121

As a general rule of thumb, when lending anything to a friend or colleague, never lend more than you would be willing to give as a gift. If it gets repaid, that's great. If it doesn't, chalk it up to the cost of learning a lesson about this person's character, and never lend anything to them again. In Dave's case, your comments indicate that you still ...


52

I assume the goal here is for both he and you to feel some progress is being made toward repaying the loan, even if in practice very little is done towards achieving the final goal of total repayment. Realistically, you may need to write this off as uncollectible, depending on your actual relationship with Dave. Half his salary (let's assume his girlfriend ...


40

the highest offer we could make is substantially below the asking price by around 5%. I wouldn't necessarily call that 'substantial', especially if the property has been on the market some time (I surmise this from "sales in our local area are slow"). That you are ready to proceed also makes you a strong contender, and reduces the window of opportunity for ...


39

The six months of savings is for an emergency fund. The advice is for 3 to 6 months. This emergency fund is to cover you for a six month period of time if you are not employed. This isn't invested in any instruments that have the risk of losing money. So what other purposes should you have a pot of money, in addition to the job loss emergency fund, that ...


35

Generates cash before any expense is taken on COGS (negative leadtime is heaven, and cash is, as we know, king) It is a way of segmentation of customers - you appear as a good choice both for non-price sensitive customers AND price sensitive customers. Your access to goods is high enough to sell with differentiated margins to both customer groups. A sale to ...


19

In economics, any prepaid amount is a loan. In fact, a gift card is arguably a cash advanced loan derivative but it's not regulated. Many issuers are gaming the system to take advantage of this interest-free cash-advanced loan. Advance cash for the issuer. A bank loan may cost them 8% interest, but now the gift card buyer just helps to fund the unsecured ...


14

Speaking to a restaurant owner I learned that, for his business, only about 80% of the amount sold in gift cards ever gets redeemed (your point #3). This means that he makes a much larger margin on gift cards than on his main products (food). It also explains why he could discount them for more than his profit margin on other products and still come out ...


13

In addition to the many valid points made in other answers, there is another important point: A store-issued gift card gives the merchant control over more of the payment processing cycle. This factors into their decision to discount the cards because they can still come out ahead in the end. When you swipe a card at a point of sale machine, the transaction ...


12

TL;DR I'd agree with most others: 3-6 months in cash, invest the rest. If you feel like 6 months cash is not enough, you can keep more cash, but if you have investments that you can sell without harsh penalties, it's probably safe to count them as part of your emergency fund for longer term emergencies such as extended unemployment. Long version One ...


9

I don't see why I'd need more than 6 months' worth of savings. If you work in a region dominated by one company or industry and can't/won't move, then having more than six months of expenses socked away in something stable would be a good idea. Especially if that company nosedives right around when the market falls like a stone.


8

Assuming it's under English law - Scotland is different - then offers are not binding. Similarly, acceptance of offers by the seller aren't binding either. It only becomes binding when the contracts are exchanged. If you are in Scotland, then check the local law. This means that gazumping is possible, and there's nothing you can do to stop it, other than ...


7

Another reason that shops (especially restaurants) like gift cards is that many people don't think of a gift card as real money, and so will often spend more when using them. Say a customer has a $50 gift card, they may mentally subtract that amount and buy $60 worth of goods thinking it only cost them $10 out of pocket. A few years ago in my town, there ...


6

There’s no standard for early redemption penalties. Some mortgages have them and some don’t — read the small print of any mortgage you are thinking about applying for. But in general, avoid fixed-rate mortgages and go for floating rates, which are much less likely to have redemption penalties.


6

So, I am in the situation of having a friend who can’t return the money now, he and his girlfriend ask me for patience, and I don’t see any plan from them to return the money. I would just let it go and write it off. Dave can't pay you back or he would have addressed it already The fact that you can't cite a reason for the loan (i.e. Dave broke his leg ...


6

If you want to buy a house for below market price, don't fall in love with the house. Look at many houses, and focus on those which are short-sales or distressed properties. Alternatively look for properties which have been on the market for some time and have not had many viewings, and appear to be undervalued, but which also show potential. Keep an eye ...


