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Why Invest in P2P Lending?

Many people are new to peer-to-peer (P2P) lending as an investment option. Questions arise. Is it trustworthy? Does it fit my needs as an investor? Who else have invested in it?

All valid concerns. Nearly no one wants to jump in blind when it comes to investing hard-earned money. Not billionaires, not angel investors – even they do extensive research prior to investing. People want examples of successful P2P investors and whether P2P lending works for their portfolio.

However, you’d be surprised by how flexible this form of alternative investment is.

Flexibility

Let’s start with individual or retail investors. Why is a relatively new investment opportunity so appealing to this segment?

The financial market can strike one as tangled, complicated, and unpredictable. Where does one even begin? P2P lending can feel like a breath of fresh air as it offers a much simpler concept. Basically, it is a form of alternative investment where investors collectively fund loans and earn interest-based earnings in return. Think of P2P lending as profitable crowdfunding! Where crowdfunding projects usually support charities and artistic ventures, P2P lending lets you collect attractive returns.

Due diligence and credit assessment guides your choices

Also, compare P2P lending with stock investment. Navigating the stock market requires expertise and research. Credible P2P lending platforms perform all the necessary due diligence and credit assessment to guide your investing choices, which saves time.

You still need to do some of your own research though, so you can decide for yourself which businesses you want to invest in. But overall, P2P lending jargon is more accessible compared to other investments.

Read Also: Three Key Risks of P2P Lending

alternative and affordable

Other bonuses? The affordable entry. At Funding Societies, you can invest in each small business with as little as SGD 100. P2P lending is also a profitable, with returns up to 14% per year.

It’s easy to see why individual investors are seeking alternative investments like P2P lending. Through it, you make passive income with ease and you earn higher returns from lower capital.

Read Also: 3 Alternatives To A Dividend Portfolio

More and more, P2P lending is gaining popularity. Respected media outlets such as Forbes have talked about its benefits. P2P infrastructure is thriving and all the indications point to one conclusion: P2P lending is here to stay!

This article was first posted on the blog of Funding Societies (Malaysia). Click here for the original article.

Funding Societies is a DollarsAndSense Brand Connect partner. If you are interested to know them better, you can find out more on what they do on our DollarsAndSense Brand Connect Page.

6 Different Types Of Alternative Investments You Should Consider

Whether you’re just looking, or starting out in investing, it will be helpful to understand the major instruments with which people tend to invest. This video gives an overview of 6 main investment options, as well as their qualities and characteristics. 

Read More: Starter’s Guide: 6 Different Types of Investments For You To Consider

Read Also: This App Can Help You Kick Start Your Investment Journey

Find out more about alternative investing at Funding Societies here.

Funding Societies is a DollarsAndSense Brand Connect partner. If you are interested to know them better, you can find out more on what they do on our DollarsAndSense Brand Connect Page.

 

Investing in an Uncertain World

Here’s an example of how uncertainty can affect the average investor: prior to the 2016 US Election Day, most polls had projected a Hillary Clinton victory. The eventual result was different, not to mention unexpected. The shock impacted the markets even before the official winner was declared. As Donald Trump’s victory became more and more assured, gold prices soared; the metal is generally seen as a safe asset and a hedge against inflation. Meanwhile, emerging market stocks tumbled and the US dollar reached its highest point since 2003.

In the immediate aftermath of the 2016 USA elections, the markets certainly reacted and the fluctuation reflected anxiety for the future. Investors asked: is long-term market stability still possible? Will the markets continue on this volatile streak? Will they calm after a while? Given a situation of financial instability, what should the typical investor do?

Donald Trump’s victory was a catalyst for financial swings, but the reality is, market instability often happens and investors need to prepare accordingly. Certain (but not excessive) precautions should be taken to buffer against unexpected upheavals. How to do so? Diversify your portfolio, hunt for new investment opportunities, and stay calm even during choppy times.

Diversify Your Portfolio

Political events often upset both the markets and investor confidence. Some investors choose to behave in a more conservative manner (see the spike in demand for gold immediately after the 2016 USA presidential elections). Others choose to try and time the market in the middle of insecure times by pulling their assets and getting back in later when the markets stabilize.

But timing the market is a very risky affair, even for experts. If you want to fortify your portfolio in anxious times, you should diversify across different asset classes and rebalance your instruments periodically to maintain your risk profile.

