Pay Off My Mortgage or Invest? Consider These Things Before You Decide

More and more mortgage loans are getting approved by the Bank of England every year. In April 2021, 86,921 of them got approved which was an 81% increase year-over-year. 

Do you have a mortgage as well? Are you almost finished paying it off or did you remortgage it and are now deeper in debt than ever? 

A mortgage is good debt, but does that mean that you should hold off on paying off your mortgage and invest instead? This is an age-old debate in financial circles and among homeowners – ‘pay off my mortgage or invest?’  

Each individual will be different in which course they should choose. Keep reading for some factors that can help you decide. 

Pay Off Your Mortgage Quicker

If you are the kind of person who stays up at night worrying about your mortgage and the debt that you are under, then your best course of action is to pay off your mortgage quicker. There’s no need to become an anxious wreck or deteriorate your mental and physical health because you are constantly worrying about your mortgage.

Also, consider that inflation is causing interest rates to rise rapidly. If that’s a concern of yours, then paying off your mortgage early is a good way to boost your finances. 


There are many pros to paying off your mortgage quicker:

  • You become debt-free and that frees you up in a way
  • You don’t have to pay exorbitant amounts for interest payments
  • Once you pay down your mortgage you are free to use that additional income as you wish

Don’t make the mistake though of paying down your mortgage, only to use that leverage to buy some other big-ticket items, like a car or a world cruise. 


Some cons to consider when paying off your mortgage sooner:

  • There are prepayment penalties to paying off your mortgage sooner
  • You are going to miss out on all tax deductions and advantages of having a mortgage

If your mortgage is your only investment, then you are in big trouble. That’s because you are missing out on all the other potential investments you could undertake. 

Putting Your Money Into Investments

Some folks are firmly entrenched in the ‘save for retirement first‘ camp. The main reason for this? The power and magic of compound interest over time.


If you start investing when you are in your 20s, you have to invest less money over your lifetime, than someone who pays off their mortgage first and then starts investing in their 40s or 50s. 

Let’s look at the numbers. If you start saving in your 20s and invest $100 every month for 40 years, you would end up with a neat $1.17 million after.

A friend of yours who waits until their 50s to start investing, even if they invest $1000 a month for 10 years, would only have $230,000. This assumes a 12% compound rate on your investments.

But, the conclusion is quite clear. Waiting to invest can rob you of all that precious compound interest and growth time. You would have to invest more money each month if you start later and you won’t even end up with that much more despite the additional investment. 

Another big pro to investing your money starting now, rather than waiting until you pay off your mortgage is that you can take advantage of any employee matching programs that your job might offer. This is essentially free money that you can pour into your investments at no disadvantage to you. 


Not to say that there are no cons to this way of doing things. No matter if you are putting money into investments each month, your debt is still looming large over your head. 

Your mortgage is there in the background, constantly reminding you that you are in debt and your assets aren’t liquid. You can’t stop making mortgage payments, and that can put a dire strain on your finances as you try to juggle both investments and mortgage payments while trying to live a reasonable quality of life.

Some folks live an extremely frugal life because they don’t have enough income to balance both mortgage and investments at the same time. But if that’s not something that appeals to you, then this option might not be up your alley. 

Doing Both in Moderation

When you can’t figure out if one way or another works for you, then the middle way seems like the best option. Instead of pouring all your disposable income into paying off your mortgage or investing, how about you put a moderate amount into both?

This way you don’t have to sacrifice your current lifestyle for your future self. You can still enjoy an occasional meal out and a bit of travel each year. And you can splurge on big-ticket items when the need arises. 

You can make decent progress towards both goals by tamping down on your impatience and taking it slow and steady. You might not pay down your mortgage in 15 years or you might not make millions from your investment, but at least you will be able to live a balanced lifestyle while taking care of your financial future. 

Everyone reading this article is working with a different life situation. We can’t tell you which option is best for you. You would have to decide that for yourself, but the information above should make your decision easier. 

Question: Pay Off My Mortgage or Invest?

This question might seem simple, ‘pay off my mortgage or invest,’ but the answer is quite complicated indeed. Take your time and use all the information presented above to make the best judgment for yourself. 

There isn’t a ‘wrong’ answer to this question. It’s just what you are comfortable with and what risk and debt level you can handle. If you would like to read more articles on retirement to build up your knowledge base, keep browsing through our blog.

How to Know Whether Your Retirement Income Will Be Enough

Forget about public speaking or bungee jumping. Not having enough retirement income is the new biggest fear of Brits (and folks all over the developed world). 

Are you in the same boat? Do you worry that you will have to get a part-time job, downsize, or beg from relatives to survive your golden years? Keep reading through the article below to know whether your retirement income will be enough to tide you over or not. 

Did You Take Into Account All the Retirement Income Killers?

Before you start calculating how much income you will need during retirement, you need to account for all those scenarios and situations that could drain your retirement income dry. We go through some of them below.

Not Having a Long-Term Care Plan

This can be one of the biggest drains on your retirement income if you are not prepared for it. It’s easy enough to make sure that you have some kind of long-term care insurance plan in place, so that if (or when) you need it in your old age, you are not dipping into your dwindling retirement income. 

If you know that you have a history of dementia or some other debilitating brain disease, it would be a good idea to purchase a long-term insurance plan, just in case. It’s better than having to dip into your retirement income and running out of cash way too soon.

Not Accounting For Increased Healthcare Costs

Even if you don’t have any major illnesses or diseases in your family history, healthcare costs (and costs in general) are going to increase with time. Inflation will take care of that. 

