Category Archives: News

How Will Interest Rates Affect Mortgages, Savings And Property Prices?

The BOE (Bank of England) has made a decision to increase interest rates to 0.75%. This is the 2nd time in 10 years the BOE is raising rates. The 0.25 percentage increase will affect savings mortgage as well as property prices. If you care to know the exact implications, continue reading below.

Personal impact

The direct impact of the hike (on an individual level) will be minimal for most people. The people who stand to be more affected are those with variable mortgages whose total cost tends to fluctuate based on base rate changes. Individuals with large mortgages on fixed rates won’t be affected.

What if you are servicing a variable rate mortgage loan, how much more should you expect to pay?

Your variable mortgage loan (which matches fluctuations in the base rate) should match the interest rate increase, i.e., add an extra 0.25% to the overall cost of your mortgage. To have a clearer picture of the increase, the 0.25% increase adds an additional £12 expense on a £100,000 mortgage loan or £25 on a £200,000 loan.

The monthly bill for Nationwide’s 400,000 households on the base mortgage rate will increase to £461 from £449, for mortgage loans worth £100,000 and £922 from £897 for mortgage loans worth £200,000.

Uplift on savings account?

Most banks are reluctant to raise savings rates but swift when raising mortgage rates. For this reason, it can take a while before savings account holders can start enjoying increased interest payouts. Currently, the average interest rate offered on easy access accounts with the most notable high street providers stands at 0.23% only. Most savers are likely to enjoy a slight increase to 0.3 or 0.4 percent as banks capitalize on the rate hike to boost net interest margin and overall profits.

Should we expect more rate hikes in the future?

Possibly, although the sentiments of BOE governor suggest the next rate hike may not happen until 2019. Experts don’t expect interest rates to go back to the 5% range experienced before the financial crisis. Most believe base rates won’t surpass the 2-3% range which is still unlikely in the near future.

With that said UK households are set to feel intense financial pressure with the ordinary citizen being forced to spend more than their earnings, take up debt or deplete their savings. If the BOE raises interest rates further by another 1.5%, the cost of mortgage loans for Nationwide’s main clientele (individuals who take £200,000 mortgage loans) will increase to £1,055 monthly. This represents a £158 increase from what they are paying currently.

If such an increase happens, it would result in a significant personal budget shortfall for many families. This is precisely why the BOE isn’t likely to follow the interest rate hike path if such a path can be avoided.

Is it advisable to fix your mortgage to avoid extra costs in case of future interest rate hikes?
The number of people taking fixed mortgages currently has risen sharly. This new development in the mortgage market has seen the number of 10-year fixed mortgages increase yet they are marginally above the 2 to 5-year fixes taken by most households.

Mortgage lenders like HSBC, for instance, have begun allowing mortgage lenders to lock their interest rates for a decade at 2.49% only. Coventry Building Society is granting a similar interest rate lock at 2.39%. The current interest rate environment signalling other hikes is making longer-term fixes more popular in 2018.

Impact on the property market

The property market in the South and London are experiencing a depression. Markets in the north and Midlands are more active. The same should be expected although Brexit poses some uncertainty. When we consider stamp duty rises as well as higher taxes on buy-to-let property already impacting the capital market, the current hike is expected to have a small impact. To the rest of the economy, economists predict a 2 to 3% annualised price increase.

Impact on the pound?

The pound is likely to remain unchanged. The sterling has managed to stick around €1.12 even with the anticipation surrounding the hike. Unless there is a significant breakthrough on Brexit negotiations, the pound should remain unchanged.

In a nutshell, the current rate hike is likely to have a significant negative impact on large borrowers who pay variable rates. The hike will become a problem for everyone if it marks the beginning of a period characterised by consistent hikes in the near-term.

Is the Company Director of Swift Money Limited.
He oversees all day to day operations of the company and actively participates in providing information regarding the payday/short term loan industry.

Wonga on the Spot Again For the Wrong Reasons

Wonga is in the headlines again for the wrong reasons. Regulators and claims management firms have ganged up against the payday lender, a move which if successful could see the firm wind down. This has happened just when things seemed to get better for Wonga.

It has emerged that the lender’s investors had to part with a £10m rescue package dubbed capital injection just recently. The emergency fundraising happens just 6 years after Wonga was set for a flotation which valued the lender at more than £770m ($1bn). Today, the lender is worth a mere $30m.

