The Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) is a tax efficient investment product which allows individual retail investors to grow returns by investing directly into growing British businesses on peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding sites.
Crowd2Fund is one of just a handful of platforms which has received full approval from the Government, direct certification from the FCA before launching their IFISA product.
Current market volatility, record low interest rates and a generally low return investor environment has seen the IFISA become increasingly popular as savers and investors now more than ever look to be more savvy with their investments, and make their money do more for them. The recent interest rate cut to 0.25%, and the pound’s depreciation against a number of different currencies have led to traditional savings products not being the safe havens that they once were.
Additionally, whilst there are riskier investments on the market which can sometimes still offer decent returns, investors cannot always be so sure about their position on these opportunities due to a lack of transparency plaguing the wider investment market.
What Is The IFISA?
The IFISA is a new financial product introduced by the Government in the current tax year.
It allows UK individuals to invest up to £15,240 (in the tax year 2016/17) into qualifying debt based crowdfunding platforms.
Debt based crowdfunding platforms, like Crowd2Fund, allow for individuals to lend money directly to businesses seeking loan finance. Typically, the returns offered by debt crowdfunding are significantly higher than those offered by savings accounts and cash ISAs. Even more so via the handful of platforms like Crowd2Fund, whereby investing direct into businesses, disintermediating the banks and third party institutions, frees up more returns for the end investor – so everyone’s better off.
The average APR on Crowd2Fund is currently 8.7%. Conversely, the most recent best buy tables show the highest interest rates offered by savings accounts as being around 1.4%, with the top ethical cash ISAs being 1.1%
The IFISA is fast becoming a more attractive option as it enables investors to invest tax efficiently, with the interest accrued being tax free. This means that over time returns will increase even further due to your portfolio benefiting from compounding interest.
Potential For Large Returns If Risks Are Managed Effectively
Crowd2Fund has been trading for over two years, and in this time no business has defaulted on their interest and capital repayments.
One of the reasons for this success rate is a result of compliance being at the core of Crowd2Fund’s model. The platform offers a best in class service, and performs thorough due diligence and credit checks on any businesses seeking to raise finance on the platform.
This sharp focus on compliance has allowed Crowd2Fund to become fully, directly FCA regulated upon launch, and is a key reason why they are one of a very select number of platforms to have been given the green light for the IFISA.
However, investors should be warned that investing into P2P and the IFISA can put their capital at risk. However, for any investor, the best way to manage risk is to diversify your portfolio and spread risk across a number of different asset classes. The ability to do so is inherent within Crowd2Fund’s model, which allows investors to invest in a range of different businesses, of different sizes and across different sectors – from ethically, socially led enterprises and retail, to media, advertising, hospitality and entertainment.
Crowd2Fund also provide investors with the chance to invest into a number of ethical businesses, as well as offering the chance of high returns to investors. Investing directly into businesses such as these gives investors ethical investors assurance and transparency around their investments.
Since its listing on Crowd2Fund, Silo has received substantial media coverage including appearances on television, alongside being featured in the Guardian and the Independent and Vice.
Open Your IFISA Today
Opening your free IFISA on Crowd2Fund is as easy as filling in a short form on the website – and it’s possible to transfer existing ISAs. Having launched their very own iOS powered app, you can even open your IFISA and manage your portfolio on the go from the click of a button.
Green Weddings Trend: Why 70% of Newlyweds Are Going Green
A couple of months ago, my best friend got married to her new husband. They are both very eco-conscious people, so they decided to have a unique twist on their wedding. They asked for the following:
- They arranged a carpool with their friends.
- They didn’t have any balloons. Instead they used umbrellas.
- They used plant materials instead of plastic confetti.
- My friend insisted her husband not purchase a diamond. In addition to being ecologically conscious, she didn’t like the idea of having a stone that was used in conflict zones.
My friends aren’t the only ones making these changes. In fact, nearly a quarter of all newlyweds are organizing green weddings.
Green Weddings Are Becoming the Norm
People are more concerned about green living than ever before. They are trying to incorporate environmental protectionist ideas into every facet of their lives, even the most intimate, such as marriage. A growing number of people are trying to have green weddings, which can make a big difference in reducing their carbon footprint.
How much of a difference can this make? Here are some statistics to bear in mind:
- The Center for Disease Control reports that about two million marriages are formed every year.
- Approximately 70% of all marriages have green elements today.
- This means that 1.4 million marriages are green.
