house mortgage UKLooking to create a business that has the potential to do well, or invest your money into something you understand?

For some who feel it’s less risky than over options, property can be a good method. It’s something that can be in high demand, and while there are rises and falls in the market it generally appreciates in value over time.

It’s not without its own hassles but here are some of the ways you can make money as a landlord or property investor.

 

Buy and Sell

There’s a lot of money to be made in flipping houses. Buy a run-down property for cheap, do it up and sell for huge profits. However, there are downsides. First, you really do need to know what you’re doing- many newbies try and fail with this. Many only manage to break even after fees and everything else, some even lose money. You need to have a good team of reliable tradespeople on hand, who you know will do the work quickly, efficiently and for a good price.

You also need to have a good understanding of the property market, things like ceiling prices will affect how much you should spend on a property since you will be limited in the maximum amount you will get back.

But if you do your research, and go about things the right way you could make massive sums of money in a short space of time, giving you chance to move onto the next property. The only issue is you need money up front for the property you’re buying as well as the renovation costs which could run into many thousands. You can borrow small loans from this company if you just need to add the finishing touches, your money will be repaid plus a lot more when you successfully sell up.

house questionBecome a Landlord

If you don’t want to buy and sell, or don’t have money up front to do this then buy to let is a good option. You can take out the mortgage and get tenants in, their rent will pay off your mortgage. In some cases you might be able to make some extra money on top of this too depending on how competitive the rental market is where you live.

By the end will have your house completely paid off for you, allowing you to either sell or continue renting to make a profit. You could even go a step further and invest in a few rental properties, if you can pay for the houses up front you will get money in your bank each month without doing much work at all. In fact, if you have an agent manage them all for you then you won’t even need to deal with tenants problems, viewing, referencing, eviction or anything else.

Buy a Holiday Home

There’s no doubt that purchasing property abroad can be more difficult than in the country where you live. However, there’s the opportunity to earn even more money. If you’re letting to tourists, you can charge a large amount per week- far more than if you were renting out a home. On the plus side, you get to enjoy the property yourself too, saving you money on vacations.

 

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digitalThe government’s Making Tax Digital initiative plans to completely reform the way that individuals and organisations do their taxes.

With the change, HMRC aims to become ‘one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations in the world’. However, this also means that many businesses will also need to make the change to digital tax to comply with HMRC’s new system.

Whether you’re a small start-up or a large multinational corporation, there are steps that you should take to ensure your organisation is prepared for the switchover deadline in 2019.

To help, chartered accounting firm Alexander and Co, have spoken to business owners to see how the change has impacted them, as well as offering their top tips to help you prepare for Making Tax Digital.

lightbulb momentFranck Energy

Marcus Franck is the founder of London-based company, Franck Energy. They specialise in helping UK homeowners and businesses switch to renewable energy technologies in their property. Here’s what Marcus had to say about the scheme.

“The Making Tax Digital scheme is certainly a worthwhile endeavour, and one that we’re happy to support. Visibility on tax commitments should be as real-time as possible, and to digitise the whole process will help businesses manage compliance. The UK tax system has been in need of an overhaul for some time, but we appreciate the complexities associated with modernising an established system of processes.

The major challenge will on the customer service side. Not only will businesses and individuals need to get used to the systems, but there will inevitably be bugs and errors. This is always the case in a project so significant, no matter how much care is taken in the implementation. I think patience is a virtue in this instance, and everybody should work together to ensure more efficient taxation infrastructure for the future.”

calculating costsWelch and Ellis Accountants

Welch & Ellis accountants offering accountancy, bookkeeping and taxation advice to business and personal clients. Partner, Rob Ellis, had this to say about the Making Tax Digital scheme.

“Nearly 90% of my clients still operate their bookkeeping on a non cloud bookkeeping system. It was fortunate that HM Revenue and Customs, through consultation, postponed it until, at the earliest, 2019.

I can see lots of problems with those who have subcontractors and CIS and tying the CIS monthly return system up with Making tax digital.

