same is true with compensation. What other companies are willing to hire this role at is a pretty good indicator that you can bring that helps determine the value of a role.

But the other thing that you have quite a bit of control over is being able to tell the company, “Here’s how I solved the problems in my last company and here’s how I’ll solve them for you.” So for recruiting, for example, let’s just take a general example. If I said, “I’m a really good recruiter, and I was able to manage a recruiting team and fill 200 positions in a year,” that doesn’t, in and of itself, mean anything. But if I understand that a company has low resources and they don’t have a lot of money to put towards recruiters, I could say, “In the last company, I turned every employee into a recruiter in our company because we didn’t have a lot of funds. And we rolled out this employee referral program that made every employee a recruiter and it increased the number of applicants that we were bringing into the company month over month by 60%.”

Then all of a sudden the company goes, “Scrappy. I need scrappy. I’m a company that doesn’t have a lot of money. I need creativity. Look what that person was able to do.” And all of a sudden your leverage went up, which means your compensation probably goes up because you have what the company needs.

Alana Benson:

Yeah, I think it’s so important to think about what are the problems that need to get solved here? And sort of apply yourself to those, and be moldable, and be able to say, “Yeah, I can help you with that.” I feel like that goes so far and feeds into the visibility thing that we were talking about earlier because then you become known as someone who can fix problems.

Tessa White:

It’s everything because on resumes, again, one of my pet peeves is a resume will say, say you take an HR person and they say, “I’m a 25-year professional who has been able to manage talent management, training and employee relations.” Well, every single resume says that, but the minute that I can tap into how do I solve the problems and I say, “I’m the person that you’d hire if you need to go fast and put in place infrastructure so that you can go public or so that you can have a high merger acquisition strategy,” for example. If I say that, then I’ve just tapped into how to solve a problem that that particular small company needs.

Alana Benson:

So much of this is difficult to do and every company is different. And I think it’s so important to get help and support along the way as you’re trying to not only be better in your role but be making more money. So what can you tell me about how you can use mentorship to further your career and help you increase your income? What can mentorship look like and how do you find a mentor?

Tessa White:

I think every single person needs to have not just a mentor, they need to have a handful of mentors, and it’s available to everybody. What most people, the mistake they make is they think they need to go up to somebody and say, “Will you be my mentor?” When in fact, the best mentorships that I know of are where you identify people who have really good skill sets in an area.

For example, everybody should have a mentor that they can look to for how do you manage people, how do you get conflict over the finish line, and how do you do it in a way that’s productive rather than destructive? Everybody should have a mentor around data and data analytics or presentations and how to give a good presentation or run a meeting. You should identify people who do that well, watch them. You don’t even need to ask, “Will you be my mentor?” Watch them. Watch what they do in that area.

And then for example, before you go give a meeting, say, “I’ve been watching you. You give really good presentations and I’ve tried to use some of the principles I see that you utilize. Will you take a look at this presentation and tell me what you’d change? Can I just give it to you? Spend 10, 15 minutes to run over the high level?” That’s how you have mentors that make a difference for you is you find people that do good things, you watch them very closely, and then you ask them when the time is right to help you make sure you’ve done that thing right. And I think that’s available to everybody. You don’t have to have a company program to do it. You don’t have to have somebody necessarily saying they’ll be your mentor. Just pick people, watch them.

Alana Benson:

So it doesn’t need to be nearly as formal as what a lot of people think of when they think of entering a mentorship relationship? It can be as simple as, “I saw you do this. You’re great at it. Can you help me with this one presentation?”

Tessa White:

Exactly, or this one conflict. “I have a high conflict situation and this is how I was thinking of handling it. How would you do it?” Exactly. I think that’s far more productive.

Alana Benson:

To that point, obviously a mentorship and mentoring relationship is different than working with a career coach, but how can you find a career coach who can maybe help you and how do you navigate that search? There’s obviously a wide spread of what people charge for career coaching services. Are there any certifications that people should look for when it comes to working with a career coach to make sure they’re working with someone who knows their stuff?

Tessa White:

There are plenty of different certifications, but I don’t think that one is necessarily better than another. I think it’s a lot like finding a regular therapist. You need to find somebody that you vibe with. You need to find somebody who’s been around the block and has some experience.

Probably my biggest beef with career coaching as an industry is that a lot of people with five years of career experience are calling themselves a career coach. You need somebody who has seen lots of situations in lots of different circumstances and watched how those situations play out. And I think when you have somebody that has either been in your industry or has been around the block for a while, they’re going to be able to give you a much better idea of the different choices that you have, and more importantly, the likely different outcomes of those scenarios if you handle it different ways. But somebody with five years of experience simply doesn’t have enough experience or enough behind the scenes in really high-stakes situations to be able to give, I think, information that is really, really helpful or useful.

Alana Benson:

And so aside from a lack of experience, is there anything else to kind of look out for in this industry?

