Start Investing in Stock

The younger generation are more likely to be risk-averse. According to a study, the young-guns hold 52% of their savings in cash and only 28% in stocks. For the previous generations this cash to stock ratio was in reverse, 23% in cash and 46% in stocks. The millennials need to understand the primary rule of the game that is to invest aggressively now, while you’re young, as you’ve a long time horizon that will allow you to recover from any losses, so you can reap the compounding benefits of growth.

Learn about the different types of investments

If you’re a newbie to investing in stocks, get the lay of the land first. Browse through some magazines, read some basic books, research on the internet, join an Investing 101-type Meetup group, glance through the Bogleheads forum on the web, it’s specially catered for do-it-yourself investors.

Stock market

Invest in a broadly diversified portfolio of low-cost ETFs and index funds

If you keeping your costs low, it’s surely going to reap higher returns. Gradually over time, miniscule percentage charges and/or small fees add up. For a middle class family, this will consume almost one-third of the investment returns, this data is according to a study published by the public policy organization ‘Demos’.

Don’t try to beat the market but participate in it

In an effort of trying to beat the market, young investors frequently underperform not just the market, but also in the investments they choose, because they buy and sell at less than optimum times.

If you want to try investing in stocks, put aside a minor percentage of your portfolio and be prepared to lose it all

Once you’ve got a great start, you should have an investment advisor or financial planner who will give you advice that’s in your best financial interest. When you meet your planner, discuss with him a percentage that you can safely set aside for stock investing purposes. This amount of money should be expendable and shouldn’t be required to achieve your goals.

Follow these pointers if you’re planning to invest as that is a right thing to do. For a young generation, savings is essential and investing in stocks is one of the best options to go for.

Help Your Friends In Financial Difficulty

For a lot of us, we know all too well what it is like to struggle for money and having to live frugally, while not being able to buy ourselves treats or even splash out on things which we have always wanted. Unfortunately, being strapped for cash is an all too common problem which affects a lot of us. Some people come to the conclusion that it is just a matter of life, and is simply something which happens to us all but we do not necessarily have to live our lives struggling for money if we organise our finances well. Some people can find it difficult to manage their money as that is just an aspect of their personality, or they have never been educated properly in money management. We all know someone who, once payday comes around, splurges their cash on unnecessary items or spends all their money on paying off bills which they have accumulated from using too much gas, water or electric. We all know someone like this, as these people can be our friends or these people can actually be us. If we do know someone who struggles with money, or has financial problems, then it could be beneficial for us to help them. Especially if we have gone through money troubles and now know how to manage our finances much more frugally.

Help Your Friends In Financial Difficulty

When a friend is struggling with money, it can be a difficult time for them as they may not be able to afford aspects of life such as being able to go out and socialize, pay for decent food for which they can provide meals for their family, and could also be struggling with paying off debts for bills. It is well known that money problems can be an instigator of many mental health problems, so it is important that we - as friends - do our best to help our friends and advise them on how to manage aspects of their financial life so that they can benefit.

If a friend is struggling with their financial situation because they have no experience in researching the best utility providers for them (such as gas, water, electric), then you could give them some guidance in how to research the best deals. If you have a good deal with a company, you could recommend that company to your friend. When a recommendation occurs, a lot of companies do give the person who gave the recommendation money off their next bill or vouchers to spend at popular public outlets such as coffee shops, supermarkets, restaurants, so you will not only be helping your friends but will also be helping yourself in some way.

Or, if your friend is struggling with debt simply because they have not allocated enough cash for the month so that they can pay off those bills, or if they have had to take a pay cut or have had to lower their hours in their job, you could advise them to contact Money Expert debt advisors who can provide guidance and advice on a range of debt problems. Or, you could help them manage their money better by sitting down with them and looking at what it is they need to buy exactly every month, and what things they can take a cut on buying because it does not benefit them in any way.

When it comes to knowing your friend well, you should take into consideration as to whether they have helped you out in the past when money has been tight for you. You should think about this because if money is tight for your friends, then there is a good chance that they are avoiding social situations as they do not want to pay for things when they are out and are trying to save money. If money has been tight for you in the past and your friend has helped you out, then you could think about helping them out by inviting them for a drink or a meal and offering to pay for anything that they want. Your friends may feel embarrassed about this, but if you were to reassure them that it is your treat and that you do not really mind about paying for the evening, then there is a likelihood that they will feel much more secure about you paying for their things. Offering something like this is the mark of a good friend, and when your friend is doing well with money again they are likely to return the favour.

Can You Give Your Personal Finances a Boost by Changing Your Attitude to Money?

Are you sick and tired of your poor financial situation? It’s a situation that many people find themselves in. But you don’t have to feel down about it for too long. It’s much wiser and better for you if you take action and stop feeling sorry for yourself. Sometimes, changing your overall attitude to money is one of the best and most powerful things you can do.

Changing your entire way of thinking about your money is easier said than done, however. There are many ways in which you can improve your attitude toward money. Most of them begin with being more aware and attentive to your financial situation. If you just expect things to fall into place for you, you’ll never get very far at all.

investing your money

Below, you will find details of many of the things that you should do if you want to change your attitude to money and give your overall finances a boost. Start reading them now and make the most of the ones that are applicable to you.

