The Beginner’s Guide to Bitcoin

The Beginner’s Guide to Bitcoin

While many may have heard of Bitcoin, not everyone will understand how it works. Many may have also heard that Bitcoin allows for a profit to be in certain scenarios, so it makes sense that people are keen to learn more about the cryptocurrency.

Investing in Bitcoin is an ongoing learning curve, but the basics are easy to grasp. To get the best from Bitcoin, you need to know what it is and how it works.

What Exactly Is a Bitcoin?

Given its name, you’d be forgiven for assuming that Bitcoin is a physical currency. In fact, it’s a digital currency that is used for online payments. To be able to send Bitcoin, the receiving party must have a Bitcoin wallet.

A wallet is where you will access your Bitcoin. It is also home to your public and private key. When sending a payment, these two keys will be used to create an encrypted payment showing that the payment came from you.

To be able to use Bitcoin, you first need to purchase the currency. The most popular avenue for buying cryptocurrency is the use of Bitcoin exchanges. There are several platforms available, the best one to use is down to personal preference. For example, if you find a platform difficult to navigate or difficult to understand, then search for a platform that offers a better user experience. To find the best exchange’s you can visit this website here 

To be able to use the exchange, you will need to register an account. Once you have registered an account, you will need to enter some payment details. Any Bitcoin you purchase will often involve the use of local currency.

Like other currencies, the value of Bitcoin can rise and fall, so how much you pay could depend on the current value of Bitcoin at the time.

If you’re interested in Bitcoin because you hope to turn a profit, it’s important that you follow the valuation as closely as possible, as buying and selling at the right time is imperative.

How the Process Works

In layman’s terms, Bitcoin works on a blockchain, which is a public ledger. All confirmed transactions are listed as blocks, and enters a peer-to-peer network for validation. This ensures that the community remains reputable and there is no double-spending. It also ensures that more confidence is instilled into the community.

The Bitcoins are mathematically created using a process known as mining. The way the cryptocurrency is set up means that it becomes harder to mine Bitcoin as time goes by, with a cop of 21 million Bitcoins.

As Bitcoin isn’t regulated by the Government, this means that the currency can’t be reproduced and devalue the currency.

The Transactional Properties of Bitcoin

There are many benefits for users of Bitcoins, but to use it responsibly, we must look at the transactional properties. Knowing how the cryptocurrency works mean that we can manage it in a better way.

Payments Are Irreversible

Once you have sent Bitcoin to another party, there’s no way of getting it back once its confirmed. This means that if you send a payment in error, then there’s no way of getting it back. The same applies if someone accesses your wallet and send them to someone else, the process is irreversible.

The Use of Pseudonymous

When using a normal bank account, it’s normal to see the payee details. This isn’t the case with Bitcoin. Rather than use real-world identities, Bitcoin payments use an address made up of 30 characters. While details of the transaction will be listed, the identity of the person will not be listed.

Fast and Global

When employing other platforms to send money abroad, it can take several hours, or even days in some circumstances. This is often due to the limitations put in place and the process the payment must go through when being sent abroad.

As Bitcoin is based on a peer-to-peer system as opposed to a financial institution. This means that payments sent to another country are just as fast as sending money to a relative or friend.

Secure Platform

When an online platform is being used to send payments, it’s normal for us to be cautious. Fortunately, security is one of Bitcoin’s most prevalent features. Of course, we have to be careful when dealing with the information and ensure we’re not disclosing our personal information.

Strong encryption and mathematical algorithms ensure that the Bitcoin payments can only be sent by those in possession of a private key. If we’re securing our devices and wallet, then those looking to take advantage are unlikely to get far.

Easy to Adopt

When using more conventional payment providers, there can be certain restrictions, often limiting our choice when it comes to sending money to others. Bitcoin is available to anybody, and can be downloaded with a few simple clicks. As there is no Government ruling in relation to using Bitcoin, you don’t have to be subjected to a series of questions before using the platform.

While the use of Bitcoin is quite different to other payment solutions, it’s still easy to use, even for newcomers. When dealing with Bitcoin, it’s important to be as cautious as we would be with other financial affairs. If we’re able to do this, you will find that there are many benefits available to those using the Bitcoin platform.

The Pros and Cons of Forex Trading

The Pros and Cons of Forex Trading

Are you in the process of considering Forex trading as a part or full time money making venture? Maybe you’re considering using the Elliott Wave Trading theory as part of your strategy  If so, you’re not the only one – on the surface, trading can look like an incredible way of making some serious money.

That said – it’s not without its downsides – but they can be hard to find in a world that wants to take your hard earned cash in return for services, courses, tips and expertise.

We’re drawing on decades of Forex trading knowledge to cut through the noise – and give you some very real pros and cons to consider before you start out.

Forex Pros

Low entry points

Generally speaking, the entry cost involved with trading on the Forex market is very small – and there are no traditional commissions to be paid.

This is because FX brokers tend to make money from the spreads between currency pairs, so brokerage charges aren’t needed. When compared to trading stocks, shares and securities – or more recently, cryptocurrencies – this is makes Forex an appealing prospect.

So, where a small amount of capital wouldn’t get you far with equity, futures or options – Forex traders face no such limitations. What’s more, margin trading offers you the chance to scale your stake up – although it does come with an amplified risk.

