Should You Invest in Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is relatively new but a buzzing word in the current market. It’s also very lucrative to investors for its potential. But what is this cryptocurrency? Is it legit enough to be trusted with people’s money? It’s alright if you still don’t understand the fundamental things about cryptocurrency, as it’s not like our usual monetary system. So buckle up to know the basic things about investing in cryptocurrency. 

You’ve probably heard a thing or two about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and other altcoins like Ethereum, Monero, Litecoin, etc. There are also mining based altcoins. If you know how to mine aeon, your knowledge is adequate in this field. So, if you know about basic things, you can skip the first half of this article. To see if you should invest in cryptocurrency or not, read the second half of this article. 

 

What is “Cryptocurrency”: After Satoshi Nakamoto invented Bitcoin in 2008, developers created thousands of other cryptocurrencies. So, it isn’t easy to describe cryptocurrency under one definition. But broadly, cryptocurrency is a digital currency that is not controlled by any government or institution ( decentralized) and encrypted. Cryptocurrency works through a blockchain, which is a public financial transaction database.

How does “Cryptocurrency” functions: It runs on a distributed public ledger called a blockchain. Blockchain keeps all the records of cryptocurrency exchanged and held by users. Bitcoin is the first and most popular decentralized cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin are called altcoins. They are generally created through a process called mining. Cryptocurrencies are exchanged from person to person without any middleman, or government. No central bank or government controls their value or how much they will be produced. People can exchange real money with a coin or token of a cryptocurrency. Each coin is a unique line of code that no one can duplicate. So, they are easy to track and identify. 

Use of “Cryptocurrency”: Until this point, people see cryptocurrency as an investment. If it gains enough trust from the users, spending on it will increase too. Several online retailers accept cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency is widely used between two individuals who value it for goods and services. At first, cryptocurrencies were used to hide from tax or make illegal transactions. Now,  IRS has made a new law regulating cryptocurrency. So transactions are not anonymous, and illegal use of cryptocurrency has decreased. 

 

If you want to decide whether you want to invest in cryptocurrency or not, you should keep in mind the following things. 

  • Gain enough knowledge before putting your money: As it is a relatively new system, many things are still unknown. A handful of people fully understand it. Even the real name of the inventor is still unknown. Satoshi Nakamoto is a pseudonym. Ignorance makes you vulnerable to risks. So if you want to trust your money with cryptocurrency, do enough research first.
  • Analyze the volatility: No government regulates cryptocurrency. So its value is determined by its holders. It is worth how much their holders are willing to exchange for them. This feature makes cryptocurrencies extremely volatile. According to coindesk, the price of Bitcoin swang between 4,916$ and 19,665$! Of Course, every currency is volatile to a degree. But traditional fiat money is far more stable than cryptocurrency. This volatile situation makes investing in cryptocurrency a poker game to new investors in this field. You can either hit the jackpot or fall in a pit. That is why experts suggest being very cautious when and how you are investing in cryptocurrency.
  • Cryptocurrency for deceptive activity: People who make illegal deals often use cryptocurrency as it can not be easily tracked and can be hidden. There is also a fair chance of being hacked. It’s like digital robbery. Thieves impersonate an account holder and request the holder’s sim to be transferred to a new device. Scammers can also hijack mobile accounts to get access to digital wallets. If someone loses his key ( or code) of the digital wallet, then all the cryptocurrency he owns are irrecoverable. It is a little scary that only you are responsible for your coins; banks or insurance can’t back up or give you security. But this can be overcome with best and cautious practice.  

 

Also, cryptocurrency can be destroyed overnight if the computer crashes and doesn’t have any backup. Investors suggest using the backup of cryptocurrency wallet keys and use a strong password. 

 

You’ve seen the things you should be careful about when investing in cryptocurrency. Here comes the answer to should you invest in cryptocurrency or not. Well, it depends on you. Are you willing to take all that risk? If you want to avoid risks and build wealth slowly but surely over decades, investing in the crypto world isn’t your thing. Your current wealth status must be considered. You can’t gamble with your financial future. 

