Utility Warehouse distributor

Is The Utility Warehouse Business a Credible Investment Model?

Is The Utility Warehouse Business a Credible Investment Model?

Graph of £88,000 invested in a FTSE 100 tracker over 5 years vs. my Utility Warehouse Business income

Graph of £50,000 invested in a FTSE 100 tracker over 5 years vs. my Utility Warehouse business income

Graph of £50,000 invested in a FTSE 100 tracker over 5 years vs. my Utility Warehouse business income
* Credit to London Stock Exchange for FTSE data

Read to the end for a full commentary on this graph of my Utility Warehouse business income for the past five years vs. £88,000 invested in the FTSE 100 over the same period.

Comparison of Top Six Investment Models vs. The Utility Warehouse Business Opportunity

Ok – it may not be the catchiest title but this blog is significant. Let me take you back to 2010. I was in Croydon hotel at a Utility Warehouse business “Opportunity Presentation”, a presentation explaining the business opportunity. I had seen this many times before, and always liked to attend to accompany guests and to network with other Utility Warehouse Partners. Three quarters the way through the presentation, one of the co-presenters emphasised “The Utility Warehouse business opportunity is a saleable, willable asset”.

Penny Dropped Moment

My jaw dropped open – at least in my head. There must have been some kind of physical manifestation of my surprise because the presenter came over to me and said “That was a penny dropped moment wasn’t it?!”. It was. I realised that this passive income that I was building up was even more than the pension that I had hoped it would be. This would be an income for my children as well when I have left this earth. That was a whole paradigm shift in the way I viewed the Utility Warehouse business opportunity.

Top Six Investment Models

Here’s the rundown of the top six investment models as I see them. At the end, I pull it together with a comparison with The Utility Warehouse business opportunity and explain how we arrive at the comparison graph at the top of this article

6. Trading Stocks & Shares

It is possible to make money on the stock exchange but the statistics are against you. Approximately 97% of all professional fund managers (someone who gets paid to pick stocks & shares by clients who invest in their ‘pick of the bunch’ known as a fund) fail at beating the average growth of the London Stock Exchange over a modest time period.

That’s right – 97% of all those people with highly paid jobs, champagne lifestyles and often arrogant attitudes. Those people who you see on TV, on the train going to “manage their hedge fund” (decide which, if any stocks & shares they are going to buy / sell that day), 97% of those people fail to beat the average.

In my personal opinion it’s a mugs game. You are better off investing in a FTSE 100 or FTSE 250 tracker that compounds interest. That’s pretty much the conclusion of the absolutely superb book ‘Ouch’ by Paul Knott (see “further reading” below).

Tony Robbins famed for his inspirational courses, talks and books, decided to write his first book for 20 years; surprisingly he chose to write about money and his book “Money, Master the Game” is quite a tome at 688 pages. The conclusion of his book is ultimately the same as “Ouch”, the only differences being that Tony’s book has a more US bias and is, a bit of a sales pitch for his ‘special fund’.

5. Penny Shares

With some diligent work and research, it is possible to skew the risk / reward ratio sufficiently to make some share dealing worthwhile . The AIM (Alternative Investment Market) is a collection of companies that are not quite at the level required to be on the LSE. Some are high-risk start-ups, some are solid, well established companies.

I personally subscribe to The Penny Share Letter by Agora Financial which effectively does all of the research for you and gives one recommendation (as a minimum) per month. The results are impressive. They aren’t all winners but the vast majority are. There are a few share dealing platforms out there, I personally use IG as they are pretty cheap and cater for the home-investor. I believe there are some disruptive trading platforms coming online with lower costs but I have not experienced or researched to date.

4. Binary Trading

The only other method of investing in the stock market that I do rate is a relatively short term method known as ‘binary trading’. Agora Financial produce a guide on how to do this effectively. It does take some groundwork and a fair time investment but, if you are interested in playing the stock market – this is the way to do it in my opinion.

The crucial benefit of binary trading is that your losses are much more limited that with traditional share dealing. You are effectively betting that a certain share / currency / asset (gold etc) will hit a certain value in a particular timeframe. Your exposure is therefore limited to your bet. You don’t have to actually buy the asset which, for the same return would give you much greater exposure. I use binary.com as it is simple, straightforward and very cheap.

