Money Bulldog http://moneybulldog.co.uk Personal Finance One Bite at a Time Fri, 24 Mar 2017 12:02:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Economic Fallout as a Result of Global Political Events: How to Survive as an Options Trader http://moneybulldog.co.uk/the-economic-fallout-as-a-result-of-global-political-events-how-to-survive-as-an-options-trader/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/the-economic-fallout-as-a-result-of-global-political-events-how-to-survive-as-an-options-trader/#comments Fri, 24 Mar 2017 12:00:25 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=16743 “In investing, what is comfortable is rarely profitable.” – Robert Arnott 2016 was a tumultuous year for the global geopolitical and socio-economic environment. The aftershocks of the following three top world events still continue to bother the global financial markets months after their occurrence. First, in June, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European

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“In investing, what is comfortable is rarely profitable.” – Robert Arnott

2016 was a tumultuous year for the global geopolitical and socio-economic environment. The aftershocks of the following three top world events still continue to bother the global financial markets months after their occurrence. First, in June, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, second, in November, Donald Trump was voted into power as the 45th president of the United States of America, and third, Italian voters voted for the Italian constitution to remain the same during the December referendum.

According to Emma Lunn of the Telegraph: “The political surprises of 2016 have had a significant impact on interest rates, currencies, inflation and, potentially, economic growth. So, with voters showing themselves to be nativist, nationalist and protectionist, is there a chance that far right groups will triumph in some of the elections due in Europe in 2017? And what impact could this have on investors?

Unfortunately, the latest news out of the UK; ergo, the holding company, Food Retailer Operations Limited, which operates 34 Budgens stores has gone into administration, should not surprise us. Consequently, over 800 jobs will be lost. Is this a direct consequence of Brexit? I am not sure; however, I suspect that it is a more than likely a result of the slowing economic conditions that is taking place in many of the world’s major economies.

Thriving in spite of severe market conditions

In spite of, and as a direct result of the current global instability, asset prices on the world’s financial markets tend to fluctuate widely from day to day. This, therefore, begs the following question: “How do you invest in financial options without being affected by the current market volatility and uncertainty?” Here are a few tips which are designed to help you survive under the challenging market conditions:

Determine your risk profile

I believe that you will have to move out of your comfort zone to realize significant financial gains. What is your risk profile, or how much are you prepared to risk to increase your wealth? It’s important to know where your boundaries are so that you do not step out of them; consequently losing your entire investment. What happens when other traders start jumping ship because the risk is too high for them? Are you prepared to hang in there, or are their valid reasons for getting out of the market? It is vital that you have the answers to these questions before you start trading in financial options; otherwise, the best investment strategy can turn into your worst nightmare if you don’t see it through.

Stick to your investment strategy

It is equally important that you choose a trading strategy and stick to it. If you change your mind halfway through a trade, you run the risk of losing your investment. Trading strategies are mostly determined by the current market conditions as well as your reasons for trading in binary options. Both short-term and long-term trading strategies tend to suit market volatility. If you embark on a short-term investment strategy, you will open and close your position within a single day. Some trades can last for a couple of seconds right up to 1 day. The important point to note is that you need to open and close your position within a single trading day.

On the other hand, the premise for employing a long-term trading strategy is that market prices increase over a period. You are not bothered by the day-to-day noise in the market.

Research the underlying asset price movements thoroughly

It is important to research the price movements of an underlying asset before you choose to place a trade on it. You need to look at statistical data showing how the price has fluctuated in the past, and you need to look at predictive models to determine how the price will more than likely move in the future. Added to this research, you need to consider the current geopolitical and socio-economic events. Once you have looked at as much information as possible, I believe that you will be in a position to make a wise decision regarding your trading strategy and your investment amount for the particular trade.

Final thoughts

Increasing your wealth profile is not easy under the present harsh and unstable economic environment; however, I believe that it is possible to invest successfully and to thrive in spite of the global financial market volatility.

