One for the Ladies…. Life Cover & Protection about to get more expensive

Did you know that Life Cover & Protection is about to get a whole lot more expensive for us in 31 days time thanks to the latest EU Directive..!

The Breadwinner – with the increase of single parent families and womens’ increased earning power, now more than ever women need to make sure they have sufficient life cover in place to replace their salary for their families in the event of their death and to protect their income in the event of illness…

The Mum– whether you have a career or you are a highly-skilled, multi-tasking stay home Mum, you too need to think about the impact of replacing the many and varied roles in the family home (thought to be worth €59,000 if you had to replace on a salary every role a Mum undertakes in the home!!) Act now while minimum premium cover starts from €10.10pm.The Single Woman– your biggest asset is yourself and your ability to earn income. If you haven’t thought about putting protection in place to protect your earnings or your health, now is the time before costs start to rise with gender equality…As a wise woman once said… “Providing protection for you & your family will never be cheaper than it is today and there is no guarantee you will be offered cover in the future…”

Contact us if you would like to know more….. Tara 🙂

Bitesize Global Overview… Nov 12th 2012

Equity markets ship hefty losses – Global equities moved sharply downwards over the week, as mounting fears about the US fiscal cliff and the deteriorating economic situation within the eurozone dominated the post-US election headlines.

US election outcome – While President Obama was, in the end, re-elected comfortably enough and the Democrats increased their hold on the Senate, the House remains in Republican hands, leading to fears of further gridlock in the coming months on important issues of economic policy.

Improving China – Figures last week in China showed growth in industrial production and an acceleration in retail sales, while inflation slowed unexpectedly, further evidence of an improvement in the overall economy.

Currencies – The safe haven currencies of the US dollar and the Japanese yen both rose strongly over the week, the dollar reaching two-month highs. It was not just a tale of dollar strength, however. The euro was weakened by fresh concerns about Greece and Spain, as well as weaker numbers out of Germany.

Interest rates – Both the European Central Bank and the Bank of England left key interest rates unchanged at their meetings last week, at 0.75% and 0.5% respectively.

It’s NEVER TOO Early…….!! Some Christmas savings tips…

Christmas is an exciting time of year but many of us are short on time and money. If you’re trying to tighten Santa’s belt this Christmas, follow our Christmas shopping tips this festive season.

  • Leave the credit card at home and bring cash or your debit card instead. Credit card debt can be very expensive if you can’t repay it in full immediately or within a few months. When you are spending the cash in your pocket or in your bank account, you will be much less likely to overspend than if you pay with a credit card.
  • If you do need to use your credit card, then take a look at the credit card cost comparison. There are still some providers offering 0% interest on balance transfers. If you can’t afford to pay your Christmas credit card bill in full, you could take advantage of one of these offers in the New Year. But before you sign up, make sure to check what rate will apply when the introductory offer ends and if there are any conditions attached to it.
  • List everyone that you intend to buy for, then budget a reasonable amount that you can afford to spend on each person. Making a shopping list will also help you avoid impulse buying and keep track of your spending. Our Christmas budget planner can help you plan for and keep track of all your expenses.
  • Avoid shopping at the last minute and try to arrange to go shopping when it’s quieter. Shops are a lot quieter late at night or first thing in the morning. Leaving yourself plenty of time and avoiding busy shopping times will make your Christmas shopping a bit easier.
  • Try a new approach to buying presents. You could agree a spending limit with your friends and family or try an option like a Secret Santa, so each person only has to buy one present. Or if there is a special item that you really want to give to someone, consider splitting the cost with a friend or relative. Keep an eye out for coupons or deals on gifts wherever you can.
  • Do your research. If you have a present in mind, shop around and compare prices, both in store and online. Keep your eye out for discounts and promotional offers. If you do plan to do some shopping online, be careful. What might seem like a great deal could be more expensive when you add on delivery charges, so be sure to take them into account. Make sure you leave plenty of time for delivery too.
  • Don’t get caught out by credit. In the run up to Christmas, personal loans and in-store credit may look like attractive options, especially for larger purchases like PCs, electrical equipment or furniture, where stores may offer you 0% finance for a period of time. Before signing up to store credit or a personal loan, consider the full costs and not just the monthly repayment. Would the repayments still be affordable if your income dropped for any reason, or if you had an unexpected expense?
  • Be realistic with your food shopping. It can be easy to buy more than you need, but bear in mind that most shops are only closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, so there’s no need to go overboard. Read our helpful money saving tips on groceries.
Have a very MERRY & Thrifty CHRISTMAS…!! 🙂

