Explained: Financial Advice When Leaving Money for the Next Generation

Financial advice is one of the most crucial components to consider when it comes to managing your finances. This is especially true when it comes to your inheritance, and how you plan to leave your money for the next generation.

In this article, you’ll learn some of the reasons why financial advice is important when leaving an inheritance, and how it can help you achieve a successful outcome.

Read on to find out more.

Unique guidance for your financial situation

A core benefit of using financial advice when leaving an inheritance is that you can receive unique guidance on how to best approach your estate.

Your financial adviser will ensure they fully understand your financial situation, so they can tailor their advice to best suit your needs.

You may have specific requirements, including which assets you want to leave in your inheritance, the number of beneficiaries you want to leave it to, and what outcome you want regarding tax efficiency and the total inheritance figure.

Your modern wealth manager will help you achieve each of these goals, in a manner that aligns realistically with your situation.

Maximising tax efficiency with your inheritance

Another reason why you need an adviser when leaving an inheritance is because they can help you maximise tax efficiency when leaving your money.

Your adviser will make you aware of all the tax rules that might apply to your inheritance and the ways in which this could impact your wealth.

They’ll help you fully understand inheritance tax (IHT), which is the tax charge that applies to any value of your inheritance that surpasses £325,000 – as of the current tax year 2023/2024.

This means that any money you leave below this amount will be sheltered from tax, but any value that exceeds it will be taxed at a rate of 40%, with varying rules for family and timings.

Your adviser will be experienced in how IHT works, and ensure you shelter as much of your money from tax when leaving it to the next generation.

Understanding different ways to leave your estate

As well as helping you understand IHT, your adviser can also help you explore the many options when it comes to what assets you leave and how you do this.

They’ll take into account every aspect of your financial situation, and help you find the best approach that’s suited to your circumstances, while also providing optimal tax efficiency.

For example, they might discuss with you the benefits of leaving your estate to a spouse or civil partner, which may result in funds being exempt from IHT.

Also, if you plan accordingly, there’s the option for gift giving, where you can offer some of your assets to beneficiaries while you’re still alive. There are many considerations with this, and your adviser can help you navigate them – including how long you can give gifts before you die, what counts as a gift, gift allowances, etc.

Consider ongoing advice for your inheritance

As with any type of financial plan, you may want to consider ongoing financial advice from your wealth manager, to help ensure a successful financial outcome for both you and your beneficiaries.

There are many things which could impact your wealth as you carry out your inheritance plan, such as changes in tax rates, additional beneficiaries, personal goal changes, or the evolving value of your assets, for example.

An adviser can continuously review your plan and assets, and make the necessary changes as you go along to ensure you remain on target for achieving your financial goals – for both you and your family.

An adviser can also offer guidance on how your family can invest your inheritance after you die, to ensure they have wealth resilience and security for their futures.

Now you know the importance of financial advice when leaving money, be sure to speak to your modern wealth manager to formulate the right approach for you and your beneficiaries.

Please note, the value of your investments can go down as well as up.

Over Half of Consumers Have Been a Victim of Financial Crime

  • Feedzai’s new report reveals a lack of awareness of scams is putting many consumers at severe risk 
  • Romance scams top the list of most common fraud type with one in 10 who have fallen victim losing more than $8,400 to scammers
  • Fraudsters are adapting and increasingly taking advantage of unsuspecting consumers, luring them into becoming money mules with 42% approached on social media 
  • Consumers believe it’s the responsibility of their bank to reimburse them should they be targeted, with 77% leaving their bank should they not be refunded
  • Banks must adopt emerging technologies if they’re to tackle fraudsters and reassure their customers, with 53% feeling safer knowing their bank is using AI to protect them 

Feedzai, the world’s first RiskOps platform for financial risk management, has released its latest report – The Human Impact of Fraud and Financial Crime on Customer Trust in Banks. The report, based on research of 4,000 consumers in the UK and US, reveals how fraudsters are taking advantage of the widening fraud knowledge gap, outlining the urgent need for banks to educate and protect their customers with technology. 

The report reveals that while over half (56%) of respondents have been a victim of a financial scam, many still lack the knowledge to detect and distinguish between the various types of financial crime.  

Consequently, many consumers believe the responsibility for reimbursement lies with their bank, with over half (53%) believing they should be reimbursed if they fall victim to a scam or third-party fraud. If they weren’t refunded, three-quarters (77%) of respondents across the UK and US indicated they would leave their bank. 

Romance tops the list but fraudsters are adapting 

Romance scams top the list as the most reported type of scam, with a third (36%) of respondents having either been personally scammed or knowing someone who has been a victim. Arguably one of the cruelest forms of consumer-facing fraud, fraudsters have targeted emotionally vulnerable people, with 13% of those scammed by fraudsters losing more than $8,400, causing significant distress. 

However, Feedzai’s research found that romance scams are just one component of financial crime. Money mules, individuals whose bank accounts are used by fraudsters to transfer money, are becoming an increasingly prominent aspect of cybercriminals’ economic business models too.

In the US particularly, fraudsters are targeting unwitting consumers to become money mules. Nearly half of US consumers have been approached to receive funds, yet a quarter (24%) are unaware of the risks of being a money mule. In the UK, only a third (35%) of respondents had been approached to receive funds and seem more risk-aware, with only 17% unaware of the risks associated with being a money mule. Social media is the preferred platform for fraudsters with 42% of respondents approached on social media to become money mules.

AI drives reassurance but banks need to get it right 

As criminals get more aggressive and innovative, emerging technologies such as ChatGPT create a new set of challenges for banks and financial institutions in tackling financial crime. 

In response, banks must act and also embrace innovative technology to protect their customers from fraudsters. AI holds huge potential to keep customers safe whilst also solidifying customer loyalty, with over half (53%) of respondents feeling safer knowing their bank uses AI to protect them. 

However, the need for accuracy when using AI is vital  with 46% of respondents considering leaving their bank if it stopped a legitimate transaction, even if the issue was resolved quickly. The report highlights the critical need for banks to prioritize transparency, effective safeguards, and tailored communication strategies to ensure customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Pedro Barata, Chief Product Officer, Feedzai commented: “Our latest report highlights a major issue in terms of public awareness and education surrounding the distinctions between various types of financial crimes.  

“With a surge in digital banking services, a willingness among customers to switch banks, and an ongoing cost of living crisis, it is more important than ever for banks to foster strong relationships with their customers and establish trust. The potential of AI and other advanced technologies to enhance security measures and better protect customers from these threats has never been more clear.”

Top 9 Services to Grow Your Business With in 2023

Growing your business it’s all about the choices you make. Do you want success? I’m sure you do. But do you have the courage to change your old habits of unsuccessful failures before you understand that your business it’s not the problem, the techniques you employ are? Whether you’re starting your own family business, or you’ve had one for a very long time without seeing the light of it, this article is for you.

You can find here all about the best services that aid in your business success.

The importance of having the right people by your side

Let’s face it. You can be a great business owner, but without having the right people by your side, you’ll likely fail. Fast growth can only happen when you have the best people around you. Those who are willing to take measured risks and who are dedicated to performing their tasks for the company’s success. You don’t need people to fill the job positions in your business. You need someone, even one person, who is ready to take over the world and work for it.

Candidate profile When you’re in the hiring process, you may have this model of a person that you want to work for you. Understanding what you’re looking for in candidates will help you in targeting the right audience for the role. In the candidate profile, you can include the personal traits of a person, success features, career goals, qualities they must have, key skills, education, work experience, hard and soft skills, etc. By partnering with a global PEO, businesses can access local expertise and compliance knowledge, enabling them to establish a presence in new regions with minimal risk and maximum efficiency.

Finding someone to fit into your business culture and environment can be challenging, but not impossible. You also need a well-written job description that will cover everything starting from your company’s culture to the purpose and values of your business.

No one will jump right in working for you if they’re not completely sure what they’re getting into. There are many tools that you can find who will help you to write your job descriptions and candidate profiles.

Social media marketing

Nowadays, social media has taken over a huge part of our lives. Whether it’s work-related, or for entertaining purposes, we all check Tiktok, Facebook, or Instagram daily. And what better way to promote your products and deliver your message, than through those apps? E-commerce companies  may successfully sell their products to certain people.

But without a social media platform, it’s unlikely that your product travels to the right ears. With social media, you’re targeting places that are crowded with people. If you need to attract older people, Facebook is your go-to place, because Generation Y and Z are taking over the platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Instagram. So when you know the purpose of your content you’ll know who it is for.

A digital marketing agency for Saas

Having great products but no way to promote them can be bad for your business. Being recognized in the market it’s the piece of the puzzle you need in order to sell your products. Having the best digital marketing agency for saas will mainly focus on creating the voice that screams about your products. It can boost your sales and aid in sales exponentially. They will also declare ways of winning new customers whether through traditional mail, telesales, direct mail, etc.

Sales Funnel

A Sales funnel is a core concept of the potential customers’ journey of what they’re going through starting from the questions they ask themself about the purpose of your business, and ending with them becoming your actual customers. Even if you have the most brilliant idea for your business, you need more than that to create progress. Let’s say you have an online store.

You don’t need only visitors, you need buyers for your products. A sales funnel is like a magnet for people to become interested in what you’re selling. You need to catch them, entertain them, and leave them with the thought “Oh I really want to have this”, or “I should definitely buy this. I need this”. Creating good relationships with your customers it’s all about mutual understanding of what they need from you, and what you can provide for them.

Boost your sales

Boosting your sales means increasing your lead generation. If you want to overcome any challenges that show up on the market you need different strategies. To boost your sales means more than creating the product that you want to sell. It means using tactics for your product to come across the right audience. It’s about increasing your chances and seizing the opportunities you have on your way to success.

Customer management system

If you want to effectively track and monitor ongoing transactions just in case there are unusual ones, you need a good customer management system. It’ll do the job for you. The system will also aid in obtaining a good relationship with your clients. Through the CMS you can never lose valuable pieces of information needed for your company. With CMS you have every interaction ever made stored.

Financial and accounting services

Avoiding mistakes and boosting compliance is possible when choosing the right payroll software. Accounting will allow you to access both past and current transactional data. Without financial services, you won’t have effective financial control over all your business activities.

Their role is to analyze all operations within the company. Having a good finance director will contribute to cutting costs, reducing financial risks, better cash flow, improvements in debt collections, obtaining borrowing rates, etc. Whether you need insurance, cash flow, or tax management, you only need proper financial service and the job is done.

Competitor analysis

What better way to see how your product will do on the market if it’s not through competitor analysis? Nowadays there are dozens of tools that you can utilize and dig into the inside of your competitors’ ranking and how much traffic they are getting. You are also able to compare domains or even track some keywords.

Of course, you may think “Why do I care about my rivals”, but by researching your rivals you can create something different than them. Something much better. It’s not about going to war with your competition, it’s about being on the top of the market.

Customer support service

Customer support is all about the assistance of clients who need your help. It’s people’s nature to ask a lot of questions regarding a new product that we’re buying or we have some technical issues. This task must be performed by your company if you want to keep your clients happy and satisfied with your services. You can even hire people who will answer those calls from the customers. But remember that even your old customers need to be content if you want to keep them.

Remember to always be honest and transparent with your clients. Building a connection with them should be your number one priority.


Owners of small businesses will benefit from logistic management since you’ll have a vivid plan mainly focused on marketing and sales. This management will be responsible for strategic, tactical, and operational planning. They specialize in different fields, so you can be sure that they’ll respond to your demands correctly. Logistic management is part of the supply chain that will ensure the product arrives on time in perfect condition from point A to point B.

Franchise model

The franchise model is when an established well known brand allows smaller companies to use their brand, business model, and their trademark. Well if you’re deciding to go with this one, you should know that it may cost more than you think. But if you’re truly looking for fast growth of your business, this is it.

The best thing about this type of model is that you’re going to work under a name that has already built its reputation. Also, the risks of you failing to succeed are very low compared to those that require you to grow your business on your own. There are different rules and arrangements of course. You can discuss it all with your franchisor.

One-line synopsis

No matter who your competitors are, you are never below them. You may have low ratings and sales, but your business is worth it. Never give up just because you’ve hit a few bumps. The road to success is like a long drive to your vacation. You may get tired in the process, and you may even want to quit, but the feeling of succeeding and enjoying your accomplishments is what has to keep you going.

Those businesses you compare yours with succeed not because they had easier opportunities but because they saw the potential in themselves. You have it in you and we believe and know that you’re going to do great. Remember that just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

Why Investing in Ethical Companies Should Be a Priority in 2023

The modern business world can be brutal, with a ‘dog-eat-dog’ culture that focuses more on stats, turnover and competition rather than purpose, positive messaging and adding genuine value to society.

A company whose purpose is driven by sustainable and ethical practices will not only minimise its environmental impact through maintaining a 100% ethical production and supply chain, but also ensure fair wages, safe working conditions and reasonably priced, quality products/services.

Understanding where your organisation has the most potential to make a tangible and positive difference, and then aligning your operations with this, is key to creating real positive impact.

What does being ethical mean?

In today’s society, many companies claim to be “ethical” – but what does this really mean? For a business to be truly ethical, it should prioritise social and environmental good over financial gain, whilst implementing ambitious Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) targets and using these as the main driving force behind its operations.

An ethical company will effectively conduct every single aspect of their business in a morally responsible way, going above and beyond to enforce honest practices and values into everything they do, whilst ensuring that all decisions, processes and products comply with current ethical standards.

By maintaining this ‘purpose over profit’ mentality, an ethical company will not implement or encourage any detrimental corporate practices that will result in the sole benefit of the business, such as false advertising, environmental damage or exploitation of resources/labour.

What is ethical investing?

Often associated with ESG investing, ethical investing endeavours to support industries and sectors that are making a positive impact, such as sustainable energy, for example. The number one objective of an individual who wants to invest in an ethical company will be to make a difference by honouring their moral, social and/or religious values, with returns as secondary.

The results of a 2020 McKinsey Global Survey on the value and importance of ESG programmes showed that 83% of C-suite leaders and investment professionals predict that ESG programmes will contribute more shareholder value by 2025. They also indicated that they would be willing to pay around a 10% median premium to acquire a company with a positive record for ESG issues over one with a negative record.

The benefits

Not only does ethical investing allow investors to influence businesses operations and practices towards their personal values and ethics, but it also helps companies gain access to capital to grow and fund their CSR programmes.

By taking the necessary measures to prioritise ethical business practices, companies of all sizes can increase investor confidence and in turn, improve relationships with any stakeholders – all whilst gaining a competitive advantage over those who do not prioritise sustainability or environmental protection. An ethical business model will not only benefit the company itself but society as a whole, with its positive impact reaching both peoples’ lives and the environment.

Why now?

With the impending 2030 deadline for the UN Sustainable Development Goals, it is undeniable that the private sector has a hugely important role to play in championing real change within the sustainability space.

Both individual companies and the business community as a whole have a unique opportunity to make this a core part of their mission and purpose and build social and environmental good into every level of their organisation.

To conclude, being an ethical company is becoming increasingly important, with businesses from all over the world realising that ethical practices can be beneficial for both their bottom line and their reputation, which makes them more attractive to customers, investors and potential employees.

However, being ethical is far from simply avoiding illegal activity or promoting surface-level attempts at greenwashing – it means actively pursuing what is right, whilst operating with purpose at the forefront. If a business seeks to drive real positive change within their sector, not only should they be incorporating and championing ethical practices from the very start, but they should be proactive and upfront in their approach, ensuring open lines of communication and transparency at all stages. A truly ethical company will be one with real purpose – which sees beyond business strategy and politics, to the bigger picture instead.

Where to Buy Property in Florida?

Purchase of real estate in Florida is possible for people with different earnings. As of 2023, the max. price of cottages here is $170,000,000, and the minimum is $310,000. You can buy house in Cape Coral, a flat on Palm Coast, or an apartment in Palm Bay. The price difference between them is not that big.

Interesting Places to Buy a Home in Florida

Citizens of different countries of the world choose Florida not only for recreation but also as a permanent place of living. There are many areas in the state for buying real estate.

Cape Coral

Cape Coral is a city in Lee County, Florida. The biggest metropolis in general is from Tampa to Miami. It is known as the Waterfront Wonderland. Cape Coral is discovered in the western part of the county on the shores of Charlotte Bay, which itself is part of the Gulf of Mexico.

The area in which Cape Coral is discovered is characterized by tropical weather with dry winters and rainy summers. 355 days a year the sun shines, at least part of the daylight hours, and 145 days a year there is precipitation: on average, there is 1423 mm per year.

According to experts, it is better to choose objects in the following areas of Palm Bay:

You can become the owner of a local residential property for $175,000-$350,000. The area is suburban.

The cost of accommodation here starts at $250,000 and ends at around $350,000.

Magnolia Park features $275,000-$350,000 villas.

Palm Bay

It is discovered in the central part of the state, on its east shore. From the city, there is an exit to Interstate 95. The airport in the neighbouring city of Melbourne can be reached by car in just a few min.

Palm Bay has a population of 123,000. The city has Castaway Point Square, Turkey Creek Nature Reserve, and Fred Poppe Park. In addition, there are hiking paths and numerous beaches.

The educational system in the city is at an average level. It has a campus of Florida State College of the East, as well as 25 public and 45 private schools.

There are many clinics in the city. There is a provincial medical hub, which is 8 minutes away by car. The price of living in Palm Bay is 11% lower than the average in the USA.

The median price of the accommodation stock is $155,000. The median annual family revenue is $51,400.

74.5% of citizens have their apartments and villas in the city.

Palm Coast

The city is found on the east coast of the state. Daytona Airport is 45 minutes away by car. It is home to 90,000 people. It has created many parks, eco-trails, and beaches. Among other things, Palm Coast has several golf clubs.

The level of the local education system is above average. Many colleges are open here, there are 10 public and 25 private schools.

The cost of living in this locality is 4% below the US average, but 3% higher than, for example, in Jacksonville.

The median value of a residential property is $209,000. 

74.3% of residents own their living space in the city.

Experts believe that it is better to buy houses and flats in the following areas:

Palm Harbour. Here you can buy housing for $150,000 -$450,000. In 2023, the area is the most popular among migrants.

Cypress Knoll is the center of the city, which is why the lower limit of real estate prices here is relatively high – $ 525,000. The maximum cost of houses is $700,000.

Lehigh Woods. Sellers of the local apartments and houses are asking $225,000–$475,000.


People of all ages and nationalities are moving to Florida. Representatives of various fields of activity find work here. The state has many opportunities for secondary, secondary, and higher education. Most areas of Florida cities are developed or actively developing, so you can always get medical help if necessary.

Florida has many theme parks, beaches, nature reserves, training and golf courses, scholarly organizations of diverse classes, clinics, shopping and recreation complexes, cafes, eateries, and much more. All this makes the state popular and local housing in demand among buyers from different countries.

See objects right now

You can see what real estate in Miami is for sale in 2023. Choose an object, depending on your preferences. Specialists can help you find housing with a small or large number of bedrooms, a considerable space or compact, close to the city center or in the suburbs. Read more on the official website Florida.Realestate.

How to Get the Best Mortgage Rates in Canada

When you’re shopping for a mortgage in Canada, one of the most important factors to consider is the interest rate. The interest rate will determine how much you’ll pay in interest over the life of your mortgage, so getting the best rate possible can save you a lot of money. Here are some tips on how to get the best mortgage rates in Canada.

Shop Around

The first thing you should do when looking for a mortgage is shop around. Don’t just go with the first lender you come across, as you may be able to find a better rate elsewhere. Compare rates from different lenders and look for any promotions or special offers that could help you save money.

Improve Your Credit Score

Your credit score is one of the most important factors lenders look at when determining your mortgage rate. The higher your credit score, the lower your rate is likely to be. To improve your credit score, make sure you pay all your bills on time and keep your credit utilization low. You can also check your credit report for errors and dispute any inaccuracies you find.

Increase Your Down Payment

Another way to get a better mortgage rate is to increase your down payment. The more money you put down upfront, the less risk you pose to the lender. This can translate into a lower interest rate. If you’re able to save up a larger down payment, you may be able to secure a better rate.

Consider a Shorter Amortization Period

The longer your amortization period, the more interest you’ll pay over the life of your mortgage. Consider choosing a shorter amortization period if you can afford higher monthly payments. This can help you save money in the long run by reducing the amount of interest you’ll pay.

Choose a Fixed-Rate Mortgage

Fixed-rate mortgages offer more stability than variable-rate mortgages. With a fixed-rate mortgage, your interest rate will remain the same for the term of your mortgage. This can help you budget and plan for your mortgage payments without worrying about fluctuations in interest rates. While fixed-rate mortgages may have slightly higher rates than variable-rate mortgages, they offer peace of mind and protection against future interest rate increases.

Work with a Mortgage Broker

A mortgage agent can help you find the best mortgage rates in Canada. Mortgage brokers work with multiple lenders and can negotiate on your behalf to secure the best rate possible. They can also help you understand your mortgage options and guide you through the application process.

Consider Refinancing

If you already have a mortgage but you’re not happy with your current rate, you may be able to refinance to get a better rate. Refinancing involves taking out a new mortgage to pay off your existing mortgage. This can help you take advantage of lower interest rates and save money on interest payments.

In conclusion, there are several ways to get the best mortgage rates in Canada. Shopping around, improving your credit score, increasing your down payment, choosing a shorter amortization period, opting for a fixed-rate mortgage, working with a mortgage broker, and considering refinancing can all help you secure a better rate. By doing your research and taking these steps, you can save money on your mortgage and achieve your homeownership goals.

Understanding the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in Canada

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a value-added tax (VAT) that is levied on most goods and services sold in Canada. The GST was introduced on January 1, 1991, replacing the previous federal sales tax. In this article, we will explore the basics of the GST, including what it is, who pays it, and how it works.

What is the GST?

The GST is a federal tax that is applied to the sale of most goods and services in Canada. The tax is calculated as a percentage of the sale price and is added to the cost of the goods or services. The current rate of GST in Canada is 5%, although some provinces also have their own provincial sales tax (PST), which is added on top of the GST. In these provinces, the combined rate of GST and PST can range from 5% to 15%.

Who pays the GST?

The GST is paid by consumers when they purchase goods or services that are subject to the tax. The tax is collected by businesses and remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on a regular basis. Most businesses are required to register for a GST/HST account if their taxable sales are more than $30,000 in a calendar quarter, although businesses with lower sales may also choose to register voluntarily.

How does the GST work?

The GST is a tax on the value added to goods and services as they move through the supply chain. This means that each business along the supply chain is responsible for remitting the GST on the value they add to the product. For example, a manufacturer might purchase raw materials for $100 and add $20 worth of value to the product through the manufacturing process. They would then charge the customer $120 plus the applicable GST (5% in most cases) for a total of $126.

When the customer pays for the product, they pay the GST to the business, which then remits the tax to the CRA. The business’s tax accountant is also able to claim back any GST they have paid on their own purchases (known as input tax credits), reducing the amount of GST they owe. This ensures that the tax is only paid on the final sale of the product or service, rather than at every step of the supply chain.

Some goods and services are exempt from the GST, meaning that they are not subject to the tax. These include basic groceries, prescription drugs, and some medical devices. Some goods and services are also zero-rated, meaning that they are subject to GST at a rate of 0%. This includes exports, basic groceries (other than prepared foods), and some medical and assistive devices.

Impact of the GST on businesses and consumers

The GST can have a significant impact on both businesses and consumers in Canada. For businesses, the tax can add a significant administrative burden, as they are required to collect and remit the tax on behalf of the government. This can be particularly challenging for small businesses, which may not have the resources to manage the additional paperwork and record-keeping requirements.

On the other hand, the GST can also benefit businesses by allowing them to claim back any GST they have paid on their own purchases. This helps to reduce the overall cost of doing business and can improve profitability.

For consumers, the GST can increase the cost of goods and services, as it is added on top of the sale price. However, the tax is intended to be a fair way of sharing the cost of government services among all Canadians, rather than just those who pay income tax. The tax revenue generated by the GST is used to fund a range of government programs and services, including healthcare, education, and social services.

Understanding how the GST works and who pays it is an important part of being a responsible taxpayer in Canada. By paying the tax on our purchases, we are helping to support the government services that benefit all Canadians.

In conclusion, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a value-added tax that is levied on most goods and services sold in Canada. The tax is paid by consumers when they purchase goods or services subject to the tax, and it is collected and remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency by businesses. The GST can have a significant impact on both businesses and consumers in Canada, but it is intended to be a fair way of sharing the cost of government services among all Canadians. If you are a business owner in Canada, it is important to understand your obligations when it comes to collecting and remitting the GST. The Canada Revenue Agency provides a range of resources and support to help businesses manage their GST obligations, including online guides and webinars, as well as dedicated support lines for GST/HST enquiries.

The Evolution of Financial Advisory: A Look at the Impact of Fintech and CRM

The financial advisory industry has undergone significant changes over the past decade, driven by the rise of technology and changing customer expectations. Clients are increasingly looking for personalized, data-driven financial advice that goes beyond generic recommendations.

Allied Market Research reports that in 2020, the global financial advisory services market had a value of $79.4 billion. Furthermore, they project that this market will reach $135.6 billion by 2030, representing a compound annual growth rate of 5.8% between 2021 and 2030.

At the same time, new digital tools and platforms have emerged, enabling financial advisors to manage client relationships better and deliver more customized services. In this article, we explore the impact of fintech and CRM on the financial advisory industry and what it means for advisors going forward.

Fintech in Financial Services

Financial technology, or fintech, has emerged as a disruptive force in the financial services business. From online lending platforms to robo-advisors, fintech start-ups have been changing the way financial services are delivered and consumed. One of the most significant advantages of fintech is the ability to use data to provide customized and focused financial advice.

For example, robo-advisors use algorithms and machine learning to analyse client data and make investment recommendations based on their risk tolerance, investment goals, and other factors.

Forbes has noted a potential risk associated with using robo-advisors: the possibility of a cyber-attack. Given that robo-advisors are online platforms that manage sensitive personal and financial information, this risk is always present. However, it’s worth noting that most reputable robo-advisors implement cutting-edge encryption and security measures to mitigate these risks and safeguard their client’s data.

The Role of CRM in Financial Advisory

Client relationship management (CRM) systems have long been a staple of the financial advisory industry. These software tools enable advisors to track client interactions, manage workflows, and streamline administrative tasks.

With the rise of fintech, the role of CRM for financial advisors has evolved beyond simply managing client data. CRM systems are now commonly integrated with other digital tools and platforms, such as Gorilla 5 by Bill Good Marketing, which offers not only CRM functionality but also financial planning and investment management capabilities.

Despite Gorilla 5’s ability to streamline workflows, financial advisors should note that there are many similar options available on the market, and each solution comes with its set of perks. Time should be taken to research and compare different software solutions before making a decision.

Fintech and CRM: Driving Growth

The combination of fintech and CRM has significant implications for financial advisors. By leveraging data and automation, advisors can deliver more targeted advice and increase efficiency.

In a blog post on VentureBeat, it was noted that contemporary businesses heavily rely on big data to gain insights and steer various aspects of their organizational objectives. It was also said that the quality of data has a direct influence on the quality of stakeholder decision-making.

Fintech and CRM tools are highly advantageous in enhancing client relationships, which, in turn, helps in obtaining better data and insights. With more accurate information and insights, advisors can offer more personalized advice and boost client satisfaction.

In addition, digital tools and platforms can make it easier for clients to access financial advice and services, such as through online portals or mobile apps. This can assist advisers in developing stronger customer connections and increasing client retention.

Challenges and Opportunities

While fintech and CRM offer significant benefits, there are also challenges and risks associated with these technologies. For example, there is a risk that advisors may become too reliant on automation and lose the personal touch that clients value. In addition, there is the challenge of keeping up with rapidly changing technology and staying competitive in a crowded marketplace.

However, there are also opportunities for advisors who embrace fintech and CRM. By leveraging these technologies to deliver more personalized services and enhance client relationships, advisors can differentiate themselves in the marketplace and attract new clients. Furthermore, there is the possibility of increasing efficiency and lowering expenses, which can lead to increased profitability.


In conclusion, the combination of fintech and CRM has transformed the financial advisory industry, providing new opportunities for advisors to deliver personalized, data-driven services and strengthen client relationships.

While there are potential risks associated with these technologies, the benefits outweigh the challenges for advisors who are willing to embrace innovation and adapt to changing client expectations.

Bank of England Raises Interest Rates to 4.25%

Following its March meeting, The Bank of England has raised interest rates by 0.25 percentage points from 4 to 4.25 per cent. For some this is alarming, given that it is the 11th consecutive increase in a row, which has not been characteristic until this point, with many experts saying that the increases have been key to curb rising inflation.

When broken down during the meeting, 7 out 9 members from The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted for a 25 basis-point rise, with only two voting to maintain base rate at its previous rate of 4%.

After the surprising news that consumer price inflation (CPI) rose to 10.4% in February, after falling from 10.5% in December to 10.1%in January, there was an expectation from the market that interest rates would jump yet again to try to keep the Bank of England’s base rate near the 2% mark.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak still has the goal to halve inflation by the end of 2023 and this is starting to look too optimistic. However, some schools of thought because that the increasing interest rates will have a long term benefit and lead inflation to fall significantly later this year. 

Tomer Aboody, founder of bridge finance lender, MT Finance, commented: “Following the unwelcome news that inflation has risen again, it was inevitable that interest rates would have to follow suit in order to try to get the former under control.”

Having high inflation is undesirable for many reasons, largely because it is assumed that the cost of goods is growing faster than the economy, hence making our money less valuable and the cost of living greater for the general public.

Furthermore, another rise in interest rates could mean more issues for banks, especially given the recent struggle of some huge banks including Silicon Valley Bank and the need for UBS to purchase Credit Suisse. 

The price of houses is still growing slowly

High interest rates also have a bad impact on the housing market, with annual house prices showing a slowdown in January according to the Land Registry. The reason for this is because potential home buyers do not want to pay over the odds for a home and therefore house buyers feel less confident with their ability to sell at a reasonable price. 

However, there has been slightly more growth with houses over flats, suggesting that buyers are still prioritising space above all other things.

Other interesting figures include a 18% fall in mortgage applications compared to February 2022 and 4% lower than January 2023. Again, showing less confidence in the market for both buyers and sellers, which could improve upon the stabilizing of interest rates.

Taking an overall view into consideration, it is clear that there was a mortgage and housing boom following covid as people looked for new properties, more space at home and a way to accommodate a life working both in the office and more at home. Many buyers enjoyed low interest rates and confidence in the market. 

In the future, a lowering of interest rates will certainly stimulate the housing market again, but other ideas such as stamp duty or tax reduction would certainly go a long way too. 

Affordability Crisis of Small Business Health Insurance

Small businesses are facing a significant affordability crisis when it comes to providing health insurance to their employees, according to a new survey by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). 

The survey found that over half of small businesses currently offer health insurance, but a huge 44% do not. In fact, most small business owners reported finding it challenging to manage the cost of offering employer-sponsored health insurance, with almost half having taken a lower profit or suffered a loss to pay for premium increases over the last five years.

Who Is Affected?

The cost of business health insurance is by far the biggest challenge, with smaller businesses being more affected. Small employers compete for talent to fill open positions. Businesses are aware that health insurance is an important benefit for many employees and job seekers in the US, and not being able to offer health insurance puts small businesses at a disadvantage when hiring. 

The survey found that businesses with more employees were far more likely to offer health insurance, with 89% of firms with 30 or more employees currently offering health insurance compared to 39% of those with 1-9 employees. 

Among employers who do and do not currently offer health insurance, 94% of firms who currently offer health insurance believe it is important to some degree compared to 58% of firms who do not currently offer health insurance. The affordability crisis in health insurance for small businesses is a significant problem because it creates barriers for both employers and employees.

Why Is This A Problem For Small Businesses?

Employers who cannot afford to provide health insurance for their employees may struggle to attract and retain talent, leading to a less competitive workforce. While cost is the most reported reason for not offering health insurance, it is also a critical problem for those that do offer it.

The cost of health insurance has consistently been cited as the most significant challenge for small business owners.Small businesses often have limited resources, and the cost of providing health insurance can be a substantial burden on their finances. Many small business owners have reported having to take lower profits or even suffering losses to pay for the cost of health insurance. 

Failing to provide adequate health insurance  can have a detrimental impact on the financial stability of small businesses, making it difficult for them to invest in other areas, such as research and development or expansion. Ultimately, this can limit their growth potential and their ability to create jobs, which can negatively impact the local economy.

Why Is This A Problem For Employees?

Without access to affordable health insurance, many employees may go without coverage, leading to a higher risk of illness and financial hardship. Employees may struggle to access healthcare services if they cannot afford to pay for health insurance premiums themselves. 

Additionally, the lack of health insurance coverage can lead to increased healthcare costs for both employees and small businesses, as employees may seek care only when they are extremely ill. This can lead to more expensive medical treatments and higher healthcare costs overall, on top of the health risks that delaying treatment may cause.

Government Borrowing Up By 6%

Governments need money to pay for things like healthcare, education, and infrastructure projects that are essential for a country’s development. In the UK, the government raises a lot of its income from taxes paid by individuals, businesses, and corporations. However, in some years, the amount of money raised from taxes may not be enough to cover the government’s spending.

To cover this gap, the government has three options: raise taxes, cut spending, or borrow money. Raising taxes can negatively impact businesses and individuals, who will have less disposable income to put back into the economy. Meanwhile, cutting spending may lead to reductions in essential services such as education and the NHS. Borrowing, therefore, is often the most preferred option.

The UK government borrows money to boost the economy and to pay for large projects. This can include improving the railway system, building new roads, and investing in technology updates for hospitals. 

The government borrows money by selling bonds. These bonds are promises to pay back the money borrowed with interest. Bonds work as a promise of future payment, and most bonds require a borrower to make regular interest payments over the bond’s lifetime.

UK government bonds, also known as “gilts,” are considered safe. Gilts are typically bought by institutional investors such as banks, pension funds, and insurance companies, but they are also available to individual investors. In recent years, the Bank of England has also been a major buyer of gilts, as part of its quantitative easing program, which involves buying large amounts of government debt to stimulate the economy.

Gilts come in a variety of different forms, including short-term and long-term bonds, inflation-linked bonds, and index-linked bonds. Short-term bonds typically have a maturity date of less than 5 years, while long-term bonds can have a maturity date of up to 50 years or more.

The interest rate on a gilt is known as the coupon rate, and it is fixed at the time the bond is issued. The government pays the coupon rate to investors at regular intervals over the life of the bond, and when the bond matures, the investor receives the original amount borrowed.

The amount of money the UK government borrows varies from year to year. For the financial year between April 2022 and February 2023, the government borrowed £132bn, which is up by about 6% compared to the previous year. The total amount the government owes is called the national debt, and it is currently just over £2.5 trillion.

While some economists worry that the government is borrowing too much at too great a cost, others argue that extra borrowing can help the economy grow faster, generating more tax revenue in the long run.

However, the larger the national debt gets, the more interest the government has to pay. The government’s debt interest is currently more than £100bn a year, which is more than the government spends on education. 

While Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has blamed the pandemic and the conflict with Russia for driving up government costs, he has also emphasised the importance of sticking to the plan and ways to repay debt over the medium term. Reducing national debt is also one of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s five key promises. 

4 Ways To Make A Perfect Resume For Finance Industry

A strong resume is an essential tool for anyone looking to break into the finance industry. Finance is a highly competitive field that requires top-notch skills and qualifications, and your resume needs to reflect this. A perfect finance resume should highlight your education, work experience, and relevant skills to demonstrate your fit for the industry. Here are four ways to make a perfect resume for the finance industry:

Tailor your resume to the job

Before you start writing your finance resume, take the time to carefully read the job description and research the company. This will help you understand what the employer is looking for and what they value in a candidate. Then, tailor your resume to the job by highlighting your relevant skills and experiences. For example, if the job requires experience with financial modeling, make sure to highlight your experience with this in your resume. You may also want to adjust your resume’s format, depending on the company or job you’re applying to.

Highlight your education

Given that the finance industry emphasizes a premium on education and credentials, it’s important to highlight your academic achievements. Your degree, any applicable coursework, certifications, and licenses can all be included. Include the name of the institution, the degree or certification earned, and the completion date. Include your GPA as well if you have one. Make a note on your resume if you are currently pursuing a degree or certification.

Showcase your relevant experience

The finance industry is highly competitive, so relevant experience is critical to your success. Be sure to highlight your previous work experience that is relevant to the position you are applying for. If you have experience in finance, make sure to highlight that. If not, highlight any experience that shows your analytical or quantitative skills, such as data analysis or project management. Be sure to describe your achievements and quantify them wherever possible. For example, instead of saying “Managed a team of 5 people,” say “Managed a team of 5 people, resulting in a 15% increase in productivity.”

Emphasize your skills

Your finance resume should highlight your applicable abilities in addition to your education and experience. This can include technical skills such as Microsoft Excel proficiency, financial analysis, and modeling, as well as soft skills such as communication, problem-solving, and teamwork. To demonstrate your abilities, utilize strong action verbs and detailed examples. Instead of mentioning “Strong communication skills,” say something like “Developed and delivered a presentation to senior executives, resulting in a 20% increase in funding.”

The finance industry is increasingly integrating artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies to optimize processes and make better-informed decisions. When crafting your finance resume, emphasize your experience or familiarity with these technologies, as they can set you apart from the competition. Detail any projects, coursework, or certifications related to AI or ML, demonstrating your understanding of their potential benefits and challenges in the finance sector, such as improving investment strategies, enhancing risk management, and navigating complex regulatory landscapes.

Bonus tip: Use keywords

Many companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to screen resumes for specific keywords. To increase your chances of getting through the screening process, make sure to include relevant keywords throughout your resume. This can include industry-specific terms like “financial modeling” or “portfolio management,” as well as action verbs like “analyzed” or “managed.”

In conclusion

A perfect finance resume should be job-specific, highlight your education and relevant experience, highlight your talents, and include relevant keywords. You’ll be well on your way to creating a great CV that will help you stand out in the extremely competitive finance profession if you follow these four guidelines. Remember to check your CV thoroughly, and consider having it reviewed by a friend or mentor. Best wishes!

Six Reasons Why It Pays to Pay for Probate

By James Mabey, Partner at Winckworth Sherwood

Amid the high levels of current inflation and the economic backdrop, it is understandable that many executors will decide to administer a deceased’s estate themselves and dispense with the cost of instructing a solicitor. We have compiled a list of 6 key reasons why it pays to pay for Probate.

1. Protection from financial risk

Executors are accountable to beneficiaries and are liable personally for anything that goes wrong, and so administering an estate oneself, rather than instructing a solicitor, means taking on additional risk.  This can be exacerbated by the fact that for many executors, it will be the first time they have carried out the role.  Unfamiliarity with the Court system, dealing with HM Revenue & Customs, HM Land Registry and generally with financial organisations can all mean that important deadlines are missed, and financial penalties can result.  If something goes wrong and you have instructed a solicitor, you can complain to them and have the benefit of their indemnity insurance. Instructing a solicitor to handle the estate can therefore give you peace of mind – not just that you are in safe hands, but also that you have an added layer of protection. 

2. Relying on a solicitor’s expertise and access to resources

Instructing a solicitor who carries out this work on a daily basis and is familiar with the deadlines and organisations mentioned has a lot of advantages. A solicitor will have access to precedent letters and software specifically designed for completing and filing necessary documents, not to mention technical resources if there is a point of law or procedure which needs addressing, or the expertise within their firm to draw on. That may include a conveyancing practice to sell an estate property or specialist knowledge about anyone who may make a claim over the estate. Unless you have access to these resources and software yourself, it is likely to take you longer than it would take a solicitor to complete the same work.

3. It saves you time

Administering an estate is a time-consuming process, with lots of the correspondence involved still needing to be carried out by letter. It is not uncommon for the administration to take one or even two years. More complicated estates can take even longer to administer. The amount of work required often comes as a surprise to an executor and the time involved can interfere with other work you might be carrying out, or simply eat into spare time.  A solicitor can therefore help to free up evenings and weekends which you would otherwise spend on administering an estate. 

4. It is a burden

If the person who has died is a family member or friend, you will be grieving at the same time as dealing with their estate, which is a double burden. As the months go by, beneficiaries can get restless and want to know when a property is going to be sold or when they are likely to receive their inheritance. Solicitors are familiar with the stages of an administration and timeframes and can manage expectations accordingly in their capacity as professionals.

5. Dealing with tax can be difficult

Higher levels of inflation, increases in house prices and a capped tax-free allowance (the “nil rate band”) has meant that the number of estates that must pay inheritance tax continues to increase.  Knowing what amount of tax there is to pay is not always easy to calculate, or how to take advantage of tax-free allowances like the residence nil rate band.  A professional administration team will be able to advise you on income, capital gains and inheritance tax.  Your solicitor will also prepare Estate Accounts to ensure accounting is properly done. Acting on advice from experienced professionals could assist you in saving tax to benefit the beneficiaries in the long run.

6. And finally…the costs are more manageable than you might think

While solicitors’ fees for administering an estate may seem large, they often amount to between 1.5% and 3.5% plus VAT of the value of the gross estate. The fees are not payable by you personally and are payable out of the estate.

The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Financial Markets: Opportunities and Challenges

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the financial industry, bringing new opportunities and challenges. AI-powered systems have the potential to transform the way financial markets operate, enabling faster and more efficient decision-making, improving risk management, and increasing profitability. However, as with any new technology, the usage of AI in the financial sector also raises concerns about privacy, security, and ethical considerations.

The use of AI in financial markets has been flourishing in recent years. According to a report by Deloitte, “AI is poised to transform the financial services industry, driving significant efficiencies and cost savings while improving customer experience and creating new business models.” AI is implemented across several financial applications, from fraud detection and credit scoring to trading and portfolio management.

Latest Industry News

Traditional Investment Sectors

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been transforming the financial industry, particularly in traditional investment sectors such as asset management, hedge funds, and private equity. According to a recent report by Deloitte, AI is being used to automate investment processes, improve risk management, and enhance decision-making. For example, AI can analyse market trends, help with an online consolidate loan and historical data to identify potential investment opportunities, and help investors make informed decisions.

In addition, AI is being used to optimize investment portfolios and reduce costs. For instance, AI-powered robo-advisors are becoming increasingly popular, allowing investors to create customized portfolios based on their risk tolerance and investment goals. These robo-advisors can also monitor and adjust portfolios in real-time based on market trends and changes in the investor’s financial situation.

Alternative Investment Sectors

AI is also transforming alternative investment sectors such as real estate, private debt, and venture capital. According to a report by Forbes, AI is being used to analyse real estate data, such as property values and rental rates, to identify investment opportunities and predict market trends. AI can also help investors assess the risk of investing in private debt and venture capital by analysing financial statements and other data.

However, there are also challenges associated with using AI in the financial industry. One of the main challenges is the lack of transparency and accountability in AI algorithms. It can lead to biases and errors in decision-making, which can have grave consequences for investors.

Despite these challenges, the use of AI in the financial industry is expected to continue to grow in the coming years. As AI technology becomes more advanced and sophisticated, it will likely become an even more important tool for investors and financial institutions alike.

Making the Right Decisions

Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the financial markets, providing investors with new opportunities to secure and grow their wealth. However, AI also poses significant challenges, particularly in the area of decision-making.

Securing Wealth

One of the key benefits of AI in the financial markets is its ability to analyse vast amounts of data quickly and accurately. It can help investors make more informed decisions on how to secure their wealth.

For example, AI can be used to identify potential risks in a portfolio, such as exposure to a particular industry or geographic region. It can also be used to monitor market trends and identify emerging opportunities that may not be immediately apparent to human analysts.

Growing Wealth

AI also has the potential to help investors grow their wealth by identifying new investment opportunities and predicting market trends.

For example, AI can be used to analyse financial statements and other data to identify undervalued companies with strong growth potential. It can also be used to predict market trends and identify emerging industries that may offer significant growth opportunities.


In conclusion, AI has the potential to revolutionize the financial markets, providing investors with new opportunities to secure and grow their wealth. However, it is important to use AI as one tool among many and to be aware of its limitations and potential biases. By doing so, investors can make more informed decisions about navigating the complex and rapidly-changing landscape of the financial markets.

Three Trends in Consumer Debt – and How to Make Sure Your Business Stays Ahead

Ian Haddon, COO at ContactEngine

It may not always feel like it, but we are living in a more open, kind, and holistic society since the pandemic. The spirit of pulling together, and looking out for each other, has manifested in a shift in how we expect our society to work. Take the phrases ‘debt forgiveness’ and ‘loan forgiveness’. These terms barely registered in US Google searches before the pandemic, but have become much more common since 2020.

Support for those in need is still far from perfect, but attitudes towards debt are changing. A great example of this is President Joe Biden’s plans to forgive up to $20,000 of student loan debt for those who qualify. Though there are still some legal challenges to resolve, the idea of the US Government spending $400bn on writing off debt would be unthinkable before 2020.

