Saturday, August 27, 2016
Forex investors are left scratching their heads in regards to what the future may now hold. This is indeed worrying, for it seems that we are entering into uncharted territory in regards to the comparative value of pound. Some are even concerned about how stable the European Economic Community is as a whole. These concepts have been met with both trepidation and enthusiasm by currency traders. Although the future is impossible to predict with absolute certainty, are there any broad observations that can be made for the coming fiscal year?
Taking it Slow...
One of the first major points to highlight is that the Brexit referendum will not trigger a sudden exodus from the European Union. It can be argued that this concept has not been mentioned enough in many news articles. Any substantial changes will take nearly two years to implement. During this time, trade agreements can be renegotiated and companies can take the appropriate steps to retain their market presence. Therefore, the Brexit can be thought of as an ebbing tide more than it should be associated with a financial precipice.
A Faltering Union?
The bad news is that the referendum vote could very well signal a sentiment that is being felt throughout Europe. Since the inception of the European Economic Community, there have always been those who believe that a single-currency market would not last. Thanks to recent political fractures in areas such as Spain and Greece, this seemingly pessimistic observation could very well prove to be true in the long run. Although it is nearly impossible to imagine this 28-member bloc returning to its previous domestic currencies, anything is possible.
Eyes on the Forex Markets
As we are aware, Forex trading is associated with both liquidity and volume. Profits would be impossible without the presence of these features. There is also a general rule of thumb that relates just as much to currency exchanges as it does with more traditional assets such as equities and commodities. Simply stated, this two-part rule observes that:
● Bearish markets may signal a risk-averse stance to be adopted.
● Bullish markets are known for increased volume and liquidity.
Assuming that the United Kingdom and the EU as a whole may now be entering into somewhat bearish territory, what can we expect from the average trader? If history is any reliable indicator, many investors might take a watch-and-wait approach during the remaining 2016 fiscal year and well into 2017.
Rising Above Average
However, some Forex investors will naturally choose to see the bigger picture. A falling pound and a faltering euro are excellent investment opportunities from a long-term point of view. What goes down will certainly rise again. This is particularly the case in any medium-term drop witnessed within the British financial markets. So, many astute individuals will be utilising proactive systems such as those offered by CMC Markets. One of the underlying principles of any financial index is that should we look hard enough, there is always a silver lining. The effects of the Brexit will likewise follow this rule.
As mentioned in the beginning of this article, determining the exact ramifications of the Brexit is still quite difficult. However, applying basic Forex trading principles to this scenario will enable forward-thinking traders to capitalise on what may very well be one of the most lucrative investment opportunities in decades.
Friday, August 26, 2016
It is a situation which none of us want to ever find ourselves in. Yet, it can of course happen to anybody at any time. If you find yourself having to have time off work due to injury or illness, it can be a real blow. This is especially true if you are someone who particularly enjoys work. Similarly, if you find it difficult to be at home all the time, you might struggle. However, there are various things you can do to make the whole process a lot easier. In this post, we will be looking at some of the major steps that you should take if you are in this position. No matter what the nature of the injury or illness is, you should try to do the following.
Talk To Your Employer
The first thing to do after receiving the proper medical treatment is to simply talk to your employer. This is one of those things that a lot of people put off as long as possible. However, having a frank discussion with your employer will help to clear up some basic concerns or questions you might have. The reason that this is beneficial is because no two employers are quite the same. There are different rules on everything from sick pay to rate of return. As such, the only way to get it clear in your head is to talk it out. There is another main reason that you should discuss the situation, and that is so that your employer can get a good idea of what is going on. They need to know what kind of timescale they can expect before your return, so they can plan around you.
Find Out What You Are Entitled To
No matter what the nature of your injury or illness is, there is a good chance that you are entitled to some financial compensation. This is especially the case if you suffered your injury at work, and it was not your fault. While this is not an essential step, it is highly recommended, as it might be that you are owed some considerable money. To ensure that you carry out this step properly, it is advisable to find a decent personal injury lawyer. The right professional can help you to go in the direction when it comes to making a claim. For help on how to find the right lawyer, take a look at www.nationwideinjurylawyers.co.uk.
Take Care Of Yourself
It goes without saying that you will want to try and get back to health as quickly as possible. To ensure that you do, you should make every effort to take proper care of yourself. This means following the medical professionals’ advice, as this is always the quickest route to recovery. But it also means looking after your basic day-to-day hygiene. It can be surprising just how important this is - it often becomes clear how much at times like these. Above all, this should be where you are directing your energy every day. For more on this, see http://www.foxbusiness.com/features/2014/01/21/injured-and-unable-to-work-what-to-do.html.
Thursday, August 25, 2016
We all want our families to be safe and secure. And there are a variety of ways that you can ensure this. Finances, safety, and emotional security are all extremely important. However, even though you may think everything is rosy, the reality can be very different.
So how do you tell if your family is as secure as they can possibly be? Sometimes you just need to scratch under the surface to see exactly what is going on. Interested to learn more? Then read on!
