Top Six Best Ways to Finance a Company Car

Having a company car can be a massive deal to you, the employer, as well as your employees. It can be an additional perk to working for you, helping to improve employee morale, but as the employer, having a company car can also help promote your business’s image. While it does not mean you should go above your budget, there are ways to finance a luxurious car that is sure to help promote your business.

To help you choose the best model for your company and get the best finance options, read the following guide for advice on the matter.

1. Know Which Models Are Best for Your Business

When you buy any vehicle, it should always be because it will accomplish the jobs you need it to do, and not because you like the brand or have always dreamed of driving that specific model. If you don’t choose the model of your vehicle based on need, you are only boxing yourself in the future. With company cars especially, you want the vehicle to perform how you need them to for as long as possible. This means if you need towing power, it is best to choose a strong model, whereas if you need a lot of storage space, choose a flatbed truck, and so on.

2. Don’t Buy the Newest Model

When you buy one or two company vehicles (that aren’t large transportation trucks), you can save a lot of money by buying a slightly used model. Remember, your car will lose half its value when you drive it out of the plot or dealership.

3. New vs. Used

Regarding used cars, so long as the vehicle is certified you can enjoy much lower costs on vehicles that are fairly recent, just because people often trade in their current vehicle for a newer model.

To save on new vehicles, all you need to do is choose the model that is one or two years old. Dealerships often want to get these models off their lots as soon as possible, and if you go during a sale or at the end of a fiscal quarter, you can likely save a lot of money and enjoy the full warranty of that new car.

4. Trade in an Older Vehicle if You Can

If you do have an older vehicle, it is often best to trade up. One of the key benefits of new vehicles is how efficient they are with their fuel. By doing this you can not only have a newer, better performing vehicle, but you can also save a lot on daily operating costs. When your company requires a vehicle to the point where owning one is paramount, it is best to reduce its operating costs as much as possible.

5. Find the Best Financing Rates

Financing is what will end up haunting you if you aren’t careful. Sure, you could get a vehicle for a very small down payment, but you will end up paying far more in monthly repayments. For businesses, this can be incredibly risky. Unless you are growing comfortably, even one bad month can mean these fixed costs hit you. That is why you owe it to yourself and your company to find the best auto financing options out there, and to do that you need to know the basics, like what the principle of the loan is, what APR is, and so on.

6. Know How to Negotiate

Learn how to negotiate, and always be prepared to walk away. You need a good deal to make trading a vehicle up worthwhile, and when you are just starting out as a company, it can often be your only option.

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8 Things Small Business Owners Need to Know About Finance

Managing Finances for A Small Business

Figuring out how to manage finances is one of the most challenging things you’ll face as a small business owner. Often, people get into the business world because they have an exciting idea or product to share. The chances are that you won’t have a lot of experience with accounts, taxes and cash flow too.

While learning as much as you can about money matters can seem like an exhausting process at first, it’s something you can’t afford to overlook when you start bringing your company to life. Knowing these 8 simple things about finance will help to keep your organization on track.

1. Sometimes You’re Going to Need a Loan

When you first launch a business, sometimes it’s tempting to try and do everything by yourself. The last thing you want is to be in debt before you’ve ever started making a profit. However, the truth is that most people simply don’t have the capital required to handle the demands of a business without a little support. A loan can be the most useful tool you have when it comes to starting your business, and even overcoming cash flow problems. Just make sure that you compare your options so you can ensure you’re getting the best interest rates.

2. Have a Billing Strategy

No matter how good you are at staying on top of things like cashflow, there’s nothing to say that your clients will be just as efficient. Most companies will have at least one customer that always seems to be late when paying their bills. Too much cash tied up in your unpaid invoices can quickly lead to cash flow problems. With that in mind, it’s important to make sure that you have a billing strategy in place. The good news is that there are tools online you can use to automatically invoice clients and send them reminders when they’re late.