Trade in a way that suits you

There’s no one method that is guaranteed to work with Forex trading, so whether you’ve got an eye for the geopolitical, a favouring for outright mathematics or a desire to study patterns spanning years of trading history – you can do so – and potentially make a profit with the data you gather.

What’s more, the level of risk and reward is controlled almost entirely by you. Forex pairs tend to be extremely stable – so there are options for low risk, high-volume strategies – as well as higher risk margin trades when you really want to get the adrenaline rushing.

No insiders

If you’ve considered trading in equity markets the prospect of needing inside knowledge on business performance will feel out of most ordinary people’s grasp. Sudden market notifications of huge losses or enormous dividends can cause your portfolio to spin out of control – and unless you were sat in the board room when they were announced, there’s not much you can do.

With Forex trading you’re entering into a decentralised marketplace – and even the central banks that have a lot of sway tend to be coming from a predictable place that the market has somewhat accounted for. In effect – you have the potential to know as much as the biggest players in the game.

Lots of variety to trade on

There are 28 currency pairs that you can trade on right off the bat – and switching between pairs is easily done if you want to trade with particular patterns or political and economic factors at the front of your mind.

Try before you trade

Since Forex trading is packed to the brim with technical terms and operating procedures, most brokers and execution services offer virtual trading platforms where you can cut your teeth.

This can be a great opportunity to have a dry-run, without any real capital put at risk – and also offers more established traders a place to play out new methods and strategies before putting their money down.

Forex Cons

Complexity

There’s no getting around the sheer complexity of Forex trading – and unfortunately, there’s no ignoring one set of factors and hoping they don’t impact your trading – because it’s likely that they will.

While this can be good for people who have an eye for one particular set of influencing factors on the market – it does mean that being somewhat educated on all factors is important if you want to trade safely.

Leverage equals risk

Once again, while we mentioned leverage as a positive when it comes to supporting your low capital entry to the marketplace, this leverage comes with significantly increased risk.

For example, taking advantage of a 50:1 leverage turns your £10 in to a Forex position of £500 – and while that’s understandably beneficial if your currency strengthens – it also stands to put you in a difficult position if you start to see pips dropping.

Particularly when trading with leverage, you can see your losses outweigh your deposits – and when that situation repeats, it’s can leave you in a difficult, if not impossible position.

Unpredictable volatility

Hand in hand with the almost infinite number of influencing factors on a currency comes a volatility that rarely bites – but when it does, there’s nothing that can be done other that sitting tight and watching your currency hit the red.

This volatility can be somewhat counteracted when dealing with stocks and shares – since shareholders have some sway with the management of the company they’re invested in, but with currency, there’s no such influence. What’s more, 24 hour markets mean that unless you can survive with zero hours sleep (hint; you can’t) then there’s a level of anxiety about how you find the market each morning when you wake up.

No standard training

Although it’s true of most marketplaces, there’s no standardised learning or training you can put yourself through to emerge from the other side as a fully ready and able trader. While this is an exciting prospect for some – it’s intimidating for others – and requires you to have a good idea of what’s a legit learning opportunity and what’s just an opportunity to take a newbie trader’s money.

Because there’s no standard process to go through, you’ll also find that the majority of traders pack their bags and go home when their early trades don’t go as planned. If you’re not willing to roll with the punches that early Forex trading will send your way, you might be better carving out a role in a more traditional discipline.

Overall

We’re not here to tell you whether or not Forex trading is right for you – that depends on how you feel about the pros and cons we’ve listed. What we will tell you is that Forex trading can be very difficult – but with some knowledge of techniques, an attitude that accepts on-going learning is needed – and a good plan, Forex can be an engaging and prosperous pursuit…

10 Tips for Every First Time Life Insurance Policy Buyer

10 Tips for Every First Time Life Insurance Policy Buyer

Buying life insurance can seem like a daunting task. You need to find the right policy for your budget, for your lifestyle, and for those who will benefit from you taking out the cover. What’s more, each policy comes with its own set of terms and conditions, each one slightly different from the last. With so many different policies to choose from, it can seem like picking the right life insurance for you is like finding a needle in a haystack. On the plus side, having so much choice means you’re sure to discover the right policy for your needs.

So, if you’re looking to take out your first ever policy and are in need of a helping hand, here are 10 tips to help you along the way:

  1. Think about what you need the policy for.

Some people don’t put much thought into their life insurance. They think that the important thing is to have cover, but may not actually have a policy that suits their circumstances. Before you begin even looking for a life insurance policy, it’s important to make sure you know exactly when you want it. That doesn’t mean predicting the future, but it’s worth knowing upfront whether you need a starter policy, a decreasing term policy that shrinks over the term, or something that will remain the same for the next 40 years or so.

  1. Decide what you want the policy to include.

Once you’ve worked out the type of policy that you’re after, it’s time to narrow things down further and think about what you want the sum insured to pay for. For example, do you want a certain amount to be given to charity? Is a lump of it reserved for funeral costs? Do you have any outstanding debts like a mortgage that the money could settle? Deciding on details like these can save your loved ones from potential arguments and speed up the process.

