Authors Posts by Joe Read

Joe Read

I have a burning passion for generating big results - FAST. Fascinated with personal finance, entrepreneurship and high performance in the workplace.

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whether to invest in a property

Imagine the scene: you have decided to become a property investor and are now excited about what looks like an exciting future of buying, letting out and, ultimately, making money from property. However, you have just hit something of a wall: you can’t make your mind up about which property you should buy first.

Here are a few factors to weigh up as you mull over buying a specific property.

Do you need to make money quickly?

If so, you should probably completely forget about investing in property. It not only requires significant financial outlay right from the start, but also doesn’t tend to bring returns that can be accessed quickly. You can allow people to rent your property – an arrangement which would give you an additional, regular supply of income. However, you would need to first find tenants.

As demand for property – whether to buy or rent – can fluctuate, property investment should be treated as a long-term investment. That way, when the market is depressed, you can simply wait for it to recover before you sell. However, the process of selling a property will itself take a while; therefore, you won’t necessarily make a lot of money quickly even when the market is flourishing.

Will you be able to pay all of the necessary costs?

Various charges to consider on your property investment journey include the fees you might need to pay estate agents, surveyors and solicitors. Any additional costs associated with maintaining and managing your properties should also be factored in.

Those costs could include, should the freehold not be outright yours, extending the lease; the Money Advice Service cautions that negotiating this could be time-consuming. Will you have enough time free for taking care of this?

Would you be able to afford the mortgage?

Mortgage lenders should enable you to calculate the monthly costs of a mortgage, states. If those costs outweigh what you know you would have coming in each month, you might have to turn your back on property investment – or, at least, investing in the particular property or area that you are currently eyeing up.

If you are letting out, will the rent be sufficiently high to help meet your costs?

While letting out properties could, of course, bring in money to help you with upkeep, you should carefully look over the probable outgoings to make sure that the rent would be high enough. This isn’t necessarily to say that the rent should pay for absolutely every aspect of looking after the property. However, it might be unlikely to cover the repayments on your buy to let mortgage.

While raising the rent is an option, this could ultimately bring the rental costs above what the property is genuinely worth – and so leave you without any willing tenants. Therefore, limiting your investment to properties likely to deliver the best return on that investment would be a wise strategy – and consultants at Flambard Williams can help you to identify the best opportunities.

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avoiding house repossion

There are more than 200,000 people in arrears on their mortgage in the UK. While this number is about half that at the time of the financial crisis around 2008-09, it’s still a significant number of people who are behind when it comes to paying for their home. If you having trouble keeping up with you mortgage payments this 10 step guide should help you find a way out:

Don’t let your debts build up

As the old adage goes – you should fix the roof while the sun is shining. The UK as a whole owes £66 billion in credit card debt and it’s this sort of debt that should be cleared as quickly as possible. While it might not seem an issue at the time, if things take a turn for the worst credit card debts can add to a list of issues.

Pay more while you can

Many mortgages allow you to pay a little more than your set amount each month and this ‘overpaying’ can come in very handy down the line. It will allow you to build up equity and curry favour with a lender if you, for example, lose your job and your ability to pay.

Protect yourself

It is possible to take out a ‘mortgage protection’ policy and this sort of product could come into its own if you come into difficulty and find it hard to keep paying your mortgage.

Know your budget

Repossession could be the end result of your spending spiraling out of control and often this can start off by losing track of what you’re actually spending. Use a budget planner to help you to understand how much money you have available. That way you’ll soon know if your funds are drying up and you’re getting into difficulty.

Act early

All of that means you’ll have the knowledge you need to act early and this is something that is crucial if you want to avoid the worst. Don’t bury your head in the sand and presume things will right themselves.

Claim what you can

If you lose your job then you might well be able to get support by claiming benefits. It’s important to seek this support when it’s open to you rather than being tempted to rely on emptying your savings.

Speak to your lender…

Acting early means speaking to your lender as soon as humanly possible. Ultimately, they want to recover their money so it’s in their interest to try to work out repayment terms that you are able to meet.

…and other experts

It’s also worth speaking to experts who know their way around this sector. You can pay to speak to an advisor or look to a charity of free service.

Consider selling up

If a house becomes a big burden then you might reach the stage in which the only way to stop repossession is to look to sell it quickly and avoid it becoming an even bigger issue.

