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November 12, 2012

Five Common Hidden Extra Costs When Renting A Car

The car rental market is saturated with providers, most of them above board and operating an ethical service but as with any industry there are some unethical firms out there looking to rip off their customers. We all hate additional charges, particularly if they are hidden from us and sprung on us at the last minute…so we’re giving you a heads up. Even if you use only the most reputable companies with the highest level of trust you can still be subject – legally – to these charges. View some examples you may not automatically think of below:

Drivers licence

Many providers have limitations with regards to the type of licence you can use with substantial extra charges in place for customers without these specific pre-requisites. The number of points on your licence can be a factor (generally the rental companies want no more than 6), the duration for which you have had the licence is another factor with a year minimum seeming to be the requirement for an number of firms. Age is also a factor with service providers listing a minimum and maximum that they will accept – this is usually around a 21 year old minimum with a 75 year old maximum. Finally, the type of licence you hold is a factor with most providers only accepting full licences before they hand over the keys.

Amendments to booking

It’s common to incur charges for amending your booking at a later date – given that hiring a car is not a small cost though, if through carelessness or ignorance you do fall subject to some of these charges the cost to you can be significant compared with say, losing a restaurant reservation deposit, particularly if the hire is planned for a longer duration. Obviously in some situations things happen last minute which mean that you could not have cancelled the booking any sooner but as soon as you know you’re going to need to cancel, do it! Upon booking too it’s vital to check the time restrictions for cancellations as these can vary from firm to firm.

Out of hours

This is an understandable charge given that an out of hours service will incur significant additional costs to the provider, however it can be beneficial to be aware of any out of hours charges prior to booking. Perhaps it might not be that inconvenient to return the car those few hours earlier after all…

Other Extras

Travelling with children? Opting for a diesel car? Need a sat nav? These can all cost more depending on the provider you go with. Although these are all standard add-ons with many vehicles these days when renting, anything more than the norm (especially with the budget firms) will add on to that final price. In particular booster seats, baby seats and child seats all appear to be optional and require additional payment.

Area charges

As our final point let’s look at location-based charges. The congestion charge applicable to those vehicles driving into London is a good example of these – perhaps you could look at a hotel just outside of the charging zone if you are thinking about visiting and hiring a car in the capital! Also, one way rentals and renting in premium locations can hike up the price too.

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November 8, 2012

Tips on How Property Investors Can Save Money and prevent Risks before Buying off the Plan Apartments

Investing in property has always been considered a safe and good long term investment. Investors consider investing in property as a safe bet. With a little planning and research, buying an apartment off the plan usually turns out to be a good investment. But there are some pros and cons that you should be aware of before investing in this venture.


Initial price:
You get the benefit of buying the apartment right of the drawing board. You pay the current price and not the price it’s expected to escalate to after completion. It’s very rare that an apartment bought of the plan does not increase in value.

Low capital outlay:
You just need to pay a maximum 10% of the agreed price to secure the apartment. This gives you enough time to plan your finances and arrange future payments.

Stamp duty saving:
Some state governments of Australia offer reduction in stamp duties and bonuses for buying off the plan. You can easily save thousands of dollars.

Choice of apartment:
Property developers give you a choice when buying off the plan. This means you get to choose an apartment with a garden, or one with the best view. You can also choose the interior, color of walls; fittings, etc.

Builders guarantee:
Brand new property in Australia has a 7 year builder’s guarantee. So you don’t have to worry about any structural or interior fault that might occur, as this will be fixed at no cost to the owner.

Increase in value:
Apartments tend to go up in value once they are completed and people start moving in. If the apartment building is in a good location, and well constructed the price is bound to increase. That’s when you can decide whether you want to hold on to it or put it up for sale.


Drop in property market:
Investing in any form always has a risk associated with it. The fear of a sudden drop in prices is one of the biggest fears that haunt investors.

Rising interest rates:
Interest rates might rise when the property is completed as the time lag between buying and the apartment being ready can vary between 6 months and 2 years.

