Category: Articles

Paperwork
Articles

7 Ways to Get Funding for Your Business Idea

Running a business isn’t easy, and there are so many things to consider. Finances are particularly difficult to manage as there are lots of different aspects to it that make it hard to stay on top of. There are some simple ways you can make cuts like using free payment processing for small businesses, as this will help reduce your outgoings. However, what do you do if you don’t have the funds already and your business is still in its idea stage? So, if you’re looking to outsource finances for your business idea, keep reading and discover the 7 easiest methods.

Crowd funding

One of the newer methods of funding a business idea is crowdfunding. This is where you choose a crowdfunding platform online and propose your business idea with a financial goal. Members of the public can then donate money towards your business to help you reach your goal. It’s also a good idea to offer the kind donators something in return for their generosity. You could allow them first access to your products or even give them a small share in the business. Crowdfunding is a great way to raise funds for your business, but it isn’t a guarantee that you’ll meet your goal. This might mean you still need to outsource finance via other means as well. However, if you believe in your business idea, then members of the public are sure to as well.

Ask Friends And Family For Support

If you have a strong support system around you, then you may be able to ask your family and friends for funding. They may give it to you from the goodness of their own heart, or they may only loan it to you. A lot of new entrepreneurs don’t feel comfortable asking their family and friends, but you’ll probably be surprised by their response. They’ll only want the best for you and if they think you can really make a go of it, they might be able to offer you some decent funding. Family and friends are also a lot more likely to be honest with you about your idea as they will want you to succeed. You never know how much cash someone might have squirreled away with the intention of investing anyway!

Reach Out To Investors

If you truly don’t feel comfortable asking your close personal circle, then reaching out to investors can be a good port of call. If you don’t want to sell any stocks within your business idea, then you might want to consider angel investors. These are people who invest in businesses and provide them with funding, but they don’t ask for anything in return. This can work especially well if you’re a new entrepreneur as you won’t feel as pressured to grow at a constant rate and can enjoy the ride instead. Other investors may require a certain percent of your business, which then means they can also make decisions about how you run it as well. Although this might seem off-putting to some, a lot of these investors will have a great amount of knowledge behind them so having their support can be extremely beneficial.

Check Out Government Grants

You don’t always have to rely on angel investors if you don’t want to pay back the funding. Government grants are an excellent way to go as they can provide you with a lump sum of cash and you won’t need to pay back a single cent. It’s worth spending some time going over their criteria though, as some of them might be for certain age groups etc. You also need to be aware of any spending stipulations that the grants may have as well. For instance, you might not be able to spend it all at once or only be able to spend it on certain things. However, as you don’t have to pay back grants, they can be a fantastic option for those with new business ideas.

Take Out A Business Loan If you want something that you’re used to doing and is pretty simple, then a business loan might be best for you. It’s a good idea to go through a bank as they will be able to offer you competitive rates and secure lending. You’ll want to look for banks that provide good interest rates as well. You don’t want to end up paying back way more than you originally borrowed. Again, bank loans will have criteria you’ll need to meet to be approved, but they may be a lot easier to come by than a government grant. One of the most important things you’ll need when applying for a business loan is a sturdy business plan. This will demonstrate to the lender that you’re serious about your application and already know exactly how you’re going to use the money to make your business work. You also need to be mindful of your credit score, as one that’s too low can put you in a tricky situation. So, if you’re after a tried and tested method of funding, then a business loan could be just the thing for you.

Use Your Savings Funding your business idea yourself might seem scary. However, you’ll probably feel a lot more determined to make it work if it’s your own capital that’s gone into it. If you have some savings behind you, then putting them into your business isn’t a terrible idea. If you’re serious about your new business idea, then putting your own money into also shows others just how committed you are to it. That way if you do need to reach out for other methods of funding, you can show them that you’ve already done some hard work yourself. It’s not always easy to fund things yourself, but with a little saving and budgeting, it’s a lot more achievable than you think.

Seek A Venture Capitalist

A venture capitalist is always on the look out for the next big business idea, so if you truly believe you have that, then they could be a funding method for you. Also known as private equity investors, these people love to support start-up businesses and help get them off the ground. They do however ask for equity in return for their funding, making them decision makers in your business. However, venture capitalists normally invest in lots of businesses, so they will probably have a lot of knowledge that they can impart onto you.

Finding the right funding for your business doesn’t have to be so hard. There are lots of methods out there and they’re all quite different, meaning you’ll find something to suit your preference. You also don’t have to rely on bank loans either. As you can see, there are so many different funding options out there nowadays, and a lot of them you don’t even have to pay back. So, if you’re wanting to fund your business idea, be sure to check out the ones on the list. You’ll soon be on your way to success!

Paperwork
Articles

Tips on How to Enjoy Your Retirement to the Fullest

The retirement age in the UK used to be 65, but this is no longer the case. At present, you will not be forced to quit work when you reach the said age, so it’s up to you to decide. However, you can get a state pension between the age of 61 and 68, depending on your gender and the year you were born. The Future Pension Centre could give you a pension forecast that would tell you when you can get your state pension, how much, and what you can do to increase it. Even if you start receiving your
state pension, you can keep working for as long as you want.

If you plan to retire at a certain age, you must prepare yourself financially, mentally, and emotionally to ensure you enjoy this period of your life to the fullest. You will experience significant changes from your usual routine, so you should adapt and find things that will make you happy to live a comfortable life.

List your goals

Retiring doesn’t mean that you stop having goals in your life. Instead, list the things you want to do and work on achieving them. It will give you a sense of direction and purpose and keep you excited since you have something to look forward to.

Manage your finances

Even if you saved up for your retirement and are receiving a pension or benefit, you shouldn’t splurge
mindlessly, or you could end up having financial troubles. Instead, manage your budget so you can live comfortably with what you have. Consider getting the help of a local professional financial planner to manage your finances better.
If you are around the area, you can get financial planning advice in Bristol. You may even request a no-obligation consultation. It will help you determine if you are working with the right financial planner before you get the service.

Find a new hobby

It’s never too late to learn something new. Look for a new hobby that will interest you, like arts and crafts,
dancing, cooking, or baking. It will keep you occupied while having fun. If you had hobbies you couldn’t focus on before, this is the best time to pursue them. After all, you get all the time in the world.

Work on something you love

Retiring does not mean that you can never work again. Why not get a part-time job on something that you love to do? It’s not just to earn extra, but to enjoy too. For example, if you are passionate about teaching, you may find a teaching job.

Be social

Some retirees suffer from depression because of the sudden change in their lives. Connect with friends and loved ones to prevent this from happening. Meet new people by joining groups with similar interests and volunteering in community services or projects.

Enjoy your retirement to the fullest by doing what you love and managing your finances properly. Take care of your health, too, so you have the energy to work on your goals.

Elderly couple walking
Articles

4 Benefits Of Adding Commercial Lending Software To Your Arsenal

The world is witnessing massive changes in all the major industries where AI and machine learning are replacing mundane and repetitive workflow processes with automation. After initial inertia in changing to a new norm, now financial institutions are embracing digital banking solutions.

The primary benefit of adding commercial lending is increased working hours without increasing the workforce or related costs. Studies have suggested that out of an eight-hour workday a human being is productive approximately for three hours. And in a year they work for close to 240 days.

In comparison to a human being, digital solutions that are unmanned and robotic assistants can serve customers 24/7 and 365 days. Thus digital assistants or chatbot services can aid customers eight times more than a human employee. This feature alone is enough for any financial institution to adopt a commercial lending software that can integrate their databases and automate their loan origination process. On the other hand, round-the-clock service is just one of the benefits a lending business gets from transitioning to digital lending software.

To understand the relevance of digital transformation in the banking and lending business, check these benefits that are required to scale a business:-

Unified source of data

In legacy and CRM, banking data integration with different verticals for the same task is time-consuming and is constantly at risk of data theft. The compliance cost of maintaining the data integrity increases as the information is spread out. It is also difficult to understand the reports without contacting another employee to understand reports or insights on business metrics.

The digital lending solutions for consumer software have a single genesis of truth that is accessible to every authorized personnel. With neural networks and API integration, the applicability of data is enhanced in analytics. This in turn reduces the time and increases the accuracy of strategic decisions that are business-centric.

Accurate results

Loans are complex products concerning due diligence, lengthy calculations, and spreadsheets to arrive at the decisions that will boost growth. These calculations are also highly regulated and have to meet stringent risk metrics. The likelihood of human errors when making long calculations are high.

In the digital loan origination process, the calculations are done through algorithms that have been backtested. The calculations are free from errors, computed in a few minutes, and display the results on dashboards with easy infographics.

Efficient loan portfolio management

A loan cycle does not end till it is completely paid off. Each loan has to be reviewed regularly for red flags. They have to be checked for taking adequate measures to cover the additional risk that may arise during a loan. An automated loan portfolio reviews the loan constantly and sends automatic reminders to pay in time. Any change in cash flows of the borrower is reflected on a real-time basis through neural networking and API integration. Any flag will create an alert for the banker to check and address the issue immediately. Thus a banker plays an adjunct role of a consultant who can engage the borrower to focus on paying in time.

Boosts team’s productivity

A business agile approach is achieved through digital loan solutions that deter from repetitive tasks. Automation takes care of speed, flexibility, access to information, and seamless communication between different verticals and departments. Tasks, like checking and responding to emails and importing data from spreadsheets for compilation, are discontinued or minimized. They are replaced with real-time alerts that appear on the interface.

Conclusion:

With changing times and increased awareness in short periods through constant updates from parallel media, consumers are aware of the wonders and scope of AI and machine learning. The attention span and patience levels to perform a banking task by physically walking in is no longer a preferred mode. With rising consumer demands and the ability of automation tools at disposal, if banks don’t change to adapt to a digital route, then they will not only be left out of new business growth but may lose existing customer share to the pioneers of this change.

The multiple benefits like efficiency, time and cost-saving, improved customer experience and employee productivity have a sine qua non-effect on the growth and numbers of lending and other banking business. However, for a lending business to be operational, the deal breaker or maker is the ability to be risk-agile. Any process that can increase productivity but also stresses the bank’s assets are not the right proposition.

Articles

Most Successful Forex Traders in 2022

Forex traders around the world have achieved different levels of success. Keep reading to learn about the 5 most successful forex traders in 2022.

In forex trading, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of who the most successful traders are. However, by examining the traits and habits of some of the most successful traders in history, we can begin to understand what it takes to be a successful trader. In this article, we will take a look at five of the most successful forex traders in history and explore what made them so successful.

5 Traits of Successful Forex Traders

1. They Have a Plan

All successful traders have a well-defined trading plan that they stick to no matter what. This plan will outline their entry and exit criteria, risk management rules, and any other important parameters. Having a plan helps traders stay disciplined and prevents them from making impulsive decisions that can lead to losses.

2. They Take Responsibility for Their Actions

Advanced traders know that they are solely responsible for their results. They do not blame the market or outside factors for their losses. Instead, they take responsibility for their actions and learn from their mistakes. This allows them to move on quickly and focus on making profitable trades in the future.

3. They Manage Their Risk

All successful traders know how to manage risk. They never trade with more money than they are comfortable with and always use stop-loss orders to protect themselves. By managing their risk, they ensure that they can stay in the game even if they have a few losing trades.

4. They Stay Patient

Successful traders know that patience is key to success in the forex market. They are not looking for quick wins but instead focus on making long-term profits. This requires them to be patient and wait for the right opportunities to enter the market.

5. They Keep Learning

The most profitable traders never stop learning. They are always looking for ways to improve their trading strategies and increase their knowledge of the markets.

By continuing to learn, they are able to adapt to changing market conditions and find new ways to make profits.

5 Most Successful Traders in Forex

1. George Soros

He is a world-renowned currency trader and is known for his large positions while trading the British Pound in 1992, which earned him the title “The Man Who Broke the Bank of England.” He is also the founder of Soros Fund Management, LLC. He has an estimated net worth of $8 billion and his renowned trade shorting the British pound happened on a day known as ‘black Wednesday’. This event was characterized by the withdrawal of the pound sterling from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism. It earned George Soros over a billion dollars, making him one of the most successful forex traders even in 2022.

2. Bill Lipschutz

He is known as the ‘sultan of currency’ and is the current head of Hathersage Capital Management. Lipschutz began trading currencies while studying at Cornell University in the 1980s. He is said to have made $250 million for his firm in one year. In an interview, he once said that “The forex market is always moving. Most people lose because they try to pick tops and bottoms; I sell weakness and buy strength.” This quote just goes to show how important it is to focus on the trend rather than trying to pick reversals.

3. George Van der Riet

Currently works as a full-time trader and is also a popular public speaker on financial markets. He focuses mainly on technical analysis and has developed his own unique trading approach which he has successfully used to trade forex, stocks, and commodities. He is a South African hedge fund manager and currency trader. He is currently the head trader and director of the Global Forex Institute.

4. Andrew Krieger

He is a former currency trader at Bankers Trust. In 1987, he made large bets against the New Zealand dollar, which earned him the nickname “The Kiwi Killer”. He has an aggressive trading style and his strategic trades involving the New Zealand dollar make him well known to date. After identifying that the NZD was overvalued, he opened short positions in 1987 which earned him millions of dollars.

5. Paul Tudor

This American hedge fund manager and currency trader founded Tudor Investment Corporation in 1980. He is also a philanthropist and supports many causes through his foundation. Just like Andrew Krieger, Paul was able to effectively predict and take advantage of the market crash in 1987. This trade earned him up to a million dollars.

These five traders are some of the most successful in Forex history. They have all made fortunes by correctly predicting market trends and taking advantage of them. While their trading styles may vary, they all share one common trait: they are patient and never stop learning. By following their example, you can improve your chances of success in Forex trading.

 

Cash
Articles

4 Important Occasions to Protect Your Present and Future Wealth by Consulting a Lawyer

If you have any amount of money, you will want to keep it safe. One of the best ways to do that is to consult a lawyer on certain occasions. Lawsuits are not going to be cheap, and if you don’t know how to keep yourself and your money safe, then you will lose some of it very very quickly.

Here are some of the best times to protect your wealth by consulting a lawyer, and both your present and future will thank you for it!