If it gets to court…

If, however, the matter gets to court then it’s important to fully engage with the procedure. You should attend the court and could still, as The Telegraph notes, stop the proceedings at this point by making an offer to the court.

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Repairing your credit rating

Do you know what your credit rating is? If you do – is it good, bad or just average? Perhaps it’s something you have never taken into consideration, but a weak credit score could come back to haunt you when you need to borrow money – to buy your first home, perhaps.

You can check your credit report for free if you don’t know what your rating is – this is important not only so you are aware and can do something about it if it is poor, but also in case there are any mistakes.

Your credit rating is used to help lenders decide whether to lend you money or not, how much to let you borrow and sometimes even how much interest to charge you – so it is vital you know what it is and are always looking for ways to improve it.

So, with that in mind, here are 10 ways you can improve your credit score:

1. Stop Applying for Credit

If your credit score is poor, then an immediate step you can take to improve it is to stop applying for credit – credit applications are filed on your record, hold fire just until you have sorted out any problems on your credit file and improved your score.

2. Get On The Electoral Register

If you have never voted before then your name will not be on the electoral register. Not only are you unable to have your say when it comes to voting, if your name isn’t on there you will also find it much harder to get credit. You can register to vote online right now, enabling you to get your name on there instantly. This is a quick and easy win to boosting your score.

3. Pay Off Existing Debt

Of course, it goes without saying, that to increase your credit rating, you must pay off any existing debt. Banks and credit card companies will be unlikely to lend you more if it appears that you are already overstretched. If you do have existing debt then it is vital you show lenders you can borrow responsibly – because in time, this will improve your credit score. Make your repayments on time and even pay off accounts early if you can.

4. Pay on Time

Missing or making late payments on your mortgage, credit card, personal loan, gas or electricity bill will stay on your credit file for six years! So, make sure you budget so you can afford to pay these off and keep a close eye on when they are due so you don’t miss one. Where possible, try to align these to come out via direct debit straight after your pay day.

5. Use A Credit-Builder Pre-Paid Card

Some prepaid cards have a credit building option that can improve your credit score. So, you are loaned an amount – you agree monthly repayments and at the end of the year (as long as you haven’t missed any) this will be recorded on your report as one year of successful repayments.

6. Credit Builder Credit Card

You have probably heard that getting a credit card is a good way to improve your credit score – providing you use it to show you can borrow and pay off money.

If you have a poor credit history then there are credit-builder credit cards available – although it is important to be aware that the interest rates charged are much higher than standard credit cards.

7. Cancel Unused Credit Cards

If you are planning on improving your credit rating so that you can apply for a mortgage or other large credit application you should know that lenders will look at how much credit is available to you, not just how much you are actually using. Holding, using and paying off credit cards can benefit your rating, however, if your cards are sitting there unused then pull the plug! 

8. Avoid Expensive Credit Repair Companies

Credit repair companies often sound too good to be true and unfortunately that is usually because they are. Credit ratings are pretty black and white, regardless of their help you will need to improve your credit rating yourself so avoid where possible paying someone else to do it.

9. Avoid Joint Credit With People With Poor Credit History

Being tied into joint forms of credit such as bank accounts, loans or mortgages with someone who has poor credit history will affect your ability to gain credit due to a ‘financial association’. Disassociating your credit from theirs is most often the best thing you can do for both parties in the long run until you both have good credit history.

10. Remove Any Mistakes On Your Credit Report

One of the reasons it is so important to check your credit report is in case there are any mistakes. It is not at all uncommon to check a report and find that someone has fraudulently applied for credit in your name. If this is the case you can contact the related company in question to have the instance investigated and removed – boosting your credit rating very quickly.

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Horse Racing

Is there any betting sport that is more fun than horse racing? Betting on the horse with the worst odds and winning, betting on the jockey with the best silks just for the heck of it, winning or losing because of a photo finish: there is so much excitement that nobody should be surprised that the horse racing industry rakes in more than one hundred billion dollars each year.

Of course, nothing beats going to the event itself. In fact, it might be the only betting experience that can be described as a lifestyle. It’s civilised, elegant and exhilarating. But if you don’t have the time to go to the racetrack, betting at William Hill is definitely the second best thing.