Part of the reason why we have become more forgiving towards debt, is unfortunately because financial difficulty is a more common problem today. More than a fifth of adults report borrowing more money compared to a year ago. One in four people started 2023 in debt due to the cost-of-living crisis.

A report by charity StepChange released in January discovered 24% of people in debt cite a ‘cost of living increase’ as the main reason, compared to 9% in January 2022 – a 167% uplift.

As the factors that lead to debt change, so too are the demographics of those who find themselves owing money. For collection agencies and departments, understanding these movements are crucial for ensuring operations remain effective.

Here, we reveal the trends in consumer debt and explain how you can ensure your business stays ahead of them.

1. More women in debt

There are two major demographic shifts in debt that firms should be aware of. The first is a rise in the number of women who are seeking help. According to StepChange: “The proportion of women among our new client population has increased substantially, up from 62% in December 2022 to 65% in January 2023.” This figure is also higher than 12 months ago.

The rising cost of living – predominantly affecting food, fuel, and consumables – has a disproportionate impact on families, especially single-parent households. With 90% of single parents being women, it’s little surprise to see more facing financial difficulty. Collectors need to adapt their responses for those with dependents. No matter the size of the debt, you are unlikely to be the priority. Payment plans need to ensure children come first. They also need to be communicated in a way that can be understood around busy family schedules.

Additionally, StepChange has recorded an uplift in those that are in some form of employment – 58% in January 2023. This indicates that for the majority of those in debt, some will at least have income to create payment plans. These people must be given the time and space to take stock.

2. A new generation

The second demographic shift is the rise in younger adults reporting that they are taking on debt – some for the first time. According to Experian, Generation Z (those born 1997-2013) experienced a 25% jump year on year in average debt balance. As this generation takes on their first-ever car payments, student loans or even mortgages, these young adults are getting a crash course in credit. However, many feel unequipped to deal with it. Santander recently launched a new campaign for its financial education program – The Numbers Game. The bank cites research that two thirds of young people in financial difficulty cite ‘lack of education’ as a reason. Businesses must be able to explain debt and the collections process in simple, clear, and concise language.

Firms that use conversational AI to complement the style and tone of customers will engage best and maximise their chances of recovering money owed quickly.

3. Types of debt

It’s not just the demographics of debtors that are changing – the types of debt that they are facing is changing too. In previous decades the main reasons for borrowing were for mortgages or for payments on tangible assets, which could be reclaimed if necessary. Now the proportion of people with unsecured debts – not based on assets – is increasing. StepChange has recorded rises in the proportion of clients with personal loans, catalogue, and store card debts.

The rise in unsecured debt has been recorded both in the UK, where it has risen steadily since October 2021 as the economy reopened and in the US where the largest rises were for personal loans (+18%) and credit card balances (+16%). Those that are in the quicksand of having unsecured debts need support – not just in paying it back, but in making sure they do not end up stuck again. Collectors should communicate at the first sign that someone is falling behind on their payments because this will lead to more on-time payments and a more positive user experience.


As the nature of debt changes, so too must the way businesses respond. We’re seeing a shift towards a younger debtor, more likely with unsecured debt and little understanding about financial matters. We’re seeing more people who owe money because of external factors, rather than reckless spending. There are also more people struggling financially who are already in work.For those in charge of collecting debt, this suggests that they need to begin the conversations with people early on to help them understand what will happen if money cannot be repaid. They need to use a range of channels, particularly those favored by Generation Z and Millennials, to engage. Finally, they need to provide flexibility and communicate with empathy to deliver the best results.

Best Risk-Managed Investment Specialists 2023 & Investment CEO of the Year 2023: Paul Regan

Meet the Hedge Fund Manager Delivering Stellar Returns with a Unique Insurance Based Risk Neutralizing Strategy

In investing, we know there is no free lunch. With higher returns comes increased risk.

But what if you could neutralize some of the variables that create risk in traditional investing? What if timing or pricing the market, or being right about the direction was no longer necessary for a profitable trading strategy?

Meet Paul Regan— a man who has created an arbitrage-based strategy that successfully does exactly that. And his innovation goes far beyond successful trading by pairing an actual insurance policy with each investment. We sat down with Paul to learn more about his unique innovation and new line of funds.

Disrupting Traditional Risk Management

David Dewell, a top commodities trader at Goldman Sachs, was quoted as saying, “What Paul Regan has done in terms of risk management and creating a world of future date certain returns is like what Elon Musk has done in the automotive industry. This level of disruption is world class and to call it game-changing doesn’t begin to explain it or do him justice.”

Can You Create Future Date Certain Returns?

Trading commodities has historically been all about attempting to profit by anticipating future price direction. Investors put their money on a directional move, whether that was in gold, silver, soybeans, or something else.

What if you took a totally different stance? What if you employed an agnostic approach instead of trying to predict the whimsical twists and turns of the commodities markets? Mr. Regan has developed a system that takes advantage of the sometimes wild volatility of these markets but doesn’t involve speculation. This new approach generates steady, market-beating returns in all market conditions. Best of all, the investment comes with a guarantee you’ll receive at least a 24% annual return and won’t lose a dime.

Yes, it sounds too good to be true. But Mr. Regan has a secret: he has developed a unique partnership with several major insurers who agreed to back his strategy. So this time, it really is different.

Doing The Near-Impossible

In the investment world, achieving high returns with low risk is akin to finding the Holy Grail. But, Mr. Regan’s past experience illustrates why he has been able to accomplish this seemingly impossible task of providing certain returns in an uncertain world. He’s been hard at work as a financial engineer for decades. Meanwhile, he has beaten the S&P 500 index for the past 10 years as a trader.

More Firsts

He is the first hedge fund manager who has successfully gained the support of major insurance carriers who are writing policies exclusively for his fund, Next Level Holdings, LLC. These policies enable him to contractually neutralize market and transactional risk for his investors. This allows the fund to ensure a consistent 24% annual return to those investors who are lucky enough to gain entry into one of his exclusive hedge funds. And that phenomenal yearly return? Guaranteed by the insurers.

How Exactly Did He Accomplish This?

In today’s challenging market, we find ourselves in complete awe of this accomplishment. Somehow Mr. Regan has brilliantly engineered an arbitrage-based fixed-income product. This has been attempted previously without success. What has Paul Regan done differently? We asked him directly so we could find out.

First off, Paul, we understand this is an arbitrage-based strategy. Can you explain arbitrage trading for us?

Regan: Of course. Arbitrage is a form of trading in which traders exploit price discrepancies between the same investments in different markets. Arbitrageurs buy in one market while simultaneously selling an equivalent size in a different but related market. They do this to take advantage of price divergences between the two.

Sometimes, products that are effectively the same thing, trade in different places or slightly different forms. For example, some large companies are listed on more than one stock exchange. Theoretically, as the shares on each stock exchange belong to the same company, they should be priced equally.

However, the flow of information to all parts of the world is not instantaneous. Furthermore, markets do not operate with complete efficiency. When both stock exchanges are open, the share price may differ between them. The first person to notice the price difference could buy the stock on one exchange at the lower price while selling on the other at a higher price. In doing so, they secure a quick profit.

I’ve been an arbitrage trader of commodities for decades, so this is my investing backyard, so to speak.

So how do you turn arbitrage trading into consistent results?

Regan: I recognize that for the purpose of this article we have some limits, so I’ll make this simple. We’ll just use gold as an example. The gold market is extensive and worldwide. Gold investments range from actual physical metals to financial products that allow you to buy a digital claim to gold. This provides many opportunities for arbitrage across geography, time and form.

Many people today opt for a gold ETF, which is a type of digital representation of gold ownership. Instead, imagine you buy long-term contracts which enable you to purchase physical gold directly from miners at predefined discounts below the spot (market) price.

What if you could presell all that gold to international refineries at prices at or above the spot price before you actually paid for the gold? This is the purest form of true arbitrage you’ll find in the financial markets, as it eliminates execution risk. You can lock in a profit before risking capital.

This is precisely what I’ve perfected. This is how I won over the insurance industry, and this is how I have been able to consistently beat the S&P Index.

That is fascinating. Can you walk us through an example?

Regan: Sure. The spot price of gold today is around $60,000 per kilo. Now let’s say I wanted to sell 100 kilos of gold at that price. I could move 100 kilos to any one of my refineries in minutes with no problem. So by selling those 100 kilos, I generate about $6 million. Upon locking in that sale price, I then go direct to my consortium of mining groups. These entities are all under exclusive contracts where I pay them 3% below the spot price for that same 100 kilos. That costs me $5.82 million. I then arrange shipping of those 100 kilos directly to my refineries. That’s it.

I have now generated $180,000 with no risk by preselling the gold. This is just a modified form of arbitrage.

That 3% net difference is the key. That’s prenegotiated and helps out the mining groups. These firms are happy to sell their product for a slight discount below spot with long term volume contracts, zero marketing costs, and access to capital that otherwise wouldn’t exist.

So now we rinse and repeat. Turning our capital over three or four times every 30 days generates 9% to 12% returns each and every month. Instead of 100 kilos of gold, my fund is turning over closer to 800 kilos a month. That’s around $50 million in monthly transactional volume, and we have the capacity to grow to 5,000 kilos of monthly volume this year. This is where my investors win by placing their capital next to mine.

At the end of the day, we are generating returns of around 80% per annum after expenses. About one-third of that goes straight back to investors in our fund.

Wow, that is innovative. Is there more to this strategy?

Regan: Yes—and this aspect is even more of an innovation. We guarantee our investors a minimum 24% return, and guarantee against the loss of principal.

As you might suspect, this makes the Next Level Fund quite unique. While many products guarantee principal protection, I am not aware of any that also guarantees a specific future strong return. (Annuities, for example, are the complete opposite, with notoriously low returns.) With our fund, we guarantee an annual return starting at 24% but increasing to 40% for those investors who invest with us for a longer term and agree to lock ups.

How can you legally make a claim it is guaranteed?

Regan: First off, I agree with an old investment axiom: If something sounds too good to be true, it’s because it probably is. Guaranteed returns—aren’t. Every investment carries some degree of risk. This is generally reflected in the rate of return you can expect to receive. If your money is perfectly safe, you’ll most likely get a low return. High returns entail high risks, possibly including a total loss on the investment. Our fund is completely different.

Why is your fund different?

Regan: The first part of my model is the arbitrage component. There’s minimal risk because I sell first and then buy, but there is always some transactional risk. You can’t get away from it. But the insurance industry was founded to provide guarantees. We rely on insurance to protect our lives: our homes, our businesses, and our health. So this is where my model excels: we rely on insurance to provide a true contractual guarantee.

What makes me different is why my investors love me: I succeeded in getting the insurance industry to understand our trading model. Now, these insurers have “priced the risk.” Because I pay them premiums, they are happy to issue coverage.

It is important to note that the insurance companies issue the guarantee directly to my investors. It’s not through our fund or our firm. That provides the next level of assurance since the policy is issued in your name.

It’s no different from how they would quote your premium for a life or health insurance product. Based on the investment size, we have the insurance carrier directly issue the surety bond in our client’s name.

It’s pretty simple, but it’s a new concept in the hedge fund business where losses and wild volatility are the norm.

So, to clarify, your guarantee is a separate insurance policy?

Regan: Yes, that’s it! The “guaranteed return” policies are issued to our investors directly from licensed and regulated major insurance carriers and not from our firm. I am sure that if we attempted to offer “guaranteed returns” directly, we would run into issues with the SEC and various other regulatory bodies and consumer protection agencies. It wouldn’t be prudent.

This is where I came up with the idea to pair my investment offerings with insurance products. That would ultimately give our investors the highest level of assurance and certainty in a very uncertain world.

Our insurance is high quality too. All of our surety bonds and insurance policies are issued by Lloyds of London or other firms carrying investment grade ratings from AM Best.

Can you tell us a little more about how you were able to partner with these insurers?

Regan: Great question! It’s actually what I am most proud of. Most people assume that creating the model is my crowning achievement, but that’s not the case.

Getting the insurance industry to bet big on me was a monumental achievement. Everyone in the financial industry knows that the insurance industry is incredibly regulated, conservative, bureaucratic and slow-moving.

When I approached insurers, I was immediately subjected to intense scrutiny. I endured several forensic financial audits that spanned over 21 long months. Initially, I was forced to put up eight figures in counter-guarantees. There was a never-ending mountain of legal documents and bureaucratic red tape before I could obtain the backing from the insurers we now work with. But it was worth the pain, as we now can issue our investors policies insuring against loss and guaranteeing a minimum return of 24% per annum.

How long have you been successfully applying this strategy?

Regan: It’s been six years now. However, only within the last year were we able to roll out the insurance policy with surety bond protection for our investors.

Why haven’t we heard of you before?

Regan: That’s a very subjective question, but I am not by any means a household name nor do I aspire to be. Plus, I’ve had my head down for the past several years developing this methodology and arm-wrestling with the insurance industry.

I am a small player in relative terms of assets under management, and I prefer it that way. My focus is on results. I have achieved success because of the fact that I am small and agile, so I never want that to change. My investment strategy is inspired by Sun Tzu, legendary military strategist from ancient China. He was a master of agile warfare and preferred to win without fighting or, if that was not possible, pick the easiest battles. That’s how I run my funds….we stick with our strengths. We’re not looking to outgrow what we do best.

I also don’t look for attention. While my name may not ring bells, I bet you’ve heard of my insurance partners. Lloyds of London, Afiancol Insurance, RedBridge Insurance, Ocean Reinsurance, these are all big names and you can say that I am standing on the shoulders of giants in that regard, however, I really value my privacy. Since I am happy to trade my own capital, there was no real upside for me to seek the spotlight. Now that I am actively launching my own funds, there is an obvious utility to these sorts of interviews, at least for the time being.

How much money do you currently manage?

Regan: I’ve developed and refined my strategy with my own capital, which I consider essential. As an investor, you want your managers to have skin in the game, and you get it with me. Since I started offering insurance policies, I’ve only recently started accepting outside investors.

I’m currently managing around $50 million, most of that being my capital. Unlike most traditional fund managers, my niche doesn’t allow me to scale into the billions, nor is that size and scale appealing to me.

Tell us a little about your personal life…what do you do when you’re not thinking about arbitrage and investor insurance policies?

Regan: I am a proud father and born-again Christian. I practice something called Bushido and live according to a strict code of honor and morals developed by Japanese samurai. I love the seven principles of Bushido and practice them daily.

I am also a huge adrenaline guy. I like extreme sports and anything that allows me to test my mental fortitude and self-imposed psychological and physical limitations. I also love donating funds to help underprivileged children in the regions of Colombia where we have most of our relationships with artisanal and small to medium-sized private mining operations.

How many funds do you currently manage?

Regan: Three. I want to keep it that way. I like simple, and I like easy. These three hit the investment goals and objectives of nearly anyone I might speak to, regardless of age, risk appetite, investment goals, or suitability. My lineup includes the Next Level Income Fund, the Next Level Growth Fund and the Next Level Retirement Fund.

Why would people invest?

Regan: Really….(laughs) aside from guaranteed returns? (Laughs again.) Well, I always like to use the most popular benchmark of performance that professional investors typically use, the S&P 500 Index.

Before I explain how I have crushed the S&P Index in terms of risk-adjusted performance, I want to highlight a little-known fact. Over 90% of hedge fund managers don’t even match the S&P Index. In the years 2011 through 2020, the S&P 500 beat the average hedge fund every year.

Yet if we compare my Next Level Growth Fund where investors get a guaranteed APY of 33.3% ROI, you would need to go back to 1995 (28 years ago) to find a year where an investor would have seen a better return.

Now…to do that with the addition of an insurance policy guaranteeing an index-beating return? You tell me what you think. (Laughs again.)

Thanks Paul, this has been an amazing interview. How can people invest or learn more?

Regan: Just send an email to [email protected] I am still small enough that I usually answer all inquiries personally. You can also visit our website at https://www.nextlevelholdings.co/.

How To Manage An LLC

A limited liability company (LLC) is a private entity that protects its owners’ assets from financial liabilities such as debts and lawsuits. Establishing an LLC isn’t so complex. However, the task doesn’t end there. Managing it effectively leads to the desired success. Read on below to learn the tips you can use and implement to manage an LLC.

LLC Management Methods

When establishing an LLC company, you should also decide who manages it. Most states prefer that you provide a basic idea of how and who will manage the business in the articles of organization. There are two types of LLC management that you can choose from:

  • Member-managed: A member-managed LLC has all its members deciding and managing the business operations. The drawback of this system is that you can’t prevent a member from being involved unless with a valid reason. The only way to do this is by minimizing the member’s power in the operating agreement.
  • Manager-managed: A manager-managed LLC involves hiring one or more separate managers to handle the business’s daily operations. It’s more advantageous than the member-managed method since it provides flexibility, whether hiring a professional manager from within or outside the company. There’s also a reduced workload as the members can focus on business strategies and activities and leave the managerial roles to others.

Whether the members or the manager manages the LLC, they should run it per the company’s core values and goals. Therefore, all the LLC staff should trust the individuals managing the company.

Tips On Managing An LLC Effectively

Every company, regardless of size, needs proper management of money, time, technology, staff, and other business resources. Failure to implement best management practices may lead to poor performance and the company’s eventual downfall. Below are some management tips you’d want to consider for your LLC:

1. Separate The Personal And Business Assets

Some business owners may prefer to create a sole-member LLC to acquire a new employer identification number (EIN). That way, you can separate the personal and business credit lines. If you’re a non-US resident looking to start a business, you can open a non US resident LLC bank account to protect your assets from business assets.

If you don’t do so, your LLC may face legal risks despite its liability protection advantage. But still, some courts and creditors have managed to go around the LLC liability laws when members combine business and personal assets. So, separating the assets is a way to avoid unnecessary legal battles in case your company runs bankrupt or gets sued.

2. Get An Insurance Policy

Getting an insurance policy for your LLC protects your assets when the LLC laws don’t. For example, it’s applied when your member or business faces a lawsuit or injury. In this case, insurance will cover the damages and protect your assets.

Furthermore, insurance is an advantage when the court refuses your liability protection. It protects the business and assets from lawsuits, judgments, and reputation tarnishing. However, you should remember that commercial insurance doesn’t protect business and personal assets from unpaid debts, whether guaranteed personally or not.

3. Get LLC Managers

Hiring a professional manager for an LLC business elevates its management as they oversee the business’s operations on behalf of the members. Remember to choose someone with the necessary expertise in your business niche.

An excellent approach is to put the manager and the members at the same level instead of in a top-down fashion. A horizontal management structure allows the managers and members to work together toward reaching a common goal.

An alternative to hiring a professional manager is to have a member with more experience in LLC operations and management positioned as one.

4. Have An Operating Agreement

An operating agreement is a contract that outlines the business’s main management structure. You don’t need to file and register it with the authorities. Instead, the members can create a draft for the organization that outlines the members’ roles and duties.

The operating agreement should also outline the compensation plan so that the members know when and how to expect compensation, including dividends for the shares they hold in the business.

5. Establish A Solid Profit Allocation System

The allocation system in an LLC enables the members or managers to allocate the business profits in a specific manner. Initially known as guaranteed payments, it involves the proportion of profits according to each member’s shares. The members are, therefore, allowed to write checks when they need money whenever the LLC has it readily available.

It also enables them to create a direct ownership relationship to avoid confusion when managing the business. They also have the upper hand since the members can maintain records of profits earned on profit returns and analyze the losses in the process.

6. Get An Employer Identification Number

An employer identification number is essential when starting and managing an LLC. It helps you separate the business entity and assets from yours. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) also uses it to label and tax your LLC business.

An EIN is required if your LLC has more than one member, when opening the business’s bank account, and when you’re looking to hire new employees. You can get one for free from the IRS website.


Proper management of an LLC enables the business to grow and make the desired profits. If you have the time and expertise to manage your business, go for it. Or you can ask any other member to help manage the company. However, if all members are incapable of running the LLC, you can hire a manager to oversee it. Make sure you hire highly competent personnel for effective management.

Benefits of Category Management in Procurement

In current times, volatility in the markets can certainly have an impact on businesses, including their procurement strategies. In times of market instability, it can be more challenging for businesses to predict demand and anticipate changes in pricing for raw materials or other inputs. As a result, businesses may need to take steps to strengthen their procurement processes to better manage these risks.

One key way businesses can strengthen procurement during volatile markets is by improving their forecasting and planning capabilities through category management procurement. This may involve investing in better data analytics tools, working more closely with suppliers to gather information on pricing trends, and developing contingency plans in case of unexpected changes in demand or supply.

Another important strategy is to diversify suppliers and supply chains as much as possible. By working with multiple suppliers and spreading out risk, businesses can help ensure continuity of supply even if one supplier or region experiences disruptions. This can also help mitigate the impact of price volatility, as businesses may be able to negotiate better prices by having multiple options to choose from.

What Is Category Management?

Category management is a strategic approach to managing a group of products or services within a business, to maximize profitability and meet customer needs. It involves analysing data on customer behaviour, market trends, and competitor activity to make informed decisions about product assortment, pricing, promotion, and placement. The ultimate goal of category management is to improve the customer experience and drive revenue growth.

Managed services are an outsourcing model where a business contracts with a third-party provider to manage specific functions or processes. In the context of category management, businesses can benefit from using managed services to ensure that they have the necessary expertise and resources to execute category management effectively. Here are some reasons why:


Managed service providers specialize in category management and have the expertise to analyse data and make informed decisions about product assortment, pricing, promotion, and placement. They can provide insights that businesses may not have in-house, and they can apply best practices from across industries.

Through automated category management, managed services provide data-driven software solutions to streamline the process of analysing customer behaviour, market trends, and competitor activity. Here is a possible workflow of automated category management in increasing expertise:

Data Collection

The first step in automated category management is collecting data on customer behaviour, market trends, and competitor activity. This data can come from a variety of sources, including point-of-sale systems, customer surveys, social media, and third-party market research.


Once the data is collected, automated software can analyse it to identify trends and patterns. The software can use machine learning algorithms to automatically segment customers into different groups based on their behaviour, preferences, and demographics.

Product Assortment

Based on the data analysis, the software can recommend changes to the product assortment. For example, it may suggest adding new products to fill gaps in the current assortment or removing products that are not selling well.


The software can also analyse pricing data to recommend changes that will improve profitability. For example, it may recommend raising or lowering prices on specific products based on customer demand and competitive pricing.


The software can analyze promotional data to recommend changes to promotional activities. For example, it may suggest running promotions at specific times of the year or targeting specific customer segments with personalized offers.


Managed services can scale up or down depending on a business’s needs. For example, a business may need additional resources to manage a new product launch or a seasonal surge in demand. A managed service provider can provide the necessary resources quickly and efficiently.


Managed services can be more cost-effective than hiring in-house staff to manage category management. Businesses can avoid the costs of recruiting, training, and managing staff, and they can benefit from the economies of scale that a managed service provider can offer.


Outsourcing category management to a managed service provider allows businesses to focus on their core competencies. They can spend more time developing new products or services, improving customer service, or expanding into new markets.


Technology can provide several advantages for category management. One of the most significant is the ability to collect and analyse data on customer behaviour, sales trends, and inventory levels. By leveraging machine learning and other advanced analytics tools, category managers can identify patterns and make data-driven decisions about product selection, pricing, and promotions.

Why Non-Traditional Methods of Funding are More Popular Than Ever

Growing a business in the current economic climate is a challenge. With rising costs slashing profit margins and prohibiting growth, external investment has become almost a necessity for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to expand. Even established businesses have been feeling the squeeze – many have required additional funding to bridge finance gaps.

In spite of the increased demand for finance, a growing number of SMEs are turning away from traditional sources of funding, in particular the big banking corporations. A multitude of reasons are behind this, from banks’ tight lending criteria to a general lack of support from traditional funders.

In these times of economic uncertainty, non-traditional lenders are becoming a lucrative alternative for UK businesses to raise capital. Here, Stuart Wilkie, Head of Commercial Finance at Anglo Scottish Asset Finance, considers why so many SMEs are looking to third party sources of finance.

Key Findings:

  • More than a quarter of UK SMEs have had difficulty accessing finance from their main banks.
  • 41% of UK SMEs feel banks’ lending policies haven’t kept pace with modern business needs.
  • 35% argued that banks provide them with no other support beyond lending.
  • 48% of people felt they could not trust their bank to help them manage their finances through a recession.
  • 40% of people feel their personal data is unsafe in the hands of their main bank.

Why are fewer businesses turning to banks for funding?

There are many reasons why banks have become less popular as a source of finance for UK businesses. A report from the Bank of England in December 2022 identified rising interest rates, with no sign of tailing off. These rate rises have “caused the cost of borrowing to rise for households and businesses.”

With the cost of borrowing rising, more than 25% of UK SMEs have experienced difficulty accessing finance from their main banks. The traditional banks still operate with a strict set of lending criteria, which can render many businesses ineligible to apply for finance. However, some of the alternative funders can offer SMEs easier access to credit. Alternative funders’ responses to applications for finance tend to be more commercially-minded, as they work with a more flexible set of credit criteria.

It’s not only the cost of borrowing that’s rising. With inflation leading to rising operating costs across every industry, many smaller businesses are feeling the squeeze as profit margins tighten. As such, external forms of finance look increasingly lucrative for businesses looking to facilitate growth.

And, with many companies rejected due to big banking’s strict lending criteria, it’s unsurprising that alternative forms of finance are growing in popularity. Overall sentiment towards banks remains largely positive, but amongst the economic uncertainty, 48% of people are concerned about their bank’s ability to help manage their finances in a recession.

Evidence also highlights a more general lack of trust in traditional banks, both in terms of money handling and data protection – just 60% of British people feel like their personal data is safe in their main bank’s hands.

What other sources of funding are available?

With confidence in traditional banks dropping, there are other avenues that SMEs can explore in order to gain capital. Utilising alternative sources of finance, businesses may look to third party funders to facilitate growth or bridge finance gaps.

The source of funding most suited to an individual business depends on a number of factors, such as the business’ size, credit history, business objectives and more. For example, if time is of the essence, using a broker to help secure funding can be a good option. As well as providing the personal touch which many of the big banks no longer do, a good broker can ensure that you receive the most appropriate finance, and ultimately access the funding as quickly as possible.

Because brokers have a wide portfolio of funders at their disposal, they’re not restricted by one bank’s specific lending criteria. For example, your business may not meet one bank’s criteria, but brokers have the ability to call upon other lenders, who may have different criteria.

Identifying the right type of finance

When identifying which form of funding is right for you, there are a few questions you should ask yourself before applying. These are:

What do I require finance for?

The best type of finance for you will depend on what the money will be used for. For new machinery, office equipment or vehicles, asset finance is likely to be the most suitable option for you. Meanwhile, if you’re looking to manage your business capital or bridge funding gaps, a cash flow loan could be the best way to do so. If you’re working with property and require a short-term loan, a bridging loan could be used to cover these gaps.

How long will I need to repay the loan?

This will affect which type of finance is best for you. For example, unsecured cash flow loans are shorter-term loans that can be used for a variety of purposes (such as supporting business growth, covering working capital shortfalls, providing funds for a VAT bill that is due, and any other valid reasons a business may have for raising cash). Alternatively, a secured loan, such as a commercial mortgage, can be repaid over a longer period of time.

How will the repayments fit into my business’s cash flow?

With profits in most industries narrowing due to inflation, this is a more important question than ever for small businesses. A finance repayment plan must fit within your budget going forward. In most cases, taking on finance is a risk, given that funding is usually issued with the express purpose of growing a business or increasing income. However, it’s important to ensure that you’ll be capable of making your agreed repayments in line with the payment schedule.

Stuart Wilkie, Head of Commercial Finance at Anglo Scottish, comments: “It’s little surprise that SMEs are being forced to turn away from the big banks, particularly in the current economic climate. In many cases, third party funders’ more commercial view to finance can enable businesses that were previously unable to secure finance to grow.

Even businesses which have successfully secured finance from a traditional bank may be disappointed to find out that their support begins and ends with the issuing of funds. When you choose a broker, you’ll get access to a trusted advisor, with the personal touch that big banks no longer seem to provide. We would always recommend that SME owners explore all their options before relying on a big bank.”

Managing Expenses and Credit in College: Tips and Strategies

College life can be overwhelming, and managing expenses and credit can be challenging. Many college students find themselves in debt due to overspending, poor money management, and lack of financial literacy. However, with a few smart strategies, you can manage your finances effectively and avoid falling into debt. In this post, we will discuss some tips and strategies to help you manage your expenses and credit in college, including how to use loans responsibly.


One of the most important things you can do to manage your finances effectively in college is to create a budget. A budget helps you track your expenses and income, plan your spending, and avoid overspending.

To create a budget, start by listing all your sources of income, including your part-time job, financial aid, scholarships, and any other sources of income. Next, list all your expenses, including tuition fees, rent, utilities, transportation, groceries, entertainment, and other expenses. Once you have a list of your expenses and income, you can determine how much you can afford to spend on each category of expenses. Make sure to prioritize your expenses and focus on the essential ones, such as tuition, rent, and groceries, before spending money on non-essentials.

Credit Cards

Credit cards can be a useful tool to help you build your credit score, but they can also be a source of debt if not used responsibly. If you decide to get a credit card, make sure to read the terms and conditions carefully, including the interest rates, fees, and rewards. Only use your credit card for necessary purchases, and pay off the balance in full every month to avoid interest charges. Try to limit your credit card spending to a certain amount each month, and avoid using it to cover expenses you cannot afford to pay for with cash.

Personal, Student, And Auto Loans

Taking out a loan can be an option to help you cover the costs of college, but it’s important to use them responsibly. Personal and student loans come with interest rates, fees, and varying arrangements, so make sure to research the different loan options available to you and choose the lender that provides you with the most convenient options.

Only borrow what you need, and try to pay off your loans as soon as possible to avoid accumulating too much interest. Also, consider applying for scholarships and grants to help reduce the amount of money you need to borrow.

For students in need of transportation, there are auto loan apps that enable you to get a decent ride with limited eligibility requirements. Before accepting a loan offer, review your budget to ensure you can afford the monthly payments as well as other costs of car ownership (insurance, maintenance, and gas). Click here to learn more about the application process, eligibility requirements, and terms.

Saving Money

One of the best ways to manage your expenses in college is to find ways to save money. Consider buying used textbooks instead of new ones, using public transportation instead of owning a car, and cooking your meals instead of eating out. Look for discounts and deals on essential items, and try to cut back on unnecessary expenses, such as eating out, buying clothes you don’t need, and going on expensive vacations.

Many establishments offer special discounts to students that can give you percentages off everyday goods and services. If you don’t see this advertised, don’t be afraid to ask a customer service representative about potential student offers.

Financial Literacy

Finally, it’s important to educate yourself about financial literacy. Take the time to learn about personal finance, including budgeting, saving, investing, and managing credit. You should also take advantage of opportunities to learn how to generate income as a college student.

Attend financial workshops and seminars, read financial books and blogs, and seek advice from financial experts if you need help. The more you know about personal finance, the better equipped you will be to manage your finances effectively and avoid debt.


Managing your expenses and credit in college can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. By creating a budget, using credit cards and loans responsibly, saving money, and educating yourself about personal finance, you can manage your finances effectively and avoid debt. Remember that financial literacy is a lifelong journey, and the more you learn about personal finance, the better equipped you will be to achieve your financial goals.

How to Manage Your Wealth into Retirement

Many people look forward to retirement – it’s a time to recuperate and rest after many years spent working and climbing the career ladder.

You’ll have a lot more time on your hands, but it always means you’ll have less cash because you no longer have a regular income. Without money coming in, some retirees must rethink their lifestyles and spending habits.

This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your retirement and do those things you always thought you would after finishing work. It just means you have to adjust your finances. Here are some helpful tips on how you can manage your wealth into retirement:

Investing in property

Putting money into property is a solid investment that can help fund your retirement. Buy-to-let properties provide a regular, monthly income – especially when it is in a good rental location. Looking for holiday properties such as lodges for sale can be a great way to both fund your retirement as well as give you a holiday home away from home. This will of course depend on the location of your lodge and the type of contract you go into.

A property (or a property portfolio) will typically outperform pensions in terms of return, but you need to be well-versed in your tax responsibilities. You can also cash in regularly by releasing equity.

Government bonds

Compared to other types of investment, this is considered safer because they are secured by the government and they can be directly bought through your DMO, broker, or your bank. These bonds or ‘gilts’ grant a government loan at a set interest rate and a steady source of income from annual coupon payments paid by the UK Government treasury.

This is a great opportunity to diversify your investment portfolio and spread the risk over several investments, especially as you approach retirement and your investment risk tolerance isn’t as high.


Downsizing can help you fund the lifestyle you want for your retirement as it can free up equity locked in the house. If you’ve got plenty of space but it’s just you or a loved one remaining, then moving into a smaller property could help free up some cash. This can be used to fund any lifelong plans like moving to the coast or closer to family.

Typically, smaller properties are cheaper run due to lower council tax bands and energy bills. Maintenance and repair costs are also likely to be cheaper, especially if the home is a new build.

Moving abroad

Overseas property is a big financial investment but it’s a great way to manage your wealth. Popular destinations to buy abroad include spots in Spain, Portugal, and France because it is cheaper for Brits to live in Europe than in the UK. The lower living costs and energy prices mean your savings won’t be drained on your utilities and other everyday expenses.

Everyday necessities like groceries and toiletries are also cheaper in Europe, along with facilities like hiring painters, electricians – the lot.

Step-by-Step Guide to Applying for the Employee Retention Credit

Companies all around the country have felt the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. The federal government has established a number of relief initiatives, such as the Employee Retention Credit (ERC), to help reduce some of the monetary burdens.

As a refundable tax credit, the ERC provides an incentive for companies to continue paying their workers during the pandemic. It is crucial for business owners to know how to qualify for this credit, as it can bring significant financial assistance to companies hit by COVID-19. 

In this guide, we will provide a step-by-step overview of the ERC application process. We’ll explain the eligibility requirements, and the credit calculation, and provide tips for maximizing your credit amount. Our mission is to facilitate the utilization of this critical assistance program by businesses so that they may continue paying their employees despite the current economic climate. 

So, whether you’re a small business owner or an accountant helping clients navigate these complex rules, this guide is for you. Let’s dive in and learn more about the Employee Retention Credit.

Eligibility for the Employee Retention Credit

To be eligible for the Employee Retention Credit, a business must meet certain criteria. The first step is to determine if your business is eligible at all. Let’s take a closer look at the eligibility requirements, the different criteria that businesses must meet, and some examples of businesses that may be eligible.

Different Eligibility Criteria

To join the ERC, a company must satisfy two sets of qualifying requirements. The first look at whether or not there has been a significant drop in gross receipts for the company. The second is a test for companies whose operations have been temporarily or permanently halted because of government orders connected to COVID-19.

There are many different types of businesses that may be eligible for the ERC. For example, a restaurant that has experienced a decline in revenue due to the pandemic may qualify for the credit. Similarly, a hair salon that was forced to shut down for several weeks due to a state order may also be eligible for the ERC.

Calculating the Employee Retention Credit

Once a business has determined that they are eligible for the Employee Retention Credit, the next step is to calculate the credit amount. Let’s take a closer look at the credit calculation process, including how to calculate qualified wages and the credit amount. 

The Employee Retention Credit is calculated based on qualified wages paid to employees during the eligible period. The credit is equal to 50% of qualified wages paid, up to a maximum of $10,000 per employee. This means that the maximum credit per employee is $5,000.

How to Calculate Qualified Wages

A company must first identify whose earnings qualify before it can begin to compute eligible wages. Wages received by employees during the qualifying period, defined as the time during which either gross receipts dropped significantly or activities were suspended in whole or in part due to government orders relating to COVID-19, are considered qualified wages. 

All salaries paid during the qualifying period are eligible for credit for enterprises with 100 or fewer employees. If your company has more than 100 workers, only earnings given to those who were on leave during the qualifying time period will be counted.

How to Calculate the Credit Amount

Once qualified wages have been determined, the credit amount can be calculated. The credit is equal to 50% of qualified wages paid, up to a maximum of $10,000 per employee. This means that the maximum credit per employee is $5,000.

For example, if a business paid $20,000 in qualified wages to an employee during the eligible period, the credit would be $10,000 (50% of $20,000). However, because the maximum credit per employee is $5,000, the credit would be limited to $5,000.

In summary, calculating the Employee Retention Credit involves determining which wages qualify, calculating the credit based on those wages, and applying any maximum limits. Understanding this calculation process is important for businesses looking to apply for the credit.

How to Apply for the Employee Retention Credit

Now that you understand the eligibility requirements and credit calculation process for the Employee Retention Credit, it’s time to learn how to apply for the credit. Let’s take a closer look at the application process, the different application methods, and a step-by-step guide to applying for credit. 

To apply for the Employee Retention Credit, a business must complete the appropriate forms and submit them to the IRS. The application process varies depending on the business’s situation, such as whether they are claiming the credit on an employment tax return or filing for an advance payment of the credit.

Different Application Methods

There are two primary methods for applying for the Employee Retention Credit: claiming the credit on an employment tax return or filing for an advance payment of the credit. Claiming the credit on an employment tax return involves reporting the credit on Form 941 while filing for an advance payment of the credit involves submitting Form 7200.

Step-by-Step Guide to Applying for the Credit

Here is a step-by-step guide to applying for the Employee Retention Credit: 

Determine eligibility: Before applying for the credit, make sure that your business meets the eligibility requirements. 

Calculate the credit: Calculate the credit amount based on the qualified wages paid during the eligible period.

Choose application method: Determine which application method is appropriate for your business.

Complete the appropriate forms: Complete either Form 941 or Form 7200, depending on the application method chosen.

Submit the forms: Submit the completed forms to the IRS, either by mail or electronically. 

Claim credit on tax return: If claiming the credit on Form 941, report the credit on the appropriate line of the form. 

Receive credit: The credit will be applied to your business’s payroll tax liability or issued as an advance payment, depending on the application method chosen.

Tips and Best Practices for Applying for the Employee Retention Credit

While applying for the Employee Retention Credit can be a relatively straightforward process, there are some common mistakes to avoid and best practices to follow to ensure that businesses receive the maximum credit amount possible. Let’s take a closer look at some tips and best practices for applying for credit.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when applying for Employee Retention Credit: 

Failing to meet the eligibility requirements: Make sure that your business meets all of the eligibility requirements before applying for the credit. 

Incorrectly calculating qualified wages: Incorrectly calculating qualified wages can result in an incorrect credit amount. 

Failing to claim the credit on the appropriate form: Make sure that you claim the credit on the appropriate form and in the correct section.

Tips for Maximizing the Credit Amount

Here are some tips for maximizing the credit amount when applying for Employee Retention Credit:

Review all potential eligibility criteria: In order to get the most out of the credit, you should check that you meet all of the requirements, such as a considerable drop in gross receipts or a full or partial stoppage of activities owing to government orders. 

Take advantage of the full $10,000 per employee: Make sure that you are paying qualified wages up to the maximum of $10,000 per employee, which can result in a higher credit amount. 

Consider retroactively claiming the credit: Businesses can retroactively claim the credit for prior quarters in which they were eligible, so be sure to review past quarters to determine if there is any additional credit that can be claimed.

Best Practices for Recordkeeping and Documentation

Here are some best practices for recordkeeping and documentation when applying for the Employee Retention Credit: 

Keep accurate and complete records: Keep accurate and complete records of all wages paid during the eligible period, as well as any other documentation required to support your claim for the credit.

Retain documentation for at least four years: Retain all documentation related to the credit for at least four years, in case of an audit or other review by the IRS. 

Seek professional assistance if necessary: Consider seeking professional assistance from a tax accountant or attorney to ensure that your business is properly calculating the credit and maintaining appropriate documentation.


In conclusion, the Employee Retention Credit can be a valuable source of financial relief for businesses impacted by COVID-19. This credit can help businesses retain their employees and continue operations during these challenging times. However, it is important for businesses to understand the eligibility requirements, calculate the credit accurately, and properly apply for the credit in order to receive the maximum amount possible. By following the steps outlined in this guide, businesses can take advantage of the Employee Retention Credit and receive the financial assistance they need to weather the current economic climate.

Grow Your Wealth When You Invest in One of These Types of Businesses

Many people think of their investment portfolio as a collection of stocks, bonds, and other financial investments. But it can be much more than that. Think of shows like Shark Tank and you will have a better idea of what this can entail. If you’re looking to diversify your portfolio and add some new opportunities to invest in, consider adding one of these basic business types to your investments:

Delivery Fleet Business

If you know how to run a fleet business, and you can offer advice to budding entrepreneurs for scaling, then put your money and your time into investing in a delivery fleet. Delivery drivers are more and more needed not only on a large scale but also on a small scale. It was wise investors who helped companies like Doordash become what they are today.

Delivery fleet businesses are a great opportunity for investors. These types of companies can be profitable and viable, especially when they’re well-run. As an investor, you can suggest that the company use corporate fuel cards and offer other key ideas to help them save on fuel costs which improve your profits. Plus, more and more companies are looking to fleet services using hybrid vehicles that get better gas mileage as well.  Find budding companies with great ideas and leverage your expertise to help them grow.

Cryptocurrency Projects

Investors nowadays are seeing the value of some of these cryptocurrency assets. A cryptocurrency is a form of digital currency that is created and stored electronically. Cryptocurrencies use decentralized control as opposed to centralized electronic money and central banking systems. The decentralized control of each cryptocurrency works through a blockchain to record transactions between users. These currencies often help fund other projects as well. These projects may help move technology innovation forward even more.

AI Tech Companies

AI is a hot topic right now. It’s the technology that will revolutionize our lives and how we do business, but what exactly is AI? Most people think of robots and other sentient creations taking over the world, but the truth is not quite so extreme. AI can be used to automate simple tasks. It can take a repetitive task and do it over and over again at a much faster pace than you can and sometimes with better accuracy. If you’re looking for a good investment, now is the time to invest in AI technology.

Cutting Edge Grocery Stores

Imagine going to a grocery store and just walking out the door with your food without needing to go through a checkout line. A cutting-edge grocery store is one that has a focus on technology and innovation to provide customers with a better shopping experience. A traditional grocery store might have a few touch-screen kiosks, but it’s nothing compared to what you’ll find at an innovative grocery store like Amazon Go. A tech-focused grocery store offers numerous conveniences that people appreciate. The ability to shop and pay as you walk out the door without needing to scan everything is powerful.

Accounting Companies

While accounting and money management are pretty basic, accounting firms are a great investment especially if they offer a new angle that includes technology tools. Accounting firms help businesses get their finances in order if they have a great idea for technology, they may need investors to help them get it off the ground. Look for new ideas, ones that are on trend with technology, and more.

Home Rental Management Companies

You may not want to oversee rental properties yourself, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a slice of the rental property pie. Investing in home rental companies means that you will be getting some of the profits every month, sometimes from a portfolio of hundreds of different properties. Don’t forget about basic businesses like these when you are considering where to invest your money and grow your wealth.

Cybersecurity Businesses

Cybersecurity is a growing business. Even if you know nothing about data security, what you should know is that with more and more devices that connect to the internet, there is more need for cybersecurity. The value of data is increasing every day, and that means there’s more money to be made to protect it. Because cybersecurity is such an important service for companies today, you can feel confident knowing that demand for these services will remain steady even during economic downturns.

Outstanding Debt? Don’t Get Caught Short

James Stephenson, commercial litigation legal director at Napthens solicitors, talks through the legal options your business can take when seeking payment for outstanding debts.

With the new tax year having just commenced, it’s a good time to review outstanding debts and take proactive steps to try and minimise or limit your business’s exposure to them. This is particularly the case given financial uncertainty in the market coupled with the ever-growing cost of living crisis, increasing costs throughout the supply chain and the consistent rise in registered company insolvencies since the pandemic.

The process for recovering outstanding debts from companies and individuals is initially very similar, but differs later in the process. As always, seeking specialist advice is always recommended but there are several steps you can take now in collecting outstanding debt.

Initial stage

The first port of call is to send your debtor a gentle reminder that they have missed their repayments. Set a timeframe of around seven days for payment to be made. If goodwill can be maintained at this stage, this approach can often help to preserve the business relationship for future opportunities.

If there is no response from the debtor, a more formal request for payment could be sent. It can refer to escalation to formal proceedings or that you will pass on the issue to your solicitors in the near future.

Disputed or undisputed debt?

If there is still no response or payment, you may be left with little option but to pursue matters more formally. A lot depends on whether the debt has been previously disputed by the debtor in any way. If it has, and the dispute is genuine, then you would need to proceed on the basis that it is a disputed debt.

Disputed debts – court proceedings

For disputed debts, court proceedings would need to be initiated to seek a judgment in respect of the outstanding sum along with interest and legal costs. Prior to court proceedings, a formal letter of claim should be sent demanding payment and explaining the consequences to the debtor if payment is not made.

It’s crucial that you seek legal advice at this stage to ensure that a compliant letter of claim is sent to your debtor.

The aim of initiating court proceedings is to either secure a judgment at the end of the proceedings or to achieve a beneficial settlement prior to a trial. If a judgment is obtained, it may not result in payment from your debtor and you would then need to take steps to enforce the judgment. This can vary depending on the debtor’s circumstances and the extent of their assets.

