General Articles

What is the difference between an ISA and savings account?

Let’s start with the most important part of an ISA: how it differs from a general savings account. Though both ISAs and regular savings accounts earn you interest, only ISAs allow you to withdraw your money without having any income tax deducted.

An Individual Savings Account (ISA)

An ISA is a tax-efficient way of investing your money; as long as it stays in the account, you won’t have to pay any income tax on the interest. However, if you take your money out from an ISA, this will be classed as ‘general income’ and subject to income tax. External funds can also be put into ISAs, but they cannot remain in the ISA for longer than 12 months unless they qualify as a short-term or capital gains exemption investment.

When money is placed within an ISA, it does not count towards any annual allowance restrictions that you may have; this includes pensions and self-assessment contributions. The only limitation is on withdrawals as they count towards the annual allowance.

A savings account

A savings account is a current account that pays interest on deposited money and allows customers to withdraw money whenever they wish – although some accounts only offer limited services such as withdrawals or stop payments.

Savings accounts can be created with or without withdrawing money from another current account, and they pay interest on the amount of deposited funds every year. Savings accounts have daily restrictions on withdrawals, but these don’t apply to everyone. Some banks let you make more than three pre-arranged payments per month and unlimited withdrawals for those who hold certain products, such as an ‘overdraft’ credit card product.

There is no limit on where you can manage your savings account from (e.g. not just at a bank branch), and there’s no restriction on transferring between savings accounts owned by different people (e.g. parent and child). The most significant limitation with savings accounts is that the interest earned each year is paid after income tax has been removed, so if you are withdrawing it, you will have to pay tax on what you withdraw.

Savings accounts can be managed online, by phone and post, and there are no restrictions on where you manage the account (e.g. not just at a bank). The interest rates paid on savings accounts can vary greatly; searching through uswitch for ‘savings’ will give you an idea of what types of interest rates are compounded each year for different accounts. Like ISAs, there is no income tax payable on the amount earned from your savings if it stays within the account.

You can also open a savings account with an ISA. This is called a Stocks and Shares ISA (individual savings accounts), and it’s managed by HM Revenue & Customs; customers are allowed to invest into both types of ISAs but cannot put more than £15,000 into one type per year.

Similarities between ISAs and savings accounts:

  • Can hold money for five years before withdrawing it (ISA only)

  • Interest earned within

How to Really Diversify Your Investments

How to Really Diversify Your Investments

What is diversification? It can be defined as the act of varying your assets or properties to a multiple sources. In effect, you can reduce your risks. A simple explanation would be to put your eggs in more baskets instead of one only.

How does this apply in investments? If you follow the idea of diversification, then you need to carefully rethink your investing strategy. You should place your money in different investments with returns that are not related to each other.

Why is this so? This is because some investments will fail at times. The good news is, your other investments will prosper. You can thank your strategy for buying investments that are different altogether in terms of their returns. This increases your chances of earning a net profit, in a bigger picture.

What kind of investments should you diversify to? Well, there are many to start with. The common few include stocks, real estate, bonds and even starting your own business. Consider the domestic and international markets for your investment platforms. Spread your assets by selecting different types of investments.

Let us talk about stocks as an example. You have to realize that when you invest in stocks, you must select the ones that perform well under all kinds of economic situations. This is a very important criterion when choosing a stock. This is why mutual funds are created. They are simply the diversified portfolios of securities consisting of stocks and bonds.

Therefore, what happens when you buy a mutual fund? You are actually investing your money together with thousands of people in a sea of stocks and bonds. Mutual fund itself is a diversified investment alone.

You should now be aware that diversification brings you 2 other benefits. When you diversify, you are reducing your volatility in the value of your whole investment portfolio. Compared to when you are investing in a single source only, your diversified investments are capable of fewer fluctuations in value over time.

Diversification actually gives you a higher rate of return. This applies when there is a certain amount of risk involved, like all investments do.

