How To Create An Investment Portfolio To Set You Up For Life

For those who have yet to dip their toes into that particular pond, the concept of investment can be pretty intimidating.

Many of us imagine Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wolf Street – lots of men shouting down the telephone and looking at screens full of numbers, or complicated graphs.

Not only that, but the risk involved can also be scary. Who knows if the money that you are going to put in will make you money, or is even legitimate to begin with?

However, if done right, investments can be pretty straightforward and can help to set you up for life.

Perhaps you are hoping to make a passive income alongside your regular job, or maybe you are looking for something to fund you through your retirement years.

Perhaps you want to leave your children with something to help them in their lives after you have gone.

Whatever reason you have for wanting to set up an investment portfolio, here we share some tips and tricks to help you get started with building a portfolio that will set you and your family up for life.

Have a clear goal to work towards

Before you do anything else, you need to think about what it is you want to get out of your investment portfolio.

Are you hoping for capital growth, an income, or a combination of the two?

What it is you are looking for as an end result will have a bearing on the type of investment that you go for. 

What level of risk can you tolerate?

One of the main principles of investment is the risk versus reward payoff.

There is never any guarantee with any form of investment, so the risk will always be a factor, but as with anything, some types come with more risk than others, and this is something you need to take into consideration.

Generally, higher-risk investments will give you a higher return – otherwise, why would anyone ever bother taking the risk in the first place?

However, that is never a guarantee and is something that you need to be prepared for. Can you afford to take the hit if it does not quite go to plan?

What you need to consider is the volatility, which is how much your investments will potentially fluctuate in value.

When it comes to volatility, the length of your investment can make a difference.

If you are investing the money in something, for say, ten or more years, you can tolerate higher volatility.

This is because there is more time for the investment to recover from any short-term fluctuations. 

Have you thought about asset allocation

We will cover why diversification is crucial and the different ways of building a diversified portfolio below, but the allocation of assets is one of the key points of portfolio creation.

You might opt for stocks and shares and bonds, property, or something tangible such as fine wine, art or precious metals.

You can check out some of the Noble Gold Investments reviews here if gold is something you would be considering.

What is investment diversification, and why is it important?

Ploughing all of your allocated funds into one form of investment can be incredibly risky.

If you put it all into property, for example, and the property market collapses, your money might as well go down the drain.

However, if you have a bit of money invested in property, some in stocks, others in cryptocurrency, you are not risking all of your money disappearing at the same time.

You have heard of the saying ‘don’t put all of your eggs in one basket’? Well, that is precisely what we are talking about here.

Once you have chosen how to allocate your funds – say, for example, in shares, you can then diversify by sector.

You may want to buy shares in banks, which is fine. However, if you pour all of your share allocations into the banking sector, and there is a financial crisis like the one in 2008, the value of your shares will dramatically tumble.

In this case, you may want to buy shares in various sectors – healthcare, precious metals, technology and so on. Then, if one industry collapses, it is not going to affect all of your shares.

You also should consider spreading out your investments globally. By investing in different regions, you are not limited by the stock market of one country or the economic policies of a particular government.

However, this can also add an extra dimension of risk to the process.

What are some of the things you could consider investing in?

What to invest in

Property

People have been investing in property for as long as they have been building houses because it is a generally low risk and high return form of investment.
There are several ways in which you can invest in property, from buying and selling, renting out for either residential lettings, commercial or vacation lets, or flipping.

The advantages of this form of investment are that it is relatively stable when compared to other types.

The sale of property takes time and is always in demand, making it much less volatile. You also have the opportunity to leverage your investment, meaning you can buy more with less.

Generally, with a property, you put a deposit down, and your bank lends you the rest.

The downside is that it is not very liquid – you cannot access your money at the drop of a hat if it is tied up in property.

It can take weeks or even months. It also has high entry costs, as to get a foot in the property market can cost you thousands.

Cryptocurrency

In the investment world, cryptocurrency is the next big thing. Cryptocurrency is a form of digital currency, the most popular one being Bitcoin, which you may well have heard of.

It is relatively new, having only been around for a little over ten years, but so far, it seems to be a pretty solid investment.

Those who took the plunge early on are seeing huge returns on their money. In July 2015, the price of Bitcoin was just over $280. In December 2017, it was $17k. 