Horse racing is the oldest sport of them all, going as far back as the nomadic tribes of prehistory. But it is also the oldest and most venerable tradition at William Hill. So it is no wonder that we offer an enormous selection of markets in the UK and all over the globe: United States, Australia, South Africa… You can bet your way across the world like a virtual tourist. Whether you are a first-time visitor fascinated with the noble animals, or an experienced better looking for all the bells and whistles that a professional betting site should have, William Hill has it all.

The horse race betting odds at have a special feature: Best Odds Guaranteed. This offer, available on UK and Irish horse races, is a great insurance for your bets. It can happen that you place a bet and take the price which is available at the time, but the Starting Price gets better later. Such experiences can be exasperating. But if that happens at William Hill, we will settle your bet at the better price. No more disappointments!

We have made it very simple for you to follow your favourite competitors. Our alphabetical lists of horses and jockeys/trainers let you check their next races at a glance. Racing Post spotlights provide the latest professional news and results for each competitor, but also compelling verdicts for each race, helping you make an informed decision. Even the most elementary bits of data, such as the result of the last race, can make a huge difference.

Special markets provide quite specific betting options ñ for example, the “Number of Irish trained winners at Cheltenham Festival 2017” in which some users might find arcane, while the true racing connoisseurs will be delighted.

If even the hectic schedule of horse racing is not enough for you, or if you prefer the simpler experience of simulations where you don’t have to worry about the health and fitness of animals or their riders, virtual racing offers plenty of thrills.

There is a good reason horse racing is called the sport of kings. It is one of the best indicators of the state of national economies. As the world comes out of recession, what better way to celebrate the newfound prosperity but to try your luck at William Hill?

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Running a home today is not as easy as it used to be. There’s more bills that need to be paid, and your broadband bill is one of them. It’s nearly impossible to do anything without broadband these days, so having an affordable, reliable broadband connection is very important. You need to know that your internet connection will be there when you need it and that you are getting a good deal.

Work Out Your Budget

The first thing you need to do is work out your budget. Take into account all your incoming finances, and outgoing expenditure. You find sites online where you can keep track of your expenses, you could print out a budget sheet and manually fill it, you could download an app, or you could make your own. However you choose to track your budget, you need to have a pretty good idea of how much you are willing to spend per month on your broadband bill.

Decide What You Want

Once you have your projected budget, you need to decide what you need from your internet provider. The first thing you need to consider is which providers are available in your area. Generally speaking, if you live in a city, then you will have a wide range of providers to choose from. However, if you live in a more rural area, then your choices may not be as wide ranged. You need to check to see what broadband providers offer services in your area.

Then you need to work out what your internet usage patterns are. If you only use the internet to check emails, check your Facebook, or browse websites, then you won’t really need a high-speed connection. If you watch a lot of Youtube videos, or stream movies, or TV shows, then you would need a little more internet speed. If you use the internet for gaming or downloading then you’re going to need a higher speed connection.

Your Usage Limits

You also need to consider usage limits. Many, or almost all, broadband packages are unlimited. So there’s no usage cap, but there are still some providers that have usage caps. You need to make sure that if you want an unlimited service, that that is the service you sign up for. A limited usage cap will give an allowance per month, and if you’re a light internet user, then you probably won’t go over the limit. However, if you do there are extra charges, and it can become a very expensive policy.
You’ll need to think about how many people and devices in your home will be connecting to your broadband. If you have a big family, then you will need to consider heavy usage service.

The Package You Want

Lastly, you need to consider what kind of package you want. You might want a bundle that includes a land line telephone, or television services. If you want a bundle that includes other services, you’ll want to consider what kind of phone package you want, if you want it to include free calls or reduced mobile calls.
Once you have decided what it is that you need from your service provider, and what your budget is, you should try a website that will compare all the best deals for you. Try Broadband Choices to search for the most current offers.

You should always keep an eye on the length of your contract with your service provider and always read the small print. Some services offer a reduced rate for the first few months, before going up to what your actual bill will be. Make sure that the full rate is within your budget and that it’s not only the introductory offer that suits you. You might find that once your contract is up, that you would get a better deal by switching to another provider.


The good news about finding a broadband service provider in today’s market is that providers offer a huge range of different packages, and there are a huge number of providers. There are also new service providers emerging regularly. With so many potential providers, there are many competitively priced packages available. You should be able to easily find the right package that suits your family usage, and more importantly, fits your budget.


Study Abroad

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There's a lot to think about when you're moving abroad to study in a new country; is your accommodation going to be ok? Do...