Cashback offers may not lead to best mortgage deal

If you are in the mortgage market, there are four categories; first-time buyer, non-first time buyer, investor (buy-to-let), or a switcher. Different rules and criteria apply for each.

Most of the current market is made up of first-time buyers. They are in a privileged position over non-first timers as they only have to find a 10% deposit whilst for second-time buyers, it is 20% of the purchase price.

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Do you need financial advice?

With so many financial products available it can be difficult to compare all the options and make the right decision for you. If you are confused by what is on offer, it’s best to get professional financial advice.

You might consider getting financial advice especially if you are making long-term financial decisions, like:

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Christmas Bonus 2017 – Welfare and Pensions

As announced in Budget 2018 – A 2017 Christmas Bonus will be paid out again this year to eligible welfare and state pension recipients. The 2017 bonus of 85% will be paid to the majority of people along with their normal weekly payments during the week beginning November 27th, 2017.

Those people doing part-time work and getting Jobseekers Allowance will usually get any Christmas Bonus in the following week (commencing 4th Dec.)

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Should Individuals Invest in Bitcoin? In a Word, No.

We recommend as financial advisers say that despite the temptation, the market and regulatory risks are too great. It’s a question that financial advisers increasingly hear these days. With bitcoin up more than fourfold this year and a series of high-profile “initial coin offerings” raising more than €1.7 billion in total. There are a number of investors interested in digital currencies has been picking up.

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Saving tips this Christmas

Is it too early to mention the C word? That’s right guys, like it or not, the time has come for you to start thinking about ChristmasIt’s an expensive time of year but hopefully, we can help you get more bang for your buck after reading this blog.  One iconic quote that really resonates with me about Christmas, is from George Best who said ” I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered. ”

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The Ups and Downs of my Career

Having graduated with a Degree in Economics from the London School of Economics, I began my Career in 1995 as an Investment Banker. Twenty two and full of confidence, I found that Investment Banking was a great platform to make a lot of money!  I was moving hundreds of Millions of Pounds/Deutschmarks & Lira between banks which thinking back was a huge responsibility for a 22 year old !! Having worked in some of the biggest Global Banks, I found after 5 years. it was not something I could envisage myself staying long-term and lost the desire to continue.

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Tricks to save big on Black Friday

The biggest shopping day before Christmas is fast approaching so you need to be prepared if you want to get the best bargains. Black Friday falls on November 24 this year.

Forget getting up at dawn, or even skipping work this year, the deals are just as good online. The first piece of advice I can give you is to not overstretch yourself financially, just because you think something is a good deal. Disappointment with the small size of giveaways in the Budget has left consumers feeling underwhelmed. This prompted a drop in consumer sentiment last month, new figures show. Consumers are cautious about their household finances but are ready to splurge at this time of year, so we have decided to give you some useful tips to follow on Black Friday.

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Taxing times – how to reduce the tax you pay without using a pension

Are you sick of seeing adverts from the life assurance companies about pensions and wondering is there anything else I can do?  Whilst there are very few tax saving schemes available in Ireland, especially for PAYE workers, there are ways we can reduce our tax bill NOT using a pension.  The main scheme which is an alternative or compliment to pensions and is not commonly known amongst the general public is called the Employment Investment Incentive Scheme (EIIS for short).  It is really the only other game in town for higher Tax rate payers (those earning over the new standard rate threshold of €35k per annum, or if they are married and taking their spouses allowances €45k per year).  It is an investment Irish individuals make into an Irish company.

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EIIS sees surge to €108m in investments

The EIIS is one of the few remaining sources of total income relief, allowing you to obtain income tax relief on investments in qualifying SMEs. An individual with a taxable income liability in the year the EIIS investment is made can obtain tax relief for the following:

1. PAYE earnings
2. Rental income from property held in a personal capacity
3. ARF distribution income

Tax relief is available in two tranches: an initial 30% in year 1 with a further 10% when additional criteria are met in year 4.

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Financial Services Administrator

Job description:

Reporting to the Financial Services director and Managing director. You will be responsible for ensuring the smooth day to day running of the business and provide first point of contact for service providers, financial advisors and clients.

As a Financial services administrator you will be a key member of the team ensuring successful/smooth running of client’s/company applications from start to finish. The role also covers a level of customer services as well as compliance functions and the assistance with ongoing client reviews.