3. You Need to Pay Yourself

When you’re running a small business for the first time, you might find yourself trying to put everything you earn back into the company. Any extra capital is a great way to help your business grow, but you also need to look after yourself and your family too. Remember that you’re playing an important role in your company, and you deserve to get paid for your work. Don’t focus on everyone else and forget to look after yourself.

4. You Need to Spend Money to Make It

This phrase might sound like a cliché at first, but it’s true. If you want to make real progress in any industry, then you need to be willing to invest in yourself and your business. With that in mind, make sure that you take risks from time to time, and invest in your growth. This could mean that you need to take an extra loan out at some point so you can afford to buy additional equipment, materials, or pay for staff, but a good risk analysis will help you to see if it’s worth it in the long-term.

5. You Must Remember to Look at ROI

Speaking of investing in the long-term, it’s a good idea to have a way to track your return on investments. Every time you start pouring money into projects for your business, make sure that you set up a measurement system that will show you which of your strategies are good for your future, and which might not be worth the effort.

6. You Need to Constantly Monitor Your Books

Monitoring your books might be an obvious task for financial health in your business, but it’s something that people often forget that they need to do regularly. If you’re the kind of person who might leave managing cash flow to the end of the month, try setting up an hour in your schedule each day where you can look at your incoming and outgoing expenses and make some crucial notes. The last thing you want to do is neglect your accounts.

7. It Helps to Establish Good Habits

Make sure that you do everything you can to develop good financial habits – even if it just means that you block aside some time at the end of each week to check that everything is running smoothly in your business. Running a small business often leaves you strapped for time, but your financials aren’t something you can afford to cut corners on. Start building good habits for your finances now.

8. You May Need Help

Finally, don’t expect to become a professional accountant overnight just because you’ve decided that you want to run your own business. If you don’t know anything about taxes and deductions, and you don’t have time to learn, then invest in an accountant or bookkeeper to help you. You’ll thank yourself for it in the long-term.

 

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Tips for Saving Money on Your Taxi Insurance

Getting the best deal for your money is something we all strive for, particularly when looking for insurance. As a taxi driver, you probably encounter many claim-worthy situations in your day-to-day but, at the same time, you may never actually need to make a claim on your insurance. This presents a worry when it comes to both over-insurance. Having said that, it will pay in the long run to have comprehensive cover and protects you against a wide range of possibilities, from accidents and damage to your vehicle, to injuries suffered by both yourself as a driver and your passengers or pedestrians.

When searching for a quote or trying to find a cheaper premium for your taxi insurance, you need to think of all the steps you can take to reduce costs.
Here are a few tips you can take on board when searching for cheaper taxi insurance.

Choose a Less Risky Car

As you will know, the type of car you use as a taxi can significantly influence the cost of your insurance. Insurers calculate the costs of your insurance by working out the risks presented by each type of car. For example, cars with powerful engines that have a history of being in accidents will cost a lot more to insure than smaller-engine cars.

Therefore, if you drive a car that has less risk of being in an accident you will pay less to insure it. Although it may be unavoidable in certain circumstances (you may be assigned a particular make and model depending on the firm you work for), it pays in the long run to have a car that is less expensive and less powerful.

Have Experience & A Clean Record

Drivers with clean records will pay less for their insurance. Obviously, a clean driving record proves that you are a safe driver and unlikely to influence an accident through your driving skill. Anything from points for speeding, driving under the influence of drink or drugs, or any type of criminal conviction will have a huge impact on the price you pay for your taxi insurance.

Similarly, your age will influence the price of your premium. Those under the age of 25 will find it a lot harder to get cheap taxi insurance than other age groups. Unfortunately, the statistics show that people under 25 get into a great many more accidents and therefore present greater risk on the road. These risks are compounded further by the fact that taxi drivers are on the road a lot more than standard motorists.