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The Rise of Cryptocurrencies Shows No Signs of Abating http://moneybulldog.co.uk/the-rise-of-cryptocurrencies-shows-no-signs-of-abating/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/the-rise-of-cryptocurrencies-shows-no-signs-of-abating/#comments Fri, 24 Mar 2017 02:21:40 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=16720 Cryptocurrencies have been a subject of hot debate in the investing world for years now, as many investors have been looking on with eager anticipation to see if currencies like Bitcoin will stand the test of time or crash and burn. Since its release in 2009, however, Bitcoin has continued to defy the odds and

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Cryptocurrencies have been a subject of hot debate in the investing world for years now, as many investors have been looking on with eager anticipation to see if currencies like Bitcoin will stand the test of time or crash and burn. Since its release in 2009, however, Bitcoin has continued to defy the odds and bounced back time and again despite the various setbacks it has faced.

Even now, despite a recent decision by the SEC to reject an application to list what would have seen the first ever Bitcoin ETF, the currency is still holding firm around the $1000 dollar mark and this really does beg the question, if Bitcoin can survive and perhaps even thrive going forward despite decisions like these, then does the currency hold more weight than some of its doubters have given it credit for?

One big and well-known advocate of Bitcoin is the eToro social trader jaynemesis. Jay has made quite a name for himself on the trading site, which allows users to copy the trades of other successful traders on the platform in the hope of achieving the same levels of success. While Jay admits that his bullish stance on Bitcoin might have led to some temporary losses for those investors who have copied his trades, he still feels that Bitcoin – as well as other cryptocurrencies like it such as Ethereum – could still have some way to go on the upside and, as a result, he is still feeling bullish. Here is a recent statement he made on the issue:

“Despite denial I remain bullish on Bitcoin. The COIN ETF was the first of many, and although the commission voted against it on this occasion there are several more ETF’s ready to learn from this. It’s clear that over the last few weeks we’ve seen the price rally expecting a thumbs up, so this sharp drop will hurt a lot of investors my eToro copiers included, but in the long term the bull trend is likely to continue, the appeal of Bitcoin to countries facing high inflation, currency controls and corruption is only growing, as is the infrastructure surrounding the currency. Anything under $1000 per coin can be considered a discount and I’ll be using this opportunity to take up some long positions.”

So, with Bitcoin more than doubling in value within the past 12 months even despite the recent SEC decision, one has to wonder whether the currency is destined to defy even its most staunch of critics. The recent trials the currency has faced certainly show that it has a certain degree of bouncebackability, and with two more Bitcoin ETF applications still in the pipeline for a verdict from the SEC, if the regulatory concerns surrounding the cryptocurrency can be resolved, then it may not be all that long before we do finally see the world’s first Bitcoin ETF enter the market.

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Win £5000 with Zurich’s #shareyourgoal Competition! http://moneybulldog.co.uk/win-5000-with-zurichs-shareyourgoal-competition/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/win-5000-with-zurichs-shareyourgoal-competition/#comments Thu, 23 Mar 2017 09:00:11 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=16711 Have you ever heard the saying “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail”? I’m sure you have. This basic principle highlights the importance of setting specific plans or goals in life. Without a plan or goal, many people would simply drift through life, letting life control them rather than them controlling it!

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Have you ever heard the saying “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail”? I’m sure you have. This basic principle highlights the importance of setting specific plans or goals in life. Without a plan or goal, many people would simply drift through life, letting life control them rather than them controlling it!

With this in mind, the well-known financial firm Zurich have just launched a new social media competition known as #shareyourgoal and it is rewarding four winners with £5,000 to put towards their life goal, a bespoke life-goal experience and a financial assessment. The underlying message of the campaign is that it is not just the setting of goals or the preparing of plans that will guarantee success, but also the sharing of those goals and plans with those who are closest to us, such as our partner, family and close friends.

The idea is that when we share our goals with others we automatically give them more weight, take them more seriously and as a result, we will be much more likely to achieve them. Could this really work? Let’s consider an example.

Let’s say that you set a personal goal to pass your driving test within a year, but you never tell anyone about it. The months pass by and although you really want to achieve this goal, at the end of the day your lack of motivation wins out and you fail to achieve it. What, though, if you had shared your goal with friends and family or on social media? Would the constant stream of people asking you if you have passed your test yet make you more likely to achieve it? Surely it would!

