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What are the ways to prepay home loans?

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What are the ways to prepay home loans?

Being in debt is never a good idea as it affects your financial health. When it comes to a home loan, banks and non-banking financial companies’ prepayment facilities conveniently reduces the equated monthly instalment burden, making it favourable for borrowers. The moment you decide to do prepayment, your interest rates lower as well. This brings down the overall borrowing costs.

Prepayment is getting done with the loan before the term. You can either do it partially or entirely. Hence, when you prepay, the EMI reduces. The best part is the home loan calculator available on the lender’s website provides a clear picture of the same. Sometimes, prepayment gives the flexibility of reduced tenure as well.

When to opt for prepayment?

It is best to do so when you have a surplus amount with you. For instance, when you receive a bonus or an existing investment matures, you can do prepayment. Housing loans are long-term, and the interest rates pay-out is more, making the overall borrowing cost high. Hence, when you repay the loan early on, you save the amount you would otherwise pay for interests.

For prepayment purpose, you can use the home loan EMI calculator . Besides understanding how much amount you can prepay, there are some ways to get it done. You can start with a small prepayment amount and then gradually increase it. This motivates you for the future as well. They are as follows –

Savings

Taking out a home loan is a massive commitment that lasts up to 30 years. So, it is better to save some usually after paying the EMIs. If you combine your savings for a few months, you can use them for prepaying. This not only reduces the payable EMIs but the duration of the loan too. When you do so more than once, it can save you a lot of money.

Increases EMI & reduces the tenure

If you cannot accumulate funds through savings, you can still prepay the loan before the term ends. This gets done by increasing the monthly instalments. With some permutations and combinations on the EMI calculator for home loan, you can increase the EMI payable. This also saves a lot of interests.

Set your goals

While prepayment offers peace of mind and saves home loan interest rate, you cannot ignore your other goals. With prepayment in mind, you should set your financial goals concerning financial success. Selecting the right plans makes the road map clear for achieving your desired targets. Do not only focus on prepayment but also consider other goals such as child education and retirement, which is equally important.

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6 Low-Cost Business Ideas You Can Start Tomorrow

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6 Low-Investment Business Ideas You Can Start Right Now

Nowadays, many business ideas do not require substantial capital investment. YIn fact, an Intuit survey revealed that 64% of small businesses are started with less than $10,000. Depending on your business idea, you can start a company for $100, sometimes even less. 

And thanks to platforms such as Builder.ai, it is now easier than ever to get your business off the ground and reach potential customers.

With that said, let’s look at some of the best low-income business ideas that you can start as soon as tomorrow.

SEO agency

As more and more businesses move online, there is an increased demand for somebody to get them to the top of Google and other search engines. If you have experience in the field, you can set up an SEO agency with very little expense. In addition, many freelance sites can help you find clients, although it pays to have your own website as well. 

As this is a service-based business, you only have to pay for your internet consumption and website costs. 

Digital Marketing

Marketing companies require very little investment. Of course, it pays to have experience in the marketing field for this venture, but it is not essential. If you are new to the industry, you can take an affordable online course to understand digital marketing practices. 

If you have a creative flair and the patience to learn new skills (the digital marketing industry is constantly evolving), this could be the venture for you.

Dropshipping

Dropshipping involves eCommerce stores purchasing their product from a third party, which then ships them directly to the buyer. This means you do not have to invest in warehouses to store the goods. In effect, you are buying your stock after you sell it. 

This is one of the best business ideas with low investment and high-profit margins. If you make enough money, you can grow the business to include your own warehouses, giving you greater control over product quality and shipping.

Blogging

Fancy yourself something of a writer – why not start a blog? It costs less than $100 to build a professional-looking blog. All you need is a computer and a website; then, you are free to get started. This is a great idea if you are passionate about a subject or field and you have enough knowledge to write about the topic at length. There is also plenty of potential for income and profit, thanks to affiliate marketing and ad sales.

