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Rainy Day Saving: How Will COVID-19 Affect Micro-investing?

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Micro-Investing

Micro-investing has developed into a considerably popular market for younger investors. With the increasing pace of life coupled with rising living costs, the arrival of platforms and apps that automatically collect the spare change of users and place it into stocks, bonds and even real estate has helped millions to build savings. 

The arrival of COVID-19, however, has plunged the micro-investing landscape into extremely choppy waters. With the vast majority of FinTech businesses arriving in the years that followed the major financial crash of 2008, the inevitable recession prompted by the pandemic will be their first experience of adversity. Will the financial constraints prompted by Coronavirus cause the micro-investing bubble to burst? Or will its user base continue to entrust their savings in FinTech? 

The Component Parts of Micro-Investing

If you’ve ever owned a piggy bank, it’s easy to see the similarities between old fashioned saving and its digital incarnation. Fundamentally, micro-investing platforms are designed to act as a somewhat more omnipresent piggy bank

Whenever you decide to make a purchase on a registered card, whether it’s a morning coffee or a lunchtime sandwich, your designated micro-investing app will recognise the purchase and round the fee up to the nearest whole unit and invest the difference itself. 

For instance, if you purchase a mocha at Starbucks for £3.50, a micro-investing app would round the fee up to £4 and invest the 50p. 

The grand idea behind this form of investment is that money is being saved in an extremely discreet way. Users are unlikely to notice an extra 50p missing from their account, but over a period of months and years, the loose change will develop into a significant saving. If the same Starbucks mocha is purchased, say, 20 times a month, that would amount to £10 saved on hot drinks alone in – amounting to £120 by the end of the year. The money saved is automatically invested in selected markets in a bid to help savings grow over time. 

Micro-investing platforms such as Wealthsimple, Moneybox and Nutmeg offer a wide range of different ISAs that are optimised towards customers buying their first homes, floating savings on stock market shares, or simply storing loose change in a single place. 

Nutmeg

(Image: Nutmeg)

Micro-investing platforms stand as one of the most popular developments from the growing FinTech industry, which is ever-evolving to help users better manage their money. The majority of apps also let users decide their level of risk in terms of where their money is invested. Some platforms like Nutmeg allow users to pick the type of investments that they want to make – including more socially responsible, sustainable markets. 

Investment in The Face of Recession

FinTech has aided users to invest their money and organically grow their wealth in a discreet manner. Its popularity among younger consumers cannot be underestimated, but 2020’s Coronavirus pandemic has caused widespread damage to economies on a global scale. 

Performance of FinTechs

(Image: Payments Cards & Mobile)

As the chart above shows, the impact of COVID-19 has hit FinTech businesses harder than other markets. Widespread uncertainty left many micro-investors looking at losses on the money they’d saved throughout March and April. With the prospect of a global recession looking like an inevitability, will micro-investing suffer further as users begin to withdraw their savings? 

Is it Wise to Micro-Invest With Increased Market Volatility?

Naturally, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. In times of financial hardship, money can become more scarce and some individuals could be harder hit than others during these times. 

It’s also worth noting that many micro-investment platforms are somewhat restrictive for users who require easy access to their funds. Apps like Wealthsimple require up to five working days for investments to be transferred to user bank accounts while Moneybox asks for as much as two-to-three weeks for their Stocks & Shares ISA to be withdrawn. Some Moneybox accounts require 95 days’ notice before a withdrawal can take place. 

There are also an array of fees to pay for some micro-investment services as charted below:

Comparing Investment

(Image: Policy Genius)

The necessity of having finance closer to hand could be too important for some investors, who would seek to cash in on their funds, or pause their deposits. However, The Daily Telegraph’s Investment Editor, Taha Lokhandwala, believes that micro-investing is, in fact, one of the smartest platforms to place your trust as Coronavirus uncertainty rumbles on. 

“The best way to invest in a falling market is by dripping money in, because you pick up shares at cheaper prices but without risking a lot of money. If markets fall again, it’s unfortunate, but also means you can just buy more at an even lower price. This will mean losing some money in the short term but at the benefit of buying shares at low prices in the long term,” Lokhandwala explains. 

The State of Play For Micro-Investing in a Post-COVID Landscape

Will COVID-19 burst the micro-investing bubble? While some investors may need to leave the platform to access money due to a loss of wealth or unemployment, those are financially able to continue consuming could reap the rewards of an eventual market recovery by depositing microscopic levels of money into their portfolios. 