Understand the Power of Your Attitude

Your attitude does have an overall impact on how you manage your money and how financially secure you are. This is the very first thing that you should understand and accept when it comes to changing your attitude to money. You’ll never make that kind of big change unless you completely believe in the power that change can have. It’s a simple case of getting in the right mindset before the real changes start. So, start by thinking about what your current attitude to money is and why it has to change. Then you can imagine the direct implications of those changes.

Be Honest with Yourself Regarding Your Attachment to Brands

Are you one of those people who always have to have the latest brand products? Well, if you are, you should have a think about why that’s the case. This could be the best place to start when it comes to changing your attitude to your money and spending habits. Make yourself try some of the cheaper and better alternatives out there, and see if those cheaper, non-branded products are actually any worse than the brands you’re used to. You might find that you’re able to spend a lot less each week and each month by purchasing those alternatives.

Take Responsibility for Your Situation

Taking responsibility of your financial situation is another step that you should try to take as early on as possible. If you don’t do this, you will simply find that you keep going round and round in circles. You can ‘t keep blaming other people for mistakes that you are making by yourself. When you do manage to take full responsibility, you will start to feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders, and that’s always a really positive feeling to have. So, make sure that you face up to your situation and own it, no matter how bad it is.

Stop Paying Attention to What Other People Are Doing

Too many of us care too much about other people and how they’re doing compared to us. But if you are constantly trying to compete with your friends and neighbours, you will end up spending more than you can afford to. Life’s not a competition, so stop trying to keep up with trends and buying things that you think make you start out. This kind of hyper consumerist attitude won’t bring you happiness, but it could certainly lead you down the path to financial ruin if you’re not careful. Pay attention to your situation and don’t worry so much about other people’s.

Don’t Make Constant Credit a Part of Your Budgeting

If you are one of those people who are reliant on credit to get you through the month, this should be one of the things you change. It’s not just about taking concrete actions either. A lot of it comes down to the mindset you have when it comes to budgeting and borrowing. If you ask me, you should aim to get back to basics as soon as you possibly can. By making that happen, you can make sure that you only spend the money that you actually have available to you. Eliminate credit from your mind and don’t even consider it as an option. If you only spend what you have, credit won’t be necessary anyway.

budgeting

Take an Interest in Your Financial Ups and Downs

The ups and downs of your finances always happen for a reason. By spotting trends, you can make sure that you understand the reasons for your own mistakes. You can then make sure that you experience more of the ups and less of the downs throughout the year. It’s something that you should definitely try to keep in mind as you aim to change your attitude to money. You’ll be surprised how much you can change simply by being aware of your own shortfalls and mistakes when it comes to money management. This is something that you should be paying attention to right now.

React to Situations; Don’t Just Accept Financial Struggles

When you’re having financial problems, make sure you react to them. Being alert and aware of your financial situation will put you in a better position to sort things out and keep your books balanced throughout the year. Simply knowing what’s going on with your money will help you to spot problems as soon as they arise. And when you do that, you can contact the necessary people and make sure that you get to the bottom of the problem as soon as possible. Don’t just accept things that are thrown your way if you think they’re unjust in some way.

Don’t be Afraid to Fight for the Financial Assistance You’re Entitled To

If you think that you are entitled to some form of financial assistance, then make sure that you get it. There is a significant number of people out there who are entitled to help but never actually take it. For example, you could be entitled to some form of social security support. You should make sure that you make the most of this and accept it if you’re entitled to it. And if you’ve been wrongly denied it in the past, you can get help from a social security disability attorney. They will aim to help you get what you’re entitled to.

Get in the Habit of Comparing All of the Options

There are so many options out there when it comes to choosing what you spend your money on. Whether it’s car insurance or your internet service provider, don’t just be happy to stick with the service that you’ve already got. If you want to do the right thing and save your money, you should get into the habit of comparing all of the options that are open to you. That way, you will be able to ensure that you always get the right deal

Take Seriously the Idea of Investing Your Money

Investing your money is not something that you have to do, but it can be a good move. Most people don’t invest their money. Instead, they just let it sit in a bank account. But what is that bank account actually doing for you? Interest rates are at record lows, so your money won’t be doing much growing, even if it sits in that bank account for decades. That’s why, at the moment, it makes a lot of sense to invest your money in some stocks and shares. You can use a fund if you don’t want to do the investing yourself.

Stop Viewing the Future as Something That’s Far Away

You need to plan for your financial future if you want to stay financially stable and achieve your goals. This is something that far many people don’t do just because they see the future as something that is way off over there in the distance. But the future’s coming at you fast, and you need to be prepared for it. So, start thinking about your retirement fund and how you can improve it before that time arrives. You will want to be able to live comfortably when you eventually do enter retirement, but that will only happen if you start taking action now.

Don’t Leave Changes Until Tomorrow

It’s so easy to put things off until tomorrow, but if you keep doing that, you’ll never change a thing. So, change your attitude to action. Rather than those actions being things that you will do tomorrow or next week or next month, take action right now. There is nothing stopping you from taking immediate action if you really want to change your situation. Stop being that person that wants to make changes but never actually does so. There are already enough of those people out there, so make sure you’re different to all them.

Now that you know a bit more about the importance of your attitude toward money, start enacting the advice above. It could be one of the best things you ever do.

Steps To Become A Property Millionaire!

