Why do we recommend Zurich?Continue reading “Starting a Zurich Savings Plan”
The days of interest on savings are coming to an end, so Irish investors may now have to look elsewhere and be willing to take on some degree of risk, writes Nick Charalambous.Continue reading “No such thing as a risk-free investment for savers as interest rates hit zero”
The Help-to-Buy incentive, also known as the Help-to-Buy scheme, is a Government tax refund scheme designed to help first-time buyers get the deposit needed to buy a newly built home. Borrowers can claim a maximum of 10% of the value of the property or €30,000 – whichever is lower.Continue reading “Help To Buy Scheme”
”Survival of the fittest is not the strongest but the one that can adapt best” – DarwinContinue reading “Digitize or Die”
The latest Bank of Ireland Savings and Investment Index shows that slightly more people were saving regularly in the second quarter of this year amid the Covid-19 lockdown. The study revealed that Irish consumers have poured money into their savings accounts since the beginning of April. The BOI Savings and Investments index also outlines that consumers regarded the lockdown period as a very good time to save. Considering that the vast majority of shops were closed and travel expenses were reduced significantly due to the 5km travel restriction, this helped the savings index rise to its second highest level since 2017.Continue reading “Consumers are saving more during lockdown”
The coronavirus pandemic will change the world forever, I have no doubt about that. As a young child in school I was amazed and shocked by the horror stories while learning about other pandemics throughout history such as the Spanish Flu and other tragedies that had such devastating global effects. I never truly believed that I would ever personally experience another one as I thought such viruses were issues of the past since they weren’t as educated or equipped to cope or deal with them efficiently back then. This whole situation has been a true wake up call to never take anything for granted again and to appreciate the finer things in life such as the freedom to leave your home and meet up with friends and family.Continue reading “Financial services post Covid-19”
As a result of the economic shock of COVID-19 many of us are feeling the implications of the recession. Not only is this having an impact on our finances but also our physical well being. It’s important that we all stick together and give a helping hand to one another so that we can overcome this pandemic together. At Alpha Wealth we have decided to offer some tips on how to save money during this tough period. So hang in there. This too shall passContinue reading “QUICK TIPS TO SAVE MONEY DURING COVID-19”
During periods of uncertainty in the markets, Alpha Wealth recognizes that it can be challenging to determine what, if any, action to take. We are committed to helping you navigate market volatility with personalized advice for your long-term, diversified investment strategy.Continue reading “Market volatility resulting from COVID-19”
Without wanting to appear to sound like the grinch, Christmas is a really bad time for a lot of us as our best laid plans go pear-shaped this time of year. Even if you are normally sensible about money, this is a time of year when everything pushes you to splash out.
We believe that actions speak louder than words, so let us show you how we have been active in our role.
The term Corporate Social Responsibly has become one with a variety of different meanings since its development by Howard Bowen in 1953. Below is a few definitions:
“The term social responsibilities of business men refers to the obligations of business men (and women) to pursue those policies, to make those decisions, or to follow those lines of action which are desirable in terms of the objectives and values of our society. This definition does not imply that businessmen as members of society lack the rights to criticize the values… it is assumed, however, that as servants of society, they must not disregard socially accepted values or place their own above those of society.” (Howard R. Bowen, 1953)
Alpha Wealth offers free financial clinics for individuals and groups. If there is anything we can do for you & your colleagues in the below areas don’t hesitate to reach out as we provide free, no obligation financial consultations for all associates/friends/family and businesses. We provide independent financial advice in;
- Set up a Christmas Savings Account
Setting up a Christmas savings account could be the best thing you ever do! Treat your Christmas savings the same way you would treat an electricity bill etc. Set out monthly targets where you fully commit to saving the same amount each month. In order to do this effectively you must be realistic! Keep within what is manageable for you and start off small with the aim of increasing a little bit every time. Save those small, annoying pennies! Buy a savings jar that you literally have to break to open and save, save, save! You’d be surprised at how it all adds up over time.
- Get presents early
Ideally you should start buying presents on the 1st of November right after Halloween as this will allow you to relax and enjoy the month of December. This will reduce some of the pressure and stress Christmas can cause and will enable you to spend more time choosing and selecting the perfect presents. Buying presents every month from September to Christmas is cost effective, productive and an efficient use of time. Make sure you make a list of the names of the people you are buying gifts for and how much you plan on spending on each person. This will help keep you keep a clear and focused aim and will reduce the chances of you overspending.
On October 9, Finance Minister, Paschal Donohoe will allocate a budget package of €3.4bn.
However, as things stand with €2.6bn of that already having been committed to various expenditure measures, it leaves just €800m for allocation.
Whilst the minister has previously stressed that the upcoming budget will put a little into everyone’s pockets, with suggestions this might be to the tune of around €300 per person on average, the chances of spending increases and tax cuts in Budget 2019 will be limited because of the previously agreed budget commitments.
So what can we expect and is this what we want?
From an earnings point of view, it seems that whilst the income tax rates will be kept the same, the bands may be increased, with suggestions from some quarters that they may be raised to as much as €37,000 for a single person and €46,000 for a couple, or single earning family.
If you have €10k-€100k to Invest what should you do with it?
As a Financial Advisor, I generally sense the state of the economy in terms of confidence and prosperity by the number of clients looking to invest monies. Noticeably this has risen over the past few months and generally, the main enquiries we come across are those looking to invest up to a six-figure sum. Whilst I appreciate many of you reading this may not have these monies available, it is all relative to the fact that whether it is €1,000 or €1 Million you may have to invest. Deposit rates are negligible, if you haven’t looked at them recently, check AN Post’s 3-year deposit paying 1% in total. That is €100 on €10,000 over that period. Whilst everyone should have an emergency fund in a bank account (generally about 3 month’s pay) to fall back on, it is not really a suitable home for the vast majority of savers in Ireland for larger amounts. The exception to this is if you need the money within a very short period, that is less than two to three years or if you are elderly or cannot tolerate any risk to the capital whatsoever.
