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5 Awesome Things about Long Term Loans

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Whoops, is that money belt feeling a little tight? Feeling the pinch on your wallet if you want to procure something that is usually not an everyday purchase? How can you manage your cash liquidity flow problem to compensate for the lack of funds you seem to be facing? Simple, you take out a long-term loan.

Now, it’s not as easy as it sounds and can be a complex process. Perhaps you are a bit cautious and do not want to take on such a high volume of debt. Or, you just do not know what the process entails. The first thing you need to know is that personal loans that tend to span a long period of time will give you access to immediate funds and will allow you to obtain an economical monthly repayment plan.

There is no hard and fast rule that places a time cap on the loan duration to classify it as a “long term”, but usually five years or so is the generally accepted norm in the many top loan companies. You could need it for any reason: maybe you want to buy a brand new automobile, pay your child’s college tuition fee, renovate your home or just buy a new one. Let us share a few awesome benefits that come with engaging in long term loans.

Access to Large Sum of Money

A long term loan will allow you to borrow a higher amount of money. If you are investing in an asset that will appreciate with time, such as a property, then a long term loan could be the best way to go about it as there are countless unanticipated expenses associated with the purchase of a property.

Homeowner insurance, fire insurance, security insurance, the list goes on and on. Maybe there is an unforeseen medical emergency that has risen in your family and you need access to a large pool of cash. Anything is possible. This sort of loans can also help you pay off any consolidated credit card balances and other forms of debt.

There could be happier reasons to borrow money as well: such as a wedding or honeymoon destination you want to finance without any worries. Remember that the longer your loan duration is, the lower your monthly payment will be. Notable variations in monthly payments will exist if you choose a seven year plan over a three year one.

Flexibility in Payment Schedule

Usually, there is no payment limit placed on the loan agreement that you undertake with your loan service provider. You can go beyond the monthly minimum if your wallet allows it. If there is one month where your budget allows you to afford to pay a higher amount back, then make sure you go for it!

This will lower the interest expenses that you are bearing and lower your debt as well. If £900 a month sounds doable to you on some months but not each one, then maybe take a longer loan plan out. That will give you the flexibility you need to pay additional amounts when and if possible.

And of course, you will not damage your creditworthiness if you need the extra £300 for some other activity as you will continue to make the monthly minimum requirement.

Personal Loan-not a Credit Card

Now, we do hope that you are not in the habit of racking up debt. However, given the high cost of living in today’s world, we would not be surprised if you had a high volume of credit card debt as well. Personal loans tend to be better choices than credit card sometimes. Read on to explore the reasons behind this.

Lower cost of Interest

Your bank could be giving you a mind blowing rate on your credit card scheme. But even then, interest rates associated with personal loans tend to be quite lower than those compared to credit cards. The more you pay back towards your personal loan will make your principal amount lower and you will pay off the actual debt you owe rather than incur additional interest charges.

Set Date for Payment

The minimum amount you owe on your credit card debt can be stretched out years to come. We are not messing with you, it could go up to twenty-two years or even more. If you make the smarter choice and go for a long term personal loan, your monthly payment will remain the same and you will know when you have fulfilled your debt and are truly free from its burden.

One-Time Funding

We recommend that you take out some time and study how personal loans work. Once you comprehend their dynamics, you will understand why it is a financially stronger alternative than a credit card. The latter tends to trap you in its vicious, never ending cycle of borrowing and paying. It becomes a lifelong circle as you pay some debt, get more debt, pay it off again and repeat. Even if you paid of £700, you can easily rack that up again.

Even with all the benefits of long term loans, there are still a few things to watch out for. The harsh reality is that you will remain in debt for a long period of time. Therefore, it is essential you understand the commitment you are taking on and feel comfortable in your capability to meet future payment requirements.

If your loan service provider feels that there is a higher risk, he will probably place a higher interest rate on your loan scheme. This will mean you will be paying higher interest charges. But remember you do have the flexibility to pay higher amounts in the months that are more lucrative for you financially.

That is the beauty of personal loans as it offers you a higher degree of flexibility that does not come with other forms of payment. Make sure you have a strong credit rating to obtain a good interest rate with an effective payment schedule that is not a burden for you.

Top Tips When Choosing A Life Insurance Policy

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Hitting your early 30s and thinking it’s time to start planning your financial future? Let us guess, you are being given unsolicited advice left, right and centre and now you are confused on where to begin?

Do not worry, we all have been in the same boat as you and have felt as we are drowning. The good news is we are here to offer you a life jacket filled with tips and ideas on how to kickstart your fiscal planning. One vital element of any effective financial strategy is to select an optimal life insurance policy that will aid your family in your absence.

Essentially, a life insurance policy is a written agreement you will hold with an insurance service provider whom you will pay monthly premium instalments. When the policy holder has passed on, the insurance company will dish out a lump-sum amount to the designated beneficiary. It will help lift your beloved ones’ economic status and save them the hassle of facing any possible fiscal troubles. When choosing a life insurance policy, there are several factors to take into account.

Since there is a plethora of information out there, the process of life insurance selection can get confusing and complicated.  That is why we reached out to these life insurance lawyers in Houston to share a few clarifications and to make the whole procedure a little bit easier.

Don’t Get Lost

The variety of life insurance products available may appear overwhelming. Remember that you do not want to get lost in the marketing or technical jargon thrown at you and you want to truly comprehend the intricacies of the policies you are considering. It will be easy to confuse one kind of insurance policy for the other but remember that true life insurance portfolios differ from others in the category. For instance, mortgage term insurance compensates your property debt and is not meant to leave any additional income for your family.

