How to Invest in Bonds: A Beginner’s Guide

Investing in bonds provides low-risk cash flow for your portfolio. You can invest in various types of bonds.

Corporate bonds give you access to companies. These bonds come with higher risk but also higher interest rates.

Cities, states, and local governments issue municipal bonds. These bonds come with fewer risks and, therefore, lower rates.

The Federal Government also issues bonds. Their Treasury bonds come with the least risk.

This structure translates into the lowest interest rates.

Each of these bonds can bolster your portfolio. However, knowing the types of bonds only presents a starting point. Gaining additional insights will help you make smarter investing decisions.

Want to learn how to invest in bonds? This article will cover everything you need to know.

How to Invest in Bonds

You can either invest in bonds via a broker or ETF. Brokers let you buy individual bonds in increments of $1,000. 

Brokers give you access to corporate, municipal, and treasury bonds. You can also purchase treasury bonds directly from the government’s website.

You cannot spend $100 or $1,400 on individual bonds. You must invest $1,000 at the minimum. 

Not everyone likes the high entry point for bonds. Bond ETFs offer a reliable solution. Instead of buying bonds, you buy a basket of bonds.

You can purchase fractional shares of an ETF instead of entire shares. You can get started with an ETF of bonds for as little as $1. 

Can the Issuer Pay off the Bond?

When you buy bonds, you must consider an issuer’s ability to make interest payments. Higher risk translates into higher interest rates. This phenomenon explains why treasury yields are so low.

You can make more money with non-defaulting corporate bonds. Review a company’s balance sheet to see if it can cover interest payments. A company’s obligations and growth potential impact its ability to cover the debt.

Establish Your Risk Tolerance

Not every bondholder invests in corporate bonds. Some investors believe these bonds carry significant risks not worth the risks. These investors will focus on Treasury and municipal bonds.

Other investors believe T-bills and municipal bonds carry insufficient potential. They don’t want to park their money for years in exchange for a low return. These investors will take on riskier assets such as corporate bonds.

Before investing in bonds, assess your risk tolerance. Your risk tolerance determines how much risk your portfolio can bear.

Risk tolerance is personal for each investor. Your personal budget plays a critical role in determining which assets you select. 

Younger investors often invest in riskier assets. They have more income potential and time to weather downturns.

Older investors tend to pick low-risk assets that produce minor gains. Growth is better than no growth for these investors. Some of them have their eyes on retirement and don’t want to rock the boat.

Bond Maturities

Bond maturities indicate how long a company has to pay off the principal fully. Bonds with higher maturities take longer to pay in full.

Issuers reward long-term bondholders with higher interest rates. A 5-year bond will have a higher interest rate than a 2-year bond.

Higher rates will increase your cash flow. However, it takes longer to receive your principal.

Bond investors should also review inflation rates. A bond yielding 2% will lose money because inflation outpaces the yield.

This issue always concerns bondholders. However, today’s inflation growth makes it more glaring.

You can get higher returns with corporate bonds and stretched-out maturities. Some investors buy into a combination of short-term and long-term bonds.

This strategy gives them access to some of their initial principal each year.

Bondholders often reinvest their principal proceeds into other bonds. They will do the same with interest payments.

If interest payments do not provide enough cash flow to buy a bond, you can buy Bond ETFs.

Selling Bonds to Realize Your Gain or Loss

You do not have to wait for the maturity date to cash out on your bond. Some investors prefer to sell their bonds before the maturity date. 

They realize the gains or losses upon selling. Profits will increase your taxes, while losses count as tax deductions.

Bonds are highly liquid assets. You can quickly sell a bond, realize the proceeds, and shift to another asset. Some bondholders switch up their holdings to capitalize on better opportunities.

Why Some Investors Pick up Bond ETFs

Some bondholders prefer to own individual bonds. They want to pick the best bonds and outperform the market. 

Other investors opt for bond ETFs. They don’t want to try and beat the bond market.

These investors prefer to mirror the market and reap average cash flow. Nothing is wrong with achieving average returns.

Exchange-traded funds require less work than researching individual bonds. You review an ETF’s holdings and invest if you like their assets.

You don’t have to monitor your bonds. The ETF will do that for you.

Funds buy and sell bonds based on risk tolerance and the fund’s stated objectives.

ETFs provide a passive approach to bond investing. You can contribute any amount you desire and automatically reinvest the proceeds. 

Stay up to Date With Finances

Learning how to invest in bonds only represents the beginning of your journey. Strong financial habits will give you more proceeds to invest in vital assets. 

Mastering your finances early in life helps with retirement in the future. Your savings will compound as you earn and save more money.

Staying on top of the best news and tricks will help with your goals. Our magazine provides expert commentary and articles to help you master your money. Read through our issues today. 

5 Essential Budgeting Tips for Young Adults

Did you know that the overall cost of goods and services has risen, on average, about 3.5% in recent times? In many cities, the percentage is far greater. This is putting young people at a supreme disadvantage. It’s crucial for young people to start managing finances early on if they want to set themselves up for financial stability in the future, but many don’t know how to start. We’re here to help. Read on for a few budgeting tips for young people. 

1. Track Spending First

Before you start writing down your budget, you need to track your spending. You can do this week-by-week, but we recommend tracking for an entire month if you want an accurate look at your current spending. After you get a good idea of how much you spend, you can start making changes. 

