Monthly Archives: September 2017

Pay Off Your Home Loan Sooner

Are you looking for ways to save on your home loan? Following these simple tips will put you on the path to paying off your loan sooner or if your goal is to purchase an investment property, creating equity from which you can draw on.

Increase your repayment amounts
The simplest way to pay off your home loan sooner is to increase the amount you repay. By repaying more than the minimum you can cut the overall term of the loan and save thousands of dollars in interest. The more you pay off earlier on in your mortgage, the more you’ll save over time. Some products may charge you an early payment fee for paying your loan in advance. These costs can be large, so it’s best to always check beforehand.

Consider how mortgage features can help
Think about how using an offset account or a credit card linked to your home loan might help you keep your loan balance low. If you’re looking for ways to keep your interest down, it’s worth investigating what other features your mortgage comes with.

Take advantage if there are variable rate cuts
A lower interest rate will reduce your repayments, but if your lender reduces the interest rate, consider repaying more than the minimum loan repayment amount. This can help you save on future interest payments. Don’t pay the interest-only An interest-only loan might mean you’re able to make lower repayments for the first few years, but this means your repayments will be larger when it comes time to pay off the principal.

Consider re-financing
If you’ve had your mortgage for 12 months or more, re-financing might be able to get you a better deal on your home loan. There may be costs associated with re-financing and it’s important to take this into account.

Consider a split home loan
A split loan allows borrowers to divide their mortgage into both variable and fixed components. You can lock in a low fixed rate on part of your loan, if you only want to limit exposure to the variable rate.

Explore your options
Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you’ve explored all of your options. It’s worth looking into whether you can get a discounted loan rate with a financial package that includes special rates on other products and services. With just a few easy steps, borrowers can significantly reduce the length of their loan and save thousands of dollars in the process.

Protect Your Retirement Accounts

President Donald Trump which delays and reconsiders the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, scheduled to go into effect in April, may mean higher costs for individual investors and retirement plans, especially 401(k)s offered by small businesses.

Fortunately, the threat of the regulation had already started to change the way financial institutions do business. Some firms have moved away from their higher-cost products and toward making their fees easier to explain to clients.

Investors should always keep a close eye on how much they’re paying, since a fee of 1 or 2 percent can have a surprisingly large cumulative impact on their financial future if it’s charged yearly.

For example, did you know that mutual fund returns in 401(k) plans are normally reported as net returns, meaning that fees for managing your investments are subtracted from your gains or added to your losses before calculating the annual return. Other costs, such as administrative and record-keeping fees, are often divided among plan participants but are not explicitly listed on individual investment statements. This lack of transparency is frustrating for investors.

Investors should also ask detailed questions about how their advisers are being paid. What incentives do they have to steer you into products they recommend? An adviser may operate differently if they’re paid by the hour or by a percentage of the assets they manage, versus if they’re paid extra commissions for certain in-house products. Even if the rule passes, I just can’t believe that institutions are going to stop pushing products down your throat.

People who don’t know the first thing about annuity expenses, load fees, or the importance of a mutual fund’s expense ratio have been held hostage by unscrupulous salesmen.

The truth is that the financial services industry has many caring people of the highest integrity who truly want to do what’s in the best interest of their clients. Unfortunately, many are operating in a “closed circuit” environment in which the tools at their disposal are “pre-engineered” to be in the best interests of the “house.” The system is design to reward them for selling, not providing “conflict-free” advice. And the product or fund they sell you doesn’t necessarily have to be the best available, or even in your best interest.

To receive “conflict-free” advice, we must align ourselves with a fiduciary. These professionals get paid for financial advice and, by law, must remove any potential conflicts of interest (or at a minimum disclose them) and put the client needs above their own.

Do not afraid to ask questions and protect yourself by holding your advisors to a high standard of care.

 

Manage Personal Finances

There are some very simple ways one can implement in order to be able to manage their personal finances.

Planning Goals- To be successful with almost every sphere of life, knowing what you want (Goal) and how you will achieve it (Plan). Make a list of your short-term, medium and long-term goals. After you come out with a list, figure out the time, expense of each of your goals and then plan what you need to be saving on weekly, monthly and on yearly basis to reach your goals. Goals may include making plans for things such as retirement, housing, child welfare and others.

Budget- For everything that you decide to spend money on or you are planning to go doing shopping make sure you have a budget and follow it religiously. This will go a long way in keeping you from doing unnecessary impulse buying.

Do not spend more than you make- Make sure you check your cash flow properly, will obviously show you areas where your money is leaking and make sure to reduce your expenses.

Prefer using a debit card- When using a debit card, one is only allowed to spend to a certain level and this helps in taming the urge to spend more thus keeping you on track of your set goals.

Create an emergency account- Creating an emergency account doesn’t mean that you precedent bad things will happen, but this is planning ahead so that when an emergency occurs you will not have to stop other important projects in order to settle the emergency but you will be well prepared, ready and able to settle it.

Develop a way of tracking every coin coming in and going out- This can simply be done by just looking at the receipts without necessary going out to the bank for bank statements. After looking at the receipts, identify what is wrong and rectify it and put more effort on what you are doing right to help you reach your goals. note that you should also go for the cheapest credit card companies.

Shop prudently- Don’t go shopping in those high-end shopping malls while there’s a lot of many other places stocked with quality products but at even much cheaper prices. this way you will end up saving a lot of money.

When personal finances are well managed can go a long way in giving one the financial freedom they want. Just put into action these factors and you will find managing your finances very rewarding.

The Accountants’ Perspective

Equity financing, simply put is raising capital through the sale of shares in an enterprise i.e. the sale of an ownership interest to raise funds for business purposes with the purchasers of the shares being referred as shareholders. In addition to voting rights, shareholders benefit from share ownership in the form of dividends and (hopefully) eventually selling the shares at a profit.

Debt financing on the other hand occurs when a firm raises money for working capital or capital expenditures by selling bonds, bills or notes to individuals and/or institutional investors. In return for lending the money, the individuals or institutions become creditors and receive a promise the principal and interest on the debt will be repaid, later.

Most companies use a combination of debt and equity financing, but the Accountant shares a perspective which can be considered as distinct advantages of equity financing over debt financing. Principal among them are the fact that equity financing carries no repayment obligation and that it provides extra working capital that can be used to grow a company’s business.

Why opt for equity financing?
• Interest is considered a fixed cost which has the potential to raise a company’s break-even point and as such high interest during difficult financial periods can increase the risk of insolvency. Too highly leveraged (that have large amounts of debt as compared to equity) entities for instance often find it difficult to grow because of the high cost of servicing the debt.

Adverse Implications
Despite these merits, it will be so misleading to think that equity financing is 100% safe. Consider these
• Profit sharing i.e. investors expect and deserve a portion of profit gained after any given financial year just like the tax man. Business managers who do not have the appetite to share profits will see this option as a bad decision. It could also be a worthwhile trade-off if value of their financing is balanced with the right acumen and experience, however, this is not always the case.
• There is a potential dilution of shareholding or loss of control, which is generally the price to pay for equity financing. A major financing threat to start-ups.
• There is also the potential for conflict because sometimes sharing ownership and having to work with others could lead to some tension and even conflict if there are differences in vision, management style and ways of running the business.
• There are several industry and regulatory procedures that will need to be adhered to in raising equity finance which makes the process cumbersome and time consuming.