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Cork Social Media Award 2017

Alpha Wealth was delighted to scoop the Social Media Award at the Cork Business Awards 2017 which took place on Saturday 5th November at The Convention Centre of the Clayton Hotel Silver Springs. In its eleventh year, the Business Cork awards nominated organisations across a number of sectors doing business in Cork city and county.  The awards set about to recognize a business which excels in harnessing the latest business thinking to keep them at the cutting whilst sustaining a positive and future-focused business environment

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Beat the Tax Man

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Senior Financial Advisor

Role Description

Alpha Wealth is a Dynamic, Progressive Financial Services company. Our purpose is to provide individuals, and companies, with a level of service and advice which
they would not have been used to before. We give advice/provide solutions in 3 core areas: Protection & Insurance (including Health Insurance), Retirement Planning and managing your savings. But we also do a lot more. We are seeking to recruit experienced, ambitious and self-motivated financial advisors to join our successful and growing organisation. The successful candidate
will be provided with the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills. We offer competitive salary with bonus, expenses, mobile and laptop.

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Tracker Mortgage Scandal Q&A

Unless you have been hiding behind a rock for the past couple weeks, you would have noticed the coverage of the tracker mortgage scandal in the media. This is where banks have been accused of wrong doing to the public in relation to tracker mortgages taking out. I will run through a few questions that should help shed light on the area. The banks calculated that, even though they might lose money on these products, they could then “hook-in” the people who owned trackers and up-sell them more loans for cars, home improvements, and holidays, all of which would carry higher rates. The higher rates for other loans would off-set the losses on trackers and the banks got sneaky and reacted in the way they always do which is to screw the customer for the banker’s own mistakes and miscalculations.

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Why are we more likely to divorce than change banks?

I spend my days showing people the money that can be saved by simple changes (without reducing benefits).  These savings amount to thousands of euros over the course of the plans but yet a lot of people make do with the status quo.  I think ironically the recession has a lot to do with this.  Whilst we were all affected by it a lot of us have forgotten how to deal with things we can control in our everyday lives.

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Budget 2018

The Minister made a number of changes to the Universal Social Charge as well as an increase in the standard rate income tax bands effective from January 2018. The Minister also increased all weekly social welfare payments, including an increase in the State Pension of €5 per week with effect from the last week in March 2018.

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The Perfect Storm- The Current state of the Savings Market in Ireland

Currently in Ireland we have almost “The Perfect Storm” for Savers.  Firstly, we have a situation of very low interest rates affecting the returns we get from our savings.  Secondly, we have one of the highest Tax rates on deposits, which is currently 39% of the interest you earn. If you add to this the rising costs of buying a property or putting your child/children through school, then you get “The Perfect Storm” or treble whammy.

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5 Years On…

Alpha Wealth has reached the 5th year anniversary milestone. And what a journey it has been,  through both good times and bad.  Having worked in Financial Advisory for 15 years in the Banks primarily since 2000, Nick felt that Irish consumers were not being given straightforward advice and that the Banks and Insurance companies were biased and overcharging for their services.  Hence Alpha Wealth was born. It’s a business that was born in the teeth of the recession, but we’ve also seen the great growth years of recent times too.

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The Mortgage Journey

 As steps in life go, buying a home is certainly one of the big ones. But if you know what’s involved in the mortgage process, you can see it instead as a number of small, easily-managed steps. What’s more, you don’t have to take them on your own. You’re thinking about applying for a mortgage, here’s a quick run-down of the factors that affect mortgage approval and what mortgage amount you can borrow.

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Single? Don’t Think You Need Life Insurance

Often when we think of life insurance, we think of the traditional family with kids, a house, and a dog. And while there’s a good reason families are synonymous with life insurance, there are so many other stages in our lives where we’ll need that security and reassurance too.

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How Vaping Can Save You Over €10,000?

29% of smokers in Ireland currently use e-cigarettes as an aid to quitting smoking. If you’ve been a vaper for over 12 months then you’re classed as a non-smoker according to certain life insurance companies. This means you will pay the same price as a non-smoker.

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The Real Cost of ‘Free Education’ in Ireland?

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela.  This investment in knowledge pays the best interest, however, are our pockets being stretched too far? Have you felt the financial pinch of back to school costs? We’ve some tips to help you find it easier financially next year whether you’re the parent of a primary school pupil, secondary school student or have a child going to third level next year. As the school term starts back, parents across Ireland will be busy preparing packed lunches, laying out uniforms and helping primary school children pack their schoolbags and saying their last goodbyes to their babies who are leaving the nest for Uni. And guess what,  chances are you are underestimating the cost of sending them to school and college.

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Depos**ts are Making You no Money

€92,000,000,000 – wow that’s a big number. That’s the estimated amount of money Irish savers have on Deposit. To put that into perspective, the same amount of minutes equates to over 175,000 years!