Telling investors to diversify is very basic advice, but think about it. Diversifying your investments is something you can control in the midst of uncertainty. You get to choose which instruments to purchase and how much money you are comfortable allocating into each asset class.

The main idea here is to balance the potential for risk and reward. For example, let’s say your portfolio consists of company stocks and precious metals. Your stock value may have been erratic over the USA election season, but the value of your gold has gone up. As you can see, with a well-diversified portfolio, you remain in the clear if the stock markets fluctuate for the long-term, as your returns aren’t determined by the performance of a single asset class.

Don’t overload yourself with real-time market information, but do look at all asset classes and see how they will fit into your portfolio and your risk tolerance. The bottom line is: if your overall portfolio is doing fine, then geopolitical situations matter less.

Read Also: This Infographic Will Tell You All You Need To Know To Defend Your Investments

This Is a Good Time to Hunt for New Investment Opportunities

If you think your investment portfolio is already well-balanced and you have covered the basics (fixed deposits, bonds, gold, stocks, etc), you can research new places to invest your money. There is an advantage to routinely looking at all the available options and seeing how they fit your portfolio because over time, asset classes produce different results. So to maintain your preferred risk profile, an investment portfolio needs periodic rebalancing.

If the current market climate is rendering you a little skittish, you can try investing small sums into alternatives. Technology, for instance, can be a promising sector.

Internet stocks are obvious suspects. Think about how essential brands like Google have become. But note that unless you are an early investor in these tech companies, your returns won’t be spectacular. Also, if you already own company stocks, other areas in technology can answer the gap in your portfolio.

Innovative and profitable technology companies are not exclusive to Western markets. One technology-based investment opportunity that’s growing in Singapore is peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, which utilized online platforms to match borrowers and investors. Borrowers take out financing for working capital or other business necessities, while investors who had collectively funded the financing opportunities gain interest-based earnings in return. Investing in P2P lending has several benefits: good return rates higher than deposits or bonds, a low entry barrier suitable for those wanting to try the business model first, and a streamlined online process.

Despite being a relatively new instrument, a study by the UK Peer to Peer Finance Association (P2PFA) stated that so long as investors are educated and the regulatory framework is sound, P2P lending does notcreate systemic risk. In fact, defaults would need to increase at least threefold from current levels to whittle down investor interest rates to below zero.

These days, certain apps can give you real-time updates on your favorite investments or even figure out the best investment mix for you. New opportunities are out there. Take the time to research and find new investments you can be confident in. Look for instruments with good growth that you can feel secure in.

Stay Calm and Don’t Make Rash Decisions

Yes, it can be difficult to enact this advice when your portfolio contains your hard-earned money, future hopes, and retirement plans. Investing can be as emotional as politics, making it difficult to stop watching the market’s every move. Yet it is counterproductive to overanalyse the current situation; there are too many variables. All the information overload can induce panic and cause you to “sell low, buy high” instead of the other way around. Additionally, don’t succumb to the temptation of making speculations. Impulsive decisions can change your portfolio drastically and at the moment, you need a balanced and stable portfolio.

Read Also: Invest Based On Your Investment Objectives, Not What Others Are Saying

Funding Societies is a DollarsAndSense Brand Connect partner. If you are interested to know them better, you can find out more on what they do on our DollarsAndSense Brand Connect Page.

Is Your P2P Platform’s Interests Aligned With Yours?

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending platforms earn fees from matching borrowers with investors, but investors bear the full risk if loans default. Thus, it is important for investors to pay attention to the risks associated with the ‘originate and distribute’ model and look for lending platforms whose interests are aligned with investors.

Watch this video to find out how to check if the interests of platforms are aligned with investors:

Read also: 5 Things That You Can Learn From How Temasek Holdings Invests And Builds Its Portfolio

Find out more about the peer-to-peer loan at Funding Societies here.

Funding Societies is a DollarsAndSense Brand Connect partner. If you are interested to know them better, you can find out more on what they do on our DollarsAndSense Brand Connect Page.

What Is P2P Lending And How It Actually Works

The Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending sector has gained quite a fair bit of attention as financial services have taken greater heights in its innovation phase in Singapore.

Read also: 3 Reasons Why Peer-To-Peer Lending Should Be In Your Portfolio

Whether you are an interested lender or borrower, it is important to note the pros and cons of P2P lending. Watch this video to find out more about P2P lending and how it actually works before considering it as part of your investment portfolio:

Read also: Three Key Risks Of Peer-To-Peer Lending

Find out more about the peer-to-peer loan at Funding Societies here.