Selling handmade goods

As the world becomes more eco-friendly, the demand for handmade, cruelty-free products has never been higher. If you have a creative side and like to make things from scratch, this could be one of the small business ideas for you. 

You do not even need your own website to sell your products. Instead, you can sell your products through sites like Etsy and Not on the High Street. Of course, you still have to figure out where you will store your stock and take care of shipping, but selling through a third-party eCommerce site is potentially lucrative. It also takes away the stress of running your own website.

Social media consultancy

Social media is one of the best ways to reach new customers and build brand identity. If you know your way around Facebook and Twitter, you may consider starting your own social media consultancy business. It will be your job to design and implement social media strategies that help companies organically connect with their target demographic. Then, all you need to do is market your services and find the clients.

Final thoughts

These are just a few good business ideas that can help you reach your business goals without spending a fortune or taking out a loan. Don’t let financial constraints hamper your vision – with the right amount of energy and dedication; it is entirely possible to turn any low-investment business ideas into a fruitful livelihood.

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Easiest Ways to Invest in Cryptocurrency

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The past few months have been all about Bitcoin and its derivatives—an interest spearheaded by the massive surge among cryptocurrencies. It began when the pandemic caused the traditional stock market to plummet and governments to roll out billions in unemployment benefits. Out of fear of losing wealth, investors sought for a hedge to store their funds: Bitcoin. From October 2020, BTC began amassing value by the thousands, eventually hitting the $40,000 (from $10,000) by January 2021. In mid-April, it capped at $64,000—an all-time high that came from mainstream and institutional investments. 

Along with Bitcoin, the altcoin market also exploded. Ethereum (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE), Terra (LUNA), and more saw gains of up to 30,000% in just two quarters. Suddenly, the entire world was obsessed with cryptocurrencies. So naturally, if you haven’t gotten into the hype, you might feel left out. However, investing in coins isn’t as complicated as it sounds—if you want to dip into the world of speculation and blockchain technology, these easy steps will help you along the way. 

Understanding The Cryptocurrency Investment Ecosystem

Unlike traditional stocks, where setting up a single account will allow you to manage, hold, buy, and sell your holdings, the cryptocurrency ecosystem isn’t usually centred on an all-in-one platform. Instead, there are two key applications you need to use: a cryptocurrency exchange and a wallet. 

Exchanges 

Most cryptocurrencies can be “earned” through a process called mining and staking, but these are no longer easily accessible to anyone who doesn’t own any coins. That’s where exchanges come in. They exist as a marketplace for all coins and tokens so that you can obtain coins without having to deal with the technical nuances of mining and staking. Websites like Coinbase and Binance are popular exchanges that carry thousands of cryptocurrencies—but there are many more on the internet. 

Wallets 

Second, you need a cryptocurrency wallet, which can come in many forms, with the most popular being online and offline wallets. Online or hot wallets come in the form of websites or software that can only be accessed when you’re connected to the internet. These can easily sync with exchanges and are convenient to use for regular trading. However, due to leaving an online footprint, your wallet is susceptible to hacks—hence why it’s not recommended to store a huge number of coins online. Some popular options include Coinbase and Exodus. 

In contrast, offline or cold wallets, such as the Ledger and Trezor, come in the form of a small, USB-like device. You can access your funds by connecting the device to any computer or syncing it with a dedicated mobile app. As you don’t need to go online to access your funds, they’re essentially safe from online hacks. However, as connecting to exchanges isn’t very convenient, cold wallets are often only used by investors storing funds for the long term. 

Regardless of which you choose, it’s extremely important to own a cryptocurrency wallet, as leaving funds in exchanges will put them within the hacking radar. Unfortunately, it’s a facet of crypto investments that many miss out on—but it’s better to be safe than sorry! 

How to Buy Crypto From an Exchange? 

