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Wealth Management

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

LANDLORDS

Reece Mennie, CEO of leading UK investment introducing firm, Hunter Jones 

 

The new decade is expected to bring with it a number of important changes to the property industry that could have a direct impact on landlords and their livelihoods.

With factors such as new legislation, increasing tax and costs, and ongoing political uncertainty posing a threat, these individuals are moving in increasing numbers away from traditional buy-to-let mortgages and towards alternative, more profitable forms of investment, such as property bonds.

For those new to the term, ‘Property Bonds’ are corporate bonds issued by developers that enable investors to reap the rewards of investing in bricks and mortar without dealing with issues associated with tenants and ownership.

A bond is purchased by the investor, who receives a certificate and security in return for the property they are helping to fund. They are then paid a fixed annual interest lasting typically between two and five years, after which the bond matures, and the principle is returned to them.

Crash course complete, why exactly should Landlords consider switching from buy-to-let to the alternative property investment sector?

 

Reece Mennie

THE FORECAST

Landlords can expect to see the cost of running their rental property increase this year, with 71% agreeing that expenses will rise over the next 12 months, according to a survey conducted by Monmouthshire Building Society.

What’s more, landlords should be prepared to see their tax bill grow following a phased reduction in the tax relief they can claim on mortgage interest, while legal changes are due to continue, with one piece of legislation around Energy Performance Certificates having already been introduced.

Brexit remains at the top of the political agenda and is sure to have a profound effect on landlords and the ways in which they operate for years to come, though it is hoped by many within the sector that the Government will place greater emphasis on increasing supply for tenants and take the opportunity to make the market more attractive.

 

REASONS TO SWITCH

Bearing this forecast in mind, there are many reasons why property bonds are becoming more appealing to many investors than conventional buy-to-lets.

Firstly, property bonds can be asset-backed, meaning there are always underlying assets to generate the returns required by investors, and they allow them to begin investing with relatively low amounts of capital.

There is no need to obtain a mortgage or loan, or save up to pay a deposit, and property bonds offer some of the most attractive returns currently available, with many returning around 10%.

In densely populated student areas, they are also helping landlords to generate considerably higher yields than would otherwise be possible through buy-to-let, whilst completely eliminating problems with tenants such as repairs, late payment and lease terms.

 

CONCLUSION

Taking these factors into account, it is clear that investing in property bonds offers a smarter alternative to buy-to-let.

With property bonds, landlords can avoid maintenance fees, Stamp Duty, council tax, insurance payments, tenancy issues, alongside all the laborious issues involved with managing tenants, whilst generating considerably higher returns.

What’s more, these bonds give the investor freedom to invest in the property market without the hassles associated with development or property management, which is one of the most crucial reasons why this type of investment has gained such traction in recent times, with growth forecast to continue throughout 2020 and beyond.

Osborne Baldwin Limited, trading as Hunter Jones, is an Appointed Representative (FRN: 808287) of Equity For Growth (Securities) Limited (FRN: 475953) which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

 

Business

STOP THE CONFUSION: HOW TO KNOW IF YOUR BUSINESS MAY BE INSURED AGAINST COVID-19

By Alex Balcombe, Partner at Harris Balcombe

 

The last few weeks has seen businesses in hospitality, tourism, retail, leisure and more forced to close their doors following the Government’s orders that they should close to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

While this is expected to flatten the curve and reduce the number of coronavirus cases, it will of course have an impact on businesses and employees alike.  For small businesses especially, there are many concerns about how they can claim on their insurance to weigh the fall of this impact.

 

Mixed Messaging

In response to calls to help struggling businesses, the Government has informed the public that companies who are facing turmoil will be able to claim on their business interruption insurance during this difficult time. For most, this is wrong.

Alex Balcombe

The insurance industry has also been extremely vocal that there is no cover for any coronavirus-hit businesses during this tough financial period. This isn’t strictly true either.

How can businesses see through the mixed messaging and best secure their future and their livelihoods and reduce money worries? It’s an extremely stressful time for many companies, and confusion over whether or not they can be covered can only cause more unnecessary stress.

Since it’s a new disease, most businesses will not be covered for business interruption due to COVID-19. In fact, the vast majority of policies do not cover anything related to COVID-19.

That said –  don’t rule out the idea that you may be covered. There is a chance that you will be covered against COVID-19, but not know it. This is a very small chance, but your current cover may already protect your business against the consequences of coronavirus, and the nationwide response to it –  though those with this cover are unlikely to realise it.

