Workers’ Comp Benefits and the Going and Coming Rule

Traveling for work is a complex issue when it comes to your eligibility for workers’ compensation. The general rule is that workers’ compensation doesn’t cover your commute to and from work.

Does Workers’ Comp Cover Travel for Business?

Yes, workers’ comp covers travel for business. When you’re traveling because of your work, you can claim workers’ compensation in the event of an injury. The workers’ compensation system operates the same way whether you’re actively on the job or traveling for your employer.

Personal errands during work travel are not covered; however, the travel itself and incidental activities like the hotel and meals still fall under the workers’ compensation system. Workers’ compensation covers travel for business except for strictly personal activities during the trip.

Man traveling for work

Does Workers’ Comp Cover Travel to and From Work?

Workers’ comp does not cover travel to and from work. However, there may be situations when you are traveling related to work that are actually covered. Travel to and from work is generally not included. Still, if you are running errands for your employer or on a work-related travel assignment, you may actually be classified as working.

It depends on whether you’re serving the interests of your employer during the travel. Although the general rule is that workers’ comp does not include travel to and from work, there may be situations where your traveling counts as being on the job.

Workers’ Compensation and Travel

The purpose of workers’ compensation is to provide employees easy access to financial compensation when they’re hurt at work. The general rule is that you can claim workers’ compensation for work-related injuries. If you’re on the job and you get hurt, you can access the workers’ compensation system to pay for your medical bills and provide replacement income.

However, workers’ compensation doesn’t cover the risks of daily life. For that reason, the employee’s personal commute doesn’t fall under the workers’ compensation system. If you get hurt going to or from work, you have to look to your own car insurance or personal insurance to pay your expenses. You may also bring a third-party claim for financial compensation, but the person or entity that caused your injury is responsible for your damages, not your employer.

Traveling for Work

However, even if you’re traveling at the time of your injury, you’re not necessarily out of the workers’ compensation system. You may be traveling for work and not realize it. When you’re traveling on company business, you’re still covered by workers’ compensation.

Even things that are incidental to the travel itself, like staying at a hotel or eating meals while away from home, can classify you as working for the purposes of workers’ compensation. It’s essential to evaluate the entire circumstances present when the accident occurs.

Buma vs. Providence Corp. Development – Nevada Supreme Court

In the Buma v. Providence Corp. Development case, the Nevada Supreme Court recently clarified the rules when it comes to what counts as work-related travel. Nevada Revised Statutes 616C.150(1) states that a person must show their injury arises out of the course of employment. The court said that a person might be in the course of their employment even if they’re not directly on the route of travel at the time of the injury.

In the Buma v. Providence Corp. case, the victim was the vice president of sales for his company. He worked from home and made his own travel arrangements. The victim traveled out of state for a conference. He stayed at a ranch with a friend and affiliate of the company. Together, the two prepared joint presentations to give on behalf of the company. The victim died while riding an ATV on the ranch.

The third-party workers’ comp insurer, and the lower court, denied the victim’s family workers’ compensation benefits. They said that the accident did not arise out of work duties. However, the Nevada Supreme Court vacated the lower court’s decision.

When Does an Injury Arise out of the Course of Employment for Workers’ Compensation Purposes?

The Nevada Supreme Court said that an injury arises out of the scope of employment when there is a causal connection between the victim’s injury and the nature of the employee’s duties. Under Nevada Revised Statutes 616B.612(3), all travel that an employee gets paid for is part of the course of employment.

However, even if part of the travel isn’t compensated hourly, it may still be work-related travel. Generally, workers’ compensation covers business trips. It covers the actual business part of the trip, but it also includes staying in hotels, sleeping, eating, and other navigation that has to happen for the trip.

Does the “Coming and Going” Workers’ Compensation Rule Apply During Business Travel?

In the Buma case, the lower court applied the “going and coming” rule. The rule prohibits compensation for injuries that occur during the commute. The Supreme Court explained that the employer is not liable for the daily dangers of the employee; however, the commuting rule isn’t applicable when a person travels for work. Under Nevada law 616B.612(3), traveling employees are covered, including acts that are incidental to traveling.

The court said that work travel doesn’t cover social and recreational activities that a traveling employee chooses to pursue. These are things that occur for strictly personal amusement. To be a personal activity, the employee must show an intent to abandon the job temporarily. It’s a very fact-dependent question that depends on the unique situation in each case.

Conclusion     

The workers’ compensation commuting rule is complicated. There are times that work travel is covered, and you are eligible for benefits. Sometimes it can be a difficult question of whether you’re traveling for business. The Las Vegas workers’ compensation attorneys at Adam S. Kutner, Attorney at Law explain travel, and the 2019 Nevada Supreme Court case of Buma vs. Providence Corp. Development.

The best way to know if you qualify for workers’ compensation is by getting a personal review of your claim by a qualified and experienced attorney.

How to Form an Investing Strategy For European Markets

Europe is a global economic nexus, an incredibly stable and developed market.

Its heart is EU, which operates as a single market of 28 different states and 500 million customers. Technology and innovation are driving forces behind slow but steady growth.

This upward trajectory instils confidence when it comes to investment prospects. Many lucrative opportunities are just a few clicks away. You can pursue them without running into risks that emerging markets are rife with.  