The disadvantage with cryptocurrency is that being so new, it is difficult to make any long-term projections about how it will do, so the element of risk is high.

It can also be volatile – there have been periods where the value has shot through the roof and then dropped quite dramatically before jumping back up. Being an intangible asset, this can make many potential investors nervous.

Stocks

Stocks are one of the most popular and common forms of investment. They are easy to buy and accessible to the vast majority of people.

You can purchase them through a stockbroker, a financial planner, or you can buy and manage them yourself online.

You can make money in two ways – as a day trader or a buy and hold investor. Both buy low and sell high, investing in fast-growing companies whose value is appreciating.

Day traders hope to take advantage of short term trends while buy and hold investors expect to see their return grow over a more extended period of time.

One of the good things about stocks is that they are incredibly liquid – they can be sold quickly and easily so you can access and use your money.

However, investing in stocks does come with risks. If you have invested significant amounts of money in one company and they don’t do well, the value of their shares will plummet and with that your money.

There is also the risk that, if the company goes into administration, as a stockholder, you will be at the bottom of the list to receive your money. 

Precious Metals

As with property, precious metals such as gold, silver and platinum have been used as a form of investment for many years due to their inherent value.

Platinum can be quite a volatile investment, so most people tend to spend their money on either gold or silver, both in bullion form, which can be measured in weight, or fine jewellery.

Coins also hold their value and can be a collectible asset. Gold tends to keep its value even in periods of economic uncertainty and can be traded in quickly if the money is needed.

Knowing what form of investment to go for depends on a whole range of factors: your appetite for risk, the liquidity of the asset, the entry fee and it’s volatility in the short and long term.

You also need to consider how hands-on you want to be – do you want to buy it and leave it to do its thing and make money, or do you want to be involved?

Before making any significant investment, talk to a financial advisor and weigh up the pros and cons. 

Everything You Need to Know About Check Printing

Check printing is an important part of any business, even in today’s digital world.

If you want to ensure that you’re protecting the security of your finances, it’s extremely important that you pay attention to the manner in which you’re printing your checks. 

There are essentially two main ways in which businesses print checks: in-house or through the use of an outsourced check-printing service.

In this article, we will discuss the different types of check printing, as well as the potential drawbacks and benefits of both types. 

Why is Check Printing Still Necessary in a Digital World?

Even though the world is shifting toward all things digital, there are certain things that remain best done on paper, and issuing checks is one of them.

There are many reasons why businesses choose to use paper checks. Some of the reasons why businesses find paper checks so useful are:

  1. Paper checks can be helpful for tax season, as they provide a clear record of your payments.
  2. Additionally, physical checks provide peace of mind that you’ll still have a record of your payments even if your electronic system begins malfunctioning. 
  3. Furthermore, when dealing with clients, many businesses feel as though issuing paper checks increases their legitimacy and makes them appear more professional. 
  4. Paper checks come complete with security features, helping businesses to avoid financial troubles such as fraud.

What Costs and Responsibilities Come Along with In-House Check Printing?

There are a lot of different options out there when it comes to check printing.

Many companies struggle with the idea of whether or not to hire an outsourced check printing company to take care of all of their needs.

This is an option that works very well for businesses, regardless of their size. 

However, some companies still choose to print their checks in house.

While this is certainly a viable option, it’s important to recognize that there are a lot of responsibilities and extra costs that come along with printing your checks in-house. For example:

1. The Delivery of Checks: 

The cost of postage and the need for occasional expedited shipping can really add up.

While it may seem small, postage costs can actually go through the roof, especially when time is a factor.

In addition, the responsibility associated with getting your checks to the right people can be a huge task that requires additional employees. 

2. The Cost of Staff: 

Speaking of additional employees, it’s important to remember that in order to print checks in-house, specialized staff members who are well trained in finance are necessary.

It’s important that you have people who are trained in check production, filing, and reconciliation.

In addition, management and quality control are extremely important when it comes to the finances of your business, so it’s key not to skimp there either.

3. The Materials and Fees Associated With Printing Your Checks: 

In order to print and distribute your checks to employees and vendors, a lot of small costs are involved.

Putting postage costs aside, there is still the cost of envelopes or other packing materials, printer toner, the stock which is appropriate for check printing, a printer that can handle large check printing jobs, and digital equipment (such as a subscription to a service such as QuickBooks). 

