Are You Prepared For The Future?

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article |Future Planning|Are You Prepared For The Future?The future is something that most people do not want to think about. The unforeseen can sometimes be quite overwhelming, but the pace at which the future is approaching us is even more so. When it comes to the future, there is so much to think about – from the family you may one day have to the career aspirations you hope to achieve to the house you may one day purchase. You will hope for financial security and a life of comfort and happiness and good health.

The problem is that most people fantasize about this happening but do little to make it happen. It is up to you to ensure that the future progresses as you envisioned, which is why planning is important.

If you want to have a financially stable future, you must begin when you are young. Sure, you can always figure out an economically secure future in your 30s and 40s, but the sooner you start, the better off you will be.

Set achievable goals

If you want to save for retirement or intend to buy a house one day, you must begin with the potential that is right in front of you. Planning your near future will make a huge difference in how you feel. When you have completed the smaller objectives in front of you, you will have a much better picture of your long-term future.

Make financial plans

So you know what you want in the end, but how do you intend to get there? What plans do you have to ensure that your income grows in the way you want it to? Financial planning entails paying off loans and tracking your spending to determine what you can afford and when. Start paying off the loans that are costing you the most in interest first, and then proceeding from there. Considering the interest you owe on them, credit cards should be the first to go. Your financial plans should include what you owe on your house and other expenses, and whatever is leftover should be set aside for investments. If you’ve established a savings goal, you can determine how much you can put into your future and how much you need right now.

Think about your career

When planning your future, begin with what will get you there: your job. Your work will take you as far as you can go, so if you want to increase your salary, you should start searching for a better job as soon as possible. You can then set out a strategy for where you want to be in ten or twenty years’ time. This gives you time to recertify if appropriate, or to find out which companies you need to be a part of to thrive elsewhere. There are all kinds of opportunities out there – just find the right one for you.

Your future is dependent on your plans now, and time moves so rapidly that you can not wait for the future to happen before taking action. Create a list of the things you need to prepare for, and you’ll be better placed to deal with anything unexpected that life throws at you.

Where’s Your Business’s Safety Net?

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article |Business Safety Net|Where's Your Business's Safety Net?Running a business can often feel as though you’re walking a tightrope. You’ve got to keep your balance and your composure or you could end up falling. However, there’s one big difference between running a business and walking a tightrope: there’s nothing impressive about running a business without a safety net. The reality is that the risks of running any kind of business are so high that having no potential protections in place if something goes wrong is simply irresponsible. With that in mind, here are just a few things to consider when making sure that your business has the safety net it needs.


If you’re looking for a way to protect your business in the event that something goes wrong then there are few more obvious and effective things to consider than the right insurance. There are a lot of things to consider when choosing the right insurance for your business. Everything from how much it will cost to what kind of cover you need to the specific risks that your business poses. Click here to find the insurance that’s right for your business. Insurance can be a frustrating cost, especially in the early days, but the value it provides is absolutely worth the money you spend on it.


Investment is something every business needs. After all, it really doesn’t matter how great your business is, you’re never going to be able to get things off the ground without some form of capital. That’s where investors come in. They can provide the capital that you need and can often help to prop up your business if it requires a little extra nudge. Of course, you need to remember that investors are not just giving you money. If you can’t guarantee that you’re able to provide them with a return on their investment, they’re going to take their money and walk away.

Careful Planning

One of the most common reasons that a lot of businesses fall apart when things go wrong is that they were entirely unprepared for it to happen at all. This is because a lot of new business owners only ever plan for the things that they want. Instead, you should be planning for every possible eventuality. You need to know what your business is going to do if something were to go wrong. Do you have contingencies in place? If not, you need to go back to the planning stage and think more carefully about the areas where your business might be vulnerable.

When your business is doing well it’s often all too easy to assume that things are just going to work out and that you have nothing to worry about. The problem there is that it means that you’re going to be utterly unprepared for the moment that something does go wrong. As counterintuitive as it might feel in the short term, the reality is that it’s far better to have these protections in place and not need them than it is to realise too late how valuable they would actually have been.

Do You Have Relevant Information on Pensions?

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article |Pensions|Do You Have Relevant Information on Pensions?Various studies conducted show that relevant advice availed to individuals on pensions is relatively low. Pension plans are a saving platform for retirement where employers contribute funds towards their employee’s retirement. There are two types of pension plans, which include the defined benefit and the defined contribution plan. The final salary pension is a source of a stable savings plan, a source of income paid to pension holders after retirement. Mis-sold Pensions lead to considerable losses to an individual pension fund. When one has poor financial advice, they transfer their saved money and invest in unstable business ventures. Some companies and individuals offer pension holders services when they want to make claims due to financial losses. The court provides relatively low claims, but it is the most efficient tool as it holds all the parties involved accountable. Private practitioners like lawyers offer quality services, and they charge higher amounts of money on their services. Before committing to any pension plan, ensure that it meets your needs and contributions are not a financial burden. In case a pension holder dies, the family members are given the accrued benefits.