3. ISAs / Savings Accounts

Safe as houses, but boring as it gets when it comes to real returns. Except for the tracker ISAs, which over time will give 10-12%. Enough said.

2. Tracker Funds

In the UK a FTSE 100 or FTSE 250 tracker with the profits reinvested to compound is one of the very best ways of investing your hard earned cash.

1. Property

The number one way of making money – in my opinion, based on the evidence of those who have amassed great wealth is: property. Bricks and mortar. It is consistently the most solid, lucrative and leverage-able form of investment there is.

Alan Sugar – think he made all his money from his technology companies (Amstrad etc)? Think again – the vast majority of Allan Sugar’s wealth comes from rental income on properties that he rents out and on properties that he has sold for a profit.

McDonalds – if you have seen the film ‘The Founder’ you will know that they are not a food company, they are a property company. McDonalds buy the land and the franchisees rent the premises from them. This is their passive, predictable, unfluctuating income stream. The burgers are gravy (pardon the pun).

There are three main ways of making money from property:

  1. Buy, Develop, Sell

    The classic model that most dabblers tend to approach. Some are very successful at it. In my personal opinion it is generally a rather short sighted approach. Property automatically appreciates in value all the time. It took less than two years for property values to recover from the 2007 crash. As soon as you sell, you lose the leverage that the gain in value gives you. That said, there is always a right time to make the break and sell up.

  2. Buy to Let

    Once a very popular way of gaining a modest passive income, this method has massively dropped in popularity following the government’s recent tax changes in the UK. It is still possible to make money using this method but it is now a tougher proposition and the returns are modest.

    The one exception to this currently appears to be the lucrative central London market. Property prices are high, but so are rents. Rental usage is very high in London due to the transient nature of the people living there. Therefore demand is high and rental rates are comparatively high.

    There are some developers offering a service where you can part-invest in a development. The idea is that you re-mortgage your house, take £20k-£50k out at (current mortgage rates) around 2-5% and invest it into a buy to let London cherry-picked development. The returns are around 12%. The benefit of this model is that the returns come relatively fast – within a year or two and you can do it with no funds (re-mortgage).

    My Property Expert is a company offering this service. Disclaimer – I am professionally linked to Eyeedul at My Property Expert.

  3. Homes of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs)

    This method is also subject to the new tax laws in the UK, however it is sufficiently profitable that this is not a problem. When I go into property investing, this is the route that I am planning to take.

    You buy a property, get permission from the council to create an HMO (not usually too difficult – there’s often high demand), convert it into bedsits and let them out individually on a flat rate – bills included. The market for this type of accommodation is growing. Two obvious users of HMOs: Students and DSS. Students pay their rent termly, in advance – they’re fantastic payers. DSS with solid benefits make perfectly good tenants as long as you conduct your due diligence. And of course the growing market of single professionals.

  4. The Golden Rule of Investing

    Einstein famously said that “Compound Interest is the most powerful force in the universe” and he was right. Reinvest your gains, have a plan about what level you are going to get to.

    Other Methods

    Of course there are other methods of investing: foreign exchange trading, bitcoin etc (all of the ‘blockchain’ crypto-currency market is going to plummet in the next 2-3 years in my opinion), p2p lending / crowdfunding etc. These and similar methods are too risky to be within the scope of this article.

    Bottom Line

    Own property, leverage it (re-mortgage), own more, convert to HMO, rent rooms out. Wait for the value to raise, wash, rinse, repeat. Put the profits into a FTSE 250 tracker. Set proper life goals and plan your financial activities around these. Your wealth will grow faster, the more you reinvest but, of course the point of all this is to enjoy your money.

    Conclusion: The Utility Warehouse Business as a Passive Income vs. Investment

    Here’s the second “penny dropped moment” that I got from that seminar in Croydon. £88,000 invested in a FTSE 100 tracker with a 0.5% fee would give you a monthly income of £355. If you go out and gather 120 Utility Warehouse customers, that will give you the same return, plus bonuses along the way.

    I worked consistently gathering customers for the first 3 years of building my Utility Warehouse business, that got me to around 120 customers. I didn’t break any records, qualified for very few of the incentives that they offered but, doggedly and persistently I drove the business forward a couple of evenings a week and sometimes half a day at weekends. That gave me an income equivalent to having £88k in the bank.