Know Your Needs

As stated, there is a whole world out there of insurance brands. It is imperative that you conduct an internal analysis to identify your needs and verify what your requirements are. Once armed with this knowledge, selecting an insurance product will become a clearer and rapid process. For instance, you could go with level term insurance as it is simple and direct in its approach. It pays out a certain amount given that you pass away in the time period assigned to your contract.

Be Transparent

Hey, it’s the age of the internet where all kinds of information are available and it is not really possible to hide any facts. Hence, be honest and don’t worry if you slipped your hand in the cookie jar. What we mean is that if you had any kind of illness before or any form of surgery, make sure you disclose it to the insurance salesman. Be an open book about your medical history. Sure, you may be delegated a slightly higher monthly premium but you will not endanger your future payment (upon expiration) as you were transparent from the beginning.

Go Single

Yes, we all love our spouses but we do not mean to be single in that aspect (We are invested in the idea of happy families!). When you are buying an insurance policy, avoid taking out a joint one. This option may lure you in as it is a cost effective one compared to paying two separate monthly premiums. However, the policy will be terminated once the first person passes away. This implies that your partner will have to procure another one and start from scratch. If she or he is older at that stage, the life insurance premium will be quite expensive.

Know Your Coverage

A general rule to follow is to request the financial cover to be approximately ten times your yearly income. Usually, this is applicable up to the time your children have completed their education, whether college or high school. If the former, you may contemplate a higher volume of coverage. Have a think and consider what kind of debts or expenses you may have, and then quote a figure.

Quit Smoking

If your wallet is dearer to you than that pack of cigarettes, then you may want to give it up. Think of it as a double whammy: you save a few extra pounds by not buying cigarettes and you pay a lower premium on your insurance policy. If you consume any form of tobacco, your monthly payments will be much higher compared to those who do not use tobacco. So, go nicotine free for a year and enjoy not only healthier lungs but also lower expenses.

Go Cheap

Yes, policies that may appear “cheaper” to you have the potential to be as effective as their costlier counterparts. Life insurance is actually pretty straightforward: it’s a policy that will dish out money upon one’s expiration. You do not need multiple add-ons and can focus on getting the amount you require in the future.

Eat Right

If you are one of the many people who chose to live life right by eating healthy and working out regularly, then chances are your monthly premiums are much lower. It differs from case to case and person to person, but the healthier you are, the cheaper your premium will be. A 40 year old insurance policy taken out at the age of 35 will be easier to obtain than a similar product at the age of 55. Regardless, you may want to swap those daily French fries for a baked version. You never know when you may want to choose your insurance policy and being prepared in advance will help you go a long way.

Choose Fixed Prices

Reviewable or guaranteed premium? The latter means you dish out the same amount every month in all circumstances for the duration of the policy. If you opt for the reviewable alternative, then the amount you pay on a monthly basis can be revisited at the discretion of your insurance service provider.

Suffered An Injury At Work? – What Are Your Legal Rights

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We’ve all seen those adverts, haven’t we? It seems like every lawyer with an ad budget is making their own adverts but while they might be catchy, meme-worthy and in some cases even effective they don’t really explain, much do they?

So, if you suffer an injury at work what are your legal rights? Well first of all, before we examine that let’s look at what exactly is covered by a personal injury claim. Despite what the adverts might show a personal injury claim isn’t just for accidental trips and falls.

What Is A Personal Injury?    

A personal injury such as Jones Whyte who are a local glasgow personal injury lawyers can take many forms but they all have something in common, if your injury is a result of negligence on your employer’s part then you can make a claim. A personal injury covers many different areas as well, let’s take a look at some more in-depth examples.

While the most obverse examples of personal injuries are things like trips and falls due to unsafe conditions they also include psychological issues as well. This could be mental stress due to things like bullying and intimidation, many people think personal injuries just mean physical harm, but they cover a much wider spectrum.

How Do You Make A Claim?

Making a claim for personal injury is something many people over complicate, it’s much simpler than many people think. However, winning your case is a whole other matter but it’s advisable that whatever your injury is that you act fast when making a claim.

You should also keep a record of any important information this is especially important when the personal injury is psychological in nature. Your claim for a personal injury will more than likely be a civil claim but it again could take a number of different forms.

Any claim for a personal injury will usually be either a claim for a breach of your contract or a claim for negligence. The vast majority of cases will be heard in a civil court. More than likely the county court, although it may be held in the high court depending on the exact nature of the claim.

Claiming For Breach of Contract

If you’re claiming for a breach of contract, then you need to be able to prove your employer has breached the terms of your employment contract. For example, if you’ve suffered an injury due to improper or poor-quality equipment then you’ll need to be able to show that your employer didn’t fulfill their contractual obligations to protect your health and safety.

If your employment contract doesn’t clearly state how your employer is supposed to protect your well-being, then you will still likely have a case. All employers have an implied contractual duty to protect their employee’s health and safety as well as the legal requirement to ensure any place of work is safe.

One important thing to remember if you’re are making a claim for a breach of contract is the difference between expressed terms and the previously mentioned implied terms. Expressed terms are terms you officially agree to this can be in person or in writing, they’re contractual obligations of some form.

Implied terms like previously mentioned are not in a written contract and you don’t have to prove you have agreed to them in some form. You can think of them as common-sense agreements like that your employer will protect your health and wellbeing and follow proper health and safety practices. 

Making A Claim For Negligence

Making a claim for negligence follows very similar procedures to claiming for a breach of contract. However, you’ll need to prove how you have been negatively affected and that your employer was acting negligently in their duties.

For example, if you were injured because of a faulty piece of equipment if you can prove that your employer knew it was damaged and didn’t take any action to either replace or repair it or at the very least ensure it wasn’t not used, then you can prove there were negligent in their duties.

What If I Quit Work?

