Could a Flexi-Loan be Right for you?

The use of consumer credit has been on the rise in recent years in South Africa. There is an ongoing squeeze on the middle classes with a heavy tax burden, rising food prices and the cost of avoiding crime all taking their toll, so much so in fact that there’s a real possibility that the current middle class, which accounts for about 9 million or 16 percent of the population, could be shrinking.

In an attempt to maintain their standard of living, an increasing number of householders are turning to consumer finance products. At the moment, credit cards, store cards and overdrafts are the consumer credit of choice, but recently a new product has hit the market which could help South African consumers meet their essential costs without contributing to a debt spiral.

Introducing the flexi-loan

The flexi-loan is the first product of its choice to hit the South African market. The well-known lender Wonga has revolutionised its payday loan offering to give customers more flexibility and choice.

The flexi-loan allows new customers to borrow up R4000 over a maximum period of 6 months, with existing customers potentially allowed to borrow up to R8000. One of the benefits of the flexi-loan over other forms of short-term finance is the level of flexibility it provides. Applicants can choose the amount they borrow and their repayment term, from 4 days and 6 months, so they can spread the repayments over a longer period to allow them to budget more effectively. This also ensures the repayments are at a manageable level to reduce the risk of creating a debt spiral.

Consumer credit is never a solution to long-term debt

Although the flexi-loan may become a useful stopgap for some South African consumers and help them meet essential expenses they had not accounted for, consumer credit of any kind should never be used as a solution to debt problems. If you do need to borrow money to cover essential expenses like car or boiler repairs then the flexi-loan could be an option for you. However, you should always explore other potential solutions such as using savings or borrowing money from family and friends first.

If there are no other options then you must carry out careful affordability calculations to make sure you can afford to repay the loan and choose a repayment term that allows you to budget accordingly. Only once you’re sure you can repay the loan should you borrow any money at all.

Always be aware of the extra charges that may apply

One of the benefits of the Wonga flexi-loan is the fact that what you see is what you get. That is, if you meet the agreed repayment dates then the initial calculation is the amount you’ll pay. However, other charges can apply if you cannot make the repayments.

Although you will not be hit by multiple charges, interest and service fees will continue to apply to your account for up to 90 days if the debt has not been repaid. Continued failure to repay a loan will also mean the outstanding payment is recorded by credit bureaus and your credit rating will be affected as a result.

What types of short-term credit do you choose to use? Do you think a flexi-loan could be a viable alternative? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Should You Give up on Gold and Invest through Your Bitcoin Wallet Android App Instead?

Did you think that gold is a dead commodity that you shouldn’t invest in anymore? If so, you would be wrong. In 2013, Germany started to repatriate gold to it, and at least 50% of it is now stored in Frankfurt. Other parts are stored in Paris and in New York and around 13% is stored in London. But what does this have to do with the bitcoin wallet android app?

The Bitcoin Wallet Android App and Other Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies and digital cash services are becoming increasingly popular. What this also means is that gold seems a bit archaic nowadays. However, gold has a status that it will never be able to lose, and it will always be valuable simply because people want to have it. No other fiat currency, not the Euro, not the Dollar, has this type of security.

The Link between Gold and Bitcoin

You cannot get away from bitcoin and cryptocurrency anymore, but gold isn’t going anywhere either. Both also see quite significant price fluctuations, but they are rising overall and rising a lot. Then, there is the fact that other forms of economy, such as stocks and bonds, are problematic, not in the least because they are so strongly affected by geopolitical events. Consider:

  • There has been an overvaluation of stocks. So much so, in fact, that they must come crashing down soon.
  • President Trump is causing major ripples around the world, and no matter how much he would like to call every negative report about him and his policies “fake news”, the reality is that the world is not happy with his administration.
  • Europe is in turmoil. The United Kingdom has voted to leave the EU, a process known as “Brexit”, and other countries are seeing a popular opinion swaying towards the same thing. Meanwhile, there is a serious swing towards right-winged politics in almost every European country.
  • Nobody can keep track of derivatives anymore, which is precisely what the five biggest banks in this country have tied their interests to, making it very dangerous.
  • The Federal Reserve has now agreed to start rising interest rates again, which has a significant impact on people’s disposable income.

Gold isn’t impacted by this, nor is cryptocurrency. That is because both are available in finite amounts. Both are also tied to supply and demand, with demand rising significantly. One of the key things about bitcoin, however, is that it is decentralized. This means it is not owned by a country or a bank, but rather by its users, which is known as “open source”.

