Insights

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Real Estate Crowdfunding vs. REITs

When we speak to people about our platform Property Crowd, and real estate crowdfunding in general, one of the most common queries is “so how is that different from a REIT?” Good question. But let’s take a step back. As we highlighted in a previous article, those wishing to invest in real estate have typically faced a binary choice: the do-it-yourself direct route or the hands-off option of a managed REIT. While directly[...]
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China – Consumerism, Controls and Crowdfunding

For the longest time, and as far as I can remember, I have been an unrepentant China bear. But a recent business trip to Shenzhen, rubbing elbows with VC/PE fund managers, tech entrepreneurs and policymakers, had me wondering if perhaps I was wrong all along. The trip, to me, was an eye opener for more reasons than one. Thanks to friends and family (and friends of the family), my wife and I were given a glimpse into a side of China that[...]
Source: latest available fund fact sheets from February and March 2017

How PropTech is Changing Real Estate, and Why the Status Quo Won’t Do

A colleague of mine once joked that the fastest way to reduce your portfolio’s real estate exposure was to buy open-end real estate funds. And while the comment was admittedly a little tongue-in-cheek, therein perhaps lies a sliver of truth. A recent FT article noted how five of the UK’s[...]
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Question: What Has Grown by c.30% Over the Past Year and is Completely Tax-Free?

Answer: Your personal ISA allowance. Since the start of the new UK tax year two weeks ago, our ISA allowances have risen to £20,000 (from £15,240 previously). This means investors will now be able to set aside even more money each year in their tax-free ISA accounts, which broadly fall into three categories - Cash, Stocks & Shares, and the new Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA). The IFISA was introduced last year, extending the same[...]
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Using P2P / Crowdfunding to Kickstart Economic Growth

One of the key criticisms of how governments and central bankers around the world have responded to the 2008 financial crisis is that while their policy interventions have restored short-term stability, they have also exacerbated imbalances and inequalities, widening the gap between those who have and those who have not. Monetary stimulus has driven benchmark rates/yields towards the zero bound and directly (or some would say[...]
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Why IFAs and Wealth Managers Should Start Taking Real Estate Crowdfunding Seriously

For those of us who use an independent financial adviser (IFA) or discretionary wealth manager, you have likely never heard them mention P2P lending, Crowdfunding, or Alternative Finance as one of the investment options for your portfolio. This may appear unusual, considering how much coverage the industry has received in the media, especially since the launch of the Innovative Finance ISA last year. In fact, one might argue that the[...]
2017-04-03

LSE/Deutsche Boerse Saga: The Future of Exchanges

The scuppering of the mega-merger between the London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Boerse raises further questions about the future of exchanges as we know them. We shouldn't be too surprised; the two European exchange giants have had a go at wedded bliss before, and failed. Twice. But this time was different. It was supposed to be the key to their longer-term survival. Both groups have experienced sluggish growth in recent years as[...]
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Innovative Finance ISAs – Why are Approvals Taking So Long?

With the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) and Crowdfunding industry having gained a degree of acceptance amongst savvy investors, and ISA season in full swing with the new tax year less than a month away, the question will no doubt be asked again of these Innovative Finance ISAs (IFISAs) and why they haven't quite taken off as predicted. A little bit of background is probably useful here: then-Chancellor George Osborne outlined plans to introduce the[...]
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Real Estate Crowdfunding – Helping To Solve the Millennial Price Problem

As a bit of a self-confessed geek with a penchant for mathematics, one of the pipe dreams I had growing up was perhaps one day solving a Millennium Prize Problem and winning the million dollars that came along with it. But of course, I never progressed far beyond a precocious aptitude for algebra, never got close to solving a Millennium Prize Problem, and at some point remembered telling myself, “there must be an easier way of making[...]
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Early Close for Property Crowd’s Second Offer Amidst Strong Demand for Senior Secured Debt Yielding 12%

We’ve often noted in the past that, almost ten years on from the global financial crisis, the world still remains a visibly fragile, and some would say broken, place. Benchmark rates remain near zero as central banks seem afraid to choke off any budding recovery, and despite a deluge of liquidity, certain segments of the market (e.g. short-term borrowers and small businesses) still find it difficult to secure lending at reasonable[...]