Money Bulldog http://moneybulldog.co.uk Personal Finance One Bite at a Time Wed, 15 Aug 2018 00:59:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Wealthsimple UK Review: Get Your First Year for Free! http://moneybulldog.co.uk/wealthsimple-review-new-investor-sign-up-bonus-offer/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/wealthsimple-review-new-investor-sign-up-bonus-offer/#respond Thu, 19 Jul 2018 22:07:30 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=19710 In this Wealthsimple review, we take a closer look at the UK robo-advisor to help you decide if they are the right digital wealth manager for you. We look at who Wealthsimple* are, how big the company is and what they offer for investors like you. We’ll also be taking a look at their fees,

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In this Wealthsimple review, we take a closer look at the UK robo-advisor to help you decide if they are the right digital wealth manager for you.

We look at who Wealthsimple* are, how big the company is and what they offer for investors like you. We’ll also be taking a look at their fees, account types and see how they compare to some of the other big UK robo-advisors.

You might also be interested to know that we’ve secured a special deal for new investors who sign up using any of the links in this post, a deal enabling you to get your first £5000 worth of investments managed for free* for the first year!

Who Are Wealthsimple?

Wealthsimple started life back in 2014 with the mission of providing world-class low cost investment advice. At the time of writing, Wealthsimple* have over 75,000 customers globally and they manage over £1.4 billion worth of assets.

After seeing massive growth in their Canadian and US business, Wealthsimple then expanded into the UK.

Wealthsimple pride themselves not only on the advice that they offer but also on the design, ease of use and security of their platform, helping them to win the prestigious Webby Award for Best Financial Services/Banking website two years running!

How Does Wealthsimple Work?

Wealthsimple use digital tools and a Nobel Prize winning investment strategy to build a personalised portfolio for their clients.

After you sign up with Wealthsimple*, they will ask you some simple questions to help them assess your attitude to risk and understand your investment goals. Once they have this information, they can then invest your cash into suitable low-cost index funds. Wealthsimple will then continuously monitor and re-balance your portfolio on your behalf.

So, once you’re invested, you don’t have to do a thing!

Example of Wealthsimple funds for a balanced portfolio

As Wealthsimple make use of digital tools and invest your money into low-cost funds, they are able to charge much lower fees than those charged by typical wealth managers. This means world-class investment management doesn’t have to be restricted to only high net worth investors.

The above being said, many high net worth individuals are now seeing the benefits of using robo-advisors. As a result, Wealthsimple have a special package for those with over £100,000 to invest. The package is called ‘Wealthsimple Black’, which offers even lower fees as well as other perks.

While you can sign up and manage your Wealthsimple account* online, it’s worth noting that you can still speak with a human investment advisor as and when you feel the need to.

What Are Wealthsimple’s Fees?

The fees Wealthsimple charge are clear and simple to understand.

If you’re investing less than £100,000 (there is no minimum investment amount) then Wealthsimple charge a management fee of 0.7%. Then there is the cost of the underlying funds they invest your money into, which is around 0.2% on average.

If you’re investing over £100,000 then you will be eligible for Wealthsimple’s ‘Black’ account. This account comes with all the features of the basic account but a lower fee of 0.5% + fund costs.

Wealthsimple Basic and Black account pricing and benefits

Wealthsimple Stocks and Shares ISA

So far we’ve mentioned Wealthsimple’s Basic Account and Black Account but UK investors will be happy to hear that there is also a Wealthsimple Stocks and Shares ISA* and a Wealthsimple Junior ISA*. This means you can enjoy the tax benefits that come with investing via an ISA for you and your children.

The ISA allowance set by the government currently stands at £20,000 per year for adults and £4,260 for children. You can invest it all into a Stocks and Shares ISA or you can split it across various ISA types.

You can also transfer an existing ISA over to Wealthsimple* in a matter of minutes via their website and they will cover any associated costs.

Do Wealthsimple Offer a Pension?

Wealthsimple don’t currently offer a Pension or SIPP. There are plans to launch one in the not too distant future, though. So if you don’t mind waiting then you can sign up for an account in preparation for the launch.

If you’re looking for a robo-advisor with a pension product already up and running, then check out Nutmeg*.

New Investor Sign Up Offer

As we mentioned at the start of this post, we’ve also managed to secure a New Investor Sign Up Offer for our readers who open a Wealthsimple account* using any of the links in this post. If you take advantage of this offer then you’ll get your first £5000 of investments managed free for a year!

Invest on Autopilot via the Wealthsimple Mobile App

Is Your Money Safe With Wealthsimple?

Wealthsimple use state of the art encryption to help keep your money safe. It’s good to know that Wealthsimple are also fully regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. This means that any money deposited is protected by FSCS protection up to a maximum of £85,000. Obviously this does not cover any losses related to investment activity.

Wealthsimple Alternatives

We appreciate that after reading this review you may for some reason decide that Wealthsimple aren’t quite right for you. If so, you may want to check out our reviews of some other UK robo-advisors which we’ve listed below.

Are Wealthsimple Right for You?

By their very nature, robo-advisors like Wealthsimple* are not designed to turn you into an overnight millionaire. Robo-advisors are instead designed for those looking for a low fee, hands off way to grow their cash. Of course, consistent growth cannot be guaranteed but this is Wealthsimple’s aim. While you can – to some extent – choose the level of risk that you are willing to take when using a robo-advisor in the hope of better returns, it’s still best to be realistic in your expectations.

