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Cryptocurrencies are a medium for the purchase and sale of goods and services via the internet. With countries all over the world embracing digitisation, cryptocurrencies are becoming increasingly popular, enabling people in different countries to do business with each other.
The world’s most famous cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, came onto the market in 2009. It soared in popularity, becoming the most commonly known type of cryptocurrency, and the one most often accepted by people and businesses around the world.
Over time, the value of Bitcoin rose exponentially, although this form of cryptocurrency has also been susceptible to extreme decreases in value, sometimes in a very short timeframe. As finance industry expert Dr Thomson Mpinganjira will be well aware, cryptocurrencies are extremely vulnerable to market volatility, with their value decimated or mushrooming overnight.
A cryptocurrency is a virtual currency that serves as a medium of exchange. Cryptocurrencies rely on cryptography to verify and secure transactions, as well as to regulate the creation of new units of cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies are essentially limited entries within a secure database that no party can change without fulfilling certain conditions.
The ’90s tech boom saw many attempts at creating a digital currency system, with forerunners such as Beenz, DigiCash, and Flooz emerging onto the market, but ultimately failing. These early forms of digital currency failed for various different reasons, including financial problems, fraud, and frictions between the company and its employees.
Beenz, DigiCash, and Flooz all used a Trusted Third-Party approach, i.e. the companies verified and facilitated transactions. Following the failure of these pioneering digital currencies, there was industrywide concern that creating an effective digital cash system was a lost cause.
Bitcoin emerged in early 2009, introduced under the alias ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ by an unidentified programmer or group. It was completely decentralised, with no central controlling authority or servers involved, forming a system that essentially works in a similar way to peer-to-peer file-sharing networks.
One of the most important issues that any online payment network has to address is the problem of ‘double-spending,’ a fraudulent technique where the same amount is spent twice. Early forms of digital currency used a Trusted Third-Party approach, relying on a central server to maintain records of transactions and balances. The flaw in this concept, however, is that a single authority controls all users’ funds, as well as their personal details.
With a decentralised concept like Bitcoin, every participant plays a part in the process. Implemented via blockchain, a public ledger detailing all transactions that ever took place on the network, data is available to all participants, meaning that everyone on the network can view every account balance.
Bitcoin relies on basic cryptography. It enables participants to buy and sell services and goods, with some using the platform to invest. Each transaction creates a file, featuring the sender and recipient’s public keys and recording the number of coins transacted. Transactions must be signed off by the sender using their own private key. Once as transaction is confirmed, it is broadcasted across the network.
Decentralised, self-sustained cryptocurrencies that do not exist in physical form could potentially create uproar among regulators. Bitcoin has been banned in Vietnam, Bolivia, Bangladesh, Ecuador, and Kyrgyzstan, with laws and regulations on the usage of cryptocurrencies varying drastically country by country.
Concerns have been raised that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin could be used to trade in illegal goods and services or leveraged in tax evasion schemes and money laundering. Nevertheless, platforms such as Bitcoin also show vast potential. As cryptocurrencies grow in popularity, entering the mainstream, legal regulators, tax authorities and law enforcement agencies all over the world must familiarise themselves with the concept of crypto coins, demarcating their place within existing legal frameworks and monetary systems.
Each of us always begins on something, and this is true when you’re just starting to build your credit profile. Individuals who are just setting off in adult life or who never obtained a loan or credit card because they prefer to purchase stuff with cash or debit card are in this category.
However, it doesn’t mean that you’re not a trustworthy consumer or a creditworthy individual if you have fair or no credit. Having no credit is different from having a poor credit score. There are challenges when taking out a loan when you’re in either situation, but it’s more difficult to have bad credit.
If you’re yet to establish your credit profile and you want to borrow money from a lender, you should get a no credit check loan. Here are some ways on how you can take out a loan with fair credit or without having an established credit history.
Find a Lender That Conducts Non-Traditional Credit Assessment
Lenders have various ways to determine that you have the means to pay the loan other than checking your credit history. There are lending companies that specialize in non-traditional credit assessment. Instead of looking at your credit profile, they will check your bank statements and your payment history towards your rent, electricity bill, internet bill, and other stuff.
Go to a lender directly if you want to avail of this kind of loan option. Credit unions and banks also accept non-traditional credit history. If such lending institutions have branches in your area, you can take a visit to discuss the specifics of getting a no credit check loan. You can try to apply for online loans at Crediteck.
