Choosing Between Luxury Cars: A Quick Guide to Some of the Best Automobiles on the Market

Saving up to buy your first luxury car can be an amazing experience. Buying the car is an excellent milestone in a person’s life, especially if they took the time to earn it. Because luxury cars are a meaningful investment, you should take the time to research each option carefully. Having a high-end BMW, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Audi or VAG is about more than selecting something to get you from point A to point B. It’s about selecting a comfortable, smooth ride that you deserve. Use this quick guide to compare some of the most popular luxury vehicle manufacturers and learn about the options you have available.

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW)

BMW is a one of the best-selling luxury vehicle manufacturers in the world. They boast award winning and best-of-class designs every year, making them an excellent choice for people who want the latest upgrades and a practical vehicle for everyday transportation. One of the most popular designs for busy professionals is the Concept 8 Series, an eye-catching car known for its durability and reliability. The 2017 lineup is very expansive, so even drivers looking for something on a budget can get a high-quality vehicle.

Porsche

Porsche is a symbol of luxury around the world. Every year they work hard to include the latest technology and features into each vehicle they produce. 201 Porsche models include the popular 718, 911, Panamera, Macan and Cayenne. Prices start around £45,000, but even the least expensive model is built for speed. Your sleek car can accelerate up to 100 km per hour in just 5.1 seconds. Reaching a top speed of 275 km per hour, Porsche redefines luxury sports cars.

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz has been impressing drivers since the late 1800’s and it is easy to see why. Looking at Mercedes’ 2017 lineup can be an overwhelming experience. The manufacturer specializes in customized vehicles, so drivers can start with one of 33 base models. The Mercedes A-Class hatchback and CLA Shooting Brake are popular among executives and business professionals. Those wanting to really make an impression can choose from elaborate bases like AMG GT R Coupe, S-Class Cabriolet, or Roadster SL.

Audi

Audi is a German car manufacturer known around the world for producing high-end vehicles. While modern vehicles start at about £15,000, a driver can easily spend over £100,000 getting their dream car. The Audi A3 and A4 are popular choices for city drivers, but if you can afford it, the Q7 and R8 are an amazing investment. For those looking for an environmentally-friendly option, the e-tron series incorporates all of the luxury features Audi has to offer with an electronic power source.

Volkswagen (VAG)

This German manufacturer produces a wide range of new vehicles. Popular models like the Touareg, Passat Estate and Beetle Cabriot are moderately-priced and have all of the bells and whistles you’d expect. Because VAG also makes affordable cars like the up! and Polo, they are known for having inexpensive base models. This means that you could get a beautiful new Touareg at a low cost and make upgrades as needed.

Should You Buy a New or Used Vehicle?

If you took the time to save your money and are looking for a quality ride that will last for years, you may want to consider buying a new luxury car. While used vehicles are budget-friendly, they often need more maintenance costs. Selecting a new vehicle also makes it easier to get exactly what you want.

Instead of browsing the web or dealing with manufacturers, talk to a small specialty shop. Specialty car shops can help ensure that the transaction goes smoothly and you select all of the features you need to be happy with the purchase. While your new vehicle will likely come with a factory warranty, small dealerships often offer specialized repairs and upgrades. This allows you to take care of your immediate and future vehicle needs in one place.

Whether you are planning on buying a new vehicle, upgrading your current ride, or require basic maintenance, visit their site. With over 60 years of combined automotive experience, we can quickly and accurately satisfy your vehicle’s needs. Talk to us today about luxury vehicle buying advice; we are always happy to help people find their dream car.

A Brief But Super Guide to SMSFs

A Brief But Super Guide to SMSFs

For Australians looking to invest in trusts with a high degree of control, there are SMSFs — a “self-managed superannuation fund”. A useful tool to save and grow savings from regular income into retirement, it’s party mandatory and certainly promoted by tax incentives from the government.

If you work full-time in a company that provides wages or salaries, you probably already have a superannuation funds portfolio that you’re a part of. The government has made it compulsory for employers to contribute starting at 9.5%, set to rise to 12% by 2025.

Over and above this, you as an individual can make contributions. These are voluntary contributions done by you. But, if you can strategize and use your contributions to do more than just saving income for retirement, then you’ll be able to reap greater rewards in the future.

So what are SMSFs and how do you take full advantage of them? We’ve put together a brief but “super” primer to superannuation funds.

What is a SMSF?

SMSFs also go by the name “DIY Super Fund” because trustees of the fund exercise granular control over the direction and growth strategy. Whereas decisions about retail and industry superfunds are based on collective interests, SMSFs are limited to between one and four members known as “trustees” and only these individuals may control the fund.

Though quite a few individuals have used (and continue to) SMSFs to tax shield income, there is a limit or cap set to these contributions by the government. Contributions over and above these caps are allowed but are then taxed at the top marginal rate.