Alas, launching an international investment endeavour is a daunting task. You have to do your homework and tailor the investing strategy to specifics of the landscape.

Here is a guide on how to establish a strong foothold and enhance your portfolio.

Doing the Spadework

The European market is a mature, diverse, and liquid ecosystem.

The investment risk is low, save in times of crisis. Europe is also a highly dynamic and competitive investment arena, home to leading companies of today.  

Yes, it’s easily one of the most inviting investing destinations. However, succeeding is easier said than done. To maximise your chances, you have to show due diligence.

Start by running a proper market analysis and scour the continent to discover where the best opportunities are. Evaluate your risk tolerance and put a risk management strategy in place. Two main weapons for chipping away at risk are market knowledge and portfolio diversification.

We would implore you to pay special attention to the currency risk. We’re talking about fluctuations in the foreign exchange market. They can be a double-edged sword, spurring both unexpected losses and profits.

Once research tasks are sorted out, set your chief objectives. Do you want to go for foreign direct investment (FDI) or portfolio investment? Is your goal to have a small portion of shares, source raw materials or control a whole company?

Get your priorities straight before moving to the next stage.  

The Main Pathways to Investment Glory

One of the easiest ways to gain exposure is thru exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

The three main options are:

They offer simple means of portfolio diversification, unlike the US, which is a predominantly stock-based market. It’s possible to invest in hundreds of different companies, as well as specific industries/countries. At the same time, you can avoid the steep fees associated with mutual funds.

Familiarity is another benefit you can score. Europe harbours some of the most renowned names in modern business.  

There is also an alternative approach, which is two-fold. The first tactic is buying American Depository Receipts (ADRs). The second one is acquiring stocks via foreign stock brokers.

The drawback is you have to worry about legal and tax issues. You also face hurdles such as translating foreign languages and currencies. On top of that, it can be tricky to conduct in-depth research on foreign stocks.

Note that ADRs are free of these risks. Unfortunately, they are limited to large foreign corporations that boast liquidity in spades.

The Million Dollar Question of Where

It makes a lot of sense to examine investing opportunities thru regional lenses.

Eastern Europe is an interesting region due to the potential for rapid growth. Investors comfortable with higher risks head there chasing hefty profit margins.

On the other hand, one enters Western European markets for reasons other than explosive growth. Namely, those who favour a climate with low volatility should feel at home here.

Germany is probably a must-consider, as the largest economy of Europe. It houses many of the top-500 publically traded companies in the world. County’s biggest companies (by market capitalisation) are available via the DAX 30 index, which is similar to the Dow Jones index in the US.

In terms of other, small economies, there are certain rules of thumb. You want to pay close attention to conditions like domestic policies and international agreements. These are the main tools countries employ in order to attract foreign investment.  

Apart from that, it’s a good idea to stick to predictable and transparent markets. EU member states have an advantage in this regard. Common institutions handle and synchronise investment rules, including areas like dispute resolution.  

The Old-School Way

Beyond that, you should feel free to invest in asset classes such as property.

The yields tend to be higher than in the case of bonds. This trend persists across different regions and states. What is more, the returns are often adjusted up for inflation.

This is to say real estate investment can act as a blanket insulating you from monetary risk. Besides, the spectrum of possibilities is very wide. You can aim for steady cash flow or speculative profit.                

One piece of advice is to keep an eye on hot local markets such as Amsterdam. There, a combination of limited supply, demographic influx, and scarce land inflates prices year after year.

Finally, we shouldn’t overlook the commodities.  

This traditional asset class involves minerals, fossil fuels, ores, crops, and trees. Propelled by global economic growth, the consumption and demand remain stable, while supply is finite.

Again, one of the main benefits is protection against inflation. Of course, commodities also come with risks such as price volatility. Just take the example of gold, which has been on a rollercoaster in recent years.

The lesson to draw is clear: be ever vigilant and be advised.

Investing Strategy for Europe: Taking Portfolio to the Next Level

The world’s largest regional economy is a Promised Land for many investors.

However, that doesn’t mean profits are just there for the taking. You need to put together a smart investing strategy before anything else. Rely on facts and figures to make it as sound as the Euro.

Likewise, make sure to assess your risk tolerance and financial appetites. Pick your region and industry sector accordingly. Identify up-and-coming companies and business champions with a bright future.  

You can hardly go wrong fuelling your investments via European ETFs.

Just stay quick on your feet and steer away from pitfalls in the shifting monetary dimension. Keep up the pace with changing regulations and standards. Following these steps, you should be able to make headways into burgeoning European markets.  

Don’t hesitate to contact us with any lingering questions and dilemmas. It’s time to elevate and diversify your portfolio.  

Boris Johnson must release the potential of property post-Brexit

The past few months have seen a huge amount of political change. In December 2019, for example, the Conservative Party won their largest Parliamentary majority since 1987, while January of this year featured the passing of the EU Withdrawal Bill through parliament. With the recent cabinet reshuffle, and Sajid Javid’s resignation as Chancellor, February has also proven to be an eventful month.

Boris Johnson must release the potential of property post-Brexit
CEO and co-founder of FJP Investment: Jamie Johnson

However, in the period since the election, there has been a growing sense that we have returned to some semblance of normality. The three years after the referendum were turbulent and hostile, with nail-biting parliamentary votes and overheated political discourse becoming par for the course. With no election likely until the middle of this decade, and with the Government in a relatively strong position, this stress is seeming to subside. Whatever your political disposition, this is no doubt a good thing for businesses and investors.