Wonga launched in July 2008 with the promise of offering instant-decision short term loans to online borrowers. The lender grew exponentially aided by private equity investors to become a dominant player in the online short-term lending industry. Wonga defended its high annual interest rates amounting to over 5,000% by claiming it offered loans for days/weeks, not for a year.

Wonga downfall

Wonga’s downfall began when stories started emerging of vulnerable borrowers struggling to repay their loans. These stories marked the onset of political pressure. Although Wonga claimed its clientele was composed of web-savvy individuals who didn’t like using traditional banks, the Guardian found some conflicting evidence suggesting Wonga was serving hard-pressed borrowers who couldn’t access credit elsewhere.

In 2011, the lender issued 2.5 million loans and posted a massive £45.8m profit against revenues of £185m. This represented a 300% increase in profits from the previous year. In 2013, Wonga was hit by a regulatory clampdown when the Office for Fair Trading launched an exercise to start cleaning up the payday loans industry. The FCA followed suit with an interest rate cap putting an end to the exponential profits lenders like Wonga were making.

The co-founder and C.E.O. Errol Damelin quit in November 2013. His replacement, Andy Haste, a former chief executive of insurer RSA joined shortly after as the Chairman pledging to improve business practices which started a cycle of lower profits for Wonga.

Haste started by drafting a new management team led by Tara Kneafsey which didn’t perform as expected since Wonga’s profits decreased and “jumped into the red” in subsequent years. Wonga reported record losses in 2015 and 2016 (£80m and £66m respectively). This was despite the fact that the lender was hoping to return to profitability in 2017.

Recent Woes

Wonga has been faced with an unexpected increase in customer compensation claims relating to loans dating back to 2013. In 2013, the lender was forced to write off loans amounting to £220m and interest income for 330,000 customers.

Claims management firms targeting payday loans have triggered a new wave of complaints. According to the Financial Ombudsman, complaints about Wonga increased from 269 (in 2015) to 2,347 in the 2nd half of 2017. Back in April 2017, only 10% of payday lender claims were made via claims management companies. One year later, the figure has increased to 66%. The Financial Ombudsman has also extended the time for borrowers to file cases increasing pressure for Wonga to the extent of threatening the lender’s survival.

According to the managing director of Fairer Finance, James Daley, it isn’t surprising that Wonga is in the current position because they exploited a loosely regulated market. Daley states that Wonga was in the forefront of offering people fast access to credit but didn’t treat its customers fairly.

Claims management companies are targeting payday loan lenders as potential payment protection insurance payouts start to reduce. PPI customer have one year to launch complaints before the regulators (FCA’s) deadline. Daley claims that Wonga is reaping what they sowed in their earlier years stating they are handing back all the money they made unfairly.

The lender received emergency funds from Accel Partners, Balderton Capital and 83 North, investors who had backed the lender early on. Meanwhile, Damelin has become one of the leading technology startup investors in the UK with notable investments like Purple Bricks, an online estate agent.

According to industry campaigners, the UK payday industry has reformed significantly since regulators intervened; however, lenders under strain resulting from austerity measures are vulnerable now, more than ever.

According to Citizens Advice C.E.O. Gillian Guy, the number of payday related problems has decreased by 50% compared to the days before the payday loan interest and charges cap. This is a testament that regulation works according to Guy. Although many problems including Wonga’s current problems date back to 2014, people still go to Citizens Advice when they are faced with loan repayment problems since loan affordability is still an issue.

Is the Company Director of Swift Money Limited.
He oversees all day to day operations of the company and actively participates in providing information regarding the payday/short term loan industry.

Shocking Fact: Mortgages Can Be More Expensive Than Payday Loans

Did you know; picking the wrong mortgage deal can end up costing you twice what you borrowed?

Also, you need high-level qualifications to understand mortgage contracts.

Although getting a mortgage looks simple, typical mortgage contracts are more complex than most people think. The truth is; most mortgage lenders love complicating matters which leaves many borrowers confused about how mortgage loans actually work.

A recent study done by online broker Habito and the University of Nottingham reveals that you need to be a 2nd year A-level or Year 13 student to understand the language used in typical mortgage contracts. This statistic is shocking considering 50% of UK adults don’t have that level of education.

Mortgages vs. payday loans

Mortgage contracts are guilty of having complex terminologies although this is just part of the problem. There are also problems in the way mortgage deals are presented, i.e., they focus on interest rate as opposed to the total cost of the loan over the entire term.

