The secret to making a million

the secret to making a million!

Let’s face it. It is an unavoidable part of human nature to imagine ourselves in a million dollar apartment or managing a business that is worth millions. More often than usual, we conceptualize ourselves in luxurious settings, and most of us have dreams of owning all the things that the rich own at some point in our lives. However, between those fantasies, we fail to see the reality. It is the way that the rich have acquired the money over time and more importantly, how they got to that first million and grew from that. The first obstacle is getting to a million, which requires an immense amount of patience, resilience, and thirst to learn more, especially in Dubai, which is a place filled with evident luxuries and a serene lifestyle.
We often trail off into the wormhole of the “whys” and the “what ifs” that come in between what we want. Focusing the energy into the trailing thoughts will only generate feelings of vengefulness against the rich, and unnecessary anger, which may make you give up before you even try to take your first steps to a million. Focus and energy are critical driving forces towards a clear growth mindset. Contributing your attention to what you want and attaining good energy will create a love for learning and room for further accomplishment.
On the practical side, investment is one of the best ways to generate long term returns, particularly real estate. Real estate offers better returns than the stock market without as much volatility and has a high tangible asset value. If you’re worried about the risk of investment, then real estate crowdfunding will help you with diversification, meaning that the risk will not be concentrated in only one property.
“The million dollar choice would be choosing to financially educating yourself by taking some time aside from formal academic education”
– Andy Tanner
Crowdfunding is one of the convenient ways to create a diversified investment portfolio. It is a way in which investors can own a fraction of a property with lower capital than what is needed to invest in the entire property. With just a consistent investment of AED 20,000 over a series of years, you can have returns that are worth a million dirhams. A company such as Smart Crowd could help you initiate your long term success goals with a reduced risk factor.
Attaining a million by using a short-cut is only a myth. As easy it is to be gained, it can fly out of your pocket just as quickly. Intelligent investments can significantly turn your lifestyle into something that you have always wanted, but the factors of focus, discipline, and diligence are what you need to be well on your way to being a millionaire. Earning returns from investing in real estate occurs over some time, and can contribute to positive growth in your long term investment goals, or even help with initial the creation of your long term goals. The key to sustaining money and adding value to it is investing.
Below is an example to demonstrate the power of being consistent and patient with your investment:
  1. If the investment started with an amount as little as AED 20,000 and an individual resort to yearly investments of AED 20,000, it can result in the value of a million over 23 years assuming a steady return of 7% annually.

  2. Discipline is key here. You invested AED 20,000 every year and reinvest the returns that you have earned as well. Without discipline that money will be spent and will miss the opportunity to work for you.

  3. As a comparison, if you were disciplined enough to save that money and leave it your savings account which gives you an interest of 1% it will take you 41 Years to get to million. And if you don’t’ save or invest that money, you might never get there.

  4. The example below only assumed annual return cash return of 7% and does not assume any appreciation in the asset value. You might get to a million sooner if the asset value appreciates as well providing you both a nice annual cash return and price appreciation. This one of the things that makes Real estate very interesting. Read our blog on “The best investment of the Century”
YearsYearly Investment (AED)
Return @ 7% (AED)Balance (AED)

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With Smart Crowd, you can build a simple & affordable crowdfunding real estate investments portfolio starting from AED20,000
organized financial life

The reason why you’re not rich…YET!

The reason why you’re not rich…YET!

organized financial life
Where There Is A Will, There Is Always A Way! ​
Disclaimer: We don’t have anything against the rich and the poor. We appreciate both classes equally, but we want to encourage a mindset for personal and financial growth.
There has been constant turmoil between the rich and the poor because of the differences and inequalities between the two classes. Aside from the wealth differences between them, it is vital to understand how the rich can sustain their riches. An essential part of that is the mindset – how one would want to invest and grow in terms of assets rather than mistaking liabilities for assets. Financial literacy allows you to be aware of your business and how to make the most of your money, leading to better money habits. It ensures that you aren’t the one who is working for the money, but your money is working for you.

Money habits mostly depend on the mindset.

