New To Investing? 10 Tips & Tricks To Get You Started

by Kaylie Phelps

Since the dotcom boom of 1999, the London stock market has been a place where many feel they have to tread carefully. But, earlier in 2015, it surged to a 15-year record high and sparked new interest in the idea of trading.

Although the FTSE has dropped since then, experienced financial firms such as IG believe that recent market growth provides ample investment opportunities.

So, if you want to be a part of this economy upsurge, here are 10 tips and tricks to get you started.

1. Look to the long-term

Speak to any financial expert and most will tell you that the greatest gains can be achieved if you commit your money to long-term investments. It often helps to have some future financial objectives in mind when choosing your investments too.

2. Be comfortable with your investment amounts

You might think that only high rollers can invest in the stock market, but most funds will accept monthly deposits of £50 or lump sums between £500 and £1000. This affords you the luxury of only investing amounts of money you are comfortable with.

3. Learn the lessons of the past

Although cash savings might seem like the most sensible option, history has repeatedly shown than long-term equities actually provide better investment opportunities.

4. Make the most of the tax incentives

Did you know that you do not have to pay capital gains tax on any income earned or interest paid on investments made through an ISA? What’s more, you will only pay a flat rate of 10 per cent on any dividends too.

5. Enlist the services of an expert

Regardless of whether it’s an independent financial adviser or renowned financial trading firm, enlisting the services of an industry expert will ensure your wants and needs are always catered for.

6. Spread out your money to mitigate risk

Rather than putting all your money into the shares of just one company, diversify your investment portfolio with different asset classes and with products in different global markets.

7. Consider all of the investment options available

While cash is seen as the least volatile asset class, you could end up losing money in real terms because of inflation. Therefore, consider fixed interest investments, spread betting, CFD trading, or stockbroking.

8. Invest through a collective fund

This is an affordable way to build up various different assets without the burden of making your own investment decisions. Choosing to buy shares directly can be quite expensive, difficult, and risky.

9. Choose the right fund

If you decide to invest through a unit trust or open-ended investment company (OEIC), do some homework as to which one suits your appetite for risk and will best meet your financial goals. Again, look at past performance to see how each one has done over the previous five to seven years.

10. Invest your money on a regular basis

To increase your chances of maximising your returns, continually drip-feed money using a technique call pound-cost averaging. This enables you to buy more shares at cheaper prices when the market is falling.


5 Ways to Save Money on Your Next Road Trip

by Mrs Money

Who doesn’t love a road trip? There’s a special kind of freedom that comes with packing up your car, creating the perfect playlist as an accompaniment, and setting out for parts unknown. Whether you take a summer trip or head off in the cooler weather of fall, there is no denying that a road trip is fun for everyone, from families to groups of friends.
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However, unless you plan very carefully, the expenses associated with a road trip can easily spiral out of control. This can be doubly complicated if you’re splitting expenses with other members of your group, and no one wants squabbles over money to ruin the experience.

Whether you’re hitting the road to see the quirkiest diner’s in the American Midwest, or you’re driving up to New England for lobster rolls and drool-worthy fall foliage, these are some great tips to help you save money along the way, and make sure you all enjoy the ride.

1. Take Care of Your Car

Before you head out, you should make an appointment with your mechanic to have a thorough check up performed on your car. You’ll want the hood-to-trunk experience, so you can be sure that not only is your car in the best shape for the trip, but also to become aware of potential problems that could arise while you’re on the road.

Get an oil change, rotate your tires, check and change all fluids if necessary, and make sure that all filters are clean. Once this is done you’re ready to roll.

2. Consider a Rental Car

If your car isn’t in the best of shape, or you don’t own a car at all, simply go online and make a reservation with your preferred car rental company. Depending on the size of the car you need you can rent a vehicle for as little as $25 or $30 per day.

Renting a car also comes with certain other perks such as roadside assistance and relieving your own car of the miles on its odometer. Additionally, when you use the right credit card, the company picks up the tab for the insurance on the car, which saves you money for more fun activities.

3. Use the Right Credit Card for Gas

While the price of gas in the United States is much less than it used to be, fuel is still one of the biggest purchases you’ll make on your road trip, especially if you plan to travel for thousands of miles. One of the best ways to maximize the money you spend on gas is to use the right credit card.

Cards offered by the oil companies themselves aren’t always the best choice. Browse your options and consider cards from Capital One or Chase that offer cash back on gas purchases. That way you’ll be able to purchase your fuel and make a bit of money in the process.

4. Consider Camping During Your Trip

Camping isn’t for everyone, and some may even consider a roadside motel as roughing it. However, the fact remains that camping can save you a great deal of money that would have otherwise been spent at a hotel.

Research state and national parks that lie along your route and check to see which offer camping options. Some may even offer cabins for rent which would save you from having to set up a tent. Regardless, camping while on your road trip give you the chance to get up close to nature and save money as well.

5. Check out Airbnb

If your road trip adventure will have you stop for a few days in various places it’s wise to investigate your options on Airbnb. Whether you want to rent an entire house or apartment, or simply rent a room, an Airbnb experience can give you a truly local feel for the city or town you’re visiting.

Airbnb rates are generally similar to hotels, but you have the added option of the use of a kitchen in most places, so you can prepare some meals yourself, vastly reducing your food costs. Plus, most Airbnb hosts are great resources when you’re planning what to see and do in the area.

Road trips are a perfectly classic way to see more of your country and to bond with family and friends. Try some of these tips to save money on your road trip, and start making memories.

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