house questionSelling a house is one of the toughest tasks you’ll face in your life. It’s both physically and emotionally draining.

With this article, you’ll find the process a lot easier. I have some key house selling tips for you, as well as some advice to reduce the stress. You can find all this information right here:

Sell At The Right Time

Selling your house all revolves around the state of the property market. In a moment, I’ll talk about the importance of knowing the value of your property. But, the state of the market can have a huge influence on its value. When things are bad, you’ll get a lot less for your house than you will when things are good. So, it’s important that you try and sell your house at the right time.

The easiest way to do this is to follow the market closely. Usually, it’s not recommended you jump into a sale on a whim. It’s something you should plan for months, maybe even years. This allows you to spend a lot of time checking the market and seeing how much houses are selling for. It’s not difficult to gauge how well things are going. All you have to do is pick up a few property magazines or read the news. There’s always someone commenting on the property market and whether or not house prices are down or up. Naturally, when selling your home, you want prices to be up. This will help you get the most out of your sale. If the market is very bad, then it’s advisable you don’t sell. You can lose a lot of money if you sell at the wrong time. Hold your horses, and be patient. Wait until the prime time to sell comes around, and then you’re winning.

Of course, this rule applies to people that choose to sell their home for a particular reason. They may want to move into something different, but it’s not urgent. So, waiting around for the best time to sell is fine for them. But, there are instances when people are forced to sell their home at a certain date. Perhaps it’s part of a divorce settlement? Or, a new baby is on the way, and they’re in desperate need for a new home. In these cases, your hands are tied, and you can’t wait for the best time. But, all the other tips in this piece will still help you get the best price possible in the current market.

 

houseUnderstand The Value Of Your Property

It’s crucial that you understand the value of the property you’re trying to sell. There are two main reasons behind this. Firstly, if you know the approximate value, then you can see how much you’re going to get for it. This helps you prepare for your next move, and what you’ll do with your money. Secondly, it lets you see the clientele you’re catering for. If your property is valued highly, then you’re going to cater to a specific portion of the market. You’ll be looking at buyers with a lot of money, and this makes a difference. It changes the way you advertise your property, and can impact your choice of estate agent.

So, how do you understand the value of your property? Well, the easiest thing to do is get someone around to estimate the value. This could be a property surveyor or an estate agent. Many companies have a tool on their site that lets you book a free valuation for your house. If you’re interested in how this booking tool works, then you can see it at Taylors and other online estate agents. Once you know the value of your property, you can go ahead and proceed with the other steps.

 

Find An Estate Agent

Now, you could sell your house on your own, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Yes, there are some benefits to doing this. Mainly, you get to pocket all the profits and don’t have to pay estate agent fees. But, finding an estate agent can elicit better results for you. Why? Because they know things that ordinary people don’t. Think about it; it’s their job to understand everything about selling a property. They do this every day and have bags of experience. Most people will probably end up selling less than five houses throughout their life. So, we’re not blessed with insider knowledge and experience.

The biggest reason to use an estate agent is that they provide you with buyers. People go to them when they’re looking to buy a house, as well as sell one. So, they have a list of potential buyers that could be interested in your property. And, remember how I said the value of your property could influence your choice of agent? Well, if you have a high-class property, then you’ll be looking for estate agents that deal with these types of house. There are specialist agencies for properties above a certain price. What does this mean? It means that they’ll have people buying from them too. Essentially, they can provide you with your target market.

Estate agents will also help market your property for you. But, we’ll talk more about that in the next point. Primarily, you should find one because they represent your best chance of getting more money from your property. Plus, the sale can be carried out a lot quicker too.

 

house mortgage UKAdvertise As Much As Possible

Speak to any business person and they’ll tell you that advertising is crucial. It’s a way of letting consumers know that you exist. Without advertising, we probably wouldn’t know a lot of things existed. The same is true when dealing with a house that needs to be sold. How will anyone know it’s on the market if you don’t advertise it? You’ll get far fewer people enquiring, and the sale will be long and stressful.

This is where your estate agent comes in again. What they can do is advertise your property in their shop window and on their site. This ensures more and more people will see it. Plus, they can show it to any clients they have that are looking for a house. But, this isn’t the only advertising you should do. Take things into your own hands to spread the word. Go on your social media channels and post about the sale of your house. Put photos up and advertise it, urging people to share. For every person that shares, you appeal to a wider audience.