Economic expansion in the UAE is imminent due to the expected event of EXPO2020. 2019 has already welcomed increased business activity as 6,700 business licenses have been issued and the Dubai International Financial Market has already attracted Dh680 million in net foreign investment.
One of the factors that predominantly exists within the mindset of the poor is that they need to earn a large amount of income to be rich. They don’t necessarily know how to make the most out of their existing earnings and instead feel obliged to save and spend it in the future. Investing money rather than spending money is what will give the real value. The rich vs. poor mindset has a significant gap with regards to how they manage the fear; their will to take risks. Poor people have been saving money and spending it into endeavors that provide them with no return while rich people have been investing money, and earning returns — an intelligent choice, which comes from formal and self-learning about financial matters. Most poor people usually expect their investments to grow into 10x within a month. This short term goal setting merely causes them more loss than gain, and make them less prone to investing their money anywhere with the expectation of low returns.
A poor person might say something like “I want to save up to buy something in the future,” but a rich person might say “I want to save up for a future opportunity.” The poor mindset is the one that needs some more positive alterations if you want to generate wealth.
Rich people, however, make these investments even if the returns are miniscule. Why, you may ask? Because returns are returns, no matter how big or small they are. Putting these returns to use in future investments also allows them to expand in terms of wealth. Dedication to thinking about the future and checking in on your long term financial goals are the building blocks to securing wealth and unlocking your potential.

Sustaining riches comes from long term planning and goal setting.

Starting early can be one of the steps to help you produce a hefty amount of return in the long run. It can start from the smallest of investments with the smallest of returns. It does NOT have to be the biggest investment of your life right away. An example could be that, if someone starts investing a modest (Dh10,000 per year) at the age of 26, assuming a growth rate of 9% per annum, their wealth can grow into millions (close to Dh3 million) by the age of 65.

What are you waiting for?

With Smart Crowd, you can build a simple & affordable crowdfunding real estate investments portfolio starting from AED20,000

Dubai’s economy is BOOMING! and it’s only half-way through 2019!

Dubai’s economy picks up speed, promises stronger Q2 2019


  • 35% increase in business licenses issued by DED
  • DED issued 9,489 new licenses during Q1 2019
Signalling growing investor confidence in Dubai, new business licenses issued in the emirate during the first four months of 2019 increased 35% compared to the same period of 2018 according to a report issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED).
The DED also has issued 9,489 new licenses during January-April 2019 as Dubai continued to accelerate in line with the emirate’s strategic plan to evolve into a sustainable economy driven by productivity and innovation.
Economic expansion in the UAE is imminent due to the expected event of EXPO2020. 2019 has already welcomed increased business activity as 6,700 business licenses have been issued and the Dubai International Financial Market has already attracted Dh680 million in net foreign investment.
“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.”
-Mark Twain
With investment and economy steadily soaring through the year, it would be an ideal time to start investing in property with SmartCrowd, the crowdfunding platform which makes investments simple.
Investors can now invest in fractional real estate and unlock wealth on a bigger scale due to the rising economy, striving to solve the problem of income inequality in retrospect.

What are you waiting for?

With Smart Crowd, you can build a simple & affordable crowdfunding real estate investments portfolio starting from AED20,000

Why buying off-plan may put property buyers off

Why buying off-plans may put property buyers off


  • Off plan still very popular. 55% of all real estate transactions were off-plan

  • Historically, only 40% of projects are delivered on time

  • Investors are expected to pay for the property for many years even after handover before generating returns

  • In off-plan you are reliant on price appreciation to make a decent return

Purchasing off-plan properties is still a very popular way to jump into the real estate market, particularly in Dubai. Already in 2019, over half – 55 per cent – of all real estate transactions have been off plan. Investors are eager to be involved in the real estate market, and many first timers are using off-plan purchases as an affordable way to get on the property ladder.

While purchasing an off-plan property may seem like a low-cost way to enter the property market, there are a number of variables that you have no control over that will affect your return on investment.

With so many unknowns, purchasing properties off-plan can turn from an investment to speculation.

Hoping that once the property is handed over it will be worth more than when you purchased it is nothing short of a roll of the dice. Most off-plan properties have an expected handover period of 3 to 5 years, but unfortunately the industry has a bad track record.

Only 40 per cent of projects in Dubai get delivered on time, meaning an off-plan buyer would have to wait even longer to see any return on investment.

During this time, the money that was invested is totally inaccessible in case of a major life change such as a job loss, or a drastic change in the real estate market itself. This puts all of the risk on the shoulders of the buyer.

If you do manage to make it through the nearly six years it might take to receive your property, your return on investment may still not be all that you had hoped. In the current market, off-plan properties are selling at nearly the same price per square foot than the existing or “ready” market. It may be worth more in the future, but then again, maybe it won’t – that is the risk that off-plan buyers take on.

Now with post-handover payment plans, purchasing off-plan can seem even more attractive upfront – but buyer beware. Developers and brokers can be misleading when they claim that buyers will see great returns on a four or eight year post-handover payment plan. They calculate returns based on only what has been paid until the date of the handover, and then determine the rent on that money, ignoring the fact that the buyer will have to pay the remaining 40 to 50 per cent over eight years. Factoring in the cost of the service charges, many times buyers end up paying out of pocket as their returns don’t cover costs.

