Connect with us

Wealth Management

FIRSTHOMECOACH: FIRST-TIME BUYER PLATFORM LAUNCHES ON ANDROID AND IOS

New digital platform fixes the broken home-buying process, offering desperately needed support for first-time buyers

 

An all-in-one personalised digital platform that guides first-time property buyers through the entire home-buying process has formally launched on App Store and Google Play.

 

FirstHomeCoach – the brainchild of Ben Leonard, former HSBC Head of Financial Institutions, and Paul Carse, the former CTO of the Racing Post – offers bespoke guidance for prospective homeowners, many of whom lack knowledge of the house buying process, have a poor credit rating or struggle to save up a deposit.

 

At the heart of the free platform, which is also available online, is a basic desire to help people: offering digital coaching, via an online knowledge base and functional check-list, to individual users – including those most left behind by society and the property market – so that they can fulfil arguably one of life’s most important goals.

Specifically, it will coach users on:

– Deposit saving

– Credit scores

– Mortgages & Insurance

– House hunting

– Solicitors

 

One of the platform’s unique benefits is how it helps people use their data to help themselves. The plans for FirstHomeCoach landed the team a spot as one of six winners of HM Treasury’s Rent Recognition Challenge earlier last year, with the Treasury providing £100,000 of funding to help develop the platform as a result.

 

The business philosophy is one of collaboration, working hand-in-hand with leading mortgage brokers, insurance providers and legal firms to offer people an integrated marketplace of trusted and transparent products and services that will assist users every step of the way to buying a property.

 

The platform will be entirely free to use for consumers and accessible to all with no requirement to sign-up to use the basic features. Accessibility and the responsible use of consumers’ data are real priorities for the team, with no consumer data sold or adverts targeted towards users. FirstHomeCoach only generate revenue when users choose to take up a service through one of their partners.

 

FirstHomeCoach is launching as home ownership rates in the UK continue to fall, with the average first-time buyer now 30 years old. According to a recent study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the chances of owning a home in the UK have more than halved over the past 20 years.

 

Ben Leonard, CEO of FirstHomeCoach, said:

“We are delighted to formally launch FirstHomeCoach, which is designed to empower users with the keys to unlock their own data and play life, better.

“Many young people do not believe that getting onto the ladder is an achievable goal, which creates real social inequality.

“A recent study suggests that the homebuying process is the second most important thing first time buyers would like to change, after extending Help to Buy, and we are responding to that call for action.

“FirstHomeCoach’s purpose is, through the responsible use of personalised data, to give hope to anyone who wants to put down roots and call a place home.”

 

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Wealth Management

TWO TO TANGO? MARKET DATA AND OPINIONS IN INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT

MARKET DATA

Sebastien Lleo is Associate Professor of Finance and Head of the MSc in Risk and Financial Technologies at NEOMA Business School (France)

 

Analyst views and expert opinions matter. They are an invaluable complement to market data when it comes to formulating relevant capital market expectations and to strengthening risk management models and practices. But watch out for behavioral biases!

“Garbage in – garbage out!” Every investment management professional has heard the warning that poorly formulated capital market expectations will get portfolio optimisers to produce inefficient, unrealistic, and even outright dangerous portfolios.

Thus, considerable efforts have taken place to turn available economic and market data into accurate capital market expectations. These lead to the development of slick statistical methods, effective econometric techniques, and powerful machine learning algorithms.

Opinions can also be an invaluable source of insights to construct accurate capital market expectations.

What are the types of opinions on financial markets?

Opinions take multiple forms in financial markets. They include analyst views, opinions from political and economic experts, super forecaster predictions, and investor polls.

Moreover, opinions abound on financial markets. Consultancy Quinlan & Associates reported that the bigger banks and brokerages emailed over 40,000 pieces of research every week in 2016, despite continuing job cuts in the financial sector. Social media also contribute to the spread of opinions: according to the financial website Modestmoney.com, there are at least 839 active financial blogs published in English.

Why should I use expert opinions?

Opinions have three key benefits.

First, opinions can be a crucial complement to traditional economic, corporate and financial market data to construct realistic capital market expectation, and keep those up-to-date. This statement is especially true in times of heightened uncertainty, such as market bubbles and financial crises, when traditional data fail to provide an accurate assessment of market conditions.

Second, opinions can strengthen risk management models and practices. Opinions can widen the range of scenarios considered in portfolio optimisation and risk management. Dissenting opinions provide a cornerstone for the construction of meaningful stress test scenarios.