When someone mentions “buying real estate”, the first thing that probably jumps to mind is your own home. While buying property has this very clear practical benefit, it can have an important role to play in your portfolio as well, especially as a hedge protecting you from the fluctuations of the stock market. Although property investment has become very popular over the past few decades, it can be a lot more complicated compared to things like bonds and equities. If you’re about to take your first few steps into the property market, it’s essential to approach it in the right way. Here’s some of our best advice for becoming a property millionaire…

Target Apartments, Rather Than Houses

Property

Talk to anyone with some level of experience with property investing, and they’ll tell you that apartments tend to generate greater returns than houses. There are various exclusive benefits to buying a home, or foregoing brick-and-mortar property and looking into land for sale instead. However, when it’s a simple question of ROI, apartments always make better buy-to-let investments than houses. If you have a budget that can stretch to purchasing a two-bed two-bath apartment, then this can also be a very smart move. Yes, a second bathroom may sound unnecessary when it comes to apartments, but the more flexible any property in your portfolio is, the better off you’ll be.

Learn to be Patient

Before you jump into a property investment, it’s essential that you take the time to weigh up all the pros and cons. Making money from your property investments is a long-term process. If you want good returns, you should never put yourself in a position where you’re forced to sell. Far too many newbie property investors will jump on a property as soon as they hear a sales pitch from the developer or owner. Be sure to talk to some local agents, and do your own research, before signing any dotted lines.

Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket

egg basket

Just like trading stocks and shares, a diversified property portfolio is going to be much more likely to weather all the turbulence of the market than one that isn’t. Don’t put yourself in a position where you’re relying on one bold gamble to generate returns. Yes, the potential for returns in that beach house may be very tempting, but if it lets you down, it’s good to have a little student property that you can fall back on. Put all your eggs in one basket, and you’ll live to regret it.

Keep an Eye Out for Ways to Add Value

One of the most effective ways to make money out of a property investment is to actively add value to it. Even seemingly small-fry purchases can prove to be incredibly lucrative. For example, if a maisonette above a shop doesn’t look too appealing, but there’s potential for an attic conversion, then you should dig a little deeper. Flexibility for adding value to a home isn’t always obvious, so make sure you’re keeping an eye out for long-term opportunities.

Learn to be Tax-Efficient

You’re never going to make your fortune from a property portfolio if you’re paying more tax than you have to. There are a lot of different ways to minimise your tax bill, and you should be leveraging all of them if you want to achieve as much capital growth as possible. If you’re married, take steps to ensure that all the rental income you draw from your portfolio is divided between you and your partner in the most tax-efficient way possible. You should also look into maxing out your savings through tax-deductible purchases, for example furniture.

Take Advantage of Local Knowledge

When you’re looking to add to your property portfolio, spotting a bargain from miles away is never easy. In many instances, you should be looking in your own backyard for property that’s so generously priced that its value can only go up. Aside from these homes and apartments being much easier to spot, you’ll already have all the important information about transport links, schools, crime and so on. It will also be a lot easier to keep tabs on tenants than it would be from another town.

Find Partners Who You Can Trust

Unless you’re a DIY wizard, have a law degree, and can manage your finances like a professional, you’re going to need at least a little help with building up a good property portfolio. The partners in your property investment mission should be people you can trust, with a lot of expertise in their field. It’s a big mistake to think that you can be successful in property investment on your own. Finding the best contractors, lawyers, accountants and so forth is essential for maximising your profits, and giving yourself a certain peace of mind throughout the complex processes you’ll come across.

Target Young Professionals as Tenants

If you want to pursue a high-income investment strategy as a means of building a seriously valuable portfolio, then young professionals are the people you should be targeting as tenants. Go for high-quality, low-cost accommodation for professionals who are fresh out of university. When you can attract the right tenants, converting a single-occupancy property into one for multiple occupation can breed significant capital gains. You’ll be able to cover the cost of refurbishment easily, with a lot of money to spare. Furthermore, you’re much less likely to get problem tenants!

Look Out for Urban Gardens

If you’re investing in a built-up urban area, then it’s important to remember how much people value a bit of fresh air. When you look at capital cities around the world, particularly London, properties with some kind of outdoor space, even if it’s just a small patio, will be worth a lot more than properties without it. The difference can be as much as 20%. While you should always look at the other typical screening factors when checking out available properties, it’s essential that you don’t go by neglecting the potential for growth in gardens and outdoor spaces.

Stock Market: Beginners Guide

With shares and gold being the most sought after investment arena for Indian investors, how can a novice invest in shares? People will suggest you a lot of things when it comes to the stock market. Several words will be thrown around and you won’t understand any of these technical jargons. It can be tough for a newbie to enter in the world of stocks and shares, as this entire market is a maze and if not guided correctly can result in you being lost forever. To simplify the entire process, following are 6 important steps you need to keep in mind when you get started with stock market investments:

1.Get a PAN Card 

A Permanent Account Number (PAN) card is a basic requirement for entering into any financial transactions in our nation. This unique 10 digit alpha-numeric number is assigned to all the individuals by the Tax authorities of India. PAN is required in investing in mutual funds, filing Income Tax returns, opening a bank account etc. and it’s also required if you want to invest in shares. 

Stock Market

2.Get a Broker 

You can’t directly go to the stock exchange and buy/sell stocks or shares, there are certain authorized people to do this job and they are known as brokers. They can be individuals, companies and online agencies that are licensed by Securities and Exchanges Board of India (SEBI). 