All financial experts agree, all investment portfolios have to be diversified in order to retain their value. They also all agree that precious metals should be an integral part of an investment portfolio. So why not double protect yourself, and purchase precious metals like gold by using bitcoin? Could it be possible that the two investment underdogs are actually the strongest of them all?

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Reasons to Avoid Longer Term Auto Loans

Most consumers would have a difficult time purchasing a new or used vehicle without the help of financing from a bank, credit union, or another lender. Vehicle loans allow a prospective car buyer to receive a lump sum specifically for the purchase of the vehicle of their choice, and payments of that total amount plus interest charges are made over the course of months or years. The interest rate applied to a vehicle loan is dependent on the borrower’s credit history and score, but because the car is collateral for the loan, lenders are able to offer relatively low rates. Both the monthly payment and the interest rate are fixed for the life of the loan, offering predictability to the car buyer.

Given that the average price of a new car is an impressive $33,000, a vehicle loan is the best way to purchase without having to save up a significant amount of money beforehand. However, each lender provides varied repayment terms which car buyers should understand before signing on the dotted line. Most notably, having a longer repayment term may be appealing on the surface, but extending the payoff of a new or used vehicle is not always a sound financial decision. Here are a few things to consider with longer repayment terms for new or used vehicle loans.

Immediate Depreciation

Selecting a longer repayment term for a new or used vehicle loan exaggerates the problem of depreciation. For new cars, the value of the vehicle is significantly reduced the moment the owner drives off the lot. While less dramatic for used vehicle purchases, depreciation still takes place immediately after changing ownership. When a longer vehicle loan is taken out on a new or used vehicle purchase, owners may be stuck with a loan payment and remaining balance on a car that isn’t worth that much if it were sold.

Negative Equity

Depreciation takes a toll on the equity in a vehicle as well. Equity is the difference between what is owed on the vehicle loan and the market value of the vehicle. When a longer vehicle loan is chosen at the time of purchase, the combination of smaller principal payments and rapid depreciation come together to create negative equity – owing more on the vehicle that its market value. When this takes place, it can be difficult to trade in the vehicle before the loan is paid off, and car owners have no options for using their vehicle as collateral for a short-term loan. Negative equity can become a dangerous cycle of debt, especially when a vehicle is traded in before the loan is paid in full.

Higher Interest Rates

The most common term for a new or used auto loan is 60 months, or five years, but some find that the monthly payment for that repayment agreement does not fit easily into the budget. A longer loan term of 72 or 84 months may be offered by the selected lender to help ease the shock of the monthly payment; however, a lengthier term often results in a higher interest rate for the life of the loan. Again, with lower monthly payments and less of those payments applying to the principal balance, car owners will inevitably face negative equity in the vehicle unless the loan is paid in full before the end of the term.

Borrowing from a reputable lender is a smart way to finance the purchase of a new or used vehicle, but card buyers should steer clear of longer term loans when possible. Consider reducing the purchase price of the vehicle, or selecting a used car over a brand new vehicle to keep monthly payments on a shorter repayment term to avoid depreciation, negative equity, and higher interest rates on the auto loan.

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Do You Know How to Spot a Deal?

Are you someone who can spot a deal a mile away? If not, has the time has come for you to start doing so, yes?

For many consumers, getting a good deal is part and parcel of their life.

When many watch their dollars, finding some good specials can make the difference.

With that being the case, will you sharpen your skills when it comes to spotting a deal moving forward?

Internet is Great Starting Point

One of the best places to begin your quest to find deals is the Internet.

That said too many consumers don’t take advantage of all the worldwide web can offer them. As a result, they miss out on keeping more money in their wallets and purses.

Are you someone who focuses on finding discounted tickets for Universal Studios? If so, you can locate them much easier than you might first think.

With the right online search, you can get deals for Universal Studios and other venues. Once you have your deal, the fun is about to begin.

Keep in mind many companies in the theme park business and similar venues are active online. In fact, their websites are oftentimes tended to on a daily basis.

Among the important areas of interest many of them cover on a regular basis online:

· Blog posts about respective attractions

· Specials and when to collect on them

· Customer testimonials

You should also look for the locations of interest for you and yours on social media.

Sites such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest are popular with countless business.

Word-of-Mouth

If you have a sizable group of family, friends, and even co-workers that you communicate with, lean on them too.

An example of word-of-mouth marketing is designating people to stay on top of deals for venues.

If you have someone in the group who can’t get enough of amusement parks, let them alert others with a love for such. The same is true for someone who loves sports. Let him or her alert others via text or email about deals on ballgames etc.

