Saving / Investing


(Lawrence Ferguson) #1

So…I’m not rich but I want to save/invest money on a monthly basis. Between £200 / £500.

Most I read about are talking thousands etc for it to be worthwhile. Does anyone have any recommendations for investing smaller amounts. (Eg. MoneyFarm) or am I best just using an ISA.

To summarize, I want to save in a “fun” way if such a thing exists.

Ta.


(Sy) #2

Not sure what the minimums are for WiseAlpha but they are giving good returns on their bonds loaning funds to big UK corporations


(Ben) #3

Bitcoin… though that boat may have sailed by now. Healthy stats for it.


(Nick) #4

Moneybox - you can invest regularly weekly amounts.


#5

The best service I’ve seen for investing small amounts is Halifax Sharebuilder - you buy whatever shares you want for a very low fee. If you are not keen on managing your own portfolio there are things like Nutmeg which will take however much you want to invest each month and put it in a fund investing in various assets. It has a modern interface and is more transparent than other wealth management platforms.


(Lawrence Ferguson) #6

Awesome. I’ll check some of these out. Thank you all! :slight_smile:


(Kieran McCann ) #7

I’d suggest the same, cryptocurrency could sky rocket at any point. Like @HoddzDJ said the Bitcoin boat has sailed but Ethereum & litecoin are still relatively small enough to start investing in especially if your’re gonna have that amout of consistent cash. Everyone seems to be using Coinbase. It has the same funtonallity as Moneybox but with cryptocurrency rather than just investing in an ISA.

Some figures.

Bitcooin: buy price £3.121.50 up £617.15 since last week
Ethereum: buy price £227.43 up £26.28 since last week
Litecoin: buy price £34.81 up only £0.07 since last week


(Sy) #8

Investment warning: Past performance is no guarantee of future performance. :joy:


(knows someone who knows Tom quite well) #9

Bitcoin is the original and some liken it to digital gold. It recently forked as there were competing camps who couldn’t agree on how to scale for increased capacity. This disagreement has in my option cost Bitcoin it’s completely dominant position - 2 years ago, Bitcoin was >90% of the crypto market, it is now about 55%.

Litecoin has no real benefits over Bitcoin - pretty much the same technology.

Ethereum is not really a coin as such, but a general purpose computing system fuelled by ether. It has two major problems in my view, the first being that it is really hard to write safe smart contracts in a general purpose language and this has resulted in hackers being able to steal millions of dollars worth of ether. Ethereum hard forked last year because of one such hack. If even the creators of Ethereum can’t write solid smart contracts then who can? The second problem is that Ethereum production is unlimited, they can just keep making more. I consider it to be a huge scam coin.

In my opinion, the most interesting coin is Monero - it actually does what most people think Bitcoin does but doesn’t. Bitcoin is NOT anonymous, every transaction is saved for ever to the blockchain. If I know your public Bitcoin address, I know how much money you have, where it came from and what you like to spend it on. Coins are not fungible as they can be and are traced by blockchain analysis systems. If you are unlucky enough to purchase Bitcoin that has been used on a dark market or associated with terrorism, you may find it unsellable in the future. Monero addresses the privacy and fungibility issues that Bitcoin has by using a new algorithm that mixes multiple public keys into each transaction, making it impossible to track who is spending, what a wallet contains or where the money is going. It truly is digital cash, better even as cash still has serial numbers.

Its value has increased by over 2000% in the last year but is still a fraction of the Bitcoin market cap, at just over $700 million, because it is still in its infancy. It is not as easy to use as Bitcoin yet, but it has a very active development team and its inherent advantages will eventually win out in my view. The other thing that impressed me was that it wasn’t pre-mined before release.

Many coins have all of the easy early coins mined before anyone else gets to hear about them - Satoshi has millions of dollars of Bitcoin as he mined thousands of coins before releasing the software.


(Stephen Early) #10

Bitcoin is not for the average saver!