Funding Societies is a DollarsAndSense Brand Connect partner. If you are interested to know them better, you can find out more on what they do on our DollarsAndSense Brand Connect Page.

The Myths and Misconceptions about Peer-to-Peer Lending

Over the past couple of years, peer-to-peer (P2P) lending has become an excellent alternative source of business financing, especially for SMEs and start-ups. With peer-to-peer lending, SMEs and start-ups can gain the funding they need for business development. Not only that, peer-to-peer lending is attractive to investors too, with its high returns and easy concept. However, with the rise of peer-to-peer lending, some myths have attached themselves to the concept. Want to separate fact and fiction? Here are some myths and misconceptions about peer-to-peer lending, along with the reality.

“You need a lot of money to get started”

False. In fact, one of peer-to-peer lending’s key advantages is its low entry barriers. Take our investment product, for example. With a S$1000 minimum first deposit at Funding Societies, you can start investing – and for better diversification, you can invest S$100 into ten loans each. You don’t need much to get started at all.

As a P2P investor, you also have flexibility as you are able to choose from the loans provided. You get to pick whichever loan has the tenor and interest rate that appeals to you most.

“It’s not a mainstream investment”

It depends on what you think of as “mainstream.” Yes, P2P lending as a concept has gained traction only recently, but there’s really nothing new about a business model where investors pool together the amount needed for a loan requested by a borrower. But these days, P2P lending activities are easier to facilitate thanks to online platforms and digital technology.

 

“There are no regulations for peer-to-peer lending”

One of the typical misconceptions about peer-to-peer lending is that the model is not yet regulated so investing in P2P lending or borrowing from a P2P platform can be risky. But it really depends on the region and country. In Singapore, MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore) has issued a framework for the P2P lending model. Look for a local P2P lending platform that has been licensed!

 

“Peer-to-peer lending is crowdfunding”

Not really, but it’s easy to make the mistake. After all, peer-to-peer lending is a category of crowdfunding. Certain principles are the same, but there are a few differences between the two concepts. Crowdfunding pools resources from multiple individuals to gather financing for a particular project, perhaps a creative project or the creation of a product. Sometimes the individuals who help pitch in money for a crowdfunding campaign get rewarded with gifts and sometimes there are no physical rewards, similar to a donation.

Peer-to-peer lending, in the meantime, operates more like a lending and borrowing model. Investors and borrowers are connected through an online facilitator. Together, investors pool together finances for borrowers. The borrower will use the disbursed loan and repay his investors with interest.

 

“If you lend money on P2P platform, it will be locked for a fixed period”

Well, yes. A P2P investor is asked to commit funds for a fixed period, but for a shorter period than most other investments. On our platform, loan tenures range from 3 to 24 months, which compares favorably to other instruments.

We hope the above have dispelled some of the tangles and confusion. With its advantages, P2P lending is an attractive solution for both investor and borrowers. Do you agree?

Find out more about the peer-to-peer loan at Funding Societies here.

Funding Societies is a DollarsAndSense Brand Connect partner. If you are interested to know them better, you can find out more on what they do on our DollarsAndSense Brand Connect Page.

5 Steps for Better Cash Flow Management

Financing is the most important aspect of any business and smart entrepreneurs know that well-managed cash flow will prevent unnecessary costs and charges. Most business owners are aware of the importance of cash flow management, yet many have no idea how to do so. Whether you are a complete beginner or you want to get some more tips, read on for five steps to better cash flow management.

Read also: Growing Your Business Without Breaking The Bank

#1 Never expect quick payments

Have you ever had an experience when a customer did not pay you on time? It may not necessarily be because they are unable to pay the invoice. If your customer has ordered your product, it means that they are likely to have enough funds to pay for your goods. But unforeseen circumstances happen. Perhaps your customer has guidelines on extending payment terms. So it’s best never to expect quick payment on your sales. Instead, determine if you have enough working capital to keep your business running well in the event of payment delays. Remember the saying: hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

#2 Read the details of your agreement

It’s rare to have a completely accurate invoicing process. However, understanding your customers’ payment processes or at least using the right purchase order numbers on every piece of communication can help you get paid on time. Carefully study the details of your payment agreement. Make sure you prepare everything you can so that your customers have no excuses to delay payment.