 

How Could I Be Covered?

Not everyone has business interruption insurance, as it’s not a legal requirement. It is entirely up to the policy holder to weigh up the benefits of having it, and their ability to trade should a disaster happen.

To be considered for cover for COVID-19, there are two types of policy extensions to your business interruption cover that can potentially cover you for this situation:

Infectious Disease Extension 

Many policies expressly state which diseases fall within the realm of being an infectious or notifiable disease. If this is the case, your policy will not provide cover. As it is a new disease, these policies will not have included COVID-19.

Other infectious disease extension policies will define the disease with reference to the actions of the government. Since the UK Government has named COVID-19 as a notifiable disease throughout the UK, it is possible that your business may fall into this definition, thus meaning you may be able to make a claim.

However, again, it’s not always that simple. Many policies require the disease to have been on your premises, while others specify a radius from your premises in order to qualify.

 

Denial of Access Extension (non-damage)

Denial of Access Extension (non-damage) policies may cover you if you’re prevented from accessing your property. This could be due to an event, or by the actions of a competent authority, which could cause your business interruption cover to engage.

If covered by this clause, there are often very subtle differences in wording in your policy. This could depend on the insurer or policy. You may well be covered, but it will depend on your particular circumstances, and the specific policy wording.

 

What now?

It’s clear that the Government needs to do more in ensuring there is clear messaging for businesses, and to help the insurance market look after policy holders. This is an unprecedented situation, and with many people looking to claim on their insurance, we’re already seeing major delays which could have a domino impact.

People throughout the world are understandably facing all kinds of worries because of the current pandemic. Our ways of living have changed, and many business owners will not have experienced a situation like this in their life times. If you own a business and are unsure about whether you can claim for business interruption, or are confused about ambiguous wording, get in touch with a loss assessor.

These claims are not simple, but loss assessors will be experts in business interruption insurance, and will specialise in large and complex claims. They will be able to help and guide you along the way, check your wording and work on your behalf to make sure you get everything you are entitled to.

 

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Wealth Management

HERE’S HOW YOU CAN LEARN TO TRADE RISK-FREE DURING THE COVID-19 MARKET CRASH

COVID-19

Trading app BullBear has launched new features to support budding investors looking to hone their skills against the backdrop of the COVID-19 stock market plunge. The risk-free financial game aims to empower the next generation of investors to learn how to trade stocks and shares by playing with dummy chips as opposed to real money. The app updates come as investors pull back from a volatile stock market rocked by the coronavirus outbreak.

 

At a time when some fresher investors are experiencing their first-ever stock market crash and seasoned investors are reluctant to invest new capital in the market, BullBear is empowering a whole new cohort of traders by teaching them how to trade effectively at no risk.

 

App users can engage in both short-term and long-term trading games using real-time market data from popular stocks enabling them to build investing confidence, making the app both engaging and educative.

 

With over 35,000 downloads, the app provides a free, fun way for thousands to learn how trading works by offering a practice arena in which trades take place and where no real money can be lost. Users can also enter into duals and competitions with other players. Whilst the app incorporates dummy chips to invest with, players can still redeem prizes by winning ‘bulls’ when they rank high in games. These bulls can be used to redeem rewards, such as gift cards from retailers like Amazon, Apple, Google Play and Netflix, at the in-app store.

 

Co-founder of the BullBear app, Anurag Saboo, stated

 

“I realised just how lacking the support for young investors was when my cofounder and I wanted to invest some money in stocks whilst at university. We had no idea where to start and so spent a couple of months trying to find a platform through which we could learn the basics before we risked any cash. But it simply didn’t exist. The resources that did were dull and theoretical. Paper trading can be very boring, and no-commission trading helps only if you make money out of your portfolio. Social methods of learning can help, for example, Etoro’s copy trades, but they still don’t let investors explore the markets themselves before putting money down. Combine this with the fact that only a small percentage of young investors make money through the market, and others end up staying away or are pushed away through losses, we decided to launch BullBear to offer a free, fun alternative.”

 

During a time of crisis accompanied by a turbulent stock market, the BullBear app provides a fail-proof way for budding investors to develop their trading knowledge, helping them to make more informed investments.

 

The BullBear app is available to download now on Google Play and the App Store.

 

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