When Is The Best Time To Invest In Equities?

Well, it has to be said that the above is a leading question but you will no doubt agree that it is an easy one to answer!

Quite simply, surely, the best time to invest in equities is when the stock market is at an all-time low. The difficulty is, of course, knowing when that will be the case.

Of course, if you knew when the stock market had reached its lowest level to make your investment you are likely to become a wealthy individual over a period of time but that is also assuming that you time your decision correctly when it comes to selling your equities. You should also be aware that although the stock market may be at its lowest point there will be shares within the market that are both at an all-time low but also there will be some company’s shares that are at an all-time high at that particular point.

In reality, whilst some investment experts will claim that the reason that they have prospered when investing in the stock market is down to the timing of their investment decisions, there must surely be occasions when they get their timing wrong? After all, we are all human and everyone makes mistakes – don’t they?

It has to be said that fund managers and their teams of analysts have the investment experience and data available to have a better idea of when the time is right to invest in a particular company’s shares than the average person in the street. This is, perhaps, one of the reasons why members of the public who have a sum of money to invest but do not have investment experience utilise their services.

Not wishing to complicate matters, but when investing in equities you would be unlikely to just invest in the shares of one Individual Company as that, in itself, would be deemed to be a high-risk strategy. Therefore, if you are building a portfolio of shares it can be extremely difficult to get the timing right on every occasion without a great deal of thorough research and there is always an element of chance when making such a decision.

Furthermore, many people when investing in equities will not just invest their funds in the shares of companies in one country as they prefer to diversify their holding across other global markets. This makes the timing of knowing when to invest in equities even more complex. After all, whilst certain shares in the UK may be deemed to be at an all-time low as far as their value is concerned on a particular day, shares in a company in the same sector in say the USA may not be in a similar position.

So, as you can see, although, in general terms, the time to invest in equities is when the stock market is at its lowest point, there is a lot more to think about than that.

Written by

Scott Bryan is a financial blogger who enjoys explaining the arcane world of finance in everyday terms. Formerly a high street bank manager for over thirty years, he knows that everyone has unique requirements and so is dedicated to helping you find the right solution for you. He now works as a freelance financial writer when not consulting for Profile investment portfolio management software.

The Legalities of Offshore Investments

Offshore investments are often in the news. Unfortunately, it’s not always for the right reason. Many’s the time we’ve heard of some company or another which has been using offshore investments to avoid paying tax. It is these types of situations which give offshore investing an undeservedly bad name. The truth is, investing overseas can be a perfectly legal and highly beneficial financial move, when executed properly and in keeping with the law. Here’s how to do it.

A Simple Guide to Offshore Investing

Offshore investing is, simply put, the process by which a company or individual will invest their assets in opportunities outside of their home country. This is often done because the opportunity in question offers a great rate of return than any opportunity offered on home soil. Sometimes these benefits can be felt in reduced rates of tax. Other times, benefits will be gained in the form of confidentiality, asset protection or even simply in the opportunity to diversify assets.

Offshore investing is, in its simplest form, completely legal. However when individuals use offshore investments to avoid paying tax in their home country, for example, this is when offshore investing becomes hazardous. If you do decide to investigate the benefits of offshore investing, it’s important that you do so with clear motives.

The Benefits of Offshore Investing

As discussed briefly above, offshore investing has many benefits. This predominantly take the form of financial gain, whether it be by capitalising upon low tax rates or taking advantage of a wider range of investment opportunities.

Some of the other benefits of offshore investing are not quite so clear cut, however, as mere financial gain. Nonetheless, they are no less important. Confidentiality, for example, is of great interest to many companies and individuals who would rather their financial activity remained private. And at a time when the Big Brother state looks to be advancing closer than ever, this desire suddenly doesn’t seem so strange.

Getting Started in Investing

If you’re interested in capitalising upon the numerous benefits offered by offshore investing, you would be wise to get in touch with an expert financial advisor. They will be able to provide you with expert financial advice about what you need to do, and what your legal obligations are, when investing overseas.

Evolving Job Market and The Commercial Strategies Involved

If finding a job is already an exhausting job, in times of recession it is even more so. Life is difficult for everyone but especially for those, looking to enter the world of the employment, who try after a corporate restructuring or a layoff, who must fight against the tendency of companies to save money at all costs by opting for a framework professional or inadequate pay, reducing excessive staff, entrusting to a single person too many tasks. Getting out of this vicious circle for western countries will not be easy, but industry experts and headhunter recommend two basic strategies.

