The Benefits of Buying Used Cars

The benefits of buying a new car are pretty self-explanatory. Everybody likes owning new things. Sure, it might cost a little more, but you get the benefit of feeling cool, having a nice thing that works really well, and reaping the benefits of consumerism.

For those who just aren’t into those things, at least enough to warrant spending thousands of dollars more than necessary to get a nice and reliable vehicle, used cars are always the way to go. Some of the benefits of buying users are well known. We’ll cover most of them here.

1)    Newer Used Cars Are Better Than Ever. People like to complain about the quality of consumer vehicles, but the reality is that cars are getting better and better. The average car is safer, lasts longer with less maintenance, and gets much better gas mileage than a similar car would have gotten a couple of decades ago. If you go to J.D. Byrider, you could pick any car on the lot and find a vehicle that won’t break down anytime soon. If you’re old enough, you’ll remember ten or fifteen years ago when car trouble was frequent for just about everybody. You might go to a party and learn that your friend didn’t make it because they broke down on the way. This doesn’t happen nearly as often anymore.

2)    Used Cars Depreciate Less Quickly. If you want to buy a car that holds a lot of it’s value, buying used is the way to go. Cars lose value most quickly when they are new. People will pay much more for a brand new, never-driven car than they would for the same car even three months after it was first purchased. Some of these reasons are practical, others are psychological, but the outcome is the same: used cars lose value, but not as fast as brand new ones.

3)    Used Cars Cost Less. This will be obvious to anyone paying attention, but used cars cost less than new ones. They’re cheaper to insure and they’re cheaper to purchase. They can cost more to maintain and repair but, as described in point one, used cars of more recent vintage have higher standards of design than those manufactured ten years ago. They’ll continue to perform well, often without expensive repairs, even though they are no longer brand new.

4)    They May Get Fewer Tickets. Some studies indicate that people who drive new cars get more tickets. We won’t get into the weeds of the implications of this. Maybe new car drivers just drive faster. Maybe people in new cars seem like easier targets to corporals on patrol. Whatever the case, a used car might make you slightly less conspicuous on the road, which is never a bad thing where traffic violations and ticketing are concerned.

 

Used cars are the way to go for people who want to save money. If you do the leg work necessary to find the right vehicle at the right price, there is pretty much no downside to buying used instead of new.

How to Afford a Luxury Car Without Breaking the Bank

It is something that any car enthusiast has dreamed done: stopped and stared at a luxury car and wished they could trade in their current commuter car for a more plush model. Your standard 1.4 litre engine may get you to work fine, but the thrill of driving a high-end car would make your commute that bit more bearable.

The good news is, that affording a luxury car may not be as out of reach as you think. If you are smart, do your research and know where to look, you could upgrade to something a little more luxurious. Here are some ways to get a luxury car without breaking the bank.

Buy Used, Not New

When you think of buying a luxury car, you may picture a highly-waxed vehicle inside a shiny, glass-fronted dealership. However, buying a new car directly from the dealership carries a large price tag, something that many simply cannot afford. Instead of purchasing new from the factory, consider buying a used luxury car. Purchasing second-hand from the likes of RRG Group Ltd means you can still get a bigger engine, heated leather seats and all of the mod cons, but for a fraction of the original price. You also avoid the car depreciating up to 34.6% during its first year on the road.

Make Money From Your Car

When looking a buy a luxury car, you think of the horse power or comfy leather seats, but also think about how your car can work for you. If you are on a budget or looking to minimise financial impact, there are ways you can make money from your car. This includes: listing on a car share website and charging passengers to share your daily commute; branding your car with company advertisements, offering taxi or transport services, or even renting out during the day while you are in the office.

Affordable Payments

If used is not for you, then consider all of the finance options. There are loads of ways to pay for your car in monthly instalments, spreading the cost and making a luxury car more affordable. This includes a personal loan, hire purchase (HP), a personal contract plan (PCP), or even leasing options. In addition, if your car is to be shared between yourself and your spouse, or perhaps another family member, you could consider splitting the purchase price and running costs, meaning you both get a luxury car for a fraction of the cost.