Furthermore, there are always fees involved with check printing which can make things more complex and expensive.

For example, you may need to deal with certain bank fees that are associated with each check you issue, or, if there’s a problem within your internal finance department, you may find yourself facing things such as late fees in association with your checks. 

Should I Use a Check Printing Service?

Because in-house check printing is such a large and potentially expensive undertaking, a lot of businesses opt for using an outsourced check-printing service.

There are indeed many benefits to utilizing a check printing service. Some of the most significant benefits are:

1. Increased Quality of Your Checks and Printing in General: 

Your checks will be uniform, printed on, and with consistent materials.

Furthermore, if you need to scale your check printing operation up or down, you can do so with ease with a check printing service.

There’s no need to worry that you’ll need more materials or equipment if your business sees a sudden boom.

In the same way, if your company has a poor quarter, you won’t have to worry about eating the costs of all your expensive check printing equipment. 

2. Increased Security: 

There are many security features that a check printing company can add to your checks in order to keep them safe and secure.

Some of the most important are watermarks, security threads, enhanced toners, chemical sensitivities, and special fibers.

All of these features serve to ensure that no one can forge one of your checks, and any banking institution will be able to see that your checks are indeed credible. 

3. Access to Experts in Check Printing and Other Areas: 

If you don’t have your own in-house finance team which specializes in check printing, you may find yourself in the dark when it comes to paying employees and clients.

A check printing service can ensure that you have experts at your fingertips when you need them.

Other than check printing, these experts are often able to advise and help you with printing statements, setting up your own check printing software (if necessary), address cleansing, and setting up your direct deposits.

Thus, it can be seen that there is a lot to consider when deciding whether or not to print your own checks.

While some businesses may think it’s easier to do it on their own, once you start looking into the logistics surrounding printing your own checks, you’ll begin to see that there are a lot of costs and headaches associated with the process that you may not have known about before. 

In order to simplify the process, consider hiring an outsourced check printing company.

Regardless of the size of your business, a check printing company can be a huge help, saving you time, money, and effort, while also ensuring the safety of your finances.

Reach out to a reputable check printing company today in order to see how they can simplify your business.

Crafting Your New Career: What Does It Take To Sell Your Creations Online Effectively?

It seems that every parent is looking for a way to get more money through a creative endeavor. 

Some people feel they need to set up a business of sorts or they’ve got a gift that they can use to get a bit more money by creating items. 

Whether it’s paints, pastels, or getting the sewing machine out, everybody is at it now. 

But what does it take to truly make a living out of selling your creations online? Is it possible to do this properly?

Identify Your Target Market

Before you start thinking about your brand you’ve got to understand who will buy this product. 

Your target market is all about having a clear picture in your head of who the person would be that will purchase your product. 

Once you start to get a clear vision of this into your head you can look at the channels that are typical of that person, such as what sort of magazines they buy or what type of things they are attracted to. 

It’s all about identifying this target market clearly.

Ensure A Perfect User Experience

You may set up your website through an existing provider so you may want to go into it by yourself. 

One of the benefits of creating your own website is that you can perfectly craft the user experience. 

But don’t forget, it’s not just about how it looks but it’s about making sure that your customer is able to navigate through everything effectively. 

Think about the real-life shopping experience and transfer this online all the way through to the final payments. 

And this is something that could be an afterthought but there are many apps that you can use to accept payments such as this site. Do not neglect the user experience.

Price It Right

You want to provide a bargain but you also need to make sure that you aren’t working below minimum wage. 

You’ve got to think about the budget your target customer would have but also make sure that you are able to make a profit. 

The formula that many people use is materials + labor + expenses + profit. Add these together and you will get the wholesale price

But once you multiply that by 2, that is how much you would be selling it for.

Test Out The Product

You shouldn’t be afraid to test it out first. It’s common sense to make sure that your product is geared towards the right market.

But you should also think about going to business fairs and exhibitions so you can gauge whether there is a demand for this product. 

Having a face to face conversation with someone about their needs can point you in the right direction. It can also make sure you double-check that you are pricing it appropriately.

It is a dream of many to set up a business of sorts. If you are creative and crafty, learning how to make money off your hobby seems like a fantastic option. 

But like any budding business person, you have to remember that there is a lot of work upfront.

