Archives for General

So What’s New?

Well how about this! First post in over 2 years. Is anybody there? Is anybody reading this? Regardless of dwindling readership I think it’s a good time to start writing again. There’s no guarantee this will become regular again or if there will even be another post after this one. Who knows what tomorrow will bring! I might decide to become a YouTuber or start tweeting! For now, a bit of an update. I’ve self studied and passed all the required exams to become a Level 4 qualified financial adviser and now provide independent financial advice. I chose the CII
Read More

Something about a Tax Refund?

Our tax pays for the public services that we all use, so most of us don’t see it as a problem that we have to pay it. However, a high tax bill can put a serious dent in one’s income and when it comes to tax refunds, not all of us know if we are entitled to one or what we’re entitled to. Let’s delve into some of the factors that can influence how much we pay and if we may be able to receive a refund. Your tax code An incorrect tax code is possibly the most common cause for
Read More

Blink and Miss History – It’s Eye Opening!

In times of economic uncertainty, people striving to make a living can so easily bury themselves in work and while getting engrossed by work is a sure-fire way of getting things done, in this fast paced world in which we live it also means we may not be paying attention to everything else that’s going on around us. Pause for one minute, stick your head up and look around and it’s amazing to see what’s gone by in just a few days. Admittedly, some weeks are less impressive than others but with so much news available at all times from all over the
Read More

How’s the Economy Looking Today?

By looking at 3 aggregated news stories on Google from this day in history the picture appears to reveal a pretty bleak outlook for times ahead and not just for UK consumers but for industry too. Public sector job losses may not be offset by growth in the private sector as the Government is hoping and despite talk that investment in industry is the way to plough Britain out of the quagmire, industry will still struggle with rising costs in the same way as consumers. Story 1. Cash Strapped Companies Risk Insolvency ‘HM Revenues and Customs (HMRC) has revealed that growing
Read More

Nearly in the News

There’s a really handy feature of the BBC News website whereby readers can submit comments about a given story and share their experiences (it’s only available for a short while after a story is published so you have to be quick). I recently read a story about MBNA hiking interest rates and as I would be most pleased if MBNA collapsed and all the senior staff ended up shouldering massive debts, I thought I’d make a comment about my experiences. Shortly after I had an email from a reporter at the BBC asking me to get in touch. I had a few things to
Read More

Getting My Head Around RDR

I’m trying to find a succinct and comprehensive explanation of RDR and what it means for consumers but so far I’m struggling so I’m going to try and piece something together from what I can find which, is mostly how it will affect advisers. Interesting that a change to the investment market that is intended to benefit the consumer does not appear to be very well publicised. In fact, I searched for it on the FSA consumer website Moneymadeclear and I couldn’t find anything. I think quite a few people would be grateful if the FSA started to make the
Read More

I Forgot to Mention

On the 22nd of October I passed the Investments & Risk module of the IFS Certificate in Financial Advice (CeFA). This is the IFS qualification that is needed to be recognised as an IFA and until 2012 the 4 modules are: UK financial services industry, regulation and ethics investments and risk protection retirement planning After 2012 the Diploma in Financial Advice (DipFA) will be required to continue working as an IFA. So, I’m pleased I’ve got the recent exams out of the way but there’s still a way to go! I’ve already received and started on the next module ‘Retirement Planning & Protection’ (2 more exams). Once that’s out
Read More

Finding Cheap Flights Online

When searching for cheap flight deals, timing is crucial. In the opposite fashion to package holidays, last-minute deals can rarely be found, as most airlines structure their prices to increase as the number of seats available decreases. Start your search well in advance of your dates of travel, and use the internet to quickly search for the cheapest option. There are four different ways to find cheap flights specifically, depending on your plans and requirements. If you know precisely where you’re going and when, use a ‘screen-scraper’ website. If you want a combined flight & hotel break, use a flight
Read More

Staying Safe Online Cheaply

Online fraud and the threat of malware is an ever present danger as we use the internet day-to-day. Here are a few pointers to keep your computer and personal information protected when online  cheaply! For all secure websites you use, have passwords that can’t be easily guessed. Avoid information that could be worked out, such as dates of birth and family names. Use random letters, numbers and non-alpha numeric characters to make a password that seems impossible to guess, and therefore makes it harder for intruders to hack into your system. Change passwords regularly – especially for online banking sites,
Read More

Considering a Recession Proof Career?

Unemployment is still rising and currently stands at 2.47 Million or 7.9% of the working population. In the last quarter another 23,000 people found themselves out of work. Many have been out of work for months already and are still struggling to find a steady source of income and the indication is that things are going to get worse. For some this has been seen as an opportunity to make life changing decisions and dedicate time and effort into a complete change of direction by pursuing or studying for a new career. I would always encourage somebody to do whatever it is they
Read More