Third, we can use opinions, even when traditional data are not. For example, assessors evaluate insurance claims, and appraisers estimate the value of illiquid assets, such as real estate and collectables, periodically.

How easy is it to collect opinions?

The inclusion of opinions requires extreme care.

Let’s look at analyst views and expert opinions. We all know that not all experts or forecasters are equally accurate. A widely reported study by CXO Advisory Group LLC tracked 6,582 forecasts for the U.S. stock market published by 68 experts between 2005 and 2012. The study found that average accuracy across experts was 47.4%, with individual accuracies ranging from a low of 21% to a high of 68%.

Therefore, investment management teams need to implement a process to guarantee the relevance of the opinions used in their models. This process, known as “elicitation,” is described in abundant literature. The books by O’Haghan (2006) and by Meyer and Booker (2001) are an excellent place to start. Essentially, the elicitation process helps to construct views that are specific, explicit, and structured. Opinions need to focus on a specific variable or parameter, such as the price of a given asset or the mean of a distribution. Opinions need to explicitly provide a mid-point or most-likely scenario, a confidence interval, and to relate the confidence interval to a probability distribution. Finally, opinions need to be structured to provide a transparent and auditable trail.

What are the implementation challenges?

Three main implementation challenges need addressing.

The first and most dangerous challenge is that opinions are often subject to the behavioral biases. Behavioral biases, in particular overconfidence, excessive optimism, conservatism, confirmation bias, and groupthink play an essential role in how finance professionals perceive and process information, and on how they form their forecasts. Recently, in a simulation study, Davis and Lleo (2020) recently found that the presence of biases explained nearly 70% of excess risk-taking. Therefore, it is crucial to debias forecasts before using them in any model.

Second, expert opinion models are Bayesian and therefore require the specification of a prior distribution. We can overcome this difficulty with some original thinking, as with Black and Litterman’ reverse optimisation exemplifies.

Third, aggregating of multiple expert opinions is considered an essential conceptual and computational problem because it requires engineering a joint distribution out of a collection of univariate distributions.

 

How can I integrate opinions in my portfolio selection model?

Currently, several families of portfolio selection models use opinions as input. The best-known and oldest is the Black and Litterman (1992) model, which uses analyst views to generate capital market expectations in a Markowitz-style single-period optimisation framework. This approach has been extensively discussed and developed in a large number of subsequent papers and chapters.

However, the Black-Litterman approach has two fundamental limitations. First, it is static, meaning that it locks portfolio managers into a “buy-and-hold” strategy, ignoring the possibility that portfolio managers may shift their asset allocation as financial market conditions change. Second, it ignores the presence of behavioral biases in expert opinions.

To address the first limitation, Frey et al. (2012) and Davis and Lleo (2013,2020) proposed two closely-related dynamic portfolio management models. Although both models are developed in continuous time, we can transpose them to a multiperiod discrete-time setting.

The second limitation has proved more elusive. At the moment, Davis and Lleo (2020) is the only dynamic portfolio selection model that addresses for behavioral biases.

 

References

Black, F., Litterman, R., 1992. Global portfolio optimisation. Financial Analyst Journal 48 (5), 28–43. Davis, M., Lleo, S., 2013. Black-Litterman in continuous time: the case for filtering. Quantitative Finance Letters. 1 (1), 30–35.

Davis, M., Lleo, S., 2020, Debiased expert forecasts in continuous-time asset allocation. Journal of Banking and Finance. 113.

Frey, R., Gabih, A., Wunderlich, R., 2012. Portfolio optimisation under partial information with expert opinions. International Journal of Theoretical and Applied Finance 15 (1). O’Hagan, A., 2006. Uncertain Judgments: Eliciting Expert’s Probabilities. Wiley.

Meyer, M., Booker, J., 2001. Eliciting and analysing expert judgment: a practical guide. ASA-SIAM Series on Statistics and Applied Probability. Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

Continue Reading

Wealth Management

AN ULTIMATE GUIDE TO TURNING YOUR EARLY RETIREMENT DREAM INTO A REALITY

EARLY RETIREMENT

Rick Pendykoski is the owner of Self Directed Retirement Plans LLC, a retirement planning firm based in Goodyear, AZ.

 

This article is for all those who are counting their IRAs, 401 (k), self-directed 401k and other retirement planning options to enjoy that late-life freedom as early as 45 or 40. Financial freedom at 55 has become a thing of the past because today it all depends on your ability to take the right decisions. If your 9 to 5 life has left you drained and you are serious about an early retirement, here are 8 ways to coach you from scratch:

  1. Free yourself from the vicious circle of debt

The first step to securing an early retirement is getting yourself free from debt. If you do not wish to enter your early retirement with any financial lags or large payments that can eat away a massive chunk of your modest savings, you need to increase your cash flow by clearing all your debts. Paying off your mortgage or lease early will help you divert the funds into a Roth IRA or other retirement savings.

