Finance Week

Sell Your House Quicker with these Tips

Finance Week April 18, 2017 at 1:00 am

House For Sale

Selling a home is a delicate process that needs a considerable amount of preparation and planning. Many sellers discover this fact the hard way, and it causes them to incur massive losses.

Luckily, with a little bit of effort, you can make the process a runaway success.

Do not do it alone

While it might sound brilliant and adventurous, attempting to sell the house without enlisting professional help is often a big mistake, enlisting the help of an expert when unloading real estate property in Auckland has considerable benefits.

Property specialist Prestige Real Estate International LTD recommends hiring a firm that maintain a list of buyers at open homes, web enquiries, auctions, and through advertising. Boasting first-hand knowledge of the market, realtors will help you to avoid common pitfalls that could ruin the sale.

Besides helping you with the paperwork and other legal issues, they will help sell it quicker. They have a wider reach and pull than you can swing on your own. They also know which clients to target when putting your property on the market.

A house that stays long on the market cast doubts among buyers, which could lower the offer prices.

Do not get emotional

As surprising as it may sound, selling a house can be quite an emotive process for many sellers, especially those selling their long-time homes. Such a house holds priceless memories for the family members. As such, parting with it becomes quite a traumatic event.

Such instances open you to making crucial mistakes that could ruin the sale. You would do well to remember that emotional value is not transferable to the buyer. As such, the potential buyer will only consider the tangible assets of the house.

Pricing the house on merit rather than emotional connections gets you a better deal. It also lowers the time the house sits on the market.

Selling the house is a delicate process that requires considerable preparation to pull off successfully. These useful pointers can help sell off your quickly while getting the best deal possible.

The Second Most Valuable Money: Benefits of Investing in Silver

Finance Week February 9, 2015 at 7:16 am

silver coin collectionWith the economy getting much tougher year after year, it’s just right and practical to start looking for ways on how to gain money aside from your daily job or business. Investing is one of the things you can do to earn more. You have a choice where to bring your money, but silver might be the better option.

Investing in silver can be done in different ways. You can buy shares in a silver ETF, invest in silver mining companies, or own silver bullions and coins. Compared to the standard currencies, you have better opportunities to earn more in silver because the element has a higher value.

Doesn’t Lose Value

Unlike other investment assets, you’re guaranteed that silver will never lose value. It may go up and down at times, but it’ll never end up zero. This is what makes it more practical to invest in rather than bonds and paper assets, which can become useless once the issuer declares bankruptcy.

Can Be Affordable

Silver is more affordable compared to gold, costing just around $20 per ounce as compared to the $1,000 per ounce of the most valuable element. This allows you to start small and not force yourself or the business to spend more money.

Good Demand and Supply

The law of demand and supply is manifested in silver investment. This is among the raw materials that have plenty of stocks because the amount of silver used in producing silverware, jewellery, and other things is less than the amount mined per year. This situation then compels silver prices to go up a notch.

Has Many Investment Options

Bullions and coins fit the needs of those who want to use the metal as money; investments in silver mining companies can give an immediate boost for new digging sites; and it’s quite easier to invest in the value of the element with silver ETF.

There’s nothing wrong in going for the second-best source of wealth. Silver investments can provide you more opportunities than you may know. You just have to be smart in deciding where to put your money.

Your Legal Checklist to Home Buying: Have You Ticked These Things Off?

Finance Week February 9, 2015 at 4:49 am

home buyingNothing compares to having a place that you can call your own. Buying a house, however, is such a big investment that it can be overwhelming. You have tons of things to do: scout the neighbourhood, secure a mortgage, inspect the property, and calculate the taxes and all costs involved, among others. Do not get too caught up with these things, though, because you just might forget one important thing that will definitely make or break your house buying experience: the legality of it all.

Make sure you are on top of the fine print; here is a checklist of the legal aspects you need to consider and prepare.

Involve a Conveyancer

The conveyancing process jumpstarts your legal journey to owning a property. This is why it is important to have a conveyancer that will manage legal documents for you.

Thinking about DIY conveyancing? Not so fast. Even seemingly simple transactions involved in property buying can be complicated with all the laws and regulations. Buying a property is a risky move in itself. Do not make it any riskier.

Settlement agents from AdvantageSettlements.com.au explain that conveyancers will conduct a title search, prepare and certify legal documents, calculate adjustments of taxes and rates, and arrange settlement statements.