Track every purchase, no matter how small. Because you’re tracking all of your purchases, we recommend not tracking during the holiday season. After all, it’s likely that your spending will be more significant until after the holidays are over (and that’s okay). 

Write down the costs of all of your bills, reoccurring subscriptions, and anything else that’s going to stay static (or almost static) every month. Track how much you spend at the grocery store and how much you spend on other necessities like clothing and toiletries. 

Track all of your excess or “luxury” spending as well. It’s likely that this changes month-to-month, but it’s a good idea to have a baseline. Add up everything and see what number you land on. 

2. Create a Written Budget

After you know how much you’re spending, it’s time to create a written budget. 

First: how much money does your household make each month? Take note of your net income and write it down at the top of your document. Subtract the money that you’ve spent during the last month and see how they compare.

If you’re happy with the result, you may not have to move forward. If you know that you need to be saving more money, however, move on to the next step.

Separate your budget into categories. Most people recommend starting with the 50/20/30 rule, but you can make changes to this after you start getting the hang of maintaining a budget.

Under your “necessities” category, write out the amount that you have to spend on bills. This number isn’t going to change. Then, set a budget for food, clothing, and necessary items that is lower than your current spending. 

Allocate 20% of your money to savings or paying off loans right away. 

Keep your budget with you. At first, it’s helpful to continue tracking every purchase, so you’re more mindful about your spending. After a while, it will become second nature. 

3. Spend Less on Food (Here’s How)

Many young people struggle to save money when it comes to food. Food costs are rising worldwide, but that doesn’t mean that you have to overspend. 

Look for items that are “luxury” food items and remove them from your weekly spending. You can add them back later when you figure out how to budget. This includes things like name-brand foods and takeout. 

Take advantage of loyalty programs at grocery stores. You can often get personalized coupons that allow you to save money on items that you need every week.

If they’re available, use bulk bins. You can often find simple necessities like pasta, rice, and dried beans for far cheaper than they would be if they were pre-packaged. 

4. Cut Luxuries and “Extras”

Until you’ve gotten a handle on your finances, it will benefit you to cut out many of the extra things in your life that you don’t need. Your goal is to live within your means so you can reach financial security. 

First: look at subscriptions. How many subscription services do you currently have? Between streaming services, game subscriptions, and subscription boxes, many people are spending far more money than they think because they aren’t tracking that money. 

You don’t have to cut out all of them, but cut out the ones that you’re not using as often.

If you often go out for drinks or order takeout food, this is a good time to reevaluate that habit. There’s nothing wrong with having fun with friends, but don’t do it so often that you’re spending more than your 30% “extra” budget. Prioritize and consider spending that money on something that you want more in the future.  

When it comes to clothing, don’t give in to the temptation to buy new clothing every season. Not only is this a bad financial decision, but it also contributes to the harm that comes from fast fashion. 

5. Automatic Savings and Investment Deposits 

You’re never too young to start saving and investing. Many young people struggle to save money because they don’t know how, or they aren’t good at remembering to set money aside. Set up automatic deposits so you can put that money away as soon as you get it. 

You should have a basic savings account at a reliable bank so you can save money. A good bank can also help you with managing finances. That said, savings accounts don’t often offer great interest rates, so adding in some reliable investments is important as well.

Look for safe stock opportunities. Avoid volatile or “trendy” stocks. While they often have high yields in the short term, they’re “high risk, high reward,” and most young people aren’t able to risk that much money.

If you deposit this money automatically, you’ll start building wealth with no effort. 

Start Using These Budgeting Tips Today

These budgeting tips can help you save money and hopefully reach financial security in the future. Saving money starts with creating a budget. Sticking with that budget is the hard part. 

Are you always on the hunt for more information about business, banking, and finances? Subscribe to cfi.co today to get 4 issues of our print magazine sent right to your door every year.

Real Estate Investing For Beginners: Expert Tips and Tricks on How to Get Started

Are you looking to get into real estate investing? Investing in real estate can give you some of the best returns on the market. But can also be one of the most stressful ways to spend your capital. Whether you want to flip real estate or get a portfolio of rental incomes, there’s a lot to think about. And if you’re new to it, property investment can seem like a daunting challenge. Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Keep reading for our guide to real estate investing for beginners for some top tips and tricks.

Have Patience

When you’re starting, you’re not going to become a millionaire in a week. You’re going to need patience for your first real estate investment. Of course, there are the lucky few who strike it rich fast, but that’s not the general experience.

The first property might not be successful, and you should expect to make mistakes along the way. What makes or breaks the success of a real estate investor is how you adapt and overcome the challenges.

Do Your Research

One of the benefits of investing in real estate is that you can take your time to do your research. Get stuck in and spend a good chunk of time researching the market before you jump into your first deal.

A big mistake people can make is jumping into the deep end without doing any research at all. This can lead to massive financial heartache and ruin. There are many real estate niches to explore, so find the one that interests you and hone in on it in detail.

Carry Out Local Networking

Get involved with local real estate investing groups. This will put you in touch with people on a similar journey to you, or who have been where you are before when starting.

You can start with a Google search that should connect you with investors in your area, looking to help. They can help explain how to invest in real estate and why you should invest in real estate.