Finally, there’s the good old-fashioned for sale sign. Stick this outside your house and passers-by will know it’s on the market. You’ll be surprised at how effective this is in attracting buyers.

These are the three main things to think about when selling your home. Of course, there are other things you have to do too. Such as cleaning your house and making it presentable for photos. But, if I had to pick three things to focus most of your attention on, it’s these three.

Now, I have some advice to make the process much easier on your health. Selling a home can be stressful, and cause a lot of anxiety in people. Plus, it’s surprisingly physically demanding when you sell a home and move out. So, here’s some advice to get rid of the stress and make it an easier experience:

cautionDon’t Leave Things Until The Last Minute

The best piece of advice I can give you is not to leave things until the last minute. Speaking from experience, I can tell you it’s not fun. There are plenty things you can do while your house is on the market. For example, tidy your home up and get everything ready for the move. Once your house sells, you may have to be out of there quickly. So, if you leave everything until the sale is agreed, you’ll be in a rush. It means you end up doing months of work in the space of a few weeks.

Needless to say, this makes things very stressful. Especially if you have a lot of stuff to clear out. You can clear any unwanted things out at any time, don’t let it pile up until you have too much to do.

Prepare For Setbacks

In an ideal world, every sale will run smoothly. And, this could easily be the case when selling your home. However, you need to prepare for setbacks. Get it into your head that things can go wrong at any time. Even when someone has put a bid on your house, this doesn’t mean everything is done and dusted. Again, I can speak from experience here. When selling a house, someone once put in a bid at the full price. Things were set in motion, and it looked like the sale was final. But, before contracts were exchanged, the person pulled out. So, we were back to square one.

My point is, be ready when things go wrong. Understand that it’s natural, and don’t let it stress you out!

Bookmark this page if you’re about to sell your house, or plan to sell in the future. It will help you out, and you’ll be filled with less stress.

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Simple and Easy Ways to Save Money Everyday

by Adam on August 24, 2016

These days we need to tighten our belts more than ever. The cost of living just seems to keep rising. Sadly, wages don’t seem to be going up at the same rate. So if you can save money here and there, it can make such a difference to your life.

The key is to save small amounts regularly. It is easier to do if you are on a budget, rather than saving big chunks of money. After a while, the small amounts will add up. So it is certainly worth doing. What are some easy and simple ways to save each day, though? Here are a few ideas for you.

 

shopping tips for supermarketsMeal Plan

It can be surprising how much money we waste on food. If you are the kind of person that just wanders around the grocery store and picks what they feel like at the time, then it needs to change. If you want to save money, that is the worst thing that you can do. You need to plan out what you are going to eat. It is a good idea to have an inventory of your store cupboards and freezer. Then, first of all, you can work meals around what you already have. Then you could just get some fresh vegetables to make it all a meal. But plan what you are going to eat and have foods that will work together. If one dish doesn’t use all of the jar of passata, for example, plan another one that will. Have that the next day. You will find you spend less on groceries and throw out less rotten food too. If you are new to meal planning, there is some help here: http://www.goodhousekeeping.co.uk/food/weekly-meal-planner.

Should I open a Junior ISALook For Coupons

When you are shopping, whether it be for groceries or new school shoes for the kids, look for discounts and coupons. There are many sites online that gather the codes up for you, like http://www.plusvouchercode.co.uk. You can also look for coupons in magazines, in stores, on food products and newspapers. So gather them up and use the ones that are suited to you. There is no need to use them if you don’t really need to, though.

Exercise at Home

Do you have an expensive gym membership that doesn’t get much use? If this is the case, then there are ways that you can exercise more cheaply. You can run outside in your neighborhood or local park for free. There are many free workouts and tutorials on YouTube that you can follow too. So think about how much you use a gym membership and if working out at home might work for you instead.

Eat Leftovers

Buying lunch at work is an easy way to rack up your weekly spend. One easy way is to make a little extra for dinner the night before. Then take that with you to work. Taking your own food, leftovers or not, will prove to be much cheaper than buying lunch every day.

 

Any other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

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How organised are you with your insurance and financial paperwork?

  • Do you have a folder with all the documents neatly arranged?
  • Is your filing system beautifully organised and easy to use?
  • If your house was broken into or you were in a car crash would you know who your insurers are and what number to call?
  • Do you understand your home, car and travel insurance?
  • Do you know what is and what is not covered?

