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?

Fact-find

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 “12,3.ie 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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Put your money where your mouth is…

Where would you invest €10,000 today?

Well everyone seemingly has an opinion on this question and will give you a quick answer to it! Well that’s anyone with the exception of a Financial Broker, Alpha Wealth will not give you a quick answer to such an important question. This is because what you decide to invest in is not about going with fads or trying to pick a winner as you might in a horse race.  Finding the best investment opportunities needs to be based on a very systematic approach and on your own particular circumstances. And that’s where Alpha Wealth will help you.

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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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8 ways we can help improve your lifestyle

Why us?

We thought it might be useful to step back a little bit and review the value that we bring to our clients, in order to make sure we’re meeting your needs as much as we possibly can. We identified ways in which we enrich the lives of our clients and ended up with quite a long list! We then came up with the idea of narrowing down this list and sharing with you 8 ways in which we can help you to improve your lifestyle.

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Why are we afraid to switch healthcare providers?

Creatures of Habit

We all make subconscious decisions constantly throughout our life about purchasing different products and services. Did you know that Mary my neighbour told me that her family have been a loyal customer of their health care provider for years? I asked her why? And she replied by telling me that her parents were also with them so why would I change?  I then told her what if I was to say to you that the price of petrol has gone up 20 cent per litre in the petrol station she uses. You can be sure she will drive 2km down the road to the next service station to get the price she always pays.

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Top 5 tips for new parents managing their finances

Trying to adjust to life after the arrival of a new born it is hard to focus on anything other than what is needed today or this minute or right now for any family! Whereas prior to the new born you may have been able to plan your day or even just your morning, your time is now focused your babies patterns and how unpredictable they are.

However, I believe that this life event is in fact the very time a family should be addressing some key financial planning issues. There is a new mouth to feed, nurture, protect and provide for.

Here are the 5 actions you need to put in place today………

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What the beautiful game teaches us about financial management

Practice, Practice, Practice

The biggest thing in soccer is that players practice every day. Starting with the fundamentals –stretching, drills, and small skills. Then players build on more sophisticated things. In finance, some fundamentals to consider include having a savings account, pension and budget that helps you achieve your goals. Setting yourself up with these essentials doesn’t necessarily put you on the path towards millions, but neglecting them can often result in setbacks.

So, how can you practice financial management? Actually by ringing 021- 2061782 which will bring you to Alpha Wealth. I’ll stop there I won’t make this an advertisement. But perhaps, by setting one Sunday each month to pay all your bills. Or set up a direct debit so you’re never late. Create a budget each week for a month, keeping track of how well you stick to it and crafting an improved budget for the following month. The iconic quote from Warren Buffett states “Rule No.1: Never lose money. Rule No.2: Never forget rule No.1.” is a core concept of financial management.

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Planning for financial happiness for under 35s in Ireland

Are you in this category? 35 years of age or younger having a good permanent employment with the whole world at your mercy? Then a word of caution if you fit this description – think first, plan carefully and implement slowly before embarking on decisions that will affect you for the rest of your life.

Meet “Jen” and “Mark” seen above taking a ‘selfie’ who are thinking of getting married and moving in with one another. They are looking at buying an apartment as they are far cheaper than houses. After all it is their first step on the property ladder. Forecasting into the future, the plan for the couple is to have children meaning that they might have out grown their apartment. In a lot of cases the question is, will they be able to offload this apartment? Where can they get the equity for the new purchase?  And how they might not be able to afford the two mortgages? Even buying an apartment today for similar individuals does not guarantee the value – it may still depreciate.

So what should you consider before embarking on these decisions? Here is a guide to planning your finances in the right direction:

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Get to know your options when saving for your big plans

Remember your first piggy bank or putting your pocket money away to get the latest computer game or doll? Saving is something we have learned from an early age. As we get older our savings plans become bigger and there’s more to consider. After all, piggy banks don’t earn interest or have to worry about who’ brings home the shopping.

Whether you are planning to save for your new home, a perfect wedding, college fees or simply for peace of mind against unforeseen events, a sensible savings plan can make all the difference.

Alpha Wealth can help you by offering you a wide range of savings solutions whatever your needs may be.

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Careers at Alpha Wealth

Financial Advisor Role

A Financial advisory job can be a great profession for someone who wants to head down a new career path. Why? Because it’s a job where having some life experience under your belt really helps. Have you saved to buy a car or a house? Had to figure out how to pay for nursery school or college? Helped an elderly parent afford medical care? The more financial challenges you’ve faced in your own life, the more empathy you should have with your clients as an advisor.