And guess what…Deposit rates are at historically low levels, banks are offering deposit rates close to .35% so the key is trying to beat inflation to at least preserve your money. Envisage if it did better and you actually made some money? Inflation has averaged about 2% a year in Ireland.

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Need To Make Money Fast? 7 Tricks To Try

We all wrestle through periods of time when things get tight and we need to make money fast. It’s an exhausting endeavour to expend extra effort just to see the resulting extra cash fly out the door. But making money doesn’t always mean earning more money, it could be saving cash from other areas in your life. Don’t let financial anxiety paralyze you. Get creative and get those bills paid.

The list below is a Mix and Match Tips on How to Make Money Fast:

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Be Part of the Wearable Revolution

Want a Free Garmin Watch plus money back on your life insurance policy?

Alpha Wealth is now bringing this exciting Wearable Technology initiative to you in conjunction with Zurich Life.  When signing up to one of Zurich’s Term Protection or Serious Illness Policies  you are rewarded with a Free Garmin Vivosmart wearable watch along with cash-back to the value of 6 month’s worth of premiums.  This is a pilot programme for 500 customers so they are whilst stocks last! 

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Should you switch mortgages ?

Taking out  mortgages can be a stressful and nerve-wracking time. From trying to get your head around a whole new set of terminology; to finding a broker and the right lender; to deciding on what kind of mortgage rate is most suitable for your financial situation… the list goes on. It’s no wonder that we’re reluctant to revisit our mortgage repayment situation once everything has been settled and put into place.

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Don’t let your finances get in the way of your enjoyment

Hello  Savers,

Today’s blog will hopefully show you that your money doesn’t have to dictate you happiness. It can be hard to have financial goals or a lifestyle change to achieve those goals, when the people who you spend time with don’t share those same ambitions.

The struggle is real, I get it.  Continue reading “Don’t let your finances get in the way of your enjoyment”

AIB Shares – have investors lost it?


Shares in the third largest European bank IPO since the financial crisis were over four times oversubscribed when they were sold last week. AIB’s listing on the main securities market has provided the Irish Stock Exchange (ISE) with the largest IPO in Europe in 2017.

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What Your Relationship with Money Says About You

If you want to truly know yourself, pay close attention to the way you treat money.

John Armstrong renowned British writer once said: “One’s relationship with money is life long, it colours one’s sense of identity, it shapes one’s attitude towards other people, it connects and splits generations; money is the arena in which greed and generosity are played out, in which wisdom is exercised and fully committed. Freedom, desire, power, status, work, and possession: these huge ideas that rule life are enacted, almost always in and around money.”

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Buying insurance online – Is it an expensive mistake?

“1.2.3”, “Chill”, “hello” where to turn?”

I often watch the adverts on TV and wonder why when my son sings the Jingle “12, just log on and save money”. And the little boy telling us we can save up to €400 per year on our mortgage protection insurance, my wife, who likes to shop online, is not running to the laptop.

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If I’ve told you once I’ve told you a thousand times – DIVERSIFY

What comes to mind when you think of diversifying?

Everyone knows the old cliché about not putting all your eggs in one basket. A diversified portfolio might consist of different asset classes such as bonds, property and commodities, but what about equities? Exactly how many stocks are enough? Can you be too diversified, or should you aim to hold as many stocks as possible? Even novice investors can grasp the simple logic underpinning the case for diversification.  An individual stock may easily fall by 50 per cent or more in a short space of time, but a portfolio consisting of dozens of stocks is much less likely to do so.

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So the big question everyone is asking is “should we buy AIB Shares”


Surely now is the time to make a killing…….?

People as a rule and Irish people in particular tend to have short memories and their memories of losses and mistakes are often diluted.  Look at the current property market.  People’s feelings are often more optimistic than they should be.  The Government “sales” have a poor history.  For those of you in your mid to late 30 and above you would remember the Eircom fiasco.
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Savvy savings really can make your euros go further

Savings made simple

It’s never too soon to start getting smarter with your money. From small changes around your home, to making the big switch to new service providers – we’ve got the tips to help you save. – See more at: Our website.  Why not book a free consultation with one of our experienced financial advisors?  On average we save our clients €350 per year.

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7 Top tips for Financial Planning for Student Life

Having just graduated from University as a twenty three year old I understand the importance of managing finances for the duration of your stay in college. Starting college, and indeed continuing your college career, is an exciting time in your life – leaving home, meeting new people, experiencing new things and furthering your education.

Your student experience can be as exciting and adventurous as you want it to be.

It means more freedom and more responsibility in terms of your studies, and also in terms of managing your money.

College life can be expensive if you allow it to be, but with good sensible budgeting practices, you can help keep your expenses to a minimum. Here are some tips to help you save money!

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