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The first is to keep informed as much as possible about the possibilities of professional growth, and the commercial strategies such as the best forex trading strategies, in one’s country and why not, even abroad. For example, who has an executive profile and is looking for a job management control should have access to sites of work, bringing together all the information circulating on the opportunities in this sector in Europe. The dedicated platforms out there cater to those seeking very modest careers and others that focus on executive or managerial careers. After discovering those who do the job best, they are kept in a list or enter their curriculum vitae prepared in accordance with the guidelines recommended by recruiters.

The second strategy consists of training, not in the sense of more advanced courses or seminars to be added to the curriculum vitae but a monitoring of how requests for skills in the labor market evolve. Simply by checking frequently job offers, bank vacancies or insurance, it means having the pulse of the job market. Once you understand which direction the job market needs the skills of future managers to go, you will know what other areas of trade or the economy must be linked more and more frequently. As if to say, the habit to consult the listings is already a technique to stay at the forefront and direct one’s reading preferences in the right direction in view of future opportunities for professional growth.

Outsource Your Debt Recovery And Grow Your Business

Chasing old debts doesn’t just cause short term problems. Recouping these funds takes time that could be better spent finding new clients or working towards business development. The more time that is spent trying to regain money from past projects, the worse the impact on both current and future cash flow.  One of the risks of doing business where the client pays after services have already been provided is that the client may reap the benefits of your service without paying for the privilege. This can be especially problematic for small businesses that can’t afford any profit cuts.

What Other Options Do I Have?
The most popular option for businesses is to outsource their debt recovery and allow a collection agency to take care of any unpaid services. This frees up the business to pursue other interests, while their losses are being dealt with. Debt collection agencies also have more tools at their disposal than most businesses, which means they are more likely to find debtors and set up appropriate payment methods.
What Kind of Training Do Debt Collectors Have?
One of the biggest advantages to outsourcing debt recovery is that collection agencies have the training necessary to recoup a larger amount of losses. They are trained specifically to avoid confrontation, which helps maintain a positive relationship, as well as a higher percent of debt recovery. Even more importantly, however, they are trained in assessing a particular client’s ability to pay.
Without being able to understand a client’s financial status, it’s almost impossible to recover a debt fully. If the client is asked to pay too much, they may lapse in payments, leading to the debt remaining unpaid. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if a client pays a smaller amount than they can truly afford, it will take far longer for the debt to be repaid than necessary. The faster a debt is paid, the more your business is able to focus on moving forward with other clients.
What If The Client Can’t Be Found?
One of the biggest problems businesses face when recovering debt is when a client moves or changes their phone number in order to avoid their debt. A major benefit of outsourcing your debt recovery is that a debt recovery agency have systems set in place that allow them to find the majority of debtors, regardless of contact detail changes.
While your business may be able to access some of the databases that debt collectors use in finding lapsed clients, without training this process can be lengthy and complicated. For example, debt collection agencies often use tracing programmes, cross-reference addresses, and have access to court judgements. They can also use your data to better understand and locate the client.
Are There Options Besides a Collection Agency?
If a collection agency isn’t the right option for your company, there is another option for outsourcing your debt recovery. Credit management, which is more akin to an accounting assistance package, helps to maintain a good relationship with clients, regardless of their current ability to pay. Like collection agencies, a credit management service allows you to spend more time focussing on your business, rather than chasing debts which hinder your profit.
There’s another bonus to outsourcing your debt recovery: reducing your stress. Choosing a debt recovery agency allows you to feel assured that your money is not lost, without requiring that you take your mind off your business. No matter which option you choose, outsourcing your debt recovery is the first step towards controlling your profits and growing as a business.

Scott Bryan is a financial blogger who enjoys explaining the world of finance in everyday terms. A high street bank manager for over thirty years, he knows that everyone has unique requirements and so is dedicated to helping you find the right solution for you. He now works as a freelance financial writer when not consulting.

Six Practical Ways to Avoid Getting into Debt

Debt is a word full of negative connotations and is certainly a situation that many people hope to evade. A recent study even reported that three out of four people in debt say it impacts on their mental health, not just their finances. Help and advice on how to eliminate existing debt is abundant but prevention is always better than a cure and so knowing how best to avoid getting into debt in the first place can make for a much less stressful financial life and set you up for a prosperous future.