Undisputed debts – statutory demand and insolvency proceedings

For undisputed debts, the approach you take will depend on whether your debt is due from a company or from an individual.

Company debtor

A statutory demand can be served on a company for debts which exceed £750. This is a formal demand for payment prior to winding-up proceedings and allows a debtor three weeks to make payment. If payment is not made then a company is deemed unable to pay its debts as they fall due – being one of the specific grounds on which a winding-up order may be made.

As an alternative, a non-statutory demand letter could be sent giving the company just three days to make payment. If that fails, then a winding-up petition could then be presented.

Just because a statutory demand or a non-statutory demand letter has been issued to the debtor, it does not mean that a winding-up petition must then be presented at court. However, the threat of future winding-up proceedings can often be a useful tool to focus a company’s mind and prioritise their payment rota.

Individual debtors

Where your debtor is an individual, the financial threshold before a statutory demand can be served on them is much higher at £5,000.

As with a company, an unsatisfied statutory demand leads to the assumption that the individual is unable to pay their debts and this can be used as a precursor to presenting a bankruptcy petition. A bankruptcy petition does not have to be presented following a statutory demand and, often, the influence of a statutory demand can lead to repayment or settlement proposals.

Prompt action is essential when recovering debts, particularly where you are concerned that your debtor may have several creditors or a significant level of debt. Each debt is bespoke and each debtor is different so it is wise to involve an expert at the earliest stage to ensure the best chance of recovering anything owed.

Investing in the Start-Up Stars of Tomorrow

Investing in Britain’s most promising young businesses has become increasingly popular, resulting in record years for venture capital fundraising.

Demand has been fuelled by restrictions on pension allowances for higher earners and tax changes affecting buy-to-let investors. Further changes, including cuts to CGT and dividend allowances from April 6th 2023, may stoke demand further.

But why have start-ups become the go to place for wealthier investors?

Alex Davies, CEO and Founder of Wealth Club, the UK’s largest broker of venture capital investments said:

“The number of privately held companies valued at $1 billion or more, known as ‘unicorns’, has passed 1,000 globally, with the UK home to more than anywhere else in Europe. A sizeable number, including Zoopla, Depop and Many Pets, received funding through VCTs, EIS or SEIS.

These government backed schemes have been key to the UK start-up boom. By supporting the creation and expansion of young companies they create jobs, drive innovation and grow the economy. In return the generous tax reliefs help to offset risks for investors, crucial in a market where many companies will ultimately fail.

Wealthier investors, who are locked out of mainstream tax shelters like pensions and are already maxing out their ISA, should consider tax efficient venture capital investors as an important part of their wider investment portfolio for three key reasons. There is still time this tax year to invest but with many offers closing before 5th April. The clock is ticking.”

Tax relief

When you invest in start-ups that qualify for the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) you could benefit from several tax reliefs. You get 30% income tax relief upfront, tax-free growth and you can defer the tax on capital gains made elsewhere. In addition, after two years your investment should be free of inheritance tax. If the investment doesn’t go to plan, you can offset losses against your tax bill. 

Potential for impressive returns

Because you are investing at an early stage, super charged returns are possible. For instance, EIS investors in Bloom & Wild have achieved returns of up to 18x their original investment. Meanwhile, investors who backed Oxgene, a UK gene therapy company, in 2013 enjoyed returns of up to 20 times.

Low correlation to the stock market and also a bit of fun

Investing in start-ups also gives you diversification. The types of companies you can invest in will most likely be very different from those in the rest of your portfolio. It can also be a lot of fun, whether that is from watching one of your companies grow from an acorn to an oak or from investing in a med tech or pharma company that creates something that saves lives or makes people better.

What are the risks? 

It is riskier to invest in smaller businesses than in large ones. Statistically, early-stage companies are more likely to fail than to succeed. They are also illiquid. Such investments are only suitable for more experienced investors who can afford to lose the money they invest.

That said, for those type of investors, the risk is vastly reduced by the generous tax reliefs on offer. Indeed, if you are an additional-rate taxpayer, your downside on every pound invested in EIS could be as little as 38.5 pence. Conversely when things go well, the tax relief supercharges returns. 

There are a number of start-ups currently raising funds through Wealth Club:

Glyconics EIS – making diabetes screening faster and more accurate

Invest in a MedTech company that could make early diabetes screening faster and more accurate – saving healthcare providers £millions. Glyconics has developed a patented point-of-care device that uses Infrared Spectroscopy (IRS) to detect diabetes highly accurately, more quickly than conventional methods (10 seconds versus potentially several weeks) and up to 90% more cheaply.

The Bunch EIS – making it easier for shared households to manage their bills

Backed by Haatch Ventures and SFC Capital, The Bunch has developed an innovative bills management platform which secures competitive rates from various suppliers, consolidates all the bills into a single monthly payment and provides excellent customer service. Having scaled in the student market, the Company is now looking to expand first in the private rental market, primarily through B2B partnerships, then in the wider homeowner market.


Filament EIS – helping private equity firms originate deals more effectively

Proven, profitable, high-growth SaaS company Filament has created a data platform that uses machine learning to help investment teams originate deals and track market signals in a fraction of the time. The platform is used by major European investment firms with total assets under management of c.£120bn. Set up in 2016, Filament has been profitable since 2018 and re-invested its profits to fund growth and platform development. This is the first and potentially only opportunity for external investors to invest – and is only available through Wealth Club.


Thrive Therapeutic Software EIS – helping employers improve mental health in the work place

Thrive Therapeutic Software has created a clinically approved smartphone application designed to improve mental health in the workplace. Thrive is registered as a Class I medical device by MHRA, and ISO-accredited. It currently reports £2.5 million annual recurring revenue from clients including the NHS, Aviva, AXA, Santander and Serco.

Wealth & Finance Magazine Announces the Winner of the 2023 Retirement Planning Awards

United Kingdom, 2023 – Wealth & Finance magazine unveils the winners of this year’s Retirement Planning Awards.

Retirement planning is an essential part of life. More than a safety net, it is a way of ensuring peace of mind and comfort. Here we explore a collection of businesses and individuals which guarantee the efficient and sustainable management of assets and wealth. Aiding us in the present and positively impacting our futures, these entities help us to secure a stress free life for ourselves and those around us.

Speaking on the success of these deserving winners, Awards Co-ordinator Kaven Cooper said: “I am delighted to be part of the recognition of our winners, as they continue to develop their solutions and services that greatly benefit the population. Wishing them all the best for their future endeavours, and a sincere congratulations on their achievements.”

To learn more about our deserving award winners and to gain insight into the working practices of the “best of the best”, please visit https://www.wealthandfinance-news.com/awards/retirement-planning-awards/ where you can access the winners supplement.




Note to editors.

About Wealth & Finance International

Wealth & Finance International is a quarterly publication dedicated to delivering high quality informative and up-to-the-minute global business content. It is published by AI Global Media Ltd, a publishing house that has reinvigorated corporate finance news and reporting.

Wealth & Finance is committed to keep you up-to-date with the fast-paced and everchanging world of finance. The brand features businesses and finance leaders that are determined to help clients through their financial struggles and provide them with thorough advice on how to look after their wealth and assets.

About AI Global Media

Since 2010 AI Global Media has been committed to creating engaging B2B content that informs our readers and allows them to market their business to a global audience. We create content for and about firms across a range of industries.

Today, we have 14 unique brands, each of which serves a specific industry or region. Each brand covers the latest news in its sector and publishes a digital magazine and newsletter which is read by a global audience. Our flagship brand, Acquisition International, distributes a monthly digital magazine to a global circulation of 85,000, who are treated to a range of features and news pieces on the latest developments in the global corporate market.

Alongside this, we have a luxury-lifestyle magazine, LUXlife, which appeals to a range of high-net-worth individuals, offering them insight into the latest products, experiences and innovations to ensure they can live the high-life to its fullest.

Here’s Everything You Need to Know for the New Tax Year

Tax experts at SJD Accountancy have shared a checklist of all the tax changes set to impact the 4.3m people registered as self-employed in the UK from April 2023

We are now in the new tax year, meaning it’s crucial that everyone is aware of how any of the new changes may impact them, especially in light of the cost of living crisis, where financial planning has become more important than ever.

With around 4.3m people registered as self-employed in the UK, tax experts at SJD Accountancy are urging freelancers, contractors and business owners to be proactive in their approach to tax planning so they are on the front foot with operating in the most tax-efficient way possible.

Joanne Thorne, Technical Compliance Manager at SJD Accountancy, shares everything the self-employed need to know ahead of 6th April 2023:

“It’s absolutely vital that the self-employed are aware of the ways in which they can be as tax efficient as possible. With the cost of living crisis and rising overheads making it challenging for many businesses to thrive in the current climate, being aware of the new tax changes is a great place to start.

“1. Changes to Corporation Tax:

“For those operating through a Limited Company, the main tax rate will rise from 19-25% from April 2023, but this will differ according to the individual company’s profit for that year.

“The full 25% will only apply to companies with a qualifying profit of more than £250,000 and the rate for small businesses will remain at 19% for those with a qualifying annual profit of more than £50,000.

“For those small businesses who have profits higher than £50,000 (lower limit) and £250,000 (upper limit), the government has introduced Marginal Relief, providing a seemingly gradual increase in The Corporation Tax rate between the small profits rate (19%) and the main rate (25%) from April 2023 to help lessen the impact on smaller businesses.

“The reality is however, that profit over £50k and less than £250k will actually be taxed at a marginal rate of 26.5%, which aims to bring the overall profit in line with the 25% rate.

“2. Dividend tax changes

“Today (6th April 2023) marks a reduction to the tax free allowance for dividend payments which sees the current tax-free allowance being halved from £2,000 to £1,000. This allowance will halve again to £500 in April 2024.”

“3. Income Tax Relief

“The rate of income tax will remain frozen until April 2028, applying to the personal tax allowance of £12,570 and the higher rate income tax threshold of £50,270. The Chancellor did opt to lower the £150,000 threshold at which taxpayers start paying the additional rate of income tax (45%) to £125,140.

“National Insurance Contributions upper earnings and profits limit have also been frozen until 2028.

“This update may mean that those fortunate enough to earn more income over the coming years may incur higher tax rates sooner than anticipated, so it’s worth being aware of how this will impact you when planning ahead.

“4. VAT threshold frozen

“The VAT threshold of £85,000 will be maintained until 1 April 2026, meaning anyone who is increasing prices to help absorb the rising cost of materials and services may need to register for VAT sooner than expected.

“5. Changes to pension contributions

“From 6 April 2023, the standard annual pension allowance will rise from £40,000 to £60,000 with the lifetime allowance charge being removed altogether.

“Pension contributions are a key tax-deductible benefit for the self-employed and provide immediate tax relief by increasing thew amount of money you can earn before tax, while also helping business owners plan for the future.”

SJD Accountancy offer a range of support and advice for the self-employed community on their resource hub.

How VA Loans Can Help Veterans Save Money

When it comes to some of the lesser known and undervalued benefits that veterans and current service members of the US military, it might be fair to say that the VA loans program is one of the most significant and most potentially life-changing. If you are currently unsure as to whether you would be eligible for VA loan assistance, then all you need to do is head over to WhatsMyPayment to use the handy and simple VA loan calculator. Simply input the relevant information and you will soon find out exactly where you stand in terms of getting help for buying a house.

To give you a better understanding of just how massive the impact of a VA loan can be, here are some of the many ways in which getting a VA loan can help veterans to save money.

No Down Payments Are Required

Probably the single biggest benefit of a VA loan is the fact that it offers 100% financing, which means that no down payment is required in order to qualify for the assistance. Compared to a more traditional mortgage which requires at least a minimum of 3% upfront, this is a big boost to veterans who have not saved money for a deposit.

As a concept, 3% might not seem like much, but for a property of around $350,000, that equates to having to have funds of $10,500. Without this requirement, a VA loan gives all veterans a much better choice of being able to afford the home of their dreams.

There Are Limited Closing Costs

With an effort to make sure that VA loans stay as affordable for qualifiers as possible, the VA limits a lot of borrower fees that can be much higher elsewhere. For example, a lender can only charge a flat 1% origination fee. This, along with a handful of other limits, helps to keep the closing costs of any property transaction to a minimum. In addition to this, it is always worth enquiring about how many of the various closing costs the seller is willing to pay for, in order to get the property transaction completed in the timeliest manner possible.

There Are No Private Mortgage Insurance Requirements

Another perk of VA loans is that there is no requirement for private mortgage insurance. In other situations, PMI is required when a borrower is not able to put a 20% or more down payment on the purchase, as this helps to protect the lender if the loan ultimately ends up defaulting. In the VA system, this simply isn’t a part of the process, and therefore Vet home buyers are able to save a lot of money by effectively not being forced to pay for an extra insurance premium that they don’t necessarily need or will not necessarily benefit from.

There Is No Home Loan Limit

If you are an eligible borrower with full entitlement credentials, then there will be no loan limit set on your by the VA. The only limit you will have to contend with is the limit that might be set by the lender that you choose. Depending on the practices of the specific lender in question, this loan limit will tend to vary, but something that will give you clarity is the fact the limit will never have been imposed as a result of the VA loan system.

Super Competitive Interest Rates

Another factor that puts VA loans above any other type of home loan is the fact they are able to boast such competitive interest rates. The generous and secure backing that the VA program receives helps to reduce a lot of the risk in the lending that they do, which in turn enables them to offer much lower rates of interest for the home buyers to have to add to their existing costs. Simply put, the less you have to spend on interest payments each month, the more you will have either to save in your account, or to spend elsewhere on other elements of your new VA secured home.

A Guide To Managed IT For Financial Institutions

In today’s digital era, the success of any business relies heavily on technology. It has transformed the operation of financial institutions, enabling them to implement advanced risk management, adhere to regulations, provide online banking, and facilitate mobile payments. However, as technology grows increasingly complex and cyber threats become more advanced, managing IT in-house can be daunting.

That’s where managed IT services come into play, offering a comprehensive solution for a financial institution’s IT infrastructure and cybersecurity needs. A team of specialists can ensure the organization’s technology is secure, efficient, and compliant, allowing them to focus on their primary business goals. You may contact expertip.net for managed IT if you’re a financial services firm looking to hire a trusted service provider.

Continue reading to learn how managed IT services can improve your financial institution’s technology infrastructure, fortify your cybersecurity posture, and streamline your IT operations.

Understanding Managed IT

Managed IT is an all-encompassing approach to overseeing an organization’s IT infrastructure and cybersecurity requirements. It involves delegating IT operations to a third-party provider specializing in maintaining IT systems.

Managed IT provides proactive support to guarantee the organization’s technology is constantly up-to-date, secure, and streamlined. This includes regular supervision, maintenance, and updates to its network, servers, applications, and security systems.

Additionally, managed IT services provide help desk support to deal with any glitches that may arise. Their services include troubleshooting, resolving technical issues, and providing training to personnel.

A notable benefit of managed IT services is their adaptability and customizability. The provider can personalize the services to align with the organization’s exceptional needs, whether providing network management, cybersecurity services, cloud services, or data backup and recovery. 

Importance Of Managed IT To Financial Institutions

Here are several significant benefits highlighting the importance of managed IT to a financial institution.

  • Security And Compliance: Managed IT services empower financial institutions with robust security and compliance measures to safeguard sensitive data and information. Amid the increasing number of cyber threats and regulations, having an all-inclusive security and compliance strategy is imperative. Managed IT providers can implement security measures like firewalls, intrusion detection, and data encryption to prevent cyber-attacks and ensure compliance with industry regulations.
  • Business Continuity And Disaster Recovery: Managed IT solutions can provide disaster recovery and business continuity strategies that diminish the impact of unforeseen events like natural calamities, blackouts, or cyber-attacks. Financial institutions can promptly resume operations, minimize downtime, and ensure business continuity with a comprehensive disaster recovery plan.
  • Cost Savings: Managed IT services help financial institutions save costs. By outsourcing IT operations to a managed IT provider, they can reduce the need for in-house IT staff and infrastructure, resulting in significant cost savings.
  • Increased Efficiency And Productivity: Financial institutions can focus on their core business objectives and improve productivity and efficiency with a dedicated team of experts handling IT operations. 

Selecting A Managed IT Service Provider

Choosing a managed IT service provider is crucial, as it can impact your company’s safety, dependability, and efficiency.

One primary consideration is the provider’s due diligence and screening process. You need to ensure the provider has robust security protocols to safeguard sensitive data and a thorough procedure for examining staff and contractors.

Another essential aspect is the provider’s Service Level Agreements (SLAs). These should specify the level of service you should receive, including promptness in answering support requests, uninterrupted operation guarantees for critical systems, and timelines for resolving any issues that may occur. It’s also wise to search for providers offering customized SLAs tailored to your needs.

When evaluating potential providers, check out verified client reviews. This can give you valuable insights into their performance in managing IT services for financial institutions. 

Implementation And Best Practices

Preparation and strategizing are critical when deploying managed IT services. Collaborate with your provider to formulate a comprehensive plan outlining specific services and implementation timelines. The strategy should also include backup options for unforeseen events during implementation.

Effectively engaging stakeholders is another best practice. Keeping your team well-informed and engaged during the implementation process is vital. This involves communicating subsequent changes in workflows, processes, or systems.

Training and assistance are also fundamental elements of a successful deployment. Your managed IT service provider should train your team on new systems or procedures to ensure a seamless transition. Continued support should also be accessible to address any concerns. 


Given the demand for technology solutions, it’s best for financial institutions to partner with a managed IT provider with the knowledge and expertise to guide them through changes and help them achieve growth.

How Digitalisation Is Reshaping Wealth Management

Digitalization has been transforming industries worldwide, and wealth management is no exception. While wealth management has traditionally been a conservative industry, relying on personal relationships and time-tested investment strategies, digital innovations urge wealth managers to embrace digital solutions to improve efficiency, enhance the client experience, and gain a competitive edge.

This article explores how digitalization is reshaping the wealth management landscape and its implications for both wealth managers and their clients. Read on.

1. Automation And Efficiency

Digital solutions are automating many manual, time-consuming tasks in wealth management. This improves efficiency and allows wealth managers to focus on more value-added services. One example of this is Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Wealth managers are now learning how to implement RPA in accounting as a vital skill in this new era. This assists in streamlining various accounting processes, reducing the risk of human error and enhancing operational efficiency.

2. Enhanced Client Experience

Digital platforms, such as robo-advisors and mobile apps, provide clients with on-demand access to their portfolios and allow them to manage their investments proactively. This enhances the overall client experience and enables wealth managers to offer more tailored services. 

Furthermore, clients increasingly expect a seamless, digital-first experience when interacting with their wealth managers. That said, wealth managers must have on-call tech support from Tenecom and other service providers to keep providing uninterrupted experiences to their clients.

3. Advanced Analytics and Insights

The use of data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) allows wealth managers to understand their client’s needs and preferences better, enabling them to provide more personalized advice. Additionally, advanced analytics can help wealth managers identify new market opportunities and optimize investment strategies.

4. Democratization Of The Wealth Management Industry

Digitalization is breaking down barriers to entry in the wealth management industry. By leveraging digital platforms, smaller firms can compete with their larger counterparts, offering lower fees and more accessible services. This has led to increased competition, driving innovation and better outcomes for clients.

5. Regulatory Compliance

Regulatory requirements have become more complex and demanding in recent years, posing challenges for wealth managers. Digital solutions can help automate and streamline compliance processes, reducing the risk of errors and making it easier for wealth managers to meet their regulatory obligations.

Furthermore, wealth managers should prioritize cybersecurity as they embrace digital solutions. Protecting clients’ sensitive data and maintaining trust are crucial for success. By implementing robust security measures and investing in employee training, wealth managers can ensure a secure digital environment, further enhancing the client experience and fostering long-term relationships.

Adapting To The Digital Future

As digitalization continues reshaping the wealth management landscape, established players and new entrants must adapt to remain competitive. Here are some key strategies for success in the digital age:

1. Embrace Innovation

Wealth managers must be willing to embrace new technologies and adopt an innovative mindset. This involves exploring new digital solutions, investing in research and development, and being open to change.

2. Invest In Talent

Digital transformation requires a skilled workforce with technology, data analytics, and cybersecurity expertise. Wealth managers must invest in attracting, developing, and retaining top talent to drive innovation and ensure their organizations are well-equipped for the digital age. 

3. Focus On Client Experience

In the era of digitalization, clients expect a seamless, personalized experience. Wealth managers must prioritize enhancing the client experience by leveraging digital solutions and offering tailored data-driven advice.

4. Collaborate With Fintechs

To keep up with the rapid pace of change, wealth managers are adopting Financial Technology (Fintech). Fintech refers to technological advancements aiming to automate and improve the use and delivery of financial services. With this, wealth managers can benefit from partnering with fintech firms that specialize in cutting-edge digital solutions. These partnerships can help wealth managers access innovative technologies and improve their offerings without having to build everything in-house.

5. Stay Ahead Of Regulatory Changes

As regulatory requirements evolve, wealth managers must stay informed and adapt their compliance processes accordingly. Digital solutions can help automate and streamline these processes, ensuring wealth managers remain compliant and avoid costly penalties. 


The digitalization of wealth management is transforming the industry, ushering in a new era of innovation, efficiency, and personalization. As wealth managers embrace digital solutions, they are better equipped to meet the evolving needs of their clients and stay competitive in a rapidly changing landscape.

The future of wealth management lies in the ability to harness the power of digitalization, providing unparalleled value to clients and setting the stage for a new era of growth and prosperity in the industry.

Today’s Most Profitable Small Business Niches

The landscape of modern business is in a constant state of change. That principle is especially true when it comes to the most profitable sectors, segments, and niches. In the digital era, there are all sorts of new opportunities for entrepreneurs who want to make a mark in a new field, like cryptocurrency services, IT consulting, and cybersecurity.

However, some of today’s top performers in terms of profitability include stalwarts like commercial transport services and franchise restaurants. One notable change in recent years is the rapid growth of the medical services sector, which has now grown to include customer relations, billing, and insurance negotiation. Another area that is rising quickly up the chart is website design. Here are pertinent details about today’s profit makers in the small business arena.

Commercial Transport

Fleet managers face a daunting array of responsibilities. In addition to overseeing maintenance, on-time delivery, driver safety, federal transportation rules, and fuel efficiency, they need to keep track of mundane but crucial information about each vehicle in the fleet. That includes VINs (vehicle identification numbers), those seemingly insignificant identifiers etched onto every vehicle sold.

In commercial fleet management, however, VINs offer crucial information. Not only do supervisors use them to keep track of warranty details, but they also rely on VINs to find out about recent safety-related vehicle recalls, insurance rates, and registration profiles. It’s imperative for fleet management teams to know where to find VINs on every vehicle they oversee and learn to interpret the meaning of the individual digits.

Restaurant Franchises

The food segment of the economy has been on a steady comeback path since late 2022. In comparison to the struggling mom-and-pop sector, franchise restaurants are performing well for the first time in several years. There are several reasons for the good fortune, including health-conscious menus, a new focus on delivery, and intensive marketing by franchisors. While it’s tempting to assume that the big-name franchises are leading the way in the new growth surge, that’s not the case. Instead, smaller, newer companies are gaining traction and market share in a massive field where the old names are beginning to lose out to fresh ideas and menu items.

Medical Billing & Customer Service

For more than a decade, several ancillary services connected to the medical establishment and larger healthcare sector have been enjoying steady growth. Chief among the sub-categories are billing support and customer-related tasks like scheduling and follow-up. While billing was the first major growth area of the niche, service-related chores are gaining ground as doctors, psychiatrists, and dentists discover the freedom that comes with outsourcing the entire customer facing portion of their practices.

Website Design

Coding is fast becoming the hot job choice for independent owners who enjoy being solo entrepreneurs who work from home. Website design, based on knowledge of computer languages like HTML and JavaScript, is the favourite among career changers and older adults who want a good paying job they can do from the comfort of their computer chairs. It takes about six months to learn enough code to work in the field, and many people choose to work on the side while traveling.

Reduce Warehouse Costs With These Proven Strategies

An efficient warehouse helps you save money on storage, shipping, and inventory management. Meeting the demands of your customers on time can bring more revenue for the business. However, the cost of maintaining a warehouse can be significantly high.

Labor, equipment, fuel, electricity, and water add to your expenses. If you don’t find ways to reduce them, you might end up drowning in debt. In addition to that, an inefficient warehouse lowers your revenue due to poor supply chain management. If your customers receive faulty goods or experience late delivery, you risk losing their confidence and satisfaction.

Reducing warehouse costs is imperative to improve your sustainability. Most companies find ways to improve the efficiency of their warehouse layout. You can also seek expert advice in warehouse tracking from Lowry or similar ones. 

Here’s an in-depth list of tips for doing so:

1. Conduct A Warehouse Audit

Before you start investing in cost-efficient technologies, running a warehouse audit is essential. This step helps you understand your warehouse’s current state and identify improvement areas.

Here are some ways to help evaluate your warehouse:

  • Focus on what to audit.
  • Discover improvement areas by checking quality, safety, and organizational performance.
  • Start looking for solutions based on the findings.

With a successful audit, you can ensure your warehouse is operating at its full potential. Using these insights can make processes more efficient, reducing your expenses.

2. Leverage Technology 

After the audit, it’s time to eliminate inefficiencies using technologies.

Here’s a list of some of the warehousing tools that can help improve your productivity:

  • Warehouse management softwareallows you to track your inventory and manage your employees. You can monitor the number of items in stock, where they came from, and where they went. To gain in-depth insights, consider researching ‘What is warehouse management software.’ It helps you discover its features and learn how to pick the proper manufacturer for you.
  • Radio-frequency identificationor RFID tags are tiny electronic chips embedded in products. It lets you identify them, track their location, and speed up the picking process. An RFID reader and scanner can read information off the tags. When a tag receives a signal from the reader, it sends back its unique ID number, transmitting the data to a computer system for processing.
  • Bar codesare labels applied to products with lines of printed dots representing them. Scanners read these bars to show product information, such as the manufactured date, expiration date, and serial number. Bar codes can track your product’s movement from receiving to shipping. They can also speed up the process of locating misplaced or lost inventory.

These warehousing technologies streamline operations, eliminating redundancies that add up to costs.

3. Optimize Layout

Warehousing layout affects your warehouse’s efficiency as it determines workers’ travel time. If the products are far from each other, it takes a longer time to collect the orders. It can also affect the product’s delivery time when picking and packing orders.

An inefficient layout increases labor costs and reduces productivity. You can optimize your warehouse layout to improve its efficiency. Here are some tips to help you:

  • Use vertical space to add storage options and enhance the accuracy of inventory management. Try using pallet racks to accommodate heavy loads without taking up any extra space.
  • Organize the receiving area to accommodate equipment and personnel for the unloading process. By organizing your warehouse, you can receive, store, and distribute your products appropriately. You can also prevent delays in receiving and delivering items.
  • Ensure the storage area is accessible to prevent problems during peak seasons or if there’s a sudden demand in supply.
  • Provide adequate lighting in the staging areato enhance visibility. Sufficient lighting can improve productivity by reducing the risk of accidents and injuries.

Optimizing your warehouse layout can make operations more manageable.

4. Implement Energy-Efficient Practices

Sustainability also helps with cost reduction. It provides alternative options that can minimize waste, resulting in significant savings.

Here are some helpful tips to consider:

  • Expand your windows to give way for more natural light.
  • Invest in low-flow toilets to minimize water consumption.
  • Use electric forklifts rather than gas-fueled ones.
  • Switch to more compact or eco-friendly packaging.

With these practices, you can save money and reduce your carbon footprint.

5. Buy Used Containers

Did you know purchasing used containers can be a cost-effective option? Containers, such as food trays, metal bins, wood crates, stack racks, organizer bins, and wire baskets, are often discarded.  

If you plan to buy new containers for your warehouse, consider looking for used ones instead. Ensure they’re sturdy enough to handle the weight of the items before you purchase them. Find good deals from local warehousing companies, garage sales, flea markets, or online stores.

Summing It Up

The efficiency of a warehouse directly impacts its expenses. Your bills may increase if you don’t take any measures. Finding effective ways to optimize your warehouse can help eliminate redundancies in your processes. Also, improving your warehouse means storing goods properly before delivering them, providing better customer satisfaction.

Top Tips for Tax Efficiency Before the End of the Year: ISAs, Pensions, VCTs, EISs and Capital Gains

By Madeleine Ingram, Director at Calculus Capital

With the tax year-end fast approaching, are you thinking about how to best maximise your tax efficiency? From ISAs to pensions, VCTs to EISs, there are plenty of ways to make your money work harder.


The annual ISA allowance is £20,000. But with multiple types of ISAs available, including traditional cash, stocks and shares ISAs, Help to Buy ISAs, the Lifetime ISA, Innovative Finance ISAs and Junior ISAs, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. Make sure you understand your options before investing, if in doubt speak to a financial adviser.


The Chancellor’s March budget saw a lot of changes to pensions – with the top takeaway the abolishment of the lifetime allowance (LTA) from April 2024.

Although the LTA is going, the government is keeping a cap on the amount of tax-free cash you can take – setting this at 25 % of the current LTA, £1,073,100. That means you can withdraw up to £268,275 without paying any tax on it.

The total amount you can save into a pension each year, without paying an additional tax charge, will go up to £60,000, from £40,000. For high earners there are still tapering restrictions, however the new lower limit will be £10,000 a year, up from £4,000. 

Contributions beyond the annual maximum are taxed at a high rate, which is why more people are considering VCTs and EIS as an additional retirement savings tool.


Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) and Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs) are tax-efficient investment schemes that can help you mitigate your tax liabilities. You can invest up to £200,000 per tax year in VCTs and immediately receive 30% income tax relief — you must hold the investment for at least five years. Most VCTs also pay out annual tax-free dividends and any profits on disposal are free of capital gains tax (CGT).

EISs are similar in that they offer 30% income tax relief.  You can invest up to £1 million per tax year (or £2 million if the investee companies fit ‘knowledge intensive’ criteria). EIS investors can also defer CGT liability, EIS gains are CGT-free and there is loss relief available. Additionally, EIS investments are free of inheritance tax, provided they’ve been held for at least two years and are held at the point of death. Some knowledge intensive specific EIS Funds allow for income tax relief carry back to 21/22, as long as investors are in before 5th April 2023.

Capital Gains Tax

Finally, don’t forget about your CGT allowance. Each person has an annual CGT allowance of £11,700, which means gains on assets sold outside a tax wrapper could leave you liable for up to 20% CGT (or 28% on residential property investments). If you’re thinking of selling some CGT-liable assets in the near future, consider disposing of some now and some after April to take full advantage of both yearly allowances.

To maximise the tax efficiency of your investments, it’s always recommended to consult a professional financial adviser. With a little planning and preparation, you can ensure your money works as hard as possible for you, now and in the future.

Chattel Mortgages: Everything You Need to Know

Have you ever wondered what type of mortgage you need for movable personal property, like a manufactured home, a vehicle, or a large piece of machinery?

Instead of a traditional mortgage, you’ll need to secure what is known as a chattel mortgage.

This is a different type of mortgage from the traditional property mortgage you use for immovable assets like land or real estate.

The process of securing a chattel mortgage can be quite difficult to comprehend for budding sole proprietors.

However, understanding this type of mortgage is essential if you want to purchase movable personal property smoothly.

This article will help you gain a better understanding of the basics behind a chattel mortgage and how they operate in the Australian market.

Let’s get started!

What is a Chattel Mortgage?

A chattel mortgage is a loan that’s secured against a movable asset. This asset class can vary as long as it’s deemed movable, such as a car, a movable property, or a large piece of equipment.

In addition, the term “chattel” refers to any movable property that can be used as collateral for said loan. This type of loan is mostly used in the business sector, primarily for industries that require expensive vehicles and equipment.

Basically, a chattel mortgage involves a borrower pledging their money in the form of a loan to own an asset. The lender holds a security interest in the asset until the borrower fully repays the loan. Once the loan is fully paid, the borrower gains full ownership of the asset.

The main difference between a chattel mortgage and a traditional mortgage is that traditional mortgages are used to finance immovable properties such as houses or land. With a traditional mortgage, the lender has a legal claim on the property until the borrower repays the loan.

On the other hand, a chattel mortgage is secured by movable assets that can be repossessed by the lender in case the borrower defaults on the loan. Chattel mortgages usually have short-term repayment periods ranging from a few months to several years.

Read: What is a Goods Loan and How Does it Work’ from Westpac

What Else Are “Chattel Mortgages” Called?

“Chattel mortgage” is a commonly used term to refer to business loans that involve movable property. That said, there are quite several other terms that are used interchangeably with it.

Here are some of them:

  • Personal property security
  • Movable hypothecation
  • Lien on personal property
  • Goods loan
  • Equipment loan

Regardless of these different terms, the idea remains the same: all these terms refer to a loan procured by the borrower to secure movable assets like trucks and equipment.

10 Common Types of Chattel

There are many different types of chattel, and understanding each of them can help lead you to make the best business decision.

Here are some of the most common types of chattel:

  • Vehicles: This includes cars (or a car title), trucks, and motorcycles. Watercraft like boats and jet skis may also be chattel.
  • Electronics: Laptops, personal computers, desktops, and electronic tablets are all eligible for chattel mortgages.
  • Machinery: Heavy equipment like cranes, bulldozers, and construction tools may also be used as collateral.
  • Equipment: Items used for operational activities, such as construction equipment, may be considered chattel.
  • Cattle: Most domesticated animals and livestock such as cows, horses, sheep, and chickens can be used as chattel.
  • Furniture: Household furniture, office furniture and commercial furniture may be used as chattel as long as can be detached from their current location.
  • Inventory: This refers to any type of goods that are held for sale, such as products in a retail store or materials in a manufacturing facility.
  • Jewellery: Jewellery, coins and other precious items may be used to secure a chattel mortgage.
  • Paper property: Stocks, bonds, and documented financial instruments may be pledged as chattel.
  • Appliances: Kitchen appliances like ovens, microwaves, and refrigerators may be used as chattels.

At the end of the day, what’s deemed chattel will be determined by your lender. Some firms may consider various types of chattel appropriate, while others may not want to use it for that transaction.

Regardless, the above list should give you a clearer picture of the different types of chattel. With it, you can make more informed decisions.

What Happens By The End of a Chattel Mortgage?

Once you’ve finished paying off the mortgage entirely, you get to keep the asset. For example, if you’ve been paying for a vehicle, the lender will delist the vehicle from the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) and grant you complete ownership.

This means you can do anything with the vehicle. Whether you plan to sell the car, lease it, or use it for business activities, your lender won’t be able to stop you.

Who is Eligible For A Chattel Mortgage?

The good news is that almost anyone can apply for a chattel mortgage, even if you have a low credit score or a bare financial background.

That said, it still pays off to have a somewhat decent credit score. To qualify for a chattel mortgage, having a credit score around the ballpark of 575 would be advantageous. In contrast, you’ll need a credit score of 620 for traditional mortgages.

That said, the credit scores above are just loose standards. Borrowers with a credit score lower than 500 may be required to pay a higher down payment (like 10%) to compensate for their lacklustre financial status, whereas others higher along the spectrum won’t need to pay as much.

Many institutions offer chattel mortgages and provide various payment plans for the borrower. For instance, most banks and credit unions offer chattel mortgage plans for interested individuals.

You can start asking around your local financial institutions for quotes, or browse online for financial lending companies.

5 Advantages of Chattel Mortgages

Besides the eventual ownership of the movable property, opting for a chattel mortgage plan comes with a lot of benefits.

Here are five advantages of applying for a chattel mortgage.

1. Better loan terms on average

Some chattel mortgages typically have lower overall rates than other types of loans, such as car loans. In addition, these mortgages run at significantly shorter terms than traditional mortgages, so monthly repayments are also less in the long run.

These all equate to higher potential money-saving in the long run due to lesser overall fees.

2. Easier to obtain than traditional mortgages

As mentioned earlier, chattel mortgages are easier to obtain than traditional mortgages because they don’t require the same level of creditworthiness.

This makes them a great option for people who may not have a high credit score or who are self-employed. So, if you’ve been worried about being turned down for a bigger loan, you can always apply for a chattel mortgage to jumpstart operations instead.

3. No need for large down payments

When you take out a chattel mortgage, you typically don’t need to make a large down payment like you would with a traditional mortgage. This is because of the nature of the asset class.

Purchasing vehicles and machines may be costly, however, the cost of these items pales in comparison to that of owning a commercial building or buying land. Consequently, these assets don’t require as large a down payment as immovable property.

This means you can direct your cash flow to other important aspects of your firm in the long run. Alternatively, you can allocate these extra funds for investments or even leisurely stuff like holidays or shopping.

4. Possibility of claiming benefits

If you get ownership of the car during the time of purchase, you can claim goods and services tax (GST) in your upcoming Business Activity Statement (BAS). That said, this tax benefit can only be claimed only if your business is registered for GST on a cash accounting basis.

Furthermore, you can also claim deductions for depreciation and interest charges in your BAS since the chattel is considered an asset for the firm. As a cherry on top, chattel mortgages don’t get charged in your monthly repayment either, so you get to keep more of your capital safe from large tax breaks.

5. Immediate access to the asset

Another great perk of a chattel mortgage is that you don’t have to wait until you have enough money to buy it. As long as the lender approves, your equipment will be within reach and operational.

Of course, this will depend on your ability to abide by the monthly repayments, but if you don’t default, you can essentially have early ownership of the asset. This makes it a great option for businesses that are currently unable to afford a big asset at present.

5 Disadvantages of Chattel Mortgages

While there are certainly advantages to getting a chattel mortgage, there are some downsides as well. If everything is positive, there wouldn’t be such an extensive variety of loan products out in the first place.

Here are the five disadvantages of getting a chattel mortgage that you should be aware of.

1. Less regulated than traditional mortgages

Chattel mortgages aren’t regulated by the National Consumer Credit Protection Act (NCCPA). This lack of protection means that some credit providers that advertise chattel mortgages may be tempted to overlook or cross regulatory guidelines.

If a borrower isn’t careful, they could end up with a loan that carries unfavourable terms like high-interest rates or hidden fees. This is why it’s important to find an accredited lender and read up on the loan agreement before signing a contract.

2. The borrower can repossess your asset

Chattel mortgages offer limited protection for the borrower compared to other types of loans. If you default on your payments, the lender can repossess the asset you bought with the loan.

If that asset is a major component of your business’s operations, this can essentially spell the downturn of your business outright.

3. Not as many local borrowers

In comparison to traditional mortgage plans, chattel mortgages are not as widely sought after (mostly because they’re not popular). As a result, there aren’t many lenders who offer them.

This makes it a little harder to come by, which restricts your options overall if you’re limiting yourself to local financial institutions.

However, this problem can be dealt with if you find options online, as there are a good amount of online vendors who offer chattel mortgages without any hassle.

4. Higher monthly payments

Since the amount is typically smaller with a chattel mortgage, that means your monthly payments are going to be relatively higher.

If your business’s cash flow is tight as it is, a chattel mortgage may be a hard sell since a bigger chunk of your income will be allocated to the monthly payments.

5. Higher interest rates

Chattel mortgages tend to have higher interest rates than traditional mortgages, usually costing businesses about 1% to 2% more per month.

While this may seem negligible in the grand scheme of things, these higher interest rates can add up over the long haul, further eroding your company’s profits.

4 Tips for Choosing a Chattel Mortgage Lender

Choosing a chattel mortgage lender goes beyond comparing quotes. You’ll want to ensure that your relationship with them will be mutually beneficial. You’ll also want to have peace of mind knowing you’re partnering with an institution that’s reliable and trustworthy.

Here are some tips to consider when choosing a chattel mortgage lender.

1. Consider the long-term costs and benefits of the mortgage

While a salesperson may have convinced you of the benefits of a chattel mortgage, it’s important to take a step back and consider the long-term costs and benefits associated with this type of loan.

While chattel mortgages are indeed full of benefits, there may be times wherein a business is better off seeking other financing options. Furthermore, some businesses may not possess the current financial capacity to be able to take on a chattel mortgage.

As such, be sure to thoroughly assess your business’s financial standing before making a decision. This way, you won’t enter a year-long contract (or worse!) that you’d end up regretting.

2. Compare rates and terms from different lenders

Don’t settle for the first lender you come across. Compare rates and terms from different lenders to secure the best one for your business.

In addition to vetting the current monthly cost and repayment terms, make sure you understand the payment scheme throughout the period. Is the interest rate fixed or variable? Are the repayment terms amendable in the future?

Get all the figures cleared out as soon as possible. By comparing apples to apples, you’ll have an unbiased view of the loan options available to you.

3. Check the lender’s reputation and reviews

As mentioned previously, regulation is a little loose when it comes to dealing with chattel mortgages. You’d want to partner with a good-quality firm, and reading up on what people have to say about the company is a great way to do just that.

Lots of companies online have publicly listed reviews on Google and Yelp, and lending companies are no different. Be sure to be in the loop and check out what previous customers have been saying.

By doing this simple but effective duty, you can immediately vet lending companies and eliminate ones that may have more questionable motives.

4. Read the fine print before signing the agreement

Don’t sign a chattel mortgage agreement until you’ve fully understood the terms and conditions.

You don’t want to deal with surprise hidden fees and increasing interest rates further along your repayment timeline. Carefully reviewing the contract will provide you with an understanding of your legal obligations.

Alternatives to Chattel Mortgages

If you’re curious about other financing options, there are lots of institutions that offer different types of loan packages.

Here are some of the most notable alternatives to the chattel mortgage setup:

1. Consumer loans

Also known as personal loans, these are the classic type of loans for purchasing goods.

The terms may be slightly favourable compared to chattel mortgages, but eligibility is stricter and you’ll generally face a longer repayment period using this method.

2. Lease agreements

This option grants businesses the most flexibility with their capital since they don’t intend to own the goods outright.

Instead, firms pay a monthly fee to lease the equipment or vehicle over a specified period. After that, you simply return the merchandise to the lender.

3. Hire purchase

This solution is similar to a chattel mortgage, except that the borrower doesn’t legally own the items until the loan is completely paid off.

Moreover, a hire purchase scheme allows a balloon payment to be paid at the end of the term. It’s generally more flexible than chattel mortgages in that regard.


If your business needs a vehicle, piece of machinery, or some other large, movable asset, applying for a chattel mortgage is something you should consider.

The great thing about these loans is that it’s highly accessible, so much so that businesses with lower credit than average may still be eligible.

Furthermore, chattel mortgages are more non-committal than traditional loans, offering a lower repayment period.

All in all, utilising a chattel mortgage can allow your business to jumpstart its operations faster than waiting for purchasing equipment when you have enough capital.

It’s not always going to be the perfect way to raise money for your business, but for the right company, a chattel mortgage can save you time and get you turning wheels much quicker than your competitors.

Happy financing!

Options Trading for Novices: Six Strategies You Must Understand

Options trading can be an intimidating area for novice investors. However, understanding the basics and available strategies is essential for successful investing. This article will explore six of the most common options trading strategies you must understand as a novice trader.

Long-call buying

The first strategy is long-call buying, which involves purchasing a stock with the expectation that its price will rise. Long calls are generally used by traders who believe the underlying asset’s value will increase rapidly or over a short period. With this strategy, you’ll have the right to purchase shares at a predetermined price (the strike price) regardless of how much they cost on the open market. If you’re correct in your prediction and the stock rises in value, you can pocket the difference between your purchase price and the new market price.

Long-put buying

The second strategy is long-put buying, which involves purchasing a stock with the expectation that its price will decline. Long puts are generally used by traders who believe the underlying asset’s price will decrease rapidly or over a short period. With this strategy, you’ll have the right to sell shares at a predetermined price (the strike price) regardless of how much they cost on the open market. If you’re correct in your prediction and the stock falls in value, you can pocket the difference between your sale price and the new market price.

Covered call writing

The third strategy is covered call writing, which involves selling an option that gives someone else the right to purchase shares from you. If a trader believes a stock will remain relatively flat over time, this can be an effective strategy. When writing covered calls, the investor receives a premium for giving up potential upside if the stock rises above the strike price.

Short-call writing

The fourth strategy is short-call writing, which involves selling an option that gives someone else the right to purchase shares from you at a predetermined price (the strike price). It’s generally used by traders who believe the underlying asset’s value will stay steady or decline over time. If correct and the stock remains below or declines in value, then they keep any premiums received while also avoiding losses due to being long on the stock.

Short-put writing

The fifth strategy is short-put writing, which involves buying an option that gives someone else the right to sell shares to you at a predetermined price (the strike price). It’s generally used by traders who believe the underlying asset’s value will stay steady or rise over time. If correct and the stock remains above or value increases, they keep any premiums received while avoiding losses due to being short on the stock.

Spread trading

Finally, spread trading is another popular options trading strategy, which involves simultaneously buying and selling two options with different strike prices and the same expiration date. Spread traders aim to take advantage of directional moves of the underlying asset instead of gains or losses due to changes in the underlying stock price.