Your financial security is one of the aspects of your family life that will be the most obvious. If your household is earning more than you are spending, then you are doing pretty well already. However, if this isn’t the case, there are some ways you can improve the situation. If a promotion or better-paid job are out of the question, then you will have to look at your family’s expenses and try to cut out. The best way to do this is to create a budget to help you better manage your money. Then you can see which expenses you can cut back on. Once you are starting to have a bit of money left over at the end of the month, you can start to invest your money. Also, think about taking out life insurance to secure your children’s financial future. For more information on the best life insurance policy, you could look here. There are a number of other ways you can increase your family’s financial security, including the following.
- Diversify your investments. There are various ways you can diversify. For example, don’t just stick to investment opportunities in your own country. Look at foreign markets as well. This way, if one market suffers, you will have others to help support your investments. You should also look at investing in different ways. Don’t just stick to buying shares. Consider investing in funds and gold as well.
- Think of your investments as expenses. For example, it’s good to see your regular payments into your saving accounts and investments as necessary payments. This way, you won’t be tempted to use one month’s cash to buy something frivolous. If possible, see if you can get your savings took out of your salary and paid straight into a savings account. That way, you won’t have the chance to fritter them away.
- Save in tax-deferred accounts. There are a few bank accounts that allow you to save a set amount of cash without paying tax on it. This can help you keep hold of a few extra pennies instead of paying them to the tax man!
In this modern age, it is becoming increasingly important to ensure your family’s online security. More and more of us are banking online, which places our finances at risk of hackers and cyber attacks. The best way to protect your computer and devices is to install the latest cyber security software on them. If you have particularly young children, it is also worth installing parental controls. These can control which websites your kids can access when they are online. Ultimately, it prevents them from stumbling upon anything that you don’t want them to see!
You should regularly ensure that your property is safe for your family to occupy. Not only will this keep your family safe, but it will also help you save money. If the condition of your house slips, you need to get the required maintenance and repairs as soon as possible. This will prevent the condition from getting any worse. The worse it gets, the more you will need to pay to fix things. If the work is a considerable amount, your financial security could be put at risk. It is also worth investing in a good home insurance policy. This will cover any structural and inner damage caused to your property. Some policies will even cover household belongings.
You also need to ensure the emotional health of your family. Most of this will be related to the points above. If you have financial stresses, your emotional life is likely to suffer. Make sure you regularly check on each of your relatives to make sure they are doing okay. If anyone is having a particularly stressful time, it could be worth organizing an appointment with a therapist.
These points should help you improve the welfare of your family. And you will then be able to enjoy a happy and stress-free future!
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
We’d all like to think that we’ll live a long, happy and healthy life, and will see in our 100th birthday with ease. However, the fact is, that’s rarely the case. Life has a funny old habit of springing the unexpected on us. The fact is, if you pass away without having a will in place, you have no control over what will happen to your estate or savings. Not to mention your children, if they’re still under 18 years old.
The fact that making a will can be expensive can often prevent us from wanting to make one. However, it’s something that, if you want to save heartache and stress when you pass on, is crucial to have in place. If you’re someone who likes to be savvy when it comes to their finances, not having a will in place is the ultimate mistake to make. Think about it, did you really start a savings account for that money to not go to who you want it to? Do you want the home that you worked hard for, not to go to who you want it to? No - then you need a will. It’s as simple as that.
Still not convinced that investing in a will is worth the time and money? Then have a read of this.
So you can choose who inherits your savings and estate
One of the main reasons for taking out a will is so that you can decide who inherits your estate and savings. If you don’t have a will in place, you will have no say in who gets your belongings, money, and estate. However, if you make a will, you can share your wishes for who gets what when you pass away. It’s important to understand that a will is a legal document and so, to be legally binding, it has to be done properly. This means consulting a specialist law company, such as Ronald Fletcher and Co., or another local will expert. If you’re unsure about the process of making a will, book a consultation so that you can get a better idea of what’s involved.
To ensure that your funeral costs are covered
Having a will in place will ensure that your funeral will be just as you hoped it would. As part of your will, you can leave directions for your funeral arrangements. As well as letting your relatives know that you’ve got life insurance or that you’ve put some money aside to cover the costs of your funeral. This is important, as often, relatives can be left unsure of how to deal with your funeral arrangements. This can put stress on them - both emotional and financial stress. So it’s important to have a will in place, to prevent these issues from arising.
Giving your children the future that they deserve
Whether your children are still under 18 or are in their 40’s, you need to ensure that once you’re gone, they’re looked after. If you’ve got money put by for your children, whether it’s for their wedding or just for a rainy day, a will can ensure that they get it. If your children are under 18, your will can state who you want to look after them and be their legal guardians. It can also state that their inheritance should be kept in a trust fund until they become an adult. If you want your kids to be taken care of, it’s essential that you have a will in place.
So there you have it, why it’s crucial to make a will.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
We all reach the age of 18 with a neutral credit score - not good, not bad, but neutral. Once we become a fully fledged adult, we then have the ability to change our credit score. Some behaviors take our credit scores up, while others take them down. Something as small as one direct debit payment bouncing can have an impact on your credit score. Or, not being on the electoral role, for instance, can also negatively impact your score.
