Millennials are consistently seen as reluctant investors. Some are a decade into their career, but they’re still relatively risk-averse, which many analysts believe is largely the result of the fact they grew up or came into adulthood in the midst of the Great Recession. Millennials have seen one of the worst financial environments in history, which has understandably made them gun-shy when it comes to investing, particularly in the stock market.
To combat that sense of hesitation, fintech companies have been creating platforms and technology that speak specifically to Millennials, and many of these companies have been quite successful in the process.
One of the biggest fintech trends leading the way not just for Millennials but investors in a range of age brackets is robo-investing. The premise behind robo-investing is one that Millennials tend to embrace because it’s seen as easy, inexpensive, and it gives the ability to create a set-it-and-forget strategy that requires minimal effort.
Robo-investing is also a viable alternative to the old way of doing things, which was to work with a financial advisor. Financial advisors, however, have been lumped in with many others in the financial services industry, such as bankers and lenders, and they’re not necessarily viewed in the most positive light by Millennials. Robo-investing platforms like Betterment give them the opportunity to skip the financial advisor, while still getting similar advantages, such as diversification and tax efficiency.
In the past, most investors would use services such as YAHOO! Finance to do their research and to track stocks, but there has been a new wave of trading software popping up that’s more comprehensive than ever before. Options such as Stocks to Trade, which was introduced by Millennial investment professional Timothy Sykes, is designed not just for the Wall Street elite, but is instead for real people.
These trading software platforms include some of the most varied data points available, and they give users the opportunity to see everything they could need or want to know about all of the big markets in one location.
Budgeting and Spending
When looking for strategies to invest, it’s just important to decide how you’ll allocate your assets. It’s also important to look at your investment capabilities versus your income and spending needs. That’s why budgeting apps and banking services are also an essential component of many Millennials financial and investment strategies.
Just one of the many examples is called Simple, which is essentially branchless banking where everything can be done on a mobile phone.
This helps investors and would-be investors because it has features to create specific, personalized goals, such as putting aside a certain amount of money each week to invest. It also includes a feature called “Safe-to-Spend” which lets users see how much they can spontaneously spend without sabotaging their budget and existing goals.
Finally, another big way fintech is changing the investing landscape not just for Millennials but for everyone? Peer-to-peer lending.
Peer-to-peer lending offers the opportunity for people to bypass the traditional bank environment for personal and business loans, and it gives investors the chance to look outside the stock market for investing opportunities. There is a high level of risk, particularly when it comes to investing in certain borrowers, but Millennials seem to like the concept because the potential returns are much higher than they would be with something like a high-yield savings account, and as long as funds are spread out over many loans, the level risk isn’t incredibly high.
Fintech is changing the way Millennials invest and shifting how they view the concept itself, creating not just new opportunities for investors, but new possibilities in technology as well.
With the large online streaming audience set to get even bigger in 2017, Netflix is doing more than enough to position itself as the most preferred online streaming service for Videos on Demand. They have gone as far as funding the production of A-list TV shows that made headlines all over the world in 2016, like the very popular Narcos. This year doesn’t seem like it’s going to be any different, since they already have a number of TV shows lined up for release. The only catch is that you’d need to change your Netflix region to the US. Once you do that, here’s what you could expect:
- Release Date: February 3rd, 2017
- Cast: Timothy Olyphant, Thomas Crawford, Drew Barrymore
- Plot: This year we will see Drew Barrymore come to daytime TV in this drama filled story about a happy couple living in Santa Clarita, California whose lives come tumbling down after the death of Sheila.
- Release Date: May 5th, 2017
- Plot: Also making a comeback this year is the interconnected group of 8, dubbed the “sensates”, whose main objective would be to use their shared knowledge, language and skills to prevent the violent death of Angelica.
- Release Date: January 20th, 2017
- Cast: Landon Liboiron, Jason Momoa, Zoe Boyle
- Plot: The producers from the Discovery channel came together to order a scripted series about the struggle that existed in the late 18th century over the control and exploit of pelts.
- Release Date: March 17th, 2017
- Cast: Jessica Stroup, Jessica Henwick, Finn Jones
- Plot: Another addition to the Marvel series to watch out for in 2017 is Iron Fist, with the main character as Danny Rand. Rand comes back to his family’s home in New York to reclaim his family company, but the evils he encounters along the way force him to choose between continuing with his family’s legacy, and his duties as Iron Fist.
Release Date: January 24th, 2017
Plot: This new physically demanding, and energy draining competition will put all the other obstacle course challenge shows you’ve watched to shame. The show will adopt an international theme with competitors being scouted from the US, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Mexico and Brazil. These athletes will compete for national pride as they’re put through the toughest of courses, known in each episode as “The Beast”, with each contestant yearning to be crowned the Ultimate Beastmaster after they battle it out on the final episode.
