You know how adults always told you to “eat your veggies” and greens when you were a kid? Well, that nagging advice doesn’t necessarily stop in adulthood. As a financial planner, I’m constantly giving people good advice they don’t want.
I know no one wants to hear this kind of money advice. But those who do listen — and more importantly, implement these ideas — tend to have better control over their cash flow, higher savings rates, and more financial power.
You might not like it, but much like eating broccoli and kale, taking it in is often for your own good.
1. Don’t buy so much house
Buying a home is rarely a data-driven decision. It’s an emotional one, and for good reason. For many people, homeownership represents stability, security, and even status.
These are not unimportant things, but too many people use their emotions as excuses to throw financial reality out the window when it comes to house hunting.
Set a budget and stick to it. We often recommend keeping your total annual housing costs to no more than 20% of your gross annual household income.
This helps ensure you retain flexibility in other areas of your cash flow so that you can own your home and keep pursuing other important goals or have money available for your other priorities.
2. And don’t assume your house is a good investment
I often caution people against thinking of their home as an investment. Again, that doesn’t mean buying is a bad idea or your house isn’t worth as much as you think it is. But an investment should provide a return.
A single-family home that serves as your primary residence (and does not provide rental income) may be an excellent utility. It is not, however, what I would consider a good investment.
Home values do tend to rise over time, but the cost of ownership, maintenance, and upkeep often erode most of the “gains” you might see when just looking at the transaction of buying and then selling your home on paper.
A reasonable, real return on single-family homes runs about 2%. That’s not nothing, but it’s also not something you can assume will fund your full retirement, either (especially when you have to live somewhere, retired or not, and most people put the equity from a home sale into their next purchase).
3. Save more than you think you need to
It’s really important to me that I help my clients strike a balance between enjoying their lives in the present while also building assets and future financial security. This would be much easier to do if we had a crystal ball and could accurately predict what life would be like in 10, 20, even 30 years.
We’d know your budget. We’d know what kinds of emergencies you’d have to deal with, and prepare accordingly. And we’d understand what your life would look like (including how long it would be).
With that clarity, it would be possible to say, “you need $X. Save just that and feel free to spend the rest.” That is, obviously, not how life works.
You can do this in a number of ways, including some we’ve already talked about, like saving more than you think you need to save.
Other ways of building in backups is by maintaining an emergency fund, using conservative assumptions around income, and overestimating your expenses when you do any kind of long-term financial projection, and not counting on any kind of windfall (from bonuses and commissions to inheritances) to make your plan work.
5. Stop trying to time the market
It is so tempting to think we can successfully time the market. Why? Because drops and spikes in the stock market look stupidly obvious with hindsight.
It’s very easy to look back at something like 2008 (or maybe even the spring of 2020 at this point) and feel like you know when the best times to buy and sell would have been… because they already happened.
Guessing what comes next without the benefit of knowing how things played out is not the same thing. Data shows us that even professionals fail to time the market repeatedly. You may get lucky once, but repeating that performance over and over again for the next few decades is virtually impossible.
Build a strategic investing plan — and then stick to it, regardless of current events.
It’s probably not as fun and may not be as sexy as bragging about your stock picks on Robinhood, but it works a whole lot better in the long run.
With the European and global crypto markets going mainstream in 2021, the term DeFi — short for Decentralized Finance — seems to have seeped into the consciousness of the masses, at least those looking to invest in this yet nascent space. In this regard, it bears mentioning that the DeFi ecosystem has grown from strength to strength over the last 12 odd months, with the amount of money coming into this space increasing from $1 billion to $40 billion since Q2, 2020.
From a conceptual and operational standpoint, one can see that DeFi projects are designed to function in the same way as their centralized finance (CeFi) counterparts. This is to say that they enable users to lend and borrow funds, speculate on the price movements of various assets, earn interest rates and so on, much like traditional bank accounts except without a bank intermediating the transactions, thus removing the associated cost overhead and delays. Transaction rules, on the other hand, are enforced by the software, leaving no room for human error or oversight.
