Connect with us

Business

Make the Most Out of Your ISA Allowance

Published

on

ISA Allowance

Photo by Chiew Pang

Profiled for United Kingdom.

Investors and savers should expect an increase to the ISA allowance cap by ₤240 – ₤360 to ₤11,760 – ₤11,880 level from April 2014. The change in annual ISA allowance is every year in line with the inflation.

ISA allowance can be predicted mathematically by taking the September Consumer Prices Index figure and then applying it to the ISA allowance that was in force in the previous year.  To make monthly contributions easier for savers and investors, the above figure is rounded off to the nearest number that is divisible by 120.

When this formula is applied, leading financiers believe that the next year’s ISA allowance cap might rise to ₤11,880. However, according to UK’s one of the largest investment broker, Hargreaves Lansdown, that figure could be ₤11,760 after rounding down.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer should uncover the mystery over the next year’s ISA allowance limit most probably in the autumn statement to be held next week on December 4.

With the slight relief in the ISA allowance cap, you can make the most out of it if you understand ISA and follow certain tips and guidelines below.

“Don’t let your money sit idle, let it grow.”

What is ISA allowance, who should apply and why?

Anyone who is the permanent resident of the United Kingdom and above 16 years of age can hold an Instant Cash ISA or above 18 years of age can hold a Flexible Cash ISA and start enjoying the tax benefits immediately. There is no capitals gains tax (CGT) and no tax on any income from the savings or interest amount.

ISA allowance can be splitted between cash ISA and investment ISA. During a tax year, an individual currently can put up to ₤11,520 in ISA allowance. However, there is a maximum limit for Cash ISA that is half of the ISA allowance limit. If next year ISA allowance limit exceeds to ₤11,880, then an individual can contribute up to ₤5,940 in Cash ISA and rest or the entire amount can be contributed to Investment ISA.

What is easy access cash ISA and fixed-rate cash ISA?

In cash ISA, you have two account choices depending on your needs. You can withdraw your money from easy access cash ISA any time you wish. However, the interest rate will be variable and it can change anytime. You will gain no tax benefit on the money you have already withdrawn.

In fixed-rate cash ISA, you will enjoy higher interest rates. However, you will have to lock your money and forget about it for another few years. If you are ready to do so, then it will be better option.

Be careful when withdrawing

If you decide to withdraw money in the middle of the tax year, then be warned that you will not be able to top put it back to receive beneft on it. For example, if you had paid ₤5000 for the current tax year and you decided to withdraw ₤2,000, then you cannot put this amount back. Since you had already paid ₤5000, now you are only allowed to put further ₤760. Hence, you will lose all tax benefits on these ₤1,240 (₤2,000-₤760), which now you have in your hands.

When is the best time to invest in ISA allowance?

As soon as the tax year starts! If you can afford to use up your cash ISA allowance limit all at once at the beginning of the tax year, then do so. This will give you 3% interest on your money and at the end of the tax year you will have additional ₤172.80 with you. The more you will delay the lesser interest amount you will get.

Can I transfer my cash ISA to another bank?

Yes, but never withdraw all the money from your current cash ISA account and then pay it into your new ISA. This is not the right way to do it and you will lose all tax benefit on your money. Contact your current account provider and the new account provider and ask them to manage your transfer or follow their guidelines.

I have used up my cash ISA allowance, what is next?

Cash allowance is just 50% of your entire annual ISA allowance as described above. The remaining you can put in investment ISA. Your investment ISA may have individual company shares, investment and conventional unit trusts, and traded funds. Earlier this year in March, treasury said that it would also allow small shares traded on AIM (formerly, Alternative Investment Market), sub market of London Stock Exchange.

Investment ISA has potential to deliver big in terms of returns when compared to cash ISA, but it also possesses some risks of losing money. It is highly dependent on market mood, and if the market is going down, it will directly/indirectly affect your money. Not just that, investment ISA also has high management charges. So chose the right thing for your money. Don’t let your money sit idle, let it grow.

Sanskar Shrivastava is the founder of international students' journal, The World Reporter. Passionate about dynamic occurrence in geopolitics, Sanskar has been studying and analyzing geopolitcal events from early life. At present, Sanskar is a student at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture and will be moving to Duke University.

Continue Reading
Comments

Business

4 Ways to Improve Your Customer Experience

Published

on

Customer experience is much more than a one-time interaction. It’s an ongoing process that requires your business to think critically about how you can improve every interaction with your customers. Your customers should feel valued and understood at every step of the way, from first contact to the final sale. If you’re reading this, you know that customer experience is essential to the success of your business. It goes beyond surface-level niceties like “hello” and “thank you.” Instead, CX involves a 360-degree view of how customers perceive your company from beginning to end. These customer experience tips will help you streamline your interactions and give your customers the kind of service they want to return to.