Buying a luxury car does not have to break the bank. By choosing used, making money from your vehicle, or signing up to an affordable payment plan, you can own your dream car without breaking the bank.

There are Many Costs and Expenses of Car Ownership

The Cost of Car Ownership

For many people, especially in the south, owning a car is not a choice. It is essential to being able to get around and do what you need to do. However, owning a car is a major expense. While you may not think about it, there are many things that go into owning a vehicle. This includes the upfront costs to buy the vehicle, fuel, maintenance, taxes, fees and interest. These costs can vary greatly across the south.

Variances in Costs

To begin with, tax rates vary from location to location. When you buy a vehicle, you have to pay tax on your purchase. This can raise the overall cost of your vehicle by thousands of dollars, making your upfront cost quite high if you live in a state with a high tax rate.

Other costs that can vary greatly from location to location are those for registering your vehicle and getting the title. Generally, these are paid in the county in which you live. Some counties may charge more for the services than others. It may also depend on which city you live in. These costs can be quite low, like under $20, or they can be on the more expensive side.

A major area where costs vary from location to location is fuel. Everyone knows gas prices go up and down. One city may have low prices, while another is much higher. Then there is the variance between gasoline and diesel fuel. If you own a diesel vehicle, expect to pay more.

Your location may also impact the costs for maintenance and repairs. Some areas may have higher rates than others due to things like demand and competition. If you own a vehicle, though, you will need to get maintenance done at some point, so this must be kept in mind.

The last cost that can affect your cost of owning a car is insurance. Insurance isn’t as dependent on location, although location will affect your prices. It is more reliant upon your personal details, such as your driving record, credit rating, age, type of vehicle and number of drivers. You have some options when it comes to local insurance to help make this more affordable. However, some areas just naturally have higher rates than others, so it is something to think about.

Costs by State

There is not one southern state where owning a car is super cheap. There are always tradeoffs when it comes to costs. For example, North Carolina has some of the lowest prices for gas, insurance and registration, but the state has high repair costs. The same is true of Virginia. On the other side of things, there is Georgia where gas is still rather cheap, but you will pay out quite a bit for repairs and insurance.

Then there is West Virginia, which has low registration fees, but everything else is rather costly, like gas and insurance. Compare this with Mississippi, a state that is lower than average on every car related cost. Mississippi may be the ideal southern state for car ownership.

When it comes to owning a car in the south, you have a lot of costs to consider. Depending on where you live, you may need to shop more smartly for a car to get a better deal or you may need to be careful about getting an insurance policy so you aren’t paying too much.

Should Your Business Consider Bespoke Portfolio Management?

As your business begins to take off, it’s wise to consider how your business will consolidate its wealth and its portfolio of assets. If you’re a budding entrepreneur, or someone with limited business experience, then it may be that you’re not the best person to make this call. Instead, it may be best to specifically employ someone who has experience in bespoke portfolio management. Here, we run down some of the positives of this approach.

What is Portfolio Management?

Before you decide whether portfolio management is right for you, you’ll need to know what it involves. Portfolio management involves making complex decisions on investment mix and policy.

A portfolio manager will aim to match your investments to your objectives and will allocate assets to individuals and institutions, balancing risk against performance.

As such, portfolio management is about determining what the strengths and weaknesses of your company and its assets are. From here, opportunities and threats can be determined and the attempt to maximise return against the appetite of risk can be assessed with the company owner.

Once all of this has been established, a strategy can be brought together. This will weigh up the choice of debt vs equity, domestic vs international growth targets and growth vs safety, among other trade-offs.

According to IBIS World research, there are over 18,000 wealth management businesses in the US alone, generating over $233bn alone. This means you should have plenty of options and points for consideration.

What are the Benefits?

If you’re thinking about a bespoke portfolio management service, then there are a number of benefits worth considering that could be advantageous to your business.