The onset of DeFi has been beneficial to both the crypto maximalists as well as the traditional investors looking for yield. The reason is that the so-called stablecoins are as eligible to participate as the traditional crypto. Stablecoins are the cryptocurrencies pegged 1:1 to conventional currencies and are backed by the respective reserves. Some of the most widely used ones are USDT and USDC, both of which are pegged to USD and can be acquired from most cryptocurrency exchange providers. Accessing DeFi through these eliminates price risk stemming from the volatile nature of cryptocurrencies.
The DeFi difference and how it can work to your advantage.
From the get-go, it is important to understand that before the advent of DeFi, crypto owners did not have access to any decentralized avenues for lending, farming, staking their assets. Centralized options were also few, far between and of questionable reliability. However, with this space continuing to grow, there are now a plethora of ways through which token holders can see their assets multiply.
The simplest and most convenient means of earning passive income through DeFi is by depositing one’s crypto into a platform that provides users with an APY (annual percentage yield). The core difference here is that while most banks provide users with interest rates ranging between 0.2 percent to 0.6 percent at max, DeFi returns can go as high as 15 percent.
As the name seems to quite clearly imply, the concept of “Yield Farming” entails the generation of a passive income stream via the use of a variety of different crypto assets. In its most basic sense, Yield farming can be compared with traditional finance offerings such as bank deposits, fixed-term deposits, and even government bonds wherein investors lock in their fiat assets with a financial institution, allowing for increased liquidity. This liquidity in turn generates growth for the institution, thus allowing for steady interests to be paid out to investors.
Similarly, yield farmers can make use of DeFi money markets, liquidity pools, etc to draw in steady returns for themselves. For example, an individual locks up 10,000 USDC (US dollar-pegged stablecoin) into a DeFi protocol, providing it with instant liquidity. In return for locking up these funds, the person is rewarded with fees generated by the underlying DeFi platform. These reward tokens can then once again be deposited in other liquidity pools, allowing users to constantly accrue a flow of income by continually switching between different protocols.
Popular platforms worth considering.
Uniswap: The name UniSwap has almost become synonymous with the term “passive income,” at least across the global crypto landscape. The protocol provides users with a tangible avenue through which they can earn returns on their assets by becoming liquidity providers (LPs).
In their most basic sense, LPs are those individuals that deposit an equal USD amount of two tokens, known as a pair, to a liquidity pool. Whenever these tokens are moved — for example, borrowed by a third party — the fee that is generated from such a transaction and is shared with the LP depending upon his/her stake in the pool.
UniSwap is perfect for those individuals who may be in possession of “idle crypto assets” and looking to invest their funds in a platform that is relatively risk-free and easy to make use of.
Aave: This is a platform to lend and borrow assets. You put assets in a pool — for example the USDC pool — and anyone who needs to get USDC can come and borrow some, by collateralizing the loan. Depending on demand they’ll pay roughly between 2 percent and 80 percent APR, while you’ll get between 0.5 percent and 75 percent APY for lending into the pool.
While providing to liquidity pools such as Uniswap involves some degree of risk (the “impermanent loss”) depending on the pair of assets you are dealing with, Aave is really the simplest product to understand: deposit 1 asset, get paid a certain interest percent in that asset.
Though on paper, the concept surrounding yield farming looks extremely attractive, it is not free of its share of risks.
The very first risk — the thing which resulted in the most money lost in 2020 — is greed. “Rug pulls” and “exit scams” were the No. 1 risk in terms of money stolen last year. A good reminder to do your own research!
The second type of risk, tech risk, means that if there is a bug in the smart-contract you are using, you could lose all your money, and that’s why you want to make sure they have been independently audited. For the same reason, you are best advised to not “put all eggs in the same basket” and deposit across several protocols.