Data suggests that the UK stock market grew by an impressive £33 billion in the immediate aftermath of the general election. The effects of the so-called Boris bounce have likely been overstated, but it has hasn’t been as short-lived as some had predicted. Property also saw an uptick; according to Zoopla’s UK Cities Price Index, demand for UK property rose at the fastest rate since 2017. Similarly, according to Nationwide, prices in January were at a 14-month high. This is especially good news in light of modest house price growth in recent years as a result of Brexit uncertainty.

Looking forward, then, the property market could be set for renewed growth.

What can the Government do to propel the property market forward?

As mentioned, following through on their Brexit promises is crucial. Whether you voted remain or leave, 2019’s missed deadlines created profound uncertainty amongst business leaders. Therefore, it’s not just about the completion of the process, but also about making sure negotiations go smoothly and businesses are being made aware of the progress made.

The EU Withdrawal Bill passing through parliament was an important first step. Indeed, it showed that this majority has allowed Boris Johnson to get on with Brexit in a way his predecessors found difficult. But the Government’s ability to tick all the other boxes during the transition period is unproven. There is still a long way to go in terms of reassuring the property market that Brexit is in safe hands and that investing can continue without concern.

Furthermore, the Government must also deliver on its previously stated aims for policy in the property space. The domestic market, for example, is supportive of a new stamp duty surcharge on international buyers of UK property — an approach the Conservative Party has previously supported. According to a recent poll conducted by FJP Investment, as many as 70% of UK property investors are in favour of such a move.

There are also other areas that the Government should follow through on to help realise the full potential of UK property. Fighting the housing crisis, for example, will require coordinated policy to encourage construction, investment, and stakeholder engagement. On that last point, the Conservative Party has previously suggested consulting local people on the design of new-build developments. Doing so would hugely increase the attractiveness of such developments, so it’s little wonder that 68% of investors surveyed by FJP Investment supported the policy.

The Government must also commit the necessary resources to construction if it is to tackle the central challenge to UK property: insufficient supply. More homes being built will almost certainly bring prices down and make rents more affordable, but a national building revolution, of sorts, may be required.

A recent promise of £100 billion for construction over the next five years is a step in the right direction, while Boris Johnson’s promise of a million new homes over the same period shows ambition for UK property. But governments of all stripes have set, and missed, huge housebuilding aims, and property leaders are tired of empty promises. Now is the time for investment and reform to fulfil that huge target.

Looking forward, UK property appears to be in a strong position. With so much latent demand, and with prices rising, 2020 is likely to be more positive than last year. Further, with Brexit likely to be completed, the entire market may be set for an upturn. However, this can only happen with the right government support and policy implementation — indeed, without it, the housing crisis will not be resolved. Thankfully, the Government’s aims broadly align with property investors’, meaning they likely have the right priorities to help property return to form.

Jamie Johnson is the CEO and co-founder of FJP Investment

Coronavirus: investors should avoid knee-jerk reactions

Coronavirus is the number one threat to financial markets currently – but most investors should avoid knee-jerk reactions, affirms the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organizations.

Nigel Green, deVere Group chief executive and founder, is speaking out as global stock markets are rattled on fears of the potentially deadly Sars-like virus triggering major sell-offs.

The death toll has now risen to 81 and almost 3,000 people have been confirmed as infected, with 44 cases having been detected outside China, where it originated.

On Monday, the composite European Stoxx 600 fell 1.7% at the open, London’s FTSE 100 dropped 1.6%, while Germany’s Dax was 1.7% lower.  The slump followed a similarly dramatic decline in Asia overnight. The Shanghai Composite fell 2.7%, the Hong Kong Hang Seng lost 1.1%, and Japan’s Nikkei dropped 2%.

Mr Green says: “The Coronavirus is the number one threat to financial markets currently as global investors are becoming jittery on the uncertainty.

“But whilst this health crisis will inevitably hit some sectors, such as travel and retail, most investors who have a properly diversified portfolio should avoid knee-jerk reactions.  History teaches us that most issues of this kind have a short-term impact on stock markets.”

He continues: “Most investors should monitor the situation with their financial adviser and sit tight at present. But if it is still escalating next week, with much higher casualty rates, a more defensive approach might be necessary. 

“However, the cost and effort of making such a switch means you do not do it lightly, and more evidence is needed that the virus does pose a medium to long term risk to China and the global economy.”

Mr Green goes on to say: “But that said, this should serve as a wake-up call to all investors to ensure their portfolio is well-diversified across asset classes, regions, sectors, even currencies. 

“This is the best way to mitigate risks and the best way to be well-placed to take advantage of the opportunities when they occur.”

The deVere CEO concludes: “Stock markets tend to bottom with the peak in new cases during a public health issue of this kind, before rebounding.

Coronavirus is the number one threat to financial markets currently – but most investors should avoid knee-jerk reactions, affirms the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organizations.

Nigel Green, deVere Group chief executive and founder, is speaking out as global stock markets are rattled on fears of the potentially deadly Sars-like virus triggering major sell-offs.