 

Here is a general rule of thumb to decide whether you should invest in cryptocurrency or not. If you don’t have any debt or your emergency fund can cover for debt and living expense for at least a couple of months, and you are already investing a fair portion of your income in the stock market, which is more secure than the crypto world than it is safe to say that you can invest in cryptocurrency. 

 

Be confident about investing. If you have an intuition that the current Bitcoin price is the low point before an upswing, then go ahead and invest. Besides the horrors about risks and scams, many cryptocurrencies have a huge development and many credible developers behind them. The future of cryptocurrency is bright but still not certain. For now, it’s better to be smart and safe.

Accountancy services for individuals

Accountancy services for individuals – what’s available?

If you’re wondering what kind of accountancy services for individuals are available, read on. A reputable accountancy firm can offer a host of accountancy services for individuals. They can support people and their families with their personal tax affairs and assist sole-traders and other individuals who need to complete self-assessment tax returns. These can include partners and directors.

What individual accountancy services are available?

A quality tax accountancy service can provide information and advice on topics like Capital Gains Tax, tax reliefs and inheritance tax. Other areas individuals commonly need assistance with include mortgage applications, dealing with HMRC investigations, HMRC registrations and investment tax obligations. If you’re based abroad but have business interests in the UK, they can help you understand UK tax legislation so you’re compliant with the country’s regulations.

Accountancy for sole traders

Sole traders seeking accountancy advice for individuals often need help with understanding and completing their tax returns. If there is a great deal of money going in and out of your business and you’re eager to avoid paying more tax than you’re legally obliged to, an accountancy service can help. They can complete a whole host of documents for you and even deal with HMRC on your behalf, ensuring your returns are presented accurately, clearly and professionally. Individuals with basic income sources can also ask for support from accountancy firms, as can people with complex business and financial arrangements, property portfolios and investment portfolios.

Choose the right accountancy service

It’s essential to choose an accountant that prepares your accounts in line with guidelines and remains fully up to date with what your obligations are. A reliable accountant may also help you identify valuable tax-saving opportunities without directing you to legally dubious schemes that could land you in hot water.

Becoming a limited company

If you are a sole trader that’s considered becoming a limited company, an accountant should help you make the right decision based on your specific circumstances. There are many advantages to transforming your business into a limited company, but this option is not for everyone. A dependable accountant will take a close look at your business to find out whether being a limited company is right for your enterprise. They will look at the difference between your current and potential take-home pay to help you reach an informed decision.

Fixed fee accounting services for individuals

Many individuals have benefitted from fixed-fee accounting services. The benefit of fixed-fee services is that you pay a flat rate each month so you’re never forking out for more than you need. You can always scale up and request more support as and when you need it. One company that offers a wide range of personal accountancy services is StriveX. This firm specialises in accounting services for business owners, individuals and startups. It offers a range of solutions including cloud-based accounting to help you remain fully up-to-date with your current financial situation and make the right business decision.

Contact StriveX today to find out more about accountancy services for individuals.

About the Author

This article was written by Strivex. Strivex are Reading accountants you can rely on. Strivex can offer clear and reliable financial guidance, whether you manage your own personal finances or the finances of a business.

Things to consider before investing your savings

Investing your savings into something can be a great move that generates an additional income, but it is also something that should be carefully evaluated.

However, there are many factors that can influence how successful your investment is in the end, so before you do anything, the best course of action is to sit down and take a look at the situation realistically.

Investing is always a risk, which means you need to be prepared for all outcomes.

To help you with all of that, here’s a short list of things you need to evaluate before making a serious financial commitment of this kind.

 

Be aware of scams

The most important thing is that you have someone you can trust helping you with your investment. 

Unfortunately, scams are not unheard of in this line of work, so do your homework and find a person who you know is going to do everything in their power to help you. 

And should you ever find yourself in a situation where you have to deal with a scam, getting help from lawyers such as the ones from Optimal Solicitors is the best move to make.

 

Have a clear plan in place

What do you want to achieve with your investment? How big do the returns have to be? What kind of risk are you willing to take? 

All of these questions have to have a clear answer before you commit. 

If you don’t have any prior experience in investing, the best thing to do is to talk to a professional and see what they tell you. 

With a clear plan, you will know exactly what to do in every situation.

