Sunday, December 4, 2016

Why Property Should Be Your Next Investment

property investments
For anyone who is keen to earn a little more money, there are plenty of options available today. Regular readers of this blog will know that there are countless ways you can bring in more money rapidly. However, they are not all made equal, and sometimes the most difficult decision is knowing which to go for. If you have some spare capital, and you want to turn it into more, then investment is often the best way forward. Now, we all know that there are countless options for what to invest in. But in this post, we are going to take a look at property investment. Here are a few reasons why investing in property just might be your best next move.

Increasing House Prices

When you are considering investment of any kind, one of the major decisions you need to make is what to invest in. And the best way to figure that out is to compare the various markets which you are considering for investment. There is a very good reason that many people often turn to property investment, and it is that the housing market is such a reliable one to get involved in. as with anything else, it is not set in stone, and it does waver from time to time. But in general, house prices are increasing and they are likely to continue to do so until the next great recession. That will probably not be for a long time now, so this is as good a time as any to start investing in property.

High Yield

One of the most important things to consider in any investment is what kind of return you can expect. After all, the return is the whole point. If you are not happy with what you are actually getting back, then there is little point in continuing with that investment. To that end, be sure to think about this carefully when you are making any kind of investment. In terms of property investment, you are bound to be in a good position no matter what. Rental yields are in a good place at the moment, and with rising prices they are bound to improve even more. This high yield might just be all you need to hear to make your investment decision. Investing in houses for rent is likely to bring high returns before too long.

Low Interest Rates

It goes without saying that, as well as looking for decent returns, you are also hoping to pay out as little as possible. Widening this gap is ultimately what it’s all about, so you need to make sure you are bearing that in mind. The good news with property investment is that interest rates are at a significant low at the moment. This means that your mortgage will not cost you as much as it would have, say, five years ago. This makes now an ideal time to get into property investment in a big way. If you are trying to decide between a few different options, this might help to tip the balance somewhat.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

5 Hidden Costs of Running A Business

hidden costs
You may think you have it all covered. You’ve accounted for the rent, for the cost of utilities and the staff you’ll need. But what other hidden snags should you be aware of. If you’re just venturing into business for the first time, here are 5 hidden costs that you may have overlooked when budgeting

Insurance

Running a business can come with multiple insurance payments, some of which are compulsory, others of which aren’t but are generally recommended. Employer’s Liability Insurance is the main compulsory one (although if you don’t have staff and you’re solely running the business you don’t need it) protecting you against staff who are ill or injured and staff that make claims against you.

Other insurance types can protect you against property damage, public claims, professional indemnity and faulty products given to you by the manufacturer. In some businesses, certain insurance types may be less suited than others. Researching all these can get you the best deal.

Payment technology

For those setting up a business in retail, a till and card reader can be a last minute purchase. Shop around to get the best deal on these items. If your business is likely to dealing with credit cards, you may need a credit card terminal too.

For businesses that deal with transactions online, make sure you have a secure payment method set up. This could mean investing in good digital security to make sure the account details of yourself and your clients are safe.

Marketing

Some people only start looking into marketing once they’ve got their business working, then realising they don’t have the adequate amount of money for it. A large chunk of your budget should go into marketing and you should start doing it before setting up your business, telling people when your business opens and building up hype. Marketing should not be seen as a one-off expense at the beginning, but a regular payment to keep your business constantly expanding.

Accounting

Unless you’re already a dab hand with figures, you should probably think about hiring an accountant to handle your taxes and expenses. This will free up the time slaving over spreadsheets, allowing you to focus on other business aspects. Shop around for accountants that best suit your area of expertise. Most small businesses shouldn’t need an expensive accountant, unless the nature of your business is complex monetary issues.

Utensils & equipment

There is some equipment such as computers and desks for an office and table and chairs for a restaurant that you’ll have already budgeted for. But other small items such as printer ink and receipt paper may well slip your mind and only become clear days before opening business (or even once you’ve started business). Budget beforehand for all the items that you can think of and then leave some extra money aside for last-minute equipment purchases that you’re likely to have forgotten. Having a grand spare to dip into can act as a nice safety net, especially when starting a business.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Get Cold Feet When Investing? Check Out These Ways To Minimise Risk

investment ideas
Investing in anything is risky - but some investors would rather sell their own kidneys than expose their hard earned money to the whims of the market. The good news is that there are things that investors can do to mitigate some of the risks they face.

Here’s what to do.

Build Your Own Personal Board Of Advisors

Creating a board of advisors is a crucial part of any investor’s strategy. It’s how they figure out which investments are worth their while, and which are likely to lose them money. A board of advisors aren’t usually a group of people you pay cash. Instead, they get a return on things like stock options to incentivise them to give you the right advice. Usually, advisors are made up of industry experts and people with inside knowledge of current trend in technology, what is likely to succeed, and what is liable to fail.

Pool Your Investments With Other Investors

Debt funding is becoming an increasingly important tool for risk averse investors. Here, investors put their money into a pot with a group of other investors, investing in the very same companies as professionals. Investors essentially buy a share of a mutual fund that is expected to pay out in the future. This helps to lower risk among a range of different assets, providing a steady income stream as a return.