However, it tends to be things like late payments on loans or credit cards that have the biggest impact on our credit scores. Leaving us with a bad credit history. For many of us, having a bad credit history is something that’s somewhat confusing, as we’re not 100 percent sure what it actually means. As well as what the impact of it is on our lives. However, it’s crucial that you understand what having a bad credit history means.
You’ll struggle to get a loan approved
Your credit score, whatever it may be, will impact your ability to get a loan approved. If you’ve got a low score, this means that often, loan providers won’t be able to offer you a loan. This is because a low credit score reflects the fact that you’ve had issues paying things in the past. It also means that you’re too risky to lend money to because you may fail to pay it back. There are, of course, a few providers who will be able to offer you bad credit cash loans, but mainstream lenders and the bank probably won’t be able to. Bad credit will also impact your ability to get a mortgage, which may mean you’re unable to buy a house of your own.
If you do get approved the interest will be high
There’s also the fact that if you do get approved for a mainstream or bank loan, the interest may be higher than normal. Of course, if you need the loan, you need the loan. It’s just a case of understanding that because of your bad credit history, you may end up paying more for it. This means that instead of paying 20 percent interest on the loan, you may have to pay around 40 percent.
You may struggle to rent a property
When you rent a property, before the landlord will allow you to live in their house, they may want to run a credit check. This is to check that you’re reliable when it comes to payments and won’t end up unable to afford your rent. If a credit check shows that you’ve got bad credit, they may refuse to rent their property to you. If this is the case, sometimes having a guarantor in place can help. This should be someone who has a high credit score and earns a good amount, who can pay your rent should you not be able to. The same situation can apply to attempting to get a phone contract, TV package, internet package, or home or car insurance premium.
The fact is, having bad credit can impact your life in a range of ways that you would never imagine it would.
Monday, August 22, 2016
Everybody on this planet is unique. But some factors link us all, and the need for financial stability is one of the most obvious. Sadly, it’s something that far too many of us struggle to achieve. In many cases, a lack of responsibility is the chief reason.
For many people, a lack of knowledge is the root of irresponsible behavior. After all, very few people set out with intentions of making life financially difficult. However, it’s your job to acquire that necessary knowledge.
First and foremost, you need to get your priorities in order. Modern life can often cloud your judgement, but finance is one area where this cannot be an issue. For the majority of people facing money worries, clearing debt should be the top priority.
When temporary issues surface, services like Credit 24 can be the key to avoiding missed payment charges and similar problems. However, if you are faced with a long-term issue, you’ll need to think about other forms of borrowing or rescue plans. Bankruptcy should always be considered a last resort.
Even if you do end up down that route, it isn’t the end of the world. Regardless of your situation, today should be the start of being more responsible. One of the best ways to achieve this is by working your way towards a better credit score. This will leave you open to far greater options in the future, which can only give you better hopes of maintaining a healthy financial status.
As with any life aspect, dealing with the immediate dangers and issues needs to take precedence over anything else. However, it’s important to have one eye cast towards your future. Nobody wants to reach retirement age with money worries. Work pensions should be the foundation.
However, it’s important to build upon those savings. Leaving money in a savings account won’t bring great returns. If you can master trading or another form of investment, it will be a far better long-term solution. Not only will you be building a brighter future for yourself, but you’ll also be making positive impacts for your family too.
Even if you can generate more money, it’s important that you learn to live in a more self-sufficient manner. Leading a cost-effective existence will clearly help out in later life. In all honesty, though, those life upgrades can have a huge impact on your immediate future too. Cutting waste on cell phone contracts and other services will generate noticeable savings. It doesn’t take long to rid yourself of bad habits. Once you have, you’ll wonder how you ever survived before.
Essentially, your biggest challenge is to start appreciating the value of money. Once you start making informed decisions, you’ll be sure to see improvements to your bank balance. In turn, this can remove a lot of panic from your life too. After all, money issues are the most common form of stress out there.
More money and fewer worries: a recipe for a far brighter future. If that doesn’t motivate you to make the necessary life changes, nothing will.
Sunday, August 21, 2016
Moving to a new country comes with a bunch of complications. But have you considered the financial implications of your move abroad? Here are some of the things you need to start thinking about before you get on that plane!
Setting up bank accounts before you leave
Does your current bank have branches across the world? That’s the ideal scenario for you. Of course, you will have to find out how they operate in this new country. The bank that works best for you at home might work completely differently in another country. Do your best to make sure this gets set up while your credit history is easy for them to access. Once you go to another country, that process can become a bit more complicated.
The complications of remaining debt
Very few of us are in a position where we can simply “pay off our debt”. I know it’s not as simple as that. But you need to start thinking about whatever debt you are in at the moment. Are there any that you can pay off before you move? Are there ways in which you can make them easier to sort out? Managing your debts while living abroad is a lot more complex. You’ll also have to deal with any currency fluctuations which may make them harder to pay off.
Getting all your stuff over there
You want to start making smart financial decisions now. There will probably be a few factors in your move that you haven’t given much thought to. Of course, I wouldn’t expect that you haven’t given any thought at all to how you’re going to get your stuff over there! But you may not have fully explored your options. These things get complicated, so people often go with the first international moving company they see. But you should always make sure the cheaper options, like Budget Self Pack Containers, operate in the countries you’re moving from and to.
