Top 5 Things to Consider with a Personal Loan

canstockphoto4417887There are many options available to you when you need to borrow money for any number of reasons. You could ask family and friends, see if there is funding available or take out a loan. Depending on what you need the money for, a personal loan can be a useful choice.

Also known as an unsecured loan, this is ideal for many applications and you do not have to be a homeowner to take one out. Find out more here about personal loans and consider the following five points before deciding whether to take one out yourself or not.

  1. Credit History

In order to be approved for a personal loan you will need a good credit history. This is because the loan is not secured against your home, so the lender needs good assurance that you will be able to meet all the repayments.

You can easily check your credit score online and there are a few quick ways to improve it. Ensure you are on the electoral register, cancel all unused credit cards and stop applying for credit. Another tactic is to take out a credit card and pay it off on time, which will quickly improve your rating.

  1. Interest Rates

Being unsecured, personal loans usually have a much higher interest rate attached to them. You will need to consider whether a fixed or variable rate is the best option depending on the time and circumstances.

UK interest rates have been falling, with 388 cuts to savings accounts in August alone, with the best one year bonds paying 1.66pc. However, should interest rates increase then the situation will be different, with each offering more reasons for fixed or variable rate personal loans.

  1. Repayment Terms

You will need to budget and ensure you can afford to meet all the repayment terms, as otherwise your debt may spiral out of control. Consider whether after taking out the loan that you will be in a better financial situation to pay the loan off or not. Check all the fine print, as some personal loans inflict charges should you make repayments earlier than needed, which can get steeper depending on how much you have borrowed.

  1. Shop the Fees

It is worth shopping around to discover the personal loan that offers the best terms. Many can possess hidden fees, so while they may claim to have low interest rates, this will be offset by charging much higher opening or other fees. Consider all your options, both by searching online and asking around on the high street, and you should soon discover the best personal loan for your needs.

  1. Alternative Options

In some cases, a personal loan may not be the best option for your financial situation. If it’s only a small purchase you need the money for then a credit card could be more advisable. Likewise, if you are worried about not being able to meet repayments then think about asking to borrow the funds from friends or family.

Make all these considerations before you take out a personal loan to use for any application.

How Manufacturing at Home Can Boost Company Profits

canstockphoto2706283For many years, businesses have sought ways to cut costs, from outsourcing day-to-day tasks, to reducing transport costs. However, as times change, business methods that were once considered economically advantageous are no longer viable. This is particularly true in terms of manufacturing overseas, where companies are typically able to take advantage of cheaper labour and materials expenditure.

It appears that the combination of a fragile global economies, concerns over quality, and the substantial rise of eco conscious shoppers has seen a growing trend in companies choosing to reshore. Surprisingly, manufacturing at home could raise company profits, too.

Brexit and the Great British Pound

In the UK, the pound has continue to decline. Add to this the fears about how Brexit will continue to affect the country’s economy as well as worries about the single market, and it is understandable that company’s may be fearful about how the referendum will impact business.

While the depreciation of the pound has made the British currency more attractive globally, with overseas purchasers getting more for their money, the price of imports has risen drastically. With import costs rising, it is easy to appreciate why businesses may choose to manufacture domestically. Although production costs are typically higher in the UK, companies are saving on transport and import costs, as well as storage and inventory.

Environmental and Ethically Conscious Customers

Coinciding with Brexit, recent research has shown that consumers are becoming ever more conscious with regards to eco concerns. In addition to brand trust, environmental, social and ethical considerations score highly with millennials, so much so that those in the age bracket of 18-35 would pay more to buy from a brand that shares their values.

As the world is becoming more open and connected, customers are actively seeking eco conscious businesses, profiting those who pay fair wages, reduce their carbon footprint, and produce their products at home.

Concerns Over Quality

Quality is a growing concern for companies and consumers alike. While products produced cheaply overseas are increasingly being made to higher standards, many businesses still fear quality issues. This is perhaps of greatest concern to startups and SMEs, who do not have the same money or resources as multinational corporates, which could lead to catastrophic consequences.

On the other hand, manufacturing domestically in the UK means that goods must comply with British standards, regulation and Quality Assurance, reducing the risk of poor quality products and thus, disappointed customers.

The number of businesses choosing to manufacture at home is on the rise (particularly with engineering and car firms), a trend that is set to continue and could see an increase in company profits.

Could a Used Vehicle Be a Good Alternative Over Leasing for Businesses?

canstockphoto37443143You have two main options when it comes to getting a new business car. You can either buy, or lease. Both have their pros and cons and leasing is often seen as the most affordable option. However, that’s typically because when you think about buying a car for your business, you mainly consider new models. But what about a used car?

Is it ever a good idea to buy a used car for business and would that be a good alternative to leasing?

Why used cars can be ideal for business

The main reason people don’t consider buying a used car for business is because it doesn’t seem to give off the right image. With a business car, you typically want it to ooze style and elegance. That means, you want something that’s new and shiny.

However, what you may not realise is there are plenty of used models out there that are in an “as new” condition, yet they cost just a small portion of the new models. While its true many used cars can be risky to buy, if you go through a reliable company like RobinsandDay, you’ll find excellent quality used models.

So, don’t let the term “used” put you off as a good quality used car can look just as great as a new one! There’s actually quite a few benefits of buying used cars over new models such as high-end features at a lower cost, reduced depreciation value and often lower insurance costs.