What about our financial goals? Could we set a goal to be able to retire by the age of 50, for example? Have enough money to travel during retirement? Or, perhaps we could set the goal of being able to pay for a house deposit or first car for our children or even our grandchildren? If we also share these goals with the people closest to us then – like the driving test example we mentioned earlier – it should give us that extra motivation and positive peer pressure to actually achieve them!

Recent research conducted by Zurich found that those who set goals for when they are aged 65 or over save 7.25% of their salary into their pension, compared to just 5.36% for those who didn’t set the same kind of goals. That’s a big difference when you consider how these savings could build up and compound over a period of around half a century!

So, if you want to enter the Zurich competition to kickstart your savings by £5000 then don’t forget, the specifics of the competition are as follows:

  • Zurich’s #shareyourgoal social media competition will reward four winners with £5,000 to put towards their life goal, a bespoke life-goal experience and a financial assessment.
  • To enter you must share a description, photo, or video of your life goal. Remember to use the hashtag #shareyourgoal as part of your post or tweet @ZurichFutureYou, or your comment on the Zurich Facebook page.
  • All competition winners will be announced by April 17th. Full competition terms and conditions are available on the Zurich website.

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What to consider when deciding which property to invest in http://moneybulldog.co.uk/what-to-consider-when-deciding-which-property-to-invest-in/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/what-to-consider-when-deciding-which-property-to-invest-in/#comments Wed, 22 Mar 2017 11:37:02 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=16705 The money-savvy who want to branch out from stocks and bonds may be thinking about investing in property. A lot of people are attracted to this way of investing as they believe it involves nothing but buying a home, renovating it and quickly selling it on or renting it out for a profit but realistically,

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The money-savvy who want to branch out from stocks and bonds may be thinking about investing in property. A lot of people are attracted to this way of investing as they believe it involves nothing but buying a home, renovating it and quickly selling it on or renting it out for a profit but realistically, there is a lot more to it than just that. Factors like choosing the right property, finding the right tenants and keeping up with maintenance all take money, time and commitment. Here are a few things to consider before you dip your toe into the property investment pool.

Where do I want to invest in a property?

The first thing you need to consider once you’re set on investing in a property is where exactly to do so. It may be that you wish to invest in a property abroad to use as a second home during certain times and to rent it out to holidaymakers during the rest of the year. If this is the case, you’ll need to think about applying for a mortgage abroad and the pros and cons of this. Spreading your wings overseas can sometimes seem like a more affordable option to the UK housing market, but you need to think about your foreign property investment a lot more carefully than you would if you were staying put. The foreign property dream can quickly turn into a nightmare if you don’t consider things such as currency conversion and differences in legal issues from country to country. Whether at home or abroad, you will need to be aware of the number of listings and vacancies that are currently available near your new property. High vacancy rates can sometimes lead landlords to lower rent to gain tenants whereas low vacancy rates allow them to raise the rent. Another thing to consider regarding the area is the potential for future development that may occur there. The local planning department should be able to provide you with information on confirmed development plans for the vicinity. The construction of a new shopping centre, for example, may indicate a good area of growth, something that can only mean an opportunity for more sought after properties and thus, higher rent.

What do you want to use the property for?

Is it your intention to buy an investment property to have an available second home or do you want a property that will yield a yearly profit through renting? Deciding this before you buy will stand you in good stead for finding a property to fit the purpose. In regards to the latter, a lot of property investors tend to go for a property that they know will yield the most income from year to year. These tend to be larger properties that prospective landlords can make into a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) whereby a number of tenants under the same roof have separate contracts. On the other hand, you should never invest in a second home and rely on it solely for most of the year to cover repayments. The market for holiday let properties is already saturated so you may not be able to maintain a consistent tenancy.

Do I have the time and commitment to invest in a property?

A lot of people underestimate exactly how much time and effort it takes to invest in a property. From start to finish, you’ll have to make sure that you are willing to dedicate a lot of your spare time into the refurbishment, maintenance and long-term upkeep of the property whether you’re renting it out to others or keeping it as a second home. Those looking to make property investment a full-time opportunity should map out a business plan and a detailed budget. A high level of organisation at the beginning of the process will help you identify both the long and short-term implications. Follow your business plan as closely as possible but always be willing to adapt if certain issues arise.

How much money will investing in a property cost?

