It is unusual to start an article by stating that we were fortunate to listen to four excellent presentation by accounting, legal and management professionals, the event organised by the Association of Professional Sri Lankans(APSL) was held at the Sri Lankan High Commission in London on the 18 Jan 2014 in our continuing “Ask the Expert” series.
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The first speaker Mr Suraj Wijendra gave an overview of the UK economy, with some crystal gazing into the future on topics such as signs of recovery, emerging trends and 2014 & beyond.
Suraj, graphically illustrated the trend of a declining manufacturing sector in the 70’s to an ever increasing service sector in the UK economy and provided an insight to the current UK debt, trends in employment, wages and inflation. He complimented his rational with an analysis of the housing market and the growth of retail sales via the internet.
Further, he concluded by stating that the UK will remain the fastest growing major European economy in 2014.
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Mr Rohan de Alwis a solicitor by profession, presented “Successful personal investing in Sri Lanka and the UK” and gave an insight into savings, surplus funds, with suggestions as to how to use extra cash to stay ahead of inflation.
Rohan’s presentation covered the topics of investments, how to invests, various methods of investing and the associated risks factors were explained and stressed the importance of retirement planning and ways to minimise your tax exposure with a poignant reminder that death and tax are two things you cannot avoid but taxes, with the right planning, can be minimised.
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The next speaker, Mr Thushara Madurasinghe gave an equally excellent presentation on “How to Budget & Manage Finances” with a simple suggestions to save £10000pa !!!, by tracking your expenses, the pros and cons of using credit cards, credit fitness and the importance of protecting your identify and emphasised the use of the internet to research websites such as Quidco for refunds on your purchases, ways to reduce the cost of rail tickets, energy and insurance bills to get the best discounts.
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Finally, our last speaker was Mrs Lushani Kodituwakku who gave a presentation on “Managing small and Medium Businesses” stressed the importance of three key areas ; understanding your business, how to survive the current market and raising finance & succession planning, with emphasis on knowing your customer with a clear vision of the end objectives and goals.
The meeting was extremely well attended with over 50 participants and was concluded with a lively Q&A session.
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Mr Ranjan Perera delivered the vote of thanks on behalf of the APSL President Mr Mervyn Silva and the executive committee.