Whether you do your networking online or in person, make it a priority. The tips, insights, and experiences you’ll learn will be invaluable for your journey. You’ll also gain contacts that could help you out along the way.

Start Small

One of the best ways to invest in real estate early on is to start small. Most people want to jump into the biggest deal they can as it will make the biggest profit. But it can make the biggest loss too and could become overwhelming fast.

Starting smaller protects your assets and gets experience under your belt. It’s the more secure investment route to take. Everyone starts somewhere, and starting small is nothing to feel bad about. A small family home or partnered venture is a great place to begin.

Make Use of Investing Tools

There are some great investment tools now for new and seasoned investors. These tools vary from networking platforms to sites to buy property online. Don’t be shy, get stuck in and test some out for yourself.

Successful investors embrace new methods and tools. They use them to drive their investments forward. But it’s trial and error, you’ll need to test a few things out to find out what works best for you.

It’s All About Location

If you’ve been a renter or a buyer at some stage, you’ll know it’s all about the location. The same is true when it comes to finding properties as an investment rather than a home.

Where a property has as much of an impact on its investment value as the actual property features. If you spot a deal that seems like it’s too good to be true, step back a moment.

Take a look into the location and research the local area. The property might tick all the right boxes and that’s great. But if it’s not in a desirable location, you might struggle to resell or rent it out.

Location can make or break the success of your investment. It’s important when you’re researching the market you look at locations then. Find ones you’re interested in, in your budget, and focus your search there.

Never Buy a Property at Market Value

An age-old rule of any investment is to buy low and sell high, the same goes for property investment. For most investors, you’ll want to rely on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) to find properties to buy.

Many new investors don’t know of this and end up treating it like buying their own home. They end up paying market value, which has a huge impact on squeezing the margin for profit.

Not only does it cut into the profits of a resale, but it could cost you in rental too. It will take longer for the rental income to recover the cost of the home and take you into pure passive income.

So jump in and make that offer well below market value. Being flexible with sellers’ needs can also help. Can you offer a quick sale if they accept your lower offer? You won’t get accepted every time, but you must know how buying and selling works.

Think With Your Head Not Your Heart

One of the biggest tips we could give is to keep your emotions out of the equation. Your first investment can feel emotional, it’s important to let your head rule, not your heart.

If you make a decision based on emotion, not logic, you set yourself up for costly mistakes. The biggest traps are getting too attached to a property or thinking that there is no way you can fail.

Know When It’s Time to Walk Away

Never start the buying process without first working out many ways you can get out of that deal. It’s an essential tactic, called exit strategies. Your contract should always have many allowances that let you walk away if you need to.

Without exit strategies, you could get trapped into buying a bad property. One that costs more than you’ll make on it, putting you at a loss which is never a comfortable position to end up in.

Real Estate Investing For Beginners: Know What You’re Signing Up For

So, there you have it! Now you’ve read our guide on real estate investing for beginners, you know what to expect.

Always do your research and thorough due diligence. It’s better to wait for the right property to get started with, than rush into a bad deal. Take your time, network, and always keep your logical business head-on. Don’t get swept up in the emotion of it all.

If you’re looking for more advice on real estate investing check out our blog. We’ve got expert tips and tricks to suit all your real estate needs.

Going Global – ThirdWay Partners is Born

Going Global – Sustainability on the World Stage; ThirdWay Africa becomes ThirdWay Partners

Following ThirdWay’s ever growing global presence, the firm has been renamed as ThirdWay Partners to reflect this transition and growth.

Today, ThirdWay Africa has officially been renamed to ThirdWay Partners, reflecting the Firm’s growing global footprint. This growth is a response to the ever increasing global need to focus on incorporating innovative, sustainable thinking into the forefront of every business decision.

In practice, this means that ThirdWay Partners will bring its insight and strategic thinking on some of the 21st century’s key impact themes to its clients throughout the world. Leveraging the firm’s learnings and track record throughout the African continent, where it has successfully blended public and private capital and efforts to ensure sustainable development and impact, ThirdWay Partners will utilise the innovative solutions it has implemented for clients and partners previously across its new geographies of operation. The Firm’s DNA of ‘thinking anew; acting anew’ is weaved into this notion of working collaboratively with all stakeholders in the ecosystem to create sustainable, innovative initiatives that are critical to solving the most pressing issues facing the planet today; none more important than climate change.

Commenting on the transition, ThirdWay Partner’s Founding Partner and Chairman, Alejandro A. Tawil said, “Today is an exciting time for all of those who are involved and associated with the Firm. We are looking forward to leveraging our expertise and track-record of blending public and private capital to create sustainable development and impact solutions. Given the challenges our planet faces at this moment in time, capital needs to be effectively allocated to address these issues and, in our opinion, this is the ThirdWay challenge. At ThirdWay Partners we see our role as the architects to a new model of investment strategies required for inclusive sustainable development and impact.”

ThirdWay Partner’s CEO, Goncalo Neves-Correia underscored this by saying, “businesses should not understate the market opportunity and importance of being a sustainable enterprise. We are at a moment in time where everyone needs to reconsider how their activity and operations affect the climate impact the world today faces. We are looking forward to continuing to work with our partners on a global stage to ensure them and their organisations can create and finance innovative and long-standing sustainability-led solutions across their operations.”