Let’s take an example of a AED 1 million property that is expected to be handed over on 4 years with 5 year post hand over payment plan. Let’s assume you are required to pay 30% until the handover and the remaining 70% during the 5-year post hand over plan. For simplicity we will assume all payments are paid on a linear fashion. In the first 4 years to handover you will be obliged to invest approximately AED 75,000 per year. Remember this is money being paid to the developer and you are not earning anything on it yet. Once the property is handed over and lets assume you can rent it out for AED 80,000. Lot of agents and developers sell the idea that you have only put in AED 300,000 (AED 75,000  x 4) and are earning AED 80,000 in rent and that is 26% ROI. This is extremely misleading as they forget to mention that you still have 70% of the property value to pay.

On a 5 year post hand over payment plan that equates to AED 140,000 per year. Even if we don’t assume service charges, property management or any other fees you are still required to pay an additional AED 60,000 out of your pocket for another 5 years (AED 140,000 less rent AED 80,000). So for the next 9 years you will only be paying and not earning any return on your money. The post hand over payment plan is good as you got your renter to pay for part of the property purchase. The AED 1 million property only costed you AD 600,000 as the renter paid AED 80,000 per year for 5 years. Now let’s assume the property is worth AED 1.3 million at the end of these 9 years your total return will be an impressive AED 700,000 on your AED 600,000. Not bad at all but it took you 9 years to earn that. However, we have not assumed any delays, any service charges or other costs. If the property prices don’t increase or your rent is less than the returns will be much lower. You need a lot of things to go right your way for you to make money on an investment like this over a long period of time. It could work out or it could not.

You as an investor should be rewarded for the risk you take. Now assume a similar property can be purchased on day one that is rented at the same price. You would buy that for AED 1 million and collect AED 80,000 rent per year and after 9 years that property is worth AED 1.3 million.  In the 9 years you would have earned AED 720,000 in rental income and AED 300,000 in gain on the property for a total of AED 1,020,000.  Keep in mind you did have to park AED 1 million in this case, but you started earning right away and had more control on your investment. If you look at the returns in % terms, there is not much difference.  If you factor in the time value of money the off-plan might have a slight advantage. Total returns are not too dissimilar, but the risk levels are very different. Off-plan is much riskier than buying something that is ready, and you can start earning right away. For higher risk your return should be higher than the alternative. If that is the case and you are getting rewarded more for the level of risk, you are taking than it might make sense to go down that route but if you are getting the same return then why would you take on additional risk. 

Thankfully, there is more than one way to buy into the real estate market without emptying your bank account with a huge upfront purchase cost. Crowd-sourcing platforms like Smart Crowd bring the same affordability that off-plan purchasers are looking for to the ready market by allowing buyers to invest in a fraction of the total property.

With crowd-sourcing investment platforms, buyers don't have to wait years to see returns on their investments. They can start seeing rental income from day one.

In the long-term, crowd-sourcing also protects your investment, as you won’t need prices to increase substantially for you to make high returns. A steady rental income releases you from the ebb and flow of a volatile market. Real estate investment may feel like a gamble, particularly when purchasing off-plan properties. Savvy investors who want to buy into the real estate market without throwing the dice look to group investment platforms to provide a low cost to entry, immediate returns and less risk.

Why it could be the best time to buy a home in Dubai

Here’s why landlords across Dubai are being more flexible than ever before when it comes to prices, rent-free periods, and payment terms making it one of the best times to be a tenant. Our investment director Jake Wright has his say on alternative income structures in addition to short term rental agreements that can secure tenancy. Read more on Khaleej Times.

How to Avoid Debt and Money Trap Problems

How to avoid debts and money trap problems

If you live in the UAE, or are planning to move to the UAE, you’re probably curious about debts and how the system works. The best advice would actually enable you to avoid getting into debt in UAE; moreover, avoid getting yourself into a possible money trap problem or activities which could lead to possible fraud. Debts and failure of payments could cause you to be in serious trouble not only in the UAE, but anywhere else in the world, which is why it would be wise to take precaution; it is better to be safe rather than sorry.

The entire reason you would be needing to borrow money from the bank is either because your expenses are not proportionate to your earnings, you want to start a business or want to buy a home. The bigger purchases such as a car or a home would be impossible to attain without a loan for someone with an average wage, but there are certain things that can be put off for buying later when you can afford them, rather than taking a loan to purchase them immediately.

Can YOU return all the money?