  • Dedicated management: If you opt for a professional discretionary service like the one offered by WH Ireland, then you’ll receive an Investment Manager for your business. By working with one individual, you’ll get someone who takes the time to understand your business and its investment priorities.
  • Delegation: Ever feel like your head is spinning with important decisions? Well an Investment Manager can help alleviate some of the pressure. The markets are incredibly fast moving and your Investment Manager can relieve you of this stress, implementing your strategy on your behalf.
  • You Won’t Be Cut Out: However, the independence of your Investment Manager won’t mean you’re entirely cut out of the decision-making process. You should receive regular reports on what’s happening. If you choose a reputable wealth management company, these reports should take place however you like, too. Such as face to face or online.
  • Diversity: Through portfolio management, you’re able to diversify your assets, incomings and growth. You can use these alongside ISAs, personal pensions, trusts or even offshore bonds. These can all be managed as part of wider wealth planning.

If you’re looking to delegate some day to day decision making, then investment management could be great for your business.

How Business Owners Can Invest Their Earnings

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Running a successful business is no easy task. After all, recent research reveals that four in ten small companies don’t last for five years. After the recent political and economic uncertainty in 2016, many were also expecting this rate to rise further. However, this doesn’t mean that you should be overly pessimistic, and if your business is doing well, you should continue to forge a path to success. Here, we discuss the current economic situation and how you can reinvest your earnings at the current time.

The Current Economic Situation

Against expectations, the broad outlook for the UK economy is positive. Recently, the British Chambers of Commerce have announced that UK buying habits have shown strong resistance to the Brexit vote.

This level of robust customer spending means that the outlook for trade and investment for UK businesses is broadly positive. The economy is expected to grow a further 1.4% in 2017, which is almost at pace with the 1.8% growth we witnessed in 2016.

As a result, if you’re looking to invest some of your wealth, now could be the time. Let’s take a look at how you could make the most of the broadly positive economic situation.

How Can You Invest?

To help your wealth grow, you can invest internally within your business or externally. First, let’s look at your internal options.

Internally

Staff ­– if your customers are keen to keep spending high, then let them. Investing in new staff members means that you’ll be able to service larger orders in a higher volume, boosting your revenue.

New Products – Likewise, consider diversifying your offering to take money from your competitors. By investing in market research, you can find out what your customers really want and cater for them.

These two tactics will help you strengthen your business and generate new revenue. Sometimes, you have to spend your wealth to save even more. However, although these will help you accrue wealth, it may also be worth diversifying your assets through external investments. Your best options here are:

Externally

Property – the UK housing market continues to boom and shows no signs of slowing down. Housing is generally considered as a solid investment; particularly buy-to-let, which is low risk.

Stocks and Shares – If your business is doing well, then it’s likely that others are, too. So, it could be worth investing in other businesses. This is a higher risk strategy than investing in houses, but the rewards are potentially higher, too. Take a look online for advice on what investments could be profitable.

Forex – Finally, consider being bold, brave and bright. Geo-political tensions such as Brexit cause currency fluctuations and changes. By investing some of your money in forex trading, you could make money on these fluctuations. This is a high risk, strategy, however, so educate yourself before you begin.

To conclude, the current economic situation looks positive, so consider how you could invest to maximise your wealth carefully.

 

 

How to Deal with Debt in Australia

Debt can feel like an avalanche slowly rolling down a snowy hill. Starting as a snowball of one missed credit card payment, it can grow over time into several credit card payments, missed mortgage payments, and then utility payments. With the weight bearing down upon you, it’s easy to feel crushed by the responsibility. However, looking at ways to handle debt can sometimes add to feeling overwhelmed. Below are five

Refinancing with Lower Rates

Sometimes, getting ahead of debt is the best way to deal with debt. Refinancing can help lower payments if you’re able to get a good deal on your origination fees and closing costs. If you’re already feeling the pinch of debt, you can refinance to take out additional cash. One mortgage broker in Perth notes that a cash-out refinance offers a way to borrow at a low interest rate.

Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation involves taking out a new loan to pay off existing debts. A cash-out refinance as discussed above is one way to do this. By putting all your debts in one place, you can streamline your payments into one bill. When interest rates are low, you’ll be able to get a lower interest rate through the loan than through the individual payments which can help lower your monthly bills. For example, if you’re paying off multiple credit cards and paying high rates one each one because you fell behind in your payments, consolidating your debt into one lower interest payment can help you climb out from under the payments.

Debt Management

Debt management, although often confused with debt settlement, negotiates old payments with new payment plans instead of taking out a loan to cancel previous debts. The process usually takes 3 to 6 years to complete. First, you will work with a credit counselor to review your overall finances to create a monthly budget. Then you will plan how to pay off the debt based on your monthly payment abilities and number of accounts that need payment. Finally, you may be asked to use a direct deposit program to pay your monthly amount and then cancel all your credit cards.

Debt Settlement

Debt settlement essentially creates a way for you to negotiate dollars owed to your creditors. This is a fairly extreme option since it will hurt your credit score. While you can attempt to negotiate your debts on your own, Quantum Finance offers resources to help you find a settlement agent. Settlement agents will work with you to review your debt, income, and savings to help you determine what can be used to pay your debt. Then they will have you sign a contract for you to pay the settlement agent instead of your creditors. The money is put into escrow until you have enough to pay off the negotiated amount. After that, they attempt to negotiate a new amount with your creditors where you pay a lump sum the comes from the escrow. It’s important to have a legitimate settlement agent otherwise they may not be able to settle for you. Keep in mind, that they will take a fee from a percentage of the escrow account. If they do not negotiate well, then you are worse off because you will be further behind in your payments since you paid your money to the escrow account not the creditors.

Bankruptcy

In Australia, you have the option to present a declaration of intention to present a debtor’s petition. This gives a 21-day protection period where unsecured creditors can’t act. This acts as a probationary period pending bankruptcy. If you then want to file for bankruptcy, you can. Filing for bankruptcy covers most unsecured debts such as credit and store cards, utility bills, and medical, legal and accounting fees. Before assuming it releases all debt, make sure to check with your creditor to see if it will erase Centrelink Debts, Australian Taxation Office debts, victim of crime debts, and toll fines.

Keep in mind that there are also several debts including court imposed penalties and fines, child support and maintenance, HECS & HELP debts, and unliquidated debts.

PPI CLAIMS

When receiving a large loan, it can be overwhelming to think about its repayment. One thing that is concerning is the fear of the inability to pay back the loan due to unforeseen circumstances. Payment Protection Insurance is available to ease this fear. In the UK there is a scandal that has arose from the sale of PPI (Payment Protection Insurance). It can be referred to as a scandal because PPI  policies are sometimes sold without the consumer knowing. This causes the consumers to file claims against lending companies to get back money they have paid towards the policies that they were unaware they had.

Resources

If you are reading this and are someone who has been thrown into this type of situation, there are many resources out there to help you through it.

You are not alone! Companies are out there that can be hired to help you get the money back. For example, http://www.lowfeeppiclaims.co.uk, offers a competitive fee to help file these claims which can make the task less daunting. Most claims management companies will charge fees of 25% or more, whereas they charge a fee of 12% on your PPI claim, which is one of the lowest in the UK. A claims management company has the resources that will allow you to get your refund in a hassle free and timely manner.

Calculate your Claim

There are apps out there that can help you calculate what you could potentially be owed. You will need to know the details about your policy (Loan amount, term of loan, your premium amount and interest rate, etc.)

Buyer Beware

Consumers are also being mis-sold on PPI by not fully understanding their policies. There have been reports of a lot of consumers unhappy about PPI claims being turned down because of exclusion clauses in their policy. This is a form of being mis-sold on the policy because people buy into them thinking they would be covered for a particular situation and if that situation occurs, they may be denied coverage. Another issues is the coverage may not be explained in its entirety to the consumer when purchased, and the sum of money provided at payout could only be a percentage of your salary. There are often loopholes in the contracts that people are not aware of.

Overall PPI can be a very helpful tool to keep your family safe at times of crisis. However, it is  important to know what you are signing up for and to do your research before committing to a policy.