3.Get a Trading and Demat account 

After hiring a broker, be it an individual, online agency or company, you now need to open Trading and Demat accounts. The Demat account is used to hold the shares or stocks that you’ve purchased and it will reflect in your portfolio. The selling and buying of stocks or shares will require a Trading account, usually your broker takes care of this. Trading and Demat account should be opened simultaneously as one without the other is useless. 

4.Depository participant 

There are two depositories in India – Central Depository Services Limited (CDSL) and National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL). The shares stored in electronic form are managed by these two agencies. This too is taken care by your broker but you need to know about this nevertheless. 

5.UIN for large amounts of money

Unique Identification Number (UIN) is required if you want to trade for INR 1,00,000 or more at a single time. It’s only required if you plan to invest large amount of money, not required for regular investors. 

6.Buying and selling 

You need to inform your broker about buying or selling shares, if you’ve subscribed to an online agency then read their ‘how to buy shares online’ section in their website, you can login to their online portal and buy or sell shares otherwise call up their customer care number if internet is not accessible. Keep a track on the stock or share market price and invest smartly, the more knowledge you gain about this market, the more beneficial it’s for you in the long run. 

They Prey On The Old

Everyone wants to keep their elderly loved ones safe and secure. Of course, life is usually far too busy to dedicate a lot of time to family members in this situation. And, they don’t want to see you throw your life into looking after them. So, a lot of people end up having to leave their loved ones in the hands of a business. In most cases, this is absolutely fine. But, in others; things have gone slightly wrong. It’s not easy to see how someone could prey on an elderly person. It happens, though. So, you need to be extra aware.

They Prey On The Old

In most cases, nursing home abuse or neglect is the fault of a single person. They will be doing things behind the backs of other works. And, they will eventually get caught. In other situations, though; whole companies have been behind this sort of behaviour for a variety of reasons. In the past, examples of physical and verbal abuse have been recorded in nursing homes. And, medication has been abused so that residents get ill. Of course, this sort of activity is completely illegal. And, nobody would want to see their family members in this position. It’s quite often that family members won’t speak out about these things. So, you need to be constantly aware of their condition and mood while they stay in a place like this.

It’s hard to see why someone would deliberately neglect or abuse an elderly person. Especially when their job revolves around looking after them. But, this behaviour isn’t unique to nursing homes. We also see it in prisons, too. A great example of this is the Stanford Prison experiment; which was used to explore the effect of perceived power on students. In this experiment, it was found that people will mistreat their peers at great length, just because they can. Over time, this sort of issue will develop and become much worse. And, this is exactly what we see in nursing homes. Of course, most of the people perpetrating these acts also have other issues; but, this doesn’t excuse it.

Most people see this sort of behaviour as incredibly wrong. These people have a responsibility to look after the people in their charge, And, instead; they abuse them. If you or a loved one have experienced this, though; there’s help that you can get. Cases like this are taken very seriously by courts. And, with the help of a company like Strom and Associates, you can make sure that you get represented in a way that reflects the issues your loved ones have faced. It’s important to get professional help with something like this. Otherwise, you could find that you don’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to the dispute.

Hopefully, this will give you a good idea of what needs to be done if you want to fight back against abuse in a nursing home. This sort of issue can be very emotional and hard to deal with. So, it’s important that you get the right sort of help where you can.

Understanding Business Payment Gateways in SME Banking in India

These days, several individuals opt for e-commerce websites to make various purchases. Furthermore, they use debit or credit cards to pay for their purchases. This results in the need to bridge the gap between the banks and the e-commerce vendors.

Understanding this need for connecting banks and online sellers, several service providers developed payment gateways. These gateways are used by not only large e-commerce vendors but also various home-based business owners.

Working of payment gateways

When an individual purchases any item online, he uses his debit or credit card or Internet banking to make the payment. The e-commerce website provides this information to the payment gateway service provider. In the case of a net banking transaction, the service provider directly engages with the buyer's bank for the collection of the payment. 

Business Payment Gateways

These gateways are also used by Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) owners. When the SME owner inputs the bank and card details to pay for his purchase, the e-commerce website transmits this information to the gateways. Once the service provider confirms the accuracy of the details, the payment is made from the user’s account to the seller’s bank account.

The entire procedure comprises several steps. Here are eight steps involved in the working of the payment gateways.

1. The buyer places an order on the e-commerce site and this information is transmitted to the seller’s server in an encrypted format through a Secure Socket Layer (SSL)

2. These details are then sent to the concerned gateway

3. The gateway service provider, in turn, transmits this information to the merchant’s bank

4. The merchant’s bank then sends these details to the credit or debit card issuer

5. The issuing bank replies to the gateway confirming or declining the payment; in case the transaction is declined, the issuing bank also provides a reason

6. This reply is forwarded to the merchant’s server

7. An encrypted format of this response is sent to the buyer confirming the order placement

8. At the end of the day, the issuing bank credits the approved amount into the merchant’s designated account

Although there are many steps involved in an online transaction, the entire procedure is completed within a few seconds.

Here are the two main types of payment gateways in India:

1. Hosted gateways

Such a gateway directs the online users away from the vendor’s website. The customers are redirected to the gateway’s page to complete the payment procedure before returning to the e-commerce site. A major advantage of such gateways is that sellers do not need a Merchant ID because confidential details are not required from their websites.