There are a number ofreasons that green weddings are becoming more important. Here are a few.
People Are More Worried About Environmental Preservation than Ever Before
Green living in general is becoming a greater concern for most people. Even younger conservatives are breaking from their older counterparts by insisting on fighting climate change. According to a poll from Pew Research earlier this year, 75% of Americans say that they are very concerned about protecting the environment. Having green weddings is a good way to act on this concern.
One of the biggest changes people are making is using recycled products for their green weddings. This is explained by the research from Pew:
“Overall, 32% of U.S. adults say they are bothered a lot by people throwing away things that could be recycled. Roughly six-in-ten Americans (61%) who say they always try to live in ways that protect the environment say it bothers them “a lot” when others throw away things that could be recycled. Among those who are less focused on environmental protection, only a quarter say it bothers them a lot when others don’t recycle. People who are environmentally conscious are also twice as likely as others to say that seeing someone incorrectly putting trash in recycling bins bothers them a lot (42% vs. 21%).”
Indifferent Politicians Are Driving them to Take More Initiative
Many politicians in power have been very hesitant to take action on climate change. Many of them have openly stated that it is a hoax. These politicians are forcing people to do what they can in their own lives to make a difference. Making small changes, such as hosting green weddings, is a great way to improve the environment without waiting for political momentum.
Cost and Simplicity
A couple of the biggest reasons that people want to host green weddings have nothing to do with their concern for the environment. Running green weddings is simply cheaper and simpler than having a massive, traditional one. One of the biggest changes is that they are buying green engagement rings from the best brands.
Green Weddings Are the Future
Green weddings have become very popular over the past few years. They will probably account for close to 90% of all marriages by 2025. People that are planning to get married should look into the benefits and plan accordingly.
Green Tech Start-Ups: Are they the Future?
Endless innovations are occurring in green companies, reinventing the industries they belong to. Gradually, they are beginning to amass more success and popularity. Consequently, these factors serve as a good indicator for green technology businesses, and their development must begin somewhere.
Green tech start-ups boast a wide array of opportunities for the economy and environment, while boosting recruitment openings with valuable services. While the technology industry is littered with high revenues and competition, the green tech start-ups are the clear sign of a cleaner future.
Fulfilling a Genuine Need
Many tech companies will market themselves as the ultimate tech giants to shift stock and make profit. As they all vie for attention through warped corporate rhetoric, there is only one ethical winner; the start-up green tech company.
Some argue that mainstream tech businesses have grown far too big, branching out into other industries and standing between the consumer and practically everything they do. However, green tech start-ups go beyond the shallow ambitions of a company, answering a call to sincerely help the customer and climate in any way they can. Of course, this is an attractive business model, putting customers at ease as they contribute to a humanitarian cause that is genuine through and through.
After all, empathy is a striking trait to have in business, and green tech start-ups maintain this composure by their very nature and purpose.
Despite the pursuits for clean energy still needing more awareness, green tech is an area that is ripe for contribution and expansion. There’s no need to copy another company or be a business of cheap knockoffs; green tech start-ups can add a new voice to the economy by being fresh, fearless and entrepreneurial.
Technology is at its most useful when it breaks new ground, an awe that eco-friendly innovations have by default in their operations. Of course, green tech start-ups have the chance to build on this foundation and create harmony instead of climate crisis. Ultimately, the tech advancements are what revolutionise clean energy as more than an activist niche, putting theory into practice.
Despite the US gradually becoming more disengaged with green technology, others such as China and Canada recognise the potential in green technology for creating jobs and growth in their respective economies. The slack of others spurs them on, which creates a constant influx of prospects for the green tech sector. Put simply, their services are always required, able to thrive from country to country.
A Fundamental Foresight
Mainstream technology can seem repetitive and dull, tinkering with what has come before rather than turning tech on its head. Since 2011, technology has been accused of stagnation, something which the internet and petty app services seem to disguise in short reaching ideas of creativity.
However, green tech start-ups aren’t just winging it, and operate with a roadmap of climate change in the years ahead to strategize accordingly. In other words, they aren’t simply looking to make a quick profit by sticking to a trend, but have the long-term future in mind. Consequently, the green tech start-up will be there from the very start, building up from the foundational level to only grow as more and more people inevitably go green.
They can additionally forecast their finances too, with the ability to access online platforms despite the differing levels of experience, keeping them in the loop. Consequently, with an eye for the future, green tech startups are the ones who will eventually usher in the new era.
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