Your new costs of living
The Internet is your friend. Use it to find specifics on the cost of living in your new country. There are even places out there that let you make direct comparisons between your current country and your destination. You need to thinking about the costs of transport, education, and utilities. Taxes, of course, will also need to be considered. (Unless you’re moving to some tax-free utopia. Let us know where that is.) But remember that there’s also the oft-forgotten entertainment and insurance to consider! With this information, you can start building a monthly budget to help you stay on track when you get there. You should also consider the costs of coming back to your “home country” for emergencies or special occasions.
Updating your will
The legalities of wills differ from country to country. You need to make sure your will now complies with the country you’re moving to. You should be able to find an attorney in the new place that can speak your language and assist you with this matter. But it’s recommended you speak to an attorney in your current country while you still can!
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
retirement planning. Along the way, you’ll need plenty of help from expert sources, and the internet has made this easy for us. It’s filled with plenty of tools (mostly free!) that can help to educate us further. We’ve scoured the internet for some great tools that will come in useful for many retirement planners. Let’s take a look at some of the best ones.
If you haven’t heard of anything else on this list, you’ve probably heard of Personal Capital. It’s one of the most popular software packages on the market, and it’ll give you a variety of retirement planning tools. Luckily for you, it comes as a free package. It’s also available on mobile devices if you want to manage your retirement plans on the go.
Blueprint Wealth SMSF Quiz
If you haven’t heard of SMSF’s yet, it’s time you started learning about them! Blueprint Wealth offer expert SMSF advice via their online quiz tool. It will analyse whether you’re suitable for getting involved with SMSF’s or not. It takes about thirty seconds to complete, and you can seek additional support if you find that you’re interested.
This is an iOS app that will come in incredibly handy for anyone that has been involved in the military. It works to inform personnel of their benefits upon their retirement from military service. It’s a comprehensive tool that should provide you with everything you need to know about your retirement plans. It’s also getting fantastic reviews on the App Store, currently holding a 4.5-star rating. If you’ve been involved in military service in the past, this is an app that is definitely worth a download.
The Flexible Retirement Planner
This is a free retirement calculator that comes with a whole host of powerful features. Ultimately, there are plenty of retirement calculators out there, but this one stands out for its depth and intuitive UI. It’s a downloadable application that works on Windows as well as Mac & Linux operating systems. Alternatively, you can launch it via an online browser using a Java interface if you’d prefer. Give it a try and get your hands on one of the best retirement calculators on the web.
OK, so this is a more light-hearted one than the rest of our suggestions. If you’re planning for your retirement, you always want to know how far away you are from that magic date, right?! That’s what Retirement Countdown can do for you on Android devices. Ultimately, it’s an incredibly simple countdown clock. There are plenty of alternative options on the market too, and most of them do the same basic task. Despite their useful nature, if your retirement date is fifty years away, they might be a bit too demoralising!
Of course, we’ve only scratched the surface of what’s out there. You’ll find tools for anything you need when it comes to saving for the future. Who said retirement planning had to be difficult?!
Saturday, August 13, 2016
Building a sizeable nest egg is something that virtually everybody wants to do in their lives. After all, nobody wants to face a retirement of financial struggle. Even if this part of your life is decades away, it’s never too early to begin those preparations.
For many people, saving money with ISAs and other bank accounts will suffice. But there are plenty of alternative solutions on the market. Trading stocks and shares has been around for generations, but its popularity has grown at a rapid rate thanks to online activities.
Thousands of people are making their first investments every single month. If you’ve been thinking about the possibilities, now might be the perfect time to join the revolution. Here are just three reasons why.
The Chance To Earn More
First and foremost, a financial investment should be profitable. Ultimately, your primary objective is to increase your personal wealth to build a better future. Alternative methods often offer far greater opportunities than saving with the bank, and trading is one of the best.
Property investments and other items can offer steady long-term gains. However, when done right, trading is the best solution for quick and lasting results. Moreover, it offers an unrivaled shot at achieving life-changing figures. You only need to look at history’s most famous traders at investopedia.com to see that.
Of course, trading can come with a risk. But the potential payoff is far too great to ignore. Besides, in today’s market, making a success has never been easier.
Help Is Available
Quite literally anyone can transform their life for the better by using the right trading methods. Sadly, though, those first steps into the cut-throat environment are often the harshest. In previous generations, many people would lose money before they’d even got to grips with the processes. Not any longer.
The internet makes it possible to gain the support of an experienced mentor, which can allow you to maximize your chances of success. By reading unbiased analysis at investedreviews.com, you’ll soon find a source of knowledge. With their support, it won’t be long before you’re making money.
A mentor will teach you the ropes before you learn to stand on your feet. However, the thought of risking money is still daunting. Many trading platforms offer demo accounts, which means you can trial certain ideas before settling on one that works for you.
Investments shouldn’t be a leisurely activity. After all, they are designed to improve your financial future. Nevertheless, you’ll participate and engage with an investment far more when you enjoy it. In turn, this can only help you earn more money.