Hopefully, you have saved up enough, while accounting for such increased costs (adding 25% to how much you spend right now is a good way to do it). Consider this: it’s always better to have more saved up for retirement than less. You never know when that extra will come in handy.

Not Taking Care How Much You Withdraw Each Year

We will speak more about the 4% rule below, but ideally, you should be withdrawing 4% or less from your retirement income every year. The problem is that too many folks get overenthusiastic in their newfound retirement freedom and start spending willy-nilly without any discernment or care. 

Don’t do this to your older self. Leave YOLO to the younger folks, and take care not to spend beyond your means, even if you are finally retired and looking to enjoy life. 

Not Being Careful When Buying Big-Ticket Items

Presumably, you have already paid off your mortgage and all your other debt. Even so, you have to be careful when purchasing big-ticket items like a motorized home or a vintage car in your retirement years. These expenses can quickly add up and before you know it, the retirement income that was supposed to tide you over until the end is depleted and gone.

Not Being Cautious When Lending Money to Children

It can be hard to see your children struggling with money problems. But if you keep bailing them out whenever they have an issue, they are never going to learn and you are soon going to run out of income yourself. 

If you are going to lend to them, make sure they have a plan to pay you back or ensure that you have enough left over for yourself. 

Not Considering Divorce or Other Situation Changes

So many things can change in the 40 years or more (especially if your life expectancy extends rapidly) while you are retired. You could get divorced and get remarried. This will change your financial situation quite a bit as you will have to split your retirement savings according to the court rulings.

Make Sure You Use the 4% Rule 

This is how retirement income is usually calculated. You would first add up all your current yearly expenses (or monthly times 12). Probably you won’t use 100% of your current income during retirement, since you will be living a simpler life.

Thus, 80% of your current monthly income is considered an average for how much you would spend during retirement. 

This average will bump up or down depending on your specific situation. Use the various scenarios mentioned above to consider how that would change your retirement savings goals. 

Once you have a final figure for your monthly expenses, then you would multiply that by the number of years you expect to live after retirement. If you have a history of longevity in your family, then make sure you account for that. 

For example, if your monthly figure is 4000 pounds and you are planning for a 40-year retirement life span, you would need to save 40*12*4000, that is, 1.92 million pounds.

Each year, you would withdraw 4% from this 1.92 million pounds to sustain your lifestyle. 

Focus on Income Not Overall Savings

Remember that the money you have saved up will not be sitting there idle. But, it will be making money for you throughout its lifespan. That is, you will have invested it into bonds, stocks, or a combination of investments.

That’s why you also need to think about how much income you will receive from your investments when you calculate how much to save for retirement. You can also take into account government pensions and other reliable income sources, like a business you might still own or dividends from stocks. 

Don’t rely too much upon pensions or government social security programs though, since you have no idea if these will be bankrupt by the time you end up retiring. Better to think of them as a bonus rather than a necessity.

Retirement Income Doesn’t Need to Be an Adult Horror Story

You don’t need to start shivering in your boots or cowering with fear every time you think of your retirement savings plan. If you take the advice offered above and calculate your retirement income carefully, you should have more than enough to last you your entire lifetime.

Retire comfortably by keeping informed. Subscribe to our blog, so you can stay on top of financial trends and more.  

5 Signs to Watch for That It Is Time to Switch to a Different Bank

Mobile banking is estimated to be the primary method of managing money in the next two years as more high street branches close. But how do you know which is the right bank?

If you’re feeling drained by the fees, lousy customer service, and find it hard to juggle all your accounts, it might be time to switch to a different bank. 

Before you switch banks, look at these common warning signs to determine if it’s worth the hassle and will benefit your business.

5 Warning Signs That You Need a Different Bank

Most of us prefer the comfort of staying with a bank that we know instead of getting used to a new bank and all the different systems. However, moving to a different bank might save you time and money. 

Here are the five signs to watch out for that tell you it’s time to change banks. 

1. The Fees Are Too High

Fees are part of the deal when using a bank, but they shouldn’t cost you vast amounts of money. 

When you’re trying to establish a new business or running a current company, the last thing you want to deal with is increasing fees for sneaky details like international transactions, inactivity, or account maintenance. 

Even though these small costs don’t seem like much at once, over time, they will start to eat away at your annual budget and leave you with fewer expenses to invest in your business. 

So, changing banks will give you more freedom with your banking without the unfair costs of paper and other additional fees.

2. No Longer Convenient

Banks are meant to make your finances easier to manage, not harder. The reason we use banks is to be able to use our money where and when we want. 

That means you should be able to use digital banking on the go and not have to visit a local branch when you have an inquiry or want to deposit cash.

If you’re not already using digital banking, you’re wasting time. 

3. Bad Customer Service

As a business, you often have to handle large sums of money and contact your bank to arrange certain transactions, so you want to have a friendly voice on the other end of the phone. 

Often, customer service can treat you like a number, not a valued customer, making it hard to develop a working relationship with your bank.

For example, if you have to wait for a long time on the phone, your request is ignored, or you don’t have access to a real-life representative.

If you’re frustrated with the poor customer service, you need to consider changing banks. 

4. No Business Tool Features

Using a personal bank account is entirely different from a business account, so you must have certain features if your company runs smoothly. 

You should be able to access online management tools, payroll features, and credit card processing. Otherwise, you’re not getting the most out of your bank. 

Switching banks might be the only solution for better business features that will help you organise your business finances and give you time to work on other parts of your company. 

5. Lifestyle Changes 

Things can change in people’s lives; you might get a work promotion, start a new business adventure, or simply want to upgrade your bank account.