With the above in mind, if your investment goal is to see massive growth over a short period of time, then you might be better off opening a DIY Stocks and Shares ISA with a company like Hargreaves Lansdown* and trying to pick your own stocks instead. If on the other hand you are looking for a hands off investment that should produce steady returns with low fees, then Wealthsimple could be a great place to start.

Don’t forget that if you open an account with Wealthsimple today* using any of the links in this post, then you can get your first £5000 worth of investments managed free for the first year!

‘With investment comes risk and you may get back less than you invest’.

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How Google Home and Amazon Echo Can Help Disabled People http://moneybulldog.co.uk/how-google-home-and-amazon-echo-can-help-disabled-people/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/how-google-home-and-amazon-echo-can-help-disabled-people/#comments Wed, 06 Jun 2018 21:52:54 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=19600 While voice activation and voice activated devices may still be just a bit of fun to most of us, a recent experience has helped me to see that they hold massive potential benefits for disabled people, especially somebody who may be paralysed completely. A few years ago an elderly friend of mine had a serious

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While voice activation and voice activated devices may still be just a bit of fun to most of us, a recent experience has helped me to see that they hold massive potential benefits for disabled people, especially somebody who may be paralysed completely.

A few years ago an elderly friend of mine had a serious fall which left her paralysed from the neck down. Obviously the accident affected not only my friend but also her family too, as they all had to change their lives in order to help look after her. Imagine going from one day being active and completely independent, to the next being completely reliant on others. My friend is now not able to hold a book, turn the television on and off or even eat or wash without the aid of a carer. I don’t think anyone can really grasp what that must be like unless you are in that position.

Anyway, recently I was approached by the husband of the lady who had the fall. He knew that I was fairly good with technology and asked me if we knew of any way that we could use voice activated devices to help improve his wife’s quality of life a bit. He told me that, while she was getting visitors, the days were still really long and although she was now able to activate a device or two around her using something known as a possum, it was pretty hard going for her. He’d seen the TV adverts for devices like the Amazon Echo* and Google Home*, and he wanted to know if we could use them in any way to help his wife.

I feel bad saying that, at first, I was a little unsure as to how much success we could really have with this. This was because, as my friend was now paralysed from the neck down, she had a little trouble projecting her voice. The other thing was that new technology can be hard to get to grips with at the best of times, never mind whilst facing all of these other challenges too.

As it turned out, I really needn’t have been so worried. To start off with, we looked into the Google Home device*, as we knew that it could connect up to a Chromecast* in your TV and could therefore control YouTube on my friend’s TV using only her voice. Things were a little tough at first and it took her a little time to get used to saying the right commands at the correct time, but it wasn’t long before she was searching for things on YouTube and enjoying her favourite content this way. Later on we were also able to get her subscribed to Netflix which she could also control via her voice activated Google Home device. Things were going well and it was time to see if there was even more that we could do.

While having YouTube and Netflix at her disposal had really given my friend something extra to fill the days, one thing she really missed was the ability to read a book, as she simply could no longer hold one. Another friend of ours had brought her an audiobook from the library a few months previous, which her husband had played for her through a laptop in her room. While it was great to be able to enjoy a book again, having to be reliant on other people to start and stop the book meant that it was really difficult to enjoy it properly without missing chapters etc. At the time, Google weren’t selling audiobooks or if they were they had very few titles available, but I knew that Amazon were massively into this sector after they purchased the site Audible* which specialised in audiobooks read by famous actors. My friend really liked the idea of being able to listen to her favourite books this way, so we went ahead and purchased an Amazon Echo device* for her and also signed her up for an Audible free trial*. This particular feature has really cheered her up as she loves listening to her audiobooks and she can now easily start and stop them on her Echo device using only her voice. She can even set a sleep timer on them if she feels herself getting a little tired.

So, my friend was now able to watch YouTube and Netflix completely independently using only voice commands, and she was also able to listen to her favourite audiobooks too!

One other thing I’d spotted on recent Amazon adverts was that you could make phone calls using an Echo device too. At the time of setting the devices up, it didn’t seem that Google Home had an option for this in the UK and I’d read that even when they did release it, the option might only be available for outgoing calls. This wasn’t going to be much use for my friend as one of her greatest frustrations was that she kept missing incoming calls from friends and family because she couldn’t answer them in time using her possum, which she controlled with her mouth but was very limited in what it could do and it was a laborious task trying to navigate through the menus. So, once the Amazon Echo* arrived and we’d got the audiobook feature set up, I then looked into setting up the voice call feature and thankfully it worked brilliantly! I just had to link her mobile phone to the Echo device to sync her contacts, and then install the Amazon Alexa app on her family members phones. She was then able to make and receive calls from them using nothing but her voice.

I hope you don’t mind me sharing this experience today but I just thought some of the features of the devices we’ve mentioned today might be useful for others who have friends and family in a similar position. While devices like the Amazon Echo* and Google Home* are a bit of fun for most of us, they really have improved the quality of life for my paralysed friend beyond measure. She can now use her voice to watch YouTube, Netflix and more on her Google Home and Chromecast* devices, and we’re looking into whether even more features might be available now that you can link an Amazon Echo to an Amazon Fire Stick* in your TV. She can also listen to Audiobooks, the radio and her favourite music via both devices and can make phone calls to friends and family via voice activation. Not only this, but we’re now exploring the various other alexa skills that are available using the Echo device.

While this has been a little off topic from our usual content today, I hope that you find the information useful in order to help someone you know who might be facing similar challenges.

