Friday, January 22, 2010

Beware...Banks...bad mortgage advice offered?

Banks, are they acting in mortgage customers' best interests?

When you come a off fixed rate mortgage you go onto a lenders' Standard variable Rate (SVR). This should be substantially lower than what you are paying now.
However some banks are trying to get clients to take out a new deal which is much higher than the SVR.

Depending on when your mortgage lapsed, the rate could be as low as 2% with Nationwide

Many banks have the SVR very well hidden on their websites. I had to call Nationwide to get details.

If you are not sure what to do call an Independent Financial or Mortgage Adviser and they can investigate.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Financial Mess at Manchester United

A few years ago Manchester United were probably the most profitable football club on the planet.                

Recent revelations have shown the takeover by the US based Glazer family has been disastrous.

The family bought the company via credit and saddled the club with the bill. The debt is £700 million and interest is paid at 10%. On one part the pay a hedge fund 14%.

The £80 million Real Madrid paid for Cristiano Ronaldo is being used to pay the debt.

To try to bring down the debt, the Glazers want to sell Old Trafford & the training ground and lease it back.

Unrest amongst supporters can only increase...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How well qualified is your financial adviser?

A question you might want to ask anybody who gives you financial advice is, "How well qualified are you? Do you have higher qualifications or the bare minimum?"

In a few years' time every financial adviser will have to have a higher level qualification. This will apply to banks multi-tied advisers (who can only advise on a limited range of products & services) and Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs). The most common option is the Diploma PFS. (DipPFS)

Ideally your adviser will already have this or be well on the way to getting it. If not, ask why!

Monday, January 04, 2010

10 Tips to Make You Richer in 2010

1 Pay off your debts. Those credit cards & personal loans are very expensive. The cost of borrowing money is much more than you get from a savings account.

2 Use your ISA allowances. Nobody likes paying tax, why pay it on your savings? Don't forget about the Investment ISA too.

3 Be careful who you take advice from. Ask the person, "Are you Independent & Impartial?" "What are your qualifications, the bare minimum or something higher?"

4 Insure your most valuable asset. People insure their cat, dog and mobile phone and forget about the most important thing....themselves. What happens if you lose your job or cannot work because of illness?

5 Save in a pension. They are simply long term savings plans with tax advantages. Why pay out money in income Tax & National Insurance? A pension allows you to keep & invest that money.

6 Over pay your mortgage. Most lenders allow you to pay off up to 10% of the mortgage amount each year. It saves you money in interest and shortens the time you have your biggest debt.

7 Avoid anything which seems too good to be true eg rates from Icelandic banks or current accounts which pay you 6% and levy hefty monthly charges.

8 Do not get obsessed with property. A large part of people's wealth in tied up in their house, buying more puts all your eggs in one basket. Consider alternative forms of investment

9 Transfer assets to a partner. Often one partner will pay less tax or have unused allowances.

10 Spend some money, you will have some fun & it will help the economy

As featured in the Swindon Advertiser 23 December 2009.