Members of an SMSF are trustees of the fund but they cannot receive compensation for management of the fund or for performing trusteeship. Another strict rule is that no member of an SMSF may be an employee of another member in the same SMSF.

There are two structures that trustees follow:

    1. Individual trusteeship is where there is a minimum of two trustees and each is appointed as such
    1. Corporate trusteeship, where the company as a single entity is marked as the “trustee” and each member is a director. There are fees associated with this structure but it’s beneficial for companies to register under this umbrella because there is a greater degree of flexibility when it comes to recording assets or performing administration

Why DIY?

The profile of individuals investing using SMSFs are changing rapidly. The incidence of trustees who are members who are younger as well as middle- to upper-middle income earners are much higher today than ever before.

This speaks to the number of individuals both choosing to educate themselves and benefit from SMSFs, the viability of a successful SMSF and the number of individuals who can today choose to turn to financial advisors and specialist accountants to help in the ongoing administration of SMSFs.

Generally, SMSFs are so attractive for a number of reasons:

    • They allow members a much wider array of investment options
    • Trustees know they are committed to the success of the fund and usually have investment experience themselves so they can administer and manage the superannuation fund’s portfolio at a lower cost and with greater control
    • There are definite tax advantages to SMSFs that are provided by the government
    • A flexibility as to when and how you fund your retirement as well as pre-retirement goals
    • As a more secure and well-controlled method of estate planning (example: death benefits paid to dependents through the fund are tax-free)

Setting Up a SMSF — Costs & Administration

Individuals who set up a SMSF enjoy a greater choice of direct investments that can be made through the fund, including: direct property, works of art, Australian and international shares, preference shares, debt securities, derivatives, cash and term deposits and property trusts, whether listed or unlisted.

Basically, nearly the whole gamut is your oyster.

There is quite a bit of paperwork involved in setting up and insuring compliance when it comes to establishing an SMSF. Trustees must also ensure that they can receive communication on daily, quarterly and annual reports of the fund, as well as in preparation for annual reporting of the funds for auditing.

Set up of the SMSF usually involves paperwork about: trust deeds, minutes of first trustee meeting, member applications, tax file number applications, ABN applications, Trustee Declaration and Consent to Act as Trustee forms, investment strategy, Death Benefit Beneficiary Nomination forms, the fund’s bank account application and rollover documentation.

There is, of course, ongoing administration and review, over and above any reviews to investment strategy. These administrative tasks should be performed on a regular basis to avoid overwhelming any one trustee:

    • depositing, banking and recording transactions related to the fund
    • recording income
    • organising annual tax returns and auditing of fund accounts
    • paperwork regarding super pensions
    • drafting of trustee meeting minutes
    • completing and lodging Business Activity & Instalment Activity Statements

Benefits of having an SMSF Specialist On Your Side

The role of an accountant specialising in SMSF cannot be overstated: these knowledgable individuals don’t necessarily direct strategy (unless trustees are looking for that and the accountants themselves are licensed to do so), but they certainly support strategy, as well as actually accounting services related to the management of the SMSF.

Accountants and financial advisors who work in the SMSF sector usually provide “end to end” service. They have extensive experience dealing with the legislative and operational requirements of set up as well as investment management of these funds.

Compliance is a rather tricky part of SMSFs. Even with a solid background or experience in SMSFs, individuals who are trustees choose to have these specialised accountants work with them on these funds because there are constant changes made to keep investments in general more transparent and regulated.

Investment management and accountant specialists in SMSFs usually also analyse a fund’s existing structure, giving comprehensive recommendations for changes, based on the long-term retirement and pre-retirement goals of the trustees.

As a rule of thumb, general accountants or those that are unlicensed can offer information as to the consequences of decisions made by the trustees but they cannot guide the trustee in investment strategy. Many general, unlicensed accountants still do this under the shield of “taxation advice”, but know that it’s not lawful.

Accountants who don’t specialise in SMSFs, in other words, can only speak about the following in regards to an SMSF: taxation advice and services, accounting and admin services, information regarding laws and regulation (as well as how best to comply with these) for the SMSF.

How are People Making Money with Laser Engraving?

It’s unlikely that you’ve never heard of laser engraving or seen something that has been laser engraved since this technology has been around for over 25 years. What you may not realize is that laser engraving is a virtually limitless industry of opportunities for reaching those untapped revenues for your business.

Laser engraving is seen almost everywhere you look. Signs on buildings, logos, high-quality personalized items, work-related plaques, trophies, and barcodes on certain kinds of products.

Laser Marking Business Success or Failure

Another factor you should understand is that should you decide to start a laser engraving business, it is ultimately up to you to make your business successful. It takes work to build any business, even one that is popular.

You can start a business after purchasing the necessary equipment, but if you fail to market and promote it, no one will know you’re there. Likewise, you can start a laser engraving business, market and promote it, gain many customers, but fail to provide quality customer service. Both of these issues are the earmarks of failure.  That being said, here are the earmarks that can make your laser engraving business a success.