2. Shared gateways

The buyers are taken to the payments page without leaving the vendor’s website. A form is used when the users click the payment button. Users need to input their card or the Internet banking details on this form maintained on a secure server. On completing the payment, the buyers are taken back to the main page. The payment process through such gateways is faster and user-friendly.

Merchants may choose from a wide range of such gateways for payment. Here are three factors business owners must consider before making their decision:

1. Pricing

Most of the gateway service providers levy a per-transaction fee. Some of them charge a monthly usage fee. Searching for a gateway that charges reasonable fees is recommended to ensure the transactions are cost-efficient and affordable.

2. Automatic billing support

Businesses that offer paid memberships to users for accessing content or subscriptions must work with service providers that provide automated payments for recurring transactions. If they do not work with such a gateway, the customers will have to manually complete the transaction each month, which may be inconvenient to them.

3. Purchasing procedure

It is recommended that online vendors evaluate the appearance of each of these payment gateways on their websites. Furthermore, they must determine the ease of using the service provider’s platform. Merchants must consider the total number of steps their buyers will have to undergo right from placing their order to receiving confirmation of a successful payment. This ensures customers do not quit mid-way because of a long purchasing procedure.

To get an idea of how the entire process will work, business owners may ask the gateway service providers to show them a demo. Moreover, reading comments, testimonials, and feedback provided by past users of the gateway will also help businesses make an informed decision.

Bad Money Habits to Break Before Hitting 30

As children began to grow up, they start to have responsibilities placed on their shoulders. More often than not, these responsibilities include bills (i.e. car payments, rent, loan payments). Because of this sudden change in responsibility, children must grow into young adults and learn how to manage their money more wisely than before. To help them learn to manage their money, below are several financial tips for young adults under the age of 30.

Money Tips for Young Adults

  • Discover what you want to do in the future. This might seem easy at first, but kids coming out of high school might struggle a bit with discovering where their passions lie. When kids graduate and simply settle into a job, they may become uneasy and inefficient. No boss or business owner wants their employees too lazy. It is better to search within themselves and discover what it is they wish to do in the future before graduating high school or college, if necessary.
Bad Money Habits
  • Learn that money is valuable. Money is not the source of happiness, but money can keep your life comfortable and less worrisome. It is better to save money than continue to spend throughout the young adult years. Older adults have found that they wished they had saved while they were younger instead of squandering their money on useless things. Bankrate.com gives a few examples of saving as a young adult. Sometimes it is necessary to spend money on things that are required for a job or college class, but it is not wise to blow all of the money earned. Savings accounts can become extremely beneficial to the young adult.
  • Realize that bad things do happen. Humans cannot control the things that happen to them. A car will break down at the most inopportune time. A child will get sick when funds are low. Someone will get laid off, making money tight for the month or even several months. This particular point goes back to saving. By saving money earned in the younger years, an older adult will be more likely to have the necessary funds needed when something unexpected happens. It happens to everyone.
  • Learn how income taxes work. Investopedia.com gives several examples of the importance of understanding taxes. By understanding taxes, young adults will learn why their money is being taken out, and they will be able to figure what their take-home pay will be. This is crucial to budgeting.
  • Learn to budget. It can be hard to look through the bank account at the end of the month and be shocked at the lack of funds. Where did the money go? By knowing where the young adults' paychecks go, it is easier to figure out where the money is being spent. The easiest way to understand this is by starting a budget. Luckily, budgeting can also help young adults save their money.
Conclusion

It is common to see a young adult struggling for money. After spending for college or job necessities, it is easy to squander the rest away for personal gain or fun; however, this can become a bad thing when money begins to get tight. For example, someone might become extremely sick, or the car might break down. These two things would cause tight finances. Losing a job is another of the horrible things that happen to young adults every day, and the loss of income can put stress on the young adult who is now financially aware. There is good news for young adults seeking a change.

It is not required to have a degree in finances to understand the financial state of a young adult. By using these money tips, young adults can take control of their finances at a young age. It might seem tiresome to a young adult, but taking control of their finances can be beneficial to their future. Not only could it help prevent going too deeply into debt, but it can help keep the stress of financial problems at bay. Saving, learning about taxes, and budgeting are only a few of the wonderful tools that young adults can use to increase their financial awareness.

5 Ways To Set Yourself Up For Retirement In Your 20s

The sooner you start planning for your retirement, the more you will be able to take advantage of compound interest. Your 20s are a great time to start figuring you your different investment strategies when it comes to your retirement. It can be hard to get into retirement planning in your 20s if you have no prior experience saving or investing. However, once you start researching the different methods of retirement planning, you will have a new found confidence in your financial future. Setting yourself up for retirement in your 20s is a great way to get the ball rolling early and start your journey to retirement on the right foot. 

Automate your retirement planning 

When you are trying to save your money for retirement, it can be difficult to always be disciplined with your money. For the first time in your life, you now have a substantial income which is very enticing. Buying new cars and taking vacations can seem like a fun thing to do, but it leaves very little money left at the end of the year for savings. It is important to put your saving on autopilot if you want to make a big different in your financial future. 

Retirement In Your 20s

Contacting the payroll department of the company you work for is a great place to start. The professionals working in the payroll department will be more than willing to walk you through the steps of auto deposits. You can decide what portion of your check every month is going to go into retirement planning. This makes saving for retirement so much easier. Every month the money will be taken out of your paycheck without you even knowing. This will force you to live on a smaller budget and make the appropriate lifestyle changes that you need in order to start planning for your retirement. 