In addition an unexpected withdrawal of overlap profit relief could mean most sole traders and partnerships changing their accounting year ends to the 31 March which will create a real bottleneck for the accountancy profession and HM Revenue and Customs.

Add to this another penalty system for late filing and we could have businesses rack up penalties if they miss the quarterly filing regime will replace the once a year tax return.”

three-fingersThings you should do to prepare for Making Tax Digital…

Here are 3 simple steps you should take to better prepare yourself for the change to digital tax:

1. Get to know the deadlines

Different organisations will adhere to different deadlines depending on whether the organisations turnover is over the VAT threshold.

It’s important to find out these deadlines so that you’re not left playing catch-up at the last minute. To learn more about Making Tax Digital, visit the government’s website dedicated to the scheme.

2. Look for accounting software

If you’re ready to make the change to digital tax, you should start looking for accounting software as soon as possible. There are several things to look out for when searching for the right accounting software. But ultimately, you should find a piece of software that is HMRC  compliant.

3. Speak to your accountant

The chances are that your accountant is already using a piece of accounting software that they know inside and out. However, you will need to liaise with your accountant to make sure the system they use is HMRC compliant, and is also compatible with any digital tax software you are considering.

It’s important to utilise all the information out there to make sure you know exactly how to prepare for the change to digital tax.

If you’re kickstarting the switchover or even if you’re operating digitally already, let me know in the comments what you think about the Making Tax Digital initiative and how you’re preparing for it.

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Is the Stigma Around CFD Trading Justified?

by Adam on September 28, 2017

financial newsCFD stands for contract for difference, and CFD trading allows the trader to invest in an asset without ever owning it. They have garnered a stigma for a number of reasons, but mainly because they are viewed as riskier than standard market investments. America has actually banned CFD trading, which has helped to deepen the cautiousness around investing in them. Here are some considerations on CFD trading.

Leverage

One of the main factors which draws traders of different types to CFDs is the ability to leverage trades. Depending on the level of leverage chosen, a trader can control far more units of stock with far less money, meaning that their potential gains from each leveraged investment can be greatly magnified.

Unfortunately, leverage can be both a blessing and a curse, as it also has the ability to greatly magnify losses. This can lead to an instant wipe out of any given trader’s funds and portfolio, and has caused many successful traders to lose a significant amount (sometimes all) of their money. That being said, using leverage is a choice, and it could be argued that applying too much is an irresponsible and risky move in itself.

Stop Losses

Something which can help to counterbalance the risks of CFD trading is the ability to apply stop loss orders, which involve setting a price at which any given commodity will be automatically sold off if the market moves against the investor.

This, too, can have its limitations, but the fact that it is fully automatic means it can help to significantly reduce the chances of losing too much in a single trade.

ftse100The Trader

In essence, CFDs are not massively different from standard trading instruments, and much of their bad reputation is likely to stem from traders making bad/irresponsible investments. The application of a well-reasoned, researched strategy which takes into account and effectively deals with all the risks associated with CFD trading can make a huge difference in terms of becoming a successful CFD trader.

Whilst some may have had a bad experience with CFD trading, others have also made consistent profits through applying such a strategy, so having the right mentality and approach can make a world of difference.

Ultimately, the stigma attached to CFD trading is probably a little over the top, as they can be risky if traded irresponsibly, but the level of risk is decided by the trader. With this in mind, it is up to those trading CFDs to apply their own logic and strategy to make sure they do not blow their budget through overly risky investments.

 

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Today medical tourism is gaining in popularity in countries that are new and old members of the EU, and becoming more popular amongst international patients, who seek affordable treatment abroad, as they cannot afford it in their home country or face long waits for treatment.

Romania, one of the most visited, welcomes international patients and offers excellent medical care, as well as offering lots to see and to do.

Bucharest, Romania

As you might expect the price of medical procedures is one of the biggest benefits.

According to a report from DentalimplantsFriends a foreign patient would pay only 512 Euros for a single dental implant done in a Romanian dental clinic (source: cheap dental implants abroad). Even with the cost of travel and accommodation, international patients would save up to 80% on their dental bills.

travellerMore than that, Romania is an ideal place to relax and recover after medical procedures.