In the real world, not a single person can predict the future of the market. Therefore, it is suffice to say that nobody can say a single investment type is the best. No single stockbroker can guarantee you a specific number of profit. There are cases when people do get lucky. However, that would akin to gambling; depending on luck. In conclusion, diversification simply reduces your risks when you invest.…

Top 4 Most Common Items Stored in a Self Storage Space

Top 4 Most Common Items Stored in a Self Storage Space

Many reasons contribute to why we engage in self storage services and it is slowly but surely gaining popularity among the mass due to its convenience and affordability. There is a self storage solution for everyone, be it you are downgrading from a bigger house to a smaller one, posting overseas for work, storing goods for your company or even simply just finding a place to keep your precious art pieces. Here are some of the common items stored in a self storage space.

Archive documents

Small scale companies frequently utilise self storage space to archive their documents as government regulations require them to keep records of their past few years dealings. As most small scale companies do not have the luxury of space in the small offices, they turn to self storage companies which are able to offer them ample storage space, flexibility to access their files as well as security and reasonable pricing.

Electronics

Electronic products such as television, computers, printers, radios and fax machines can be bulky and take up a lot of space in homes and offices. As such, they are often the first that should go if you need to free up space desperately. Most companies do not get rid of their old computers, printers and fax machines when they purchase new ones and will often keep them in a storeroom. Self storage units have the option to be climate and moisture controlled to ensure that the electronic products do not get affected by moisture.

Books

Books to researchers and students are like gold to us. Many of them are unwilling to throw away their books and they are valuable in terms of the knowledge in them. However, they do take up lots of space with the advancement in technology, you can access e-books much more conveniently. Moisture controlled self storage units are able to keep the books in a tip top condition and making sure that moisture do not damage the books while in storage.

Furniture

Furniture is another time that is commonly stored in self storage. They are bulky and costly and disposing them is often out of the question. If you are downgrading your flat or office and space is an issue, you need self storage to store those bulky furniture sets.

No matter what the reason to use self storage is and what you are planning to store in them, self storage companies are able to offer you a fuss free storage experience. There is a self storage for everybody and you can access your items freely whenever you need to.…

How Self Storage Can Help You in Your Business

How Self Storage Can Help You in Your Business

Are you engaged in the business of direct selling or retailing? Do you have stocks of products that you need to keep but don’t have enough space in your small office or in your home? This can be a problem for many business owners and associates but there’s instant help available.

If you’re facing this issue, self storage is the perfect solution. Perfect in the sense that you can rely on the facility to keep your valuables for as long you want to keep them there. Self storage facilities provide a clean, safe and dry surrounding for your personal items or business inventory. Regardless of the weather or the market condition, you can be sure that they’ll be kept secure in your designated unit moving forward.

In doing business, it’s important to ensure that the products you sell and deliver to customers are in safe and good condition. What’s important is you ensure that whatever items you have in your inventory, they’re in their proper packaging before storing them. As much as possible, you should not expose them to any elements that can cause damage to their exterior and interior parts and storing your stocks in self storage units can assure you of this.

In terms of price, there’s no need to worry because renting a self storage unit is very economical these days. As long as you choose the right location and facility, you can save on costs. Different types of arrangements are also available depending on how long you plan to store your items. You can choose to pay the rental fee on a month to month basis or you can go for the fixed-term lease if you’re looking to keeping your stocks for a year or more.

Moving your products and other items should not be a problem as well. Many self storage facilities offer packing and moving services for people who don’t have the time to pack and transport their belongings.

In times when your new products or items arrive, you can also choose to have them delivered directly to the facility. Just make sure that you are there to receive them to check that they’re in good condition and in their proper packaging.

If you’re selling delicate items such as electronic gadgets, it would be best to rent a climate controlled storage unit. Remember that electronic items, particularly their inner components, can easily get damaged even with a small amount of moisture. As such, you need to keep them in a dry environment where the temperature is maintained at a steady level.