Bitesize Global Overview… Nov 6th 2012

Equity markets gain – In a disrupted week for markets, due to the effects of ‘superstorm’ Sandy, equities finished up overall as optimism mounted about the outlook for the global economy.

US data – The final employment numbers before the US presidential election showed that the economy added 171,000 jobs in October, well above the consensus expectation. There were also substantial upward revisions to previous months’ readings.

China bottoming out? – Chinese purchasing managers’ figures showed that manufacturing had expanded in October for the first time in three months, stoking the belief that the economy may have bottomed out after a somewhat worrying slow patch.

Currencies – The US dollar hit its highest level in nearly two months in the wake of the strong employment numbers on Friday. It gained on the euro, sterling and Swiss franc as investors appeared to reduce expectations of further quantitative easing. The €/$ rate finished the week at 1.28.

Commodities – Commodity prices fell, in some cases sharply, hand-in-hand with the dollar’s strength. Gold fell to a two-month low, dropping below $1,680 a troy ounce for the first time since August, while Brent oil also slid to its lowest level since early August, closing close to $106 a barrel.

 

PENSION FUND charges are eating away as much as one euro in every six

PENSION FUND charges are eating away as much as one euro in every six (17.4 per cent) of retirement savings in occupational schemes, according to a report on charges published last night.

The figure is dramatically higher for those with individual pension arrangements – such as personal retirement savings accounts (PRSAs) and executive pensions – where the average “loss” is between 21 and 31 per cent.

The figures are on top of the 0.6 per cent annual levy imposed on all private sector pension funds by the Government and will add to concerns of pension fund members ahead of a budget in which Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has already signalled tax reliefs for pension contributions are under review.

The Report on Pension Charges in Ireland 2012 was compiled by the Department of Social Protection, with assistance from the Pensions Board, the Central Bank and PricewaterhouseCoopers. It studied the impact of disclosed and hidden charges on retirement savings.

Bitesize Global Overview… Oct 22nd 2012

Equity markets gain – Equity markets rebounded from the previous week’s losses after upbeat economic data, good earnings results and a statement from Moody’s regarding Spain’s credit rating.

US economic data – US housing starts well exceeded economists’ forecasts, after jumping to an annual rate of 872,000 in September. With building permits also increasing, these gains may be sustainable. Elsewhere, retail sales rose strongly, while industrial output also rose, both of which topped forecasts.

European regulation – EU leaders agreed on a timetable to introduce common regulation of the euro area’s 6,000 lenders by January. The 27 member states decided to put the framework for a single regulator in place by the end of this year.

Currencies – On currency markets, stronger-than-expected economic data boosted the demand for higher-yielding currencies over the week. The €/$ rate strengthened slightly to end the week at €1.30.

Oil – Despite the forecast-beating economic reports released during the week, the West Texas oil price fell overall, partly attributed to some disappointing quarterly earnings and sales forecasts, raising concern that slowing economic growth will reduce oil demand. The price fell 2%, to $90 a barrel, over the week.

Cancer Only Cover…

For the 1 in 3 people who will suffer with Cancer at some point in their lives…

While you may not like to think about cancer, you are probably aware of its medical implications and the dramatic effect it can have on your life. But have you ever considered the financial

consequences of living with cancer?