Just make sure to bring necessary documents, such as recent tax returns, bank statements, payslips, and proofs of bills payment.
Get a Cosigner When Applying for a Loan
It’s a common practice for people without credit histories to add a cosigner for their loan applications. For example, you can ask a friend or family member who has an excellent credit score to cosign with you to get approved for the loan.
The catch with having someone to cosign your loan is that the cosigner’s credit score will get dragged down if you don’t pay the loan on time or you default on the loan. This unfortunate situation might damage not only the creditworthiness of your cosigner but also your relation to him/her. You have to ensure that you’ll be a responsible payer to avoid this kind of predicament.
Apply for a Secured Loan
Lenders that offer loans without collateral will require you to have a stellar credit score. People with excellent credit scores are responsible payers, so lenders consider them as low-risk borrowers.
But what if it’s your first time to apply for a loan and you have no credit score yet?
In that kind of situation, you can try applying for a secured loan to borrow the cash that you need. A secured loan requires you to offer a valuable asset as collateral. Here are some of the assets that you can put as collateral to obtain a secured loan:
- House or land
- Insurance policies
- Mutual funds, bond, or stocks
- Silver, gold, and other valuable metals
- Collectible items
If you apply for a secured loan, there are chances that you can avail of a favorable loan term and interest rate. However, you should see to it that you can pay the loan so that you won’t lose the asset that you put as collateral. Also, avoid lenders that can entrap you in a cycle of debt.
Go for a Payday Alternative Loan
If you’re a member of a credit union and you want to borrow money for an emergency, you can apply for a payday alternative loan. This form of financing provides you with a small loan amount for a short period of time.
Payday alternative loans have terms ranging from 1 to 6 months, and you can obtain a sum of cash ranging from $100 to $1,000. The fees and interest rates for payday alternative loans are more affordable than regular payday loans.
However, you can’t get this type of loan if you’re not a credit union member for at least a month. If you want to join a credit union, just search for it in your locality.
Online Personal Loans
There are online lenders that let you borrow money even if you don’t have credit. Borrower’s risk assessment of such lenders is less stringent than banks and credit unions. However, you need to submit proof of your income and employment to qualify for this type of financing.
You can still avail of a loan even if you don’t have an established credit profile yet. If you’re strapped for cash and you have important purchase/s you need to cover, take note of the ways mentioned above for that purpose.
If you invested your money in different assets, like mutual funds, stocks, forex, and bonds, it’s important to know how to manage your dividend payments. Dividends are the income received by the fund’s shareholders from the sale of a given security or portfolio of securities. [Read more…]
Wealth management firms rely on platforms to provide accurate, quick, and efficient advisory and wealth management services to their clients. The market is flooded with many wealth management platforms, each claiming to be the best platform offering advanced and unique features. It is impractical and time-consuming for wealth management firms to test each wealth management platform available in the market to determine the best and most capable platform. We have tested many wealth management platforms and solicited reviews from various wealth advisory firms using different platforms to determine the top 5 wealth management platforms. In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of each platform. Let’s check out and review our list of the top 5 wealth management platforms.
- Digital Onboarding
- Client Portal
- Personalized wealth planning
- Compliance + Investment and Risk management framework
- Trading & Rebalancing Portfolios with tax optimization
- Only supports TD Ameritrade, Pershing, Fidelity, Charles Schwab Custodians
AdvisorEngine ranks first in our list of the top 5 wealth management platforms due to its all-in-one nature and cutting-edge features, empowering not only the wealth advisors but facilitating the clients as well. The customer support reviews show it to have a high-level of customer satisfaction, especially with their CRM Junxure.
Wealth advisors can start their client onboarding journey digitally, allowing for paperless and quick account-opening experience to clients. We were especially impressed with the client portal which provides a very modern look and allows clients an easy and quick real-time overview of their accounts so they can stay informed about the latest positions of their accounts.
One of the hallmarks of AdvisorEngine is that it lets wealth advisors configure the investment framework according to the clients’ needs. Wealth managers and advisors can implement their own strategies or choose time-tested strategies.
With the information gathered by AdvisorEngine’s customizable questionnaires, wealth advisors can automate the profiling of clients and simplify the process for prospective clients. AdvisorEngine, then, recommends portfolio construction based on the responses of the clients. They are one of the few options we saw that had a complete end to end platform and robo advisor technology.
