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January 14, 2019

5 Finance Management Tips for New Entrepreneurs

manage your moneyThe reason most entrepreneurs set up in business is, at least partly, to make money so financial management is a crucial skill which all new business owners or would-be entrepreneurs need to learn if they want to be successful.

However, managing finances isn’t always a skill which comes naturally to many. Entrepreneurs tend to be focussed on their big idea and making it a reality, but the money side isn’t necessarily where there energies are naturally directed.

While you can always outsource your finances to a professional accountant to a certain extent, you still need to know and understand your numbers to enable you to spot any issues or trends which you might need to address within your business.

Here are five tips for new entrepreneurs to help with financial management:

1. Record and organise your finances

Whether you are managing your finances yourself or supplying all of your information to an accountant to deal with, it’s important to be organised and keep records of all of your income, outgoings and expenses.

This includes keeping copies of all your receipts, invoices, and any other paperwork related to financial issues, in an orderly fashion. Just putting them all into a shoe box won’t cut it when you are an entrepreneur.

Just using a simple spreadsheet to record income and outgoings can be enough to start with, when setting up a new business, or as the business grows you might need to invest in accounting software to help record all of the financial transactions.

2. Keep track of your credit score

As an entrepreneur you might well need to seek funding for your business either to start it up at the beginning or further down the line to help with an expansion of your services so make you’re your credit is up to scratch.

The last thing you want to do is start a business only to find your credit score or existing level of debt means you can’t get the funding you need to grow the company a few years down the line. Take action to improve your credit score ideally before you start out.

3. Have an emergency fund

While setting up a new business often involves expense rather than profit initially it’s still important to make sure you have money put aside for an emergency – you might need to suddenly buy new equipment or replace a computer for example, so try saving an emergency pot to help take the pressure off.

You can create the fund easily by putting a small amount aside every week so it needn’t be too taxing to save enough to help keep as a buffer. You never know when a client might not be able to pay you or a supplier might go bust so an emergency fund can be the difference between success and failure.

4. Seek professional advice

If you are brand new to business then don’t get daunted or overwhelmed by all of the financial obligations or requirements. If the finance side is beyond your knowledge then don’t bury your head in the sand but seek professional help.

Whether you hire a full-time professional accountant or use the services of a part-time book keeper they can both help and provide expert advice to guide you as you take your business forward as well as looking after the books. You can even make it easier for you by signing up for accounting services offered by companies like Crunch. You can find out how they help small businesses here.

5. Set short-term and long-term financial goals

As well as knowing and understanding your business numbers you should set financial goals for the business to achieve as well. Have short term goals for what you want the business to achieve in the next month, the next quarter and the next year.

You should also have a longer term forecasting tool to predict the income you expect to bring in over the next year to five years, to help make sure you keep your business on track and meet all of your income goals.

As well as your business goals you should also set savings goals which allow you to have enough put aside to pay your tax contributions every year so you don’t get caught out with a big bill at the end of the tax year and nothing to pay it with.

Conclusion

Financial management is a key element to running a business and is a skill which every new entrepreneur needs to learn if they are to be successful in the corporate world. No business can survive if it’s not financially viable.

There are few tips here to help make financial management easier to cope with but if financial management really is beyond your skill set then you should always seek professional guidance and advice to make sure your business can still thrive, leaving you free to focus on the aspects of entrepreneurship where you are strongest.

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December 17, 2018

Liverpool Becoming Buy to Let Hub for Investors

buying propertyOver the past few years, Liverpool has been hailed as a buy-to-let property gold mine. It has low initial costs compared to other UK cities and a growing demand for rental accommodation. Considerable investments from both the private and public sector have been boosting the city’s economy.

Liverpool’s affordable property prices are a huge draw for potential investors. With house prices in Liverpool considerably less than the UK average, developers and investors have been making the most of opportunities in the city. The average UK house price is £215,000 with the cost in Liverpool only £117,000. These low house prices allow investors to get far more for their money compared to other areas like London and Cambridge. Investors have been discovering that for the price of an apartment in London, they could by a couple of comparable quality properties in Liverpool. Prices of property in Liverpool are also on the rise. These increasing house prices are an excellent indicator for investors whose property is worth far more than they paid.

Liverpool has been attracting investors from around the world. With its strong trading history, famous football clubs, and of course, the Beatles, it’s definitely on people’s radar. Investors from the USA, to China to Saudi Arabia are all looking to this northern city as a possible location to expand their portfolio. Developers from overseas are also purchasing land in Liverpool, and working with the city to create new properties. A citywide targeted development strategy has improved areas of Liverpool that were once derelict or underdeveloped. This increased investment has been creating lucrative new opportunities for investors.

Buying off plan is another popular option with investors. Guaranteed rental yields mean that investors see income as soon as the development completes, without having to deal with tenants themselves. Access to new off plan developments is highly sought after, with plans for modern skyscrapers, apartment buildings and purpose-built student accommodation pending. The city’s borders are expanding. Unused land is being snapped up by developers for new projects around the city.