A Complex Or Nasty Divorce

Divorces are never fun for anyone involved, and even the most amicable divorces need some type of attorney to manage the movement of assets around. However, if you have a nasty divorce where your ex-spouse is suing you for everything you have and then some, you have the right to get a lawyer to protect your assets.

Make sure to hire a good lawyer in order to make sure that you can keep control of your assets. Some of your assets can make you good money now and good money in the future, so you should talk to a lawyer in order to keep them safe.

Lawsuits

Getting sued or having a lawsuit brought against you is never fun, and it is almost never cheap. You should have a lawyer to deal with your case, because chances are the other side has one who is gunning for you.

Even if your lawsuit never sees the light of a courtroom and is settled out of court, you still need to have a good lawyer who will fight for you. This will keep any wealth or property that you could lose from a loss in the courtroom all on your side, as well.

Alcohol and Drug Charges

If you get busted driving under the influence or have drug charges brought against you, you will not regret coughing up the money for a lawyer.

While you might decide that a public defender is a good idea, they are often dealing with dozens of cases and will recommend a plea bargain. However, a lawyer is going to have the time to take on your case personally and reduce your charges and the amount you pay out.

Always Get a Free Consultation After a Personal Injury to Protect Earnings and Cover Injury Costs

If you want to know what you can expect at free consultations, expect a lot of questions to be asked and answered. No matter how you ended up getting the personal injury, you need to seek out a personal injury lawyer and take on a free consultation to share the facts of the case and seek their opinion.

They will let you know if they can help you, and how they can help you get the money that you deserve. A free consultation is a great way to protect your currency wealth because the consultation is free, and it also protects your future wealth because most personal injury attorneys only get paid if you win… and even then, their payment comes out of your settlement winnings.

If you want to keep your wealth safe and you are in danger of losing it, then you need to reach out to a lawyer. They are going to ensure that you get the money you deserve and don’t lose any of your wealth or property due to a lawsuit against you. Then you can sit back and enjoy your protected wealth after the trial is over, and get back to your life.

Articles

Four Ways to Help Boost Your Finances

Four ways to help boost your finances

People the world over are living through difficult times right now.

Fuel, food, energy – the cost of living crisis has had huge impacts at home and overseas, pushing families closer to the breadline and forcing many to come up with novel ways to make their money stretch further than before.

If you’re looking for ways to protect your finances over the coming months, here are a few ideas that might help you keep costs down and protect against future developments.

Start an emergency fund

Many indications suggest that things could even get more difficult before they start to get better, with energy prices in the UK set to rise again after April 2022’s hike.

If you have any spare cash month to month, now is the time to think about putting some aside and building a pot of reserves that you can draw from at a later date.

Life often gets in the way and unforeseen expenses can have dramatic effects right now, so make sure you’re as covered as you can be for the future.

Have additional sources of income

If you have the time and the talents, you might be able to boost your bank balance by adding a side hustle to your normal job.

Perhaps your field of work is set up for freelancing, or you have secondary skills that you can help others with.

If you’re particularly handy and own a few basic tools like drill bit sets, screwdrivers and more you may be able to offer DIY services to those less confident.

Make money-saving swaps

The first step here is to look at each and every one of your outgoings every month and see what can be cut altogether or swapped for a cheaper option.

Whether it’s swapping out premium groceries, cutting down on subscriptions or trading a gym membership for home workouts, these incremental changes can soon add up and help out.

This regular budgeting will also give you an idea of when things start to get better, by which time you can prioritise which things you might want to bring back into your life.

Pay off any debt asap

Utilising credit cards and overdrafts can help ease the strain at times like these, but it’s important not to go too far and put yourself into trouble.

These products should only be used in emergencies, not to pay for luxuries that you could not afford otherwise.

If you do use credit to make things go further, be sure to pay it off as soon as possible – in full if you can. This stops interest payments from adding an extra burden to your budget.

How are you beating the pinch in the current climate? Share your money-saving and money-making tips in the comment section.

Retained Earnings
Articles

The Pros And Cons Of Retained Earnings

Retained earnings or profits are the portions of a business revenue after the shareholder dividends are considered. Companies must plan how to use retained earnings to help their growth. But retained profits also have their benefits and disadvantages.

Below are the pros and cons that can help the business owners and shareholders make better-informed decisions about keeping the profit of their labour or not. Read on.

The Pros Of Retained Profits

1.Stock Value Increases

Companies use a formula to calculate how much earnings they get to keep after the dividends are distributed. When the business keeps a portion of its earnings, it makes the balance sheet look good and can affect the stock’s corresponding value and the stockholder equity. In addition, bigger profits are attractive to investors as it shows the business’s stability. It can influence further investments in the company by those who also wish for more dividends. Hence, the company can raise its share price because an attractive balance sheet enhances stockholder equity, allowing the opportunity for a growth cycle in the business.

2. Financial Safety Net

Any business needs to be financially stable to keep running, and when profits are retained, it adds up to a pool of its financing that maintains daily operations. Retained earnings can be used to buy stocks, pay employee wages, and pay off loans or overdrafts made previously by the company. These earnings serve as emergency funding in case of a downturn or the economy affects the business. Moreover, a company that has emergency funds can avoid taking out more loans and the cycle of debt.

3. For Diversification And Expansion

The company is free to use the money for business expansion. When your business is ready for scaling, there’s no reason to take out another loan. The retained profits can help hire more workers, buy new equipment, or initiate research and development. Additionally, the business owner and the shareholders can choose to accumulate the earnings to gather funding for future investments instead of taking their share of more significant dividends. It means that if they are currently focused on growth, they will settle on taking low dividends instead.

 

The Cons Of Retained Profits

1.Return Of Investment (ROI) Is Not Guaranteed

While retained profits seem like an open source of funding for making investments and for scaling your business, the reality is that it’s not always a safe option for shareholders. While it is a low-cost financing alternative and could serve as an emergency source of cash for the company, it isn’t entirely free.

There is a cost of opportunity for shareholders who settle for lower dividends instead of claiming a higher percentage of the profits. In addition, the ROI will be the basis of whether the shareholders will keep investing in a company or if they take their money somewhere else.

2. Unimpressed Stock Buyers

Investors wouldn’t want to buy stocks from a company that retains its dividends. They will need to see if the company has a steady stream of dividends, primarily if the company is known to be a profitable business. Additionally, not all shareholders are willing to withhold a claim over the profits that are rightfully theirs. Suppose the investors do not see any gains in their investments. In that case, they will likely look for other companies that generously award dividends—ones that don’t keep the profits to themselves and distribute them to all shareholders instead.

Man in meeting

3. Possible Tax Evasion

One risky reason why companies should avoid retained earnings is that it can lead to tax evasion. Some might attempt to ease the tax burden by keeping profits. Some shareholders who don’t have an immediate need for dividends might vote against its distribution to avoid providing income tax. Once the company stock value increases through profit retention, the shareholders could decide to sell the business at a higher price or withdraw dividend distribution in the future. Moreover, a company that attempts to retain its earnings and gets caught will have to pay penalties later.

In Conclusion

Retained earnings are in the hands of the shareholders. They should decide whether they’ll take the maximum of their dividends or leave it for the business. While this has its benefits—such as serving as funding for scaling and emergency uses—retaining it has its downsides—like the ROI is not always guaranteed and it could invite tax evasion. That said, the shareholders weigh the pros and cons before they vote and rely on factors to make informed decisions.

Articles

3 Strategies for Doctors to Pay Off Medical School Debt

3 Strategies for Doctors to Pay Off Medical School Debt

According to a study by the Association of American Medical Colleges, the average medical student graduates with more than $190,000 in debt. While there are several ways to pay off medical school loans, the best strategy for you will depend on your career, salary, and financial situation.

Medical school can be expensive. The average cost of medical school tuition, fees, and living expenses for a single year is now over $60,000. For many students, that means taking out loans to cover the cost. And while there are various strategies you can use to make paying off those loans a bit easier, here are three of the most important ones:

Make a budget and stick to it

One of the best ways to manage your finances is by creating and adhering to a budget. When you know exactly how much money you have coming in and going out each month, it’s easier to adjust your spending as needed to continue making progress on paying off your loans.

If you are in a high-paying specialty such as surgery or oncology, you may be able to pay your loans off quickly. However, suppose you are in a lower-paying field such as family medicine or pediatrics. In that case, you may consider a longer-term repayment plan that allows you to save for retirement and other expenses.

Whatever repayment plan you choose, be sure to stay on top of your loan payments to avoid costly penalties and interest charges. If you have extra money, use it to make extra payments, or if possible, invest that money so that you can earn interest.

Make payments during residency

You are still responsible for making payments on your medical school loans during residency. Even though you may be struggling to make ends meet, it’s important to continue making payments on your loans. Failing to make payments can result in penalties and interest charges.

If you can’t afford to make your regular monthly payments, contact your lender or a great personal finance company like LeverageRX to see if you can arrange a payment plan that fits your budget. You may also be able to defer your loan payments until you finish residency. However, interest will continue to accrue on your loans during this time, so it’s important to try to pay as much as you can each month.

Make extra payments when possible

There are several ways to reduce the money you have to pay back on your medical school loans. One of the best ways is to make lump-sum payments whenever you have extra cash available.

Many think the only way to repay loans is making monthly payments. But if you have the extra money in your account, that may be an option. The more money you can put toward your loans, the better!

Conclusion

Medical school can be costly, and for many graduates, the debt incurred can be difficult to manage. While there are many ways to pay off this debt, including loan consolidation and income-based repayment plans, for some graduates, the only way is to take on additional jobs.

For residents who are already struggling to make ends meet, taking on additional work can be a daunting task. In addition to long hours and little sleep, residents often have to contend with call schedules that keep them tied up most of the night.

Adding another job on top of this can be overwhelming and lead to burnout. However, some benefits to paying off medical school debt quickly with the help of the best financial advisors will go a long way.

Articles

3 Simple Ways to Improve Financial Wellbeing

Wellbeing is something a lot of us are taking more seriously these days. In the age of self-care, everyone is paying more attention to how they feel in themselves, and how they look after their future. Part of investing in good wellbeing, is making sure you’re healthy from a financial perspective too. The unfortunate truth is most of don’t have the level of financial wellbeing we’d like. We spend a lot of time worrying about not having enough money to pay for essential bills and expenses, but not nearly as much time coming up with solutions to our cash flow issues. The good news is there are some simple ways you can improve your financial wellbeing with minimal effort. Here are some simple ways to get started.

Update Your Debt Strategy

Debt can have a significant impact on financial wellbeing. It’s easy to find yourself getting overwhelmed by a buildup of loans and interest rates after a while. Even if you’re relatively careful with your money, we all need to borrow from time to time to handle the hefty expenses associated with things like buying a house or getting an education. The key to success isn’t avoiding debt entirely, it’s learning how to use it correctly. Taking out student loans so you can go to college and improve your earning capabilities in the future is a great way to actively improve your financial health over time. If you take the time to carefully research the right loan options, you can also ensure you don’t have to worry as much about interest rates and fees at a later date.

Create a Savings Plan

Most of us have long-term and short-term goals for our finances. In an ideal world, we’d be able to buy anything we needed as and when we wanted it. However, the reality is that big purchases can take a long time to make. Having a strong savings plan in place will ensure you can gradually work towards your long-term goals. Making better lifestyle choices can save you money as well. Aside from having a plan for your long-term savings, it’s also important to ensure you have an emergency savings plan in place. This emergency fund will be what you turn to when unexpected expenses crop up in your life. Having a little extra backup in place will stop you from dipping into the money you’re trying to reserve for other major purchase down the line.

Experiment With Budgeting Strategies

Finally, budgeting is one of the best tools you can use when you’re trying to improve financial wellbeing. However, many struggle with setting up a budget, because they find doing so to be restrictive or difficult. The good news is there doesn’t have to be a one-size-fits-all approach to budgeting. You can simply experiment with different plans until you find something that works for you. You might even find it helpful to use modern tools to help you. Budgeting and financial apps are excellent for guiding you through the process of sorting your money into different segments based on what you want to accomplish. You can even find tools which can give you advice based on your specific spending habits.

Desktop
Articles

8 Mistakes To Avoid When Raising Non-Dilutive Funding For Your Start up

Desktop

Non-dilutive funding refers to any kind of funding that doesn’t require you to give away any form of business equity to your investors. This means you receive monetary funding without giving out even a single share of your company. Examples of non-dilutive funding include loans, grants, tax credits, vouchers, subsidies, and the like.

It’s said that non dilutive funding is the most popular option for start-up founders because it offers monetary support all the while allowing for the non-surrender of business ownership to creditors.

Non-dilutive funding can help to accelerate your business growth to the point where you’re comfortable raising funds from venture capitalists interested in getting a piece of your company.

Despite being a popular financing option, non-dilutive funds such as banking institution loans are usually challenging to obtain and grants are available for those that can meet specific requirements only. Further, non-dilutive funds can become a costly financing option for your business if not used right.

To avoid situations where borrowed funds become costly and an unbearable liability to your business, below are some of the common mistakes made by entrepreneurs when raising non-dilutive funding. Read through them one by one to avoid committing them when you decide to pursue non-dilutive funding for your budding business.

1.Not Being Prepared Enough

Raising any form of funding, disruptive or non-disruptive, requires you to be adequately prepared with information about your market, your own business, and the viability of your products. You must provide your prospective lenders with a good understanding of the industry you’ll be playing in. To do so, you’ll need to spend ample time in advance analysing different resources.

You’ll also need to prepare visual presentations that’ll aid in making your case. You might need to hire someone to do this for you because potential lenders will use this information to determine how far your company is likely to go with the funds they’ll let you borrow.

In addition, you should also take the time to understand your lender’s requirements for non-disruptive financing. This could be in the form of security requirements or even the kinds of businesses they don’t finance. It’d be a waste of your time to approach an institution where your firm stands no chance of obtaining financial support.

2.Not Seeking Expert Opinion

Sadly, many entrepreneurs tend to overestimate their abilities which often leads them into trouble. Applying for any funding needs the input of experienced professionals like attorneys and accountants.

Experienced attorneys help you to identify and understand different clauses in the contract documents that can lead you to losses. An example is redemption clauses.