No matter the reason, your lifestyle can change, and you’ll need a different bank.

It’s always a good idea to evaluate your banking needs and assess if your current branch is giving you what you need at various stages in life. 

Tips for Picking a New Bank

Once you’ve decided that you want a new bank, you’ll have to think carefully before signing up for a new account and getting a card through the mail. Otherwise, you’ll end up moving banks again in a few months. 

Firstly, you should consider your bank account options and what’s available. 

Look at the Different Bank Account Options

In general, a few main kinds of banks are available for customers. These bank accounts are checking, savings, CD, and money market accounts. 

You should decide why you need a bank account and if you want to open several simultaneously. That way, you won’t have to communicate with several banks all the time.

If you want to control all your finances in one place, you should check that the bank offers services for mortgages, financial planning, credit cards, and investment accounts. 

Most businesses prefer to use the same bank for all their accounts as it keeps things simple and straightforward when planning your annual budget. 

Find a Low-fee Bank

Ideally, you also want to have a bank that has low fees. On average, banks will be transparent about their fees, so asking about the additional costs is essential before opening an account. 

You don’t want any surprises later on! 

Don’t Miss the Fine Print

You must always read the fine print on a website or bank documents. As a safety precaution, it’s good to examine the procedure for closures, so you know your money will be safe if the bank ever shuts down. 

Therefore, you don’t need to worry that your money is safe and can focus on growing your business

You can check out our page to stay ahead and get regular updates on the business world and economy. At, we aim to give you the best insights from world-leading organisations that will help your business thrive. 

Move Banks and Get the Service You Deserve

Nowadays, digital banks are created every day. There is no longer a need for visiting a branch and going for regular meetings that take time out of your day. 

Switching to a different bank is necessary if you keep having trouble with customer service, there are increasing fees, and the bank no longer meets your needs. 

Thankfully, after reading this article, you know the signs to watch out for and how to find the perfect bank. 

If you need more help, visit our page and stay informed about everything business-related. 

Top 6 Ways to Save Money on Your Banking Fees

How much did you pay the last time you went to an ATM? Banking fees can be a huge source of frustration for many people. However, it’s important to note that not all banks charge the same fees, and some are more likely than others to penalise customers for using their accounts.

That said, there are ways to save money on your banking fees and some common bank fees you can avoid. By following these tips, you can ensure that you’re not wasting money when it comes time to pay your monthly bills.

Let’s dive in. 

1. Keep Your Balance High

One of the easiest ways to save money on your banking fees is to make sure you keep your balance high. This can be done by not spending money regularly, or by setting up direct deposits for automatic payments.

It’s a good idea to get in the habit of checking your account balance each month and keeping it as high as possible. This also enables you to keep an eye on bank account fees and dispute them if necessary. 

If you have a high enough cash balance, many banks will waive monthly bank account fees or other charges simply because they don’t want to lose out on potential revenue from having their customers pay those fees.

2. Get an Interest-Earning Account

Interest is a reward for lending money. Interest rates have recently risen due to the current inflation crisis. Banks pay interest on savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), and some money market accounts.

The amount you earn depends on the type of account and its balance. Generally speaking, the more you have in your account, the higher your rate will be—but that’s not always true!

If a bank offers an “interest checking” account with a low minimum opening balance requirement and no monthly service fee, it can be pretty attractive. It also makes sense to link any high-balance savings or CD to your checking account.

That way, you won’t get hit with unnecessary fees if you move money between these two types of accounts too often. Equally, it won’t affect you if you exceed certain limits while making transfers between them.

3. Set Up Direct Deposits

Setting up a direct deposit option is one of the best ways to save money on banking fees.

When you receive your paycheck, most employers will allow you to have the funds deposited into a separate account. This is called direct deposit and can be set up at any bank or credit union.

When you set up direct deposit, the check must go directly into an account that isn’t attached to your debit card in any way (such as an online checking account).

Direct deposit avoids all types of checks, which means no more trips back-and-forth between work and home or worrying about lost or damaged checks that could cost you even more money in replacement fees.

If you’re a sole trader or run your own business, consider hiring a personal accountant to help you save fees and arrange your finances. 

4. Opt for Online Statements

One way to save money is by opting for online statements. Some banks will charge you if you choose paperless statements, but if you do so, they’ll often waive those fees.

Some other benefits of online banking include the fact you can stay up to date on your finances without having to go into the bank or send someone a paper statement every month

If your bank offers it, there are usually tools like bill pay and mobile check deposit available on their website as well

This gives you more opportunities for catching mistakes before they happen—like missing a payment or overdrawing an account after paying some bills—and prevents them from escalating into larger issues that could negatively impact your credit score or even lead to bounced checks and late fees

5. Don’t Use Your Debit Card for Purchases

To save money on your banking fees, you can also opt to use credit cards instead of debit cards. Credit cards have higher interest rates and thus come with more fees.

However, they do not charge debit card transactions or foreign exchange fees (which are levied when using your debit card abroad), so these additional charges can be a good deal depending on how much you use it in the first place.

6. Stay Away From ATMs That Aren’t From Your Bank or Credit Union

If you’re going to be making a lot of transactions with your debit card, it may be worthwhile to consider using an ATM that is owned by your bank. Many banks will waive their own ATM fees for customers who use their ATMs, which can save you money if you have to do a lot of ATM-related transactions.

If this isn’t an option or doesn’t work for whatever reason, credit unions are another good alternative. Credit unions tend not to charge as much in fees as large banks and are often more profitable for consumers as well because they’re smaller institutions focused on helping members rather than maximizing profits. Still, you should avoid bank fees altogether. 