 

Invest in different assets

Diversifying is vital because it protects your investment from any price plunges a market can experience. 

Sure, you may have an industry you’re familiar with, but investing all of your funds into one company’s stocks, for example, can be risky. 

By spreading your resources out, you will not be as affected by a drop. As a matter of fact, a drop in one place can result in a rise of another asset.

 

Age

Investing when you’re young and investing when you’re on the verge of retirement or even retired is not the same. 

Young people can often afford to make riskier investments and wait longer for the returns to come in. 

On the other hand, older people will probably want to find the safest investment available so that they can be sure the income they create this way will be steady.

 

Keep an emergency fund close by

Like we said, investments are often a risk, so it’s always smart to create some sort of a safety net for you if things don’t go as expected. 

Savings are the best way to do that, and you may want to have enough there to keep you going for at least several months if all else fails. 

If you lose your job or your investments come crashing down, something like this can literally save your life.

 

How To Make Your Furniture Look Antique

For many people, new furniture simply does not have that softened character we see in well-worn antique items. Fortunately, age can be faked.

With solid wood pieces you have so many interesting options that are available. Just think about wood veneers. You can buy something of a very high quality from a reputable shop like Kairos Shop and then just add the veneers. You can use paint with laminates and many other options exist. However, the following are the most common ones that can be considered.

Painting The Furniture

With paint you can add some faux age without causing physical damage. In order to get much better adhesion, you can lightly scuff the surface with the use of fine sandpaper. Then, you would have to apply paint primer. Since you are going for an antique appearance, you want to get a layered look. To achieve this, you want to paint with a minimum of 2 coats of paint, preferable in different colors. Scuff through paint layers with the use of sandpaper. Then, chip away some small areas with the use of a simple paint scraper.

You can also use crackle paint, which is a great technique. A shade is covering the furniture (even coat) and you then add a crackling medium. In the top coat we see shrinkage so cracks are produced. Then, the base coat peeks through. When you want to get the lighter antique appearance, the furniture needs to be coated with the use of off-white paint. Then, wipe darker shades like golden brown into corners, seams, and all the other recessed areas.

Staining Wood

When the wood is pale, it looks new, no matter what species it is. Even light pine ends up aging to a shade of warmer gold after a couple of years of sunlight exposure. Darker wood stains automatically imply age. When you look at antique furniture, you see a shade that is close to black. Dark tones can be enhanced with the addition of lampblack. Use a spoon and put it over an oil lamp or a lit candle. Then, collect the residue. Stir it inside stain small bits. Do this until the color is what you want to achieve.

Scarring Wood

Wood furniture is well-worn and has an imperfect surface. This happens because of years of constant wear appearing around edges. There are also accidental dings, burns, and scratches. You can mimic marks with the use of your ingenuity and imagination.

Use sandpaper to round off the sharp edges and use a simple ice pick to produce the worm holes. Heavy objects, like a thick chain, can add dents we often see in antique furniture. Then, a wood-burning tool can leave dark spots here and there.

Wood Finishes

Nowadays, polyurethane is the very common protective wood finish. The problem is that the result is not antique-like. It is patently. You need a finish that is more convincing when the furniture was stained, scarred, or even both. Go for something more suitable, like beeswax. You can warm it and blend it with some mineral oil in order to make a paste. That paste would offer a soft sheen if lightly buffed. You just need some extra buffing or new was for touch-ups. Shellac will protect furniture surface more than wax and removes the need of sanding.

For many people, new furniture simply does not have that softened character we see in well-worn antique items. Fortunately, age can be faked.

With solid wood pieces you have so many interesting options that are available. Just think about wood veneers. You can buy something of a very high quality from a reputable shop like Kairos Shop and then just add the veneers. You can use paint with laminates and many other options exist. However, the following are the most common ones that can be considered.

Painting The Furniture

With paint you can add some faux age without causing physical damage. In order to get much better adhesion, you can lightly scuff the surface with the use of fine sandpaper. Then, you would have to apply paint primer. Since you are going for an antique appearance, you want to get a layered look. To achieve this, you want to paint with a minimum of 2 coats of paint, preferable in different colors. Scuff through paint layers with the use of sandpaper. Then, chip away some small areas with the use of a simple paint scraper.