Despite the FinTech industry being hit hard by market downturns, it’s highly unlikely that enough abandonment will occur to keep the prosperous businesses of 2019 down. However, given that we’re living in an unprecedented time of unpredictability and market volatility, the future of micro-investing may feature a few bumps in the road.

Altcoins

META 1 Coin Trust Announces Commission to Study Global Persecution of Cryptocurrency Projects

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Boca Raton, Florida, 27th October, 2020, // ChainWire //

Collaborating with Other Cryptocurrencies, META 1 Tackles Injustice and Human Rights 

META 1 Coin Trust has announced plans to identify, research and document instances of governmental overreach in cryptocurrency cases globally, as part of its ongoing efforts to advance human rights and individual freedom. 

According to Robert P. Dunlap, Executive Trustee of META 1 Coin Trust, “The malicious attacks on crypto projects globally by overzealous government agencies must be documented and publicized to protect the individual liberties of META 1 Coin holders, as well as issuers and holders of other cryptocurrencies.” He added, “The decentralized, non-jurisdictional reality of crypto has left government agencies often unable to fully litigate cases and the general public should not have to continue suffering due to excessive overreach as agencies clamor to save face.”

META 1 Coin Trust is led by Robert P. Dunlap and Nicole Bowdler, who are both committed to pushing back against unimpeded global persecution of cryptocurrencies. By calling attention to years of organized efforts by government agencies to specifically target cryptocurrency projects, their hope is that the public will see and demand an end to these unjust violations of individual liberty. 

Specific grievances which motivated this initiative include grave concerns over government agencies’ obstruction of individuals’ livelihoods, defamation of character, and libelous false accusations which could tarnish the names of individuals for years to come, long after legal actions…

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Altcoins

Chainwire Launches Blockchain-Focused Automated Press Release Distribution Service

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TEL AVIV, Israel, 13th October, 2020, // ChainWire //

MarketAcross, a world leader in blockchain public relations and marketing services, is pleased to announce the launch of Chainwire, an automated press release distribution service which provides guaranteed coverage and in-depth reports. Chainwire will be a one-stop-shop for the distribution of press releases in the cryptocurrency and blockchain sector. The launch marks the first time that advertisers can reach leading publications in the crypto media with the click of a button. 

While most industries have some kind of PR newswire service, the cryptocurrency sector has become a victim of its own rapid pace of growth over recent years. Since the ICO boom of 2017, there has been a proliferation of blockchain and crypto-focused projects, exchanges, investment firms, and marketing agencies, along with niche news and informational content sites. 

However, the infrastructure to connect this complex ecosystem has been slow to come up to speed, meaning that existing newswire services don’t reach their target audience. It’s estimated that one in five people own cryptocurrencies, so there is currently a significant missed opportunity to reach a massive global readership. 

As a newswire service dedicated to the crypto and blockchain space, Chainwire aims to address this gap. Press releases are distributed to leading publications, offering guaranteed coverage to reach audiences worldwide. The system is integrated with publishers and blogs, enabling accurate reporting via a user-friendly dashboard. It also…

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NASDAQ supports Stellar (XLM) in a move to enter the crypto world

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Nasdaq Stellar XLM

It is not a secret for anybody that cryptocurrencies are getting more traction among the industry as each day passes, a fact that without any doubt can potentially increase the scope of all of the virtual coins. Even when cryptocurrencies have given us enough reasons to want to keep them as assets, the industry still needs a spoon of validation to fulfill one of our greatest dreams as crypto users, a mass adoption.

In this specific case, a great milestone has just happened as one of the most influential companies in the financial sector has decided to place a bet on cryptocurrencies, and of course, it could not be other than the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation (NASDAQ), the second largest electronic and automated stock exchange in the United States.

NASDAQ has decided to support one of the most mentioned coins in the industry at the moment, the Stellar Lumens (XLM). We can be sure that great things are coming for both companies with such an incredible alliance, but one thing we may ask is, why NASDAQ has chosen Stellar? Well, let’s find out the main reasons why Stellar (XLM) represents a better option for the famous stock exchange than the other cryptos in the market.

The solidity of Stellar Lumens

NASDAQ is seeking to reconstruct itself and also hit into the digital boom of cryptocurrencies, and that’s of course, something that is more likely to…

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Press Release