Everybody can find something for his or herself there: the fresh air of the amazing countryside, amazing city breaks and exciting historical or cultural attractions.

The number of perfectly equipped dental centres has been growing over the last few years in the country.

Foreign patients who consider undergoing their dental implant treatment in Romania can be sure that the high quality materials come from well-known manufacturers and the most modern equipment will be used in the restorative procedures. Romanian dentists are known as not only highly skilled professionals, but also as dentists and oral surgeons who will listen to their patients and understand their needs and desires.  Romanian dentists and oral surgeons are highly professional in all kinds of dental procedures, and are considered to be the top specialists in the EU.

healthcareRomanian dental clinics, that are experienced in the treatment of international patients, also care about the patients comfort and overall satisfaction before and during their stay in the country.

In most cases international patients will be offered not only an individualised treatment plan, but all kinds of support as well. You might expect to receive assistance with hotel and flight booking, airport transfers or with filling your free time. Leading Romanian dental clinics usually have a partnership with local companies offering water rafting, cultural trips, dining in luxury restaurants, relaxing in wellness centres, spas or thermal springs and more.

If you would like to maintain your dental health for a fraction of the western European price, then Romania is the only way to go.

Up-to-date dentistry, excellent quality to price ratio, professional dentists and oral surgeons, perfectly equipped dental clinics,  an amazing and relaxing environment – all of this makes Romania the choice of thousands of international patients from Germany, Scandinavia, the UK, Italy or France.

If you are health conscious, remember to quit your bad habits (if you have them that is) and improve your health.

Want more tips?

Read the Magical Penny article “Health = Wealth: Uncovering the Link Between Fitness and Finance

 

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The Best Countries To Invest In Property

by Adam on September 21, 2017

There are some truly stunning properties in countries around the world.

From the white sand beaches of the Caribbean. To the old cobbled town houses of Rome. They all have their own unique quirks, and attract a wide range of different people. Investing in properties abroad is something many people can only dream of, yet for a few lucky ones it’s a lovely reality. Right now the property market is different and constantly volatile in all countries. The US is known for it’s huge houses for a cheaper price compared to the UK. And the south of Italy is known for its expensive lavish coast line. So let’s explore the countries where you could get the most for your money.

Panama

Panama_City_2016_Flut

This might seem like a random one, but Panama is cheap! A property on the beach costs nearly half what it would for a property on the beach in the UK or US. Whilst it’s not really a popular tourist destination just yet, the city is thriving and growing each day. The investment might not pay off right away, but for a while it could make a lovely little holiday destination, and it’s bound to make it’s way into the holiday market very soon.

Monaco

Located on the French Riviera just off the south of France, this stunning little area of real estate will be the gift that keeps on giving. Home to F1, lavish shops and restaurants, and a hot spot for the rich and famous, you can’t go wrong buying a property here.  There’s so much to see and do, and you’re only a short journey from mainland France. It offers beautiful beaches and weather, a lovely cosy winter destination. Property here can be on the expensive side, but if you look into mortgages you should be able to find a reasonable deal. It’s such a popular holiday destination, that you’ll easily be able to make your money back and more.

The Alps

This one is a perfect all year round holiday destination. If it isn’t during skiing or snowboarding season, the area is still so beautiful it attracts the attention of so many people. Investing in a chalet won’t disappoint. They’re huge, open planned whilst still being warm and cosy. The property isn’t too expensive, but it is easy to make your money back, with the location bringing in all sorts of people, from groups of friends to families, to big parties. You’ll always be booked up, and it makes for a lovely holiday destination for yourself whenever you fancy it.

 

Rome

Rome is one of the most stunning destinations in the world. It’s full of so much history, and it attracts loved up couples and history buffs from all over the world. You’ll definitely not be short of people wanting to rent here. As it’s only a short stay sort of destination, it might be worth utilising things such as AirBnb once you’ve purchased a property, to help rent yours out. You can get a lot of space for rather cheap and is definitely a worthwhile investment.