Maximize your earnings 

Finding the best paying job for your skill set early on is going to make a big difference. If you start at the age of 25, an extra $5,000 a year ends up being an extra $634,000 in earnings over your lifetime. These extra earnings alone will be very beneficial to the future of your savings. When you are looking for that raise, make sure that you are asking your employer at the right time. Don't wait until it is time for a review to ask for a raise. Take advantage of opportunities when you have recently completed a project or otherwise excelled in your position. 

It is important for you to make the most out of your skills. Branding yourself in your industry is going to be crucial to earning the amount of money that will help you save for retirement. Using social media to accentuate your career highlights is a very wise thing to do. Linkedin is the social media network of choice for professionals today. Having an impressive profile on Linkedin will raise your value and help employers see your worth as a member of their organization. 

Seek investment help from financial professionals 

Making advanced investing decisions for your retirement can be a very difficult thing to do. When you are spending most of your time working on your career in an industry that is far removed from finance, you may lack the skills needed to properly plan for your future. This is why it is important to seek out a financial adviser who specializes in retirement planning. These professionals have years of experience helping individuals plan for their financial futures. 

Picking the right financial planner is a very important and tricky thing to do. There are far too many stories in the news of financial planners who were not diligent with their client's investments and ended up making poor financial decisions in the long run. It is important to meet with many different financial professionals before deciding which adviser is going to be the right fit for you. Don't rush when you are choosing an adviser as this is going to be one of the most important decisions for your financial future. 

Create great saving habits 

Learning how to save is something that doesn't happen overnight. Most of us have learned from our parents or friends how to spend. We have never had many great role models who have taught us how to save. However, there is no time like the present to start learning how to save. Start finding many different opportunities to save. When you save small amounts of money on a regular basis, you will find that habits start to form. You will quickly realize that there are many of your old spending habits that just don't make sense anymore. Eating out, going on random road trips, buying the latest electronics, and going on shopping sprees at the mall will all seem like irresponsible things to do financially once you start living with a saving mindset. 

New habits take time to build. Don't feel discouraged if you are having trouble saving early on. The more you save, the easier it will become. You will start to see your savings build and this will motivate you to keep on your pathway to financial greatness. 

Look for investment options with low fees and employers with great benefits

Planning for your retirement can be a costly thing to do. Financial professionals have to make a living just like anyone else. While this is true, you want to avoid investing in funds that will eat up your gains with fees. These fees can really cut into the interest that would help your portfolio grow over the years. 

It is important to do your research when looking for different investment options in order to avoid these fees. If your employer offers retirement matching, take advantage of this. This can all but eliminate the fees that you would have to otherwise deal with. Retirement matching is one of the most useful things in the investment world. When searching for your ideal work situation, finding a company that will match your retirement spending should be a key issue to take into consideration.

Is Life Insurance a Good Investments Option?

Life insurance is not an investment so much so as it is a replacement plan. It is a simple concept that when a person passes away, his or her family is not affected financially. Also, the term insurance in “Life Insurance” is a little misleading as one is not insuring anything, no one can keep a person from dying.

A few investments in during the lifetime will result in a beneficiary getting a stipulated sum after the death of the policyholder. The survivor benefit is given when the policy term comes to an end, and since the term is often long, this is unlikely. More often than not, life insurance plans, term insurance is seen as a bad investment due to its abstract nature. 

Life Insurance

But, it is advised by every financial expert to invest in at least one such plan.

Overview

There are different types of life insurance plans, term insurance or such policies. The insurance holder gets death benefits after a said amount of time. If he/she were to face an untimely death, the financial situation of the beneficiaries will be taken care of by the company. 

You are asked to pick a nominee or nominees when you buy life insurance. Usually, they are the nearest family members or spouse, and they get the benefit from the company. 

Life insurance plans, term insurance is usually flexible allowing the person to decide if the benefits are to be given in lump sum or as a monthly amount. There are many choices when it comes to insurance and you can select one of the best term insurance for yourself.

Features of Life Insurance Plans, Term Insurance

Each insurance company has different plans and policies and so features vary. You can always do a term insurance comparison to find the life insurance, term insurance that fits your needs. 

But some core features persist among all plans like tax saving investments benefits and death benefits. The survival benefits maturity age which can be anywhere between 65-70 years. Plan choice is another feature that lets the insurance holder choose based in single or joint life insurance. 
Term insurance policies provide a lot of flexibility which is needed given the nature of the insurance. 

Eligibility 

Every Indian citizen can buy an insurance policy from the various government and private insurance companies. Even a minor’s life can be insured by parents or guardians.

The Various Benefits
  • A lump sum amount in an event of sudden death
  • Life insurance plans, term insurance facilitates Provisions for the family that they continue to live without financial difficulties
  • Takes care of the family members and other beneficiaries in case of sickness or illness
  • SBI term insurance also has seamless online feature to make it even less painful to claim the amount
  • Lump sum amount is given if diagnosed with critical illness
  • Additional amount if faced with sudden death
How to Decide the Plan Which Fits the Needs

How can one be sure that this is the best insurance plan 2016? The company’s reliability is one of the key factors when it comes to deciding which life insurance, term insurance to get. 

Also, check what types of scenarios are covered in the plan, for example, term insurance ICICI covers critical illnesses like cancer. 