  1. Calculate the amount of cover you need.

Depending on your budget and what you want the policy to cover, you’ll need to work out how much you want to be your ‘sum insured’. The general consensus is that this should be at least 10 times your annual salary in size. Other circumstances will also impact the amount of cover you need, from the size of your mortgage to the number of young children that you want your insurance to provide support for.

  1. Learn the lingo.

While there are countless different types of life insurance policy, there is something that they will all have in common: a lengthy set of terms and conditions. To make sure you’re getting the right policy for you, spend a little time researching the meaning behind all of the different words and phrases that they all tend to use. A life insurance glossary is a great way of getting to grips with terms like ‘annuity’ and ‘premium’. Learning the language of life insurance will help ensure you’re not caught out by any terms that you don’t fully understand.

  1. Speak to a financial advisor or life insurance advisor.

Another great way to demystify the language of life insurance policies is to speak to an advisor who is clued up in the terms and conditions. They’ll also be able to look at your personal situation and help you find the right cover for you. Be prepared for some personal questions and be honest! Determining the perfect life insurance cover will require details about your lifestyle choices, finances and even your travel plans.

  1. Shop around.

It may seem like choosing the right life insurance policy is a long process. Because of this, some people will find a policy that ticks every box and simply go ahead and purchase the cover, even though there’s alternative policies that cost a whole lot less. While some people’s circumstances mean they will undoubtedly need to pay a little more, it isn’t necessary to spend a fortune. There’s plenty of choice for manual workers, or those looking to get cheap life insurance over 70. You just need to explore the market.

  1. Look at the quality of the provider.

While making sure you’re getting a good deal may seem life the number one priority, you also need to consider the reputation of the provider. If the life insurance policy seems too good to be true, that may just be the case. The best way to avoid a potential scam – or having your money tied up in so many terms and conditions that your policy is basically a financial black hole, try and choose a well-known provider. Alternatively, have a browse online and see if anyone else has left a review of the company.

  1. Work out who your beneficiaries will be.

Although it’s something that’s quite difficult to think about, you need to have a long, hard think about who you want to be financially supported by your life insurance policy. Most likely, it will be the people who are currently impacted by your finances, like your partner and children. However, be aware that insurance companies will hold onto any money promised to children until they turn 18.

  1. Decide whether you’d like a policy with ‘living benefits’.

Having a life insurance policy with living benefits means that you’re able to access the benefit money yourself. This is still only possible if you meet certain conditions, such as developing a long-term chronic illness. The inclusion of living benefits has increased over the years, as people have found themselves living to an older age, but unable to take care of themselves properly as all of their money is tied up in the insurance policy.

  1. Make sure it’s a policy that you can amend.

If you’re being organised and purchasing your cover well before you expect to need it, then it’s a good idea to have a policy that you’re able to alter to suit your circumstances. Things like getting married later in life, finding a partner with their own children, and getting a new mortgage will all impact the amount you’ll want to be included in your insurance.

7 steps that will make you master of your finances

7 steps that will make you master of your finances

Would you like to be better with your finances?

Okay, lets phrase that another way. Would you like a nicer lifestyle and fewer money worries without the need for a big pay rise or second job?

Assuming the answer is yes, I have some good news for you:

You can do it, right now – today, this week, this year – and it’s not a painful process.

The key is understanding your finances and making them work for you – which you may think is obvious, but as a nation, we’re generally not very good at keeping tabs on our money. Instead of fully understanding how our finances can work for us, we live day to day just ‘getting by’.

Well, that’s about to change. We’ll take you through 7 steps that will transform your money situation as quickly as you want to get started.

  1. Understand where you are now

If you’re going to tackle any problem, you need to know what the situation looks like right now.

So, in this instance, that means dragging out letters, bank statements, credit card bills, household bills and any other paperwork that relates to your money.

If that’s going to be a problem you need to order a file that will keep you organised moving forward. An expanding folder with sections for different types of paperwork is ideal.

If for any reason you don’t have that paperwork to hand, see if you can log into your accounts online – or speak to companies and order replacement paper statements. This whole thing might feel like a pain if you haven’t been great at admin until now – but believe us, having all your financial information in one place is absolutely key if you’re going to be able to assess your position at any given moment going forward.

  1. Get your credit score

You may not realise it, but you’re entitled to your credit file for essentially just the admin fee of having it created.

This is another important step of working out where your finances are now. While there are services online that will offer you this information for free – it’s useful to have what’s known as your ‘statutory credit report’ so you know what different credit reference companies see when they search for you.

Make sure you enter as many of your previous addresses as possible when you request it – credit companies request this information, so it pays to know what they’ll see.

When you’ve got it, check it over very carefully. There might be debt or lines of credit on there that you have forgotten about – in which case these companies need to be updated. There’s also a chance that there’s information on there that you don’t recognise – and if this is the case you should speak to the companies involved to understand more.

It’s possible that mistake occur – but it’s also possible that your ID has been stolen – so order your credit score and work out what’s happening.

  1. Do some financial housekeeping

A huge amount of people don’t know what goes in and out of their account each month – and, even the ones that do are often paying for things they just don’t use.

So, have a good look at your direct debits and recurring card payments and ask yourself some questions:

  • Do I still use whatever this product is?
  • Does this product represent value for money for me now?

The answer is often no – whether we’re talking about gym memberships, TV services or a host of other smaller payments that you might not notice until they start to add up.