Bill Gates is one of the world’s richest people, earning about €328 per second.
By the time you read this article, he will have earned about €200,000.
We know how he made his money, as Microsoft is a huge corporation.
You might be thinking that Mr Gates can afford to be wasteful with his money and dry himself with €50 notes, but the opposite is true.
He actually gives away almost all of his income to charity. He has donated €30bn since 1994.
Nonetheless, he remains one of the richest people in the world because he, or more precisely his money manager Michael Larson, manages the wealth extremely well.
We ordinary mortals can follow a few of his strategies.
Financial planning is crucial, especially when talking about our children’s future, writes Nick Charalambous, Managing Director of Alpha Wealth.
Many parents avoid discussing money with their children as they feel they are either too young or immature to understand it.
Parents have a responsibility to educate their children on how to be financially savvy and how to save and spend wisely.
Having spent my first 23 years in London, my financial education may have differed from those in Ireland. In the UK, there are government incentives that assist children when they might require funds.
One is a tax efficient savings plan, called a Junior ISA, and another is a pension for newborns, in which a relative — typically a parent or grandparent — can pay into a pension for a child from birth.
Here in Ireland, many remember the Irish government’s SSIA scheme, a five-year savings plan with a 25% top-up contribution from the Government. This scheme operated around 2001/2 to 2006/7 and was money for jam.
It is estimated that it costs €584 a year to send a child to primary school, and €1,236 a year for secondary school. Third level education costs range between €20,000 and €40,000 per child on average.
Like the weather we have had particularly in since May I felt it appropriate to talk about things that we cannot control. As a Financial Advisor, we talk to clients about effecting plans to ensure that they can afford the things they want/need when they need them. For example: –
- Saving for Retirement so at 60 you don’t have to work
- Saving for your kids to go to 3rd level education
- Saving for a Mortgage.
There are a lot of things to save for, so start saving! Easier said than done you might be thinking but imagine if you received €10,000 in 5 years what would you do with it?
This €10,000 could be used for any of the above and would only require you to save about €160 p.m.* (which is not much more than the children’s allowance for 1 child every month).
Did you know……
It is estimated that it costs €584 a year to send a child to primary school, €1,236 a year for secondary school & if you levy third level education costs ranging between €20,000-€40,000 per child on average this is a significant amount of money!
If you have a lot of children, you may have to fund some of the third level education costs by working or going into debt.
This can be avoided if you start a savings account sooner rather than later.
Irish consumers face what can be very expensive decisions on many types of Insurances on a frequent basis. Some of these insurances we are compelled to buy, such as car insurance, mortgage protection and house insurance. Whilst there are other types of insurances we choose to buy, such as health, illness cover and gadget insurance. Paying too much or getting inadequate cover can eat up a lot of the household budget and to add to this the Insurance industry in Ireland, unfortunately, is gaining a reputation for not putting consumers first. The fact that many consumers do not necessarily fully understand what certain insurances are for and may feel pressurised into buying these by advisors praying on their fear exacerbates the problem. So to start with insurances we are obliged to buy.
Negotiate your home & car insurance bills.
Many people including myself have WAY too much insurance! I pay €15 a month for insurance on my iPhone in the event that it breaks or is lost or stolen. Recently, I was barely able to see my phone through all the cracks and instead of using my insurance and sending my phone away to be fixed for free, I decided to bring it to the nearest phone repair shop and ended up paying €50! Why did I do this? Well, because I didn’t really have the time or patience to wait around for my phone to be ready. Realistically I could save up to €180 a year if I didn’t have phone insurance, but the question is do I really want to risk it?
By shopping around, and re-evaluating the different types of insurances you have, you may be surprised at the amount of money you could potentially save. It may also be worthwhile to simply call your insurance companies and ask for a discount. However, I would personally suggest arranging to speak to a financial advisor for a free financial review in order to gain an understanding of how to manage your personal finances.
- Others will be more than happy to spend your money
Speaking as a Millennial, I know all too well that there is no Hallmark card to convey “Best of luck when you move away, but this going away party & night out in another county is too rich for my budget”, because it feels tremendously rude to turn down such invites. The early twenties to early thirties seems like a never-ending cycle of birthday parties, going away parties, bridal showers, hen nights, stag nights, baby showers, weddings, boozy brunches, liquid lunches and so on, but all these ‘must go to’ events take a serious toll on your bank account.
So what’s the secret? Other people are more than happy to spend your hard earned money for you!
It may happen to be your brother or sister or even your best friend’s big day that will only happen once in your lifetime, but unfortunately, it’s a day that will happen over and over again. Being part of weddings and going away parties can become a serious threat to your bank account over time, which in turn will lead to borrowing more, using that godforsaken credit card or just simply ignoring the problem until it creeps up on you down the line.
The moral of the story is DON’T DO THE LATTER!
- 10% of your own contribution towards the purchase price for first time buyers (20% for second time buyers etc)
- A demonstrated repayment ability through rent, savings and recent loan repayments that are now finished
- Set property goals realistically: Generally banks will only lend max 3 x times your annual gross salary/salaries
- Good current account operation and credit history
- Stable employment and a steady flow of income
- Suitable mortgage protection/Life Cover and home insurance to assign to the mortgage
Come speak to us to get mortgage ready and ensure you get a first time approval!
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.
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:
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.)
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.
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 Christmas. It’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. ”