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Feeling sick and unwell due to rising health insurance costs?

Live each day like you have a significantly better health insurance plan.

While private health insurance can be a big help if you want to be treated privately and quickly, but even this is no guarantee that you won’t be hit with a scary hospital bill. You should shop around and find the best plan.

One major issue with health insurance providers is that once you interact with them, they’ll tell you all about their fantastic plans suited to you. It doesn’t sound that bad, but you need to be certain about the cover you need.

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Nothing is certain expect for death and taxes

Ever thought about what would happen if you or your business partner passed away?

Business Protection provides a lump sum through a life policy so that the next of kin’s shares are purchased back by the remaining directors/partners and thus allows the deceased family to be looked after while the remaining directors/partners can retain control of the business. Continue reading “Nothing is certain expect for death and taxes”

The Importance of Disclosing Medical Information

A claim rejected due to non-disclosure causes a great deal of stress for everyone involved

According to a recent survey nearly 5% of all life and serious illness claims are declined due to the fact that customers did not disclose all relevant medical facts at the application stage.

Read and weep people, but do not forget to disclose all relevant information. The consequences of non-disclosure can potentially have profound impacts.

It’s so much better to be safe than sorry. Find out what motivates people to not disclose information… you never know, you might unwittingly do it yourself.

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What are you saving for?

Failing to achieve savings targets. But, what are you saving for?

How many times have you agree to yourself that you will start saving, but failed epically after 2 months. It is a well known challenge which we all face. Some day you will have to face reality and start that savings account.

Wait a sec… there’s still that one thing annoying you… why am I saving? Or rather ask what am I saving for? Continue reading “What are you saving for?”

Brexit and Irish Pension Schemes

Market volatility and the impact on Pension Schemes and strategies due to the Leave vote.

The UK’s decision to leave the European Union has already created implications for pensions, and the impact will continue to make inroads into the sector.

Financial markets have lost significant value, and the key question for fund managers of pension schemes is how their schemes’ governance structures are going to perform. We are highly recommending individuals to review their pension schemes and speak to a financial advisor. If you are unsure about the current status of your pension or would like a second opinion contact us now here.

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BlackBee Investment Opportunities

There are fantastic new products available from BlackBee Investments. Whilst the recent event of the Brexit referendum has created uncertainly in the markets, we believe that due to the significant decrease in stocks overall, it is now an optimum occasion to invest. So, if you feel the same way, be sure to have a look what’s on offer and we’ll walk you through a brief explanation of the products. Continue reading “BlackBee Investment Opportunities”

Saving for your children’s future

We all know that the sooner we start saving for our childrens’ third level education, the more we’ll be able to help them on their way when the big day comes to start college.

Setting up a college fund savings account at this time of year can get pushed aside until it’s all but forgotten.

We all want to give our children the best possible start in life and a good education is a top priority. However, this can be a lot more costly than you might realise.

The cost of putting just one child through school and college can easily run into tens of thousands of euro. If you have two or more children, well.. enough said.

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A Practical Guide to Mortgage Protection

Buying your home is one of the biggest financial commitments you will ever make, so putting the right cover in place to protect it should be a top priority. It is the most practical way to ensure that if the worst were to happen, your family would have sufficient money to survive and maintain their lifestyle.

Mortgage protection insurance is typically required when taking out a mortgage and essential for anyone buying their home. The good news is that it is the cheapest form of life insurance and it decreases over time in line with your outstanding mortgage.

recent survey of Irish consumers found that almost two thirds of respondents regularly think about the future financial situation of their loved ones if they were to die.

The biggest household savings can be made by searching for a better-value life insurance/mortgage protection policy, at over €50 a month.

The following blog outlines a few things you need to know about mortgage protection and what cover you can expect to get. As an independent broker Alpha Wealth research the market and offer the most suitable cover for the cheapest price. Contact us for a free quote HERE.

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What does Brexit mean for Ireland?

So the known unknown has actually happened. Britain, Ireland and the European Union now face a series of consequences and difficult choices in the short, medium and long-term. In a few hours everything has changed.

We noted in our last blog that people are envisioning a Brexit scenario to be much like the post-apocalyptic future of the Terminator movies after judgement day. Well.. it has happened, but it’s not all horror and despair. The crucial steps are the next 2 years. Let’s take a look at how Ireland might fair. Continue reading “What does Brexit mean for Ireland?”