Be honest with loved ones

Many people spiral into debt because they are too embarrassed to consult their loved ones when things begin to overwhelm them. Opening up and being honest is the first and most important step, as you then no longer need to face financial difficulties alone, armed with the help and understanding of your friends and family.

The same principle applies when you are in a committed relationship. Both parties involved should be made well aware of the others’ financial situation before entering into marriage, as a wedding acts as a legally binding contract that can make you liable for your partner’s debts should they be unable to pay them.

Make a budget

Monitoring your spending habits and keeping track or your receipts over an extended period of time is the best way to highlight where your money is really going and help you make informed decisions regarding your money. This makes planning for the weeks and months ahead a much less daunting task by allowing you to make cuts where you deem them necessary and possible, through setting yourself realistic targets.

Save up

When you want to make an expensive purchase such as a television or a car, not being able to afford it in one lump sum does not mean you have to agree to monthly payments or borrow money from a bank. Shopping around for the best deal and then saving up until you can afford it in one payment means you may have to wait a few extra weeks or months until you can get hold of the item but that once you do, it is fully your own and you are not indebted to anyone.

Avoid extras

From internet providers to airlines and from banks to phone companies; the list of organisations that try and add extra charges onto their services is ever expanding. While in many cases – such as with the widely publicised PPI – fees and hidden costs can be reclaimed if identified afterwards, it is always best to avoid needing to do so by diligently reading the small print of any contracts and declining any ‘perks’ a business offers you over and above the standard product or service you are trying to purchase.

Avoid unique purchases

Expensive, extravagant purchases such as cars and houses tend to be the ones that we will eventually sell on to someone else. This means that spending money to remodel your home to fit a very particular taste or purchasing a vehicle that is painted in a very lurid colour or kitted out with bizarre extras is not only a drain on resources at the time but will also make them less desirable to the mass market and therefore more difficult to find a buyer for further down the line. Neutral colours and styles are always the easiest to sell.

Do it yourself

Obviously there are certain important and potentially dangerous jobs that require professionals but the more basic tasks you are able to perform by yourself, the less money you have to fork out to fund outside workers. Be it changing the oil in your car or decorating your house, you can pick up valuable life skills and save yourself a lot of money in the process, helping you become (financially) independent.

6 Ways to Make More Money When Selling Your Home

Selling a home can be an arduous process, during which a homeowner wants to make sure that they do everything they possibly can to increase their property’s price and their potential buyers. This can turn into a perilous balancing act, where homeowners do not want to sell their property too low but may end up waiting longer for a higher bid. There are a few things that homeowners can do immediately to attract higher bids faster.

  1. Concentrate on the home improvements with the highest return on investment. Certain home improvements have higher ROIs. Attic bedrooms have a very high return on investment because they create additional livable space. Other cosmetic improvements, such as new entry doors, can also have high ROIs. Home improvements that are specific to the current owner, like a remodeled home office, will usually have a comparatively low ROI.
  2. Stage the home properly. Too many homeowners simply remove a few knick knacks and then invite people in to a showing. Prospective buyers want to be able to imagine the possibilities that a home will present to them. This means that the home should appear to be perfect before inviting anyone in to a showing.
  3. Don’t wait for the inspection. Some homeowners may already be aware of issues that their home has but hesitate before fixing it. An inspection will reveal these issues and this might delay a sale or even cause it to fall through entirely. Homeowners should be proactive in repairing their home before sale.
  4. Consider the use of online advertising. The internet has made it extremely easy for homeowners to advertise their own property. There are many online classified websites where a homeowner can post their property for free. Any exposure is good exposure, and the amount of interested buyers that a homeowner can attract can directly affect the amount of offers they will get on their property.
  5. Focus on the curbside appeal of the property. Curbside appeal includes everything that the potential home buyers see when they pull up to the curb. This can include the front yard, the pathway to the entry door, the entry door itself and the garage door. Garage doors and entry doors in particular are usually very cheap to replace and will give a good impression. A homeowner can save money on lawn care and maintenance by doing the bulk of the work themselves. A new coat of external paint can also help improve a buyer’s first impression of the home.
  6. Renovate the property intelligently. There are certain renovations that home buyers will specifically look for and that the homeowner can do quite cheaply. As an example, many buyers today will be impressed by a solar panel system because it will save them money in the long run. While a solar panel system may seem expensive, there are actually many tax credits available for those who want to have them installed. This means that a homeowner may be able to increase the selling price of their home significantly while having the government subsidize part if not most of the cost.