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Online Estate Agents – Who Offers the Best Deal? http://moneybulldog.co.uk/online-estate-agents-who-offers-the-best-deal/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/online-estate-agents-who-offers-the-best-deal/#respond Wed, 06 Jun 2018 13:24:52 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=19564 I think it’s safe to say that Online Estate Agents are now a part of the furniture in the UK. More and more people are choosing to sell their house online rather than using traditional high street agents and they are saving a lot of money by doing so. With so many online agents now

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I think it’s safe to say that Online Estate Agents are now a part of the furniture in the UK. More and more people are choosing to sell their house online rather than using traditional high street agents and they are saving a lot of money by doing so.

With so many online agents now up and running in the UK, though, you might be wondering which one offers the best deal for home sellers? In this post we compare 3 well-known UK online estate agents to help you decide which one is likely to be the right one for you.

Emoov

Emoov rated as 'Excellent' on review site Trustpilot based on 1657 reviewsEmoov* started out in 2010 and markets itself as the UK’s #1 hybrid agent. At the time of writing they have 2 options that you can choose from when selling your home via Emoov.

The first option – the cheaper of the two – is to pay a one-off upfront fee of £895 (£995 in London or inner M25) to list your home for sale. If your home sells then you won’t pay any more than the £895 but if it doesn’t sell then you will still have to pay this fee.

The second option is to pay only if Emoov are able to sell your home. If you choose the ‘pay on completion’ option then the fee payable will be higher at £1995 (£1995 for those selling in London or the inner M25).

It’s worth mentioning here that there is a 0% finance option available when you sell your home with Emoov* if you choose option 1 and pay the lower upfront fee.

Key points of interest when selling with Emoov:

  • One-off fee of £895 (£995 in London or Inner M25) if paying upfront
  • Fee of £1995 (£1995 in London or Inner M25) if using No Sale, No Fee option
  • Free Home Valuation
  • Property Listed on Rightmove, Zoopla and Prime Location
  • Rated Excellent on Trustpilot with a score of 9.3/10 based on 1,600+ reviews
  • You take care of the viewings
  • No Extra Fees if you use your own conveyancer    

HouseSimple

HouseSimple rated as 'Great' on popular review site TrustPilot based on 1,857 reviewsHaving started life back in 2007, HouseSimple* have been around for longer than most but that doesn’t mean that they lack in innovation. In fact, HouseSimple were voted ‘Online Estate Agent of the Year’ for 2018 at the ESTAS Estate Agents Awards.

HouseSimple differ from some of the other agents mentioned here as they only offer a simple ‘one fee’ pricing structure. This means that when you sell your house with HouseSimple*, you will only pay a completion fee of £995 if your property sells and if it fails to sell then you don’t pay a penny. There is also no mention on the HouseSimple website of an increased fee for sales in and around London, which I imagine will be of great interest to London property sellers.

Key points of interest when selling with HouseSimple:

  • Simple Fee Structure – £995 only paid if your house sells. No Sale, No Fee
  • Fee doesn’t increase if you are selling in London
  • Free Home Valuation
  • Property Listed on Rightmove, Zoopla and Prime Location
  • Homeowner takes care of the viewings
  • Rated Great on Trustpilot with a score of 8.9/10 based on 1,850+ reviews   

Yopa

Yopa rated as 'Excellent' on popular review site TrustPilot based on 2,937 reviewsYopa* launched as an Online Estate Agent in 2015 and therefore it is one of the newer agents to enter the market.

Yopa offer a fixed sale fee of £839 if you choose to pay upfront (£1399 in some London postcodes) and you can either pay now or in 10 months time with their finance option.

They also offer a ‘No sale, No fee’ pay on completion option at a cost of £1495 with what they call their ‘Core Bundle’ (£2695 in some London postcodes) or £1795 for their ‘Premium Bundle’ (£2995 in some London postcodes).

The reason their ‘Premium Bundle’ is more expensive is because it includes unlimited managed viewings and a premium listing on both Rightmove and Zoopla. The unlimited viewings option – which is also available as an optional upgrade at a cost of £300 – basically means that a local Yopa agent will take care of all of the viewings on your behalf with no limit to the numbers of viewings.

As with most online agents you can get a free home valuation from Yopa* with no obligation to sell.

Key points of interest when selling with Yopa:

  • One-off fee of £839 (£1399 in some London postcodes) if paying upfront
  • Fee of £1495 (£2695 in some London postcodes) if using No Sale, No Fee option
  • Free Home Valuation
  • Property Listed on Rightmove, Zoopla and Prime Location
  • Premium Bundle at £1795 (£2995 in some London postcodes) includes managed viewings and premium listings on Rightmove and Zoopla  
  • Rated Excellent on Trustpilot with a score of 9.3/10 based on 2,900+ reviews  

Differences in Price and Service

In this post, we’ve looked at 3 popular online UK estate agents in Emoov*, HouseSimple* and Yopa*, to highlight how much the price charged between the big players in the market can vary. Not only this, but we can also see clear differences in certain aspects of their offering too, including who takes care of the viewings and whether you are charged more for using your own private conveyancing services.

In the end, when making a decision about which online estate agent to choose, I would be inclined to go with your gut. If you feel more inclined to choose a certain agent because of the positive reviews they have received from online reviewers and perhaps even your own friends, even though they may be a little more expensive, then go with them. After all, sometimes you get what you pay for. If you’re all about finding the cheapest price, however, then I hope this post has helped out in this regard too.