Purchasing and selling cryptocurrencies is convenient—you don’t need to hire a broker or purchase a trading account to get started. All you need to do is sign up for a cryptocurrency exchange, such as Binance, which usually doesn’t require any identification. However, do note that by providing a valid ID, you may be entitled to higher-end features, such as higher spending limits. Here are four easy steps to purchasing your first crypto from any exchange. 

  1. Sign up for the exchange. You need to choose one that services your country of residence to prevent issues with billing, taxes, and more. 
  1. Choose your preferred payment method and connect the relevant accounts. Bank accounts and credit cards are often universally accepted and can cover non-local currencies (such as the USD if you live in Australia) imposed by some exchanges. Options like eToro also accept PayPal. 
  1. Purchase your cryptocurrency of choice! There’s a search bar where you can find all the coins the exchange supports. If you don’t find the specific one you’re looking for, you’ll have to try on a different platform. 
  1. It may take some time for the coins to reach your account. But after they’ve successfully been transferred, you’ll find them in the temporary wallet built onto exchanges—minus the transaction fees! 

How to Transfer Crypto From an Exchange to a Wallet? 

After purchasing coins from an exchange, it’s important to route them to your wallet. First, you need to sign up for one! As with any crypto-related platform, there are many wallets available online. If you haven’t decided to commit to a physical, cold wallet, you can opt for an easy-to-use online option, such as Coinbase, Exodus, or TrustWallet. Each platform charges different transfer fees and supports different coins, so it’s important to choose the one most convenient to you. Here’s how to set one up. 

  1. Get a wallet that supports the cryptocurrency you purchased. 
  1. Upon starting up the wallet, you’ll be provided with a 12-24 word recovery seed, which you need to keep safe at all costs—preferably not in digital password managers or anywhere that can compromise the information. 
  1. Copy-paste your wallet address or go to an exchange and use the QR code scanner to scan the code in your wallet. This is a public key that can be used to receive crypto from exchanges or others. 

Native Cryptocurrency Platforms

Some cryptocurrencies have built-in applications that directly connect to their blockchains. These platforms are extremely secure as they aren’t handled by third-party corporations. They may also offer additional functions that multi-use crypto wallets may not have. Here are some examples. 

Daedalus Mainnet

The Daedalus Mainnet was built for storing and managing your Cardano (ADA). While the platform primarily acts as an ADA wallet, where you can send and receive funds, the software also offers staking functions, so you don’t have to find a third-party website to stake your ADA.

The People’s Reserve

The People’s Reserve (TPR) is an anchored coin that’s pegged to the last highest price of gold. Its native mobile application, which goes by the same name, acts as both a TPR wallet and a platform where you can earn interest over time based on your holdings. 

Terra Station

The Terra Station is the control centre for managing your Terra (LUNA) and all the functions concerning the coin. That includes staking, swapping, and voting for governance—all on top of being a reliable wallet to hold your LUNA. 

While there are a few applications you need to have to successfully invest in cryptocurrency, the process is a lot simpler than it seems—so don’t be afraid to give it a try. But remember that crypto is a highly speculative investment that’s susceptible to the volatility of the market. Therefore, it’s important to be vigilant about your trading decisions. 

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Building An Ethical Investment Plan With A Local Advisor – What Are The Advantages

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When we invest in a given company, we are in effect supporting its activity and growth. Normally our attention is focused on the ability of the company to utilise investments and bring in greater profits and achieve faster growth (greater profit and faster growth compared to its peers). Is “profit” and “growth” enough?

What if the company we invest in produces firearms, and we are totally against weapons. What if the company we invest in does not provide an inclusive environment and discriminates against women, while we believe in human equality? What if the company we invest in uses imported cotton, for the production of which child labour was used, while we believe that children should be protected? Then again what if the company we invest in uses fossil fuels and pollutes heavily, while we are concerned with global warming and the quality of the air?

If questions like the above ones ring any bells, you may consider using an ethical investment adviser. “Ethical investing” means that the companies in our investment plan should adhere to what we, as investors, consider ethical and/or moral. Some of us may choose to emphasise religious principles. 