Although banks in the UAE have sufficient criteria in order to apply for loans, so that they are fully guaranteed that you will be able to pay them back, it is still important that you personally reflect. Ask questions like:

  • Is the item that I am taking the loan for, an absolute necessity for the present?
  • Does my financial status give me the guarantee that I will be able to pay back the loans?
  • Will I have to take another loan to compensate for the loan I am taking now?

The following are the things that you should avoid taking loans for:

  • Shopping
  • Birthdays
  • Tickets for special events
  • Topping up your mobile phone
  • Repairs
  • Compensation for other loans

The main goal would be to live within your means. Say no to impulses. If there is anything that makes you feel like ‘you HAVE to buy it,’ sleep it off. If you still want it the next day, you can consider buying it, but keep your mind open to saying no to things frequently. This will help you save up on a lot of cash that you may end up spending unnecessarily. Having a monthly budget would further allow you to monitory your money and spending. Undervaluing budgeting could contribute to a great loss in the future. Feeling overruled by extravagance is another thing that you might encounter if you live or strive to live in a place like Dubai. Spending a sum of money on things you don’t need is not the solution to your wants it will only feed to them more. It is important to distinguish between the things you have been wanting, in comparison to the things that you actually need.

As said by Khaleej Times, the most expensive form of debt is a credit card debt. The moment you make a bank account, you’re bound to get emails and calls for easy loans. Ignoring these will prevent you from getting into the cycle of loans in the first place. The wrongdoer here, is the steep interest or profit rate on credit cards. Don’t let that seemingly small number of 2.99 per cent to 3.25 per cent per month lead you astray. When converted to an annual rate or APR, interest rates on credit cards in the UAE can touch a whopping 40 per cent on average.

Today’s generation has quite the obsession with having a credit card for convenience. Monitoring your money is much easier when you’re paying in cash, so the next step would be to pay in cash as much as possible. Having the reassurance that you have saved something out of being cautious is merely astonishing.

One of the most effective ways of avoiding the situation of attaining a loan all together, is looking for a way to boost your income. A secondary source of income aside from your monthly wage job will serve you well in terms of cash flow. Investing in real estate is an interesting way of attaining secondary income because it is passive. Once the property is rented, you will be sure to have money in your wallet at the end or beginning of every month. The most engrossing part about it, is that – with crowdfunding platforms like Smart Crowd AE, there isn’t a need for a large amount of capital in order to get your investments in place.

Create a secondary source of income!

With Smart Crowd, you don’t acquire debt to invest in a piece of property. You can build a simple & affordable investments portfolio starting from USD5,000. 

The Truth About Wealth Inequality

The truth about wealth inequality

According to, the richest 1% own 45% of the world’s wealth, and that the global wealth inequality has either been rising or staying extremely high nearly everywhere around the world. Wealth inequality is a concept that is crucial to understand to analyze the gap between the percentiles. The major question is, how can the gap be bridged?
Are you aware of what is wrong with this picture?
If not, you’re probably someone whose investment portfolio looks like the bottom 50% of the percentile. This chart expresses the way in which assets are distributed within each wealth percentile. It can be observed that the top 1% has a much more spread out proportion of assets and as the wealth percentile goes lower, real estate becomes the asset that is the most prevailing.
A large sum of your earning might be contributed to one big investment, which may be a home. When the market value drops, you’re essentially losing a lot of money, because your investment and risk are both highly concentrated in just one asset, with a low amount of diversification involved.
Diversification of income and assets is vital for the sustainability of your wealth, even if you belong in the 1% of the wealth percentile, because you could lose the money just as you’ve accumulated all of it if you are not careful with what you do with that money. The wealthy don’t do anything special with their earnings, other than living frugally for some part of their lives as they save money in order to invest in assets. They don’t just invest in assets, but diversely spread out their investment in order to stay low on risk. If one investment doesn’t work too well, they could just turn to another since they are still earning regardless of happens with one investment.
If all of your money is tied up in one investment as seen in the bottom 50% percentile, you’re essentially going to lose a lot of money if that investment is not fulfilling for you. This concentrates the risk in just one property, and can cause a great prospect of halt in the preservation of capital or returns for the future. It can also be noticed that their consumer durables are more in number because of how those individuals might impulsively buy appliances that they think that they need, when in fact it might have been a want in the spur of the moment. It is common that the top 1% of wealthy people say no to most things merely because they believe that it is a want rather than a need and put it off for a while unless it’s absolutely necessary to be purchased, which is why the percentage of consumer durables is so low for them.
Portfolio diversification can be done in a few different ways – it can either be across different asset classes or diversification within an asset class — investments being spread across within the same asset class. It isn’t a surprise that real estate has become the fastest growing and largest class in the world, considering that people from emerging countries actively seek homes and saving vehicles. The income generating capacity of the asset makes it an advantageous investment for people who are looking to save either for a more flexible retirement or for the future generations. Even when it comes to the returns in the present, real estate doesn’t disappoint as it provides a steady flow of income if your real estate investment portfolio is well diversified over a period of time.
With attention to wealth inequality, Smart Crowd is building a smart solution towards potentially bridging the gap between the top 1% and the rest of the 99%. Investing is something that is essential for growth. Just like how we invest in ourselves to educate ourselves formally, it is also important to invest to educate ourselves financially and attaining experiences which can bring uplift us in the distant future. The reduced risk factor that comes from purchasing a share of property and being able to spread out the risk by investing in small fractions of other properties can be of immense benefit as a whole. Investing in the largest asset class in the world is slowly but surely becoming more accessible, but it is up to you if you want to take the steps towards the direction of growth.