Payday loans also have a bad reputation not only because of the amount borrowers pay in the end but also because of the interest rates (APRs) which go beyond 1,000%.

However, when you compare the total amount of money you are charged as opposed to the APR, mortgage loans cost more than what payday loans are allowed to charge. What’s more; the wrong mortgage can make you pay twice what you borrowed.

When does your mortgage cost double?
If you make a mistake of signing up for a high-rate mortgage over a lengthy term, the overall cost can easily double the loan amount.

Let’s take an example: You want a mortgage loan worth £200,000, and you are in a position to raise a £20,000 deposit. As a result, you need a mortgage product that offers 90% loan-to-value. Since interest rates usually rise, you choose a 5-year fixed rate to give you interest-rate protection and choose a 35-year term to ensure you pay the least amount of money as monthly repayment. According to Money Facts, the overall cost of the loan will be at least, double although you are borrowing £180,000 if you choose a 4.49% + rate from lenders like Lloyds Bank, Virgin Money, Kensington, Teachers Building Society or Furness Building Society. Such a cost would be illegal for payday loan providers who aren’t allowed to charge you (interest among other charges) amounting to more than the original cost of the loan. Solution

Nobody wants to be overcharged for anything let alone a mortgage loan even if you are taking a longer term. So, what action can you take to reduce the total cost of a mortgage loan?

First and foremost, focus on the total cost of the loan as opposed to the monthly repayments. Most mortgage borrowers go for lengthy terms. According to mortgage broker L&C, 22% of first-time home buyers choose terms ranging from 31 to 35 years. This is according to 2017 statistics indicating a 100% increase from 11% in 2007.

Choosing a shorter mortgage repayment term, i.e., 25 years is clearly better. You may be required to pay more every month; however, you will clear your loan faster spending less money in the process. Anyone who can afford overpaying is also advised to do so although you need to do so by approximately 10% every year to avoid incurring any charges. It’s advisable to confirm the over-payment terms beforehand to ensure it makes financial sense.

Mortgages aren’t fixed, so switch

Most mortgages have an initial fixed period or a tracker period which spans for 2 to 5 years. After this period is over, borrowers are moved to an SVR (standard variable rate) which allows lenders to set rates as they please, anytime even when the base rate isn’t fluctuating. The current SVR for Lloyds is 3.99%. Virgin Money and Teachers Building Society are currently charging an SVR of 4.54% and 4.99% respectively. To avoid overpaying on your mortgage, avoid spending time on an SVR rate.

It is smarter to remortgage every time you reach the end of a tracker or fixed rate. It may come at a fee, i.e., £1,000, however, such a fee is worth it if you lock a low rate for many years.

Shop around

According to an FCA report published in June 2018 highlighting how mortgages work, 30% of mortgage borrowers don’t find the best deals. Searching for mortgage deals is more complicated than searching for credit card deals or payday loan deals. Using comparison sites isn’t enough. You need to do more such as enlisting the services of a mortgage broker. Mortgage brokers are the best professionals for offering advice on all matters relating to mortgages from; the kind of loans that match your needs perfectly to choosing suitable lenders. In fact, a mortgage broker can help you access mortgage deals you wouldn’t be able to access if you went directly.

Is the Company Director of Swift Money Limited.
He oversees all day to day operations of the company and actively participates in providing information regarding the payday/short term loan industry.

Santander Scraps Unarranged Overdraft Fees

High street bank Santander has removed unarranged overdraft fees for all its customers on a wide range of paid-for accounts. The bank has also reduced fee- free current account charges effective 10th July 2018. This comes exactly two months after the UK consumer association, Which? found the bank guilty of charging its customers unauthorised overdraft fees amounting to 7.5 times more than what UK payday loan borrowers pay. Which? has explained the changes Santander has made to it charges as well as who will benefit from the shakeup.

How have Santander’s overdraft fees changed?

Paid-for accounts including the; 123 Lite Current, 123 Current Account and the Select & Private current accounts will not attract unarranged overdraft fees. Santander states that the move will benefit 4 million customers who pay monthly fees for their accounts.

Other fee-free personal accounts such as Student, Graduate and Everyday accounts will still attract unarranged overdraft fees. However, Santander is reducing the monthly limit on these charges to £50 from £95. Santander will continue offering Basic Current Accounts which don’t attract any monthly account fees or overdraft fees.