Brexit and the Impact for Ireland

It appears that people are envisioning a Brexit scenario to be much like the post-apocalyptic future of the Terminator movies after judgement day.

In three days time we could wake up to a radically changed world, a different Europe, a different Britain and Ireland caught in between both. One thing we’re all wondering is if in the event that Britain does choose to leave, will it be as apocalyptic as the remain side make it out to be?

In recent weeks the Brexit debate has cranked up and much can be said about Ireland’s significant relationship with Britain. Our economies, history and commerce are closely intertwined. Fears over the ramifications of Britain leaving the EU are causing market turmoil, but what does Brexit mean for you?

However, the main question is not how to deal with it in the next few days, but how to deal with a profoundly different investment and business environment in the wake of a redefined Europe.

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How to spend less, save more and reap the benefits – Part 2

Learn how to save more and spend money in the more important areas of life. It is time you start to plan more effectively and learn how to motivate yourself to save. You’ll also be surprised by the amount of money you spend on things you don’t necessarily need. Keep your lifestyle inflation in check and swap those restaurant meals for ‘potluck’ dinners with family and friends. Read part 2 of ‘How to spend less, save more and reap the benefits’.

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Grow your income by investing in the Pharmaceutical Industry

After many slow years in the 2000s, the pharma and biotech sectors are now in the midst of a remarkable period, where the number of new drug approvals has risen sharply, and many genuinely innovative drugs are reaching the market. Ireland is one of the leading locations for the pharmaceutical industry in Europe. For a country of just 4.6 million people, Ireland punches well above its weight and is undoubtedly a world player in pharmaceutical production.

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Pick Your Personal Finance Day

Many of us experience anxiety and stress over our finances on a regular basis. Whilst many of us have money things arise as the week progresses, you can usual move monthly due date for bills. From this day onwards, go ahead and pick one day a month to be the day that you catch up on all your financial needs.

As financial advisors, we know that having a single day a month where you deal with all your finances makes you stress less, helps you get everything done at once and ensures you plan better. Imagine that? 29 days stress free. Pick one day a month, always the first or last day and review everything. Use your laptop/computer or write down by hand every Euro that was spent. Choose the categories based on your core spending areas. Total everything up and you’ll find out where the money is going and if it needs to be spent in that area.

Once you’ve gotten into a regular routine of paying all your bills, double-checking your budget, and making any changes you need on the same day, it will be hard to forget. This is a fantastic day to look through your bills and see if you can reduce them. Ring companies and try to get better deals and learn how to budget small spending. It will eventually become second nature. Most importantly, we are inclined to forget things if we don’t have a set date to review our finances. Get a notepad write down what you need to check and do it on that day. A personal finance day on the calendar will put your mind at ease and you know exactly when you need to deal with all of it.

Can you afford to leave an inheritance?

The recent programme for government published this week included a commitment to increase the tax-free threshold for children inheriting from their parents to €500,000. It is currently set at €280,000, after which a tax rate of 33 per cent applies. This combined with a recent article by Louise McBride got us thinking about your inheritance.

Many parents will now face the reality that they will have little, if anything, left to pass onto their children. The cost of living has been rapidly increasing in recent years, this coupled with the enormous healthcare costs and longer life expectancy has made enjoying your retirement a tad bit more expensive. Your increasing longevity will no doubt swallow any inheritance cash you had been planning to leave to your children. So, how do we navigate these uncertain times? It’s quite simple actually.

Continue reading “Can you afford to leave an inheritance?”

How to spend less, save more and reap the benefits – Part 1

Learn how to save more and spend money in the more important areas of life. It is time you start to plan more effectively and learn how to motivate yourself to save. You’ll also be surprised by the amount of money we spend on things we don’t necessarily need. Read part one of ‘How to spend less, save more and reap the benefits’.

Continue reading “How to spend less, save more and reap the benefits – Part 1”

The Value of a Financial Advisor

The value of a Financial Advisor can be the value of an investment or something that you cannot quantify, such as happiness. Financial Advisors help you manage your wealth and allow you to forge a clear pathway to financial independence. While the do-it-yourself approach can be fun and give you a sense of control, it may translate into lost savings and a reduction in potential profits.

I often question where that 10 euro went and the sad thing is: those 10 euros add up over time. Here is a list of three reasons highlighting the value of getting financial guidance. (Free with Alpha Wealth)

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