If you quit or resign from work because you think the risk of suffering a personal injury is too high or you believe your employers are being negligent in their duties can you still, make a claim? The good news is you can, but things will be slightly different.

So, how does it work? Instead of going straight to a solicitor you will instead need to make a claim to an employment tribunal and then prove that your claim for constructive dismal was just. Be wary though making a claim for a constructive dismal is notoriously difficult and any claim must be made within three months of the date you left.

Now if you are instead fired from your position then you can make a claim for an unfair dismissal instead. However, this follows a slightly different process if you’re making a claim for unfair dismissal you will need to prove it’s related to your personal injury claim, and in many cases, you will only be able to make a claim for unfair dismissal if you have been working for your employer for over two years.

If you don’t want to quit but don’t want to work in an area that is not following proper practices or that you believe breaches health and safety rules, then you are protected from dismissal and disciplinary action. All employees have this right and you should talk to your safety representative to explain your actions.

Likewise, whistleblowers are also protected so if you feel you have been unfairly treated or victimised because you made a public disclosure then you should contact an employment tribunal to explain your case. 

Strengthening Your Case 

So, that’s a look at all the main points you need to consider when making a case for a personal injury claim. Remember though every case is unique and you should meet with a solicitor as soon as possible to get some professional, legal insight in your case. Remember at every stage to keep a record as well, because it will be sure to come in handy.

5 Tips To Help You Move House With As Little Stress As Possible

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Moving home is something that most people don’t relish, even when it is for positive reasons such as a new addition to the family or starting a new life with your significant other. One of the biggest problems that proves the most stressful for people when moving to a new house is timing.

It can be hard and stressful trying to work towards your big moving date and making sure you have done everything that needs to be done and that everything is packed that needs to be packed. Even if you just had your move to deal with, it would be stressful enough. However, most of us do not have the luxury of just focusing on our move and have to juggle the demands of our day to day life too – whether it is work, study or family commitments.

How then, can you successfully move home with as little stress as possible? In the following post we look at several helpful tips to help.

Start As Early As Possible and Declutter

When preparing to move to a new house, the most crucial tip we can offer is to ensure that you give yourself enough time to everything done. Even if we think we only have a small amount of stuff to pack and move, you will find that it is more than you thought when you actually come to packing it up. Before you pack then, it can be a great help to go through your stuff and declutter where possible. Throw out, recycle or sell/give away anything you don’t actually use or need. You need to be ruthless and avoid holding on to things without good reason.

Work methodically from room to room. It could be those books or DVDs you have already ready or watched or just furniture that has seen better days or there is no space for in your new place. You will be glad when it comes to packing, moving and unpacking if you have less to do.

Decide Who Is Going To Help You Move

Although it is obviously less expensive to handle a removal job yourself, it may not be the best option for your own circumstances. If you can, enlist the help of friends and family. Hire a van or two and make a plan of who is going to do what and when and ensure everyone knows their responsibilities.

However, if you are looking for more convenience, there are many benefits to hiring a company like http://securemoveservices.co.uk/. As well as providing professional help with the move itself, you can also hire them to help you with the packing. Having their experience and know-how can be handy when it comes to figuring out how to fit your items safely into boxes and then packing a van using space in the most optimum way.

Create A Moving Schedule


There is so much to do and remember when moving to a new house that it helps to be as prepared beforehand as possible. From the moment you know you will be moving and have an actual date this will be happening you should be planning exactly what needs to happen and when.

Remember the old adage ‘when you fail to prepare, prepare to fail’. By planning out exactly what you are going to do from this point to move day and beyond, you can better organise your daily tasks and work them into your normal schedule.

You Can Never Have Too Many Boxes

No matter how many boxes you have, you will probably still find that you need one or two more. It is thought that the average three-bedroom house requires around 100 boxes for a move. Therefore, make sure you have enough boxes. In fact, make sure you have MORE than enough boxes, along with box cutters, labels, permanent markers, tape dispensers and brown packing tape. As well as buying special boxes in bulk for your move, it can be helpful to take a trip to the local supermarkets and stores in your area. They will often let you take boxes off their hands completely free of charge. Not only will you be saving money, but you will be helping protect the environment by reusing cardboard.

Make sure too that you have a sufficient amount of packing paper for lining your boxes with before and after placing your possessions inside them. It is recommended that you use this rather than newspaper as the ink has a tendency of transferring onto the contents of a box.

Pack Wisely

If you are taking on the task of packing, make sure you do it wisely and strategically. Start by packing all non-essential items first from each room, remembering to pack the heavier items at the bottom. When it comes to really heavy items though, use smaller boxes to avoid over-packing them and making it harder (or impossible) to lift.

Dangerous and items such as paint cans and bleach etc. should be packed separately. Make a list of all the items in each box and the room they will be going into in your new home and tape these to the top or sides of the box. If possible, it can be incredibly helpful to decide the specific cupboards and drawers or other storage spaces where things will be going in rooms. By doing this, you will be able to come into each room with the relevant boxes and unpack them quicker and more efficiently.

Another crucial tip for packing is to ensure you make a survival box up. This box should have everything you will need when you first move into your new home, such as a kettle, coffee machine (if you prefer), mugs, coffee, tea bags, milk, plates, cutlery, washing-up liquid, dish cloth and toilet paper. It is also a good idea to pack a first aid kit, light bulbs, change of clothes, towels and toiletries.

Although in a perfect situation, we’d hope that these tips will be enough to avoid stress when the time comes to move home; we know this is highly unlikely. However, what we can guarantee is that when you take the time and make the effort to plan your move and follow the tips above, you will significantly reduce the stressfulness of the process.

10 of the best bitcoin & cryptocurrency brokers

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If you’ve looked over a ‘how to get started in cryptocurrency’ guide you’ll realise that finding a broker is an important part of the process.

