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May 21, 2013

5 Investor Tips to Pick the Right Fund Administration Provider

Right Fund AdministrationLooking for a quality and professional fund administration service but don’t know where to start? Whether you choose to go big or small, good communication, technological expertise, qualified staff and reputation are all important factors to consider. Read our 5 tips for picking the right fund administration service provider for your investment success.

1. Fund Administration Services: Go big or go small

Fund administration services can be divided into two types. You can choose to go with a larger established investment firm, or, you can choose an independent fund administration provider.
Though not immediately noticeable, there will be a difference in the way firms that focus on fund administration as their core business conduct fund administration services as opposed to larger investment firms offering fund administration as a branch of their business deal with clients. In the end though, fund administration providers will be judged by their ability to deliver accurate NAVs on time.

2. Reputation in Fund Admin Circles

The role of fund administration providers is to act as a representative of the fund and to liaise with investors in the fund. As interaction is the core of fund administration services, the fund administration providers you choose to go with should have good industry reputation with the fund administration services on offer.
Do the necessary legwork to make sure the fund administration providers you hire are reputable; collecting references from previous or current fund administration clients if necessary.

3. Technology for Fund Administration Services

The technology used by fund administrators is integral to the fund administration services they provide. It is important that fund administration providers not only have the latest fund admin technology, but know how to use this fund admin technology to the greatest advantage for your fund.
Ensuring that your fund administration provider is well equipped and experienced in using the latest technology is crucial so that all fund administration services are covered and NAVs are delivered to investors on time and with the latest data sets.

4. Quality of the Fund Admin Staff

A great fund administration company with poor support staff is a doomed fund administration service. Make sure the fund administration provider has a well-trained, experienced and more importantly, qualified staff. You need to trust your fund administration providers to deal with all clients professionally, and this applies from start to finish.
The technical component of fund admin aside, fund admin is a service role. Keeping investors informed and happy is the main role of fund administration services. To get great feedback, the quality of fund admin staff has to be all round.

5. Great Fund Administration is all about Great Communication!

The key to a successful relationship with fund administration providers is clear and direct communication. During your due diligence, find out how your fund admin providers communicate with investment managers post engagement, as this is a make or break factor for fund administration services on the whole. This way, you can ensure that you get a professional and reliable fund admin service.

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October 30, 2012

Dropping habits to save money

Saving money on day-to-day expenditure is one thing, but reigning in your habits to save even more is another one of life’s challenges and involves taking account of your spending behaviour on things that you just don’t need.

Everybody has habits in life and there are always ways that you can use them less to save more money. Such spending habits include eating out, drinking (alcohol) and smoking.

There are so many people that refuse to cook in the home and so pay more for the likes of takeaways and meals in restaurants which can put a really stretch on their finances. Eating out should be a nice treat and not something that should be a common occurrence, unless you’re absolutely made of money.

It is so much cheaper to do a modest shop at the supermarket and begin cooking food at home to cut down the costs. Reserve one weekend of every month to treat you and your family to a night out and these nights out will feel special and can be something to look forward to, as opposed to ruining the effect with several each week.

Smoking is a habit that costs individuals not only their health, but also a ton of money. Those who are on about 40-60 cigarettes a day will be spending into the hundreds each week and so cutting down or dropping the habit completely will enable you to save bundles of cash.

An alternative if you’re struggling to quit completely is to switch from the conventional cigarette to electronic cigarettes. E cigarettes are made so that you don’t inhale of the chemicals of a standard cigarette and also help you save money, as they are reusable and so the need to keep buying cigarettes is removed.

If you buy Electronic Cigarettes from Freshcig.co.uk you’d be able to both rein in your spending, as well as increase your health along the way.

Drinking can also be an expensive and unhealthy habit to participate in. Alcohol is a massive expense to some, as they feel the need to always have some in one form or another in their fridge or wine rack.

Like eating out, having a good drink with friends or just as a reward after work should not be seen as a regular thing and should again be regarded as a treat.

If you are able to combine all of these, then you will be able to save a great deal of money and in some cases, enjoy a much healthier lifestyle.

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April 22, 2012

Do You Need a Financial Makeover?

There’s no one among us who would turn down more money. We could all use a little extra cash. Even though we’re all the same in that respect, what we’d do with any extra money would be radically different. All of us have different spending habits and personal finances, and not all of us are very smart with our money. Everyone needs to examine their finances from time to time and look for ways to improve, but some of us need more help than others.

The following are five essential questions you need to ask yourself. If you answer no to all of them, you are in dire need of a financial makeover.

Are you happy with your spending habits?

The first clue that you need a financial makeover is if you’re unhappy with the state of your finances. You might not be able to instantly increase your monthly income, but you can do something about your monthly spending habits. If you’re not satisfied with how you’re spending, it’s time to do something about it by taking a very close look at where your money is going.

Do you have a six-month emergency fund?

One of the best things you can do for yourself financially is keep a six-month emergency fund. This fund should have enough money to pay all your bills and cover your entire cost of living for six months, just in case anything was to happen and you lose your income. If you don’t have your emergency fund yet, or if you’re tapping into it now, you probably need to make over your finances.

Are you putting away some savings every month?

Even if you don’t have a six-month emergency fund yet, you should be working toward it regularly. After everything is paid for, do you have money left over? If you do, what do you do with the leftover money? If you aren’t saving any of it, you’re going to have to start. While you should be treating yourself and enjoying your money, at least some of it should get put aside every month.

Do you have a budget?