Investing money can be fun, especially when you inject the competitive edge of trading. Moreover, the fact that every single day matters can keep you on your toes to enjoy far greater interactions. Not only can this increase your enjoyment, but it will increase your hopes of spotting the right trade at the right time.
Trading isn’t the right investment choice for everyone, but it can be immensely rewarding. Given the ease of completing these processes in the digital age, there’s never been a better time to start.
Friday, August 12, 2016
Getting into serious debt is easier than you think. You miss a couple of payments for loans, and then you are soon finding yourself struggling to pay as the interest is too high. These are some other warning signs that you are spiraling into debt and tips to stop it from happening!
You are taking out payday loans
One warning sign that you are spiraling into debt is you are taking out payday loans. You may find you need to pay out for something, and don’t have the funds to do it. Therefore, you look for a quick solution to be able to afford to pay out the money. However, if you start taking out payday loans, you could soon start spiraling into debt. These are meant to be short-term solutions that you have to pay back quickly. If you don’t pay it back quickly, you will find high-interest rates that will end up seeing you pay back twice the amount you needed in the first place. To stop you spiraling into debt, you should avoid taking out any payday loans. You should look for a loan which will allow you to pay monthly installments so that it’s much easier to pay back on the long-term.
You can’t keep up with your mortgage repayments
Another warning sign that you are spiraling into debt is if you can’t keep up with your mortgage repayments. It’s so important that you pay the repayment every month towards your mortgage. If you miss a couple of payments, you could be at risk of foreclosure. You should talk to your bank about having a mortgage holiday to help you get back on the straight and narrow. If you still can’t afford to pay your mortgage, and can’t see this situation changing anytime soon, you could consider selling up. You could look for a buyer for your home, or you could find a company who will provide cash for house. That way, you can quickly pay back your mortgage provider, and then can easily get yourself out of debt.
You don’t know how much money you have
An additional warning sign that you are spiraling into debt is if you don’t know how much money you have in your bank. It’s a bad sign that you aren’t keeping on top of your finances, and spending without knowing how much is in there. You need to ensure you are checking your bank account on a regular basis and checking your monthly statements. As this article explains, it will help you to see where your money is going and how to control it better.
You are using your savings account
Another warning sign that you are spiraling into debt is if you are using your savings account. You need to make sure you don’t touch this account if you want to stay out of debt. Soon as you start spending your savings, you are opening yourself to debt as you have no safety barrier. You need a savings account so you can accumulate money for your future. So that you don’t spend your savings, you could invest it instead.
Try and stay away from credit cards, so you don’t have a chance of getting into debt.
Thursday, August 11, 2016
As a business owner, you have a lot of things to worry about. But you shouldn’t let various stresses and tasks allow you to forget about the wellbeing of your employees.
Even the most loyal of your workers won’t be with you forever. At some point, people are going to start retiring. It’s important that you make sure they’re duly compensated for all their time. The threat of retirement isn’t the only reason you should focus on retirement planning, though...
The edge over the competition
A lot of businesses out there don’t really put a lot of focus on retirement plans. This can give you an automatic edge over them if you are engaging with retirement plans. However, you shouldn’t allow yourself to become overconfident because of this. You need to remember that larger companies have entire departments dedicated to retirement planning. Smaller businesses need to pull out all the stops to compete!
Retirement plans as perks
A good retirement plan is often seen as a great “perk” of a company. This is prevalent in the US, where it’s considered up there with health care and dental plans. (Of course, most of the world isn’t as primitive as to force taxpayers to rely on their jobs for such things!) Elsewhere, they’re considered an essential part of any good employment package. Retirement plans shouldn’t be treated as rare benefits, like extra days off or gym memberships.
Where you are in the world will often determine how much you need to contribute to an employee’s retirement fund. It will also determine how you do it. Wherever you are, it’s vital to understand this information. If you don’t get to grips with the contributions you need to make, then your employees may suffer for it. It’s essential that you’re making correct contributions. Many employers work with companies who can help them manage this sort of thing. Such companies include NSF Super.
Helping employees understand
Of course, if it’s only you who understands how the retirement plans work, then that’s a little unfair! In many companies, the retirement planning is actually incredibly one-sided. Employees may be left in the dark about the whole thing unless they actively seek information. You need to ensure that your workers know exactly how these plans will affect their future finances. Because that’s what we’re dealing with here, after all: their future safety and comfort! If possible, you should be allowing them access to retirement planning tools.
The golden handcuffs
Retirement plans are often seen as a great way of seducing people towards working for you. But they’re also a way to encourage employees to stay on at your company. Financial allurements such as this are often referred to using the phrase golden handcuffs. They reduce turnover, helping prevent employees from jumping ship to another company. However, the implication with the word handcuff is that these things are the only things keeping an employee at your company. Reducing turnover should be a priority, and retirement plans help do that. But an employee should want to stay because they feel valued and enjoy their job. Don’t just rely on these sorts of benefits to keep employees put!
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
I’m going to kick off this article with a fun little exercise: spend a little time thinking about your death.
See? I told you that was fun. So what did you think about? Did you give any thought at all to the financial ramifications of your death? Of course, they’re not going to be consequences that you suffer. But the people you love may be affected by this more than you think. You may think that it’s not something you should worry about too much. But this is a mistake.