Traditional Marketing

Even with the web and word-of-mouth leading the way, traditional marketing is there too.

Do you get your fair share of specials in the regular mail for various activities in and outside of town? If so, do you take advantage of them?

While many such marketing pieces end up in the garbage, others have more shelf life.

Don’t always be so quick to throw those pieces of mail out. You may in fact end up finding some great deals right at your fingertips.

When it comes to spotting the best deal out there, how good is your eyesight?

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Main Tips for Writing a Resume: Get it right the first time

For a job hunter, your resume is one of the most important documents that describe you. This little document can make the whole difference between employment and joblessness. For this reason, it is important to learn how to write it effectively so that you can bolster your chances of landing employment. Moreover, after submitting a shoddy resume, you don’t stand another chance of correcting the damage. This article therefore shares some of the insights that can help you to polish your ability to write a compelling resume. Order your CV cheap on spideressay.com.

Papers and positions are good, but achievements are better

When it comes to the job market, papers are not as important as the ability to deliver. The reason is that employers are looking for people who can do their jobs productively, and not people who know much about their jobs. Additionally, they view your academic credentials as a supportive pillar, and not the main house they are looking for. You should therefore emphasize on showing your potential boss what you have done with your papers. Additionally, show them how you are intending to replicate those feats if they accept your application.

Don’t try to dazzle your potential boss with your papers because they have seen better ones in the hands of people who can’t perform. Remember, there are many ways of getting a degree, but only one way of satisfying your boss—performing your duties well.

Additionally, when citing your past positions, don’t dwell so much on the positions you held. Just as with the papers, your potential boss is looking to see what you did with the positions you held. If you can’t prove it, they may even begin suspecting you were fired for incompetence. For instance, you can say that when you were in the position of the regional sales manager, your former company was struggling. But through your intervention, it became a market leader within three years owing to skyrocketing sales.

Tell more about your skills

As you narrate your achievements, you need to show the hiring manager the skills you harnessed to achieve all that. If you highlight your skills combination clearly, the manager will know how well you can handle the position you are applying for. For instance, if you are applying for the position of a sales manager, show the manager that you have mobilization and training skills you can use to mobilize and develop your sales team.

Optimize your resume for easy reading

No matter how many skills and achievements your resume may contain, it can only benefit you if your prospective boss reads it to the end. Therefore, you should make it easier for them to skim through to the main points they may be looking for. If they have problems reading your CV, be sure it will gather dust for many years.

Find more help here

This post has helped you to come to a new level of understanding resume writing. You can find further help here by talking to our experts today.

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How Forex Makes You Better at Making Money

Forex is an interesting way to make money, but it also gives you money making skills that transfer into other financial endeavors. To understand that, you have to understand how Forex works. We’ll start with a simple explanation.

Forex terms can get a little complicated, so a free trial with a brokerage source like ETX Capital is really the best way to go. When you get there, you’ll see a lot of different currency pairs. The first currency listed in the pair (if you were to bet money on it) is the currency that you think will gain value relative to the other listed currency, over a specific amount of time.

Forex trading allows you to leverage your trades, sometimes as much as 200:1. This was, you might be able to effectively trade one hundred thousand pounds, for example, while only being required to deposit a thousand or so.

The finer points of Forex (and its cousin, spread betting, also available through ETX Capital) are best learned through experience, so try out free accounts with reputable brokers to learn the ropes. Alternately, you can watch plenty of Youtube videos about Forex trading, which use images to convey concepts which are harder to grasp through words alone.

How Forex Gives You Money Making Skills in All Disciplines

Now that you understand more or less what Forex trading is, it’s time to explain how trading Forex will give you transferable money making skills for all kinds of purposes.

At its core, this form of trading is all about exploiting opportunities. You’ll quickly learn when you make an account of your own that you won’t have much success if you’re simply guessing about value behaviors. There are so many complexities that influence the relative value fluctuations of global currencies. In order to make money regularly, you’ll have to do some homework. Fortunately, this will yield an education that can make you a very sophisticated investor in disciplines outside of the world of Forex.

Let’s say you do really well at Forex trading and earn $100,000 in your first year. You want to use some of this money in the traditional stock market so that you can earn excellent returns without having to make regular trades as you do in your fast-paced Forex account. Your knowledge of the United States Dollar gives you the inside scoop on companies like Coca-Cola, who are being challenged globally by the strength of the US Dollar.