There have also been a lot of attacks associated with “price oracles.” This is somewhere between a tech risk, a design risk and a financial risk. An “oracle” is the service through which a DeFi protocol obtains real-time price data. Those can potentially be manipulated or tampered with, especially since these instruments are totally automated and there is no way to audit or verify the accuracy of the data provided by these platforms. A lot of “attacks” in 2020 were executed through manipulating the price information of assets and getting a lot of tokens for cheaper than one ought to from a service.
Lastly it is no secret that the crypto market at large is the subject of daily price swings, causing the value of many assets to jump up and down wildly. In this regard, if the value of a cryptocurrency that is being farmed dips to extremely low levels, users could incur heavy losses compared to the currency they use to go shopping. Two hundred percent APY on something whose price is dropping by 300 percent a day isn’t going to make you rich any time soon. That’s a financial risk, and the conclusion is to choose your assets wisely.
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Who among us isn’t ready to bid good riddance to the year 2020? The pandemic has upended life across the globe and that includes creating financial chaos and stress for people of all walks of life. The good news is that 2021 is just around the corner. The bad news is that there will be pandemic fallout to deal with in the year ahead, and that could mean a continued rocky ride for your personal finances.
That doesn’t mean postponing or eliminating financial plans and goals altogether. And it doesn’t mean 2021 will be a bust. Instead, you’ll need to be more focused, savvy, and strategic about money goals in the coming year, which is why we asked financial experts across the country to weigh in and provide tips and insights about how to prosper financially in 2021 despite all the uncertainties that lie ahead.
In times of uncertainty, it’s a good idea to create what’s known as a rolling budget, which is a budget that’s dynamic and changes throughout the year. This type of budget typically focuses on the near term, rather than the long term.
“You can’t always foresee every stumbling block in your financial future, so make sure to keep your budget bendable, not only judging the numbers you see at the moment but also make room for the surprises,” says Roy Ferman, founder and CEO of Seek Capital. “Keep a rolling budget and forecast that accounts for potential fluctuations — positive or negative.”
In other words, budget in a way that accounts for multiple real-world scenarios, says Ferman, creating a plan A, B, C, and possibly even D. “You want each plan fully mapped out as if it was plan A to keep you on top of any discrepancies. Allow yourself to come up with different variations, and allocate for those variations.”
Establish More Than One Stream of Income
Depending on how you define the data, anywhere from 20 million to 30 million people were unemployed or had their income affected by the pandemic, says Marco Sison, financial coach for Nomadic FIRE. To help protect yourself against the impacts of unemployment or reduced income, it’s a good idea to establish multiple streams of income.
“If one job or income stream is cut off, you still have other sources coming in to live off of,” says Sison. “Ideally, these income streams are passive: dividends, rental property, digital side businesses. If your hours get cut, or you lose your job, you can reduce your expenses and live off your side hustles without tapping your emergency fund.”
Budget for Saving
Warren Buffett has been quoted as saying “If you want to make saving a priority, take a look at how you budget. Do not save what is left after spending; instead spend what is left after saving.”
If you truly want to make saving a priority, particularly amid challenging economic times, you cannot plan to simply set aside what is left over, says Robert Johnson, a professor of finance, at Creighton University’s Heider College of Business. “You don’t successfully build wealth by simply taking what you have left after all your expenses,” says Johnson. “We accomplish what we prioritize. Prioritize savings and invest those savings. Saving should be a line item on your budget.”
Develop an Investment Policy Statement
Anyone who makes investments should create what’s called an investment policy statement (IPS) and follow it, says Johnson at Creighton University. “An IPS is a written document that clearly sets out an investor’s return objectives and risk tolerance over that investor’s relevant time horizon, along with applicable constraints such as liquidity needs and tax circumstances,” explains Johnson. “The whole point of an IPS is to guide you through changing market conditions. It should not be changed as a result of market fluctuations.”
