Monzo is a smart-phone only digital bank – sometimes called a ‘Neobank’ in some news articles. I’ve been using it over the last few months and wanted to share it with P2PBlog readers particularly as a smart way to spend money (and save fees) when travelling abroad. It’s probably not one for those who are cautious of sharing their private data with 3rd parties, but there are some key benefits of using the app which I will cover in this review. For the time being, the major draw is no fees on foreign cash withdrawals, though unfortunately this may be about to change. Read more “Monzo Review: (For Now) an Ideal Pre-Paid Card for Frequent Travellers”
…a world of change
Guest content from Angus Dent, CEO of P2P lending platform ArchOver
Glancing at the news, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Brexit spelled the end of days for British business. Recent research by Citibase, which surveyed over 1,100 SMEs, revealed that small businesses in the UK are suffering from the prospect of leaving the EU, as one in five companies surveyed recorded a fall in revenues since the historic referendum result. This increasingly bleak picture of the post-Brexit UK economy has left the finance industry on edge about what is to come. Read more “Brexit: an opportunity for peer to peer lenders in…”
I invested in the Nutmeg robo-advisor service at the end of the last tax year to use up my ISA allowance. There are often great cashback offers run by Quidco* and Topcashback* – in my case I had a £170 cashback for a £5,000+ investment which works out at an additional 3.4% return. At this moment in time it seems as neither cashback site has a link for Nutmeg, but offers may come up towards the end of the tax year as these companies fight for investor cash.
I often get questions from readers and other bloggers asking if I know where to find performance data for robo-advisors. I’ve made a comparison tool of the fees (link: Compare Robo-Advisors) but have struggled to find good data on actual performance. The way these advisors work is to ask you questions about your investment goals and risk tolerance and then design an allocation of ETFs for you. In my case I created 2 portfolios with Nutmeg: one of the absolute highest risk (high risk tolerance and 50 year time frame) and one of the absolute lowest risk. I will try to find a way to export the data and compare to basic low cost ETF trackers but for now here is the summarised data of the last 5 and half months for my Nutmeg portfolios: Read more “Nutmeg Robo-Advisor Performance Update”
Given the huge volatility and risks involved, buying cryptocurrency could be the worst investment decision you ever make. For me, it is a bit like the dot com boom: many people recognise that this technology may change the world and are just throwing money at any opportunity to profit from the change. At the same time, historically owners of cryptocoins like Bitcoin have made massive returns and it is interesting to understand how to buy cryptocurrency directly if you want some exposure. This article starts with a basic intro to cryptocurrency, then goes on to show you 3 ways you can obtain them yourself.
Before you read any further, look at these two tweets from a bitcoin analyst as a caution before investing any money: Read more “Buying CryptoCurrency (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin etc.)”
UOWN is a Property Crowdfunding platform which allows the public to buy individual shares in UK properties. You can invest in a property via the UOWN platform and receive dividends from ongoing rental income and share in potential capital growth. If you join the site, one of the things you’ll notice is that all of the properties listed so far are student rentals. As the student rental market is quite a hot topic at the moment, I asked Sam Davies of UOWN to share some of his understanding of the market:
In the property crowdfunding market, investors have a huge range of property types to choose from. One property type that has always divided opinion is student property. Historically, some people have chosen to steer clear citing the propensity for students to damage fixtures and fittings, and the intense management needed, as not worth the headache. But with the recent staggered removal of income tax relief on mortgage interest, and higher transaction costs from a stamp duty surcharge on buy to let, the government has firmly put the brakes on the market.
Now more people are turning to student property to get the returns that they desire. With that in mind, what are the underlying fundamentals of the student market and what is in store with Brexit on the horizon? Read more “The Student Rental Market”
I’ve been preparing my UK personal self assessment returns to include P2P and Property Crowdfunding income. This posts looks at what I’ve found to be technically necessary and follows up with my interaction with the platforms I invest in: exporting tax reports and specific tax questions. I’ve already written about how the UK government calculates tax on P2P income here, but have pasted in the relevant parts: Read more “UK P2P Self Assessment Taxes”
A number of continental European peer to peer lending platforms run cashback promotions for new customers. To qualify for these cashback offers you generally have to sign up via a special referral link or use a promo code on sign up. There’s two elements to most EU platforms bonuses:
- A small completely free bonus on sign up, usually around €5
- A percentage of your average investment balance over the first few months
CurrencyFair is a low-cost way to do international money transfers. I first wrote about it when researching how to transfer money to European P2P lending sites. CurrencyFair charge a fee of €3/£2.50 to transfer out money, is generally free to transfer in money, and a 0.25% or 0.3% fee on the currency exchange itself.
CurrencyFair claim that around 10% of their transfers actually beat the interbank rate. This is because the matching is done internally on a peer to peer basis. Here are a couple of tips to help you get the best possible exchange rate when using CurrencyFair with an example I did earlier today. Read more “How to Get a Better Exchange Rate on CurrencyFair”
Frazer Fearnhead, founder and CEO of The House Crowd, explains how he turned frustration with the banks into a multi-million pound idea:
The idea for The House Crowd was sparked almost entirely from frustration.
It was 2011, and I’d hit hard times thanks to the 2008 financial crisis. A time when many people were struggling due to the banks’ greed.
I’d left my career as a music industry lawyer to go into property full time. And why not? It stood out as one of the simplest and most rewarding investment options around. However, there was one huge problem: accessibility.
Two years after the financial crisis, there were plenty of opportunities to invest, but it was proving impossible for normal people to receive the finance to get back in the game.
Suddenly the answer was obvious: why not cut out the banks, crowding people together to invest and share the profits? Read more “Frazer Fearnhead on Property Crowdfunding”