Tessa White:

I would find people that know my industry. For instance, tech is a different flavor than blue collar. If I took advice from a career coach that’s a high-tech career coach and I’m in a blue collar environment, that advice is not going to play as well because there’s just different flavors to different industries. So you try and find somebody that’s the best match to the environment that you are working in, I think, and then you make sure that that person has a lot of experience as well.

Alana Benson:

Is there anything that I didn’t ask you about that seems particularly important for people to think about if they’re trying to increase their income in a role that they’re already in?

Tessa White:

I will tell you that there is a trend that I’m seeing that I think is really valuable to understand. There’s a lot of change happening right now, a lot of layoffs and a lot of people leaving companies. But those people who stay through, I call it a red zone of a company, usually have tremendous opportunities that come their way because of the people that leave and the gaps that that creates. And even though it may be an uncomfortable period of time to try and do more with less, learning how to work through red zones of companies is really teaching you to innovate and is teaching resilience. And that skill set is extraordinarily valuable.

People who stay in companies often end up with the increases and the promotions that they want because of the vacancies that are left. And so I would tell people don’t think that the grass is greener just by leaving a company through a red zone. A red zone can be a tremendous gift to you, and particularly people who are okay with taking promotions that are lateral and they learn the ecosystem of a company, that has delayed value. While it may seem like you’re going backwards or standing still if you’re not getting big raises, if you understand the ecosystem of a company by working in different departments, over time that makes you incredibly valuable to a company. And I’m seeing people use that as a career strategy that ends up paying dividends. If you look at it in a long-term, like a four-year horizon, is huge. Even when they leave that company, the ability to understand the different departments and how they work together is something that’s very, very valuable.

So don’t discount the red zone of a company and think, your brain’s going to tell you this is the wrong company, the wrong time, it’s terrible, it feels uncomfortable. But discomfort doesn’t mean you’re in the wrong company, it simply means you have to learn to do things differently. And it really is the trigger for innovation. And if you can stay through that red zone, it can be incredibly valuable to you.

Alana Benson:

Well, Tessa White, aka The Job Doctor, thank you so much for talking with us today and we really appreciate your time.

Tessa White:

Yeah, thank you so much for having me.

Sean Pyles:

Alana, I so love how you and Tessa talked about what I sometimes think of as the theater of the workplace or narrative building around your job. And I don’t mean to be flip or diminish the real work that goes into building any career, but if you aren’t good at presenting the story of your work, building a compelling cast of characters through your colleagues and advocates who support your work, and getting people excited about what you are doing, it’s going to be a lot harder to get those big opportunities in your career. Tessa described it as “planting seeds,” and I kind of think about it as foreshadowing, set building, and fleshing out your narrative arc.

Alana Benson:

Totally. And there’s so much that goes into what we do at work, and how we can grow and eventually make more money. And if you’re looking for inspiration on where exactly to figure out what type of experience you should be getting, try looking at job listings for jobs you’ll eventually want but maybe aren’t qualified for now. That will clue you into where you should start looking. For example, if you’re in a job that doesn’t currently give you management experience but you’re looking to work as a manager in the future, you could give informal mentoring a try.

Sean Pyles:

So try thinking from your future resume’s perspective. Try to think from your future resume’s perspective. What experience do you need to have to check a box on a job openings list and how can you get it now?

Alana Benson:

Yeah. And once you identify what areas you want to get more experience in, there are thousands of online courses you can take for free or for just a small amount of money to exercise those skills. You can learn how to code, you can learn about AI, how to use spreadsheets, and pretty much anything else you can think of. So think about what courses could help you out in your current role or help make the case to give you a promotion.

Sean Pyles:

And this is a great time to look at other roles again and see what particular skills they’re looking for. If you’re looking for jobs in IT support, for example, you can take a Google certification course for that. Some companies even offer financial compensation for furthering your education. So be sure to ask your manager if there are any funds available to help you pay for the education costs.

Alana Benson:

That’s a great call.

Sean Pyles:

So Alana, tell us what’s coming up in episode two of the series.

Alana Benson:

Next up, we are going to hear from an expert from LinkedIn about how to best optimize your profile so you can make the most out of a job search.

Andrew McCaskill:

I think that the number one thing that I would say to folks if you’re trying to make your profile more visible and more searchable is over 40% of recruiters say that they are searching for talent based on skills. And so you really have to put your skills in your summary, and use skills and skills language.

Sean Pyles:

For now, that’s all we have for this episode. Do you have a money question of your own? Turn to the Nerds and call or text us your questions at 901-730-6373. That’s 901-730-N-E-R-D. You can also email us at [email protected]. And remember, you can follow the show on your favorite podcast app, including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and iHeartRadio to automatically download new episodes.

Alana Benson:

This episode was produced by Tess Vigeland. Sean helped with editing. Kevin Berry helped with fact checking. Sara Brink mixed our audio. And a big thank you to NerdWallet’s editors for all their help.

Sean Pyles:

Here’s our brief disclaimer. We are not financial or investment advisors. This nerdy info is provided for general educational and entertainment purposes and may not apply to your specific circumstances.