Investing in Real Estate is not for the 1% anymore!

With Smart Crowd, you can build a simple & affordable crowdfunding real estate investments portfolio starting from USD5,000

What’s the big deal with cashflow? Cashflow is king

What's the big deal with cashflow? cashflow is king!

An average person finds it quite challenging to answer the question, “What is the big deal with cash flow?” This is solely because they haven’t had the chance to attain any financial education for a significant amount of time in their lives. For people who have secured financial literacy, the answer might be simple. In the whole of the Middle East, there are only 24-34% of financially literate individuals, which makes it essential for us to reach out and enable more people to grasp the opportunity to learn.

Cash flow, in simple terms, is the total amount of money that goes in and out of an account.

As you may already know, a big part of investing money to earn a sum in return requires a specific mindset. (Read more about it) Along with that mindset, there is also the intention. This is where the difference between capital gains and cash flow chime in. If you are someone who invests their money and observes the market value going up and down, then you are investing for capital gain – it could be classified as a gamble. If you are someone who invests their money and plans to have a long term holding time despite the market value, then you are investing for cash flow – this is because you would be earning regardless of market fluctuations.

There is an undersense that to “invest” is to buy something that you presume, will grow in value in the future. The whole purpose behind this is to “sell later” and that as soon as the market value of the asset is growing, they can immediately sell it for a reasonable amount. This doesn’t keep cash flow steady as it won’t be money going in and out of your account at a continual level; rather, it would be money earned at once from selling the asset. Taking real estate as an example; most people buy homes to live to later sell them at a better value and then purchase an upgraded home when the market goes down again. Within this intention, there is no presence of cash flow but rather, capital gain. Robert Kiyosaki – author of the renowned business guide “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” refers to this as the rat race, because you, as the investor, are chasing value. It is usually seen that people such as this, quickly upgrade their lifestyle as soon as they have earned that capital. Only 7% of people save up on essential ventures such as future health care – and this will leave most people with nothing by the time they reach the age where they are dependent. Sticking to the same lifestyle even when you have attained capital is an important trick to double up on the amount that you save.

“Everybody-even your friend who works at McDonald's--has some sort of paycheck. It may be two hundred dollars or it may be two hundred thousand dollars, but almost everyone has a source of income. The question is: what do they DO with that income?”
- Monroe Mann

A wise investor would be the one to buy a home and rent it out at a good value since they are aware of how much it cost for them actually to attain the property as their own. They would receive rent every month despite the market value being on a constant seesaw. Since their investments would most likely be diversified, there is a less concentration of risk – meaning that it is spread out. The chances of reviving from the losses as a result of the drop in market value, won’t be as huge. There will be a visible seam of new cash flowing into their account, and they can then withdraw this cash to save up or further invest in other assets. Earning money from what you purchase rather than what you do is something that most people haven’t been able to master yet. The large population that hasn’t had access to financial education should be aware that creating a secondary passive income is essential if you want to see yourself doing well in the long run. A wise investor will invest and hold.

Smart Crowd promotes the “wise investor intention” accordingly, and provides a platform where you can initiate the intelligent decision to invest in rental property to generate and monitor your income in terms of cash flow. Your intention to provoke cash flow can provide you with peace of mind since you will be able to grow with what you earn, avoid overspending and have a solid idea of your overall financial performance, possibly leading you to implement a more flexible lifestyle. It is undoubtedly your choice, your money, your intention and your income security. It starts and ends with you.

Real Estate Investments For Everyone!

With Smart Crowd, you can build a simple & affordable crowdfunding real estate investments portfolio starting from USD5,000