Why You Need To Diversify Your Portfolio

If you’re working on a portfolio then the biggest weapon you have in your armoury is your salary or wage. It comes in on a regular basis and you can use it to buy more stocks, or put it into your savings account. You can also hit up Golden Eagle Coins to add another few bars or coins.

Your second-biggest weapon is a good diversification strategy.

What is diversification?

In order to have a good diversification strategy you need to understand what it actually is. You don’t diversify just so that your portfolio looks more colourful and exciting, you do it to manage your risk. A well-diversified portfolio has many different classes of assets in it – futures, stocks, mutuals and metals. This sort of portfolio will, over time, offer better returns and lower risks than the individual elements in it; a clear case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.

Why you really need to diversify

Too many people don’t make the effort to diversify even though they know it’s a good thing in principle. You need to break down the reasons further.

You’ll lower your risks

If you put all your investments into one company and then it goes to the wall or its flagship product is no longer in vogue, then you could have your investment wiped out in a matter of days.

If, however, you spread out your money between ten different companies, all in different industries or sectors, then even if one product is found to cause male pattern baldness, the other nine companies will buoy your portfolio up. If one of your other investments is in cures for baldness, then you might end up making more than you hoped for! Similarly, you don’t just diversify your on-paper stocks, you bring in some physical assets just in case the entire stock market gets a drubbing.

Steve Johnson

You also need to use different investment styles

You can’t just use one sort of investment strategy either. You need to look at both value and growth. The value is the basic strength of the company and its management. You need to see if the stock price is realistic and sustainable according to estimates of its real-world worth.

Then you look at growth, as in how much the company is likely to grow in terms of developments, new products and so on and how this growth will increase the value.

Then, you bring in a combination of growth and value investments to reap the benefits of both.

You get the benefits of overseas markets

Many people only ever invest in what’s familiar to them – they stick to their country, sector, industry or to old companies that have sentimental value to them. It’s great to support your local industries, of course, but you shouldn’t limit yourself as there’s lots of other opportunities out there.

By moving out of your comfort zone you can learn about other markets and industries, as well as other countries. This means that you’re not left floundering if your “old faithfuls” take a dive.

You’ll be protecting your investment

Now you see how diversifying helps to protect you against market dips and other adverse events, you’ll want to do it. Make sure you don’t just stick a pin in the stocks listings, though! Do your homework and take some advice before you buy anything.


Do You Have A PPI Claim?

Collaborative Post

Do you think you potentially have a PPI claim? Have you realised there is only eight months left to claim? Perhaps you aren’t sure if you have a claim as you aren’t too sure what it is?

The PPI claim deadline is the 29th of August 2019, a date set by the Financial Conduct Authority for people to claim any money back that they may be entitled to from mis-sold PPI.

So what is PPI?

PPI is Payment Protection Insurance, it is an insurance designed to cover loans or credit cards in the event of accident or sickness so you don’t miss out on repayments. However it has been widely mis-sold across the board with people either paying for pretty much worthless cover or in some instances, paying for it without even knowing they have it or agreeing to it!

The problem with the original ‘selling’ of this insurance is that those selling were incentivised to sell it whenever they could, leading to the vast amount of mis-selling. If you feel like you may have been mis-sold such a policy, you need to dig out your paperwork and file a claim. The worst they could say is no but you could find yourself owed thousands.

Believe you could be owed?

Now you know all about PPI and think you may be owed a claim, you will want to make sure you have all the paperwork to hand. It may be a little difficult if you don’t have the paperwork – after all, there is no time limit on how far back you can go to claim so you may not always have the paperwork left over from many years ago. It isn’t impossible to source the paperwork though and you could still then potentially file a claim.

If you believe you are eligible for a claim, you may want to know what sort of compensation you are entitled to. This PPI claims calculator can help you work out an estimate of what you may be eligible to receive. You simply need to input the type of PPI claim you have (loan/mortgage or credit card), what your monthly payments were, the payment time period and when the financial product was taken out. Once you have filled in all the details, it will calculate an amount for you.

Michael Longmire

So what do I do next?