Others may focus on ecological sustainability. Yet others on human rights, equality, and human development. 

What we face now, as investors, is not only seeking out the best-performing companies on the market but also the ones doing this in a way which is in line with our ethics and morals. Now you will be using social as well as financial criteria when navigating your investment strategy.   

History

Ethical investing has been with us forever, although under different names and focusing on different values. Slave trading was considered quite normal in Roman times, while condemned by the Quakers in the US in the 18th century. Quakers considered buying and selling humans as immoral.

Later, in the 19th and 20th centuries, Quakers were joined by Methodists in curbing their investments in the so-called “sin stocks” or shares of companies engaged in the production of alcohol, firearms, or promoting gambling. 

All the latter activities were considered immoral by the religious groups. 

Islamic banking came about in the 1960s and again can be classified as a religion-based ethical investment. Islamic banking evades interest (usury) and investments in “forbidden trades” like alcohol, gambling, pornography, and pork production.

Later, in the ’60s and ’70s, US trust funds curbed investments in companies producing weapons for the Vietnam war. In South Africa investment boycotts for companies supporting the racist regime took place. In 1971 the first “socially responsible” mutual fund was launched in the US. Its name was PAX, which is Latin for “peace”. 

The funds are still active today and promote investments that will build “sustainable” economies, contributing to “sustainable” societies. The first “ethical unit trust” was set up in the UK in 1973 by Charles Jakob. Several ethical investment funds were set up in Australia in the 1980s. Australian Ethical is one of the ethical funds active until today.

In the ’90s the ecological issue gained traction in the ethical investment movement. People, companies, and investors became more cautious about pollution by fossil fuels, emissions, CO2, greenhouse effect, the ozone layer, and eventually global warming.

The 21st century came with a wave of new ethical investment initiatives. The Responsible Investment Association of Australasia (RIAA) was incorporated in the year 2000. RIAA promotes ethical investment in our region by “influencing policy and regulation to support long-term responsible investment and sustainable capital markets”.

The Mission statement of RIAA is self-explanatory: “To promote, advocate for, and support approaches to responsible investment that align capital with achieving a healthy and sustainable society, environment and economy.”

In 2006 the UN published its “Principles for responsible investment”. These principles promote the inclusion of environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) factors in the investment decision-making matrix. 

Today more than 2300 financial institutions adhere to the PRI, which is responsible for USD 80 trillion of assets globally. 

Another international treaty giving a boost to responsible investment is the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. Its aim is to curb global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, compared with pre-industrial levels.  

Many Names

As you can see, historically names of ethical investments have varied, just as the prevailing social trends and political environment reflected in the investment policies have varied. The term “ethical investment” was coined in the UK and Australia, while the same meaning is carried by the term “socially responsible investment” (SRI) in the US. 

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) grew from this. “Green investments”, “Eco investments”, “Socially Conscious Investments”, “Moral Investments”, “Impact Investments”, and many others. SRI grew into “corporate social responsibility” (CSR), which was later shadowed by the UN coined ESG (environmental, social, and governance) factors.

Although each of these names carries with it some emphasis on one or another side of ethical investments, recently (2021) there is a move to combine the different names into “Sustainable Investments”, which use ESG criteria to generate long-term financial returns and positive social impact.

Benefits To Investing Ethically

Naturally, investing in accord with your morale and ethics gives satisfaction in itself. The investor is supporting the company to engage in such activities which will be beneficial to the environment and the social framework. You are not only listening to your heart but doing good in the process.

Investing ethically need not always come at a price. On the contrary – ethical investments may be beneficial to the investment returns. More and more consumers and investors are navigating their consumption and investment to “sustainable” companies and their products. 

This means that investing ethically today, will bring us both increased profitability and increased stock prices in the long run. 

Hence ethical investments combine perfectly the two main reasons for investments.