Check the Title

It’s important to check the title and make sure it’s a good one. A good title certifies that you really own the property; that it is accurately reported in official records and properly registered. This ensures that no one else can lay claim to the property. As mentioned above, conveyancers can help you with this.

For people looking to buy a property to make it a business investment, make sure that you fully understand the legalities involved in strata titles. If you are planning to buy an apartment or a townhouse, you need to run a strata search.

Inspect the Property

Inspecting the house is an important step you need to tick off your home buying legal checklist.
For example, the electricity and plumbing system must comply with specific regulations. Renovations must be approved by the council. Make sure to assess if the boundaries are also in the right position.

Considering all of the things you need to accomplish, buying a home can be overwhelming. But, with this legal checklist, you can make the house buying experience more manageable.

Hobbies: The Lost Art of Coin Collecting

Finance Week November 13, 2014 at 2:13 am

coin collectionEveryone has a hobby. Whether it’s collecting stamps, baseball or basketball cards, or other memorabilia, these pastimes make great collections simply for their aesthetic value or for their monetary value as collectibles.

Most of these hobbies, however, are all but relics of yesterday’s generations. Not too many young people find the time to amass these collections. One such art that seems to have been lost in time is coin collecting.

Coin collecting, along with other forms of legal tender, is a worthwhile hobby. While people have been hoarding coins for their value since time immemorial, it was not until later when people started collecting them for their artistic value. Starting a coin collection can be a fun and rewarding hobby, as it is also profitable.

Find a Coin Dealer

Finding a reliable coin dealer can be hard. As there are not many today, you will most likely have to do with the ones within your area. Collectors work with them by either showing coins to find out what they are worth or by selling them coins in their possession.

Decide what you want to collect

While it is only natural to take coins from any denomination or period of time to expand a growing collection, you will eventually narrow down your collection to specifics. Whether it is from a certain period or a country depends entirely on you. Even if you run out of mints to collect, you can still collect personalized gold coins.

Know Their Value (Coin Grading)

Coin grading is an essential skill if you are serious about being a coin collector. While you cannot expect to be an expert right from the beginning, you need to have a good grasp so you will not get cheated out of valuable items. As coins age, their value increases. The rarer these are, the more money you will need to shell out. That is unless someone just gives you some pieces out of the blue.

Coin collection need not be a lost art. Keep these tips in mind, so you can get your collection started on the right foot.

Benchmarks: Using Them to Audit-Proof Your Business

Finance Week July 7, 2014 at 5:02 am

A young businessman in a suitBad news for small business owners: the Australian Taxation Office has strengthened its monitoring process to ensure companies of all sizes report income accurately. The department is using key financial ratios called benchmarks, which contain information from your tax returns and business activity statements, to check how your business compares with other enterprises in your industry. If your company falls outside the benchmark, you may become candidate for an audit. This is why it’s important to audit-proof your business.

If you don’t want to get in trouble, experts suggest working with an accountant to check ATO’s benchmarks before preparing your tax returns. Find a licensed accountant in Perth, Bunbury, or Fremantle if your business is based in Western Australia and start audit proofing your company.

Types of Benchmarks

The ATO monitors two types of benchmarks, including those covering performance and input. Performance benchmarks consist of different ratios that help the office identify companies that aren’t reporting all of their income in their statements. Input benchmarks, on the other hand, apply to trades people who purchase their own materials and work directly with household clients. These benchmarks provide an expected range of income based on the materials used and the labour provided.

Using Benchmarks to Your Advantage

ATO’s audit process has become more sophisticated, but the good news is that you can use industry benchmarks to your advantage. You can use performance benchmarks, for example, to compare the performance of your enterprise against others in your field and input benchmarks to set your services’ prices.

Check Your Benchmarks Regularly

The best way to audit-proof your business is to check your performance or input benchmarks regularly. If you fall outside the commended range, determine where you’ve gone wrong. It’s also helpful to take a look at your tax return before submitting it. The ATO will use the business activity description and industry code you provided on your return to determine your benchmark, so it’s important to double-check all information.

By checking your benchmarks regularly, you can audit-proof your business and see how your company performs against other enterprises.

Comic Relief Pledges To End Tobacco, Alcohol Investments

Finance Week May 30, 2014 at 4:39 am

tabaccoComic Relief has announced its plans to end putting money into alcohol, tobacco, or weapons, after reviewing its investment policies.