Liverpool has a high average rental yield, with some properties offering returns of up to 8%. This assured income from property is highly beneficial for investors who are generating income while their investment increases in value. It also allows investors to hold on to property, with rental income paying for the investment in years. Properties by RW Invest have rental yields of 7-8% on stunning luxury apartments in the city. High quality, modern apartments with options for furniture and high-end fittings are perfect for buy-to-let investors. Developments like Azure residence, with apartments from £94,950 and Tobacco Wharf with flats from £84,995 both, offer a generous 7% yield.

A recent study showed that 13.8 tenants were trying to get each new rental that becomes available. With such a competitive environment and so much demand, tenants are sometimes willing to spend a little bit more for a city location or a beautiful apartment. With buying their first home still unattainable for many young people. It was recently reported that 44% of private tenants were not expecting to buy in the long term. Improving job prospects are attracting more and more people to live in Liverpool city centre. These are often looking for rental accommodation that is close to the city centre or excellent transport links.

The increasing demand for rental properties and the option of long-term tenants are all factors in Liverpool’s reputation as a buy to let hotspot. With low prices, a growing economy and new developments continually popping up, Liverpool is continuing to attract savvy buy-to-let investors.

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December 10, 2018

Avoid surprises with Your Medicare Benefits – What’s not covered

health coverageWhen people turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare, they are sometimes surprised to learn that Medicare doesn’t cover all of their healthcare expenses and services.

On average, Medicare covers around 80% of your inpatient and outpatient services. There are also some items which are not covered by Medicare at all.

Learning what Medicare covers ahead of time will certainly help you not to experience any unwelcome surprises. doesn’t cover will help you be better prepared for your enrollment ahead of time.

Items That Medicare Doesn’t Cover

When Medicare was first rolled out in the 1960’s, it was designed to cover hospital services and medical services. There are several things that fall outside of these that are not covered by Medicare at all.

These include routine dental, vision, hearing and foot care. Original Medicare also does not cover cosmetic surgery, most medical care in foreign countries, or long-term care like nursing home or assisted living facility care.

Medicare also did not cover any outpatient prescription drugs for many years. However, in 2006, Congress rolled out a voluntary program to help with outpatient medication expenses called Medicare Part D.

For many years, Medicare didn’t cover preventive care, but in 2010 this was changed and now Medicare offers an annual physical as well as a number of other preventive care procedures.

Fortunately, there are also many individual insurance policies on the private marketplace to help with some of the other items, such as dental, vision and hearing insurance or long-term care insurance.

Covering the Gaps

We mentioned that Medicare covers only about 80% of your medical expenses. You pay the rest in the form of deductibles, coinsurance, and copays.

You can purchase insurance coverage that helps you to pay these expenses when they arise. There are two primary types of additional coverage that you can choose.

You can choose to enroll in a Medigap plan or you can opt to get your Original Medicare benefits through a private insurance program instead, called a Medicare Advantage plan.

Medigap plans are sometimes called Medicare supplements. These plans pay after Medicare first pays its share. The plans help to cover the deductibles, copays, and coinsuranceon your behalf. There are ten standardized plans to choose from in most states, and there are several plan options provide a foreign travel emergency benefit up to $50,000 as well.

You can use your Medigap plan at any Medicare provider nationwide and you never need to get a referral.

Medicare Advantage plans are also called Medicare Part C plans. These private insurance plans typically involve treating with the plan’s network of providers. Typical networks include HMO-style networks where you must choose a primary care doctor or PPO networks where you can see any doctor in the network and even treat outside the network at additional costs.

You will pay copays for various medical services as you go along, and these expectations will be outlined in the plan’s Evidence of Coverage booklet.

Part C Medicare Advantage plans can also build in some extras that Original Medicare doesn’t usually cover, such asdental care, vision exams, and eyeglasses, hearing aids, and even gym memberships. Each plan must cover all of the same medical services as Original Medicare, but how you pay for your share of these services is different. Approximately 30% of Medicare beneficiaries enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan.

Prepare Ahead of Time

Though Medicare isn’t free, you can work with a financial planner or Medicare insurance broker to estimate your costs for Medicare ahead of time. This will help you avoid any unwelcome financial surprises and also help you to fully understand how your coverage will operate.

Danielle Roberts is the co-founder at Boomer Benefits, where she and her team help new Medicare beneficiaries to learn about their coverage and benefits. You can visit her website to learn more about your eligibility for Medicare.

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November 18, 2018

A (blue)chip on your shoulder: Things to know about blue chip funds

fund investmentsUnderstanding the viability of bluechip funds can help you plan your investment and get a well-rounded portfolio.

It is a well-known fact that market-linked investments are subject to a certain degree of risk. However, certain equity funds offer higher growth prospects with the risk element evened out over the long term. One such fund is the Emerging blue chip fund, or blue chip funds in general.