If you answered “No” to any of these questions, then this post is for you. And even if you are super-organised this new system could save you a lot of time.

Last month I was invited down to London to trial a new piece of online software being built by CompareTheMarket.com. The meerkats have been busy coding to create a new product called ‘Simples’ which is an online portal for all your insurance documents.

simples

Here’s how it works

You first need to create an account with CompareTheMarket. You don’t have to have bought insurance through the site to use this tool, you just need a login.

Once you’re logged in, you can begin scanning your insurance documents.

simples 2

Testing out new technology in London with influencial bloggers #MagicalPenny

Step 1: Scanning into the system.

I currently keep my insurance documents in a box in my study.

It’s not the most organised system but so far I’ve managed to find the relevant piece of paper when I’ve needed it….after plenty of time looking through the box!

In recent years more of my insurance companies have sent me digital copies of documents.

I label them in my email inbox but in a similar way to my box of files, I’ve had to search through my email to find the right document.

The Simples tool offers a solution to this. Simply scan in your insurance documents: car, home or travel, and the system will keep it safe for you.

You can take a photo of each page, or upload a PDF and within a minute or so your documents are safely and securely stored online.

Step 2: Super Clever Analysis of your documents

Simples doesn’t just store a scan of your insurance documents. It actually reads the contents and parses out the most relevant bits of information in an easy-to-read format. For example, thanks to Simples, I could quickly see what kind of coverage my home insurance had and when my car insurance was due for renewal. It also did some extra legwork, checking with the DVLA that my car’s MOT was up-to-date.

insurance reminder

Step 3: Your personalised database, accessible on your smartphone or online

Now that your documents are in the system, you can easily find them when you need them.

This has already provided peace of mind for me because you normally need insurance documents in moments of crisis and you don’t want to have to dig around for too long to find the right paper work.

For example, when I crashed my car I needed to find my insurance documents pretty quickly. This involved some frantic searching of my emails. With Simples all my documents are uploaded and ready for me when I need them.

For additional information you can also send texts to the service to ask questions about your insurance!

 

Step 4: Reminding you of renewals

I already have calendar reminders set up to renew my various insurance policies, but Simples makes me feel more organised and you can never have too many prompts – as you can see I still haven’t sorted my home insurance but I will be doing today!

text

Get involved yourself and test SIMPLES in Beta

BETA means it’s not quite a finished product and there might be some errors but you’re welcome to try this free tool to help you feel more organised with your insurance documents.

Here’s what you need to do:

Don’t forget, it is still in the development stage, so if you notice any errors or see things you’d like added or changed, you can always get in touch with Simples to let them know, or leave a comment on this post and I will pass it on to the development team.

It would also be really interesting to know your thoughts on the app generally, and any additional ideas you might have!

Simples!

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5 Bullion Products Worth Investing In

by Adam on August 16, 2016

One way to diversify your investments and assets is to invest in bullion, whether it is silver, gold, or platinum. Gold is the most popular and recognisable metal that has been used as a form of currency since ancient times. Buying gold is an excellent way to internationalise and preserve your resources and wealth. Here is a brief look at 5 gold bullion products worth investing in.

1.     Austrian Philharmonics

These bullion coins are produced by the Austrian Mint and are extremely popular in Europe and the Americas. They are beautiful and visually appealing coins gold coinminted in silver and gold. You can purchase these coins in Central Europe and store them anywhere. For example, you can store them in Vienna, the capital city of Austria.

They can be bought by many dealers all across Australia and are generally less famous than Maple Leafs and Gold Eagles; hence, they are one of the best bullion products for internationalisation.


2.     Canadian Maple Leafs

The Canadian Maple Leaf is produced by the Royal Canadian Mint about 25 years ago and is one of the most well-known gold bullion products. It was the second gold coin to be minted after the South African Krugerrand. It has a gold content of around 0.9999 and is considered the purest gold coin. Their weight is about one ounce and they are traded in countries like Hong Kong. They are an excellent addition to your investment portfolio.

nugget3.     Australian Gold Nuggets

Also known as Australian Kangaroos, they are manufactured by the Perth Mint and they are one of the few to change their design on an annual basis. The gold content of Australian Kangaroos is 0.9999 and these coins are very popular, especially among Asian investors. It is considered the top most gold bullion product for internationalisation and were featured in the year 2011 in international news.