Meanwhile, financial experts like an accountant look at your books and projections to provide you with a realistic amount to apply for as funding. This avoids a situation where you apply for either less or more than your business needs.

3.Not Considering Different Options

While there are regulations for players in the financial sector, they’re still allowed some leeway to operate. For instance, although the interest that lenders charge on their various financing options is capped, they all don’t extend a similar interest rate. It’s good for you to scout the market to identify what different financial institutions offer. This can help you to avoid the common mistake of receiving high-interest non-dilutive funding, whereas there was an option of lower interest charges.

4.Over-Valuing Your Business

It’s common for entrepreneurs to over-value their businesses, especially when seeking funds or partnerships. Unfortunately, this often sets you up for failure.

When you over-value your business, you raise your lender’s expectations, which can work against you when applying for additional funds in the future. Since you’ll always need to prove some growth to your lender when applying for future funds, this could end up hurting your relationship with your lender when they realize you were dishonest. You could end up missing necessary additional funding to scale up your business if you resort to this course of action.

5.Over-Forecasting Your Financial Returns

When in desperate need of finances, it’s easy to overrate your business growth rate. This could result in you overestimating the money you’ll make to impress your potential financiers. The downside is that your lenders might be convinced that you can repay your non-dilutive funding over a shorter period than is realistically possible. And even if you could make high revenues, it’s always advisable to err on caution.

For instance, unforeseen changes in your business environment could make it impossible for you to earn the forecasted revenues causing you to default on repayments, potentially leading to poor relations between you and your lenders.

6.Applying For Funding Too Early Or Too Late

Timing is critical when applying for funds because the processes can be long and winding. Doing it too early or too late can be disastrous. Poor timing can cost your business a great opportunity that would have elevated it to the next level.

According to a couple of entrepreneurs, it’s advisable to give yourself an average duration of six months to raise business funds. For instance, when you apply for funds too early, you expose your business to a lot of analysis that could cause your application to be rejected.

On the other hand, applying too late could see you miss a scheduled trade exhibition where you’d have demonstrated your products to prospective clients.

7.Trying To Raise Money To Fix The Entire Business

The common saying that ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ comes into mind. It’s advisable to stick to your business strategy and plan even when raising funds for growth. Your business plan helps you to remain focused as it shows the most urgent business areas that need funding.

Whenever you’re applying for funds, deviating from the business plan can cause you to raise money that may not benefit the enterprise. This is especially critical in the in-between incidences where a lender proposes to give more than is asked. Entrepreneurs have been known to overspend when they get more money than they need. For example, this has resulted in business people incurring unnecessary expenses on office/warehouse space, salaries and wages, or new products that weren’t needed by the market.

8.Pitching About Your Product Instead Of The Business

It’s normal to keep talking about some unique products your company is introducing and how they’ll solve many customer problems. When you use such details to pitch for non-dilutive funding, this becomes a problem. In as much as lenders aren’t after partnering with you in your business, they still want to understand your business model and how that’ll help you to make money.

Further, you must make your business presentation in a simple method that’s easy to understand. Your lender is keen to know how they’ll recover their money, so you must explain how your business as a whole (not specific products) will generate and rake in revenues.

Conclusion

Although non-dilutive funding is always a good option for start-ups, some options like bank loans are difficult to get. Plus, even where they’re readily available, young companies without the necessary collateral to secure their loans are always left out. Nonetheless, newer private lending and fintech companies have come onto the scene to address some of these challenges. You can reach out to any of them for non-disruptive funding for your company.

Paperwork

Articles

Key Investment Tips You Need to Follow

There’s a lack of willingness to invest among the general population in the UK, with only 12% of Brits known to have invested in the stock market as recently as 2018.

This is despite the fact that investing in stocks and shares can deliver higher returns than cash in 90% of cases, which means that we either lack the knowledge to invest or the means to do so on a regular basis.

The failure to invest is probably caused by a combination of these factors, but what steps can be taken to overcome this impasse? Let’s find out!

#1. What Are Your Financial Goals?

In order to invest successfully, one of the most important strategic components is to have a clear and concise financial goal in mind.

Make no mistake; the better your understanding of your financial goals, the easier it is to organise your finances effectively and achieve such objectives within a desired timeframe.

But how do you achieve such clarity? Well, we’d recommend conducting a detailed audit of your current finances and precisely how much you can invest within a given timeframe. This helps you to manage risk while pursuing viable returns, while also ensuring that you don’t overcommit yourself or take on too much leverage.

To help in this respect, you may need to liaise with investment management experts. This way, you can fill
any gaps in knowledge that you may have and leverage financial market expertise to your advantage.

#2. Start Investing Early

As most investment vehicles tend to deliver returns over time as yields are compounded and diversified, it makes sense that you should start investing as soon as possible.

Even on a fundamental level, the earlier you start investing, the more significant profits you can achieve over time. This also enables you to manage risk and pursue incremental gains while minimising the risk of loss.

Of course, what may change is the nature of your portfolio and how it is structured over time.

For example, you may invest in higher risk assets such as stocks and forex early on, in order to leverage higher yields and returns. Then, you can gradually look to consolidate such gains, by incorporating more stable assets into your portfolio like dividend stocks and bonds.

#3. Diversify Your Interests

As the latter point highlights, you can structure your returns and minimise your exposure to risk through the gradual process of diversification.

This can apply to many elements of your portfolio too, from diversifying individual assets within a particular niche to reaching out to new asset classes as your income and level of experience grows.

This also encourages regular investment and higher levels of engagement, as you frequently look to rebalance your portfolio to reflect your outlook and the wider market conditions.

Try to avoid over diversifying your portfolio too. This can dilute your returns considerably over time, although your chosen wealth manager can help in this respect.


Articles

Unique ways to reward your clients

Rewarding your clients is a great way for your business to improve customer retention and brand loyalty, as well as help to contribute to the overall reputation of the business. Rewarding your clients doesn’t have to break the bank – in fact, there are plenty of affordable ways in which you can do this if you are on a budget. However, it can be good to treat clients with a bit of luxury – especially ones who are worth a lot to your business, or if you have a long relationship with them.

 Arrange private transport

If a client is having to travel to come to visit for a meeting, why not arrange some private transportation for them? This could include anything from a private chartered jet to a business class train or private taxi.  There are many benefits from taking a private jet, not only does it treat the clients with a bit of luxury, but the jet can land at airports that are closer to your meeting location compared to commercial
planes – saving time and providing a smoother, more enjoyable journey for your client.

Invite to a special event

Similar to granting clients early access to a new product, inviting customers to a special event can be an excellent method to improve brand loyalty and encourage word-of-mouth promotion of your company. This could include a fundraising event or even an awards celebration at a nearby venue. A special event is a great way to increase awareness of your brand on social media, as many customers and employees may share pictures from the event.

Reward with loyalty programs

Implementing a loyalty scheme is a great way to get customers coming back. Research has found that existing customers averagely spend 67% more than new customers, so making sure that your clients are coming back is essential for the sustainability and long-term success of your business.

Bespoke business and exclusive offers

Making your customers feel appreciated, will help them feel as though you value their business. This could include exclusive seasonal discounts or money off if they spend over a certain amount. Another
great way to provide customers with exclusive offers is to provide discounts on items or services that they regularly invest in from you – this can be personalized with various programs that can aid your business to predict consumer buying habits. Try to make use of these, and see how much your profits
increase!

Retirement plan
Articles

3 Great Tips for Building Retirement Savings

Retirement plan

You don’t want to hit retirement age with no savings. Doing that will leave you dependent on your family and government-issued benefits, or worse — it will push you to keep working for much longer than you’d like. You want a comfortable nest egg that you can rely on through all of your golden years. 

These three tips will help you build up your nest egg.

 

1. Make an Emergency Fund

What do emergency funds and retirement funds have to do with one another? Without an emergency fund, it can be tempting to turn to your large pool of retirement savings to remedy an urgent, unplanned expense. But this comes with consequences. 

Withdrawals before you’re 59 ½ typically come with early distribution penalties that will reduce your amount of funds. Your withdrawals will also be counted as taxable income. You will end up with much less than you originally removed to cover the emergency expense, and your nest egg will be a little smaller for your retirement.

You can avoid this tricky situation by making yourself an emergency fund. If you suddenly face an emergency expense, you can dip into your emergency fund to access the necessary savings to cover it. You don’t have to worry about early withdrawal penalties, and you certainly don’t have to worry about how the decision will affect your retirement. That nest egg can remain untouched.

What if you don’t have enough savings? You should still try your best not to touch your retirement fund. If you need to cover an urgent, unplanned expense, try to cover it using your credit card or a personal online loan. 

When searching for an online loan, make sure it’s available in your state of residence. So, if you happen to live in Little Rock, you should look for Arkansas online loans to manage an emergency expense. This simple trick will help you find loans that are available in Arkansas.

 

2. Match 401(k) Contributions

Do you have a 401(k) through your workplace? Then, you should take advantage of 401(k) matching. This is when employers agree to match a portion of your contributions, meaning you can automatically boost your savings. 

Employers will have limits on how much of your contribution they are willing to match — this is sometimes based on your experience at the company. Employees that have been with the company for a shorter amount of time will typically have lower matching contribution rates. Over time, their rates will rise until they become fully vested.

 

3. Open an IRA

You can have a 401(k) and an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) at the same time. An IRA is a tax-advantaged retirement account that you can store additional savings into once you’ve maxed out 401(k) contributions. An IRA has a much smaller contribution limit than your 401(k), so it’s perfect for this secondary savings role. 

One of the biggest benefits of an IRA is that you get to choose from a diverse array of investment options to help your savings grow. You can invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc. With a 401(k) plan, your investment options will be fairly limited and chosen by your employer.

If your employer doesn’t offer a 401(k), you should definitely open up an IRA as your main retirement account. For a secondary retirement savings account, you can store funds in a high-yield savings account. This is an excellent alternative because your balance will grow with compounding interest and contributions over time.

Start building up your retirement savings now. You’ll be grateful you started saving early when you’re older. 

Articles

3 Do’s And Don’ts Of Financial Planning For Your Business

Most businesses are established primarily to make money. Businesses won’t last if they don’t make a profit. There could be an exception to the rule for non-profit organisations. But every firm needs to generate some income to survive and cover its operating costs.

Therefore, managing finances is crucial to the success of any organisation. A company will likely overlook crucial financial information if it doesn’t effectively account for and manage its income and expenses. For this reason, creating a financial plan for your company is crucial. However, you may need the help of a financial advisor to come up with a sound plan.

The financial plan will direct how you intend to budget, spend, and invest your money and manage assets to achieve a specific goal. That said, below are some of the dos and don’ts when making your financial plan. 

Do’s Of Financial Planning

  1. Set Clear Goals

How does a business measure financial success? Usually, it’s determined by the extent to which it achieves its financial goals. When creating a financial plan, you must first define your short and long-term financial goals. Setting goals gives you something to aim for, and these goals will serve as the foundation for the strategies you devise in your financial plan.

When setting goals, make sure that your objectives are both attainable and realistic. Nothing is wrong with pushing yourself to your limits. However, you don’t want to stretch your finances beyond certain limits.  

  1. Watch Your Credit

When developing a financial plan, keep your credit score in mind. Your credit score can be both a blessing and a curse. You may be able to save money on your car insurance if you have good credit. However, bad credit will inevitably result in higher interest rates. To maintain a good credit score, pay your bills on time.

  1. Create An Emergency Fund

Even if you have an effective financial plan, the truth is that you can’t always plan for everything. Emergencies happen unexpectedly, and sometimes you have no choice but to slide deep into your savings to cover emergency situations. However, having an emergency fund set up can help you to prepare for these unforeseen events.

Don’ts Of Financial Planning

  1. Don’t Delay

It’s best not to delay establishing a financial plan because you risk missing out on opportunities to save money and maximise profits in your business. 

Without a plan, you have no foundation for spending, saving, or budgeting your money. As a result, anything goes. Furthermore, without financial accountability, there’s a good chance that your business won’t last long without experiencing financial difficulties. As a result, you must plan your spending as soon as possible. So, get a financial plan in place sooner rather than later. 

  1. Don’t Forget To Review

A financial plan isn’t just for show. You must review it regularly. You can’t simply write a plan and then forget about it. It’s in your best interest to diligently follow up on it and make any necessary changes or adjustments to achieve specific goals. 

Upon review, if your company is doing well, for example, you may be able to raise your goals or targets as a result. It means you’ll be able to set higher savings goals and spend more on certain things. This necessitates a change in your financial strategy that’s why reviewing is always necessary.

  1. Don’t Forget To Ask For Help

As a business owner, you may find yourself doing everything independently. While you may be very knowledgeable about financial management and how the finances of your business work, keep in mind that you may not know everything. So, it’s best to seek advice or assistance from a professional who can provide an unbiased assessment of how you can manage your company’s finances.

Hiring professional financial planners or advisors may save you money in the long run. Look for someone with years of experience and collaborate to create a solid financial plan.

Conclusion

Every business should have a financial plan. Finances are critical to any business and must be managed appropriately for it to succeed. Every business will likely take a different approach to developing a financial plan. However, it’s best to consult a professional financial planner to ensure a solid plan is in place. Remember that when it comes to money, accuracy matters. As a result, you may require the assistance of an expert to help you make the best decisions.

Articles

5 Tips for Starting an Online Business and Growing Your Wealth

Image source: https://pixabay.com/vectors/online-store-online-shop-store-1674907/

When starting a business in the traditional sense, you have to think about the source of capital, physical location, and more, all of which can require a lot of money. But with the internet, not so much.

You can start a business with almost nothing and grow it to any possible height. However, it is essential to understand that every other person is looking for the same opportunities presented by the internet, so standing out can be a problem.

But worry not, as this post highlights some practical tips on growing your online business.

Determine Your Niche

There are thousands of online businesses you can start. However, having too much on your plate as a start up can be overwhelming, so you will want to pick a niche that you feel will work best for you.

For example, an online cosmetics business can be a good fit if beauty is your thing. If you love jewellery, focus on jewellery first.

Niching up doesn\’t mean you can\’t sell anything else, you could, but it\’s best to allow one business time to stabilize before thinking of other things.