Avoid Credit-Card Debt
Credit-card debt is a slippery slope in the best of times. And when the economy is uncertain, it’s best to avoid using credit cards as much as possible. “It’s never advised to spend money you don’t have via revolving lines of credit. And psychologically making purchases via most credit cards makes us a lot less frugal and undisciplined,” says Adem Selita, CEO and co-founder of The Debt Relief Company. “Considering that interest rates are near all-time lows, paying 20% or more on credit-card debt is a terrible financial decision to make.”
Clear Outstanding Debts
One more note about credit-card debt, if you’re able: Wipe out all existing debt. That will be the biggest favor you can do yourself in terms of meeting financial goals in 2021 and laying the groundwork for success (and beyond), says David Meltzer of East Insurance Group. “Chip off your debt bit by bit by paying off a small portion each month,” says Meltzer. “And do some belt-tightening on your spending for the time being. Take a look at your expenses and see which ones you can let go, and which ones you need to minimize, in order to help clear debt.”
Streamline Your Budget
Study your cash flow, both your income and expenses and outline a realistic household budget, says Meltzer at East Insurance Group. “Your expenses should be exclusively necessities like house bills, groceries, food, mortgage, insurance, and savings,” says Meltzer. “There’s no room for gym memberships and Netflix subscriptions on a tight budget. Most importantly, keep track of your spending. At this point, each cent counts.”
Consider Living Below Your Means
While you’re busy outlining your month-to-month budget goals for 2021 and paring back your spending, you might consider establishing a plan to live well below your means.
“By spending less than you earn, you open up funds to put into a savings account for emergency situations, such as a pandemic, or the loss of a job,” says Mason Miranda, credit industry specialist for Credit Card Insider. “The more you save now, the more financially stable you’ll be later when a crisis hits. Depending on your goals and how much you can save, you could even avoid going into debt and pay for large purchases in cash.”
Prioritize Your Goals and Be Realistic
Prioritizing all of your financial goals allows you to put them into specific categories based on which goals you want to meet first, says George Birrell, CPA and founder of TaxHub. You’ll also want to set a realistic time frame for meeting those goals amid the uncertain economic landscape.
“Setting a realistic timeframe is very important,” says Birrell. “If you set a timeline for one year, but your expenses don’t allow for meeting that timeline or you don’t have the capacity to put in extra work to earn more, you’re not going to reach that goal. Look at it objectively and realistically.”
Set Milestones Toward Larger Goals
Think of a milestone as a smaller goal that helps you get to your larger goal, says entrepreneur Thierry Tremblay, CEO founder of the online database software company Kohezion.
“They are like guideposts on the trail — smaller tasks that you can do to help you stay in line with your overall goal,” says Tremblay. If you fail at various points along the way when pursuing financial goals, think of it as an opportunity to gain valuable insights about things that work and don’t work, says Tremblay. “When you move on to the next goal you’re trying to accomplish, you have an advantage because of the things you’ve learned from your failure,” adds Tremblay.
Start With What You Have
Financial advisers often recommended setting aside three to six months’ worth of income in an emergency fund, which can seem overwhelming if you’re living paycheck to paycheck as many are right now, says Emma Healey, family finance and budgeting expert and founder at Mum’s Money. Rather than giving up on establishing an emergency savings altogether in 2021, simply start smaller.
“Start with what you have. Even if you can only spare $5 a week, stashing it aside to help pad out your budget when times are tough,” says Healey. “It is a decision you’ll never regret. Add more as you can, but the most important thing is to start.”
Automate Your Savings, Debt, and Bill Payments
It’s hard to spend money if you’ve already sent it somewhere else, says Chelsie Moore, CFA and director, wealth management and financial planning for Country Financial. Create automatic debt payments, bill payments and automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account.
“A little bit adds up over time,” says Moore. “Automatic payments may help you avoid late payment penalties, which are a waste of money, and automatic savings can add up without effort or feelings of sacrifice.”