Expect all that and a lot more this year from Netflix. We’ll update the list once the release dates get announced, but here’s what you could also expect to come out soon:
-F is for Family
-Fuller House (Season 3)
Keep in mind that these release dates are all based on viewers on the American Netflix region. Whether these shows will also be released at the same time in UK, Canada, Australia, or other countries is yet to be seen
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Most of us were raised to believe that bankruptcy only happened to deadbeats and the financially irresponsible. We were raised to believe that bankruptcy was always someone’s fault and that it could easily be avoided. We were also taught that bankruptcy would ruin our financial prospects for most of our lives. The stereotypes we were raised to believe were wrong.
Changes have been made to bankruptcy laws that have made the process easier and something every filer should be able to overcome. In fact, the experts at San Diego bankruptcy firm, Doan Law, say bankruptcy can even improve your FICO score in most cases.
So how does bankruptcy happen?
Today one of the most common impetuses behind filing for bankruptcy is medical bills. People go through an emergency health issue and the resulting bills are too much for them. Even if the hospital is willing to work out a payment plan, the bills are often so large that there is no hope of paying them off within the patient’s lifetime.
It’s true that there are fewer medical-related bankruptcy cases filed these days. The Affordable Care Act (known colloquially as Obamacare) has made healthcare much more affordable for many. It has not, however, completely wiped medical bankruptcies out.
Other Insurance Issues
By now most of you have likely seen the insurance commercial where the agent says that unicorn stampedes are covered by the homeowner’s policy but, unfortunately, flooding is not. Accidents and emergencies that cause significant damage to a person’s home or transportation are another significant source of bankruptcy claims. This is because home and automobile insurance policies are not as strictly regulated as medical insurance companies are now.
These can happen to the best of us and, often, in spite of our better efforts. Consider the following example:
You recently got divorced and you weren’t awarded spousal support or alimony (or, worse, you have to pay it to someone else). It’s not a huge deal. With some downsizing and strict budgeting, you’re sure you can make it work. But life turns out to be slightly more expensive on your own than you had anticipated. People keep wanting you to go out to dinner or take part in other admission-required events. You find yourself pulling out your credit card more than you want to.
Before long, your card is maxed out and your utility bills are due but you can’t pay them because you were pressured into chipping in a bunch of money for a coworker’s baby shower gift. So you opt for a short term loan. The high interest is alarming, but your bank doesn’t offer loans in the small amount you need so you go with what you can get.
Then, when the loan comes due, the interest is more than you thought it would be and you wind up having to take out another payday loan to pay off the first. And then you need to open up a new line of credit to continue paying your utilities and monthly expenses while you use your salary to pay off your payday loans and your rent. And it just keeps snowballing from there.
Then you get downsized and the financial tightrope you’ve been walking gives way. Sure you could go through debt consolidation but that takes forever and you really need the fresh start--especially since most employers run credit checks as well as background checks on potential recruits these days. Bankruptcy is your only option.
This feels like one of those “that will never happen to me” kind of situations but for many it is all too familiar. Some aren’t able to simply move home or in with roommates. Some don’t have family and friends who would be willing to help bail them out.
Another Common Scenario
You made the leap into freelancing! Good for you! You track your earnings and, in spite of your best intentions, everything you earn gets paid right back out toward your rent, utilities and other necessities. And then tax time comes and you find yourself thousands of dollars in debt to your state and the federal government, so you take out a loan to pay that off. The added expense puts more pressure on you to take on more work but that is slow going (this isn’t your fault, all freelancers experience ebbs and flows). You rely on your credit too much to make ends meet and soon your credit has been exhausted and your score is tanked. You can’t get a new loan. You can’t break your current lease. What do you do?
Bankruptcy can happen to anybody at any time. It no longer carries the stigma it used to. Don’t be afraid to use this option if you need to. Better a fresh start than a lifetime of running from collectors, right?
Monday 5th December in the Alb - 6.30 till late! Free tickets.
We’ve invited some of the digital industries leading talent from both Shropshire and further afield to come along, share skills and present earth-shattering ideas.
There will be four speakers and five minutes at the end of the evening to give you opportunity to share any news or announcements you have. What more could you want?
So why not come along and join us, listen to some inspiring talks, spark your creativity and chat with like-minded people over a beer or maybe even a cocktail or two.
This event will be perfect for anyone that runs a business or freelances within the technology / creative / digital / marketing industries.
Our Rebellion #14 headliners include:
James Arthur - James is Co-founder and CTO of Opendesk and previously Co-Founder of WikiHouse and green.tv.
Phil Nolan - from Lloyds Banking group speaking about Blockchain (the technology behind bitcoin) and it's potential to disrupt the financial sector.
Dale Shepherd - Dale is the manager of Shropshire Council's Digital Services (AKA Project WIP), and a ShropGeek regular. When he's not doing either of those, he can be found at home.
Aaron Child - Aaron is a film maker based in Shrewsbury. He specialises in creative marketing and has made over 100 films for businesses based around Shrewsbury in the last 3 years. His next goal is to buy a VW van, convert it into a travelling office, get a pug (named Diego), and travel Europe making films.
Shropshire has a huge digital / creative industry and there are very few events in the county that directly cater for those involved. This event promises to be a fantastic evening combining talks from some of the most innovative thinkers and doers.
Tickets are free of charge. The doors open at 6.30pm with the first speaker starting at 7pm. Spaces are limited so book now to avoid disappointment.