You can also use crackle paint, which is a great technique. A shade is covering the furniture (even coat) and you then add a crackling medium. In the top coat we see shrinkage so cracks are produced. Then, the base coat peeks through. When you want to get the lighter antique appearance, the furniture needs to be coated with the use of off-white paint. Then, wipe darker shades like golden brown into corners, seams, and all the other recessed areas.

Staining Wood

When the wood is pale, it looks new, no matter what species it is. Even light pine ends up aging to a shade of warmer gold after a couple of years of sunlight exposure. Darker wood stains automatically imply age. When you look at antique furniture, you see a shade that is close to black. Dark tones can be enhanced with the addition of lampblack. Use a spoon and put it over an oil lamp or a lit candle. Then, collect the residue. Stir it inside stain small bits. Do this until the color is what you want to achieve.

Scarring Wood

Wood furniture is well-worn and has an imperfect surface. This happens because of years of constant wear appearing around edges. There are also accidental dings, burns, and scratches. You can mimic marks with the use of your ingenuity and imagination.

Use sandpaper to round off the sharp edges and use a simple ice pick to produce the worm holes. Heavy objects, like a thick chain, can add dents we often see in antique furniture. Then, a wood-burning tool can leave dark spots here and there.

Wood Finishes

Nowadays, polyurethane is the very common protective wood finish. The problem is that the result is not antique-like. It is patently. You need a finish that is more convincing when the furniture was stained, scarred, or even both. Go for something more suitable, like beeswax. You can warm it and blend it with some mineral oil in order to make a paste. That paste would offer a soft sheen if lightly buffed. You just need some extra buffing or new was for touch-ups. Shellac will protect furniture surface more than wax and removes the need of sanding.

How to get value for money when purchasing a new motor

There are few feelings quite like being able to get behind the wheel of that car you’ve had your eye on for months or even years, for a great price.

Many of us depend on a set of wheels for work and/or personal purposes. However, you won’t want to feel ripped off or have to fork out more than you’re comfortable with or can manage on a month-by-month basis.

So, here are some great ways to clinch the right deal for the car you want.

Prioritise needs over wants

Sure, in a complete money-no-object situation, perhaps you’d have the luxury of buying exactly the car you’ve always dreamed of, and maybe even another car for day-to-day practical purposes.

But most of us aren’t in that situation. So, focus on what you need first. Ask yourself, for instance, whether you really need a brand new car, rather than a better-value used alternative. After all, according to MoneySavingExpert, a new car typically loses nearly half of its value in the first three years.

Consider the next model down from your ‘dream’ car

Continuing the above theme, if possible, try to strike a nice balance between your needs and wants, by considering downsizing to the next obvious model. Do you really need a BMW 5 Series if a well-specified 3 Series would serve you just fine? Maybe you were initially going to get a Golf, but have since spotted a Polo that caters to 80% of your most pressing priorities for a lot less?

‘Dropping down one’ from the model you might have originally targeted doesn’t just save money on the upfront price of a car. That’s because smaller (and smaller-engined!) cars also usually cost less on an ongoing basis, not least due to better fuel economy.

Buy when the car is in less demand

You know that time-honoured money-saving tip of buying your Christmas gift wrapping for the following December in the January sales, rather than in those few urgent days before Christmas Eve? Well, you can apply similar logic to car purchases.

If you fancy a convertible, for example, wait until the colder and rainier months to make your move. Conversely, those in the market for a four-wheel-drive car might be best-served approaching dealerships in the summer.

Haggle… but with a plan

Obviously, if you buy your new motor online, there isn’t much opportunity for old-fashioned haggling. But if you do come face-to-face with a dealer, they’ll almost expect you to haggle at least a bit – it’s something of a ‘no no’ to pay a car’s list price at a brick-and-mortar dealership.

A common ‘beginner’ haggling tip is to get the dealer to throw in something for free, such as a sat nav or floor mats. Meanwhile, more confident and experienced hagglers may like the idea of getting offers from multiple dealers and playing them off against each other to land the best price.

