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Property Development Bridging Finance

Bridging finance is effectively a short-term loan, normally taken for a period of up to 12 months which can be used for a number of purposes from consolidating debts, purchasing new property or undertaking an office refurbishment. Property developers often turn to bridging finance as a short-term solution that will allow property refurbishment or builds to commence even if the initial injection of cash is not present. Whether you are a small property developer working on just 1 or 2 properties a year or an established property development company with many schemes, property development finance is available to you.How do property developers use bridging finance?Many property developers use bridging finance as a means to buy property at auctions, or new developments as well as to undertake improvements, conversions and refurbishment. This injection of finance allows developers to get projects started in the absence immediate funds. Some property developers will also use bridging loans to break mortgage chains, to purchase buy-to-let properties or raise working capital.Here is a good example of when and how a property developer may call on a bridging loan:A developer has viewed two properties, both require refurbishment and both present an attractive and lucrative resale opportunity. The properties are known amongst the property developer community and there has been interest from a number of parties, speed is therefore of an essence or another developer will secure these properties. A bridging loan can be put in place where a normal mortgage application would have resulted in the property going to another developer who had the funds immediately available. Bridging finance can be made available at short notice especially if both the property and developer present a credible investment, this allows the developer to buy the properties and begin his renovations.This is a classic example of when a bridging loan can secure a property for the developer; it allows the developer to secure the property without the need to sell any of their existing property or assets. This is particularly useful when property is bought for the sole purpose of immediately selling it on again for a profit. By using bridging finance the only additional cost for the developer would be the interest paid on the short-term bridging loan.Bridging loans are also great for those developers who want to reduce or reorganise their costs and equity or are looking to execute draw downs across an investment portfolio to release some cash.

Children Entertainers – Booking Kids Party Entertainment

Whenbooking your children entertainers, pay careful attention to what services the entertainer offer, and make sure you know what you are paying for, here we look at a few simple ideas and questions to ask before you hand over your money.Will the entertainer provide the entertainment throughout the party?
This may seem like a simple question to ask, but if you’re planning a 3 hour party, that is a long time for entertainers to keep the children occupied. If you are planning to feed the children during the party, perhaps the entertainer may take a break during this time.Can they provide a show for your child’s age?
Some children entertainers specialise in younger ages, things like puppet shows and fancy dress may not be the perfect idea for older children. Different entertainers will provide different acts for children of varying ages. A good act will be able to adjust their show depending on the age of the children at your party, but ask first to ensure what they intend to cover will be suitable for your children.Will the entertainer have prizes?
Prize giving is all part of the fun for children, so ask what sort of prize is given, and what the child would have to do to earn the prize. There is nothing worse then some children getting upset because others won a prize when they didn’t, so ask what the plan is before hand. A simple token of a gift from the entertainer can make all the difference, a balloon model is always popular for kids at any party.How long is the performance?
Children entertainers will have set performances that they run through at each party, varying slightly depending on the children’s reaction. Some will have a set of an hour or two, so ask first to ensure you know what you are getting for your money. You’ll want to know there is a set start and finish to the party.Will they need help, or do they have a helper with them?
If the entertainer is expecting you to help out, then make sure you know this before the event. There is nothing worse then planning to get on with something else while the children are entertained, only to find out that the Mums and Dads are expected to help out with the show.Most importantly for peace of mind, ask the children entertainers for proof of a CRB check, and whether they have full public liability insurance. Without either of these, the children entertainers cannot be taken seriously.

What Is a True Investment?

As the first step on the path of learning about investments, one must answer the fundamental question: What is an investment?Surprisingly, a lot of people are actually confusing investment with speculation or even gambling.The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines an “investment” as follows:”the outlay of money usually for income or profit”This definition however lacks one crucial ingredient. An investment should have a reasonable chance of returning both the principal (i.e. money originally invested) and the profit. If an opportunity does not provide a reasonable chance of returning both the principal and the profit, then it is not an investment. This is an extremely important point to understand and in my mind it represents the core of what a true investment is.When one makes an investment, one forgoes immediate consumption in exchange for future consumption. This delay in consumption must be compensated by profit. For example, let’s say you have $1,000 right now. You could spend this money today and get the benefit of goods and/or services that this money can buy. Alternatively, you could invest it, thus delaying your ability to enjoy your money into some future point in time. If in the future, all you got back was your original amount then it would not make sense for you to invest it, as you would not be gaining anything. In fact, you would probably be losing money since your $1,000 in the future would be worth less due to inflation (i.e. it would buy less goods/services). Therefore a true investment must not only return your original amount that you have invested, but also profit as a compensation for using your money. Not only that, but to be worthwhile (assuming your principal was after tax) the profit after paying taxes should be higher than inflation over the period during which your money was invested.You will notice that in my definition of an investment, I referred to a “reasonable chance” of returning both principal and profit. What is a “reasonable chance”? Interestingly enough that depends on an individual investor. Every single investment entails “risk”. Risk is the lack of certainty regarding how much principal and profit you will get back. History has shown us that even the highest rated securities issued by governments are not free of risk. Therefore it is up to each individual person to decide what their comfort level for taking investment risk is. The riskier the investment, the less certainty there is regarding the outcome. If an investor is knowledgeable and has done their due diligence, they would demand a higher profit for riskier investments. Unfortunately in the real markets this is not necessarily the case. There are many investors who own risky investments which do not necessarily pay bigger profits than the available alternatives.Let’s look at some examples of investments and speculation/gambling according to our definition:

Is buying a lottery ticket an “investment”? Absolutely not! Since the chance of winning a lottery is exceedingly small, you cannot have any reasonable expectation of receiving back your original amount plus profit. Hence it is nothing but a gamble.
Is buying a stock about which you know nothing about an “investment”? No, since you know nothing about the particular stock, you have no reasonable expectation of receiving back your principal and profit. This would be gambling rather than investing.
Is buying a stock below its intrinsic value an “investment”? Yes, provided you have done your due diligence and can reasonably expect the stock price to return to its intrinsic value within some limited time frame, you have a reasonable chance (but not guaranteed) of getting back your invested amount with a profit at the end of the period. This would be considered an investment.Hopefully this article helps you think about investment opportunities in a different light. You should always be asking yourself the questions:Can I reasonably expect to get back my invested amount with a profit?
What is the chance that I will not get back part or all of the invested amount and profit?
Am I comfortable with these chances?If you’ve answered “No” to any of these questions, it is a good indication that this investment opportunity is probably not for you.

Professional Travel Agent – 8 Benefits of Utilizing Their Knowledge

Travel Agents have been helping travelers plan their vacations and trips for decades. The brick and mortar agencies are still going strong and many times beating the prices of online competition.Now that almost every home in America has a computer and internet access, many people are trying to do it all by themselves when planning a vacation thinking they’ll get the best deal. For an international trip, the typical person will spend many, many valuable hours online doing research and making reservations if they do it alone. Why not just go to a Travel Agent? Contacting a knowledgeable individual can save you time and money. That’s what they are for.Here are some of the many benefits of using a Professional Travel Agent.Your time is valuable. Instead of spending your precious time searching the internet, going from website to website, comparing prices, itineraries, hotels and destinations, you can make just one call and have a Travel Agent do all the planning.Service. There is something to be said for good, old-fashioned, person to person service. This is an attribute you will not experience with an online booking engine. Travel Agents are happy to help you with your travel arrangements including inception of ideas and thorough planning. Plus they are available for the duration of your trip, upon your arrival home and for all future travel. The personalized service you receive provides peace-of-mind whether you purchase an air ticket or an entire travel package. A travel agent is ready to answer any and all questions.Knowledge. Travel Agents have the most up-to-date information about specials, promotions and rates. Because they are the professionals in the industry, they are notified first of all current special rates and promotions stemming from airlines to tour companies to hotel deals. Many agencies who have weathered years of ups and downs in the travel industry have also built excellent relationships along the way. More times than not, they can provide better rates than what can be found online due to wholesale status and working with airline consolidators.Specialized. More and more Travel Agents are becoming specialized in a specific geographic region or type of travel through study and hands on travel experience. This means that if you are traveling to Australia, for example, and want assistance from someone who really knows the country by the best places to visit, climate, exchange rates, cuisine, clothing to pack and the inside scoop to the best deals, utilizing a Travel Agent is a great resource. They often have personal travel experience and the experience of all their clients who have booked their trips with them. Plus the accumulative travel knowledge of their fellow agents giving you real information about how a hotel may suit your needs or a great tour guide that would jive with your travel style. It’s specialty information only a real, live human can provide when you are booking your trip.One-Stop Shopping. With a Travel Agent you can book all your reservations and services in one place. Travel Agents can book everything from airfare to car rentals, to tours and show tickets. This also means you only have to give your personal information, like credit card details to one business.Someone to call in case of an emergency. If you should have some type of a glitch or emergency while abroad, trying to get through to an actual person at an airline or online agency can be practically impossible and completely time consuming. It can be reassuring knowing that you have someone you can call in case of an emergency.Unique Travel Itineraries. Travel Agents can help put together a trip and itinerary based on your interests. Tell a Travel Agent what you like to do during vacation, how active you want to be and your budget, and she will give you suggestions based on that information. This usually results in a more enjoyable vacation developed just for you instead of following an itinerary suggested by a friend or family. Just because your friend enjoyed a specific tour doesn’t necessarily mean that you will.First Hand Hotel Information. Most Travel Agents have up-to-date information on hotels that are under construction or being refurbished. You do not want to arrive at your hotel, only to find that the reason why you got such a great deal is because they are in the middle of construction on the pool.To book your international vacation of a lifetime, contact a Travel Agent today, or visit us on the web.