How To Find The Right Expat Mortgage For You In Australia

Australia is a beautiful land. It becomes difficult to leave once you have tasted the warm weather and feast your eyes on the fantastic wildlife like kangaroos. 

While the experience feels like a dream to many, it is not impossible to settle in Australia. For starters, the country is teeming with expats, and opportunities for settling are immense.

Australia has a vibrant housing market, with many houses waiting for occupants. The mortgage market is accommodating, which implies getting your own home is possible. 

Over the past few years, however, expats in Australia have been experiencing difficulties obtaining a desirable mortgage. 

It means, settling in the country could not be easy after all. For this reason, we have put together this article to point you in the right direction in case you might need a mortgage. 

In this article, we highlight the steps you should follow and the right places, to obtain a desirable mortgage for expats.

What is an expat mortgage?

Expat mortgages are what the name suggests; mortgages designed to facilitate homeownership for expats. 

Not just in Australia but across the world, expats experience difficulties obtaining this facility because of a lack of proper information. 

A lender might be reluctant to engage an expat because of uncertainty around his/her length of stay. If they access mortgages, expats might have to pay punitive rates.

Lessening the barriers to accessing expat mortgage in Australia begins with approaching the right mortgage broker. 

A mortgage broker in Melbourne like this can facilitate access to the mortgages by assessing the loan requirements of the client. Besides, they create a profile of the client’s financial situation. 

Using the profile and the requirements, the brokers identify the right lender whose terms are appropriate to the client. 

Things to consider before applying for expat mortgage in Australia

What’s your Visa status/subclass? 

A mortgage broker can do all the research to ensure that you get the appropriate quote, but getting a mortgage on favorable terms when you do not have an acceptable Visa can be impossible.

Non-resident expats pay more in hidden costs, such as legal fees and loan establishment fees. 

If you are going to buy a property to live, then you can breathe easy because some of these costs may not be applicable. 

The amount you can borrow

Lenders do not have similar terms for mortgages just for competition’s sake. 

Nevertheless, there is consensus that establishes the mortgage amount accessible at about 80% of the property’s value. 

Other factors, such as your visa status, monthly income, creditworthiness, and savings, among others, also affect the mortgage amount you can apply for. 

Your mortgage broker should be able to help clarify such issues so that you have a better experience, facing these hurdles after initiating the borrowing process. 

In which currency do you earn your income?

The denomination of your income is critical to lenders when considering mortgage applications. If, for example, you live in Australia, but your income is in USD, some lenders might reject your application.

The problem lies with the risk in the exchange rates. Changes in the AUD/USD exchange rate might undermine your loan commitments. 

Therefore, the lenders would not want such risks, primarily when it works in your favor.

What do you do then? 

A good mortgage broker will find a lender with the most favorable terms for expats whilst encouraging the client to open an AUD-denominated account. 

Alternatively, you could open an account with a local bank to facilitate transactions. From the account, you should pay any attendant fees and costs without much hassle.  

Deposit requirements

Most Australian lenders require a deposit before approving mortgages. 

Generally, for expats, 20% to 30% is the figure you are likely to part with, but some lenders might be okay with deposits up to 20%. 

Expats pay higher deposits because they do not fall under the Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) scheme. The LMI applies to Australian nationalities. 

The policy of the lender

Lenders treat applications for expat loans differently, depending on prevailing conditions. 

With a broker that understands the mortgage landscape, you should be able to obtain favorable loans despite an unfavorable lender policy.

expats mortage australia

What is the purpose of purchasing property?

Expats are welcome to buy property to let. Buy-to-let arrangements are popular, especially among expats who intend to resettle back home in a short while. 

Some lenders might charge higher interests for expat mortgages enabling buy-to-let schemes.  

Finding the right expat mortgage is just the beginning of the process. 

In addition to these factors for consideration, you must provide supporting documents to facilitate access to the loan. 

A good thing about approaching a broker from the start is that you will get the heads up about the required documents. 

For example, a mortgage broker in Melbourne can assist you if you live within the region. 

Since brokers will come to see you, therefore, there is no need for you to travel to bank branches to seek assistance from far-off places.