Every investment comes at a risk. Any company carries a multitude of risks associated with its line of business. Consider the risks of a coal mining operation. As fossil fuels are all but banned around the globe, this company will not enjoy very bright profitability and growth prospects. 

However, for a sustainable company, by definition, the risks will be much lower. As the risks for all other companies increase, the risk for sustainable companies will decrease.

Ethical investments will give a boost to sustainable companies. This will stimulate other companies to shift to sustainability. This process, in the long run, will bring about a better and more sustainable world. 

How To Invest Ethically

By now we are already convinced that ethical investments are a good thing. The question now is how to build an ethical investment portfolio. 

Of course, should we have the time, we can do the research, identify the potential investment options and build your investment portfolio. However, this is a lengthy and tedious process.

A much better option is to seek financial advice for women. Make these advisers local, as local investment options will be a better match for you. 

Should you live, say in Adelaide, find a financial adviser or a financial planner from Adelaide, and better yet use the services of an ethical investment adviser from Adelaide. These are professionals, who will have a ready-made investment portfolio to your requirements. 

Now you know the story, you know the benefits and your know-how. You are ready to embark on the road to ethical investments. 

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Top Advantages and Disadvantages of Term Insurance Policy

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Term Insurance Policy

A major concern that many of us have is, what is going to happen to our family if we are not around anymore. If this thought keeps you worried through the night sometimes, fret not, you are by no means the only one. Every responsible individual wants their family to have a decent life without compromising on the financial part, especially when they are not there. And to make sure you properly plan to take care of your family in such circumstances, you can take term insurance.

Ever since the beginning of 2020, COVID 19 has hit the world and we have lost so many people. Some of them were elderly, while others couldn’t even make it to their mid-30’s. We have seen so many families got affected because of the sudden demise of the sole bread-winner of the family. To prepare for such an unprecedented situation, you can check out the term insurance policy andmake a plan that you think can benefit your family the most in your absence.

Nevertheless, there are several advantages as well as disadvantages of term insurance, which you must be aware of before you make up your mind. Here are a few of them discussed below:

Term insurance advantages

  • Affordable:Term insurance is one of the cheapest forms of life insurance that you can purchase. The premium that you need to pay is totally affordable and you get to choose the premium that you are ready to pay. If you are young, you can easily find term insurance as per your budget.
  • Covers short-term requirements:Term life insurance covers temporary obligations. Many people purchase mortgage life insurance which is also a term life insurance that pays off the EMI of your home in the event of your death.
  • Simplified:Term insurance is very easy to understand. It does not come with several complicated variables. When you buy a term insurance plan, you buy death protection without any equity.
  • Guaranteed rates:The rates offered are guaranteed. You can lock-in rates for tenures such as 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years, depending on your requirements.
  • Option for conversion: Many of the term policies offer conversion option which enables you to convert your term policy into a permanent policy without any proof of health.
  • Can be purchased online:Just like groceries, you can buy your term insurance online. You can in fact visit the website of IIFL Insurance and check all the details related to the term insurance policy. You can compare the plans and purchase the one that suits your needs.

Term insurance disadvantages

  • No cash value:The policyholder does not get a penny out of this plan. It is the beneficiary who will get to avail of the financial benefits of the plan. And if the policyholder buys a 30 years plan and survives more than the tenure of the plan, then even the beneficiary will not get any benefit.
  • Expensive for older people:If you are elderly, you already go through several expenses. Also, to buy this plan, you would need to undergo various health checkups, which would require you to spend more money.
  • Limited Coverage under some plans:Your family will not get any benefit from this plan if the circumstances of death do not meet the circumstances specified in the policy. For example, if the critical illnesses are not covered under your term insurance plan and you, unfortunately, develop a critical illness and expire, then there will be no payoff received by your family.