Your bank or the company you’re signed up with will normally let you cancel these fairly easily, so ditch anything you don’t need and keep the money in your pocket.

  1. Create a budget

We know, budgeting doesn’t sound like fun – but when you get into it, it’s amazing how much money you can free up.

Start by listing all your income – follow that with a list of all your necessary expenditure in the month – we’re talking rent, mortgage, utility bills, credit card payments – and so forth.

Add up both figures and take the necessary expenditure total away from the total income figure – leaving you with what’s known as ‘disposable income’ – i.e. money that can be budgeted for spending on non-essentials elsewhere.

You can now start dividing this remaining monthly money up as you see fit. So, perhaps you’d like to put an upper limit on the food and groceries shopping you do? Put maximum amount of money on take away or nights out? It’s not a problem when you’re aware of what your spending looks like!

  1. Start saving (even just a little)

Now you’ve got a budget in place it’s time to start putting a little bit aside to account for any financial issues you might run in to.

Saving doesn’t work if you just hope for the best and plan to put away whatever you’ve got left over each month – but when you start to see saving as an expenditure, it will work well for you.

  1. Follow good advice

If you’re finding it tricky getting to grips with all the money you owe it’s important to use a service that gives you an objective overview of the options that are out there for you. Using a site like www.facethered.com give you a head start on this subject – with objective reviews of suitable services and understandable information detailing your options.

No one goes it alone with their finances, so just make sure you get the right kind of advice.

  1. Track your spending

When you’ve got a really good handle on where your money situation is currently, there’s no better way to stay on top of spending by tracking your outgoings.

This might sound like a big job – but in reality it will take you less than 5 or 10 minutes every day – and it’ll shed some amazing light on what you spend. There are online services and apps available so you can get some visual representations of where you money is going – but it can be just as effective creating a simple spreadsheet.

We’ll end with a warning! You’re likely to be shocked when the figures start to add up. A little spend here and there becomes an absolutely enormous spend over the course of a week, month or year, but, it’s good to embrace the feelings of shock you’ll get – because when you realise that cutting down on nights out or take away could see you debt free or on a luxury holiday – you can make informed decisions about where you’d like to be spending your money…

How to know when Gambling is effecting your finances?

How to know when Gambling is effecting your finances?

Since the birth of the online gambling boom throughout the past decade, the value of the online industry is said to be worth approximately £4bn and constantly growing. While gambling operators are constantly innovating and discovering more sophisticated ways of marketing their product, governing bodies within the industry are keeping a sharp eye on the well-being of their players and tackling the threat of addiction.

How do you know when your gambling habits are becoming a problem?

If you’re suddenly starting to realise that your bank balance is reducing and you’re wondering where the funds went, or your taking out bank or high-interest loans to fund your gambling habits then the likely scenario is that you have a problem.

When you’re beginning to feel like you’re losing control of your gambling habits it’s often a natural reaction to dismiss the severity of your behaviour and convince yourself that you are under control. The first step to recovery is realising that you need help. The stigma attached to addiction and more specifically gambling is often something that may seem more difficult to speak to close friends or family about. This article will give you 5 easy steps on how to curb your addiction and recover your financial debts that you have amassed.

1. Accept you’ve got a problem.

The first step to recovery is acknowledging the issues that are at bay, once you’ve done this it reduces the delusion and manic behaviour that can occur when you try and chase losses or place large bets. Create a step-by-step plan that will aid you on your road to recovery while also accumulating a list of any financial debts you’ve incurre

2. Engage with friends or family

Speaking to friends or family may seem like the last thing you want to do, you may see it as an admission of weakness, but this is what families are for. Friends and families can give you some much needed perspective, reassurance and help on your way to recovery. Seeking professional help can often be an overwhelming activity for someone struggling with their problems. The assistance of a friend or family member could be just the person you need to get the ball rolling.

3. Set deposit limits and assess payment methods

Once you’ve acknowledged that you want to change your behaviour, make the effort to make the bold, tangible changes that can be done in the short-term. Things like setting deposit limits, self-excluding, or closing down credit or debit accounts that you have opened to fund your habits. This step may be as simple as deleting the gaming app from your phone. It’s all about taking the small steps in the correct direction and creating the healthy behaviours that aid recovery.

4. Create a payment plan

If you’re still in the position that you have a job and you are able to begin to pay back some of the debts you have accumulated, it’s good to create a list of the money you owe. Speak to friends or family and see if you can lend money to pay debts from high interest loans or sharks. It’s better to have safe debt than increasing debt that carries the threat of violence.

Furthermore, speak to your bank and see what possibilities there are to create direct debits or specific blocks on your account.

5. Change your psychology

By now you’re well on the road to recovery and your beginning to create healthy habits that are pulling you further away from temptation. Seek professional help from a psychiatrist who can help you understand the psychology behind your addiction and develop behaviours and coping methods that work best for you. Accept the problem and stare it in the face, change your associations with gambling, rather than looking at in a negative fashion as a money loss scheme, look at it as entertainment, in the same way you’d see meeting friends or going to the cinema.

Scott Manford, CEO of Easy Slots said: “We take the well-being and safety of our gamers very seriously at Easy Slots and always pay close attention to some of our players who seem to be developing a problem. We strongly advise players to set reasonable deposit limits and refer to our responsible gambling policy whenever they feel necessary.” Learn more about easy now.

