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Quantitative Finance Collector is a blog on Quantitative finance analysis, financial engineering methods in mathematical finance focusing on derivative pricing, quantitative trading and quantitative risk management. Random thoughts on financial markets and personal staff are posted at the sub personal blog.

Mar 6
Having a major home makeover can really be a headache for so many. Not only that you need enough time in finishing this task, you will also need a huge amount of money. It will be hard for you to finish your home makeover if you have no enough budgets for it. What is much harder is when you don’t know how to manage your finances for your major home makeover.
There are people who spend more than what they plan to during the renovations. If you are not prepared, then the process may become a rocky road. However, there are actually some ways of managing your finances for your major home makeover. In fact, in this article, you’ll know some of which. But before we get there, let us discuss some important facts first.

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Major Home Makeover: What is it; is it necessary?
Having a major home makeover is actually a great way to enhance the beauty as well as the ambiance of your home. Not just that, it is also to make your living spaces more comfortable ones. Furthermore, your home is also a window to how to organize you is in your own life. Who would not want to have renovations or a wonderful makeover for their home?
It is necessary for you to have a major home makeover if you are not that much satisfied with the look of your home. And of course, if you have money for that! Because as what we’ve stated earlier, it may cost you a lot of money.

Major Home Makeover: Common Mistakes to Look Out For
Here are some of the common mistakes that you must look out for in planning for a major home makeover:
1.    Inappropriate Budgeting
We know that a budget is very important for a major project at home. However, ensuring that your budget is enough to cover the whole renovation project as you imagined is a must. The best way to do this is to make sure that your home makeover contractor gives you the well-detailed scope of their work to be finished.
2.    Lack of Planning
Planning is very important in having a major home makeover because as we’ve said earlier, it is a major investment. Having a plan is important in managing your home remodeling.
3.    Wrong Choice of Contractor
Having a home makeover is a major investment, thus having a qualified and skilled contractor is a must. Not because you don’t have enough budget, you will get an unqualified contractor, that’s a no-no, pal!
4.    Search for Quick Solutions
There is no easy way in doing a major makeover for your home. There is a need for a careful and thorough planning as well as execution to make sure that you are able to achieve the wanted results. Take time to research all the changes you want and need in doing a makeover for your home.

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Major Home Makeover: How to Manage Finances?

The above-mentioned common mistakes in having a major home makeover are the ones that we want to avoid. Well, part of which is managing the finances that we’ll be using in giving our home a makeover. Below are some tips on how you can manage your finances for your major home makeover.

·         Know where your money goes
After meeting and checking the references and already have the estimate with your trusted contractor, be so careful in drafting your contract. Make sure that your money will not be put to waste. Furthermore, also ensure that it will no go over budget.

·         Stick to your limit
Setting a budget is one of the most important things to do, and actually, it is also one of the most important parts of renovating. You must first price out the whole thing. Be prudent on your investment. There are some experts that may advise you to keep you a major home makeover for about 20%-30% of the market value of your home. This is for you to have a guarantee of a return on your investment.

·         Scale it back
Scaling back is not that hard, you may still have an amazing look even without leaving a huge amount of money. If you managed to stay roughly on your budget and on time, you may find yourself getting surprised by the amazing result.

That’s it, so if you are looking to renovate your home or make an astounding makeover for your home, you know now what to do! To sum it all up renovations is remodeling or getting your home some makeover to make it look even better and stunning according to your theme or likes. Of course, when upgrading or renovating your home make sure that this is done by experts for a quality result.

Sep 7
Fine wine is one of the highly rewarding investment options around. With high returns and a low-risk characteristic, fine wine represents one of the best ways to invest. Over the last couple of years, returns from investing in wine have remained stable even in the face of adversity. It even outperformed traditional big hitters such as stock and precious metals whose value deteriorated every time there was an economic crisis. Investing in wine is also not all that expensive and with a modest sum, you can begin your journey to greatness. Just like other forms of investments, there are different ways to invest in wine such as investing in vintage wine, wines of a certain quality or those from a specific region. You can choose to invest in just one of this option or several at a time with the latter proving the better option. This is because by diversifying your portfolio, you spread your risks and this helps cushion you from losses should one option fail to deliver. Diversification also increases your sources of revenue and this way you are able to enjoy better returns. Let’s now take a look at the various ways you can diversify your investment in fine wine.