Late last year, I had to deal with the passing of a loved one who had no preparation in this area whatsoever. Even without loads of assets, the financial consequences were complex, tiring, and long. They’ve been ongoing for nearly a year, in fact. Is that really what people need to be dealing with after your death? You may think that they’re capable of dealing with financial complexity. But I think it’s fair to say that they’re going to be at least a little distracted at the time they have to deal with all of this.
So, in case you hadn’t guessed yet, I was joking about the whole “fun” thing earlier. But that doesn’t mean you should avoid giving this whole thing some serious and prolonged thought.
The importance of life insurance
The way some people try to sell life insurance sometimes makes it sound like something you don’t need that much. Some will try to convince you to buy it by using scare tactics. What if you fall off a ladder and break your neck? What if your office sets aflame and engulfs you forever? You start to think that those things aren’t likely, so you skip life insurance.
But life insurance is very important, especially if you have assets you need to protect. Don’t expect any life insurance policy to be completely sufficient for providing for loved ones after your death, though. Further measures should be used.
Dealing with the will
When someone dies, the people around them tend to assume that there’s a will. But a will isn’t something that just exists; it has to have been carefully created by the deceased! (Before they become deceased, of course.) And that’s not exactly a barrel of laughs, which might explain why a lot of people don’t actually have one.
It’s vital that you look into developing a will as soon as possible. It’s not exactly as easy as making a list of your possessions and writing down who you want to get what. It can be a bit more involved than that. But if you work with solicitors such as those at Wilson Browne, it can be less complex.
Where help can be found
It’s important to know that there is financial help available to those who have lost a partner. However, the first thing that needs to be looked into are the numerous benefits that were set up by the deceased. There’s insurance, of course. But there are also retirement plans, payable on death assets, and labor union payments to think about. The fact that these will come into play upon your death is something you should consider going forward.
Monday, August 8, 2016
There are all kinds of reasons for you to invest your money. It’s a sensible thing for people to do if they want to make themselves more financially secure in the long-term. But there are other people who simply do it for fun. Investing can be fun, and you don’t even have to do it to make money. Of course, making money is the ultimate aim of making investments. But there is much else besides that. Read on to find out how investing your money can be a lot of fun.
There’s a Competitive Edge
When you invest, there is always a slight competitive edge to it. You want to do better than anyone else and prove that you understand investing better than others. If you know other people who are also investors, this is truer still. You can turn it into a competition and measure your success against your friends and how their investments are doing. It doesn’t have to be a direct competition though; it can simply be a friendly rivalry that adds another dimension to it. Everyone likes a bit of competition in their life, so this could be the ideal thing to provide it. It’s not just sport that offers you this.
You Get the Joy of Learning a New Skill
Investing is not something that comes naturally to you. It doesn’t come naturally to anyone. It’s a skill that is learnt just like any other. Think of it like learning to ride a bike or play a musical instrument. It’s the same principle. And there is always that feeling of enjoyment and satisfaction when you manage to pull off a successful investment. That pride and satisfaction you feel is part of what makes investing so much fun for you. There is no other feeling quite like it. So, learn the skill and enjoy the pride and achievements that come with it.
Risk Fuels Adrenalin
When you take risks, you get that rush of adrenalin through your body. That’s what the thrill of investing is all about. This is the same thing that makes gambling or any thrill-seeking sports fun too. When you take a risk and make an investment, your body creates a chemical reaction. It’s part of human nature, and it’s one of the things that means investing is enjoyable to us. And you can’t really argue with science. Try it out and see if that adrenalin-fuelled rush appeals to you at all. It’s not for everyone, but it’s good to see how it makes you feel at least once.
Investing Requires Thinking and Strategy
If you’re the kind of person that enjoy strategy games, such as chess, then investing could be for you. It’s about more than numbers and throwing money around. It’s about using your brain and thinking carefully about the best move to make. Every investor eventually develops their own strategy that helps them to win and get to where they want to be. This is what you will have to do as well. Not everyone finds this kind of strategic thinking fun, but many people do. If you’re the kind of person that loves nothing more than to challenge your brain and come up with strategies, give investing a try.
There Are So Many Options to Explore
There is not only one type of investing that you can try out. There are so many different types out there, and you can try them all. So, if you find that one kind of investing is not really for you, don’t despair. If you are tired of buying and selling shares, you could try something new. If you have the capital to make it happen, why not invest in homes? Buying homes, making changes to them and selling them again can be a lot of fun. Or there are things like forex trading. This is complex but great for people who like numbers. Contact a forex broker if you’re interested in it.
It’s Always Fun to Make Money
Everyone likes to make money. And at the end of the day, that’s what investing is all about. The eventual aim is always to make money and beat the system. So, if you want to invest, then this is as good a reason as any. You’ll be able to make money and get a little richer. There are not many people on the planet who don’t get some kind of enjoyment out of doing that. And when you combine it with all the reasons mentioned above, it makes investing a great way to spend your free time. You should at least give it a try and see what you think of it.