Use Telematics to Prove Safety

Nowadays, there is technology that can be put in place to prove to your insurance company that you are driving safely, thereby presenting less risk. You can put a black box tracker in your car which can record information about the state of your driving, including speed, braking distance, and how quickly you take turns.

All this information presents a clear picture of your driving ability to your broker, giving them the opportunity to revise the cost if your taxi insurance premium to go in line with your risk.

Change Your Excess

Your excess refers to the amount you would have to pay out in the event of a claim. If you increase your excess then you will more than likely pay a less expensive premium, however this could end up costing you quite a lot if you do get into a situation where you need to make a claim. It might be worth looking into this, however it pays to be mindful.

Be a Named Driver

If you work for a company and drive the same vehicle every single day, it might well be worth getting named driver cover as part of your overall taxi insurance policy. If drivers are named, then the insurance companies have a very clear view of the risks of each driver and each car.

This is particularly useful if you have a good amount of no claims bonus as it means the savings can be passed back along to yourself.

Make the Move to Electric

Electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular with drivers across the world. They can benefit both the environment but also your pockets! They are generally cheaper to repair than other cars with standard fuel, they actually cost less to insure.

Although they are not as widely-used as they may be over the coming years, it could be a good idea to get ahead of the game and start driving electric.

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How to improve your personal finances using a checklist

Personal Finance Checklist

Revamping your entire financial plan may seem like a gigantic task, so it’s easy to become overwhelmed. But by breaking your fiscal dreams into smaller, more manageable goals you’ll be setting yourself up for success while gaining some confidence about your money-making decisions with each item you cross off. Making a checklist can by the key to getting your money – and long-term goals – in order. Here are a few examples of simple changes that can make a major impact.

Start small.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they’re trying to make a substantial change in their life is focusing on objectives that aren’t easily attainable. This is an easy way to sabotage yourself, because the task seems so large you can’t possibly reach it. Think about restructuring your budget in the same way you would expect to start a diet or exercise plan. You wouldn’t expect to be able to run marathons within the first couple of weeks, so why would you hold your finances to a similar standard? Like with most goals, the little things add up. Instead of backlogging every purchase you’ve made in the last six months, start today by tracking all of your extra expenses such as movie nights, eating out, and entertainment-related costs like cable TV or your Netflix subscription. No detail is too small when it comes to money management and financial stability.

Streamline your payments.

Consolidating or organizing all of your bill payments is another simple task to add to your checklist. Determine the bills that you pay regularly, their frequency, amount, and whether or not they can be paid online. If possible, set up all bill payments to withdraw from your bank account automatically and keep track of your email or online confirmations. This can usually be done either through the servicer or your bank. By automating the process, you’ll reduce the amount of time you spend each month gathering paperwork and information. You’ll also simplify your own record keeping, since you should be able to locate most of your payments with just the click of your mouse. Even better, you won’t have to worry about accruing late fees since you know exactly when your account will be debited for each bill cycle.

Pay yourself first.

Having a comfortable savings account is one of the most important steps towards financial security. As part of your monthly, bi-weekly, or even quarterly checklist, send a portion of your paycheck to your savings account each time you get paid. Depending on your personal goals, income, and expenses this amount may vary. However, don’t underestimate how quickly even $10 or $20 per paycheck can add up over time. If possible, set up an automatic deposit so you’ll get used to receiving a lower amount. This is one line item that will give you a bit of satisfaction every time you check it off your list.

Keep your budget balanced.

Keeping your overall budget in order is usually one of the most daunting tasks, but breaking it up into smaller sections will make it a breeze to get through. Make a list of all income sources, everything you spend money on regularly, and for at least one month track all of your expenses to get an idea of how much you should allot for miscellaneous spending. Once you have your list, break the expenses into categories such as utilities, travel, housing, food, insurance, loan payments, and childcare. Your static expenses are those that are consistent for every pay period, and your flexible expenses are the less predictable ones such as car repairs or additional medical costs. Based on what you typically spend per month, you should be able to outline how much is needed to put towards extra expenses on top of your static ones. Being able to check off when each of these obligations are met will give you some peace of mind, and you won’t have to second guess whether you paid that bill or not.