Government Bonds

Government bonds have been, and look set to continue to be, the risk-averse investment option of choice. Because governments will always be able to tax the population in the future, investors are guaranteed repayments. Interest rates can be low for short-term bonds, between 2 and 3 percent usually, depending on the country. But for long term bond, like 10-year bonds, the yield can be anywhere north of 7 percent per year, making them a much more attractive investment.

Get A Grip On Systemic Risk

Understanding what systemic risk is is important for investors. Many investors think that they are safe because they hold assets across a broad spectrum of financial products, but if the whole market tanks, they’re screwed. The solution is to have an understanding of systemic risks and how to preserve wealth just in case all conventional assets fall in value.

For instance, today’s banking sector represents a systemic risk to the global economy. Here we have a bunch of banks which are still highly levered up, most of which are owed debts their customers can never repay. If a bank were to fail, there would be contagion across global markets, and practically every stock price in the world would fall as a result.

There are assets, like gold and silver, however, which fared very well during the last financial crisis and represent unconventional investments that can help preserve wealth during a crisis. Some investors now advise keeping a portion of your portfolio in physical assets that don’t track the stock market, in order to protect yourself against future, systemic risk in the economy. Given that many global agencies see a new recession just around the corner, their advice sounds like a good idea.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Get Prepared And Stay Solvent: Seven Financial Situations To Look Out For

different financial situation
In life, you can never be too prepared – and your finances are generally the area that require more planning than anything else. Not only do you want to be prepared for yourself, but you want to ensure that your close family members will all be okay. Here are some tips on how to handle your finances at times of stress...

Divorce

In a divorce, it’s important to make sure that you protect yourself and your children. Even if you’re blindsided by it, go to a lawyer immediately – even if your spouse makes promises, chances are the promises won’t end up actually happening and that ultimately they’ll be selfish in the end. Don’t place any trust in them – if you’re getting divorced, chances are they aren’t the trustworthy person you once assumed they were anyway. Your first priority needs to be to contact a lawyer and protect your assets so you can get your financial future settled as soon as possible. If possible, try to keep away from going through the courts and go for mediation instead. Not only is it less unsettling and traumatic, but it will also be cheaper in the long run.

Bereavement

Losing one of your loved ones is one of the most traumatic things that can happen to you, so it’s important to make sure that their finances are in order, to prevent there being more issues somewhere down the line. If you know that your loved one sadly doesn’t have much time left, ensure that their will is clear and sorted out and that you’ve spoken to an accountant about it. You should also make sure that you have power of attorney, if they’re no longer capable of making their own decisions. You should ensure that you have a life insurance policy and that you have money put away for your own funeral for any worst case scenarios – we don’t know what’s around the corner and it’s important to put as little pressure on your family in a difficult situation as possible.

Ill Health In Your Family

Everyone’s nightmare scenario is ill health in your close family. Although it isn’t something you ever want to think about, it’s important that you’re prepared for every possibility. If you’re a parent, you’ll know that jobs with flexibility are key to your success at being a huge part of your everyday family life. This flexibility would be absolutely invaluable to you if you did have to factor the ill health of your family members into your working life, as your day to day would become considerably more unpredictable. In addition, you may feel the need to start working part time instead of full time. If you have a nest egg in the bank to break your fall if you do so, you’ll feel much more able to take whatever option feels right.

Residential Care

More and more these days, many countries across the world are experiencing ageing populations. Although it’s obviously a joy that people have their grandparents around for longer, it also becomes difficult when elderly people become too frail to live at home by themselves. If they have to go into residential care, it’s likely to be a traumatic situation both emotionally and financially for you. Aside from the guilt you may feel – which you should endeavour to put to one side, because you’re doing what’s best for your family – there are often a lot of financial implications. Talk to the manager of the residential home about the possibility of help from the state. In addition, if your loved one owns a home then you could either sell it and use the proceeds or rent it out to tenants to gain an income to pay the home fees.

Personal Injuries

If you have experienced a personal injury or illness, chances are it will affect your career negatively because of days of absence from the workplace and possible difficulties doing the job to the same extent that you did before your injury. If your workplace was one of the reasons that you got injured, talk to personal injury lawyers. If you’re looking for the best lawyers Gersowitz Libo & Korek would be a firm that you should look at - do some googling to find what’s best for you. It’s important that you get what you’re entitled to so that your future is made more safe and certain.

Parental Leave

What’s more important than spending as much time as you possibly can with your newborn baby? Forming that connection in your child’s earliest days is important to you, your partner and of course the baby itself. It will help you feel more confident about taking care of the baby by yourself in the future, and help you form a close and loving relationship in the long term. It’s important, then, to understand your company’s policy for parental leave. Every company – and indeed every country – has different rules, and if you’re planning to have a family this might be something that you want to take into account when accepting jobs. If you need to take unpaid parental leave, make sure that you’ve planned for it throughout the pregnancy. Making cutbacks like moving to a cheaper phone contract will be worth it for the connection you’ll form with your child.

