FADS COME AND GO. You can make money on a fad while it's popular. And when the current fad loses its appeal, you can jump onto the next fad. Let's see how you can latch on to a fad and make money from it. Here's what to do:

1. Figure out what's the latest fad in your area, or in the entire country by looking at newspapers and magazines covering trends in society

2. See if you can get in on one of the fads through some type of business opportunity

3. Compute the amount of money you need to start, or buy into, the business opportunity you see in the fad

4. Get the financing and get started in the fad business you think will build your future wealth

LET'S LOOK AT A TYPICAL FAD and how you might make money from it in today's market. The fad we'll look at is high-tech bicycles--that is bicycles specially designed and built for comfortable, safe long-distance riding. Thus:

1. Bicycling is a healthy, popular sport attracting more people every year throughout the world.

2. High-tech bikes have special suspensions and springs that allow a faster, safer, more comfortable ride.

3. Such bikes sell for prices of $1200 and up, depending on what features they have, and who builds the bike.

4. You can sell such bikes in several ways--out of a retail shop, by mail order with a simple mailing or a catalog, or on the Internet with a home page. Most BWBs--Beginning Wealth Builders--would choose to sell by mail or on the Internet. Both ways are low-cost startups (about $500 for small ads) worth looking at.

5. Pick the way you want to sell bikes--most BWBs are comfortable with direct mail, mail order, and the Internet because with these methods you never have to meet a customer (unless you want to), don't need any inventory, and can have your supplier ship the bike directly to your customer, avoiding shipping problems at your end.

HOW MUCH CAN YOU EARN IN THIS BUSINESS? That depends on how many bikes you sell each year. Here's a good example of actual numbers:

1. You buy a $1200 bike at a 30% discount, or for $840. You sell the same bike for $1200, plus shipping charges. Your gross profit = $1200 - $840 = $360.

2. Sell 10 bicycles a month and you'll bring in !0 X $360 = $3600 for your month's part-time work from home.

3. Accessories you can sell with the bike include a fancy seat, rear-wheel rack, reflectors for night riding, rear-view mirrors, spare tires, etc. Profit on these can be as high as 50% of their list price

4. With ad costs of 20% (which is higher than usual) your net profit will be $288 per bike + any accessory profits you can make. Sell 500 bikes a year by mail and your income can be $144,000. Not bad for a fad!


Tyler G. Hicks is president of International Wealth Success, Inc. (IWS), and a director of a large New York-based lender. A consultant to entrepreneurs and real-estate investors around the world, Tyler is author of numerous books on real estate and business, some of which have appeared on the best seller lists of Business Week, WaldenBooks, and other national publications and sellers. Several of Tyler's books have been ranked among "the top ten real estate books of the year" by columnists in...

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