Obviously, the amount of money you’re willing to invest differs from person to person, and those seeking larger properties or properties in a sought-after location are bound to pay a lot more. It’s not only the cost of the property and the mortgage that you need to consider, however. You will encounter a number of buying and selling costs such as estate agent and surveyor fees, stamp duty, land tax and solicitor’s fees which ultimately all add up and may see you out of pocket in the short-term. Those willing to make the investment will begin to see the fruit of their labour over the course of time, especially if they decide to rent a property in areas with a high demand for property such as Leeds and Manchester. A buy-to-let in Manchester, for example, could give you a very high rental yield, particularly because the city is currently receiving a lot of infrastructure development.

It doesn’t matter whether you decided to invest in a property in the UK or overseas, there will always be a lot of factors to take into consideration. When you find the ideal investment property, make sure to keep your expectations realistic, and your finances accounted for so that you know you’ll be covered if anything goes wrong. Sometimes waiting for a rental property to yield a profit can seem like it takes forever, but the key is to remain calm and keep your eye on the ball. Investing in property does not start with buying another home, it starts with a solid and detailed plan that you can stick to and begin to feel the benefit of your investment whether that comes in the form of money or relaxation.

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Robo Investing vs Stock Picking – Which is right for you? http://moneybulldog.co.uk/robo-investing-vs-stock-picking-which-is-right-for-you/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/robo-investing-vs-stock-picking-which-is-right-for-you/#comments Tue, 21 Mar 2017 00:14:20 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=16681 With online robo advisors now starting to gain real exposure on the UK investment scene, many people are wondering whether they would be better off investing their money with one of these investment services or should they go down the route of picking their own stocks instead? If this is a question that you are

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With online robo advisors now starting to gain real exposure on the UK investment scene, many people are wondering whether they would be better off investing their money with one of these investment services or should they go down the route of picking their own stocks instead?

If this is a question that you are asking yourself right now then here are a few questions for you to consider before deciding between automated investing or picking your own stocks.

What are your investment goals?

The first thing you need to consider when deciding between robo investing and stock picking is what you are looking to achieve from your investment journey?

Are you looking to take a few risks and possibly get in early on a killer share like an Apple, an Amazon or a Berkshire Hathaway, for example, in the hope of becoming a stock market millionaire? If so, then you are probably going to be better off doing some research on how to pick the right shares and then trading through a standard UK share dealing account or a Stocks and Shares ISA that allows you to have full control over the shares you invest in.

On the other hand, if you are investing with a goal of steady and sustainable growth, then automating your investments through a robo advisor like Nutmeg – which is the UK alternative to Betterment – might allow you to achieve this goal with less risk attached than if you were to pick your own shares with very little knowledge on how to correctly balance an investment portfolio.

Of course, we should mention here that there is a risk of losing your initial investment whichever route you choose to go down, as stock markets can rise as well as fall.

How much free time do you have?

The next thing you will want to give thought to is how much free time you have available to you? Building a portfolio which will stand the test of time and having the time available to regularly review it and make any necessary adjustments will all take up your precious time. If you don’t have much free time at your disposal, then automating your investments through a robo advisor might enable you to enjoy the potential benefits of stock market investing without having to worry about the time investment that would be needed to build and maintain your own portfolio of stocks and shares.

How much spare cash do you have to invest?

Our final point to consider involves the amount of money you have available to invest on a regular basis. Building your own portfolio of stocks and shares through an online share trading account can be fun and exciting, but it can also be quite costly. This is because each time you make a trade, you will have to pay a brokerage fee and in the UK you will also have to pay stamp duty on the value of the trade. This can mean that any gains that you make on your trades can quickly be eaten up by trading fees if you only have a small amount of money to invest each time.

If this is the case for you, then investing through a robo advisor could again make sense, as you will only be charged a small annual management fee on the value of your portfolio, rather than being charged for each individual trade.

Weighing it all up

To sum all of this up, if you are looking to make a lot of money by finding a killer share before its value skyrockets, then you would probably be better off opening a standard online share dealing account or even a Stocks and Shares ISA, specifically an ISA which will allow you to pick your own shares. You should be prepared to spend time doing plenty of research before you buy into a company, and be sure to keep an eye on your portfolio to make any needed adjustments. Don’t fall into the trap of panic buying or selling, though. You will also want to make sure that you are making big enough trades to make your investments worthwhile after trading fees have been factored in.

