Investing in the Good: The Impressive Rise of Impact Investing

Societal issues continue to get the media’s attention as many people take the fight a notch higher for a better society. But it’s all for a good cause because society starts to see good changes taking place. 

As usual, investors want to be part of the change. They’re now focusing their efforts on opportunities geared towards supporting social goals. This is where social impact investing comes in. 

Business is no longer all about making financial gains. It now involves environmental and social impact with its actions. Yes, investing is growing financial returns but for more noble causes such as the betterment of society.

Read this article and understand everything you need to know about global network impact investing and why it’s growing so fast. Let’s get started.

Understanding Social Impact Investing

If you’re new to this concept, it can be quite complex. Any information on the subject only gives rise to more questions. You can blame this on insufficient data available on the subject matter. There is not much information concerning impact investing and its profitability to either the investor or society.

But then, what exactly is impact investing?

Impact investing simply means unleashing the power of capital for everyone’s good. The main goal of this kind of investment is to generate positive social and environmental impact as well as make some financial returns.

Don’t get it confused with charity donations and social foundations. While both are geared towards helping society, impact investing is more of a win-win situation.

Impact investment focuses on helping society make some capital through your business. The capital would then address some challenges in society. Both the investor and society benefit in equal measures.

The funds usually go to noble causes such as renewable energy, environmental conservation, sustainable agriculture, and accessibility of basic services like education, housing, and healthcare. Anything deemed helpful to the environment and society calls for impact investing.

The Growth of Impact

The idea of investing with intentions beyond financial returns isn’t a new concept. There are many faith-based organizations working in accordance with their values of a better society. Catholic and Islamic organizations started this kind of investing a long time ago, and it looks like it’s not going anywhere.

The only thing that makes this intentional investing look like a new concept is that it has been known for a very long time as corporate social responsibility, sustainable investing, or socially responsible investing.

Companies have measured their performance not only on financial lines but also on how they perform along the lines of social, environmental, and corporate impact. The performance is more focused on these dimensions and how the company aligns with its values and social goals.

The type of investing is often referred to as a ‘double bottom line.’ The organization focuses on financial goals as well as its environmental and social impact. All these are aligned with their sustainable development goals.

A Growing Focus for Investors

While this kind of investing is still at its infancy stages, many global investors are continuously getting involved. Companies are coming up with their own impacting investing funds. It seems like something very lucrative in the business world as well as a noble course in society.

The Global Impact Investors Network (GIIN) estimates up to $228 billion in assets associated with impact investing firms. The figures show that this sector of the economy has been seeing tremendous growth over the past years.

Impact Investment Returns

As usual, no one wants to buy a dying horse. So, is impact investing really profitable? This is a question that many financial consultants have had to deal with many times. Of course, any serious investor will ask this question before making any kind of investment regardless of how noble it looks.

Some business people have subscribed to a common misconception that any double-edged business is doomed to fail. By this, they mean that any business that focuses on social impact and financial return will yield low returns.

Some researchers have strongly disputed this belief. They have proven that anything that is good for the environment and society is good for business. Others have proven the existence of a good relationship between investing in social, environmental, and governance with corporate financial performance.

There is a lot of evidence proving that impact investing is profitable to both the society and the organization.

Impact Investing Challenges

Like any other business, impact investing has its own share of challenges. It’s crucial to understand the challenges that come with any kind of investing and prepare for the risks involved.

This kind of business is also subject to the rules of the marketplace. The first challenge with impact is the difficulty in finding companies that meet the stringent requirement and still stick to the market rate of return.

Many businesses fail to meet all these two goals. The few that manage have to go extra miles to use additional resources and deal with great risks. You should trust your financial advisor to give you a better explanation of the challenges and the risks associated with social impact investing.

The Growth If Yet to Come

From the look of things, impact investing will continue to grow, and in the years to come, it will be the trend in the business world. The kind of investment has gained traction in the eyes of investors, and that’s all it needs to see success.

However, the future of this kind of business depends on the understanding that people will have on it. Everyone must learn to differentiate it from the philanthropic way of charity giving. You must understand that charity is no longer the only way to make a difference in society.

Now you have some knowledge of impact investment even though the concept is still complicated. Do you want to learn more about issues regarding investment, running a business, and managing your finances? Feel free to view our website for more educational blogs like this one. 