Gambling addiction is a very real and human reaction to the industry. Acknowledge the problem and take the necessary steps to recovering your debts. It may seem like that at times there’s no way out, but always look to official sources for help; banks, friends, family, or psychologists.

How can having a poor credit score affect you?

How can having a poor credit score affect you?

The majority of people don’t understand just how a credit rating can have a direct effect on their financial life.A credit rating, or credit score, is essentially a number that helps a given financial services provider decide if you are a viable customer for one of their products. Your 3 digit credit score, or credit rating, is just one of many factors that are looked at that can help establish whether or not an individual may be a financial risk to a lending company.

Other elements can include:

  • Employment
  • Income
  • Savings
  • Assets (do you own your own home or do you rent it)

These things are all looked at together, with your credit score, and a lender can then decide, as fairly as possible, whether to accept you for a loan. Obviously, having a bad credit score is going to have an effect on your dealings with lenders, and not just those that offer financial products. There are ways to fix your credit score if it is on the low side, so all is not lost.

As well as impeding your ability to apply for credit, a poor score can also make it more difficult to rent a home, or any other property, and can also hike up insurance premiums to higher levels.

Downsides of a low credit score

Having a low or poor credit score means that you will have reduced, or even no, access to new credit. It also means that you could be refused a credit card, mortgage, car loan or even a new bank account. This is all due to the fact that a low or poor credit score does not indicate financial responsibility.

Of course, the score is not the only thing being looked at but it is an important part of the decision making process. Naturally, the ability to keep up with repayments and pay the loan back is going to be the final decider and so is the most important thing that a lender will look at. If you built up a bad credit history in the past for example, but you know hold down a very well paying job then the lender may choose to not place as much importance on the credit score itself.

The opposite of this is also true. For example, if somebody with a great looking score of 800 and above wanted to loan some cash, you would think that a lender would say yes without thinking about it. What if, however, this same person had no job or a stable source of income? No financial lender in the whole of the world, never mind the U.S. would consider this person as a customer.

If you have a stable source of income, you can improve your credit score over time if you alter the habits that landed you with a poor score in the first place.

Poor score equals higher rates of interest

A low score tells a company that are a potential risk when it comes to credit. Some lenders and businesses will take a risk, but they will offset that risk by making you an offer that comes with higher interest rates than would be usual. Again, multiple areas will be looked at when deciding on the interest rate, but your credit score will be a be part of that.

As an example, consider the difference in interest rates between two people that have credit scores of 760 and 660 respectively. The difference is that the person with the 660 score would be paying an extra $120 a month, on a $300,000 loan amount. On first glance it doesn’t seem that much – it is a large loan, after all – but that $120 a month difference adds up to $37,500 over the 30 years it would take to repay that amount.

That $37,500 could buy at least two vehicles. This is, quite literally, wasted money and all becuase of 100 ‘small’ points off the credit score.

Taking out a new credit card is not so straightforward with a low score

Getting a new credit card gets more difficult if the person applying for it has a low or poor credit score – this is especially true when you consider the current economic climate that we find ourselves in. Even when people have a good credit credit score, well paying secure job and they do everything they are ‘supposed’ to do, banks are still approving far fewer loans and credit cards that they used to.

Auto insurance premiums are also affected

You will find that auto insurance premiums are also directly affected by credit scores, and if you don’t have a great history with making repayments then the company may see that as a sign that may also be late paying your premiums. Again, to offset the perceived risk, they will raise the insurance premiums to higher rates than before.

These insurance companies are in the business of risk management, and they know that individuals with lower credit scores are statistically more likely to make insurance claims. Conversely, those with better credit scores and therefore a better financial history, normally have fewer accidents and accrue fewer traffic tickets. That’s statistics for you, they can be a cruel but surprisingly accurate mistress.

Other things that affect the premiums that you are offered are not even under your control. Things like your age, the distances you would normally travel. Other factors include education level, surprisingly enough, and also the type of vehicle that you drive – although that one is fairly obvious, not to mention understandable.

There are ways to lower your insurance premiums, but that is for a whole other article for a very different website. As it is, you should now have a better understanding of how a credit score can have an adverse effect on your life and why it’s important to keep it as healthy as possible.

Easy Mistakes Personal Injury Clients Make

Easy Mistakes Personal Injury Clients Make

Suffering a personal injury is a traumatic experience for anyone but the aftermath can be much more difficult with the added financial burdens it can bring about. No one really considers the financial impact suffering a personal injury can have and that’s understandable after all the first thing on your mind is hardly going to be your money.

But the loss of a steady income while you rest and recover in the aftermath of an injury can really add extra stress to your life. And who really wants more stress after they’ve suffered a personal injury?

No one is the only answer to that question which is why the majority of people who suffer a personal injury whether it’s a minor or serious one will make a claim for compensation. But the claiming process isn’t exactly simple and straightforward so it’s easy for people especially after they’ve suffered an injury to make mistakes.

Even small mistakes can end up costing you money when it comes to your compensation claim so it’s important that you are careful when making your claim. Below we’ve outlined some of the easiest mistakes people can make when claiming for personal injury compensation, so you’ll know exactly what to avoid.