 

About ThirdWay Partners

ThirdWay Partners operates as an impact investment and advisory firm focused on creating inclusive sustainable development and impact. The Firm combines advisory services and principal investments, with a focus on development finance and impact investing opportunities. ThirdWay Partners’ proven track-record includes extensive experience across a range of advisory mandates such as capital structuring & raising, business model development, market analyses, blended finance fund design and technical assistance implementation. These advisory services are complemented by the Firm’s investment arm, which currently manages three innovative vehicles which are at the forefront in supporting the sectors of sustainable food production, conservation and local content development. www.thirdway.earth

 

Contact: George Arnold

Head of Business Development

ThirdWay Partners

+44 (0) 7738019796

Everything You Need to Know About Opening a Cash ISA

The ISA was introduced to the UK in 1999 as a way to get Britain’s population saving. Originally, it was branded a colossal failure by the media and many politicians. But did you know that over twenty years on, the ISA is now one of the best ways to make interest on your money? If not, then you should know what an ISA does and give it careful consideration. Read on as we discuss the benefits of a Cash ISA.

What Is an ISA?

An individual savings account (ISA) is a type of saving account in which you do not pay tax on the interest you make. It works on the principle that all people in the UK on the basic rate of tax can now earn £1000 of savings interest per year without taxation. This amount decreases the higher your tax band goes. 

What Are the Requirements?

To open an ISA, you must be a UK resident over the age of 16. You can have as many ISA accounts as you like, though you can only open one each year. 

Younger children can benefit from junior ISA accounts. If accounts are a gift from parents, these may still be liable for tax so make sure to check the requirements. 

How Do They Work?

The limit on cash ISA contributions for the 2021/22 tax year is £20,000. While you may not be able to open an account more than once a year, you can transfer them during the tax year. There are two main types known as a cash ISA and a stocks and shares ISA. 

Your annual limit does not roll over to the next tax year if you make a withdrawal. For example, if you reached the limit you could not take out £2000 and then replace it. The only time this can be done is with a flexible ISA. 

Types of ISA

Flexible ISA accounts operate in a slightly different way. They allow you to withdraw and replace money without reducing the current year’s allowance. This has to be done within the same tax year. 

Fixed-rate ISA accounts will provide the highest rates of interest. In return, you will have to specify a time period in which your money will be locked away. If you do need to access it, then you will have to pay a penalty. 

Some ISA accounts may offer a fixed rate for a given time period. For example, you may get a certain interest rate for three or five years. There are also a few more very specific types of ISA you should know about. 

Stocks and Shares ISA

Your ISA can also be used to invest in stock, shares and bonds. Many people take out ISA accounts for the safety and guaranteed return, but this is one way your money can go up as well as down. As such, stocks and shares ISAs are better for long-term investment. 

These accounts will charge a number of fees for services. Platform changing, trading fees, cashing out fees, and management charges can all add up. use them if you want to keep adding to the ISA over a long period of time. 

Lifetime ISA 

Lifetime ISA accounts are a bit of an anomaly, as they only allow you a £4000 limit each tax year. They can also be broken down into cash or stock and share versions. 

The yearly £4000 limit can be put in with one lump sum or in instalments. After each month that you have saved, the state will add 25% to the total. As that is quite a substantial amount, there are a few caveats involved. 

Firstly, you have to be between the age of 18 to 39 to open one. Secondly, you can only withdraw money if you are buying your first home or retiring. Thus, they can only be used to save for retirement or for buying a property. 

Junior ISA

A Junior ISA lets you have tax free savings on behalf of a child. This can be for saving, investment or a mix and match approach. They operate in very much the same way as any other ISA account. 

Up to $9000 a year can get deposited into a Junior ISA. The caveat is the child takes control of the account at 16 but can not get the money until they are 18. The money is then legally theirs, to do what they want with.

Tips on Opening an ISA

When opting for an ISA, the best rates are fixed rates. The longer you are willing to lock away your cash, the better the rewards will be. Fixed rates with fixed periods will give the best value, which will increase the longer you keep your money tucked away. 

Many ISA accounts also remain open. For example, if you find a provider you have banked with in the past, they may let you pay into an old ISA account. You won’t have to go through the same setup process, but you will need to reactivate the account. 

Another tip is to always use your allowance when possible. Even if you are not happy with the rates on offer, the money still has tax free status. You can move it in the coming years and add to it which will pay long term, especially when interest rates go up. 

Finding a Provider

Now you know the benefits of a cash ISA, you should start to look for one. Shop around, as rates can differ wherever you go. You may find the most competitive rates are not your normal provider. 

For all of your wealth management, CFI is here to help. With advice on everything from economics to wealth finance, we can help you get the most from your money in the coming year. Click here to read all our blog articles on private banking. 

AIM 2022 Launches Prizes for Startup Pitching Competition

  • The Annual Investment Meeting 2022 has announced prizes for Startups attending the pitching competition.
  • The Annual Investment Meeting will serve as the premiere platform for Startups planning to scale up & expand to Dubai.

The world’s renowned and leading investment platform, The Annual Investment Meeting, will be providing prizes for startups at the startup pitch competition. The initiative will support and bring numerous opportunities, facilitate growth and future developments among global startups. The next chapter of the Annual Investment Meeting will be held on 29 – 31 March 2022, under the theme “Investments in Sustainable Innovation for a Thriving Future”, and will provide a powerful platform for startups to maximize their potential, expand their network, and grow globally.