If, on the other hand, you are more interested in steady and long-term growth and you don’t really have the time or desire to spend hours researching companies, or if you want to invest small amounts of money but on a regular basis without trading fees eating up all of your gains, then investing through a robo advisor might well be the perfect option for you.

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The Things to Consider Before Opening a Live Trading Account http://moneybulldog.co.uk/the-things-to-consider-before-opening-a-live-trading-account/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/the-things-to-consider-before-opening-a-live-trading-account/#comments Fri, 17 Mar 2017 13:04:15 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=16669 There is no doubt about it; the forex market remains an extremely attractive proposition for individuals who wish to boost their earnings and optimise their personal finances. After all, an estimated $5.3 trillion is traded on this market every single day, while its liquidity and the derivative nature of currency means that investors can profit

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There is no doubt about it; the forex market remains an extremely attractive proposition for individuals who wish to boost their earnings and optimise their personal finances. After all, an estimated $5.3 trillion is traded on this market every single day, while its liquidity and the derivative nature of currency means that investors can profit even in a depreciating climate. 

So, if you are interested in opening a live trading account and leveraging this unique marketplace, it may be tempting to launch your new, part-time career immediately. There are several considerations to bear in mind if you are to successfully invest your capital in this market, including the following: –

1. Have You Tested Your Strategy Through a Demo Account?

While accessing an online, live trading platform enables you to capitalise in real-time trends, there are other advantages too. More specifically, most online brokerage firms also offer their clients access to demo trading accounts, which allow them to hone the test their strategies within a live, but simulated, market environment.

This serves as a steep learning curve for traders, and one that educates them on the practicalities of forex trading without requiring them to risk their hard-earned money. It is therefore wise to trade through a demo account for a period of between three to six months before making a real money commitment, as this ensures that you have bridged the often-sizeable gap between theoretical knowledge and practical experience.

2. Do You Understand the Roles of Macroeconomics and Determinism?

Even if you are equipped with knowledge and experience garnered through your demo account, there are other considerations that can help to refine your trading activity. The most prominent are macroeconomics and determinism, each of which has a fundamental role in determining how your individual trades play out.

In terms of macroeconomics, this refers to the behaviour of the aggregate economy and its impact on specific financial markets. Including metrics such as inflation, interest rates and labour market performance, the combination of these factors has a direct impact on the value of currency and how specific pairings compete on the forex market. Understanding macroeconomics and the relationship that exists between each metric can help you to optimise your trading activity, even during periods of austerity.

Determinism is another important consideration, as a deterministic mind-set allows traders to understand the underlying laws that govern change in the financial market. This negates the risk that traders will make emotive and ill-informed decisions, as they understand which trends are impactful and which can be ignored.

3. Do You Have a Diversified Trading Account?

In many ways, taking the decision to trade currency is extremely exciting and something that should deliver a thrilling learning experience. It is also a serious business, however, while the volatile and derivative-based nature of the forex market also means that it is possible to lose more than your original investment.

It is therefore wise to consider diversifying your trading activity, particularly when operating online. After all, online platforms tend to offer access to a host of fiscal markets alongside forex, meaning that it is easier than ever to invest in a diverse array of assets and optimise your returns over a sustained period of time.

This tactic, when combined with relevant risk-management measures such as installing stop-losses on your account, help to optimise your capital and achieve higher returns that meet your expectations.

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3 Things Self-Employed People Should Do Right from the Start! http://moneybulldog.co.uk/3-things-self-employed-people-should-do-right-from-the-start/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/3-things-self-employed-people-should-do-right-from-the-start/#comments Thu, 16 Mar 2017 15:12:25 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=16647 For pretty much all my working life, I’ve been self-employed and it’s fair to say I’ve learnt a lot since I first started out around 15 years ago. I’ve learned that to survive as a self-employed person, you need to have a great amount of drive, discipline and you need to be willing to take

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For pretty much all my working life, I’ve been self-employed and it’s fair to say I’ve learnt a lot since I first started out around 15 years ago. I’ve learned that to survive as a self-employed person, you need to have a great amount of drive, discipline and you need to be willing to take a few risks here and there. When I look back now, though, there are a few things that I wish I’d known when I first started out, just to make things easier and more successful from the start.