Whether you’re a novice, intermediate or advanced haggler, do at least have a plan. Research price ranges for the given car for different mileages, and have a set price that you refuse to go over.

If you need finance, approach a broker

Not all of us have the money to pay for a new car sitting in our bank accounts. So if you do need to borrow, consider a personal loan from your bank or building society – ensuring it is not secured against your house, given that this would put your home at risk if you fell behind with repayments.

Alternatively, look to a car finance broker, which doesn’t lend you the money directly, but instead calls upon a panel of lenders to present you with the most competitive finance deal for your situation. CarFinanceGenie, for example, is a trusted provider of car finance in Essex even among those who have poor credit and might have been turned down elsewhere.

There you go – just five great ways to spend less on your next vehicle, so that you end up with a car you can be proud of, without being pushed dangerously into the red.

The Basics of the Stock Market

A stock exchange, share market or equities market is an association of traders and owners of securities, who collectively represent ownership claims to companies; these can also include commercial securities such as mortgages, notes and commercial property. The exchange of commodities or stocks involves the exchange of one commodity for another; it also includes the exchange of shares of a company for the ownership of other shares in the same company.

Stock markets are governed by stock exchanges. A company’s share is listed on the stock exchange and traded among stock holders. There are different stock exchanges in the world. These are stock exchanges operated through government agencies, stock exchanges established by local governments, or stock exchanges set up by individual companies, such as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The U.S. Federal Reserve Board establishes the New York Stock Exchange.

The term stock exchange was derived from a Greek word meaning “the exchange of commodities.” This expression has been adopted by governments, courts and regulatory bodies to describe financial markets that involve trading of securities, usually equities. The term share or stock, in its common use, refers to any number of shares of any particular stock. Stock markets differ widely, as well as the regulations governing their operation. For example, a common stock market is often referred to as a stock exchange.

A variety of firms conduct research on the various stock exchanges. These studies are done by brokers who buy and sell stocks. When buying a stock on the stock exchange, a broker obtains knowledge of the current market price in his or her preferred stock and reports it to the market maker. When the market maker buys the stock, the broker reports this to the market and the two parties, or the seller and the buyer, then enter into a contract known as a stock exchange.

There are three major types of stock exchanges, and they are the over-the-counter (OTC), under-the-counter (OTC), and closed system exchanges (closed system). OTC refers to markets where only brokers buy and sell securities. OTCs are not regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and can be traded privately between broker-dealers. The closed system provides a complete regulatory environment. for the exchange of securities through a national clearing house.

Stock exchanges have an enormous impact on financial markets and the economy. They play an important role in the allocation of capital and are a main source of finance in many countries. In the United States, they account for about two-thirds of the gross domestic product. They vary greatly in their scope and structure. Stock exchanges may include general market-based marketplaces, regional markets, municipal or regional markets, or countrywide markets.

There are three major types of stock exchanges: the over-the-counter (OTC), the under-the-counter (OTC), and the closed system exchanges. OTC refers to exchanges where only brokers buy and sell securities. The closed system exchanges are those that operate only under a national clearing house and are not open to the public. Regional stock exchanges include state-based markets, where the exchanges are located in various counties or states.

The size and number of stock exchanges are dependent on the type of market. The largest markets, such as the NYSE and NASDAQ, account for about ninety percent of total trading volume. In fact, the two largest exchanges, the New York Stock Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade, account for almost two-thirds of the total volume. The Chicago Board of Trade has the most trading volume on an annual basis.

Traders can make money from stocks that they buy and sell by buying and selling shares of stock themselves, or by placing trades in an exchange. An individual trader can also buy and sell securities through a broker, who may be a specialized trader or an independent firm.

Brokerages provide services to help brokers facilitate trading activities, as well as to supply them with information regarding the market. Many firms will manage all aspects of a trading business for their clients, while others may focus on just one particular area of the trading process. Brokerage firms usually do not hold the stocks.

Investors should always conduct thorough research before investing in the stock market. This research should include a thorough review of the company’s record, an assessment of the market, and an understanding of how the market works. Investing in the stock market is a complex and time-consuming process, so it is important that you get the proper guidance before you start trading.