Money Management for Retirement.

Money management is a huge part of most of our lives, and many of us have areas that we’d like to improve. Whether you’re saving for a dream vacation, college, or retirement, keeping track of your goals and when they are met is a valuable tool that you can use for all of your financial plans – no matter how big or small.

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Transferring Your Skills Into Income

 

Earning extra money on the side has rapidly become the mainstream whether through the gig economy, consulting, or side hustling. In fact, nearly four in 10 Americans have a side hustle, according to Bankrate.com. And while you could just do some odd jobs here and there to earn extra cash, you can take it a step further and transfer your skills and interests into sustainable, consistent income. The trick is figuring out your strengths and skills and identifying the right opportunities along the way. Here’s how to get started.

Play to Your Strengths

Just because your former colleague is making a killing at project management doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a good fit for you. Take an assessment of your strengths from organization to leadership and start brainstorming ways to transfer those skills into income. For example, someone highly skilled at marketing and promotion may be well suited to help online entrepreneurs launch their info products. Another idea is to walk budding business owners through the process of gaining organic promotion through outlets like Instagram. The more you can focus on your natural superpowers in business, the more likely you are to find the right work opportunities.

Research Opportunities that Fit Your Skills

Of course, making up a list of strengths doesn’t always reveal a clear path to income generation. This is where researching existing opportunities from franchises to direct sales businesses comes in. Consider where your skills and strengths lie. If you’re skilled at sales and networking, selling products could be a perfect fit. Meanwhile, a passion for creating healthy snacks and smoothies while running your own team could lead to a franchise opportunity. It’s always wise to really research the validity of those companies — from Amway to Smoothie King — to find the best fit. Always look for proven business models with a track record for success that fits your schedule and lifestyle.

Keep it Flexible

It can take some time to match up the right skills with an ideal opportunity. While you launch that side business selling products to consumers to flex your entrepreneurial sales muscles, look for new ways to improve your business skills along the way. Take online classes or courses at community centers and stay flexible to new ideas and interests. You might discover that your interest in sales pairs well with your interest in healthy living and teaching others about the products you love to use.

Shadow a Mentor

Partnering with a mentor is also a powerful way to identify your skills and find a path to income. Ask a former colleague, supervisor, or someone in your community to help you on your journey. Make sure to choose someone who has proven success in areas you’re interested in. Try meeting once or twice a month and working through your ideas and questions. Your mentor can help identify how your skills in bookkeeping or copywriting can directly lead to opening your own business or consulting on the side. From there, you can work with a mentor to figure out how to fill in the gaps from start to finish.

Ask Your Network

Your own network has valuable insights to your skills and strengths. Meeting up for a coffee date with a friend or colleague and asking for help in identifying your skills and brainstorming income opportunities can spark new ideas. You may discover that you never thought much about your ability to come up with ideas quickly and how small businesses would value that skill in marketing and advertising.

Your skills are valuable with the potential to make real money, but it can take a little detective work to put all of the pieces together. Start by playing to your strengths and researching proven business ideas and models to help put money in your pocket.

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A Budget Business: Online Ventures to Start with Zero Money

Is an OnLine Internet Business For You

Unlike with a bricks and mortar store, an internet business doesn’t necessarily require a substantial amount of capital for you to get started. If you have a computer, a hard work ethic and a good online business idea, you could soon be making a superb annual revenue. If, however, you are stuck for ideas and are looking for a light bulb moment, here are some online ventures to start with zero money.

Drop Shipping

The beauty of drop shipping is you don’t need to have cash in the bank to sell high-quality products to your customers.

For example, you will not need to purchase a large inventory of products, as you will only buy an item from a wholesaler when a customer places an order on your website.