Windfalls

Make sure you’re financially informed in the case of any windfalls that might happen to you, like big bonuses or inheritances. Of course, windfalls are generally very much welcome – but if you spend it on the wrong thing, you might end up regretting your actions pretty quickly. First of all, make sure that any credit card debts are paid off and that you’ve put a good sum of money away in the bank for a rainy day. The next thing that many people do is either save for a deposit for a house or pay off a chunk of their mortgage. Long term, this seems like the best option. Investing in property means that you’ll always have something concrete to show for your money – if you’ve received a larger sum, you could buy an investment property to rent out, meaning that you’ve turned your windfall into a regular salary.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Get The Help You Need With Your Tax Return

file your tax
Getting ready to prepare your tax return? We’ve gone back to basics to help you file on time for 2017. Put together everything you need for your return. And get extra assistance if you’re struggling with a looming tax deadline.

Save the date

It’s an obvious one, but many people don’t know the date they have to file their tax return, or more importantly, prepare for it. So it’s a good idea to look at Income Tax Deadlines for 2017.

Know your tax credits

The government offers credits and deductions for individual and business taxpayers. Such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child and Dependent Care Credit which helps millions of families each year. There are also credits for small and large businesses that you should know about.

Common deductions include home mortgage interest, state and local tax, and charitable contributions. So, before you file, make sure you know your tax credits.

Get organized, early

Make sure you know which tax bracket your income puts you in. This makes it much easier to ask for larger deductions. Also, it’s important to keep up with any income you take on the side, noting down any resources which can be deducted. If the IRS audits you randomly, your deductions will hold more weight if they’re written down.

File online for free

As Time confirms, “According to the Internal Revenue Service, 70% of taxpayers are eligible for the IRS’s Free File program, which gives you free access to brand-name tax preparation software as long as your income is $62,000 or less.” More than two-thirds of Americans can use online tax-prep software for free.

That includes enlisted military members – and their families – who can access free income tax filing help through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

If you earn $54,000 or less, have a disability, are elderly, or have limited English-speaking, you’re entitled to free help from IRS-certified volunteers via the VITA program.

Also, all taxpayers over the age of 60 can get free tax help through the IRS’s Tax Counseling for the Elderly program. It specializes in pension and retirement-related issues. Find out if you’re entitled to free help with your tax return.

Hire some help

If the answer is ‘no,’ and things get out of control, it could be time to hire a tax professional who can look after your books and help with unfiled tax returns.

Remember, these professionals earn their keep by assisting you. If you’re not careful, they won’t care about your issues either. Here a guide to help you find the right tax pro.

Stay in the know

Every year, there are new tax deductions you can take advantage of. So, don’t doddle and keep up to date with tax news, such as the IRS Announcement of 2017 Tax Rates, Standard Deductions, Exemption Amounts.

Whether you’re dealing with your personal or business return, tax is, well, taxing. Follow the tips above to stay ahead, and you’ll discover that tax returns become a little less painful every year.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Make Money By Investing In Technology

investment technology
If you’ve got a lump of money that you’d like to invest into something, technology is definitely the way to go. Of course, to make a return, you have to tap into the tech that’s right at the frontier, the newest and most pioneering stuff, most of which is difficult to target in this fast-paced digital age. Nobody wants to put their cash into a new tech design, only for it to become outdated in a year. It’s therefore important to target the areas that are already booming but are still in their infancy. Here are some examples of tech you should look into.

Cloud Technology

Everyone is harking on about the Cloud these days. What is it and why is it so special? The simple answer is that it has solved the long-debated issue of digital memory. Tools and apps that might have once been too big to have on your phone, now keep all their memory data stored in a group of servers or colocation, known as the Cloud. Businesses everywhere are now using the Cloud to store their masses of files. Not only does it free memory but also improve security. If someone steals your PC, they won’t be able to access your files because they’re stored on the Cloud.

With many businesses also still discovering this technology, it makes for a great future investment.

Cyber Security

Cyber-criminals are constantly concocting new viruses and ways to hack through firewalls. Cyber security is therefore constantly having to keep up, inventing new methods of deflecting internet fraudsters with constantly evolving programmes. By this token, there should always be a market to invest in cyber security, as computer users everywhere are happy to keep pouring money into buying the latest software in order to keep their computer data safe.

Of course with so many different software companies out there fighting for a place in the market, you need to research into which one is most likely to keep above the rest. This article can help those curious understand it better.

Green Technology

We’re all now well aware of our carbon footprint, and the constant introduction of green laws means that all businesses are turning environmentally-friendly. Green technology as a result, is a booming industry. Solar panels and wind farms are indeed expensive to set up, which may deter some people from investing. However, once set up, they are very low-cost to run. Providing the sun keep shining and the wind keep blowing you can expect a steady increase in the return from green technology after several years.

There are many types of green technology and it pays to know which ones are likely to last. With nuclear power being such as controversial energy source and the risk of nuclear power stations being shut down, this isn’t an ideal technology to invest in. Similarly if a local neighbourhood is being particularly hostile to plans to build a wind farm, be wary of investing as plans may get so caught up in court appeals that it may not go ahead. Look for investment proposals in places where the locals are passionate about renewable energy and likely to support any project that is put into action there, and you will see a return.