#3 Forecast your cash flow

Doing business without forecasting your cash flow is like driving a car in the rain without windscreen wipers: you can drive but you can’t see where you are going. Account for all expected incomes and expenses in the future.  Being aware of every completed transaction and updating your records accordingly can also help in managing your cash flow.

#4 Find the root of your cash flow problems

Analyze the root causes of your cash flow problem. Late payments are the most common cause of cash flow problems and financial mismanagement. You should also consider potential problems such as inaccurate invoicing, inconsistent pricing, lack of customer contact, or misunderstanding your customer’s payment cycles.

#5 Make use of technology

Ease your financing by using technology. Several software programs are available to help you manage your cash flow. This includes reminder notifications to help you ensure timely payment from your customers. Some software programs even help you to create consistent and professional invoices.

By having well-managed cash flow, you will be able to determine if you need financing support. Even beginners can improve cash flow management by simply incorporating these steps into their business practice. So, start working towards an optimised cash flow position today!

Find out more about the peer-to-peer loan at Funding Societies here.

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Funding Societies is a DollarsAndSense Brand Connect partner. If you are interested to know them better, you can find out more on what they do on our DollarsAndSense Brand Connect Page.

This New App Can Help You Kick Start Your Investment Journey

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending is growing part of investment portfolios in Singapore. This growing adoption is helped by FinTech companies like Funding Societies, which has a powerful yet easy-to-use platform that helps connect SMEs borrowers to a pool of willing lenders who lend them money in return for higher interest rates.

Read Also: 3 Reasons Why Peer-To-Peer Lending Should Be In Your Portfolio

For those new to P2P lending, check out this handy infographic:

Read Also: Three Key Risks of Peer-to-Peer Lending

As Singapore’s leading digital lending platform, Funding Societies provides P2P lending to SMEs in Singapore through an online marketplace, while giving individual investors the opportunity to lend your money for much higher returns.

In keeping with their goal to make investing easier and more accessible, Funding Societies has launched a mobile app so anyone can add P2P lending to their investment portfolio.

Through this app, you can check on upcoming investment opportunities as well as monitor the status of your portfolio wherever you are. If you’re not already a user of the Funding Societies platform, you can sign up and start investing from within the app.

The Funding Societies app is available on both iOS and Android devices. Do check it out and let us know what you think!

Funding Societies is a DollarsAndSense Brand Connect partner. If you are interested to know them better, you can find out more on what they do on our DollarsAndSense Brand Connect Page.

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Growing Your Business Without Breaking The Bank

Do you know that 99% of businesses in Singapore are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)? They employ 7 out of every 10 workers and contribute over 50% towards the National GDP.

Yet only 1 in 20 SMEs gets bank financing. Why? Insufficient collateral and track record, staggering interest rates, or all of the above. The reality is that every business starts small and raising capital is a challenge. And in addition, startups are expected provide collateral, afford high interest rates, and have a proven track record, just to be able to get funded.

While traditional banks may be appropriate for big, established corporations, small businesses may be better served by a less traditional route, but one that has gained popularity and traction over recent years. Consider peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, also known as “social lending.” P2P lending allows for individuals to lend and borrow money directly from each other, doing away with the middlemen, financial intermediaries like banks. Just as it offers borrowers loans with low interest rates, P2P lending also benefits lenders (investors) with deserving returns.

How It Works

In a typical P2P lending scenario, you sign up to become a member at a P2P marketplace website. We at Funding Societies are among the first of such marketplace platforms in Singapore and South East Asia. Serving as the platform between borrower and lender, we take care of your borrowing and investment needs.

Borrowers

Before you can borrow from our pool of lenders, we first take some time to get to know you better. We look into business and credit records along with a personal interview to understand your business. Because we want to make sure everyone goes home happy, we only accept quality applications.

Let’s say you’ve been accepted (yay!). Our pool of lenders will see your approved application and make the decision to lend the funds to you. Once your loan is fully funded or funded to your satisfaction, the amount will be released to you.

Lenders

As a lender, you get to choose which ventures you wish to fund, and you can even spread your funds among several borrowers, spreading your risk. Because of the information transparency on our site, you’ll know what kind of business you’re lending to and to what end. You may sympathise with a particular industry’s story or venture, and the future success of the borrower and related industry can give you a sense of personal satisfaction knowing you contributed.

