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Abundance launches Peer-to-Peer Pension

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Abundance, a regulated online platform that lets people lend money to renewable energy projects in the UK and share in the returns from generating low-carbon electricity, has launched a personal pension. From the Abundance Blog: “We’re pleased to announce the launch of the Abundance Pension. It’s something you told us you wanted, so we’ve made it happen.”

The Abundance Pension is a Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP), which is being offered in partnership with European Pensions Management Ltd (EPM). It lets you invest directly into the Abundance project(s). They say it can help protect some of your money from stock market volatility, as the price of renewable energy is uncorrelated to global stock markets. Every investment into a project provides returns twice a year that can be reinvested into new projects.

Ahead of the launch, Abundance commissioned OnePoll to carry out an independent survey – and the results included:

– 88% of us think it’s our responsibility to provide for our retirement, but just 63% of us have a pension
– Almost half of us (47%) are concerned about the effect of global stock market shocks – like the recent one in China – on our pensions
– Accordingly, 44% of us are interested in pension options that reduce our exposure to these markets
– One fifth of us (21%) would save more into our pensions if we knew exactly where our money was being invested

Bruce Davis, co-founder and joint MD of Abundance said: “We hope that this new product’s unique combination of tax relief, the diversified and uncorrelated nature of our Debentures, and the steady and attractive returns they pay from investments matching our customers’ values will make the product a significant new motivation for many people to save more towards their retirement.

“Finally they will have easy and direct access to choose between diverse investment assets, all with a social or environmental benefit, and all paying consistent, strong and uncorrelated returns within a tax-advantaged pension wrapper.”

“The Abundance Pension launch is also a useful precursor to the arrival of the Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) next year, which we also plan to offer. If anyone had any doubts as to how competitive and effective an ‘IFISA’ is likely to be, the Abundance Pension provides a very promising indication.”

John Fleetwood of independent SRI Consultants 3D Investing said: “This is a great initiative.  Holding non listed investments in pensions is difficult and can be expensive.  Abundance has teamed up with a provider that facilitates this at a low cost.  Abundance investments are suited to investors with a 15-20 year time horizon, which makes them a good fit for a pension (assuming that they deliver the projected returns).”

So how does it all work?

You’ll find more information in the new pensions section of the Abundance website. You download forms from their website, fill them out, and send them in. Abundance processes them with EPM, who will open the pension for you. Once it’s open, Abundance gets in touch to let you know and you can start making tax free investments into Abundance projects. It’s free to open and transfer, with no management fee until October 2016.

If you do have any questions, send Abundance an email at support@abundancegeneration.com, or give them a call on 020 3475 866 during office hours (Mon-Fri, 09:00-17:30).

Abundance sponsors Good Money Week, which starts today.

Risk warning

The Abundance Pension is a self-invested personal pension (SIPP) provided by European Pensions Management (EPM), who are authorised and regulated by the FCA (461099). Setting up an Abundance Pension involves entering into a SIPP contract with EPM to hold Abundance Debentures. Abundance is not a direct pension provider and cannot give pension advice.

Environment

These 5 Green Office Mistakes Are Costing You Money

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eco-friendly green offices
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Stokkete | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/cyano

The sudden interest in green business is very encouraging. According to recent reports, 42% of all companies have rated sustainability as an important element of their business. Unfortunately, the focus on sustainability will only last if companies can find ways to use it to boost their ROI.

Many businesses get so caught up in being socially conscious that they hope the financial aspect of it takes care of itself. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to go green and boost your net income at the same time.

Here are some important mistakes that you will want to avoid.

Only implementing sustainability on micro-scale

The biggest reason that brands are going green is to improve their optics with their customers. Too many businesses are making very minor changes, such as processing paperwork online and calling themselves green.

Customers have become wary of these types of companies. If you want to earn their business, you are going to need to go all the way. Bring in a green business consultant and make every feasible change to demonstrate that you are a green organization from top to bottom.

Not prioritizing investments by long-term ROI

It isn’t realistic to build an entirely green organization overnight. You will need to allocate your capital wisely.

Before investing in any green assets or services, you should always conduct a long-term cost benefit analysis. The initial investment for some green services may be over $20,000. If they don’t shave your cost by at least $3,000 a year, they probably aren’t worth the investment.