4.     American Eagles

Very popular in the United States, these gold American Eagle coins are 22 carat. They can be purchased and stored very easily, but this bullion product is not so well-known in the gold markets of Asia like Singapore and Hong Kong. Nevertheless, it is one of the best gold bullion coins to invest in. The content of gold present in American Eagles is around 0.9167.

5.     The Krugerrand

The South African Krugerrand is the first bullion coin to be minted about 50 years ago. It has a colourful history and it was an attempt to market gold, which is found in abundance in South Africa. It is very well-known among investors. These bullion coins consist of about 0.9167 gold and have a weight of around 1.1 ounces.

The Krugerrand can be credited as the first gold coin that took the world by storm; it served as a legal tender for the general public. Currently, the Krugerrand holds the greatest number of ounces when it comes to gold bullion coins; more than all of the gold bullion coins combined internationally.

 

 

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ImportantGiven the uncertainty associated with your life and health in general, it is always wise to ensure that you have adequate cushion to fall back on during medical emergencies.

Often, simply investing in a health insurance policy might not be enough. If you are hit by ailments that require specialised care, like cancer, strokes etc., all your expenses will not be covered by your insurance provider and you will have to shell out money from your own pocket. In such a situation you can consider buying a rider for critical illness insurance to cover your family and yourself against acute ailments.

What is critical illness insurance?

Wikipedia defines critical illness insurance as an insurance product that makes a lump sum payout when a disease of a grave nature is diagnosed in the policy holder.  However, do not take it as a substitute for your basic health insurance, as it an ideal add-on coverage to your regular insurance product. It is a fixed benefit product, which will pay you the assured amount once the diagnosis of the disease is complete.

5 Things You Must Carefully Consider before Buying a Critical Illness Policy

1. Keep Your Present Situation in Mind

The first thing to keep in mind when you are considering the purchase of a critical illness policy, is the family structure that you have, your present age and your dependents, especially aging parents. Having senior citizens in the family might signal that you need extra coverage for sudden ailments like strokes etc. With a family that depends on you, a critical illness policy will be an additional layer of safety for your loved ones against unprecedented illnesses which may affect your financials. Hence, choose a critical illness policy that will offer you sufficient financial aid so that the other needs of your family are not compromised with.

healthcare2. Keep Your Health Conditions in Mind

Your present health might be a deciding factor whether you should buy a critical illness policy or not. If you are a habitual smoker, have a hectic work life with related stress, you are more vulnerable to health problems in the future, reveals John LaMattina in one of his articles published at Forbes. Therefore, it is always wise to begin early so that there are lesser hassles to confront. Being a smoker, however, might raise your premium slightly. Keep in mind your family’s history of ailments as you might be susceptible to such similar health challenges going ahead.

3. Carefully Analyse Your Financial Standing

If you believe that your present financial situation is sturdy enough to combat any unprecedented health issues, you can consider opting for a critical illness insurance policy with a smaller coverage. No matter how well you are earning presently, you must keep in mind that health care costs are rising by leaps and bounds and further inflation in the healthcare sector is inevitable. Therefore, keep all these factors in mind before deciding on the sum assured.

4. Choose a Plan That Gives Comprehensive Coverage

Being hasty with insurance is never a good idea. Although critical illness insurance might not be your primary health insurance, it is important nevertheless. Hence before selecting one, go through the list of illnesses covered to know if most critical conditions will be covered by the insurer. Alongside, make sure you read the terms and conditions thoroughly to be aware of the exclusions in the policy. Often, it is difficult to understand the policy wordings as put forth by the insurer. If you have any doubts regarding any terms, make sure you talk it out with your agent before signing the papers.

5. Choose a Plan that Complements Your Health Insurance Policy

When selecting your critical illness insurance, make sure it is in symmetry with your health insurance policy, so that you get adequate coverage at a reasonable price. You may choose to visit the website of one of the many popular insurance aggregators to get the best deal with the best available plans that match your requisites, preferences and budget. Remember, the plan that you’re buying must cover all aspects of health care so that your health insurance portfolio is secure.

Over to You!

A critical illness insurance policy is an additional layer to your health insurance, keeping in mind the uncertainties that life throws our way.

So invest wisely and live peacefully!

 

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Many people are unsure as to whether they should take on the role of a guarantor when it comes to a loan. It is important to understand the pros and cons of this position and weight them very carefully as it could impact the quality of your own life.

small questionWhat is a Guarantor?