A friend of mine wrote a book about it: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Attack-50-Foot-Blockchain-Contracts-ebook/dp/B073CPP581/

I accepted Bitcoin over the counter in my pubs for a few years, but I’ve stopped doing so now because transactions became extremely unreliable and the transaction fees were extremely high - both to my customers, when they paid me, and to me when I moved the money to an exchange to convert it back to GBP.


(Tommy Long) #11

Monero is neat but Zcash also has good anonymity and zk-SNARKS are coming to Ethereum soon


(Tommy Long) #12

Bitcoin fees are right back down now and will continue to drop with the adoption of SegWit and Lightning Network… if you want low fees and quick confirmations you should look into Ethereum though. Confirmation is ~10 seconds, rather than ~10 minutes for Bitcoin


(knows someone who knows Tom quite well) #13

Zcash is not private by default, you have select anonymity which defeats the point. The anonymous/private transactions require huge compute power and memory. Plus you donate a portion of your transaction to the zcash company, an American company subject to all of it’s laws.

And finally, from the zcash CEO: “And by the way, I think we can successfully make Zcash too traceable for criminals like WannaCry, but still completely private & fungible.”

That’s simply not possible - just as weakening encryption to prevent criminals using it damages security for everyone, weakening fungibility to prevent criminals using it damages privacy for everyone,.


(Ben) #14

Okay so I thought I’d come back to this for a laugh really. Here are some details had you bought £500 worth of Bitcoin two months ago.

13/08/2017
1BTC = £2990
£500 = 0.16722408

12/10/2017
1BTC = £4055
0.16722408 = £678.09

Not a bad return after two months. Did anyone buy any?


(Benjamin Doherty) #15

Regardless of why you had to stop that if fucking brilliant that you were accepting it in your pubs. I would love the novelty of buying a round with bitcoin. Good stuff.


(Ben) #16

That is a merchant map of where you can spend bitcoin. It’s an app called Blockchain and it’s a wallet too.


(Stephen Early) #17

The novelty was good.

Part of my motivation for accepting Bitcoin was that I could just do it - I didn’t have to ask anyone’s permission. All the information I needed to build it into the point of sale system was freely available.

I am still irritated that it’s difficult to build debit and credit card acceptance into a point of sale system. Getting hold of a card terminal is quite easy now, and has been for about 15 years, but getting permission to connect it to a point of sale system in the UK is still very hard - even though most terminals now have a “semi-integrated” mode where the cardholder data isn’t sent to the POS at all, so the POS system isn’t covered by PCI-DSS.

I’m currently talking to Barclaycard Merchant Services about this. After getting past the initial barrier (“Who is your POS system provider?” “We wrote our own.”), they’ve told me that for Ingenico terminals they won’t discuss any kind of integration until you have at least 50 terminals (we currently have 10). They’ve told me that there’s a lower threshold for Verifone terminals, and even sent me some technical information, but I’m stuck on actually getting hold of these and connecting them to my Barclaycard merchant accounts!

All very frustrating. I thought there might be other companies out there who could provide suitable terminals, technical information and merchant accounts, but they all appear to want to lock you in to their particular solution. We really need a company like Stripe but for in-person payments.


(Adnan Mohammed) #18

Definitely recommend IG Investment, been using that for years and it’s a great platform for buying and selling shares. P.S currently buying lots of gold and silver for insurance purposes (not investment) it’s a good way of preserving your wealth :slight_smile:


(Andre Borie) #19

Have you looked at iZettle or Paypal? Also a big thumbs up for writing your own POS system, it’s nice to see someone stand up to the monopoly of shitty and outdated POS software.

By the way would you mind describing how was the experience for someone wanting to pay with Bitcoin at one of your locations? I’m curious.


(Stephen Early) #20

Yes I have. Neither has an API - you can only use their reader with their smartphone or tablet app.

There’s a page about it here.