Earmarks of a Successful Laser Engraving Business

Here are the primary factors that will boost your ability to make your laser engraving business successful.

  • Promotion – Your laser engraving business requires promotion and marketing. There are several avenues of marketing, including PR (public relations) to tell your story, an e-commerce website to show your products and services, a blog on your website to inform and engage visitors, social media to engage with customers and potential customers, and local ads on social media, Google, and even in your local newspaper. Some marketing avenues will cost you some money, while others are essentially free to use.
  • Quality Customer Service – People want to be treated with respect. That doesn’t mean you must endure constant abuse from a customer, but it does mean to make reasonable accommodations for your customers to keep them happy and coming back for more. Quality customer service lends to credibleword-of-mouth marketing for your local business.
  • Quality Products – Never buy cheaply made products for engraving. You may garner some revenue from it, but you are less likely to get repeat business when you produce poor quality items. Choose a vendor that offers the lowest prices for the highest quality items for engraving.
  • Prompt Delivery – When you give your customers a date and time to pick up their laser engraved item(s), make sure you deliver on time. That means you must also choose a vendor who is reliable enough to get your products to you on time. It’s a cycle of events.

Keep in mind that no one can guarantee your success, but you can ensure that you engage in honest and good business practices that make people want to buy your produces and use your engraving services. People talk, which can affect your business one way or another. Today, it’s not just people talking to people in the community, it’s also online in reviews and ratings for businesses. Do everything you can to make your business successful by providing the above quality products and services.

 

5 Tips to Living with Pets Without Pet Hair Problems

Summer time and the living’s easy – right? For many pet owners, changes in season mean a noticeable increase in pet hair.

Instead of dreading the extra shedding, we’ve got some easy tips for you to enjoy your pet’s love and company without all the clumps of hair around your home.

Caring For Your Pet

    1. Groom Your Pet Regularly

Many pet owners believe that it’s only long hair dogs and cats that need regular grooming, mostly to address the tendency of fur matting and clumping. The truth is, even short hair pets benefit from a regular brush or comb through.

This action not only keeps their coat healthy, it also gets rid of excess hair. You may use a brush or a gentle, finely-toothed comb to get to the root of a pet’s coat and remove extra fur. Many pet owners choose to use gloves with bristles right on them to make their pet feel comfortable, especially if it is easily scared or suspicious of new objects.

Another great way to keep your pet’s shed-quota down to a minimum is to consider regular professional grooming and even possibly shaving them for the summer months. This is a great idea if your pet is an outdoor cat who likes to roam or a big dog who loves to be outdoors. Getting rid of a luxurious but heavy coat in the summer can help your pet stay cool while your home will stay relatively fur-free.

    1. Train Them Firmly

While this tip doesn’t necessarily reduce pet hair all over, training your pets is still an important to establish boundaries and keep key places of your home fur-free.

You can use a combination of treats as a reward, light water sprays or sprays on the furniture itself to dissuade pets from coming up on them or using the surfaces as grooming posts.

It might be tempting to have your pet cuddle with you in bed but keep these boundaries firm and consistent. Your pet will definitely learn where he or she is allowed over time.

    1. Go To The Root Cause

They say that the key to a pet’s shiny coat is through diet – and they’re absolutely right. However, you can adjust a pet’s diet to address extra shedding as well. Encouraging a healthy coat through an organic diet that is free of by-products and fillers can do more damage to a pet than simply affect their fur.

If the excess shedding is a cause for concern or you see your pet itching themselves more than normal for their fur length, see scratches or bites on their skin, it may be a medical issue. This is something you can treat through medication, either digestible or through sprays for their fur.

Caring For Your Home

    1. Bedding

Keeping bedding and sheets free of pet hair is a tough thing to do but, with a little bit of persistence and some elbow grease, it’s absolutely doable. For pillows, blankets and bedding, use a dryer sheet to remove excess dog hair. Use the sheet like you would a dry duster, running it on the bedding. Added perk: your bedding will always smell laundry fresh!

    1. Couches and Living Rooms

For couches, use a damp rubber glove and run your hand over the surface of the upholstery. Wash out the glove and run it again until all fur has been eliminated. You can also use some throws to put over the couch as these can be easily washed intermittently.

Meanwhile, to keep your floors clean, you can use a premium device such as a quality vacuum cleaner made for your type of flooring. For hardwood floors, a dust mop is good, in combination with the vacuum, while a damp mop (not wet!) is best for tiled floors.

    1. Carpeting 101

Last, but certainly not the least, is carpeting. Carpeted floors and areas require consistent vacuuming. But owners may find that this doesn’t give them the kind of spotless clean they’d like. So ,a good trick is to spray the carpet, working in sections, with a light mist of water. Take a damp sponge and gently mop this area. This will clump and easily gather the hair so you can vacuum with more precision and effectiveness.