 

  1. Start living a frugal life

Rick Pendykoski

Saving is the only way to increase the cash flow as your career progresses and this can be done by controlling your expenses. It does not mean giving up on all your desires but only requires you to live a frugal lifestyle. A few compromises and you can save a significant amount which will eventually bring you closer to your early retirement dream. From giving up on your expensive memberships and cutting down your HVAC usage to making a few compromises in your lifestyle and sacrificing a few golf games, your day-to-day frugal acts will free you from your cubicle and give you the freedom to retire early.

 

  1. Be open to the idea of changing

Prioritize between your wants and your needs. This will help you break free from the shackles of your tiring nine to five schedule. Enjoying life to the fullest sounds like a great idea to most of us, but it also means that you are losing on the real joy of retiring at 40 for momentary happiness. If fancy dinners and long drives in luxury cars mean more to you, an early retirement is obviously out of your reach. Mindful spending needs major lifestyle changes for which you may need to give up on stylish clothing, lavish parties, exotic vacations and more. This is only possible if you change your perception of conventional societal programming which demands that you give up on your desires of bigger houses and new cars. It calls for a complete mind shift from spending to saving.

 

  1. Take a head start with a high-paying industry

It is possible to retire well before you turn 60 if you are working for an industry that pays really well right from the start. A good-paying job plays a critical role in paving your path to a financially independent future. You too can enjoy a retirement of rest and relaxation if you are willing to take up personal responsibility in professional life. Getting closer to your goal of early retirement requires you to be self-sufficient early on in life.

 

  1. Automate 50% of Your Annual Income to Retirement Savings

Allocate as high a percentage of your annual income as possible to pay up your previous debts, pending bills, leases, and loans. Once you are done with of all these, automate your income towards retirement savings. You can start with 30% and raise the bar every year as your income increases. Every time you get a raise, increase the amount you add to your retirement reserve.

 

  1. Be sure to invest in a 401 (k) plan

Many employers are offering 401 (k) plans where you can invest a certain amount of your income and your employer makes a matching contribution to bolster your retirement savings.

 

  1. Stick to a frugal lifestyle

You need to revamp your investment plan as your career keeps progressing. What you want to achieve – an early retirement is an extraordinary goal and so your efforts should be focused on living frugally. Always keep a rewarding retirement at the top of your mind and you will remain motivated to keep the passion alive and pursuit kicking.

 

  1. Invest in an IRA

An IRA is a preferred and popular choice for retirement savings. You can consult an experienced and reputed financial advisor to guide you in selecting right IRA. An IRA will allow you to enjoy tax benefits if you choose to retire early. It will get to where you want faster than you think.

 

Start investing right away and make your retirement the best phase of your life.

Continue Reading

Magazine

Partner Events

Trending

Banking2 days ago

FOUR WAYS OPEN BANKING AND AI WILL REVOLUTIONISE ACCOUNTANCY

Ed Molyneux, CEO and co-founder of cloud accounting software company, FreeAgent   It’s been just over two years since the...

FINANCIAL SERVICES FINANCIAL SERVICES
Finance2 days ago

HOW FINANCIAL SERVICES CAN GET TO GRIPS WITH RISING SUPPLY CHAIN RISK

By Alex Saric, smart procurement expert, Ivalua   UK businesses have never been more dependent on their suppliers to help...

MARKET DATA MARKET DATA
Wealth Management3 days ago

TWO TO TANGO? MARKET DATA AND OPINIONS IN INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT

Sebastien Lleo is Associate Professor of Finance and Head of the MSc in Risk and Financial Technologies at NEOMA Business...

EARLY RETIREMENT EARLY RETIREMENT
Wealth Management4 days ago

AN ULTIMATE GUIDE TO TURNING YOUR EARLY RETIREMENT DREAM INTO A REALITY

Rick Pendykoski is the owner of Self Directed Retirement Plans LLC, a retirement planning firm based in Goodyear, AZ.  ...

FINANCIAL SERVICES FINANCIAL SERVICES
Technology4 days ago

WHAT EVOLUTIONARY AI MEANS FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES

by Babak Hodjat, VP of Evolutionary AI at Cognizant   Many banks and other financial services institutions (FIs) are beginning...

