News & Insights

Getting your numbers right

When it comes to Brexit, it seems that nobody – especially not even the politicians – can seem to agree on what will happen in the great thereafter. Neither do we know how much it will cost to put 10,000 policemen on the streets, or how much will be raised if capital gains tax allowances are cut, but what we are aware of are the numbers that are pertinent to our daily living. We have a rough idea on the cost of our internet and how much our bank balance is hit when we fill up our car with petrol, and we are usually able to spot a good deal.

It is much the same when providing financial advice – numbers are everything – usually the one number everyone is interested in is the percentage rate of return. I often hear things like, “Why am I only getting 10%. I have been offered 8% elsewhere.” You may hear things like that too. It may be true that those returns are being achieved, but some investments can be very complex and anything offering these sorts of returns will usually have some sort of catch or small print whereby to some degree your money will be at risk or tied up. In a recent example of this, a company was offering 2% per month return and paid this out to their investors, however, when those investors attempted to get their capital back, the situation quickly turned sour and many people ended up losing their money.

When making an investment, I would always urge people to take their time, do thorough research on the financial advisor and company and even take a second opinion. If the investment is genuine, it will still be available next week. Never rush into a big financial decision. If you do feel you are being forced to rush or are being pressured then simply walk away. Once you obtain the right investment, you won’t regret having taken your time to cross the i’s and dot the t’s.

A rough benchmark to bear in mind is the following: If you have money instantly accessible in an account with no risk or penalties you will be finding it very difficult to get more than 1.5%. For a cautious investment over a time period and some access constraints, you could be getting up to 4%. If you are being offered more than this, then please get a second opinion on your holdings – it may not be what you think it is.

A good rule of thumb is an old one, but it still holds true – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t be afraid to walk away. 

In today’s financial climate it is essential you do everything you can to make sure your money is safe and secure and what you want to transpire in the future has the best chance of happening. If you need expert financial advice, don’t hesitate to contact Blacktower. We are happy to help you find the right investment for your needs.


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We guess there’s one key issue for almost all expats, though, and particularly for those moving abroad with young families, and that would be safety. Large cities can sometimes be dangerous places, so it’s good to know which have robust security and protection systems in place.

Luckily, The Economist Intelligence Unit has made it very easy to determine the risks by compiling a comprehensive study entitled the Safe Cities Index.

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