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1. Buy wine ‘in bond’.
These are the wines whose VAT or duty tax has not been paid. Such wines are stored in custom-approved warehouses and duty tax is only applicable when you take possession of the wine. The warehouse owner is tasked with providing the best storage conditions for the wine to mature. Those without the best storage facilities can, therefore, pick this option as a way of investing in wine. Duty on the wine is calculated on the original price that you paid and not its current value. This is one of the incentives for investing in wine in bond. The other is that when you sell the wine while it is still in the warehouse, you don’t pay any duty at all. This responsibility is passed over to the buyer and your input in this whole process is the price you paid for the wine. Impressive isn’t it?

2. Wine “enprimeur”.
This is the wine that is still in the barrels. Such wine is still raw and investors can buy them several years before they are released. One of the advantages of buying wine enprimeur is the cost. You will pay less for a barrel than you would if you waited till the wine matures and is released. You could also end up buying vintage wines at a lower rate should you buy them enprimeur. The downside, however, is the fact that you may end up buying wine that is not as valuable as earlier imagined. There is a lot that goes into making wine valuable such as proper storage and failure to meet these conditions interferes with the quality.

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3. Buy and store the wine yourself.
This is another option when it comes to wine investment. You can buy wine and store it before selling it for a profit. You need to provide the best storage conditions to mature your wine so as to increase its value. Wine should be stored in a cold and dark environment and this makes your basement the best place to mature the wine. You can also use your closet to store wine if you live in a place with moderate climate. You can start with your favorite wine as you research to find out which the best performing wines are. You should also research to find out what the market for wine is like and the current going rates.

4. Wine funds.
This is a great option for investing in wine if you wouldn’t like to be weighed down by management decisions. Wine funds are large scale investors of wine and you can buy a stake in the funds by paying a small premium. You will also have to pay an annual fee for the management of your account. You will receive returns according to your investments on a regular basis as per the terms agreed in your contract.

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Investing in wine is one of the best decisions that you will ever make. The returns are high and the market for wine keeps increasing with each passing day.
Aug 5
Students get their education money through bursaries, funds from parent or guardian and few incomes over the holidays. Therefore as a student, the need for managing your money to ensure it meets all your demands throughout the entire semester is not a joke.  If you are not careful, you may find it hard to complete your course. As another struggle to get their plans in order, here are a few tips on how you can effectively manage your education and still enjoy your lifestyle.

1. Cut phone bills

Making calls is a necessity, but it does not mean you have to use the most expensive networks. You can find the most affordable service providers and secure a line with them. You can also sign in to Skype and start making free calls to your friends and family via your personal computer. This way, you will be not only able to manage your education money but also make substantial savings from the same.

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2. Make budget

Ensure you have a running budget. Put together all the money you receive within a specified period and budget appropriately. Budgeting helps you understand what you should do how much it will cost and if you must do. It also makes it easy for you to understand how much you spend. Additionally, in case something pops up, and you must do something that is not within your budget, you should ask to ensure you can answer yourself the following questions? Can I afford it? Do I have the money? Can I get the same at a lower price somewhere else? If your answer to any question is no, then you should think again.
When it’s time to socialize with friends, avoid taking your plastic cards with you and carry an amount of money that you will be happy to use. Lastly, on budgeting, you should always do your shopping at places where they give you a discount. If your student id can attract a better discount, don’t hesitate to do so.

3. Avoid credits

You already have a student loan, and you will start paying back immediately after graduation. Don’t add salt to an injury by taking other extensions of loans. If you carefully handle your student loan, it will not be possible for you to find yourself seeking some other loans. As a student, you should, by all means, avoid loans with high-interest rates from doorstep lenders and other payday lenders. These lenders have repayment terms that are hard especially for students with astronomical interest rates. If you find yourself in a crisis financially, you should seek help from student financial adviser before it’s too late.

