Everything You Need to Know About Stocks and Shares

When it comes to making money, there are few ways that you can accumulate cash alongside your usual nine to five role. Sure, you can take on an extra part-time job, but this means sacrificing your social life for the sake of extra income. Now, stocks and shares may not be the most thrilling of topics to discuss, but it is a potential way to make little to significant amounts of money on the side without having to invest too much time or effort! All you need are a few basic pieces of information and a little practice behind you. Read on to find out everything that you could possibly need to know on the subject!

William Iven

What Are Stocks?

Stocks are an intangible purchase. When you purchase a stock, you don’t get something physical. What you do get is a share of an existing company. Once you’ve purchased a stock, its value will change along the same lines of the company’s worth. You can sell standard stocks off for a profit when it is valued at a high price. You’re likely to gain back more than what you initially invested. If you have dividend stocks, things work a little differently. With dividend stocks, you receive a percentage of the company’s profits each year.

What Are Stock Ratings?

When you have stocks or are considering investing in stocks, you need to keep an eye on stock ratings. These are an evaluation of a stock’s expected performance and its risk level. The better the ratings, the more you should consider investing in the stock. There are various agencies out there that rate various types of stocks. So use specialists for each type that you are looking at. If you are interested in overweight stocks, for example, you should take a thorough look at overweight stock ratings.

What Do Companies Gain From This?

So why would companies offer out a share of their company when they could keep the whole lot to themselves? Well, companies often offer out shares in their company when they want to make improvements but don’t have the available cash to fund the improvements themselves. Selling shares raises this cash, and they can then develop new products, hire more staff, expand into bigger markets, or make a whole host of other business moves. They benefit from this and so do you, as the more they improve their company, the more your stocks will be worth and the more money you will accumulate in the long run!

If you are new to stocks and shares, it’s important to bear in mind that there are risks that come hand in hand with them. After all, if you can make money from them, you can also lose money with them if you don’t handle them properly. So, be careful and use all of the resources out there that make the process as risk-free as possible. Be sensible with your investments and test the waters with small investments before throwing yourself into the deep end with massive investments!


5 Tips to increase your financial portfolio

A good build portfolio can help one build wealth from the amassed capital, live on the generated income as well as leave a legacy behind for the future generations. Before building up a complete portfolio it is important to make a list on one side of all the assets that you own, that includes cash, bank accounts, cars, bonds, and stocks. On the other hand, make a list of everything that you owe such as student loans and credit cards balances. For one to improve their financial portfolio, they have to consider a few things which include:


  • A clear objective of the financial portfolio. As you approach retirement it is important to decide on well-defined objectives so as to know what to expect from your money. One’s long-term financial goals are the key to a successful investment plan. Therefore, it is important to allocate assets as they determine the return variability as well as the performance of a financial portfolio.




  • Cost control. By keeping the investments costs low, one can control the cost. Every dollar used up in trading costs, sales load, management fees and brokerage commission, cannot compound for you. An adviser is important to help with the management of the portfolio. However, this means fewer earnings in the portfolio as the cost of paying the adviser has to be catered for. With time this small amount of money accumulates to huge amounts that you cannot recover.




  • Management of taxes. Taxes need to be managed as they can be the highest expense in any financial portfolio. Tax management can be divided into three different categories that are; tax-loss harvesting, asset allocation, and withdrawal strategy. Through tax-loss harvesting, an individual will take advantage of the declined investments and sell them at a loss. This will lead to deduction of tax hence lowering the individual’s taxes. The withdrawal strategy is mostly for retirees and it can save them a lot of money.




  • Diversification. It is advisable not to rely on a single investment. One can have as many investments as possible. This includes stocks, bonds, and cash. A portfolio that is made up of only one asset such as the stocks is at more risk and volatility than a portfolio that is more diverse with different assets. Diversification enables an investor to avoid risks such as the company risks. Asset allocation is important in the determination of return variability




  • Discipline and commitment. Building a financial portfolio may take years and requires a lot of dedication. Once you have decided on the objectives, it is important to stick to the course during the good and bad times. Abandoning the course to chase the performance of a hot sector can be very costly. You should try and be disciplined through every market environment. Despite the hardships, you should not lose hope.