The death toll has now risen to 81 and almost 3,000 people have been confirmed as infected, with 44 cases having been detected outside China, where it originated.

On Monday, the composite European Stoxx 600 fell 1.7% at the open, London’s FTSE 100 dropped 1.6%, while Germany’s Dax was 1.7% lower.  The slump followed a similarly dramatic decline in Asia overnight. The Shanghai Composite fell 2.7%, the Hong Kong Hang Seng lost 1.1%, and Japan’s Nikkei dropped 2%.

Mr Green says: “The Coronavirus is the number one threat to financial markets currently as global investors are becoming jittery on the uncertainty.

“But whilst this health crisis will inevitably hit some sectors, such as travel and retail, most investors who have a properly diversified portfolio should avoid knee-jerk reactions.  History teaches us that most issues of this kind have a short-term impact on stock markets.”

He continues: “Most investors should monitor the situation with their financial adviser and sit tight at present. But if it is still escalating next week, with much higher casualty rates, a more defensive approach might be necessary. 

“However, the cost and effort of making such a switch means you do not do it lightly, and more evidence is needed that the virus does pose a medium to long term risk to China and the global economy.”

Mr Green goes on to say: “But that said, this should serve as a wake-up call to all investors to ensure their portfolio is well-diversified across asset classes, regions, sectors, even currencies. 

“This is the best way to mitigate risks and the best way to be well-placed to take advantage of the opportunities when they occur.”

The deVere CEO concludes: “Stock markets tend to bottom with the peak in new cases during a public health issue of this kind, before rebounding.

“This is a worrying and serious situation and investors must be vigilant. They should remain properly diversified and remain in the market.”

“This is a worrying and serious situation and investors must be vigilant. They should remain properly diversified and remain in the market.”

How to Get Ahead Financially: 7 Tips for Success

If you’re living paycheck to paycheck and can’t get ahead, you’re in the company of 78% of workers.

It’s frustrating to constantly feel like you’re playing financial catch-up. The stress of being short on money or not being able to reach your financial goals can make you want to give up.

But taking small financial steps in the right direction gets the ball rolling. Those actions eventually help you gain traction and improve your financial standing.

Instead of ignoring your financial situation or accepting your money problems, put these seven tips into action.

1. Start With a Budget

Taking charge of your financial situation requires a plan. That comes in the form of a budget.

You need to know your exact income, expenses, and spending habits to make better use of your money.

Budgeting apps can help you, but you can also create your own simple budget on paper or using a spreadsheet program. 

Start by adding up all the money that comes in each month. That could include wages from your job, child support, interest, and other investments. 

Next, write down each individual bill or recurring expense you have. This includes things such as utilities, insurance, car payments, loans, and credit card payments.

Subtract those expenses from your income to see what you have left. This is the amount you can divide up between the rest of your expenses, such as groceries, clothing, and dining out.

Once you have your budget set, you need to follow up and make sure you stick to your spending limits. If you spend twice as much as you allocate for eating out, it’ll throw off the rest of the budget. 

Monitoring your spending compared to your budget can help you spot the trouble areas. You might notice you go overboard on clothing every month. Look at those areas to see how you can control your spending better.

You may need to adjust some categories while you figure out your budget. You might spend less in some areas than the amount you allocated, so you can lower those limits while raising others.

2. Set Up Multiple Bank Accounts

Do you use a single account for everything? Having multiple bank accounts can help you better manage your money.

If you have trouble sticking to your budget, consider creating different bank accounts for individual areas of your budget. You might have one for your mortgage and other loans, another for other recurring expenses, and a third for your discretionary spending.

When you pay your bills, you know you’ll have the necessary money in those accounts. Pulling from one account for your discretionary spending gives you a hard limit on those expenses. 

If you have all of your money lumped into one account, it’s easier to overspend on extras. You convince yourself that you can splurge on that leather jacket, but you end up using money that should go to the mortgage or your credit card payments. That can cause you to fall behind financially.

3. Create Financial Goals

Why do you want to get your finances under control? Setting specific goals can keep you motivated to handle your money better. You know cutting back on spending or increasing your savings is for something you really want.

Think in terms of short-term and long-term financial goals.

Short-term goals can keep you motivated because you can reach them quickly. They’re also building blocks for your larger goals and can help you gradually improve your finances. This could be things such as building an emergency cash fund, cutting your expenses by a set amount or paying off one credit card.

The long-term goals help you improve your financial standing over time. They’re the bigger goals that keep you going and get you to the place you want to be. Examples include paying off all debt, saving for a house, or reaching a larger number in your savings account.

If you’re not sure where to focus your attention, a financial planner can help. A financial pro can look at your current situation and make recommendations for short-term and long-term financial goals.

4. Pay Off Debt

In the UK, the average debt is £15,385. Deciding whether or not to go into debt is a personal decision, but carrying high levels of debt makes it difficult to get ahead financially. The interest and fees you pay eat up money that could go toward your financial goals.

Plan to pay off your debt as quickly as possible, especially if it’s holding you back financially. Put extra money toward your debt to get rid of it faster.

5. Create a Savings Plan

No matter how financially behind you feel, setting aside money in your savings account is a smart decision. Set up your bank account to transfer money to savings automatically on your paydays. That way you ensure you set aside the money before you spend it on other things.