What are the risks of using these strategies?

Options trading carries certain risks that must be considered. Potential losses due to considerable market volatility are one of the most significant risks. For example, if the underlying asset moves in an unexpected direction before the option’s expiration date, you could end up with a significant loss. Additionally, options carry time decay and liquidity risk. Time decay refers to options losing value over time as they approach their expiration date. Liquidity risk means finding buyers or sellers to close a position can be challenging.

Options trading also carries counterparty risk, the risk that one party in a transaction may not fulfil its obligations under the terms of an agreement and defaults on payment. Finally, investors should be aware of market maker pricing, when firms offer different prices depending on the size of a trader’s order, thus creating an unequal playing field for novice traders compared to experienced traders with access to better prices.

Options trading involves numerous risks that novice traders must understand before entering any trade. While making returns using options trading strategies is possible, it’s also important to be aware of all possible risks to make informed decisions about your trades.


There are a variety of options trading strategies available to novice investors. Understanding these strategies and their application to various market situations is critical for successful investing. Long-call buying, long-put buying, covered call writing, short-call writing, short-put writing and spread trading are six of the most common strategies that all options traders must understand. With an understanding of these strategies, you’ll be better positioned to make informed decisions when investing in the stock market.


Four Essential Tips For That First-Time Investors Must Be Aware Of

First-time investors may feel a little like they’re coming into this arena at a strange point. The last couple of years have delivered a string of overwhelming challenges and put most people through the kind of situations that have probably aged them by a decade or two. But those who have traded assets or put their faith in the stock market in the past will tell you this is normal. They’ll tell you that tough times are par for the course. There are always going to be stretches that make life difficult. What’s important is looking for the opportunities that are there and finding ways to make them work for you.

There are a lot of different options to choose from when it comes to investing capital. You’ll probably have at least one friend or family member who wants to tell you all about the sure thing that they’ve heard about from someone that they know, so the first thing to consider is ignoring their input.

Decide What Kind Of Risk You Are Comfortable With

The truth is that even a sure thing on the stock market can have a bad day. You’re going to face an unexpected downturn at some point or other. However, there are some investments that are riskier than others. And there are some that have provided a bit more security. As a first-time investor, it’s up to you to decide how much risk you can live with. It would be understandable (and perhaps wise) to start out by making sure that you have at least a little risk aversion given the market turbulence of the last few years,

Know What You Can Afford

Here’s one that is absolutely crucial whether you’ve got a massive amount of financial security or you’re thinking about dipping your toe in to try and give your savings a boost: don’t invest more than you can afford to lose. In an ideal world, it goes without saying that you’ll be getting more than you put in back. However, it’s one thing to have invested an amount that will hurt if you lose it temporarily, and it’s quite another to find that you are going to struggle to pay your bills because the market had a bad day. Sit down with your finances and your financial advisor before you make any major decisions. And once you know what your ceiling is, stick to it. There are always going to be times when it feels like you should ante up, but keeping to your budget gives you the kind of security that the market simply can’t.

Get To Know Your Market Watch And Forecast Tools

There are some people out there who are perfectly content as passive investors are. That means that they put their money in, and they sit back and essentially forget about it. This may make sense if you are investing in bonds because they tend to yield a return after a year or more. But you need to find the tools that will help you stay up to date if you are thinking about investing in stocks, or if you want to see a nice quick return. Things can change so quickly out there that you simply must stay well-informed. Even gold can have the occasional hiccup, and gold is more stable than most. If you are thinking of adding gold to your investment portfolio, then you’ll need to keep an eye on the XAUUSD forecast. This shows you the gold spot to US dollar exchange rate and can show you where the market is likely headed. To learn more about XAUUSD and to see live updates, head over to Trading View. There, you can find analyses, forecasts, and other predictions for a wide range of different markets.

Don’t Put All Your Eggs In One Basket

This is one of the biggest golden rules for any first-time investor: never go all in. Even if you have a great feeling about that one particular investment and everyone is telling you that the only way is up. If you don’t have a diversified portfolio, you are essentially taking an all-or-nothing strategy. Yes, that’s great if it all works out, but what happens if it doesn’t? Even the most fearless investors will have a range of assets that allow them to take those bigger swings. For example, gold is often seen as a good steady investment that may fluctuate but will generally right itself. Investing in stocks is riskier because there are so many factors that can impact their value. Property used to be regarded as a safe bet, but the market has not exactly been stable recently. Try to spread your investments out to keep your money where it should be.

Passive Vs Active Investment Strategy – Which Is Right for You?

Maxim Manturov, Head of Investment Research at Freedom Finance Europe, explores passive and active investment strategies for investors  

Investing has become increasingly popular in recent years, likely a result of the pandemic and the growing interest in start-ups and ESG-friendly businesses. As more and more investors without a background in finance enter the market, it’s crucial that people understand the different methods and strategies that can be implemented to get the best potential on their return. 

Passive and active market strategies are two different approaches that investors can use to manage investments. Choosing between the two depends on the investor’s individual goals, risk tolerance and investment philosophy. 

The passive strategy is suitable for investors wanting to match market performance with minimal effort and low commissions, such as beginners or investors who cannot devote much time to researching markets or individual stocks.

Alternatively, an active strategy suits investors who are willing to take more risks to potentially outperform the market. Active strategies exposed investors to specific risks that require high skill, experience and understanding of the market so it is often most suitable to experienced investors with some financial cushioning.

Passive market strategy

A passive market strategy involves investing in a diversified portfolio of stocks that track a specific market index, such as the S&P 500. This strategy is based on the belief that it is difficult to consistently outperform the market, so the investor seeks to match the results of the market by investing in an index fund or exchange-traded fund (ETF). It requires minimal effort and usually incurs lower costs than active strategies.

Passive investment methods aim to avoid the commissions and limited productivity that can arise from frequent trading. Unlike active traders, passive investors do not seek to profit from short-term price fluctuations or market timing, instead, it tries to replicate market performance by creating well-diversified portfolios of individual stocks.


  • Lower commissions and costs due to minimal trading activity and management
  • Diversification and access to all markets rather than individual stocks
  • Generally lower tax implications because there are fewer purchases and sales
  • Proven ability to work successfully in the long term
  • Requires minimum effort to implement


  • Limited opportunity to outperform the market, as investors receive only market returns    
  • There is no active management to respond to market changes or adjust portfolios accordingly    
  • May not be suitable for investors with specific investment objectives or needs


Active market strategy

An active investment strategy involves actively buying and selling stocks to outperform the market. This approach requires a great deal of research and analysis to identify undervalued stocks or market trends, and investors may use a variety of techniques such as technical and fundamental analysis. Active strategies can be complex and incur higher fees and costs.

Active investment is great for investors seeking higher returns, however, there is a higher risk of significant loss due to market volatility.


  • Potential for higher returns through effective investment decisions and market analysis
  • Flexibility to adjust investment strategies in response to market changes or events
  • Opportunities to invest in individual stocks, industries, or sectors


  • Higher fees and costs due to active management and trading
  • Higher tax implications in connection with the purchase and sale of stocks    

Higher risk due to the possibility of poor investment decisions or market volatility    

Pros and Cons of Title Loans: Is It Right For You?

Title loans are a form of secured loan in which borrowers use their vehicle as collateral. Borrowers must provide the lender with proof of ownership, such as car title or registration documents, and they can typically borrow up to 25% of the value of their vehicle. Title loans have become increasingly popular due to the fast access to the cash they provide. On the other hand, potential drawbacks should be considered before taking out a title loan. This article will discuss the pros and cons of taking out a title loan so you can decide whether one is right for you.


Title loans attract many borrowers because they provide quick and easy cash without needing a credit check or proof of income. Carolina title loans, in particular, are serviced through reputable lenders dedicated to providing fair loan terms and helpful customer service. As long as you take the time to understand your rights and responsibilities, title loans can be a helpful financial tool.

Fast access to funds

One of the biggest draws of title loans is that they provide fast access to cash. In contrast to a traditional loan, where you may have to wait weeks for approval and access to the funds, title loans typically only require proof of ownership and can be processed in as little as 24 hours. It makes them an excellent option for borrowers who need money quickly or are facing an emergency expense.

No credit check

Another advantage of taking out a title loan is that there’s no credit check required. The loan amount is secured against your vehicle and does not depend on your credit score or history. Therefore, bad credit borrowers can still access quick funds when needed without worrying about how it will affect their scores.

Low interest rates

Title loans generally come with lower interest rates than other short-term loans. Therefore, the total amount you owe won’t be significantly higher by the end of your loan term. However, comparing lenders and understanding their terms is essential to get the best deal on a title loan.

Easy repayment process

In most cases, repaying a title loan is relatively simple. Most lenders offer flexible payment plans with installments designed to fit your budget and repayment windows ranging from 30 days to one year. Therefore, you can spread the cost of repaying your loan over time, making it easier and more manageable.

Fewer restrictions

Title loans have fewer restrictions on their use than other secured loans. Most lenders don’t restrict how you use the funds, so you don’t have to worry about where the money goes. It makes them an excellent option for borrowers who need access to quick cash without explaining why they need it.


Although title loans offer several benefits, there are some potential drawbacks that borrowers should be aware of before taking out a loan. In addition to understanding the fees and interest rates, you should also ensure that you are comfortable with the repayment terms of your title loan. Acknowledging the cons of a title loan is imperative to decide whether it is right for you.

High-interest rates

One potential drawback of title loans is that they often come with higher-than-average interest rates. Although these rates vary depending on the lender, they can still be high compared to traditional loans. It’s essential to compare different lenders and their terms before taking out a title loan to get the best possible rate.

Risk of repossession

Another downside of title loans is the risk of repossession. Since your vehicle is collateral for the loan, it can be seized if you fail to make timely payments. Therefore, any missed payments could result in the loss of your car if you cannot get back on track with repayments. Moreover, you may also be responsible for the costs associated with storage and repossession.

Short repayment window

Title loans typically have short repayment windows, making them challenging to pay off quickly. Most lenders require that the total amount be repaid within 30 days, though some may offer extensions on this period. It’s important to review these terms and decide whether or not you can meet the repayment requirements.

Limited loan amounts

The amount of money you can borrow with a title loan is generally limited. Most lenders place caps on the amount they will lend out, which means you may not be able to get enough funds to cover all your expenses. If this is the case, finding other ways to finance your needs is essential before taking out a title loan.


Title loans often come with additional fees that can add up quickly if you don’t pay off the loan on time. These vary from lender to lender but typically include processing fees and administrative charges. Understanding the cost of a title loan is essential to determine if this type is right for you. Furthermore, borrowers should consider the potential risks of repossession and ensure they can make timely payments before taking out a title loan.

Understanding the Blockchain Technology Behind Cryptocurrency Payments

Blockchain technology is the backbone of cryptocurrency payments and has revolutionized transferring money. Blockchain technology is a ledger that records and stores data in an immutable, secure, and transparent format. This data can be transactions, contracts, and other information related to financial transactions.

The blockchain’s decentralized nature allows faster yet more secure transactions than traditional payment methods, such as accepting credit card payment online or bank transfers. Transactions are validated by miners who use their computing power to solve complex cryptographic equations known as “proof-of-work” algorithms to add blocks of verified transaction data to the blockchain network. Once a block is added, it cannot be changed or removed from the chain, meaning that all transactions are permanent and protected from fraud or malicious activity.

The blockchain also supports smart contracts, digitally signed agreements that automatically execute when certain conditions are met. For example, suppose two parties agree to a real estate contract where one party pays the other in cryptocurrency. In that case, a smart contract could validate the transaction and ensure each party receives their payment accordingly. Smart contracts can also reduce costs associated with traditional methods of executing contracts since they require fewer intermediaries and paperwork.

In addition to providing secure payments, blockchain technology is also used to issue digital assets known as tokens. Tokens are digital representations of value on a blockchain network and can be exchanged for goods or services within that ecosystem. These tokens can be bought and sold on cryptocurrency exchanges, where users buy and sell tokens for other cryptocurrencies or fiat money.

Blockchain technology can revolutionize how people conduct financial transactions. Blockchain significantly impacts the global economy by providing secure and transparent payments, smart contracts, and digital asset trading. As more businesses adopt this technology to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve user experience, blockchain will likely become an integral part of our daily lives shortly.

What is cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency, also known as digital currency, is a form of internet-based medium of exchange that uses cryptography to secure transactions. It is decentralized, meaning it exists independently of any central bank or government and can be used for payments without needing a third-party intermediary. Cryptocurrencies are kept in digital wallets and can be sent directly from one person to another without an exchange. Currently, there are over 3,000 cryptocurrencies in circulation, with Bitcoin being the most popular.

Examples of the most significant cryptocurrency payments

Cryptocurrency payments have become popular in recent years, with many major corporations and governments now accepting digital currencies as payment. Here are some of the most significant cryptocurrency payments made recently:

Major online retailer Overstock.com became the first Fortune 500 company to accept Bitcoin payments, a watershed moment for cryptocurrency adoption. It showed that even large companies recognized the potential of blockchain technology and crypto payments.

Another significant crypto payment occurred when Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey paid $2.5 million worth of Bitcoin for an original artwork created on the blockchain platform SuperRare. The transaction was completed in under 15 minutes, demonstrating the advantages of speed and efficiency offered by cryptocurrencies compared to traditional methods like wire transfers or credit cards.

The government of Dubai also made history when it completed its first-ever blockchain-based property transaction using Ethereum’s Ether token. This historic transaction demonstrated that blockchain could handle complex real-world transactions securely and quickly, making it a viable option for governmental organizations looking to streamline their processes.

Finally, bitcoin has seen increasing use in international aid efforts over the last few years due to its ability to reduce the friction involved with cross-border payments and donations. Notably, the United Nations World Food Programme used bitcoin to provide food assistance to thousands of refugees living in camps across Jordan, reducing costs associated with currency exchange fees and other banking fees traditionally associated with international money transfers.

These examples demonstrate how far cryptocurrency has come since its inception over a decade ago. Cryptocurrency payments are becoming more mainstream daily as businesses and governments recognize their potential benefits compared to traditional payment methods, making them one of the most significant developments in financial technology today.

Word of warning

It’s important to remember that blockchain technology is still evolving, and new applications may arise as it becomes more widespread. Therefore, it’s essential for individuals interested in using or investing in cryptocurrencies or blockchain-based services to educate themselves on the technology and stay up-to-date with the latest developments. By understanding blockchain, its potential applications, and its implications for our lives, we can make informed decisions about how best to use this powerful technology.


Blockchain technology is revolutionizing payments and creating opportunities for businesses to increase efficiency. By providing secure and transparent transactions, smart contracts, and digital asset trading, it’s already significantly impacting the global economy. With more people educating themselves on the technology and its potential applications, there’s no doubt that blockchain will become even more prevalent in our daily lives soon. ​

How to Become Wealthy Even if You Don’t Come from Wealth

Many people want to be wealthy, but it is not an easy task. Because of the large gap between the wealthy and the poor, it may seem even more challenging. However, changing your mindset can help you build more wealth. It requires you to believe that you can obtain and build wealth, even if you don’t come from it.

Know That it’s Not All About Your Income

While income levels certainly play a role in how quickly you will be able to save, having a high salary does not guarantee you will become a millionaire. In fact, the wealthiest individuals have carefully managed their funds and been careful about how they spend their money. One way you can increase what you save each month is by consolidating or refinancing student loan debt.

It’s important to do your research on the process before making any decisions. While refinancing and consolidating are often used to mean the same thing, they are completely different, and each offers benefits that can save money. Simply saving your money won’t get you very far either, especially as inflation has further lowed the value of the dollar. The longer your savings sit still, the less buying power those dollars will have. Investing in stocks, real estate, or financial products can put your money to work.

Being intentional about your investing strategy will prevent inflation from eroding your savings. If you did not grow up with the opportunity to see investing up close, take some time to educate yourself about it. There are many opportunities to start investing, even if you are a complete beginner. You can get started with just a little money, and you can do this from the comfort of your own home.

Don’t Be Afraid to Make Your Own Way

There is no single approach towards making your money grow that will guarantee you will be able to become a millionaire. The important thing is to be consistent in your efforts. It’s important to not hold yourself to a specific standard of the way you build your savings. While going to college and landing a high-paying job is a traditional way of becoming wealthy, it is certainly not the only way do that. Investing, being careful with your savings, and working a non-traditional job are all valid paths.

Let Go of Beliefs That Limit You

It can be hard to develop a mindset of believing that there are opportunities for everyone, regardless of background, especially if you never had many resources when you were growing up. However, this abundance mindset is important because it can help you believe that you will succeed. Many wealth building institutions were created to keep the poor in their place. If you have never seen abundance before, it can be hard to expect that you will receive it. But filtering these negative thoughts out of your mind will keep you from believing something that is not true and prevent you from developing a scarcity mindset that can lead to poor financial decisions.

Go Green: Why Green Loans Are More Common Than Ever

In today’s business climate, there’s no denying the importance of sustainable operating practices. Operating sustainably has plenty of tangible benefits for businesses – aside from a clean conscience of course. Increased profitability and desirability as an employer are just two of the advantages that can be gleaned from sustainable business.

Becoming sustainable, however, can be expensive, particularly if your business is still following dated operating procedures. Green loans are helping an ever-increasing number of SMEs across the world pursue their sustainability objectives.

But what are green loans? How do they differ from traditional loans? And why are they becoming more popular? Here, the asset finance experts at Anglo Scottish break down everything you’ll need to know about the world of green loans.

Key Findings:

  • Global green finance has increased by over 100 times (from $5.2bn to $540.6bn) in the decade between 2012 and 2022.
  • In the UK, the total value of green bonds issued grew from $1.1bn to $37.4bn between 2012 and 2021.
  • Searches for ‘green loan’ have been steadily trending upwards during the four-year period starting February 2019.
  • There has been a 50% year-on-year increase in searches for ‘green loan’
  • Searches for ‘sustainability loan’ have increased by 100% year-on-year (March 2022-23)
  • The global sustainability consulting market – worth $6.24bn in 2021 – is expected to be worth $16bn by 2027.
  • 33% of businesses who have introduced a sustainability strategy cited lowering costs and improving operational efficiency as the primary reason for their new changes.

What is a green loan?

A green loan, sometimes known as a sustainability loan, is a method of raising capital for projects that make a positive contribution to the environment. Green loans enable companies to finance green projects, and are designed to help companies align lending with their environmental objectives.

Green loans are subject to the Green Loan Principles (GLP), an international standard consisting of four key caveats:

Use of Proceeds

All designated Green Projects should provide clear environmental benefits, which will be assessed by the borrower.

Process for Project Evaluation and Selection

The borrower should clearly inform the lender about their sustainability objectives, how their project is eligible for a green loan, and provide information on any potential risks associated with the project.

Management of Proceeds

The borrower must be transparent with any money raised as a result of the green loan – to maintain transparency and integrity.


The borrower should make and keep an up-to-date record of the use of proceeds.

Green bonds, similar to green loans, are another form of raising capital for sustainability projects. Green bonds tend to be larger than green loans, may have higher transaction costs, and may be listed on an exchange or privately placed. Like green loans, green bonds have their own set of principles that must be followed.

Why have green loans become more popular?

Globally, green finance – characterised by Reuters as “global borrowing by issuing green bonds and loans, and equity funding through IPOs targeting green projects” – represented $5.2bn in 2012, rising tenfold to $540.6bn in 2022.

The UK has experienced similar growth during the same period – between 2012 and 2021, the total value of green bonds issued grew from $1.1bn to $37.4bn.

With environmental concerns becoming more important than ever as we move towards the nation’s Net Zero emissions goals, companies across the country, irrespective of sector or industry, are working hard to implement more sustainable business practices.

ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) centricity is now one of the foremost concerns for both private and public sector companies. In line with the increasing focus on ESG, the global sustainability consulting market is undergoing a period of growth – worth $6.24bn in 2021, the market is expected to be worth $16bn by 2027.

Green loans and bonds can help businesses bring a sustainability strategy to life, and can have huge benefits for both the company and the wider environment.

How can businesses benefit from a sustainability strategy?

Environmental concerns are not the only driving force behind the rising number of green loans being issued. In most cases, it’s just smart business. By implementing a sustainability strategy, businesses can stand to improve operational efficiency by reducing wastage and limiting material spend.

In fact, according to McKinsey, 33% of businesses who have introduced a sustainability strategy cited ‘lowering costs’ and ‘improving operational efficiency’ as the top reason for their new changes.

A cohesive sustainability strategy can also help businesses appear as a more lucrative employer to potential hires. According to People Management, 40% of millennials have chosen one company over another due to their sustainability strategy. And, from a retention standpoint, 70% were more likely to stay with a company that had a robust sustainability plan.

The Green Loan Principles have also made it harder for companies to become involved with ‘greenwashing’ – performatively making changes to support the environment to improve the company’s reputation, whilst actually having a negative impact on the planet.

If a company does use a green loan to implement a sustainability strategy, the transparent selection, management and reporting process means that actual measurable environmental goals must be at the core of the strategy. Both the GLP and the GBP specify that 100% of the proceeds from the loan must be used for green-eligible activities.

Charlotte Enright, Renewables Specialist at Anglo Scottish Asset Finance, comments: “Corporate social responsibility is not a new concept, but, in line with the worldwide drive to reach net zero emissions, it’s hardly surprising that environmental concerns are at the centre of most firms’ strategies nowadays.

Green loans have made it possible for businesses without working capital to begin implementing a sustainability strategy, streamlining their own operating procedures and reducing their impact on the environment. Expect to see green loans continue to gain popularity as we push towards our net zero goals.

Understanding Tax Treaties: What They Mean for Immigrants Living in Tax Havens

Tax treaties are formal agreements between two or more countries that determine how taxes are paid on income generated within each country. They help to reduce the double taxation of people and entities that have income in multiple countries while also clarifying what types of income can be taxed and by which country. Understanding tax treaties is especially important for immigrants living in tax havens, as they often have complex international financial portfolios.

Tax treaties usually focus on residency, source of income, and double taxation. Residency determines where an individual’s residence is located for tax purposes; this generally means that a person will pay taxes in the country where their permanent home resides. The source of income looks at how money earned from one country should be taxed by another. For example, an immigrant living in a tax haven may be subject to taxes in both their resident country and the country from which their income is sourced. Double taxation reduces or eliminates the need for an individual to pay taxes on the same income more than once.

Tax treaties generally provide clear guidance on resolving cases of dual residency when determining which country has the right to levy taxes on various types of incomes. They also ensure that people have access to certain exemptions and credits, such as those related to capital gains and foreign-earned income, as well as deductions for expenses incurred abroad. In some situations, tax treaties can even reduce the amount of tax paid in either of the two countries.

It’s important to note that tax treaties are only sometimes comprehensive and can vary significantly from
one country to another. Before making any financial decisions or taking any action, it is essential to check the applicable tax treaty and understand its terms. Depending on a person’s circumstances, they may benefit from specific provisions of a particular treaty while avoiding others.

Understanding tax treaties and their implications is even more critical for immigrants living in tax
havens. As they often have complex international financial portfolios, deciphering which taxes must be paid, where, and when can be complicated without proper guidance. It’s also essential for immigrants living in these countries to stay up-to-date on any changes to the tax treaties in their country of residence, as any changes could significantly impact their financial situation.

In countries with no property taxes, income taxation is often the primary form of revenue, making tax treaties even more critical for immigrants living in these areas. They need to understand how their income will be taxed and if any deductions or deductions or exemptions apply.

For people with complicated financial portfolios and multiple sources of income, it’s always a good idea to consult a professional tax advisor to ensure that they are taking full advantage of available provisions under the applicable treaty while properly adhering to all international taxation rules. With an understanding of tax treaties, immigrants living in tax havens can easily navigate the complexities
of international taxes.

A list of the top five tax havens

Tax havens are countries that offer extremely low or zero personal and corporate income tax rates and
other advantages designed to attract investors and businesses. Here are the top five tax havens in the world:


Bermuda is among the most popular tax havens due to its lack of corporate and zero personal income taxes.
It is a major international business center, with homeowners enjoying its warm climate and stunning beaches. It has an attractive structure for those wishing to set up a company offshore and enjoy the benefits of holding their assets in Bermuda.

The Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands have become a famous offshore financial center because of their attractive tax
system, which includes no income or capital gains taxes for corporations and individuals alike. The islands also provide strong protection of financial privacy due to their strict confidentiality laws and relaxed restrictions on foreign investment.


Singapore is another top choice regarding tax havens, offering no capital gains, inheritance taxes, and merger corporate tax rates. Singapore is known for its pro-business environment, making it an ideal place to establish operations while reducing costs associated with taxation elsewhere.


Switzerland is a well-known destination for offshore banking due to its highly secure banking system and lack of transparency requirements, allowing investors to safely store their wealth in Swiss banks without fear of disclosing their information unnecessarily. It also boasts some of Europe’s lowest corporate tax rates at just 8%.

The Isle of Man

The Isle of Man offers low personal taxation rates along with exemptions from inheritance tax, corporation tax, stamp duty land tax, and capital gains taxes, making it an ideal choice for those looking to reduce their overall tax liabilities while still enjoying the benefits that come along with owning property in this picturesque island nation located between England and Ireland.

The bottom line

Understanding tax treaties is essential for anyone living in a tax haven or with income from multiple countries. Being familiar with the terms of each treaty and how they affect one’s financial situation will help ensure that taxes are paid accurately and on time. Working with an experienced professional can also be beneficial in navigating complicated international taxation regulations. Understanding these documents will save headaches and result in fewer issues when filing yearly taxes.

Car Loans for Students: A Guide to Managing Credit

Nothing about traveling is fun if you’re commuting on public transport because of the traffic and time wasted waiting for one to arrive.

Because of this, most students prefer commuting to college in their own car, especially those living in faraway locations or working part-time to meet their expenses. If you, too, find it difficult to commute to work and school on public transport, you must have thought of purchasing a car.

With car prices skyrocketing, owning a car is beyond the means of the majority of students. In such pressing times, a practical solution is taking out a car loan from a reliable lender.

When it comes to car loans, your credit score must be good, and your income should be steady.

Taking into account the two criteria, you must be thinking that securing a car loan with a bad credit score is impossible. However, that’s not the case.

Several car dealers and a vast network of lenders are ready to offer car loans to students, including college grads, high school graduates, and international students.

Read this guide till the end to learn more about how to secure a student car loan with a bad credit score.

Challenges Faced by Students in Securing Car Loans

Students have a lot of financial responsibilities on their shoulders, from paying college fees to basic living expenses. And let’s be honest, maintaining a good credit score is quite a challenge.

On the other hand, the majority of lenders do not offer loans to students with bad credit histories to safeguard their interests and themselves. That’s because no lender would lend money to individuals who have struggled to repay debts or make payments on credit cards previously.

That said, here are a few reasons you may be struggling to secure car loans as a student:

1. Poor Credit or No Credit

Among lenders, credit history is the most important factor when deciding if applicants qualify for loans. Individuals who have never taken a loan or had a credit card lack history on the basis of which the banks or lenders ascertain whether you’ll be able to repay a loan or not.

Moreover, student loans have no impact on your credit score until you graduate and start repaying them. Despite that, you may still qualify for a car loan with poor or no credit but at a higher interest rate.

Nevertheless, getting in touch with reliable lenders will give you a clear picture of the interest rate you need to pay each month for student car loans. Some students rely on KoraDrive, which offers car loans to both national and international college students and graduates to buy cars for college.

In as little as 24 hours, the financial institution is said to approve loans for students without evaluating their credit history or requiring a co-signer.

2. Minimal Income

Employment history is another significant factor that lenders evaluate when applications are made for loans. Lenders review the job details to determine if the applicant will be able to repay the loan.

Students with low income must assure the lender that they intend to stay in their current job for long if they wish to secure a car loan.

3. Loan Maximums

At times, lenders may decide to lend only a small sum of money to students for purchasing a vehicle. As a result, students are faced with limited options and may have to buy cars that fall within the loan maximum.

Tips To Secure Auto Loans For Students

Not qualifying for a student car loan is surely disappointing, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on your dream of buying a car. Here we’ve mentioned a few tips which could possibly help you improve your credit score and secure an auto loan:

1. Bring a relative or a friend as a co-signer who can serve as a co-borrower so that you can secure a loan.

2. Try to become an authorized user of your friends’ or parents’ credit cards, as their financial habits will help you secure a loan.

3. Work hard to improve your bad credit score by clearing outstanding debts. Also, lower your credit card limit, so you can show yourself a responsible borrower by paying off the balance every month

4. Save as much money as you can for a down payment.

5. Earn good grades and try to secure a decent-paying job to convince lenders to consider you for an auto loan.

Get Ready to Drop Your Student Car Loan Application Today!

Sure, securing a car loan is challenging for young adults with not much credit history, but it isn’t impossible.

Quite a few lenders understand the challenges students face, especially those working alongside studying. Therefore, they offer unique loan programs that align with their financial capacity.

All you need to do is find them from among the sea of options. And just like that, commuting to school won’t be troublesome anymore.

How to display financial data on your company website

Establishing credibility with customers, investors, and other stakeholders requires openly sharing financial data on the company website. It makes data readily available and promotes openness. Here, you’ll find a detailed tutorial on how to provide money-related information on your site.

Establishing Your Goals

Setting defined goals is essential when selecting how to present financial data on your website. These goals should make sense for your company and its intended clientele. Examples include becoming more open, bringing attention to financial results, and meeting regulatory standards.

Goals are more likely to be successful if they are SMART, or specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. That way, you’ll know what kind of financial information to include on your site.

Deciding on a Layout

Financial information can be displayed in a number of ways, including tables, charts, and infographics. The benefits and drawbacks of each presentation style are discussed. Information can be summarized with the use of charts and infographics, while specific data can be displayed in tables.

When deciding on the best format, you should keep both form and function in mind. If your site runs on the WordPress content management system, wpDataTables is a fantastic choice for showing financial data.

Choosing Appropriate Metrics

Choosing the correct measurements is essential for presenting economic information. Revenue, profits, and cash flow are three of the most common financial indicators. You should pick KPIs that are relevant to your business and its customers.

It’s also important to give some background. For instance, if revenue is shown without costs, the picture painted may be deceptive. Displaying financial data requires avoiding misleading numbers and providing context.

Pursuing Precision and Conformity

The financial information on your website must be accurate and compliant. Accuracy can be maintained through the use of automatic data feeds and regular reviews. Accounting standards and the disclosure of critical information are examples of legal criteria that must be met.

Get expert guidance if you need clarification on compliance regulations. In order to gain the confidence of your company’s stakeholders, you must present them with accurate and legally compliant financial data.

Improving the User Experience

Displaying financial data online requires careful consideration of user experience. The user experience can be improved by using a responsive design and including search and filter options. Financial data visualizations on other websites might serve as examples of good practice.

It’s crucial to put your display format to the test and refine it based on user feedback. Displaying financial data effectively may improve the user experience and earn the confidence of key stakeholders.

Update Your Financial Information

In order to keep the confidence of your stakeholders, you must always keep your financial records up to date. Misleading and damaging to your reputation can be data that is too old.

If you update your financial data often, your stakeholders will always have access to the latest and greatest data. Timely updating of financial information entails things like financial statements, disclosures, and the like.

A procedure for updating financial data should be established, and all key stakeholders should be made aware of it. The regular updating of financial data would be facilitated by this.

Ending thoughts

Stakeholder trust can be built by the open disclosure of financial information on a company’s website.

Effective financial data visualization requires defining clear objectives, selecting the appropriate format and measurements, assuring accuracy and compliance, and improving the user experience.

If you follow the advice in this article, your organization’s online presentation of financial data will inspire confidence among your stakeholder base.

How Corporate Accountants Can Lead the Way

Corporate accountants are essential to any business. They guarantee companies comply with financial regulations and reach their objectives.

Accountants also need to be able to collaborate with different teams and help them resolve conflicts that may arise. Leaders who can do this will drive their teams’ success, increasing efficiency and effectiveness in the process.


Leadership is an integral component of any organization. It allows groups to reach their objectives and cultivates a positive working atmosphere by encouraging communication and collaboration among team members.

Leaders must motivate their team members and spur them on to greater risk-taking and responsibility in the workplace. Furthermore, they should be willing to invest in their employees’ development and growth – particularly financially.

A new approach to leadership has emerged called “servant leadership.” This concept emphasizes how leaders can make their team members’ lives easier–physically, cognitively and emotionally–and research indicates this mentality may improve both team performance and satisfaction levels.

Good leadership is also defined by honesty and integrity. These characteristics inspire others to trust them, creating an atmosphere of acceptance for all in the workplace. Furthermore, these attributes help create a culture of openness that fosters trust between colleagues.


Accountability is an integral principle in corporate governance. It guarantees that a company fulfils its duties and its shareholders receive fair treatment.

Accounting and finance professionals are responsible for providing relevant metrics and disclosures to stakeholders. Furthermore, they can help instil discipline into nonfinancial reporting processes and controls through their expertise and familiarity with best practices.

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has taken the lead in this area, with its standards encouraging companies to report on their sustainability performance and disclose accomplishments. These ‘new-to-the world’ metrics are essential for providing stakeholders with a unified view of a company’s performance; helping reduce market uncertainty.

Public health and climate change are becoming more intricate issues, giving accounting a chance to showcase its skills by applying discipline to sustainability reporting and climate metrics. With the appropriate tools, accounting and finance professionals can guarantee companies measure their climate and sustainability performance in an insightful way that’s useful for stakeholders while providing independent assurance over data outputs.


Transparency is an integral component of ethical business practices, helping companies build trust with their customers, employees and other stakeholders.

Transparency can erode trust and foster suspicions of unethical or illegal activity. It also increases the risk of data privacy breaches, damaging relationships with customers or employees and disclosing trade secrets.

One way to be transparent is by outlining all your plans and actions on paper. This can be done internally within teams or externally with stakeholders.

This approach allows people to get the bigger picture and makes feedback more impactful. Additionally, it can help teams become more productive by encouraging them to be truthful and provide frequent feedback.

Recent research has demonstrated that employees who feel comfortable being authentic in meetings tend to be more productive. Furthermore, they’re less likely to leave early or stay late, giving them time to fulfill their commitments.


Adaptability is an invaluable skill for business leaders and employees to acquire. It enables individuals to adjust their strategies quickly in response to shifting demands and priorities.

During the 2008 financial crisis, companies that adjusted to new regulations, realities and challenges did better than their non-adapting peers. Likewise, during COVID-19 pandemic, businesses that switched focus towards remote learning and working environments managed to remain afloat.

Self-confidence is a necessary trait of an adaptive leader, but overconfidence may prevent you from acknowledging when assistance or outside advice may be beneficial.

Being open to feedback and criticism is essential for an adaptive employee. Rigid people tend to believe their way of doing things is right, while anyone who disagrees is wrong.

Vancouver corporate accountants must be adaptable at all times, whether they’re adapting to a new employer or dealing with changes to their company’s policies and procedures. This requires taking an effective strategy when setting goals and improving performance.

Why Financial Advisors Need Good Client Communication For Their Business

What would come to mind if you were to list the top three qualities that a good financial advisor should have?

It’s likely you would mention great knowledge of the finance world, alongside an analytical mind and the ability to work under pressure.

But did you consider how being a good communicator can make a significant difference in the relationship between a financial advisor and their clients?

Here’s our essential guide to help you discover why and how you can improve your client communication.

Communication in Business: Why Is It Important?

Good client communication is an essential feature of any successful company. Communication is constant in the business world, from conducting meetings with prospective customers to making pitches over the phone and generally checking in on clients.

A respected business leader should also be an excellent communicator. Active communication stimulates knowledge sharing, aids with problem resolution, and helps achieve better outcomes in the long term.

No matter the industry, business leaders may find themselves explaining the VoIP caller meaning to customers or pitching to a potential partner. So, maintaining an open line of communication allows them to pinpoint potential areas of improvement, promptly address clients’ questions, and solve issues to deliver results. 

In the world of finance, being a great communicator is also key – let’s find out why.

The Importance of Client Communication As a Financial Advisor

It goes without saying that an excellent financial advisor is someone who has exceptional understanding, knowledge, and experience of the financial world and a strong analytical mindset.

But there’s no use having all the financial knowledge in the world if you can’t portray that information to clients and build a trusting relationship with them.

After all, a financial advisor often has to handle a client’s sensitive and confidential information and is there to help a client achieve their financial goals.

A client may even request the assistance of a financial advisor during a challenging time in their life or after an unexpected event, such as the loss of a family member, a divorce, an inheritance, or a budgeting issue.

All of these situations must be managed respectfully, tactfully, and confidentially by a financial advisor who is able to communicate with their client in a transparent and professional yet personable manner. It’s essential that clients have confidence in your abilities and trust you to make the right decisions.

So, as a financial advisor, how do you ensure that you communicate effectively to build trust and respect?

How to Establish Great Client Communication

To create a solid and loyal bond with your clients, it’s vital to establish a communication process that takes into account several factors. In this section, we will explore five of the most important ones.

1. Be Relatable, Authentic, and Trustworthy

First of all, it’s vital for you to prepare the ground and ensure that the relationship between you and your clients is one that values relatability, authenticity, and trust.

As we said, financial advisors often deal with extremely personal aspects of their clients’ lives, which puts them in a delicate position when it comes to being both professional and approachable.

Yet, it’s essential that you present yourself as exactly that: an expert who knows the finance world like the back of their hand while at the same time being fully committed to their clients’ financial situation and success, even when it means tackling potentially complex or controversial subjects.

For example, your clients may not understand the benefits of opening a new credit card to improve their credit score. This is where a trusted and experienced financial advisor like you is expected to shed light on how and why it could benefit them.

2. Organize Frequent Meetings

Once your client relationship is established, it’s important that you keep the communication lines open by setting up regular meetings with your client base.

Remember that these don’t necessarily have to be face-to-face meetings. In the era of hybrid and remote work, meetings can – and should – also include online catch-ups, webinars, and virtual events. Online communication channels are increasingly popular with companies of all shapes and sizes, from those offering payroll services for small business to large financial corporations.

3. Check in on Your Clients

If some time has elapsed between your last meeting and you haven’t heard from your client, don’t wait for them to chase you – be the one who makes contact first.

This will not only show them how dedicated you are to their situation, but that you also care on a personal level. Both of these are essential qualities that clients look for in a trusted financial advisor.

4. Choose the Right Communication Channels

It might be quicker and easier to pick up your phone and call your client directly, but if you have a larger client base, you might also want to consider other communication channels.

For example, you could send an email newsletter, write regular blog posts, and create a social media account. Whichever you choose, make it clear to clients that they can use any or all of these channels to not keep up with the latest industry or company news and, more importantly, to contact you if needed.

5. Face Potential Conflicts Head-on

Another very important, yet often neglected, aspect of being a good communicator is the ability to tackle conflict in a positive way. As a financial advisor, you deal with delicate, often thorny topics on a daily basis, from SOX to investments gone awry.

Don’t shy away from potential clashes with your clients. Listen first and provide feedback based on solid data and unbiased facts. 

The Bottom Line

Communication is essential for any job and industry, but it’s particularly crucial for financial advisors. Having excellent client communication means you can develop a rapport with customers and they can put their trust in you.

Start developing your communication skills today and watch your financial practice thrive.

The Role of Indirect Spend Management in Business Efficiency

Indirect spend management is the act of optimizing costs for materials and services business’s need, in order to operate efficiently. It’s such an important role within a company in many ways.

You could be focusing too much on certain areas of your business, so you’ll need to control company spending – a way to do so is by implementing the best spend management process.

This can involve knowing where you can improve cost efficiency, how to choose the best virtual corporate card for your business, and how to automate workflows, for example.

With more reasons to explore, take a further look into the role of indirect spend management. See ways in which you can improve your use of it and why it’s an important fundamental for the productivity of a business.

Why is the role of indirect spend management so important?

There are many ways in which its role holds great importance. If you are investing in business supplies, you may lose control of what you’re spending, creating tail spend.

On the other hand, if you don’t properly invest in the right supplies for your business, it might not be able to run as well as it could. Not only this, but it may limit the efficiency of retaining your employee’s productivity.

Improving your indirect spend management

If your business is already carrying out this type of spend management, here are some ways of making sure that you’re doing so as efficiently as possible:

Spend analysis – Before spending on anything, you must know what you’re buying. To do this, a detailed spend analysis must be carried out, to identify key suppliers and target any saving opportunities.

Automation – This is the process of using technology to complete manual and repetitive tasks, so employees can work on other things to positively influence the business. For indirect spend management, it’s great for procurement, which is just the obtaining of goods and services. By automating procurement, it allows for wider accessibility to indirect spend management. Any ordering requests can be automated by using typical demands within your company, which creates less time needed to monitor them manually, while also reducing the chances of excess purchases.

Invest in education – To even carry out indirect spend management, everyone in your business must have an understanding of it, even if it’s not useful within their role. With procurement, a lot of indirect spending is done by non-procurement professionals. If procurement policies are not discussed properly, conformity will be low, leading to higher spending rates. By investing in valuable training and education services for all members of a company, it ensures that your team are following the same procedures, as well as supporting those who carry out procurement to achieve savings.

Set out formal standards – Education alone will not work efficiently, unless it is paired with the creation of formal standards and processes, to optimize how this spending works. You can only continue to improve your business if everyone has a clear idea of how your business practices are affecting costs and profits.

Streamline indirect spend categories – Tidying up your company and its support chain, makes it easier to manage. Combining these things into a more coherent plan can help to secure cost savings and strengthen supplier relationships. It’s so much easier to focus on obtaining better contract terms, pricing and leveraging economies of scale when employees can focus on managing a streamlined category set.

These are just some of the ways in which indirect spend management is extremely vital for the growth of a company, and how to properly utilise it within a business. By neglecting this, it could cause great challenges for your company, preventing it from running as efficiently as possible.

Five Tips for Finance Management

The global economy is changing all the time. The numbers and amount of money have increased considerably. Whether you are wealthy or are trying to get there, finance management is one of the most crucial aspects of building wealth. It doesn’t matter if you are a business owner or have inherited a lot of money, keeping the numbers in line is pivotal to sustaining prosperity and posterity. Whoever you are and whatever you are working with, below are five tips for finance management.

Separate Personal & Business Finances

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they are running a business is combining personal and business finances. Not only can it look like you have more business capital than you do, but you will also end up using your personal finances in your business. It’s a lot easier to know what your business has to work with when you separate the finances. You can calculate your overhead versus your profit. With a clear view of what your business is making and what you are making personally, you also have the ability to adjust your own salary. It’s a must to separate business and personal finances.

Outsource Revenue Management

Sometimes you’re too busy to do all the work. Revenue management is vital, but it’s also time you can spend on other things. When you’re a business leader, it’s necessary to have an overall vision. You need to do things that will push your venture forward. Whether you are running a large corporation or are investing in a variety of areas to keep money coming in, revenue management can probably be done better by someone else. Of course, your overhead will go up but when you need to grow that’s what happens. When it comes to businesses like tech, investment, and hotel revenue management, there is usually something to be gained by outsourcing these tasks.

Always Understand Your Credit & Loans

If you are already dealing with a lot of numbers, you might forget the terms, conditions, and rates of your credit usage. Lending is dynamic. It’s vital to know how much interest you are paying. It’s paramount to understand what exactly you’re using credit for and why. It goes without saying that you should pay your credit cards off every month, but it’s also vital that you take our credit and other lending options when it will benefit you. If you have the money, investing your own capital could be a better move. There’s no interest on your own cash. It’s so easy to get lost in the minutia of the modern economy. Just remember, if you don’t know about your loan or credit on something specific, it’s time to find out.

Diversify Investments

Investing in one place is a mistake people make when building wealth or working with large sums of money. It’s necessary to diversify your investments for many reasons. One reason is that you can see what is working and what isn’t. Another is that you have the chance to take a return on one investment and invest it somewhere else. Stocks are one way to invest, but they aren’t the end-all-be-all. Whether you put money into property, starting a side company, or in an alternative investment like cryptocurrency, diversifying will help you build more wealth.

Use Your Savings Account

Finally, it may sound like something you are telling a teenager but it’s a cliché for a reason. It’s necessary to use your savings account. This means transferring a certain amount of money over every month. Not only will it save you on a rainy day, but you will also be able to gain benefits from banks based on what you are saving in that account. Even if you end up using that money for something else, having a separate place to put it will help you compartmentalize and use your finances better.

When it comes to managing money, there are plenty of tactics and strategies. You might have your own that isn’t on this list. But the basics are clear. It’s important to have a clear perspective of what you have, what you owe, and what is likely to come into your accounts in the future. Once you have a handle on all this, building wealth gets easier and easier.

Three VCTs to Buy Before the End of Tax-Year

The tax burden is at its highest since 1949, increasingly weighing on higher earners. And it’s about to get worse. Come 6th April, more people will be dragged into the higher and top rates of tax, whilst those already caught will see their tax bills rise. As a result, more and more investors are turning to tax-efficient investment schemes, such as Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs), resulting in over £2bn of inflows last tax-year.