Plus, as they will keep the products in their warehouse and will process a delivery to a customer, this can reduce your overheads even further.

You will, however, need to find the right product to sell on your website to make a great profit.

For example, if you want to develop an e-commerce clothing brand, you should find reputable t-shirts, trousers and hoodies suppliers, which could cater to consumer demand.

 

Digital Information Products

An internet business also allows you to sell digital products, which should provide your customers with value for money. As you’ll have no physical products to sell, you will not need to worry about manufacturing, warehousing or distribution.

You can, therefore, create information products for free, which you can then sell for a fixed price to a customer.

Some of the most popular digital information products include:
  • eBooks
  • Travel guides
  • A recorded webinar
  • Videos
  • An audio interview
  • Instructional booklet

It is, however, essential to make sure the digital product is both engaging and useful to generate a sizable amount of sales.

An Online Consulting Business

If you have extensive experience in a field and believe you have considerable knowledge you can pass on to others, an online consulting business could be an ideal option.

It is easy to get started, as you will need to set-up a website, identify a target market, set consultancy rates, and start networking in your industry to attract clients.

It can be a rewarding online venture, as it will enable you to earn a living while passing on your expert knowledge to other professionals, which can help them to excel in their chosen field.

Video Monetization

There are many online video publishing websites that allow you to monetize your videos, such as YouTube. If you can produce high-quality, informative, or entertaining videos on your smartphone or computer, you could earn a substantial profit.

Profitable YouTube video ideas can include:

  • How to videos
  • Cooking videos
  • Gadget reviews
  • Book reviews
  • Online tutorials
  • Blogger interviews
  • Fitness videos
To start monetizing your videos, you will need to link your channel to Google AdSense, and you’ll make 68% of the ad revenue. If a user watches 30 seconds or more of an advertisement, you’ll receive around $0.18 for the view, which can amount to a hefty sum over time.

 

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When Will Home DNA Kit Companies Get Listed on Stock Markets?

The Market Increasing For Home DNA Kits

The rising popularity of home DNA kits is reaching fever pitch levels. People around the world are scrambling to uncover the secrets of their ancestry, ethnicity, and familial relationships through DNA testing. The widespread availability of commercially viable home DNA kits has established a viable industry that investors are now eyeing with optimism. Even at a time where stock-market volatility threatens to upend all the gains of 2018, many investors are optimistic about the prospects in store for DNA testing services such as Living DNA, FamilyTreeDNA, Ancestry.com, MyHeritage, and 23andMe. Many of these companies have been in operation for well over a decade, and their user base now includes millions of registered members around the world.

Who are the leading DNA testing companies on the market?

Burgeoning interest in home DNA kits has fueled speculation that this industry is set for a boom period in 2019. For example, Ancestry.com LLC is a family history research company which provides online sources for local history, census records, military, vital info, and family records. This private company has yet to make moves to list an IPO on the NASDAQ, but it may be mulling a more opportune time, given the sharp losses on US bourses which have ensued in recent months. According to leading DNA kits comparison site, CompareDNAKits.com strong growth trends are now evident with surging demand on a global scale. Besides Ancestry.com, 23andMe and MyHeritage are the top 3 dominating the market.

23andMe Mulling IPO?

23andMe is also involved in genetic testing, with home DNA kits provided to clients. This company is located in Mountain View, California. To date, 23andMe has received massive funding to the tune of $791 million from leading tech companies, venture capitalists, angel investors and health science companies. Notable investors include Johnson & Johnson, Google Ventures, Mpm Capital, and Illumina. With such tremendous interest in this private company, there is a chance that the Board of Directors will consider going public and listing on Wall Street. The San Francisco times ran a story in 2015 suggesting that an IPO was imminent. While this has not happened yet, it remains a viable possibility, given the windfall investments that typically follow public listings. This private company is classified as a commercial services enterprise in the consumer discretionary sector. It is headed by the co-founder and CEO Anne Wojcicki.