Include retirement savings in your plan. Starting now helps you build your retirement savings faster, so you’re financially stable when you reach retirement age.

6. Increase Your Income

Having more money in your bank account gives you more financial stability and helps you reach your goals. You can either make more money or cut your spending to increase your usable income.

Asking for a raise at your current job or looking for a new job can help you increase your income. Another option is a temporary part-time job or side gig for extra money. Think of it as a temporary sacrifice of your time to accelerate your financial goals.

7. Change Your Mindset

Many people think of cutting back on spending or saving more as a negative thing. It feels restrictive, so you don’t want to do it.

Flip how you think about financial changes. Focus on what you get from the changes instead of what you’re losing.

When you’re tempted to make an impulse buy, as yourself if the item will get you closer to your financial goals. Having meaningful goals and keeping them in your mind can help you change your thinking.

How to Get Ahead Financially

When you’re struggling with money, it can be difficult to figure out how to get ahead financially. Confronting your situation directly and tackling it a little at a time helps you improve your finances. Visit our archives for more financial information.

Prepare Them For The Future: 5 Unique Ways To Teach Kids About Money

Did you know that 62% of parents give their kids an allowance? 

But it’s not enough to just hand your kids money. You need to teach them the value of a dollar and how to spend it. 

Teaching kids about money doesn’t have to be hard. Money is one of the greatest stressors for adults. But if you can teach your kids early how to budget, you can save them a lot of heartache later on. 

This article will give you 5 ways to teach your kids about money. 

1. Match Allowance to Chores

Don’t start giving your children money until they’re old enough to do chores.

If you give your child an allowance when they’re very young for doing nothing, they’ll question why they have to work for their money later on. 

When your child is old enough to do housework, be sure to match the money you give to the work they do. 

For instance, offer a certain amount for each chose. Vacuuming could be one dollar, washing the dishes could be two dollars. 

It’s important to break down the value of each piece of work they do. This will teach them how labor gets exchanged for money. 

Make a chore chart so they know what they’re in charge of each day. Set a “payday” on Fridays so they have money to spend over the weekend. 

This traditional work schedule will get them used to waiting for their money and spending it wisely. If they don’t do their chores, don’t cave and give them the allowance anyway. This isn’t how money works in the real world and you’ll be sending them the wrong message about hard work. 

2. Make Them Pitch In

There is no way your seven-year-old can pay for every toy they want.

But this doesn’t mean they can’t pitch in a portion. When your child asks for a major game or toy, always make them pay for a small portion.

Even if it only takes them saving their allowance for two weeks, this simple act will make them value the toy more.

if you constantly give your child toys without them having to do any work, they won’t appreciate them. The toys will become something they’re entitled to rather than something they had to work for. 

3. Talk About What You’re Buying

Your kids are always listening to you. 

They hear you talk to your spouse about big purchases coming up. Next time you buy something large, include your child in the conversation.

Explain to them how long it took you to save up for that item. This way, when a brand new minican arrives in your garage, your child doesn’t think it got there by magic. They will start to understand that all those days you go off to work, you were earning the minivan. 

Talk about how long it will take to pay off the minivan if you haven’t already. 

When you go to an ATM, tell your child how much money you’re taking out. Don’t make the process of withdrawing money look easy. 

4. Cook More Meals

Eating out every night and buying your child food from the drive-thru sets the wrong precedent.

It teaches your child that food comes easily and that it’s accessible when you want it. Your child will have no framework for how much it really costs to feed themselves.

Instead, focus on cooking the meals you put on the dinner table. 

Take your child to the grocery store with you and get the ingredients to make the food he or she loves to eat a restaurant.

For instance, if her favorite restaurant food is a burger and fries, then go to the store and buy those ingredients. Add up how much each ingredient costs together and compare that number with how much you would have spent at the restaurant. 

You’ll notice that getting food in the grocery store is far less expensive- and your child will too.

Then take the ingredients home and cook together. This will teach your child the importance of working for the food they ear. 

5. Use a Clear Piggy Bank

As an adult, you know what to look for in a bank, but your child doesn’t 

Sure, traditional piggy banks are cute. But they’re also impossible to see in without opening them.

You want your child to store their money in a clear receptacle so that they can see how much is in there. 

This will help them understand the process of earning and saving money. They can visually see how much further they have until their goal. 

A good practice is to teach them to wait until the piggy bank is full before spending the money. Maybe offer them a couple of bonus dollars if they keep the money in the piggy bank long enough. Think of this as teaching them how interest works. 

So Now You Know The Importance of Teaching Kids About Money

Remember, teaching kids about money is crucial to their success later on. 

High school courses don’t often cover important topics like how to spend money, and once your kid is in college it will be too late. 

You want them to be smart about earning money early so they don’t make mistakes later on. 

On the flip side, remember that your child is still a child. Don’t overstress them about money issues that you’re having. It’s important they know how the world works, but they shouldn’t be so worried about finances that they can’t sleep at night. They’ll have the rest of their lives to worry.

Wondering the best adult bank to save your money? Check out our advice here. 

Don’t Wait Until You’re Older. Start Saving For Retirement Now

Saving for retirement is so stressful when you feel like it’s all you can do to make it to the next paycheck. With more than half the American public feeling like they’re behind on their retirement planning, that’s a lot of stressing out! 