7 Benefits and Reasons to Invest in Mutual Funds

According to industry watchers, the net asset value of mutual funds across the United States stood at $17.71 trillion as of 2018.

Many individuals are looking to put their wealth into securities and other assets. However, due to the small size of their checks, investing in securities carries high costs.

Mutual funds come in to help aggregate individual investors. A principal mutual funds advantage is that you enjoy more convenience in investing. Here are seven reasons why a mutual fund is right for you.

What Is a Mutual Fund?

A mutual fund is an investment firm that brings together money from various investors to buy large-sized assets.

The assets that mutual funds typically put their money into are stocks, bonds, and other securities. The total sum of all the holdings a mutual fund invests in is called a portfolio and is managed by paid professionals.

When you give a mutual fund your money, you’re effectively buying its shares to become a part-owner earning from the income it generates. 

How Mutual Funds Work

Regardless of the kind of fund you invest in, its performance (and revenue) will depend on its kind of management.

A passive mutual fund will invest according to a set strategy whose goal is to match a particular market index. As a result, these kinds of mutual funds don’t require you to have deep investment skills.

Passive funds charge lower management fees since they don’t call for as much hands-on management.

It’s worth noting that two popular types of passive mutual funds today are exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and index funds.

Actively traded funds, on the other hand, work to outperform the market indices. Consequently, they hold the potential to earn you more. They also carry a higher risk than passively traded funds, which you must put into consideration.

How Do You Make Money With a Mutual Fund?

Once a mutual fund makes a profit, there are three ways that you, as an investor, can earn a return – dividends, net asset value (NAV), or capital gains.

Dividends come from when the fund receives interest on the share it holds. Each investor in the fund gets a proportional amount, and you can choose to reinvest that in the fund.

When a mutual fund sells a security at a higher price than it bought it, it makes a capital gain. You’ll receive your portion of this income annually from the fund.

NAV is where the security you own increases in value due to the fund’s astute management. While you don’t immediately receive funds from the growing NAV, it means you stand to make more money should you sell your stake in the fund.

Mutual Funds Advantage

Mutual funds hold distinctive advantages as tools to help you grow your wealth. These benefits include:

1. Your Investment Is Diversified

Any financial consultant will tell you to take a diversified approach when it comes to wealth management. Diversification is whereby you mix the resources and investments in your portfolio to reduce the risk you face.

A mutual fund helps you to access various investments that face varying risks that can offset one another.

As a result, if a crisis or loss hits one sector, you won’t face as significant a loss as investments in other sectors can help offset the outflows.

2. Economies of Scale

One of the most compelling features of a mutual fund is the scale at which it operates. When many investors come together and pool their funds, they can buy into more lucrative assets that would have been hard to purchase as individuals.

Additionally, because of the large size of mutual funds, individual investors pay less for the service.

3. There’s Professional Management

If you don’t like picking the stocks to buy due to a lack of time or in-depth knowledge, then a mutual fund is for you.

Each mutual fund employs professional managers who do the heavy lifting with the research, picking stocks, and managing the portfolio. Thus, you get to access a full-time investment manager to help you grow your holdings at a fraction of the cost.

4. Liquidity

When you’re considering an investment as an individual investor, you have to assess its liquidity. The easier it is to sell what you hold, the faster you can access your money when you need it.

You can buy and sell a mutual find relatively easily unlike say disposing of property you have invested in.

In case you need money urgently, you can sell your holding in the fund fast. Should you spy out an opportunity in a sector your fund invests in, you can quickly and easily take up a position to benefit.

5. There’s Variety

As an individual investor, a mutual fund opens up a variety of options to put your money in that you’d not access on your own.

For example, a manager can run a fund that employs several investment approaches. You can access value investing, macroeconomic investing, and other methods all in one package.

Some mutual funds (known as bear funds) are structured to make money from a falling market. Such funds can enable you to protect your downside in ways you couldn’t as an individual.

Through this variety, you get to access foreign and domestic deals that can attractively grow your portfolio.

6. Easy Access to Specialized Sectors

If you’re interested in securing a position in complex sectors as an individual investor, then a mutual fund is the best tool to use.

Mutual funds have built up a track record of tackling extremely complex investment areas in a logistically easier manner for you. With one, low ticket investment, you get to outsource all the hard work that goes into such investment selections.

7. Transparency in Investment

Where you put your hard-earned money to work for you must be secure, and mutual funds give you this advantage.