Some of the documents you may need to provide include:

  1. Identification documents–your passport should suffice for this requirement. Ensure that the passport is valid and that you have supporting documents at hand if need be. 
  2. Proof of qualification to buy property – in Australia, foreigners must obtain permission from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) to purchase a property. It is prudent to start with getting FIRB’s nod before initiating the process of an expat mortgage application. Note that FIRB demands a fee to give out the approval.
  3. Proof of legal residence – if you have a valid passport, you should be able to skip this requirement. However, this requirement is dealt with on an issue-by-issue basis. Just ensure you have the proof with you to increase the chances of success. 
  4. Creditworthiness documents–you might need a credit check for this requirement. However, bank statements, proof of wages, and tax returns should sail you past this hurdle. 
  5. Can you service the loan? – It is an obvious requirement since it is in everyone’s interest to see the loan cleared when due. For this purpose, bank statements should suffice. If not, utility bill receipts should provide enough evidence to this end. 

In Closing…

As you can see, it is possible, but tricky, to obtain an Australian expat mortgage. 

Even with a good knowledge of the Australian mortgage landscape, one is better off getting proper advice and guidance. 

Mortgage brokers offer valuable insights and assistance to ensure that you get the best deal.

Car Accidents During A Business Trip: Understanding The Liability

Road mishaps can happen anytime and anywhere, whether you are running personal errands or are on a business trip. 

Generally, the driver at fault is considered liable for damages in an accident, but that’s the case when you are out for personal work. 

Things can get tricky if the collision occurs while you are driving for work or using a company vehicle. 

The biggest question in such cases relates to liability- whether the employer has full, partial or no liability for the accident. 

And you would also want to know if the injuries can be regarded as work injuries. 

The answers to these key questions go a long way in deciding the fate of the employee who has been injured or has ended up injuring someone else during the accident. 

Let us explain the concept of liability in collisions during business trips in detail. 

When Is The Employer Liable?

The following are the basic considerations when it comes to determining the liability of the employer for an accident that happens on a business trip.

  • Employer negligence

In such cases, the negligence of the employer is clearly the cause of the mishap. 

It could range from negligent hiring to negligent supervision, more specifically in case of commercial vehicle drivers. 

When a business onboards a person for driving a company vehicle, it is the employer’s duty to exercise due diligence for ensuring that the employee is a safe driver. 

They need to go the extra mile, with measures like verification of the commercial driver’s license being in good standing and ensuring that it has not been suspended before.

  • Negligent supervision

The business has to implement reasonable safety policies for making sure that all the drivers on board comply with safety laws. 

These laws include the ones for regulating truckers’ hours, vehicle inspections, and more. 

If the employer fails to check that the employees are taking reasonable care, the former will be liable for negligent supervision.

  • Vicarious liability

The doctrine of vicarious liability states that the liability for the employee’s actions rests with the employer if these actions were within the scope of employment, performed while working or doing a task they were hired to do and/or the employer earns some benefit from the activity being done by the employee while the accident took place. 

This case applies to people who are just running errands for business or are on a business trip.

When Is The Employee Liable?

Although the rule of vicarious liability is clearly applicable in some cases, there are certain exceptions as well. 

As an employee, you may be considered liable for an accident if it happened while you were doing personal work, even if it took place while driving a company vehicle or during work hours. 

Also, the liability will be of the employee if they were committing a crime when the accident occurred. 

Further, employers are not considered liable for mishaps during employees’ commute to work, even if it is in a company vehicle. 

However, an accident while commuting for a business trip is an exception.

accident at work

Injuries during a business trip and workers’ compensation

The liability for an accident for a business trip decides the person who would be responsible for paying for damages to the injured party. 

However, you would want to know the implications of your own injuries as well. 

Typically, if you get injured in a car accident during a business trip, your employer will have to pay for the costs of these injuries, regardless of the fault for the accident. 

These damages are covered under workers’ compensation and may include expenses such as the medical bills for injuries and lost wages due to absence from the workplace during recovery. 

As a rule, only the injuries that are work-related come under the coverage of workers’ compensation. 

So you will have to validate that you were doing a work-related task when the accident happened.

Involvement of a third-party driver

In yet another situation, a third-party may be involved in the accident. 

If you are due to the negligence of a third-party driver while on a business trip, there are two potential avenues for pursuing compensation. 

While you may claim workers’ compensation benefits for a mishap that happened on a work trip, you may also file a personal injury lawsuit for compensation from the negligent driver. 