In the following article, we’re going to address what you can do to turn the tide. But first, let’s look at the obstacles that are keeping you from it.

Why You’re Not Saving

Saving is easy once you get started doing it. But it can be very difficult taking the first step. This is usually due to us believing certain falsehoods we’re about to get into, but also could be due to some seemingly legitimate reasons.

Not Enough Income

Living paycheck to paycheck is an unfortunate reality for millions of people. If it’s all gone by the time the next check comes around, how could you possibly find enough wiggle room to put back for your retirement?

Failing to Track Your Spending

Some families don’t make enough money. That’s indisputable. But a large number of us also spend more than we intend to by failing to scrutinize the things we’re buying with meaningful detail. 

Convincing Yourself You Cannot Afford It

Sometimes you can afford more than you think but you’re so downtrodden from the feeling of not getting ahead that you fail to realize the opportunities. We’re going to say something crazy here, but it’s true. You can always afford to save something.

Spending Therapy

This is one a lot of us have been guilty of. We’re so dejected by the lack of extra money each pay period that we get fed up with never having the chance to enjoy life and end up spending more than we should, thanks to weak sales resistance, a lack of willpower, and a little plastic.

Now you know the behaviors and situations that are causing the drama. It’s time that we looked at some solutions for what to do about it. Follow as many of these as you can, and you’ll have a retirement account before you know it.

1. Design the Lifestyle You Want

Before considering a savings account or any other financial instrument, get your goals in order. Don’t obsess over the harsh reality. Picture where you want to be.

What is a realistic lifestyle you would like to have if you were to ever pay your way out of debt? What does fiscally responsible behavior look like and how does it balance with what you like to buy or do? 

2. Assess Where You Are

Still not quite ready for the retirement account. Instead, it’s time to assess where you are. And we mean where you truly are.

Go over your ongoing expenses with a fine-toothed comb. Account for every dollar you make. Compare the two to see how much discretionary income you have (or how much more you’ll need to earn). 

3. Start Small

The smart saving habits have nothing to do with volume. Few people ever get rich overnight. They do it by incremental savings over time, thanks in part to the concept of compounding interest.

Enjoying any of that, however, requires that you save something, even if it’s just one percent of what you make. Get comfortable saving before upping the ante.

4. Know When to Get More Aggressive

Another important thing to learn when investing money wisely is that there will come a time when you can and should be more aggressive. Many analysts suggest taking the risk on more volatile investments (like emerging markets) when you’re in your 20s, for instance. Then, work in more conservative investments the closer you get to retirement.

That’s ideal. But it may not be for everyone. People who start late and are trying to catch up to their retirement number, namely. 

The point: there’s a time to be aggressive and a time to be conservative in your investment decisions. Learn when those times are for you.

5. Choose the Right Financial Instruments

There are many retirement accounts and investment options to choose from. Employees often have the option of saving pre-tax dollars through a 401k. Self-employed individuals prefer the Roth IRA, which can be withdrawn at retirement tax-free.

You also might consider round-up accounts that go up to the nearest whole dollar and are tied to your debit card transactions. For every purchase you make, whatever change gets you to the next whole dollar goes into an investment portfolio.

6. Target the Amount You Will Need to Retire Comfortably

Use a retirement calculator to gauge how much money you’re going to need for retirement. From there, play with the numbers to see how aggressive you need to be in your savings for where you are at this moment in life.

7. Make More Money

Easier said than done, right? Not necessarily. The Internet has opened up a plethora of ways we can use our existing talents to make extra money on the side.

If you do start a side gig, however, make sure you hold out 30 percent for tax purposes. That’s considered self-employment money, so you won’t have an employer to pay half of your Social Security and Medicaid costs.

8. Cut Unnecessary Expenses

Are there any entertainment subscriptions you can live without? What about meals and coffees out?

Scrutinizing your spending will highlight opportunities to reduce your output. It won’t solve all your problems, but it will free up some money to go into a retirement account.

9. Capitalize on Your Benefit Offerings

This isn’t for everyone. But if you do work with an employer that offers a 401k with matching, take advantage of it. That’s like getting double for each contribution you make, up to three or five percent anyway.

10. Invest in Life Insurance

We recommend this because a) some life insurance builds cash value that can be withdrawn or borrowed against, and b) it will leave your family with options in the event something happens to you and you haven’t saved any money for retirement or unexpected expenses.

Yes, insurance is an ongoing expense. But it also provides you with enough peace of mind to not be discouraged when your retirement planning falls behind.

11. Enjoy Your Money When You Can

You can’t take it with you, and you’re only young once. Take advantage of a healthy mind and body by finding some room to enjoy your money when you can. Do it without feeling guilty, too.

Saving for Retirement Doesn’t Have to Be a Chore

Saving for retirement can be gratifying when you see those small contributions start to add up. Whatever you do, don’t be discouraged by a lack of progress. Start saving whatever you can now, and you won’t regret it.

Good luck! And if you’d like any help with retirement questions or other financial advice, try our Letters to the Editor feature today.

