More Than Finances

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Getting that Pay Rise without Having to Ask – 5 Top Tips

Times are tough right now, and the odds of getting a pay rise, much less keeping a job, are low. Still, some businesses are going strong, and if you’ve worked hard for a significant amount of time, you might just deserve it.

The best way to get a raise is to ask for one. Bosses tend to not be thrilled by suggestive hints and knowing jokes, but there are a few things you can do to make it seem like it’s your their idea. Here are 5 tips for getting a little closer to that pay rise you’ve been waiting for.

Be confident

If you’ve arranged to meet your boss and discuss your place in the company, don’t go for the wilting flower route. Most bosses will immediately turn you down if you take the “I’m broke and I need the cash” route. Anything you can do to show your confidence is a plus. Be it going through your past successes or throwing on a new shift dress, if it works, it works.


Don’t just go in willy-nilly. If you’re going to put yourself in a position to get a pay hike, know the facts. Research similar size companies to find out what the equivalent pay is, so when it comes down to talking numbers you know what to say. Look into how your firm is doing against competitors to make sure it’s viable for them to offer you more.

Timing is everything

As with anything, the when is as important as the why. You should not only ensure that the company is doing well, but that you are too. If you’re about to come to the end of a large project, which you feel you’re largely responsible for and it has gone well, then timing may be perfect.

Be realistic

Don’t go in expecting the moon and the stars. Remember your research and know when the time is right, and what the fair amount you can expect is. At the same time, don’t undervalue yourself and make sure you get the credit you deserve.

Keep at it

Times are tough, and sometimes things aren’t going to go your way.  Bosses tend to agree that the best advertisement for your worth to the company, is the work you put in. So if your first try isn’t successful, keep at it. When it comes to your performance review 6 months later, you’ll have the added ammunition to request the earnings you think you deserve.


Don’t Forget These Expenses When Buying a Car

Are you currently in the market to buy a new car? It can be really exciting to buy a car, especially if your old one is falling apart and started embarrassing you ten years ago. Whatever your reason is for parting with your old one, it’s now time to take a look at the market and see what’s out there that you can buy.

When you head to a car dealership, do you immediately fall in love with a car and feel like you have to have it? I hope you don’t – first of all, that’s how you overpay for a car, and secondly, that’s how you incur a handful of other expenses that you may not have previously thought about. “What kind of expenses?” you might be asking yourself. Let’s take a look at three big ones that you’ll want to consider when you buy your next car.

Gas Mileage

When you’re looking at vehicles, you might just assume that the smaller vehicles have better gas mileage than the larger ones. This is not always the case. I once had a friend that bought a Jeep Liberty and just assumed that it would get great gas mileage because it was much smaller than most SUVs. On a good day, he was lucky to average 16 miles per gallon. Another good example is a Saab. These cars are small, but they are more powerful than you think. It makes them fun to drive, but it also means that their gas mileage is awful. If you don’t pay attention to the MPG specs, you might be paying out more than you bargained for at the pump every week.


Some people like to buy brand new cars because they assume they’ll be more dependable, while others like to sit back and wait for a few years to see which models really live up to the hype of dependability. I really like the latter approach, especially if the car is a brand new body style and engine than the previous years. Every new car just seems so great when you buy it, but it can turn on you quite quickly if it wasn’t engineered well. Do your homework and check the Edmonds and Consumer Reports.


If you fall in love with a car and buy it without finding out the cost of the insurance, you could be in for a terrible surprise when you take that car home. I have looked at Porsches in the past, and the Boxters are becoming quite affordable, but the insurance is still outrageous! There are many factors that go into insurance costs, but mainly the more safe a vehicle is, the cheaper your car insurance will be. Trucks and Jeeps are cheap, and tiny powerful cars are typically pretty expensive. If you’re shopping around for insurance, check out Motor trade Insurance from Flint & Motor traders Insurance. Once you find the rate that’s best for you, you can confidently drive that car home without any big surprises!


How Financial Trading Works

Have you ever heard of people trading currencies? Or, maybe you’ve heard of people trading on the FX market? Just hearing those phrases makes it all sound so complicated. But, in reality, trading currencies is not really any more complicated than choosing a stock investment. And that, I’m sure you’ve done at least once in your life.

So what do you do when you try to find a stock to invest in? Do you just do a random search on the internet and find something that has a cool stock symbol (for instance, Harley Davidson’s stock symbol of HOG)? I sure hope not! This was the method back in the late 1920’s, and we all know how that ended up…

No, when you choose a stock to invest in, you carefully study the history of the company. Has it been extremely volatile? How often has the company posted a net profit in the past four quarters? Are they involved in an industry that about ready to take off (like the medical industry or healthcare with the baby boomers)? Do they have a lot of debt compared to their current assets?

These are things that I would hope you would consider when choosing a stock. That, and of course the relative pattern of their stock price over the past few months or years. If they have consistently improved their stock price, it might be a great one to jump in on. Chances are that they will continue their growth and make you some money along the way!

Believe it or not, trading currencies isn’t much different. First of all, before we dive too deeply into the specifics, let’s gain an understanding of what it means to trade currencies. Just like company stock prices, the value of currencies go up and down as well (relative to other currencies). There are obviously many factors that contribute to the rise and fall of these prices, but let’s keep it simple.