Determine which green investments will have the best pay off over the next 10 years. Make these investments before anything else. Then compare your options within each of those categories.

Implementing green changes without a plan

Effective, long-term planning is the key to business success. This principle needs to be applied to green organizations as well.

Before implementing a green strategy, you must answer the following questions:

  • How will I communicate my green business philosophy to my customers?
  • How will running a green business affect my revenue stream?
  • How will adopting green business strategies change my monthly expenses? Will they increase or decrease them?
  • How will my company finance green upgrades and other investments?

The biggest mistake that too many green businesses make is being overly optimistic with these forecasts. Take the time to collect objective data and make your decisions accordingly. This will help you run a much more profitable green business.

Not considering the benefits of green printing

Too many companies believe that going paperless is the only way to run a green organization. Unfortunately, going 100% paperless it’s not feasible for most companies.

Rather than aim for an unrealistic goal, consider the option of using a more environmentally friendly printer. It won’t be perfect, but it will be better than the alternative.

According to experts from Doranix, environmental printers have several benefits:

  • They can process paper that has been completely recycled.
  • They consume less energy than traditional printers.
  • They use ink that is more environmentally friendly.

You want to take a look at different green printers and compare them. You’ll find that some will meet your needs as a green business.

Poorly communicating your green business strategy to customers

Brand positioning doesn’t happen on its own. If you want to run a successful green business, you must communicate your message to customers as clearly as possible. You must also avoid the appearance that you are patronizing them.

The best approach is to be clear when you were first making the change. I’ll make an announcement about your company‘s commitment to sustainability.

You also want to reinforce this message overtime by using green labels on all of your products. You don’t have to be blatant with your messaging at this stage. Simply provide a small, daily reminder on your products and invoices.

Finally, it is a good idea to participate in green business seminars and other events. If your community has a local Green Chamber of Commerce, you should consider joining as well.

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Energy

Responsible Energy Investments Could Solve Retirement Funding Crisis

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Energy Investments
Shutterstock / By Sergey Nivens | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/nivens

Retiring baby-boomers are facing a retirement cliff, at the same time as mother nature unleashes her fury with devastating storms tied to the impact of global warming. There could be a unique solution to the challenges associated with climate change – investments in clean energy from retirement funds.

Financial savings play a very important role in everyone’s life and one must start planning for it as soon as possible. It’s shocking how quickly seniors can burn through their nest egg – leaving many wondering, “How long your retirement savings will last?

Let’s take a closer look at how seniors can take baby steps on the path to retiring with dignity, while helping to clean up our environment.

Tip #1: Focus & Determination

Like in other work, it is very important to focus and be determined. If retirement is around the corner, then make sure to start putting some money away for retirement. No one can ever achieve anything without dedication and focus – whether it’s saving the planet, or saving for retirement.

Tip #2: Minimize Spending

One of the most important things that you need to do is to minimize your expenditures. Reducing consumption is good for the planet too!

Tip #3: Visualize Your Goal

You can achieve more if you have a clearly defined goal in life. This about how your money can be used to better the planet – imagine cleaner air, water and a healthier environment to leave to your grandchildren.

Investing in Clean Energy

One of the hottest and most popular industries for investment today is the energy market – the trading of energy commodities. Clean energy commodities are traded alongside dirty energy supplies. You might be surprised to learn that clean energy is becoming much more competitive.

With green biz becoming more popular, it is quickly becoming a powerful tool for diversified retirement investing.

The Future of Green Biz

As far as the future is concerned, energy businesses are going to continue getting bigger and better. There are many leading energy companies in the market that already have very high stock prices, yet people are continuing to investing in them.

Green initiatives are impacting every industry. Go Green campaigns are a PR staple of every modern brand. For the energy-sector in the US, solar energy investments are considered to be the most accessible form of clean energy investment. Though investing in any energy business comes with some risks, the demand for energy isn’t going anywhere.

In conclusion, if you want to start saving for your retirement, then clean energy stocks and commodity trading are some of the best options for wallets and the planet. Investing in clean energy products, like solar power, is a more long-term investment. It’s quite stable and comes with a significant profit margin. And it’s amazing for the planet!

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