If there’s one near where you live that offers lower rates and better services overall (such as low-interest rates and higher savings bonuses), then it might make sense for you to switch over from your current bank account so that you can avoid paying those extra charges every month instead!

Yet another option would be switching over to something like Bitcoin due to its lack of fees (and potential increase over time).

It Doesn’t Take a Lot of Effort to Save Money on Banking Fees 

Keep your balance high, get an interest-earning account, and shop around.  These are just a few of the ways you can save money on your banking fees.

There are many others, so don’t be afraid to ask questions and do some research when you have some spare time. 

For more stories like this, be sure to check out our finance page.

Understanding the Pros and Cons of Investing in Bonds

In 2020 the global bond market reached an outstanding value of $128.3 trillion. There are many assets that people can invest in, and bonds are one of the most popular choices. They provide a way for you to use your money to generate more income, but they do come with some potential disadvantages. For a rundown of what bonds are, how to invest, and the pros and cons of bonds, keep reading.

What Are Bonds?

Bonds are a financial asset, but rather than having ownership, they represent a loan from you to the bond issuer. When you buy one, you’re loaning money to the government or another institution. They’ll then pay you interest for a fixed period.

The money you’ve loaned out is known as the face value, or principal, and the interest payments you receive are known as coupons. At the end of the agreed period, the institution will pay you back the principal in full.

Investing in Bonds

The main reason people invest in bonds is to make profits, and there are two ways you can do this. The first method is to buy a bond and hold it while collecting interest payments. Once the agreed period is up and you receive the principal back, your total profits will be equal to all the interest you were paid.

For example, if you buy a 10-year bond for $10,000 with 3% interest, you’ll be paid 3% each year through 2 instalments (every 6 months). This interest compounds, so while the first year would be $300, the second would be slightly higher, and so on. After 10 years, you get the initial $10,000 back.

The second method of investing is to buy a bond and then sell it for a higher price than you paid. This is dependent on the market value. If you were to buy the same bond as above, for example, and then sell it once the market value increases, you could make a profit on it.

The value of a bond can rise if the institution’s credit risk profile improves. This is because it means they’ll have a better chance of repaying the bond at maturity. The value can also go up if the prevailing interest rates go down.

Types of Bonds

Before you do any bond investing, you should know about the different types available. Each type has different advantages and disadvantages.

Corporate Bonds

These are issues by companies rather than governments. This means they have a higher chance of defaulting, but they also generally pay more interest.

Municipal Bonds

Also known as “muni bonds”, these are issued by local government entities like states and cities. The purpose of these is to fund public projects or services such as parks or bridges.

Treasury Bonds

These are also called T-bonds and are issued by the US Government. These tend to offer quite low-interest rates, but also have very little risk of defaulting.

The Pros and Cons of Bonds

Other than bonds there are various types of assets you can invest in. When thinking about investing in bonds you should weigh up the different advantages and disadvantages associated with them.


One of the main advantages of bonds is that they provide safety as an investment. The income is generally more predictable than other investment opportunities, meaning you have a better idea of the kind of profits you’ll make. They are also less volatile than other assets, so it’s unlikely the value of a bond will suddenly drop.

The income from bonds is not just predictable in terms of the amount you’ll make, but also its regularity. Interest payments are paid twice a year so you can handle your finances accordingly. If you decide to sell for a profit, you can do this whenever you choose.

If you purchase a muni bond, the money you invest will be going towards something to help your local community. This could be a school, hospital, public garden, or more.

If you’re already an investor, you probably know that it’s good to have a diverse portfolio. Having a mix of stocks, bonds, and other assets can reduce your financial risk and increase your potential to make profits.


While they are one of the more secure investment options available, there are some potential downsides to investing in bonds. One of the most obvious is that the money you invest will be locked away for long periods, and you won’t be able to access it without selling your bonds.

When buying bonds you’re making a long-term commitment, and the issuer may change their interest rates while you’re still holding. If you invest at an interest rate of 3%, then the issuer increases their rate to 4%, and the value of your bond will go down. You won’t be able to take advantage of the new interest rate unless you invest again.

One of the main risks of bonds is the possibility of the issuer defaulting. This is uncommon, but if it does happen you could lose your principal, your interest payments, or even both.

Compared to the stock market, the bond market is lacking in transparency. This means that brokers may sometimes charge higher prices than they should. It can be harder to determine if the price of a bond is accurate for its value, so you might end up overpaying.

Bonds remain one of the safest investments, but along with this, it means that you’ll usually get smaller returns. When it comes to investing it’s often the case that higher risk means a higher reward.

Should You Invest in Bonds?

Before investing it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of bonds. They’re generally secure and reliable, and can even help out your local community. Just remember that you may not make the best returns, and there’s always a possibility of losing your investment.

If you want to start investing, it’s crucial that you know the market and understands what you’re doing. At we provide updates and information on all things finance, business, and economics. Click here to sign up for our newsletter or contact us with any questions today.

How to Save for Retirement

Have you started saving for your retirement?

It’s never too early to plan or save for your retirement. However, with daily expenses and periodic bills, it can be hard to make room for that. If you want to secure a retirement sometime in the future, it’s best to start now.

Studies show that about 9.4 million people in the UK contribute to a personal pension. When preparing for retirement, you get to discover many options. With the right steps, you can even think about retiring early.

Are you wondering how to save for retirement? Read on to learn about saving for retirement.

Considerations When Preparing for Retirement

Before you start saving money for retirement, you must consider some factors. Knowing these things allows you to make an informed decision.