Organizing your products inside the unit is of utmost importance as well. With delicate items such as electronics, you have to avoid putting one item on top of another. If you need to, make sure that you use proper protection in between them such as a foam, cardboard or bubble wrap. Place the bulky and heavy items on the bottom part and the lighter …

Best Surveillance Systems for Self Storage Units

Best Surveillance Systems for Self Storage Units

Self-storage units are considered to be successful, if they are able to store belongings safely. Security is an important element for the success of self-storage units. Self-storage managers must incorporate security in their units, if they want to attract new customers and retain existing ones. With technological advancements increasing at a rapid pace, it is becoming vital for self storage managers and owners to become more tech savvy. Whether self-storage owners are looking to monitor daily activities with the help of facility management system or taking up other activities, it is crucial to be technologically competent.

The primary duty of any self-storage unit is keeping the belongings of their customers safe. Therefore, it is imperative that self storage owners have up-to-date information about the current technology, which helps them in executing their duty successfully. Here are some of the best technologies used in self-storage facilities.

System Controllers – Vital For Managing Site Security

Self-storage managers must utilize system controllers when they need to manage site security efficiently. Intercoms and keypads are some of the security systems that are categorized under system controllers. Apart from these card readers, door alarms and surveillance cameras are other gizmos included under system controllers.

Digital Video Surveillance – Effective Security Tool

Apart from offering the advantages of digital recording, this technological device offers full proof security to self storage units. In today’s fast-paced business world, keeping track of self storage units round the clock is a herculean task. You will be amazed at the image quality you get from digital video cameras. The good image quality is got with the help of digital technology effectively utilized in these cameras.

This device helps you monitor the movement of people who have entered or exited the self-storage facility. This is done with the help of the recorded video in the camera, which matches with the logs in the keypad entry system.

Wireless Door Alarms – Profitable Security Technology for All Units

In the past most self-storage units had door alarms to effectively monitor their facilities. The evolving technology has introduced wireless version of the door alarm system. One of the advantages you will experience when using this security system is that it is reliable and cost-effective.

It is relatively easy to send and receive data with wireless systems. Besides, installation of wireless systems in storage facilities is easier and you will get peace of mind after knowing that your belongings are secure. The presence of an integrated access-control system is vital for self storage units. This will inform you about people on or off site.

Radio Frequency Technology – Best Security System to Identify Illicit Shifting of Goods

Most storage units today utilize the Radio Frequency Technology, an effective tool that keeps belongings secure. Tiny RFID tags are used in this security system to monitor your belongings effectively. These tags are attached to every item you store. Door scanners recognize RFID tags immediately and give you an indication about illegitimate …

Why Would You Use A Self Storage Facility?

Why Would You Use A Self Storage Facility?

Below, we take a look at our top reasons why people would use a self storage facility when it comes to storing their possessions.

Convenience – Convenience is a key reason why any of us would tend to steer towards using a self storage facility, because it offers us a convenient solution to our storage needs. Whether we just need a bit of extra space or we need to store some of our most treasured possessions, self storage is a convenient way of keeping the items we do not need regular access to but might need again one day.

Security – Even if you do not require the possessions or items at the time, you still want them to be secure which is another reason why you would use a self storage facility. You need to know that your possessions are in a secure environment and protected from all kinds of issues and dangers, which you cannot guarantee if you just chuck them in the loft or a garage to store your possessions.

Privacy – When it comes to documents and archiving, there are just some things that you do not want other people to see, which is why privacy is another factor when it comes to why consumers tend to use self storage facilities. From confidential documents through to private possessions, self storage facilities are ideal as they are secure and private meaning your documents and other types of confidential belongings are not going to be seen by anyone but you.