Mis Sold Pension Plans

There are various types of the mis-sold pension plans, including the SIPP, final salary transfers,SASS, and OPS. The self-invested pension plans give the pension holders control over their pension funds, and they are a high-risk investment that may lead to massive losses. They fail to provide enough attention to the service provider on the quality of information delivered. Complaints are made against the pension provider and the recommended financial advisors. In case of a mis-sell, individuals are allowed to make claims, and when approved, one is compensated. The final salary transfers involve employers’ contribution of a certain amount of money towards a pension plan for the employees. It is considered to be a secure saving plan and gives a guaranteed benefit as losing pension funds is a rare occasion. If advised to transfer to another kind of pension plan without your due diligence, you are entitled to make compensation claims. The small self-administered schemes are unregulated, and they are high-risk investments. In any case, a regulated financial officer encourages a transfer to the pension plan; you can directly ask for compensation. The occupational pension schemes are created by employers who enable employees to save for their retirement and are regulated.

Claims in Mis-Sold Pensions

Some financial advisors recommended by the pension providers give misleading advice, which leads to financial losses. In such situations, individuals are encouraged to make claims through the various platforms available. One can directly involve the courts or the financial service. The provided financial services are cheap, and their decisions can only be challenged in a court of law. The claiming process is slow due to inadequate financing making their services inefficient, and huge claims put pressure on the systems. Private practitioners like companies have experienced personnel who directly engage you in the claiming process by making sure information is available on any proceedings. Individuals can make claims to the pension providers if they lack enough capital to hire the relevant service providers.

Signs of a Mis-Sold Pension

There are stipulated practice codes that require financial advice to offer excellent and relevant financial advice about the available pension plans, including the associated benefits and disadvantages. The pension plan should cover all the individuals’ needs and have high stability to prevent losses. The provided information ensures that decisions made are informed and limit cases of claiming compensation. To identify if the financial advisor has misguided, you have proof showing that the information offered is biased and is not exhaustive on all the products available in the market. Financial losses are substantial proof that results from a lack of enough information on the various business ventures resulting in profits. Financial advisors may advise on transferring stable pension plans to highly risky plans that attract losses if not well managed. Individual research is recommended from the various sources of information and seeking relevant advice from the private financial practitioners on the pertinent pensions which meet a person’s needs without compromising its security.

Pension Transfers

There is a specified period to make any claim of a mis-sold pension plan; if the claim is not completed, then compensation becomes impossible. There are various set financial services that help complainants receive fair judgments and handle the policyholders’ pension complaints. The claiming process takes some time for a solutions agreement, and it does not mean that the complainant will not receive compensation. In case one feels that the pensions they have do not meet their needs, individuals are allowed to make transfers, which eventually suits their needs. Individuals with final salary transfers may wish to shift to defined contribution plans if they are willing to venture into the high-risk plans and make the relevant business decisions to grow their pension funds actively. Transfer from the high-risk pension to the defined plans ensures security and a guaranteed income source in the future when one retires. The significant benefit of pension plans is they are a savings plan, and when the pension holder dies, their immediate family or beneficiary directly receives the benefits from the pension.

Taxation and Time Taken to Make a Claim

In most cases, taxation of the pension funds is not allowed making it an efficient saving plan. The government offers social security to the more senior members of society by providing untaxed amounts of money to cater to their daily needs. The time it takes to access the claim depends on how complex the case is and all parties’ availability to appear in the proceedings. Some cases take years to solve, and others take months for a conclusion to be made. Private practitioners take less time to make relevant claims as they follow a stipulated time frame to ensure their clients are satisfied. The earlier you predict a mis-sell and report the matter, the quicker the solutions are availed to the stakeholders.

In conclusion, a pension plan is a saving plan that mostly pays off when pension holders retire. Relevant financial advice is required in choosing the appropriate pension plan which meets persons` needs. When you realize you have a miss-sell, start to make a claim immediately to use a short time frame to wait for decisions. One can make a pension transfer if their current pension plan is inadequate to their needs. Ensure you have the relevant information when choosing any pension plan.