For more property articles, read more here on Magical Penny

 

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Avoid The Shopping Traps

by Adam on September 20, 2017

shopping tips for supermarketsIt’s the back to school season.

It’s nearly Christmas.

It’s the last sales before Halloween.

It’s Black Friday.

There’s always a reason to go shopping.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got a very good reason. For a lot of customers, a trip to the shopping centre can have catastrophic results for their bank account. In fact, you don’t even need to go to the shopping centre. Nowadays everyone can shop comfortably from the comfort of their home via eCommerce websites, or even on the go, using their phone. In financial terms, shopping is a poor investment that is likely to bankrupt your budget if you’re not careful. But it is also an indispensable element of everyday life. In short, how do you improve your shopping habits for the sake of your finances?

window shoppingOops, I did it again

Browsing, whether physically window shopping or from a digital screen, can be a dangerous experience. If you’re not careful you can end up buying a lot of items that you didn’t even need in the first place and that you can’t afford. Did you know, for example, that the main reason for quick no guarantor loans, such as the ones from New Horizons, is to buy high-tech devices. It’s no coincidence that credit scores take a negative hit at around the time Apple or Samsung presents their latest smartphone. Sometimes, you feel trapped into buying because the shop assistant is insistent. Sometimes it’s your response to social pressure. But this has to stop!

Become an organised shopper

You can’t avoid shopping. But you can become an organised shopper, starting from your grocery list to your trip to the shopping centre list. Souq Planet has calculated that making a shopping list can save you up to 25% on the final bill. Let’s imagine that you do your grocery shopping every week: at the end of the month, you’ve saved the price of an entire shopping trip.

Can you do it yourself?

Have you ever thought that you don’t always need to buy new items? To take a simple example, if you are considering redecorating your home, you could try your hand at some clever DIY tricks instead of buying everything new. Being crafty can save you a lot of money in the long term, and it’s also a fun hobby if you love working with your hands. Old furniture can get a breeze of fresh air with a new coat of paint – and you can spend less than £15 on revamping a cabinet. Surely that’s cheaper than buying everything new.  

Make money out of your excess

Everyone buys items they don’t need, even though keeping a shopping list helps you to reduce the risk of cluttering your home and your finances with unwanted items. But you could turn what you don’t need into money. eBay is a good platform to start selling your prized possessions – assuming you provide an honest description and a fair starting bid. Unless they are collectors, items sold on eBay won’t go at the price you’ve paid for them. But it’s a way of getting your finances in order while decluttering.

Avoiding the trap of a shopping trip is a mixture of skills: organisation, creativity and knowing what to sell. From preventive actions to quick fixes, you can learn to turn shopping into a positive investment in future.

 

For more spending tips read more Spending articles here on Magical Penny

 

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Affiliate marketing businesses work by connecting advertisers with websites. In the past, advertisers would have to trawl through literally hundreds of millions of websites in order to find one where they could advertise best. At the same time, website owners would have to trawl through countless brands to decide which ones they would like to advertise on their website.

shopping tips for supermarketsEven after all this searching, there’s the strong possibility that either the advertiser doesn’t like the website or the website doesn’t like the advertiser. After that, both parties have to start the process all over again.

Affiliate marketing networks are helpful because they act as much-needed middlemen. By using huge amounts of data, the aim of affiliate marketing is to connect the right advertiser to the right website, eliminating the legwork which neither advertisers nor website owners enjoy doing.

For advertisers, this means they can start advertising right away. For website owners, this means that they can start making money right away. Everyone’s a winner.

What Is Voluntary Subscription?

The voluntary subscription model (or the donation model) is a way for website owners and internet creators to monetize their content without advertising and without forcing their users to pay.

Despite how naysayers feel about a website funding itself by what people feel like paying, it’s a model which works. Wikipedia has become the fifth biggest website in the world through donations alone and The Guardian monetizes its content through donations as well.

For everyone else, there’s Patreon — a voluntary subscription service which entered its current form through a merger with Subbable.

wallWhat Are Paywalls?