MyHeritage is a private company providing clients with DNA home test kits to gauge their ethnicity and family tree. It’s also an industry-leading player in the ancestry field, with a strong social media sharing platform. In September 2018, MyHeritage partnered with WH Smith for the distribution of its DNA kits to clients. This UK partnership has fast-tracked the availability of home DNA test kits throughout Europe, and includes bundle packages for premium members. As one of the world’s leading genealogists services companies, MyHeritage already boasts 9 billion historical records, comprising a wide range of tools for discovering ethnicity, with integrated social options and records. The company CEO and founder, Mr Gilad Japhet built his private enterprise into a dominant market player.

Why Is the Public Interested in DNA Testing?

DNA test kits have been on the market for several years, but the prohibitive costs have prevented widespread use of these types of services. DNA home testing kits typically use a cheek swab to test ethnicity, ancestry, genealogies and so forth. In 2017, the industry generated net profits of $73 million in the USA alone, $50 million in Japan, and profits are expected to double within the next four years. Consumers have been exposed to DNA testing through TV shows like Forensic Files, and paternity testing on daytime talk shows like Maury. Now that costs have come down, demand has spiked. Users don’t need to visit a laboratory, or a doctor’s office to get these tests done – everything can be completed from the comforts of home. As with any industry that goes through a dramatic surge in demand, talk blossoms about the possibility of public listings on the stock markets. Time will tell.

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Copy Trading: Why It’s a Great Idea for Beginners

 

Copy Trading And What It Is All About

The financial markets are becoming more accessible with online trading platforms and top brokers offering their services, so it is not surprising to see new investors taking advantage of this opportunity to explore the available instruments. There are more forex and stock traders today than ever before, and this is a good sign of a growing investment landscape.

Entering the now open financial markets, however, is not as easy as it seems. You still have to know your way around the traded instruments and the market as a whole. More importantly, you need to enter the market with a clear plan in mind. There are a lot of things to understand about the financial markets before you can make successful trades.

Many new traders turn to copy trading – and the broader social trading networks in general – for help. You too can learn about the financial markets while copying the trades of other, more experienced investors. But is copy trading a good idea?

Learn from the Best

Copy trading allows you to copy the trades of top investors on the market, but it doesn’t stop there. You still maintain complete control over the trades you make, including when it comes to deciding which investors you want to copy and how each trade is adjusted to your portfolio.

This level of control makes copy trading perfect for helping you learn about the financial markets you are entering. Rather than reading articles and relying on other resources, you can learn directly from top investors while benefiting from their trades at the same time.

Copy trading also lets you be a part of the market in real-time. You can apply the same technical indicators as the ones used by top investors, follow fundamentals from the same sources, and learn about the trades being made based on analysis and the usual decision-making process.

Allows You to Invest with Limited Knowledge

One of the biggest advantages of copy trading for beginners is that it allows new traders to start investing even if they have limited knowledge of trading and how the markets work. If you’re new to trading, it may be difficult to understand the challenges and pitfalls you should avoid and understand market behaviour.

People who first start trading currency pairs might be overly cautious at first, in order to not make mistakes. This makes the whole learning process much lengthier and will slow down your progression. But with copy trading, you’ll basically have a seasoned trader walking you through trades and showing you exactly which moves you should make. This will allow you to start making profits much faster than you would otherwise.

Saves Time

People are often unaware of how much time it takes to devise a trading strategy, and how time-consuming market analysis can be. Fundamental and technical analysis will most likely dominate your time if you’re doing everything on your own, especially if you’re not familiar with in-depth analysis in the first place. But with copy trading, all the hard work will already be done for you, and you can significantly reduce, or even completely bypass analysis altogether.

More Options to Choose From

Today’s copy trading services also allow you to tap into the same vast array of instruments that you can trade on the open market. Regardless of the CFDs and foreign currency pairs you are interested in, you can always find investors whose trades you want to follow.