Also, you want your audience to identify you with something. Specialization helps build a reputation as a knowledgeable brand in your field, which can help boost your audience\’s confidence.

Conduct Market Research

Whether you want to run a brick and mortar store or an online business, conducting market research is a must because you want to be sure you will profit from your business.

You will want to consider what your target audience wants, how to reach them best, methods used by your competitors to reach them, prices, profit margins, and anything that can help you understand your target market.

Once you have this information, you can determine your business\’s viability or adjust your plans to fit the demands of your target market. 

Get a Website

If you are running a business online, you will need a website that will act as the internet version of the brick and mortar shop. Also, having a website helps build credibility.

For example, if you sell stuff on social media, having a website for your products can help build a legit reputation.

You do not have to go big on a website when starting. With a budget of around $500, you can get a basic small business website. If you are tech-savvy, you could build one for yourself and buy a domain name and hosting services.

With your website up and running, your business is now online. However, you may need to work on your website\’s SEO to get your business in front of as many eyes as possible.  

Take Advantage of Free and Cheap Online Tools

Like a brick and mortar business, you will need tools to perform some tasks. If you are in a cash crunch, free and cheap online tools can be a lifesaver.

For example, an online business will generate tons of documents you need to keep. With every transaction producing documentation, you may need a tool to help organize and merge your business\’s documents. 

For example, this tool by PDFSimpli can help you merge and compress a PDF file for easier organization and help stretch your storage capacity.

Integrate Social Media

Gaining a stream of clients for a start up can be slow and demoralizing, but a slow start is normal, but it should pick up with time. Social media is one of the best places to help boost your new business\’s growth in a shorter time.

According to statistics, seven in every ten Americans are on social media. You only need to identify the platforms where your target audience is and focus on them in your marketing campaigns. You can outsource social media marketing if you are not good with it.

Articles

Key Challenges Facing International Wealth Management Businesses – and How to Approach Them

Wealth management is a skill and one for which the high earners of the world will happily pay a premium. businesses that specialise in wealth management can help their clients grow their portfolio and guarantee returns – but changes to the industry are beginning to rock the boat.

Wealth management businesses can operate globally, thanks to dedicated experts within their field and close alliances and international consultancies regarding international policy. But there is an existential threat facing the sector, which has brought about two key challenges. Here are those challenges, and how a firm may seek to overcome them.

Tech-Led Competition

The principal driver behind modern challenges facing international wealth management is the recent explosion in consumer-facing fintech solutions. Retail trading platforms and alternative banking apps have enjoyed immense popularity in recent years, inspiring significant investment in the last year especially.

The growth in accessible investor platforms should be a boon for the wealth management industry, as more and more consumers engage with new forms of savings and investment – increasing the client pool and giving wealth management enterprises more chances to expand. However, emergent platforms are having the opposite effect on the market.

The accessibility of app-led fintech platforms enables individual users to retain more direct control of their finances than ever before. Users can buy and sell shares and currencies, transfer wealth and access investment pools in hitherto impossible ways, without the “middleman” of a wealth management broker to handle transactions on their behalf.

Undercutting of Fees

Not only do these alternative wealth management solutions offer unprecedented access to international markets, as well as fine control over the specifics of user portfolios, but they also present these options at a much cheaper cost to the user. Transaction fees and interest rates are highly competitive against the not-insignificant fees associated with retaining the professional services of an adviser or broker.

Of course, the overall ‘cost’ to users of platforms such as these is much higher. a lack of in-depth knowledge of international markets, and a tendency for users to ‘gamble’ as opposed to invest, lead the majority of retail investors to lose money as opposed to grow their wealth. But this truth is poorly communicated, as devolved control over wealth management is advertised as a positive as opposed to a negative.

How to Combat a Changing Market

Luckily, the retail investor demographic has a relatively narrow crossover into the client demographic sought by wealth managers. The real dangers come from the tech-led utility of certain platforms and institutions, that may pry shrewd high-value customers away from wealth management services and towards self-directed platforms and strategies.

The major USP of wealth management firms currently is that of the personal touch; apps and platforms can only learn so much about a user and their motivations, and they are motivated to extract money as opposed to grow portfolios. As such, a wealth management firm can reposition itself as a business uniquely placed to put customers first; to be there on the phone, and to talk through options directly.

Pension Recession
Articles

Preparing Your Pensions in the Event of a UK Recession

Pension Recession

Pensions specialists Penfold has unfolded what the impact of a possible recession will have on pensions including tips on how to prepare pensions in the event of another recession.

In the past, recessions have arisen when people become concerned about the economy and stop spending. Many of these same signs can be seen in the UK in 2022.

Currently, the inflation rate stands at a 40-year high of 9.4%, with reports stating that the rate could increase up to 12% in October, according to the latest data by ONS. 

Rising energy costs and the cost of living crisis have already led to many Britons tightening the purse strings and with further rises to energy bills coming in the Winter, many are predicting a recession is on the way. 

 

How does a recession affect your pensions?

What happens to pensions in a recession is broadly in line with what’s happening with financial markets as a whole. 

Everything you pay into your pension is invested into something called a pension fund.

A pension fund is a big collection of pension savings that invests in a wide variety of financial assets, such as:

  • Stocks and shares
  • Government bonds
  • Commodities like precious metals
  • Overseas investments
  • Property

Generally speaking, your money will be diversified – spread across a broad range of these investments.

When the economy is struggling, the value of these investments tends to dip as well – potentially impacting the value of your savings.

If you still have a few years before retiring (i.e. more than 5), you shouldn’t panic. Your savings will have plenty of time to recover. 

In fact, if you can, continuing to pay into your pension when market prices are lower means you may benefit when the market eventually bounces back.

 

Top tips to prepare your pensions in advance

For those very close to retirement, you may have to act a little sooner. Consider doing the following:

  • Moving to a pension fund comprising of less volatile investments like government bonds 
  • Drawing income from other sources for the short-term
  • Pushing back when you start accessing your pension

However, before making any moves, you should always speak to a financial advisor before making a firm decision.

One thing we can’t predict right now is how long or severe any potential recession might be. 

For example, the UK also dipped into a recession during the onset of the Covid pandemic, although it recovered in a couple of months.

If you’re worried about the future of the economy and its impact on you you can act now. 

You can consider:

  • Make a budget and reassess any short-term goals
  • Clearing any high-interest debt
  • Preparing an emergency fund

The best way to beat inflation is to put your money somewhere where it can grow.

By investing your money in a diversified, long-term pension fund, the return on investment that comes from your pension could outstrip inflation, helping preserve the value of your hard-earned money and leaving you with more than you began with.

Of course, investing can be a little scary. Saving into a pension involves risk, and the value of your pot can go down as well as up, more so in the short term. But that doesn’t mean people should be put off investing their money.

Truth is that leaving your money in a current account or under your mattress isn’t as safe as it might first seem. In fact, you’re actually losing money as inflation eats away at your savings. 

Investment Markets
Articles

What’s Hot in NFT Market? 5 Trends from Top 2022 NFT Events

Investment Markets

Despite crypto being on a downturn, builders are optimistic about the future, with each NFT meetup gathering more and more creators looking to network, discuss ideas, and talk over novel use cases.

Following the crypto market downturn, skeptics keep painting a gloomy picture of the future. However, Indrė Viltrakytė, leading the WEB3 fashion venture ‘The Rebels’, has shared that market volatility has not dampened the optimism of the builder community. Having participated in the hottest NFT events of 2022, she has shared firsthand insights reflecting the prevailing mood of excitement and the main trends that resonated across different meetups.

 

Events – a backdrop for networking

While most of the NFT conferences’ agendas have an impressive line-up of visionary topics, often they play only a secondary role. The main selling point remains the opportunity to network and blend into the community.

“Since the market is nascent, there are still a lot more questions than there are answers. Therefore, everyone is eager to bounce off ideas of one another, which helps bring clarity and focus to their work,” Viltrakytė commented.

 

Keeping the party going

Despite some painting a ‘doom and gloom’ future for all-things-crypto, Viltrakytė says the NFT creator community remains optimistic about the industry’s future, and it clearly shows in the attitude with which they approach discussions or present ideas.

“Builders that continue traveling to different events to network, learn, exchange ideas as well as present their own are in high spirits and not at all shaken up about the current state of crypto. Everyone is bullish, despite short-term market uncertainty, and being certain that the ‘dark clouds will pass’ keeps the creativity flowing.”

 

Rising number of women builders

In 2021, women accounted for only 16% of the NFT art market. However, the scale is slowly leveling out — Viltrakytė noted a noticeable increase of women attendees in NFT events, keen to present their ideas. In some events, women even outnumbered men, showing their growing interest in WEB3 art and its use cases.

“Not that long ago, the industry had a strong label of being a ‘boys only’ club. Now, albeit slowly, but the predominance of a single gender is clearly diminishing, which is incredibly exciting for a few reasons. First, women are proactively killing the stereotype that they aren’t tech-savvy, and secondly, the more diverse ideas are floating around in the market, the more innovative products are likely to be launched because of it,” she commented.

 

Less chit-chat – more discussion

While most of the NFT events strive to strike a work-play balance, Viltrakytė said flashing lights and glitter paled before workshops and discussions. She noted a few experiences that stood out, one of which was an entire week of mini panels held at the ‘We are Web3’ conference, where women could gather and learn.

“I think this will strongly impact how these events are held next year; less music – more spaces to discuss ideas and network with those who can help bring them to life.”

 

Digital fashion on the world stage

Currently, the topic of WEB3 fashion and digital wearables stands out as one of the key narratives in the NFT scene. According to Viltrakytė, fashion will be an important link between physical and virtual experiences, streamlining entry into the virtual world and helping to create a true-to-self digital identity.

“Digital wearables will play a crucial role in virtual worlds, as they will enable users to create avatars through which they can experience the metaverse. In the grand scheme of things, WEB3 will redefine the fashion industry as we know it in a variety of verticals, including self-expression, social networking, industry’s sustainability, its creative potential, and others,” Viltrakytė commented, noting that the curiosity to explore these possibilities is what led to co-founding ‘The Rebels’.

“WEB3 and NFTs have opened many new doors for both established fashion houses and emerging designers. It is very exciting to be part of the force shaping the future of the industry with ideas that, not that long ago, seemed like science fiction but now are becoming the new reality.”

Articles

3 Leading Reasons why Corporate Fraud Slips Through the Net

Three Leading Reasons why Corporate Fraud Slips Through the Net

Corporations are formed to create value for shareholders. They do this by carrying out business activities that take inputs (such as labour, materials and innovation) and create high-value outputs that generate a profit. Administrative functions such as finance, serve the primary business by accurately recording and reporting the results of the business. Using this timely information, managers can make investment decisions and change strategies to optimise business operations.

However, the finance function isn’t infallible and despite being staffed by qualified individuals, corporate fraud can occasionally occur.

Corporate fraud can cover a range of misdeeds including misstating the financial health of the business (either by hiding liabilities or overstating sales or assets), and theft of assets, known formally as misappropriation or embezzlement.

The fraud triangle is the theory that states three conditions must be in place for a fraud to occur. In this article, we’ll examine the fraud triangle to understand why corporate fraud can slip through the net.

An introduction to the fraud triangle

The fraud triangle is visualised as a triangle with three points, representing the following factors:

Incentive
Opportunity
Rationalisation

Incentive refers to the pressure that an employee is exerted under that ultimately drives them to step over the line and commit fraud. This pressure could come from within an organisation (via a line manager or CEO), or from outside factors such as needing cash to pay an aggressive creditor.

People don’t commit a crime and take such risks with their liberty when left to their own devices. Usually, there is an extraneous source of pressure that makes the risk logical or worthwhile.

Opportunity refers to the means through which an employee could possibly commit fraud. A shop floor cleaner is unlikely to perpetuate corporate fraud because they have no means to do so. In contrast, a senior accountant exercises much control over accounting entries that are posted into the accounting system, and this represents one opportunity to act unethically to gain some form of advantage.

Rationalisation addresses the human element of committing fraud; namely, why did the individual feel justified in betraying their employer or the company shareholders? Interviews with convicted corporate fraud felons have usually revealed how the fraudster rationalised what they were doing as the ‘right thing’.

Perhaps they had become indoctrinated by the company\’s purpose and therefore understand that any steps, no matter how illegal, were for the greater good if they enabled the company to continue its mission. Or the rationalisation could be more malicious; i.e. the employee felt they were owed something by the company. Perhaps they felt entitled to plunder cash from the firm after years of being denied pay rises and being passed over for promotion.

Now you have understood the fraud triangle, you will have insights into the different necessary failings of a company that must occur to let a corporate fraud slip through the net. If a company can reduce the pressure placed on employees to meet financial targets, remove or limit the opportunity for employees to commit fraud (by segregating duties, for example, which removes the power from a single individual to undermine the system), and give employees no reason to feel such ill-will towards the firm that they may rationalise stealing from them, then they will reduce the likelihood of corporate fraud.

Articles

What Is An FHA Loan, And Who Is It Designed For?


Image Source: Pixabay

A Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan is a loan insured by the organization to protect lenders from risk. FHA loans are private mortgage loans that the Federal government backs. The government backing allows lenders to offer FHA loans with terms and rates favourable to the borrowers.

FHA loans are designed for home buyers, especially first-time buyers with poor credit and little to no savings. You can use an FHA home loan to finance or refinance a single-family home, multi-family home, condominium, or manufactured home. The following are several things you should know about FHA loans:

How A FHA Loan Works

As of 2022, if you have a credit score higher than 580, you can borrow as much as 96.5% of a home’s value via an FHA loan. You will have to pay the remaining 3.5% as the down payment. You can get an FHA loan if you have a credit score of 500 to 579. However, you will have to pay a 10% down payment. The FHA does not offer any money for the loan. The bank or financial institution is the one that lends the money. Only an FHA-approved lender can issue an FHA-insured loan. FHA loan borrowers are encouraged to get mortgage insurance and pay the premiums to the FHA. The FHA guarantees the loan making it easier to get bank approval due to the reduced risk.

Types of FHA Loans

There are various types of FHA loans, but the following are the most common:

Basic or Traditional Home Mortgage 203 (b)You can use a basic home mortgage to purchase or refinance a primary residence with a minimum down payment. However, you can’t buy a house that needs more than $5000 worth of repairs with the loan.