Every mutual fund is heavily regulated to ensure investors are treated fairly. Therefore, with a mutual fund, you can have peace of mind since there is greater visibility into where you invest your money.

Let Your Money Work for You

Securities are a great way to grow your wealth, but as an individual investor, it can be costly to invest in them. A mutual fund is a vehicle through which your small check can make consistent returns. Another significant mutual funds advantage is the convenience you have as professional managers handle things. Pull together with other small investors to gain access to consistent investment returns.

Capital Finance International (CFI.co) is your premier online resource for all things investment. Reach out to us today for news, commentary, and analysis that will shift your investment thinking.

How a Financial Consultant Can Help You

For most people, money is one of the primary driving forces in their lives. After all, you need it in order to buy food, shelter, clothes, and all other goods and services. 

Money causes stress while also providing a sense of security. Much of your time and effort are invested in your career to provide a certain standard of living for your family and to prepare for retirement. 

A skilled financial consultant can help you reduce debt and make the most of your money. This article takes a look at the reasons why you should consider working with an advisor to prepare for the future.

They Help You Understand Your Goals

Believe it or not, many people have no idea what they really want. Even though the average life expectancy is around 73 years, few people approach the future with any sort of goals in mind.

A lot of the population lives paycheck to paycheck, without much rhyme or reason to their financial decision-making. 

A chartered financial planner will ask a series of questions designed to encourage you to think about the future so that you can plan accordingly. This will enable you to be conscious of the financial decisions you make going forward rather than simply winging it as you have in the past.

They Help You Develop a Plan

Once you’ve figured out some of your long-term goals, you’ll be able to develop a plan for how to actually reach those goals.

A good plan provides structure, enabling you to create a step by step roadmap that can be adjusted year after year as your wealth grows and your goals shift and change. 

Advisors are skilled at building a financial investing plan. This will be specifically tailored to meet your needs. The more specific you can be about what you want out of life, the more they can help.

They Show You the Best Ways to Invest

There are many ways to invest your money. Each type of investment tool offers different degrees of risk and reward. The key is to understand how aggressive you want to be in building wealth.

This requires working closely with your advisor.

Be open and honest. This will provide valuable information that will help them know how best to proceed. It’ll also help them find the most efficient resources and tools to utilize when managing your wealth.

Keep in mind that an experienced financial advisor will explain all the investment options that are available, along with the pros and cons that come with each. 

Don’t feel pressured to invest too aggressively, but also listen closely to their advice. Try to be as open as possible to educated advice regarding ways to maximize your investment funds.

They Help Avoid Stupid Investments

It’s important to remember that your financial advisor is an expert. Investing is a complicated business, with an incredible amount of data to track and variables to consider. 

Because of this, it can be easy to make a mistake, to chase a trend that’s leading to a dead-end, or to find yourself excited about an investment opportunity that will only end up costing you money and causing frustration and pain.

An experienced advisor will help you avoid as many mistakes as possible. They have the training and skills needed to identify bad trends and unreliable sectors in the marketplace.

It can be hard to trust someone with your money. Especially when you feel like you’ve discovered a great investment opportunity. Yet, trust is exactly what will be required in order to build the level of wealth that most people only dream of.

They Provide a Sounding Board

A good advisor will also be a great listener. This might not sound like a big deal, but it’s actually one of the most important qualities to look for when seeking an investment professional.

You should never feel hesitant to talk to your consultant like a real person. Tell them your hopes and feelings. Mention ideas you’ve been thinking about, and never feel stupid for asking tons of questions.

Remember, they work for you. They are there to answer questions, provide feedback, and help give you confidence that your future is on the right track.

They Help Enforce Financial Discipline

Saving money isn’t fun. It can be a huge challenge. 

After all, it’s much more exciting to spend money on shiny new toys rather than sock cash away for the future.

This is another reason why an experienced consultant is so valuable. They will help you keep your eyes on the prize because they won’t have any emotional attachment to your finances. This means they can approach making smart investments and building your wealth from a purely educated and logical vantage point. 

They Help You Connect With Other Professionals

Your financial advisor will also connect you to a good lawyer and accountant. This will help ensure that your money matters are legal, and keep any potential tax issues from arising.

They Help You Relax 

Finally, knowing that you have an experienced consultant on your team will help you relax. You have a pro working for you, after all.

