Thursday, 17 October 2019

Look to the midlands for high yielding property and capital growth


Often overlooked for property investment, towns and cities in the midlands provides some of the best returns in the country. The rest of the UK is easily accessible from the midlands which makes it attractive to people who need to commute across the country for work or to visit relatives. With the arrival of HS2 it will be even easier, Nottingham will be connected to the HS2 via Toton which will cut travel times to London to just 52 minutes and it will take just 33 minutes to travel to Birmingham.
Alongside its convenient location, the midlands is home to many historic towns, some of which have been voted as some of the most desirable places to live such as Shipston-on-Stour and Ludlow. It also boats vast expanses of varied countryside and landscapes such as the Peak District and the Lincolnshire Wolds area of outstanding natural beauty.

The housing market in Nottingham
In terms of house price growth, Nottingham registers the fastest growth of any city in the UK at 7.5% year-on-year. As prices rise from a low base there is still scope for investors to take advantage of any capital growth. There are approximately 43,300 students studying in the city of Nottingham, and the University of Nottingham is well ranked across the UK and worldwide. Upon graduating, many stay in the city and this provides opportunities to investors to achieve good yields and capital growth once the graduates have the savings to purchase a house.

Regeneration sparking the economy and rejuvenating recreational facilities
Nottingham’s economy is growing faster than most other cities in the UK, so people are choosing to work in the city rather than commute elsewhere. Nottingham regeneration projects including the £250m scheme to improve the accessibility of Nottingham from the south have inspired enthusiasm in the city. Nottingham also leads the way with regards to technology contributions in the UK, and the new £30 million BioScience building at BioCity cements its position and brings more jobs and professionals to the city.
Not only has Nottingham experienced regeneration with regards to its infrastructure and economy, facilities such as the Broadmarsh Centre are due to be refurbished to improve its shopping and dining options which will make Nottingham an enviable retail location. With all the regeneration underway, it has made property in Nottingham more attractive as people want to live close to work and recreational facilities.

Shifting down the east midlands line to Luton
Although not technically in the midlands (although sometimes classed as being in the south east midlands), the east midlands line does connect Luton with London, and by train it takes as little as 25 minutes to commute between the two places.
According to LendInvest’s Buy-to-Let annual index, Luton is the fourth best area to invest in the country. Luton offers itself as a viable alternative for those finding themselves priced out of the London housing market or for those who need to travel across Europe as London Luton Airport is conveniently on their doorstep.

Property prices in Luton
Luton has an overall average house price of £261,124 making it one of the most affordable commuter towns for London, the affordability has increased its appeal as house prices have increased by 13% since 2016. Comparing that to London where the average is £727,767 and prices have only increased by 5% since 2016 and you can understand why people are choosing to invest in Luton where prices are lower but rising at a more rapid pace.
Luton’s population is also increasing at a faster rate than they are building houses in the town; with approximately 430 houses being built a year yet needs 1417 houses to be built to meet demand.

Luton’s improving economy
Although its history of hat making (Luton produced 70 million per year, and Luton Town are often nicknamed The Hatters) is almost forgotten, there have been efforts to stimulate employment opportunities in the town. The Luton Airport Enterprise Zone is just one example of this. The Enterprise Zone will consist of three linked sites over 395 acres of land. The total number of jobs created by the Enterprise Zone is expected to exceed 10,000, and this will add to the housing demand in the city.
At present the train station for Luton airport is not situated conveniently for the airport, however plans are in place for a new £200m Luton Airport Parkway station that will connect the airport terminal to London from 2020. Improved transport links will further put Luton on the map.
Luton LU1 is a completed buy-to-let investment opportunity consisting of 66 studios, one-and-two-bedroom apartments starting from £139,995. Just a 10% deposit is needed and there is a rental yield of 6% guaranteed for 12 months. The apartments are suitable for people working in the centre of Luton as the development is located on the fringe of the city centre. Being just a ten-minute walk from the station, Luton LU1 is also ideal for those working in London as they can get into the city in as little as 40 minutes.
From Nottingham in the midlands down the east midlands line towards Luton, there are still pockets of the UK where buy to let is profitable and the ability to achieve good levels of capital growth is possible. Nottingham has one of the fastest growing housing markets and Luton is the fourth best area to invest in buy to let property in the UK and we think investing in property in either location would be a prudent move.
Contact One Touch Property today to find out more about investment options in Luton and Nottingham, and how other property sectors can withstand Brexit and provide attractive returns for investors.

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL hands-on first impressions

Jim Rohn - Psychology of Wealth Thinking (Jim Rohn Pesonal Development)

Using Time Tracking Tools To Stay Productive


Bojan Mijatovic
When someone mentions the word productivity, often the first concept that comes to your mind is probably ‘time’ – in fact, it is how we actually define productivity; how long it takes you to finish a certain task, and how much you can get done in a certain amount of time. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that managing your time in the best way possible will result in higher productivity, and one of the ways to do just that is to use software-based time tracking tools.
As the name suggests, time tracking tools are easy-to-use, intuitive apps that can help you keep track of how long it takes you (or your employees) to finish a certain task.  This is essential if you’re the manager of a company with multiple employees under your guidance that you need to monitor, but it can also be a great help if you’re working solo.

The Power of Deadlines

People perform better and more efficiently when they have deadlines – this is a simple fact. When your time is being tracked, and you see a timer telling you that you took twice as long as you expected to complete a task, it isn’t really a good feeling, and then you’ll naturally try to avoid that happening in the future – even if you don’t have a real deadline to work against.
The same goes for your employees; when they know they’re on the clock and that you’ll be able to see how fast they’re working, it serves as a healthy motivator to work as hard as they can. People like to be viewed as fast, efficient and capable, and for that reason alone we will put more work in if we know that it’s going to count.