This also gives you more flexibility in terms of shaping your portfolio. While you learn about the markets, your portfolio will continue to grow, and you stand a chance of banking profits along the way. There is no better way to learn than while profiting from real trades!

On top of that, you also have different platforms to use. ZuluTrade, for example, focuses more on their copy-trading features and signals. EToro, on the other hand, offers features related to both copy trading and the broader scope of social trading. The options are indeed endless.

Easier to Get Started

Copy trading doesn’t just make entering the financial markets easier. Getting started with your own copy trading account is also very easy to do, especially now that you have sites such as InvestinGoal helping you every step of the way. Via InvestinGoal, you can find reviews of popular copy trading services and platforms. These reviews help you choose the platform that suits your specific needs best. There are tips and tricks for beginners and even more resources to use as you learn about the market.

You even have news and social trading blogs to utilize as you venture further into the financial markets. With so many resources available, becoming a successful online trader – and starting that journey using copy trading as your weapon of choice – is easy.

Better Diversification

The added control you now have when copy trading helps you eliminate some of the issues associated with copy trading in the first place. Rather than taking the passenger seat and hoping for the best, you now have the ability to go deep into the trading strategy and find tactics that work for you.

In terms of diversifying your investment portfolio, for example, you are no longer limited to following one investor at a time. This means you can enter multiple markets, learn about them simultaneously, and copy the trades of top investors in each market.

The same can be said for risk management. In the old days, copy trading was often associated with a lack of risk management. This is due to many new investors taking copy trading as a way to make money quickly, which it isn’t. The more you are involved in managing your portfolio’s risks, the more profitable you will be in the long run.

Is it a Good Idea?

Is Copy Trading a good idea. We would have to say yes, read our opinion
Copy trading is a fantastic way to enter the market when you have little to no experience. That said, it is something that needs to be approached with learning in mind. Copy trading is how you learn from the best investors and be a great investor yourself, all while making money in the process.

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What Millennials Can Learn from Boomers about Retirement Planning

Boomers retiring by the tens of millions each year.

How many times have you heard it said, “If I only knew then what I know now…” about everything from financial planning to raising kids? It’s likely that you’ve heard it at least several times a week and now even millennials are becoming tuned in to the problems besetting boomers as they age and retire.

The world is a much different place than it was, even a generation ago, and so it would be wise for the younger generation to look at some of the trials and tribulations of boomers as they begin retiring by the tens of millions each year.

Insufficient Planning Delays Retirement

One of the major problems that many boomers face is that they didn’t plan sufficiently for their future. They assumed their Social Security check along with that 401k or other retirement investment would be sufficient to provide for them in their senior years.

Back a few generations, there simply weren’t the resources to plan well for retirement and today’s retirees are learning that they should have planned better. Today there are financial products that are aimed at growing wealth for your senior years and these are the products millennials should be investigating when seeking to invest in their own futures.

Unexpected Rises in the Cost of Living

What it all boils down to is that no one really expected the cost of living to skyrocket as it has. Some attribute it to the cost of production, keeping prices rising while others attribute it to higher taxes and the increasing cost of fuel and food. For whatever reason, the cost of living has far surpassed the rise in wages and this is something no one could have foreseen but perhaps should have planned for anyway.

Avoid Borrowing against Retirement Savings

Another one of the big mistakes boomers made, almost across the board, is to have borrowed heavily along the way against their retirement savings. This is a big problem that millennials should learn from. If at all possible, don’t delete those savings! Find a way to finance what you need to pay but leave that money where it is so that it can continue growing.

You know what they say about good intentions, so don’t be caught in the ‘intend to replace it’ trap. Chances are you will never replace that money once it has been spent. Just as you think you’ve got your head above water, another crisis surfaces and so it goes. Put that money away and forget it’s there. That, perhaps, is the biggest lesson you can learn from boomers.