Crypro brokerages are also an extremely competitive area – which means big marketing campaigns, affiliate schemes – and plenty of websites telling you exactly who to use. Sadly, it’s pretty obvious that most of those things point you in the direction of whoever’s spending the most money to get you onboard – not always the best choice for you!

Rather than point you in one direction or another, we’ll run you through 10 of the most reputable brokers and exchanges currently operating – and give you a few pointers that might help you make your decision.

Coinbase

In terms of established names, you won’t find many more solid than Coinbase. They’ve got a nice and simple step by step process that sees you create a digital wallet, connect your bank account then start buying currency.

Coinbase only trade Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin at the moment – so if you’re looking for something less well-known, you might be better starting somewhere else. For the 3 big currencies, Coinbase is a good bet.

CEX.io

CEX.io is another well known name in crypto – and has the enviable record of having never lost any user’s funds to theft. Combine that with a 99.999% service availability and CEX.io presents as a very safe and dependable choice.

The site meets financial legal compliances in some of the most stringent countries in the world too – so you’ve got more than just a few good reviews backing your choice of broker up.

Localbitcoins

Reading a Localbitcoins review will make it clear that this isn’t your average crypto broker site – instead, the service is a true peer-to-peer bitcoin trading service.

Imagine a classified site but entirely for Bitcoin – the site allows users to post advertisements offering their own exchange rate and payment methods. Localbitcoins consider themselves the future of Bitcoin trading – a peer-to-peer service for a peer-to-peer currency.

Wall of Coins

Wall of coins cite themselves as being the most trusted crypto marketplace on Earth – and a bit part of that is the way they handle their customers and their coins.

A lot of brokers offer a wallet that doesn’t offer you direct access to your coins and their keys – but Wall of Coins does. Not only that, but all coins are held in ‘cold’ storage – an unmarked secure facility with the highest level of security. A lot of companies that hold coins offline take a while to grant access and begin transactions – which can be limiting – but Wall of Coins offer access within 15 minutes – impressive speed.

Coinhouse

Coinhouse is one of the few crypto exchanges that’s based in France – and it’s run by Ledger, the team behind the Ledger Nano S – one of the most highly thought of hardware wallets on the market. As such, you can sleep easy knowing your currency and details are in safe hands.

Coinhouse deliver your currency immediately, meaning you’re free to spend your time as you wish – rather than sitting around waiting for your account to credit. They comply with regulations throughout Europe and the USA and pledge no hidden fees – so what you see is very much what you’re going to pay.

ItBit

ItBit crank up the authority on their site and through their marketing material by concentrating on financial organisations and Bitcoin trading professionals. They’re regulated throughout the US and offer bespoke services for clients who are trading serious numbers of Bitcoin.

ItBit very much put themselves forward as the next level of crypto exchanges – and part of that is their high level of customer support. If you need help – they’ve got dedicated customer support representatives available online or via the phone at any time of the day or night.

Twin their levels of customer care with the fact that they were the first regulated Bitcoin exchange in the US – and you’re onto a safe bet.

Changelly

Changelly is a little different to the other services on this list – in that it doesn’t trade in traditional currencies whatsoever – so your GBP, USD or EUR is no good here!

Instead, you’ve got the chance to find some exceptional exchange rates between digital currencies – better than the services that deal with standard debit and credit card transactions. When you visit the site you can enter the currency and amount you wish to trade from – and you’ll get a real time indication of how much you can expect out from your desired coin.

Because Changelly doesn’t actually hold any coin – all transactions are facilitated directly with the relevant user and trading platform – protecting user anonymity. This is a good review of Changelly that we would highly recommend that you read. 

Coinmama

Although Coinmama only sell Bitcoin and Ethereum, they pride themselves on ease of use and speed – so if you don’t have the time to sit around making sure each step of the process is going to plan, you might find yourself right at home here.

Select an amount, click ‘buy now’, enter your card details and you’re done. Plus, you can quickly and easily track the status of any order. Simplicity at its finest.

Bitpanda

Where most exchanges only accept Visa, Mastercard and PayPal – Bitpanda are happy to accept any one of 10 payment options – from Skrill to SEPA.

Bitpanda came to life after its founders – all Bitcoin enthusiasts – discovered how difficult it could be buying Bitcoin in Europe. The service is fully automated – as soon as you submit your payment you’re automatically credited with the cryptocurrency of your choice. Their homepage has an exceptionally detailed FAQs section that will take you through any uncertainties you have about the platform.

Bitquick

As you might be able to guess from the name, Bitquick is another service that prides itself on a quick turnaround time for customers – and while they don’t claim to be instant – you can get the transaction time for their 10 latest orders on their site – and it’s usually less than 20 minutes.

One of the big factors that sets Bitquick aside from anyone else is that fact that they handle cash – real cash, transferred to their account – rather than credit or debit card transactions that require the card issuer as an intermediary. You can expect some ID checks if you’re dealing with massive figures – but that’s to be expected – and there aren’t many exchanges that handle cash transactions so quickly and safely.

Getting Started with Forex Trading

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There are lots of resources online such as the Elliott Wave theory that’ll explain how to start out with using their particular Forex brokerage or tools – but not as many impartial guides that’ll give you an overview of the steps you need to take.

If Forex trading looks like something worth exploring, follow these steps to get up and running…

  1. Get clued up on the terminology

Before you make any trades you need to know the language of the marketplace. Take some time to read some guides on Forex and you’ll see terms used in context. Here are a few of the most important ones to get you moving:

  • Base: The base currency is the one you’re holding or selling.
  • Quote: The quote currency is the currency you’re purchasing.
  • Pair: A pair represents the two currencies you’re dealing with in a trade.
  • Exchange rate: This is the rate at which the base can be exchanged for the quote.
  • Long: This is a trading position, in which you intend to buy the base and sell the quote.
  • Short: This is a trading position, in which you’re buying the quote in exchange for the base.
  • Spread: The rate at which a broker buys and sells currency is referred to as a ‘bid’ and ‘ask’ price respectively – between those two prices is the ‘spread’.
  • Point/Pip: This is 0.0001 of the change in value between two currencies.