When you invest in VCTs, you get up to 30% income tax relief plus tax-free dividends – this could be particularly valuable once the tax-free allowance for dividends is halved. You can invest up to £200,000 a year.

VCT tax reliefs have so far survived unscathed the raft of tax-grabbing rules of the last few years – and it’s easy to see why. VCTs provide essential capital to dynamic young businesses – a driving force of the UK economy – the tax relief is a crucial incentive for private investors and a way to mitigate the risks involved.

Alex Davies, founder of Wealth Club said: “A recent survey of our clients revealed that over two-thirds of wealthy investors intend to invest more into tax efficient investments, such as Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs), as a result of the onerous new tax increases coming in from next month.

But it is not just about the tax relief. Investors are increasingly realising that growth and innovation are not likely to come from the large corporates you find on the main stock market, but rather from young, ambitious, and entrepreneurial start-ups. Not all will succeed but there’s now much more support compared to, say, 10 years ago – from incubators and accelerators to public and private funding – so they should have a better chance. 

Moreover, over the ten years to December 2022 VCTs have performed well, with the 10 largest VCTs generating a NAV total return of 83%. And that is before taking into account tax relief, which enhances effective investor returns considerably.”


Here are three VCTs to invest in before the tax-year end:

1. Baronsmead VCTs 

The two VCTs – Baronsmead Venture Trust and Baronsmead Second Venture Trust – have a history that goes back to 1995 and today are two of the largest and most diverse of all VCTs.

Together, they give investors exposure to a portfolio of over 85 companies: a mix of AIM-quoted and private companies, old-style management buyouts and newer early-stage growth investments. The manager, Gresham House, invests across different sectors, but prefers technology companies, especially those selling to businesses. An example is quality, risk, audit and compliance software company Ideagen, which generated a 13.5x return for the Baronsmead VCTs on exit.

The VCTs target an annual dividend yield of 7% of NAV – one of the most generous policies in the market – and have achieved this in each of the last five financial years.

2. British Smaller Companies VCTs

The long-established British Smaller Companies VCTs have a loyal following amongst investors and an enviable track record of exits. When you invest, you get exposure to 35 companies, predominantly providing business services. The largest holding is business intelligence analytics platform Matillion. Now a global leader, Matillion became the sixth VCT-backed unicorn in September 2021 and was featured in the 2022 FT 1000: Europe’s Fastest Growing Companies. Another example is film and TV visual effects business Outpost, which was nominated for two Emmy Awards in 2022.

The VCTs don’t state a dividend target, but over the five years to 31 December 2022 paid total dividends per share of 38.5p (BSC) and 27.8p (BSC2).

3. Octopus Titan VCT

With a portfolio of over 115 companies and net assets of £1.1 billion (December 2022), Octopus Titan VCT is the largest VCT and one of Europe’s largest venture capital funds.

Manager Octopus Ventures seeks “pioneers with global ambitions” whom it believes can achieve a 10x exit on the value of Titan’s initial investment. Indeed, over the years Octopus Titan has built a long track record of investing some of the UK’s fastest-growing technology companies, from Zoopla, the first $1 billion VCT-backed company, to fashion marketplace Depop and leading pet insurer Many Pets.

The VCT targets annual dividends of 5p per share; in the 10 years to December 2022, it has paid dividends of 91p per share.

* This is according to a survey of 1,300 high-net-worth investors who are members of Wealth Club.  Conducted February 2023.

From AI to Inflation, Here Are the Top Five global Trends Investors Should Consider

Maxim Manturov, Head of Investment Research at Freedom Finance Europe, outlines the key trends for investors to take notice of in the first half of 2023

From technological advancements impacting businesses and individuals across the globe to macroeconomic ripples that are influencing the decisions of bankers and consumers, 2023 is already a year of trends and transformation.

It’s essential that investors are in tune with significant global trends in order to protect and make the most of their investments. Maxim Manturov, Head of Investment Research at Freedom Finance Europe has identified the key trends impacting markets and how investors can strategically leverage them.

High interest rates

Unsurprisingly, high interest rates are having an impact on the market. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates to levels not seen since 2007 as an inflation control measure, and financial institutions are set to benefit. This is in part because financial institutions will be able to charge higher interest rates on loans, and companies with low debt and large cash reserves can earn higher returns on their cash balances. Technology and healthcare, which have substantial cash reserves, are two sectors that are also likely to see positive effects from high interest rates.

Investors might consider Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) such as XLF for finance, XLV for healthcare and XLK for technology. The bond market is also expected to be impacted by rising interest rates, which will provide investment opportunities for those investing in fixed-income and long-term bonds.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has recently taken centre stage across most sectors, in part due to the prominence of ChatGPT from OpenAI, and it is already predicted to become one of the most significant industries of the century. By 2024, the AI market is expected to generate more than $500 billion in global revenues, with a five-year compound growth rate of 17.5 percent thanks to its varied usage, from developing unmanned cars to drug development. ETFs such as BOTZ, ARKQ and ROBO provide retail investors with a simple way to invest in AI stocks.

The metaverse

The metaverse has become a buzz phrase in recent years. With more computing power, faster Internet connectivity and other technological advancements available to people, technology companies are developing ecosystems where people can shop, play sports and learn and experience most of life’s activities digitally. This is considered by many as the future of the internet and could be the next big investment opportunity.

Meta (FB) plans to spend billions to create a metaverse, while Microsoft has invested heavily into its future metaverse plans by acquiring Activision Blizzard. Investors may be interested in companies such as NVIDIA, Autodesk, Unity Software and Fastly, which are all likely to benefit from virtual world growth.

Inflation protection

Inflation protection is a trend that is high on the agenda of many investors. Inflation is at its highest level in decades almost everywhere in the world, causing concern among investors wanting to protect their money. However, there are many options on the table for those wanting to combat inflation, including investing in Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) and Series I bonds issued by the US government, which adjust for inflation.

Stocks of companies with price power are also an effective inflation protector in the long term, but in the short term fears of continued inflation can cause stock prices to plummet. Gold is also an option, but it offers no return.

ESG investing

 Finally, environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing has become increasingly popular and will continue to be a priority as investors, consumers and employees favour companies that prioritise ESG responsibilities over profit. Interestingly, by prioritising responsible business practices, sustainable companies tend to be more stable and successful than those that are not. Corporations with strong ESG practices tend to be less volatile, have higher three-year returns and are less likely to go bust.

Investment in ESG companies has grown to $120 billion in the first half of 2022, with total assets invested reaching $2.5 trillion, and this trend is likely to continue into 2023. Investors can support socially conscious companies through ETFs like the iShares MSCI USA ESG Select ETF (SUSA), which tracks a list of highly rated ESG companies. This ETF includes well-known companies such as Disney, American Express, Accenture, etc. By focusing on reducing their carbon footprint, waste and promoting social issues such as equality, fairness and inclusion, these companies are changing the perception of business in society and seeking to make a positive impact.

From Start-Up to Growth: A Guide for Entrepreneurs to Improving Their Business Management Skills

According to Zippia, the rate of failure of small businesses in the US during the first year of their operation is 22%. These businesses fail due to a lack of experience and improper business management skills. Lack of business management skills leads to improper cash flow and, ultimately, the closing of small businesses. It means developing proper business management skills is a must for any business.

If you don’t want to be in such a position, follow the guidelines below. This guide will provide you with the key steps to take and the skills to develop from taking your start-up from strength to strength and achieving sustainable growth.

Irrespective of whether you are a novice or aspiring to elevate your business, this guide is tailored to assist you.

1. Pursue a Business Management Degree

A business management degree can be a valuable investment for aspiring entrepreneurs and business professionals. A degree program in this field can equip individuals with the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to successfully manage and grow a business.

From human resources to marketing to accounting and finance, a business management degree provides a comprehensive education in all business aspects. This degree can also provide valuable networking opportunities, access to resources, and a strong foundation for professional growth and advancement.

Whether you’re looking to start your own business or advance in your current career, a business management degree can be a valuable asset.

Business management skills are helpful not only in running a business but also in getting a good job and, ideally, handling your team. The employees in managerial positions have to direct business activities, establish plans and policies, and supervise products, services, and their subordinates.

According to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, overall employment in managerial positions is expected to grow by 8% from 2031 to 2031. Hence, there will be around 883,900 new job openings over the decade. Thus, this is the right time to develop your skills by joining a business management course.

2. Learn How to Manage Yourself, Not Just Your Team

Self-management is a critical skill for entrepreneurs and business leaders. Managing your own time, energy, and emotions is just as important as managing your team. Without proper self-management, it’s easy to become overwhelmed, burn out, and fail to reach your goals.

To be an effective leader, you must learn to manage yourself with these seven self-management skills. These skills include role clarity, goal alignment, strategic planning, priority-setting, self-awareness, emotional regulation, and self-care.

In other words, setting clear boundaries, prioritizing tasks, and taking care of your physical and mental well-being are also self-management practices. You can develop a strong foundation for personal and professional success by practicing them.

Thus, don’t just focus on managing your team. Instead, take the time to learn how to manage yourself and watch as your business and personal life soar.

3. Concentrate On Your Strengths Rather Than Your Weaknesses

Every person has unique talents and skills, and it’s important to identify and leverage these strengths to achieve success. By focusing on your strengths, you can perform at a higher level, increase your confidence, and derive more satisfaction from your work.

On the other hand, trying to improve your weaknesses can be a never-ending and frustrating process. Thus, instead of trying to be good at everything, focus on developing your strengths, delegate tasks that are not in your areas of expertise, and surround yourself with people who complement your skillset. By doing so, you’ll be able to achieve more, feel more fulfilled, and become a better leader.

4. Stay Organized and on Track with a Daily Schedule and Weekly Checklists

One effective way to stay organized and on track is by creating a daily schedule and weekly checklists. A daily schedule helps you prioritize tasks and allocate your time efficiently, while weekly checklists ensure that you stay on track with your goals and projects. Both tools visually represent your to-do list, allowing you to stay focused and avoid distractions.

Following a structured schedule and consistently checking your progress can minimize stress and increase your productivity. Whether you prefer a digital or physical system, incorporating a daily schedule and weekly checklists into your routine can help you stay organized, focused, and on track toward achieving your goals.

5. Develop Systems for All Aspects of Your Business

Developing systems for all aspects of your business is critical for success and sustainability. Systems ensure that your business runs smoothly and efficiently, freeing time for you to focus on growth and innovation. From financial and operational systems to customer service and marketing, clear processes can improve communication, streamline operations, and reduce the risk of errors.

Implementing these systems can also help you scale your business, as they provide a roadmap for growth and expansion. Don’t just rely on ad hoc methods and informal processes. Take the time to develop robust systems for all aspects of your business. This investment will pay off in increased productivity, improved customer satisfaction, and a stronger bottom line.

6. Keep Up to Date on Best Practices in Management

The business landscape is constantly evolving, and entrepreneurs and business leaders must stay informed about the latest trends and developments. For this, the managers can spend time learning and developing a new skill.

In fact, as per the facts from Statista, 51% of millennial employees are always eager to learn a new skill to perform a new work. Attending industry conferences, reading management and leadership books, and following thought leaders in the field are just a few more ways to stay informed.

You can stay ahead of the curve by continually learning and improving, adapting to changes, and implementing new ideas to drive your business forward. In a fast-paced and competitive business environment, staying up to date on best management practices is essential to stay ahead of the game and to achieve long-term success.

What Finances Are There To Consider When Selling Your House

Finances to consider when moving house

Moving house marks a new milestone in your life and there is a lot to consider if you want to make the process as smooth as possible. It’s natural to be mostly focused on packing and getting your old property ready for new owners but it’s important to not neglect the financial side of things. There are many costs involved, from estate agency fees to removal bills.

The average cost of moving house in the UK is just under £10,000 and this figure includes all the necessary services you’ll need to buy and sell. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself by letting these moving costs mount up so here are some of the finances you need to consider when moving into your new home:

Conveyance fees

These are what get paid to a legal professional that will manage the sale of your property for you and cover legal concerns like disbursement issues. It may seem like an unnecessary expenditure but with so much at stake, it’s advisable to pay the fees earlier rather than later which can save you from having to fix problems later down the road.


Even in a seller’s market, potential buyers need to be able to visualise living in your property when they visit it. Staging your home for viewings can increase your likelihood of a sale so it’s well worth rearranging your furniture, giving the space a good clean, or splurging on some redecorating. The aim is to make your home as appealing as possible to encourage a quick sale.

This may seem daunting when you’ve already made investments in another property, but a more attractive home is easier to market. To cover costs in the meantime, boosting your credit score could help you use a credit card to fund any revamping. Then you can use the money from the final sale to cover the payments on your credit card.

Estate agents

Estate agent fees are often the biggest expense and the rate of each company will depend on the value of your property. Most will charge you a percentage of the sale price of your home and this is generally 1-2%, although it’s not unusual to pay up to 3.5%.

Value Added Tax (VAT) may also be included in the fee price so it’s best to ask for this upfront.


Depending on your location, you may not be able to move all your belongings yourself which means you’ll have to pay for a storage facility or a moving company to help you out. This can cost a pretty penny if they’re travelling over a large distance or if you need to store your furniture for a while.

Planning ahead and starting to set money aside for this cost in the months running up to moving day means you won’t be blindsided by any heavy fees.

Why is Gold Used as a Store of Wealth?

Gold has always been valuable. While there are those who would argue that modern currencies are the only form of money that can be accepted, there are others who maintain that gold’s value is something different.

While both sides make their points, one thing is clear: gold is here to stay as a form of investment. But what makes this metal so enduring? Why is it used as a store of wealth?

To find out more, read on. We look at gold’s significance and what that means for investors right now.

Why is gold important?

Work is underway at Scotland’s only gold mine. According to the latest from the extraction site, the aim is to be extracting about 2,000 ounces (57kg) of gold monthly, worth more than £3 million, by the end of 2023.

The work that’s going into the gold mine right now indicates the significance of gold and its value. Gold is rare, durable, and it’s been seen as a symbol of wealth for millennia, adorning the rich and powerful and used as a status symbol.

As well as being used as jewellery, it’s also been used as a form of protection. In the event of an economy collapsing, the metal can be exchanged as a form of currency. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that in the world of trading, gold is classed a commodity. This means it has a dual identity as it has both a commodity profile and monetary status.

What is a store of wealth?

So, what does this mean for investors? Knowing what a store of wealth – also referred to as a store of value – is a good starting point. This is an asset, currency, or commodity that retains its value over time. If its value is remains stable or increases but doesn’t depreciate over time, it’s seen to be a good store of wealth. As gold has endured for so long, it can be considered a safe bet when it comes to its store of wealth.

What makes gold a store of wealth?

There are several reasons why gold is used as a store of wealth:

Portfolio diversification

Gold doesn’t behave like other commodities and assets. When stocks and indices fall, gold behaves differently, maintaining its value even in the hardest times. It’s this that makes it an appealing option for investors looking to diversify their portfolio.

Portfolio protection  Although it can be volatile, gold is seen as a ‘safe haven’ for many investors. This is largely because its less risky than other investments and there’s a chance of higher returns. It’s possible to make a gold price forecast that’s fairly accurate, based on what we know about the metal and how it performs.


Gold is a market that’s easily accessible. This means it can be bought and sold in a range of economic conditions.

Long-term returns

The UK may be in a period of high inflation right now, but this can mean that gold is performing well. The metal gains ground in good and bad times and does particularly well when inflation is high.

Will you look to make gold a store of wealth?

How to Add Value to Your Estate and Secure its Future

Your estate is one of the most important things that you can build. It sets you up for your retirement and can provide your family with financial support, long after you’re gone. This is vital as events like your funeral cost a lot with the average price being between £3200 and £4400, which may set family members back who have to pay for it. This is why you’ll want to ensure your estate has enough money in it to let your family live a comfortable life with few financial worries after you pass away.

Adding value to your estate and securing it, however, requires careful planning to ensure you invest your money in the right places. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways that you can increase your wealth throughout your lifetime.

If you want to learn how to add value to your estate, then you’re in the right place. We’ll discuss the best ways to do it and how you can secure it, so your family can easily access it should you die suddenly.

Invest your money and build a portfolio

Investing in stocks and shares is a great way to build your wealth further. This can be done by trading on popular websites like Trading212 or you could hire a wealth management firm that understands the market extremely well. They’ll be able to invest your capital in many ways depending on the level of risk-reward you want to take.

Property investment

The housing market has grown exponentially over the last few years, which has led to the average UK house being worth £295,000 according to the most recent data. There are several options for investing in property too. You can either purchase a house and renovate it before selling it for a quick gain. This is known as house flipping. Or you can buy the house and rent it out over a number of years before selling it many years down the line.

How can I secure my estate for my family

Ensuring the legalities around your estate are correct is a must to ensure the smooth handover of money to loved ones should you pass away. The safest way to do this is to create a will that clearly states who the executors are and how you want your estate shared around the family. If you don’t have this, then they may need to instruct an estate lawyer to help with this issue.

You’ll also want to avoid as many tax implications as possible to protect the value of the estate. Some of the easiest ways to avoid a large inheritance tax bill include

Using a trust fund Gifting wealth to family members ahead of death

Navigating the Transformation of Online Payments in 2023

2023 is off to a rocky start for retailers. Recent events including the COVID-19 crisis, the ground war in Europe and rising inflation are all having a toll on how consumers are shopping – and merchants need to adapt to the new landscape.

One of the biggest developments is the constant change in payment preferences, as new and innovative payment methods enter the scene. But rather than be a hindrance, this shift presents an opportunity for European merchants to thrive in the age of uncertainty, with retailers being urged to diversify their payments stack in line with consumers’ demands.

Signifyd’s ecommerce fraud report explores payment methods as a way to navigate the complexities of the uncertain ecommerce landscape in 2023. Here, we outline the approach that will help merchants stay afloat in 2023.

Rigid payment acceptance is driving customers away

One of the biggest disappointments for consumers which is harming sales and revenue is not finding their preferred payment method on a merchant’s website.

In a world where consumers are looking for a fast and efficient customer experience, and where Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) is already creating friction in the checkout journey, one inconvenience can have detrimental effects on transaction approval.

A 2021 survey by UK Consultancy Merchant Advice Service found that one in five consumers in the UK and European Union would abandon their purchase if they’re unable to pay the way they want to. As a result, merchants are losing £1.8billion a year.

For merchants, it is time to embrace the new when it comes to payment trends. Research firm 451 Research found that merchants who put a strong emphasis on payments during the pandemic saw their sales increase much more rapidly than others.

Considering payments as a highly strategic area led to the increase of sales for 55% of those who agreed that payments are an essential part of the revenue optimisation mix.

451 analyst Jordan McKee said: “Merchants that had scalable payments infrastructure accepted a diverse mix of payment methods, and put automated fraud-prevention processes in place weathered the storm. Many even thrived.”

Europe’s payment trends in ecommerce

What are Europe’s payment methods that are defining the ecommerce landscape today?

Europe’s ecommerce market is growing at a rapidly of 11% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) year-on-year and is expected to increase that through 2025. Diversified payment methods are a vital part of that growth across all European countries.

While credit and debit cards used to be the most popular payment methods, sales through them have dropped by 22% in 2022 compared to the year before, shows Singifyd data. Meanwhile, digital wallets are on the rise. In 2021, they accounted for 26.7% of transaction value – the highest of all. Ecommerce sales through PayPal and Apple Pay in particular increased by 274% and 70% between 2021 and 2022.

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) is another payment method that is gaining momentum in Europe, as the ecommerce sales conducted via this method accounted for 8.1% of ecommerce spend in 2021, more than in any other region.

BNPL and digital wallets are leading the way in the Nordic countries, where they’ve had an exponential growth, as well as in Germany, France, Poland, and the UK.

While in some countries, such as Germany and France, sales through bank transfers are in decline, in others, such as the UK, Poland, and Turkey, they are projected to grow. In fact, in Poland, they have a 54.5% share of ecommerce transaction value, and it’s projected to reach 58.6% by 2025.

Payments data is paving the way to a better transactions flow

Understanding payments trends and implementing them into your ecommerce strategy is key. But what’s also aiding merchants in optimising their transactions flow is leveraging payments data and utilising it.

Payments data holds the key to unlocking insights about consumers’ trends and behaviour and then using it to improve approval rates, drive more loyalty, and target the prime consumers that are bringing the most revenue in.

Collecting payments data is all about adopting machine-learning in order to optimise the process and drive better results. It also helps reduce friction caused by SCA, as data helps develop a better understanding of exemptions and approval performance. According to Signifyd’s report, European retailers who have optimised their payment stack have increased sales by 5% to 9%.

Understanding and tapping into the latest payment methods can be a golden key for merchants to unlock their full ecommerce potential and reduce the friction in the customer journey created by SCA.

Wealth Building Hacks for Working Adults

There comes a point in every working person’s life when they wonder what can they do to build financial security for retirement? Fortunately, it’s a question that has several realistic, practical answers. Wealth building hacks can bolster savings accounts, augment retirement funds, and deliver a large measure of peace of mind to people of all ages, particularly those middle-aged and older.

Retirement has a way of sneaking up on busy professionals, so it’s imperative to explore all the options in advance. In addition to selling unneeded life insurance policies, wealth enhancing moves include acquiring long-term investing skills, starting a profitable side business, adding precious metals to portfolios, and opening Roth IRAs. Here are details about each technique.

Sell an Unwanted Life Insurance Policy

Most working adults acquire one or more life insurance policies before they reach retirement age. But it’s common for many adults to buy too much coverage. Eventually, they realize they don’t need all of it and wonder what to do. If you’re in that category, there’s good news. It’s easy to sell life policies and to find out how to go about the process just by reviewing online information resources.

If you wish to sell it, there are several streamlined ways to get the job done. Many often sell their life insurance policies when they discover they don’t need or want them anymore. That often happens after they retire, realize they would rather have a cash payout, or wish to sell policies that have face values more than $100,000.

Learn to Invest for the Long Term

There are excellent online tutorials for people who want to learn the basics of long-term investing techniques. Some approaches focus on how to select and purchase blue-chip stocks that pay regular dividends, while other tactics leverage the power of amassing shares of real estate investment trusts (REITs) for maximum value. The dividend aristocrat corporate shares have paid income to stockholders for more than 25 consecutive years without missing a single payment. REITs have been a cornerstone of long-term wealth programs for over half a century.

Start a Side Business

In the digital age, all it takes to start a small company is an internet connection and a few hours of spare time per week. For long-term potential, consider beginning slowly with an e-commerce store that sells one or more products. Invest in advertising, building a functional website, and acquiring the necessary inventory. Don’t expect to see profits for the first year. Instead, concentrate on adding customers and establishing brand identity.

Consider Adding Gold to Your Portfolio

One of the simplest hacks for enhancing a retirement portfolio is adding gold to the mix. There are multiple theories, but the most common target value is 5% of the total portfolio worth in gold bullion, gold stocks, or gold ETFs (exchange traded funds). The yellow metal can be stagnant for long periods, but it tends to offset drops in equity values. Historically, when the stock market underperforms, gold does the opposite. Avoid buying rare gold coins, as they are a totally different asset class and come with extremely high fees.


Hidden Costs and Responsibilities of Setting Up a Business

There are many costs to incur when setting up a business, and some of these are less obvious than others. From marketing expenses to legal fees, waste management and various types of equipment, setting up a business is no easy task.

In this article, we will look at the main hidden costs and responsibilities that new entrepreneurs and business owners may miss and how these can be managed effectively to ensure that no angle is missed and you are set up for success.

Business Insurance

Insurance is an important aspect of starting a business, and it’s probably not something you have forgotten. There are different types, however, and varying costs which you may be yet to consider. What insurance you need depends on the industry you will be operating in and the nature of your business, but some of the popular ones are outlined here.

For example, public liability insurance is there to protect you and your business against anyone making a claim that they have been injured by the actions of your organisation or that their property has been damaged. This is something that is difficult to plan for, and public liability insurance ensures you are financially covered against a third-party claiming injury or damage to their property.

Employers’ liability insurance provides cover if an employee becomes injured or ill at work. This is a legal requirement not just for paid employees, but also for volunteers or friends helping on weekends. Businesses without this insurance can face a fine for not having it in place.

Another extremely useful insurance type, no matter the size or type of your business, is contents insurance. Having this in place ensures that stolen or lost equipment is stolen or lost can be replaced quickly – reducing that all-too-costly downtime.

Of course, there are many types of business insurance, many of which are specific to certain types of industry, but insurance generally is a cost that should never be ignored.

Waste Management

As a business, you are responsible for disposing responsibly of any waste on your premises. This can range from smaller costs to larger operations being required, obviously depending on your business and industry.

Waste disposal could be needed in various parts of setting up a business, including the initial refurbishment or building of any required buildings or premises. It could also just be waste created from day-to-day operations or objects left at the end of a project. When disposing of waste, there are a few things to consider, including the safe storage and removal of the waste. When disposing of it, you may require a skip for larger amounts of rubble, or there are various bin types available, such as 240 litre bins.

There are further things to consider should your commercial waste be classed as hazardous, as this will require more specialist removal and potentially higher costs.

The Cost of your Time

It is important not to underestimate the cost of your time while setting up a business or forget to factor it in. You may find that you are having to spend time away from the day-to-day tasks and money making, so to speak, to deal with things that require time and attention. As the boss, and running your own company, you may find yourself getting involved in areas you don’t need to as you try and oversee the whole operation.

Be wary of spending too much time in areas that you don’t need to and focus on what you need to do to establish the business and grow. If you have employees, trust, and allow them to do their job – taking over it yourself is a waste of time and resources, no matter how difficult it can be to let other people take control.

Services Fees

As a business owner, especially while setting up, it’s reasonable to want to organise as many tasks as you can yourself to save as much money as possible. There will most likely be, however, things that you cannot manage yourself, and that require professional or expert help.

for example, accounting, particularly for a limited company, or management of payroll may be activities that are more viable to outsource to an external organisation.

There are also fees that can include fees for solicitors and lawyers, should this arise, as well as subscriptions, licenses and qualifications that may be required as the business grows. Ultimately, there is no set list of fees and services, as this depends on your business requirements – but be aware of surprises along the way.


Along the way, as a business owner you are going to incur costs and charges, it is simply inevitable. If you are aware of the situations mentioned in this article, this will help you plan and budget accordingly.

Of course, there are going to be unpredictable scenarios along the way, and charges you haven’t planned for, but by doing your research and being aware of the most common issues, you can be prepared to help your business start up and grow as smoothly as possible.

How to Implement Finance Transformation for Your Growing Company

In today’s commercial world, there’s a shift happening. This has seen the role of finance teams change from dealing only with accounts and spreadsheets to being involved in business strategy and decision-making too. 

The term “finance transformation” is a buzzword—one you’ll soon be hearing more of. But what is it, and how can you implement it in your ever-growing company?

What is Finance Transformation? 

Finance transformation is the evolution of finance teams from reactionary departments to proactive and strategic teams. To implement this kind of change, finance teams use various tools and metrics to track progress and contribute to decision-making. 

The backward-looking approach characterized by providing historical reports and statistics isn’t enough for businesses in today’s market. To thrive, they need to be forward-thinking and pre-emptive. Financial transformation can help. 

For financial transformation to be successful, it must encompass not only new technologies but a cultural shift. Employees need to be supported and trained to use this innovative tech and ensure processes are streamlined to optimize efficiency and reach strategic business goals.  

If you want to see a shift in how your team operates to help you achieve your aims, and you have the ability to invest in the right tools to get there, it’s time to think about finance transformation. 

The Benefits of Finance Transformation 

There are many reasons to implement finance transformation, including its impact on wider business goals such as: 

  • Saving on costs. When finance teams use automated tools, they can limit the amount of time spent by employees on day-to-day tasks. Improving efficiency and reducing human error saves money, and your HR payroll costs may also be reduced. Not only this but your finance team is freed up so they can focus on strategic tasks that help you work toward your wider business goals. 
  • Using data to make informed decisions. Having the tools to gather and analyze data is a game changer for businesses. Your team can collect information on performance, customer trends, sales, and so on, and use the reports this generates to inform their decision-making. The ability to use data to understand your business performance or customer behaviors in real time is a huge advantage. 

Additionally, by utilizing data analysis tools to monitor your blog’s performance, you can make informed decisions about content creation, marketing strategies, and audience engagement, ultimately optimizing your blog for maximum impact.

  • Seeing the bigger picture. Implementing financial transformation can help with your overall strategic decision-making too. You may decide to increase your marketing budget, adopt a new customer service solution, or cut costs in another department.  With accurate financial information, it’s easier to know where you should invest and where you can save money to run your business more efficiently. 


How to Implement Financial Transformation 

To successfully implement financial transformation in your growing company, there are a few key things to consider. 

Define your goal

You need to have a clear vision before you usher in financial transformation. Have a purpose and objective in mind and communicate these with stakeholders and employees. 

As with any major business decision, know why you’re making it and what the desired outcome is. Perhaps you want to streamline processes and become more efficient, or maybe you want to grow your company in a new market. Whatever it is you’re aiming for, be clear on what you want and how financial transformation will get you there. 

Involve stakeholders and employees 

To make changes in your business, you need buy-in from stakeholders, so ensure you share your goals and vision with them and that everyone is working toward these.

Your employees will likely be the ones using any new technologies you introduce. Get them on board by sharing your ideas with them and taking their views into account. They can often provide fresh insights into the day-to-day running of your business and how to improve it. 

Financial modeling can be an effective tool for finance transformation, enabling teams to create detailed financial projections and analyze different scenarios to inform decision-making. By using financial modeling, businesses can make more informed decisions about investments, budgeting, and strategic planning. Consider incorporating financial modeling into your finance transformation plan to maximize the benefits.

Employees may surprise you and offer solutions you haven’t thought of. Some may be keen to expand on their skills and suggest they learn data engineering or similar. Having workers who are skilled and able to use high-quality data to inform strategic decisions will vastly improve the outcome of your transformation and have a hugely positive impact on your business moving forward. 

Take your time

You mustn’t rush this transformation. Any shift in the way your business runs will be a lengthy process. You need to make sure you research the right solutions for your company and implement any changes carefully. If you plan on making a lot of these, do so step-by-step and evaluate the effectiveness of each change as you implement it. 

A lot can be said for taking your time as a business owner. Yes, you need to make sure you’re moving forward and making things happen, but you must also ensure that you carefully plan your decisions. A lot of time and money can be wasted by diving in too quickly. 

Embrace technology 

Solutions such as call center as a service can hugely enhance the customer experience; in the same way, automation tools and software solutions can be valuable assets to finance teams. 

Help your team to understand the benefits new technology can bring to not only them but the company as a whole. Using appropriate tech will ensure finance staff can become more involved in strategic decision-making and help you achieve your overall business goals. 

However, it’s important to recognize that new technology alone isn’t enough for transformation. As mentioned previously, employees and stakeholders need to work toward a shared goal for this to be effective, and employees need appropriate training on using new technologies. 

Measure your progress

As with any strategic shift, you must measure your progress. Gather data at every stage in the change cycle to track your success. You’ll need to gather qualitative and quantitative data to inform your next steps and consult employees for their input. 

Measuring the effectiveness of change will help you track KPIs, set benchmarks, and ensure your organization is meeting its aims. You may even want to use a service such as the 8×8 predictive dialer to contact key customers and gather their views on your business. This can be hugely insightful and ensures you’re always looking at the bigger picture. 

Final Thoughts

When implementing financial transformation within your growing company, ensure you set clear goals, communicate effectively, and evaluate your progress regularly. Get your whole team on board, embrace new technologies, and you will reap the rewards.

Tips on Reducing Costs When Managing a Business

Cost-cutting is essential to a business’s profitability and long-term viability. Businesses may boost profits, improve competitiveness, and guarantee long-term financial stability by managing expenses.

Cutting costs enables companies to deploy resources more effectively and decide on investments and expansion prospects with greater knowledge.

Additionally, cost-cutting measures can boost a business’s profitability and increase its allure to investors. Cost reduction is a continual process that demands constant attention and efficient management in the quickly evolving corporate environment of today.

Understanding your costs

To efficiently minimize costs for your company, it’s critical to understand what expenses it faces. This section discusses the many costs that a company could incur, such as direct costs, indirect costs, fixed costs, and variable costs.

Tracking and identifying these expenditures is crucial if you want to reduce costs in a smart way. The part also emphasizes how costs affect business earnings, highlighting the necessity of cutting costs in order to boost revenues.

Identifying areas for cost reduction

Reviewing your present spending habits in order to spot any areas where expenditure is excessive or unneeded is the first step. This could entail assessing the procedures used by your business and looking for inefficiencies, as well as investigating different suppliers and vendor agreements.

Consider places where you can bargain for better terms or rates for the items and services you purchase as a further crucial step. The effect of any cost-cutting efforts on the calibre of your goods or services must also be taken into account.

Implementing cost-saving measures

This comprises a variety of doable tactics for cutting costs, such as streamlining procedures, negotiating better terms and pricing with suppliers, consuming less energy and resources, and looking for alternate sources of supply. It also emphasizes the significance of including workers in the process of cost reduction and of explaining the rationale behind cost-saving initiatives to stakeholders.

There are numerous apps that can save costs for organizations. Here are a few of the most well-liked and successful:

1. Expense management apps: Tools like Mint, Expensify, and QuickBooks Self-Employed enable companies to track, classify, and budget for their spending. This can assist companies in locating areas where they are overspending and in selecting cost-cutting measures.

2. Project management tools: Tools like Asana, Trello, and Monday.com assist companies in streamlining their operations, lowering the time and resources needed to accomplish projects, and enhancing teamwork.

3. Apps for invoicing and payment management: By managing invoices and payments electronically, businesses can save money on paper and postage. Examples of such apps are Square, Paypal, and Stripe.

4. You may transfer the booking process online and eliminate having a full-time staff answer the phone to schedule appointments with your clients by using booking software like Trafft or Amelia.

5. Apps for supply chain management and procurement: Tools like PurchaseControl, Procurify, and Coupa assist companies in managing their procurement procedures and locating the most affordable rates for goods and services.

6. Time-tracking applications: Programs like Toggl, RescueTime, and TimeCamp enable companies to monitor the amount of time workers spend on various tasks, enabling them to spot inefficiencies and decide on staffing levels.

6. Design applications like Webflow, Wix, and Slider Revolution have templates you can use instead of hiring a web designer that would increase your costs considerably.

Measuring the success of cost reduction efforts

It’s crucial to construct key performance indicators (KPIs) and monitor development over time in order to assess the efficacy of cost-saving strategies.

This may entail keeping an eye on expenditure trends, assessing how cost-cutting strategies affect profit margins, and polling staff and clients to determine how they affect the caliber of goods and services.


This article offers helpful tips and advice for lowering costs and attaining financial success, whether you’re a business owner, manager, or financial professional. Businesses may stay competitive and ensure a solid financial future by adopting a continual and systematic approach to cost reduction.

Financial Midlife Crisis

Over-50s are facing a financial midlife crisis with poor financial health hitting their work life and retirement plans

  • Nearly one in three 50 to 55-year-olds admit their financial health is poor and more say they are unhappy compared to those who say they are happy
  • One in four fear their jobs are at risk and 1.3 million have delayed retirement plans
  • Almost two out of five say not saving enough is their biggest financial regret, Investec Wealth & Investment study shows

Over-50s are increasingly battling a financial midlife crisis with nearly one in three (32%) rating their financial health as poor and many admitting this is damaging their physical and mental well-being, a new study* from Investec Wealth & Investment shows.

The wealth manager carried out the research to understand how the 5.55 million UK adults aged 50 to 55, who are often grappling with the pressures of supporting children and parents, are coping with current financial pressures and keeping their lives on track.

It exposed major worries about work life with around one in four (24%) – the equivalent of some 1.33 million people – fearful about job security with nearly one in 10 (9%) so worried they expect to lose their jobs.

Retirement plans are being put on hold – 24% say they have had to delay their retirement plans with around 670,000 people aged 50 – 55 putting their plans to stop work back by five years or more.

And they are not enjoying life – respondents were asked whether they were happy or unhappy on a scale of 1 to 10, with one representing very happy and 10 very unhappy. The results showed 28% of people aged 50 – 55 rated themselves as 8,9 or 10 for unhappiness compared with 22% who rated themselves as a 1,2 or 3.

The financial midlife crisis

The unique nationwide study asked those aged between 50 and 55 to rate their own levels of physical, mental, and financial health as the table below shows.





Very strong
















Very poor




The biggest financial regret over-50s wish they could go back in time and change is not saving enough. Around 38% regret not saving more while 19% wish they’d chosen a better paid career. Around 15% wish they’d started a pension sooner and 13% say they wish they had got on the property ladder earlier.

Job worries

Around half (50%) of 50 to 55-year-olds in work say they will not ask for a pay increase in the year ahead. Most (72%) say they won’t ask because they don’t believe their employer can afford to give them one. But one in four (25%) worry that asking for a pay rise will put their job at risk as their employer could think they were too expensive.

Nearly half (49%) have had pay rises in the past 12 months but 17% of those questioned said it had been two years or more since they had received a salary increase. Around 6% said it had been five years or more.

Retirement on hold

Nearly one in five (18%) will work past the age of 70 with around 7% – the equivalent of almost 400,000 saying they never plan to retire. The main reason for delaying is the cost-of-living crisis. Three-quarters (75%) blamed the rising cost of living while around one in three (32%) say their pension and investments have dropped in value because of stock market volatility.

Faye Church, Chartered Financial Planner at Investec Wealth & Investment, said: “Financial health is important at all ages but particularly crucial as people enter their 50s and are heading for retirement as well as potentially facing other financial challenges such as supporting children through university or with a first home.

 “Being prepared and making informed decisions is key to financial health and expert financial planning advice can support people with taking control of their finances. By focusing on the future now, it can give peace of mind knowing that you are on track to meet your goals, or at the very least know what you need to do with time to make any changes where necessary. Those aged 50 to 55 are at a particularly vulnerable point in their lives and would benefit from expert financial support on how to plan for the future.”

Leading psychologist Professor Sir Cary Cooper CBE said: “Everything that has happened since the Financial Crash has made people feel insecure and has affected people’s financial health. It is depressing to see that so many 50 to 55-year-olds say they are unhappy and facing a financial midlife crisis.”

“That is being driven by the lack of control and uncertainty people feel about their lives. We need to get younger generations to understand the importance of investing and the fact that it does give people more control over their lives. You can do things yourself if you are financially stronger.”    

Investec Wealth & Investment works closely with individual clients to plan and manage their wealth, and with charities, trusts and clients of professional advisers to help deliver optimal returns on their investments and bring financial peace of mind.

As one of the UK’s leading wealth management companies Investec Wealth & Management focuses on a relationship-based approach to Financial Planning and Investment Management with the purpose of making a tangible and meaningful difference to clients and their families.

The value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount invested. Your capital is at risk.

How to Spot a Great Deal on a House (and Three Red Flags to Be Aware of)

Are you looking to move home? If so, you’ll want to check out the following tips on how to spot a great deal and the red flags that you need to be aware of.

First, Figure Out Your Budget

Before you can begin searching for houses and find a great deal, you should make determining your housing affordability limit a top priority.

Thankfully, you can use an online calculator to quickly and easily work out how much you can afford.

Compare Prices with Other Homes in the Area

Just because a property has a high price tag, it doesn’t always mean you can’t secure it for a lower price.

You should compare the price of the property with the prices of other homes for sale in the same area to determine whether the seller of the high-priced property you’re considering moving into is trying to get more than the home is actually worth.

Look at the recent sold prices for properties in the same neighbourhood, too.

If you find a property that appears to be overpriced, you have a good chance of being able to negotiate with the seller to secure the property at a lower and more reasonable price.

Look at Properties That Have Been Listed for a While

Many people are put off properties that have been on the market for a long time because they assume there’s something wrong with them. But you should never think like that.

There could be all kinds of reasons why a property hasn’t sold quickly besides things like poor conditions. So, it’s always worth checking out properties that have been listed for a while.

If you find one that is ideal for you, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to negotiate with the seller to pay a lower price, as the seller will want to shift his or her property as soon as possible.

Many sellers whose homes have been on the market for some time will consider taking lower offers than the price the property is advertised for.

Look at Properties During the Off Season

Property sales are at their highest during the spring and summer seasons. So, if you look for properties during the off-season, you could have less competition. In turn, that means you could get a great deal on a house.

According to Nadia Evangelou from the National Association of Realtors, property prices tend to be around 3% cheaper between September and February than they are between March and August.

Three Red Flags to Be Aware of

When looking at potential houses to purchase, you need to be aware of red flags.

Just because you’re looking for an affordable residence, it doesn’t mean you should simply buy at the lowest price without first checking for any potential warning signs.

Otherwise, you could end up buying at a low price but spending much more than you want to on repairs and maintenance.

You could even find there is structural damage and end up paying way above the odds compared to buying a property at a higher price point that has no issues.

Here are just three important red flags that you need to be aware of.

Foundation Cracks

Most poured concrete foundations will crack at some point, but if the crack is wider than half an inch, you have a problem on your hands.

Large cracks are indicative of an unstable foundation.


If a house has mould, it could indicate a leak. And if the leak has existed for a long time, you could have to replace things like wood members and carpets.

If you view a property and smell mould but can’t immediately spot it, do a thorough check by looking beneath sinks, around windows, and so on, to find out where the problem is and how major the problem is.

Insect Infestations

Insects like termites can do untold damage to houses, so be on the outlook for any signs of insect infestations when viewing potential houses to buy.

Tell tale signs include tiny brown droppings near a wall and hearing a hollow sound when you knock on wood surfaces.

5 Budget-Friendly Marketing Strategies to Maximize ROI for Your E-commerce Business

Global e-commerce sales are expected to hit $6.3 trillion in 2023 and will reach about $7.5 trillion over the next two years by 2025. This shows that the industry is growing steadily without indicating a slowing down. The popularity and use of online e-commerce shops have increased complexity and competitiveness.

You need to keep up with the most recent e-commerce marketing trends and strategies, whether your business is just getting off the ground or has grown to the point of maintaining a sizable customer base. When your business starts, seeing it grow and flourish makes sense.

All e-commerce marketing techniques work together to advance your company, and no magic formula or specific technique will enable your company to succeed instantly. Businesses with modest marketing budgets will be able to reach new consumers and increase online sales by utilizing a range of channels and strategies.

Let us walk you through some budget-friendly marketing strategies to maximize ROI for your e-commerce business—but first, let us delve into understanding an e-commerce marketing strategy.

Understanding e-commerce marketing strategy

A strategy for promoting an e-commerce store or business is known as an e-commerce marketing strategy. You will be able to create an e-commerce marketing strategy after establishing the e-commerce business model as your starting point. This strategy must comprise a carefully thought-out marketing plan, clearly defined marketing channels, and an understandable marketing funnel.

Many marketing managers tend to forego or compromise on carefully thought-out marketing strategies and run several ad campaigns blindly, resulting in a poor return on their marketing budget and significant financial waste. You need to blend e-commerce marketing methods on and off your website to get the most outstanding results. Using both marketing strategies that highlight your company’s brand and one specific item or service is something to think about. 

Before creating your plan, take into account the following common objectives:

  • Engaging a larger audience
  • Retaining more of your current clients
  • Reducing the website’s customer churn rate 
  • Decreasing visitors who leave their shopping carts unfilled
  • 5 marketing strategies to maximize your e-commerce business’s ROI

Conduct a competitive market research

Finding and evaluating important market metrics that assist in distinguishing your products and services from those of your competitors is the main goal of market research. Product managers learn about consumer wants and market trends through market research. Competitive research entails identifying your competitors, assessing their strengths and shortcomings, and assessing the merits of their goods and services.

Choose from the extensive list of top market research agencies in the US to help you lay the groundwork for an efficient sales and marketing strategy that will make your business stand out from the competition. 

It’s crucial to examine your competitors and learn what marketing strategies they are doing. You must use this to design a strategy to distinguish yourself from your competitors. Everything on the internet will be accessible, inspected, collected, and processed using a variety of reasonable business intelligence tools because it is all in the public domain. These tools will isolate the top-ranking sites of your competition, figure out where their backlinks are coming from, and even reverse-engineer their whole paid-ad campaign.

Create relevant content

You provide your audience with helpful information alongside your product lines at no additional cost when you create content for them, such as blog articles and infographics. Search is the most critical factor in driving traffic, which accounts for 53.3% of all worldwide online traffic.

So, publishing relevant content on your website and blog geared to the keywords people use when searching for a solution in your industry is one of the best marketing strategies for ecommerce to get clients to your online store on a budget. By responding to their inquiries, you are assisting others in finding you. Also, you encourage returning business from current clients.

First, you need to identify keywords in your area and utilize them to generate original material that benefits your customers to successfully develop a blog content plan.

You must draw visitors to your website by producing engaging and informative content that frequently appears on search engine results pages. Articles on your products or services, business-related news, or consumer tips and guidance will indeed fall under this category.

Use email marketing

After your website receives a critical quantity of consistent traffic, it’s time to convert part of that traffic into an email list using a lead magnet—a cost-free or inexpensive digital good with high intrinsic value that you give away to site visitors in return for their email addresses.