203(k) Rehab Mortgage

You can use the 203(k) Rehab Mortgage to finance a fixer-upper, and the repair costs must be more than $5000. On the other hand, the repairs cannot take more than six months to complete.

Home Equity Conversion Mortgage

The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage is a reverse mortgage that allows senior citizens (over 62 years) to exchange equity for cash. Most people use it to supplement their retirement funds or income. The borrowers must retain the property as their primary residence, pay taxes, and maintain it.

Energy Efficient Mortgage Program

You can use a mortgage to make home improvements that make the property more energy efficient. The property must undergo a professional evaluation for you to qualify for the loan.

Growing-Equity Mortgage

The Growing-Equity Mortgage or Section 245(a) Graduated Payment Mortgage is designed for borrowers who expect an increase in income. It has a low initial monthly payment which increases over time. Section 245 (a) of the National Housing Act created this loan. You can only use the loan for single-unit primary-family homes, but you can select one of five different plans with varying duration and pay rises. An FHA mortgage calculator is a powerful real estate tool that can help you stay on top of your mortgage payments.

FHA Loan Limits

There are limits on every type of FHA loan, especially pertaining to the amount. As of 2022, the FHA loan limits are a minimum of $420,680 to a maximum of $970,800. The minimum loan limit is meant for low-cost areas and vice versa. Different states and counties have varying real estate prices, so moving to a cheaper area may afford you a better chance of getting a loan for excellent housing.

The FHA insures mortgage loans from private lenders, helping borrowers get favourable terms and rates. Above are some things you should know about FHA loans. Educating yourself to learn as much as possible about FHA loans to get the best deal and ensure you can pay it back would be best.

Articles

4 Ways to Build Wealth Through Well-being 

 

“Health is wealth,” as the famous saying goes, and many believe this to be true, especially in recent years when prices for medical care and health maintenance services have continued to rise. Any serious illness or injury can significantly impact a person or a family’s finances. Hence, in the long run, it’s better to invest in caring for one’s health and well-being and prevent any health issues.  

Protecting yourself and your family from sicknesses or ailments is an indirect yet effective way of building wealth. You’ll be able to save a substantial amount of money by preventing hospital visits, inpatient treatment, and other complex medical procedures. Then, the money saved can be allocated to paying for other expenditures or can even be invested to earn profits. Overall, staying fit and healthy is an excellent way to protect your earnings and improve your finances.  

If you’d like to know how you can build wealth through well-being, continue reading this article.  

 

1. Invest In Preventive Care 

Many adults who work regular jobs lead a sedentary lifestyle where they spend hours sitting at a desk, which experts believe is harmful to one’s well-being. For one, prolonged sitting contributes to weight gain, muscle loss, and chronic neck, shoulder, and back pain. However, it can be challenging for many to make the necessary changes to protect their health.  

If you have the same situation, you can consider investing in preventive care to build wealth. For instance, consulting with Whitepine’s Brampton chiropractor can help alleviate pain and provide treatment as required. With preventative health maintenance, you’ll be able to address issues early on and avoid expensive medical bills for severe illnesses and complications that chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain can bring.  

Your chiropractor can also help you prevent injuries and improve your body movements. Overall, you’ll be able to function better at work and home, allowing you to perform your role better and become more productive.  

 

2. Improve Your Nutrition 

One of the simplest yet most effective ways to care for your health is by improving your nutrition. For one, having the right amount of nutrients allows you to have the energy you need to work through the day. Your immune system, which protects your body against ailments, also needs vitamins and minerals from food to function properly. In case of sickness, the food you eat can also influence the speed of your recovery. Hence, many doctors recommend focusing on good nutrition to take care of your well-being.  

Improving your food intake is a great way to build wealth in that it helps you make the right food choices and spend wisely on your nutrition. By doing so, you’ll be able to save more money and become healthier as well. 

 

3. Engage In Physical Activity 

You can also consider regular exercise an excellent way to invest in your well-being. Engaging in physical activities strengthens bones and muscles, enhances blood circulation, boosts cardiovascular and respiratory functions, and improves the immune system.  

Apart from its contribution to internal health, you’ll also be able to manage your body weight better by working out regularly. Doing so will improve your physique and make it easier for you to perform your daily activities. Thus, it’s wise to invest time, energy, and resources in regular exercise.  

 

4. Care For Your Mental And Emotional Wellness 

Besides caring for your physical health, you’ll also need to invest in your mental and emotional well-being to have a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle. Being mentally and emotionally healthy is essential to a person’s quality of life, and its absence can lead to being unproductive, demotivated, or self-destructive. 

In extreme cases, mental disorders can significantly impact a person’s ability to earn money. Moreover, severe mental ailments require extensive medical treatment, which comes at a substantial cost. Altogether, your mental and emotional well-being can influence your financial status, so it’s wise to invest in its care and protection.  

Here are some of the ways you can invest in your mental and emotional wellness: 

  • Pursue hobbies and interests that provide mental stimulation. 
  • Seek professional counseling and therapy services.  
  • Create healthy social media habits, such as setting a daily screentime limit and managing your interactions.  
  • Set aside time to connect with your support systems, such as your family, friends, and loved ones. 
  • Discover techniques and strategies to manage stressful situations in everyday life effectively.  

Your emotional and mental health significantly impacts the quality of your life, your ability to care for yourself and your family, and your ability to provide for those you care about financially. Thus, investing in your well-being can be considered an act of building wealth.  

 

Conclusion 

Good health helps you achieve your goals, earn a living, and manage your finances. Moreover, it also allows you to provide for your family and secure their future. Therefore, investing in your overall well-being is an excellent way to build wealth for yourself and your loved ones.  

Articles

How Much Do You Need to Start Trading Forex?

Forex trading is becoming an increasingly popular way to make money, but it can be daunting for those who are just starting out.

One of the most common questions newcomers to the Forex market ask is how much money they need to start trading. The answer, unfortunately, is not a simple one. The amount of money you need to trade Forex will depend on a number of factors, including your experience level, your risk tolerance, and the type of account you open.

However, there are a few general guidelines that can help you determine how much money you need to start trading Forex. In this article, we explain what is the minimal amount of money you will need to start trading Forex.

Forex Trading for Beginners

Trading Forex can be a daunting prospect for beginners, but with the right approach, it can be a profitable and exciting activity. One of the key things to remember as a beginner is that trading Forex is all about risk management. This means knowing how much you can afford to lose on a trade and sticking to that amount. It\’s also important to have realistic expectations when starting out in forex trading. Don\’t expect to make huge profits straight away – focus on building up your account gradually.

For beginner Forex traders, see xm review to get started in the market. Unlike a standard account, which is denominated in US dollars, a cent account is denominated in cents. This means that each pip is worth only a fraction of a cent, making it much easier to manage risk. In addition, many brokers offer cent accounts with lower minimum deposits than standard accounts, making them more accessible to beginner traders.

The Minimum Amount To Start Forex Trading Now

If you must start trading right away, you can begin with $100 but for a little more flexibility, you will need a minimum of $500. This will give you enough buying power to trade a standard lot, which is 100,000 units of currency. If you can afford to trade a larger position, you may be able to trade a mini lot (10,000 units) or even a micro lot (1,000 units). However, it is important to remember that the Forex market is highly leveraged, which means that even a small movement in the markets can have a significant impact on your account balance. As such, it is important to use risk management tools such as stop-loss orders to protect your account from excessive losses. With proper risk management in place, you can trade Forex with a relatively small amount of capital.

Conclusion

It is always helpful to start small and gradually increase your position size as you gain experience and become more comfortable with the risks involved in forex trading. By following these simple guidelines, you can ensure that you have the capital you need to start trading Forex successfully.

Articles

4 Tips on How to Invest during a Bearish Market

4 Tips on How to Invest During a Bearish Market

The term “spirit animals” is commonly associated with spirituality and tradition. In many cultures, a person’s journey or characteristics may be likened to that of a particular animal, prompting the said individual to adopt the said beast as their spirit animal. But it’s not just people who find themselves sharing similar values to animals.

There are also financial events and activities that many people closely associate with real and imaginary animals. Experts sometimes use spirit animals to make a close approximation of the ways that human emotion can drive the movements of the economy. The market can be typically described in this sense as either a bull or a bear market. For the purpose of this discussion, we’ll be focusing on the latter. But what exactly is a bear market, and how can one make the most of this particular situation? 

What Is a Bearish Market?

Bear markets refer to a prolonged period of price declines, during which even average stocks fall about 20% after a recent high. It’s a challenge to sell at a profit during this slump, so it’s no wonder that it’s often accompanied by negative investor sentiment and confidence. There are a few ideas why a bear market is called such. One is the association between hibernating bears and the decline in prices, while another is more closely tied to how bears attack their prey, which is by swiping their paws downward. 

While a bearish market can sound like bad news for current and would-be investors, that’s not entirely the case. As always, a seemingly unfortunate situation can offer opportunities to intrepid individuals. Investors who want to maximize their chances of success during this time should keep the following in mind:

Take Advantage of Low Market Prices

Bear markets tend to rattle investors, who will then attempt to cut their losses by selling their assets at low prices. However, if you have funds set aside for investment, this is an opportune time to buy stocks or other assets like cryptocurrencies. For instance, if you plan on investing in Monero (XMR), you can add more digital coins to your XMR wallet since the price for each coin in a bear market is much more affordable compared to other times.

The same can be said for other assets like stocks. However, where you put your money is a decision that you should seriously think about. What is your investment horizon and how much are you aiming to get out of your investment? Knowing the answer to these questions will help you decide which the best channel for growing your money is. 

Use Dollar-Cost Averaging

When prices are low, it can be extremely tempting to dump your money on assets that you’ve long had your eye on, but it’s best to consider things carefully before doing so. Don’t let the excitement get to you, and choose to approach your investment decisions practically. You can do this by using dollar-cost averaging. This investing strategy requires you to allot the same amount of money to a particular investment for a set amount of time, regardless of how much the price of the asset is.

Let’s say you’re interested in a particular company and its stock prices plummeted, giving you the chance to buy more stocks for less. Instead of making an impulsive decision like this, you can choose to dedicate USD 50 to purchasing stocks every week. Commit to it and practice it consistently, no matter if the number of stocks you can buy with the same amount of money increases or decreases. Using such a strategy will enable you to take advantage of market dips without losing your liquidity in such an uncertain time. 

Account for Risk and Your Investment Horizon

Bear markets tend to last for quite a while–a year, give or take. Given this knowledge and your current progress in achieving your financial goals, where should you invest your funds? Ideally, your investment option should be able to bounce back after a year, but it shouldn’t take such a long time before your investment reaches your target numbers. If you’re close to retirement and are depending on your portfolio to support you after you’ve celebrated this milestone, perhaps it’s not a good idea to risk your retirement funds when you’re not quite sure when the market will recover. But if time is in your favour and you still have a lot of years to earn back your capital in case your investment doesn’t pay off, then you might still be able to afford risks that would seem imprudent for older adults. 

Continue to Diversify Your Assets

Be it a bear or a bull market, diversifying your assets will continue to work in your favor. If you’re still young, it can be a smart idea for you to put your capital on assets that are projected to grow in value in a few years’ time. Look into dividend-paying stocks, the profit from which can help you overcome these challenging times and can go toward increasing your capital in other types of investments. Putting your money on bonds can also be a good idea, as this type of asset tends to move in the opposite direction as the stock market. Having these additional assets in your portfolio can help you have a lifeline in case the market’s movement goes against your expectations.

Keep these tips in mind when making investments during this bearish period in the market. By making smart decisions during these uncertain but opportunity-filled times, you’ll have a better chance of growing your money and maximizing the payoff of your current investment.

Articles

How To Enjoy Life While Building Wealth

Building wealth and enjoying life are not mutually exclusive. In fact, it’s possible to build wealth and still enjoy your time when you’re young. It’s discouraging to think that all you need to do is work so that someday you can rest. What if you can balance rest, fun, and work, all while building the wealth you want and need? Here’s how you can enjoy life while building wealth.

Know Your Priorities

You have to know what’s important to you, what’s not, and how much time and effort it will take to get from where you are to where you want to be. If your goal is long-term wealth-building, retiring early, or something else, it’s vital that you look at the things that will help you get there.

Evaluate what you want in life. Maybe it’s more time to work on hobbies or perhaps it’s more time with family and friends. Look at the things you could live without. Do you really need 8 subscription plans for watching TV? Or could you get away with just one? Consider what you need in order to make your dreams come true. It might not necessarily be a dollar amount, but the ability to do certain things like taking vacations every year, playing casino table games without breaking the bank, or buying groceries without needing to look in the bank account.

Understand Your Cash Flow

Next, you need to understand your cash flow. Cash flow is the difference between how much money you earn and how much money you spend. It’s a simple concept, but understanding it is crucial to your long-term wealth-building plan. The measure of cash flow comes from subtracting your expenses from your income. This number can tell us whether we can afford investments like stocks or real estate or whether we should pay off debts like student loans and credit card debt first before making any further moves with our money.

Live Below Your Means

This sounds generic, but it’s critical. Wealthy people learned how to live below their means or how to make more. One of the most common questions of people who want to build wealth is how to do it without any savings. The truth is that you can live below your means and still enjoy life on less than you make. You don’t have to live paycheck-to-paycheck or put yourself into debt just because others are doing it. In fact, there are many ways to save money so that you can afford the things you want in life without having a large amount of disposable income right now.

Be Diligent With Your Finances

The first thing you need to do is make a budget. This is perhaps the most important step in financial planning, and it’s also the one that people tend to neglect. In order to live below your means and build wealth, you must first know what your current income is and where it’s going each month. You can use an online tool like Mint to track your spending habits. It will show you how much money is coming in every month as well as where it’s going.

Next, pay yourself first. The idea of paying yourself first means taking a portion of every paycheck to go directly into savings before anything else gets taken out. If this seems impossible at first, try gradually increasing what percentage of income goes into savings until you’re reaching the amount that feels comfortable for you, and never dip below this number.