Workers’ compensation generally covers bills and lost wages but not the cost of pain and suffering related damages. 

The latter can be recovered by bringing up a lawsuit against the negligent driver. By pursuing both, you can actually maximize the value of compensation.

When it comes to car accidents during business trips, awareness is the key for employees looking for protection against the law as well as a fair settlement for their own injuries. 

It is best to seek guidance from an experienced lawyer to ensure that you get both. 

Payment Methods You Should Consider As A Business Owner

As a business owner, there are a lot of factors that go together to create a successful empire. 

If you are a small business owner this year and are looking to branch out online or in-store, payment is a big factor. 

Whether you are selling products in a store or a subscription to a service online, payment methods are an important thing to consider and think about. 

Today we want to talk about the different payment methods you should be using for your business this year and how they will suit your needs. 

Cash 

The first and most obvious method of paying for goods and services is cash. 

If you have a small business that largely deals with people face to face, this can be an easy payment method and one you can sustain without any issues over time. 

Just be aware that you need to record payments accurately as you receive them because this will go towards your tax return at the end of the year. 

PayPal 

If you are looking for a simple payment method that is accessible to most: PayPal is ideal. PayPal is a good payment method to allow for businesses and personal use, and by allowing this you can open up your business to more people. 

Cheque 

Although cheques are an older technique for payment, many older people and business owners prefer to pay for their products and services with a cheque. 

Allowing this as a payment method ensures that you don’t alienate important clients and customers. 

Apple Pay 

Apple devices are some of the most popular in the world these days, and when it comes to contactless payment many people choose to use their phones. 

If you are a small shop or online store looking to widen your reach, offering Apple Pay is a great idea and it allows people to pay for your items within a few seconds with minimum hassle. 

As we all know, people prefer things that require less time and effort, so they might choose you over a competitor because you offer this simple payment method. 

Debit card 

A debit card is an essential item we all have, and most of us use our debit cards more than cash. 

To offer this payment method for customers is obvious and you must always do this if you want to gain plenty of customers who stay with you for years. 

Credit card 

As well as offering debit card payment to your customers, when you choose a card reader it is a good idea to allow credit cards. 

Credit cards always used to be a risk for businesses, and it isn’t until recent years that credit cards are widely accepted everywhere. 

Most people own a credit card these days to improve their credit score and pay for simple daily items, so offering a credit card payment method is a chance you don’t want to miss out on. 

 

Remember, the more payment methods you can offer, the more people will pay you! 

Alternative Investments: It’s Worth Considering

Making an investment can be a great way to increase your capital and even generate long-term income. However, choosing the right investment is never easy. 

As well as considering traditional investment opportunities, why not think outside the box?

With these alternative investments, you could diversify your funds, reduce your risk, and make a substantial amount of profit. 

Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency has hit the mainstream media, which means more people have realized what a valuable form of investment it can be. 

Although you’ll need to consider the implications of crypto tax, you can still make a decent return if you invest at the right time. 

Before you can make money, however, you’ll need to ensure that you understand how the industry works and where the pitfalls lie. 

Property

Investing in property is always a popular option. Although property prices can decrease, most people assume that it’s a relatively safe investment in the majority of situations. 

What’s more, the property can be a great way to build capital and generate income. 

If you buy a residential home and rent it out, for example, the value of the property should increase over time and you’ll benefit from getting a regular rental income. 

Peer-to-Peer Lending

As more people look for alternative borrowing options, new forms of investment arise. 

As a peer-to-peer lender, you can loan money to an individual or a group for a specified amount of time. 

In addition to getting the loan amount back, you’ll get an additional amount of interest too. 

With reputable platforms dedicated to the practice of P2P lending, it’s relatively easy to set yourself up as a peer-to-peer lender. 

While getting your money back isn’t guaranteed, there are safeguards in place to try and minimize the risk you’re exposed to. 

seed investment

Seed Investments

As a seed investor, you’ll be putting money into a startup business or an enterprise in return for an equity stake in the organization. 

While this type of investment can offer substantial rewards, it’s always going to be dependent on how successful the startup is. 

In general, this is one of the riskier forms of investment, but it can be a fun and potentially lucrative way to invest your capital. 

Commodities

People have been trading in commodities for years, so they’re becoming more of a mainstream choice of investment all the time. 