You knowledge of currency would tell you that because the dollar is so strong, money that Coca-Cola makes outside of the United States (an international market which the soda giant is actively trying to increase its market share within), loses value every time it is brought back into the United States where Coca-Cola does its banking.

You would expect, therefore, that the international brand would be having revenue difficulties in the present (they are), and that any time the Dollar starts to lose some steam, that revenue for Coca-Cola would increase (it will).

Then you hear that President Donald Trump is announcing measures to slow down the progress of the too-strong Dollar, as a way of preventing another market bubble. We’re not recommending that you take action on this hypothetical scenario, but just as an example, what would you do next?

If you thought that Coca-Cola stock would be a good bet based on that information, a lot of investors would agree with you. And you made this insightful decision based solely on your knowledge of the power that global currencies have over consumer brands. This is knowledge that the average investor lacks, and you got it just by trading Forex. Forex is a great way to make money on its own, but it’ll also prepare you for all kinds of other opportunities.

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Creative Ways to Make Money Online

Right now, there are thousands of people around the World who are making extra money or an entire income using the power of the internet. There is a vast array of ways in which people can make money online and contrary to what you may think, you do not need to be highly technical for many of the ways in which you can make money online.

Earning money from the comfort of your own home is one of the best ways to live your life, you can cut down on your travel costs, have more time in your life and will feel far less stress compared with going to the office everyday. In the past you would need to rely on cold-call sales work or having to work as a live phone sex girl in order to make a living from the comfort of your home, but those days have gone. If you want to make some serious cash online then here are a few ways in which you can do it.

Freelance Work

The first place to start when looking for ways to make money online is a freelance working website to see if you have any of the skills which people are looking for. There are lots of great sites like Upwork who act as a jobs board for employers to advertise their positions to freelancers. There are a vast amount of different types of jobs that you could be doing online and many of them do not require high amounts of technical ability. On sites like this you will find people looking for writers, designers, virtual secretaries, email handlers amongst a whole host of other positions. Check here first and see if there is anything which can make you some money.

Selling

Selling things online can be a great way to make some additional cash, especially if you can get creative with what you are selling. Websites like eBay allow you to open up your very own shop where you can sell just about anything, you won’t have to pay for rent and overheads are minimal. Because it is so easy to sell online, there are a great people doing it, that isn’t to say that there isn’t enough business out there for everyone, there is, you just need to be smart with what you are selling and who to. One of the best approaches is to head to a thrift shop with your cell, check prices online of  the things you see and if there is money in it then buy away and go get that profit.

Blogging

Blogging is not just a great form of expressing yourself online it can also be a great way of earning some money. It will be important that you can find a niche to blog about which people will enjoy and which can gain you a strong following and high volumes of traffic. Once you start attracting solid levels of traffic then you can start selling space on your website to advertisers.

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How to Become a Top Financial Advisor

Today we are going to take a look at one of the World’s top financial advisors and what skills you are going to need if you wish to be a financial advisor. Being skilled with numbers and finance is a skill that you can of course learn but in order to be able to give advice to people you are going to need far more than this. Financial advisors need to have a firm understanding of the financial markets and how people can wisely invest their cash in stocks, shares, bonds, bank accounts and property. Let’s take a look at an example of a great financial advisor, Patrick Dwyer Merrill Lynch wealth manager and what skills you are going to need to replicate his success.

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Patrick Dwyer

Dwyer is currently managing over $2 billion worth of assets for wealth management giant Merrill Lynch and is considered one of their key advisors. After gaining his MBA from the University of Miami, Dwyer went straight into the MBA program with Merrill Lynch and has been with the company for over two decades. During his time with the financial services company he has been regularly featured in the Barron’s list of top 100 advisers as well as being featured as one of the best advisors in the World by the Financial Times In 1999 he joined Merrill Lynch’s elite group of professionals who would solely advise the ultra-rich in managing their finances which is where he currently plies his trade.

Here are Some of the Skills You Need

If you want to be a top advisor like Patrick then you are going to need to be an industry expert, this involves you constantly keeping an eye on market trends and global positions as well as new industries. You will never stop becoming a student of the financial world and the moment that you think you know all that there is to know, is the moment that the industry will pass you by.

Math and Computer Skills

Math and computer skills are the basic requirements for any financial advisor and the industry relies heavily on these skills. You cannot hope to achieve anything in the world of finance with poor math skills and your computer literacy should be high as you will be using them for a huge range of tasks on a daily basis.