They’ll choose investments that will make your money work for you, and grow your wealth day after day. You can rest assured knowing that when you’re ready to retire, you’ll have the resources to enjoy your golden years to the fullest.

A Guide to the Benefits of Hiring a Financial Consultant

Planning for retirement can be confusing. Fortunately, hiring a skilled financial consultant will help make the process a little less stressful.

Click here to learn how to form an investing strategy for European markets.

The Best Place to Invest 100K: Understanding UK Savings Accounts

If you have £100,000 or more in savings, keeping in safe is essential. 

The risk-free, common-sense option to keep your money safe is to put into a savings account. Not only will your money be held safely, but it will also accrue interest.

But, are your savings working well for you? Are you getting the maximum amount of interest possible?

How well do you understand UK savings accounts?

We’ll explore the different savings options and the best place to invest 100k.  

How to Find the Best Place to Invest 100k

There are several factors to consider before finding the best place to invest £100k. 

Decide how long you would like to lock your cash away. The longer you leave your money, the more interest you will accrue. 

Fixed-rate savings accounts that require you to hold your money in place over a certain amount of time can provide good returns. However, if you need your money back before then, you may not be able to access it.

Are you a pensioner or a student? Banks and building societies often offer preferential interest rates for different age groups. In which case, you should look for the best saving rates for pensioners or the best savings account for students.

You should also consider that you may need to split your money between multiple accounts

Decide on whether you need access to your cash. Do you require online banking?

Is customer service important? Will you need to service your account in your local branch? 

Work out what’s important to you, and make sure that you find an account that ticks all of the relevant boxes. 

Don’t Put All of Your Eggs in One Basket

By spreading your investments across a range of different savings accounts, you will enjoy a variety of benefits. 

If you have short-term requirements on some of your cash, put that money into an easy-access account with the best interest rates. For the rest of your cash, look for longer-term savings accounts that offer the best returns. 

Similarly, if you are unsure about what you want to do with your money, keep it in easy-access savings accounts until you have decided. That way, you can still move your money out when you have a long term plan. 

Financial Services Compensation Scheme 

When you invest any money into a UK bank or building society account, you are protected. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme protects savings of up to £85,000, or £170,000 if it is a joint account. 

If you are looking to place your £100,000 or more into any type of savings account, you will need to set up at least two different accounts with different banks to protect your money. 

Alternatively, if you can set up a joint account, you will benefit from the higher level of protection. 

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme is in place to protect your money in the event of the bank or building society being able to pay you your own money. 

Making Use of ISAs

Savings accounts in the UK are subject to tax-deductions on interest payments. 

Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) offer the opportunity to save up to £20,000 each year, tax-free. If you have a partner, you could both invest £20,000 each in your own ISAs. 

If you want to make the most of your savings, then you should take advantage of your tax-free savings allowance by opening an ISA. 

You could opt for Cash ISA or stocks and shares ISA or a combination of both. 

A cash ISA will act in much the same way as a savings account. With a stocks and shares ISA, your money is invested into stocks, corporate, and government bonds. You may return a greater degree of interest with this type of ISA; however, you may lose money too. 

Finding the Right Savings Accounts

Find a savings account that offers you a rate of interest that is higher than the rate of inflation. 

Inflation rates directly affect the value of your savings. If you place your money into an account with a 2% interest rate, then after one year, you will have 2% more money. 

However, if the rate of inflation is greater than 2%, you will have more money, but that money will have lower purchase power than it did a year before. 

Regular Savers

Regular savers accounts often offer interest rates that are higher than the rate of inflation. 

With rates of up to 5% available, this type of savings account is certainly worth exploring. 

You will need to be aware of maximum deposit limits, as well as the length of time that the rates will be valid. 

Fixed-Rate Savings Accounts

Fixed-rate savings accounts will offer you the same rate of interest over a specified period of time. Typically, your money will be locked into the account for between one and five years. 

The longer you are willing to leave your money in this type of account, the higher the interest returns will be. 

Don’t Overlook Current Accounts

It is easy to think that a current account is just for holding your cash and paying your direct debits; however, they can be a useful tool for depositing large sums of money. 

Many current accounts will offer a reasonably high rate of interest. 

Usually, current accounts will offer a higher rate of interest for a small amount, and then a lower rate for any money thereafter. 

For example, a current account may offer 5% on the first £2,500 for one year, and then 1% on everything above that amount. 