Nevertheless, you will still find more advantages than disadvantages of the term insurance plans. Also, when you are purchasing one such insurance plan, you need to keep in mind the disadvantages to make an informed decision. If you feel like exploring more on the subject of term insurance, you can browse through the IIFL Insurance Knowledge Centre. You will get the answers to most of your queries.

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Content Marketing: 7 Great Reasons to Get Started Today

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Storytelling is human nature. Centuries ago, before there was even writing and printing, people sat around the campfire and exchanged stories and information. So it is hardly surprising that content marketing – the promotion of products and services through “stories” – is so incredibly successful. After we have devoted ourselves to the origins of content marketing in the first article of this series and clarified how content marketing essentially works, in this second part, we will deal with the question of why. Why should you be using content marketing to promote your products and services? We have listed and explained 7 excellent reasons for you. 

# 1 Content Marketing doesn’t require any seed capital

First things first. Many marketing strategies require start-up capital – possibly not too little. Placing a television advertisement, an advertisement in a newspaper, or even a Facebook ad costs money. However, content marketing offers the unbeatable advantage that all you need is time and creativity – but no additional capital. Uploading a podcast, creating a blog, and operating a YouTube channel are completely free of charge.

Certainly, “classic” forms of marketing such as television advertising or advertisements bring faster success. However, the wastage is also much higher here, so that large parts of your investment will always come to nothing. Content marketing needs a little more patience, the successes are all the more sustainable because you will only reach those people who are really interested in your company.

# 2 Growing brand awareness

The more content you publish (regularly), the more you can be found. It goes without saying that this increases your brand awareness. 

At the same time, of course, you have the opportunity to convey your company values ​​in your content. The more regularly you do this, the clearer the picture of what your company stands for. So, content marketing is an excellent way to draw attention to your brand in a big way and to communicate your company values.

# 3 More credibility

At the same time, of course, you make yourself more believable with every single “content.” Think of yourself: If you visit the website of a company you have never heard of before, and they say “We are the best!”, You will always be somewhat skeptical. However, if this company proves its technical expertise and authority with well-founded blog posts, for example, you are more likely to believe the company. If you do the same, you no longer just pretend you have expertise, you prove it. Content marketing is the ideal marketing strategy to position yourself as an industry expert.

# 4 More trust and stronger customer loyalty

In this way, you will gradually get more trust from your (potential) customers and thus also strengthen the bond with them. Because in content marketing, the more and better you solve your customers’ problems and help them, the more your customers will give you back in the form of trust and loyalty. Again, ask yourself: If you want to buy a pair of hiking boots, who are you going to? To the unknown online retailer or to the outdoor shop you trust that has given you good advice so often? 

# 5 SEO authority

Another advantage that you have “incidentally” is the higher rankings on Google. Google loves in-depth, high-quality content. Google indexes every single piece of content you post. The math is simple: the more great content you have, the more great rankings result from it. This has the nice side effect that you will be found on Google, and you will no longer be embarrassed to invest huge amounts of money in advertising. So instead of imposing your products and services on people, you come to you all by yourself. 

# 6 Increased traffic

It follows that the more you appear in various Google searches, the more often you will be found. For you, this also means more traffic to your website – regardless of whether it is a blog that is integrated directly into your website, or the traffic comes from YouTube or a podcast platform. Of course, this effect is still small at the beginning. But once you have built up a content archive, visitors will come to your website in flocks. If the visitors like what you see there, they will also be happy to share the content via social networks. The effect will increase if you only have enough patience at the beginning.

# 7 More conversions

Of course, as a marketer, you also know that more traffic usually means more conversions. No matter what your goals are – whether you want to subscribe to the newsletter, booking a service, or purchasing a product: the more visitors come to your website, the more will sign up, book, or buy. Provided your content is good. Another advantage is that in this way, you can obtain the contact details (email address) of these people, and they no longer haunt your website as unknown visitors, but become known (potential) customers. With the appropriate consent, you can now contact these people by email and introduce them to your sales funnel in this way. The entire magical world of email marketing is open to you.

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