1. Lifestyle You Want

Do you want to live a stable life after retirement? Identifying the kind of lifestyle you desire influences the amount of money you need in the future. Having enough funds can support basic needs, such as food, shelter, and clothing.

Identify your needs and wants and see how you can get a financial plan that will help you achieve that. There are different living standards you can consider.

A minimum living standard covers basic needs. If you want financial security and flexibility, save to meet the moderate lifestyle. Then, a comfortable lifestyle offers financial freedom and a luxurious life.

2. Retirement Age

In 2011, the UK law imposed that employers can no longer force employees to retire at age 65. This allows every citizen to continue working as long as they want. Instead, people retire based on pension ages.

Pension ages refer to the time you can collect your pension. It includes state, workplace, and personal pension schemes. The average pension age for everyone is 66 years old.

When preparing for retirement, deciding when you want to retire is crucial. It allows you to determine the money you need to save and invest for the future.

3. Amount of Income You Need

When calculating retirement income, people often base the amount on their salary. Thus, generating an idea that you need more funds than you need. However, bear in mind that your cost of living can change post-retirement.

With this, determine the retirement income you need based on the lifestyle you want. The PLSA categorized the retirement living standards into minimum, moderate, and comfortable.

To achieve a moderate lifestyle, one must generate around £20,800 a year. With this retirement income, you can enjoy secure and flexible finances. However, the amount can differ for couples.

Using these retirement living standards, you can determine how much to save for retirement.

Set Retirement Goals

Goal setting allows you to focus on the steps to take and move in the direction to achieve. Read on to learn how to save for retirement.

1. Amount to Save

There’s no specific figure you need to save every month. Of course, the amount of money you can set aside depends on your current expenses and the type of retirement you want in the future. Financial experts suggest allotting a percentage of income to retirement savings.

Many financial advisors suggest putting at least 15% of the annual income into a savings account. Track your previous spending to determine where you can pull out the extra fund. If you can’t put 15% of your salary, assess how much you can save.

There’s another method you can apply to determine the percentage. First, identify the age at which you started saving for retirement and divide that number into two. Then, use the results as the percentage to save from your annual salary.

For example, you start preparing for retirement at the age of 22. The amount you must take from your income to put in savings is 11%. If you have an annual salary of £30,000, you must put £3,300 into your savings every year.

2. Age to Start Saving

The younger you start saving, the more your money can grow.

Having a savings account in your 20s allows you to take advantage of the compounding concept. Compounding makes the interest of an asset generates earnings, too. Thus, a small saving can accumulate higher amounts long term.

Moreover, you can venture into a riskier investment when preparing for retirement. Bear in mind that the higher the risk of an investment, the higher the return you can receive. Further, a long period stretches an investment over the peaks and troughs in the stock market.

The bottom line is that the earlier you save money for retirement, the more funds you can generate.

Retirement Saving Options

There are different options to consider when preparing for retirement. See what works best for you or combine these methods.

1. Pensions

Do you want a tax-efficient way to prepare for retirement? Getting a pension scheme can lower the tax you must pay. In the UK, there are different pension schemes you can avail of depending on the money you can save.

If you’re an employee, the best option is a workplace pension. The employer arranges this type of scheme for you to pay. Further, most companies contribute to the pension payment.

For self-employed individuals, you can sign up for a personal pension with a provider. To get the state pension, you must reach the state pension age. Your contributions and credits on Natural insurance determine the amount you get.

2. Investments

Investing for retirement can improve your financial flexibility. You can pay for expenses and necessities without worrying about emptying your savings account. Moreover, having investments can reduce your tax liability.

There are different investment products where you can put funds. Options include investing in stocks, bonds, and other bank products. However, note that investments that yield higher returns pose higher risks.

Look for the best investment bank to help you with your future ventures.

3. Savings

A savings account is the safest and most convenient way to save money for retirement.

You have options for savings accounts, such as the cash Individual Savings Account. Many people use their ISA to boost retirement savings. However, it generates lower interest compared with pensions and investments.

Learning How to Save for Retirement

Using this guide, you now know how to save for retirement. Preparing for retirement increases finances and provides regular income in the future. Start planning for your retirement now to enjoy a stress-free life later.

Work with an institution with the best banking services to build retirement savings. Are you looking for the best bank to help you with your retirement savings? Contact us at CFI to learn more about wealth management strategies.

Should I Hire a Personal Accountant?

Did you know that most people don’t know you can deduct home expenses if you work from home?

Managing your finances can get complicated. Even if you don’t have your own business, hiring a personal accountant can help you with many wealth management services. This includes choosing the right banking options and even filing taxes on your behalf.

Having a professional handle your finances comes with quite a few benefits. This is why it’s important to take a closer look at how partnering with one can help you.

Are you thinking of hiring a personal accountant to help with your personal or business finances? You’ve found the right blog. Here’s everything you need to know about personal accountants. 

What Is a Personal Accountant?

A personal accountant is an experienced financial professional that helps individuals and businesses with their finances. This includes managing your personal finances, planning your investment portfolio, and filing taxes on your behalf.

These professionals are qualified professionals with tertiary degrees in business, accounting, finance, or investment banking. Some accountants are even more skilled, holding personal certifications to be either a Certified Personal Accountant (CPA) or a Chartered Accountant (CA).

What Does a Personal Accountant Do?

Personal accountants can offer a wide range of services to both individuals and businesses. Here’s a quick breakdown of the most popular services they offer.

Tax Returns

Personal accountants can help go through your finances to submit your tax returns for you. This can help you avoid mistakes when filing taxes while also helping you maximise your possible returns every year.