Meeting your financial goals in the best of times can often be challenging. But when the world is topsy-turvy it can be even more perplexing trying to figure out how to accomplish your goals once you’ve defined them. A personal finance professional can help you navigate the uncertainty and plot a path to success.
“Seek the advice and guidance of a financial professional who has the expertise to assist you,” says Tracey Bissett, CFA and president of Bissett Financial Fitness. “The best way to find one is to seek recommendations from someone you trust and then interview potential advisors to find the best fit. You should feel comfortable talking to the professional and asking them questions.”
Be Kind to Yourself
It’s important to remember as you embark upon 2021, and any year for that matter, that financial fitness is a lifelong journey. “Take small, imperfect actions daily to increase your financial knowledge and movement towards your goals. If you make a misstep, be kind to yourself and get back on track,” says Bissett.
It’s that time of the year again… time to create next year’s budget. Budgeting in the best of times is difficult, and now it’s even more tricky with the uncertainty of the pandemic, and more. It’s time to take a new approach.
So before you dive too deeply into the budget tar pit, here are my key takeaways from discussions with my executive coaching clients:
1.Rethink Budgeting To Focus On Outcomes. Why do we budget? The same reason we do any type of planning—it’s an attempt to control, predict, effectively allocate resources, maximize growth, profits and earnings per share, ensure stability and certainty. Yet in today’s world of relentless and rapid change, we must be nimble, a collective (no more silo-ing departments and then punishing poor performers that usually have performance problems due to failed dependencies/contingencies with other departments!) And have you noticed that things always change? And then, the vast majority of the time, the plan does too. But in today’s new world are we measuring the most impactful outcomes? Here’s what our most financially and culturally effective clients are considering as updated outcomes they want to see in a healthy business:
a.Customer experience and engagement
b.Employee experience and engagement (this include cross-functional, inter-departmental effectiveness and collaboration)
c. Ecosystem experience and engagement (your strategic partners, resellers, other partnerships are here)
d. Sustained profitable growth (we’re ensuring we don’t rest on our laurels here)
e. Sustained profitable operational effectiveness (we’re watching expenses here)
f. Sustained innovation (we’re keeping our competitive edge here)
g. Departmental and organizational Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to keep everyone focused
… all of which help us to predict the ultimately unpredictable, because people are creating the results anyway. That’s why we measure their outcomes first.
2. Set Strategic Guidelines For Financial Focus. Like Core Values, which help us make behavioral decisions in the heat of battle, Strategic Guidelines help us make effective decisions when the grenades are flying, when the rug has been pulled out from under us, when supply chains have dried up, when currencies have crashed, when competitors have blindsided us, when the calamity of the day has occurred. When we focus on Strategic Guidelines (which you’ll draw from the bulleted list in item #1 above), we will be better equipped to allocate financial resources in line with what we need to achieve as an organization. Then we’ll be more likely to consider cross-functional dependencies and contingencies and create effective (and not siloed) departmental budgets.
Doing an outcome frame for each objective in item #1 above will help you ask the most appropriate questions to uncover what the priorities are, the appropriate allocation, what the business needs versus what is sexy/compelling/a bright shiny object, and more. Here are the outcome frame questions:
· What would we like? (tangible outcome we can create and maintain)
What will having that do for us? (specific benefits and how we’ll feel, how our key constituents will benefit)
· How will we know when we have it? (specific measurable proof)
· What of value might we risk/lose in order to get it? (what is the “cost” of getting the outcome we want? What side effects may occur?)
· When, where, with whom would we like this outcome? (time, context, key players)
· What are our next steps? (key planning steps here)
The Outcome Frame sheds light on what will truly move the needle for our business. It helps my clients see into their pet projects, their assumptions, the costs, and they make much better decisions and avoid caving to unconscious bias too. For example a few years ago I was helping a client with their annual planning. They had a distribution partnership with an enormous Big Box retailer that, although impressive on their web site, was high maintenance and very low profit. It was clear that the business would be better off without this partnership, so after some agonizing they terminated it. This led to my client having the time/energy to secure 2 new partnerships that were far less work and far more profitable. The Outcome Frame exposed this.