Not Researching Your Solicitors

Not all solicitors are the same and while many solicitors do specialise in personal injury claims that does not mean they’ll be a good choice for your individual circumstances. Don’t be afraid to ask solicitors questions to find out more about them and their experience to see whether they are a good fit for your needs.

If a union or motoring agency picks a solicitor on your behalf then you don’t have to use them, many people don’t realise they can actually ask for an alternative instead. An agency or union might have a partnership with a specific law firm but that doesn’t mean they’ll always be the best option so, do your own research into your solicitors. To find out more about your legal rights then click here.

Not Recording Your Losses

This is an understandable one because many people won’t be thinking about recording their losses, and even if you are you might not actually realise what counts as a loss. Every time you incur an extra cost because of your injury try to make a note of it and be sure to keep any receipts.

The mental aspect of the injury will also play a part in your losses as well so make sure that is expressed when you’re making your claim. Remember the mental aspect can take many forms it could nightmares, you could be drinking more or jumpier.

It can be difficult to talk about things like this but for your peace of mind and to help present the full effect the injury has had on you, you need to be open with your doctors about all aspects of your recovery and personal injury.

Not Asking Questions

Making a claim for compensation is complicated there are many different ways to approach compensation and many different things can count as personal injuries. One common mistake many people make is that they don’t ask enough questions.

This could easily cause them to miss out on a greater amount of compensation, so don’t be afraid to ask solicitors any questions if something doesn’t make sense to you or you just want to know more information about something.

Not Being Truthful

OK, that sounds extreme doesn’t it but what I’ am actually talking about is not being truthful to any medical professional you need to talk to. In many cases you’ll need to talk to a medical professional, so your solicitor will have a medical report to use when making your case.

But if you don’t tell the doctor everything then it won’t go in the report which means you then can’t use it later when claiming compensation. And once the report is written getting things added to it is not going to be easy and in some cases, it might not even be possible, so make sure you are truthful with any doctors you talk to and tell them everything.

It’s easy to get embarrassed and therefore not mention things but you need to be one hundred percent open with any medical professionals you talk to. You can also sometimes not be truthful completely by accident if a doctor doesn’t ask you a certain question then you could easily miss telling them something important. So, don’t wait for them to ask just tell them clearly.

Not Gathering Evidence

OK, this is going to be a difficult one in some cases if you have a serious injury then you won’t really be able to take photographs or note down any details, will you? But for things like a minor traffic accident then you might be able to take some photographs with your phone.

But evidence doesn’t just mean photographs it can also mean witness statements or possibly even security footage. If you suffer a personal injury at work, then you should be able to find plenty of ways to gather evidence even after your injury.

Evidence might not always be needed, but it will almost certainly help make your compensation claim easier.

Not Getting Help

Finally, this is one that some people will find more difficult than others, asking for help after suffering a personal injury can be hard for some people but it will be a huge benefit to you. There are a lot of people who can help you after suffering a personal injury and make the recovery process much easier and less stressful.

The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) for example can be a big help if you’re looking for guidance on the compensation process or if you need help with the financial matters. The impact a personal injury can have on your finances can leave you in a very difficult situation which is not going to help your recovery any, but help is available, and the Citizens Advice Bureau is a great place to find it so make an appointment when you can.

The ultimate house-viewing checklist

The ultimate house-viewing checklist

For most people in the UK, a house is the single biggest purchase they’ll make in their lifetime. Despite the size of the purchase, studies show we’re likely to spend more time selecting the next pair of jeans we’ll buy than the house we’ll spend years in.

Whether we don’t want to miss out, don’t want to be seen as fussy or even want to avoid inconveniencing others, not taking time to truly understand what we’re buying can have enormous repercussions.

We’ll walk you through how to make sure you’re 100% about the house you’re looking at before you make an offer you might come to regret.

Try to be objective when viewing

Buying a house is an emotional purchase – but if you can try to look with your head instead of your heart, at least initially, then you’re far more likely to make a good decision.

When you’re viewing a house, try to put aside thoughts of furniture or picturing yourself there until you’ve looked at the property from a structural point of view. It doesn’t harm to consider the first visit a ‘fault finding’ inspection.

That’s not to say you should put yourself off, instead, this fact-finding exercise gives you the power to go away, do some research into potential repair costs and go back with a fully informed offer.

View more than once

No matter how objective we try to be, there’s always a chance that something will appeal to us and we’ll take our eye off the ‘objective’ ball.

The very best way to make sure you’ve got your eyes open is to view the property multiple times – at least twice, but ideally three or four times. You’re far more likely to spot issues doing this – and what’s more, those questions you forgot to ask first time will be priorities next visit.

Check the area

The importance of checking the local area cannot be underestimated. There are the obvious factors that most people consider – school catchment areas, local amenities and transport links, but what about those less obvious factors?

Take time to research the following:

  • Flooding – You don’t have to be on a riverbank to flood, talk to local people and businesses about water levels locally.
  • Crime – The police publish statistics on crime in every area, check these online to make sure you’re comfortable with what’s happening near the house.
  • Planning – Is there anything planned locally that will impact your home? The possibilities range from parks and conservation areas to by-passes and runways, so be careful.

Visit during key times

Estate agents and most home report surveyors in Glasgow are very good at what they do – which means they’re extremely unlikely to show you a house when the local area is in a flurry of noisy activity. There are some key time to observe the property – and you don’t necessarily have to be inside to get a good impression of what’s happening.