One of the best marketing techniques is email marketing, but you must be careful when using it for e-commerce since everybody who has ever subscribed to a firm has had their inbox flooded with spam.


You require two things to be ready for email marketing:

  • An original and customized email template
  • Tool for customized email marketing
  • Building solid, long-term customer connections, reaching and connecting with your target audience in a tailored fashion, and boosting revenue are all possible with email marketing. 

Your objective is to construct an email list of prospects that is always expanding so that you are able to nurture them over time by strategically sending them frequent marketing emails and establishing a rapport of trust.

After some time, you must design targeted email campaigns to provide pertinent details about your goods or services right to your client’s inboxes.  There are several reasonably priced email platforms that enable you to create great emails and automate your marketing process.

Social media marketing

E-commerce social media marketing is an extremely efficient tool. It lets you interact personally and publicly with your market, consumers, and industry. Use social media to increase traffic to your website, foster engagement and connection, and build a more extensive consumer base.

Create a regular posting plan for one or two sites you are comfortable with. If you want to cover all your bases and keep your audience interested, mix promotional material with pieces that are instructive, amusing, or of great value. Diversifying your skills and efforts using several social media platforms for various objectives gives your business a robust online presence. This will eventually assist you in meeting the wants of your clients in a way that develops your company over time.

  • You must provide content that is pertinent to your business specialty.
  • Answering inquiries about your product consumers will have is also a brilliant idea.
  • Keeping your brand’s voice and personality consistent via social media is crucial since this is how your audience will trust you.

Ensure your staff is on board with your company’s communication style to ensure that your outreach efforts are coordinated and that your brand awareness and authority are developed and maintained.

Create appealing content by utilizing free tools. These are a few of our top concepts for Instagram posts. Use pertinent hashtags to draw in the correct audience by being sure to use them.

Influencer marketing

One common misconception about influencer marketing is that it needs a huge budget since influencers are so expensive. There are few alternatives to promote your business if you can’t compete with the large firms that invest billions of dollars in their advertising efforts. Partnering with the perfect influencer to promote your products will attract an audience of highly engaged followers to your companysmall business owners and entrepreneurs will tap into the rewards of influencer marketing at a minimal cost by concentrating on a defined niche.

The price of working with influencers is impacted by a number of variables, including the number of followers, engagement, and the partnership’s conditions. It is good to collaborate with brand ambassadors or micro-influencers because they are frequently inexpensive.

Influencer marketing is seen as a valuable strategy by 90% of businesses for boosting brand recognition and revenue. How will your e-commerce company run a productive influencer marketing campaign in light of the rising popularity of influencer marketing?

Even large companies are using micro-influencers. In the end, influencer marketing will be a quick approach to boost your online presence, develop a following of devoted customers, and increase brand recognition.

Affordable marketing strategies for your e-commerce business

For any e-commerce firm to be successful, staying up to date with the most recent marketing trends and strategies is essential. It’s crucial to provide your target market with information and products that are current, engaging, and helpful. 

With the correct combination of budget-friendly marketing strategies, businesses will save money while reaching out to their consumers in a number of methods, raise conversion rates, and draw in enduring clients who will see their business expand over time with higher ROI.

Author Bio:

Surya Ranjan Pandita is a content marketer. He is always on the lookout for new optimization strategies and loves to create actionable content. Feel free to ping him on LinkedIn.

How Credit Unions Use CRM To Accelerate Business Processes?

When it comes to accelerating business processes, credit unions can’t afford to miss out on the power of CRM.

As a cornerstone of the financial industry, credit union CRM software provides invaluable insights and support for credit unions that are looking to take their operations up a notch.

From tracking member data to automating customer service tasks – CRM offers endless capabilities that can help propel credit unions to success.

Let’s dive into how credit unions can use CRM to accelerate their business processes and gain an edge in the sector.

Overview of Credit Unions & Their Need for CRM

CRM and its importance in the financial industry

CRM is basically like having a digital Rolodex of all your customers and their interactions with your business.

It helps you keep track of their needs and behaviors, so you can provide better service and tailor your offerings.

In the financial industry, this is super important because (truly speaking) people want to do business with a company that knows them and their financial needs.

Credit unions and their role in the financial sector

Credit unions are like little banks with a big heart. They’re non-profit organizations that provide financial services to their members, who are also owners of the credit union. Yes, that’s simple to understand!

So, they’re often more community-focused and offer personalized service that big banks just can’t match.

How credit unions use CRM to improve their business processes?

BY coming to the main point, here are some ways credit unions use CRM to improve their business processes and ease their operations like a pro-solution!

It Understands Customer Needs and Behaviours

There is no doubt about it; you can’t improve what you don’t measure. That’s why analyzing customer data is key to making informed decisions.

That’s where CRM comes in! It helps credit unions gather and crunch the numbers on their customers so they have a better understanding of what they want and need.

With a deeper understanding of their customers, credit unions can offer products and services that really hit the mark. And that leads to happier customers, which leads to more business. There is nothing to lose!

Helps with Streamlining Business Processes

CRM can help simplify a credit union’s day-to-day operations. No more manual tasks and fewer chances for errors.

Take loan applications, for example. CRM can help streamline the process, making it quicker and easier for everyone involved.

With streamlined processes, credit unions can save time and resources, freeing up their employees to focus on what really matters – serving their customers!

And let’s be real, who doesn’t love a well-oiled machine?

Enhancing Customer Engagement and Satisfaction

Alright, so now, to be active with customer engagement, you know, it’s all about making the customer feel valued and appreciated. And that’s where CRM has great abilities credit unions could get benefit from.

For instance, it gives credit unions the tools they need to connect with their customers on a deeper level.

Also, with features like personalized communications and targeted promotions, credit unions can show their customers that they’re more than just a number. And that’s huge, you know?

When customers feel like they’re being heard and understood, they’re more likely to stick around.

And that’s not all – improved customer engagement and satisfaction also mean increased loyalty and more referrals. So, everyone involved will be happy with the outcome!

Improving Business Insights and Analytics

We all know that data is king, right? And the same goes for the financial industry. With a good credit union CRM system, they can dive deeply into all sorts of important metrics that help them make better business decisions.

Think customer acquisition costs, lifetime value of a customer, and more. It’s like having a crystal ball that gives you a glimpse into the future of your business.

And let us tell you, these metrics are a real game-changer. Customer acquisition costs, for example, give you an idea of how much it’s gonna cost you to get a new customer in the door.

And lifetime value?

That shows you how much a customer is worth to your business over their lifetime. With this information at your fingertips, you can make informed decisions about your marketing efforts and where to put your resources.

You and Your Money: Making it Grow

Looking after your assets can be important, especially if you have a family who relies on your income. Whether you work for a company or yourself, you might want to consider the ways that you can maximize your income, taking off some of that pressure each month. Considering both long-term solutions and things that could aid you in the present may be a good idea, especially if you often find yourself struggling. In doing so, you may not only make life easier, but also find some habits that you are able to implement and keep going.

Look into savings

Keeping money in your bank account might be a good idea but, a lot of the time, generic bank accounts may not offer you the opportunity to accrue interest. On other occasions, you may find yourself needing to pay a fee for the luxury of a certain type of account which, depending on how much that fee is, may not be worth your time. Instead, you may want to learn how to invest your money in savings accounts that won’t require a lot of effort on your part. This could involve setting things up, so a specific amount of money is taken each month or, if your wages tend to fluctuate, deposit money as and when you choose.

Look after yourself

There may be a number of impulses that people have to deal with each day. While a lot of these may be fairly easy to resist, especially if conceding to them could have detrimental effects on your life, you might find others a little harder to shy away from. In particular, you might find yourself spending more when in a negative mindset. This is something that can happen to anyone but, by making yourself aware of that likelihood, you may be able to equip yourself with the tools needed to overcome those urges. In addition to this, while you may feel good about your purchases in the moment, you might find yourself dealing with buyer’s guilt later on, which can then make you feel worse. Working on yourself, and acknowledging your mental state, could help you to save money and feel better.

Set yourself goals

While learning to save your money, and think through purchases, can be a good idea in general, you may find yourself losing focus pretty quickly. Instead, it could be worth looking into some financial goals for the coming months. Doing so, and keeping note of your progress, could allow you to aim for targets. This might spur you on to keep making better financial decisions, and even allow you to reward yourself with items or treats that, with your previous habits, may not have been a possibility before.

Looking after your money isn’t always about trying to find a high paid job, or even asking for a raise. Sometimes, it can be about making better choices with the money you do have to allow you a little bit more financial freedom.

Pre-Accounting For Small Businesses – A Comprehensive Guide

For many small business owners, accounting can be a daunting task. With limited resources, it’s crucial to manage finances effectively to maintain a stable and profitable operation.

However, before you dive into bookkeeping and accounting, there are several crucial steps you need to take to set up your business for success.

This process is known as pre-accounting, and it involves organizing and managing financial records before they are entered into accounting software.

In this article, we will discuss 10 various steps and processes that small businesses should take up before accounting.

Set Up Your Chart of Accounts

It’s essential to set up your chart of accounts before you start bookkeeping so that you can accurately record your business transactions.

By simplifying your chart of accounts and categorizing transactions efficiently, you can streamline the annual report process and save time and effort.

Your chart of accounts should include categories such as income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. You can create your chart of accounts using accounting software or a spreadsheet.

Organize Your Financial Records

Collecting all your receipts, invoices, bank statements, and other financial documents falls under organizing your financial records.

Make sure you have a proper filing system in place to keep all your records in one place. This will help you save time and ensure that you have all the information you need when it’s time to prepare your tax returns.

Set Up Your Budget

Setting up a budget is one of the most important steps involved in pre-accounting. A budget is a financial plan that outlines your expected income and expenses for a given period.

By creating a budget, you can track your spending and make all necessary adjustments to ensure that you’re not overspending. You can also use different software to create a budget or keep it traditional with a spreadsheet.

Choose Your Accounting Method

Cash and accrual accounting are the two types of accounting. Whereas accrual accounting records transactions when they happen, regardless of when cash is exchanged, cash accounting records transactions when cash is received or paid.

You must decide as a small business owner which accounting strategy will benefit your company the most.

Set Up Your Accounting Software

Accounting software can help you streamline your financial management while saving you time and money.

With so many various accounting software options like QuickBooks, Xero, and FreshBooks, choose the one that suits your business needs and budget.

Track Your Expenses

Tracking your expenses is important when trying to understand the financial health of your business. You need to keep track of all your business expenses, including rent, utilities, supplies, and payroll.

You can use different accounting software to track your expenses or keep a manual record using spreadsheets or a journal. Whatever method you choose, make sure you keep your records up-to-date.

Reconcile Your Bank Statements

The practice of comparing your bank transactions to your accounting records is known as reconciling your bank statements.

This verifies that your records are correct and that no transactions are missing. Reconciling the statements will assist you in identifying any discrepancies or inaccuracies in your records and making the required corrections.

Hire an Accountant

Your business tax planning, financial reporting, and all other financial management tasks are assisted by an accountant.

They can help you navigate complicated tax laws and regulations and make sure you follow all relevant guidelines.

It’s crucial to find an accountant who you get along with and who has good communication skills when choosing one.

Moreover, be careful to select someone who is knowledgeable about your sector and has experience working with small businesses.

Applying For Personal Loans


When it comes to financing personal expenses, personal loans can be a viable option. Jackson and Marlboro are two cities that offer personal loans, and in this article, we will explore the process of applying for a personal loan in these locations.

First, let’s define what a personal loan is. A personal loan is a type of loan that is granted to an individual for personal use, rather than for business or commercial purposes. Personal loans Marlboro can be used for a variety of purposes, such as debt consolidation, home improvement, education, or medical expenses.

When it comes to applying for a personal loan in Jackson, there are several options available. One option is to apply for a personal loan through a bank or credit union. These financial institutions will typically require a credit check and may also require proof of income and other financial information.

Another option is to apply for a personal loan through an online lender. Online lenders often have less stringent requirements than traditional lenders, and the application process is typically faster and more convenient. However, it’s important to research the lender thoroughly and ensure that they are legitimate before applying for a loan.

To apply for a personal loan in Jackson, you will typically need to provide the following information:

  • Personal identification, such as a driver’s license or passport
  • Social Security number
  • Proof of income, such as pay stubs or tax returns
  • Bank account information
  • Employment information
  • Debt-to-income ratio

Once you have gathered this information, you can begin the application process. You can apply for a personal loan online, by phone, or in person. If you are applying for a loan through a bank or credit union, you will typically need to visit a branch to complete the application process.

In Marlboro, the process of applying for a personal loan is similar to that in Jackson. You can apply for a personal loan through a bank or credit union, or through an online lender. Again, you will need to provide personal identification, proof of income, and other financial information.

It’s important to note that the interest rates and fees associated with personal loans Jackson can vary widely depending on the lender and your credit score. Generally, borrowers with higher credit scores will be offered lower interest rates and fees than those with lower credit scores.

When considering a personal loan, it’s important to carefully evaluate your financial situation and determine whether a loan is the right choice for you. You should also compare rates and fees from multiple lenders to ensure that you are getting the best possible deal.

In addition, it’s important to carefully read and understand the terms of the loan agreement before signing. This includes the interest rate, fees, repayment terms, and any penalties for late or missed payments.

Finally, it’s important to remember that taking out a personal loan is not a long-term solution for financial difficulties. If you are struggling with debt, it’s important to seek out additional resources, such as financial counseling or debt consolidation services.

In conclusion, applying for a personal loan in Jackson or Marlboro can be a viable option for financing personal expenses. However, it’s important to carefully evaluate your financial situation and compare rates and fees from multiple lenders before making a decision. With the right research and planning, a personal loan can help you achieve your financial goals and improve your overall financial well-being.

Best Financial Services for Small Businesses to Use in 2023

There’s no shortage of business owners who believe they can do it all on their own. A certain industrialist who recently bought a major social media network comes to mind. But he’s not alone. The list of so-called self-sufficient business owners is long.

Whether it’s a big business or a small one, chances are it relies on specific products, specialized services, and the expertise of various professionals to operate on all cylinders. As a result, virtually no business owner is truly self-sufficient.

And that’s okay. The quest to be a god is one that lives rent-free in their heads, not ours. For business owners with the modesty and common sense to recognize the role of others in achieving their own success, it comes down to utilizing the right resources at the right time.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at the best services for small businesses to use in 2023:

Payroll services

The economy is increasingly global in nature. While that generally refers to the relationship between businesses and customers, it also applies to companies and the talent they seek. If your small business relies on a global talent pool, then international payroll services are a factor to consider. They streamline the process so your business can work seamlessly with freelancers and traditional employees overseas.

Accounting services

Few, if any, businesses can survive the gauntlet that comes with financial scrutiny in the aftermath of poor bookkeeping. It could be tax authorities, potential partners, or potential buyers of the business; poor financial records could prove disastrous. With this in mind, it’s essential for small businesses to utilize the advantage of accounting services. If anything, small businesses need business-grade accounting software in order to ensure they’re constantly on top of their finances.

Cybersecurity monitoring

Many people assume hackers prefer the biggest target possible; that small businesses are too insignificant for cybercriminals to target. That couldn’t be further from the truth. The harsh reality is that small businesses are a preferred target due to the perceived notion they lack significant cybersecurity protections. Unfortunately, that assessment is not wrong. Small businesses that take cybersecurity seriously are at an advantage. And given the increasingly digital nature of the modern economy, it’s a no-brainer. Those who wait to take cybersecurity seriously are setting themselves up for failure.

Payment processing

Most modern small businesses rely on customers placing orders and making payments online. That couldn’t happen without the help of third-party payment processing platforms like PayPal, Payoneer, or Paycor. Truth be told, they don’t need the word Pay in their name so long as they provide a safe and secure means for businesses and their customers to do business.

Digital marketing

Marketing makes the world go ‘round. In other words, word-of-mouth will only get a business so far; they need a dedicated effort to ensure their enterprise is not only noticed but embraced by the market they seek. This can only be done with a concentrated effort to promote that can only be provided courtesy of professional marketing services.

Web design

Few, if any, businesses operating in the 21st century can afford to go without a website. What’s more, they need a website with user-friendly features and an all-around commitment to straightforward commerce. In essence., that makes web design a premium product in the modern world. Companies that can provide a premium product by virtue of practical web design have the advantage. It’s that simple.

Digital businesses are a dime a dozen. What separates the wheat from the chaff is the ability to adapt accordingly. That means having the wherewithal and common sense to see what tomorrow brings and to adjust your operation to fit that future. Few people have the means to do so successfully. But those that do are at a significant advantage compared to those that struggle with this concept. Which will your small business be? That is the question. If you take what we suggested to heart, the answer is obvious. Time will tell if you put it into practice. We’re willing to bet you listen to the voice of reason.

International Women’s Day 2023: Pension Pots of Women Just Over Half the Size of Men at 60-65 Years Old

Latest data from Aviva (January 2023) has again found the gender pension gap begins to widen significantly from the age of thirty-five, and there are still significant gaps between how much women pay into their pension compared to men.

Based on the workplace pension data for just over 5 million pension plans, the gap between women’s and men’s pension contributions for 35-39-year-olds is 21%, up on the 18% gap last year. It then increases to 24% for 40-44-year-olds and 27% for 45-49-year-olds before stretching to 32% for 50-54-year-olds.

The amount paid in pension contributions has a big impact on retirement income, and the difference between women’s and men’s contribution rates is stark (Table 1).

The new data also found the gender pension imbalance persisting into retirement with women aged 60-65 years old having pension pots which are on average just over half (57%) the size of men’s pots at the same age.

Michele Golunska, Managing Director for Wealth and Advice at Aviva said:

“This suggests a clear line in the sand around the age that women are often making milestone career and childcare decisions and considering opting to work part-time. Pension contributions are unlikely to be a deciding factor when considering whether to work part-time, but what is important is that the long-term impact on a pension is understood when making that decision. This is crucial to good financial planning. Some might consider upping their pension contributions, but this would have to be carefully balanced against disposable income. An option that some parents may consider is sharing the caring responsibilities to help spread the long-term impact on pension savings.”               

Aviva’s Working Lives Report (June 2022)  found that women are significantly more likely to say that their workplace pension will not provide enough for them to have a comfortable retirement (40% of women versus 28% of men). It also found that part-time workers are more likely to say that they will not be able to retire comfortably on their workplace pension (46% of part-time workers versus 33% of full-time workers).

Table 1: Aviva: The gap between women and men’s pension contributions


Jan 2022

Jan 2023































Michele Golunska said: “It is encouraging to see the gap in contributions from age 45 has reduced, compared to last year. This might suggest there are some women who are recognising they have a gap in their pension contributions and are taking action to help reduce it.”

Measuring the gender pension gap

Aviva’s Working Lives Report also found almost one in five employers (19%) have never heard of the gender pension gap. While most employers (81%) have heard of the gender pension gap, just over two in five (41%) acknowledged they have a gender pension gap. Of those employers who said their company has a gender pension gap, 14% said they do not know the size of it.

Michele Golunska said: “There are widely varying ways in the which the gender pension gap is measured, using a host of figures which reflect household surveys of pensioners, average pension pots, contribution rates, and pension incomes. This inconsistency is a barrier to assessing progress. We would like to see the government find a suitable definition of the gender pension gap alongside a metric for measuring progress on reducing the gap.”

Remove auto-enrolment thresholds to level up pensions

Michele Golunska said: “One significant change government could make to help women and other part-time workers would be to remove the automatic-enrolment (AE) lower qualifying earnings threshold (LET), currently set at £6,240 per year. This would mean women in a pension scheme would get an employer pension contribution from the first pound they earn.

“We would like the government to put a ‘roadmap’ in place now outlining how and when it will implement changes to AE. Now, in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis, is not the time for radical change. By providing a clear ‘roadmap’ for changes to AE, government will give employers and pension savers time to plan, which will help to ensure better retirements.”  


Aviva’s tips on how to reduce your pension gap:

  • Make use of digital technology to help understand if you are on track for a financially comfortable retirement. Aviva’s online retirement tools My Retirement Planner and Shape My Future are free to use.
  • If you are working part-time and automatically enrolled into a workplace pension scheme, consider increasing your monthly contributions, if it is affordable.
  • If you earn less than £10,000 per year, speak to your employer about your options for joining your company pension scheme.
  • If you are thinking about reducing your working hours to help balance family life, you might want to consider whether it is better for you or your partner to work part-time. As part of those considerations, you might want to look at which of you gets higher employer pension contributions.
  • When it comes to saving into a pension, starting early allows a small contribution to build up over time.
  • Long term relationship circumstances can change and should divorce become a possibility keep pensions at the forefront of your mind when splitting assets. Sharing pensions as part of a divorce or dissolution of civil partnership the same way as any other wealth does not happen by default. Aviva found one in seven people (15%) did not realise their pension could be impacted by getting divorced and a third (34%) made no claim on their former partner’s pension when they divorced.
  • Check your National Insurance record to see if you will get the full State Pension amount when you retire. You need a total of 35 years of National Insurance contributions, or, in some cases, you can apply for credits. If it looks like you might be short, you might have the option to pay to fill in the gaps.
  • Apply for child benefit even if your overall household income means you need to pay it back through a high-income child benefit charge. If you are not working while looking after a child, you get state pension credits automatically until your youngest child is 12 years old if you are claiming child benefit. If you do not claim child benefit you do not receive the credits.
  • Talk to your employer about the policies they offer. For example, Aviva offers six months’ equal parental leave irrespective of gender, alongside salary exchange. Which means employees who might only receive statutory maternity pay for part of their parental leave maintain full pension contributions.
  • Seek guidance or professional advice: You can get impartial guidance on money, pensions, or debt from the government’s free MoneyHelper If you want personal financial advice, we recommend finding a professional financial adviser. Advisers may charge for their services, but the advice you will receive will be tailored to your individual circumstances. For those who are over 50 and considering their pension options, the government-backed Pension Wise service from MoneyHelper can provide free guidance.

As Working Women Shoulder the Burden of a Looming Recession, Salary Transparency Identified as Key Solution in Research by Talent.com

  • New data from Talent.com demonstrates that the UK workforce is growing uncertain, with 50% believing that the looming economic recession is a threat to their security, and the same number (50%) considering changing industry should their present industry be impacted
  • The economic downturn is affecting women more than men, with more women feeling the pinch on everyday bills, and needing support to upskill in response to job insecurity
  • With many workers likely to switch jobs, the calls for mandatory salary transparency are growing louder, especially due to the negative impact on women in the workforce. At present: 
    • 40% of women find it difficult to discuss salary in a job interview, and less likely than men to ask for a raise in-post
    • Across every age category, women found it more difficult to discuss salary than men
    • 75% of employees believe that salary transparency would have a positive impact on helping to close the gender pay gap

According to new research into inflation and recession by Talent.com, the UK workforce is growing uncertain, with 50% believing that the looming economic recession is a threat to their security. The data also reveals that women are experiencing the financial implications of the downturn more keenly, with 47% of women (versus 39% of men) needing more income for everyday expenses. 

The solution might be to ask for a payrise, but whilst 21% of men would ask for a raise, only 15% of women would do the same. Considering that failed requests for pay rises can result in reduced job satisfaction and a rise in employee turnover, employers are now under enormous pressure to act, particularly to save their female staff members. 

Women also face barriers in accessing the tools that would help to secure their jobs, such as through upskilling; 52% said they would fund their own training, or undertake training in their own time. But when asked whether they would upskill during work hours, and if their company paid for it, the positive response jumped to 80% – a clear sign that employers need to step in to support female employees’ development.

This reluctance to negotiate pay is often inculcated from the outset. According to further research by Talent.com into salary transparency among 2000 UK-based employees, 40% of women find it difficult to discuss salary in a job interview, which could be contributing to the lingering gender pay gap. 

Although more than 50 years have elapsed since the Equal Pay Act was passed – giving an individual the right to the same contractual pay and benefits as a person of the opposite sex in the same employment – Talent.com’s research showed that 13% still reported pay discrimination as a woman/a woman with the same credentials.

Difficulties with discussing money

Across genders, over a third (39%) of respondents reported that discussing salary at the job interview stage is difficult. Notably – in every age category – more women reported finding it harder than men. 

With only 1 in 5 job advertisements listing the salary, it places the onus on the job seeker to raise salary expectations. This could mean that many are leaving money on the table, with a greater impact on women than men. 

Women treated less favorably during pay discussions

A study into pay negotiation found that it could be less to do with the fact a candidate is a woman, and instead more about how an interviewer perceives a woman discussing her salary. It found that when a woman initiates negotiation around pay, perception of niceness and demandingness plays a role in the interviewer’s resistance to the negotiator.

This has a real impact on the final salary decision, with 13% of survey respondents reporting pay discrimination as a woman / a woman with the same credentials.

Mandatory salary transparency could help close the gender pay gap

If women struggle to raise the issue of salary expectations, then mandatory salary transparency could be one way to help solve this dilemma. This is backed up by our survey, where 79% of respondents said they would support a law requiring employers to disclose salary information in job postings, with 71% believing that salary transparency would have a positive impact on helping to close the gender pay gap.

With transparency as the key to parity, legislation could be the next step on the road to salary equality. Whilst the Equality Act 2010 requires employers with 250+ employees to report their gender pay gap – providing the data on the problem – an Act that required salary information, whether in the form of exact numbers or salary bands, could provide the action to finally close the gender pay gap. 

The Benefits of a Non-Recourse Legal Funding Agreement

Are you in a lengthy legal battle and feeling financially strapped? It can be incredibly difficult to manage the financial burden of any type of litigation, especially if it’s a long-term case. Fortunately, with non-recourse legal funding, you’ll have money readily available to sustain your efforts without putting yourself or your family at risk. In this post, we’ll explore the advantages of utilizing funds from a non-recourse lawsuit loan agreement so that you can get through your proceedings with peace of mind.

What is a non-recourse legal funding agreement and how does it work

A non-recourse legal funding agreement is a unique way to secure legal funding without being liable for repaying it if the case doesn’t go your way. Essentially, it means that if you receive the funding, but don’t win your case in court, the lender cannot require you to repay the loan (hence, “non-recourse”). Instead, if you don’t win your case, you owe nothing and only have to pay back the lender if you are successful in securing financial compensation from your claim. It’s become a popular option for individuals who need financial support to pursue their legal claims, as it ensures they won’t be left out of pocket after investing money and time into something that didn’t pan out in their favor.

The benefits of a non-recourse legal funding agreement

A non-recourse legal funding agreement can be a great solution if you’re in the middle of a long and strenuous legal battle. With this type of agreement, you don’t have to worry about taking out high-interest loans from lenders that can leave you buried in debt. Instead, a lump sum of money is provided to you now so you can use it for all of your case-related expenses. Plus, if the lawsuit is unsuccessful, you will not be held liable for any debts or other fees associated with the loan — which decreases the financial risks involved significantly. All things considered, this type of arrangement provides numerous benefits that can ease your worries during a difficult time.

How to get a non-recourse legal funding agreement

Getting a non-recourse legal funding agreement could be a complicated and time-consuming process, but it can come with great rewards. The best way to get started is to research what types of agreements are available and which companies have the most favorable terms. Once you have narrowed it down, it’s time to do your due diligence. Look up the company’s past reviews, assess their experience in this industry, and make sure they truly understand your needs. Also, be aware of any upfront or ongoing fees that may be associated with a non-recourse agreement so that you can predict how much you may actually receive from the arrangement. Finally, once you feel comfortable with a particular option and its terms, sign off on the agreement as soon as possible to make sure you get exactly what was promised by both parties.

FAQs about non-recourse legal funding agreements

Non-recourse legal funding agreements are becoming increasingly popular for helping individuals pay for the legal assistance they need. Essentially, a non-recourse agreement allows an individual to secure money to cover their legal fees before going to court, but if they don’t win their case or receive compensation from the other party, they would be under no obligation to pay the money back. There are many questions surrounding these types of funding agreements, so it’s important to have as much information as possible before making a decision. It’s best to work with an experienced professional who can provide answers specific to your unique situation and ensure that you get the financial support you need during this difficult time.

Non-recourse legal funding agreements offer many benefits to plaintiffs who are pursuing a lawsuit. By providing access to immediate cash flow, these agreements can help cover the costs associated with litigation, such as legal fees and expert witness expenses. Additionally, because the funding is non-recourse, plaintiffs are not personally liable for repayment if their case is unsuccessful. This reduces the financial risk associated with pursuing a lawsuit and allows plaintiffs to focus on obtaining a favorable outcome without worrying about the financial burden. If you are considering a non-recourse legal funding agreement it’s important to work with a reputable provider like Litigation Funding Services Australia that can offer competitive rates and flexible terms.

Top 7 Services Your Business Can Save Money With In 2023

We live in a world where automation is taking over workplaces and handling tasks without any human intervention.

In these times, doing everything on your own isn’t only time-consuming but costs you money. Whether you’re a small business owner or the CEO of a large corporation, if you’re not using your resources efficiently, you’re missing out on a sea of opportunities.

Luckily, there are a variety of services available that can help you save money and increase the efficiency of your business.

In this article, we’ll explore seven services that take care of the redundant and repetitive tasks for you, so you can focus on what’s more critical in your business.

Let’s dive in.

1. A travel management software to avail business discounts

Businesses use a travel management software to manage their travel expenses, including booking flights, hotels, rental cars, and other travel-related expenses.

A good travel management software can help businesses save money in several ways.

By consolidating all travel-related expenses into one platform

You gain better visibility into your travel spending. This way, you can analyze your and your associates’ travel patterns and identify areas where you can save money, such as by negotiating better rates with vendors or changing their travel policies.

Helps businesses track and control their travel expenses

All you need to do is set travel policies and budgets, and your travel management software will enforce them. It does that by alerting employees when they exceed their budget or book outside the company’s preferred vendors.

This way, you can prevent unnecessary expenses and help businesses stay within their travel budget.

Helps businesses acquire the best hotel and business discounts

Accommodations can cost a fortune, but with a travel management software, you can save up significantly. These softwares negotiate corporate rates with large hotel chains before and help you avail business hotel discounts for your company.

Offers real-time data and reporting

Businesses can access real-time information on their travel spending and use this data to make adjustments to their travel policies, negotiate better rates with vendors, or identify areas where they can save money.

Streamlines the travel booking process

It can automate the travel booking process, eliminating the need for manual data entry and reducing the risk of errors. This can lead to a more efficient and cost-effective travel management process.

2. An AI-based inbox management tool to organize your inbox

Cleaning cluttered inboxes and going through thousands of unread emails are no one’s favourite ways to end a long tiring day or a weekend. With the sheer volume of emails and messages, we receive every day, it can be challenging to keep up with everything, leading to missed opportunities and a lot of stress.

What if we tell you there’s a way you can label all the good and useless stuff from your inbox, so you can easily delete all the useless stuff with one click?

This is something you can achieve through inbox management with AI that categorizes your emails effectively.

AI-powered inbox management tools use machine learning algorithms to analyze your emails and identify patterns, enabling them to sort your inbox automatically. These tools can group your emails into categories, such as personal, work, social media, promotions, and so on. This saves you time and energy, allowing you to be more productive and efficient with your work.

3. A meetings tool that makes collaboration fun

Let’s be honest—we all get overwhelmed by meetings—especially those that serve no purpose to us and our work. Creating meeting agendas help ensure you cover the important bits in a meeting and only devote the necessary time in the discussion.

For example, if you’re jumping on a sales call with your clients, there needs to be agenda that specifies what you’re going to discuss on the meeting and what are the sales objectives.

Fortunately, there are tools that help you prepare in advance for meeting and even make notes to make your all meetings productive and fulfilling. They even provide you with templates such as a sales meeting agenda template that you can use to create specific agendas for your sales meetings.

As a result, you convert your boring meetings into productive work sessions and save time.

4. An HR management tool to streamline the hiring process

Hiring can be a time-consuming and costly affair without the right tools and resources.

Let’s say you’re hiring for a role to fill up a single position and, for that, have to source 100s of candidates. You’re going to deal with at least 15-20 of them for a few weeks just to select one candidate. Unfortunately, that one candidate rejects your job offer closer to the joining date.

Do you see the problem here?

You’re investing way too much time and energy to fill up one position. If you could have just contacted a candidate from your personal database, it would have saved you much trouble.

That’s where an HR management system takes charge and automates the redundant tasks for you, including sending emails and letters, sourcing candidates matching job descriptions, tracking candidate status, onboarding candidates, screening candidate resumes, and so on.

5. Accounting and financial services to get more power over money

Honestly, handling finance and accounting matters is not everyone’s cup of tea. More importantly, these tasks can be overwhelming for someone handling the business single-handedly.

For example, businesses need to comply with various accounting standards and regulations, and financial reporting is an integral part of it. Especially when it comes to financial statements, such as balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements, it takes expertise to handle such tasks.

Finance and accounting tasks require specialized skills and expertise, and outsourcing provides access to professionals with the necessary knowledge and experience. Moreover, such tasks require a high degree of accuracy, and errors can have significant consequences for businesses.

6. Digital marketing services to increase brand awareness

Digital marketing is a massive landscape that everyone should try and conquer today. Particularly if you’re a growing business that needs to target multiple channels for customer acquisition, it’s crucial to outsource your digital marketing efforts.

Here’s why:

You scale your efforts and reach more of your target customers in less time

You’re able to quantify your results in terms of metrics, which provides a more realistic viewpoint

Digital marketing approaches, including social media platforms, paid advertising, email marketing, and content marketing, are generally more affordable than traditional advertising methods

Since a digital marketing strategy uses a data-driven approach, it provides a higher return on investment (ROI) than traditional marketing methods

Best practices to win at digital marketing

Outsource tasks you’re not an expert at. For example, if you haven’t ever been active on social media, it’s best to hire a social media manager that takes care of the strategy and posting for you.

Invest in marketing tools such as an email marketing software, an SEO tool, or a marketing automation tool to let go of the heavy-lifting tasks.

Hire a team or outsource tasks that don’t require much of your expertise.

Create an online branding and marketing plan every year—outline your goals, KPIs, and strategies to ensure you’re on the right track.

Define your target audience clearly, as it’s the foundation of any successful digital marketing campaign.

7. Customer support services to retain more customers

Outsourcing customer support is a popular way for businesses to provide quality customer service while reducing costs. It means hiring a third-party company to handle customer service on behalf of your business.

Best practices for outsourcing customer support Identify the need for outsourcing. If you have large volumes of customer inquiries, complex customer requests, and lesser availability of in-house resources, it’s time for you to outsource.Look for outsourcing companies with experience in their industry and a track record of providing high-quality customer support. It’s important to establish clear communication channels, service level agreements (SLAs), and key performance indicators (KPIs) to ensure the outsourcing partner meets expectations.Businesses should provide comprehensive training to the outsourcing partner, including information about the company’s products, services, and processes.Once the outsourcing partner is up and running, businesses should monitor and evaluate their performance regularly. This includes tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) such as response times, resolution rates, and customer satisfaction scores.

Consider what’s best for your business and make informed decisions

By outsourcing non-core tasks, businesses can free up time and resources to focus on core competencies, improve efficiency, and reduce costs.

On one hand, cloud-based services such as email marketing software, inbox management software, and SEO software help businesses save money by eliminating the need for expensive hardware and infrastructure. On the other hand, using project management and collaboration tools help them streamline workflows and improve team communication, leading to increased productivity and reduced costs.

Assess your business goals and analyze the areas you need help with—and outsource or delegate those tasks. You’ll see your business take off in no time.

Author’s Bio

Deepali is an engineer-turned-freelance writer for B2B SaaS, writing actionable long-form content for marketing, Cybersecurity, and HR-Tech companies. When she’s not writing, she’s engrossed in a cozy murder mystery novel with a cup of hot chocolate!

Equities: Can the Rebound Continue?

Following a 15% rebound in global equity markets since last autumn, Christopher Lewis, Head of Investment Strategy at Cazenove Capital, shared his thoughts on the outlook:

“In our view, recent support for risk assets has come from an improvement in investor sentiment driven largely by expectations of more supportive US monetary policy, rather than a significant improvement in underlying fundamentals. There is now growing optimism around a “no landing” scenario in which the US economy avoids a recession, earnings continue to grow and equity markets enjoy a sustainable recovery. We aren’t so sure. At this stage, we do not see the fundamental drivers for a more persistent recovery in equity markets:

  • Corporate profit margins remain under pressure from higher input and borrowing costs.
  • Earnings growth expectations are muted and at risk of further downgrades.
  • Equity market valuations have risen and no longer look as supportive, especially if interest rates continue to rise.
  • Investor sentiment and positioning have already corrected from an overly-bearish position at the start of October last year and are less likely to provide a further tailwind.

On this basis, we have opted to maintain our underweight position in equities while allocating to other markets with more attractive risk/reward profiles. This includes credit, where yields remain attractive, and commodities, which benefit from attractive long-term fundamentals.

Credit markets have historically performed well in economic slowdowns. Within the asset class, we remain focused on shorter-dated, higher-quality credit which should be able to better navigate a challenging backdrop.

We also see opportunities in commodity markets. The challenges posed by both the threat of climate change and ensuring energy security are likely to accelerate the transition towards more renewable energy sources. The generation, storage and distribution of renewable energy will drive greater demand for industrial metals, supporting prices over the long term. More immediately, the reopening of the Chinese economy could increase demand. Exposure to commodities also offers a valuable hedge against the potential for further disruption to energy markets as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war.”

Further rate rises may be needed

Recent US economic data has been surprisingly resilient. The economy grew faster than expected in the fourth quarter of 2022, with gross domestic product (GDP) increasing at an annualised rate of 2.9%. Economic activity data suggests further improvement in January. Furthermore, US labour markets remain tight – despite some high-profile redundancy announcements – and official measures of unemployment remain a long way from levels historically associated with recessions.

While headline measures of inflation have certainly fallen from their 2022 peaks, the latest figures were higher than expected, suggesting that inflationary pressures could prove more persistent than many investors expect. Combined with strong labour markets, and a resilient economy, the Federal Reserve is likely to raise interest rates further in an attempt to bring inflation down towards their long-term target of 2%, having already raised interest rates by 4.5% over the past year. They are likely to look for further weakness in the labour market before they stop raising rates.

Higher interest rates do not have an immediate impact on the economy but tend to be felt with a lag. US consumer demand has so far held up, as households have relied on savings and made purchases using credit. However, savings rates are now well below the long-term average and higher levels of consumer debt – and the higher cost of that debt – pose a risk as interest rates continue to rise. Mortgage payments as a share of income have already doubled from 13% to 26%, according to JPMorgan research. Weaker consumer demand and retail sales could still weigh on the US economic growth outlook.

US consumers are borrowing more and saving less

The relaxation of China’s “Zero Covid” policy, and the reopening of the world’s second-largest economy, are likely to be supportive for global growth. As China moves through its Covid “exit wave”, we should start to see consumer spending picking up. Increasing policy support for the property sector should also benefit sentiment. This has been a positive development in the first quarter, but we still expect global growth to be weaker in 2023 than we have seen over the last couple of years.

Pros And Cons Of Debt Financing

Business owners often require external financing sources to sustain day-to-day operations. Such sources are necessary when proprietors need to procure funds to manage business operations. For this purpose, they need an external financing source if internal options such as personal savings or funding from family and friends are unavailable.

The primary sources of obtaining external financing for a business are either taking on debt or selling ownership stakes to investors. Each of these options possesses a unique set of pros and cons, and the selection ultimately depends on the business owner’s goals and objectives.


Debt financing for small businesses refers to borrowing money from outside sources to run the operations of the business. The owner of the business is then obligated to pay back the original borrowed amount, plus interest, according to the terms of the loan agreement. A repayment plan for the principal and interest is usually established when the financing is secured.

Pros Of Debt Financing 

It can offer numerous advantages for businesses, including;

Tax Deductibility Of Interest

One key advantage of debt financing is the tax benefits it offers. Interest payments on debt can be considered a business expense and are tax-deductible, reducing the overall taxable income of a company. This means that for businesses with a marginal tax rate of 30%, a portion of the interest payments can be shielded from taxation. This tax advantage makes debt financing a more attractive option compared to equity financing.

The repayment of the loan amount (principal) in debt financing is not eligible for tax deductions.

Management Control 

When borrowing from a bank or lender, your obligation is limited to making timely payments as scheduled. You maintain control over the operation of your finance and business. It is free to make decisions without any interference from outside investors.


Small businesses have greater ease of access to debt financing compared to equity financing. In fact, only a small fraction (0.07%) of small businesses ever turn to venture capital markets for equity financing, with the majority relying heavily on debt financing. 

Cons Of Debt Financing 

While talking about finance and business, debt financing offers multiple advantages, but it also has some drawbacks. including; 


When any business owner uses debt financing and borrows money. The owner should repay both the principal amount and interest, regardless of the financial condition. The obligation to repay the debt remains even if the business fails or is forced into bankruptcy. In such scenarios, the lenders have a priority claim for repayment over any equity investors.

Cash Flow

Excessive reliance on debt financing can impact a business’s cash flow as regular payments for both principal and interest must be made. To find out the balance between debt and equity financing, a business owner can find out its debt-to-equity ratio. the lower ratio of the cash flow is more desirable. Low or negative cash flow is a common challenge faced by small businesses, and relying too heavily on debt financing can exacerbate this issue.

Credit Rating

While taking on additional debt may appear attractive as a means of obtaining funding for your business, this practice is known as leveraging up. It shows the wrong side of your credit rating. Each loan will be recorded on your credit report, and as you borrow more, the risk to the lender increases, resulting in higher interest rates on subsequent loans.


Debt financing offers a number of advantages and disadvantages to small business owners looking for external funding sources. On the one hand, debt financing offers tax benefits in the form of tax-deductible interest payments and the ability to maintain management control without the need for profit sharing. However, debt financing also requires regular payments of both principal and interest, which can strain a business’s cash flow, lower its credit rating, and even require the use of personal assets as collateral. A lot of online trading platforms such as the-bitalpha-ai.com and others are available for trading and financing your investment virtually.

Therefore, it is crucial for business owners to thoroughly understand the concept of debt financing and weigh its pros and cons before making a decision. In doing so, they can determine if debt financing is the right choice for their business and take steps to minimize the associated risks.

Tips To Avoid Common Investment Mistakes

Everyone messes up sometimes. You might do something small like accidentally sending a private message to all your co-workers. But other mistakes can hurt you, especially if you make a poor investment.

If you invest wrongly, you’ll lose all your money. Some errors are easy to spot, while others may not become clear until much later in life when fixing the problem is more difficult.

Prevent These Tips Common Investment Mistakes

To err is human, however, we can minimize our common investment mistakes by making efforts. Here, we’ve outlined 10 mistakes that investors make frequently. 

Ignoring Inflation

It might seem safer to keep all your money in a savings account instead of investing it. But if the interest rate is lower than the cost of things going up with time. Your money will be worth less. Avoid this, there are different ways to deal with inflation. But, investing in the stock market has been the more secure way to make your money in hands to deal with inflation in the long run. 

Forget Tax Allowances

Investing in a tax-efficient wrapper such as an ISA or pension can be more beneficial to increase your finances. Any income and gains you make from investments inside an ISA are exempt from tax. And you can withdraw the funds whenever you want without giving tax amounts. For pension holders, they offer 20 percent tax relief for personal addition. So if you contribute $120, it will only cost you $96. A higher-rate or additional-rate taxpayer can get extra tax relief up to a total of 20% to 25%.

Failing To Expansion

It’s important to expand your investments so that you don’t put all your eggs (investments) in one basket. To achieve this, you should invest your money in a variety of investment types, such as cash, stocks, and bonds. Trading cryptocurrency through an automated online platform such as bitcoin billionaire can be more beneficial for long-term investment. 

If you only invest in one thing and it doesn’t do well, it doesn’t mean you could lose all your money. To make sure you don’t lose all your money, it’s important to have a diverse investment portfolio. This does not look like a cup of tea for those who are novice investors or traders. But an experienced financial adviser can help you how to get started. 

Moreover, if you  

Making Rash Decisions

It’s common to get worried and upset when the stock market drops. However, it’s not a good idea to make quick decisions based on your emotions because it could make your financial situation worse. If you sell your investments when they have lost value, you could lose money for good.

Refusing To Accept A Loss

Another mistake people make is holding onto stocks that aren’t doing well and hoping they will get better. Sometimes, it’s better to accept that you’ve lost money and sell the stock. Especially if things have changed, and it’s not likely to do well in the future. If you keep holding onto the stock, you could lose even more money in the long run. It’s important to invest in something that has good prospects for growth instead of keeping your money tied up in a company that is struggling. 

Confusing Brains With A Bull Market

When the stock market is doing well, it might seem like investing is easy and anyone can do it. But it’s important to remember that making money in the stock market takes a lot of work, research, and knowledge. Just because you made some money in the last few months, it doesn’t mean you’re an expert like Warren Buffett. Investing can be complicated, and it’s often better to let the experts handle it. Especially when there’s a lot of investment involved.