Once you’ve found out what PPI is and know what compensation you could be entitled to, you will want to claim, right? But you have a very short time period to get it done in so you will want to get started right away! You can either do this yourself using templates, sending evidence to the bank in question with an explanation on how the insurance was mis-sold to you. Some were told it was compulsory – it wasn’t. Some had it added without their consent. Make sure you tell them exactly how it was mis-sold to you and you should receive an outcome from the bank within around eight weeks but they can sometimes take a little longer.

If you find the prospect of doing it yourself daunting, you can use a no win no fee PPI claims company to help you with your claim, such as Canary Claims. They will help you throughout the process and if your claim is unsuccessful, they won’t charge you a penny.

With the deadline looming, it is so important to check through your old paperwork and bank statements to see if you are entitled to a claim. If you aren’t, then you haven’t lost anything. If you are, however, then you want to receive the compensation you are entitled to before the deadline ends – otherwise you won’t be entitled to that money at all!

Good luck to those who are currently going through the claims process and if you aren’t but think you may be entitled to one, make sure to get started straight after Christmas, you don’t want to delay!


How To Save Money On Household Bills In 2019

This is a collaborative post.

We all know how necessary bills are but how frustrating they can be. We all know that, at certain times of year, some bills are more expensive than at other times. Here is how you can save money on household bills in 2019.

Consider your homes energy efficiency

There are plenty of ways you can do this. Use energy efficient light bulbs rather than regular ones, turn off electricity and gas where possible when not using it – obviously some appliances have to remain plugged in but others don’t so take them out and turn the switch off.

It is also important to consider your windows. Heating is such a big bill for many, especially at this time of year, and often you will find that heat is escaping through your windows. Double and triple glazing not only keep the heat in but also keep the sound out. Consider double glazing for homes in Worthing & surrounding areas if local or look for a reputable business closer to you. The  soundproof windows by Newview Windows are great for efficiency – after all, you don’t want to be paying all that money for heating for it all to be escaping, do you?

Consider switching

Something you may not have considered when it comes to your household bills is the fact that you could potentially switch the companies you are using for those bills. Some companies offer you money or another incentive for switching – or you can, in fact, use a cashback site and actually earn money back from the switch. If you find your bills creeping up and not at what you believe you agreed, consider to switching to a company that is cheaper.

Meal plan and stop buying name brands

Some people consider this a bill, others don’t. I personally do as it is probably the most expensive out of all of our bills. I always take time at the beginning of the year to try to reduce our food bill down a little more, especially after an expensive December, thanks to Jack’s birthday and Christmas, of course.

A great way to save some money here is to meal plan – work out what meals you are having and when. Steve has darts on a Wednesday and Thursday night and Jack generally has a roast dinner at school on Wednesday so I know that we can all have something small on a Wednesday. The kids normally have a ‘treat’ style dinner on Thursday as Steve is out. Friday, Jack has a club so he sometimes has something different to us before the club or has something with us afterwards. All other days of the week we have the same meals. I then buy my food around the meal plan and this keeps our costs down.

These are just a few ways you can save money on your household bills in 2019. What steps you will be taking to keep your costs down?

How NOT to Go Broke During the Holidays

It’s less than a month until Christmas, whoa! Wasn’t it just yesterday that you were making New Year resolutions?

With the holidays upon us, it’s time to start preparing financially for Christmas. If you fail to plan your finances, you’re likely to usher the New Year in debt.

The average American consumer will be spending about $800 on Christmas presents alone. This a substantial financial hit to take in a month, and the more reason why you should plan your Christmas finances.

Check out these tips that will save you from going broke during the holidays.

Make a Budget (and Stick to It)

Making a Christmas budget is the most important thing you can do this holiday season. A budget will help you to avoid going into debt.

You need a budget before starting to shop for gifs; not the other way round. Make a reasonable and realistic budget that you can stick to. Look at your current budget and check how much you have saved towards holidays. If your total savings for the holidays is $300, this is what you should spend on gifts. There are various awesome budget-friendly gift exchange ideas for any amount you have.

If you anticipate you would need more than you have currently saved, look for ways to increase the amount before Christmas. This may mean skipping your daily call at Starbucks or even getting a side hustle during the weekends for some extra bucks.

Shop for Worthy Deals

Stores offer deals galore during the holidays. If you know the gifts you’ll want to get your loved ones, start checking prices now.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are right around the corner. Check deals during these days to find out whether you can grab a few gifts that are on your list.