AIM 2022 Startup competition

The Annual Investment Meeting’s Startup Pillar will host Live Pitching sessions, with the participation of the startups who will be physically exhibiting at the Dubai Exhibitions Centre at EXPO 2020 Dubai, or digitally via state-of-the-art virtual events platform, Events10X.

Startups will get the opportunity of networking with key industry figures, engaging with clients & investors, showcasing their innovations & B2B Matchmaking. The startups pitching competition will be based on the 3 tier Round of Funding format featuring various startups globally in the Pre-Seed, Seed & Series A funding categories. Startups will get the chance to win up to 110k AED in cash prizes and secure funding from global accelerators and Venture Capital firms.

The Annual Investment Meeting 2022 will also provide a virtual access to startups to gain maximum exposure and get connected with local and international investors from more than 170 participating countries, offering them abundant opportunities to find new sources of funding and financing solutions for their business. 

The Annual Investment Meeting 2022 strives to support all economic sectors by opening numerous doors of opportunities to the world, as a dynamic roadmap to recovery from COVID-19, as it highlights six multi-faceted pillars including Startups. With AIM’s pillars, AIM 2022 actively supports businesses, multinational organizations, regions, and countries during the rapid shift of the economy by extending its scope and not only by focusing on FDI. AIM 2022 is highly agile, and will serve as a dynamic gateway to jumpstart economies and boost economic productivity.

Across the globe, startups play a crucial role in developing new industries and creating innovative ideas. AIM helps startups by mentoring early-stage venture investment or seed funding. The Annual Investment Meeting 2022 will also provide virtual access to startups, providing them with the opportunity to gain maximum exposure and get connected with local and international investors from more than 170 participating countries, giving them abundant opportunities to find new sources of funding and financing solutions for their business.

Globally, startups contribute significantly to economic development and job creation. By 2030, the number of startups around the world is expected to increase and will create more than 600 million jobs. A wide range of activities await participating Startups at AIM 2022, such as World-Class Conferences and Workshops. Startups can explore innovative strategies and practices led by more than 300 high-level speakers which include, world leaders, ministers and heads of distinguished local and international organizations. The Exhibition will be participated by the best local and international exhibitors with the goal of achieving economic growth for their respective country and region.

According to start-up data platform MAGNiTT, MENA-based start-ups attracted $1.03 billion in investments in 2020, an increase of 13 percent from 2019. The UAE received 56 percent of all investments regionally. The region’s startups typically received funding from friends and family to get off the ground. An increase in the number and awareness of angel investors is making it easier for entrepreneurs to approach them for funding. In August, Mena startups raised over $ 160 million across 44 deals, bringing the year’s total to $1.78 billion. A total of $83.6 million was raised by 14 startups in the UAE, helping the UAE maintain its top ranking in the region. 

AIM 2022 will provide businesses, governments and civil society with an independent and future-oriented platform to amplify their efforts influencing and facilitating multistakeholder interaction and impact. The Startup pillar will connect keen investors looking for new avenues and investment projects in a sustainable and innovative environment, as well as governments looking for startup projects to increase their economic growth.

About the Annual Investment Meeting

The Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) is an initiative of the UAE Ministry of Economy, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai. AIM is the world’s leading investment platform with over 16,000 participants, over 400 exhibitors and co-exhibitors, 60+ high-level dignitaries, 150+ investment specialists and experts in 2019.

How to Save More Money Each Month: 13 Actionable Tips for Building Your Wealth

Looking to improve your financial situation? Whether you are struggling to make ends meet, you have a savings goal or you simply want a little extra in your pocket each month, there are a few money-saving tips that can transform your finances and life.

Many people wonder how to save more money and it can certainly be difficult when you have many outgoings. There are both big and small changes that you can make as part of a money-saving strategy that will deliver results. So, if you are looking for ways to save money each month then read on for the best budgeting tips.

1. Track Spending

First, you should track your spending. Keep track of every single expense that your household has for an entire month and list these in a spreadsheet. You should also subtract this from your total household income to see how much money you are saving each month. This will help you to see where your money is going and help you to feel in control of your spending.

2. Scrutinize Every Outgoing

Following on from this, you should then go through each of these expenses to see if they can be eliminated or if there are savings that can be made. Even making a minor adjustment to a small regular expense can make a big difference over the course of the year, such as bringing your own coffee in a flask instead of buying coffee each day.

3. Set Savings Goals

Many people spend frivolously because they see any leftover money as a bonus. Instead of throwing money away at things that you do not need, you should set yourself a savings goal. This will encourage you to tuck away any excess money and reduce your spending. You can keep this money in a high-interest savings account to grow your wealth over time.

4. Buy Cheaper Food

Food is a major – yet essential – cost to cover each month. There are always ways that you can make savings when it comes to food while still enjoying a delicious and healthy diet. A few of the best money-saving tips include:

  • Shopping at a cheaper supermarket
  • Buying non-brand products
  • Avoiding fast food/instant meals
  • Buying in bulk

5. Use Meal Prep

Following on from this, one of the best ways to save money each month on food is to use meal prep. Preparing dinners and lunches for the week in one cooking session allows you to cook meals from scratch, which makes it easier to maintain a cheap and healthy diet. Additionally, meal prep will save time and prevent you from buying expensive lunches and dinners throughout the week.