Let’s look a little deeper at what a guarantor actually is. In its simplest form, a guarantor is someone who is going to hold responsibility for the debt of someone in case they default on the payments. Whoever signs as the guarantor of the loan is the one who is ultimately responsible for the loan to paid in full.

Visiting pages like http://www.guarantorloansuk.net will help you understand the position the loan guarantor is in before guaranteeing the loan. You may want to know what type of income they are currently bringing in and if they are already in some form of debt. This makes it more likely that the guarantor will have to pay part or all of the loan.

A bank is only going to ask for a guarantor if they are not satisfied with the financial status or credit rating of the borrower, in this sense it is important to proceed very carefully.

Why Have a Guarantor?

There are times when a bank will ask for a guarantor if they simply feel they do not have enough credit references. In fact, there are several reasons why banks ask for a guarantor.

  1. The bank may be concerned that the applicant does not have a transferable job.
  2. It could simply mean that the applicant’s job takes them out of the country for extended periods of time.
  3. The borrower might have applied for a loan and used an address other than their permanent address.

It is important to fully understand that no matter who you sign for, if they default on the loan it is you who will be responsible for the full amount that has not been paid. The bank will approach you if the debt is not paid. You must know that a bank is under full authority to seize any of your assets in order to reclaim the amount of the debt. This includes property, bank accounts, and cash, this leaves you very vulnerable to bankruptcy.

The Supreme Court has stated that once a guarantor has committed to the loan, they are unable to back out of the commitment.

In addition, your credit rating can be affected in a negative way if the payments are defaulted on. Almost all banks will check the credit rating and status of the loan that you have signed on as a guarantor. Before you will be able to apply for a new loan, the remaining amount of the guaranteed loan must be repaid. Any past due payments will also show up on your credit report which will have a negative effect when applying for credit cards and loans. In fact, it may prevent you from getting any type of loan.

Knowing all of this information it is essential that you do your research not only on the loan but the person you will be guaranteeing for. You need to know in which conditions you will have to pay back the full amount of the loan as well as if the loan amount can be increased at any time without your consent. The most important aspect to realize is once you have signed on the dotted line there is no turning back.

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7 Smart Ways to Add Value to Your Property

by Adam on August 8, 2016

houseWe all want to add value to our property in ways that give a maximum return to our investment, but did you know that employing a team of excellent exterior house painters is a far better investment than that hot tub you’ve always dreamed of?

Here are 7 relatively inexpensive ways to spruce up your property from All Weather Coating and add thousands to its value.

1. Refurbish the Front Door

It’s the first thing that any new buyer sees, and it gives your house instant kerb appeal. Peeling paintwork and difficult locks won’t cut much ice, but refurbishing your door can be done cheaply and effectively.

Sand down your paintwork, and then varnish or paint. Green is the most popular paint colour in the UK, as we associate it with generosity and a warm welcome. Replace those old locks, and add some colourful tubs of flowers or shrubs or pretty hanging baskets.

2. Shine Hardwood Floors

If you have hardwood floors, you’re in luck – they’re one of the wow factors that are top of a new home-buyer’s shopping list. So make sure yours are in great shape. Clean well and use a good floor polish to bring out the natural shine and beauty of the wood.

3. Burglar-Proof

Safety is an increasing concern in our modern world. If you have the funds to invest in an alarm system, this is a selling point. But there are cheap and effective ways to burglar-proof your home that will add value for less.

Make sure that locks are fitted to all windows, exterior doors and outbuildings. A mortise lock is preferable to a deadlock in security terms.

4. Employ Exterior House Painters

One of the cheapest ways to add value to your property is to paint it. And it really is worth employing exterior house painters as they are experts to finish the outside of your property.

Consider investing in an all-weather wall coating. This has the benefit of disguising imperfections and being impermeable to rain whilst insulating your house against extremes of temperature.

Best of all, a high-quality product expertly applied minimises the need for exterior redecoration. All that and up to £10,000 on the value of your house is a great return on your investment.

5. Central Heating

house mortgage UKIf your house doesn’t benefit from central heating, then it’s imperative that you have it fitted. Central heating can add as much as 5% to the value of your property, making it a worthwhile investment for future resale and a comfortable living environment for you.

Open fires and wood-burning stoves are also increasingly popular and worth fitting if you have a suitable flue.

