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New Study Reveals Alternative Finance Knowledge Gap

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Intelligent Partnership have found that the Alternative Finance industry needs to do much more to reach out to advisers.

Although 73% of the Alternative Finance providers IP surveyed stated that they were either already marketing to financial advisers, or planned to do so in the future, the vast majority of advisers were still unaware of key industry developments. Only 7% of advisers surveyed realised that Alternative Finance is now regulated by the FCA, and only 13% were aware that some platforms used contingency funds to protect investors from losses.

Guy Tolhurst, Managing Director of Intelligent Partnership commented: “When we asked platforms what they thought the biggest barriers that prevent advisers from investing in the sector were, the vast majority said that it was a lack of education and awareness – so the alternative finance industry knows that they have to do much more to successfully reach out to the adviser community”


With the new Innovative Finance ISA launching in April 2016, Alternative Finance is set to become increasingly popular among mainstream investors. According to the Future Trends in UK Banking, a report commissioned by Fiserv and compiled by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), alternative finance could be worth £12.3 billion a year by 2020.

Daniel Kiernan commented: “In the peer to peer lending sector, we know that retail investors are interested in the potential of truly uncorrelated, near-cash investments that will beat the returns they can get on bank deposits. Being able to hold these investments in an ISA will be the icing on the cake, and advisers will find more and more of their clients will be exploring this area.”

John Goodall of peer to peer lender Landbay added “Peer-to-peer lending has become an innovative and accepted alternative to traditional savings and investment products. Very soon it will cease to be viewed as alternative finance, but instead viewed as mainstream.”

However, despite advisers advising on an estimated £590 billion, over a quarter (27%) of alternative finance platforms have no plan in place to engage advisers. Investing in this market is not easy for advisers. Kiernan continued: “For advisers, investing their clients’ money in individual opportunities, would be time consuming and difficult from a compliance perspective. At our recent alternative investment summit IFAs who wanted to invest in alternative finance were advised by industry experts such as Louise Beaumont of GLI Finance to start by investing in one of the specialist retail investment funds that have launched, or by using the platforms’ in-built automation to make investments according to their specified criteria.”


Geoff Miller from GLI Finance stated that “For those who are new to the sector it can be an extremely confusing picture, but it is important to understand the issues that need to be considered and then either do your homework or find a fund that can do it for you.”

Equity crowdfunding is seen as a much more risky proposition as it involves taking equity stakes in small or unproven companies, but this is a part of the Alternative Finance universe that is also maturing rapidly, with some platforms providing investors with opportunities to co-invest alongside experienced angels, access EIS and SEIS tax reliefs, utilise the services of professional fund managers and provide capital alongside AIM listings. James Codling of Venture Founders: “In the near future, demand from sophisticated investors will see the need for a model that bridges the gap between the less sophisticated crowdfunding approach and the more professional and mature Private Equity and Venture Capital markets”.

For advisers who have no knowledge of the Alternative Finance sector though, the message is simple. Tolhurst again: “Our surveys tell us that a lot of advisers don’t know much about alternative finance beyond the headlines in the mainstream press. Reading this CPD accredited report will be a quick and easy way to bring themselves up to speed. It will give them an understanding of the key issues and the differences between models like crowdfunding, peer to peer lending and invoice financing, even if they don’t feel ready to recommend clients invest.”

 

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Green Weddings Trend: Why 70% of Newlyweds Are Going Green

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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:

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.

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Green Tech Start-Ups: Are they the Future?

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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.

Creating Opportunities

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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