Alana Benson:

And with that said, until next time, turn to the Nerd


Apache is functioning normally

Placing a smaller rug over a large neutral one is an excellent solution when you have a rug you love that’s too small. The layer acts like a border to extend the rug, says rug expert Jess Evans. (Courtesy of Annie Selke)

My friend, Susan, and I disagree on just about everything except home design — until now. Yes, I understand that an 8- by10-foot area rug would have worked better size-wise in my 10 by 13 living room. But I already had the 5 by 8 rug. I loved the pattern and colors, navy and burnt orange, and had decorated around it.

She persists. If I insist on keeping the small rug (yes), I should get a larger solid rug to layer underneath it, she said, and extend it under the furniture to pull the room together.

So when the rug arrives, I spread out the large, navy rug, lay the smaller one over it, replace the furniture, and text Susan a picture. “Happy now?” I asked.

“Yes, but I think the deep orange would have been better.”

Good thing she lives six states away because I might have strangled her.

So I text the same photo to Christopher, a designer friend I often consult with. Unlike Susan, he does not have a dog in this fight. His reply: “That blue rug just makes everything in the room look cheap. Maybe try a burnt orange one?” He does not know what a loaded topic this was.

Fine. I order a solid, burnt orange wool rug online. I roll up the blue rug and drag it out of the living room like a dead sea mammal. I unfurl the orange rug, which I am determined to like.

I stand back and squint. The orange is pretty bright. Plus, now the smaller rug keeps bunching up and rumpling no matter how I try to smooth it. I text photos to Susan and Christopher.

“Way too bright,” Susan said. “It needs to be a deeper color.”

“I am not doing this again,” I text back. “Your choice is either with the orange rug or without.”

“I cannot in good conscience choose between two bad options,” she writes.

Christopher is more tactful. “Try putting the orange rug in your bedroom. Better to have no rug under the smaller rug than one that detracts.”

In search of closure, I call Jess Evans, vice president of design for Annie Selke, a Massachusetts-based rug company, and ask if I can interview her for a column about rug sizes. Little does she know what she is getting into. I send her a picture of the living room.

“When you have a small rug in a room with no surrounding furniture on it, it can showcase that the rug is too small for the space,” she said. “While I recommend getting a rug that’s the right size from the start, I also love the look of layered rugs, and so do many top designers.” (I am not telling Susan.)

“But won’t putting a small rug over a larger one just emphasize the fact that the top rug is too small?”

“Not at all,” she said. “Layering rugs is an excellent solution when you have a rug you love that’s too small. The layer acts like a border to extend the rug, and the combination is in no way inferior to having one rug.”

Since my first two layering attempts flopped, I ask Evans for suggestions on how to get the right base and for solutions to other rug-size problems. Her advice:

Go lean: To prevent layered rugs from bunching, look for a thin base layer with a pile height of ¼-inch or less, she said. You also want a flat texture. Thinner sturdy rugs can be made of jute, sisal, wool or polypropylene.

Avoid patterns: Choose a base layer with little to no pattern in a neutral color that works with your flooring. The base should act as a frame and not compete with the feature rug.

Add legs: Ideally you want a rug big enough to allow at least the front feet of the room’s main furniture to sit on it. If you put only the front legs on, the rug should extend several inches underneath. If you can’t get all the front legs on, it’s better to have no legs on than some legs on and some off.

But don’t go too big: Leave at least eight inches between your rug and your wall. Eighteen inches is ideal, and fewer than six inches is too tight. “A rug that’s too big looks like wall-to-wall carpet and defeats the purpose of an area rug,” Evans said. Contact her at [email protected].


Apache is functioning normally

Adaptive cruise control (ACC) is similar to standard cruise control in that it maintains a driver’s preset speed once engaged. But unlike basic cruise control, ACC also automatically adjusts a car’s speed based on traffic conditions.

For example, if the car in front of you slows, the system will automatically engage the car’s brakes to slow your speed and maintain a safe distance between you and the car ahead. Once the car in front of you speeds up, the system will resume the set speed.

While not federally mandated, most new cars come with ACC technology.

🤓Nerdy Tip

ACC is an advanced-driver assistance system, or ADAS. ADAS use in-vehicle technological features to help increase safety while driving. Other ADAS technologies include antilock brakes, lane departure warning and forward collision warning, among others. Some ADAS technologies are paired together in some newer vehicles, but this isn’t always the case.

How does adaptive cruise control work?

ACC systems use cameras, sensors and radar technology — or a combination of the three — to monitor the distance between your car and the car in front of you. This technology also automatically accelerates or slows your car, based on your settings and the speed limit.

You can set your speed and following distance, or how much space you want between the car in front of you and your car, with controls typically located on the steering wheel. ACC systems automatically keep your car at the preset speed and distance unless traffic ahead slows or you brake. You can reset your speed and distance at any time while driving.