With AdvisorEngine, wealth managers can ensure that the portfolio management of individual clients complies with the established risk framework. Compliance reporting is significantly simplified.
The portfolio rebalancing feature of AdvisorEngine is fairly robust. AdvisorEngine’s automated portfolio rebalancing tools make it easier for wealth advisors to rebalance the portfolios with just a few clicks without making a significant change in the market value of the assets that can result from rebalancing large portfolios.
Wealth managers can create tax-optimized portfolios for their clients irrespective of the size of the portfolio or the type of client, resulting in higher net returns on investment. With the detailed analytics and reports, wealth managers can analyze the returns, rebalancing requirements, and tax optimization of portfolios, helping them to make the necessary adjustments in asset allocation.
The reporting features of AdvisorEngine offer dynamic and interactive dashboards and present data in a clear and easily understandable way. Clients can access their portfolio data including transactions, holdings, risk-return metrics, forecasting, and performance data. The reporting feature also allows wealth managers to set up firm level reporting, which includes client performance, billing, digital onboarding, portfolio details, revenue attribution, etc.
One of the strongest pieces is that it’s an open technology platform, with robust integrations and the ability to plug into any other tools. The custodian list was fairly strong, covering Fidelity, Pershing, TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab. The only downside of the platform is if you happened to not have a supported custodian.
- Advisor Dashboard
- Client Portal
- Portfolio Management
- Rebalancing & Trading
- Tax optimization
- Limited compliance functionality
Oranj ranks at number two on our list of top 5 wealth management platforms. The platform provides advanced features that make it a very capable wealth management system. With Oranj’s wealth advisor dashboard, wealth advisors can perform client management functions like connecting with clients, browse the contacts and see their financial goals and net worth, manage accounts, and monitor investments. The client portal provides clients real-time access to their accounts where they can view detailed reports about the performance of various assets. The portfolio management function of Oranj provides insights and analytics to help track, monitor, and optimize the portfolios. The platform also provides notifications in case the portfolio drifts from the target. The platform’s risk management functionality guides wealth advisors on risk associated with the portfolio, allowing managers to take corrective actions.
The rebalancing and trading feature of the platform empowers wealth managers to bring back the portfolio to balance with a few clicks, thanks to the automated and easy-to-use account rebalancing functionality of the platform. Account aggregation and tagging features help wealth advisors to select the common accounts and perform rebalancing operations easily. The rebalancing can be done on all sorts of accounts and portfolios irrespective of size and type.
Though Oranj is a capable wealth management platform, it lacks in the compliance department. It is critical for wealth managers to comply with the organization’s thresholds and regulatory requirements, which ensures the protection of client’s interests and saves the portfolio from disastrous losses.
3- RIA in a Box:
- Risk assessment tools
- Annual review tool
- RIA in a Box is centered on risk assessment and compliance:
- No portfolio management functionality
RIA in a Box is a platform for wealth managers that is focused on compliance and risk assessment. The company provides compliance packages to private fund advisers with an option for registration with state or SEC. Other than that, the company’s private fund platform features include monitoring fund inventory, access to tailored risk assessment tools, compliance updates on mandatory documentation like Form ADV, Form PF, Form D, Blue Sky Filings, etc.
The company does not offer any of the robust wealth management tools such as portfolio management, client portal, trading and rebalancing of portfolios, tax optimization, customer relationship management, etc, which are of utmost importance in a capable and efficient wealth management platform. However, if you are a (RIA) private registered investment advisor looking for registration with the state or SEC, you might find the services of the company useful in complying with the documentation needed for successfully completing your registration.
- Portfolio management tool:
- Client Reporting
- Investment Profile
- Risk management and Compliance
- Difficult to do Portfolio rebalancing
Dorsum ranks fourth on our list of the top 5 wealth management platforms. Due to the platform’s easy integration, it’s built for wealth management companies, private banking departments, and portfolio & wealth managers. The platform offers many advantages that portfolio managers want in a wealth management platform.
Wealth managers can manage multiple portfolios of different clients due to the smart portfolio management tools offered by Dorsum. Using different models, wealth managers can automate the process of portfolio management, which helps wealth managers to focus on advisory functions instead of managing the portfolios.