What about arranged overdrafts?

The cost of Santander’s arranged overdrafts for 123, 123 Lite, Private, Select and Everyday accounts remains the same. Account holders will still enjoy a fee- free buffer of £12; however, customers will be required to pay £1, £2 and £3 daily for using up to £1999, £2000 to £2999 and £3000 or more respectively. Santander student account holders will enjoy fee-free arranged overdrafts up to £2000.


In case you are interested in finding out whether these changes will leave you better off or worse off, most overdraft users will enjoy benefits from these changes according to Santander. Only a small percentage (0.1%) will pay more in total overdraft fees as a result of how Santander applies the MMC (Monthly Maximum Charge) cap.

Santander used the Monthly Maximum Charge to cater for arranged and unarranged lending costs in the past. As of now, the cost cap only applies to unarranged fees. So, paid-for account holders won’t be shielded by a cap in regards to arranged borrowing.

Example: If you have an Everyday account and you use £3000 (an arranged overdraft) for 25 days and then slip into an unarranged overdraft for 5 days, you

would be required to pay £95 in fees. With the new changes, you will be required to pay £105. Which? take on rip-off overdrafts

Early 2018, Which? Conducted a comparison of borrowing costs (borrowing £100 for a month) via unarranged overdraft with sixteen high street banks vs. borrowing the same amount via payday loan lenders.

The findings revealed that a record 11 banks, out of sixteen charge more than payday loan lenders. This simply means that overdrafts are more expensive than payday loans in the UK. The overall cost of payday loans has capped by the FCA since 2014.

According to the Which? comparison, Santander emerged to be the most expensive UK high street bank. Its customers were being charged £179 to use a £100 unarranged overdraft over 30 days. This translated to 7.5 times more than the cost of a payday loan. TSB was 6.5x more costly (total cost £160) while First Direct and HSBC were 6 times more expensive at £150.

Comparison with unarranged overdraft fees now

After listing the main UK current account providers as well as their MMC cap, it’s easy to see the amount of money a customer would be expected to pay if they “slip into the red”. Halifax, Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland don’t have an MMC cap and no unarranged overdraft charges. Barclays has unarranged overdraft fees and a £32 MMC cap. Santander and Nationwide have a £50 MMC cap, Tesco Bank has a £75 cap, and HSBC, TSB, First Direct, RBS, Ulster, and NatWest all have a £80 MMC cap.

Personal current account holders with emergency borrowing will pay £67. The fee applies to Student, Graduate and Everyday accounts.

Santander’s changes on unarranged overdraft charges follow Lloyds Banking Group’s action to scrap unarranged overdraft fees in November 2017. The changes make Santander among the cheapest providers of unauthorised borrowing.


If you tend to use unarranged overdrafts regularly, consider arranged overdraft facilities since the charges are lower compared to those incurred with unauthorised borrowing. You can get fee-free limits among other cheaper options than what you pay normally.

Is the Company Director of Swift Money Limited.
He oversees all day to day operations of the company and actively participates in providing information regarding the payday/short term loan industry.

Smart Money Management Tips for Spenders

If you can’t control your spending habits despite your best efforts to do so, you are in the right place. Bad spending habits can plunge you into debt even if you earn a decent salary. To avoid over-dependence on short-term loans like payday loans and credit cards,  you must learn some smart money management tips, and it all starts with saving.

You can never enjoy financial freedom without saving. However, you need to manage your finances accordingly to be able to save. Most importantly, saving isn’t easy. It gets worse if you are a spender so, what should you do?

1. Avoid extended warranties

If you have to spend, the least you should do is ensure you are getting the best value for your money. A spender can save a lot of money by making sure they spend the least amount of money without compromising on value. Many goods are overpriced because of add-ons like extended warranties. Go for standard warranties instead when shopping for household goods, gadgets, etc. since; most people get bored with new purchases in a few months. Furthermore, you aren’t as clumsy as you think unless you have toddlers in the house so, avoid extended warranties and welcome significant savings every year without even changing your spending habits.

2. Save on a daily/weekly basis

The thought of saving when you are a spender is usually far-fetched if you don’t have small manageable goals. You can set your saving challenge starting with small daily or weekly amounts that don’t seem to affect your lifestyle in any way. With time, you can make the goal harder as saving becomes a manageable routine. You can start by saving change daily and then double your savings on a weekly basis. It is easier to save this way than saving a lump sum every month. In fact, spenders don’t have anything left at the end of the month, so this is an effective tip.