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Habito Review – The Right Online Mortgage Advisor for You? http://moneybulldog.co.uk/habito-review-the-right-online-mortgage-advisor-for-you/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/habito-review-the-right-online-mortgage-advisor-for-you/#respond Thu, 24 May 2018 14:28:25 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=19510 In this Habito review we take a closer look at the UK online mortgage broker, to see what they have to offer and help you decide if taking out a mortgage online with Habito is the right option for you. Who Are Habito? For those of you who are completely new to the company, let’s just

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In this Habito review we take a closer look at the UK online mortgage broker, to see what they have to offer and help you decide if taking out a mortgage online with Habito is the right option for you.

Who Are Habito?

For those of you who are completely new to the company, let’s just take a moment to look at who Habito are and how they came about.

Habito* were the first digital mortgage broker in the UK and they came about to simplify the process of taking out a mortgage, while at the same time finding the good value for clients by comparing the whole of the mortgage market to find the best deal available. Whether you’re a first time buyer, a landlord looking for a buy to let mortgage or an existing homeowner looking for the best remortgage deal, the Habito team* can help you through the process in a simple and efficient way.

Are Habito Any Good?

If it sounds like I’m enthusiastic about Habito*, it’s because I genuinely am. As an ex-mortgage advisor myself, I know that you don’t need to have lots of time consuming face to face appointments with many different banks or advisors in order to find the best deal. It really can be as simple as having an online advisor take a look at your personal circumstances and then compare the mortgage market using the best software to find the right mortgage deal for you.

I also feel that you shouldn’t have to be charged a fee for the privilege of using a mortgage broker. When you take out a mortgage via a broker, a commision will often be paid to the broker by the mortgage company anyway, and this should be enough to sustain the broker’s business operations. If you’re worried that a company like Habito might just select the mortgage with the highest commision available, then you can again take comfort in the fact that since the mortgage crisis of 2007-08, the mortgage market and the activity of brokers in particular has never been under greater scrutiny from the Financial Conduct Authority, and brokers now have to keep detailed records to show how and why they selected a certain mortgage for you.

How Habito Works

Now you know a little more about Habito, you’ll likely want to know more about how the company works.

In this regard, the first step is for you to chat with their Digital Mortgage Advisor*. The digital mortgage advisor is available 24/7 and it is a chatbot that uses complex algorithms to identify mortgage products that will adequately suit your personal circumstances. The mortgages the chatbot selects will have been narrowed down from thousands of mortgages that are currently available to the UK market.

Once you have completed this step, you will be put in contact with one of Habito’s human advisors. Habito’s human advisors will then talk with you on a more personal level to help identify which mortgage from the range selected by the ‘chatbot’ will be the most appropriate one for you. Once this has been confirmed, your human advisor will then be with you every step of the way to help see your mortgage through to completion.

How Much Does Habito Cost?

Habito is a 100% free service. When you find a mortgage using Habito*, you won’t pay any broker fees and you will also not pay any more on your mortgage for using the service. Habito make their money through commission payments on the mortgages they arrange for their clients, it’s as simple as that.

Are Habito Regulated?

Yes, Habitio are directly authorised by the FCA. This means that they are not tied to another company or panel of particular lenders. Instead, they are able to access every mortgage on the market that is available to brokers.

Customer Reviews of Habito

If you’re anything like me, before you deal with a company you’ll want to get a rounded view of what other customers have had to say about them. In this regard, it’s encouraging to see that Habito* currently have an ‘Excellent’ rating on the popular review site Trustpilot and almost 90% of their customers rate their experience this way.

Is Habito for You?

Technology has disrupted and revolutionised many areas of the financial services industry. Think about how much simpler it is to find the best and cheapest insurance deal now that we have comparison sites. Really then, it was only a matter of time before technology and the internet shook up the mortgage market too. If you’re comfortable using the internet and you don’t have the time to deal with face to face broker meetings, then I see no reason why a service like Habito* wouldn’t be a good option for you when taking out your next mortgage.

If you’re looking to find a mortgage now then get started on the Habito website*.

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4 Alternative Ways to Invest in UK Property http://moneybulldog.co.uk/4-alternative-ways-to-invest-in-uk-property/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/4-alternative-ways-to-invest-in-uk-property/#respond Tue, 15 May 2018 00:04:17 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=19152 There’s no denying that property can be a great long term investment. Investors have made a fortune investing in UK property in the past, and many will make a fortune in the future too. For most, though, the problem with direct property investment is that it can come with a lot of hurdles. Firstly, UK

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There’s no denying that property can be a great long term investment. Investors have made a fortune investing in UK property in the past, and many will make a fortune in the future too. For most, though, the problem with direct property investment is that it can come with a lot of hurdles.

Firstly, UK tax laws brought in recently have made the tax system less favourable towards landlords. On top of this, you have the prospect of actually being a landlord and all of the hassle that comes along with it, not to mention the deposits that are being asked on buy to let mortgages* these days.

With the above in mind, we thought we’d suggest 4 alternative ways that you can invest in UK property, while avoiding a lot of the potential hassle and problems that generally come along with this type of investment.   

Buy a Share in a Property

Nowadays, it is very easy to invest in property online without having to deal with all of the aspects that usually make owning a second property a nightmare for most investors. Websites like Property Partner*, for example, allow you to buy shares in a property along with other investors, having your share of the income from the investment paid out directly to you in the form of a monthly dividend. Not only this, but you can also realise any capital growth in the value of the property, as all of the company’s properties are valued quarterly by chartered surveyors and any increase in value is likely to be reflected in the price of the shares that you own. You can also exit from your investments quickly and simply by selling your shares in a property via the resale section of the Property Partner website*.