However, make sure that the deals advertised at stores are really worth it. With customers expecting huge price drops during Black Friday, some stores actually charge more for items on the day but advertise them as deals. Do not buy an item simply because it has a “Black Friday Sale” sticker.

If you prefer shopping in brick and mortar stores, one easy way of confirming whether you are getting a good Black Friday deal is by using a QR scan app. Download the app on your phone and when you see an item you want to buy, scan its barcode in the app. The app will then let you know which other stores carry the same item and their prices.

Using a QR scan app will help you know whether you are getting a good deal or the store is simply taking advantage of the mad shopping frenzy of Black Friday.

Sharon McCutcheon

Say “No” Often

Most holiday spending is done on impulse. This is the reason why many people end the holidays in debt. To avoid getting trapped by impulse spending, you will have to practice saying no. In particular, say no to the following:

  • Withdrawing your emergency fund money to spend on Christmas gifts
  • Charging Christmas gifts on credit cards and racking up interest
  • Opening a credit card to spend more than you have saved for the holidays
  • Spending more than you have allocated for your holiday budget

‘Tis the season to be jolly… but the season only lasts a short time. In a few weeks, you will be back to normal life with financial obligations to be met.

Before spending any extra amount during the holidays, consider your long-term financial goals. Perhaps you have a mortgage to pay, your kids’ tuition fees, insurance and so on. Is it really worth it racking all that debt for one season when dozens of financial obligations will be waiting for you over the next year?

If you have a spouse, have an open and honest conversation about holiday finances. Would you rather you rather use $1500 on gifts or invest it in your business? Make wise decisions.

They say money is jealous and when it goes, coming back is never easy. Spend money on things that will make you debt-free.

Check Return Policies and Save Receipts

If you wish to buy Christmas presents early, check the return policies of the stores where you are buying. You never know whether the gift would be suitable for the person you are buying for. Save the receipts just in case you would want to return the gifts.

New businesses and smaller boutique shops don’t always offer returns. However, if they offer returns, you may only be given store credit. Check the policy of the store where you are shopping just to be sure you can get your money back if you decide you do not need the gift anymore. Follow the tips above to avoid going broke during the holidays.


Building Up Your Credit Score

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The past few years have been tough – I’ve had a lot going on in my life and my credit rating has taken a total battering. With us planning to buy a house thus getting a mortgage in the not too distant future, my credit score can not afford to be low and I’ve been taking steps to build it up.

But how can you build up your credit score?

Pay Off Debt

If you cut down your debt, then your credit score will increase – however, you don’t want to pay everything off too quickly as that can cause your score to drop down even more. Paying off quickly but steadily will ensure that whilst your debt goes down, your score goes up.

How can you pay off debt? Take on overtime at work, sell your old things, make a budget – throw every single penny at it and it will soon disappear. If you try to pay well over the minimum payments each month you will see that your balance goes down much quicker as there won’t be as much interest to pay.

Register on the electoral roll

Your name needs to be on the electoral roll for if you want to get credit in the future – and it also helps boost your credit score if your base address is known.

Check It Regularly

Make sure you are checking your score on a regular basis to ensure that there are no errors. If there are, you can catch them early and get them wiped off your record.

Artem Bali
Consider credit rebuilding

A credit rebuilding credit card can help to build your credit, providing you manage to keep up repayments. Bear in mind that these are often only available from higher interest providers so that is something to think about. If you have the available funds to do so, consider taking out a loan or something similar such as one from Cash Lady and pay it off ASAP – it will show credit taken out and full repayment satisfied on your score which should help boost it. I must stress though that you should only take out credit if you can afford the repayments – which leads me to my next point.

Pay on time

I’ve struggled with this in the past few months just before Steve got back into work as my income was struggling to match my outgoings some month – however I am back on track now and pretty much caught up. Paying on time is so important. Sometimes we can’t help it if a bill is missed – these things are sent to test us after all but try to get back on track as soon as you can. You want to avoid a default or County Court Judgement on your file. I currently have a default that will remain on my file for a few more years although thankfully the account will be settled next month so it isn’t as bad as it could be – I’d much rather not have the default though!

These are a few ways you can build your credit score – do you have any suggestions?