What is a bluechip fund?

The term ‘bluechip’ comes from the game of poker, where the blue coloured chip is the most expensive or valuable of all. The same logic is applied to the bluechip fund – these are equity funds of large multinationals or companies with a long and well-established track record of high performance and market credibility. Companies offering blue chip funds are normally in the top 3 performance bracket in their sector or industry.

Given their reputation and economic standing, bluechip equity funds are those with a large market capitalisation, usually in crores of Rupees. They are normally listed on the stock exchange.

Investors earn via dividend payments from these funds. They are considered relatively ‘safe’ funds to invest in, with a higher propensity for stable and regular growth.

However…

  • These equity funds offer dividend payouts since their prices normally do not move much. The dividends can become a valuable second income for investors.
  • Having mentioned the risk factor, we would be remiss in not mentioning that the bluechip funds are amongst the highest performers among most equity funds, year on year. These funds have been seen to perform over the benchmark indexes set for them over the last decade.
  • The size and composition of the company alone does not automatically guarantee that the bluechip fund is safe. Even the best in class bluechip equity funds like the Emerging Bluechip Fund carry a moderate amount of risk. But this is easily attributable to all equity funds. The key is to remain invested for a longer time frame to reap the rewards of the fund.
  • They offer stability to your portfolio, with expert handling by the fund manager (but do partner with a reputed fund house when you buy the fund). The fund can normally recover itself in a bearish market, or when there is a downturn for some reason. This is because the fund can ride market volatility much better.
  • Investors have the option of investing in blue chip funds, blue chip ULIPs, etc. This is because the fund moves in the broader market only.
  • They are more expensive. This factor might deter new investors from seeking investment in blue chip equity funds, however, they are a viable option for their growth potential. Yet, it is not ideal to have too many bluechip funds in your portfolio, and you can diversify with a range of mid-cap and small-cap funds.
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October 3, 2018

How you can invest in an appropriate term insurance

term insurance coverageYou can get an unexpected happiness or some sudden mishaps in life can lead to never-ending grief and sadness, one can never be sure. In the unfortunate events like the untimely death of an individual who is the bread earner and head of the family, everything seems to be so scattered and hard to manage for the rest of the family. Term insurance is one of the insurance that can be availed for a certain period of time. Term insurance helps the family of the policyholder to meet the various financial needs like education of a family member, household expense and etc in absence of the policyholder. With the assistance of Term Insurance plan, a family of policyholder can maintain their lifestyle and do not need to beg other people in this world of inflation. There are many benefits of term insurance cover. The coverage of term insurance plan also differs from one plan to another, so one need to be aware of his/her various expectations and requirements from the term insurance while buying a term insurance policy.

Term Insurance Policy-

There are different types of term insurance plans like Standard Term Life insurance Plans, Term Return of premium plans, Group term insurance plan, Term insurance plan by number of years, Decreasing and Increasing term Insurance Plans, Convertible Term insurance plans, Single life and joint life term insurance plans, Offline and online term insurance plans in India. One can choose one term insurance plan as per the age, tenure, cover requirements, tenure and premium amount. Various companies offer a wide range of Term insurance policies in the market but, you should read terms and conditions and understand different types of term insurance policy before buying any.

Even to enhance the beauty of term insurance plans, there are various additional riders that can be enjoyed by the customer at a little more premium amount such as Critical Illness Rider, Total and Permanent Disability Benefit Rider, Accidental Death Benefit Rider, Hospital Cash Rider, Waiver of Premium Rider and etc. Riders can play a vital role in protecting our money if choose wisely.

Pointers to look for the best insurer-

There are various factors that one needs to check before getting a term insurance plan and some of the pointers are as follows –

1. Claim Settlement Ratio – This is the most important pointer. The number of claims settled against the total claims received by the insurer. An insurer with the highest claim ratio is more preferred than other. One can find this data in the annual report that is published by IRDAI for each life insurer.

2. Featured products – it is not necessary that all insurers offer all insurance products. One need to keep an eye on the various products featured by the insurer and filter which insurance policy is actually needed.

3. Customer service quality – Valuing a customer is the most important pointer. A number of queries resolved against the total reported complaints/ queries show the mirror to the customer handling status of any insurer.

Objective –

Right from shoes to clothes we want to give our family the best we could afford. Term insurance is the best thing that you can do for your family, as it offers Maximum cover in minimum investment. The main motive of a term insurance is to help an individual’s family to meet their regular expenses and normal lifestyle in their absence during all future needs. Ideal term insurance helps an individual to wave a web to cover all necessity of his/her family. Eventually, it is your responsibility to prepare you and your family to face any unforeseen event. Don’t wait, use an online insurance web aggregator like PolicyX.com, compare quotes on the basis of benefits, premium, cover and choose the right one accordingly.

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