Lend to Other Property Investors

A second alternative way to invest in UK property is lend to other property experts who need short-term funds to move forward with new projects. Peer to peer lending has grown in popularity in the UK and companies like easyMoney* – from the same people who run easyJet and easyHotel – allow you to lend money to property experts and gain a good rate of return for doing so. When you invest with easyMoney* you can also enjoy the tax benefits that come along with ISA investments, as their offering comes in the form of an IFISA, so any income or capital gains will be subject to UK tax relief.

Invest in Homebuilders

Another way to invest in UK property without actually buying a house would be to invest in UK homebuilders. As a general rule – I would suggest that you do your own research on specific companies – when the property market is performing well, homebuilder shares tend to follow suit. If you want to invest in UK property this way then it’s important to take a look at the prospects for the big UK homebuilders*, to help with your decision as to which one has the most potential for share price growth as well as income.

Invest Via a REIT

Investing in a REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) is probably the most well-known of our ‘alternative ways to invest in UK property’ and that’s the reason why we’ve left it until last. That being said, it certainly doesn’t mean that you should ignore the option. Investing in property via a REIT holds potential benefits for many types of investor – especially income investors as you can see from this article* from online broker Hargreaves Lansdown*. There are many different types of REIT available to investors, each focussing on different segments of the market so you can choose which one you are most interested in.

No Deeds, No Hassle

Here we’ve mentioned just 4 alternative ways to invest in UK property. We hope you’ve found them useful and that one of them proves to be the right option for you. While the above options may not mean that you hold the title deeds to a property outright, for a lot of investors this can be a blessing in disguise, as it allows you to take advantage of the potential benefits of property investment, without having to deal with the hassle that often comes along with it.

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How Credit Card Interest Works http://moneybulldog.co.uk/how-credit-card-interest-works/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/how-credit-card-interest-works/#respond Wed, 09 May 2018 12:53:42 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=19108 (The following is sponsored content) We’ve always stated on this blog that we don’t believe that credit cards are all bad. When used sensibly they can offer extra protection when making online purchases, can offer a low cost way to spread the cost of other necessary purchases (just as long as you make your repayments

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(The following is sponsored content)

We’ve always stated on this blog that we don’t believe that credit cards are all bad. When used sensibly they can offer extra protection when making online purchases, can offer a low cost way to spread the cost of other necessary purchases (just as long as you make your repayments on time) and it can also be handy to have one available for financial emergencies. Some credit cards even offer rewards to their customers which can really build up over time.

With all of the above being said, however, it is still really important that you find the right credit card for your circumstances and needs, so that you don’t end up paying extra interest that you don’t really have to. One confusing aspect of credit cards for many people can be credit card interest and how this works. With so many promotional rates on offer, it can be difficult to know which card to choose. Consumers are then faced with the problem of figuring out how credit card companies work out and charge interest to customers when you are not on any kind of special or promotional rate.

To help out in this regard, we’re sharing an infographic today from HSBC which explains in more detail how interest is worked out and charged on credit cards. The infographic attempts to explain what interest and APR actually are and also how interest is charged in practice. We hope you find the information of ‘interest’ (pardon the pun) and that it helps you to get a better grasp of the subject.

Infographic describing how credit card interest works

As we can see, credit card interest doesn’t have to be scary or baffling. Understanding how interest is charged on a credit card can really help you out when deciding how much to spend on a credit card and it can also inspire you to pay off any balances you have sitting on your current credit cards sooner. We hope you enjoyed the infographic and please feel free to share it using the buttons below if you think it could help out other people you know.

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Property Partner Review http://moneybulldog.co.uk/property-partner-review/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/property-partner-review/#respond Tue, 08 May 2018 16:36:31 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=19087 In this Property Partner review we look closely at the company to see what they have to offer to investors. We look at the inspiration behind the creation of the platform, how the platform works, the fees charged by the company and expected returns, and we also look at the potential risks associated with investing

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In this Property Partner review we look closely at the company to see what they have to offer to investors. We look at the inspiration behind the creation of the platform, how the platform works, the fees charged by the company and expected returns, and we also look at the potential risks associated with investing with Property Partner. 

There are many people who would love to get involved in Buy to Let investing, but for a variety of reasons they never make the leap. Some of these reasons may include the hassle that comes along with being a landlord, the deposit required these days in order to get a buy to let mortgage, or even the tax implications that come along with owning a buy to let property.

The above are just some of the problems that potential buy to let investors face, but they are also the problems that the investment platform Property Partner* aims to solve. Property Partner’s investment platform allows you to invest in properties across the UK and beyond, without all of the hassle that comes along with owning a property outright.

With all of this in mind, let’s take a look at how Property Partner got started and also how it all works, so that you can make an informed decision as to whether this is the right property investment for you and your portfolio.

Who Are Property Partner?

For those of you who are completely new to the company, let’s take a moment and talk about who Property Partner are and the team behind the company. Property Partner* was launched at the start of 2015 by founder Daniel Gandesha. In a video which can be found on their website*, Daniel explains how he’d always thought about investing in property – particularly in areas that he could see were up and coming and had the potential for strong returns – but he never made the leap due to the hassle involved and barriers to entry for individual buy to let investors. His experience led him to create Property Partner, a platform where individuals and businesses could invest in specific properties in their chosen location, and receive a share of the rental income and capital growth, without having to manage the properties themselves.