The Dutch Fund for Climate and Development open for business

The Hague, November 15, 2019 – The Dutch Fund for Climate and Development (DFCD) has officially been launched in the presence of government officials, NGOs, investors, politicians and other interested parties. In May of this year, the DFCD was awarded to the consortium of Dutch development bank FMO, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-NL) and Climate Fund Managers (CFM). “Today’s launch means that the DFCD is officially open for business,” said Linda Broekhuizen, Chief Investment Officer at FMO. “The consortium is keen to connect with innovative entrepreneurs with climate-related businesses and with private investors keen to mobilize much-needed funding from the private sector to join us in our mission to create a more climate-resilient world.”

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges we face today. It is already affecting people and nature across the globe, with developing countries being most impacted. “The poorest communities are the most vulnerable to climate change. Poor farmers and others at the bottom of the pyramid suffer and lose their livelihoods even with small changes in rainfall patterns or temperature”, as Meike van Ginneken, Chief Executive Officer at SNV explained.

There is an urgent need for investment to enable vulnerable communities and ecosystems to adapt to climate change. Carola van Rijnsoever, Director of Inclusive Green Growth, and Ambassador for Sustainable Development, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said: „The challenge we face to help communities adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change is enormous, and the case for action is incredibly clear. We cannot do this with governments alone. We need all stakeholders to be strong enough to confront this challenge. The set-up of this consortium in which finance and NGOs come together, is unique and uniquely positioned to do this.“ The government of The Netherlands has committed to addressing this need through the DFCD, making EUR 160 million available in the period 2019-2022 for climate adaptation and mitigation, of which at least 50% is earmarked for climate adaptation projects.

DFCD is a direct response to the increasing demand for climate adaptation projects that have to date suffered from a lack of funding compared with mitigation efforts. Linda Broekhuizen adds: “In 2018, USD 612 billion was invested in climate mitigation which is important and much needed. In contrast however, only 5%, USD 30 billion, was invested in adaptation. Adaptation may have to be USD 180 billion a year if the 2030 goal is to reach the USD 1.7 trillion as required according to the most recent report of the Global Commission on Adaptation.”

To help bridge this funding gap the DFCD aims to mobilize upwards of EUR 500 million from private sector investors. Andrew Johnstone, Chief Executive Officer of Climate Fund Managers adds: “The opportunities are there. Take water for example: 80% of the world’s wastewater enters rivers and oceans untreated and by 2025, half of the world’s population will be living in water stressed areas. Neither the private nor the public sector is doing enough, but together the investment potential is enormous, as is the impact to be delivered.”

This partnership of NGOs and financiers seeks to develop and finance sustainable private sector solutions to enhance resilience to the effects of climate change. These projects will boost the health of freshwater, forest, agricultural and ocean ecosystems, and improve water management.

“The consortium takes a landscape approach through investing in projects which are planned in an inclusive manner, and build on a solid understanding of the landscape, ecosystems and communities. In this way these projects will contribute to healthier ecosystems,” said Kirsten Schuijt, Chief Executive Officer of WWF-NL. “New and incredibly exciting in this consortium is that there is early-stage funding available to convert adaptation opportunities into bankable projects.” 

WWF and SNV take on the key role of developing climate-relevant projects from an early-stage idea to a bankable business case. Climate Fund Managers and FMO provide investment capital, delivering projects to full operations. This combination of early-stage involvement with full life-cycle funding will ensure lasting, long-term impact that contributes to the Paris Agreement and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Interested parties can contact the DFCD through: www.thedfcd.com.

The Dutch Fund for Climate and Development open for business
In picture from left to right the DFCD partners at the official launch event in The Hague: Andrew Johnstone, CEO of Climate Fund Managers, Kirsten Schuijt, CEO of WWF-NL, Linda Broekhuizen, CIO of FMO, Albert Bokkestijn, project manger DFCD at SNV, Carola van Rijnsoever, Director of Inclusive Green Growth, and Ambassador for Sustainable Development, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In picture from left to right the DFCD partners at the official launch event in The Hague: Andrew Johnstone, CEO of Climate Fund Managers, Kirsten Schuijt, CEO of WWF-NL, Linda Broekhuizen, CIO of FMO, Albert Bokkestijn, project manger DFCD at SNV, Carola van Rijnsoever, Director Inclusive Green Growth, and Ambassador Sustainable Development, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The growing movement of people fuels demand for international tax advice

4 November 2019

The increasing global movement of people and businesses is driving the significant growing demand for international tax advice. 

The observations come from deVere Tax Consultancy, part of deVere Group, one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations, which operates in more than 100 countries.

The world is currently experiencing the highest levels of movement on record.  

According to the International Organization of Migration, the leading inter-governmental agency in the field, approximately 258 million people – or one in every 30 – were living outside their country of origin in 2017.

That is both a record high – and a number that has beaten all expectations. Indeed, a 2003 projection anticipated that by 2050, there would be around 230 million based outside their birth nation. But the latest projection has been dramatically revised upwards – there will be more than 405 million living away from their country of birth by 2050.

James Green, divisional manager at deVere Group, observes: “We’ve noted a year-on-year increase in international tax advice enquiries of more than a third.  

“This can be attributed, we believe, to three key factors.

“First, is the increasing movement of people. Whether driven by geopolitical, work or lifestyle reasons, more and more individuals are on the move around the world.  

“In addition – and despite the rhetoric of some populist politicians – globalisation in the world of trade and commerce is here to stay and is, if anything, gaining momentum as it encourages economic growth, creates jobs, makes firms more competitive, and lowers prices for consumers.