It is estimated that six in every ten cancer sufferers experience an increase in household bills.* Coupled with potential reductions in earnings due to long periods out of work, this can have a significant impact on your finances.

Cancer Cover from Zurich Life could be a solution. It can provide financial peace of mind so you can focus on one thing – your recovery.

It is also significantly cheaper than full Serious Illness Cover – for example – Male age 35 next Birthday – €100k over 20 years – €16.18pm* and for a Female age 35 next Birthday – €100k over 20 years – €27.70pm*.

Please Contact New Star FM if you would like to receive further information.. 044 933 5443

*Please note these premiums WILL change once the new EU Gender Directive comes into force 21st December 2012.

Financial News Bites…. Oct 17th 2012

THE Spanish government said today it will decide within the next few weeks whether to ask for outside financial help.

It noted that it might opt for a precautionary line of credit instead of bailout cash.

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BANKS have hit back at claims by the Central Bank’s director of banking supervision that they have adopted a “wait and see” approach to arrears.

Fiona Muldoon yesterday accused the banks of paying “lip service” to the idea of making progress in dealing with mortgage arrears.

The Irish Banking Federation said today that banks are addressing the problem in accordance with the timeline set down by the Central Bank itself.

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THE German government has cut its official 2013 economic growth forecast from its previous prediction of 1.6% to 1%.

But the Economy Ministry increased this year’s forecast for the country’s economy – Europe’s largest – from the 0.7% it predicted in April to 0.8%.

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Financial Advisers Can Really Add Value (Irish Indo)

It’s the job of a nice calm adviser to save the average market plunger from themselves..

IT has always been a tenet of faith in markets that individual investors are the financial equivalent of shark meat, forever bamboozled by news flow and buying high and selling low. The majority of these investors do not have financial advisers.

The classic view is that small investors are far too prone to being overwhelmed by news flow, selling out after plunges and buying after stocks or markets surge. This is known as the “behaviour gap,” that margin between a market-neutral outcome and what we actually achieve in our fumbling.

Fixed income investors fare even worse, perhaps because the bond market is a port of refuge during periods of market volatility. Over 20 years the average investor has made just 0.94pc annually, underperforming the Barclay’s Aggregate index by 5.56 percentage points.

Interestingly, the average equity fund investor, for all his or her supposed foibles, actually managed to outperform systematic investors over the past 20 years, according to the study.

Advisers can really add value by changing behaviours among their clients, by educating them to the risks and rewards so that their clients make better provision for the future.

It may be that cooling down the enthusiasm of investors when they are hell-bent on buying or selling isn’t really that much of a value generator. That doesn’t, however, mean that there aren’t client patterns of behaviour which could profitably be changed.

Undersaving, based on an overly optimistic view of either future earnings or future investment returns, is one area, but advisers who are brutally honest about this have always risked losing their clients to other firms selling pipe dreams.

(Article courtesy of Irish Indo – James Saft)

New Star FM View – Honesty with our clients & educating clients as much as possible is at the heart of all we do….

AIB and EBS launch product for those in negative equity seeking to trade up.

AIB and subsidiary EBS have launched a negative equity trade-up mortgage that will allow customers in negative equity to trade up to a larger property and take their debt with them.

The companies said the product was being rolled out in response to customer demand. Increasingly, people find the properties they bought in the boom no longer meet their needs.

Customers who want to avail of this product from either EBS or AIB will have to demonstrate they can an afford the new, larger mortgage and that they are not experiencing financial difficulty.

Trevor Grant of Mortgage Negotiators said any attempt to help those in negative equity is to be welcomed, but that this product would help very few mortgage holders.

“Very few customers will be able to demonstrate sufficient net disposable income to qualify for the mortgage,” he said. ” This is exemplified by the take up of Bank of Ireland’s similar product — which as we understand it has merely been a handful — launched earlier in the year.

“Like many of the new launched ’innovative products’, it looks good on paper, is unworkable in practice, therefore no real impact.”