What to know about adaptive cruise control

Adaptive cruise control systems are also often referred to as active cruise control, dynamic cruise control, radar cruise control and intelligent cruise control, among other names. And like its names, the specifics of how the system functions can also vary between vehicle makes and models.

For example, most ACC systems can bring your car to a complete stop if traffic around you stops, then accelerate once traffic picks up again. Other systems, however, don’t have this capability or may not work below certain speeds.

Some ACC systems can anticipate curves and adjust a car’s speed when it’s approaching a curve. However, some ACC systems may not be able to anticipate traffic on curving roads as well as they would on straight ones, and therefore may not be able to adjust a car’s speed accordingly.

Like similar advanced safety features that use cameras and sensors, ACC functionality can be affected by weather conditions like rain or snow, which means that drivers should remain vigilant even when the system is activated.


Apache is functioning normally

One of the most influential names in real estate is once again showing us how it’s done.

Influencer, motivational speaker, bestselling author, and prominent real estate investor Grant Cardone is selling his beachfront mansion in Florida for $42 million.

But throwing cash at the seasoned investor won’t do the trick.

He wants 646 Bitcoin for his one-of-a-kind house in Golden Beach, Florida — which was formerly home to fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, who sold it to the billionaire businessman back in 2021 for $24 million.

Cardone, who founded Cardone Capital, a real estate investment firm that manages a portfolio of billions in assets, listed his Florida residence on PropyKeys, a leading blockchain-based platform for real estate transactions.

Like this story? Follow us on Google News for more great content!

The offering: what 646 Bitcoin will buy you in Florida

Photo credit: Elad Elkoubi / Swift Pics Photography

The Golden Beach residence sits on a 0.63-acre oceanfront lot, with its own private beachfront access and 100 feet of pristine shoreline.

Built in 2007, it features over 13,000 square feet of luxury interior space, with 7 bedrooms and 8 baths. Also on the grounds of the property, there is a heated saltwater pool and a private beach cabana.

The house has sophisticated interiors by Martyn Lawrence Bullard

Photo credit: Elad Elkoubi / Swift Pics Photography

Celebrity interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard — who was also one of the leading stars of Bravo’s short-lived Million Dollar Decorators — designed the interiors of the $42 million abode.

Bullard, who also decked out the homes of other celebs like Eva Mendes, Ellen Pompeo Kylie Jenner, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian, Cher, Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, to name just a few, is known for his broad-ranging, sophisticated yet eclectic style.

The interiors were designed to accommodate an extensive art collection

Photo credit: Elad Elkoubi / Swift Pics Photography

Bullard is the one who fitted the now-famous residence with vibrant spaces filled with patterned ceilings, walls and floors, interesting sculptures, and bright carpeting — meant to highlight the previous owners’ extensive pop art collection.

Previously home to fashion mogul Tommy Hilfiger

Photo credit: Elad Elkoubi / Swift Pics Photography

Cardone bought the house from fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger and his wife, Dee Ocleppo, who had been trying for years to land a buyer for their Golden Beach house. They had listed it for as much as $27.5 million, before the 10x Rule author took it off their hands in 2021 for $24 million.

Bold interiors, artsy decor & sophisticated touches hint at its famous past owner

Photo credit: Elad Elkoubi / Swift Pics Photography

While under Hilfiger’s ownership, the Florida mansion graced the cover of many interior design magazines, and was heavily featured in the media — Architectural Digest included.

And it’s easy to see why. Even after the Cardones toned down the interiors slightly with modern upgrades, the house still features dramatic interior touches that include a black marble staircase, chevron-patterned marble floors in the dining room, and reflective ceilings, to name just a few.

It underwent extensive renovations in the past three years

Photo credit: Elad Elkoubi / Swift Pics Photography

Grant and Elena Cardone invested heavily in updating the 2007-built mansion.

Since they purchased it back in 2021, the couple has meticulously renovated the property, replacing some of the finishes (like the patterned walls and floors) designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard added for the Hilfigers, and replacing them with designer choices that can appeal to a wider demographic of potential buyers.

The outdoor areas have been spruced up the most

Most recently, in 2023, the two have been hard at work updating the property’s outdoor areas, including renovating the pool deck and bar/grill area and upgrading the landscaping. They’ve also added new ocean-side windows and doors.

Photo credit: Elad Elkoubi / Swift Pics Photography
Photo credit: Elad Elkoubi / Swift Pics Photography
Photo credit: Elad Elkoubi / Swift Pics Photography

There’s also a charming beach cabana

Impressive as the main house might be, it’s not the only structure on the property. There’s also a charming beach cabana that neighbors the heated saltwater pool.

See also: Larry Ellison’s house, the $173M Gemini Mansion in Florida

Photo credit: Elad Elkoubi / Swift Pics Photography

Cardone is embracing blockchain technology

“We are all in on blockchain revolutionizing real estate! We are leveraging top-tier technology to make transactions seamless and unstoppable,” Cardone said in a statement, providing insight into his decision to list the property via blockchain, as opposed to more traditional platforms.