Now you know a little more about the founder and why Property Partner came about, it’s worth giving a mention to the other people involved in the operation. For example, it’s encouraging to see that the company has received financial backing from investors who also funded other successful startups such as Just Eat, Skype, Funding Circle and Zoopla. The company also has a team working away behind the scenes with impressive credentials, including Robert Weaver who was previously the Global Director of Residential Property at RBS, and Ed Wray who co-founded Betfair and is a non-executive director at Funding Circle. You can read more about the full team on the Property Partner Website.

Property Partner has also seen impressive growth in assets under management in the past year as can be seen from the figures below.

Property Partner assets under management up 70% this year

How Does Property Partner Work?

The Property Partner platform* works in much the same way as a standard stock exchange, in that you can buy shares in a property that the company either already owns, or plans to buy, and you then receive your share of the rental income on a monthly basis in the form of a dividend. Each property is listed on the site with a projected dividend yield to help you to calculate your projected returns and Property Partner state that, to date, they have never underpaid a dividend and they have always paid on time.

As far as capital growth goes, this would manifest itself in the value of your shares. All properties owned by Property Partner are valued every 3 months by an independent chartered surveyor. Any capital gains or losses on the value of your investment will then be reflected in the value of your shares in each property.  

If you want to sell your shares at some point and cash in on your investment, then it is a simple process to do so. The first and fastest option would likely be to list your share for resale on the resale market – which the company proudly state is the world’s first stock exchange for property. You can either look for the highest current bidder to buy your shares at the time of asking and sell instantly, or you can set your own price and wait for the right buyer if you’re in less of a rush. The average time taken to sell shares on the platform so far in 2018 has been 3.4 days, if listed below the rolling 30-day weighted average trading price.

Average time to sell Property Partner Shares in 2018 is 3.4 days

There’s also a guaranteed option for investors to cash out at a property’s fair market value after a property has been on the platform for 5 years. A more in-depth explanation of this process can be found on the Property Partner website.

What Fees Do Property Partner Charge?

Property Partner charge a flat one-off fee of 2% to invest in a property on their platform and they don’t charge any fees to sell shares on the resale market.  

What Are the Expected Returns?

How much you can expect to make with Property Partner* will depend a lot on the properties you choose to invest in, as well as the performance of the property market as a whole.

For example, each property listed on the site which is available for investment will come with a projected rental/dividend yield. While this yield is only a projection and can be subject to change, it will give you some idea as to what you can expect to earn each year in dividends.

You can also earn money if a property you invest in increases in value over time. This means that certain properties in certain areas may perform better than others, and therefore the capital growth may differ from property to property.

While past performance is no guarantee of future performance, since it’s launch the average estimated annualised return on Property Partner investments has been 7.1%.

Property Partner has returned 7.1% annually since launch

Who Can Invest With Property Partner?

You can sign up with Property Partner* as an individual or a business investor and the process is quick and simple, meaning you can become a property investor in a matter of minutes. The minimum amount you can fund your account with is £250 and while you don’t have to be a UK resident to invest with Property Partner, they don’t currently accept investors from the US.

Is Your Money Safe With Property Partner?

Property Partner are fully regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, and any cash held in your Property Partner account is protected by the FSCS up to the current limits. That being said, as this is a property based investment, your capital is at risk and the value of your Property Partner shares can rise as well as fall. The FSCS also will not cover any funds that are invested into property via your Property Partner account, it will only cover the cash you have sat there which you are waiting to invest or withdraw.

What Are the Risks?

It’s good to know that Property Partner are up-front about the potential risks of investing via their platform, and they have outlined the main ones on the ‘Key Risks’ page of their website. These risks include the potential to receive less than the estimated rental yields and the situations in which this may occur, the possibility that you may have to wait to find a potential buyer when selling shares, the fact that property prices can rise as well as fall and therefore you may get back less than your initial investment, and the potential that the company may need to sell a property unexpectedly due to factors beyond their control and the implications of this.

What Are the Tax Implications?

Any dividends you receive from your Property Partner investments will be taxable in the same way that other stock market dividends are. The same is also true of any capital gains or losses you may make on your Property Partner shares when you sell or exit your investments.

Property Partner Reviews

While we hope that you are enjoying our review of Property Partner*, we also feel that it’s important to see how others have found their experience of investing via the platform. On this point it’s good to know that the company currently have a 94% service rating on the review site ‘Feefo’ based on 41 reviews over the past year. There are a total of 346 all time reviews on the site.

Property Partner Reviews on Feefo are 4.7/5

Is Property Partner for You?

We hope that this review has helped you to decide whether Property Partner is the right way for you to get involved in property investment. While the platform doesn’t completely remove the risks associated with property investment, it does remove a lot of the hassle and also many potential barriers to entry. It is quick and easy to sign up online* and once you’ve funded your account you can start investing in property in a matter of minutes.

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easyMoney ISA Review http://moneybulldog.co.uk/easymoney-isa-review/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/easymoney-isa-review/#respond Mon, 23 Apr 2018 16:32:00 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=19034 In this easyMoney Innovative Finance ISA review, we take a closer look at what this particular type of ISA has to offer to investors as well as examining the easyMoney offering in more detail, to help you decide whether this is the right ISA for you. The first thing you likely noticed when you came

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In this easyMoney Innovative Finance ISA review, we take a closer look at what this particular type of ISA has to offer to investors as well as examining the easyMoney offering in more detail, to help you decide whether this is the right ISA for you.