Make it easy for customers to do business with you.

Never make your customers feel like they’re jumping through hoops to interact with you. Instead, make it easy for them to find and use your customer touchpoints—your website, social media channels, or physical storefront. Don’t forget about accessible payment options for your website and store to allow for multiple payment methods. Whether you include options to pay via PayPal or you need high risk merchant services due to poor business credit, pay attention to what you offer.

This applies to your customer service interactions as well. Make sure you have a clear way for customers to reach you through email, phone, a contact form, or some combination of the three. Be sure to include your hours of operation and any steps customers need to take to resolve their issues as swiftly and painlessly as possible.

Make sure your contact channels are functioning well.

Make sure you have a way for customers to reach you both during regular business hours and after business hours (if applicable). Ensure your phone system is working correctly, your emails are always sent, and your website or any other online contact form is easy to use. Additionally, make sure you’re responding to customers promptly. If you’re doing everything else right, but if your contact channels are a mess, you’ll end up with many frustrated customers. No one likes to feel ignored.

Offer solutions to problems, not just products or services

It’s essential to offer products, services, and solutions to your customer’s problems and concerns. When speaking with customers, focus on their challenges and how your products or services can resolve them. Remember that customer service isn’t just about sales. It’s about resolving customers’ concerns about your company, products, or services—even if they aren’t ready to buy yet. Your goal is to create a lifelong relationship, not just a single transaction.

Establish trust through transparency and authenticity

Trust is crucial for building a strong customer experience. Be transparent about your policies and your products—this means disclosing any potential risks or downsides as well. Be authentic in how you interact with your customers. You should always be yourself, even if that means you’re not the best salesperson or occasionally make a mistake. Customers will respect your authenticity, which builds trust and loyalty.

Summing up

If you take nothing else away from this article, this is the one thing you need to remember: your customer experience dictates your business’s future. Your customers don’t just experience your products or services once. They experience them throughout their entire relationship with you. Make sure you’re paying attention to every single touchpoint and listening to how you can improve. Put in the effort to improve your CX, and you’ll see the results in no time.

Prev postNext post
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

Continue Reading

Business

David Faraco and Aquarius will create the First NFTs in Solidarity with Nature

Published

on

When it comes to the environment, we often think about ways to reduce our carbon footprint or recycle more. But what if there was a way to actually support the environment while also supporting your favorite artist? With NFT, now there is! NFT, or non-fungible tokens, are a new way to collect and trade digital art. And because they’re stored on the blockchain, they’re completely secure and immutable. That means that when you buy an NFT, you can be sure that you’re getting the real thing and that your purchase will support the artist directly. Plus, NFT are a great way to show your support for environmental causes. Aquarius and David Faraco are teaming up to create the first-ever nfts in solidarity with nature.

What is an NFT?

An NFT is a digital asset that is stored on a blockchain. The term NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token. NFT are unique, unlike traditional cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, which can be exchanged for goods or services. NFT have been gaining in popularity due to their ability to represent digital assets in a more secure way. For example, an artist could create an NFT of their work and sell it as a digital collectible. The benefits of using an NFT include the fact that they cannot be counterfeited and are tamper-proof. David Faraco Heredia, will be creating the first ever NFT in solidarity with nature. This project is aimed at helping to preserve our planet’s natural resources.

How will David Faraco’s NFT help nature?

In David Faraco’s native country of Costa Rica, nearly a quarter of the land is protected in some way by the government. This includes rainforests, national parks, and biological reserves. Now, with the help of blockchain technology, Faraco is hoping to do even more to protect the environment. Faraco is the founder of Aquarius Crypto Universe, a company that creates non-fungible tokens (NFT). NFT are digital assets that can be bought, sold, or traded like traditional cryptocurrencies. However, unlike Bitcoin or Ethereum, each NFT is unique and cannot be replicated. Aquarius will use NFT to create digital certificates of ownership for land and wildlife. These certificates will be stored on the blockchain, making them tamper-proof and impossible to forge.

What are the benefits of using NFT?

  1. According to David Faraco, the benefits of using NFT include “the ability to show provenance, the immutability of the data, and the trustless nature of the technology.”
  2. He claims that by using NFT, we can “create a more sustainable future for our planet and its inhabitants.”
  3. Faraco believes that NFT “have the potential to revolutionize how we interact with and value Nature.”

David Faraco, CEO of Aquarius Crypto Universe, has announced that they will be creating the first ever NFT in solidarity with nature. This comes as a response to the growing environmental crisis and the need for new ways to support and protect our planet. NFT are unique and cannot be exchanged for another currency. This makes them ideal for supporting causes and organizations, like Aquarius, that are working to make a difference. These NFT will be available for purchase on Aquarius’ website and will help support their environmental initiatives.