“This is the future of real estate, and we’re leading the charge,” the Sell or Be Sold author stated.

Photo credit: Elad Elkoubi / Swift Pics Photography

The platform he chose to list his property

As one of the most prominent figures in real estate, Cardone could have partnered with practically any platform. But he went with Propy, a Silicon Valley-based proptech company that’s happy to partner with the seasoned investor:

“It is a privilege to us to be the platform of choice for high-end property sales that we offer to our community of HNWI investors and crypto buyers,” said Natalia Karayaneva, CEO of Propy. “The inclusion of Cardone’s listing in BTC and USD on Propy, minted with our latest privacy deed feature, highlights our leadership in the intersection of real estate and crypto.”

Photo credit: Elad Elkoubi / Swift Pics Photography

Also publicly listed with his wife as the listing agent

The Golden Beach house is also up on the MLS, with Zillow and other property websites showing the billionaire’s wife as the agent attached to the listing.

Photo credit: Elad Elkoubi / Swift Pics Photography

An eXp Realty agent, Elena Cardone got her real estate license just a few years ago, per her LinkedIn profile, but has already been making a splash on the Miami real estate scene. An older LinkedIn post shows that Elena and her team had over $840 million in sales volume in 2022 alone.

Rumor has it he’s also selling his Malibu Beach abode

Photo credit: Elad Elkoubi / Swift Pics Photography

Over on the other Coast, Cardone owns a $40 million “Castle on the Sand” in Malibu, California a 6-bedroom, 10-bathroom beachfront residence that might have a similar fate to his Florida abode.

The Undercover Billionaire star paid a whopping $40 million for the house back in 2022, which sits in the pricey Carbon Beach area of Malibu, also known as Billionaire’s Beach.

He reportedly wants $65M for that one — preferably in Bitcoin

Photo credit: Elad Elkoubi / Swift Pics Photography

Several news outlets, including the New York Post, have reported that Cardone has been quietly looking to offload his Carbon Beach house for an even more ambitious asking: $65 million, also accepting payments in Bitcoin.

That mansion isn’t being floated on the open market though, and is likely being offered as a pocket listing that only vetted buyers can access.

Who is Grant Cardone?

Photo credit: Elad Elkoubi / Swift Pics Photography

One of the biggest influencers, authors, and speakers in the real estate space, Grant Cardone has made a name for himself as a serial entrepreneur and financial guru. He’s the founder of Cardone Enterprises, Cardone Capital, Cardone Training Technologies, The 10X Movement, and The 10X Growth Conference — one of the world’s largest business & entrepreneur conferences.

He also famously authored several best-selling books, including The 10X Rule, Be Obsessed Or Be Average, Sell Or Be Sold, and Millionaire Booklet, as well as several bestselling business programs.

More stories

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Bill Gates’ house near Seattle, nicknamed Xanadu 2.0

The Murdoch family’s lavish homes and vast real estate empire


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Home Decor Market

IMARC Group has recently released a new research study titled “In Vitro Diagnostics Market: Global Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2024-2032”, offers a detailed analysis of the market drivers, segmentation, growth opportunities, trends, and competitive landscape to understand the current and future market scenarios.

The global home decor market size reached US$ 749.0 Billion in 2023. Looking forward, IMARC Group expects the market to reach US$ 1,087.5 Billion by 2032, exhibiting a growth rate (CAGR) of 4.1% during 2024-2032. The market is experiencing stable growth driven by the increasing focus on health and wellness, rising preferences for personalized and aesthetically pleasing interior designs, and integration of smart technology in decor products to provide enhanced experiences to individuals.

Global Home Decor Market Trends:

The rising influence of current fashion and design trends in home decor is positively impacting the market growth. Along with this, the burgeoning integration of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in the shopping process to enhance the shopping experience by allowing consumers to visualize products in their own spaces before purchase is acting as a growth-inducing factor. Apart from this, the increasing awareness of wellness, boosting the use of biophilic design principles that integrate natural elements into indoor spaces to enhance mental and emotional well-being, is creating a positive outlook for the market growth.

Request to Get the Sample Report:

Factors Affecting the Growth of the Home Decor Industry:

Changing Consumer Lifestyle and Preferences:

The changing consumer lifestyle as societal norms, economic conditions, and cultural shifts evolve, is one of the major factors boosting the market growth. Moreover, the rising adoption of remote work and flexible schedules, leading to increased demand for home office setups and ergonomic furniture is acting as a growth-inducing factor. Additionally, the growing preference for functional and aesthetically pleasing decor solutions that complement the home workspaces is fueling the market growth. Furthermore, the rising urbanization and compact living spaces, boosting the demand for multifunctional and space-saving furniture and decor, is contributing to the market growth.