6. Buy Second-Hand

Before making a purchase, you should always ask yourself if you can get it second-hand first. These days, it is easy to buy clothes, technology, furniture and entertainment second-hand online. Additionally, consider selling items that you no longer need online for some extra cash in your pocket (and less clutter in the home).

7. Lower Your Energy Bill

Energy is another major cost, especially for family/large households. Fortunately, this is another area where there are lots of ways to save money each month. Additionally, this can also help you to reduce your environmental impact. A few money-saving tips include:

  • Solar panel installation
  • Using a smart thermostat
  • Turn down thermostat
  • LED lightbulbs
  • Use energy-efficient equipment
  • Turn off equipment when not in use
  • Home insulation

8. Shop Around

One of the best budgeting tips when shopping online is to shop around. Before buying a product, spend some time searching online to see if you could get the same product cheaper somewhere else (factoring in shipping costs). Alternatively, you might be able to find a cheaper alternative that is just as good (if not better).

9. Read Personal Finance Blogs

Part of a money-saving strategy should include reading personal finance blogs. Not only is this a great way to learn about ways to save money each month, grow your wealth and earn more, but it will also make personal finance part of your life. When you are thinking about personal finance, you are much more likely to make smarter spending decisions.

10. Find Cheap/Free Social Entertainment

It is unrealistic to eliminate unnecessary spending, but there are tips for saving more money on entertainment and socializing:

  • Dinner parties instead of going out to eat
  • Finding free community events
  • Spending time in the park/nature
  • Having drinks at home before going out

11. Try a Spending Freeze

If you find that you are cutting it fine each month and don’t have much cash in an emergency fund, a spending freeze could be smart as a way to relieve pressure. This involves eliminating any unnecessary spending for a period, such as a week, which should free up cash. You don’t want to do these too often as they can infringe on your life, but a few times a year they could make a big difference.

12. Reduce Driving

Instead of grabbing the keys when leaving the house, you should always ask yourself if you could walk or cycle instead. This can reduce your motoring costs and you might even find that you could manage without a car – this would make a huge difference to your finances. Additionally, walking/cycling is a great way to improve your health.

13. Automate Savings

Automating your savings is another smart money-saving strategy. When your income is automatically diverted to where it needs to go each month, it will prevent you from spending money that you should be saving. In addition to this, automating your savings will stop you from missing any payments and could help to improve your credit score.

How to Save More Money Made Easy With These Tips

If you want to know how to save more money each month, these are a few of the best budgeting tips to try. Combining these could be transformative for your finances, which could improve your life in many ways in the long term.

Check out our blog today to learn more about personal finance and the steps that you can take to develop a strong money-saving strategy.

KPMG Survey: Saudi Arabian CEOs look to prioritize ESG strategy, expect growth through M&A and digital investments

The majority of CEOs in Saudi Arabia are integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices into their business strategies for sustainable growth, as their risk profile shifts towards disruptive technology and environmental concerns, reveals KPMG in their annual CEO Outlook.

CEO Outlook Saudi Arabia

The CEU Outlook Saudi Arabia 2021: Purpose-led and prepared for growth is based on a global survey among 1,325 CEOs including 50 in Saudi Arabia, taking additional insight from interviews with business leaders in the Kingdom. All respondents based in the Kingdom represent companies with revenues greater than US$500 million and 60% of the companies have revenues greater than US$1 billion.

Given increasing stakeholder pressure, CEOs are putting people first to drive societal return and 92% of surveyed CEOs in the Kingdom comment their response to the pandemic has caused their focus to shift to the social component of their ESG programs. On the other hand, a mere 30% of CEOs in the Kingdom feel they will struggle to meet diversity and inclusion expectations, compared to 56% globally.

Making progress on climate change will require action from both businesses and government, with KPMG’s report finding 42% of Saudi-based CEOs intending to invest more than 10% of their revenues in becoming more sustainable. Six in ten CEOs in the Kingdom found their ESG programs improve financial performance.

“We notice that CEOs are putting ESG at the center of their organization’s long-term growth strategies. It’s been encouraging to see this trend and to see business leaders successfully tie their organization’s economic success to their ESG agendas. CEOs have proven they can be drivers of positive change,” commented Dr. Abdullah Al Fozan, Chairman of KPMG in Saudi Arabia.

According to the publication, CEOs in Saudi Arabia are optimistic, confident and expect aggressive growth through acquisitions, as well as other inorganic methods. Nearly 86% of CEOs in the Kingdom are looking at mergers and acquisitions (M&A) deals as a means of growth in the next three years. As similar figure of 88% finds they need to be quicker to shift investments to digital opportunities.

In Saudi Arabia, 84% of the CEOs have confidence in the Kingdom’s growth, while 90% expect their company to exceed pre-pandemic levels. “The pandemic is not over, but CEOs are increasingly confident about economic growth in Saudi Arabia and globally,” added Dr. Al Fozan.