Wealth Management

Personal accountants can help you manage your finances for longevity. This means that they will be able to structure your savings and investment on your behalf. This is perfect if you would like to set up investments intended for future generations.

Bookkeeping Services

If you have a business, personal accountants can also help keep a record of your finances for you. This can come in handy as they will be able to keep an accurate record of all major transactions to keep things simple and compliant if you ever need to go through an audit.

Benefits of Personal Accountants

Hiring a personal accountant can help you manage your finances and even save you money on your taxes. Thinking about hiring one? Here are some of the most notable benefits of hiring a personal accountant.

Save Time

Having a personal accountant handle your finances can save you a lot of time. From looking through financial records to figuring out complicated tax forms, accountants can take that burden off your shoulders. If you run your own business, this saved time can help you keep your focus on the business.

Prevent Tax Penalties

If you don’t pay the right taxes or file your taxes at the wrong time, there could be possible penalties and fines that you would have to pay. Having a personal accountant handle your taxes for you can make sure that everything is done on time, ensuring that you won’t be penalised.

These penalties may not be expensive at first, but they can look bad on your record and can end up getting bigger as time goes by. That’s why it can be worth it to hire a professional to take care of your taxes for you.

Maximise Your Tax Returns

When it comes to filing your taxes, accountants are aware of all the possible deductions that you can use to reduce your tax liability. While many may not be aware of it, these experienced professionals know the tax code so well that they can help restructure your finances to maximise your tax return every year.

Manage Your Finances

Personal accountants can help manage your finances for you. While this can save you time, this can also give you peace of mind as you would know that your savings accounts and investments are well taken care of.

Experienced Guidance

Personal accountants are skilled, educated, and experienced. Most certified accountants have a degree in finance, making them an authority on the subject of financial management and tax. By having a professional handle your finances, you can leverage their knowledge to help manage your finances and file your taxes for you.

This allows you to get expert assistance without having to employ a financial professional on a full-time basis.   

How To Find the Right Personal Accountant

Finding the right personal accountant is important as not all offer the same services. This is why you should always make sure that the accountant you choose offers the services that you need. If you’re not sure, you can always meet with them beforehand for a preliminary evaluation.

This is where the accountant will go through your finances with you to evaluate how they can help you. If there are things you or your business can do to be more efficient, they will highlight them for you and let you know how they can help you over the long term.

Get Professional Help From a Personal Accountant

Personal accountants can help with all kinds of wealth management services. This includes giving you the right financial advice but also includes calculating and filing your taxes on your behalf. While you may think you can do your taxes yourself, hiring a professional can help you get the most out of every tax return.

Are you looking for more helpful wealth management tips? Feel free to visit our website and browse some of our other interesting articles.

A Quick Guide to Hedge Funds

According to Preqin, hedge fund assets have reached over $4 trillion by the end of March 2021. These are investment vehicles that pool together money from different investors. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand how these funds work.

This leads to careless decisions that can result in financial ruin. If used the right way can generate higher returns than traditional investments.

For more insights on what hedge funds can do for you, continue reading to learn more.

What Are Hedge Funds?

A hedge fund combines money on behalf of certified clients. This helps maximise profits and reduce risk. To do this, hedge fund managers often use aggressive trading tactics to place wages.

This helps generate profits in both rising and declining stock market environments. These funds often have higher minimums and management costs than other investments.

Benefits of Hedge Funds

Hedge funds can reduce their exposure to broader market moves by 50 per cent. That is why any market change doesn’t phase them.

Yet, they are still known for being high-risk investment options.

The positive side is that these funds have many benefits, such as: 

High-Visibility Portfolio

Hedge funds can enhance your portfolio by investing your wealth in lucrative assets. Their high-profile portfolio reflects an individual’s investment prospects and choices. It also reveals the derivatives, equities, real estate, and much more.

Adds Flavor to Your Portfolio

Mutual funds engage in cautious and conventional investment strategies. Hedge funds aim to explore the financial world by investing large cash in unique assets. Hedge fund managers can help diversify and invest your funds in the optimal asset.

Unaffected by Market Volatility

Hedge funds rely less on fixed income markets and more on profit-generating assets. That means market swings don’t affect them as much as traditional investment options. Thus, their capitals are less susceptible to volatility.

What Are the Risks of Hedge Funds?

If you’re thinking about investing in hedge funds, you should be aware of the risks.

Here are some key problems to consider:

High Pricing Structure

Hedge funds charge both a management and a performance fee. The average yearly management charge is between 1 and 2 per cent.

Most funds levy performance fees ranging from 15 to 20 per cent of the fund’s annual earnings. The stronger the fund’s performance, the bigger the investor’s cost ratio.

Insufficient liquidity

In some instances, hedge funds use lockups, withdrawal gates, and side pockets. This is to limit or ban investors from withdrawing capital.

This occurs if there is a discrepancy between the liquidity supplied to customers. It also takes into account the liquidity of a portfolio’s underlying assets.

Complicated Tax Filing

A taxable account may be liable to short-term or long-term capital gains taxes. Hedge fund investors get a Form K-1 with tax reporting information every year.

These documents are often unavailable before the April 15 reporting date. This will require investors to get an extension.

What Is a Hedge Fund Manager?

These managers make daily investment choices for the investors. They decide how to distribute funds and control their risks. They get a performance fee of up to 20% of the fund’s revenues if it’s profitable.

Before hiring one, ask for the Form ADV. This provides access to their disciplinary history, fees, and investing strategy. You can find this form in the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure database.