Rapid Technological Advancements:

The rapid technological advancements and innovation that drive continuous evolution, thereby influencing product design, manufacturing processes, distribution channels, and consumer experiences, is enhancing the market growth. in line with this, the burgeoning integration of the Internet of Things (IoT) devices and smart home systems that revolutionize the way consumers interact with their living spaces, is propelling the market growth. Smart lighting systems, automated window treatments, and voice-controlled assistants enhance convenience and functionality while contributing to energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. Furthermore, the rising advancements in manufacturing technologies such as three-dimensional (3D) printing and automated production processes that enable greater design flexibility and customization in home decor products, is catalyzing the market growth.

Growing Focus on Environmental Sustainability and Ethical Consumerism:

The increasing awareness of environmental issues, coupled with a growing preference for ethically sourced and sustainable products, is positively impacting the market growth. in line with this, the heightened mindfulness among consumers of the environmental impact of their purchases, prompting them to seek home decor products made from renewable resources, recycled materials, and non-toxic substances, is acting as a growth-inducing factor. Moreover, the rising adoption of ethical sourcing and fair-trade practices as these have become important considerations for consumers when choosing home decor items, is promoting the market growth. Furthermore, the rising preference among consumers who are looking for home decor items that are durable, repairable, and recyclable at the end of their use, is providing a thrust to the market growth.

Key Companies:

Ashley Furniture Industries Inc.
Duresta Upholstery Ltd.
Forbo Holding AG
Hanssem Co. Ltd.
Herman Miller Inc.
Inter IKEA Systems B.V.
Kimball International Inc. (HNI Corporation)
Koninklijke Philips N.V.
Mannington Mills Inc.
Mohawk Industries Inc.
Samson Holding Ltd.
Shaw Industries Group Inc. (Berkshire Hathaway Inc.)
Sophia Home
Springs Window Fashions
Suofeiya Home Collection Co. Ltd.

Home Decor Market Report Segmentation:

By Product Type:

Home Furniture
Home Textiles
Wall Decor

Home furniture represents the largest segment by product type due to the increasing demand for functional and stylish furniture pieces that cater to diverse consumer preferences and lifestyles.

By Distribution Channel:

Home Decor Stores
Supermarkets and Hypermarkets
Online Store
Gift Shops

Home decor stores account for the majority of the market share because they offer a wide range of curated decor items, personalized shopping experiences, and expert advice.

Regional Insights:

North America
Asia Pacific
Middle East and Africa
Latin America

North America leads the market owing to factors such as high disposable income levels, a strong housing market, and a culture that values interior design and home improvement.

Speak to An Analyst:

Key Highlights of the Report:

Market Performance (2018-2023)
Market Outlook (2024-2032)
Market Trends
Market Drivers and Success Factors
Impact of COVID-19
Value Chain Analysis
Comprehensive mapping of the competitive landscape

If you need specific information that is not currently within the scope of the report, we will provide it to you as a part of the customization.

Contact us:


134 N 4th St. Brooklyn, NY 11249, USA

Email: [email protected]

Tel No:(D) +91 120 433 0800

United States: +1-631-791-1145

About Us                                                                      

IMARC Group is a leading market research company that offers management strategy and market research worldwide. We partner with clients in all sectors and regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their businesses.

IMARC’s information products include major market, scientific, economic and technological developments for business leaders in pharmaceutical, industrial, and high technology organizations. Market forecasts and industry analysis for biotechnology, advanced materials, pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, travel and tourism, nanotechnology and novel processing methods are at the top of the company’s expertise.

This release was published on openPR.


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As a type of alternative investment, real estate can add diversification to a portfolio and act as a hedge against inflation. Real estate investment trusts (REITs) and real estate crowdfunding offer two unique entry points to this alternative asset class.

Both allow you to invest in real estate without being required to own property directly. Comparing the pros and cons of real estate crowdfunding vs. REIT investing can help you decide which one makes the most sense for your portfolio.

Understanding Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

Real estate investment trusts are legal entities that own or finance income-producing properties or invest in mortgage-backed securities. The types of properties a REIT may invest in can include:

•   Hotels and resorts

•   Office space

•   Warehouses

•   Storage space

•   Multifamily apartment buildings

•   Data centers

•   Medical facilities

•   Retail shopping centers

•   Single-family homes

The primary attraction of REITs is the ability to enjoy the benefits of property investment — namely, dividend income — without purchasing real estate directly.

REITs are also considered a type of alternative investment. As with many alternative investments, real estate-based assets don’t tend to move in sync with the stock market. For this reason, investing in REITs may provide portfolio diversification.

REITs may be publicly traded, meaning they trade on an exchange like a stock. REITs must pay out 90% of their taxable income to shareholders as dividends, though some may pay as much as 100%.

If you compare REITs vs. real estate mutual funds, dividends aren’t always required with the latter. Real estate mutual funds can invest in REITs, mortgage-backed securities, or individual properties. While you may have access to a broader range of properties, you may enjoy less liquidity with real estate funds.

Recommended: SoFi’s Alt Investment Guide for Beginners

Alternative investments,
now for the rest of us.