With these few ways, an investor’s portfolio can grow in value. This depends on the time taken and the risks one is willing to face. Before setting up a financial portfolio, seek guidance from experts such as the Nottingham Wealth Management and watch your portfolio grow.


How much do road works cost a business?

Us British drivers are very familiar with roadworks and temporary speed limits up and down the country — and the majority of drivers are aware of the frustration it can cause. For some businesses who rely on the roads to get from job to job, roadworks and temporary speed limits can really slow down their progression. This means that they are extremely limited to how much they can get done in a working day as they need to factor in additional time for traffic and disruptions caused by roadworks and temporary speed limits.

Did you know that in 2016, there were over 1.35 million traffic jams across the UK, which cost the economy approximately £9 billion according to Inrix. November 2016 marked the worst month of the year for the number of traffic jams, with over 169,000 recorded across the country – 50% worse than the average number. But how does this effect businesses who rely on the British roads? Long term van hire specialists, Northgate Vehicle Hire  have investigated.

Yes, some traffic jams are unavoidable. Accidents happen, and when they happen on the roads, a traffic jam naturally follows – but there is of course traffic that could be avoided. A significant amount of traffic jams are caused as a result of road works and temporary speed limits, which is why the Local Government Association (LGA) have been calling for action by the government to limit the amount of road works that are carried out across the country, to reduce the risk of gridlock. Whilst it is also causing unnecessary carbon emissions and fuel, it also wastes a lot of drivers’ time – even more valuable time for those who are working between different locations.

Apparently the average driver reportedly spends around 32 hours a year stuck in traffic jams during peak periods – this figure doesn’t necessarily account for drivers who drive for a living, and are on the roads the majority of the day or night. For businesses which charge their customers an hourly rate, that is a loss of at least 32 hours of work – if you charge £15 an hour, that would be around £480 annually per employee. If you run a business of 15 employees, that is a minimum annual loss of £7,200 as a result of wasted time stuck in traffic.  

There are currently  2.5 million road openings each year which are caused by utility company digging – and this meansthree quarters of small businesses say the road works have a negative impact on their business as a result – whether it is wasting valuable time in traffic, reducing sales or loss of earnings. It is no wonder road works cause such chaos on the roads when utility works supposedly reduces road life by at least a third, and when temporary speed limits are also set in place, the overall flow of traffic on the road becomes slower. If government figures are to be believed, the state of UK roads and traffic jams are only to get worse – traffic levels are expected to increase by around 55% by 2040.

Looking at the regions across the UK that are most likely to be affected by traffic jams and road works, businesses in Belfast are the ones who should worry the most about the cost impact of road works and traffic jams. In 2015, average congestion on the roads was at 40%, meaning businesses lost around 24 working days per vehicle per year. Overall, Belfast businesses experience around £12,673,050 cost as a result of road congestion. The remainder of the UK’s 10 most congested cities and towns rank as followed, according to CityAM.com:

Rank City/Town Average Congestion Working days lost per vehicle per year Cost to business
1 Belfast 40% 24 £12,673,050
2 London 38% 19 £237,196,080
3 Manchester 37% 21 £157,729,390
4 Edinburgh 37% 20 £13,338,360
5 Brighton 34% 16 £9,334,440
6 Hull 33% 19 £13,646,560
7 Bournemouth 32% 17 £7,959,600
8 Newcastle 31% 16 £7,519,410
9 Bristol 31% 17 £43,733,580
10 Sheffield 30% 16 £20,397,480

 The director for TomTom Telematics in the UK and Ireland, Beverley Wise commented: “Making the most of billable time is key to profitability for any business, so organisations that rely heavily on a mobile workforce must look for ways to maximise the time employees spend actually doing jobs by minimising time spent on the road.”

However, if forecasts are correct and traffic levels do continue to rise across the UK, it looks like businesses could be faced with a significant loss.