Sunday, August 7, 2016
One of the things you will also hear from professional investors is that building a balanced portfolio is vital to any investment plan. But how do go about finding balance when you are just getting started? We’re going to spend today discussing how to do it, and explain some of the essential steps you will need to take.
Balance is not just about your investments
The first thing to understand is that a balanced and successful portfolio is not just based on your investments. There are plenty of other factors at play here, from your personal financial situation to the length of time you have to grow investments. It’s not only about what assets you have, but it’s also about your everyday savings and ability to take on financial risks. Your home and work life is a big factor, too. Will you have the time to dedicate to making your investments work harder, and will it affect your ability to work or be a great husband, wife, or parent?
Defining your strategy
Once you understand your ability to invest - and everything that goes along with it - you can start planning your strategy. If you are comfortable and have plenty of savings, for example, you might wish to pursue an aggressive, high-risk strategy. If you have limited funds, however, it’s going to be safer looking into bonds and fixed-income securities. In general terms, the more risk you can afford, the more aggressive you can be.
Choosing the assets
The next step is to choose the perfect assets for your circumstances. Not every investment opportunity is going to be a good match. Take stock picking as an example. You need to have a thorough understanding of the industry you want to invest in if you want success. There is help available, of course. As the guys from Primary Stock Trading point out, there are plenty of stock picking newsletters you can sign up to. Each of them has their success stories, but you should always be careful and read reviews before handing over any cash. It’s the same principle with other investment opportunities and schemes - always know the market.
Creating the balance
Now the strategy is in place; it’s time to work out you ideal investment opportunities. It’s all about playing the percentages here, so plan your entire investment budget and divide it all up into sections. You might have 50% of your funds in riskier investments, for example, with 30% of fixed income assets and the rest in cash or equivalents. You will also need to create a diversity in the type of investment you have. For example, you might want to invest in a little property but also look at stocks and bonds. The wider scope of investments you have, the more protection you will have if an industry tanks.
OK, so that’s all we have time for today. We hope this has highlighted some of the issues surrounding building a balanced portfolio. Good luck - and feel free to offer any advice if you have it!
Saturday, August 6, 2016
So, you’ve found the home of your dreams. It’s within the budget, in a great location, and really feels like somewhere you and your family could live happily. There’s just one issue though; your current house. Even if you haven’t found a buyer, you don’t need to pass on this great opportunity. You may want to consider a bridging loan; a short-term loan which bridges the gap between selling your current home and buying the next. Here’s how it would work…
One of the most frustrating things home buyers can run into is bad timing. You intend to sell your home, and you’ve found another that’s absolutely perfect, but the dates for the sale and purchase settlement are spaced apart! In this scenario, a bridging loan will deal with the cost of the new property for this brief period, and the sale of your current home will pay it off. Here, most banks will increase the home loan you’re currently on, and then change all the collateral of your old home over to the new one after the sale. This sounds straightforward enough, but you still need to be careful. The bank will usually need a new valuation on your current property and the one that you intend to buy. To make sure you’re totally covered, it may be worth seeking some extra legal advice.
Even if you’re not looking to sell and buy around the same time, bridging finance could still be a good idea. When you have the cushion of the bridging loan, you’ll be able to take your time with the search for your next property, and have the confidence of knowing that you’ll be able to pay for it when you find the right property. If you’re looking for a bigger home, a more valued location, and an all-round upgrade, then this could be the answer to your prayers. Some people without this kind of buffer are pressured into putting their home on the market long before they’re really ready. If you end up in this situation, you’ll be at a serious risk of clutching at cash for houses, when you may be able to get a better deal. Although an open-ended loan gives you more leeway, be aware that it’s still a short-term thing. The majority of banks will give you six months to sell, or a year if you’re building a new home.
“That’s all well and good”, you may be saying “but what if the bank shoots me down?” If your bank is keeping their purse strings tight, then mortgage brokers may be able to secure funds from a more willing bank, or talk to another reputable lender. As with a lot of other financing options, the bank will probably operate a lower interest rate than a private lender, so make sure you take this into the equation. If you are going to reach out to mortgage brokers, see if you can still get a hold of the one who moved you into your current home. They’re typically more helpful if you have an in already.
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
If you need to loan money, there are various different kinds of loans out there. Before you can determine exactly which kind of loan you need, there are various things you need to consider.
For a start, you need to think of how much you’ll need. Some loans over cover a small amount, while some are intended for the long term. Short term loans often carry higher interest rates, and you can get charged a lot for not paying back in time. Longer term loans keep this into consideration- while you’ll still pay interest, it will be a slow increase over time.
There is also the consideration of what the loan is for. Some loans are designated for specific purposes- for example, Student Loans. Some are for business, usually requiring a high borrowing amount paid off over a long time. There are also personal loans, which are usually low, short-term loans with no prerequisites for usage.
Secured vs Unsecured Loans
There is also a difference in the security requirements between different loans. Secured loans mean your assets will be taken into account. If you fail to pay back the required amount in due time, your home and other assets may be repossessed to pay off the amount due.
Secured loans generally require a lot of paperwork to be done. They are generally used for long-term, high-amount loans, such as mortgages or business loans. As more assurance is given that they will be paid back, they are able to borrow more and given more time to do it.