With this in mind, I want to mention 3 important things today that all newly self-employed people should have on their radar right from the very beginning, so that they can start their self-employed journey off on the right footing.

Take Your Business Finances Seriously

One of the biggest things a lot of new business owners struggle with is keeping on top of their finances. While there are lots of good entrepreneurs out there with great ideas, not all of them are great with the money side of things. One excellent way to stay on top of your business finances right from the start is to use some online accounting software to invoice clients, record your expenses and more. Using online accounts software can help you to keep a keen eye on how much you’re earning, what you’re spending and also how much you are likely to owe to the tax man at the end of the tax year. This way you can keep some money aside as you go along, to prevent you from being hit with an unexpected tax bill that you don’t really have the money for. You will also be able to see whether you are really making the kind of money you think you are, or whether – after your expenses have been considered – you need to make some adjustments to the price of your product or service to be able to make a sustainable profit. If you want to learn more about the benefits of using online accounting software then check out our Xero Review.

Think about Your Pension

One of the big downsides of self-employment is the fact that you miss out on a lot of the benefits and perks that come along with being employed. I’m specifically thinking of things like holiday pay, sick pay and most importantly, a pension plan. If you decide to go self-employed then I would recommend setting up some kind of personal pension right from the start, as the years can quickly pass by and you’ll want to avoid saving or investing too late down the line. In the UK, one good way to do this is to set up a SIPP or Self-Invested Personal Pension. A SIPP is a tax-efficient way for UK residents to save and invest for their retirement and can be extremely useful for self-employed people. The earlier you start to save, the more time your money will have to grow and the bigger your pension pot is likely to be. Taking a little time out to do some research and find the best SIPP for your needs can also be beneficial here.

Spend a Little Money on Branding and Marketing

Setting up a business is a financially difficult time for most people and it can be difficult to know how best to allocate the little money you have available. One area I would recommend spending some money on if you can would be branding and marketing. Having a professional designer take care of your business logo and then using that logo on some professional looking business stationary or a well-designed website really could make the difference between business success and failure. First impressions count, so you will want to get things right from the very start. Getting your branding right from the beginning can also save you a lot of time and money down the line, as it could help you to avoid an expensive and complex rebrand.

Getting it Right from Day One

Here we’ve mentioned just 3 important things that self-employed people should consider right from the start of their venture into self-employment. There are many other things that you need to consider before starting a business and also personality traits you need to develop, but the 3 tips we’ve discussed here should be high on your agenda.

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4 Tips to save like a Pro this year http://moneybulldog.co.uk/4-tips-to-save-like-a-pro-this-year/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/4-tips-to-save-like-a-pro-this-year/#comments Tue, 14 Mar 2017 07:00:39 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=16636 This is a guest post from Pauline of InvestmentZen.com I am sure you know the secret to a financially stable life. It’s not really a secret. Save, save and save some more. But easier said than done, right? With the average rate of saving for American households around 5%, it doesn’t seem like the majority

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This is a guest post from Pauline of InvestmentZen.com

I am sure you know the secret to a financially stable life. It’s not really a secret. Save, save and save some more. But easier said than done, right? With the average rate of saving for American households around 5%, it doesn’t seem like the majority puts that into action. So here are a few tips to help you save like a pro.

  1. Cut ruthlessly where it doesn’t matter

In order to save more money, you need to reduce your expenses. Think about it like a diet: you want to cut on the daily excess of calories, so you can enjoy a greasy burger or a decadent slice of chocolate cake once in a while. You won’t miss the extra butter on your morning toast, and you’ll enjoy the burger twice as much. It is the same when it comes to money.

Try making a list of things that really matter to you. They will be very personal, like:

  • Going out
  • Travel
  • Grooming
  • Charitable giving
  • Gourmet restaurants
  • Having a housekeeper

And so on. Sadly, on an average income, you can’t have it all. When I was working my first job, my place was small, I was cooking 99% of my food from scratch, but I had a housekeeper and travelled internationally several times a year. I didn’t mind cutting some expenses in order to afford my splurges. So start cutting the things that do not really matter, like that magazine subscription you never read. You won’t miss it, and you’ll have some extra cash.