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4. Avoid paying taxes

Students pay their taxes through NICs (National Insurance contributions) therefore, you should ensure to avoid paying any other taxes with your midterm income. Eventually, you will pay your taxes from all the money you receive, but that will not be sound financial planning if you are still a student.

5. Don’t buy contents insurance

Before you buy your own contents insurance, you can communicate with your parent's ad know if their content insurer can include your personal belongings within their coverage. If that is possible, then you can insure your most valuable things so as to cater for your other belongings in case they are damaged or stolen. Additionally, you can also ask your landlord if there is an insurance policy included in the rent you pay. After you have tried on all those lines, then you can think of getting your on contents insurance

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6. Avoid stung luxury

If you must live in private student accommodation, then you must ensure you can pay for the standards of living without having to overspend the little you have. Some luxuries as TV license for individual programs are not a necessity. Therefore, you can find rooms that pay for the license. However, if you must have the license personally, but you don’t feel like you utilize every cent you pay for since you only watch specific programs as they are aired, you can always ask for a refund if your license still has at least three months validity.

Jul 21
One fact is that high schools are only concentrating on teaching students of subjects that will only help them to pass exams and graduate. However, when it comes to the most important lesson of life, which is associated with finances, there is little or no information at all. In most high schools, kids learn about finances briefly without an inside story on how to save, invest, and plan the little you earn. Therefore, when they start earning, they start trial and error as they try to find their ground. This should not be the case. Parents, therefore, must wake up and lead in educating their young ones money matters.

Although your, child needs to be informed and ready for the market, graduating with the best grades alone is not enough. This is because there are lessons that will not help the child in life while the most valuable lesson was not taught. Here are a few ways on how to improve your child’s financial literacy as you usher him into the moneymaking industry.

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1. Learn together

As a parent, it’s obvious that you went through the same system and you are sure you did not get informed of the same. However, this does not mean you cannot help your child to make a difference. They should not follow the same direction you did. Therefore, you can start by learning different word and topics that are important, then take the gospel home and learn together with your kid. This way you will not only be helping your child on how to handle finances in future but also help yourself improve where you went wrong.

2. Start early

A habit develops culture or character. If you want your child to have a successful routine with smart money handling skills and strong work ethics, then you must start depositing early. When your child is still young, let them understand the importance of being financially literate. Engage the child in platforms that will help build a strong foundation at an early age, and you are, sure they will have the basics even when they are old.

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3. Set goals and budget

Let every member of the family set their own financial goals. This to be exciting, you can turn it into a contest with everyone onboard. Reward who has the best financial deals or the most savings in their account to motivate the rest. Additionally, ensure that everyone learns the importance of having a budget and setting goals towards meeting the budget. Some of these basics will help your child when s/he starts earning some money in future.

4. Walk your talk

Always remember that whatever you say, your child will observe to see if you are up to the standards.  Therefore, you must ensure that every detail you share about finances, you can meet. Although this can be a challenge especially if you are doing it for the first time.  However, you must ensure that your kid does not follow through to the wrong financial route.  Ensure to do the best and lead your child appropriately. Even if you will not be able to fulfill all your goals, ensure that your child can trace your efforts.

5. Talk to schools
Taking your child through financial steps alone can be tough. Although schools will never teach finance 100%, you can encourage them to concentrate on specific subjects and topics that give details on the same. In most schools, finance is not independent and therefore, it's only taught in an over view. When you talk to the school, you will not have so much to do while at home since the teachers will set the foundation for you to build on. However, this does not mean you take rest and leave the whole finance case to the school; you must take the time to play your role.

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6. Involve an expert

Don’t make the mistake of taking all the pressure alone. If you don’t have an answer to something or you are not sure about it, it’s time to seek help. Involve an expert in specified areas. There are people with answers to what you don’t know. Let someone help you to vary your options, advice on the best bank account for your child, how to budget and so on. This will help you relieve yourself and know better on what you did not know.