Start trading funds that include commodities, private credit, real estate, venture capital, and more.

💡 Quick Tip: While investing directly in alternative assets often requires high minimum amounts, investing in alts through a mutual fund or ETF generally involves a low minimum requirement, making them accessible to retail investors.

Overview of Real Estate Crowdfunding

What is real estate crowdfunding? It’s a strategy that allows multiple investors to pool funds for property investment. In return, investors share in the profits generated by the investments. Regulation crowdfunding makes real estate crowdfunding possible, as entities can raise capital from investors without registering with the SEC, as long as they offer or sell less than $5 million in securities.

In terms of how it works, real estate crowdfunding platforms seek out investment opportunities and fully vet them before making them available to investors. Individual investors can then choose which properties they’d like to invest in.

Depending on the nature of the investment, you may collect interest payments, rental income, or dividends. Real estate crowdfunding can offer access to a variety of property types, including:

•   Multifamily housing

•   Industrial space

•   Build-for-rent projects

The minimum investment varies by platform — it is commonly upwards of $5,000, but may be $500 or even lower in some cases. Some real estate crowdfunding platforms require investors to be accredited, meaning they must:

•   have an income exceeding $200,000 (or $300,000 with a spouse or spousal equivalent) in each of the two prior years, with an expectation of the same income for the current year, OR

•   have a net worth exceeding $1 million, alone or with a spouse/spousal equivalent, excluding the value of their primary residence, OR

•   hold a Series 7, Series 65, or Series 82 license in good standing

Comparing REITs and Real Estate Crowdfunding

When choosing between a REIT vs. crowdfunding, it’s helpful to understand each option’s potential advantages and disadvantages.

Pros and Cons of REITs

Here are the main benefits of investing in REITs vs. crowdfunding.

•   Risk management. Alternative investments like real estate may help you balance risk in your portfolio. REITs and real estate in general have a lower correlation with the stock market.

•   Accessibility. Purchasing an actual investment property usually requires getting a loan and raising capital for down payments and closing costs. REITs can offer a much lower barrier to entry for investors.

•   Dividends. REITs must pay dividends to investors, which may be attractive if you want to generate passive income with investments.

•   Liquidity. Publicly traded REITs offer liquidity since you can buy and sell shares as needed, similar to a stock.

•   Returns. REITs can potentially generate significant returns in a portfolio compared to stocks or other investments.

Now, here are some of the drawbacks of REIT investing.

•   Fees. You’ll typically pay management fees to invest in REITs, as with any investment, but some may charge more than others. Paying attention to investment costs is key, as the more fees you pay, the less of your investment returns you keep.

•   Overweighting. You can choose which REITs to invest in, but you don’t have a say in the underlying properties. Investing in REITs that own similar properties could overweight your portfolio in a single sector (e.g., malls or office buildings) and thus increase your risk profile.

•   Interest rate risk. Changing interest rates can affect the value of REITs, which can influence the yield you might get. When rates rise, REIT values can decline, requiring you to adjust your expectations for a profit.

•   Taxes. REIT dividends are typically taxed as ordinary income, up to 37% (plus a 3.8% investment surtax). But investors may also see a short- or long-term profit from the REIT, which would be taxed as capital gains. There is also the potential for return on capital, which can be complicated. It may be wise to consult a professional.

Pros and Cons of Real Estate Crowdfunding

Here are the main pros of crowdfunding real estate investments.

•   Diversification. As with REITs, real estate crowdfunding allows you to diversify beyond traditional stocks and bonds.

•   Low minimums. Some, though not all, real estate crowdfunding platforms allow you to get started with as little as a few hundred dollars. That can make entering this alternative asset class or spreading your investment dollars out over multiple property types easier.

•   Geographic diversification. Real estate crowdfunding platforms can offer investors exposure to markets across the country. That can make it easier to target a specific region if you’re looking for the next “hot” market.

•   Returns. Crowdfunded real estate may generate above-average returns, or exceed the returns you could get with REITs.

•   Passive income. Owning a rental property can be time-intensive if you’re managing the property yourself. Real estate crowdfunding allows you to reap the benefits of rental income, without the typical headaches that go along with being a property owner.

And now, here are the cons.

•   Fees. Just like REITs, real estate crowdfunding platforms can charge fees. Fee structures can sometimes be complex, making it difficult to assess what you’ll pay to invest.

•   Illiquidity. Liquidity in the stock market is one thing, but when it comes to real estate crowdfunding, it’s an even bigger consideration owing to the length of time your capital may be locked into an investment. Once you invest in a property, you’re essentially committed to owning it for the duration of the holding period. It’s not unusual for real estate crowdfunding platforms to offer investments with holding periods of five years or more, making them highly illiquid.

•   Accreditation requirements. Some crowdfunding platforms only accept accredited investors. If you don’t meet the standards, you won’t be able to invest through those platforms.

•   Taxes. Income from crowdfunded real estate investments is taxable, though not always in the same way. You may be subject to different tax rates based on how dividends and interest are paid out to you. You may want to consult with a professional.

