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May 18, 2012

The Cost of Mis Sold Investments

Many ordinary people have recently discovered that they may not have the nest egg that they’d planned for in their retirement. Having put away regular monthly installments into investments and other savings plans, people have now discovered that these investments could be worth a lot less than they’d been led to believe. Mis sold investments are likely to cause a lot of heartache
and financial difficulty in the years to come, as people have to come to terms with the fact that they might not have sufficient money for their retirement and they could well have to rethink their plans for the forthcoming years.

With the issue of mis sold investments now coming to the fore, there is some hope for people who were given inaccurate information when they signed up to long-term investment plans. Compensation claims are being investigated and there is at least some hope of recompense for those who genuinely took out investments based on misleading information. Many people put away regular savings for their retirement, or as a means of paying off their mortgage or saving a nest egg for retirement. Without in-depth personal financial knowledge, people will have relied upon the advice offered by financial advisers, banks and other institutions in order to come to a decision about which investments to choose.

It is because this advice was – in certain circumstances – ill thought-out, or the specific investment inappropriate for the circumstances of the individual at the time, that a mis sold investment bond, or other investment product, will now come under scrutiny. It is hoped that genuine cases of mis sold investments will now be rectified to a certain extent, as individuals can make a claim for
compensation and hope to recoup their losses.

Many people will have been relying on the expected return on their investment in order to fund their retirement. The knowledge that this pot of money might no longer be available can put huge financial and emotional stress on an individual or a couple and this also needs to be taken into consideration. The situation needs to be rectified, not only on behalf of the customers who have
been mis sold investments, but also in order to ensure that financial institutions and individual advisers are seen to be held to account for any inaccurate or misleading information that they have given to customers in the past regarding the investment of their money.

With the issue of mis sold investment now out in the open, it is hoped that the message is getting through and that anyone who believes they have been misled will be able to come forward and receive more information about their investment and whether they might potentially have grounds for a claim with regards to their product. When a lifetime of savings could potentially be at stake, it’s imperative that people are now given the opportunity to check up on their finances and to have some peace of mind that their money is safe and their retirement fund will be sufficient for their needs over the years.

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May 10, 2012

Cut the costs associated with your commute

If you commute to work every day, you know how much of a headache it can be. From traffic to the cost of gas, tolls and parking, just getting to the office every morning can be extremely stressful.

Fortunately, there are many ways you can reduce the cost of your daily commute, according to a report from the Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, version of the local news site Patch. One of the easiest ways to do this, for millions of people across the country, is to start relying on public transportation more often. These options are becoming very popular again because of the rising price of gas, but can also provide you even more savings because in some states, you are allowed to use a tax deduction for an annual discount of up to $500 on your federal filing. Your car insurance company might also give you a discount.

Taking public transportation will obviously not only help you save significantly on the gas you buy every month – even if you still have to drive a short distance to your nearest train station, bus stop or park and ride location – but will also give you more time to relax either before or after office hours, or even get some extra work done.

Of course, another great way to save money on your commute is to stick with an old standby: the carpool, the report said. Finding three people or more from your office who live in your area to share a ride to work sometimes or even every day can help to significantly reduce the amount you pay for fuel every month. Think of it this way: If you get four other people to drive to work with you every week, you’re only driving your car one day instead of five, saving not only on gasoline, but also on wear and tear on the vehicle. In addition, some states also have ride-sharing programs that allow consumers to find other people in their area who would want to participate in a carpool. Some states even incentivize participation by providing gas cards to consumers who enroll for the first time.

“From taking transit to carpooling, there are many ways commuters can save time and money getting to work,” Barry Seymour, executive director of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, told the site, adding that these measures also have a positive impact on the environment.

But even if those measures won’t work for you, and you still have to head to the office by yourself every day, there are still a number of ways to save, the report said. The simplest is to change your driving habits so that you’re not using as much fuel. During a commute, it can be easy to fall into aggressive driving habits like speeding, braking hard and so forth in order to get to work faster, but doing so also burns significantly more fuel. In fact, aggressive driving tactics often cost consumers as much as 33 percent of their vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Further, having a lot of junk in your car can also slow the vehicle down, with every hundred pounds reducing its efficiency by as much as 2 percent.

If you want to make sure your car is running in tip-top shape, you should also stick to the routine maintenance schedule provided by its manufacturer, as well as making sure your tires are properly inflated and using the right kind of oil, the report said.

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