6. Double Glazing

We all know the benefits of double glazing – an improvement in energy- and heat-efficiency plus a reduction in noise – a must if you’re on a noisy street. If you have partial double glazing, it’s worth replacing any single-glazed windows to keep costs down.

Fully replacing your glazing can run into thousands, but grants are available through the government’s Green Deal scheme, and the market is a competitive one so look around for good deals.

With an average 10% added to the value of your house, double glazing is one improvement worth spending on.

7. Insulate Your Roof

This is another small spend that saves thousands – without adequate roof insulation, you and your buyer could be losing a fortune in heating bills.

Follow these few simple changes, and you’ll soon have a beautiful home that realises its full sales potential.

 

For more articles about Property check out the Property archives

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ImportantThere are a number of business leaders who read Magical Penny. Having a business is a great way to become financially empowered. However, your business is only as good as the people in it. You need to recruit the best, and often-times it makes sense to get help to do this.

However, the debate about the cost of recruitment services continues to dominate headlines. What I wonder is whether we should really be jumping on the bandwagon, or perhaps we should take a closer look into why recruitment costs what it does and its values to businesses.

I want to take a closer look at the four key things that recruiters do to create a recruitment strategy that internal departments cannot. In short a recruiter’s role is to match the right candidate to a specific job and company, as and when it’s needed. Financially making the right match at the right time can be a great asset to a business, however making the wrong match can cost a lot of money.

Here are the four areas in which recruiters can excel.

  1. Connections

Often recruiters are seen as relationship builders. The nature of their role and sector means that over time they build up a strong network and knowledge of people and connections. These include candidates, clients and hidden ‘passive’ candidates. The community of people they get to know sets them at much more of an advantage in comparison to those who work in house like hiring managers or in HR.

  1. Time

What people often forget when judging recruitment costs is that they dedicate their entire job to finding candidates. The entire reason why employers choose to use a recruitment agency is because they themselves don’t have the time to actively recruit. So not only does a recruiter’s capacity to focus their work allow them to find candidates and clients, they also free hiring managers and employers from doing so.

  1. Screening

Recruiters are involved throughout the screening process, so that means they source and handle applications, they also screen and interview candidates at preliminary stages. This means that a great amount of time is saved for the employer and guarantees only the best, well-suited candidates come into contact with them later on in the process.

  1. Research

And finally, research. It would be a perfect world should the desired candidate come to you each time you had a position to fill. That would make life and your job that much easier, but unfortunately we all know it doesn’t work like that. Finding the right candidate takes time and a lot of research. Even once candidates have been found, there are a range of other checks to run through. And this does not all happen overnight!

So with that said it may seem clearer why recruitment costs what it does. Each of these areas requires a lot of time and attention and therefore contributes to the overall price.

What I would suggest is that the means of recruitment do justify the ends, almost every time. Yes there will be instances where the candidate match isn’t the right one, and yes this can cost money. However more often than not recruiters are experts in this industry and more matches are made than not.

Take Harriet Green when she took on the role as CEO of Thomas Cook. The company recruited her via an agency even though they were verging on bankruptcy. Two years down the line and she had turned around the company’s fortunes. Upon her decision to depart in 2014 the company’s share value fell by £400m overnight.

Although Thomas Cook spent on recruitment costs when they almost had no money, you can see that these costs were the means that justified the ends that essentially saved the company from bankruptcy. This was because Harriet Green was the right candidate match.

So maybe we underestimate recruitment agencies and their ability and efforts to actually provide something in return that is worth much more.

So if you were put off by recruitment agencies, maybe you should rethink, and give them a shot. After all, they are the experts that could have a great impact on your business. Take Simplicity in Business, head to their site to view their expertise and see how they could offer you a solution today.

 

 

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money making ideasIn many ways, the forex market offers the type of investment opportunity that remains viable regardless of the wider economic climate. After all, it is possible for traders to profit even in a depreciating market, as they are able to tailor their trades and capitalise on fluctuations between individual currency pairs.

This creates a volatile and constantly changing market, however, which may not be suitable for new or inexperienced investors. In these instances, you will need to think carefully about your burgeoning investment portfolio and consider the impact that recent, socio-economic events have had on the forex market.

A Look at the Current Market: Why is it so Volatile?

So why is the forex market particularly volatile and unpredictable at present?

