Hand registering domains is when you register a new domain at domain registrar annual price, $10 per year and up. Most domain investors begin their journey by hand registering domains. And there is nothing wrong with that. Hand registering domains is a bridge to full out domain investing. But paying only a year’s renewal cost is not investing. Here’s why.
Dictionary defines investing as: “expend money with the expectation of achieving a profit or material result by putting it into financial plans, shares, or property, or by using it to develop a commercial venture.” There are 2 key aspects to investing: 1. Expending money, and 2. Achieving profit by either reselling or developing. An investment is something that grows in value over time. It may go down in value due to the economic environment at a stressful period of time, but ultimately the investment, if wisely done, will increase the asset valuation for the investor.
At best, hand registering domains is speculating, at worst it is wishful thinking. However, hand registered domains can turn into investments over a period of time. I have sold hand registered domains for over 10,000% their annual renewal cost. But at this point the domains have been renewed for multiple years, so the actual profit is significantly lower. This comparison of sale price versus renewal price is a false comparison made out of thin air. A domain becomes an investment when you see value in it, sufficient enough to expend money to renew that domain for multiple years. And the reason is because you see it achieving a profit or material result.
Domain investing, like any other form of investing, involves significant expenditure of money or assets in order to acquire a domain or a portfolio of domains. This expenditure can be part of your savings account, monthly paycheck, taking out a loan or mortgage your house, selling a high value asset, etc. But it always must be with the certainty that the acquired domain(s) will lead to profit and material increase. Then it truly is domain investing.