It’s worth becoming familiar with the different currency acronyms too – as well as the terms that relate to different buying strategies.

  1. Check out some quotes

Having a look at some Forex quotes will give you a good idea of how the previously mentioned terms fall into place.

Generally, you’ll see bid and ask price that relates to the broker you’re using, the opening price for that currency – as well as the highest and lowest values the pair has achieved that day. Things get really interesting when you see the red or green columns – indicating whether the base currency in the pair is up or down in value against the quote.

  1. Think about currency pairs

Most Forex brokerages deal with the main 4 main currencies pairs, they are:

  • EUR/USD – The Euro and the US Dollar
  • USD/JPY – The US Dollar and the Japanese Yen
  • GBP/USD – The British Pound and the US Dollar
  • USD/CHF – The US Dollar and the Swiss franc

That said, there are combinations possible that extend to more broadly than these 8 currencies – so there are a few things to think about before you decide which to choose. You might want to consider:

  • The countries current financial situation, including employment and inflation
  • The countries political position – stability in politics normally means currency stability, but elections can stir things up
  • The country’s current trading position
  1. Find a suitable Brokerage account

Searching for brokerage accounts is generally going to return reputable companies on the first few pages of Google – and assuming you do a little homework into them before you sign up (to make sure you’re happy with the way they operate) then you won’t go far wrong.

That said, not all brokerages are regulated or even legitimate – be careful to do some reading up before you commit to giving your detail and money to anyone who’s been recommended as part of a chat, forum or social media conversation. Chances are you’ll be fine – but it’s better to check.

It’s also important to check that the company you’re going to be using complies with your local financial regulation – for example, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulates companies offering financial services in the UK. Check your local laws and regulations if you’re not sure.

  1. Decide which type of account you want

Generally, brokers will offer two types of account. A personal account lets you execute trades yourself – whereas a managed account will see trades made on your behalf by a broker working for the company.

If you’re here, the chances are you’re looking to do the trading yourself, but watching what a broker does with your money can give you a good indication of how someone more experienced approaches the market.

  1. Fill out an application

Signing up for a broker account normally involves submitting some paperwork to confirm who you are – such as a driving license, utility bill, passport – and so forth.

Don’t panic, this is normal and just the broker’s way of staying compliant with their local money laundering due diligence laws.

  1. Think about how you plan to approach the market

There is no one perfect way to trade in a Forex marketplace – people have made fortunes and lost fortunes following virtually every strategy conceivable. There are however 3 overarching approaches that more niche trends tend to fall under, they are:

  • Technical analysis: The studying of historic data relating to the currency and the conditions that surrounded the fluctuations in price at that time.
  • Fundamental analysis: This is the study of fundamental data relating to the country’s economical position and using this data to inform your trades.
  • Sentimental analysis: The ‘sentiment’ of the market relates to how traders are reacting to the current currency fluctuations. Analysis of this information can give an indication of the currency’s immediate future performance.
  1. Think about margin

Now, understanding margin could take up books as a subject by itself, however, it’s important that you think about it now as it can have a huge impact on your trading.

Often, a broker will allow you to trade greater amounts of currency than your capital allows. For example, at 1:50 rate, with £1,000 of capital you’d be able to trade £50,000 worth of currency. This means your capital can go a lot further, but you’re multiplying your risk – as well as potential rewards.

  1. Make some orders

When you feel ready, you’ll be able to make some orders through your broker account. Generally, someone who’s stepped into Forex to ‘trade’ will look to place a ‘market order’ – which is a direct purchase of a currency through your broker.

It’s not the only option though, you could place a limit order that your broker will make on your behalf – which sees an order placed when a currency hits a certain high or low – or a stop order, which is an instruction for a broker to buy or sell your currency above or below the current market price in the anticipation that the price will move in this direction.

  1. Monitor the red and green

When you’re the proud owner of some currency, it’s time to watch the market! You’ll now be looking at a screen that like the quote sheet in step 2 – but now those green and red numbers actually impact your position. Hold tight, this is where big money is made and lost in the blink of an eye…

Infographic by: visual.ly

The other cryptocurrencies to watch in 2018

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Bitcoin – you can’t open a news app or tech blog without hearing about the world’s favourite digital currency – but what else is going on in the cryptocurrency world?

Well, quite a lot it actually – and while no other currency has seen the explosion in value that Bitcoin has during the last 18 months, that’s not to say Bitcoin is the only player to keep an eye on.

If you’re considering dipping into less familiar cryptocurrency waters, it pays to do you research – check out some write ups on potential brokers – like this indacoin review – before you buy – and in the meantime, we’ll tell you a little about 5 ‘altcoin’ currencies that are showing significant promise and could represent the next big thing…

Ethereum

Even those who aren’t familiar with the nuances of cryptocurrency are increasingly likely to have heard about Ethereum – especially owing to how hard marketers have hit the social media channels trying to push their ether related services.

‘Ether’ – the name of Ethereum’s currency – is the second biggest digital currency behind Bitcoin and it’s fairly new on the scene, having launched in 2015. Ether is a little different to Bitcoin, in that it operates on an ‘if this, then that’ contractual basis. Let’s line it up next to Bitcoin to explain how that works:

You’re buying an ebook with Bitcoin, you send the private key to the person’s wallet and they send you the product.