3. Work on your patience

Patience isn’t a money management tip; however, it dictates a person’s spending habits to a large extent. One of the key reasons why people overspend or take loans is because they want to buy what they want immediately even when they don’t have money. If you worked on your patience, you would be able to get rid of most, if not all money management problems. For instance, you would never buy anything you can’t afford. You would also be able to build up an adequate reserve capable of meeting emergency expenses and investment needs in the future. Such a reserve would shield you from overreliance on payday loans among other credit facilities which encourage overspending.

4. Focus on transport costs

Expenses on utilities like rent and energy bills tend to be fixed unless you make drastic changes like move houses or invest in cheaper alternatives. Transport is one of those areas you can enjoy significant savings with ease. Most spenders have a huge transport cost so it’s important to pursue cheaper alternatives before finding other avenues to cut expenses. For instance, public transport is always cheaper than using your car or taxi services. You can also use a bicycle which offers added health benefits. Using your car comes with a lot of expenses and inconveniences especially if you live and work in an urban setting.

5. Avoid brands

If you can’t control your spending, you should at least avoid overpriced brands. There are many competing products in every segment that are equally good if not better than overpriced branded products. Knowing this will help you enjoy huge savings even before you get rid of all your bad spending habits.

6. Review your monthly subscriptions

If you tend to overspend every month but don’t seem to understand where your money is going, it’s time to review your monthly subscriptions and cancel the unnecessary ones. Setting automatic payments can be convenient, however, you are prone to overspending on products/services you don’t need any more. You may also be spending on products you can get for free. This applies mostly to internet products/services.

7. Avoid restaurant meals

You can spend 10% or more of your net income on restaurant meals every month if you aren’t careful. Restaurant meals are usually overpriced and unhealthy. This tip will help you save more and boost your health without missing out on anything. If you must eat out, do so occasionally or shop for offers. Implementing this tip can help you get rid of most of your bad spending habits.

Money management is a problem for most people. Spenders have a harder time for obvious reasons. Luckily, making some minor adjustments such as; shopping wisely and practicing patience will go a long way. You should also review existing spending and find better alternatives.

Is the Company Director of Swift Money Limited.
He oversees all day to day operations of the company and actively participates in providing information regarding the payday/short term loan industry.

Controversial Loans Tycoon Set to Pocket £350m After LSE Listing

Controversial short-term loan tycoon James Benamor is set to be the biggest individual beneficiary of exorbitant short-term loans fees in the UK when his firm, Amigo Loans lists on the London Stock Exchange.

Benamor has been accused of being a loan shark operating on the “right side” of the law. His firm, Amigo loans is guilty of charging hard-up customers interest rates up to 50%. The businessman is set to pocket over 350 million pounds when his firm lists on the LSE.

Amigo Loans are marketed as a better alternative to payday loans in the UK. The loans are advertised on radio and TV among other media. They target low- income individuals with poor credit and high debt levels.

Amigo recorded a £72 million pre-tax profit last year. The lender’s loan book grew from £266 million to £647 million last year (2016 to 2017). This figure translates to a 90% market share in the UK guarantor loans market. Amigo servers 182,000 borrowers. A record £48 million in loans were taken by existing customers who had existing loans according to the latest financial results.

Amigo’s profits recently and over the years have helped Benamor, 41, amass approximately £380 million.
Benamor who is a British businessman of Tunisian origin started Richmond Group, a money lending company at 21 in his kitchen in Bournemouth. Benamor began issuing loans to individuals who had been denied credit by mainstream lenders.

Back in 2009, an investigation carried out by BBC accused Benamor of profiting by misleading desperate borrowers. A Richmond Group subsidiary offered to give loans to individuals with poor credit in exchange for £50 in fees, but in most cases, customers received a list of lenders without receiving any loans. The firm, Post Net, was found guilty of misleading desperate borrowers by falsely guaranteeing loans. This was according to a Fair Trading statement issued on the matter.

Nevertheless, Benamor has continued presenting himself as an honest businessman. His social media profiles (Facebook) contain very little evidence of his fortune apart from a few pictures of him and his family on exotic holidays.

Benamor has shared about his charitable ventures which include climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and funding Education in Africa. There are also pictures of him attending a royal function (hosted by Prince Charles) in March 2018. His employees are also “lucky enough” to enjoy perks like hair styling and massage therapy services as well as use his cars and properties in London, France and Amsterdam.