The Logic of Downsizing Early

When it comes to downsizing once the nest is empty, altogether too many people fail to liquidate assets early enough. That big six bedroom home you live in and raised your children in may be sentimental but now that it’s paid off, sell it, buy a smaller property and invest the profit made from the sale.

Too many middle age people hang on to the family homestead thinking to save it for the kids, or to have a place for them if they need to come home. It’s time for grown kids to be grown kids. Think about your future by downsizing as soon as the nest is empty. Can you imagine how that amount of money can grow over the course of a couple decades until you are ready to retire?

Diversify Your Investments

And one final thing which millennials should learn from boomers is that they failed to diversify their investment products early enough. Altogether too many people lost their savings with the economic crisis of a decade ago and now those boomers simply don’t have enough time to recover their losses.

By diversifying your retirement investments, you can have that added bit of protection if one market should fail. The last time it was real estate that led to a global crisis. What will it be next time around? No one knows so diversify, unless of course you are a fortune teller and can predict the future.

The intelligent millennial will take a good look around them and fully understand the predicament most boomers are in now as they face retirement. It is always good counsel to be told to learn from your elders, in both their triumphs and failures, but never more so when planning for retirement. Don’t fall into the same trap your parents and grandparents fell in. You can learn a lot from boomers if you care to open your eyes. Plan now and live comfortably later – a great investment strategy altogether.

 

 

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The Death of Buy To Let? Not for Savvy Investors

 

Changes in Property Investments

There has recently been a slew of negative headlines, bad forecasts and gloomy warnings about the death of buy to let. Stamp duty changes, tax rises, and new policies have muddied the waters around property investment. However, these dire warnings should be taken with a large pinch of salt. For savvy investors, buy to let property investment can be incredibly lucrative, you just need to be smart.

In the past buy to let property was a popular choice for get rich quick investors, looking to sell quickly and move on. After the economic crash and the slowdown of the property market, huge price rises are rarer, but not impossible. In certain areas of the UK, property prices have grown considerably over the past 12 months. According to the UK cities house price index, in Liverpool, house prices have risen by 7.5%, in Glasgow they have risen by 7.2%, in Nottingham by 6.9% and Manchester by 6.8%. These high growth areas often also benefit from affordable low entry prices, allowing investors to diversify their portfolios or purchase in more than one locations.

Doing Your Research

By doing research on which areas of the country are best for house prices and investing in regions which are benefitting from regeneration and investment, you can still make a considerable profit when buying and selling property. Property investment specialists like RW Invest are encouraging investors to look to cities like Liverpool and Manchester where property prices are on the rise and rental yields are good. Studio apartments, student accommodation and HMOs are all alternatives to the typical residential property investment. Opportunities to purchase buy to let properties are worth pursuing, and if you can find a below market value property in a high growth area you can make impressive profits.

Long Term Benefits of Buy To Let

The real benefit of buy to let is when you look long term. One key way of measuring an investment is through the rental yields. This tells you how much of your property you will earn back in rents over a year. For example, a property worth £100,000 that earns £6,000 a year in rental income would have a rental yield of 6%. The higher the rental yield the quicker a property will pay for itself. Rental rates have been on the rise in the UK, and the conditions are perfect for buy to let investors to find new properties. The UK housing crisis has seen a huge increase in the number of people looking for rental properties. With less houses available to rent and a harder time buying a first property, tenants are staying in rentals for longer than ever before and paying more for them too.

Rob Bence, presenter of The Property Hub’s Property Podcast said in a recent GQ article “Investing in property may have become a little more complex, with changes to tax relief rules and increases in Stamp Duty Land Tax now in play but property remains the safest form of investment and it is absolutely still possible to prosper from it”. Buy to let is definitely not dead and its unique benefit of earning rent as well as increasing in value makes it a doubly profitable venture. For smart investors who do their research, invest in up and coming areas and plan a long-term strategy, buy to let property investment can still pay off.

 

 

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