    You can read an earlier blog that I wrote on the income that my Utility Warehouse business generated from day zero here.

    With that information – you have a balanced summary to make a decision for yourself. The rest, I leave up to you.

    Further Reading

    Having been fascinated with the concept of passive income for most of my adult life, I have studied many forms and looked at the patterns of investment and behaviour of the super-rich. Some of the publications that I recommend for greater understanding on this subject are:

    Disclaimer

    The views and opinions expressed in this article are simply the opinion of the author and do not constitute financial advice either explicit or implied. Always seek the advice of a professional, qualified financial advisor before making an investment decision.

Utility Warehouse Changes for 2018

Utility Warehouse Changes for 2018

Utility Warehouse changes and improvements have made a significant difference to the customer and Partner proposition in 2018:

Utility Warehouse Changes the Partner fee to £50

Utility Warehouse Changes Reduction

There are now two options when signing up as a Utility Warehouse Partner:

  1. £50 Option to being a Utility Warehouse Partner. If you choose this route, you need to follow these steps:
    1. Sign up as a Utility Warehouse customer by clicking on the “Save Money” link in the menu bar above.
    2. Once you have completed the signup process, you will be given a membership number. Make a note of this.
    3. Apply to be a Utility Warehouse Partner by clicking on the “apply now” link on the right hand side of this page
    4. Enter you Utility Warehouse membership number in the box labelled “Utility Warehouse customer account number”
    5. Choose whether you want the company branded tablet or are happy to use your own tablet / laptop. See this blog post for more information.
    6. Complete the form and submit. You will automatically be charged the discounted rate of £50.
  2. £100 option. If you choose this route, there is no requirement to sign up as a Utility Warehouse customer first.
    1. Apply to be a Utility Warehouse Partner by clicking on the “apply now” link on the right hand side of this page

What Happens Next?

Once you have completed the online application form, you will receive a confirmation email from Utility Warehouse head office. Within 24 hours you will receive your unique “Executive ID number” and access to the online portal provided by Utility Warehouse, known as “The Partner Portal”. From there, you will be guided through your early steps as a Utility Warehouse Partner, including:

  • Completing online training
  • Uploading a passport style photo for your ID card
  • Agreeing to the OFGEM regulations agreement
  • Booking your classroom training from one of the hundreds of training centres nationwide
  • Ordering your optional piggy shaped business cards
  • …and many more

To find out what you get in return for your application fee, see the FAQ page here.

Extra Benefits for “Daffi Double-Gold Homeowner” Customers

Utility Warehouse Changes

A “Daffi Double-Gold Homeowner” customer is a homeowner who takes all four services available: energy (gas or electricity), telephone line, broadband, mobile phone. For those customers who qualify, Utility Warehouse may offer extra benefits. See http://www.utilitywarehouse.org.uk/ for more information.

Mobile Phone Signal Booster Box

Utility Warehouse Changes Femtocell

For years, Vodafone was the only company to offer a mobile phone booster box – a “Femtocell”. Then EE came into the market and now that the technology has been honed and perfected, Utility Warehouse are offering the equivalent product.

This means that Utility Warehouse mobile phone customers can now enjoy 5 bars of coverage in their home. The booster box plugs straight into their internet router and within minutes it is boosting the Utility Warehouse mobile signal within the customers home. I have one of these myself and it works perfectly for calls and texts. It cannot be used for data – your phone will automatically pick up data from the router instead while calls and texts will run through the booster. Just one of the great Utility Warehouse changes in 2018!

Utility Warehouse Changes the Partner Commission Structure With Larger Up-Front Payments for Gathering Customers

One of the most significant Utility Warehouse changes that has been introduced is the “QUIP” QUick Income Plan. This enables Partners who opt-in to be paid a lump sum for signing up Daffi Double-Gold customers. This up front payment replaces the usual monthly commission that would otherwise be paid for the first five years of that customer being with Utility Warehouse. After the five years is up, regular monthly commissions are paid as normal.

I’m always very honest on this blog and I have to admit that when I heard about QUIP, I wasn’t entirely positive. For me, Utility Warehouse has always structured their commission programme very ethically by paying Partners with small monthly commission payments over a long period of time, rather than by incentivising with large up-front payments. It is a well known fact that the door-knockers of old that were part of the marketing strategy of the ‘big 6’ used to be paid a large up-front commission to tie customers into contracts. This is partly what earned them a poor reputation. Historically, Utility Warehouse rarely tied customers into long contracts (with the exception of a brand new phone line install).

