Few of us are as good at making, saving and managing money as we'd like to be. It can be a complex and bewildering subject. But it doesn't have to be this way.
This is a simple but brilliant practical guide to the main steps in mastering your personal finances - for now and the future. The step by step format makes it easy to follow and use, and it is packed with all the secrets of the best financial advisers, without all the jargon and mystique usually associated with money.
"The best finance book I've ever read... go out and get this as soon as you get the chance" - The IET Circuit December 2006
"Breaks down the steps of mastering personal finance into plain speak" - New Model Adviser, October 2006
"Bamford excels at making even the dullest topics interesting" - Pensions Management, October 2006
Author Articles or other pieces in: Investment News, City Wire, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Mirror, Brighton Argos, Irish News, Aberdeen Press and Journal
Martin Bamford is a highly qualified independent financial adviser, who is still young enough to appreciate the special challenges of financial planning for those in their 20s and 30s. He runs his own firm of financial advisers, Informed Choice Ltd, with his parents. Martin is a professional member of the Personal Finance Society and an Associate of the Institute of Financial Planning. He has been quoted in The Independent, The Observer and The Daily Express in his capacity as a financial expert. He is a regular contributor to Money Marketing magazine.As well as being an IFA, Martin is an aspiring entrepreneur. When not advising clients or running his financial services consultancy firm, Matrix Financial Solutions Ltd, Martin is an avid networker. He is currently in the Top 100 most connected UK members of the worldwide networking platform, Ecademy.com.
The purpose of this book
What will this book do for you?
Taking financial control
The Money Tree rule book
The way we grow a Money Tree has changed
What works best for you?
How to grow your Money Tree
Chapter 1 Dealing with debt
Spot the sham
Not all debt is 'bad debt'
Your personal debt freedom day
Playing the credit card balance transfer game
When things get really serious
Never pay for debt counselling advice
Bankruptcy the last resort?
When things get serious alternatives to bankruptcy
Chapter 2 Taking control of tax
Avoid or evade?
Tax, duties and more taxes
Understanding income tax
Some popular income tax misconceptions
How to pay less income tax
Top Tips for capital gains tax
Understanding inheritance tax
Some ways to pay less inheritance tax
Top Tips for inheritance tax planning
Chapter 3 Serious about savings
All about cash
Top Tips to get a better rate of interest
Cash as an asset class
Where can you save money?
What about the downside?
High headline interest rates on regular savings accounts
Encouraging the savings habit
Chapter 4 Making the most of your mortgage
It's just a (really) big loan
They come in lots of different flavours
Fixed, variable, tracker, discounts, blah, blah, blah
Interest only or capital repayment?
Interest only (and capital as well, at the end)
Common mortgage questions
Getting a mortgage what does it cost?
Some mortgage mistakes to avoid
The power of offset
An alternative strategy
Chapter 5 Plan to protect
Things can go wrong!
Top Tips to slash the cost of your life assurance
Illness or accident
How much cover do I need?
Chapter 6 Intelligent investment
The value of your investments may go down as well as up
What is my investment risk profile?
The motion of the ocean
Buy low, buy high, but always keep buying!
It's all about asset allocation
There is no secret to intelligent investment
Top Tips for intelligent investment
How do you actually invest your money?
Chapter 7 A financially secure retirement
A real story
Why planning for retirement matters
How do pensions work?
Pensions aren't simple
The most common pension misconceptions
Getting started with your own pension
Self investment the future of pensions?
Don't forget the State
Some things you might not know about the State pension
A common retirement planning mistake
Time to build your retirement plan
Chapter 8 Time for advice
Different advisors serve different purposes
The professional adviser power meeting
So much choice
How to find a financial adviser
A question of qualifications and regulation
Top Tips for a healthy relationship with a financial adviser
There is no such thing as a free lunch
What to expect from your first meeting
Chapter 9 Bringing it all together
How to build a financial plan
Where are you now?
Where would you like to be?
How are you going to get there?