Always Research the Best Deals

The best place to invest 100k will depend on the interest rates offered by banks and building societies. Banking products change, so shop around and find the best savings account that will work for your money. 

For more advice and information about making your money work for you, explore the other articles on the blog. 

How to Form an Investing Strategy For European Markets

Europe is a global economic nexus, an incredibly stable and developed market.

Its heart is EU, which operates as a single market of 28 different states and 500 million customers. Technology and innovation are driving forces behind slow but steady growth.

This upward trajectory instils confidence when it comes to investment prospects. Many lucrative opportunities are just a few clicks away. You can pursue them without running into risks that emerging markets are rife with.  

Alas, launching an international investment endeavour is a daunting task. You have to do your homework and tailor the investing strategy to specifics of the landscape.

Here is a guide on how to establish a strong foothold and enhance your portfolio.

Doing the Spadework

The European market is a mature, diverse, and liquid ecosystem.

The investment risk is low, save in times of crisis. Europe is also a highly dynamic and competitive investment arena, home to leading companies of today.  

Yes, it’s easily one of the most inviting investing destinations. However, succeeding is easier said than done. To maximise your chances, you have to show due diligence.

Start by running a proper market analysis and scour the continent to discover where the best opportunities are. Evaluate your risk tolerance and put a risk management strategy in place. Two main weapons for chipping away at risk are market knowledge and portfolio diversification.

We would implore you to pay special attention to the currency risk. We’re talking about fluctuations in the foreign exchange market. They can be a double-edged sword, spurring both unexpected losses and profits.

Once research tasks are sorted out, set your chief objectives. Do you want to go for foreign direct investment (FDI) or portfolio investment? Is your goal to have a small portion of shares, source raw materials or control a whole company?

Get your priorities straight before moving to the next stage.  

The Main Pathways to Investment Glory

One of the easiest ways to gain exposure is thru exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

The three main options are:

They offer simple means of portfolio diversification, unlike the US, which is a predominantly stock-based market. It’s possible to invest in hundreds of different companies, as well as specific industries/countries. At the same time, you can avoid the steep fees associated with mutual funds.

Familiarity is another benefit you can score. Europe harbours some of the most renowned names in modern business.  

There is also an alternative approach, which is two-fold. The first tactic is buying American Depository Receipts (ADRs). The second one is acquiring stocks via foreign stock brokers.

The drawback is you have to worry about legal and tax issues. You also face hurdles such as translating foreign languages and currencies. On top of that, it can be tricky to conduct in-depth research on foreign stocks.

Note that ADRs are free of these risks. Unfortunately, they are limited to large foreign corporations that boast liquidity in spades.

The Million Dollar Question of Where

It makes a lot of sense to examine investing opportunities thru regional lenses.

Eastern Europe is an interesting region due to the potential for rapid growth. Investors comfortable with higher risks head there chasing hefty profit margins.

On the other hand, one enters Western European markets for reasons other than explosive growth. Namely, those who favour a climate with low volatility should feel at home here.

Germany is probably a must-consider, as the largest economy of Europe. It houses many of the top-500 publically traded companies in the world. County’s biggest companies (by market capitalisation) are available via the DAX 30 index, which is similar to the Dow Jones index in the US.

In terms of other, small economies, there are certain rules of thumb. You want to pay close attention to conditions like domestic policies and international agreements. These are the main tools countries employ in order to attract foreign investment.  

Apart from that, it’s a good idea to stick to predictable and transparent markets. EU member states have an advantage in this regard. Common institutions handle and synchronise investment rules, including areas like dispute resolution.  

The Old-School Way

Beyond that, you should feel free to invest in asset classes such as property.

The yields tend to be higher than in the case of bonds. This trend persists across different regions and states. What is more, the returns are often adjusted up for inflation.

This is to say real estate investment can act as a blanket insulating you from monetary risk. Besides, the spectrum of possibilities is very wide. You can aim for steady cash flow or speculative profit.                

One piece of advice is to keep an eye on hot local markets such as Amsterdam. There, a combination of limited supply, demographic influx, and scarce land inflates prices year after year.

Finally, we shouldn’t overlook the commodities.  

This traditional asset class involves minerals, fossil fuels, ores, crops, and trees. Propelled by global economic growth, the consumption and demand remain stable, while supply is finite.

Again, one of the main benefits is protection against inflation. Of course, commodities also come with risks such as price volatility. Just take the example of gold, which has been on a rollercoaster in recent years.