Invest Your Money Wisely

Wealthy people also know how to invest. When you want to have fun while you’re young and you want to build wealth, you can do both if you have a good budget in place and a plan. Investing is a great way to build your wealth. It can also be fun, but that depends on you and how you approach it. There are plenty of ways to invest. Use your company 401K match if possible to maximize the amount of extra money you put in. You could also use apps like Robinhood to try out investing in the stock market as well.

Conclusion

None of these things require you to stop enjoying life. You do need to prioritize your income, avoid debt if possible, and look for ways to invest. When you do these things, you’ll find you have more money for fun and for building wealth.

Couple moving out of their home, and sitting on the floor together working on their finances
Articles

A Guide to Managing Your Money: Moving House

Couple moving out of their home, and sitting on the floor together working on their finances

Finances are a critical component of buying property across every stage of the process. When you’re moving house, knowing your finances are managed and in good order takes some of the stress away. But how exactly do you manage your money when moving to a new property? Keep on reading to learn some useful tips.

 

Create an expense tracking spreadsheet

In the weeks and even months leading up to your moving date, curate a spreadsheet that allows you to track your expenses. This allows you to manage your spending and, if you have a budget for various expenses, you can track whether or not that budget has been kept to. If you notice your expenses going above what you expected, you then know to cut back on spending in other areas.

If you want to work out the average cost you can expect to incur when moving properties, there are many useful expense calculators online. This is one of many examples.

 

Take the time to declutter your belongings

Depending on how long you’ve lived in your current property, it’s likely you’ve collected a lot of clutter over the months and years. Decluttering your property in the lead-up to the move has many benefits. For one, you can sell your unwanted belongings to bolster your finances a little more as long as the items are in good condition still. Also, the less clutter you have the less stuff you have to bring with you. This means smaller removal fees if you’re hiring the assistance of moving experts.

 

Book in advance to remove blindsiding risk

Leaving the booking of removal experts or other services until the last minute risks being blindsided by extortionate fees or unavailability. If you want to manage your finances well, book as far ahead as possible to ensure you get the price and date you want. You’re also more likely to be offered a better deal for services, especially if you shop around. This also goes for finding energy suppliers or insurance deals.

 

Other money managing tips

There are many other ways you can manage and save money when moving house, including:

  • Pack up your home yourself
  • Move belongings without a removal firm
  • Run down your food supplies in the lead-up to moving
  • Stick to agreed moving dates to avoid incurred fees
  • Clean your old property yourself
  • Choose the cheapest day(s) to move if possible

 

Browse Wealth & Finance International for more

If you’re looking for more useful insight into how to better manage your money, give Wealth & Finance International a browse today. We’re committed to providing those in the investment sector current and insightful news to capitalise on and transform the way they approach money. Take a look at our articles on banking, finances and more today to get started, or subscribe for quarterly investment information straight to your door.

Stocks
Articles

12 Stocks Bought by Freedom Holding CEO, Timur Turlov

Stocks

Timur Turlov, CEO of Freedom Holding Corp., gives investors an inside look into his personal investment portfolio. 

“The stock market correction which has come to pass in recent months is approaching its final phase. This opens up a unique opportunity for investors to buy the stocks that have lost significant value, but retained fundamental reasons for future growth and development”, said Timur Turlov, CEO of Freedom Holding Corp. 

Turlov has gathered a portfolio of 12 companies, each with a potentially interesting investment idea behind it. The expected investment period is between six months and three years with the expected return being 81%. 

 

Companies in Timur Turlov’s portfolio

Snowflake Inc. (SNOW) provides a cloud-based platform that consolidates data in a single source to be able to capture valuable business insights, create applications, and manage and share information. Snowflake remains one of the fastest-growing companies in the market. With a market cap of $45bn (£37bn) and a growth potential of 119%, the target price for one share is $310 (£253). Snowflake has steadily doubled its revenues in recent years and expects revenue growth of 94% to 96% in 2022. 

Crowdstrike Holdings Inc. (CRWD.US) develops information security software and is an industry leader in the $55bn (£45bn) market. Crowdstrike offers cloud-based endpoint security solutions on its Falcon platform. The services are provided on a subscription basis using a SaaS model. Crowdstrike is continuing to perform strongly, exceeding market expectations. In Q4, its revenues rose by 62.7% year-on-year to $431m (£351m) and the average rate of return reached a record $217m (£177m). For FY2023, the company expects revenues of $2.13 to $2.16bn (£1.7 to £1.8bn). Crowdstrike has a market cap of $35bn (£29 bn) with 57% growth potential. The target price for one share is $271 (£221). 

Datadog Inc. (DDOG.US) operates a monitoring and analytics platform for software developers and IT departments. The company had a strong performance in Q1 and is forecasting strong results for 2022. In Q4, Datadog’s revenue grew by 83% year on year to $363m (£296m), aided by the company’s expanding partnership with Amazon Web Services. As of March 31, 2022, Datadog had 2,250 customers with recurring annual revenues of $100,000 (£81,545) or more, up 60% from a year earlier. Datadog has a market cap of $32bn (£26bn) with a growth potential of 72% and a target price of $169 (£138). 

Zscaler Inc. (ZS.US) is a provider of cloud-based information security services with a growth rate above 60%. The company’s Q2 revenue grew by 62.8% year-on-year to $255.56m (£184m), beating expectations of $13.69m (£11.17m). For fiscal 2022, the company forecasts revenue in the range of $1.045 to $1.05bn (£85 to £86m) against expectations of $1.01 billion (£82m) and earnings per share (EPS) in the range of $0.54 to $0.56 (£0.44 to £0.46). Zscaler has a market cap of $21bn (£17bn) with a growth potential of 110% and a target price of $320 (£261). 

Enphase Energy Inc. (ENPH.US) is a supplier of power systems for the solar energy industry. It is a profitable company with high margins and products that outperform competitors. Enphase supplies microinverters that enhance the safety and performance of solar energy systems. The company also has digitally backed home energy storage. Enphase reported Q1 EPS of $0.79 (£0.65), beating market expectations by $0.10 (£0.08), while revenue rose by 46% to a record $441m (£360) for the quarter. The revenue forecast for the current quarter is $490m (£400m) to $520m (£424m). Enphase has a market cap of $20bn (£16bn) with a growth potential of 26% and a target price of $226 (£184). 

ZoomInfo Technologies Inc. (ZI.US) is a developer of an analytics platform for marketing companies. New product launches and geographic expansions are helping ZoomInfo maintain strong revenue growth. In Q1, the company’s revenue grew 57.7% year on year to $242m (£197bn). In February 2022, ZoomInfo launched a new marketing platform, MarketingOS for helping marketers with customer targeting. The company also completed the acquisition of Comparably and Dogpatch Advisors this year. ZoomInfo has a market cap of $17bn (£14bn) with a growth potential of 115% and a target price of $74 (£60). 

MongoDB Inc. (MDB.US) is the leading cloud platform involved in developing and delivering general-purpose databases. MongoDB is strengthening its edge over competitors by expanding its relationship with Amazon Web Services and building applications using a microservices architecture. MongoDB databases are increasingly used for complex transactions, which should increase the company’s overall addressable market.  MongoDB’s revenue grew by 55.8% in Q4, with subscription revenue up by 58%. The company has a market cap of $17m (£14m) with a growth potential of 71% and a target price of $466 (£379). 

Bill.com Holdings Inc. (BILL.US) is a provider of cloud-based software that simplifies and automates complex financial transactions for small and medium-sized businesses. The company continues to show strong growth, up by 179.4% in Q3 FY 2022. By the end of the quarter, the company had 146,600 customers and $55bn (£45bn) in payments processed. For Q4, Bill.com expects revenue in the range of $182.3m to $183.3m (£148m to £149m) versus expectations of $168.77m (£169m). Bill.com has a market cap of $11bn (£9bn) and a growth potential of 113% and a target price of $241 (£196). 

Maravai LifeSiences Inc. (MRVI.US) operates in the natural sciences. The company manufactures products that enable the development of drugs, new vaccines, and diagnostics while supporting medical research in the US and around the world. The company’s key market is expected to show continued growth. The global gene therapy market was valued at $3.8bn (£3bn) in 2019 and is forecast to reach $13bn (£11bn) by 2024. Maravai has a market cap of $8bn (£6.5bn) and a growth potential of 63% and a target price of $44 (£36).  

Avalara Inc. (AVLR.US) offers cloud-based transactional tax compliance solutions worldwide. Although Avalara has achieved annual revenues of nearly $1bn (£81m) the company still manages to grow that figure by more than 30% year on year – a testament to the large size of its market and the newness of its technology. More than 90% of Avalara’s base revenue comes from subscriptions, which provides the company with a very stable income. Avalara Inc. has a market cap of $6bn (£5bn) and a growth potential of 70% and a target price of $124 (£101).

Shockwave Medical Inc. (SWAV.US) develops and supplies technology for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. The company shows triple-digit revenue growth and revises its outlook for the year. In Q1, its revenue grew by 193.4% year-on-year. In February 2021, Shockwave launched a new coronary product, which has become a revenue growth driver. Shockwave Medical Inc. has a market cap of $5bn (£4bn) and a growth potential of 28% and a target price of $189 (£154).

Taskus Inc. (TASK.US) provides outsourced digital business services for fast-growing technology companies to represent, protect and grow their brands. Taskus continues to show rapid revenue growth, rising from 34% in Q2 2020 to 56.8% in Q1 of 2022. The retention rate in 2021 was 141%. Taskus Inc. has a market cap of $2bn (£1.6bn) and a growth potential of 130% and a target price of $39 (£32).

Articles

The importance of regulation in business

Regulations help maintain order in society. While an Act is a law, regulations are supplementary guidelines, helping you to apply the principles of the law. This is important for issues such as health and safety, but it can also help in business. The financial world is complex, and regulations are required to avoid disasters such as the 2008 banking crisis. Below, we explore the importance of regulation in business.

Why regulations are created

Regulations are created to make it easier to interpret the laws of a state. This can make it easier to settle disputes and can create a better society. For instance, if business laws were left ambiguous, it would be easier for organisations to find loopholes and damage society for an ulterior motive. Alternatively, for smaller businesses, regulations are a useful way of sticking to the law and ensuring that they can grow and prosper.

Examples of different regulations

By seeing examples of different regulations, it’s easier to understand the purpose they serve. For instance, certain machinery has regulations dictating their noise output and environmental impact. If you buy yourself a self-propelled lawn mower, this could affect you. However, there are plenty of self-propelled lawn mowers which adhere to these regulations. Outdoor machinery has the following regulations: they require a standard label indicating its guaranteed sound power level, technical documentation showing this has been measured correctly and a Declaration of Conformity.

In business, there are plenty of regulations too. These are controlled by the Financial Conduct Authority with the intent of protecting consumers, keeping the industry stable and promoting beneficial competition between different providers. One of the regulations that was implemented since 2000 relates to the 2008 financial crisis. Since then, the UK has regulated the separation of certain investment banking activities from retail banking activities. The goal of this was to make banks less likely to fail in the future.

How these laws prevent a wide range of societal issues

One of the main benefits of regulation in business is that it prevents a wide range of societal issues. Mainly, they attempt to ensure that banks don’t fail. In this situation, a financial crisis can occur, leading to many people losing their jobs and the cost of living rising across the country. While it would be easier if banks looked after themselves, history has shown that the drive to make profit can sometimes lead to poor decisions that result in failures. By implementing regulations and laws, the state can try and prevent this from happening.

Regulations can help protect us in many aspects of society, from banking to health and safety. Regardless of your profession, it’s worth brushing up on regulations to ensure you’re sticking to the law.

Cybersecurity Smart Home
Articles

Securing Your Smart Home: Cybersecurity Tips For Your Property

Cybersecurity Smart Home

Cybercrime is on the rise and criminals are becoming more sophisticated. This is unfortunately a reality that means that individuals, businesses and organisations need to take close care with their cybersecurity.

It might be the case that you are used to the idea of seeing phishing emails in your inbox and understand how to set passwords that are impossible to crack – but you might not be aware that increasing cybercriminals are targeting our homes themselves. 

Indeed, there can be no doubt that cybercriminals are consistently looking at property as a potentially lucrative target. 86% of property professionals say they are concerned about the potential for cyberattacks. Criminals see the opportunity to target properties whether it is during transactions, or simply by attacking the devices in the homes of private individuals. 

With homes containing more smart devices than ever before, there are naturally a lot of ways that criminals can find weak points in your system and exploit them. Internet-connected gadgets and appliances – from televisions to fridges – are a big part of how we now live our lives, so it is vital that we do everything we can to minimise the risk. 

In this article, we look at how to take the necessary steps to secure your smart home.

 

Enable Two-Factor Authentication 

If you aren’t aware of the term ‘two-factor authentication’ (2FA), you have still probably used it. For example, it might be the case that when you log in to your bank account you need to provide a password as well as a code that is sent to your mobile phone. This simply adds an extra layer of security – if a criminal was able to compromise your password, that wouldn’t be enough to get them into your account. 

2FA can be used on a number of different devices and it is really worth opting for wherever possible. The kind of smart devices you have around your home probably don’t need to be accessed very often, so the change in terms of slowing down the login process really shouldn’t affect you significantly. 

Research has shown that even this extremely simple cybersecurity method can be highly effective at defending you against attacks. 

 

Replace Routers As They Become Outdated

One of the biggest weaknesses in smart homes is any kind of technology that has become outdated. Older versions of key equipment like routers might be convenient and easy for you to use, but they may also have glaring and known security weaknesses that can be easily exploited by cybercriminals. 

Having outdated protocols or a flaw in the security that can be exploited leaves you open to an attack if a criminal is able to work out the router that you have. Of course, this doesn’t mean that changing up your router on a regular basis is a silver bullet – rather you should keep aware of the security status of your router and change it when necessary.

 

Add Cybersecurity to your Wi-Fi

It should also be noted that when you replace your router you need to ensure that everything is set up effectively. For example, you should change the router’s default name. Doing so takes away the possibility that a cybercriminal will be able to search for that type of router and find out its known flaws.

The same goes for the password that you are using; it should be changed from the default. Once again, you don’t want the possibility – no matter how remote it might seem, that a criminal might be able to get access to the password. 