Mainly, currencies gain or lose because of the strength that the country shows. If we, as Americans (in the USA), have a strong economy, there is a better chance that our dollar will rise in comparison to another weaker country’s currency. So, if we would have invested in our own currency, we would have effectively increased our earnings. While the concept isn’t all that complicated, I understand that it can initially be tough to grasp. For more information on financial trading click here.

Getting a bit more detailed (which may help your understanding), there is one more point that leads to the devaluation of currencies. You know how the U.S. government decides to flood the market with more money at times? Since this paper money is backed up by absolutely nothing, it essentially decreases the value of each one of our dollars (since there are now more dollars in the market with no extra real value within our nation), which then decreases our currency vs. another.


How to Get Free Life Insurance Quotes

There are several benefits to securing free life insurance quotes. The first and most obvious is that they’re free. The good news is that this does not mean that they are necessarily low quality in terms of the information that they contain, which due to government regulations must at least be accurate with respect to the product that an insurer is selling.

Shopping around is a necessary undertaking for the purchase of any financial product, and free quotes help with securing the best price. However, free quotes are also a good way to learn the differences between insurers and their life insurance products, and to become familiar with some of the technical terms and concepts in the insurance industry. Free quotes are a good way of doing some necessary research.

Free life insurance quotes can be secure via telephone calls or by walking into an insurer’s offices, but these approaches involve exposure to sales people. While this is not always negative, it means that the buyer can be caught up dealing with upselling language or with details that are not relevant. It can also involve being exposed to hard selling where the sales person tries to secure a customer for an account.

The best way to secure free quotes for price optimisation and research is on line. Almost all large insurers have quote wizards and on line ‘apps’ that walk the Web user through the process of entering relevant details to secure a quote for a specific kind of policy. There are also insurer’s Websites and on-line third party Websites that will help the customer determine the best policy type. This is an excellent kind of tool to use, as there are many kind of life insurance product all with different features and suited for different needs.

Free quotes on line may result in some limited marketing emails or require the insurance buyer to register an on line account, but it may well be worth allowing the insurer to store details in order to get the benefit of their quoting system feedback.

Some sales commissions for some kinds of insurance selling can be very large. Often buyers of what are known as life cover policies can be paying a large commission to the sales manager or salesperson. It is good to avoid the involvement of account mangers or salespeople for this reason. However, this does not mean that sound financial advice should be avoided or ignored.

Researching life insurance offerings using on line quoting systems allows the buyer to take their time with the process, learning at their own pace. Moreover, with the internet close at hand it is easy to do further research using search engines and copying and pasting search terms. The World Wide Web is full of Web sites where experts, government regulators, consumer help groups (private and government,) consultants and many other informative contributors provide ample reliable information. Some sites offer very useful comparison tables to make quick comparisons between products.

Using the internet and on line quoting systems is an effective way to learn about the differences between term and permanent life insurance, and to find out what other kinds of insurance may be suitable, without having to worry about commissions or sales pitches. Care should be taken not to commit to any given policy, although it is usually clear (and in most countries due to government regulation has to be) from the process when a purchase is going to go through.  Most importantly, perhaps, there are significant discount based savings involved in using many online insurance buying systems.



Litigation Funding: the Lie of the Land

Legal advice and the litigation process can be costly and complex. If you find yourself in legal hot water with limited funds, third party funding has obvious merit. A rise in its global popularity in recent years means that it is becoming a more viable option, but how does the legislation support this?

Globally, the rise of litigation funding has, and continues to be, hampered by the continued prohibition of ‘maintenance and champerty’:

  • ‘maintenance’: the funding of litigation by a third party who is a stranger to the dispute
  • ‘champerty’: the funding of a litigation by a stranger third party in exchange for a percentage of the win.

Good Practice

Despite some attempts made by the US-based Institute for Legal Reform to ensure formal statutory regulation of funding, third party funders operating in the English jurisdiction will, for now, be self-regulated.

However, claimants may be reassured by the formation of the Association of Litigation Funders (‘ALF’) new Code of Conduct, which has gone some way to strengthen the integral backbone of the process.

If a funder accepts the Association of Litigation Funders ‘voluntary code’, they will have agreed to what is referred to as ‘capital adequacy requirements’. This means that they’re obligated to have the resources to cover the costs for at least the subsequent 36 months. It also stipulates that the funder cannot terminate any agreement they reach with you without good legal reason and will not unduly interfere with your case.

No Win No Fee & Damage-Based Agreements

‘No win no fee’ arrangements have been touted as the ideal way to fund a case without incurring the associated costs. However, it’s realistic to expect that in such cases, the client will end up footing at least some of the bill, for example in the form of court or expert witness fees.

The popularity of third party funding may be impacted by the introduction of Damage Based Agreements (DBAs), a new funding option where the client simply pays the solicitor a proportion of the damages won. This directly aligns the lawyer’s interests with the client, and so helps to encourage a more competitive marketplace.

Third party funding does have significant appeal to claimants with limited financial resource, especially if they are taking on a well-resourced opponent. With some funders reporting to have as much as quadrupled their annual litigation fund in the past year, it’s likely we’ll be hearing a lot more about it over the coming years.

This article was contributed by Laura Moulden on behalf of Vannin Capital, a specialist litigation funding provider.  Visit to find out more.