The interactive client reporting portal equips clients with a powerful analysis tool where they can monitor their accounts and download various reports with just a few clicks from their smartphones or laptops. The clients are grouped into various categories based on their investment profiles. Investment profile of a client is made after getting the client’s responses to a risk questionnaire and the client’s financial objectives.
Risk management is done automatically using the Dorsum wealth management platform, which prompts the wealth advisor about any breach of the risk management limits. The platform also facilitates wealth advisors in meeting the statutory regulatory limits imposed by the regulatory authorities.
One drawback with Dorsum wealth management platform, however, is that it doesn’t offer automatic portfolio rebalancing, which is often time consuming and inefficient when done manually. Dorsum is an EU company based in Hungary so there might be some delay in getting support.
- AI and Analytics
- Market data management
- Portfolio management
- Customer relationship management
- Client reporting
- Portfolio tax optimization
Temenos Infinity Wealth ranks fifth on our list of top 5 wealth management platforms. The artificial intelligence and analytics embedded in the platform allows wealth managers to accurately craft portfolios based on the clients needs, backed by the data, with minimum human intervention. The analytics feature shows detailed analysis, helping wealth managers to evaluate the performance of the portfolio and identify areas of improvement.
With the help of a market data management module, wealth advisors can obtain precious data about the stock, bond, or other markets, enabling wealth advisors to make informed decisions keeping in view the latest and expected investment environment of the markets.
Like all other wealth management platforms we discussed, Temenos Infinity also provides automated portfolio management features to the wealth advisors. Wealth managers can focus on new customer acquisition and advisory roles due to the automated portfolio management function of Temenos Infinity’s wealth management platform.
The platform has an added customer relationship management module that offers wealth managers additional features of client management. Using the customer relationship management function, wealth managers can have a bird-eye view of the customers, sort the customers based on the common attributes, communicate with clients seamlessly without having to manually input the customer contact details.
Although the wealth management platform by Temenos Infinity is well built, It lacks efficient client reporting and portfolio tax optimization features. Client reporting feature allows customers to view and download different reports related to their accounts, which increases customer satisfaction and is considered an essential feature in wealth management platforms.
Also, the lack of a tax optimization feature which helps wealth managers generate extra returns by optimizing portfolios for tax. The extra return so generated can make a big difference in the long run for clients, improving the performance of the portfolio returns.
How many hours of the day do you spend online? One study from 2019 shows the average person spent more than 100 days out of the year online, and that was before the coronavirus caused many of us to stay home.
Now that we’re nearly a year into the pandemic, most people are spending even more of their lives online — from connecting with friends over video to binge-watching the latest series to drop on Netflix. You may even be doing your banking entirely over the web.
If you plan on taking out an installment loan online, you’re in for a simple and convenient borrowing option. But this convenience may come with greater risk as you’ll be exchanging financial data over the Internet.
To make sure your data is safe whenever you share it, check out these tips. They’ll help you lock down your personal information.
Legitimate installment loans direct lenders that provide online loans will focus on their digital security for two reasons.
- It’s the law. In the U.S., there are online privacy laws that dictate how online direct lenders can use your data. They also have to abide by federal financial laws that regulate how all financial institutions handle your information.
- It’s good for business. An online lender’s reputation can either drive business or scare it away. They don’t want to be involved in a data breach any more than you do, as this breach of trust casts doubts on their ability to protect their customers.
Double-Check for SSL
If you use Chrome, your browser does this naturally. Google has made it mandatory for websites to use Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption. If one doesn’t, Chrome won’t load the page properly, and it will warn you that the website may be predatory if you choose to proceed.
However, there’s a way to check for these things manually. A website with SSL will have the following features:
- Address that starts with HTTPS
- Closed padlock next to the URL
- Valid Certificate information
Click Before You Accept Cookies
The request to track your cookies happens so often that you probably don’t think twice before accepting it. You probably clicked accept at some point to get to this page. But when it comes to borrowing online, reading over how they track them gives you a good indication of whether an online direct lender uses firewall.
A firewall is a security device that monitors the activity on a network. It’s designed to catch unwanted traffic that includes viruses or active hackers that can snatch data shared between your computer and a website’s server.
Remember Security When You Borrow Next
There’s a lot to keep track of when you’re gearing up to borrow. You have to check your credit, compare lenders, and shop around for rates and terms all before making sure your choice fits your budget and needs.
Although you may feel like you couldn’t possibly add one more task to your long to-do list, make sure you remember to check your lender’s approach to security. If you can find a lender that can take your data seriously, chances are they’ll take your financial wellbeing seriously, too.