Communication Skills

If you are going to be advising people on what they should do with their vast wealth then you need to have a good bedside manner. The wealth management industry is highly competitive and you need to ensure that, for the good of the company, that you can gain your client’s trust and loyalty. Your communication with your clients should be outstanding.

Salesman

When you are offering your advice to a client, you are essentially selling them an idea of yours and you need to be able to do so in such a way that will make the customer want to go ahead. In order to do this you need to be able to analyze complicated details and present in a way that your client will understand.

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Ways to Earn Whilst You Are in University

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earn
Photo by CC user Pek&Anoek on Flickr.

Being in university is a time to make new friends, have crazy experiences and party like crazy, oh, and of course, to study. During your time at university you will of course be putting in the work when it comes to gaining a good qualification and the truth is that yes, there will be a lot of partying and making friends in-between. Something that you are going to need at university, other than an intelligent mind, is money to get through it.

There are options available to support your studies, student loans and grants for example or a scholarship if you rock at football like Jack Elway. That will cover your course fees but actually living will cost a little bit more and here are some great ways that you can earn some cash whilst you are studying hard.

Online Income

More and more students are turning to the internet as a viable way to make money whilst they are away at campus, some take it to the next level like Zuckerberg. Nobody expects you to create the next Facebook but there are some great options online to make some extra cash from your dorm room. You could start a blog for example or fill out online surveys which will pay a little each time, you could look to freelance work like writing, email handling, virtual assistant work, graphic designing, website design or a whole host of other tasks that people are looking for online. You can earn well and you won’t have any costs other than your laptop and a wifi connection.

Tutoring

Once you get into your second or third year of university you can offer tutoring to some of the younger students. Meet in a neutral spot or invite them to your dorm for an hour or two per week. Tutoring is not only a great way of earning some money but it will also help to reinforce your knowledge and give you the satisfaction of helping others. When the time comes to get a job you will find that putting something like tutoring on your CV will help you to look more attractive to prospective employers. A win-win all round.

Nighttime and Weekends

Sometimes you just need to do what is necessary to get the greenbacks in and areas such as bar work, restaurant work or working weekends in a clothes shop is where you can do exactly that. These may not be the most fun or pleasant of jobs but they can help you to pay for the necessities in life whilst you are studying. Ensure that you don’t go after the money too hard, you don’t want it to compromise your studies. Once you get to university try to get out as early as possible looking for work, there will be thousands of students looking to do the same thing as you and jobs may be in high demand and low supply, make sure you’re in there first.

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How to Manage Money When You Start Earning

money
money
Photo by CC user 401 (K) 2012 on Flickr.

When I first started working full time I was still living with my parents, I had bought a cheap car a couple of months beforehand and I had absolutely no responsibilities other than my road tax and my car insurance. Looking back, I now realize that this was a perfect opportunity for me to sensibly manage my money so that I could have a bright future.

Unfortunately at that time, I was 21 years old and pretty much blew my paycheck each month on partying and general recklessness, if only I had known then what I know now. If you are entering the world of work and want to avoid making the mistakes that I did then here are some things that I wish I’d done at that tender age.

Save Save Save

There is a huge temptation to spend all of your salary each month and not make any plans for the future, after all, you are young and probably think that things will stay the same for ever, they won’t. The far better option is to be smart and start saving some of your money as early as possible. Look to save a quarter of your monthly income, you will thank yourself for the decision to do this when the time comes along to buy a house. I have quite a hefty mortgage and had I saved better then I could’ve got a much better deal on my borrowing.

Consult Someone

People seem to have this notion that great financial advisors like Keith Springer are solely for the rich and famous in this World, that is not correct. In fact using financial advisors should be encouraged from an early age when we are less financially literate. They can offer you great advice on what to do with your money both now and going forward and they can even help you to find great bank accounts and help you make savings plans. You don’t need to meet with one on a weekly basis, just go and see one, lay out your financial situation to them and see what advice they can offer you when it comes to being smart with your money.

Monthly Budget

Remember that you are in it for the long-haul when you approach your finances, of course you could die tomorrow but let’s assume that you aren’t going to and work out how best to set yourself up for the future. A solid monthly budget can help you to stay within your financial goals, budget for everything even if it is alcohol and party money or gadget-buying money, the point of the budget is to control your spends. If you sit at the beginning of each month, take a look at your salary, remove the amount that you wish to save and any other costs which you cannot avoid paying (car insurance etc.) you will be left with your spends for the month, try and split this up into weeks until you get paid again and stick to your plan. Doing this early on will really help you out in the future when you start paying bills.

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