“With potential abound, CEOs are hoping to get on the front foot to position their businesses to capture it. Inorganic growth strategies are a popular choice to seize these opportunities. Business leaders are looking to expand organically and continue to assess the future of work to ensure they can attract top talent.”

CEOs emphasize leading with purpose, focusing on digitally transforming their organizations and upskilling an agile workforce.

CEOs in Saudi Arabia are strengthening their organization’s digital advantage by building a more flexible future of work and operating as part of digital ecosystems. Although wholesale changes to the office setup are uncommon, CEOs are more flexible, with 32% expecting most employees to work remotely at least two days a week and 28% considering hiring talent to work remotely.

KPMG advises three action areas that CEOs can focus on as they look to grow beyond the impact of the pandemic: growth and resilience, ESG and financial value and future of work.

Many organizations coped exceptionally well with the pandemic, showing resilience as they dealt with notable change, uncertainty and disruption.

“Resilience will be key to economic recovery. Along with specific interventions — from managing talent risk to building cyber defenses — CEOs will need to surround themselves with resilient people. They will also need to identify the ESG investments that are necessary to drive long-term value.”

“CEOs need to have a people-first mindset — investing in new technologies and human capability. They need to be purpose-led — winning the trust of stakeholders and helping build a more prosperous and sustainable world,” Dr. Al Fozan concluded.

A Quick Guide to Bitcoin Kiosks

Cryptocurrencies are on the rise. So many people are investing in cryptocurrency, as well as using it for spending regularly.

And of course, the most commonly purchased cryptocurrency is Bitcoin. There are many ways to buy Bitcoin. One of the most underrated, though, is by using Bitcoin kiosks. 

These are essentially ATMs that allow you to deposit cash or use a debit card to purchase Bitcoin, along with other major cryptocurrencies.

They are fast, efficient, and secure. So should you try using that Bitcoin kiosk located outside your favorite restaurant? Probably!

Here’s everything you need to know about buying Bitcoin using a physical kiosk.

Why Buy Bitcoin

Did you know that in 2010, the first purchase using Bitcoin was for two pizzas? Do you know how much that person spent on those pizzas? 10,000 Bitcoin.

Back then, Bitcoin was brand new, and no one knew what it was worth. Over the course of a decade, it started to catch on as a new form of internet currency. 

Demand for Bitcoin grew, and with it, the price per coin. So while you could’ve purchased a Bitcoin for a few cents back in the day, it would cost you around $40,000 as of late September 2021.

That’s a huge gain. Bitcoins’ price has constantly been rising. Especially lately as it’s become a mainstream investment class, people worldwide are investing in and using Bitcoin regularly.

Many experts agree that Bitcoin’s price is likely to move past $100,000 in the near future.

So why should you buy Bitcoin? Most people buy it in hopes of seeing some of these impressive gains. They would love to make a 100% profit. And doing so is likely, as long as you can hold onto your investment long enough and not panic sell when the price dips.

Bitcoin primarily acts as a hedge. It will protect your money from inflation, which is running rampant these days. 

If you’d like to invest in a unique asset that has provided far greater returns than anything else in the last decade, you should buy Bitcoin today.

What Are Bitcoin Kiosks?

One way of buying Bitcoin is by using a Bitcoin kiosk or ATM. These function just like regular ATMs.

But unlike a normal ATM, which puts cash in your bank account, a Bitcoin ATM uses the money you deposit to purchase Bitcoin at the current market rate.

So if you put a $100 bill into a Bitcoin kiosk when the price is $40,000, you would receive 0.0025 Bitcoin. 

You can also use a Bitcoin ATM to sell Bitcoin in exchange for cash. So if you want to sell your 0.0025 Bitcoin one month later, when the price is $45,000, you would receive about $112, minus any transaction fees.

When buying and selling Bitcoin, and any other cryptocurrencies, you’ll pay blockchain transaction fees. These aren’t charged by the ATM but are changed by the blockchain to record the transaction down, which proves ownership over your newly purchased Bitcoin. 

Benefits of a Bitcoin ATM

So why should you use a Bitcoin ATM over an online exchange? Bitcoin ATMs are fast and secure. Plus, they are easy to find these days. You can check out www.bytefederal.com to see where any of their 900 ATMs are located. 

When purchasing via an ATM, you’ll complete your transaction in a matter of moments. And once of the main benefits is that identity verification is instant.

When you sign up for an online exchange, identity verification is an in-depth process. While this is considered a good thing, it’s a sign of solid security; it’s definitely a hassle.

It can take users a few days before they can actually start buying and selling crypto on an online exchange. But with an ATM, the process is instant. 

Plus, your information and your Bitcoin are never exposed on an online exchange. These exchanges are the main targets for hackers since there is so much valuable currency and user data.

Attacks have happened in the past on all major exchanges. But with an ATM, you can bypass all of that. 

How to Buy and Sell Bitcoin Using a Bitcoin Kiosk

So what do you need to do to use a Bitcoin kiosk? First off, you need to have a cryptocurrency wallet. When you buy Bitcoin for the first time, you need a place to store it.

You don’t receive any physical Bitcoin, as cryptocurrencies are virtual currencies that live on the internet. So your wallet is a device that stores transaction files. 

You can either download a software wallet, which is an app on your mobile device or computer. Or, you can purchase a hardware wallet, which is the most secure option since it’s never connected to the internet. These are basically USB drives for storing crypto.