Controversial investments

Comic Relief faced a public outrage after it was accused of investing in companies that seemed to contradict the core values of the charity.

After spending two months of reviewing its policy, Comic Relief said public trust was the “cornerstone” of the charity. It vowed to be transparent with its money in future.

Public trust

“We would be nothing without our many supporters to whom we have listened and will keep listening,” Davie said in a statement. “We now have an investment policy that is firmly in line with the ethos of the charity, at the same time as making sure that the money we raise can go further to change lives both here in the UK and abroad.”

Part of the charity’s plan is to set aside a small fund for social investment.

The Secret Edge to Clearing a Debt

Finance Week May 27, 2014 at 4:54 am

It may escape anyone’s appreciation, but lenders and banks are taking very significant risks whenever they approve somebody for a secured homeowner loan. These loans rank second only to mortgage loans in banking circles as the most risk-laden options, because only the most desperate borrowers choose it.

People tend to focus on the high stakes against themselves and don’t bother trying to find out what lenders are putting on the line to make secured loans possible. Yes, it may seem like all they do is give borrowers money and then take their homes when they fail, but what choice do any of them have?computing expenses

When a lender or a bank repossesses a home or any collateral that only means one thing, which is that the borrower failed to meet the terms of the agreement. That is by no means the lender or the bank’s fault, unless they were instrumental in preventing the borrowers from being able to make payments.

The year before the global financial crisis of 2008, observers were keenly anxious of the slow rise of people taking out secured loans. Because that only meant that more people are experiencing financial woes, and that more people are likely to lose their homes or collaterals, if the situation didn’t improve. Of course, the crisis finally struck, making the blow that much faster and devastating, not just for borrowers, but for lenders as well.

Imagine this; someone is in charge of a bank that is up to his nose in reclaimed property and no one to sell them to. The only recourse is selling the properties at rock bottom prices, and make at least a fraction of what they lost in all the loans.

Handling secured loans are a serious business, and though they’re packaged as an easy way out, they should be treated as a last ditch effort of clearing debt. Because that’s the only way anyone gets out of debt. Determination is the bigger key than any financial scheme in the world.

If a borrower truly wants to get out of a debt hole, a secured loan will help him or her do it faster. But if they don’t have the heart to do it, then lenders might as well throw the money off a cliff.

Expanding The Business: Take the World by Phone

Finance Week April 10, 2014 at 5:19 am

Businesswoman writingBusinesses rely on communication more than anything to get the job done. They keep a finger on the pulse to find out what their clients want, investigating what the competition is doing, and exploring new opportunities. Recently, globalisation has been the go-to trend for growth and expansion; you can’t be competitive unless you’re doing business outside your territory.

These are new and exciting times for businesses, especially the ones with the resources to undertake such endeavours. But there are many unique challenges that await adventurous executives that many of them just haven’t dealt with before.

Add to the Arsenal

Businesses can expand into new territories without leaving their base of operations; they can simply collaborate with local companies and work from there. That structure partnered with a powerful telephone system takes most of the time difference and travel out of the equation. Butit doesn’t solve various language barrier problems, as well as incident protection.

In order to do business internationally, companies need to add new weapons to their arsenal, with the arsenal being the speed dial. There are plenty of numbers you can put on speed dial for an international business line, but here are a few suggestions to conduct international business effectively.

Lose Nothing in Translation

Most companies around the world speak English, but don’t rely on that fact when creating a deal or a big contract. The legal wordings of such transactions are difficult enough when dealing with people from across the street, what more if people across oceans are involved?

Getting telephone interpreters on speed dial may sound a bit foppish to some, but consider it as an insurance measure. The people at both ends of the line can rest assured that their intentions are clearly defined and relayed so that misunderstandings are avoided completely.

Get Government Help

Even though many people don’t currently like the positions the government has taken, it doesn’t mean that they can’t help businesses. The non-ministerial UK Trade and Investment department aims to ensure the success of UK based businesses that wish to operate overseas. The department also encourages foreign businesses to look at the UK as a potential investment destination.

Utilising the services of the UK Trade and Investment group, and having them on speed dial on the telephone system can prove useful in building contacts, and government backing in certain situations.

Bringing the company out into the world is a daunting task, but with the right tools, it can be the most exciting step toward a new chapter in the company’s growth.