The lesson to draw is clear: be ever vigilant and be advised.

Investing Strategy for Europe: Taking Portfolio to the Next Level

The world’s largest regional economy is a Promised Land for many investors.

However, that doesn’t mean profits are just there for the taking. You need to put together a smart investing strategy before anything else. Rely on facts and figures to make it as sound as the Euro.

Likewise, make sure to assess your risk tolerance and financial appetites. Pick your region and industry sector accordingly. Identify up-and-coming companies and business champions with a bright future.  

You can hardly go wrong fuelling your investments via European ETFs.

Just stay quick on your feet and steer away from pitfalls in the shifting monetary dimension. Keep up the pace with changing regulations and standards. Following these steps, you should be able to make headways into burgeoning European markets.  

Don’t hesitate to contact us with any lingering questions and dilemmas. It’s time to elevate and diversify your portfolio.  

Boris Johnson must release the potential of property post-Brexit

The past few months have seen a huge amount of political change. In December 2019, for example, the Conservative Party won their largest Parliamentary majority since 1987, while January of this year featured the passing of the EU Withdrawal Bill through parliament. With the recent cabinet reshuffle, and Sajid Javid’s resignation as Chancellor, February has also proven to be an eventful month.

Boris Johnson must release the potential of property post-Brexit
CEO and co-founder of FJP Investment: Jamie Johnson

However, in the period since the election, there has been a growing sense that we have returned to some semblance of normality. The three years after the referendum were turbulent and hostile, with nail-biting parliamentary votes and overheated political discourse becoming par for the course. With no election likely until the middle of this decade, and with the Government in a relatively strong position, this stress is seeming to subside. Whatever your political disposition, this is no doubt a good thing for businesses and investors.

Data suggests that the UK stock market grew by an impressive £33 billion in the immediate aftermath of the general election. The effects of the so-called Boris bounce have likely been overstated, but it has hasn’t been as short-lived as some had predicted. Property also saw an uptick; according to Zoopla’s UK Cities Price Index, demand for UK property rose at the fastest rate since 2017. Similarly, according to Nationwide, prices in January were at a 14-month high. This is especially good news in light of modest house price growth in recent years as a result of Brexit uncertainty.

Looking forward, then, the property market could be set for renewed growth.

What can the Government do to propel the property market forward?

As mentioned, following through on their Brexit promises is crucial. Whether you voted remain or leave, 2019’s missed deadlines created profound uncertainty amongst business leaders. Therefore, it’s not just about the completion of the process, but also about making sure negotiations go smoothly and businesses are being made aware of the progress made.

The EU Withdrawal Bill passing through parliament was an important first step. Indeed, it showed that this majority has allowed Boris Johnson to get on with Brexit in a way his predecessors found difficult. But the Government’s ability to tick all the other boxes during the transition period is unproven. There is still a long way to go in terms of reassuring the property market that Brexit is in safe hands and that investing can continue without concern.

Furthermore, the Government must also deliver on its previously stated aims for policy in the property space. The domestic market, for example, is supportive of a new stamp duty surcharge on international buyers of UK property — an approach the Conservative Party has previously supported. According to a recent poll conducted by FJP Investment, as many as 70% of UK property investors are in favour of such a move.

There are also other areas that the Government should follow through on to help realise the full potential of UK property. Fighting the housing crisis, for example, will require coordinated policy to encourage construction, investment, and stakeholder engagement. On that last point, the Conservative Party has previously suggested consulting local people on the design of new-build developments. Doing so would hugely increase the attractiveness of such developments, so it’s little wonder that 68% of investors surveyed by FJP Investment supported the policy.

The Government must also commit the necessary resources to construction if it is to tackle the central challenge to UK property: insufficient supply. More homes being built will almost certainly bring prices down and make rents more affordable, but a national building revolution, of sorts, may be required.

A recent promise of £100 billion for construction over the next five years is a step in the right direction, while Boris Johnson’s promise of a million new homes over the same period shows ambition for UK property. But governments of all stripes have set, and missed, huge housebuilding aims, and property leaders are tired of empty promises. Now is the time for investment and reform to fulfil that huge target.