Protection – When we no longer need immediate access to our belongings, it can be quite likely that we just chuck them up into the loft or at the top of a cupboard in the bedroom. This is all good and well but this kind of adhoc storage will offer your possessions very little protection, especially when you consider that most lofts are damp and cold and that you will probably chuck more things on top and could therefore break them. Self storage offers your goods and possessions the protection against damage and weather wearing, which means that when you do need them again, they should all be in one piece and useable.

Affordable – One of the best aspects of a self storage unit is that they are often very affordable when compared to your other options, such as expansion or relocation, which makes this a cost effective way of storing extra goods when you no longer need regular access to them.

So, it is clear to see that there are some key reasons why people would use a self storage facility, mainly surrounding the security and privacy aspect, but most people would choose a self storage facility mainly because it offers a convenient way of storing things that you do not require immediate access to.

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More About Winter Motorcycle Riding

More About Winter Motorcycle Riding

When the harsh winter season rolls around again, there are some problems you can encounter when using a motorcycle. Many people actually don’t bother riding their motorcycle in wintertime. Instead, they put it away in storage for up to 6 months. Yet others say that with the proper care, there should be absolutely no problems if using it in cold weather. One should consider what type of winter weather is typical for your area. If snow is often seen, then riding in winter may be a bad, even dangerous idea for you. If you live where it just gets a little cold and there may be more rain than usual, then using your motorcycle is certainly OK in these milder conditions. It really depends on where you live or where you intend to travel.

In the winter, the temperature will quite often drop below freezing and it would be very dangerous for your health to not have the proper riding attire for cold weather. Of course, you should stop to consider whether it is wise to ride the motorcycle at times when there is even a chance of snow or ice on the road. It is certainly much less safe to be on a motorcycle during these hazardous weather conditions, than if you are using a car or other vehicle, which provide you with much more protection.

If you live in a state where the temperature differences between the summer and the winter are significant, you should consider storing your motorcycle instead. This will help protect your health and the health and value of the motorcycle. This is definitely something to consider if your bike is an older model or has some sentimental or significant collectible value. In these cases, a self storage unit might represent the best option to store the motorcycle during winter. The majority of self storage facilities provide special units in order to drive the motorcycle inside and back outside should you need to use it during the winter months. Self storage facilities are usually aware of the special needs of motorcycles and other vehicles and they usually have units that exceed the size of your bike, thus offering you additional space for moving around, as well as for storing other items or accessories.

If you are a member of a motorcycle club, they will often have options available for storing your bike, whether it be a special warehouse or special group rates on storage units. This is a good option in case you need access for any winter repairs. Some of these warehouses are large enough to permit you to ride the motorcycle at slower, safer speeds indoors. This helps to keep the motorcycle running well.

Wintering the motorcycle in a sort of self storage place involves several things that you need to think about. You need to make certain you have something to cover it. This way the painted surfaces will not become scratched or damaged. Regardless of the …

Do It Yourself Landscaping Tips And Hints

Does your yard look pathetic? Do you look at your yard in despair and don’t know where to begin? Are your neighbors unwilling to come to any party you are hosting in your backyard? Luckily, there are ways to turn this sad state of affairs around. Rather, read the information in this article to help your landscape look more appealing to everyone around.

A drip-style irrigation system is a great investment. This type of system continually provides water to your plants. The water is much more efficient but it’s a drip and not a stream, which is what’s used for hoses and sprinklers.

Are you planning on selling your house in the near future? Landscaping is a wise investment that offers as much as a 200 percent return. Making your backyard into an appealing and functional space will contribute to your home’s value, while investing your time in beautifying your front yard can produce instant curb appeal.

Landscaping isn’t just putting grass into your yard and planting a few trees here and there. Consider cement, wood or iron structures to add a little texture to your yard. Pergolas, decks, birdbaths and archways create attractive and complex looks with beauty and visual interest. Know your budget beforehand, and you will still likely be surprised by the options available to you.