Investing can be a good way to make your finances stronger and more secure for the future. But, you need to be careful because you could also lose money if you don’t do it the right way. It is essential to make the best investing selection at the right time.

An experienced financial adviser can help with their investing experience. If you want to take control of your money and make the most of it, talk to one of our financial advisers today.

Growing Wealth During the Cost of Living Crisis

By John Castro, CEO of Investment Mastery 

Growing wealth during a cost-of-living crisis can be challenging with soaring electricity and gas bills, increasing rentals and food prices, and stagnant salaries. But with the right attitude, sustainable budgeting changes, and some willingness to take risks despite uncertain times, it is possible to grow wealth without sacrificing our daily living standard. 

Here are five achievable tips on how to grow wealth during the cost of living crisis: 

Create a realistic budget

Start by creating a budget that accounts for your income and all your expenses. This will help you identify areas where you can cut back on spending and use this money to invest. You may reduce your expenses on non-essential purchases, such as eating out, shopping, or subscriptions that you barely use, and set aside an amount of money that you will invest weekly in stocks/shares, cryptos, commodities, Forex currencies, and even stocks and shares ISAs. 

Save more

Although saving itself will not help you grow wealth, it is necessary to maintain cash fluidity and have some spare money, especially in times of huge layoffs and raising costs of living. Knowing you have savings for rainy days will increase your psychological feeling of safety and help you be more courageous in investing. 

Educate yourself & stay informed

There is no better time than now to start learning about investments and crypto as many people are seeing it as unreliable in uncertain times. By learning more about investing in assets – stocks/shares, cryptos, commodities, Forex currencies and even stocks and shares ISAs.  You can start by investing small sums every month and slowly with more experience and confidence move on to something with a larger risk. While investing, make sure to stay on top of the situation in the market and follow the news on the industries in which you plan to invest.  

Diversify your investments

Consider investing in a diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, and other assets to grow your wealth over the long term and minimise the risk of loss in case of any sudden economic downturns. You can also gain more income from the so-called compound interest, which is the amount you make from the money you’ve invested plus the extra money generated through interest on the original sum.   

Fix your mentality around money

The good part is, unpacking our biases around money doesn’t cost you anything. Think of the associations you’ve had with money and wealth most of your life. Do you think money is there to be stored and saved or multiplied? Do you feel guilty about any small expenses on consumption? Or maybe, on the contrary, you do not have a strong discipline with spending? Once you become aware of the limiting beliefs that you would like to change around money, you can gradually change your approach and make better financial decisions. 

By incorporating these five steps into your daily financial planning and functioning, you can not only build long-term wealth for yourself and your family but most importantly achieve better financial security and freedom in times of raising inflation, soaring prices, and shrinking disposable income. 

John Castro 

John is the CEO of Investment Mastery, an e-learning and online training company dedicated to educating beginner investors on how to use the Stocks and Crypto Markets to create financial independence for themselves and their families. From humble beginnings, John thrived for success at a young age, which has seen him involved in many business ventures throughout his 20s, using his impressive sales skills to produce untapped revenue for several 7 to 8-figure organisations. Today, he has harnessed his ability to understand human buying behaviours, build high-performing teams and his methodology of keeping business very simple, to take Investment Mastery to new heights, which has seen over 25% growth year on year since 2017. Using Investment Mastery’s investing methodology, his investment portfolio grew 147% in 2021, and now, still only in his 30s; while embracing the ongoing evolution of the e-learning industry, he is leading Investment Mastery through a transformational plan to expand internationally with a plan to 2.5x the business in the next three years and champion the combination of EdTech with FinTech through the ever adapting Investment Mastery membership platforms. 

3 Small Business Financing Options

Business financing can provide the necessary support to help your small business succeed and stay afloat. With numerous options available, some small business owners might feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices they are using to finance their business needs.

To determine the ideal business funding solution for your needs, you must consider various aspects, such as your business and financial needs. This article provides a comprehensive overview of five unique methods for financing your small business, highlighting the benefits and drawbacks of each option.

Let’s start, 

4 Small Business Financing Options 

For setting a goal of financing a small business, we’ll highlight the five small business financing options that will help you to finance your small startups. 

1. Traditional Bank Loans

Traditional financial institutions, such as banks and credit unions, continue to be a popular source of finance and business loans. Well-qualified borrowers can expect to receive affordable interest rates on their loans.

However, getting a business loan from traditional banks, and credit unions can be a challenging task for every new startup. Additionally, poor personal credit scores can also pose a hindrance when trying to secure this type of financing.

2. SBA Loans

One way to obtain affordable business financing is through loans backed by the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) financing. These loans have the advantage of being guaranteed by the federal government, making lenders more comfortable, and often resulting in more favourable loan terms for the borrower.

To access financing through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), one needs to reach out to an SBA-approved lender, as the SBA itself does not directly issue loans. Despite the fact that the federal government guarantees a portion of the loan, making the lender feel more comfortable, the application process can be rigorous and may require the business to meet various qualifying requirements. 

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you may be able to obtain financing from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) up to a maximum of five million dollars. The terms of repayment can last up to 30 years and may require a down payment as low as 10 percent of the loan amount. However, to apply for this type of financing, you must go through an SBA-approved lender and fulfill the necessary requirements, which may include meeting certain standards.

3. Business Lines Of Credit 

If you’re seeking a flexible financing way for your business. Taking the option of business lines of credit is a good decision. This option provides funds when needed up to the credit limits. Similar to a credit card, you can draw funds whenever you need them, and then repay what you’ve borrowed. It provides you to earn a standing source of capital. However, once the draw period expires, your access to the credit line will be finished.

When seeking a business line of credit, you have options from both traditional banks and online lenders depending on your needs and budget. However, the approval criteria, interest rates, and fees for borrowing can greatly vary between these lenders. It’s essential to consider all the available resources before making a final touch.

  • Benefits Borrow loans several times from a similar credit line.
  • Only pay interest on those amounts the company uses.
  • Help to establish business credit.
  • Drawbacks Interest rates can be higher while working with online lenders
  • Low credit limit compared with other funding sources. 

Finance And Business – Conclusion 

Financing a small business can be a challenge, but there are several small business financing options available to consider. Five options are explained in this article. Each option has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s crucial to compare and understand the requirements and terms before making a final touch. 

From fast funding time to low-interest rates, the right business financing option will depend on your business’s financial and credit requirements. Regardless of the option you choose, having a well-planned financial strategy can help ensure the success of your small business. Additionally, there are various online platforms available to finance your business needs such as bitcoin fast profit.

5 Best Funding Sources To Grow Your Business

Small startups often need capital to grow. This financing can originate from various sources. Before you look for funds, you should have a solid command of business strategy and a clear vision of how to use your investment money to grow your business. 

To secure an investment, it is crucial for you to have an understanding of how you plan to repay it and to demonstrate that your business is a worthwhile risk for buyers. Despite having a compelling idea, potential investors will examine the company’s management approach before making their investment decision.”

In this post, we’ll outline how to find out the best funding options to grow your business. 

Let’s start, 

5 Funding Sources To Maintain Your Finance And Business 

The 7 best funding sources to maintain your finance and business strategies are described below; 


The funding source to start a business is yourself. Starting your initial startup by utilizing your savings allows you to retain full ownership and profits. When this is not possible, alternative funding options must be considered.”

Borrow Loans From Family Members And Friends

When you need money you can borrow loans from family members and friends. While this strategy carries the risk of negative consequences if the investment fails, a successful outcome can lead to a strengthened relationship between both parties.”

Venture Capitals 

Venture capitalists, like angel investors, offer funding in return for taking ownership of your business. They gather funds from multiple investors, similar to a mutual fund, and bring business expertise to the table. However, receiving substantial funding from venture capitalists also means sacrificing some control and equity in the company like bitcoin bank.

When seeking funding, it is crucial to determine the amount of money needed and what you are willing to exchange for it. This will assist in choosing the most viable options to secure capital and grow your business.

Credit Cards 

Credit cards offer ease and simplicity when it comes to obtaining funds, but come with the downside of high-interest rates. However, they are flexible according to a small-business consultant and do not require justification for usage. 

The amount of capital you can obtain is limited by your credit limit, which is typically lower compared to what you can get from a bank loan. Credit cards can provide an appropriate source of funding for small and recurring needs, as well as for entrepreneurs who aim to retain control and ownership of their company.

Crowdfunding Sites

In recent years, online crowdfunding platforms have gained popularity. These platforms are commonly used by businesses to raise funds for launching a specific product. Crowdfunding, however, can be a demanding process that involves putting effort into creating information for the platform such as videos and photos. 

On the positive side, crowdfunding can serve as a way to pre-sell your products and secure the capital to produce them, but keep in mind that a significant portion of the funds may go towards incentives to attract backers. Some crowdfunding platforms only allow access to the funds if a certain fundraising goal is met, and a portion of the total earnings may be taken by the platform itself.

The Bottom Line 

There are several funding sources available for small businesses looking to grow. 

Each funding source has its own pros and cons, and it’s important for business owners to consider their options carefully and choose the one that best fits their needs and requirements. When making a decision, it’s essential to consider the amount of money required, the conditions for repayment, and the level of control and ownership desired. 

With the right funding source and a solid business plan, small businesses can overcome the financial barriers to growth and achieve their goals within the time frame.

Moreover, if you’re on the go to start a trading business, you can utilize trading bots such as bitcoin code to make money quickly.

Five Key Trends In Payment Cards for 2023

Economic and societal changes, plus technological innovation, are driving global uptake of payment cards and services.

The global digital payments market is now estimated to be worth more than the car manufacturing sector, and is expected to reach USD$20 trillion by 2026. According to virtual payment card provider Lanistar, this extraordinary growth of some 24 percent per year is being driven by a combination of technological innovation along with changing expectations and spending habits among consumers.    

Jeremy Baber, CEO at Lanistar, said, “Today, we are seeing a surge in demand for prepaid or eBanking debit payment cards across the globe. This change is being driven by the unbanked and underserved, as well as by younger generations, who are making an active lifestyle choice to switch to this payment card type. We are also seeing a number of key trends in the market that providers need to be aware of. In our way, while the payment card market is established and substantial, there are still opportunities for expansion”.

1. The Rise of New Generations Of Consumers

The Millennial and Gen Z demographic groups are now well established and have considerable spending power and economic impact. They are the two generations who are leading the charge on digital innovation, embracing digital and smart device payments and virtual cards. The combination of increased adoption alongside a wider choice of alternative payment cards is making financial services more accessible than ever before, ‘democratising’ the process through technological innovation.

Baber continued, “In today’s increasingly digital society, in which more people than ever before own a smartphone, consumers want and expect tailored financial products and services that can be accessed through a smart device. These services must be seamless and intuitive, while providing the services young people need. This is a generational expectation and failure to address it will have an adverse effect on any payment provider’s business.”

2. Reaching the Unbanked and Underserved

“Across the Global South, and even in many developed countries as well, there are high levels of unbanked and underserved consumers, mainly from younger and lower-income households,” explained Baber.

“Generally, these households opt for prepaid or eBanking debit payment cards because they are inexpensive and secure, which makes them best placed to meet their financial needs. But at the moment, this is an underdeveloped market,” he continued. “These payment cards have become integral to daily life for millions, and the people who use them are often open to exploring new features on their cards – at the right price point. The increase in adoption of cards among the unbanked and underserved populations will create multiple opportunities for players operating in the global payment market – but only if they offer the right services at an affordable price point.”

3. The Gig Economy Is Changing Payment Habits

“The advent of the gig economy shows no signs of slowing down. And while the flexibility of contract work clearly offers benefits for both workers and companies alike, one of the biggest trends we have seen is the role of payment cards in guaranteeing contract workers receive timely payment for their work. Whether it’s via a physical or virtual payment card or via a payment app, the gig economy is powering a payment revolution in its own right,” said Baber.

4. Apps and the Mobile-First Experience

Conservative estimates put the number of smartphones on the planet at seven billion, equating to ownership by roughly 86 percent of the world’s population. Providing an easy-to-use, seamless, and intuitive mobile-first experience is a priority, including in the payments space.  

Baber continued: “Consider Amazon, for example. This is a company that is currently shipping 1.6 Million packages every day, and in part, that’s due to just how easy their mobile platform is to navigate and use. They stock just about any item a person could need, make all the crucial information clear as day, and rarely have any hidden charges. If this model could be imposed onto a banking platform, imagine the success it could have”.

5. Balancing Transactions In the Physical and Virtual

While it is likely we will not see the end of physical transactions anytime soon, as technology continues to grow and evolve, so do the capabilities of virtual transactions. There are many benefits to digital solutions, however, one that is particularly noteworthy is its reduction of plastic waste.

According to ABI Research, the amount of plastic used annually in the production of banking cards equals that of 80 Boeing 747 planes, with the carbon footprint of this production being equivalent to 300,000 passengers flying from New York to Sydney. As an age group deeply concerned with environmental issues, Gen Z and Millennials will often find themselves seeking out alternatives that negate environmental damage, and digital solutions are just one option.

Furthermore, effective payment solutions must balance speed, cost, and security with user experience. Customers today demand ‘anywhere service’, and payment providers must follow suit and ensure their services are available wherever customers are spending their time and their money. The rapid pace of technological advancement means the scope of ‘where’ continues to expand from physical to virtual.

Baber concluded, “The real success of payments will not come from them being the focal point of our daily lives, but instead from them slipping into the background and providing invisible, embedded payment experiences. The ultimate goal has to be that the user experience of payment cards and the apps they sit on becomes so deeply integrated with a person’s day-to-day transactions that eventually they are not even conscious of it. In other words, payment providers should focus on developing and bringing to market payment solutions that aren’t just frictionless, but invisible.”

Four Tax Reliefs to Make the Most of Before the Financial Year Ends

With the end of the 2022/2023 financial year on 5 April nearly upon us, the experts at Perrys Chartered Accountants have put together a checklist of tax reliefs to make the most of before it’s too late.

Pension contributions

If you are paying into a pension and haven’t yet maximised your contributions, then make sure to do this before the 5 April deadline.

Doing this will help to reduce your income tax liability for the tax year. The tax-free annual earnings allowance is currently set at £12,570 and gradually decreases by £1 for every £2 earned over £100,000. However, pension contributions will reduce your taxable income, so if your contributions keep your annual income below £100,000, you will still benefit from the full personal allowance.

Donations to charity

If you pay Income Tax above the 20% basic rate (currently set at earnings above £50,270), then you can claim back the difference between the tax you’ve paid on the donation and what the charity got back when completing a Self Assessment tax return.

If you don’t complete a Self Assessment form, then you can contact HMRC to inform them of the charity donations you have made.

If you are donating through a Payroll Giving Scheme, any donations you give through the scheme will be taken before Income Tax is deducted.

ISA allowance

You can save up to £20,000 for the 2022/2023 tax year into either one type of account or split across all types of Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs). You will not pay tax on interest earned from cash in an ISA or on income or capital gains from investments in ISAs.

If you haven’t used up all your allowance yet this year, then it is worthwhile ensuring that you make the most of it before 5 April arrives.

Capital Gains Tax

The annual Capital Gains Tax exemption allowance for individuals will be reducing from £12,300 this financial year to £6,000 for 2023/2024. Gains made up to the exemption amount are tax free, so if you’re selling assets, it is worthwhile considering this. However, careful planning is required, particularly where property is concerned, so it is a good idea to engage the services of a professional, such as Perrys.

Beginners guide to tax on savings

Tax is a fundamental and inescapable part of life. It’s crucial in the big picture of society because it helps to pay for essential systems and processes such as healthcare, emergency services, infrastructure and much more.

The average citizen in the UK is well acquainted with paying income tax and contributing to National Insurance from their payslip, but many are less familiar with the legislation around the tax on your personal savings and investments.

Fortunately, if you’re a complete beginner, the below guide will walk you through the fundamentals that should help you to boost your knowledge in this fairly technical area.

What is being taxed?

First of all, it’s important to understand that tax on savings and investments isn’t actually directly related to the amount you have saved or invested, but the amount of interest and income you receive from those amounts. This is a common mistake that people make because the wording can be a little confusing.

So, the interest is actually what is being taxed. Why is this? Mostly because interest is a form of income essentially and those with lots of savings can benefit from large amounts of interest over time. But for most ordinary people, the amount of interest you earn on savings won’t result in you owing tax.

What’s the Personal Savings Allowance?

Much like income brackets and tax bands, interest earned from savings follows a similar pattern.

Basic rate taxpayers (those who earn roughly between £18,000 and £50,000 per year), are allowed to earn £1,000 in interest before they need to start paying tax on the interest gained – this is what’s called their Personal Savings Allowance. Everyone has this, but the threshold depends on your overall annual income.

For people on lower incomes, this number is higher, meaning you can earn more interest without having to pay taxes. For people with higher incomes, you have to pay tax after a lower amount or even on everything if they’re above the highest income threshold.

Can you earn savings interest tax-free?

There are legal ways to earn savings interest tax-free – these are typically savings products like ISAs and some government-backed schemes.

ISA stands for Individual Savings Account and this is a financial vehicle that allows you to earn interest on savings without having to pay tax. Different providers and account types have different policies, so do your own research before signing up for one. Typically, you’ll be able to deposit a certain amount each year and all the interest gained on this figure is tax-free.

5 Arguments for Investing in the Right Insurance for Your Business

If you’re just beginning the crazy and sweet journey into the entrepreneurship world, you’re probably overwhelmed with all the new challenges this sort of voyage brings on.

Being your own boss does sound pretty cool but the real truth is that’s a lot harder than we all think.

In the beginning it’s even harder, because your business is not profitable yet, but expenses are unavoidable.

One thing many small business or startup owners tend to overlook is business insurance.

They even question it – do I really need one? 

Here are five major arguments to consider while choosing the right insurance for your business:

  • Protection of your investment
  • Protection of your employees
  • Your business credibility
  • Uncertainty of the future
  • Some contracts will probably require it

Protection of your investment

Imagine some unexpected natural disaster happens, which can either ruin your business property or keep you out of business because of a state of emergency.

Maybe you’ll be unable to operate your business during the repairs.

Having the insurance in this case can really help you go through this hard period for your business and survive.

This really helps because even if your business is closed for work, ongoing bills are coming and need to be paid.

Protection of your employees

Even when you get your business protected by insurance, there is one more valuable asset you’ll need to protect. Maybe the most valuable.

Your employees. 

Taking care of your employees is not to be considered an expense. It’s an investment. Working force – that’s the force that keeps your business running.

Also, it’s mandatory in most cases.

Your business credibility

Having insurance for your business will help in upgrading business credibility.

It’ll make it more attractive to potential new employees or business partners and also can mean a lot to your landlords, if you’re renting property or office furniture presenting you as a reliable business owner.

 Uncertainty of the future

Owning a business can be a constant struggle. You’ll  never know how the market is going to flow and what it’ll mean for you.

It’s true that we can’t be prepared for everything in life, but when you’re taking that one concern to mind by insuring your business, you’ll be unburdened and will have more energy to bring in everyday life.

Some contracts will probably require it

Doing business indicates   collaboration with other businesses and that often requires concluding the contract. Some business partners could refuse future collaboration with business without any insurance.

Partners or client contracts may state that it’s obligatory to have insurance just in case things don’t go as planned.

Types of business insurance

Depending on the size of your business, the industry you’re in or the type of business you’re owning you can choose between different types of business insurance.

Here are the most common types of business insurance:

General liability insurance

General liability insurance   defends you from declaration of property damage or bodily injury. This means if your business is responsible for someone’s injury or someone’s property gets harmed by your business.

Property insurance

This type of insurance keeps safe all your equipment, inventory and assets  from any natural disaster or theft. It compensates you for the lost or damaged equipment as well as the lost income for the time until you replace your stolen or damaged assets.

Business owners policy

This type of insurance is a kind that combines different types of coverage. Usually it combines general liability insurance, commercial property insurance and business interruption insurance. But you can choose coverages that suit your needs the best. It’s probably one of the most affordable insurances for small businesses.

Commercial auto insurance

If you own a car or truck or van for the purpose of business, then this is the type of insurance for you to consider. It protects you from the cost of damages that may happen while you or your employees use a vehicle for business purposes.

If you’re doing any business that’s based on using a vehicle, then this is a must for you.

For example, if you’re an owner of a truck transportation business you should definitely consider one of the most popular subtypes of this kind of insurance called hot shot insurance. This insurance is specialized for trucks used for quicken cargo transport.

Workers compensation insurance

You’ll need this type of insurance if you have one or more employees. So, if you have employees, period. It covers all medical expenses, lost wages and disability benefits for work related injuries or illness and is required in almost every state in the USA.

Product liability insurance

Product liability insurance provides you protection from any problems caused by your product itself. For example if a customer claims your product produced them injury like some allergic reaction or harmed them in any way, or did a damage on their property.

Cyber liability insurance

This insurance helps you with fighting against cybercrimes. It covers the cost of handling issues after a cyberattack when, for example, your customer private information gets compromised from your database.

Does your business need insurance?

It’s a necessity and you should consider it an investment because it actually is one.

Make sure to think through carefully when choosing the right insurance for your business and don’t hesitate to hire an insurance agent to help you with this.

Choosing the right kind of insurance can save you money in the long run and will give you a peace of mind and that’s priceless.


Tijana Milanković  is a freelance content and copywriter. She is also interested in Social Network Marketing and has been in the marketing industry actively  for over five years. Writing is her passion and one thing she aims for in writing is good research and creativity.

Best Tax Incentive & Innovation Management Advisers – UK

One of the UK’s leading tax incentive and innovation management advisers, RDI Solutions’ (RDI) industry specialists manage over £120 million of tax incentives annually for a broad range of UK-based clients, including some of the world’s biggest brands. In light of the company and its team of more than 100 experts achieving extraordinary success within the Global Tax Awards 2022, we got in touch with Interim Commercial Director, Kevin Guest to learn more.

Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credits are a UK Government incentive designed to boost innovation across various industries. RDI Solutions’ purpose is to determine if a client has an eligible project through an initial consultation, and where applicable, work with them to piece together the relevant information and data in order to prepare a report to be submitted to HMRC for review. This report must meet strict guidelines, and RDI’s team of industry experts and accountants ensure each and every claim meets the published relevant criterion.

RDI’s professionals came together to form the company in 2019, drawing upon relevant industry and innovation experiences which go back as far as the year 2000. Kevin Guest tells us, “As a relatively young business, which has grown rapidly, we are lucky to have been able to take the time to assess our “raison d’etre” as well as our culture.” As such, the company has updated its key statements as part of its strategy refresh:

Its vision statement is to build the best compliant solution to support the claiming of tax relief so that SMEs and corporates can focus on what they do best: selling their services. Then, the mission statement is to remove the hassle, complications, and uncertainty of managing business tax relief claims.

Kevin says, “Our culture has changed from being a friendly “family-type” team, to a professional community of practitioners working together under a common strategy. Indeed, our new strategy encompasses how we will work symbiotically with our people, our clients, our service-providers, and the relevant authorities.”

So, how does the R&D Tax Credit application process actually work?

To begin, RDI’s specialists will undertake an initial free of charge consultation with the client, which is a rather comprehensive assessment that enables the team to identify eligible projects which often, at first glance, may have not been considered. They will look to understand the client’s business, thus maximising the claim potential by utilising industry sector experts to verify eligible projects. Then, a report will be built by RDI’s ex-HMRC technical writers which meets the BEIS and CIRD guidelines. In doing this, various internal compliance checks are employed in order to ensure all claims are stress tested against these guidelines. Lastly, the client will be able to approve the report prior to it being submitted to HMRC.

During this tried and tested process, the RDI team ensures the client understands the legislation with regard to tax incentives, as Kevin explains, “Our no nonsense, simple consultations guide the client through what is a complex process. Our years of experience, as well as industry awareness, allows us to painlessly extract key information without it feeling overwhelming.”

He elaborates, “It is important to do the job right the first time, so our methods are detailed, rightly onerous on us, but further, our internal audit gateways are key to ensuring we continue to build our reputation as one of the best in this industry.”

And by ensuring work with clients is done to a high standard, a lot of new business is acquired through word of mouth, recommendations, and a growing network of happy clients, as Kevin says, “Client retention is a key agenda item for RDI. We place a lot of importance on client satisfaction which can be seen through our endless list of testimonials.” So, RDI’s role is simple: maintain the standard, ensure client satisfaction is high.

Indeed, one delighted client’s five-star Trustpilot review rates RDI as “one of few agents in the field who deliver everything as promised”. They continue, “Professionalism and service at the top end of the scale. Faultless delivery with exceptional results. Looking forward to working with this team again in future. A huge thank you to my dedicated handler within the team, Mr Naim Mahmud. There’s not a single hurdle that he could not overcome; he is confident in every manner. Highly recommended!”

Another glowing review comments, “Great service. I was so happy with how fast they got the claim sorted, and it really saved me during this pandemic. Never knew what I could achieve with my R&D. Went to a few others before being introduced to RDI; none of the others could get it done as good as RDI has done. Great job. Thanks guys.”

Also pleased with their experience, another client shares, “My application was handled very quickly and efficiently. Great customer service and always updated me on a timely manner as guaranteed. I was fully informed at every step of the process and they successfully achieved the goal. Couldn’t recommend these guys more highly enough!”

Clearly, RDI is highly successful, although that’s not to say that it doesn’t have its challenges. Operating in this constantly evolving market, it has to work hard to stay ahead of the curve. Kevin notes that the market is evolving in several ways, with more competitors appearing all the time, competitors coming together, competitors folding, as well as changes in government policy regarding R&D incentives.

Not only all this, but the industry is trying to digitise – However, there is no solution presently available to interpret the detail that sits behind or within submitted reporting accounts, with Kevin saying, “This needs the human touch to tease out the relevant information and then needs to be verified and assessed for eligibility in accordance with the strict guidelines.”

Ultimately, RDI’s focus indeed remains on serving clients to the highest standard. Kevin states, “We continue to invest in our internal capabilities in the back office, increasing the number of technical writers, and personnel operations, audit, and finance. We have also invested in new internal systems that allow us to manage the client in a more structured end-to-end journey.”

This includes the areas of an improved website and digital leads creation; an improved internal end-to-end data capture and capabilities; improved payment processing solutions; and data and cybersecurity upgrades in line with ISME standards. In addition, the company is to continuing to practice and strive towards ISO27001 standards.

This will all support the bright future that RDI Solutions inevitably has ahead of it, with Q1 already being busy due to end of year submissions and a new tax year. And we are truly rooting for the firm as it continues to deliver a service that is second to none and makes the business dreams of its clients a reality.

For business enquiries, contact Kevin Guest from RDI Solutions via email –  [email protected] or on their website – www.rdisolutions.co.uk

Wealth & Finance Magazine Reveals the Winners of the 2022 Global Tax Awards

United Kingdom, 2023 – Wealth & Finance magazine announces the winners of the Global Tax Awards 2022.

The tax industry is competitive, complex, and extremely vital to society. It is absolutely essential for not only the corporate landscape, but for individuals around the world. Without tax solutions and assistance, we may find ourselves in demanding situations where we have to balance the books with little to no experience at all.

Our winners play important roles within this industry – they lead this sphere, create innovative solutions, and dedicate themselves to improving people’s experience with the tax market. Our winners range from tax advisors and consultants, to auditors, attorneys, and technology developers – all of which are making a huge difference to people’s lives around the globe.

Speaking of the success of this programme, our Awards Coordinator, Laura O’Carroll, commented, “This year we see a great measure of commitment, passion, and intelligence that consistently propels these businesses to a bright and successful future. Long may their success continue, and congratulations!”

To learn more about our extraordinary award winners and to gain insight into the working practices of the tax realm, please visit https://www.wealthandfinance-news.com/awards/global-tax-awards/ where you can access the winner’s supplement.


Note to editors.

About Wealth & Finance International

Wealth & Finance International is a quarterly publication dedicated to delivering high quality informative and up-to-the-minute global business content. It is published by AI Global Media Ltd, a publishing house that has reinvigorated corporate finance news and reporting.

Developed by a highly skilled team of writers, editors, business insiders and regional industry experts, Wealth & Finance International reports from every corner of the globe to give readers the inside track on the need-to-know news and issues affecting banking, finance, regulation, risk, and wealth management in their region.

About AI Global Media

Since 2010 AI Global Media has been committed to creating engaging B2B content that informs our readers and allows them to market their business to a global audience. We create content for and about firms across a range of industries.

Today, we have 14 unique brands, each of which serves a specific industry or region. Each brand covers the latest news in its sector and publishes a digital magazine and newsletter which is read by a global audience. Our flagship brand, Acquisition International, distributes a monthly digital magazine to a global circulation of 108,000, who are treated to a range of features and news pieces on the latest developments in the global corporate market.

Alongside this, we have a luxury-lifestyle magazine, LUXlife, which appeals to a range of high-net-worth individuals, offering them insight into the latest products, experiences, and innovations to ensure they can live the high-life to its fullest.


Showcasing the companies who have worked hard in striving to give their clients the best service and products is important to us. We know and understand how tough making a successful business can be, and so everyone at AI Global Media takes great pride in our awards programmes.

Our awards programmes run across each brand and are completely free to enter, take part in and win. All our winners are offered complementary marketing packages, meaning all businesses despite their size and marketing budget can be rewarded. Additionally, we offer a wider range of marketing materials which winners can purchase for extra coverage on our platform including cover features, magazine articles and newsletter inclusions.

Wealth & Finance Magazine Announces the Winners of the 2022 Global Insurance and Risk Management Awards

United Kingdom, 2023 – Wealth & Finance magazine unveils the winners of the Global Insurance and Risk Management Awards 2022.

The world of insurance can appear extremely complex, but here we’ve found providers that make it all seem simple. They all guarantee straightforward and stress-free experiences – for now and the future to come.

The winners in this supplement cover a mixture of areas within insurance, while introducing ways that instil confidence in their many clients. From smart insurance management to regulatory compliance experts, and more, the Global Insurance and Risk Management Awards 2022 celebrates a distinct selection of excellence in an especially important sphere.

Speaking of our winners, our Awards Coordinator, Laura O’Carroll, said, “I am pleased to have had the opportunity to host this year’s programme, and I am excited to see what these businesses do next. They have conquered an array of challenges and thrived through tough times, and we couldn’t be prouder to present them with their fantastic titles.”

To learn more about our deserving award winners and to gain insight into the working practices of the best of the best, please visit https://www.wealthandfinance-news.com/awards/global-insurance-and-risk-management-awards/ where you can access the winner’s supplement.


Note to editors.

About Wealth & Finance International

Wealth & Finance International is a quarterly publication dedicated to delivering high quality informative and up-to-the-minute global business content. It is published by AI Global Media Ltd, a publishing house that has reinvigorated corporate finance news and reporting.

Developed by a highly skilled team of writers, editors, business insiders and regional industry experts, Wealth & Finance International reports from every corner of the globe to give readers the inside track on the need-to-know news and issues affecting banking, finance, regulation, risk, and wealth management in their region.

About AI Global Media

Since 2010 AI Global Media has been committed to creating engaging B2B content that informs our readers and allows them to market their business to a global audience. We create content for and about firms across a range of industries.

Today, we have 14 unique brands, each of which serves a specific industry or region. Each brand covers the latest news in its sector and publishes a digital magazine and newsletter which is read by a global audience. Our flagship brand, Acquisition International, distributes a monthly digital magazine to a global circulation of 108,000, who are treated to a range of features and news pieces on the latest developments in the global corporate market.

Alongside this, we have a luxury-lifestyle magazine, LUXlife, which appeals to a range of high-net-worth individuals, offering them insight into the latest products, experiences, and innovations to ensure they can live the high-life to its fullest.


Showcasing the companies who have worked hard in striving to give their clients the best service and products is important to us. We know and understand how tough making a successful business can be, and so everyone at AI Global Media takes great pride in our awards programmes.

Our awards programmes run across each brand and are completely free to enter, take part in and win. All our winners are offered complementary marketing packages, meaning all businesses despite their size and marketing budget can be rewarded. Additionally, we offer a wider range of marketing materials which winners can purchase for extra coverage on our platform including cover features, magazine articles and newsletter inclusions.

Top Five Stocks for February

Maxim Manturov, Head of Investment Research at Freedom Finance Europe, gives investors insight into the top-performing stocks for February 2023

The market experienced serious losses in 2022, but the tide is turning in 2023. Last month, investors were given a glimmer of hope for the beginning of a market recovery, which was up 6% since the beginning of the year. While investors are still experiencing high-interest rates, the potential for debt default, and the ongoing discussion of a recession in their minds, we are likely to see financial recovery over the course of the year.

For investors looking to add or rearrange their portfolios to complement their long-term investment strategies, we have researched the top-performing stocks that have the potential for significant returns.

Top performing stocks for February

Splunk (SPLK)

Splunk is a Software as a Service (SaaS) company that provides data indexing, ERP options and cybersecurity. They also offer a cloud option that provides more value to shareholders, as the company is not constrained by a fixed revenue stream determined by competitors. Splunk recently reported strong third-quarter results, posting a 40% increase in total revenue to $930 million (£766m) and a 54% increase in cloud revenue to $374 million (£308m). This success was driven by strong demand for term licenses from existing customers, who continue to see the value of Splunk’s mission-critical security and surveillance solutions.

Even in the current economic climate, there is still a strong demand for digital transformation. Splunk technology provides scalability and partnership that organisations need to ensure the security, reliability, and performance of their systems. Splunk’s unique technology has been recognised by industry experts including Gartner, naming the company a leader in its Magic Quadrant for nine consecutive years.

Adobe (ADBE)

Adobe is one of the major beneficiaries of the digital transformation trend we are seeing in businesses today, making its services virtually irreplaceable. In recent years, Adobe’s growth rate has maintained double digits, it has shown stable revenue and earnings per stock growth and has proven to have high profitability and a strong market position, making it a potential leader in the next bull market.

Both revenue growth and margins in this challenging market environment show that demand for Adobe products and services remains strong. Adobe is optimistic about the near-term outlook of its financial results, which will put investors at ease. It is also important to note that in estimates for 2023, Adobe has yet to consider the potential benefits of the Figma acquisition, which, if successful, will enable even better returns and increase investor profits.

Philip Morris (PM)

Philip Morris shows strong volume growth potential, which is mainly driven by its tobacco heating units. Since the beginning of the year, cigarette sales in the market are up 1.4%, while sales of heated tobacco products are up 19.2%.

Philip Morris IQOS tobacco heating systems are the second best-selling HTU brand in the countries where it is sold. Global brand recognition is growing rapidly, and Philip Morris will gain full control of commercialisation rights for IQOS in the US in April 2024, acting as a solid growth point. This is a key factor in the company’s expansion, adding approximately 60% to the existing international market for smokeless products. Its goal is to capture 10% of the cigarette and HTU market by 2030.

Philip Morris has produced very stable financial results and the company distributes around 80% of its free cash flow by paying dividends to its shareholders. The dividend yield is currently at 5% and is expected to grow by 3.4% over the next year.

Alphabet (GOOGL)

Google will continue to grow in value despite the turbulent macroeconomic environment which has seen advertising budgets being cut at a double-digit rate in 2023. Alphabet recently reported decent earning results and is well-positioned to strengthen its rank in the digital advertising market. It is doubling down on video content and launching its monetisation programme for YouTube Shorts next year to gain an edge in the short-form video market.

For the foreseeable future, search and video are likely to be Google’s biggest growth drivers and will help its stocks bounce back from their current oversold zone. Recent reports already suggest that search is one of the most resilient segments in the digital advertising industry. Search spending is projected to grow 14.5% this year alone to $99 billion (£82bn) and is set to continue to grow in the years ahead.

Tesla (TSLA)

Demand for Tesla vehicles has increased at a rapid pace, setting the stage for its long-term growth. This growth has incentivised Tesla to ramp up production around the globe. Over the next two years, additional production facilities will be commissioned and new growth drivers created, along with new products hitting the market this year.

In 2022, Tesla vehicle deliveries were up 40% to 1.31 million (£1m) and production was up 47% to 1.37 million (£1.1m). Interestingly, these figures don’t fit the headlines concerning a fall in demand for Tesla’s products. In fact, results like this, with a recession on the horizon and closures across China due to Covid outbreaks, can be considered a success.

Tesla’s recent price cuts have spurred demand in a big way. Profits per unit will fall slightly, but thanks to economies of scale and increased battery shipments, Tesla can still significantly increase revenue and maintain its gross margin advantage over other brands.

The Importance of Source Advisors for The Growth of Your Business

Source advisors are professionals who provide insight and guidance to organizations on how they can use data sources in the most effective way. These people understand the nuances of data sources, including their advantages, limitations, and potential opportunities for improvement. They also have a deep understanding of industry trends and market insights that can inform data-driven decision-making.

Source advisors are becoming increasingly important in today’s world due to the ever-growing amount of data that organizations need to manage. Businesses rely heavily on data and analytics to make decisions, and source advisors are the experts who can provide insights into how this data can be best used. Not only do they understand the intricacies of various data sources, but they also have the experience and knowledge to spot potential opportunities for better data utilization.

How to Find Good Source Advisors

The best way to find a good source advisor is to do your research. Look into the backgrounds and qualifications of different candidates, as well as their past work experience and results. You should also consider whether they specialize in a particular area that is relevant to your organization. It’s important to make sure that the advisor has experience working with

Once you have identified some potential source advisors, reach out and schedule an initial consultation. During this meeting, ask lots of questions and make sure the advisor is a good fit for your organization. It’s also important to discuss the objectives, timelines, and budget expectations associated with the project before moving forward.

Finding the right source advisor can be an invaluable asset to any organization that relies heavily on data. By doing your research and finding an advisor who is a good fit for your organization, you can ensure that you are making the most out of your data sources and maximizing their value.

Characteristics of Good Source Advisors

Good source advisors should have a strong background in data management and analytics, as well as experience in utilizing data sources to make informed decisions.

Management and Analytics

It is essential for a source advisor to have a strong background in data management and analytics in order to successfully utilize data sources in making decisions. With their experience and knowledge, they can spot opportunities for better utilization of existing data sources as well as identify potential pitfalls. They must also have an understanding of the industry trends and market dynamics that can provide valuable insights into which data sources could be leveraged for a competitive advantage.

Utilizing Data Sources

A good source advisor should also have experience in utilizing data sources to make informed decisions. They should know how to effectively interpret and analyze data from different sources, as well as identify any potential issues or inaccuracies present in the data. They should be able to understand the complexities of different data sources, as well as be able to spot potential opportunities for better data utilization.

Knows Trends

It is important for a source advisor to be aware of industry trends and market dynamics in order to effectively leverage data sources for strategic decision-making. By understanding the current market conditions, a source advisor can better identify external factors that may influence a company’s strategies and objectives. Additionally, having an understanding of the industry can help a source advisor better optimize the utilization of data sources and generate insights that can be used to inform decision-making.

Great communication skills

Good source advisors should also have excellent communication skills and the ability to effectively explain their ideas, strategies, and results. They should be comfortable working with multiple stakeholders, including executives, IT professionals, data operators, and analytics teams. Having strong communication skills allows a source advisor to build relationships with people from different backgrounds, creating a collaborative environment that will help drive success.

Why find the right source advisors?

Finding the right source advisor for your organization is essential in order to make the most out of data sources and maximize their value. With the right person on board, organizations can be sure that they are leveraging data sources to their fullest potential. Additionally, with a good source advisor on staff, organizations can gain insight into industry trends and market dynamics that can fuel successful decision-making.

Five Money Saving Tips for Small Business Owners

As we are in the midst of a cost of living crisis, the prospects for small business owners can seem relatively bleak. Now is the time for small businesses to scale back and cut down on any irrelevant costs before they grow – focusing on what will drive revenue and help them to succeed within their market.

This article will outline five of the best ways to save money as a business that small company owners should follow if they wish to succeed.

Research and Apply For Eligible Grants and Loans

Small businesses at the start of their journey are likely to be eligible for grants or loans that can help them to grow. The great thing to note about grants is that they usually do not have to be paid back, so can be invested well and help to drive growth. Because of this, they are highly competitive.

In order to apply for a grant, small business owners should ensure that all their paperwork, finances and documents are in check, as well as have clear business plans for growth. This will help to improve the chances of receiving the grant.

Small business owners can also seek out small business or startup loans from their banks or credit unions. Unlike grants, loans will need to be paid back. These can help small businesses to cover larger overhead costs at the beginning and focus their own money and spending on business growth areas – which can help to save money in the long run. It is important to remember that loans may accrue additional fees and interest rates so this is certainly something to be aware of.

Hire Young Staff

A great perk of hiring young staff who may be relatively inexperienced is that they can be trained up and moulded as to how you would like your small business model to operate. Unlike more qualified members of the workforce, young staff can be paid less and are likely to be open to learning opportunities. It is likely to be better to invest time and energy into training them up as opposed to paying a greater salary for a more experienced employee who may be more reluctant to adopt business changes.

Get Creative

Paid advertising is an expensive route for all businesses, not just small businesses. Instead, earned media and advertising can be a great route to go down, and help you to save money on advertising costs.

Organic advertising needs to be very creative. It is thus important that small business owners are open to new ideas and ways of getting people’s attention, for example through social media or knocking on doors.

Work Remotely

Remote working, as opposed to paying the overhead costs of an office, including its supplies, bills, furniture and equipment, can be a great way for small business owners to save money.

Paying rent towards an office location can be a great expense. Since the pandemic, the majority of businesses have adopted a flexible way of working, allowing their employees to work from an office some of the time, as well as remotely.

By doing so, this proved that remote working is still as efficient as working in an office, and allows for a better work life balance. Remote working can also help employees to save money on their commute too.

Review Current Suppliers

Small businesses are likely to receive their business supplies from a number of different suppliers. This can involve leaflets, paper, food as well as office furniture. It is always advised to shop around and look for the best offers that different suppliers can provide your business.

Some suppliers can negotiate on their rates so it is important to try and respectfully haggle them down. Furthermore, try to avoid signing any long term contacts with suppliers, as their rates and costs may not be as competitive in a few years to come.

How to Manage Debt in Retirement

According to a study released by the Money Charity, the average total debt per UK household stood at £62,286 in June this year.

With retirement typically a position that most workers look forward to, this excitement is being dampened for many due to their high levels of debt. As such, many are now resorting to even delaying their retirement due to their debts.

Ways To Prevent Future Debt

1. Plan Ahead

It is important for workers to understand their financial position many years ahead of their retirement so that they can budget accordingly and decide whether they will need to explore any alternative routes to fund their retirement, in addition to their pension.

By realistically planning their retirement in advance, this can help to reduce stress and the burdens of unexpected financial uncertainty in the future.

It is important to review and understand any outstanding finances you may owe several years in advance of your retirement age. If you are able to pay off lump sums from the debt owed, then this can help to reduce the monthly outgoings and as well as accrued interest. As such, you may be able to enter your retirement with a more manageable, as well as smaller, debt repayment plan.

2. Start Budgeting

It is further important to review how much money you have saved so far, and plan your retirement in accordance with this. This will allow you to accurately review the entirety and full value of your pension prior to receiving it.

When following the above, you must consider any big expenses you plan to make throughout your retirement. This could include travelling or supporting a family member with buying their first home for example.

It is further worth ensuring that you have collected enough money to account for any unexpected expenses or financial emergencies. This emergency amount should be taken off from your pension pot, allowing you to account for your average yearly budget once you have retired.

By doing so, you are able to create a forecast for your yearly retirement funds and can thus set realistic expectations for your retirement goals, investments and plans.

Additionally, it is worth evaluating your current spending and outgoings, identifying any areas of spending that may be able to be reduced or cut from your routine. This could include opting for public transport more frequently, or choosing to cook at home more instead of going to restaurants or getting takeaways. While these changes may seem small, they can build up together to allow for a significant sum that could be used to pay towards current debts.

3. Use Your Assets Wisely

Many people who reach retirement age opt to move to smaller properties. This will typically free up some money from their previous property and help them to avoid debt during their retirement.

Concluding Thoughts

While carrying debts into retirement may not be ideal, it is far from uncommon. In the closest years leading up to retirement age, you must prioritise your finances to help you make the most out of the money that you have. This involves working through your debts from the greatest to the smallest. The greatest debts have more potential to disrupt your pension and so these should be dealt with first.

It is important that if you are carrying debt into retirement, you have a detailed plan on how you will manage repayments and your day-to-day finances and spending.

Personal Finance: What to Know for 2023

What are some of the new wrinkles in this year’s personal finance situation? For starters, home-based workers can get more of a tax deduction for many of their expenses. But even more important is the continuation of such manoeuvres as co-signing on student loans, higher limits on IRA contributions, and fresh tactics for getting the most out of grocery discounts. Technology, particularly widespread access to the internet and free financial apps, is one of the major game-changers for working adults who want to maximize the power of their earnings and keep monthly expenses as low as possible. Here are details about some of the main points to know for 2023.