Looking forward, UK property appears to be in a strong position. With so much latent demand, and with prices rising, 2020 is likely to be more positive than last year. Further, with Brexit likely to be completed, the entire market may be set for an upturn. However, this can only happen with the right government support and policy implementation — indeed, without it, the housing crisis will not be resolved. Thankfully, the Government’s aims broadly align with property investors’, meaning they likely have the right priorities to help property return to form.

Jamie Johnson is the CEO and co-founder of FJP Investment

The Dutch Fund for Climate and Development open for business

The Hague, November 15, 2019 – The Dutch Fund for Climate and Development (DFCD) has officially been launched in the presence of government officials, NGOs, investors, politicians and other interested parties. In May of this year, the DFCD was awarded to the consortium of Dutch development bank FMO, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-NL) and Climate Fund Managers (CFM). “Today’s launch means that the DFCD is officially open for business,” said Linda Broekhuizen, Chief Investment Officer at FMO. “The consortium is keen to connect with innovative entrepreneurs with climate-related businesses and with private investors keen to mobilize much-needed funding from the private sector to join us in our mission to create a more climate-resilient world.”

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges we face today. It is already affecting people and nature across the globe, with developing countries being most impacted. “The poorest communities are the most vulnerable to climate change. Poor farmers and others at the bottom of the pyramid suffer and lose their livelihoods even with small changes in rainfall patterns or temperature”, as Meike van Ginneken, Chief Executive Officer at SNV explained.

There is an urgent need for investment to enable vulnerable communities and ecosystems to adapt to climate change. Carola van Rijnsoever, Director of Inclusive Green Growth, and Ambassador for Sustainable Development, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said: „The challenge we face to help communities adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change is enormous, and the case for action is incredibly clear. We cannot do this with governments alone. We need all stakeholders to be strong enough to confront this challenge. The set-up of this consortium in which finance and NGOs come together, is unique and uniquely positioned to do this.“ The government of The Netherlands has committed to addressing this need through the DFCD, making EUR 160 million available in the period 2019-2022 for climate adaptation and mitigation, of which at least 50% is earmarked for climate adaptation projects.

DFCD is a direct response to the increasing demand for climate adaptation projects that have to date suffered from a lack of funding compared with mitigation efforts. Linda Broekhuizen adds: “In 2018, USD 612 billion was invested in climate mitigation which is important and much needed. In contrast however, only 5%, USD 30 billion, was invested in adaptation. Adaptation may have to be USD 180 billion a year if the 2030 goal is to reach the USD 1.7 trillion as required according to the most recent report of the Global Commission on Adaptation.”

To help bridge this funding gap the DFCD aims to mobilize upwards of EUR 500 million from private sector investors. Andrew Johnstone, Chief Executive Officer of Climate Fund Managers adds: “The opportunities are there. Take water for example: 80% of the world’s wastewater enters rivers and oceans untreated and by 2025, half of the world’s population will be living in water stressed areas. Neither the private nor the public sector is doing enough, but together the investment potential is enormous, as is the impact to be delivered.”

This partnership of NGOs and financiers seeks to develop and finance sustainable private sector solutions to enhance resilience to the effects of climate change. These projects will boost the health of freshwater, forest, agricultural and ocean ecosystems, and improve water management.

“The consortium takes a landscape approach through investing in projects which are planned in an inclusive manner, and build on a solid understanding of the landscape, ecosystems and communities. In this way these projects will contribute to healthier ecosystems,” said Kirsten Schuijt, Chief Executive Officer of WWF-NL. “New and incredibly exciting in this consortium is that there is early-stage funding available to convert adaptation opportunities into bankable projects.” 

WWF and SNV take on the key role of developing climate-relevant projects from an early-stage idea to a bankable business case. Climate Fund Managers and FMO provide investment capital, delivering projects to full operations. This combination of early-stage involvement with full life-cycle funding will ensure lasting, long-term impact that contributes to the Paris Agreement and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Interested parties can contact the DFCD through: www.thedfcd.com.

The Dutch Fund for Climate and Development open for business
In picture from left to right the DFCD partners at the official launch event in The Hague: Andrew Johnstone, CEO of Climate Fund Managers, Kirsten Schuijt, CEO of WWF-NL, Linda Broekhuizen, CIO of FMO, Albert Bokkestijn, project manger DFCD at SNV, Carola van Rijnsoever, Director of Inclusive Green Growth, and Ambassador for Sustainable Development, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In picture from left to right the DFCD partners at the official launch event in The Hague: Andrew Johnstone, CEO of Climate Fund Managers, Kirsten Schuijt, CEO of WWF-NL, Linda Broekhuizen, CIO of FMO, Albert Bokkestijn, project manger DFCD at SNV, Carola van Rijnsoever, Director Inclusive Green Growth, and Ambassador Sustainable Development, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Global Lending Automation Platform Trade Ledger Announces £1.5m Funding Round Led by Hambro Perks

The world’s first open banking business Lending-as-a-Service platform has completed a £1.5m funding round led by Hambro Perks, the leading UK early-stage venture firm.