ANALYTICS ANALYTICS
Business4 days ago

HARNESSING ANALYTICS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST FRAUD

By Anna Lykourina, EMEA Fraud Analytics Expert at SAS   In the past, the fight against fraud has been a...

ONESPAN ONESPAN
News4 days ago

ERSTE BANK HUNGARY IMPROVES AND SECURES THE REMOTE BANKING EXPERIENCE WITH ONESPAN MOBILE SECURITY

Leading Hungarian bank deploys OneSpan’s Mobile Security Suite to one million customers to make mobile banking convenient while fighting fraud...

FINANCIAL FINANCIAL
News4 days ago

HOW WILL LENDERS TREAT THE FINANCIAL SYMPTOMS OF COVID19?

COULD the coronavirus pandemic spark a financial crisis similar to that which was seen in 2008? Tim Kirby, Group Commercial...

PAYMENTS PAYMENTS
Finance5 days ago

ISO 20022 – THE BEDROCK FOR PAYMENTS TRANSFORMATION

Lauren Jones, Global Payments Ambassador, Icon Solutions   The financial services industry has seen ISO 20022 grow firmly over the...

STRUCTURED DATA STRUCTURED DATA
Business5 days ago

2020 VISION: TRANSFORMING THE LEGAL DOCUMENTATION LANDSCAPE THROUGH STRUCTURED DATA

Jason Pugh, Managing Director, D2 Legal Technology   The derivatives industry has been transformed by the proactive engagement of its...

LANDLORDS LANDLORDS
Wealth Management5 days ago

WHY LANDLORDS SHOULD MAKE THE MOVE TO THE ALTERNATIVE PROPERTY INVESTMENT SECTOR IN 2020

Reece Mennie, CEO of leading UK investment introducing firm, Hunter Jones    The new decade is expected to bring with...

Loss Loss
News5 days ago

PROTECTING YOURSELF AGAINST LOSS OF FUTURE INCOME IN A RECESSION

By Gerard Visser, Financial Planning Consultant at Alexander Forbes Financial Planning Consultants.   With low GDP growth, credit ratings downgrades and the COVID-19 pandemic,...

MOBEY FORUM MOBEY FORUM
News5 days ago

MOBEY FORUM TO ADDRESS DATA PRIVACY AND INNOVATION IN THE AGE OF AI WITH NEW EXPERT GROUP

Mobey Forum, the global industry association empowering banks and financial institutions (FIs) to shape the future of digital financial services, today announces...

SMALL BUSINESS SMALL BUSINESS
Business1 week ago

HOW TO MANAGE YOUR SMALL BUSINESS’S FINANCES

There are a lot of fantastic business ideas that end up failing during the early years. Why? A lack of...

CFO CFO
Top Stories1 week ago

THE EVOLUTION OF THE TECH CFO

Gavin Fallon,General Manager, UK, Nordics & South Africa Board International   Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) have traditionally been seen as...

FRAUD FRAUD
Business1 week ago

IS FRAUD PREVENTION CONVERGING WITH REGULATORY COMPLIANCE?

By Manuel Rodriguez, Fraud Solutions Manager at SAS   Several relevant reports show how the world of fraud and financial crimes is mutable...

APIs APIs
Finance1 week ago

WHY SECURE APIS ARE THE KEY TO FINANCIAL CONTROL

Stefano Vaccino, Founder of Yapily   Consumers never owned their financial data. Banks controlled everything from how much money came...

News1 week ago

GOLDBELL FINANCIAL SERVICES SELECTS MAMBU TO POWER GEN INVESTMENT PLATFORM

Goldbell Financial Services, one of Singapore’s leading business finance providers, has confirmed it will partner with Mambu, the market-leading pure...

FINANCE WORKERS FINANCE WORKERS
News1 week ago

UK FINANCE WORKERS DISPEL MYTH OVER TECH JOB LOSS FEARS

– Research shows finance workers welcome the “rise of the machines” –    The majority of UK finance workers have widely rejected the...

That’s where Netcall’s Liberty Create came in. Create is a new breed of low-code software solution, built for both business users and professional developers That’s where Netcall’s Liberty Create came in. Create is a new breed of low-code software solution, built for both business users and professional developers
Banking1 week ago

LOW-CODE TECHNOLOGY BOOSTS THE GROWTH OF SPECIALIST BANK

Hampshire Trust Bank (HTB) is a digitally-focussed specialist bank staffed by experts that enable UK businesses to realise their ambitions. Primary...

Trending