Prestige Wealth Solutions

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Seoul outperforms prediction in first quarter

Thanks to improvement in some of its key sectors – namely exports and construction – South Korea achieved a surprising growth in the first quarter of 2014, baffling many economists who expected less of the former Asian Tiger.

South Korea surprised economists with an unexpected growth in its first quarter. From January to March, the economy grew by 3.9% from the same quarter in 2013.

This growth can be explained by boosts in some of the country’s key economic sectors, such as exports and construction. With the US economy picking up its pace, Seoul managed to increase its exports and take advantage of the overall improvement of the economic environment with its go-to countries for exports. The Bank of Korea – the country central’s bank – estimated the growth in exports from the previous quarter to be a of 1.7%.

The Korean economy relies heavily on exports to sustain itself, with the majority of exports being finished goods, such as electronics (Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Taekwang Industry), ships (Hyundai Heavy Industries, Samsung Heavy Industries, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering), and automobiles (Hyundai Kia Automotive Group).

But perhaps the most important factor to explain this growth is the boost in construction, one of the cornerstones of Korean Economy. Let’s not forget that it is Korean companies (spearheaded by the Samsung C&T Corporation) that are responsible for some of the largest construction enterprises of the last decades – the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Taipei 101 in Taiwan, or the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, to name a few.

Construction investment, having faced a 5.2% drop in the last quarter of 2013, swiftly recovered, with a recorded growth of 4.8% in the first quarter.

This unexpected growth in the economy of the former Asian tigers may lead the Bank of Korea to increase interest rates later in the year.

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Top 10 tips of Financial Planning – Prestige Wealth Solutions

In the ever changing economic world we live in it is essential that clients understand their responsibility to provide themselves with the best possible chance of Financial Freedom. At Prestige Wealth Solutions we are able to help, motivate and make those financial goals become reality.

Personal Financial Planning

1.Stick to your budget – We find a large number of our clients believe they work to a budget, however, in reality this isn’t the case. There is always that extra weekend away, extra shopping trip and extra costs incurred in every household. It is essential that clients keep records of their spending habits, understand their spending habits and make the necessary cut backs where possible.

2.Pay off Credit Cards – Credit cards used to be a taboo subject in my household when I was a child, my mother always saying to never get one as it would lead to uncontrollable debt, however, in todays’ internet age it is almost impossible to purchase anything without one. Credit card interest rates are high and missing just one payment could lead to hundreds if not thousands of interest being paid in later years.

3.Get paid what you are worth – Find out what your job is worth in the marketplace, understand and evaluate your own job role; How profitable are you to your company? What skills do you have? Are you being paid less than your peers?

4.Don’t rely on your next bonus – To often clients rely on their next bonus, in the hope that it will be paid on time at the level they expect. A bonus is a bonus and should not be used for every day spending habits, it should be used for luxuries such as holidays or alternatively used to invest in things such as company shares or property.

5.Make contributions to a pension – If your company offers a pension you should always make contributions into it, it is a tax efficient vehicle that does not have flexibility to allow you to spend until retirement. If you do not have a company scheme a personal scheme is an essential part to your portfolio.

6.Have a savings plan – The saying “pay yourself first” has never been so important, with global governments becoming more aggressive on taxing their residents wealth and earnings (such as IHT, CGT and Income Tax) it is imperative that you save as much as possible.

7.Invest and diversify – Invest as much as you can afford in as many different asset classes as possible: Property, Cash, Equities, Bonds etc. Warren Buffets 3 rules of investing are diversify, diversify, diversify, who am I to argue with the Guru?

8.Review your insurances – Insurance is a subject that nobody likes to discuss, however, I find that a lot of our clients are paying over the odds for simplicities such as Medical Insurance and Car Insurance. Shop around and get the best quote. Also, review your life insurance, in many cases Life insurance is null and void if purchased in the UK if you are not a resident any longer, something that could be an unwelcome surprise in the future.

9.Update your Will – Its simple, if you have assets and beneficiaries you need a Will. Again, this is a subject that isn’t the rosiest to discuss, however, it’s one of the most important elements of Financial Planning. If you’re residing away from your country of birth understand the “laws of the land” and make plans accordingly.

10.Record Keeping – I have visited many clients over the years who just do not have a clue what they have got, where it is or when they can access it. With companies liquidating, name changes and buy outs of the years it is possible that your investments have changed names numerous times. Keep a concise record of everything you have purchased in the past, Policy numbers, Company names, contact details. This can all be kept together in a leaver arch file so is handy to find when needed.

Financial Planning is a continuous process, not just a one time event. At Prestige Wealth Solutions we review our clients’ financial positions on a quarterly basis to ensure that all of the above are on track, our job is to ask important questions and motivate our clients to take action.