Friday, November 30, 2018

Secured Credit Cards

A secured credit card is protected against default by a deposit in a savings account. Unlike debit cards, the deposit is not spent, it is simply there as an insurance against a default. Every month you receive a card statement and can pay off anything from the minimum payment up to the balance outstanding. Provided at least the minimum payments are made, on time, and you do not overshoot your credit limit, your deposit is untouched and often earns interest. You can get your deposit back at any time by closing the card account.

In order to open a credit card account you will need:

Cheque (personal or counter) for the security deposit
Proof of ID (eg passport or full driving licence)
Proof of address (eg utility bill or bank statements)

We recommend a secured dollar-based Mastercard, issued by a licensed Caribbean bank with an UK office. The bank has been in existence for several years, and these cards have been issued to thousands of individuals and companies over the last few years without problem.

This card account is not credit checked or credit scored, and is therefore available to applicants regardless of credit history.

The standard minimum security deposit against the Classic Mastercard (there are Gold and Platinum versions also available with higher deposits) is $2250. The credit limit ratio is 66% of the deposit, so the minimum deposit mentioned would give a credit line of $1500.

We have negotiated a specially reduced rate with the card issuers, so that you can open an account with a minimum deposit of just $1000 (£690), giving a minimum credit limit of $665 (£455). In all other respects the card remains the same. The card is a full Mastercard credit card, accepted worldwide. You may carry a balance on the card month to month if you wish, subject to a minimum payment of $50 or 10%.

In the event of your carrying a balance on the card, the interest rate payable on the balance is 14.04% p.a., however up to 56 days interest free credit is available should the statement balance be paid in full within 25 days of the the statement date. You earn interest on the security deposit. There is an annual fee of $95

Payments to the account may be made by Sterling cheque, bank transfer or GIRO via any UK bank. The same is true for the initial deposit, which may be 'topped up' at any time should you wish to increase your credit line. Alternatively, they may be made in US dollars and wired directly to the Bahamas if you prefer.

Once your application and deposit have been received by the bank, your card is normally issued within five days. It will be delivered to your home address by registered post or courier. Our fee to you for facilitating and recommending your application to this card issuer is £100.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

What Percentage is Emergency Tax

Each year many thousands of people in the UK are put on an emergency tax code. There are a number of reasons why you might be placed on an emergency tax code, for example if your employer was not given a P45 or you have a second job, but whatever reason most people that are put on an emergency tax refund end up overpaying tax.

Tax Rates in the UK

Currently there are four tax brackets:

1. If you earn below £7,475 you rate of tax is 0%. This is also known as your personal allowance.

2. For any amount above the personal allowance between £0 and £37,400 you will pay tax at the basic rate of 20%

3. If you earn over £37,400 you will pay 40% tax

4. And finally if you earn over £150,000 you will pay tax at 50%

What Percentage is Emergency Tax

This is one of the most common questions that we get asked. Most people think that the emergency tax rate is higher than 20, 40 or even 50%. However, you may be surprised to find out that emergency tax is only at 20%!

Even though the emergency tax rate might be at 20%, you still usually loose out if you are on it because you do not receive any of your personal tax free allowance.

Tax Free Allowance

Most regular tax codes include a number. This number corresponds to your tax free allowance and tells your employer to give you this allowance in each pay cheque. If you are on an emergency tax code you will not receive any of this allowance and can end up overpaying tax by many hundreds of pounds.

If you have been put on an emergency tax code any time in the last 4 years, there is a good chance that you can make a claim with HMRC. We recently wrote an article on how you can claim your emergency tax back. If you have any further questions, please leave them in the comments below.

Friday, November 9, 2018

How To Buy or Sell Pink Sheet Stocks

Choose a Broker

Prior to making a decision to purchase OTC securities we strongly advise you to read our Risk Warning. and Investor Protection Information

Why doesn't your online broker have real-time Pink Sheets quotes? Probably because their customers have not complained enough. Tell your online broker you want to see real-time Pink Sheets quotes on their web site now.
You must open an account with a brokerage firm (the entity that executes your buy and sell order) to buy Pink Sheets stocks. Investors cannot buy or sell securities directly through the Pink Sheets. While your brokerage firm account will allow you to trade Pink Sheets stocks, as well as those listed on NASDAQ, the New York Stock Exchange, and other venues, investors should clearly understand that trading practices for OTC securities are different from those of securities traded on exchanges. Your broker or the market maker they route your order to, may not provide you with limit order display or instantaneous executions in Pink Sheets stocks.