Choosing From Several Hedge Fund Strategies

Search for hedge funds with a proven track record. Check out their performance and risk management. See if it meets your individual investing goals; you can also check out these strategies for help:

Equities Hedging

You can buy inexpensive equities (long positions) and sell overpriced companies (short positions). These funds can reduce volatility to their benchmark index by hedging their holdings. It can also minimise the risk to major stock market indexes, like S&P 500.

Short or Long Credit

The majority of the return comes from coupon payments provided by the bonds. The rest originates from capital appreciation (long positions) or depreciation (short positions). This results from the changes in the credit quality of the bonds.

These funds invest in different grades, maturities, and forms of collateralisation. It can also incorporate all levels of a company’s capital structure. This is to support its operations and expansion.


Hedge funds can take positions based on an event to enhance a firm’s stock or bond price. These may include the following:

  • Merging of two firms
  • Separation of a subsidiary unit
  • Restructuring of a company’s capital structure

The goal is to improve its financial position. The occurrence, referred to as a “unique scenario,” is crucial in deciding the stock or bond’s value.

Relative Value

This technique seeks to capitalise on price disparities across connected financial products. They have less exposure to the equity and bond markets than equity hedges. These funds concentrate on distressed debt, sovereign bonds, high yield, and investment-grade bonds.

Global Macro

Funds with the widest investments can opt for all asset classes and markets. Managers check the global economic environment.

They strive to reap benefits from the macroeconomic and geopolitical imbalances or dislocations. During market volatility, these funds can deliver an excellent ROI.

Trading Future and Forward Contract

The purpose of these contracts is to generate a return without using the stock and bond markets. Rather than depending on the fund manager, you will use computer-based algorithms. The algorithms seek to discover market trends for each commodity.

It takes positions depending on the anticipated direction of commodity prices. Managed futures are among the most liquid of all available hedge funds to investors.

Hedge Fund Fees and Minimums

Initial investment minimums for hedge funds vary between $100,000 and $2 million. It may only permit withdrawals after a specific time of the year.

It charges an asset management fee of 1 to 2 per cent of the amount invested. It also sets a performance fee of 20 per cent of the fund’s profit. These expenses might reduce your total return.


Insights on Investing in Hedge Funds

So there you have it, fantastic information about hedge funds, their benefits, and risks. If you invest wisely, it could be a great way to generate passive income. Reckless investments can destroy your financial future.

Remember, these investments are not affected by the market’s volatility. Plus, it helps diversify and add transparency to your portfolio. If you want to reap the benefits, contact us for more information about hedge funds.

Business Startup Loans: How to Finance Your New Business

Only 48% of small businesses in the US have the financing they need to operate. This may be because they don’t know the business startup loans available to help fund the company. 

So, what is a business startup loan? And what types are there? Keep reading to learn more about how to fund your startup. 

Before Applying For a Business Startup Loan: 

Before you apply for a business loan, you need to know what you’re going after. How much can your company afford to pay back? How much do you need to get started? 

You should also consider your business credit score. A low score will mean you are less likely to get the loan. Read more about each: 

Determine How Much You Need and How Much You Can Afford

Entrepreneurs need to understand their own financial needs before applying for a business loan. This is because it helps them determine if they can actually afford the money. It also ensures they are aware of all of their expenses.

Many people think that they can just apply for a business loan and get funded. They don’t consider the amount of money they need or what kind of interest rates they will be on their loans. This is not true and it can lead to financial disaster in the long run.

Get a Good Business Credit Score 

A business credit score is a key factor in determining whether you are eligible for a loan or not. It is important to have a good business credit score before applying for a loan.

You must know how to get a good business credit score before applying for a loan. There are various ways that you can do it. Those include using your personal credit cards responsibly. paying your bills on time.

It also helps to keep your business current with taxes and other fees if you are operating. A business with a good credit score is more likely to get approved for a loan than one with a low credit score.

A good credit score can help you get approved for loans more easily and in fewer steps. It also helps you avoid unnecessary fees and interest rates of loans.

Types of Business Startup Loans to Apply For 

When you apply for a small business loan, you have a lot of options. The following three are the most common loans: 

SBA Loans

The SBA is a government agency that offers loans to small businesses. They give out loans to applicants who are in the early stages of their business and don’t have enough collateral to secure a bank loan.

The SBA provides startup loans to assist with the costs of starting or expanding a business. These loans are for entrepreneurs who have not been able to secure other financing options. 

It is a business loan guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The money can be used for a variety of purposes including equipment and inventory. You can also use it for buying land, buildings, and construction.

Personal Business Loans

Personal business loans are a great way for startups to get started. They allow entrepreneurs to access capital without having to go through securing venture capital and other forms of loans.

There are two types of personal business loans: secured and unsecured. A secured loan requires collateral like property or equipment. If the loan is not repaid in full in time or if there is a default on the loan agreement, the property will be seized. Unsecured loans do not require collateral and can be repaid in any form


A microloan is a small loan taken out by people with a low credit score and bad credit history. They are usually given to new entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Microloans are an easy way to raise capital for startups. However, they come with some restrictions. 

Microloans are often given in the form of grants or interest-free loans for up to 12 months. But if you plan on taking out any other loans from the same lender, you will have to pay back both microloans at once.

How to Fund Your Business If You Can’t Get a Loan 

Some startups just can’t get a business loan and struggle with funding. There are a few options you can try to fund your business: 

Ask Friends and Family

Most people don’t know how to ask their friends and family to help fund their startup business. It can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially when you are just starting.