When your paycheck comes in, do you know where it’s all going? Do you have target dollar amounts for your spending in all categories, like food, clothing, and restaurants? If you don’t, the single best thing you can do for your finances is create a budget. You’ll need to really evaluate your spending habits. When you write everything down, it will be easier to find problem areas, and it will be easier to reach your financial goals.

Are you paying off your debt?

If you have debt, you should be working to pay off a portion of it every month. Hopefully you can afford to pay more than just the minimum payment, too. If your debt is growing, you are in desperate need of a financial makeover. It is possible for you to begin paying off your debt if you make doing so one of your financial priorities as soon as possible.

Alexander Wilson is a small business owner and freelance writer who loves to travel when he can afford it. After saving for a long while he is looking to book himself a trip at one of several hotels in Maldives. His fiance has a love for island resorts and if things go well on this journey he may consider a honeymoon in the Maldives one day.

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April 12, 2012

5 Tips for Frugal Living

The key to frugal living is avoiding the unnecessary big purchases while cutting back on the little everyday purchases. This may sound simple in theory, but is incredibly hard in practice. This is due to the fact that many consumers are simply unaware of how to cut back on their daily spending, and exactly what about their big expenditures is unnecessary.

The following is an easy to follow guide that will help set you on the path to frugal living:

1. Housing and Transportation

If you are in the market to buy a house, buy small. For every extra square foot of real estate you purchase, you will have to pay that much more in property taxes, utility bills, insurance, and mortgage. If you are looking to rent a space, look for a compact room. With the freedom that mobile technology provides, there’s no reason to have your bedroom be anything more than a place to sleep.

Carpool to work. Share a car with your spouse or roommate if you can. If you have an expensive gas guzzler, trade it in for a smaller, fuel-efficient vehicle. An SUV will cost you much more on gas and insurance and is generally a waste of resources. Most SUV drivers, after all, do not purchase their vehicles with the intent to go off road. If possible, try moving to within walking distance of where you work. The time you save on the commute will also make you better rested and happier, and the morning walk will be good for your health.

2. Don’t Eat Out

If you eat groceries, meals on average can amount to $1 per person. In contrast, a typical restaurant or fast food experience can run you anywhere between $5 and $20 dollars per meal. Over the course of a year, you could be losing thousands of dollars on meals alone. Invest that money and over time the amount can grow into the hundreds of thousands. The power of compound interest is the main reason why saving nickels and dimes is important.

3. Eliminate Debt

Just as the interest from savings accounts compound, so does debt. Worse yet, credit card interest is typically five or six times higher than the growth of your bank account. Debt will devour your finances faster than you can earn it, and cutting the size of your obligations should take priority over any other purchase, no matter how much you think you need it. If it isn’t food and shelter, you can do without it.

4. No More Cable

Cable is a bloated, expensive luxury that offers you 100 channels you never watch and don’t need. When you buy a package from a cable company, you pay for every single one of these channels, from the home shopping network to the soap opera channel. This never made much sense, but in the past people were handicapped by the lack of options. Now you can watch these programs through online and DVD rental services, many of which are low cost or even free.

5. Staying Healthy

The rising cost of medical care has crippled many individuals as they struggle to pay for prescription medication, vital exams, and surgeries. The best way to lower these costs is to stay healthy. Eating right and exercising regularly will help you remain strong and fit, lowering your susceptibility to disease and the need for doctor visits. However, you don’t have to purchase an expensive gym membership and organic food to live a healthy lifestyle. Just utilize your local park for exercise, and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to maintain a balanced diet.

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March 27, 2012

5 Tips for Financial Planning

When it comes to finances many people bury their head in the sand and spend up to, or over their means every month without considering the future. If people are happy with their lot and lifestyle then this is not necessarily a bad thing – so long as debt is kept under control.

However, of course the majority of people have dreams and aspirations for which healthy finances are helpful or even vital. The average person could never save up for a house deposit, for example, without cutting down on outgoings and planning ways to conserve funds. Such a person would also need a good credit rating to secure a mortgage, which they may not have if they live on credit and are constantly in debt.

There are numerous benefits to having one’s finances in order. This reduces the stress and anxiety that go with unmanaged debt and therefore leads to a greater sense of ease and comfort. It is also good to know that some money is put aside in savings or investments, for a rainy day or perhaps to make a large purchase such as a property. With the advantages of financial planning in mind, here are 5 tips that are well worth considering:

1) Pay off credit cards

Credit cards carry high interest rates so if the balance is not paid off each month, they can incur considerable interest. Making minimum payments will barely touch the outstanding balance either, so credit cards should be paid off completely as soon as possible. Sometimes low interest loans are the best way to do this, but a banking manager should be able to suggest a suitable plan of action.

2) Reassess outgoings

An effective way of saving money is simply to cut outgoings. Many people are in a habit of spending more than they need to, so by reassessing what they spend each month they will most likely be able to find several areas where savings are possible. People should check direct debits and if they are not necessary or beneficial, stop them immediately.

3) Use an ISA

An ISA is a way to save up to £3000 in a tax free account and this benefits savers much more than a regular savings account. People should choose an ISA if they are saving and use their full ISA allowance to maximize its effectiveness.

4) Get a pension

This is certainly an area that many young people ignore, but this could be to their financial peril in the years to come. A pension is a vital form of financial planning and there are a variety of products available, offering facilities such as pension release and drawdown. Anyone wanting a comfortable retirement should ponder their future without a pension.

5) Make a will

Making a will is another area that people often ignore, perhaps unaware of the possible consequences of dying intestate. Making a will ensures that someone’s money and assets goes to the people they want it to, and stipulations can be included in a will if the donor wishes. A will is not a death wish, merely a shrewd financial precaution.

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