Which Investment Strategy Is Riskier?

It’s difficult to pinpoint which is riskier when comparing a REIT vs. real estate crowdfunding, as each one has different risk factors.

With REITs, the biggest risks may include:

•   Liquidity risk, which could make it difficult to sell your shares if you’re ready to leave an investment.

•   Changing market conditions or rising and falling trends, either of which could directly impact real estate values.

•   Interest rate sensitivity, which can influence REIT values.

The main real estate crowdfunding risks may include:

•   Platform risk, or the risk that the marketplace you’re using to invest could shut down before you’re able to withdraw your capital.

•   Poor vetting, which may allow unsuitable investments to make it onto the platform.

•   Changing regulations, which may affect the real estate crowdfunding space as a whole.

Whether you choose a REIT vs. crowdfunding, lack of education or understanding is also a risk factor. If you don’t understand the basics of how either type of investment vehicle works, you could be putting yourself in a position to lose money.

Due Diligence Considerations

REITs and real estate crowdfunding platforms should perform due diligence in vetting investments to make sure they’re suitable. However, it’s wise to do your own research to understand what you’re investing in, who you’re investing with, and the potential risks.

As you compare REITs or real estate crowdfunding platforms, keep the following in mind:

•   Minimum requirements to start investing, including accredited investor status

•   Range of investment options

•   Transparency concerning fees and investment selection

•   Holding periods

•   Performance track record

•   Overall reputation

Talking to other investors who have used a particular crowdfunding platform or invested in a certain REIT can offer perspective on the good and bad.

The Takeaway

Real estate can be an addition to your portfolio if you already have some experience in the market, and have an affinity for real estate. As a type of alternative asset class, investing in real estate can add diversification to your portfolio, and potentially act as a hedge against inflation. Both REITs and real estate crowdfunding enable you to invest in real estate without the hassle of actual property ownership and maintenance, but come with different risk factors than you’d find with traditional securities.

Ready to expand your portfolio’s growth potential? Alternative investments, traditionally available to high-net-worth individuals, are accessible to everyday investors on SoFi’s easy-to-use platform. Investments in commodities, real estate, venture capital, and more are now within reach. Alternative investments can be high risk, so it’s important to consider your portfolio goals and risk tolerance to determine if they’re right for you.

Invest in alts to take your portfolio beyond stocks and bonds.


What are the main advantages and disadvantages of investing in REITs?

Investing in REITs can offer the benefits of dividend income and portfolio diversification, without requiring you to own property directly. The disadvantages of REITs can include interest rate risk and market risk, both of which can affect the value of your investments.

How does real estate crowdfunding differ from traditional REIT investments?

Real estate crowdfunding allows investors to pool funds together to invest in property and collect interest, dividends, and/or rental income. REITs own and operate investment properties and pay dividends to investors. REITs and real estate crowdfunding can differ concerning the types of properties you can invest in, the minimum investment required, and the fees you’ll pay.

How are taxes treated for REITs and real estate crowdfunding?

REIT dividends are primarily treated as ordinary income for tax purposes (although you may face capital gains on any profits). Real estate crowdfunding returns may be subject to capital gains tax and/or ordinary income tax rates, depending on how they’re structured. Because the tax treatment of these two entities can be complicated, it’s probably wise to consult a professional.

Photo credit: iStock/kate_sept2004

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Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of these platforms.

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Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform.

An investor should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses of the Fund carefully before investing. This and other important information are contained in the Fund’s prospectus. For a current prospectus, please click the Prospectus link on the Fund’s respective page. The prospectus should be read carefully prior to investing.
Alternative investments, including funds that invest in alternative investments, are risky and may not be suitable for all investors. Alternative investments often employ leveraging and other speculative practices that increase an investor’s risk of loss to include complete loss of investment, often charge high fees, and can be highly illiquid and volatile. Alternative investments may lack diversification, involve complex tax structures and have delays in reporting important tax information. Registered and unregistered alternative investments are not subject to the same regulatory requirements as mutual funds.
Please note that Interval Funds are illiquid instruments, hence the ability to trade on your timeline may be restricted. Investors should review the fee schedule for Interval Funds via the prospectus.

Investment Risk: Diversification can help reduce some investment risk. It cannot guarantee profit, or fully protect in a down market.

Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.

Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs): Investors should carefully consider the information contained in the prospectus, which contains the Fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other relevant information. You may obtain a prospectus from the Fund company’s website or by email customer service at [email protected]. Please read the prospectus carefully prior to investing.

Shares of ETFs must be bought and sold at market price, which can vary significantly from the Fund’s net asset value (NAV). Investment returns are subject to market volatility and shares may be worth more or less their original value when redeemed. The diversification of an ETF will not protect against loss. An ETF may not achieve its stated investment objective. Rebalancing and other activities within the fund may be subject to tax consequences.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Disclaimer: The projections or other information regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results, and are not guarantees of future results.