A Better Sense of Time

Another benefit of tracking your time is that it can help you get a better grasp of how much time you actually need to do something. It might be less than you think, and it might be more, but the fact is that the more you are aware of this, the better you’ll be able to leverage your time and make a plan that can make you as efficient as possible.
This way you’ll be able to market yourself better by giving realistic deadlines to your client that you know you’ll be able to meet, and this is something that every client likes to see.

Simpler, Faster Invoices

If you run your own business you probably know how much time invoicing can eat up. Many of these apps now have a built-in feature to automatically calculate how much you should charge a client, or how much an employee should be paid by factoring in an hourly rate, and the amount of time that was spent on the project in question. This saves you the hassle of having to do all that math yourself, and this makes things much simpler, and much faster.

Tracking Tools In A Nutshell

The great thing about these tools is that they were designed to waste as little of your time as possible (otherwise it would pretty much defeat the purpose). Once you’ve used any time tracking tool you’ll find that you can probably find your way around any of them, so there’s no need to worry that you aren’t “tech-savvy” enough to handle this kind of technology.

Final Words

We are constantly bombarded with items fighting for our attention and sometimes it’s really difficult to resist the temptation when you need to focus on your tasks. Whether it’s for personal use or for business, keeping track of your time can really have a positive effect on your productivity in the long run. When you take a step back and analyze all the small elements which constitute your time-drains, you can make a better decision on how to organize your day stay more focused on the tasks that need to be done.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

How to Properly Manage Your Money Like the Rich | Tom Ferry 9.2 M Views

Why You Can’t Rely on Credentials Alone to Find a Financial Adviser

Vetting tips following a powerful Wall Street Journal investigation

  • By Pam KruegerSeptember 23, 2019
A recent Wall Street Journal Page-One investigation of financial advisers found that more than 6,300 of the 72,000 financial advisers on the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards’ website to help investors find Certified Financial Planners (CFP) had customer complaints or faced criminal or regulatory problems that weren’t disclosed on the site.
That means if you’d gone to the site, you’d have had about a one in 12 chance of picking a planner who violated the CFP Board’s requirement that all advisers with this credential must adhere to the highest standards of ethical behavior. The CFP Board has disclosed the problems to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), though, the Journal said.
In response to the article, the CFP Board said it would be upgrading the scrutiny of financial planners and would appoint a task force to review its enforcement and disclosure procedures and make recommendations by November.
Being a CFP means a financial professional has a designation based on taking a set of courses and passing one or more standardized tests. It’s not a license.
As an investor advocate, I’m glad to see the CFP Board is taking this lack of transparency seriously. But the Journal’s investigation clearly shows the importance of not relying purely on credentials when choosing a financial adviser.

What a CFP Designation Says About a Financial Adviser

Being a CFP means a financial professional has a designation based on taking a set of courses and passing one or more standardized tests. It’s not a license.
Does this mean you shouldn’t use the CFP Board’s site to find a qualified financial planning professional? Not necessarily. But it does mean that, for now at least, it’s up to you to dig into that person’s background to identify any potential red flags.
Here’s what you need to know and how to do your own vetting:
The CFP Board isn’t as selective as you might think about who can add CFP to their business cards.
Many designees are brokers, whose commission-based pay model may prevent them fulfilling the CFP Board’s lofty, but unenforceable, standards of always putting clients’ interests first. Some investment advisers who are also brokers receive commissions in certain situations, making it impossible for them to act solely in their clients’ best interests. By contrast, fee-only investment advisers are paid just by their clients.

Looking for a Financial Adviser

When you start your hunt for a financial adviser, even if one you’re considering isn’t a broker, look up his or her profile on This site, administered by FINRA, provides information about any licensed broker or investment adviser, including their job history, their securities license and, most importantly, whether they’ve ever been disciplined by FINRA or the Securities and Exchange Commission.
If the person you might hire isn’t listed on this site, or, worse, if infractions appear, move on.
Another way to protect yourself: If you hire a registered investment adviser, you can choose a custodian — the place where your money will be held — at an independent financial institution. While financial advisers can legally serve as custodians, accepting deposits and payments directly from clients, their lack of independence can create a risk.
A custodian that’s an independent financial institution can safeguard your money against theft and loss. Then, when you start working with an adviser, you’ll receive either that person’s or firm’s quarterly report summarizing your portfolio’s performance as well as a monthly statement from the custodian showing the values of your investments, along with trading and transaction activities, including fee payments.

Understanding Discretionary Management

If an adviser you might use offers discretionary investment management, be sure to understand what this means. By giving your adviser discretionary authority, you’ll be letting your money pro execute trades in your account without your approval. Unscrupulous advisers could exploit this relationship by steering your money into inappropriate high-risk investments like hedge funds, managed futures, commodities and foreign currency products, some of which have been known to pay kickbacks to advisers.
That’s why you may instead want your adviser to manage your account in a non-discretionary capacity. With this setup, the person makes investment recommendations but only carries out trading decisions with your consent.
If finding an adviser is an urgent priority, be certain that anyone you select has been thoroughly vetted and has verified credentials. Then, when you start interviewing candidates, make sure they are fiduciaries — professionals required to act in their clients’ best interests.
Pam Krueger
By Pam Krueger
Pam Krueger is the creator and co-host of MoneyTrack, the award-winning PBS TV series on personal finance investing. A former stockbroker, Pam has just launched,  an online tool helping consumers find and connect with vetted, qualified financial advisers.
originally published on
reproduced by kind permission of richard Eisenberg