In order to make money, some websites put a wall in between their users and their content. The reaction to these walls is mixed and the walls themselves don’t always make the website money. However, it’s a model which has worked for many news organisations and it’s the most straightforward in terms of who is paying who and for what.

“The most straightforward” doesn’t necessarily mean “the best” but — like the other models — it has some impressive success stories, the most notable of these being Netflix. Netflix is not a news website. Rather, it’s the most successful of the streaming services, another kind of website which is monetized almost entirely by paywalls.

Netflix also falls very firmly only the side of having a soft paywall in the form of a month’s free trial — as opposed to a hard paywall, where users are expected to start paying straight away. Most streaming services use this same model. In fact, one of Netflix’s biggest rivals claims that its free trial helps it to retain a staggering 70% of customers once the trial has ended.

What Is Merchandising?

Much like with the donation model, merchandising acts as a way for people to indirectly fund what you do, but in their own way and in their own time. Chance The Rapper famously swept up multiple awards at the Grammys while giving his music away for free. So how does he make money? Merchandising. People like what he does, so they choose to pay him for it.

Selling merchandise to loyal fans of your product is a great way to monetize your website, but it also has other benefits. It helps to diversify your income stream so that you’re not solely reliant on just one thing, and the merchandise itself acts as free marketing for your brand. In essence, people are paying you to advertise your product.

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How To Have A Clean Slate After Debt

by Adam on September 15, 2017

 

Using credit cardsDebt can weigh you down, it invades your life and can cause no end of worries and stress.

With the average household owing upwards of £12,800, without mortgages included, debt is very real and can seem impossible to pay off.

However, there are ways to manage your debt and pay it off and have a clean slate afterward.Here are some tips to help you get out of debt and start again.

Manage Your Debt

The first step is to get your debt under control. If you have many payments, it might be easier to pay them all off in one go with a consolidation loan, like the ones found at https://www.debtconsolidationloans.com/find-reliable-debt-consolidation-loan-company/. This process doesn’t clear your debt straight away, but lessens the stress and the interest rate and allows you to make one payment each month rather than multiple.

Another way of managing your debt – particularly if it is a smaller amount – is to contact a debt management charity like https://www.stepchange.org/. You make a single, affordable payment to them each month and they split it between your debtors. However, this way may not be the best for your credit score, so you would have to work to get your good credit back.

Regain Your Credit Score

Start immediately, don’t wait until your debt has been paid off. In fact, paying off your debt in time will help your credit score. Make sure you’re paying your bills on time. If you can’t quite afford to pay something all in one go, like your car insurance, then break into down into monthly payments.

Pay for big things you can afford on your credit card, like flight tickets, and immediately pay it off. This helps your credit both at the bank and with your credit card provider. Plus some credit cards come with extras like flight miles, so you build up your money off without getting into more debt.

british pound notesCancel Any Unnecessary Subscriptions

Look at your outgoings and see which bills aren’t necessary, can you cancel your gym membership, or find a cheaper one? Can you simplify your TV package by removing sports out of season, or movies and just use pay-per-view? You may find that you’re paying for something you haven’t thought of for years, like a magazine subscription.

Saving money doesn’t have to mean you can’t have luxuries, it just means moderating what you can spend on. Start switching take-away night for a new recipe night, or a cinema trip to a home movie night.

Lose Contact With Credit Cards

When you have paid off and finished with debt, then say goodbye to those credit cards. If you want to keep one for the flight miles, then do, but be 100% sure that you won’t dip into temptation. Even give it to someone you trust so that you can’t use it for anything else.

Delete the card details from any online shops you’ve used them in, shred any check books that go with the cards. Obviously, you need to keep some of the paperwork just in case but file them away – out of sight, out of mind.

Your fresh start can now begin.

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save moneyManaging your money can be stressful at the best of times.

Add to this the concerns you have about a long term medical condition that you’re suffering from and it’s even more crucial that your financial management skills are honed and implemented in the correct way. It can be even tougher if your ailment prevents you from working for any length of time. The burden of your mortgage, debt repayments, utility bills, food, and fuel can become overwhelming. However, there are ways that you can prevent your financial woes from taking over your life.