“Second, since the global financial crisis both individuals and companies have become more financially literate and aware of the importance of specialist financial advice, especially when it comes to cross-border affairs.

“And third, the reporting and tax filing requirements are increasing in most jurisdictions.  For instance – and this is just one example – in the U.S. where the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, is almost universally recognised as being burdensome, onerous and complex.”

Director of deVere Tax Consultancy, Mitch Young, notes: “The enquiries are coming from both internationally-mobile individuals and firms who are seeking advice on compliant and up-to-date tax filing, residency issues, inheritance tax, self-assessment, property tax structuring and disclosures, national insurance contributions, trusts and wills.

“Due to this considerable surge in demand for our services we have recruited more senior tax consultants, account managers and in-house barrister intermediaries.

“We have also launched our first tax apprenticeship scheme to find and train the top tax talent of the future.  In addition, we’re in the process of building an international tax network to meet the needs and expectations of our clients.” 

James Green concludes: “The demand for international tax advice is set to grow further still as the world becomes increasingly globalised and as the cross-border regulatory landscapes continue to evolve – and at a faster pace.”

Global Lending Automation Platform Trade Ledger Announces £1.5m Funding Round Led by Hambro Perks

The world’s first open banking business Lending-as-a-Service platform has completed a £1.5m funding round led by Hambro Perks, the leading UK early-stage venture firm.

Martin-McCann-CEO-Trade-Ledger
Martin McCann CEO Trade Ledger

London, 30 October 2019 – Trade Ledger, the ground-breaking business lending platform, which automates commercial lending processes for global banks and alternative finance providers, today announces strategic investment in a £1.5M round led by Hambro Perks, to further accelerate revenue growth.

Established in 2016 and now operating on three continents, Trade Ledger’s unique lend-tech platform automates all types of digital business finance, helping bank and non-bank business lending organisations alike to fast-track economic growth through process automation and scaling of business credit operations. Trade Ledger uses financial data APIs (often referred to as Open Banking), Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Robotic Process Automation technologies to enhance or replace old and costly legacy bank systems for origination, credit decisioning, take on and loan management, enabling new cutting-edge working capital solutions for business customers. The resulting new lending solutions can reduce the time-to-cash from 90 days which is the industry average to 4 minutes and are better tailored to the working capital needs of modern high-growth businesses. 

Trade Ledger’s co-founder, Martin McCann, and his team believe that transforming business lending operations through the Trade Ledger Lending Platform is the single biggest area of opportunity for commercial banks and financial services organisations to benefit from Open Banking in the near future. “There is a £1.2 trillion gap in credit that businesses need to optimise growth which is why we created this lend-tech”, explained McCann. “We believe that only by reimagining new types of credit services only possible with this lend-tech, can banks solve this massive business problem profitably and at scale globally. By leveraging open trade data via APIs alongside other enterprise-grade enabling technologies, financial institutions can drive significant operational efficiencies and product innovation within their internal operations and dramatically increase market share.”

“My co-founder Matt and I launched Trade Ledger in 2016 to improve the business customer’s experience in their financial supply chain, by helping banks re-imagine the entire process”, continued Martin McCann. “With the increasing threat of big technology firms like Google, Amazon and Alibaba bridging the gap between traditional financial services and the supply-chain eco-system, incumbent banks and lenders must start thinking about how they remain relevant. Trade Ledger is currently the only true platform in the world that can help them do this at a global scale in the business lending sector.”

George Davies, Partner at Hambro Perks added: “We are delighted to be backing Trade Ledger as Martin, Matt and the Trade Ledger team continue to develop market-leading tech that benefits businesses around the world. Hambro Perks is committed to supporting brilliant founders and teams that are building global businesses, and we believe that Trade Ledger has enormous global potential. We are very excited about Trade Ledger’s rapid growth and to support Martin and Matt as they tackle the barriers that have created such a vast undersupply of working capital for businesses across the globe.”

The Trade Ledger Platform provides a complete innovation layer that masks the clunky traditional corporate business banking environment and delivers an excellent consumer-like experience. Trade Ledger supports compliance with new regulatory requirements through aggregation and normalisation of better credit risk data whilst underpinning the wider commercialisation of open data and adoption of new banking business models to generate new revenue streams. The platform orchestrates value in the lending ecosystem by moving organisations from process-led engagement to an automated data-driven lending model.

About Trade Ledger

Trade Ledger (www.tradeledger.io) is the world’s first open banking lending platform that gives banks the ability to assess business lending risk in real-time. This will enable banks to address the £1.2 trillion of undersupply in trade finance lending globally while providing high-growth companies with the working capital needed to sustain growth.

About Hambro Perks

Hambro Perks (www.hambroperks.com)  is a London based venture firm that backs and builds leading technology companies. Founded by Dominic Perks and Rupert Hambro CBE, Hambro Perks invests at an early stage and helps companies to scale with capital and strategic support. The firm invests from both its permanent capital and Co-Investment EIS Fund that is open to high net worth investors and is soon to launch other funds. Hambro Perks has backed more than 40 businesses such as the digital pharmacy Echo, the geocoding system What3Words, and the Muslim matchmaking app Muzmatch.