Martin-McCann-CEO-Trade-Ledger
Martin McCann CEO Trade Ledger

London, 30 October 2019 – Trade Ledger, the ground-breaking business lending platform, which automates commercial lending processes for global banks and alternative finance providers, today announces strategic investment in a £1.5M round led by Hambro Perks, to further accelerate revenue growth.

Established in 2016 and now operating on three continents, Trade Ledger’s unique lend-tech platform automates all types of digital business finance, helping bank and non-bank business lending organisations alike to fast-track economic growth through process automation and scaling of business credit operations. Trade Ledger uses financial data APIs (often referred to as Open Banking), Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Robotic Process Automation technologies to enhance or replace old and costly legacy bank systems for origination, credit decisioning, take on and loan management, enabling new cutting-edge working capital solutions for business customers. The resulting new lending solutions can reduce the time-to-cash from 90 days which is the industry average to 4 minutes and are better tailored to the working capital needs of modern high-growth businesses. 

Trade Ledger’s co-founder, Martin McCann, and his team believe that transforming business lending operations through the Trade Ledger Lending Platform is the single biggest area of opportunity for commercial banks and financial services organisations to benefit from Open Banking in the near future. “There is a £1.2 trillion gap in credit that businesses need to optimise growth which is why we created this lend-tech”, explained McCann. “We believe that only by reimagining new types of credit services only possible with this lend-tech, can banks solve this massive business problem profitably and at scale globally. By leveraging open trade data via APIs alongside other enterprise-grade enabling technologies, financial institutions can drive significant operational efficiencies and product innovation within their internal operations and dramatically increase market share.”

“My co-founder Matt and I launched Trade Ledger in 2016 to improve the business customer’s experience in their financial supply chain, by helping banks re-imagine the entire process”, continued Martin McCann. “With the increasing threat of big technology firms like Google, Amazon and Alibaba bridging the gap between traditional financial services and the supply-chain eco-system, incumbent banks and lenders must start thinking about how they remain relevant. Trade Ledger is currently the only true platform in the world that can help them do this at a global scale in the business lending sector.”

George Davies, Partner at Hambro Perks added: “We are delighted to be backing Trade Ledger as Martin, Matt and the Trade Ledger team continue to develop market-leading tech that benefits businesses around the world. Hambro Perks is committed to supporting brilliant founders and teams that are building global businesses, and we believe that Trade Ledger has enormous global potential. We are very excited about Trade Ledger’s rapid growth and to support Martin and Matt as they tackle the barriers that have created such a vast undersupply of working capital for businesses across the globe.”

The Trade Ledger Platform provides a complete innovation layer that masks the clunky traditional corporate business banking environment and delivers an excellent consumer-like experience. Trade Ledger supports compliance with new regulatory requirements through aggregation and normalisation of better credit risk data whilst underpinning the wider commercialisation of open data and adoption of new banking business models to generate new revenue streams. The platform orchestrates value in the lending ecosystem by moving organisations from process-led engagement to an automated data-driven lending model.

About Trade Ledger

Trade Ledger (www.tradeledger.io) is the world’s first open banking lending platform that gives banks the ability to assess business lending risk in real-time. This will enable banks to address the £1.2 trillion of undersupply in trade finance lending globally while providing high-growth companies with the working capital needed to sustain growth.

About Hambro Perks

Hambro Perks (www.hambroperks.com)  is a London based venture firm that backs and builds leading technology companies. Founded by Dominic Perks and Rupert Hambro CBE, Hambro Perks invests at an early stage and helps companies to scale with capital and strategic support. The firm invests from both its permanent capital and Co-Investment EIS Fund that is open to high net worth investors and is soon to launch other funds. Hambro Perks has backed more than 40 businesses such as the digital pharmacy Echo, the geocoding system What3Words, and the Muslim matchmaking app Muzmatch.