Then the expenses that are the premiums are a major factor in deciding what plan to buy as one must take into consideration the amount spent over the years to be insured. Tem insurance premium calculators are available to calculate and plan the policy before one buys it.

Documents Needed

While applying for a Life Insurance policy, you will need various documents handy. Some of those are PAN card, birth certificate and address proof.

It is best to consult an agent who can guide you well.

The Question Should What to Buy 

Do not see the premium amount as a hindrance in your personal budget. In the long run, it is always a good idea to know that when you are gone your kids won’t have to struggle financially

There are many plans out there each one is slightly different and has some benefits that the other will not have. While studying the plan you are buying, keep a checklist of the features you require. 

The importance of Life insurance plans, term insurance is not appreciated enough. It is an investment that provides fixed returns when needed.

Tips That Will Instantly Cut Down Your Bike Insurance Premium

The convenience offered by a bike in India is unparalleled. Riding a bike is always preferred over other modes of transport. That’s because a bike offers a great advantage in terms of navigating through city traffic along with reduced travel costs. 

Also, with the rising cost of living and inflation, people prefer a bike or a two wheeler for their traveling, both, short as well as long commutes. Thus it’s no surprise to see bike manufacturers offering a lot of bikes in the commuter segment that offer great fuel economy and value for money.  In such scenarios, buying insurance for your bike is perceived as an unnecessary expenditure and is frowned upon. However, insurance is very crucial for your bike, especially considering your safety and the fact that we are legally obliged to have our bikes insured. 

Bike Insurance

Now that that the need for a bike insurance policy is firmly established, let’s check out some ways to reduce the bike insurance premium. Too good to be true? Read on to find out more-

Choose the right bike

Saving your bike insurance premium begins with getting your basics right. Choosing a right bike taking into consideration your budget and the amount of traveling you would be doing can help you save your money. If you buy a bike that is doing well in the market and popular, you can get a competitive premium from the insurance providers. This is because the chances of repairs and other maintenance costs are low for such bikes.

Aim for a No Claim Bonus

You can avail a no claim bonus during renewal when you don’t file a claim during the policy period. This will cut down your bike insurance premium significantly as most insurance providers offer good NCB discounts. Thus, ensure that you don’t file claims for minor incidents like scratches or minor dents. 

Buy Online!

It’s always a good idea to buy bike insurance online. You get good discounts and a host of other benefits.

Secure your bike

Ensuring that your bike is secure against theft and accidental damage will fetch you low premium amount. This is because the possibility of claims is significantly reduced. 

Opt for Voluntary Deductible

The voluntary deductible is the amount that you would need to shell out during claim settlement. If your voluntary deductible increases, the bike insurance premium goes down and vice versa. However, it is important that you strike a right balance among the two, taking your needs into consideration.

Ask for discounts

If you ask for discounts to your insurance agent at the time of buying, chances are high that you will get one. This is because of the rising competition in the industry.

To conclude with, here are some more quick tips:
  • Don’t modify your bike
  • Ensure a clean driving record
  • Join a Biker’s association
  • Don’t purchase imported bikes

Top 3 Personal Finance Tips That Will Change the Way You Think About Money

If coupon-clipping and monthly budgets aren’t working out for you, it might be time to consider a new approach to personal finance. In fact, you may want to try changing the entire way you think about money. Obviously that’s no walk in the park, but here are 3 tips to get you started.

1. Treat Debt Like a Disease

Let’s get this straight immediately: debt should never be something you “carry” with you while you go about your way, living a normal life. If you have debt – especially if it’s the worst kind: credit card debt – then you should act as if you’ve contracted a disease.

Personal Finance Tips

Seriously: debt will drag you down and sap the life out of you, just like a disease. Fix it fast, even if it means everything else gets put on hold temporarily. When you get the flu, you stay home to heal yourself, right? Work will just have to wait. Same with “healing” yourself from debt. Drop all extra purchases beyond food and shelter until it’s gone and you’re healthy once again.

Don’t live with it, don’t budget for it- just get rid of it by any means possible, even if it’s extreme frugality.  You’ll be so much stronger when you emerge, all debt-free and ready to take on the world.

2. Treat Purchases Like Injuries

Every time you cave into the desire to treat yourself, you’re hurting your chances at improving your financial life. In that way, every purchase is an injury. But you love your TJMaxx excursions and your daily latte. And surely nobody expects you tolerate an old phone or a small TV, right? Wrong!

If you have any financial goals at all, every purchase you make sets you back a few steps from achieving those goals. Of course you have to spend money sometimes, but try and train your brain to distinguish between necessary spending and everything else.

3. View Credit Cards as Passports to Hell

That may sound a little extreme, but that may be what it takes to shock you into seeing credit cards for what they truly are for most people: one-way tickets to financial ruin.

Most people you know probably think nothing of taking on debt to finance some of life’s major events. These events are one-time occurrences like kitchen renovations, weddings, or big moves across the country when you have to relocate. No problem- that’s what credit cards are for, right?

Again: wrong. When you think nothing of taking on credit card debt, you will never attain the level of wealth you want. Even on a smaller scale, credit card debt will always stand between you and a life of wealth and security.

That’s because there’s always something we want to buy. With credit cards there to make bloated spending possible, you’ll never reach your financial goals unless you declare your cards off-limits for anything other than the bare essentials. Unless you can train yourself to use your credit cards for only what’s absolutely necessary, always paying off the balance each month, then you’re better off without them.