Having reflected on “QUIP” for a while now, here are my conclusions:

  • The customers who qualify you for a QUIP bonus are those who take almost all of The Utility Warehouse services. Therefore they are making the most significant savings.
  • All “QUIP” customers are receiving free, professionally fitted LED lightbulbs (see above) so they are getting a benefit that no other supplier can currently offer.
  • The tie-in that Utility Warehouse do need to apply for QUIP customers to make it commercially viable is ethically structured: There is a fair buy-back on the free LED light bulbs that operates on a sliding timescale.
  • From a Partner point of view, approximately 10% of your customers will be QUIP if you offer all of the services on every appointment. That means that your monthly commission is likely to increase in the short term but not significantly.
  • From the point of view of gaining increased motivation as a brand new Partner, QUIP is excellent as it allow you as someone brand new to the business to earn a meaningful commission. My first residual commission payment was £6.75 which came four months after I started. It took significant patience, persistence and hard work to keep going to the point where I was earning so much that Utility Warehouse funded a company car for me.

This is one of the most significant Utility Warehouse changes to come into effect and it is certain to make a big difference to customers and Partners in 2018.

Utility Warehouse Changes Include Training Improvements: Sign Up Customers With Only Online Training

Utility Warehouse Changes Online Training Keyboard Picture with "learn" key highlighted.

It is a much, much simpler task to sign up a new customer than when I started as a Utility Warehouse Partner back in 2009. Back then, there were paper forms in duplicate, it was very, very easy to make a mistake and that would delay the application process etc. As an engineer, I was fairly good with detail but I still had many forms come back with errors.

Now, with these new Utility Warehouse changes, the entire sale and quotation process has been made foolproof. This has been partly helped by the government’s initiative to force suppliers to add comparable prices and greater clarity to bills. All suppliers must now quote annual usage for the past twelve months and a predicted price for the next 12 months based on the same usage profile.

During an appointment, rather than have to get a calculator out and dig into piles of paper, it is simply a case of pressing the screen on a tablet to show a series of short videos and then input the customer’s data into an interactive online form (there is an offline backup version too if you don’t have internet access). You can get the few figures you do need from their most recent bill or answer a few simple questions with them using drop down menu choices to get a quotation.

Utility Warehouse have, for some time now required all new Partners to complete a series of online training modules and in addition attend classroom training. Whilst it is still highly recommended to attend classroom training, it is now possible to go to customer appointments, having only completed the online training course. There is an assessment within each module to maintain high quality results.

Are Utility Warehouse Always the Cheapest?

No – there are a small number of people out there who are better off not signing up to Utility Warehouse . For those people who compare ppkWh tariffs – the honest truth is that much of the time Utility Warehouse is not the cheapest in the marketplace. The question I ask potential customers is: what are they more concerned about: the ppkWh rate or the amount of money the utility company takes out of their bank account every month?

Energy rates with Utility Warehouse often drop with the addition of services – customers who are able to take telephone & broadband get a better deal and – they get currently 25% off their telephone & broadband. Customers who take the Cashback card typically get £25 – £40 off their utility bill and it is often more with big purchases and around Christmas time. We have been Utility Warehouse customers since 2008 and in 9 years we have had over £4000 in cashback – and we are not particularly big spenders.

Understanding the above concept and having the decency to walk away from an appointment when it is not the best thing for the prospect to sign up to Utility Warehouse is, in my opinion the key to making a success of this business. The only quality that is more important is the ability to get lots of “no’s” and keep moving forward – keep making appointments. Put those two qualities together and you will make a success in this business as a Utility Warehouse Partner.

Questions, comments? Please advise your thoughts in the form below, I read them all!

Utility Warehouse Partners: 5 Surprising Reasons Why Women Make A Success

Utility Warehouse Partners: 5 Surprising Reasons Why Women Make A Success

5 surprising reasons women make great Utility Warehouse Partners

Since I started out as a UW Partner in 2009, I’ve signed up 45 fantastic people to my happy team. I sat down last night to crunch the numbers, and discovered that 65% of them are women. Yes, 29 ladies have signed up as Utility Warehouse Partners – and that’s just with me. I thought it would be interesting to look at why women make particularly good Utility Warehouse Partners.