Renewable energies are sources of clean, inexhaustible, and increasingly competitive energy. They differ from fossil fuels principally in their diversity, abundance, and potential for use anywhere on the planet, but above all in that they produce neither greenhouse gases – which cause climate change – nor polluting emissions. Their costs are also falling and at a sustainable rate, whereas the general cost trend for fossil fuels is in the opposite direction despite their present volatility.
Clean Energy Is Increasing Popular
Growth in clean energies is unstoppable, as reflected in statistics produced in 2015 by the International Energy Agency (IEA): they represented nearly half of all new electricity generation capacity installed in 2014, when they constituted the second biggest source of electricity worldwide, behind coal.
Clean energy development is vital for combating climate change and limiting its most devastating effects. 2014 was the warmest year on record. The Earth’s temperature has risen by an average 0.85 °C since the end of the 19th Century, states National Geographic in its special November 2015 issue on climate change. Meanwhile, some 1.1 billion inhabitants (17% of the world population) do not have access to electricity. As such, one of the objectives established by the United Nations is to achieve to access to electricity for everyone by 2030, an ambitious target considering that, by then, according to the IEA’s estimates, 800 million people will have no access to an electricity supply if current trends continue.
The transition to an energy system based on renewable technologies will have very positive economic consequences. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), doubling the renewable energy share in the world energy mix, to 36% by 2030, will result in additional global growth of 1.1% by that year (equivalent to 1.3 trillion dollars), an increase in well being of 3.7% and in employment in the sector of up to more than 24 million people, compared to 9.2 million today. It will also significantly reduce air pollution.
Considering the importance of energy sustainability, the gravity of climate change and its impact on our planet, and the prospects for economic growth an increase in renewable energy can have, a transition to a system majorly operating on renewable energy is not only desirable but absolutely required.
RE Royalties and the Green Investing Revolution
That’s why Bernard Tan started RE Royalties. His goal was to help build renewable energy projects faster through innovative royalty financing, while leading the way for socially conscious investors. Many of RE Royalties’ clients have great project opportunities, but are too small to secure traditional financing to fund their growth plans. Typically, these projects need $1M – $20M in financing and want to maintain ownership of their assets.
While the royalty business model is well-proven and the renewable industry is not new, the combination of the two is very innovative. RE Royalties is the first royalty company to focus solely on the renewable energy sector. They provide capital in the form of a cash payment or loan, in exchange for a percentage of future revenues from operating projects. RE Royalties’ clients retain 100% control of their assets and businesses, and there are no restrictions on how the funds are used.
“The capital we provide can be considered an “advance” to our client, and the periodic percentage payments can be considered “royalties” to our investors, explains Bernard. We call it Renewable Energy Royalties.”
The idea for the business came when Bernard was working with a local clean technology company to help with their financing. The company had a promising technology that looked to harness the kinetic energy from tides and canals to generate clean electricity.
Not only did they have the technology to generate clean renewable electricity from an unlimited resource, but they also had an established development partner, the government was waiting to provide them with permits to install at various sites, and a long-term revenue contract to buy the electricity at a very high price. The only stumbling block was raising capital.
RE Royalties was started to create an alternative and an opportunity to make a difference for future generations. Bernard then contacted Peter Leighton, who was experienced in the renewable energy sector and joined the company as co-founder.
RE Royalties officially launched in January 2016. In March 2016, the company closed it’s first deal and acquired it’s first royalty in British Columbia, Canada.
Since then RE Royalties has built a portfolio of royalties in Canada, the United States and Europe. These long-term royalties are on over 400MW+ of solar, wind and hydro projects that are currently in operations or will be in the near-term. These projects play a significant role in combating climate change, as they will displace over 300,000+ tonnes of carbon per year from entering the atmosphere.
The company also announced a Green Bond offering, which allow participants to align their investments with their values while earning a fixed 6% return. Green Bonds are an exciting opportunity for socially and environmentally conscious investors who want to ensure their investments are helping fight climate change.
In contrast to buying shares and owning a piece of the company, RE Royalties Green Bonds are a loan from the investor to the company to be used exclusively for investing in renewable and sustainable energy projects.
Learn more about RE Royalties Green Bond offering here: https://www.reroyalties.com/green-bonds
Image source: Cafe Credit.