 

Be mindful of passwords on your network

Passwords are still a vital part of your cybersecurity. It is essential that you should have unique passwords for each device across your network. Using the same password simply means that if one is ever compromised, the criminals have access to every other device across the network as well. 

There is still some confusion about how to set a strong password. In general, you should think of eight characters as an absolute minimum – anywhere from 12 to 18 is ideal, and it should include a mixture of upper case and lower case letters, as well as numbers and symbols. 

 

Update Your Devices

Keeping your devices up to date is another essential part of good ongoing cybersecurity for your smart home. Remember that when devices are updated they are generally patched to protect them against vulnerabilities that have been discovered. This means that if you are not updating your devices, they are still vulnerable. 

 

The more cybersecurity steps that you can take, the better protected you will be against cybercrime. It is always best to focus on powerful security measures rather than what makes your life easiest. 

Estate Planning
Articles

5 Common Estate Planning Mistakes

Estate Planning

It takes a lifetime of hard work and planning to acquire the real estate, investments and other assets that lawyers refer to as a person’s estate. You might think that the last thing anyone would do is leave the distribution of an estate to the one-size-fits-all state intestacy laws, but that is exactly what 67% of Americans responding to a survey have done by not having an estate plan.

Apart from the foolishness of letting a state law dictate which of your relatives get to share in the distribution of your estate upon your death, not having an estate plan puts you at the mercy of courts to decide the type of medical treatment you receive when you are too sick to make those decisions for yourself. A meeting with an estate planning attorney ensures the orderly distribution of your estate according to your wishes upon your death. It also lets you designate someone that you trust to handle your financial affairs and make health care decisions when you are incapacitated and unable to do so on your own.

Estate plans come about through a collaboration with your attorney, but you need to be prepared by knowing what you want done. One way to get you started is by offering the following list of the five common estate planning mistakes and ways for you to avoid them.

 

Putting off estate planning until you’re older 

Too many people think of end of life decisions and death as being so far off in the future that waiting to address them can wait at least until they reach retirement age or older. Unfortunately, life-altering accidents and illnesses happen at all stages in life. 

Estate planning ensures that your wishes are known and will be followed regarding health care, end-of-life decisions, handling of your finances, and distribution of your estate. Consider how comforting it would be knowing that someone you trust has the legal authority to manage and look after your financial affairs should an illness or injury prevent you from doing so. 

A durable power of attorney as part of an estate plan lets you designate an agent to handle business, financial and personal matters on your behalf. You specify the scope of the authority granted to the agent and can make it as broad or limited as you desire. 

There is even a document, commonly known as a health care power of attorney, that lets you designate an agent with the authority to make decisions about medical care you receive should you be incapacitated and unable to make them on your own. However, the only way to get the benefits and peace of mind of powers of attorney or any other estate planning documents is to stop thinking about estate planning and make an appointment with your attorney to create one for yourself.

 

Failing to periodically review and update your estate plan

Life constantly changes, and your estate plan needs to be updated to keep up with all that goes on in your life. Some of the events in your life that signal the need for a change to an estate plan include:

  • Marriage and divorce.
  • Birth of a child.
  • Purchase of a home.
  • Start of a business.
  • Death of close relatives.

 

An estate plan needs to be periodically reviewed to determine whether changes are needed to keep up with what’s going on in your life. For example, it may have been a good idea to name your spouse as the agent to make end-of-life and health care decisions for you, but a divorce may be a good time to have your health care power of attorney changed to designate someone else as the agent.

 

Planning only for your death

A common mistake in estate planning is to focus on death by including only a will and trust agreement in an estate plan without having a plan for living with a disabling illness or injury. According to the Social Security Administration, one-in-four 20 year olds can expect to be disabled before they reach retirement age.

An estate plan that includes only a will or trust agreement providing for distribution of your estate after death can easily be expanded to protect you in the event of a disabling illness or injury. A health care power of attorney, living will, and durable power of attorney are some of the documents your attorney may recommend to ensure that your affairs are managed according to your wishes while you are alive.

 

Letting emotion and loyalty get in the way 

The person chosen to be executor of a will or the agent designated to act for you through a power of attorney must be someone who is capable of doing the job. The obvious decision may be to designate your spouse to make end-of-life decisions for you, but it may not be the right choice when you consider the types of decisions your spouse will be called upon to make.

The emotional bond between you that makes your spouse or one of your children the obvious choice could make it difficult for them to make tough decisions when the time comes. Choose someone who can set aside emotion and follow your wishes as you outlined them in your living will or health care power of attorney.

 

Adding children to the deed to your home to avoid probate

The rationale for changing ownership of your home by adding children to the deed is that doing so avoids the time and cost of probating a will when you die. Because they are named as owners on the deed, title automatically passes to them upon your death without the need for a will or probate proceedings. 

Get advice from your estate planning lawyer before changing the deed to your home. Adding a child as an owner may have subject you to payment of gift taxes. It also makes your home an asset that creditors of your children could seize. 

Transferring title to a trust may be a better option to pass the property to your children upon your death outside of probate without the risks associated with a transfer of title to them during your lifetime. Let your attorney advise you about the best way to accomplish your goal.

 

Conclusion

Make estate planning a priority early in life in the same way that you would planning for retirement. If you do not have an estate plan, make an appointment today with an estate planning attorney to get it done.

Property Inflation
Articles

Home-Hunting in the Time of Inflation: What Does the Future Hold for House Buying?

Property Inflation

Inflations levels hit 9% in April, registering the fastest rise in consumer prices in the last four decades. As a result, our bills and receipts have been soaring. The cost of food and drink could rise by 15% this summer and filling the average family car with petrol now exceeds £100. So, it is fair to say that inflation is affecting many areas. In this respect, the housing market has not been spared either.

With all that has happened in the last couple of years, we all recognise the importance of having a home that offers you the comfort and safety you require. But as life presents more and more financial hurdles, many home-hunters may feel discouraged when searching for their perfect new property.

How is inflation impacting the price tags of houses for sale? Are properties becoming more expensive or affordable? Here, with some insights from Watermans, a legal and estate agency firm, we take a look at how the existing crisis will influence the future of house buying.

 

Inflation and house prices: costly or cost-effective?

Let’s not beat around the bush: as things stand, property prices in the UK are not likely to be very advantageous. The average asking price in June across Britain stands at £368,614, increasing for the fifth month in a row. But looking back at the figures of the past few months, it is perhaps no surprise that houses’ initial price tags have shot up even more.

In March, in fact, the average cost of a British house reached a record high of £282,753. Not only was this 1.4% higher than the average rate of home prices in February, but it represented an 11% increase compared to March 2021. What this means is that, in the space of a single year, the average property cost has grown by £28,113. When taking into account the fact that the average UK salary now stands at £28,860, you could argue that this costly price rise may be having a significant impact on potential homebuyers’ pockets.

Currently, England is the country with the highest house prices in Britain. As of April 2022, you can expect to pay £299,000 to move into a new property. If you live in Scotland or plan to relocate north of the English border, you might be able to save some money. Yes, house costs have increased in Scottish towns and cities too, but you would be likely to secure a new home for about £188,000 on average.

Inflation is not the only factor to blame for such a considerable growth in property prices. In fact, the sustained increase has been determined by two correlated aspects. On one side, the market has witnessed a shortage of houses for sale; on the other, with the ‘race for space’ incentivised by the pandemic, the demand for new spacious properties has sky-rocketed. As a consequence, home-seekers are being forced to close costlier deals.

Moreover, the rental market has been impacted by the rising inflation as well. With the exception of big English metropolises such as London and Birmingham, the majority of British cities have seen rents increase significantly. For instance, rent rates in Belfast, Bristol, Manchester, and Edinburgh have soared by 15.1%, 12.6%, 8.6%, and 3.9% respectively over the past two years.

The cost of living crisis is bound to stay for the foreseeable future. But, in the months to come, will the rising inflation end up aiding people on the hunt for a new property?

 

Inflation: the long-term effects on the housing market

Britain’s current economic climate and financial situation has brought the cost of houses to an all-time high record. But, as mentioned, the housing market is not the only sector to have witnessed a swift rise in prices. For some time, the increasing cost of living will continue to negatively affect people’s bank accounts.

In the long term, however, this could benefit those looking to purchase a new property. Goods and services are becoming more expensive, which suggests that fewer people will have the budget to afford a significant, life-changing investment (e.g., buying a house).

Hence, demand is likely to decrease in the upcoming months. Not only that, but in 2022 Rightmove has also registered a 19% jump in the number of home-sellers requesting a house valuation, meaning that more properties will be available on the market. All these factors are bound to push down the cost of houses.

Additionally, there is a chance that the price tags of properties in the UK will naturally ‘correct’ themselves. In the same way that costs have gone up considerably, house prices could begin to fall to restore a more affordable value. Therefore, if you have set aside some money to make the move you have been dreaming of, the next few months may offer you the opportunity to relocate to a home that suits you and your needs.

 

The rising inflation is having a substantial impact on many areas of our everyday lives. If you are planning to buy a new property, prices at the minute could seem somewhat prohibitive. That said, with reduced demand and more homes on the market, the future of house buying may be more optimistic for those hoping to inaugurate a new chapter of their life.

Stock split
Articles

Stock Splits: The Perfect Buy for Investors

Stock split

As the market takes a plunge, Maxim Manturov, Head of Investment Advice at Freedom Finance Europe, discusses the benefits and pitfalls of stock splits and explores some past examples.

With shares struggling amid a market downturn, some organisations are looking to split their stock to attract new investors. But why?

The main reasons for splits are to make securities more accessible and attractive to the private investor. The next reason is to increase liquidity, which grows by increasing the number of stocks outstanding. When a split is announced, most stocks show a positive trend, and after the split has taken place, the stock trend can turn into a temporary consolidation, as big players can lock in profits on the stock by selling the stock already at the ‘new price’ to retail investors.

With this in mind, are stock splits a good idea and how should investors react if a company chooses to split?

 

Three recent splits 

 

Tesla 

Tesla held a stock split in August 2020 where it’s stock rose by $223 (80%) in just 20 days. After the split ended, the stock price was adjusted from around $2200 to $440. Thereafter, after a slight consolidation, Tesla stock continued to rise. With the market in decline, Tesla has now announced another split, which will be taking place this summer. Tesla’s Q1 2022 report is looking positive with revenue of $18.75 billion, net income of $3.31 billion, for the same period in 2021 – $438 million, and EPS of $2.86 ($0.93 a year earlier). The company has also announced plans to expand its production capacity in Berlin. Yet still, on June 10, 2022, the company announced a 3:1 split and the stock will be valued at about $230. On Friday, Tesla stocks gained 1.84% to $709 on the NASDAQ post-market but continued to decline further.

The drop has more to do with overall market weakness. And if you compare it to the split in August 2020, when the stock price rose a couple of hundred percent, the market was rising then, but now it’s falling. 

 

NVIDIA 

NVIDIA made its fifth split in July 2021, with a 4:1 ratio, their value dropping from $750 to $187.50. In 2021, by the time of the split, Nvidia’s capitalisation had already increased by 32% due to success in all business lines. The company’s quarterly report revealed its net income was $1.91 billion (same quarter 2020 – $917 million) and revenue reached $5.66 billion (+ 83.8% YoY). From the current situation we can conclude that the continued growth of the company’s stock is further driven by both good quarterly results and external factors, e.g., the mining boom, respectively video card shortage, and growth of the stock.

 

Apple 

The fifth Apple split took place on 31 August 2020. This was a 4:1 split, which resulted in the number of stocks in the company quadrupling. The stock price was adjusted from around $500 to $125 per stock after the split was completed. The stocks then consolidated in the $110-$120 range for a while, after which the rally continued. Looking at the company’s financials, the quarterly report on July 2020 showed revenues at a record $59 billion.

 

How effective are splits?

It’s clear to see how the Tesla, NVIDIA, and Apple splits in 2020-2021 had a major impact on share prices, which continued to rise after some consolidation. However, it’s important to remember that there are numerous factors that affect a split, which include internal factors such as a company’s performance (performance report, company management). There are also external causes that do not depend on the company’s activity that end up having a primary influence, such as global market trends (inflation, production cuts, international restrictions, interest rates, world inflation). When business leaders decide to split a company, it is very important they choose the right time, considering the market trends. The main purpose of a split is to make the company’s stock more attractive to ordinary investors. While the value of each stock decreases, the capitalisation of the company remains at the same level and the securities become more liquid.

Mortgage Interest Rates
Articles

3 Ways to Beat the Mortgage Interest Rate Rises

Mortgage Interest Rates

Property finance specialist Anderson Harris is sharing three top tips with mortgage holders, to help them get ahead of further interest rate rises.

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has already raised the rate five times in the last seven months, to 1.25%. And that’s just the start, according to former MPC members. According to Adam Posen, President of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a rate of 3.5% isn’t out of the question. MIT’s Professor Kristin Forbes echoes the projection. Both have served on the MPC.

In light of the rather bleak outlook, Anderson Harris’s Director Adrian Anderson has suggested three ways that mortgage holders can beat future rate increases.

 

1. Set a new budget.

Any mortgage holder with a cheap rate at present would do well to examine their monthly finances and re-budget, according to Adrian Anderson. He recommends re-budgeting to pay more now, so that when rates go up the shock element of the rise is removed. Re-budgeting now to pay off as much as possible each month can cushion the blow. 

 

2. Lock in a new rate. 

For existing borrowers, the advice from Anderson Harris is to explore locking in a new rate as soon as possible. Mortgage interest rates could soon hit 3% (up from 1% just nine months ago), with further potential rises on the horizon. 

 

3. Consider paying down. 

The more that mortgage holders can pay off while rates are low, the better. Those who are in a position to take advantage of overpayment options of up to 10% would be wise to consider paying off as much as they can before rates rise again. Although it’s important for mortgage holders to ensure they still have some cash set aside for a rainy day/emergency fund. 

 

Now is the time to speak to an independent mortgage broker and to look again at your mortgage. It can pay to know what options are available – particularly if you’re in a position to lock in a deal with a bank now, for peace of mind as rates rise further.” – Adrian Anderson, Director, Anderson Harris 

Articles

8 Necessary Monthly Check-Ups That Your Car Might Need

 

All cars require care and maintenance, but some checks must be done monthly to keep you safe and the car running effectively. Preventive work on your vehicle helps reduce bills by avoiding costly repairs from poor maintenance. Well-maintained cars also use less gas, helping you save money as the engine is more efficient.