  1. Never pay retail for things you want

Expert savers don’t like to pay full price for things. They search for coupons, pay with reward credit cards to get free miles or cashback, and don’t mind getting gently used items instead of brand new things. Again, when it comes to things you don’t care too much about, or won’t be using regularly, you can get the generic brand, or the entry level product.

It is worth spending money for quality items you will use time and time again. Why have a sticky pan if you’re going to make eggs every morning? That is frustrating and unproductive. But you can look up local ads to find garage sales or people moving out and getting rid of their stuff at a discount.

  1. Want to splurge? Hustle for it

It is easy to go to a store, buy whatever you want, and let your future self handle the credit card bill. With double digit interest, it will not only take a long time to pay off, but also cost you a lot more than it should. If you can’t afford to pay for that big ticket item, it is time to get creative, and find ways to make extra money to pay cash for it.

Yes, even a car. Work an extra hour every day for £20, and by the end of the year you will have £4,800 more. There are plenty of nice second hand cars in that price range. And finding an extra hour every day is not so hard. It could also be a whole day on Saturdays. Whatever works for you. You can be a sports coach, walk dogs in your neighbourhood, babysit kids until their parents get home, tutor in a field you master,… the possibilities are endless. Or simply work overtime at your day job.

That extra money can be your fun money, allowing you little pleasures without affecting your savings rate.

  1. Master the art of free

Many things in life can be free. If you spend a little time thinking about ways to get what you want for free, you’ll find there is often a way. I have bartered language lessons, giving French and receiving Arabic. I have swapped my house and gotten a free holiday. I have grown vegetables and herbs in my garden. And even picked up furniture and random stuff in the streets. Freecycle is a great resource to ask for free things people are getting rid of. Sure, it might not be the exact blender you were dreaming of, but if it does the job who cares? Once more, it comes down to your values and priorities in life. Would you rather work for X hours, or get that thing for free instead? I know most of the time, I pick freedom over fancy things.

  1. Know your why

Why do you want to save money? For a holiday, to afford to go back to school or stay home with the kids and live off one income? So you don’t have to be a Walmart greeter at 65? Whatever your goal, saving is much easier when you know why you do it. Keep in mind for example that every time you save $50, that is one day you can spend at home with the kids. Or that if you invest £300 a month (just £10 per day) at 8% for 30 years, you will have £452,466 in your nest egg for retirement.

Saving money is not fun per se, but the peace of mind and freedom it provides are priceless. How do you save more money?

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Effective Ways Business Owners Can Earn Extra Money http://moneybulldog.co.uk/effective-ways-business-owners-can-earn-extra-money/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/effective-ways-business-owners-can-earn-extra-money/#comments Fri, 10 Mar 2017 12:41:13 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=16626 A business needs to at least break even to stay afloat, but the main aim for any entrepreneur and business owner will always be to turn a profit. Whether you’re already running a small business or are just setting one up, you should always be on the lookout for ways to increase profits. There are

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A business needs to at least break even to stay afloat, but the main aim for any entrepreneur and business owner will always be to turn a profit. Whether you’re already running a small business or are just setting one up, you should always be on the lookout for ways to increase profits. There are various ways business owners can earn extra money alongside or through their current operations, to go on to reinvest all additional funds back into the company.

Expand into Profitable Industries

Most companies will start out with one main target market. It is important to have a clear focus but after a while, if your company finds its growth beginning to stagnate, it is worth expanding into other areas. This could be done either as a side project to test the waters, or by broadening your product/service offering.

There are many profitable industries that can be explored, such as office administration, specialised design, legal services and more. It is best to find a sector that fits in well with your current business and that you have the appropriate skills and expertise to succeed in.

Provide Sales Incentives

The majority of businesses spend a lot of time, money and effort chasing new customers, aiming to get as many clients on board as possible. A great way to earn extra money is to shift the focus from potential new customers to existing ones.

Start to offer sales incentives to current clients and spend more time marketing towards them. This will be far cheaper and a lot more efficient in the short and long term for boosting finances. Sales incentives can vary from a free trial or product, to discounts on larger orders.