Set Up A Manageable Budget

Whether you have a disability, a long term chronic condition or a short term injury, it’s vital that you have a monthly budget. This allows you to utilise the money that you have at your disposable in a measured and structured way. This way you can allocate some money to the necessities, and you can work out how much disposable income you will have each month. You shouldn’t run into debt, and you can develop sound money management.

Ensure You Get What You Deserve

There is a stigma attached to claiming benefits. However, this antagonism is attached to those people who try to fiddle the system and claim benefits fraudulently. The benefits system is an allocated pot of money to help those people who are in need.

There are a wealth of conditions that are viewed as preventing you from working such as multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and diabetes. It is worth seeking professional advice when investigating the most effective way of getting disability benefits for diabetes. Like other long term conditions such as epilepsy and Lyme disease, diabetes can lead to secondary ailments such as glaucoma or kidney disease. It’s vital you know what you can claim and how you can claim it to avoid slipping into a financial abyss.

today is soon the past, the future is foreverFutureproof Your Income

If you are fortunate enough to have a little nest egg in a savings account, it might be worthwhile considering if the bank is the best place to house your cash. You may not want to take huge financial risks with your money and start trading in commodities or foreign currencies, but you may want to look at investing in bricks and mortar, downsizing your current home, or spreading your savings across a range of investment options.

By keeping the risk low, you could still see a more lucrative return on your hard-earned money rather than seeing it wallow in a savings account accruing minimal interest.

If you don’t bury your head in the sand and you are able to tackle your financial concerns head on, you have the best chance of being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Being out of work and feeling the strain financially can take a great toll on your mental health. Try to mitigate this with sound money management.

You need to do everything within your power to receive the money that you deserve and make it work in the best way possible for you.

 

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The Smart Way To Invest In Collectibles

by Adam on September 14, 2017

toy-story-3 sunnysideInvesting your money wisely is the best way to make yourself financially secure. You can go to a financial adviser and get some advice on the best businesses or stocks to invest in. It’s a tried and tested way to see your money grow but there is always going to be risk involved. Putting your money into collectibles is a great alternative to traditional investments, but only if you get it right. The risk can often be higher with collectibles because the markets are more unpredictable and it’s difficult to tell whether something will retain its value or not. Collectibles like baseball cards have been known to go for tens of thousands so it’s definitely worth looking into the collectibles market. When you’re just getting started out, these tips should help you invest wisely in something that will go up in value.

Choose Something You Know

Of course, you aren’t going to be an expert right away, but you need to choose something that you’re already interested in. That way, you’ll have at least a little bit of an idea of how much these things are worth. If you go into a collectible shop and you haven’t got a clue where to start, you’re probably in the wrong place. There are certain collectibles that have always been fairly safe so if you don’t know where to start, choose one of those areas. You can get great collectible coins from places like https://www.lpm.hk/silver/perth-mint/australian-lunar-series.html. People have been collecting coins for years and it’s unlikely that they’ll fall out of fashion anytime soon. The same can be said of things like stamps or baseball cards. Going with these tried and tested collections might not always be the most profitable, but they’re the safest.

Keep Updated With The Markets

The collectibles market is very unpredictable and if you don’t keep on top of it, you might find that your collection that used to be valuable is suddenly worth nothing. If you know ahead of time that the value of your collection is going down, you can sell it off and reinvest in something more lucrative. There are plenty of online forums like http://www.sideshowcollectors.com/forums/forum4/ with huge communities of collectors that can help you get started. Checking these regularly is the best way to keep up to date on the state of the market, and you can also post any questions that you might have.

Enjoy It

If you think of your collection as an investment and nothing more, you aren’t going to get very far with it. Normal investments don’t usually need a lot of hands on involvement on your part, but a collection is a different story. You need to be constantly updating and cataloging your collection and if it’s something that you aren’t passionate about, it’ll be hard to keep yourself interested. You won’t want to spend hours organising a collection of old action figures if you don’t have any interest in them at all.

Investing in collectibles can help you grow your money, but it can also be a great hobby to have at the same time.

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