Unlike those listed on NASDAQ and New York Stock Exchange, Pink Sheets stocks are not required to meet listing standards. This means there is a wide range in the quality of issuers that are traded in the Pink Sheets, from major international conglomerates to very small companies struggling to survive. Investors must be aware that good information is simply is not available for many Pink Sheet traded companies and that there are unscrupulous individuals that will attempt to defraud investors through manipulative schemes in Pink Sheets stocks. While Pink Sheets cooperates fully with securities regulators and those regulators are continually working to combat fraud, it is not possible to eradicate fraud from the markets. Accordingly, you must be very careful in making a decision to invest in a Pink Sheets stock or any OTC Security.

Prior to making a decision to purchase OTC securities we strongly advise you to read our Risk Warning. and Investor Protection Information

There are three types of brokers: a full service broker, a discount broker, and an on-line broker. Full-service brokers offer advice with reports from their firm's research department as well as execute transactions for you. Discount brokers charge less per transaction but offer less investment advice. Online brokers are the least expensive way to trade your stocks; you use the internet for transactions and your own research.

Before you choose a broker, ensure that the firm will accept orders in Pink Sheets stocks. Not all brokers do!

Limit Order vs. Market Order to Know the Difference Between a Limit Order vs. Market Order

When placing an order with your broker, you will come across such terms as Market Order and Limit order. It is important that you understand each type of transaction.

To avoid buying or selling a stock at a price higher or lower than you intend, place a "limit order" rather than a "market order." A limit order is an order to buy or sell a security at a specific price. When you place a market order, you can't control the price at which your order will be filled.

Because the market price for your stock may go up or down considerably before your trade goes through, with a market order you may end up paying more for the stock than you intend, or selling at a price lower than you wish.

For more detailed information please read SEC publication Trade Execution: What Every Investor Should Know.

Always Research Your Proposed Investment

You should not make a decision about investing your money in a particular company solely on the basis of a "hot tip" or someone's advice. It is important that you make an informed decision based on your thorough research of the company's annual report and current financial statements. To learn how to invest wisely and avoid fraud visit Investor Information Section of the SEC website.
List of Online Brokers that Trade Pink Sheet Securitites

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Cash Investments The Basics

Safe investments are hard to come by these days. You never know when the stock market is going to crash or a financial institution is going bankrupt. But wait before you give up hope. Consider what cash investments can do for you. It is nothing new, just a forgotten concept in the sea of new age financial instruments.

What is a Cash Investment

So what exactly is a cash investment? Any investment that has high liquidity and definite interest rates attached is known as cash investments. The rate of interest may be low but you can be sure to get your principal amount back at the end of the stipulated period. Risk is minimum and nobody is gambling with your money. What you put in is the minimum that you will get back. For example, savings accounts are cash investments. Maybe you won't get as much returns as property or a trading account would, but your money is safe. A good mix of investments can offer a certain measure of financial safety and security even if one sector goes down.

When are Cash Investments a Good Idea

Cash investments are ideal for increasing your savings. There are short term and long term cash investments that are available for you to choose from. Short term investments yield less interest than long term ones. But since most cash investments won't cost you anything even if you want to liquidate it, long term cash investments pose no danger. A volatile financial market is another reason for choosing cash investments. There is no reason to take an unnecessary risk. So if you are still unsure of the returns from the market, hold on to your money for some more time. Cash investments are also a good idea if you have not yet decided where or what you want to invest in. Keep your cash safe till you make a decision.


The biggest advantage is the low risk associated with these investments. It is the best method available if you want to save money for your children's education, unforeseen medical needs or your retirement. Even thought the returns are low it is a guaranteed return as opposed to investing in something based on a speculation or hunch. The liquidity is high with little or no charge for withdrawing money when a need arises. A combination of cash investments can actually help you generate income at a steady rate. Also diversifying your investment portfolio will help to maintain a balance between high risk and low risk investments.


The most obvious disadvantage and possibly the only disadvantage are the low returns or interest rates that you will get from cash investments. But patience is the key in this case. It does not matter if your friends are minting money in the stock market. Take only the risks that you are comfortable and confident of taking. In the long run you probably will have the same bank balance as your friends because just like they get high returns on some, they make high losses also.