There are currently just over 40,000 Utility Warehouse Partners in the UK, so we could make an assumption that there are at least 26,000 women out there making more money for their families, their households, and themselves by working part-time.

Utility Warehouse Partners Women Silhouette

Here are 5 reasons why women become UW Partners (some of them may surprise you!)

  1. Women thrive on getting things done One of the first reasons people will give for not becoming a Utility Warehouse Partners is time. “I’m too busy”, “I already work long hours”, “I don’t have enough spare time.” Women tend to not have these objections – probably because they’re better at getting lots of things done. Ladies are already used to successfully juggling roles. Adding “become a Utility Warehouse Partner” to their list doesn’t seem to be a problem. In fact, they relish it!
  2. Ladies understand the value of an extra £200-£300 I’ve found that the women in my team immediately understand just how valuable an extra £200-300 would be to their household income or their personal disposable income. They just seem to be able to grasp how useful that sort of sum would be, and how it could be allocated to ease the family’s bills or to save up for a treat like a holiday or new car. Of course, £200 is just the beginning… many of the men and women in my team earn much more from slotting Utility Warehouse activity into the nooks and crannies of their day.
  3. Women enjoy developing their social skills and self-confidence This might sound like a generalisation, but I’ve found that many women come to Utility Warehouse seeking something. Over the years, they’ve lost a bit of their identity. Perhaps it’s down to parenthood, or maybe the kids have actually left home. The family atmosphere of a Utility Warehouse team gives them a new friendship group and enables them to work on their personal development. It’s not the reason they sign up, but it’s a fantastic hidden benefit!
  4. It’s a great “little hobby” once the kids have left home Lots of the ladies in my Utility Warehouse team find themselves at a bit of a loose end now the kids have left home to go to University, go travelling, or set up home of their own. Utility Warehouse gives them a real sense of achievement, independence and confidence. It’s much more than a hobby, or a part-time job (although that’s how many of them refer to it). And of course the extra income it generates really helps them branch out with new activities, holidays with hubby, or home improvement jobs. It’s refreshing!
  5. Utility Warehouse generates extra income to for holidays, house or grandkids! How do you think you’d spend an extra £200 a month? The ladies on my team tend to use it for holidays with friends or family, spend it on finally doing up the home or garden, making a one-off purchase (often something they’ve dreamed of for ages, like a car), or treating the grandchildren. One thing’s for sure, the women on my team of Utility Warehouse Partners are all enjoying life to the max!
  6. Do you agree that women make great Utility Warehouse Partners? Would love to hear your comments. Perhaps I’ll blog next time about the characteristics you need to make your UW business a success.

A Decision: Utility Warehouse Pay

A Decision: Utility Warehouse Pay

Decision

Utility Warehouse Partners have all made the same decision. We have all signed the form or clicked the “sign up now” button and we all have the same opportunity.

About 40,000 people in the UK have done the same. It sounds a lot but it’s a tiny proportion of the adult population. Of those 40k about 8000 have actually built their business and are receiving Utility Warehouse pay. Of those 8000 about 600 are significantly successful and have achieved their Utility Warehouse mini.

Having been in this business for 5 years I was pretty embarrassed a few months ago to watch those around me picking up their mini and enjoying reduced financial pressure because of thier consistent effort.

On 10th February this year I had surgery to remove my tonsils. It is not pleasant at any age, but it is particularly risky above the mid 20’s. On 11th February I made a decision to qualify for my Utility Warehouse mini. It was possibly the worst time in the past 5 years to make that decision and the timing is never right. I just decided. With a searing pain in my throat, I made call after call after call. I hit 700 minutes on the phone in my first 5 days. By 13th February I had sent the email to head office requesting my mini. It arrives next month.


Utility Warehouse pay

Excuses

It is easy to make excuses not to do this business. “I’m tired”, “I’m in pain”, “I’m busy”, “I don’t want to lose time with my children”… I have used them all but the cold hard truth is that we would not have the roof over our heads right now if it were not for the income that I have built up over the past 5 years. This week I have been out on appointments almost every night. Was it tough? Yes. Did I enjoy it? Not as much as being at home with my kids. Is it worth it? Damm right.