You buy the same book with Ethereum and a contract could be generated, stipulating that when the funds are sent, the ebook is released – or alternatively, when the ebook is received the funds are released.

Although Bitcoin operates without ‘trust’ needed in the actual transaction, as soon as human’s become involved with any process beyond the actual money transfer, trust is again required. With a smart contract system, trust is removed.

  • Ether started 2017 at around £6/$8 and looks set to finish the year around £350/$470.

Zcash

Another newcomer to the crypro game, Zcash didn’t launch until late-2016 but is looking like a very promising contender going forward.

The currency focuses on security and privacy when compared to Bitcoin. Where Bitcoin operates on a public blockchain with every transaction that’s been made visible to anyone who looks, Zcash’s offers what they refer to ‘shielded’ transactions, where sender, recipient and the amount of the transfer are protected from view.

If increased security and anonymity are your thing – Zcash is worth a look…

  • Zcash started 2017 at around £37/$50 and looks set to end 2017 around £225/$300

Ripple

Ripple was launched in 2012 with the primary aim for allowing banks to facilitate and settle cross-boarder payments in real-time with “end-to-end” transparency.

The big difference when compared to Bitcoin and most other blockchain based cryptocurrencies comes when the currency is produced. Most cryptos rely on ‘mining’ – a sophisticated process of solving the mathematical problems that occur throughout the blockchain when transaction are taking place. With Bitcoin’s blockchain, miners are rewarded for this action with more Bitcoins – but Ripple is different.

Essentially, Ripple facilitates the transfer of other currencies and commodities with gateways – and through those gateways money is sent – or rather, not sent. The money doesn’t actually leave the gateway that it’s deposited into, but is still released by the recipient’s gateway. It’s an IOU system that works because each gateway trusts one another not to break the relationship.

Ripple is extremely flexible – because, as long as gateways trust one another, anything can be transmitted without it actually moving – in fact, it doesn’t even have to be the same currency that goes it as comes out. Money in, car out – etc. Ripple’s algorithms work to find trust between two sources and execute the transaction through that trusted channel.

  • Ripple started 2017 at just a tiny fraction of a dollar ($0.006) – and although the price vs. USD is still low – it’s significantly higher than it was at around $0.25 toward the end of 2017.

Dash

We’ve all been caught out with an internet or media fact that turns out to be nonsense – but there’s one about cryptocurrency that just won’t go away:

“Bitcoin is anonymous”

Well, it’s not – some understanding of the blockchain lets you know quite how false this actually is. However, there are calls for true financial anonymity – and Dash seems to be answering those calls. At it’s heart, Dash operates on a near identical blockchain to Bitcoin – but has the addition of quick transactions and transaction privacy.

Dash has been around since early 2014 – and was initially called ‘Darkcoin’. Its developers had big ideas for how Bitcoin could offer increased anonymity and speedier transfer times – but rather than approach Bitcoin, Dash’s founders decided to go it alone – as a result, they’re now one of the biggest altcoins out there…

  • At the start of 2017 Dash tipped the scales at £9/$12 – whereas in the closing months of 2017 it was sitting around £512/$690

Litecoin

Litecoin wasn’t far behind the launch of Bitcoin – coming to the market in 2011. In a lot of ways, Litecoin has always been seen as the smaller sibling of Bitcoin, operating with a very similar blockchain system but always at a much-reduced buy-in cost.

Like Bitcoin, Litecoin has a decentralised ledger system that’s the brainchild of an ex-Google engineer and uses a ‘mining’ proof-of-work system that doesn’t require the huge processing power and energy consumption of Bitcoin.

As a result of this less intensive ‘mining’ process, blocks in the chain are generated much more quickly vs. Bitcoin and therefore Litecoin’s transaction confirmation times are greatly reduced. Litecoin is an increasing favourite with merchants and online developers owing to this quick turn-around…

  • Litecoin was worth around £3/$4 at the beginning of 2017 – and is now at an impressive £60/$80 toward the end of 2017

Remember…

There are a lot of cryptos out there that look great – but, as with any investment, the prior performance of cryptocurrencies doesn’t reflect their future performance – so don’t invest money you can’t afford to lose – and seek as much professional information about your chosen currency before you go empty your wallet of traditional cash…

10 Essential Tips for Buying Life Insurance in 2018

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It’s always good to be prepared. So, heaven forbid, something happens to you (or your partner), finances should not be a worry. This is where life insurance can play an important role in giving your loved ones peace of mind. There are lots of different policies available, each of which works slightly differently. As such, it’s understandable if you’re left feeling overwhelmed by the options, and with no clue which life insurance policy to choose. It can definitely be a bit of a minefield trying to find the perfect cover for you, but the vast amount of choice also means you’re bound to find something that matches your needs. Here’s a couple of tips for buying life insurance in 2018.

  1. Be prepared for the topics you’re likely to discuss before speaking to a life insurance advisor.

An advisor will need lots of information from you, in order to decide what cover is best for you. As such, it’s worth preparing some answers ahead of time, so that you’re ready to for all of their questions. This will speed up the whole process and won’t leave you feeling shocked if they ask a personal question. Be prepared to answer questions about your financial history and travel plans, as well as giving details about your health and lifestyle.

  1. Research the different types of cover.

There are lots of different types of life insurance policies. Some run for 10 years, others for as long as 25 years – or even more. The most popular type of policy is the level term insurance, where the payout is the same regardless of when you claim. Meanwhile a decreasing term insurance will have the payout that gradually shrinks over the policy term. There’s also the option to create a joint policy with your partner, which works on a ‘first death’ basis. Before you commit to a certain company or policy, make sure to speak to an advisor in person or even fill in a questionnaire online to make sure you’re getting the best type of policy for your circumstances.

