Finance – What Would We Do Without It?

One of the most important part of our lives, unfortunately a necessity, is finance. We are all in different circumstances, so it will certainly depend on these, to determine how finance will affect each of us individually. Of course, our “individuality” might be in fact the way that a partnership like marriage would view a financial situation and thus determine what sort of lifestyle that could be followed.

Finance for most people, firstly and foremost, would constitute a salary. This in itself has a major bearing on how we lead our lives. The days of the cash pay packet seem to be dying out. Probably very sensible, if only from a security viewpoint. So, there may be a day to day sortie to check balances, if finances are not in the healthiest of states, to find out exactly what cash is available at any given time. The handling of finance, quite understandably, is determined by exactly how much we earn. That is certainly the basis for all our budgets. Unfortunately, it may be said, that finance is really too easy to attain nowadays in the form of loans, exerting extra pressure to accept greater debt and therefore diminish spending power because of taking on the extra loan.

Finance may well come in other forms. We may have throughout our early lives, worked out a strict strategy in budgetary considerations, taking into account the fact that allowances need to be made for the future. It all sounds very simple, but folk need to be particularly strict with their spending habits, to fulfil their aims. However, this is achievable in many cases, by perhaps using some of our earned finance by investing in say, shares or some other form of stock.

At different times of our lives we need to be more aware of finances. The very fact that within relationships, children do come along, may indeed put an extreme strain on finances and also in these set of circumstances, care has to be taken when budgeting for their clothing, upbringing, education, allowances etc. Finance has a way of being very unforgiving if this allowance is not made in a number of eventualities. Children being a prime example.

Once the family grows up, we have to plan other things. This is as sure as night follows day. We need to look to preparation for old age. We have used our finances to buy homes, raise children, take a few vacations and with luck, save a few dollars, we now have to try and think about our retirement benefits.

If we have been frugal enough in younger days, there is a good chance that we have allowed from of our finances, a sum to be placed in a fund for us to use when we reach whatever retirement age we have chosen. Self-financing seems to be the vogue when making the decision on how our money will look after us. With luck there will be enough to see through to “the end”.

Why Early-Stage Startup Companies Should Hire a Lawyer

Many startup companies believe that they do not need a lawyer to help them with their business dealings. In the early stages, this may be true. However, as time goes on and your company grows, you will find yourself in situations where it is necessary to hire a business lawyer and begin to understand all the many benefits that come with hiring a lawyer for your legal needs.

The most straightforward approach to avoid any future legal issues is to employ a startup lawyer who is well-versed in your state’s company regulations and best practices. In addition, working with an attorney can help you better understand small company law. So, how can a startup lawyer help you in ensuring that your company’s launch runs smoothly?

They Know What’s Best for You

Lawyers that have experience with startups usually have worked in prestigious law firms, and as general counsel for significant corporations.

Their strategy creates more efficient, responsive, and, ultimately, more successful solutions – relies heavily on this high degree of broad legal and commercial knowledge.

They prioritize learning about a clients’ businesses and interests and obtaining the necessary outcomes as quickly as feasible.

Also, they provide an insider’s viewpoint and an intelligent methodology to produce agile, creative solutions for their clients, based on their many years of expertise as attorneys and experience dealing with corporations.

They Contribute to the Increase in the Value of Your Business

Startup attorneys help represent a wide range of entrepreneurs, operating companies, venture capital firms, and financiers in the education, fashion, finance, health care, internet, social media, technology, real estate, and television sectors.

They specialize in mergers and acquisitions as well as working with companies that have newly entered a market. They also can manage real estate, securities offerings, and SEC compliance, technology transactions, financing, employment, entertainment and media, and commercial contracts, among other things.

Focusing on success must include delivering the highest levels of representation in resolving the legal and business difficulties confronting clients now, tomorrow, and in the future, based on an unwavering dedication to the firm’s fundamental principles of quality, responsiveness, and business-centric service.

Wrapping Up

All in all, introducing a startup business can be overwhelming. You’re already charged with a host of responsibilities in which you’re untrained as a business owner. Legal problems are notoriously difficult to solve, and interpreting “legalese” is sometimes required. Experienced business lawyers know these complexities and can help you navigate them to avoid stumbling blocks.

Although many company owners wait until the last minute to deal with legal issues, they would benefit or profit greatly from hiring an experienced startup lawyer even before they begin. Reputable startup lawyers can give essential legal guidance, assist entrepreneurs in avoiding legal hazards, and improve their prospects of becoming a successful company.

Think Twice Before Getting Financial Advice From Your Bank

This startling figure comes from a recent review of the financial advice offered from the big four banks by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).

Even more startling: 10% of advice was found to leave investors in an even worse financial position.

Through a “vertically integrated business model”, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, Westpac, ANZ and AMP offer ‘in house’ financial advice, and collectively, control more than half of Australia’s financial planners.

It’s no surprise ASIC’s review found advisers at these banks favoured financial products that connected to their parent company, with 68% of client’s funds invested in ‘in house’ products as oppose to external products that may have been on the firms list.

Why the banks integrated financial advice model is flawed

It’s hard to believe the banks can keep a straight face and say they can abide by the duty for advisers to act absolutely in the best interests of a client.

Under the integrated financial advice model, there are layers of different fees including adviser fees, platform fees and investment management fees adding up to 2.5-3.5%

The typical breakdown of fees is usually as follows: an adviser charge of 0.8% to 1.1%, a platform fee of between 0.4% and 0.8%, and a managed fund fee of between 0.7% and 2.1%. These fees are not only opaque, but are sufficiently high to limit the ability of the client to quickly earn real rates of return.

Layers of fees placed into the business model used by the banks means there is not necessarily an incentive for the financial advice arm to make a profit, because the profits can be made in the upstream parts of the supply chain through the banks promoting their own products.

This business model, however, is flawed, and cannot survive in a world where people are demanding greater accountability for their investments, increased transparency in relation to fees and increased control over their investments.

It is noteworthy that the truly independent financial advisory firms in Australia that offer separately managed accounts have done everything in their power to avoid using managed funds and keep fee’s competitive.

The banks have refused to admit their integrated approach to advice is fatally flawed. When the Australian Financial Review approached the Financial Services Council (FSC), a peak body that represents the ‘for-profit’ wealth managers, for a defence if the layered fee arrangements, a spokesman said no generalisations could be made.

There are fundamental flaws in the advice model, and it will be interesting to see what the upcoming royal commission into banking will do to change some of the contentious issues surround integrated financial advice.

Many financial commentators are calling for a separation of financial advice attached to banks, with obvious bias and failure to meet the best interests of clients becoming more apparent.

Chris Brycki, CEO of Stockspot, says “investors should receive fair and unbiased financial advice from experts who will act in the best interests of their client. What Australians currently get is product pushing from salespeople who are paid by the banks.”

Brycki is calling for structural reform to fix the problems caused by the dominant market power of the banks to ensure that consumers are protected, advisers are better educated and incentives are aligned.

Stockspot’s annual research into high-fee-charging funds shows thousands of customers of banks are being recommended bank aligned investment products despite the potential of more appropriate alternatives being available.