Think of ‘alternative finance’ and the offbeat, yet well-trodden routes to maintaining long-held wealth might spring to mind – like storing cases of vintage wine in the basement, waiting for their value to rise. Alternatively, you might think of revolutionary new ways of trading, like BitCoin, which has caused an unexpected disruption in the financial world. But would you consider lending from person to person as the new, truly alternative way to make the most of your money?
P2P (peer-to-peer funding) has made a – sometimes overlooked – impact on the financial market; mainly through its ability to fill the space left by banks as they tightened their belts on lending in the wake of the financial crash. One place, however, where its impact has yet to become fully recognised – is what it offers lenders and investors.
Obliterating the Barriers to Entry
One of the keys to making investments work for you is by having a well diversified portfolio. The investments that offer the best returns often come with the highest risk, so naturally, you are going to want to offset that potential risk with lower return, less risky choices.
While understandable in theory, this becomes problematic when a) you only have so much money to invest and b) you are not given the ability to manage your portfolio.
One of the advantages of crowdfunding for business is that there are traditionally low entry costs – so not only is it easier for those with less to lend to cultivate a diverse portfolio; but the platforms are designed to allow people total autonomy over their lending profiles.
High Risk; Higher Reward
Savings rates have trundled along at a pitifully low rate for years now, and the returns on traditionally safe investments like ISAs are low, even if you have several thousand pounds to commit to them.
This is just one of the things that makes investing in crowdfunding platforms such an attractive option. The returns available often surpass traditional savings rates; plus, you can benefit from tax relief schemes like SEIS (Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme). Much like stocks and shares, you are also eligible to receive IPOs, dividends and, should the company be acquired, benefit from that, as well.
Invest in People; Not in Faceless Corporations
If you’ve read this far, we imagine you’ll understand when we say: money is personal.
Hard-earned and carefully considered before being lent or invested, even most gamblers would think twice before putting their money on a good bet in a sport or cause that they don’t believe in.
Crowdfunding for business isn’t like investing in a faceless corporation, or a bond that you hand your money to and forget about for years to come. They give you the opportunity to connect with the businesses and the entrepreneurs behind them – the people who are putting their heart and soul into making their dream happen. See an idea or a person you believe in? You can make an informed decision and put your weight behind them.
Unlike stock options, crowdfunded enterprises are all about potential – just take a look at some of the pitches on the Crowd for Angels platform. These aren’t cold and impersonal numbers and statistics. These are real businesses, real people and real potential.
So if you’re looking for good returns and don’t mind giving commission– hire an agent and hope for the best. But if you’re looking for great returns and total control over your own portfolio – crowdfunding is the smart choice for you.