However, you can make high returns by investing at the right time. Standard commodities include gold, silver, and platinum, as well as natural gas and oil. 

However, soft commodities can also include wheat, sugar, and cocoa beans, so there are plenty of options available. 

You’ll need to follow the market carefully to ensure you make the right decisions but, for many people, investing in commodities is a way to achieve great returns. 

When to Invest

Deciding to invest your money is a big decision, so it’s important to do your research and seek advice. 

Some investments are riskier than others, so be sure to assess the level of risk you want to take. 

By learning more about the respective markets and seeking guidance from professionals, you can learn everything you need to know about making successful alternative investments. 

4 Easy Tips for Getting a Mortgage

Getting a mortgage is probably one of the most stressful and exhausting parts of the homebuying process. 

Since the housing crisis and the market crash that started back in 2007, mortgage applications and reviews have been more detailed and strict than ever, requiring endless paperwork and extensive income verification.

There are various things to consider when shopping for a mortgage that can impact the success of the entire mortgage process and impact how much you spend – not only on obtaining the mortgage but also on your home over the long run. 


To help first-time homebuyers tackle all these challenges successfully, here are mortgage lending tips suggested by leading banks and financial institutions. So, fasten your seatbelts, and let’s get started. 

Tips for Obtaining Mortgage

#1 Gather all your documentation


The first thing that you need to do for successfully obtaining a mortgage is getting all your financial paperwork in order.

Key papers you need to keep with yourself while obtaining a mortgage include recent pay stubs, your bank statements, salary slips, and tax returns. 

Self-employed applicants will need to provide two years of tax returns and their most recent profit/loss statement showing revenues, expenses, and costs during a fiscal year. 

#2 Get yourself in top financial shape

In addition to getting your paperwork done, it’s a good idea to get yourself in top financial shape. This will increase your chances of obtaining a mortgage. 

Being in top financial shape means improving your financial profile. For starters, avoid carrying excessive debt. 

Your debt-to-income ratio is also a crucial factor that lenders consider when looking at your loan application.

Reducing debt could make your finances look more attractive. 

Use the freed-up money to pay down debt or increase your down payment for the home, both of which could help you put in better shape when it’s time to apply for a mortgage. 

Reviewing your credit history and score is another critical effort. If your credit score needs improvement, try making multiple or frequent payments using a credit card.

Lenders also look for job stability when they evaluate your ability to repay a loan. 

#3 Shop around and shop more

Reviewing multiple mortgage lenders or mortgage shopping is a critical step – and it’s one thing that many first-time homebuyers often ignore. Most first-time buyers often just go with the first lender. 

But you should never settle on the first lender you talk with.

Every company has different terms, and you should check with every company and go with the one with the most favorable conditions.

#4 Get pre-approved early

It’s more than heartbreaking when you find the perfect home, then find out that it exceeds your budget.

Getting a pre-approved loan can prevent disappointment later on. So, it’s essential that you get a pre-approved mortgage before going for home shopping. 

These are the few tips that you should follow before going for a mortgage and home shopping.

Following these steps will increase your chances of obtaining a successful mortgage for buying the house of your dreams. 

 

Workplace Injury By Defective Products- What Is The Legal Recourse?

The injuries caused by defective products entitle the victim to claim compensation from the manufacturer or seller. 

This is because manufacturers and distributors are responsible for crafting and selling safe items. 

If defective ones end up injuring someone, the liability comes on these individuals. 

But what if the injury is caused by a faulty piece of equipment at your workplace? Who would be liable for the mishap? 

Typically, work accidents that involve defective equipment and tools fall in a gray area. 

Such claims can be confusing as they come somewhere between workers’ compensation and product liability law. 

Hence, it becomes important to understand your legal recourse if you get involved in such an accident. 

Workplace Injury Basics 

In general, if you get hurt while on the job, you should immediately inform your supervisor about the injury immediately. 

Any injury at the workplace while doing your job duties comes under the coverage of workers’ compensation claims. 

If you are able to validate your injury, you can expect to get compensation from the workers’ comp insurance company after the approval of the claim. 

Typically, workers’ compensation benefits include the payment of medical expenses for treating the injury. 

Further, you will get temporary disability benefits while recovering from the injury to make up for the financial losses caused by the accident. 

On the other hand, if you have permanent impairments, you will be entitled to permanent disability benefits.