Trade Online

Trading forex online is another possible way to earn extra money alongside your business ventures. All you need is the right online trading platform, to have budgeted what you’ll invest and the knowledge of the right currency pairs to begin buying and selling to hopefully make a profit.

There is an element of risk attached to trading online, but it can be worth it if things go your way. Plus, it can be kept separate from your business finances or intertwined, with any earnings made reinvested in the business.

Rent Out Space

If you own or rent an office or other commercial property, and there’s areas of it you don’t use, why not rent it out? This is an easy and incredibly cost-effective way to boost earnings without having to do a lot. Especially if you already have spare desks, computers and more, you can charge extra as well.

Host Events

Whatever industry your business works within, hosting events for others within it can be a great money spinner. Get an industry expert or two on board and you can host a talk on your own company premises, inviting others and charging for tickets. This is a simple way to make some extra money.

Decide which of these effective methods is best for you and your business and begin putting it in action to increase your finances.

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How to Sell Your Car Fast! http://moneybulldog.co.uk/how-to-sell-your-car-fast/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/how-to-sell-your-car-fast/#comments Tue, 28 Feb 2017 14:00:18 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=16210 If you want to sell your car then you might wonder whether this is going to take some time and be a real hassle. Well, the truth is that doing this doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might think. By following these easy steps you will be able to find a buyer for

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If you want to sell your car then you might wonder whether this is going to take some time and be a real hassle. Well, the truth is that doing this doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might think.

By following these easy steps you will be able to find a buyer for your vehicle quickly and painlessly.

Get It Looking Great

First impressions really count when you want to sell your car. This means that you need to get it ready to impress people, just as you would get your house looking fantastic when you put it up for sale.

You can get started by sorting out any problems that might catch someone’s eye. It is pretty easy to fix little problems such as faulty bulbs or scratches but if you leave them unattended then they could be enough to put off potential buyers.

Try and look at your vehicle from a neutral point of view and see it as others will. If you can see any defects with the car then you can be sure that other people who come to view it will also notice them.

Get the Paperwork in Order

One issue that really puts people’s minds at ease when looking for a car is when the paperwork is all in order. On the other hand, when the paperwork is missing or has some gaps then this tends to make potential buyers very nervous.

Therefore, it is a good idea to make sure that you have the paperwork all sorted out before you put your car up for sale. You can include details of services, MOTs and even smaller things like new tyre receipts.

The more details you can cover with this paperwork the better, as it will make you seem like a very thorough owner who has taken great care of the car over the years.

Let People See It Online

If you want to sell your car fast, then it definitely makes sense to use the power of the internet to find the people who are likely to be interested in buying your vehicle. After all, this is a way of letting far more people see it than you could otherwise manage.

The first step in this process is to find the right site to post it on. You will want to reach out to as many people as possible but you won’t want to run the risk of getting contacted by dodgy people who might try to scam you.

A hassle-free online option that might suit you better is to use a site like webuyanycar.com. You can sell your car quickly and easily on a site like this and you can get an instant quote to find out whether they will offer you a reasonable price for your car.

Set the Price Wisely

A common mistake made by car owners is to set the selling price too high. This could put off the people who look at it right away, especially if it is a model that is easy to find for sale.

At the opposite end of the scale, if you set the price too low then anyone who looks at the details might wonder whether there is a problem that you are hiding. Therefore, discovering what the right price is and then setting it at this figure is the smartest way to get people interested.

If you can do this then you can feel more certain that anyone looking for this type of vehicle will take an interest in your car.

Be Flexible

The more flexibility that you can offer the better. Perhaps someone wants to come and view the car at an awkward time or maybe they want to offer you a part exchange or some other sort of deal.

Even if you just want a simple and straightforward sale, you still need to take into account the wants and needs of the people that you deal with. If you are too inflexible with your approach then you run the risk of turning people away.

Try and put yourself in the shoes of the other person and work out how you can be more flexible to help them make their decision.

Make It Easy to Buy

The overall effect of sticking to the previous points should be that you make your car as easy to buy as possible. You want anyone who is interested in this vehicle to be able to purchase it without any problems.

Of course, this might mean a bit of extra work for you. However, it will be worth it when you sell your car and can move on to the next stage in your life.

Don’t let the sale of your car become a hassle when it is a simple task to make it a lot easier.

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