Despite beliefs to the contrary, it is not always necessary to hire a professional landscaper for your project, no matter how large or small it may be. You’ll only be forced Home & Home to pay an arm and a leg for something you can do. However, it may be wise to have consultation with a landscaper who can guide you on what you should and should not do.

Armed with this new knowledge, you will create a yard that is the envy of your neighbors. They will never believe you did all the work yourself, because the ideas below will help you make your yard look professionally landscaped. Here’s to a lovely landscape!…

Self Storage Units Can Help De-Clutter Your Life

Self Storage Units Can Help De-Clutter Your Life

Even if you think that you live in a very minimalist world you will find that you hoard certain things often the items are simply stored in a different part of your home. Using a self storage unit may be the ideal way for you to clear the stuff from your living space but still allow you to keep it in your life. There are several reasons why self storage units are a great idea especially if you own a business and need to store paperwork or have an expanding family with no where left to store the items. The units are easily affordable, secure and easy to access when you need to.

There are several different types of self storage available and you will need to decide which one suits your needs and budget. You need to think about how long you need the items stored for and how much stuff you have. Some storage units provide a flexible rate and will negotiate depending on how big you need your storage unit to be. You do not want to have to sign a minimum contract especially if it is only a short term answer to your storage problems. Depending on how much your budget is will determine how big the unit will be and how long you can afford it for.

Self storage companies can deal with many different situations and can often help with boxes, removals and advise on storage. You will have you own reasons for needed to store items and these can vary from needing the space, moving home or even going on a long holiday. Often people hate to throw things away and they could have great sentimental value to you and your family storing them is an ideal way to keep them safe and still in your life. Self storage in Manchester can help you every step of the way when you are deciding to use their storage units.

You do need to have a look around the storage units before you agree to store your items as you will want to know they are secure and what CCTV equipment they have. Self storage in Manchester needs to be safe to store your items in and you also need to know the insurance policies as well as the times you can enter and get to your units. Finding out if they have opening hours or if they can be accessed 24 hours a day is essential.

Once you have found the best self storage units then you will find they are an ideal way to de-clutter your life. You can simply box things up and deal with them another day although it is not an ideal solution it is one that you can use until you decide what to do with your belongings. De-cluttering is never easy and there will be items that you simply do not want to get rid of either from your child …

Self Storage for Travellers

Self Storage for Travellers

Some time in your life, you need to travel overseas for a long period of time either due to work, pleasure, experience or even for voluntary work. As such, most people will rent out their houses to earn some income. However, what happens to all your personal belongings back at home? Are you going to bring them all with you or throw them away? How about keeping them in self storage units? What are some of the benefits of self storage that travellers should utilise them?

Safe and secure

When you are overseas for a long period of time, you do not really want to worry about what’s going on back home, especially about your belongings. You can keep them with your friends, family or even your neighbours. However, can they promise to take care of it properly? After all the belonging do not belong to them. Self storage units are able to allow you to store your belongings in a safe and secured place and they even come with security features round the clock to give you a peace of mind.

Flexibility

You will never know when something may arise, requiring you to cut short your overseas trip or even to extend it. Therefore, you want a storage space that gives you that kind of flexibility to either extend or terminate it at a short notice. Self storage units offers flexibility and you are able to either extend or terminate your contract with them at a short notice without penalty.

Ease of access

During extreme scenarios, a need to send in some documents or retrieve some articles may be required and some self storage companies allow you to nominate or give authorisation to a family member or friend to access your self storage unit and retrieve some items out. This ease of access is very important especially when you are so far away from home and you do not want to spend thousands on an air ticket just to mail something out.

Transportation

Some self storage companies offers a complete package of transporting your belongings from your home to the self storage unit and when you are back from overseas, transport the items from the self storage unit back to your home. This allows you to free up lots of precious time and effort to source for a transport provider to move your items.

Self storage units are an excellent choice for travellers due to the many benefits and flexibility involving it. They are also able to give you a peace of mind and you can spend all your effort focusing on what you need to do overseas.…

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