Where It’s At: Behavior, Mindset, and Perspective

As you can see, all 3 of these tips are aimed at changing your behavior when it comes to money. But what’s truly at stake here is your mindset. If you can change the way you view debt, purchases, and credit cards, then you should soon see many of your smaller financial goals falling neatly into place. Good luck!

About the Author: Michelle Custodio is a digital marketing specialist currently working for MagneticTrading.com - a sound financial partner that can guide you to become successful DOW and FTSE traders. You may reach her through Linkedin.

Top Buy-To-Let Mortgage Deals

Mortgage rates are still at historic lows, making it a great time to grab a deal and invest in buy-to-let. To help you find the right deal for you, we’ve asked seasoned landlord and property guru, Richard Blanco, for his advice on the best buy-to-let mortgage deals:

“Buy to let rates continue to be at a historical low.  At 60% loan to value, Virgin Money are offering a 2 year fix at 1.59%.  At 65% loan to value, The Mortgage Works has a 2 year fix at 1.84% and their 75% loan to value products are also best buys with rates of 2.09% for a 2 year tracker and 2.64% for a 5 year fix.  All of these products have a £1995 fee which is common now for the lowest rates. 

Mortgage Deals

The Mortgage Works does not set a minimum income level but Virgin Money requires income of at least £25,000.  All buy to let mortgages are assessed according to the rental income generated by the property and you will need a high credit score. Note that we are seeing a restructuring in criteria since Bank of England regulation of mortgages began on 1 January 2017. Lenders must now use a stress test rate of 5.5% unless the product is a 5 year fix.  Some lenders are also applying 145% mortgage coverage.  So that means that the mortgage will be assessed not at these low pay rates of 1.59% etc.  Instead the borrower will have to show the rent covers 145% of the mortgage payment at a rate of 5.5%.  Fortunately some lenders are still using the 125% calculation, but be aware that this may now depend on your tax status.  This is because lenders have to be mindful that after 6 April 2017, mortgage interest will no longer be fully set against tax and therefore landlords paying 40% tax rates will have higher costs.

For landlords considering buying through a limited company, mortgage rates have come down a little.  Norwich & Peterborough offer a tracker rate of 3.24% at 75% loan to value with a 1.25% fee.  Anybody thinking of buying through a limited company instead of personally should consider whether paying a rate of 3.24% instead of 2.09% is cost effective.  It may make more sense to buy the property personally and just pay a higher tax bill.

Most commentators think that Bank of England interest rates will be stable for at least a year and when they start to rise will do so only gradually, so personally I see no reason to be anxious about the future direction of rates in the immediate future.  Ultra-cautious investors can of course opt for 5 year fixed rates, some may be forced to because of the new criteria brought in as a result of Bank of England regulation - and 5 year fixes are indeed at a historical low.  I tend to stick to cheaper 2 year products – but you should always get independent financial advice.”

If you’re thinking of investing in property in London, or renting out your property, try Airbnb management London, Portico Host.

Smart Tips to Improve Your Skills of Money Management

It takes time to learn the skills of managing money but once you get to know it and master it, it can really pay off in the near future. Not only will it let you stay on top of your bills but also save an extra dollar which you can use later on to pay off debts. Even if you don’t use them for paying off delinquent accounts, you can use them towards your pension or spend them on your next vacation. Whichever way it is, you should know some of the top tips to manage your money and spend them in a manner which doesn’t force you to go broke in the long term. We share a few money management tips with you so that you can use them in your daily life.

Money Management

Setting up a frugal budget

The foremost step to take control of your finances is by preparing a budget and sticking to it. Here are few good steps to get a quick snapshot of how much money is coming in and how much is going out. When you formulate a budget, this means you’re:
  • Less probable to end up in accumulating debt
  • Less likely to accrue any kind of unpredicted expenses
  • More likely to obtain a flawless credit rating
  • More likely to be loved by all lenders and given loans at favorable rates
  • Capable of spotting the places where you can make some savings

In order to get your budget started, you have to work out how much amount you can spend on your living costs, household bills, fiscal products, travel expenses, holiday costs and in buying presents for your friends and family.

Get your budget back on the right track in case you overdo it

If you think you’re spending more amount than what is coming in, you have to sit down and work out where you can cut back on your expenses. This could possibly be an effortless task like preparing lunch at home. You also require keeping a spending diary and maintaining a note of everything that you purchase in a month. If you’re someone who spends maximum amount on credit or debit card, you should maintain your receipts to keep a track of where your money is going.

Trimming down on your mortgage and household bills

For many, household bills form a large chunk of money which you’re spending but there’s good news for such people as there are easy ways in which you can cut down on your household costs. If you shop around for a mortgage loan among many lenders, you can grab the lowest and the best competitive rate and save money. Similarly, if you can grab some worthy discounts while shopping for household items, there too you can save your dollars

Pay off your credit card bills as soon as possible

In case you have loans or you owe hefty amounts on your credit cards, it makes sense to repay debt which charges the highest interest rate. Store cards usually carry outrageously high rates and hence should be taken care of first. If you also owe cash advance loans from payday loans rock hill SC, they should be repaid on time to avoid debt. It is vital to know that you shouldn’t break the terms and conditions of the agreements with the credit card companies.

Therefore, if you wish to manage your money and stay on top of your finances follow the above mentioned points and keep a tab on your expenses.