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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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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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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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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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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Alpha Wealth Job Announcements

We are proud to announce that we have made two key job appointments.

Tracie Mooney has been appointed as financial services manager and Rebecca O’Callaghan has been promoted to director of financial services. Tracie joined Alpha Wealth in 2015, having completed a degree in business studies and marketing. With more than ten years of finance experience, six of which in finance and administration with Permanent TSB. Tracie will manage all functions of business in Alpha Wealth, overseeing all life, pension and investment business through various platforms of personal, company and pension investors.

Rebecca O’Callaghan joined Alpha Wealth in 32013. She is a graduate of the University of Limerick with a degree in accounting and finance. She has worked for large multinationals both in Ireland and the Isle of Man. Her prior roles were in broader insurance. She has been promoted twice since joining the company and won a personal achievement award from the Irish Brokers Association in 2013.

Website Launch & Leeside Soccer Club Fundraiser

We recently had a fantastic afternoon in Zest, Little Island. Many thanks to them for hosting us. It was a magnificent day to celebrate all the hard work and dedication of our local community. Continue reading “Website Launch & Leeside Soccer Club Fundraiser”

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 in long-term and lost the desire to continue. Continue reading “The Ups and Downs of my Career”

The Advantages of Being Small

As Alpha Wealth enter into our Third Year and a sign that we are succeeding is one of clients referring people to us when we don’t ask them to, I ponder about whether it is better to be a small fish or a big one?

We are a Financial Services firm with five staff, even though people keep saying, which is a quote I really like, that “I went out on my own (with another fella)”. My team (as far as I’m concerned) are the most driven, focused, hard-working bunch on the planet. They work lots of hours, for reasonable pay but none of the flashy on-site gyms, foosball tables, sleep pods or gaming rooms that some companies offer. They do however, get direct and industry training and experience they would wait for years in other firms. Also they are as close to the real customer environment and definitely don’t get bored with their work. Working for a (relative) start-up isn’t easy but it’s not supposed to be. Continue reading “The Advantages of Being Small”