Patience is usually a major component to selling a home at the highest possible price. Many homeowners may find that they will need to wait a while for the right offer, and they may even need to reject a few offers that just don’t feel right. A professional real estate agent can help advise a homeowner on the right choices to make, and let them know when there is a deal that they can’t afford to pass up.

When An Accident Happens, Who Should You Call?

Car accidents happen every day, and when they happen to you, you should know who to call. Of course you should first call for an ambulance or medical attention if someone is hurt. The next two calls should be to report the accident to the police and your auto insurance company.

After all of those calls are made, you can call a family member or friend to let them know what happened. In all accident cases, whether they are just a minor fender bender or they are much more serious, you absolutely should get the police and your car insurance company involved.

Even if the accident was not your fault, it is the best practice to be proactive and report the accident to both the police and your auto insurance carrier.

Call the police and get an accident report

When an officer comes out to the scene of an accident, he or she will prepare an official report that details the circumstances of the accident. It will include basic information such as the time, location and cause of the accident. Both parties will be given a chance to tell their side of the story and the officer will decide if one party or the other violated a traffic law.

Having documentation that comes from an official and impartial third party, can support a claim that you file with your car insurance company. It can also stop the other party from claiming that you were at fault when the officer does an assessment of the accident scene.

Call your auto insurance agent and report the accident

Once you make the call and report an accident to your car insurance company, a claim can be filed. You may need to get your car towed to a body shop and you may need to rent a car.

Once made aware of the accident, your car insurance carrier can get involved in the case. They can send someone out to look at your car and write an estimate so you will have money to repair your vehicle.

Informing your auto insurance company gives you a chance to give your version of how the accident occurred. If you check your auto policy, you will see that when you signed for coverage, you were also agreeing to report all accidents. It will not look good if you do not report an accident and your insurance company finds out about the accident from the police or the other party’s insurance carrier.

You can be nice, but don’t be stupid

It happens all of the time. Someone runs into you and either has no insurance or does not want to go through insurance because it will raise their rates. Despite your good nature, you should tell them you are sorry and must report the accident to your car insurance company.

If they say “please don’t report this and that they will pay for your repairs,” politely decline the offer. You do not know that person and you do not know if their word is good.

Insurance is there to protect you. A small scratch or a little dent can cost hundreds, or even thousands of dollars to fix. Don’t bear the risk of having to go into your own pocket to have your car fixed.

Do the right thing, be responsible and report any accident to both the police and your insurance company. Whether or not it is your fault does not matter. When you get the proper people involved, your case almost always goes better.

Written by Steve Whiley, a writer for American Auto Insurance.

How to Save Money The Easy Way While Moving

Purchasing a home or planning to rent will definitely make a bit of a dent in your bank account. Houses, furniture, apartments and the like are expensive. Fortunately, these tips can help you to save some funds while you are moving.

DIY Moves

While moving entirely by yourself is a bit burdensome, you should try to do as much as you can by yourself and with the help of your family. For example, packing and labeling boxes is not something you need to hire an entity to do for you. By tackling this task by yourself, you will also have a better idea of where your items are and can assure yourself that everything has been packed away.

The Right Storage Facility

As you are going through all of your belongings and deciding what you need to pack, you might realize that not everything can go with you at the same time. You may have to store some items for awhile. To keep the cost low, look into Lakewood, WA self storage facilities and units. Once again, by taking care of the work by yourself, you are able to save some funds.

Use What You Have

In addition to looking into the ExtraSpace Storage in Greensboro, North Carolina, you should also consider what you already have. While it might be tempted to purchase all brand-new items for your house, doing so can rack up the bills and cram your storage facility to the capacity. You can bring what you have for now, and then, replace items at the new place when you are financially able to do so.

Comparison Shop for Moving Companies

While you can handle many of the moving elements alone, trying to move an entire living space of furniture and boxes is difficult and challenging. Therefore, you should comparison shop well in-advance of the moving date. Then, you can choose a company that suits your budget.

Packing Your Kitchen Items

When you first get into the house, you certainly need a night off from cooking. However, you do not want to turn this into a regular occurrence because you will waste money on food. As you are packing, make sure that some basic kitchen utensils are in an easy-to-access place, so you can start making meals soon after you arrive in the house or apartment.

Yes, moving is expensive, and you might be a bit worried about your budget. Fortunately, these tips can help to keep everything under control.