Benamor has been on record stating that he got into a lot of trouble when he was young having been a drug user. He has also stated he was “a petty criminal” in the past.

The Amigo Difference

Amigo Loans are different from payday loans in that; a borrower needs a guarantor (who could be a friend or family member) before they can qualify for a loan.

This requirement has made it possible for Amigo to offer loans successfully to people who wouldn’t otherwise qualify for loans. Amigo has been able to loan individuals with terrible credit as well as those with “mountains” of debt.

According to consumer champion, Martin Lewis, Amigo adverts stating that their loans are affordable make him feel “slightly sick”.
Stella Creasy is of a similar opinion. The Labour MP has been on record calling for regulators to crack down on legal loan sharks trapping needy borrowers.

The Financial Ombudsman has also linked Amigo loans to unethical lending practices by giving specific examples of how Amigo has been hounding guarantors who include individuals with terminal illness and mental health issues.

According to Amigo’s official website (, the lender charges a 49.9% interest and promises to lend up to £10,000 within a day. The lender also stresses that being unemployed isn’t an obstacle to accessing Amigo Loans.

Although the lender also goes ahead and stresses the fact that Amigo loans are affordable, a customer who borrows £10,000 over 5 years ends up paying £23,715.

Amigo Loans can easily qualify as high-risk loans; however, Amigo is of a contrary opinion.
After announcing intentions to list his firm on the LSE, Benamor stated that his company was a better alternative to payday loan lenders charging ultra-high interest. He stated that the guarantor requirement allows Amigo to offer financing to borrowers who would otherwise be left to borrow less flexible and more expensive forms of loans.

Is the Company Director of Swift Money Limited.
He oversees all day to day operations of the company and actively participates in providing information regarding the payday/short term loan industry.

Coping With Information Overload

Information overload which is simply; having access to too much information at once isn’t anything new. Since the onset of the internet, there has been a surge in the amount of information accessible to everyone. The problem has become worse as the global internet penetration rate increases. According to the latest statistics, 51% of the world’s population is now connected to the internet. This represents a 16% increase from the 35% who were connected in 2013. [1]

With some regions such as North America boasting of an 89% internet penetration rate, it’s easy to see why information overload is a problem now more than ever. What’s more? 55,000 scientific journals and 1.2 million articles are published every year. The no. of books and research reports published yearly stands at 60,000 and 100,000 respectively.[2] The number of information outlets has also increased in our households and workplaces. People also consume information today faster than they did 50 years ago.

This can be seen in many studies which find information overload to be a serious problem that needs to be dealt with. [3] Considering some of the information we consume may not be factual, how do you cope with information overload?

Identify the source/s

You can gauge the importance of information among other attributes like accuracy if you know the source. There are many sources of information today from emails and websites to reports, journals and information management systems. Social media is also a huge source of information today. In fact, social media is among the main sources of inaccurate information today or what is popularly known as “fake news”. This explains why information acquired from social media should be treated “lightly” until it is verified.


Filter the information

To avoid being overloaded by too much information, you must filter the information you come across. Identifying the source of information will give you a good clue about the validity of information. This step is about categorizing information accordingly. For instance, you should have email rules that allow you to categorize incoming emails. Gmail is a great email platform because it filters emails in order of importance. You can see and read important emails immediately. Less important emails can be reviewed later. You can use mind maps to track data sources as well as organize incoming information into appropriate categories.

Review the information

You shouldn’t deal with information overload by ignoring information. Since information is power, you must take time to review what has been filtered. If you have important emails in your primary folder, have a specific time in your daily schedule to go through such information. There is no point in storing information you won’t review.

Your focus should be on establishing systems that make it fast and easy to go about this step. If you use mind maps to organize information, it will take less time to review and act on information. A mind map prevents information overload problems such as jumping from one piece of information to another.

Omit/delete some information

Some “useless” information may pass the filtration and review process. If this happens, delete or omit such information. You should understand the fact that you can’t consume every piece of information you come across. If you can’t deal with information immediately or later, pass it over to someone else who can take action on your behalf or “file” it away. The rest of the information should be deleted.

Important: Never respond to information without thorough consideration. One of the consequences of too much information is the urgency to respond. To avoid committing errors, think before responding to anything.