Regardless of what type of wallet you use, you’ll need a QR code, which displays your wallet address. When you visit an ATM, you’ll insert your money or debit card to make a purchase.

You’ll need to show the QR code on your mobile device, or even a printed version, which the ATM scans. Then, it sends your newly purchased Bitcoin to the wallet. 

Keep Your Details Safe

Because your Bitcoin is instantly sent to your private wallet, this type of transaction is considered very safe. The most important thing you can do, however, is keep your wallet details safe.

Each wallet address comes with a private key and a public key. The public key is what you use to receive crypto to your wallet. It’s what you show to your ATM.

If you purchase cryptocurrency online, you would input your public key to transfer it to your wallet. If a friend worldwide wants to send you some crypto for your birthday, you give them your public key.

Displaying your public key is safe, and no one can steal from your wallet using your public key.

Your private key, on the other hand, is what authorizes wallets to send and release funds. Never share this with anyone. Write it down and store it in a safe place because if you lose it, you may lose access to your crypto. 

Make Your First Bitcoin Purchase

Now that you know how to use Bitcoin kiosks to buy and sell this valuable cryptocurrency, it’s time to invest in some for yourself. First, set up your personal wallet, which doesn’t take very long at all.

Then, find your nearest kiosk and make your first purchase today. In a year’s time, you’ll be very glad you did.

Looking for more tips like this? Head over to our blog to keep reading. 

KPMG Report: NBFIs Lending in Saudi Arabia Sustained Growth in 2021

Khalil Ibrahim Al Sedais, Office Managing Partner – Riyadh at KPMG in Saudi Arabia
Khalil Ibrahim Al Sedais, Office Managing Partner – Riyadh at KPMG in Saudi Arabia

Highlights

  1. Report provides a directional view on the $14.5 billion NBFI industry.
  2. It is covering the real estate, automotive, commercial equipment and other consumer financing.
  3. NBFI sector is expected to grow further backed by the measures taking inspiration from the AML compliance, fintech advancement, cybersecurity, business continuity planning and digitalization.
  4. Currently, more than 35 NBFIs are operating in Saudi Arabia.
  5. SAMA has further applied a new framework for the supervision of finance companies.

(RIYADH, DUBAI) – September 27, 2021:  The first edition of KPMG’s Future of Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFIs) Financing looks into the performance of these institutions in the Kingdom. The publication provides a directional view on the $14.5 billion (SAR 54 billion) NBFI industry covering the real estate, automotive, commercial equipment and other consumer financing. This sector is already playing a pivotal role in lending to specific segments of borrowers in Saudi Arabia.

“Despite market turbulence, we have observed growth momentum during the first half of 2021 that started during the second half of 2020 after consumer confidence was regained. It is especially noticeable in the mortgage industry, where volumes were all time high due to domestic demand of housing, low interest rate environment and government guarantee for the first house of citizens. The NBFI sector is expected to grow further backed by the measures taking inspiration from the AML compliance, fintech advancement, cybersecurity, business continuity planning and digitalization in Saudi financial services sector,” said Khalil Ibrahim Al Sedais, Office Managing Partner – Riyadh at KPMG in Saudi Arabia.

Currently, more than 35 NBFIs are operating in Saudi Arabia. As at the end of FY 2020, the total paid up capital of these entities was SAR 14.2 billion ($3.8 billion) where real estate companies stand at SAR 3.9 billion ($1 billion), non-real estate companies SAR 8.8 billion ($2.3 billion) and Saudi Real Estate Refinance Company (SRC), as the refinancing entity of the industry, SAR 1.5 billion ($403 million).

Industry-wide total assets as at the end of FY 2020 were SAR 53 billion ($14.2 billion) which included real estate companies’ assets amounting to SAR 14 billion ($3.7 billion), non-real estate companies’ assets amounting to SAR 31.5 billion ($8.4 billion) and SRC assets amounting to SAR 7.5 billion ($2 billion). Moreover, there was an outstanding loan book, on and off-balance sheet, of approximately SAR 54 billion ($14.5 billion) which included real estate companies’ loan book of SAR 23.5 billion and non-real estate companies’ loan book of SAR 30.6 billion.

Despite SAMA’s new regulations allowing deposit-taking by finance companies, currently, NBFIs are highly dependent on borrowing and securitization as the main source for financing their lending activities. At the end of 2020, equity and liabilities totaled SAR 53 billion of which, liabilities accounted for 63%, while capital and reserves represented 27% and 10%, respectively.

Ovais Shahab, Head of Financial Services at KPMG in Saudi Arabia
Ovais Shahab, Head of Financial Services at KPMG in Saudi Arabia

Ovais Shahab, Head of Financial Services at KPMG in Saudi Arabia, said: “Over the past two years, major developments took place in the sector, including enhanced governance through issuance of new regulations mainly to govern deposit-taking, debt-based crowdfunding, provisions for the expected credit losses etc. Moreover, we have seen competition in the market and some players have gained market share on the basis of their customer reach and efficient onboarding process. SAMA has further applied a new framework for the supervision of finance companies, a risk-based supervision approach to oversee the sector and increase the maturity level of NBFI, a framework that is similar to those implemented to oversee the banking and insurance sectors and similar to what is used by other international regulatory bodies.”