The developer may declare bankruptcy anywhere during the construction phase of the project. You must ensure that your risk is covered in case this happens. Get a solicitor to review the agreement to ensure that you are protected.

Not up to the mark:
What you envision and what you get can differ. This can happen if you are not very good at visualizing what to expect by looking at drawings. Or the developer fails to meet the standards of construction that you were expecting.

Before you sign the agreement

These are some steps that you must take before signing on the dotted line and handing over the check.

· Check out the developer’s reputation; financial position, and history.

· Scrutinize the plans; model, interior finishing, fittings, and fixtures.

· Visit the proposed site area and see if there are any other buildings coming up in the area.

· Research the property market in the area. Get to know current and future property trends of the area.

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Online Trading – 5 Important Tips for Successful Trading

Grow you portfolio with these simple steps & see your stocks succeed

Online stock trading is an adrenaline charged, exciting venture. If you’re new to the game, there are many hints, tips and techniques you will learn to help you succeed. Unlike many other industries, the luxury of online trading is that it’s not about how hard you work, but about how smart you work. Equipping yourself with the latest information, analysing trends and really understanding your market sector will distinguish you from other traders, and ultimately see your stock portfolio expand.

Here are 5 simple tips and techniques for those beginning the game of online trading.

1. Choose the type of stock you want to trade:

It may seem a bit basic however knowing the types of trading markets and stocks available is the first step you should take upon your foray into the online trading world. With so many options such as day trading, short term trading or monthly trading and more, knowing the kind of trading you want to execute is imperative, as switching between trades will significantly impact your success.

Day trading is generally the lowest risk form of online trading as it requires you close out at the end of each trading day, thus eliminating any risks that can occur to your stock prices over night. Day trading is probably the most simple and effective form of trading for beginners however it does require you be at your computer for hours at a time, monitoring and trading before the close of day.

If you’re looking for more of a relaxed trade lifestyle the long term trade styles is for you, however it is recommended you’re educated thoroughly on all aspects of long term trades before undertaking this online.

2. Choose a good stock broker:

Like race car drivers have good mechanics, so do good traders have a good broker. When you’ve determined the style of trader you want to be, you then need to venture out and find a stock broker that adequately matches that style. For example, if you’re a day trader, you will need fast, direct access technology such as a specified software installation broker. This allows all your executions to be managed and sent directly, rather than being stopped at a third party’s online interface first.

Alternatively, longer term traders can opt for online brokers that act on your behalf. Submit an order to their online interface, and they’ll execute and perform the trades etc. for you. It’s simple and cost effective for this style of trading.

3. Master your own risk management:

While it may seem obvious to preach the ‘low risk, high reward’ method of trading, the truth is this is the best way to go about the online share market. You have to be responsible, and educated, in regards to your own risk management.

Trading stocks is a risky business; you need to make sure you’re fully equipped to foresee the dips and lows as well as the spikes and highs. Don’t assume it will always be a winning market! Once you can learn to control your risks, the better the results you will see. Also, make sure your trading style works in all markets. Learn to take advantage of both ups and downs of the stock market – be versatile!

4. Know when to SELL, SELL, SELL!

It is vital to know when the best time to sell your online stocks is. Everyone is so focussed on the when and how to buy, that not too many people will take the time to consider when to sell. The selling of stock is equally as important as the buying – if you’ve traded well and the broad market bias is behind you, you’re in a great position to sell and potentially increase your profit significantly.

Teach yourself, or learn from someone in the know when the best time to sell is – that is, know specific market conditions that will signal when the right time is to get out. Remember, the only way to turn your stock into real money is to sell them!

5. Don’t buy into or remain in an overbought stock pool:

This is one of the most important yet overlooked tips in the online trade game. If a stock or currency is overbought- you need to get out! There is no point having minimal investment in a diluted stock, know when the stock is at its strongest and monitor the buy in rate. Once it gets over-crowded, it’s your cue to exit.

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