If you don’t find a way to manage the information you consume, you will be overwhelmed by the information you come across. You should be wary of the source of the information you are consuming. Avoid sources that are questionable to avoid wasting time and distorting facts. You should also invest in information management systems that make it easier for you to filter, review and respond to information. You should also avoid responding to everything. You can avoid errors by responding after thorough consideration since too much information increases your risk of making mistakes. Most importantly, don’t forget to use multiple/parallel channels for information processing tasks. You can’t handle all information processes by yourself.

Is the Company Director of Swift Money Limited.
He oversees all day to day operations of the company and actively participates in providing information regarding the payday/short term loan industry.

Identifying a Cryptocurrency Scam: Smart ICO Investing

Bitcoin is no longer a dominant cryptocurrency. The cryptocurrency’s dominance is at its lowest level currently at less than 37% against 80% a year ago. [1]New and better cryptocurrencies are coming up every day via Initial Coin Offers (ICOs) which resemble Initial Public Offers for stocks. There are over 1,500 cryptocurrencies currently.

Although Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency, newer cryptocurrencies have proved to be better in many aspects. In fact, most cryptocurrencies which have eroded Bitcoin’s market share have done so because of solving fundamental problems affecting Bitcoin. The coins have also explored widespread applications of Blockchain technology, the underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies.

The growth of cryptocurrencies can also be linked to the massive profits earned by early adopters. There is a huge appetite for new cryptocurrency offers currently as people look to find the next Bitcoin. This demand has attracted many scammers into the space.

After all, people have proven to be willing to throw money towards highly speculative cryptocurrencies indicating that they may be willing to invest in fraudulent ICOs. If you don’t want to miss out on an opportunity of a lifetime, but you aren’t willing to be scammed, here are some notable tips to consider when you want to identify an ICO scam.

Investigate the team behind the offer

page1image3747184Never buy into any ICO before you investigate the team behind the offer. Focus on the developers as well as the administrative team and keep off ICOs which don’t involve renowned individuals whose background and expertise is verifiable. Many ICO scams feature non-existent founders and project biographies. If you can’t find adequate and verifiable information about the individuals in question on official websites, LinkedIn among other social media sites, don’t invest. The developer and administrative team must be composed of real reputable people. Their capabilities should also measure up to the project otherwise the ICO may be unsuccessful even if it is legitimate.

Read the whitepaper thoroughly

The white paper is the most important document in any ICO. A whitepaper resembles a prospectus. It lets you know the background, strategy, goals, timelines as well as the concerns for implementing a blockchain-related project. A whitepaper will help you gauge if a sound concept backs the offer. You should look out for whitepaper “red flags” such as spelling mistakes, poor concepts and implementation plans, poor sources, etc. Avoid such ICOs as well as those that present legal concerns and lack financial models. You shouldn’t think twice about ICOs without whitepapers.

What’s more: A convincing whitepaper can still be presented by a fraudulent company. PlexCoin is a great example. PlexCoin ICO raised $15+ million but ended up being fraudulent. [2]

Check the token sale

All ICOs depend on token or currency systems to facilitate a crowdfunding process. Legitimate ICOs are characterised by open token sales that are easily accessible to potential investors. You should check the ongoing token sale figures continuously. If the company behind the ICO is making it hard to monitor the progress of the token sale, this is a red flag. Many ICO scams purpose on creating fake urgency. So, avoid ICOs where you can’t verify token sale progress with ease.


Assess the feasibility of the ICO

Considering there are more than 1500 cryptocurrencies currently, you should focus on offers which have the potential to “beat” their competition. This may appear obvious, but many new cryptocurrency investors fall for coins which are mere duplications of existing coins. Such coins are identical in every way to existing coins with their key focus being raising the initial investment money. The person’s behind such coins have no intention of creating anything of value after the launch.

Although cryptocurrencies have shown massive potential, i.e., you can get rich overnight after making a minimal investment, they tend to be affected by speculation. The most successful offers have been slammed in the past. You should, therefore, focus on investing in ICOs which offer solid opportunities instead of investing for speculative reasons. Spend a lot of time assessing every detail and treat any omissions in the offer as attempts to hide poor models or concepts. If you do the groundwork, cryptocurrencies can offer you passive income enough to avoid overdependence on short term loans like payday loans. You can also get rich in the process.


Is the Company Director of Swift Money Limited.
He oversees all day to day operations of the company and actively participates in providing information regarding the payday/short term loan industry.