· Create budgets based on the outcomes you want—they’ll be more likely to be achieved
· Ensure all departments are aligned with the overall strategic guidelines so everyone is “in it together”—it’s “our” overall budget, not coveted by a certain department
· Learn to love change and to zoom out to track how the business is doing at a high level, then zoom in to the details
How’s your budgeting going? Follow me on Twitter. Check out my website.
I’ve lived many lives: serial entrepreneur, technology and CEO advisor, venture capitalist, engineer in the early days of Microsoft. Today I help CEOs in rapid growth and turnaround scenarios to achieve previously unheard of results through seeing into their blind spots, aligning their team and board, changing challenging behaviors, increasing team accountability and execution. Some call me a business strategist, some call me an executive coach.
Critics:Budgeting is the process of creating a plan to spend your money. This spending plan is called a budget. Creating this spending plan allows you to determine in advance whether you will have enough money to do the things you need to do or would like to do. Budgeting is simply balancing your expenses with your income.
Performance Based Budgeting attempts to solve decision making problems based on a programs ability to convert inputs to outputs and/or use inputs to affect certain outcomes. whatever Performance may be judged by a certain program's ability to meet certain objectives that contribute to a more abstract goal as calculated by that program's ability to use resources (or inputs) efficiently—by linking inputs to outputs—and/or effectively—by linking inputs to outcomes. A decision making—or allocation of scarce resources—problem is solved by determining which project maximizes efficiency and efficacy.
Zero-based budgeting is a response to an incremental decision making process whereby the budget of a given fiscal year (FY) is largely decided upon by the existing budget of FY-1. In contrast to incrementalism, the allocation of scarce resources—funding—is determined from a zero-sum accounting method. In government, each function of a department's section proposes certain objectives that relate to some goal the section could achieve if allocated x dollars.
Flexible Freeze is a budgeting approach pioneered by President George H. W. Bush as a means to cut government spending. Under this approach, certain programs would be affected by changes in population growth and inflation.
Program Assessment Rating Tool (P.A.R.T.) is an instrument developed by the United States OMB to measure and assess the effectiveness of federal programs that review the program’s purpose and design, strategic planning, program management, and program results and accountability. The scores are rated from effective (ranging between 85 and 100 points), moderately affective (70-84 points), adequate (50-69 points), and ineffective (0-49 points).
Priority Based Budgeting is a response to poor economic conditions. As opposed to incremental budgeting, where resource allocation is determined based on marginal shifts in costs, priority based budgeting fixes the amount of governmental resources and then allocates resources across the various programs. The programs receive their allocation based on their priority; priorities may include safe and secure communities, health, education, and community development among others. Outcome assessment then determines the efficacy of the programs. Although this approach is pro-democratic, critics suggest the administration of this process is extremely difficult.
BudgetBudget processBudget theoryConstitutional economicsPolitical economy
The global pandemic has dealt yet another blow to business in general, and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in particular.
Even at the beginning of the year, the level of indebtedness across this community was untenable. To make matters worse, recent research has highlighted that a quarter of a million companies are at risk of collapsing under £35bn ($44bn) of unsustainable debt taken on during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is foreboding, to say the least.
However, the outlook need not all be doom and gloom. Alternative and more flexible forms of finance have been on the rise since the Global Financial Crisis sent shockwaves through the markets in 2008. Now, 12 years on, businesses have more options than ever before when it comes to finding an innovative capital solution which promotes, rather than encumbers, growth. Evaluating these will be essential for management teams as they look to stabilise their business in a post-pandemic world and create a stronger growth platform for 2021.
The biggest sector you have never heard of.
