Is Gold On The Way Up Again?

gold-priceRecently, the gold price broke through the $1600 level for the first time in decades. Increasing concerns about the debt crisis in Europe and a possible crisis in US debt have investors worried about the global economic recovery, while China’s growth figures have dropped for the first time in decades. Is gold a favourable investment in these uncertain times?

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Will You Make a Good Franchise Owner?

franchise-entrepeneurFollowing our previous blog on how to assess a franchise opportunity, we now move to another important question: should you buy a franchise at all? As an investor you will need to put in a lot more hard work owning a franchise than would be required by any other asset, but the returns could also be excellent. If you are considering buying a franchise, answer the questions below and decide whether this is a good investment for you.

Are you a hands-on person?

Unlike a policy that you can essentially buy and forget about, or a property that requires occasional maintenance and monthly rent collection that can be handled by an agent, a franchise is a business that needs to be managed. If you enjoy managing people and processes, and aren’t afraid of hard work you may be well suited to owning a franchise. Continue reading

Assessing a Franchise Opportunity

franchise-opportunityFranchises have become a popular choice for investors who have a reasonably large sum of money on hand, and would like to take a hands-on role in wealth creation. Buying a franchise has several advantages: you are investing in an established brand that customers may be familiar with, and you are given access to a supply chain that covers all the basic materials you will need to run your business.

However, for every benefit there is a possible disadvantage and the ability to judge the risk of a franchise will stand you in good stead when making an investment decision. Continue reading

Actively Managed Portfolios: The Keys to Wealth-Building

managed-portfoliosDeciding to invest in shares or unit trusts is a brave step for many people, especially those who are a little risk-averse. Though these investment instruments may be more risky that just depositing money in the bank, the potential returns can transform your small savings into a sizeable fund that could provide you with the lifestyle you strive for and secure your financial future well into retirement.

Most clients opt to use the services of a broker when buying shares, and if your broker also acts as a sound financial advisor you should receive quality financial guidance. When it comes to shares, most financial services companies offer a range of funds – each one with a different level of risk and expected return. There are two general categories of fund that clients should be aware of: actively managed funds and passive funds. Continue reading

The Importance of Making a Will

making-a-willFor many of us, the subject of making a Will may be a sensitive one. Despite frequent reminders from relatives, family lawyers and public announcements, as many as 70% of South Africans have not yet drawn up a Will.

For some people, the idea of writing a Will is unpleasant because it confirms an uncomfortable fact: none of us will live forever. While nobody wants to spend their time contemplating their own death, taking the time to write a Will is a way of ensuring that your family will be looked after in the event of your death – a good reason for any of us to write one.

A popular reason given by people who are reluctant to write a Will is that the state will divide their possessions amongst their family anyway. There is some truth in this belief, but the way in which the state divides your assets if you die intestate, may not be to your liking or in accordance with your wishes. Continue reading

Falling Markets – A Great Buying Opportunity

Financial directionRecent developments in the world economy have investors worried, and the poor performance of stock indexes over the past few weeks is proof of their concern. The recent debt crisis in Europe has cast doubt over that region’s economic outlook, while the US economy showed signs of weakness in the first half of the year – fuelled by several factors including the debt talks that narrowly averted a disaster in the world financial markets. At the same time, worries over China’s economic growth and inflation problems are fuelling concern over the regional economy in Asia. Continue reading

Fringe Benefits: Some Are Taxable

fring-benefits-taxableMany companies use fringe benefits as a means of maximising cash flow and providing staff and directors with extra benefits as part of their packages. While this practice frees up cash that would otherwise be paid out, many fringe benefits are taxable. With fines and penalties for failure to declare and non-payment of company taxes becoming increasingly harsh, all business owners should take note of the following taxable fringe benefits:

Giving assets to an employee

This fringe benefit allows a company to transfer ownership of any asset to a member of staff. However, since the value of the asset is normally discounted there may be tax payable on the difference between that value and the normal value of the asset. Continue reading