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The New Help to Buy ISA: A Powerful Tool for First Time Buyers?

One of the most significant challenges that first-time home buyers face when they are preparing to buy a property is trying to save up enough money for this purchase. Competitive loan terms may be available to provide you with a large portion of the funds necessary to make your purchase. However, you will still need to come up with funds for your down payment and closing costs. The good news is that the UK government has now made it easier than ever for first-time home buyers to save for the funds needed for their first home purchase. When you take...

Surfing the Markets: What to Make of FSB

Financial Spread Betting is a difficult animal to pin down. It is a kind of living, breathing oxymoron. It is recreationally professional, playfully serious and seriously playful all at the same time. Just what are we to make of FSB? FSB, as offered by an increasing number of dedicated online providers, typically allows users to stake a position against any given stock, currency or index anywhere in the world. For example, the betfair organisation promises its account holders access to more than 3,800 markets worldwide. The binary nature of trades may not be particularly complex, but breadth of choice is undeniably...

What is Business Re-Engineering?

Re-engineering sounds like the sort of thing you’d do to a mechanical car component, and indeed, it is a way of making an existing part better. In business, it’s about changing the way the company operates for the better, while still maintaining the original purpose, and it can be a huge undertaking. In most cases, an external consultancy will be brought in to carry out the job. A company such as Evolve Consultancy will break down the major changes into three groups, and that’s a good way of explaining how the modern business might look to re-engineer itself. Let’s have...

How to Insure Your Home-Based Business

Working from home is just one of the ways startup companies can slash their operational costs. However, one of the drawbacks is that your standard contents insurance policy may not provide you with adequate protection you need. While certain policies are essential, there are others specific to the type of business you may run. All-Risks Cover A typical domestic contents insurance policy includes both electronic goods and furnishings. Depending on your insurance provider, though, this often doesn’t include home office equipment and, if it does, your claims may be limited. While this varies between each policymaker, it could mean expensive audio-visual...

How to Choose the Right Stockbroker Service for You

When it comes to choosing a stockbroking service, not all brokers are created equal. This statement applies not only to the level of expertise and knowledge they can offer potential clients, but also to the package they provide and how well it can complement your needs. This is not to say that one level of service is preferable to another; simply that they suit different people to different degrees. Stockbroking services can be split into three broad categories: execution only, discretionary and advisory. Each have their benefits and their limitations, and it is these that determine how well each of them...

Comparing Fundamental and Technical Analysis

The foreign exchange market is the largest financial market in the world, trading around $4 trillion every day. Hundreds of thousands of people around the globe invest their capital in various currency pairs, all with one single, shared ambition: to turn a profit. Their goals may be the same, but that doesn’t mean that their methods of trying to achieve them are as well. There are hundreds of different strategies employed by traders and affected through brokers like OANDA, with no two game plans ever sharing the same exact form and function. These methods have often been carefully honed over the...

Investors Get Bullish on the Greenback

An Insatiable Appetite for Greenbacks As a currency trader, it is hard not to get excited about what is currently taking place in the forex market. The Federal Reserve Bank and its chairperson – Janet Yellen – have spurred a flurry of bullish investor sentiment vis-a-vis the USD of late. With the American economy in full swing and the positive effects of quantitative easing evident, the time has come for stabilization and enhanced growth policies to be enacted. Talk of increasing the interest rate by June 2015 has got the entire financial world scrambling to purchase USDs. Recently, a Commitment of Traders...

Understanding the Tax Benefits of SIPPs

Self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs) are widely acclaimed as one of the most tax-efficient means of saving for your retirement. They have many benefits besides this, from increased flexibility to greater control, but it is the tax boons that draw people more than any other factor. A SIPP could significantly increase the capital you get to retire on, and that makes them a fantastic option for some. If you're beginning to consider life after work, read on to find out more… SIPPs and Tax Relief The amount of tax relief you'll be awarded by virtue of your SIPP is dependent upon the rate of...

Forex 101: What to Look for in a Trading Platform

In the world of forex, a trading platform is a piece of software that relays information on trades between investors and brokers. It provides the former with information including quotes and charts, and relays to the latter the orders that a trader wants to make. Its importance cannot be overstated: the right platform can make the difference between success and failure. The software that the trading platform is built on can take a number of forms. Many platforms are locally based, meaning that they’re installed on the trader’s computer; others are web-based. The differences between the two have a number of...

Dwindling Oil Prices? Now’s the Time to Invest in Oil Stocks

From October to December of last year, investment in the oil and gas sector hit an all time low, and accompanied with collapsing oil prices, things don't look good for this industry. Some attribute the lack of investment in oil and gas extraction as a defining factor for oil's poor performance. Financial analysts are saying that the sharp decline in the value implies the falling profitability in the oil sector, however others are seeing this as a major investment opportunity. A lot of people are fooled by oil's declining value, but it's like the old investment proverb says: buy on...

Managing Your Personal Finances

Much in the way that online shopping is now an integral part of the world of commerce (with UK residents among Europe's highest online spenders), online trading is now a fully-fledged part of the world of finance. Due to this, if you're looking to manage your finances, you have to look online as well as on the high street. Whereas once actions like trading stocks and shares was largely the domain of Hollywood movies, nowadays, you can do it from the comfort of your own living room. Here, we rundown just a couple of ways that you can better manage...

Swiss Franc Move Devastates Speculators

Thursday 15th January saw the value of Switzerland's currency soar – just days after bets that the franc would weaken reached record highs. The data has left commentators, forex brokers like FxPro.co.uk, investors, global banks and spectators open mouthed and, in many cases, out of pocket. A Disastrous Combination Tuesday 13th January saw 'short' contracts reached their highest net level since May 2013, with 26,444 bets that the franc would weaken against the euro. Yet those with a vested interest could only watch, open-mouthed, as Switzerland stripped away its currency ceiling, causing the Swiss franc to soar in value. The Swiss National Bank announced their...