Utility Warehouse Pay

Last month I picked up £3000 in share options for work I did 4 years ago. That was on top of the gathering bonus and the cvc that Utility Warehouse pay for those customers every month. This month we have enrolled our eldest son into a private school. Not to be snobby but because it’s our only real option. We could only do this because of our Utility Warehouse pay.


Make your decision today, make the right one for you.

You can get more information on the Utility Warehouse business opportunity here: Utility Warehouse pay

Utility Warehouse Partner Earnings: How Much Can You Earn?

Utility Warehouse Partner Earnings: How Much Can You Earn?

Utility Warehouse Partner Earnings

Utility Warehouse Piggy

One of the most often asked questions is:

How much can I earn as a Utility Warehouse Partner?”

The stock answer to this is: it depends how hard you work. While true, this article aims to give a more full and complete answer. There are two main ways that Utility Warehouse Partners are paid:

  • CGB – Customer Gathering Bonus.
    This is a one-off bonus that you are paid when introducing a new member to The Utility Warehouse Discount Club. It takes around an hour to sign someone up (full training is provided). The amount of CGB varies from £2.50 to £40 depending on how many services the customer takes. Typically the CGB is £20 per customer. On this basis you are paid £20 for about an hours work.
  • CVC – Customer Volume Commission.
    This is the ongoing commission that you earn as a Utility Warehouse Partner. CVC is the powerful part of your Utility Warehouse Partner earnings. Every month when your customers pay their bills, you will receive a slice of their bill as commission. The commission levels vary between services. On average a typical four service customer will earn you £5 per month. A four service customer will usually be taking home phone, broadband, gas and electricity. If they take mobile as well, then you earn more.

So the harder you work, the more you get paid? Well yes, that is accurate. Also remember that the CVC starts to be paid to you around five months after you sign the customer up. This is because of the billing and commission process.

Achieve £500 Per Month by the End of Your First Year in Utility Warehouse Partner Earnings

Apply to be a Utility Warehouse Partner Here

As Utility Warehouse Partners we are trained to explain that if you gather two customers a week for your first year, that is a hundred customers. With a hundred customers, you can expect to earn about £500 per month in ongoing commission (CVC). It took me four years to gather my first hundred customers, so I have worked comparatively slowly. Keith Bassi, another Utility Warehouse Partner did work at this business hard in his first couple of years. He achieved 200 customers in his first two years. You can see Keith here:

Training

Keith has now given up full-time employment and is a Utility Warehouse company trainer. He trained me on my first training and I am honestly very grateful for his excellent training style. A lot of the finer details that Keith mentioned have stayed with me even though I have re-trained many times since. There is also an fantastic online training course that you can use anytime to sharpen your Utility Warehouse skills!

Utility Warehouse Partner Earnings – an Example

Utility Warehouse Earnings Graph

This graph shows my Utility Warehouse Partner earnings from the day I signed up in July 2009. There have been a couple of unusual months due to business customers of mine clearing their slate. The overall trend is clear – if you keep working, the commission keeps increasing. I do have a reasonable number of customers who live in smaller properties and this is why the CVC is not quite £500 per month. The bottom line is that this commission keeps coming in regardless of whether I do any work or not – for as long as my customers remain with Utility Warehouse. Since 96% of Utility Warehouse customers say that they would recommend the company to a friend, the customer retention rates are excellent.

Get Paid For Resting in Bed

This sounds too good to be true and my experience is that if something sounds too good to be true, there is always a reason. Here’s the story: I have suffered from recurrent tonsillitis since the age of 19 and have had a some painful experiences as a result. Last month I had my tonsils removed. At the age of 34 that is not a straightforward procedure and the recovery is slow and painful.

The great thing about my Utility Warehouse Partner earnings is that I kept getting paid all the time I was in bed recovering. So is it too good to be true? Well, I did do the work to sign the customer in the first place. That’s the catch that most people fall foul of. There is work involved, you do need to pick up the phone and call people you know. I am nearly fully recovered now and looking forward to receiving my Utility Warehouse mini in a month’s time!

Sign Up Now as a Utility Warehouse Partner

Want to start building your own Utility Warehouse Partner earnings? Click here and sign up now as a Partner.

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