Getting Started

Whether you are a borrower or lender, you may look into P2P lending for your next venture and consider Funding Societies. We are a marketplace lending platform that facilitates funding objectives of SMEs who hit a roadblock when it comes to getting financing. From the borrower’s end, one business borrows from many lenders. From the lender’s end, one person lends to many small businesses, spreading and minimising risks. Investors or lenders get high returns (in comparison to most investment instruments) and borrowers get the loans they need at reasonable rates. And fast. All in all a win-win situation.

While we are confident in our mission, we realise that this operation comes with inherent risks and work with caution. In our efforts to mitigate any inherent or potential risks, we differentiate ourselves in that we work with a safer and less risky SME segment. With an interest rate of 10-20%, lenders can expect lower loan default. Being a marketplace platform, we are able to secure funds from not only retail investors, but also high net-worth individuals and institutional investors. From application to cash disbursement, the process time is short, with SMEs being able to immediately secure the minimum funding within days.

Our team is comprised of predominantly Southeast Asians, with a vision of making a positive contribution to the Southeast Asian societies, hence our name Funding Societies. Within three months since our incorporation in February 2015, we have put together a team of professionals, raised funds, and received large commitments from lenders. With access to the largest and most innovative marketplace lending players in the US and world-renowned thought leaders, and bringing into play the essence of the Silicon Valley startup culture, we work collectively to continually learn, deliver, and reinvent ourselves in this market.

Our customer service is rooted in our relationship with you. We are investing in our community and education to encourage discussion on relevant topics within the world of SMEs, safe borrowing, and investment, which is why you’ll see regular articles posted on our site blog. We have a dedicated team towards client service, ensuring that you will always be served and responded to in a timely way. Making the most of today’s technology, we operate efficiently to connect and facilitate the conversation among our community of borrowers and lenders (investors).

We understand that everybody starts somewhere, and it doesn’t matter where you are, our focus is to get you (the SMEs) the funding required to grow and for lenders (investors) the boost in returns you deserve. With your partnership, you’ll be helping us deliver our mission of serving local businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. This is our social promise.

The thriving of our national economy is measured by the growth and success of its enterprises, small, medium, and big. Let’s work together not just for our individual accomplishments, but also for our collective progress as a community.

Read also: 8 Things to Ask Yourself Before Applying for a Business Loan

Find out more about the peer-to-peer loan at Funding Societies here.

One FinTech Company Hopes To Help SMEs Solve Cash Flow Challenges That Even Banks Have Problems With

SME and start-ups owners will be familiar with the challenge. Your business is doing perfectly fine but you need a short-term loan or a credit facility to tide over some cashflow matters.

You turn to your regular banks but are not familiar with the loans they are offering. They are covenants you need to adhere to, collaterals you need to put up for them, an existing credit history and other business documents that you may or may not have.

It’s a hassle and you only have two choice. Comply or walk away.

Funding Societies Bolt To Provide Fast And Secure Loans For SMEs

Local FinTech Company Funding Societies aims to solve this common headache of SME owners and fellow entrepreneurs by launching an app that allow users to apply for loans in just 2 minutes, through their mobile phone.

The app, called FS Bolt, is now available on both iOS and Android devices.

FS Bolt uses an automated credit assessment process that enables it to approve or reject loan application in just two hours. Once a loan has been approved, money will be disbursed within 24 hours of the loan application. This makes FS Bolt one of, if not, the quickest source of working capital loans that SMEs can tap upon in Singapore.

Read Also: 8 Things To Ask Yourself Before Applying For A Business Loan

Keeping It Flexible For Singapore’s SMEs

To keep it simple and flexible for SMEs, FS Bolt also provides loan tenor flexibility. Borrowers can repay their loan anytime they wish without incurring penalty for early repayment. This is a feature that many loan products in the market do not have. Such a feature provides incentives for borrowers to repay their loans quickly, with borrowers only paying the interest during the time the money was borrowed.

Different Products For Different Needs

Funding Societies is of course no stranger to supporting SMEs in Singapore. The company’s flagship product is its peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform that helps connect SMEs borrowers to a pool of willing lenders who lend them money in return for higher interest rates.

The company has a rigorous credit assessment process and also practices what it calls “skin in the game” by having its founders and team investing alongside lenders in every crowdfunding opportunity.

Read Also: Three Key Risks Of Peer-To-Peer Lending