Unsecured loans require much less assurance. However, they do require you to have a high credit score to prove you are trustworthy. The approval time for these is generally much faster. However, you may have to pay more interest. These are generally used for personal loans, for example a loan to pay off a car.
Open-End and Closed-End Credit
Closed-end credit is when the amount of the loan is paid in full to the borrower. The borrower must pay back the full amount of the loan, plus interest. Whatever they have paid back, they can not withdraw again. This means that if they find they need more money than they originally thought, they would need to take out another loan.
Closed-end loans may be preferable for people who know exactly the amount they will need. If they are certain of what they need and when they will be able to pay it back, a closed-end loan shouldn’t be a problem.
Open-end loans give borrowers much more flexibility. They will have access to the full amount of the loan, but only take what they need. Additionally, they only need to pay interest on the amount they have borrowed, as opposed to the full amount. They can also withdraw money they have paid back. Open-end loans are better for people who may need to borrow money, but are unsure of how much and when. Credit cards often involve an open-ended line of credit.
Different Kinds Of Loans
There is a wide array of different kinds of loans out there for different purposes. Here are some of the most common ones.
Signature loans are a kind of unsecured loan. They depend on the good faith of the borrower, as opposed to being tied to any assets. Signature loans are a kind of personal loan and can be used for any purpose.
The amount you can borrow and length of time to pay it back can vary greatly with signature loans. Because of this, they are a good choice for a great deal of purposes. While you can get signature loans from a bank, there are companies that supply online signature loans, expediting the process.
Because signature loans are unsecured, interest rates can be high. Failure to pay them back can also damage your credit score. However, if you’re confident you will be able to pay them back in due time, they can be a great option for a personal loan.
Payday loans are short-term loans with some of the highest interest rates. They are commonly used for people who need to make a purchase instantly, but will be able to pay it back when they get their pay check.
Because of this, they are amongst the fast and easiest to get. Many companies provide instant payday loans, and no security is required. They are often used in emergency situations, when money is required instantly but will be paid back in a short time.
Payday loans can be problematic and aren’t recommended for long-term purposes.
One of the most common loans, mortgages are designed for people buying houses. Because buying a house is such a large investment, a mortgage allows borrowers to pay it off in the long term.
Since they are long-term loans, mortgages have amongst the lowest interest rates of any loan. However, they do require security. If a borrower falls behind on their periodic payments, they risk having their house foreclosed.
Mortgages can be a big commitment. It’s important to be sure you want to buy a house before taking one out. People may decide they want to move in a few years, or they may wish to travel. In these cases, renting may be a better option. Buying a house with a mortgage should only be done with absolute certainty.
Designed for people planning to go into higher education. Student loans are intended to cover tuition costs for students enrolling in college or university. Some can also cover the living costs of a student travelling away from home to study.
Student loans can differ depending on the country you’re from. In the UK, student loans are largely provided by the government. In America, multiple organisations provide student loans, and students may have to compare companies to find the best deal.
Student loans are usually designated to cover the years the student is studying. They are usually paid off in the long-term, taking a periodic portion of the student’s earnings after they graduate.
There are various ways to get funding for a business. Short-term or long-term business loans can be taken out at banks. This usually involves a meeting where business plans are presented to ensure it’s a smart investment.
Businesses can also use investors, who they pay back later on down the line when their business is up and running. Business owners can compare business loans to find out the best way to finance their business.
Entrepreneurs heading into the business world can also find Start Up Loans or grants to fund their operations.
Similar to loaning, financing allows you to make a purchase upfront and pay it back later. Financing is common in car purchases. It has also become common in various online stores, particularly for expensive purchases like computers or smartphones.
Financing usually involves paying back small monthly payments to cover the full cost of a purchase. Financing can sometimes involve interest, meaning you’ll pay more than you would have upfront. Financing can be useful for people who want to make a large purchase and pay it off in smaller instalments.
Borrowing From Friends or Family
You can, of course, always borrow money the old fashioned way. Borrowing money from a friend or family can be quick and easy. However, they are not obligated to give you anything and loaning from close ones can strain personal relations.
You may be free from interest, but paying them back is important. If you don’t pay back a personal loan legal action can be taken against you, even if it is a family member you borrowed from.
Many banks provide overdrafts on their debit and credit cards. This means when you don’t have money, you can instantly pay using your card and pay it back later.
Banks usually provide a limited interest-free overdraft. Some let you go past the limit if you’re willing to pay interest. Every bank is different so you should compare accounts before deciding which to go with.
Student accounts generally provide large overdrafts to help with the living costs of studying. Overdrafts are a good way of borrowing instantly and as long as you don’t surpass your limit, there shouldn’t be any drawbacks. Just be sure not to make a habit of going into your overdraft.
Personal loans come in various different types, including some of the ones listed above.
In addition to getting personal loans from independent or online lenders, they can also come from the bank. Prerequisites of personal loans can differ depending on how much you need and how long for. Some may require security while some may be easier to get.
There are many ways out there to borrow money, so if you need to take out a loan be sure to make the right decision. Be sure to loan responsibly- it is always best to manage your own personal finances and only borrow money when you absolutely need to.