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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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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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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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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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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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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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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The Added Value of a Financial Advisor

Be different

As financial advisors we are often asked whether it is worth the cost to hire a financial advisor. I know, very ironic. After all, there is a cost to make you money.  People say they can listen to the news to find out where and how to invest, so, “Wouldn’t I be better off just keeping that fee for myself?” That is an excellent question with an answer that depends on many factors. First and foremost is that Alpha Wealth is unique in its practices to a huge proportion of brokers across Ireland. We look at all aspects of financial management and we offer free financial reviews. Yes, you did hear that right. Exiting, right?

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Personal Tax Tips in Ireland

Income protection policy

Tax relief is applicable when you effect an income protection policy (policy taken out in case of an accident, illness etc). The tax relief is available at your marginal rate of tax of 20%/40%.

Health insurance

We recommend if you  are a contractor/ permanent employee & pay your health insurance yourself, you can benefit from tax relief at a rate of 20%  on the cost of the premium – reducing your net cost.

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Ireland: Budget 2016

How much better off are you? Use this calculator to find out –

Significant cuts to the USC, including a 1.5 point cut in the main rate to 5.5 per cent, are the key change delivering increases in take-home pay.

Budget 2016 tax changes will mean gains for taxpayers ranging typically from €500 a year to €1,000, with some running close to €1,500 a year. This means that, overall, the Budget calculations are reasonably straightforward for most taxpayers.

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