Royalty Finance is one such solution. It is probably one of the biggest sectors you have never heard of. Popularised in North America, this form of alternative financing is estimated to be worth around $50 billion in the region and has been recognised as a viable capital solution for companies operating across a range of sectors since the 1980s.
The solution sees well-established companies receive capital in return for a slice of their revenues. Models vary, but typically royalty financing works as a type of ‘corporate mortgage’, where a business exchanges a small percentage of its revenues over a long period of time in return for capital today. It is because of its ability to provide supportive capital which does not saddle the business with re-financing risk that its relative obscurity in the UK and Europe is quickly changing.
The advantages are clear: because it is passive, unlike other options, royalty financing is the only source of capital which enables business owners to realize their long-term business goals without compromising owner control, adding amortizing bank debt to the business or, in most cases, diluting equity shares.
Since the royalty company is taking a slice of revenue from the business, it also means that the interest of the two partners are aligned (arguably, unlike other traditional finance methods), with the repayment percentage adjusted annually to reflect any movement in an investee’s revenues. This means that it represents a true partnership model.
As an additional benefit, the company’s repayments cover the principal as well as the interest. Many companies use the money to replace existing short-term debt to allow them to grow. Royalty financing eliminates re-financing risk because it has a payback over decades, hence the analogy to a ‘corporate mortgage’. As well as being used to refinance debt, other common applications include M&A, shareholder restructuring and organic expansion.
A transatlantic shift
The transatlantic jump for royalty financing originally came as a result of a shift in how SMEs perceived and dealt with their banks on the back of the Global Financial Crisis. Just two years ago, the UK’s Federation of Small Business (FSB) reported that small credit business approvals had fallen to a 30-month low, with only 60% of small firms that applied for credit being successful, establishing a significant SME funding gap and frustrating growth.
Fast forward to today, and the coronavirus has shifted this sentiment stagnation a full 180o to the other extreme. The UK government’s decision to act as a guarantor for business loans to prop up the private sector during the pandemic, however well-meaning, has created a staggering debt mountain. Worryingly, the implications for the SME sector, which employs 60% of the UK’s private sector workers, and its future growth prospects are even more eye-watering.
Banking industry executives fear that the loans will lead to widespread corporate failures in 2021 when companies must start paying interest on the debt, leading to a swathe of job losses. Even among businesses that can afford to service their loans, debt impedes a companies’ ability to invest and grow, thereby creating a significant drag on any economic revival after the Covid-19 pandemic.
The UK government has already started work on how to tackle the corporate debt mountain. A likely solution will be to enable the debt to be swapped by the government for equity stakes in businesses, much like we saw during the global financial crisis. This will make many of our SMEs accountable to UK Government, presenting an array of new potential headaches for management.
This raises the question: is this the only way? After the initial drop in revenue experienced by companies almost across the board in April 2020, when the pandemic first struck UK shores, many have started experiencing a relative upturn in trading. For those businesses which have a proven, long term track record of profitability, but have taken a hit during unprecedented times, there lies the opportunity to evaluate their options, refinance this debt and once again make themselves the masters of their own destiny.
A new tomorrow
The accelerated adoption of pre-existing trends, whether it be flexible working or digitalisation, during the pandemic has been a hot topic over recent months. In my mind, this extends to the application of alternative finance as well. In times of short-term uncertainty, long term capital, which does not need to be continuously repaid or have an identified exit strategy in place, represents a no-brainer for management teams.
The businesses of today benefit from a financial landscape that is more diverse than ever before. Now that the dust has settled following the initial shockwaves sent through the business community at the start of the outbreak, management teams have the perfect opportunity to take their future into their own hands and ensure that their capital structure works for, not against, their business.
With its aforementioned advantages and amid a quickly changing finance environment among SMEs in particular, royalty financing is set to grow from strength the strength across the UK and Europe. You could call its sudden rise a surprise, but all the right conditions have been there for growth of the industry.