The first thing you likely noticed when you came across the easyMoney ISA is the branding and the fact that it looks strangely familiar. This is because the easyMoney ISA* is brought to you from the ‘easy’ family of brands, which includes well known names like easyJet, easyHotel and easyCoffee.

So, now that we’ve establised who easyMoney* are let’s look a little more closely at what they have to offer.

How Do Innovative Finance ISAs Work?

If this is the first time you’ve come across Innovative Finance ISAs, then let me take a minute to explain how they work. Innovative Finance ISAs were introduced by the government to allow investors who want to participate in peer to peer lending to do so with the added tax benefits that come along with ISA investment, namely tax-free returns. With this kind of ISA, you invest your cash with your chosen provider and they in turn lend it out to others on your behalf. The return on your investment comes from the interest paid on these loans.

As Innovative Finance ISAs are investment ISAs and not Cash ISAs, the capital you invest is at risk. Many Innovative Finance ISA providers do try to reduce this risk in certain ways. We’ll discuss how easyMoney do this now and we’ll also explain how the company invest your money to provide the projected returns.

How Do easyMoney Use Your Cash?

We’ve established that Innovative Finance ISAs exist to provide tax benefits for peer to peer investors but it’s important to know that different Innovative Finance ISA providers do specialise in lending to different types of borrower. RateSetter*, for example, who we also reviewed recently on this blog, specialise in lending to individuals. In contrast, easyMoney* specialise in lending to carefully selected property professionals who are looking for short term finance of between 3 and 12 months to fund property purchases. To reduce the risk to easyMoney investors, easyMoney take security over a property they lend on.

Who Can Invest With easyMoney?

To open an easyMoney Innovative Finance ISA* you’ll need to invest a minimum of £1000 if you are investing in the ‘conservative’ product or £10,000 if you opt for the ‘balanced’ product. You’ll also need to be sure that you haven’t already paid into another IF ISA in this current tax year, which started on the 6th of April and runs to the 5th of April. You can invest in an Innovative Finance ISA alongside a Cash ISA or Stocks and Shares ISA, just as long as you only invest a maximum of £20,000 in the current tax year across all the ISAs that you own. As this is an ISA product, you will need to be a UK resident and you will be asked to provide your National Insurance number on the easyMoney registration page*.

What Returns Do easyMoney Offer?

The rate of interest you will receive on your easyMoney ISA will in a large way depend on whether you opt for the conservative or balanced product. At the time of writing the conservative product offers a projected interest rate of 4.05% per annum and the balanced product is higher at 7.28%. The reason the interest rate is higher on the balanced product is that loans made to property professionals are lent to a maximum of 75% of the value of a property on this product, whereas it’s only up to 65% with the conservative product, meaning less risk is taken on the latter. Then there’s also the fact that there’s a £10,000 minimum investment with the balanced product versus £1000 with the conservative product.

easyMoney ISA Banner

It’s worth mentioning that these are projected rates, so they may differ slightly depending on whether your capital is invested 100% of the time or whether there are some gaps between lending to borrowers. For more information on what might affect your potential returns and what risks there are to your capital investment, check out the ‘understanding the risks’ page* on the easyMoney website.

How Long Will Your Money Be Tied up For?

How long your money will be tied up for will depend on the length of the loan you have invested into. If you have invested into a 9 month loan contract, for example, then you will either need to stop reinvesting your interest and withdraw your capital as the loan repays, or you may be able to request that your loans be sold to a new investor. For more on this check out the frequently asked questions page on the easyMoney website*.

What Other Benefits Are There?

There is an added benefit of becoming an easyMoney investor and it’s that you automatically get an easyMoney plus card* when you join the easyMoney family. The easyMoney plus card is effectively a discount card that you can use to receive discounts at 100s of high street retailers and other UK attractions like the Cinema.

Is Your Cash Safe With easyMoney?

Now we come to that all important question, is your cash safe with easyMoney? Well, as we’ve already discussed in this review, as this is an investment ISA and not a Cash ISA, your capital is at risk and although easyMoney are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, there is no FSCS protection available on Innovative Finance ISAs. Really then, the security of your capital will depend on how easyMoney select their potential borrowers and in some way how well the property market performs. To understand more about how easyMoney select prospective borrowers and also what would happen in the event of missed payments on a loan, we would again encourage you to read the ‘understanding the risks’ page on the easyMoney Website*.

Is the easyMoney ISA for You?

We hope that this review of the easyMoney Innovative Finance ISA has given you a better understanding of how the ISA works, the potential risks involved and also the projected returns on offer. Whether the easyMoney ISA* is for you or not will likely depend much on your own perception of risk vs reward, the amount you have available to invest, how long you want to tie your money up for and also any current ISAs you already have on the go, but we hope that the info in this review has helped you to come to a decision that works for you.

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3 Companies Who Offer Car Insurance Tailored for Women http://moneybulldog.co.uk/3-companies-who-offer-car-insurance-tailored-for-women/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/3-companies-who-offer-car-insurance-tailored-for-women/#respond Mon, 16 Apr 2018 12:57:14 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=18999 In the past, it used to be possible for women to get cheaper car insurance than men simply due to gender. Since an EU equality directive back in 2012, however, this practice is now no longer allowed and women are no longer able to be offered better car insurance quotes based on gender alone. What

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In the past, it used to be possible for women to get cheaper car insurance than men simply due to gender. Since an EU equality directive back in 2012, however, this practice is now no longer allowed and women are no longer able to be offered better car insurance quotes based on gender alone. What car insurance companies are allowed to do, however, is tailor their offerings so that they are more attractive and applicable to female drivers.