TSC Tells Advisers to Prove Regulation Costs

Finance Week March 25, 2014 at 1:42 am

UK poundsChairman of the Treasury Select Committee (TSC) Andrew Tyrie MP has challenged financial advisers to provide evidence of just how much it costs to run a regulated firm.

Barriers in Regulating a Firm

Many advisers regularly cite the high cost of regulation, and this has been cited as a possible barrier to new entrants to the industry. Advisers need to pay authorisation fees to their regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to receive FCA credit licence; salaries to staff and/or fees to external consultants to manage their internal compliance; training costs to ensure advisers maintain competence; and levies to fund the Financial Ombudsman Service, Money Advice Service and Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Now Tyrie has thrown down the gauntlet to the advisory community by asking them to produce figures, such as the fees for FCA Consumer Credit Licence (CCL), for the overall cost of regulation. Once reliable figures had been established, the amounts could be presented to the FCA, politicians and consumers.

Tyrie commented: “[The industry] could do much more by monitoring compliance costs carefully. Not just the narrow sense of maintaining a compliance department but the full cost to the business of engaging with the regulator at every level. The industry has not done enough. As long as the regulator feels no counter-weight, there will always be the incentive to make that one extra demand.”

‘Consumers always pay for regulation’

Tyrie then touched on the key issue that regulatory costs are nearly always passed on to the consumer in the form of higher charges and prices. “Regulation is not a free good, the customer always ultimately pays,” he added.

Chris Hannant, director general of the trade association the Association of Professional Advisers, gave a cautious welcome to the idea. “To make any figure robust we would need quite detailed input from a number of firms but it is an interesting challenge and we will look into it. I would not want to create further burdens on members but if we can find a simple way to capture the information then it could be useful,” commented Mr Hannant.

Tyrie has said he believes there is a “strong case” for the FCA to refund fees to certain advisers. Some firms who hold client money believe they have been overcharged as a result of an anomaly in the way they were allocated to ‘fee blocks’ in the FCA charging structure. “This money clearly should not have been charged once you look into the detail of it,” said Mr Tyrie.

FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley disagrees that any overcharging has taken place, saying: “I think the term overcharged is wrong. We make decisions each year as to what we charge each fee block and we adjust them each year depending where our efforts and resources are used.” However, after questioning from Mr Tyrie, FCA chairman John Griffith-Jones has agreed to reply to the TSC’s concerns in writing.

Resources:

http://www.scottrobert.co.uk/fca-consumer-credit/
http://www.moneymarketing.co.uk/news-and-analysis/politics/tyrie-calls-on-advisers-to-prove-cost-of-regulation-to-clients/2005869.article

Time’s Up: When to look for a new Apartment

Finance Week March 17, 2014 at 7:41 am

Apartment living areaWith the rising cost of owning a residential property these days, it is easy to see why many families have turned to rental apartments. The living standards are far more convenient and flexible. Plus, there are lots of quality choices of accommodations like the ones in Makati and nearby areas.

Not all units are like the apartment for rent in San Lorenzo Village, though. You must have a good handle on the factors that makes good apartment unit and which features to avoid. If you are currently renting one now, take a look at the following signs you should move out and look for another place.

Constant Maintenance Issues

Occasional clogged pipes or broken air conditioners are normal and acceptable, as long as the property manager can have them fixed immediately. But if they are already affecting your daily routine and the property manager can’t or won’t work on them, it is time to move out.

Ambiguous Payment Terms

Some landlords take this opportunity to capitalize on tenants’ trust. They do not put anything on paper and only advise their renters of the amount they have to pay when the deadline is just a few days away. If you notice a change in the rent without having received or agreed to anything, you might want to look for a new quality apartment for rent with fair and honest owners.

Bad Neighborhood

Even if the rent terms are clear and the facilities are in good condition, an apartment right in the middle of a bad neighborhood is still a bad choice. Know if there are adequate security measures in your rented property and ask previous owners about security issues they may have experienced. Unless you feel safe in your apartment, it is best to look for a safer community immediately.

No Internet Access

Having an Internet connection is the norm these days. If your rented apartment does not allow or have the facilities for such, chances are, the property is substandard. You do not have to go to coffee shops or any establishments with Wi-Fi connection just to go online if your unit already has one. Unlike the previous topics, however, Wi-Fi availability is an amenity that is good to have but not critical. Don’t forego an apartment if all the other amenities are what you really need.

Apartment living has many benefits, especially when you know which factors to avoid when you move in. Take these things into account to make the most of your rented unit.