  1. Work out how much cover you need.

The amount of cover you need depends on your budget and your requirements. It is known as the ‘sum insured’. Most life insurance advisors will recommend getting a sum insured that is 10 times your annual salary, at the very least. However, it can also depend on other circumstances. For example, if you have a large mortgage and young children, it is advisable to have a larger sum insured than someone with no children and few mortgage repayments left.

  1. Find a claim that suits your financial obligations.

Do you want your life insurance to cover funeral expenses? Or perhaps your looking for a policy that will help with estate taxes. You can even ensure any outstanding debts are dealt with instead of being passed along to your estate. Conditions such as these are a great way to spare your loved ones the burden of having to consider all of these painful details. Life insurance quotes for seniors over 70 will often cover these extras. Make sure to really consider what you want from your life insurance policy, above and beyond the traditional lump sum.

  1. Really think about who you want your beneficiaries to be.

Putting serious thought into who you want to receive your life insurance payout is a difficult process. However, it’s something that’s necessary. After all, how many films are there where someone feels snubbed by the contents of a will? While most families may not be as dramatic as those on the big screen, there are important things to consider, like how children will not be able to receive any money from insurance companies until they are 18.

  1. If you have an ex-spouse, make sure their rights are clearly stated in the life insurance policy.

If you have a divorce agreement that includes child support, then it’s a really good idea to have a corresponding life insurance policy. For example, if the divorce agreement stipulates that you will be providing child support for 10 years, make sure to purchase a term policy for the same length of time. For beneficiaries, you can be named on your ex-spouse’s policy as a ‘party of interest’.

  1. Consider a policy with ‘living benefits’.

‘Living benefits’ have become increasingly popular over the years. They are a component of life insurance policies, which give you access to death benefit money yourself in special circumstances. This can be especially handy if you become ill and need to fund private medical care or fund daily living if you’re diagnosed with a chronic terminal illness.

  1. Double check that you’re able to review or amend your life insurance policy.

Some policies can last for multiple decades, while some can even provide cover until you die. As such, it’s worth getting a policy that you can alter if your circumstances change. For example, things like getting married, having children or getting a different mortgage will all impact the advised sum insured.

  1. Be sure you’re getting an accurate quote.

While a life insurance advisor will do their best to make the process of getting insurance as simple as can be, there is a lot of information that needs to be covered when choosing a policy. Therefore, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the best policy for you. Also, it doesn’t hurt to doubt check that there are no hidden costs or loopholes that may have a terrible impact down the line.

  1. Consider using a ‘free look’ period.

If you’re still not 100% sure you’ve chosen the right policy, but are keen to get life insurance in place, some companies will offer a ‘free look’ period. This will let you change or even cancel your policy after is has been issued, if you do so within a certain time frame. Make sure to check with the life insurance advisor that your policy has this period, and how long it lasts for.

Lifestyle hacks that are guaranteed to save you money!

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Do you have enough time and energy in the day to earn more money?

With our fast paced lives it’s not uncommon to feel like you don’t have time to sleep – let alone do something that’s going to mean you earn more money.

With that in mind, there’s another way to boost what’s in your pocket – that’s to spend less money in the first place! But how do you do it and keep the level of lifestyle that you’ve become accustomed to?

Well, we’ve got 12 great ideas that will reduce your outgoing from today onwards. We can’t give you extra hours in the day, but we can definitely save you some money!

Plan your food

We waste a huge chunk of money by not planning our meals and just shopping either every day or every couple of days. Buying like this means we rarely ever take advantage of the lower prices that come with bigger packet sizes – leaving our freezers and wallets looking quite empty.

Draw up a list of meals for the week, plan ingredients and make one supermarket journey instead of 5!

Turn the thermostat down

It’s a well-known trick – but turning your thermostat down by one degree rarely makes any noticeable difference to the heat of your home – but can make a big difference to your heating bills when added up over a year.

Don’t throw good food away

As a nation we throw an enormous amount of food away each year – billions of tonnes in fact. Part of the reason for this is a misunderstanding around what’s good to eat and what’s not.

A ‘use before’ date means that the food could potentially be dangerous if you eat it beyond that date (think raw meat, diary, etc) – but on the other hand, a ‘best before’ date is really just advice.

Check your food, if it’s a few days over a best before date and it looks or smells as you would expect it to – the chances are it’s perfectly okay to eat! Check the wording and save a fortune on shopping costs.

Do free stuff

It doesn’t get much better value than free! And, if you’re smart with your searching, you’ll find dozens of things you can that are exactly this price.

From museums and galleries to beaches and parks – there’s some incredible free attractions that you can take advantage of if you’re willing to do some web searching to track them down!

Read more books

In this world of box-sets, paid TV channels and expensive streaming services, books look like incredible value for money! Instead of firing up the TV and flicking until you find something you like, pick up a few books. You can find them second-hand for next to nothing – and they’ll take a LOT longer to read than even the chunkiest box set!

Don’t pay more debt than you need to

If you’re struggling with debt you might not realise that there are some great options out there for coming to an agreement with your creditors and reducing the amount you repay.

To work out who you can turn to for support and guidance, check out reviews of companies who can potentially help – like this one from https://www.facethered.com – and slice your debt down to size!

Don’t shop when you’re hungry

Shopping when you’re hungry is a recipe for disaster! You’re far more likely to buy more than you need – as well as increasingly likely to spend money on expensive food that’s got attractive packaging made to appeal to your empty stomach!

Throw away your takeaway menus

If you ditch the takeaway menus and apps that mean you can order in just a few clicks, you’re far less likely to turn to them as quick and convenient (but expensive) options. What’s more, if you can keep a couple of keep and cheap options in the house – your hungry stomach will push you toward them – rather than hitting the internet to study menus…

Have a standard work wardrobe

You can thank Mark Zuckerberg for this tip!