What’s the area like at 8:45am when children are being dropped off for school? Is the property on any paths between pubs or bars that get rowdy at 11:30pm on Saturday nights? There are lots of possibilities – and asking neighbours can help too.

Spend time looking

We’re a polite bunch – but don’t be put under pressure to cut your viewing short.

Make your intentions known from the outset, letting people know you plan to spend 30 minutes or so means they’ll diary accordingly. Statistics show that you’re far more likely to secure a below-asking-price figure if you’re willing to commit to a decent amount time looking.

Tap on walls

You don’t have to be a DIY expert to know what damp plaster sounds like in a house – there are plenty of videos online that will show you how to find any damp that’s there. Get tapping and listen for the dull sounds that indicate water coming in.

You might be impressed by freshly decorated rooms – but don’t discount the fact that new paint might be there to hide wet patches and stains that indicate water in the property.

Look for moss and mould

Moss and mould love to lurk in places that stay dull and damp – so if you see them, even on the outside of the property or on patios and paths – there’s good reason to thoroughly inspect the walls that are nearby.

View with your nose

Even if you can’t see it, damp in a property has a distinct smell – so a keen nose can find what paint and fresh plaster can sometimes hide.

Cupboards, loft spaces, basements and cellars are all prime places to do some sniffing – and beware the scented candle, it’s often a coverup for what’s really happening…

Turn the lights out

Estate agents and vendors know that putting the lights on can give the impression of a sunny and spacious feeling room – so shut them off for a true impression of how much light the room gets.

Talk about fixtures and fittings

When you move into the property and find that the integral appliances or period fireplace has disappeared, it’s too late to go back and double check who’s taking what.

Be very clear about what’s staying and what’s going – take a note pad and pen and record it at the time of the viewing – before referencing back should you progress to making an offer. The fixtures and fittings can make a room – and they’re unlikely to be cheap.

Measure

If you’re planning on moving your current furniture in to a new house then making sure it fits is an obvious – but often overlooked – part of the viewing process. Take a tape measure and check floorspace, as well as the doors and openings it’s going to need to fit through.

Scrutinise land access

There’s often more to a house than just the bricks and mortar – so a clear understanding of the land included can be vital. Understanding boundaries and access to the surrounding property can save a lot of heartache further down the line.

Talk about parking

Parking is becoming a more and more significant part of home ownership – so don’t overlook it.

It’s not uncommon for houses to have two or more cars – and where parking is at a premium, space on the street might be hard to find. Understanding parking outside the property is important – do you need a permit? Will you need to pay? Does the street fill up at key times?

You might be able to park nearby when you view – but a 15-minute walk to your car in the rain every morning after you’ve moved in is likely to take the shine of your new home!

Buying Gold as an Retirement Investment: What Is There to Consider?

Buying Gold as an Retirement Investment: What Is There to Consider?

When planning for the future, it’s normal for us to venture into unknown waters when it comes to making the right investments. While our paper-based assets may seem fine, there is certainly no harm in looking at other investment routes to ensure we’re maximizing our investments, and achieving our end goals.

However, there can be many avenues in relation to buying gold as an investment, so it’s important that we understand what kind of value they offer us as an investment.

Investing in Gold Shares

Buying shares in gold effectively mean that you are investing in a company that mines gold. While a popular choice for many, not everyone is confident when investing in gold companies direct, given that gold shares are unpredictable domains from an economic point-of-view. However, if shares in a gold company is what you’re looking for, then it is advisable to obtain some professional advice. There may also be instances where it’s advisable to spread your capital across several miners as opposed to a singular company.

Investing in Precious Metals

Investing in precious metals such as gold is often the preferred choice for those looking to make an investment, especially when making financial plans. This can be attributed to its resilience in the financial market, often offering those who devalued portfolios an alternative route if they find that their paper-based assets have decreased in value. This is why buying gold as an investment can be such an attractive option to those looking for financial stability. In the US, there is a rollover process called Gold IRA Rollover, allowing you to transfer the funds from your retirement account into a self-directed account by buying and holding precious metals such as gold, platinum and palladium.

For a quick overview, check out the video below:

How is Gold Viewed Within the Economy?

Investing in gold can be quite different to other investments, such as bonds and shares, as the investment does not produce any dividends, such as coupon payment or rent. However, it does become relevant when other investments start to fall by the wayside due to troubled economic times. For example, should our property portfolio take a financial hit, then it may be possible to recoup some of the loss with the selling of precious metals you have invested in.

How Should I Start Investing in Gold?

If you were to start buying and selling gold yourself, you could find that it takes quite some time to build a portfolio. However, if you currently have an IRA, then you may wish to transfer some of your current accounts into a Gold IRA. This means that you can convert some of your paper-based assets to that of precious metals, such as gold.

It should be noted that Gold IRA means that the investor doesn’t have physical ownership of the gold, rather it is kept in storage by the chose custodian. As such, those who want to be in ownership of the gold will find that a Gold IRA isn’t for them.

If I Can’t Have the Gold, Then What’s the Point?