5

A key point that I think is being missed is that a supermarket's gross margin is much higher than its net margin of 4%-8%. So long as the cards are bringing in new sales rather than just substituting for sales that would have come in anyway they can be profitable. Lets say that the shop has a 33% gross margin, gives a 5% discount on the cards and 60% of the ...


5

The thinking might be very logical; yet the usual problem is that you do not have the data to make the optimal decision: if there are other buyers and how much are they willing to offer; how quickly does the seller need the money... The rule of thumb is that the lower your offer the more risk that it will not be accepted. Having said that: But if we ...


4

Strictly-speaking, no, you don’t need a brokerage account to trade ETFs. If you are determined to avoid brokers, you can, but it’s usually not worth the trouble to do that. ETFs are Exchange Traded Funds, so using a broker is the primary way to trade them. Your alternatives to using a broker are to either find someone who wants to sell the ETF you’re ...


4

You are doing the right thing in contacting the agency and negotiating. Unfortunately, you do not have that many options in the London rental market. Is there a reason why the agency is asking for 5% in particular. No. This is an arbitrary decision. Is it reasonable? There is no such thing as reasonable in the UK rental market, especially in ...


4

Most probably you can. As you don't own the SPV outright you probably can. If you owned a company or had a trust that owned residential property that you are (or were) able to live in, you're also not considered a first-time buyer. SOURCE


3

As you say, Dave makes €1000/week. Best case, his plan of €500/week only leaves 50% of his income. If that is pre-tax then it's an even greater percentage. From this and all the other things going on in his life it's clear that was going to be very difficult for him to follow through with. However, the fact that he came up with this plan (even though he ...


3

First see what information you can gather: Who are the people that are selling? Why are they selling? Is there non-monetary benefit you can give them (for example a quick sale, longer time to move out, etc)? Decide your target price - make sure it's not a round number. If you can meet in person, or talk on the phone do that. You can try the the 65-85-95-...


3

October 2019 Update Thanks to a risk-assessment framework introduced in 2012, the situation in 2019 has improved slightly, compared with 2011, but the presence of Japanese knotweed will still harm your chances of getting a mortgage (or may adversely affect the rate, or amount of deposit needed). However, it's not impossible, although opinion seems to be ...


3

If no one is depending on you - six months should be plenty. (depending = spouse, child, parent, etc.) Put the extra into investments. The money you invest is still available to you if you need it. The downside is that if there is a bad economic problem and you lose your job at the same time then you may need to pull the money out while the investments ...


3

You're unlikely to be losing out Unless the amount you repaid each month went down throughout the year, you wont lose out due to compound interest. This is because when the SLC receives the annual lump sum of payments that HMRC collected from you, they assume 12 equal monthly payments were made and retrospectively calculate the interest accordingly. How to ...


2

Scrip dividends are liable to income tax in the same way that cash dividends are. After the tax free dividend allowance of £2,000 (fr 2018-19 onward) had been used then you pay tax at the appropriate self assessment rate. If the value of the scrip dividend shares varies by more that 15% from the value of those share on the scrip dividend payment date, the ...


2

I could be wrong about this, but I don't believe you have any legal recourse in the UK to get your money back. I believe this would be called a 'social debt' and legally is secured only on the borrower's good name and word if nothing was signed.


2

There is an interesting read on Spanish inheritance tax at https://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/2016/02/08/spanish-inheritance-tax/ Unfortunately, it describes this situation (UK estate, Spanish tax-resident inheritors) as "a scenario you categorically want to avoid for your heirs at all costs. It entails for your loved ones spending greater time, money ...


2

You seem to have gotten an idea that things are more complicated than they actually are. Here's what to do: Choose an online broker from the list at https://monevator.com/compare-uk-cheapest-online-brokers/ . These are generally called "platforms". Which one is better/cheaper for you may depend a bit on whether you anticipate investing more in funds or ...


2

There are some very good reasons to have more than 6 months of income saved, and also some good ones to have less. You must weigh what applies to you. For example a person with a very secure job, who has a spouse that also works and has expenses that are less than either salary probably does not need 6 months of savings. Three months could be more than ...


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