Is a used car better than leasing?

Both options have their advantages. Really, it all depends upon your personal preferences. With a leased car, you have the opportunity to get a new model every three years. You’re also more likely to be able to afford a higher-end model.

However, you won’t personally own the car, ever. Why does that matter? Because you’ll find leasing companies have numerous restrictions in place. This includes how many miles you can drive. It’s not uncommon for leasing companies to have a maximum mileage restriction. This means if you drive around a lot for your business, a leased vehicle might not be your best option.

Overall, leasing is often chosen because it appears to be the cheaper option. However, when you compare it to buying a used car, it could work out much more expensive in the long term. Used cars these days come with excellent features and can be found in a “like new” condition. So, if you haven’t considered it yet, it’s worth looking into buying a used car for your business before you sign that lease agreement.

Business Mobility: How to Pick Company Cars and Executive Vehicles

canstockphoto0914712What you drive can be important in the world of business for any number of reasons. Your choice of conveyance can shape first impressions and your ability to respond to emerging challenges. But there are two major overlapping categories of business vehicle, and we’ve compiled advice on what to bear in mind for both.

Company Cars

Rather than a particular kind of vehicle for a particular kind of business, company cars are something like a problem to be solved for employers. If you intend to offer this particular benefit, which is in high demand among potential employees and just one more way to hook the best candidates for your company, you need to ask yourself what you are going to make available.

You want to strike the right balance between a few different factors. Employers typically pay tax on company cars so low emissions vehicles are good to go for. You also want to consider reliability and practicality though; if you mean for employees to commute using company vehicles you’ll want to mitigate the chance of accidents and breakdowns as much as possible. One last thing to consider is appearance; it might not seem important at first but what your employees drives will reflect on them and by extension your company, so it may be best to avoid something that sends to wrong message.

You can also save some money through fleet and business leasing schemes like those offered by Shelbourne Motors.

Executive Cars

High-powered businesspeople at the top of a company need to worry about a few other factors, though. As the faces of their firm, they need to think more about the image they project, so a business vehicle that speaks of confidence, control, and power is ideal. People in such positions often need to be available at all times, so a full suite of integrated communication options is a worthwhile investment.

Naturally these executive cars tend to be a little more expensive, but if you’re a private businessperson they can still be in your reach through leasing or other financing options, and you can even save some money by going for used vehicles, an option that isn’t available to enterprises providing them as company cars.

High and Low-risk Investment Strategies: Which is Right for you?

canstockphoto9358088While there are numerous theoretical and technical elements associated with investment, the make-up of your portfolio will depend largely on your own philosophy as an individual. More specifically, it will hinge on your appetite for risk, and the balance that you want to strike between minimizing loss and pursuing optimal gains.

To this end, there are a host of low and high-risk investment strategies available to modern investors, as new assets and derivatives are launched on the financial market on a regular basis. Your task is to determine which is right for you, based on your outlook and the prevailing economic climate.

What are the Most Common, High-risk Investment Strategies?

If you have a healthy appetite for risk, you are likely to pursue investment strategies that promise marginal and optimal financial returns. The best example of this is currency trading in the forex market, as this is represents an option where investors are not encumbered with the burden of ownership. As a result, their returns are marginal, meaning that they can either lose or earn far more than their original investment.

The key with this type of strategy and derivative is to identify methods of lowering the initial level of risk, and this can achieved by determining how you want to trade currency. Options such as “spreadbetting” enable you to simplify the process of currency trading, for example, by speculating as to whether your preferred currency pair will decline or prosper within a specified period of time. This not only enables you to make a simple and informed decision, but it also enables you to generate income in a depreciating market.

So while the risk profile of currency as a derivative does not change, as an investor you can take strategic steps to minimizing loss and optimizing your returns over time.

What are the Most Common, Low-risk Investment Strategies?

In an ideal world, all traders would be able to pursue low-risk investment strategies that deliver high returns. The issues is that such investment vehicles are hard to find, as while the type of margin-based derivatives discussed earlier offer typically high returns they are usually vulnerable to volatile market conditions and sudden price movements. This is the type of trade-off that creates a precarious balance between risk and reward, although it is interesting to note that there are at least some lower-risk investment options that can drive consistent and significant returns.

One of the best examples is a preferred stock, which is a hybrid security that combines the best of traditional stocks and bonds. More specifically, it is traded like a stock option on the financial market, but it acts like a bond and offers a stated dividend that is typically 2% higher CD’s or treasuries. This creates a unique balance of reward and risk management, and it represents an excellent vehicle for risk-averse or novice investors.

Dividend investment options offer similar peace of mind, as they deal in blue-chip stocks (such as Coca-Cola) that have showcased consistent growth over a period of years. They therefore deliver consistent returns, and offer the type of security and financial reward that defines any popular, low-risk investment option.

The Bottom Line: Which Option is Right for you?

It is pivotal that you base your investment strategy on an underlying philosophy and your appetite for risk, as this ensures that you are comfortable and able to make informed trading decision. Of course, the ideal scenario is to create a diverse portfolio of options that includes both high and low-risk investment assets, as this should create a delicate balance between risk and reward. Such an approach also enables you to profit in variable market conditions, which is crucial if you are hoping to earn consistent gains.