Rather than pick out a different outfit each day – he sticks to a modest combination of a t-shirt and jeans. Now, you might not be able to do exactly the same – but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some staple go-to items.

Sticking to a basic wardrobe means you’re less likely to have to purchase new seasonal items – or pick out specific items that compliment only one outfit.

Delete your card details

Deleting your saved card details might not save you money directly – but it puts another barrier in the way of spending money online – which is one of the quickest and most tempting ways for us to spend our money.

If you’ve got to reach into your pocket each time you want to spend money, it gives you a little more time to consider whether or not you actually want and need that item…

Buy some thick jumpers

It’s a lot less costly to heat yourself than it is to heat your entire house!

Buying some decent quality wool jumpers means you can turn the heating right down – if not switch it off completely. Multiple layers works well too. You can worry about whether or not it feels like you’re being a ‘skinflint’ when you relax on the beach holiday you’ve managed to save for with money that everyone else has been spending on energy bills!

Book tickets well in advance

If you’ve got any long-distance journeys coming up try to look for tickets months in advance. Even if they’re not available right away you’ll usually be able to create an alert that will let you know when they go on sale.

In some cases, train tickets can be up to 90% cheaper when bought in advance – money that’s a lot better in your pocket!

Get an insulated coffee cup

Buying expensive cups of coffee might feel like a treat, but in reality it’s an extremely expensive habit if you do it every week or every day you’re at work.

If you check out your local supermarket or a good online store you can find insulated cups that will keep a homemade cup of coffee hot all day – and even fully waterproof ones that you can seal and throw in your work bag to be consumed whenever you want. We’re not saying that you have to downgrade to instant coffee either – even fresh home ground coffee is a fraction of the price of a shop made cup!

Infographic by: psecu.com

Put your money to work for you – How to get started!

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If you have a little extra cash and you really need it to be more than just a ‘little’ then putting it to work for you is going to be the best thing that you do for a while, financially speaking. You can either use it to relieve a little strain elsewhere, or use it to save more money later. Either way, just having sat there is not helping so you should make it work for you.

On the other hand, perhaps you don’t have a little cash lying around but still need fast access to some, for deposits or an emergency repair? Whatever it’s for, getting your hands on cold cash in a hurry is not always that easy, thankfully there is always OppLoans should you need it.

For everybody else, there are several ways that you can make those extra dollars actually useful. Getting in better financial shape is just about everybody’s dream at the moment, given the uncertain times that we find ourselves living in, so what are the best ways that we can help ourselves achieve it?

Well, these suggestions may not offer results that are as tangible as returns on stock and shares trades, but their payoffs are every bit as real and effective in the long term.

The first, most powerful use you can put your ‘spare’ money to is investing in a savings fund. Don’t have one? Get one. Financial planners suggest saving as much as 3 to 6 months worth of income in this fund. Should the unthinkable happen, and you lose your job, you have this safety net to help break your fall. Sounds simple, but doing it is much harder. Even if you can’t manage those ambitious sums, putting aside something is a whole lot better than nothing.

Here are some other ways that you can put extra cash to work, in order to help shore up your finances.

Attack that debt


Do you have a high interest debt? Using that spare cash to pay it off could save you even more later as you no longer have to pay out extra just to satisfy the interest. Debts that come with lower interest rates on items such as a mortgage or vehicle may not be as immediately important, just so long as those repayments represent no more than 30% of your income – any higher than that and they need to go, sooner rather than later.

Top up your health savings account


If you have a health savings account, consider fully funding it. For instance, the top amount that a single individual can put into their HSA, in 2017, is $3,400. For a family, that maximum rises to $6,750. Health savings accounts are loved by financial planners because it known as being “triple tax-free”. What does that mean? Well, you are putting money into it that hasn’t been taxed yet, the earnings compound free of tax, and account holders can withdraw from the account, tax free, if the money is for “qualifying” medical expenditure.

Make use of the services that a financial planner can provide


Consider hiring a fully certified, professional financial planner to, well, create a financial plan for you. It can be difficult to plan for life after retirement if you don’t even fully understand where you are right now, financially speaking. People today are less attuned to fluctuations and moves in the stock market, which is not necessarily a bad thing but can make planning things out that bit more difficult, as one would imagine. Financial planners charges can vary, but upto $2,000 a year is not unusual and the services provided can include, cash management, insurance, retirement planning and regular meetings.

Top up your retirement accounts


If your paycheck has a tendency to leave you with more than you need each month, then you could always use the extra money to max out your workplace retirement accounts. Additionally, if you happen to 50 or over, you should remember that you will be able to make ‘catch up” payment contributions in addition to the $18,000 capped, regular contributions that are allowable for the year.

Face the inevitable


It happens to all of us eventually, and there is simply no avoiding the inevitable. Hire the services of an attorney and work with them to create an estate plan, or at the very least a will. A caring.com survey that was conducted fairly recently (recent at the time of writing, at least), showed that just 42% of those surveyed (over 1,000 individuals) had created documents like a will or trust. The cost of hiring an attorney for this type of service is not as steep as many may realise, with fees usually falling between $300 and a $1,000. If this does happen to be a little on the steep side, there are do-it-yourself options that start around the $50 mark but these are obviously more time consuming. Taking care of burial plots can also be a good idea, if a little morbid, and can take the pressure of family members when the time comes.

In the end, when all is said and done, you may not need to do any of the above. Simply building reserves can help you out of a tight spot later on down the line. There is nothing wrong, nothing at all, in just putting any and all spare cash into an account that will provide returns on interest. Obviously, the more you put in the more it attracts.

Whatever you decide to do, investing for the future and making your money work for you, in one way or or other, is never a bad idea.