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Personal Finance

Your Next Job, Your Home Values, and Your New Opportunity 

Weekend Financial Wrap

If you are unemployed, your chances of getting a job are improving; your house is probably worth more, and you now have an unprecedented chance to own a valuable collectible.

You may have thought the high cost of investing in collectibles, such as art, was too expensive. However, there is a new collectible market you can afford and it is booming. We are talking about NFTs.

What Are NFTs

An NFT (Non-Fungible Token) represents ownership of a unique item on a blockchain. They can be digital files, such as GIFs, JPGs, MP3s, videos, and more, representing art, music, sports cards, and other creative works. 

NFTs have grown into a sizable market. Messari, an online database for the crypto industry, estimates NFTs sales for 2021 will exceed $1.3 billion.  

This month digital artist Beeple (real name Mike Winkelmann) made headlines when his digital collage sold for $69 million at a Christie’s auction. The price tag not only set a record but signaled the arrival of NFT art in the mainstream.

NFT Opportunity

Don’t have a spare $69 million to layout on an NFT? Not to worry. The average price of an NFT is about $2,000. A few sales, such as Beele’s, drive the average up. Most NFTs can be purchased well under $1,000. 

Some artists regularly sell NFTs for a couple of hundred dollars or less. Sports NFTs can go for six figures, but many can be had for under $10. Then there are brands. Taco Bell recently sold a drop of 25 product NFTs for $1.60 each. Within a couple of days one of those sold again for $20,000.

Hot To Buy NFTs

First, understand that when you invest in an NFT, you are actually purchasing a token that establishes your ownership. It’s like a title to your car.

Because they are part of blockchain technology, NFTs must be purchased on specific sites. Some of the most popular include:

  • Rable – The world’s largest NFT platform. It sells mostly small pieces of digital art for hundreds of dollars and less.
  • OpenSea – Artwork here tends to be higher priced than Rable. It also sells trading cards and domain names.
  • VIV3 – Here you can find a variety of art in low to high price ranges and sports NFTs.

Bottom Line on NFTs

If you want a piece of the NFT market, look for quality and rarity. The best advice is to buy what you know. If you follow sports, but do not know anything about art – stick with sports reels and cards.

Your Home Equity Has Probably Increased

If you own your home, congratulations. One of your most valuable assets has probably increased in value. That is an additional resource that makes your financial life more secure.

Home equity is the amount you owe on your mortgage versus the current value of your home. Equity in the average home has risen 16.2 percent over the last year, according to CoreLogic, a real estate analytics company. 

Greater Financial Security

This jump in home equity means your financial position is more secure. If you need more funds to wade through the pandemic, you could tap some of that increased equity.

This uptick in equity could moderate the recent downturn in refinancing. However, you can also use a HELOC or home equity line of credit, to access the money in your home.

Of course, if you are financially sound, you do not have to use the increased equity in your home. You can do nothing and just breath easier. 

Update Your Resume

If the pandemic has put you into employment hibernation, it is time to wake up.

Jobs increased 379,000 in February, according to the Labor Department. That brought the unemployment rate to 6.2 percent. That is a small decline of .04 percent. However, economists and business consultants predict a further decline in March. 

Increased vaccinations and reduced COVID-19 cases mean the economy is beginning to reopen. That means more jobs. Look for our article next week, “How to Make Your Pandemic Lay-Off a Plus”, for more.

One Million New Jobs

Ian Shepherdson, founder and chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, issued a note earlier this month stating the economy “could easily see a one million” increase in jobs.

“The core story here,” wrote Shepherdson, “is that the re-opening of services will be the dominating factor in payroll numbers over the next few months.”

Indeed, leisure and service jobs lead to February’s employment rise. The foodservice industry alone accounted for 286,000 more jobs. Manufacturing and retail are expected to follow.

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