Regular preventive measures keep your vehicle in good order, and the car lasts longer on the road if maintained well. Most checks can be performed by you easily or with gadgets, like the best OBD scanner, and there are even some garages that can help if you are unsure. Here’s a rundown of the type of checks you should be doing monthly, including with the best OBD scanner, and if you are heading out on a long journey.

Oil and Water

A simple but essential check for any car owner is to assess the oil and water level in the car engine and radiator. If the oil or water gets to a low or even empty level, it can significantly damage the engine, cause the car to break down, and lead to severe problems and a hefty bill for you. On the other hand, ensuring your oil and water levels are optimal is easy to do and prevents the vehicle from breaking down.

Coolant Checks

Coolant transfers heat and keeps your car engine from getting too hot or freezing. If you don’t have enough coolant in the car, you risk seriously damaging the engine or will not be able to start it on a cold day. Check your coolant level monthly to ensure your supply is not too low, and replenish if necessary. Maintaining small things like the coolant helps prolong the life of your car, saving you money.

Check the Electronics

An OBD scanner is easy to use and plugs into your car computer system. It alerts you to issues with the electronics. For example, an OBD scanner tells you whether a problem such as a strange light is easy to fix yourself or will require a repair job with a dealer. In addition, the best OBD scanner provides more information, such as the functionality of your engine. If you want to run a few checks to ensure your car is in good order, a monthly review with the best OBD scanner will keep you updated. Dealing with a problem earlier saves money as it prevents wider damage to the car, which will cost significantly more to fix and extends the life of your vehicle.

Tire Pressures

Tire pressures are very important to check for several reasons. When you look at your tires, you need to check the tread to ensure it is not too worn and the pressure. If your tire is not inflated to the correct level, it can lead to skidding and an accident. However, an underinflated tire also leads to significantly higher gas consumption, costing you more money to run the car. Check your car tires at least monthly to stay safe on the roads and use gas efficiently. The best OBD scanner can also check gas consumption efficiencies using fuel trim but should be done in addition to checking tire pressures.

Windshield Cleaner

Visibility while driving is essential. Most people have windshield cleaner mixed with water in the window washer, which helps clear dirt and grease from the windshield. In winter, salt and mud from roads can obscure your windshield in seconds, so having a good supply of cleaner is vital. The solution usually contains ethanol to stop it from freezing in winter. Check the windshield cleaner and water levels monthly, so you don’t get caught out with a dirty window and no cleanser.

Lighting

Lights are critical in your car as they indicate your movements and alert other drivers to issues such as braking or turning. Sometimes you don’t realize your lights are not working until someone points it out or there’s a problem. You can do a visual check each month to see whether they are all working, including fog and brake lights. If you use the best OBD scanner, you can check the longevity of some electrical items and replace them before they stop working altogether.

Brake Fluid

Brake fluid is essential for the healthy engine performance of your car. You don’t need to replace it often in a modern vehicle, but scheduling it on your monthly maintenance check is advisable. Also, it would be best if you only did it in good weather as rain can affect the functionality of brake fluid. If your levels continue to drop, get the car checked out because low brake fluid affects the way your car brakes work. It affects your safety, making the point of saving money for car insurance moot. If you have an accident, it affects the cost of your insurance as you are considered a higher-risk driver, so maintaining your car is another easy way of keeping costs low.

Battery

Your car battery should be on your monthly maintenance checks on top of using the best OBD scanner. Maintaining a car battery well can save many miles in the long run. Check the cables for fraying and wear and that the positive and negative terminals in the battery are not becoming corroded. Using the best OBD scanner, you can see what life remains in car parts like batteries. A weak battery can affect the electrical function of your car and lead to breakdowns and higher bills.

The Bottom Line On Monthly Car Maintenance

Scheduling monthly checks for your car using manual methods and the best OBD scanner is essential to help keep it in good working order while ensuring your safety on the road. It also enables you to save money from better gas usage and prevents more extensive damage to the car. In addition, checking out oil, water, lights, and other parts makes it easy to top up and replace items before they cause problems. Using the best OBD scanner helps with monthly checks as well. If you have a well-maintained car, you will be a safer driver on the road, and it can help keep your vehicle running for longer.

Articles

A Quick Guide to Estate Planning for High-Net-Worth Individuals

It’s interesting to note that just 4% of estates in the UK are subject to inheritance tax (IHT), which is usually applied on those with a value of £325,000 or above. So, if you’re classed as a high-net-worth individual, you’re likely to have an estate worth well in excess of £325,000 and one that’s subsequently subjected to a 40% tax levy.

Your estate will include everything that you own, so it’s important to prepare this ahead of your passing. Here are some steps to keep in mind:

Understanding the Challenges with a High Value Estate

If you have a high value estate, you’ll encounter significantly more challenges in addition to having to pay 40% on the value of your estate at the time they’re distributed. For example, you may have assets in multiple countries, creating a challenge when distributing them as part of your estate.

You should also take the time to keep abreast of any relevant tax legislation changes in the UK, which can impact on the management and distribution of your estate and how tax levied by the government.

There’s also a concept such as gifting, through which you can ‘gift’ assets to beneficiaries seven years prior to your death and avoid paying any tax on this at all. By following legal and legislative changes, you can act accordingly and utilise your estate to its maximum potential.

Creating a Will

If you don’t already have one, it’s absolutely crucial that you create a last will and testament as part of the wider process of estate planning.

Without a will, you’ll have far less control over how your estate is managed and distributed in the event of your death, while opening up the floor to potential conflicts between beneficiaries that could rumble on indefinitely. While you can set up a will by yourself and appoint ‘executors’ to help manage this once you’ve passed, high-net-worth individuals may prefer to liaise and partner with market leading estate planning services.

This way, you be guided on how to create your will, while taking further advise about how to minimise the IHT levy that’s ultimately applied to your estate.

When to Start

Typically, many of us don’t start planning our estates or make a will until later life, with only four-in-10 Brits having currently made a last will and testament.

However, experts believe this to be an oversight, and instead believe that you should start the process of estate planning and creating a will once you reach early adulthood. This certainly provides far greater peace of mind, while allowing you time to adapt and adjust your plans as you age rather than suddenly having to create a formal will from scratch.

IT Infrastructure Budget
Articles

How to Create An IT Infrastructure Budget

IT Infrastructure Budget

Innovations have made most business owners adopt Information Technology (IT) to run most of their operations. The aim is to allow efficiency. So, you’ll need infrastructure, such as hardware and software, to ensure the proper running of these IT operations. 

In most cases, acquiring IT infrastructure is a big investment since these tools are expensive. Some businesses might struggle to acquire these tools, which shouldn’t be the case. You can easily purchase all the tools your business needs with a budget. 

Are you wondering how to create a budget? What’s your goal? Put your worries to rest. This article discusses tips on creating an IT infrastructure budget. Read on!

 

1. Create a List of Priorities

Your list of priorities guides you in allocating your amount for each activity. You want to allocate most money on operations that you need and downsize on those you don’t necessarily need. How do you come up with the list of priorities?

Your IT infrastructure goals should guide you. If you aim to increase your business security, you’ll need tools with robust security features. In this case, acquiring security-intense infrastructure will be among your top priorities.

Most businesses tend to forget the marketing aspect of their business as they create a list of priorities. This is especially true if they offer IT services to other businesses or customers. Allocate a budget that allows for the effective marketing of IT consulting services without compromising on quality.

 

2. Understand Your Cashflow

Cashflow more or less refers to the amount your business transacts within a given period.  Understanding your cash flow will help you create a budget you can afford. You don’t want to create a budget for the money you don’t have. How do you analyze your cash flow?

Start by checking the regular income you receive on both good and bad days. It’s best to subtract your business expenses from your revenue; factor in the minor and major expenses. You want to know the amount of money available to fund your IT infrastructure. This will help you determine a concrete figure you can work with and rely on for your IT infrastructure needs. 

Even if you aim to spend within your budget, it’s good to acknowledge that some circumstances might warrant exceeding this budget. You may be expecting payments from a given client, and they delay them, yet you’re relying on the money to fund your goals. In such circumstances, you’ll need financing to help you realize your IT infrastructure goals. 

Visit https://www.credibly.com/ to see some of the financing options you can choose.

 

3. Accommodate the Risks

Like any other plan, there’s a probability of unexpected events likely to occur that need your attention and financing. In most cases, you can’t ignore them since they might hinder your realization of your goals. This will make you spend money outside your budget to meet these needs. The same concept applies as you plan your IT infrastructure goals. Therefore, it’s good practice to factor in contingencies in your budget. How?

Start by identifying the things that could go wrong with your plan, such as unexpected breakdowns. Try and estimate the amount you’d spend to counter them and include the costs in your budget. This way, if they happen, you won’t offset your budget.

 

4. Check Previous Budgets

In most cases, there’s a high probability you operate your business as a form of habit, from planning to budgeting to overseeing projects. If you aren’t wary enough, you might end up making the same mistakes year in; year out, which isn’t ideal for any firm. Hence, you must assess your previous budget.

Your previous budget will give you an understanding of the efficiency of your plans. Did you accomplish your goals within the budget you set? If not, by what margin did you exceed the limits? As you find the answers to these questions, identify the events that led to the limit exceeding. It could be budgeting beyond your cashflows or allocating limited funds to major operations. 

By knowing and acknowledging these events, you’ll ensure to avoid and mitigate them as you prepare your current budget. Doing this reduces the chances of having many unexpected events to fund, which might offset your budget.

 

Conclusion

The discussion above has proven that creating an IT infrastructure budget isn’t challenging. 

With the right guidance, as this article gives, the process is quick and seamless. Therefore, consider adopting the tips herein, and you’ll also have an easy time acquiring the tools your business needs.

Pension Crisis
Articles

New Data Reveals How Pension Crisis Is Leading to Older Workers ‘Unretiring’

Pension Crisis

Recent research from the ONS has revealed shocking inequality amongst pensions across the UK – as a result of inflation and the rising cost of living – with one third of UK employees not expecting to have any pension provision beyond state pension when they retire.

Those who are self-employed or on lower incomes will be impacted the most by pension wealth inequality.

With the number of older workers steadily increasing over the last decade, Nick Jones – Head of Retirement Living at Lottie – warns us of the impact the pensions crisis will have on older workers approaching retirement:

“The recent figures released by ONS are shocking – and we need to raise awareness of the impact this inequality will have on those approaching retirement.

There are statistically more older workers in employment than ever before – perhaps due to the rising cost of living, inflation, and the amount of remote working opportunities available across the UK.

With inequality in pension wealth across the UK, many older workers are struggling to save money and plan for their retirement. It’s more important than ever for businesses to support all their employees who may be struggling with the increased cost of living by offering financial, practical and wellbeing help.”

Nick Jones continues: “Lottie’s new research has also found a surge of people ‘unretiring’ over the last 12 months – and the reasons for people re-joining employment can be both positive and negative:

  • 100% increase in Google searches for ‘working part time after retirement’
  • 50% increase in Google searches for ‘post retirement jobs’

 

An ageing population means people are living longer and healthier lives, giving more older workers the opportunity to remain in the workforce. Similarly, with an increase in remote and hybrid working, older workers have the flexibility to maintain a good work-life balance, and gradually unwind before retiring.

However, with the rising cost of living crisis, it’s no surprise we’ve seen a surge of retirees heading back to work. Inflation is on the rise, causing many households to feel a huge amount of stress and worry – which is especially heightened for those on a limited income, or planning to reduce their income soon.”

Lottie’s new research has found a surge of employees turning to Google for retirement support – as opposed to their employer:

With the rising cost of living, lack of pension wealth and financial worries, more older workers are deciding to return to work after retirement – whilst they financially plan for their future years.

Over the last 12 months our new research has found a surge of people turning to Google for support with retirement planning:

  • 122% increase in searches on Google for ‘retirement investment’
  • 100% increase in searches on Google for ‘financial advice for retirement planning’
  • 40% increases in searches on Google for ‘retirement financial advisor’

 

“This new research – coupled with the latest ONS release – highlights the importance of raising awareness of the support available to older workers planning for retirement, especially during the cost-of-living crisis”, shares Nick Jones.

As inflation increases, the pension wealth gap across the UK will also grow – meaning the level of support older employees will require when it comes to financially planning for the present and the future will increase.

This is where businesses can step in to offer practical, financial and wellbeing initiatives to help all employees plan for their retirement years.”

 

Here’s 4 practical ways employers can support older workers in the workplace:

By creating age-friendly workplaces where people of all ages are supported, valued, and fulfilled, businesses can increase their employee satisfaction, wellbeing, and productivity.

There are lots of ways businesses can take to support older workers in the workplace:

 

1. Help employees plan for their future

As employees approach the latter stages of their careers, many may start to think about their financial situation, what the next few years at work will look like, what age to consider retirement and what life after work means for them.

Businesses can help employees plan ahead and make the transition from work to retirement easier by providing support for anyone approaching retirement.

For example, you could provide practical workshops aimed at helping older workers to achieve any career milestones, explore what the future may look like for them and sharing advice when it comes to financial planning

 

2. Encourage career development

Career development boosts employee motivation and it is just as important for older workers, as it is for those starting out their careers.

Encouraging all employees to follow their aspirations, achieve their goals and continue to develop their skillset, helps to build a resilient workforce. Offering on-going training will also ensure all employees remain up to date with the latest industry changes.

 

3. Promote a positive work life balance

Previous research has found nearly four fifths of workers over 50 years of age desire flexible working hours.

Flexible working allows older employees the flexibility to remain in the workforce longer, whilst also gradually winding down from full time employment. This can help many workers ease the transition to retirement.

 

4. Consider the unique needs of older workers

Health has the biggest impact on many older workers’ decisions to remain in the workplace. Many older employees face a unique set of challenges in the workplace and the adjustments required differ for each employee.

Supporting your employees with health and wellbeing initiatives and access to healthcare not only encourages a happy and healthy workforce, but also helps older workers to feel supported in the workplace.