3 Tips to Take Charge of Your Finances

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article | 3 Tips to Take Charge of Your FinancesIf you feel as though you’re not doing enough to save and plan for the future, you’re probably right that you could be doing more. It’s surprisingly common for people to let years elapse before making any life changes that will affect their financial status. In many cases, people simply aren’t able to exercise forward thinking because their expenses are continually in excess of what they earn. The cost of living continues to rise, yet wages remain fairly static. Nevertheless, even when people aren’t earning enough to pay for basic necessities, they often put money towards less important expenditures. Also, they don’t look for savings where they can or make an active effort to achieve better financial health. They simply accept that money is tight and they give up on trying to effect change.

Despite the difficulty of making changes or the realities of having to go without the things that you want, there’s a lot that you can do to take charge of your finances. You can start by viewing material about financial wellness for women that might give you an edge on saving. Small steps towards being more attentive to spending and saving will ultimately give you better control of your financial future.

1. Preserve Your Credit

Even if you’re not planning on buying a home or taking out a loan, your credit score can be a huge factor in your overall financial health. When you apply for a new higher paying job, a poor credit score may be a red flag to a hiring manager. If you want to move into a more affordable apartment, poor credit may make you an unappealing tenant. Furthermore, your credit score can subject you to higher interest rates on monthly expenses such as your credit cards or car payments. Make it a point to check your credit regularly so you can stay on top of any reporting mistakes. Pay your bills on time, and avoid letting outstanding account balances fall into collections.

2. Plan Ahead

Even when you have a lot of outstanding expenses, you still need to think about savings. Having some money put away is extremely important to your financial security. You need two different types of savings accounts. First, you need a rainy day fund that can go towards emergency expenses or help you withstand a sudden loss of income. Second, you need to save as a part of your retirement planning. Although retirement may still be many years away, your efforts to plan for it now will have a considerable impact on when you can retire and how comfortably you can live when you do. Determine what percentage of your income you can set aside each month for both accounts, and don’t deviate from your savings plan.

3. Avoid Frivolous Spending

It’s okay to get yourself some of the things that you want, but you simply can’t buy everything that you want. Put some reasonable limits on unnecessary expenditures. In particular, it’s essential that you don’t spend more for things than you really need to. Avoid paying full price for items that you can purchase at a discount by shopping around or waiting for a sale.

Never Run Out of Money! Use Cash Forecasting to Stay Solvent

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article |Cash Forecasting|Never Run Out of Money! Use Cash Forecasting to Stay SolventWill you have enough to make payroll? It shouldn’t be a mystery.

Don’t run out of money might be the first commandment of any successful small to medium enterprise (SME). You need cash on hand to pay your employees, service your debts, and keep your supplies rolling in on time. In short, you need to cash to keep your business running.

Cash forecasting is the tool you need to make sure you have the cash you need. Instead of looking at accounts payable and receivable (AP and AR), cash forecasting predicts how much actual money you will have on hand to meet your responsibilities. In addition to keeping you solvent from day to day and year to year, cash forecasting has other benefits, too.

Identify Potential Problems Ahead of Time

Cash forecasting can be like a check engine light with premonition for your finances. You can spot trouble spots months ahead of time and plan your way around them. In doing your first-quarter forecast, you might discover that you will have additional expenses in March, or perhaps you will have shipped sales or provided services that aren’t due to be paid until April. Your sales will show up in your AR report, but you probably won’t actually see the cash until April. By predicting this sort of shortfall in March, you can reduce expenditures in February or secure a line of credit with your bank to prevent problems before they happen.

Plan ahead to keep problems from ever occurring.

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article |Cash Forecasting|Never Run Out of Money! Use Cash Forecasting to Stay SolventCreate Strong Relationships with Employees and Suppliers

Your employees depend on you to provide them with a reliable paycheck. They count on that money to meet their household expenses, pay rent or a mortgage, and buy groceries. Your suppliers are in business just like you. They need your payments to meet their own expenses. Neither employees nor suppliers will want to do business with you if they can’t depend on you. Being a reliable partner will establish trust and goodwill that is invaluable in running your business.

Long-Term Planning

You need to make larger expenditures sometimes to keep your business running. Maybe it is time to upgrade all your laptops or invest in that software you need to manage your growth. Be careful. Longer-term forecasts may not be as accurate as short term ones. Nevertheless, your cash forecasting can help you be strategic about when to make more significant investments, how to spread the expense if necessary, and when it might be a good idea to delay a more substantial purchase. Forecasting also helps you put some of your revenue aside for a rainy day, because there will always be rainy days, and expenses or slumps you can’t predict.

Cash forecasting is one of the basics of business. In 2018, CB Investments did an analysis of 101 failed startup businesses. Of those 101, the second most common reason they failed was that they ran out of cash. Cash forecasting is essential for avoiding disaster.

A solid cash forecast is also something your investors will need and something a bank will want to consider before doing business with you. It should be a living, breathing part of your business, updated continually, and consulted often. Cash is king, don’t be caught without it!