In short, there have been a series of events that have triggered seismic price shifts and movements, starting with the Brexit revolution in the UK. The proposed withdrawal of the UK from the European Union sent the pound plunging to its lowest value in 31 years, and while it has since rebounded it continues to perform poorly against the US Dollar and the Euro. With this trend unlikely to change while the uncertainty remains, it is hard to identify prosperous and reliable currencies at present.

There are other, localised events that are also impacting on the market. Take the decision of the Nigerian Federal Government to alter the interbank exchange rate of the naira for example, which shifted from N197 to N280 against the dollar. This has sent the cost of international airfares along Nigerian routes spiralling by an average of 54%, while also catching emerging market investors completely unaware. This type of sudden and unforeseen development is typical in the forex market, while it often leaves those who are heavily invested in a particular currency exposed.

Considering your Options as a Financial Market Trader

These events, along with the continued fluctuation of the Euro, have left the US Dollar as the only truly prosperous currency in the existing market. While this does offer an opportunity to invest and back the Dollar within a chosen currency pair, the American economy is itself far from stable and liable to fluctuate depending on key data releases.

Although it can be argued that the real-time analytical tools offered by platforms such as HantecFX equip investors with the tools to optimise their trades at any point in time, they can do little to affect the underlying rules that govern change in such a volatile marketplace.

In this respect, forex market investment may be something that is best left to knowledgeable and experienced traders in the current climate. While there is always an opportunity to profit from currency, the existing social and geopolitical climate makes it extremely difficult for novice traders to achieve their goals.

For other investing articles check out the Magical Penny archives for Investing.

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When thinking about debt, the solution that springs to mind is most often bankruptcy. Though this certainly serves its purpose as a last resort solution, there are other options open to you that are important to consider.

Debt management professionals will be able to help you make the final decision when it comes to resolving your debt problems. They have access to insolvency software that is used to assess your income, assets and expenditures to recommend the best way forward. They also have years of experience with insolvency and have been certified by a regulator to show that they are capable of dealing with your debt.

What options are open to me?

There are a number of debt management solutions out there, but the most popular and commonly used include Individual Voluntary Agreements (IVAs), Debt Management Plans (DMPs), and Bankruptcy. This infographic will demonstrate the pros and cons of each solution to best illustrate your options.

Debt Management Options – Logican Solutions Understanding Your Debt Management Options infographic was brought to you by the team at Logican Solutions

Is an Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA) right for me?

An IVA might be suited to you if you are a resident of England, Wales, or Northern Ireland and you are technically insolvent. This basically means that you have the ability to repay some of your debts, but not the entire amount. In order to be considered for an IVA, you will need to be in debt to more than one creditor, and generally speaking you will be more than £15,000 in debt. For an IVA to be a realistic route for you, you’ll need to have a regular monthly disposable income.

If your IVA request is accepted, you will have to live on a very rigid budget, but you will not experience the same restrictions that you would should you opt for a bankruptcy. Once your IVA is complete, after approximately six years, your remaining debt will be written off and the IVA will be wiped from your credit report. To find out more about IVAs, get in touch with an Insolvency Practitioner, who are experts in this area.

Is a Debt Management Plan (DMP) right for me?

Whether or not a DMP is right for you will depend on a number of factors. Consider the extent of your debt. If the amount is in excess of £7,000 and comprises of unsecured debts including store cards, credit cards, and overdrafts, then this route might be right for you. You won’t have to release equitable interest over to your lenders, but as a DMP is an informal agreement, there is always a risk that your creditors might change the terms of the agreement or back out altogether.

Unlike an IVA, you will pay off all your debts with a DMP, which means they usually last longer than an IVA. If the amount you owe is far larger than £7,000, it is worth considering another option, as it will take a lot of time to repay this amount with a DMP.

Is bankruptcy right for me?

Most debt management professionals would recommend looking at bankruptcy only when you have exhausted all other options. Determine whether or not you can feasibly repay your debts in any other way. Do you have any assets you might be able to sell to repay your debt? Might your financial situation change in the near future? If not, then you can get in touch with an Official Receiver to arrange bankruptcy. All your possessions will be taken into account and potentially sold to cover your debts. When you consider the restrictions that will be placed upon you on top of this, then bankruptcy can appear a truly daunting option – unfortunately, for some, it is the only option available. There is no minimum amount required for you to go bankrupt, and like any other financial indiscretion, it will be wiped from your credit report after approximately six years.

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