A Gold IRA comes with many rules and regulations, and one such rule is that the gold must be stored in an IRS-approved location. It’s important to understand that the undertaking of a Gold IRA is more about financial planning, and less about owning the physical gold. As advised, this type of investment can be made in order to diversify a portfolio and help minimize risk when it comes to any economic downturn.

There’s also the fact that precious metals aren’t prone to the same levels of inflations as other assets, so make a good investment for those looking to secure the future of their family.

What Else Should I Know?

As your gold will be stored by the custodian, you need to ensure that you use the right kind of financial institute. Although many will offer a similar service, you need to ensure that you’re only dealing with a company that is of good repute. It can also be worthwhile considering what services are on offer from various Gold IRA provider.

You also need to ensure that you’re getting value when paying any fees. Again, understanding what’s on offer can ensure that you are paying the right amount for the service you want. While we’re all naturally drawn towards a good deal, we need to ensure that the service on offer is able to cater to our needs.

The investment in gold can be a sound one, as long as we take the right steps. Ensuring that we only deal with reputable companies and ensuring we only take advice by seasoned professionals can ensure that when investing in gold, we are doing so in a way that’s compliant, as well as one that suits our particular requirements.

Working from home jobs – busting the myths!

Working from home jobs – busting the myths!

Perhaps you currently work from home? Or are you in the market for working from home jobs? You’re undoubtedly going to hear from friends and family all about how lucky you are to work from the comfort of your house – but not many people realise the implications being at home for your working day can have on your health, well-being and productivity.

We’ll look at the myths of working from home, what they mean in reality and offer some tips on how to keep your brain and body on the productive working-from-home path.

“You get to spend extra time in bed!”

This is of course true, especially if you live in a location that would otherwise mean a big commute to the office. There are a couple of downsides though – firstly, the morning routine is the way many people start their day, without it, it can be difficult to ‘get going’. Secondly, extra time in bed might feel like a bonus, but being sedentary for long periods of time can have a big impact on your mental well-being.

Research shows that people who don’t keep a morning routine can find it more difficult to focus on work tasks throughout the day. While many people would disagree with the next research finding – experts say it’s also possible to have too much sleep, and doing so can contribute to a number of physical and mental health issues.

Tips

  • Try to keep a normal ‘working day’ – even if your work means strange hours.
  • Try to avoid getting straight out of bed and into your office.
  • Get dressed for work and do your normal morning routine to get your brain into work mode.

“You get to avoid all the office politics!”

Depending on the kind of person you are, not having people around you all day can be either a blessing or a curse. If you enjoy your own company then being alone most of the day can be great and productive – however, if you bounce off others and rely on them for your energy, it can be pretty soul zapping to sit at home all day.

There is of course still the phone to keep you connected to people all day – this doesn’t quite cut the mustard for real interactions though, people will tend to only call and email when they want something from you.

Tips

  • Try hard to take breaks and a lunch time – if you can, step out of the house during these times, ideally to somewhere you can have some lunch and be around people, even if that’s just a park or bench with your lunchbox!
  • If you’re feeling isolated, call, Facetime or Skype someone, psychologists say that seeing a person’s face can elevate your mood far greater than just hearing their voice.

“You can get all the jobs done at home!”

There’s definitely some benefit to be had when you’re at home all day – there are some quick jobs that you can do that make little or no impact on your day, such as putting a load of washing in – and you’ll never miss a parcel delivery again! However, it’s easy to get sucked into the trap of thinking that you’re at home and therefore feeling like you should be doing home tasks.

Even if you feel like you can manage some jobs around the house while you work, be careful that you’re not losing important focus on what you’re being paid to do. Where procrastinating in an office is difficult, it’s easy to lose track of your priorities at home – if there’s a call you don’t want to make, rearranging your sock drawer can begin to look quite appealing…

Tips

  • Making a work schedule can help, feel free to add little household jobs in to your day – but try to quickly come back to the task at hand.
  • Creating a solid understanding about your role with family and loved ones can be useful – for those who don’t work at home there might be no reason you can’t do the ironing as you take a conference call – agree some realistic expectations early.

“I bet sitting in your house all day is great!”

Again, there’s some element of truth to be had, being in an environment you like can be a bonus – but missing out on the commute will further take away from the little activity that most office workers already struggle with – and seeing the same 4 walls for your entire working day can remove some of the variety that gives life a little zest, sometimes leading to reduced mood and energy.

It can be tempted to sit at your desk all day – and sometimes you’ll have done less than 100 steps between getting up and sitting down at your computer. As a result, home workers report greater levels of back-pain, headaches and diminished energy.

Tips

  • Buy a chair that’s designed for your ergonomic comfort – rather than just looking good in your office. Try not to just repurpose a dining room chair, and don’t be tempted to sit on your sofa with your laptop on your lap.
  • Putting some music or a radio station on can liven up the mood in your office.
  • Try to get as much natural light into your working area, dull environments can significantly impact a person’s mood.

Looking after yourself overall

Because there’s often no one to look over your shoulder, home workers can find themselves in bad habits very quickly. You may quite-rightly have no one to answer to, but that doesn’t mean you should let an overly sedentary and lacklustre attitude set in. As someone who works from home you should try as much as you can to keep an objective view of how you spend your time.

If it helps to motivate you, set some times through the week when you work in coffee shops or even the local library. It’s easy to find an internet connection in most public places and getting out of the house can have a positive impact on your brain and body.