Remember all the steps that you take your child through are meant to help him. Her understand the basics of managing their money. Therefore, when they start earning, it’s always important to remind them what to do, when and how. This way, you will ensure they have a better understanding of what you have beenworking hard to teach them. Lastly, let your child understand the importance of keeping records on every coin they spend for easy accounting.
Jun 16
California is well-known for its top-quality wine varieties. In the US, the heart of the fine wine industry is in Napa Valley. The Napa region produces incredible varieties, however in spite of this great potential, many people still associate investment wine with Bordeaux wines from France. Napa’s success is just as grand. There are many regions in California that can make incredible wine. But somehow, Napa stands out. Distance and path dependency are fundamental elements that must be taken into consideration, as well as entrepreneurship and social capital because these technological leadership elements contribute to Napa’s competitive advantage.

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Napa Valley – investment predictions
Experts agree that Californian wines, mainly California Cabernet from Napa Valley, have increased tremendously in value between 2012 and 2015 (by roughly 33%) compared to France’s famous Bordeaux (by 24% increase). The position California holds at this point might actually increase because increasingly more winemakers argue that some varieties of California’s Cabernet from 2013 is much more qualitative than varieties from 2012.
Some experts agree that California has some of the best and most qualitative wineries in the world. An average bottle of Cabernet produced in California is currently priced at approximately $250. If you’re sure you want to make an investment, you have to split your money wisely. Settling on new ventures and sticking to the most established vintners might also be a sensible way to invest smart and get a profitable return on investment.

The future’s uncertain
Rumor has it that soon enough California might face similar challenges to Bordeaux wines at some point in the future. Even though a single case of Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon has increased tremendously since 2007 – reaching a total value of $25,000 – experts don’t guarantee that 5 years from now the value will remain the same.
Terroir is a core concept that shouldn’t be overlooked. It basically suggests which wines have potential, and which don’t. Key criteria are weather conditions, climate, soil, etc., thus crafting a proportional advantage that reflects in the geographically based name system. The premise is that Bordeaux may be the only type of wine that’s unique to the region; allegedly, no other wine has a similar taste.

Napa’s astounding reputation overcomes other wine varieties in the West
When it comes to fine wine, the issue of defining boundaries is not as daunting. The main reason this happens is because wine grows in enclosed valleys. Vineyards located in regions near California and Washington D.C. feature increased prices and scores for the wines they produce. Self-identification comes into play, which may eventually be essential to establishing a reputation.

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As soon as a certain winery has managed to win a reputation, the number of tourists increases and the level of knowledge depth accentuates. Nonetheless, physical properties don’t have that many people which they can use to thrive in the fine wine industry. Rating scales and wine experts argue that Northern and Central regions in California are just as capable as the West as far as wine production is concerned. If Santa Barbara already have wines that are renowned at a global scale, why aren’t Sonoma Pinots, Chardonnays, and Lodi Zinfandels as popular as the wines made in Napa Valley?
A great place to start is with a common notion called “path dependency”. Simply put, Napa came first, therefore it has timing advantages. In the wine industry, terroir is a concept that perfectly describes why location is fundamental. It basically involves a blend of soil, climatic and additional conditions that may provide each location with a stamp that is unique when producing the wine.

As technology advances, people will become more drawn to “amenities” like scenic surroundings and pleasant weather conditions. This basically explains the relocation factor to the South. Several of Napa Valley’s wines are included in the Robert Parker score rating system.

A wine merchant in Napa, namely Colgin Cellars, makes superb wines from vineyards located atop Mount Pritchard. The winery was founded in 1992, and over the years it has managed to score 9 Robert Parker scores, worth 100 points since 2002. The wine that has all the attention is the IX Estate Red Wine, which is a classic Bordeaux mix of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Super Tuscan, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. Bottom line, there’s great potential in Napa wine, and the scores are living proof that they do contribute to people’s willingness to invest or not to invest.

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