Contractor: Financial Benefits

It’s not the easiest of decisions to take the plunge and become a contractor instead of being in regular paid employment as a company employee. However, more and more people are now taking that plunge because they see the potential benefits of working for themselves or setting up their own company to contract for work.

A contractor is an individual who enters into a contract for a fixed term to do a specific job, or series of jobs, for a third party. There are, as in any work arrangement, advantages and disadvantages, but for entrepreneurs who like to work hard and retain a degree of control over what they choose to do, contracting is an ideal mechanism to achieve that.

Are contractors confined to one economic sector?

Contractors are often associated with the construction industry, where plumbers, joiners, plasterers and other skilled laborers are employed on short term contracts to build a house, a series of condominiums or business premises. Yet this is by no means the whole picture. Contractors work in sectors across the board, as accountants, financial advisers, bookkeepers, lawyers, nurses, business planners, cleaners and carers, to mention just a few. Anyone who hires out his or her services, to multiple employers over a period of time, is in the business of being a contractor no matter what the sector.

Advantages of being a contractor

Many contractors cite the degree of freedom and control they gain from working this way, and though there may be downsides when work in certain periods is not as plentiful; the much higher fees that contractors can charge will help mitigate this. Rates are high, and employers will pay them, because a contractor has the skills and experience to hit the ground running and carry out the required piece of work or project quickly and effectively.

The financial benefits of being a contractor can be very significant, especially if the contractor runs the business in a tax efficient way.

Forming a limited company can safeguard personal resources, as the risks are borne by the company rather than the individual or others involved. There are many ways companies can entirely legally limit the amount of tax they pay, leaving more in the pot for the contractor.

One possible fly in the ointment is the amount of administration needed to comply with employment and financial legislation, and often these are not found in-house. The contractor will then contract an accountant to help with this aspect. However, there is another way to obtain help and support.

Using an umbrella company

An umbrella company takes on the responsibility for pay, tax and business expenses for a contractor, freeing them up to concentrate on developing more business through contacts and networking. The contractor will pay an agreed fee to the umbrella company and will have other aspects of the business, such as getting invoices paid and being covered by a range of insurances, taken care of. It’s a useful and cost-effective method of taking the administrative necessities away and putting them in the hands of an effective and competent specialist.

Trading with anyoption

Anyoption gives you the chance to earn massive profits on short and standard term options, along with the capability to be in charge over your own future. Trading with binary option is incredibly fast and easy, and the best part is that no trading experience is needed.  The first step to take when you want to start trading with anyoption, is to choose an asset for which to buy, then choose an expiry date for your option. An expiry date can be the next hour, the end of the day, the end of the week or the end of the month. The next thing to do is to set up the amount of your investment. Finally, predict the direction your asset will move: UP or DOWN, and then you just choose an option. You don’t have to be an expert on a certain asset and its future potential changes in price. Once you buy your option, there is no need to further plan or check your option, as the expiry date is fixed and known to you in advance.

Binary options are the just the thing for the 21st century investment. They are user friendly, worldwide available and technologically advanced. They integrate the plainness of regular options with above-average profits. When used wisely, binary options can be an extremely useful alternate to conventional spot market instruments. They are simple to learn and master, they offer controlled risk and are available to any trader at any given time. There is no need for a huge capital, and the amount of investments is up to you to decide. Binary options are an exciting way of investing in the financial markets. They are also known as digital options or Fixed Return Options (FROs). A binary option is the right to buy (or sell) an underlying asset (stock, commodity, index, or currency pair) at a fixed price, within a specified time framework. Most of anyoption’s traders usually choose for hourly options meaning their option will expire by the end of the hour. You can also choose options that expire at the end of the day, week or month.

To make revenue, you need to forecast the direction of the asset’s price: up or down. When an option expires (usually at the end of the hour), as a trader you can be “in the money” or “out of the money”. Being “in the money” means that the trend moved in your favor and you gain a profit. Being “out of the money” means it moved against your favor and you lost this time. If you predict that the price will go up you are investing in a Call option, and if you predict that it will go down you are investing in a Put option. When you trade in plain options (not binary options), gains or losses fluctuate according to how far the asset’s price had moved. In binary options, gains and losses are predetermined regardless of how “deep” the option is in or out of the money. If the option is in the money, your profit will be 65-71% of your investment. If the option is out of the money at the expiry date, you will always get a fixed return of 15%. That means that your risks are controlled, and you always know your profits and losses prior to making your investment.