We recommend that you use these three tips:

  • 1Be specific about your goals and what you will do with the money
  • Give people a chance to contribute
  • Keep it short and simple

You mustn’t pressure anyone to feel like they have to help. Asking never hurt, but prepare for a no and to move on. 


Crowdfunding is a form of funding that allows you to raise money from a large number of people to finance your project. It is a way for anyone with an idea, product, or service to raise funds from the public.

Crowdfunding can fund all types of projects, including those related to startups and small businesses.


Grants are a great way to fund your business without having to pay for it. They are usually offered by governments or non-profit organizations in the form of money.

There are many types of grants available for entrepreneurs. These include government grants, business grants, and angel investments. Once you find out which one is best for your startup, apply for it!

Learn More About Startup Finances 

This article covered business startup loans and your options as a business owner. We hope you have a deeper understanding of how to fund your startup. 

At CFI, we have expertise in many areas of finances. Whether you need help with startup funding or investment strategies, we have articles to cover each topic. 

Are you interested in learning more? Check out our finance blog

Bitcoin for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know

More than 106 million people worldwide use cryptocurrencies. Despite the rapid adoption of cryptocurrencies in recent years, many people still have very little understanding of them. Of all the cryptos we now have, Bitcoin is still the most popular, so if you want to get into crypto, Bitcoin is where you should start.

So what is Bitcoin, and why has it become so big? This Bitcoin guide covers what Bitcoin is for beginners and will get you started in the world of crypto.

Bitcoin for Beginners

Bitcoin is a digital currency that was invented in 2009. At the time it had a value of less than 1 cent per coin and has since seen all-time highs of almost $70,000. Bitcoin is traded using blockchain technology, where everything happens through a decentralized ledger. This means that no government or financial institution can control it in any way.

All transactions on a blockchain are recorded, and anyone can view the information. Bitcoin is secured with cryptography, which involves complicated algorithms to validate transactions.

Because there’s no central authority that controls Bitcoin, users can create accounts without making their identities public. You can make transactions without having to worry about anyone tracing them back to you.

The History of Bitcoin

Perhaps one of the most interesting things about Bitcoin is its origin. Despite all the things known about it, the actual creator remains a mystery.

When it was released in 2009, credit for the creation of Bitcoin was given to Satoshi Nakamoto. This, however, is not a real person, and the creator’s actual identity remains unknown to this day. There’s even speculation that “Satoshi Nakamoto” is a group of people rather than an individual.

One of the details specified in Bitcoin’s whitepaper is that the purpose of Bitcoin is to serve as a “peer-to-peer electronic cash system” independent of any central authority. Many people believe that this is a direct response to the financial crisis of 2008 so that regular people don’t risk suffering as a result of the greed of financial authorities and large banks.

Since Bitcoin’s creation, thousands of other cryptocurrencies have been invented with varying levels of success. Some have become very popular and valuable, but Bitcoin still stands at the top.

How to Buy Bitcoin

If you’re interested in buying Bitcoin, there are a few ways you can do this. The most common method people use is a crypto exchange.

There are several large exchanges available such as Coinbase, Binance, and Kucoin. For the most part, these are all relatively similar, but they do vary in terms of the cryptos they sell, the fees they charge, and certain smaller features. Take a look at some different exchanges so that you can decide which one is best for you.

Once you’ve settled on an exchange you need to create an account. Depending on the one you’ve chosen, you might need to provide ID for verification before you can start trading. You can add a payment method, with the easiest being a debit/credit card, but wire transfers and some other methods are also possible.

You can then start buying your crypto. You’ll have the option to buy Bitcoin or a range of other cryptocurrencies. Bear in mind that there will be a fee for every transaction, so look at the payment details on each purchase to see how much it is.

Remember that the value of any crypto goes up and down, so buying at different times will affect how much Bitcoin you get, even if the transactions are just minutes apart.

Selling Bitcoin

If you decide to sell any Bitcoin you own it works similarly, but you choose what to sell it for. You can sell it for a fiat currency (dollars, euros, etc.), different cryptos, or stablecoins. Again, like when you’re buying Bitcoin, the price will change with each transaction.

Stablecoins are useful if you want to hold your finances on the blockchain, but not as crypto. Stable coins are pegged to the US dollar, so unlike Bitcoin, the price doesn’t change, and they will always be worth the same dollar amount.

Storing Bitcoin

When you buy crypto it will be held in your account on the exchange you’ve used. You can keep it here, but most people prefer to transfer it to an external wallet for security purposes.

Soft Wallet

A soft wallet (or hot wallet) is a digital wallet that you can usually use as a browser extension or a smartphone app. They’re free and more secure than exchanges.

When you set up a soft wallet it will give you a 12-24 word seed phrase. If you ever lose access to your wallet you’ll need your seed phrase to get it back, so make sure you make a note of it and store it securely.

You shouldn’t save a seed phrase to your computer or anywhere else someone might be able to access it. If someone gets your seed phrase they may be able to steal all of the crypto in your wallet.

Cold Wallet

A cold wallet (or hard wallet) is a physical device that you can store crypto on. Like a soft wallet, these use a seed phrase, but they also have to be connected to a computer physically for any transaction to take place.

When it comes to strong Bitcoin, this is the most secure option. A hard wallet isn’t essential for everyone, but if you have a large amount of crypto then it’s generally a good idea to have one.

The Future of Bitcoin

As more people and organizations are adopting Bitcoin, it seems that it will only grow from here. Various retailers already accept crypto, and there are even Bitcoin ATMs all across the US. CFI.CO covers all things finance, helping you stay up to date with the latest information.

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