With all of the above in mind, which are the most popular car insurance companies that specifically tailor their policies for women, and what exactly do they offer? Here are 3 of the most well-known perks offered by these companies.

Go Girl

If you’re a netball fan then there’s a good chance that you’ll have heard of Go Girl*, as they are the current sponsors of the UK women’s netball team. To tailor their offering towards women drivers, Go Girl have included a few features that aren’t always covered by a standard insurance policy. These include £200 worth of Handbag cover if your handbag and its contents are stolen from your vehicle. They also offer Child Car Seat Cover – which will pay towards the cost of a replacement car seat if you are involved in an accident. The car seat cover can be really important as child car seats can suffer structural damage even when they are involved in a minor accident, but the signs might not always be visible and not all insurers will cover this. On top of the above, Go Girl also offer Free Legal Cover, a Free Courtesy Car, Personal Accident Cover, Windscreen Cover and an Uninsured Driver Promise with all comprehensive policies.

Diamond

Diamond are another company who also tailor their car insurance offering towards women, including cover such as Handbag Cover, Child Car Seat Cover and Courtesy Car Cover with their policies. Not only this but they also offer something called a Bonus Accelerator for all drivers to help them build up their no claims bonus quicker. This may be especially attractive to young drivers who haven’t yet built up any no claims. The Bonus Accelerator is basically a policy that runs for 10 months instead of 12 but you get a full year’s no claims bonus at the end of it.

Sheilas’ Wheels

Finally we come to probably the most well-known insurer of the bunch, Sheilas’ Wheels. We’ve all seen the adverts for this company, haven’t we? When it comes to policy features, Sheilas’ Wheels offer similar features to the other 2 insurers mentioned above, including Handbag Cover and a courtesy car. They also offer a counselling service for you and your family members if you are involved in an accident.

Which Should You Choose?

So there we have it, 3 UK car insurance companies who specifically tailor their product to women. Which one you decide to go for will obviously depend on which company you feel has the best features for you combined with who offers you the best quote, but we hope we’ve gone some way to helping you with your search.

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Just Over 24 Hours Left to Use Your ISA Allowance! http://moneybulldog.co.uk/just-2-days-left-to-use-your-isa-allowance/ http://moneybulldog.co.uk/just-2-days-left-to-use-your-isa-allowance/#respond Wed, 04 Apr 2018 16:39:27 +0000 http://moneybulldog.co.uk/?p=14221 If you’ve been noticing a lot of TV and Internet ads for ISAs over the last few days, it’s probably because the ISA allowance cut off date has been creeping up on us slowly but surely and this is an extremely busy time of year for ISA providers.  With the ISA allowance cut off date

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If you’ve been noticing a lot of TV and Internet ads for ISAs over the last few days, it’s probably because the ISA allowance cut off date has been creeping up on us slowly but surely and this is an extremely busy time of year for ISA providers. 

With the ISA allowance cut off date now being just over 24 hours away, we thought it would be a good idea to fire out one final reminder to our readers regarding the deadline, so that you don’t miss the opportunity to save or invest your cash tax-free. Let’s just remind ourselves of how much money you can subscribe before the April 5th cut off date, to avoid paying unnecessary tax on your savings or investments. We’ll also look at the rules around how many ISAs and also the different types of ISA you can have.

Adult ISA Allowance

If you have not yet placed money into an ISA in the current tax year – running from April 6th 2017 to April 5th 2018 – then you can save or invest a total £20,000 into either a Cash ISA, Stocks and Shares ISA, Innovative Finance ISA, Lifetime ISA or a mixture of all four. You will need to have the money in your ISA by midnight on the 5th of April 2018 to make use of this year’s allowance, so time really is of the essence.

Junior ISA Allowance

If you want to make the most of your child’s ISA allowance by investing in a Junior ISA, then the same rules apply as to the date you need to have deposited the money by, this being midnight on the 5th of April 2018. The amount you are allowed to deposit is slightly different, though, as you can only deposit up to £4,128 into a Junior ISA in this current tax year for each of your eligible children.  

Can You Have More Than One ISA?

The simple answer to this question is yes, you can technically have as many ISAs as you like but you can only save or invest in one of each ISA type in any given tax year. This means that if you’ve already invested in a Cash ISA, for example, during this current tax year, then you can’t open another one just yet. If you have a Cash ISA but you haven’t subscribed any money to it this year, however, then you can open another one today and subscribe money to it. The same is true of Stocks and Shares ISAs, Innovative Finance ISAs and Lifetime ISAs too.

ISAs We Like

Investing EaseMoneyfarm Stocks and Shares ISA Review

DIY InvestingHargreaves Lansdown DIY Stocks and Shares ISA Review

Online Cash ISA – Ford Money ISA and Savings Account Review

Lifetime ISAOneFamily Lifetime ISA Review

Innovative Finance ISARateSetter Review with £100 New Investor Bonus Offer!

For Kids – Scottish Friendly My Select Junior ISA Review

Don’t Delay

So, if you’ve been putting off this year’s ISA investments for another day, then it’s important not to delay any further. There are now just over 24 hours left to use up as much of this year’s allowance as possible and remember, ISA allowances do not roll over into the following year, so if you don’t use it by midnight on the 5th of April, it will be gone forever.

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