Get a Fair Settlement with Product Liability Compensation 

While workers’ compensation gets you optimal compensation, you deserve more if personal injury due to a defective product is involved. 

In such a case, you can file a third-party lawsuit because you were injured because of another persons negligence and someone other than your employer (manufacturer or seller of the faulty equipment) is at least partially responsible for your injury. 

If you get injured by a machine or equipment that was defective, inherently dangerous, or failed to work properly, the manufacturer can be held responsible if they were aware of the danger and/or failed to warn the business or employees about this danger properly. 

You will have to prove the following to show a valid claim:

  • The manufacturer, distributor, retailer or supplier of the equipment never tested it properly before placing it in the marketplace
  • They failed to identify the flaw in the product itself or the dangerous nature of some components
  • They did not install the machine or equipment safely and effectively 
  • They failed to provide adequate warning about its dangerous aspects
  • There was a defect in the design or manufacturing process

Gathering Evidence for Maximizing the Compensation  

Although cases involving product liability in workplace accidents can be tricky, taking the right approach can go a long way in helping you maximize the compensation value. 

Primarily, you need to document as much information as you can. 

Remember that every small detail can be important when it comes to proving the liability of the product manufacturer or seller. 

Taking notes about the events preceding the accident and anything else you can remember about the product defect is vital. 

Further, also collect facts and evidence related to the injuries and doctor’s recommendations for its treatment and recovery. 

Once you have the requisite evidence, you can file a lawsuit by onboarding a seasoned personal injury attorney.

If you have sustained a workplace injury, you should first assess the real cause of the accident. 

Don’t just settle for workers’ compensation if the accident occurred due to defective machinery or equipment because you deserve much more. 

It is best to discuss your case with an experienced attorney who has handled such cases before. 

Business 101: Building The Best Team Of Employees

Any business that truly wants to thrive in this immensely competitive era needs to build a strong team of employees. Fact.

Employees are the driving force behind any business operation. Likewise, the power of consistency can boost productivity and client UX. 

Better still, the support of a strong team provides you with confidence and can remove several distractions. 

In turn, this can transform your personal output as well as the firm’s overall performance.

The benefits are plentiful and clear, but only if you master the challenge. Here’s how to make it happen in three easy steps.

1. Pay Extra Attention To Recruitment Options 

It’s impossible to create a team that performs if you do not hire the right people. 

Therefore, paying extra attention to the recruitment process should be a priority for all business owners. It is the foundation that you can build upon.

When recruiting permanent staff members, you should focus on personality traits as well as their skills. 

Meanwhile, you should consider alternative approaches that can diversify and strengthen your team. 

A variety of tasks can be outsourced to other companies, ranging from cybersecurity to customer care. 

Remote-based workers are another option, which can also help reduce the impacts of COVID-19.

With the right people behind the brand, there’s no limit to what it can achieve. 

Whether taking a DIY approach or using a recruitment specialist, this aspect of the business needs special care.

business recruitment options

2. Focus On Retention & Development

Finding the perfect employees is hard. So, once you’ve established a strong team, it’s vital that you keep it that way. 

High staff turnover rates can cause serious disruptions as new members have to learn the company culture. As mentioned, consistency is a crucial ingredient in the recipe for success.

Retaining the best clients can cover many aspects. Keeping migrant workers beyond their initial work visas is one key aspect. 

This is why understanding a 601a application is crucial. Meanwhile, you should look to incentivize all employees and reward their loyalty. 

When they actively want to work for the company, it will show in their work. This also enhances customer interactions.

Creating a defined path to progress and promotion is equally crucial. When supported by staff training and development, your team should become stronger over time.

3. Embrace Clear & Efficient Communication

Great communication is at the heart of all modern businesses. It should not be restricted to external connections with clients, though. 

It’s equally important to master internal links between colleagues within individual teams. Likewise, interdepartmental communication is integral to the cause.

Video conferencing has created new opportunities, while team messaging Apps are crucial too. 

By adopting shorter team meetings, you can save time while keeping your team on the right path. In turn, this can lead to significant progress on an individual and collective basis. 

For the sake of immediate and long-term rewards, the incentives to get this right are clear.

If nothing else, it’ll allow you to monitor staff performances and take any necessary action to revamp the team as required. You’ve got this!