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

Continue Reading

Business

How to segment your customers for better results

Published

on

email marketing

Segmentation is classifying your audience by a relevant characteristic. This makes the strategy target prospects that could buy your product and increases the effectiveness of the campaigns.

Email marketing is a digital marketing strategy where segmentation is possible, as the best managers offer this possibility.

Why segment?

Segmentation is one of the marketing challenges facing companies today, because many are not used to it.

Until a few decades ago, advertising possibilities were limited to television, radio and newspaper commercials. These commercials reached all audiences equally. If the commercial was about women’s clothing, it was seen by men and boys alike. But the internet changed that.

Today, digital marketing offers great possibilities to segment the audience, so that everyone receives the information that is of interest and useful to them.

Some examples of segmentation are the following:

  • An appliance shop sends a special discount only to customers who are finishing paying for a product purchased in their shop.
  • A department store sends a toy catalogue to parents subscribed to its mailing list for the Christmas season.
  • A bookshop sends a newsletter with a discount coupon to parents with school-age children at the beginning of the academic year.
  • Invitations to an event on shop in a specific city, but only to subscribers who live in that city.

With these strategies you want the message to hit the target and get a lot of conversion, for this Mailrelay offers tools to segment the list in an easy and effective way. Thanks to this mass email software, you will be able to successfully segment your users in just a few minutes.

How to get a segmented mailing list?

At the time of the campaign, you can include some questions to find out some characteristics of the customer. For example, the name and surname, city, interests, etc.

Be careful with the questions, because they can dissuade the customer from subscribing, so you should only include the most important ones.

After subscribing, the customer may be asked to answer a survey, in which additional questions may be asked, but this should also be done with care, as it may be uncomfortable. It should always be optional and if the subscriber does not answer it at the first attempt, do not insist.

Another strategy to get the information we want is a contest. For this, you have to establish a very attractive prize that the subscribers appreciate very much.

Finally, purchasing habits can provide information. If a customer regularly buys products for cars, we can intuit that they own one, and we can design offers for them.

What are the advantages of audience segmentation?

The main advantage is that you gain in effectiveness, with segmentation you reach the specific customer who is in a position to buy. This allows you to design a direct message that speaks to the customer according to their needs and facilitates the sale.

It also happens that the message does not reach people who may consider it inappropriate. For example, if we have a mailing list with customers from a department store, and we are going to launch a campaign for women’s clothing, the men who receive it could mark it as spam, which would affect the company’s marketing plans.

In addition, segmentation generates greater engagement, as the customer feels that you are talking to him or her about his or her needs and concerns. Talking directly to subscribers is the best way to get closer to them and make them loyal customers.

Recommendations for segmenting your customers

  • If you are planning an email marketing campaign, it is very important that you do a proper and effective segmentation. For this, it is very important that you choose a mailing manager that has good segmentation tools.
  • Establish strategies for each segment of your audience, so that you get new niches to develop your business. Knowing the possibilities of your brand and the needs of your customers is fundamental to design strategies that will be profitable.
  • Combine the segmentation of the email marketing campaign with an excellent social media management, in order to achieve the appropriate proximity to make the relationship between the brand and the public strong. Social media is booming and is also a form of direct communication that can be very cost-effective.
  • The conformation of groups should be established strategically, this can be by gender, location, preferences, socioeconomic level, activity, etcetera. These groups should be very well differentiated and their distribution should be related to the business in question.

How to get better results from a segmented campaign?

If you have established an email marketing campaign for one of the groups you have defined in your list, the following tips can help you achieve better results:

  • Choose the right frequency according to the product and the characteristics of the group. A poorly chosen frequency can be counterproductive, if there are too many messages, it could lead to unsubscribes and if they are too infrequent, the message could be lost.
  • Analyse the metrics provided by the email marketing manager, with this information you will know if the campaign is giving results and have clues about what the problem may be, if there is one.
  • If it is a campaign of several newsletters, you can place a button for the subscriber to indicate if they are not interested in the campaign, that way you can remove them from the campaign and prevent them from unsubscribing from the list.
  • Surveys are a great tool, as they capture relevant information from customers. If they are applied, they should contain only one question, maximum 2, and always a selection by clicking on an answer option. Do not overuse surveys because they could generate unsubscribes.

If you are going to implement an email marketing campaign, segmentation is necessary to get the best possible results. We recommend you start researching today the most appropriate segmentation of your customers. You will be able to achieve great results with just a little effort. 

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

Continue Reading

Trending