You Can Cosign for Someone’s Student Loan

As the cost of higher education continues to rise in 2023, many parents and others wonder if they can help a prospective college student who is applying for college loans. The answer is yes; it is easy to assist a child, friend, coworker, or anyone else who needs a cosigner on their loan application. Additionally, graduates can do a student loan refinance with a cosigner on debt they accrued while attending college. The concept behind cosigning on original education loans or refinancing agreements is simple. The cosigner’s credit score and history are used by the lender to evaluate the application. Many thousands of adults have gained approval only because they had a cosigner.

IRA Contribution Limits are Higher

There are new IRA contribution limits for 2023, which can make a big difference for those who want to leverage the tax advantage of contributing to a plan or setting up a brand-new one. If you are 50 or older, you can put $7,500 into a traditional or Roth account. For those who won’t reach their 50th birthday during the calendar year, the limit is slightly less, at $6,500. Note that couples can double their savings power by each setting up a separate IRA and contributing the max.

That means a husband and wife who are both over 50 in 2023 can sock a total of $15,000 toward retirement. It’s also wise to consider the additional boost most can get by using after-tax money, which is what Roth IRAs are all about. That way, while you are on the hook for taxes on the money now, you won’t have to ever pay on the withdrawal or the accumulated earnings in the future.

Shop Strategically to Save on Groceries

What is strategic shopping? It’s a smart way to spend money on groceries, household goods, and everything else, including online purchases. There are three elements to the process. First, use specific lists when shopping for anything. A list helps prevent the urge to make impulse buys. Second, sign up with a reputable, no-fee coupon app online and asterisk each list item for which you can use a coupon. Finally, consider paying a modest annual fee of about $50 to join a wholesale club that offers bulk sized items and generally lower pricing than traditional grocery stores. The beauty of strategic shopping is that you don’t have to be a financial maven to save between 5% and 15% on monthly food purchases and standard household items.

How To Navigate Legal Challenges As A Startup

As an entrepreneur, you want your company to succeed. However, having a solid idea or high-quality products for your startup company isn’t enough to achieve success. You must also be aware of the legal challenges of setting up a startup company. These may include intellectual property rights, trademark laws, employment laws, and financial regulations.

If you don’t know how to navigate these legal challenges, you’ll likely face issues with authorities. For instance, if your startup has a product that infringes on someone else’s trademark or copyright rights, it can cost you millions of dollars in damages and legal fees. If this happens, it may be difficult for you to regain control over your company and deal with the aftermath of such a situation. 

To avoid these issues, you must find a good venture capital lawyer specializing in startups. Apart from hiring a reputable attorney, this article discusses how you can navigate legal challenges as you run your company.

1. Register Your Name With Authorities

Prior to running your business, make sure that you are registered with the authorities. Doing so protects you from lawsuits while establishing a safe working environment for your customers and employees.

Seek assistance from the local government with authority over the area where you intend to operate. Depending on your location, this may include registering a trademark or service mark or obtaining a license to run a business within a specific region. 

Before you even go to the authorities to register your brand name, check if it’s still unused. You may verify through the website of United States Patent and Trademark Office or the governing body in your country, which lists all registered trademarks at any time.

2. Find A Reputable Attorney

As a startup owner, you should familiarize yourself with the legal system and the terminology used specifically in your industry. To lessen this burden, you can hire a venture capital lawyer specializing in startups. It’s better if they are familiar with your line of business.

When hiring an attorney, look at their experience to determine if they are qualified for what you need them to do. Don’t just read the testimonials on their website; check reviews online. If you know other entrepreneurs, ask for references. By doing some research, you can avoid working with an attorney who doesn’t have your company’s best interest in mind.

3. Decide On Your Business Structure

Another way to protect you against legal issues is determining the business structure that fits your goals. This makes it easier for you to get legal advice and ensure that your business is protected from lawsuits related to your company’s operations.

Here are the three most common types of business structures:

  • Sole Proprietorship: One individual owns and operates an independent legal entity. The sole proprietor is responsible for all aspects of the business, including financial management and hiring employees. 
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC): An LLC is available to entrepreneurs who want to protect themselves from personal liability while still being able to participate in the success of their companies. When you create an LLC, you create a separate legal entity that functions much like a corporation but has fewer legal requirements.
  • Corporation: It’s an organization with shareholders who share in profits and losses and other rights and responsibilities associated with running a business. You can hire employees, sell shares in your company, and manage finances without having direct responsibility for them.

4. Create Contracts With Vendors

A contract is the foundation of any business relationship. Without a warranty, you have no legal recourse in case of a dispute. So, you must establish and sign contracts with your vendors to minimize risks and protect your business from liability.

A good contract must include all essential terms and conditions of sale, including when payment is expected and what happens if you breach the terms of the agreement. Ideally, you should involve your lawyers in contract signing. Nevertheless, it’s not always necessary to go through this process as long as all parties know what they agreed upon before signing a contract. 

You should also create contracts with vendors to ensure they understand how and when to deliver your needs. This way, you can avoid any downtime caused by a lack of communication or delays in deliveries due to disputes over business-related issues.

Key Takeaway

When you run a startup business, it’s easy to forget about the legalities of your operations and focus on the wealth aspect. However, your company may face legal issues, such as being sued by customers or having your assets frozen. This can affect your company’s reputation and even cause you millions. So, before hitting the ground running, look into the legal side of things and make sure you’re covered.   

The Pros & Cons of Buying a Property Through a Limited Company

In a recent survey from Paragon Bank suggested that the number of landlords planning to set up limited companies to purchase buy-to-let properties had increased by 50% from the first quarter of 2022 to the second. That’s the highest number of landlords in the last three years that have said they are thinking of using limited companies.

This trend has increased significantly since 2017, when the Government decided to make changes to the rules on how mortgage interest was taxed

There are advantages and disadvantages to buying property through a limited company; London based estate agents Douglas & Gordon have provided their insights into the pros and cons of doing this.

Advantages Include:

Tax Savings –  You can save thousands of pounds, which is probably the biggest reason investors form limited companies. The profits from rental income for individual landlords are taxed via income tax, along with other earnings such as salary, shares, or dividends. The tax percentage depends on earnings and ranges from 20-45%. If you buy property through a limited company, you are subject to corporation tax instead, which is far lower than income tax at 19%. 

Mortgage Tax Relief – The tax changes in April 2020 mean that landlords can no longer deduct mortgage expenses from their rental income (to reduce their tax bill). Every landlord would agree that buy-to-let mortgages aren’t cheap and paying tax and monthly interest payments can easily eat into rental profits

Inheritance Tax Benefit – If your end goal is to pass your property investments on to family members, buying the properties through a limited company could be a good option, as you would have more opportunities to reduce inheritance tax.

Reinvest Savings – If you bought your property through a limited company, your profits after corporation tax can be kept in the company and used to reinvest in other buy to let investments. This helps you avoid further tax payments. 

Disadvantages Include: 

Mortgage Availability– There are fewer available mortgages than if you are an individual investor, and they are still subject to the same checks. In the past, companies found it a lot harder to find the right mortgage, and they used to come with lower borrowing limits and even higher monthly costs.

Tax When You Take Money Out – Taking money out of the company isn’t always easy. You need to either receive the money as a salary or take it out as a dividend. You can’t simply draw the cash out and pocket it. So, although there are savings to be had in some areas, you will be spending money in others. 

Transferring properties in your own name is expensive – If you already own a few buy to let investments, you can’t just simply transfer them into a company. Your company will need to buy them off you! This means you’ll need to pay the usual costs that come with buying and selling property: stamp duty tax, capital gains tax, any early mortgage repayment charges, and legal fees.

If you only own one or two properties, transferring them into a company name might not be worth it. But if you have 10 rental properties, it might be a more tax efficient solution. Before deciding, you should always get advice from an expert.

A Guide to Understanding Annuities and Their Benefits for a Comfortable Retirement

Retirement planning can be a daunting task, with so much to consider. One option to look into is investing in an annuity. Annuities are a way to guarantee a steady stream of income during retirement and can provide peace of mind for those looking to ensure their financial security. With so many different types of annuities available, it can take time to know which one is right for you.

This guide will introduce annuities, explain their benefits, and offer tips on choosing the right annuity for your needs. Whether you’re just starting to plan for retirement or are already retired, annuities can be an important part of a financial plan that will help you achieve your long-term goals.

Benefits of annuities

Annuities are an increasingly popular retirement planning tool, and for a good reason. An annuity can provide a steady income for the rest of your life, which can help ensure you have enough money to cover your living expenses during retirement.

Annuities also offer tax benefits by allowing you to defer taxes until you start receiving payments from the annuity. And, unlike other investments, annuities are not subject to market fluctuations, so you can be assured that your money will remain secure and your income will remain consistent.

One of the main benefits of annuities is that they are designed to provide a steady stream of income for life. This can help to ensure that you have enough money to cover your living expenses during retirement. Annuities also offer tax benefits, by allowing you to defer taxes until you start receiving payments from the annuity. And, unlike other investments, annuities are not subject to market fluctuations, so you can be assured that your money will remain secure and your income will remain consistent.

Another benefit of annuities is that they can offer flexibility in how you receive payments. Some annuities allow you to choose when to start receiving payments, as well as how often and how much you want to receive. This can be especially helpful if you need extra money to cover expenses during retirement, as you can adjust your payments to meet your needs.

Finally, annuities can help to protect your money from inflation. Annuities are typically indexed to inflation, which means that your payments will increase in line with the cost of living. This can ensure that your money will keep up with the rising costs of living during retirement.

Types of annuities

There are several types to choose from when it comes to annuities. Here is an overview of the most common types of annuities:

Fixed annuities: Fixed annuities provide a guaranteed interest rate and regular payments. The interest rate is typically set at the time of purchase and remains the same for the annuity’s life.

Variable annuities: Variable annuities are more complex than fixed annuities and can offer higher returns but come with more risk. With a variable annuity, your money is invested in stocks, bonds, and other securities, so that the returns can vary depending on the performance of these investments.

Immediate annuities: Immediate annuities are designed to provide a steady stream of income for life, with payments typically starting within a year of purchase.

Deferred annuities: Deferred annuities are similar to immediate annuities, but the payments start later, usually at retirement.

Indexed annuities: Indexed annuities are linked to an index such as the S&P 500 and provide returns tied to the index’s performance.

Variable deferred annuities: Variable deferred annuities are a combination of a deferred annuity and a variable annuity, offering both the potential for higher returns and the guarantee of a steady stream of income during retirement.

Understanding annuity terms

When it comes to annuities, several terms are important to understand. Here is a brief overview of the most common terms:

Surrender period: The surrender period is the length of time in which you are not allowed to withdraw funds from the annuity without incurring a penalty.

Death benefit: The death benefit is the amount of money the beneficiary will receive upon the annuitant’s death.

Annuitization period: The annuitization period is the length of time in which the annuitant will receive payments from the annuity.

Investment options: Investment options refer to the type of investments that the annuity is invested in, such as stocks, bonds, or mutual funds.

Fee structure: The fee structure refers to the fees associated with the annuity, such as the annual fees or surrender charges.

Tax-deferred growth: Tax-deferred growth refers to the ability to defer taxes on the annuity’s earnings until they are withdrawn.

Factors to consider when choosing the right annuity

When it comes to choosing the right annuity, there are several factors to consider. Here are some of the most important factors to keep in mind:

Your age: Your age will play a role in determining which type of annuity is best for you. Younger people may be better suited to variable annuities, while older people may prefer fixed annuities.

Your retirement goals: Different annuities offer different benefits, so it’s important to consider your retirement goals when choosing an annuity. If you’re looking for a steady stream of income for life, for example, an immediate annuity may be the best option.

Your risk tolerance: Risk tolerance is an essential factor to consider when choosing an annuity. Variable annuities offer the potential for higher returns, but they also come with more risk. A fixed annuity may be the better option if you’re not comfortable with risk.

Your time horizon: The length of time you plan to be invested in the annuity is also essential. If you want to start receiving payments soon, an immediate annuity may be the best option. If you’re looking to receive payments in the future, a deferred annuity may be better suited to your needs.

Your tax situation: Your tax situation should also be considered when choosing an annuity. Annuities offer tax benefits, but if you’re in a higher tax bracket, choosing an annuity that offers tax-deferred growth may be better.

Pros and cons of annuities

Like any investment, annuities come with both advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the pros and cons of annuities:


Guaranteed income for life: Annuities provide a guaranteed income for life, which can help ensure you have enough money to cover your living expenses during retirement.

Tax benefits: Annuities offer tax benefits by allowing you to defer taxes until you start receiving payments from the annuity.

Flexibility: Annuities offer flexibility in how you receive payments, so you can adjust your payments to suit your needs.

Protection from inflation: Annuities are typically indexed to inflation, which means that your payments will increase in line with the cost of living.


Surrender charges: Annuities typically come with surrender charges, which are fees charged if you withdraw money from the annuity before the surrender period is up.

High fees: Annuities often come with increased fees, which can eat into your returns.

Lack of liquidity: Annuities are less liquid than other investments, so it can be difficult to access your money in an emergency.

Limited investment options: Annuities typically have limited investment options, so you may need help to invest in the types of investments you want.

Tax considerations of annuities

Regarding annuities, it’s essential to consider the tax implications. Annuities offer tax benefits, allowing you to defer taxes until you start receiving payments from the annuity. However, it’s important to note that the exact tax implications depend on the type of annuity you choose. For example, indexed annuities are subject to different tax rules than immediate annuities. It’s essential to speak to a financial advisor or tax professional to understand the tax implications of the annuity you’re considering.

Annuity ratings

When it comes to choosing the right annuity, it’s essential to look at the ratings of the different products. The ratings typically come from independent agencies such as Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, and A.M. Best. These ratings are based on factors such as the company’s financial strength, the quality of the investment options, and the fees associated with the annuity. It’s essential to look at the ratings of the different annuity products to get an idea of which ones are the most reliable and offer the best returns.

Examples of the best annuity products

When it comes to choosing the best annuity products, it’s essential to look at the ratings, fees, and investment options offered by the different products. Here are some of the best annuity products currently available:

Fidelity: Fidelity offers a wide range of annuity products with competitive fees and robust investment options.

Vanguard: Vanguard offers several annuity products, including fixed, variable, and indexed annuities.

TIAA: TIAA offers a variety of annuity products with competitive fees and a range of investment options.

New York Life: New York Life offers a range of annuity products with competitive fees and a substantial selection of investment options.


Annuities can be an essential part of a financial retirement plan. Annuities can provide a steady income for life, offer tax benefits, and protect your money from inflation. When choosing an annuity, you must consider your age, retirement goals, risk tolerance, time horizon, and tax situation. It’s also important to consider the different products’  ratings, fees, and investment options. With the right annuity, you can enjoy a secure and comfortable retirement.

5 Ways Financial Advisors Can Stand Out From the Crowd

As a financial advisor, it’s critical that you have a strategy for overcoming the competition. Without this, you’re likely to get lost in the crowd. And when that happens, growing your business becomes very difficult.

There’s no shortage of ways for financial advisors to stand out. Your goal is to find what works for you and your business so that you can double down on it in the future. With that approach, growth is much more likely.

Here are five changes you should consider making.

1. Better customer service

Many people shy away from working with a financial advisor over concerns about customer service. They’re worried that they’ll hand over control of their investments to someone who doesn’t truly care about them.

Rather than take this risk, make it a point to provide the best customer service in the industry. At first, it may not appear to pay off. However, you’ll soon realize that nothing could be further from the truth. Every customer wants top-of-the-line customer service.

2. Regular check ins

This goes along with better customer service. Regular check-ins help your clients feel that you truly care about them. Reach out when you have nothing to say. Reach out just to talk about how things are going and if your customer has any immediate wants or needs.

There’s no shortage of ways to check in with customers, ranging from phone calls to text messages and emails. You don’t have to go overboard. Set a schedule, such as checking in every other month, and stick to it. Not only does this strengthen your relationship, but it can also help with lead generation for financial advisors. Clients who feel wanted are more likely to share your contact information with others.

3. Improved online experience

More so today than ever before, people want to manage their accounts online. This is particularly true when it comes to their money. If you want to impress your clients, provide the best possible online experience.

Make it simple for them to review their balance and services. Provide a way for them to quickly get in touch. Share a library of resources for them to review when seeking knowledge.

4. No pressure approach

Financial advisors who employ a high pressure approach often find it difficult to stand out from the crowd in a good way. Instead, they gain the reputation of being someone who continually pushes — even when the client would rather be left alone.

A no pressure approach is the way to go. If you provide a high level of service and quality results, you never have to pressure your clients into anything. They’ll want to work with you because you’re helping them reach all of their goals.

5. Proactive advice

It’s hard to draw the line between providing proactive advice and avoiding high pressure sales tactics. However, once you know where this line is, you can stay on the right side of it.

Search for ways to proactively assist your clients and prospects. For example, you could start a newsletter where you share industry updates and tips with your client base. Don’t do this with the idea of upselling your clients. Do this to simply provide additional information that they’ll find helpful.

The more advice that you share, the easier it becomes to understand what resonates with your audience. You can then use this to tweak your approach in the future. The longer you provide proactive advice, the more traction you’ll gain. Don’t give up before you realize the fruits of your labour.

Final thoughts

Some of these will work for you. Some of them may need to be put on the back burner for the time being. It’s okay if you don’t take immediate action on all five of the tips above. It’s better to find a strategy that works than it is to rush and hope for the best.

Once you understand the finer details of lead generation for financial advisors, you can be confident in your ability to regularly land new business.

How do you stand out from the crowd? What steps have you taken to build your business as a financial advisor?

Countering Economic Turmoil with Ambitious Expansion

By Dhaval Gore, Partner Communities Director, at G-P (Globalization Partners)

As businesses around the world face disruption with inflation pressures, the prospect of a recession, supply chain disruptions, and talent shortages, it is clear that challenges lie in the road ahead. In uncertain times, organisations often turn to cutbacks to reduce overhead costs and keep their head above water. However, if business leaders are willing to think outside the box, there are options available that can allow companies to not only survive, but thrive.

Global expansion continues to be a part of many businesses’ future plans. In fact, a recent 2022 Globalization Trends Survey found that 83% of CFOs confirm that their company’s long-term growth strategies include potential expansion into countries where they are not currently present.

However, with economic headwinds only adding to the challenges of navigating new regions – like compliance and regulation – what is the best way forward for organisations to drive growth and mitigate risk?

Retaining top talent at home and abroad

One key benefit of the remote working revolution is, of course, that businesses are no longer limited to the local workforce and can look much farther afield for the right candidate. It is then unsurprising that 92% of CFOs agree that a remote first work policy is key to attracting and retaining the best talent. The same percentage also say that such a policy increases inclusivity and diversity by providing equality of access to career opportunities regardless of location so people who might otherwise be excluded can apply. However, when hiring in a new location the challenge of local compliance and employment law arises, which is why partnering with a recruitment specialist who works across borders is a smart move.

Beyond flexible working, other popular retention strategies include learning and development, more detailed employee feedback and enhanced recognition. However, and surprisingly, when it comes to benefits and compensation, these play a more limited role in retaining employees. Instead, company culture is a greater factor in staying with an employer. A positive corporate culture is one that helps people focus, deliver and enjoy what they can contribute to the company as a whole.

Staying compliant

Companies must beware that when they expand globally they may not necessarily be familiar with the tax structures, labour laws and HR practices in new countries. There is also a risk of doing something wrong or even breaking the law, which can have a significant impact on not only their expansion plans, but also on brand and reputation. As a result, any organisation hiring globally must quickly familiarise itself with the local laws and practices of each new territory they enter.

Building this type of knowledge and expertise takes time. In the UK alone, for example, employment legislation includes a huge range of topics and obligations. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development breaks the requirements down into over 20 categories, covering everything from recruitment, working time and equal pay to discrimination, data protection and health and safety. When this translates onto the global stage, the complexities increase tenfold, which is why 93% of CFOs confirm that working with a global employment platform to support international talent management is very worthwhile. Such a platform can help companies understand and comply with local legislation across different geographies, minimising risk and reducing time spent in the process.

The future global workforce

Nearly half of CFOs report that their company’s future talent strategy is based on a hybrid workplace. In addition, more than nine out of 10 CFOs agree that allowing employees to move location, rather than backfilling a position with local talent, is the preferred talent strategy.

These strategies help combat the disruption we have seen in recent years and offer an opportunity to reinvent an industry, company, business model, or simply an internal workstyle. This is a great way to transform instability into enhanced flexibility. This can be seen in the widespread introduction of remote working, where operational changes are now meeting the long sought-after needs of employees while fundamentally changing the way the world works during times of major disruption.

Increasingly, having a local presence is becoming a critical must-have for capitalising on opportunities around the globe, and having the ability to attract and retain the best talent required to drive operations forward will become a key competitive advantage. Even in uncertain times, companies can still drive growth and achieve global market expansion, while minimising costs and risks, by deploying a global employment platform. This will allow them to hire people anywhere in the world without the need for local legal entities or boots on the ground.

Financial Crime Prevention: Strategies for Business Owners

Worldwide, financial crime has grown to be a major concern. Every company wants to safeguard itself and lower the chance of falling victim to financial crime. Every business owner’s worst nightmare is this one. However, there are numerous ways to make it easier to spot financial crimes and reduce the risks associated with it.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the precautions you should take to guard against this type of fraud as well as the duties you should be aware of. To avoid any business losses and becoming a victim at a financial institution, train your staff to combat fraud.

Understanding why financial crimes happen

Financial crimes have been part of everybody’s concern for the past few decades. They are unavoidable but some things can be done to prevent your business from collapsing from those crimes. However, before we continue with the strategies that you can use for prevention, it’s good to learn about financial crimes and in what forms you can meet them.

Financial crimes can happen either within the company or outside of it. Usually, external fraudsters collaborate with people inside the company and collectively plot against it. But it can happen even without prior connection to the employees. Financial crime can come in many forms including:

  • Bribery
  • Corruption
  • Fraud
  • Cybercrime
  • Terrorists
  • Money laundering
  • Market abuse, etc.
  • Victims of this kind of fraud can be either the clients or the whole team in the company.

Those frauds happen within the financial system and are rarely in cash.

Financial Control Any business should have a management team where financial crime risks as well as other similar risks that may be present can be discussed. The company should engage in taking essential steps to prevent this type of crime from happening. Every firm is exposed to risks, and the best thing that needs to be done is to acknowledge the risks so you can find an approach that fits the standards of your company.

The management team should be able to present all the information about possible risks to which the company is exposed. When the team has a better understanding of the financial crime, the better the approach would be to fight against those crimes.

Team hiring and training

Team training should be up to date regarding the renewed policies and regulation that needs to be followed. The staff’s role in the company is important, and for that matter, the team members should be able to get training material and lessons.

Bring more awareness to educating the staff of what exactly needs to be done when a financial crime occurs regarding their role in the company.

Go a step further and actively hire employees that you can trust and who are inline with company policies. Employees with remarkable attention to detail will help mitigate errors and attempts of financial crime.

HR can ask specific attention-to-detail interview questions to filter out undesirable candidates. Prevention is the best cure, so save time and money spent on retraining to hire the right people from the get-go.

Internal policies

The policies in the firm should be easily accessible and understandable by the team members of the company. When the staff has a better understanding of what financial crime is and its risks, they can minimize and help in the prevention of the crime. When the employees are adequately trained and have the required skills and knowledge, the more effectively the risk will be managed in the company.

Interactions from the whole team When dealing with a financial crime, the best thing you can do is to involve the right team to act on the prevention of fraud. The members such as accounts, customer relations, procurement, HR, business development, etc. All of the members engaging and interacting with financial crime prevention will aid in getting a better perspective of the situation.

Monitoring company transactions

Addressing any suspicion about ongoing financial crime in the company can help in stopping the crime from going further. By monitoring transactions in the company, there can be spot money laundering activities, which otherwise will go unnoticed.

The monitoring should become easier to do with the set of policies that are present in the company. With the monitoring, you’ll be able to detect any suspicious activity that’s been happening on the client’s data. You can also request a financial crime health check where you can have professionals review your whole system by making an analysis.

Financial crime compliance

To ensure that your company follows the latest regulations and policies, you need a checklist for AML processes which are small investigations that perform analysis. Meaning that in just a few seconds you’ll have records of data that will help you to manage any risks. Everyone should have the responsibility to follow the rules and regulations according to their role in the company.

Acknowledging the risks

During the past couple of years, there’ve been reports on financial frauds and approximately 51% of companies had experienced these types of crimes. That’s why it’s crucial to be aware of the environment in your company and how well you are prepared to manage the upcoming risks. When you have full control of your surroundings, you reduce the risk of becoming the victim of fraud.

Risk detection

Detection of any risks is the second part of dealing with and preventing any financial crime. By detecting the risk, you’re able to recognize any strange activity or even threats that are happening in your business. When you begin to notice those things, it’s time to act on them, because even waiting for a few more minutes will result in bigger problems.

Whether we are talking about financial or data fraud, the loss can be a huge deal that will happen to you and your company. The best thing you can do is to use technologies that can scan any behavioural changes and detect them. Don’t let criminal schemes go detected in your company, and always pay attention to what’s happening around you and inside your company.

Risk investigation

The investigation is the part when you deal with the problem and resolve the issues. How you handle the risks is entirely your choice. This is the most important part when dealing with financial crimes, because, from the point where you have criminal activity going on in your company, you can either act on it rationally and save your company from any greater loss or make one bad decision and lose everything you have.

Red flags that will help you in the process of preventing financial crimes

Transparent relationships with clients

Being aware of your clients and having them undergo many identity regulations, will result in minimizing the risk of clients having evil intentions while also gaining access to the financial system. Having a set of rules about who can become your client, will keep you notified about any inconvenience and inconsistency happening in the range of the company.

Meaning that you’ll be aware when someone’s value doesn’t match yours. You’ll also be sure about who your business relationships are and whether they are on some international black or watch lists. 

Unusual transactions

Strange transactions can be a strong indicator that your clients may be trying to launder funds. If you happen to see any large unusual payments, or payments coming from a third-party source, should be a red flag and something that you should take into consideration when working with those particular clients.

Regarding the transactions, when there are large sums with unknown sources it’s likely that there’s money laundering going on.

Chip and Pin Machines

Chip and pin transactions are one way to verify that your customers make secure payments. Before any transaction is performed, each of your clients must enter their PIN, which helps to prevent fraud of any kind. Due to the fact that your clients authorized all payments using cards and the proper PIN code, you will not be held responsible for any financial crimes that may occur.

Silent clients

When you’re dealing with a certain client, they should be receptive to queries about themselves and open to dialogue. When someone avoids answering inquiries about their personal life or other topics, it could be an indication that there is something wrong .You have the freedom to refuse to deal with a customer if you think something about them seems off.

Different accounts under the same client The rule for a client having multiple accounts with the same details is to monitor the activity because there’s a strong chance that it’s all about money mule scams. The different accounts are used for making transactions from one account to another without any logical explanation.


Financial crime is a significant issue that may have various negative effects on you and your business. Any business owner could act in a situation of financial fraud by using the tactics we previously revealed.

These kinds of crimes can be difficult to keep an eye out for, but thanks to modern technology, you can take matters into your own hands and prevent chaos from breaking out and ruining your company. Even if you believe “No, it won’t happen to me,” it still may, therefore the best way to be ready is to educate yourself on preventing financial crime.

How to Choose a Cost-Effective Parking Management System

The development of parking technology has resulted in the widespread use of parking management systems (PMS) by both parking lot owners and customers. Nowadays, running a parking garage or lot with a PMS is possible. It facilitates controlling the flow of cars in a parking space. Having access to many parking options is only one of the many benefits of a well-managed parking lot.

Why is a PMS necessary?

Parking management often addresses at least one of the following issues:

In addition to standard garages and parking meters, it provides:

  • valet service
  • real-time monitoring
  • multi-day parking
  • payment systems

It significantly enhances the customer parking experience as it’s a ticketless system and works with automatic vehicle identification.

Raising income by automated law enforcement using LPR gadgets, plate readers, and networked surveillance cameras in parking lots.

Automatic enforcement with license plate recognition systems thanks to ALPR / ALPN cameras

  • license plate scanning
  • surveillance of parking lots with networked cameras

Lowering parking utilization: uninsured or unreported parking, parking meters, and valet parking.

Improving operational efficiency through reporting operational data inside a dashboard system

  • tracking maintenance and repair operations
  • monitoring staff clock-ins

An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution, like parking software, unifies and streamlines the company’s most essential operations. It’s an all-in-one solution for managing:

  • Finances
  • Employees
  • Inventory
  • Shipments
  • Purchases

The functioning of parking facilities is managed by a parking management system comprising both hardware and software.

How do PMS benefit your organization?

Hotels and real estate aren’t the only sectors that benefit from parking management solutions. It’s easy to be used by any firm that conducts consumer interactions remotely. Its advantages aren’t confined to customers alone.

A PMS is necessary if your employees complain about parking places or are frequently tardy because of parking concerns. It assists employees in finding parking spaces and reduces the possibility of their vehicles being stolen or vandalized.

The following are additional advantages of adopting a PMS:

Optimizes space

A parking spot is a scarce resource. Consequently, using a system provides a more comprehensive view of the facility and helps management route motorists to avail reserve company parking slots more effectively.

Simple to use

Managing traffic flow into, within, and out of the parking area becomes considerably easy with the methodical operation. In addition, these systems require zero maintenance, and the employee training expense remains low.

Only permitted access

With these systems in place, you are assured that no unauthorized individuals get access to automobiles. This reduces the likelihood of vehicles being stolen or destroyed.

Using PMS offers various advantages. Now that you know some of them, let’s examine their multiple types.

How to choose an appropriate PMS?

Consider the organization’s needs, the available money, and the system’s expected lifespan when deciding on the best PMS. Any given PMS’s usefulness is directly proportional to its features. Among the capabilities that offers are the following:

AccessibilityAccessibility spatial perceptionStrengthen securityImprove security cost managementRequired updates and customizations determine the cost of the systems. The price of PMS varies with

The number of usersThe database sizeThe complexity of the necessary setupsThe number of records and parking spots

Advantages of PMS

Software for parking management is an enterprise-wide solution that provides efficient administration of parking operations. Nine advantages of PMS are listed below.

Helps parking lot operators

It enables operators of parking facilities to:

  • Regulate unregistered automobiles
  • Plan parking spaces
  • Information distribution to drivers
  • Create personalized reports
  • Manage parking facility operations

The system’s built-in analytics provide more precise occupancy predictions for business owners and managers. This reduces expenses by making better use of parking space.

Parking space updates in real-time

The device gives parking space updates in real-time. It increases income by enabling operators to anticipate occupancy patterns and parking management problems.

Automated notifications

The number of clients eager to visit the parking lot is proportional to the number of available parking places. The PMS notifies drivers of the location of public parking spaces via automated notifications. This increases the likelihood of consumers visiting the parking lot. This also helps revenue growth.

In-depth study of each parking lotThe system gives an in-depth study of each parking lot’s operating state. This aids operators in identifying cost-cutting and investment opportunities. For instance, the system identifies parking configurations that maximize parking capacity. In addition, it gives real-time information on the number of automobile parkers per parking space.

Increase operational efficiency

By evaluating and monitoring parking lot operations, PMS helps customers to increase operational efficiency. They provide personalized reports that assist operators in allocating available parking spaces following their specific business needs. The program produces information on the current usage of parking spaces, the movement of vehicle parkers, and the income earned.

Increases parking spot use efficiency

PMS boosts an organization’s parking spot use efficiency and income creation. The real-time car and parking lot occupancy data generate individualized parking management reports and business insights.

Reduce the number of illegally parked vehicles

PMS tracks the number of hours a car has been parked at a given spot. This is a significant decrease in the number of automobiles parking quickly to avoid receiving traffic citations.

Enforcing traffic restrictions

The system monitors and logs vehicle movements to detect and issue automatic citations to drivers who break traffic regulations.

The prospective development of PMS

People find automated parking management systems more convenient as the usage of intelligent technologies and mobile applications rises. These technologies are accessible from anywhere and on any device. They assist parking administrators in reducing traffic congestion, minimizing waste and enabling them to increase income.

The parking lot industry is unusual because no company provides all the required services and goods. The market needs to be more cohesive. Currently, clients only obtain some relevant information regarding parking lots through municipal websites, Google, and external websites.

Five Investments You Should Make for Retirement

When retirement is around the corner, you are probably thinking about a lot of different things. The most important part of retiring is money. When you haven’t made or saved enough funds, it might feel like you will never be able to retire. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to invest if you have a bit of money to work with. Whether you are planning for the future or are retiring now, below are five investments you should make to live the rest of your life happily and healthily.

Real Estate

The most lucrative investment you should make when you are considering retirement is real estate. Putting money into property can be beneficial in several ways. Not only are you able to buy a home for your retirement in an affordable place, if you do some research and find the neighbourhood and property that will go up in value you can also make money by selling it later.

Whether you are thinking about retirement planning in Houston or somewhere more rural, you can even use real estate as a retirement project. Fixing up homes and selling them isn’t easy, but it can be a great way to keep busy and make money after you stop working at your career. Whether you choose to live in the home you invest in or not, there are plenty of great opportunities for investing in real estate before and during retirement.


When you haven’t retired yet but have begun thinking about it, you should put money into your 401K if your company provides it. This money goes towards your retirement and builds interest over time.

By choosing to take a portion of your income, checks, or salary, you can gain tax benefits that will enable you to work with more capital later in life. Every time you get paid a chunk will be taken out of your pay check and put into a 401K account that will be available after a specific amount of years. You can cash this money in and invest the funds in other places.

Stocks in Your Company

Investing in your company’s stocks is another thing you can do when you are still working. Well, it is always possible to invest in stocks of the company you used to work for but a lot of businesses provide beneficial stock advantages. You can even get a portion of your pay in stocks. If you believe in the company, you should think about investing in it with these options. Over time, if the stock price goes up you can sell and make a profit. You can even keep the stocks after you retire. Just make sure that you sell before you end up losing money on this investment.

Stocks in Other Companies

Beyond the company you work or worked for, the stock market is where a lot of people make a ton of money. Investing money into various stocks and moving money around can become very lucrative. You should be diligent about what you are investing in. You should look at the charts and numbers and always keep up with what the business is doing.

However, if you find the right corporation to invest your money, you could end up making more than you ever did working. It’s a delicate balance but if you strike it you will be able to live a happy and comfortable retirement with more money than you thought you’d have.


Finally, cryptocurrency has been making waves in the tech industry and overall economy since Bitcoin was announced. While you probably missed the boat on that one, there are other exciting cryptocurrency investment opportunities to think about. As time goes on, encrypted digital currency will become more of a mainstay. If you are interested in this area of the economy and want to put your faith into a specific coin, it could end up being lucrative for you.

These five retirement investments are just the beginning, but one thing is always true. You should think about what kind of investments will pay off when you are done working your main career. Investing is essential to any retirement plan.

So, if you are still working now is the time to stock investing in your 401K and company stocks. Have you already retired? Real estate, the stock market, cryptocurrency, and many other investments could pay off for you in the end.

The Inflation-Proof Guide To Managing Your Finances

From soaring petrol prices to the insanity of $10 heads of lettuce, we’ve all been feeling the impact of rising prices worldwide. As inflation hits a 40 year high of 9.1 and living expenses continue to rise, managing your personal finances has never been more crucial than it is today. Thankfully, there are many steps to take — and actions to avoid — that can help you navigate this period of high inflation, for however long it lasts. Not entirely sure where to start?

Here are 5 expert tips for inflation-proofing your finances

Consult With A Financial Advisor

The first step to inflation-proofing your finances is to know where you stand. In order to figure this out, you’re going to have to do some basic maths to assess your personal inflation rate. But wait, what exactly is a personal inflation rate? Simply put, personal inflation rate refers to the rate of price increases as it affects a specific individual. You can figure this out with manual calculations or the help of a financial advisor. To calculate your individual inflation rate, simply subtract your monthly spending from a year ago from your current monthly spending. Once you have figured out the difference, divide it by your monthly spending from a year ago.

Example: If your expenditure in July 2022 is $2500 and was $2,100 a year ago, your personal inflation rate is 19%.

Your personal inflation rate will be able to help you contextualise why it feels like your money isn’t stretching as far as it used to — and can aid in motivating you to cut down on unnecessary expenses moving forward.

Keep Costs Low

Now that you’ve figured out your personal inflation rate, it’s time to think about how you can keep costs low in the various aspects of your life. Cutting down on expenses can be difficult in today’s fast paced and competitive world, but it is a necessary step to take when managing your finances during inflation. If you haven’t looked over your budget in a while, now is the best time to do so. A great way of figuring out exactly where your money is going is to keep track of your expenses with a free expense tracker. Once you have a rough idea of exactly how much you’re spending and what you are spending it on, you can start to make changes to your spending routine. Some easy examples of keeping costs low include:

  • Cutting down on the number of streaming subscriptions you sign up to;
  • Taking public transport instead of driving;
  • Cooking meals at home instead of frequently dining out;
  • Downsizing on your rental property; and
  • Reducing electricity and water usage; amongst many others.

Obviously, not all of these solutions may be practicable or applicable depending on your individual lifestyle, so be sure to pick a few realistic changes that apply to your circumstances.

Budget For Inflation

It is more important than ever to ensure that you are living within your means. Aside from keeping costs low, budgeting your monthly expenditure for inflation is key to being able to withstand the changes of the current economy. Thankfully, there are many online budgeting tools and apps at your disposal in 2022. These apps are incredibly useful as they allow users to set up their own budgets, set and track goals and make use of customised insights. Additionally, spending is automatically categorised and many apps even come with a bill tracking function that allows you to factor in expenses before they even come in.

With a solid budget in place, you will be better equipped to make financial decisions, prepare for emergencies and stay focused on your long-term financial goals.

Look For High Yield Interest Rates

The truth is, it can be incredibly frustrating to not be able to obtain loans for big purchases as easily during periods of high inflation. This puts many people at a dis-advantage, especially if you are looking to purchase a home, car or any other large outstanding bill. Even so, consumers can still take advantage of higher interest rates on bank accounts to combat the effects of inflation on their cash. Interest rates on bank accounts will never totally beat the rate of inflation, but these accounts are vital in hedging against inflation far better than keeping your money in a low-rate account. With a high-yield savings account, you can earn more interest while, most importantly, still having access to your cash when you need it.

If you’re looking for a competitive ongoing rate, then you definitely want to hop on over to this extensive database.

Consider Investing In Bonds For Long Term Savings

In order to be prepared for emergencies or unexpected expenses, it is always wise to keep short-term cash in a savings or checking account. However, if you have spare money in the bank that you don’t plan on touching for the near foreseeable future, a really good option is to consider investing in treasury bonds for long term savings. As defined by the Australian Office of Financial Management, “Treasury Bonds are medium to long-term debt securities that carry an annual rate of interest fixed over the life of the security, payable semi-annually.”

When you invest in bonds, you are essentially lending money to a company or government. In return, you get regular interest payments, called coupon payments. Compared to money that’s sitting in your savings account and earning an interest rate that is far below inflation, money that is put into a treasury bond pays a fixed rate of interest, which can provide a steady income stream in the long run. Furthermore, bonds are defensive investments and come with lower risk than growth investments such as property or shares.

Find out everything you need to know about bonds here.


The truth is, no one knows what the future holds, but making simple changes to the way you manage your finances may be able to weather times of inflation more easily. We hope that today’s article has equipped you with the knowledge and tools you need to preserve the purchasing power of your savings.

iwocaPay Becomes the First Invoice Checkout Integration with Buy Now, Pay Later Option for Businesses that Integrate with QuickBooks 

  • New integration between iwoca’s B2B payment solution – iwocaPay – and leading accounting software package – QuickBooks – will provide hundreds of thousands of businesses with the option to offer buy now, pay later to their business customers
  • Having previously integrated with Xero, iwocaPay has now become the first B2B buy now, pay later solution for cloud accounting software across the UK
  • iwoca is the only UK-based B2B BNPL provider that’s fully omni-channel (available wherever businesses take payments)

iwoca has announced the integration of its B2B payment solution iwocaPay with Quickbooks’ leading accounting software package – this makes it the first invoice checkout integration with a BNPL option for businesses that integrate with QuickBooks.

Quickbooks supports UK businesses with their accounting needs via a cloud-first approach that allows them to run their finances on the go from mobile devices. iwocaPay makes invoice checkout seamless, allowing buyers to settle via either Pay Now or Pay Later.

Integrating iwocaPay into the QuickBooks platform will enable hundreds of thousands of businesses to get paid faster, have better control of their cash flow, and grow revenues; industry research showed that customers are 57% more likely to purchase when interest-free buy now, pay later options were offered.

First B2B buy now, pay later solution for cloud accounting products 

This new integration follows on from the success of iwocaPay’s Xero integration, first rolled out in February 2021. Holding integrations with both accounting software giants makes iwocaPay the first B2B buy now, pay later solution for cloud accounting software across the UK.

The small business finance provider also recently announced its extension with ecommerce platform WooCommerce. The new API behind both of these integrations makes iwoca the only UK-based B2B BNPL provider that’s fully omni-channel: available wherever businesses take payments, whether that’s invoices (like QuickBooks), ecommerce checkouts (like WooCommerce), or in person.

Business owners who link iwocaPay to their QuickBooks account will be providing a frictionless invoice payment experience with buy now, pay later options for their customers, whilst they get paid instantly. Customers can pay on the go, by scanning QR codes on their invoices that direct them to a slick checkout journey.

iwoca calls for more plugin integrations to link with its new API 

Leading the way in embedded finance, iwoca is calling for more business collaborations to integrate with its B2B payments solution. 

Lara Gilman, Co-lead of iwocaPay said: “We’re delighted that QuickBooks users now have the option to include iwocaPay on their invoices, so that they can offer business customers buy now, pay later, without carrying the credit or late payment risk themselves. The ability for them to offer this flexibility to customers during today’s turbulent economic times will help B2B businesses attract more customers and make more money, whilst having better control of their own cash flow.

“iwocaPay welcomes more integrations of this kind. Our aim is for our digital B2B BNPL payment solution to be accessible to the entire business ecosystem, whether that’s through accounting platforms, ecommerce sites or somewhere else.”

Small businesses owners can add iwocaPay as an invoice payment method to their Quickbooks invoices by signing up to iwocaPay and integrating it from their iwocaPay dashboard.

Give the Gift of Tax Relief

Love, romance and … taxes. It’s not the first thing that springs to mind when considering the perfect Valentine’s gift for your partner, but if you’re married, in a civil partnership, or even planning to get down on one knee, then there’s a range of tax reliefs available that you should be aware of.

As gift wish lists go, tax relief might be a bit more Martin Lewis than Marvin Gaye in the romance stakes, but who wouldn’t fall in love with the idea of having a bit more money in their bank account? That’s why the professionals at Perrys Chartered Accountants have put their heads together and come up with a whole bunch of tax saving ideas that could leave you smelling of roses.

Income Tax savings

If you (or your spouse) are earning a wage below the Personal Allowance of £12,570, then you could be eligible for Income Tax relief. This tax break, known as marriage allowance, lets a husband, wife or civil partner transfer £1,260 of their personal allowance to the higher earning partner.

To qualify, one of you must be earning a wage of £12,570 or less and your spouse or partner must be paying Income Tax at the basic rate. This means their income will need to be between £12,571 and £50,270.

This tax saving can be worth up to £252 per year. However, around 2.4 million qualifying couples are failing to claim the benefit. The good news is marriage allowance can be backdated up to four years.

Capital Gains Tax savings

If you’re married and have sizeable assets, then transferring them to your spouse could help to reduce your Capital Gains Tax liabilities.

For example, if you own shares and are a higher rate taxpayer and you want to sell them, then you will need to pay Capital Gains Tax at the higher rate. However, if you are married and your spouse is paying a lower rate of tax, then you could transfer your shares to them without triggering a tax charge. Your spouse can then sell the shares and pay the lower rate of tax instead.

You can also use an inter-spouse transfer prior to disposal to make use of your partner’s tax-free annual exemption, which currently exempts the first £12,300 of gain from tax, thus, achieving tax free gains of up to £24,600 between you in the current tax year (the tax-free annual exemption will reduce to £6,000 each from 6th April 2023).

Inheritance Tax savings

What could be more romantic than inheritance tax planning?! Most couples do not currently have a will in place and many have not considered the potential inheritance tax bill on their assets.

However, if you are married, or in a civil partnership, then with mirror wills in place you can benefit from a transfer of your partner’s nil rate band for inheritance tax. This can delay a potentially hefty tax bill and give you more time to plan or to make lifetime gifts to reduce the overall inheritance tax payable on your family’s wealth.

For unmarried couples, the nil rate band cannot be transferred, and inheritance tax would be payable at 40% on an estate where assets exceed £325,000 (an additional residence nil rate band of £175,000 may also be available for those passing a qualifying residence worth £500,000 or more to a direct descendant).

Get a tax health check

As with most taxes, careful planning is required to ensure you are not missing out on reliefs which may be available to reduce your tax bills. If you’re unsure about whether you qualify for any of the above tax reliefs, or you want further advice, then organising a tax health check could help. Simply get in touch with Perrys by calling 0800 0191 451 or complete a contact form and one of the team will be in touch.