It’s no longer unusual for ageing Britons to experience their fourth generation of progeny. While healthy seniors live longer in their homes, they may wish to move.
Throughout the developed world, advances in nutrition, hygiene and medicine have led to longer lives and greater independence for seniors. While this certainly is welcomed as good news, it nonetheless also introduces a different dynamic in national economics and social planning.
To understand the impact of the UK’s ageing population, it helps to confront some key facts:
1. Over-65 age group already up – Between 1982 and 2007, this age group increased by 16 per cent, growing from 8.5 million to 9.8 million Britons.
2. Over-65 age group will get even bigger – By the year 2032, there will be a 66 per cent increase in the size of the 65+ age demographic.
3. Over-65 age group will be almost one quarter of the population – This increase by 2032 will put retired people at 23 per cent of the population.
4. Over-85 increasing the most – More than 1.3 million people are in this “oldest kid” category, double what it was 30 years ago. Almost none work and therefore are entirely dependent on pensions, family and the public coffers for support.
What’s particularly significant, from an economics standpoint, is that the ratio of working people to pensioners has gone down since the 1980s and will continue to decline short of a new baby boom. Currently, there are 3.2 working people for every retired person in the UK, but that number will decline to 2.8 by 2033.
Those are facts that address the pension system. But what’s less reported is how our surprisingly healthy seniors might contribute to the country’s protracted housing shortage. Former Planning minister Nick Boles went on record in 2013 by stating that it was the elderly, more than immigrants, who are placing the greatest pressures on housing needs in the UK. Which provides interesting news to those who consider alternative investments, such as senior housing, for their asset growth potential.
“Our population has grown and we have not built enough houses to keep pace with it,” Boles said, as reported by the Daily Telegraph. “It’s important to remember the majority of that population growth has not been as a result of immigration. The majority of that growth, about two thirds, has been as a result of ageing.” He goes on to point out the plethora of families that now have four generations – and that they don’t all live in the same house.
Addressing a part of this problem is the Campaign for Housing in Later Life (CHLL), an organisation launched in 2013. Notably, only 1 per cent of Britons live in retirement housing; this compares to 17 per cent in the US and 13 per cent in Austria. Given the ageing statistics cited above, there is a need to increase the kinds of developments that are appropriate for this age group.
If those options were available and attractive to seniors, it could free up the estimated £400 billion worth of homes they currently occupy. Often, that means one person occupying a much larger home than they need. The Demos think tank (a cross-party organisation) published a report in 2013 that details how almost 3.3 million properties – two million of which are three-bedroom homes – could be freed up for occupancy by younger families. The sales of these homes would also free up cash to supplement seniors’ overall wherewithal. The report also emphasizes that new, seniors-designated housing needs to be appealing; only about 150,000 retirement units exist in the private sector currently.
CHLL maintains that planning regulations stand in the way of developing more senior housing (which, it bears noting, involves a mix of communal and private quarters, with on-hand staff to provide assistance as needed).
Relaxed planning processes, allowing more local control, has helped increase housing stock in the UK, as property fund management companies are now able to more confidently buy and develop land for residential construction. Public policy also includes better lending strategies, such as the Help to Buy scheme, making first-time and upgrade purchases more accessible. The CHLL advocates for a broader application of Help to Buy that will enable lower-income seniors to qualify for senior housing.
Bitcoin is a decentralized, peer to peer, digital currency system, designed to give online users the ability to process transactions via digital unit of exchange known as Bitcoins. In other words, it is a virtual currency.
The Bitcoin system was created in the year 2009 by an undisclosed programmer(s). Since then, Bitcoin has garnered huge attention as well as controversy as an alternative to US dollar, Euros and commodity currencies such as gold and silver.
Rise to Popularity
Bitcoin had not attained much attention in the world of business and finance before the year 2009. It rose to prominence in the 2011-2012 period when it gained over 300%. Bitcoin has had a 400% growth in its value since the August of last year. As a result, venture capital firms and investors around the world continue to pay importance to the cryptocurrency.
In the first half of 2014, venture capital firms invested $57 million in Bitcoin in the first quarter, followed by another $73 million in the second quarter amounting to a total of $130 million, which is 50% greater than last year’s total of $88 million. This is a complete contrast to the scenario in 2012 where Bitcoin firms amassed a relatively meagre sum of $2.2 million.
These statistics prove beyond doubt that Bitcoin is worth your investment, which begs the question, how can you buy and invest in Bitcoin?
A guideline for novice investors in Bitcoin
The easiest and least complicated method to invest in Bitcoin is by purchasing bitcoins. There are a lot of established firms, mainly in the US as well as abroad, who are involved in the business of buying and selling bitcoins, abbreviated as BTC.
If you are living in the U.S. then Coinbase is the place you’re looking for. Coinbase provides it’s clients with BTC at an estimated mark up of 1% over the existing market price. Residents of the United States have the option to sync their Coinbase wallets with their bank accounts. As a result, future payment transfers are made hassle free. This company also gives you the option of automatic bitcoin buying from time to time. For instance, if you’re interested to purchase $50 in bitcoins at the beginning of each month, Coinbase allows you to set up an auto buy for that amount.
Be mindful of the terms and conditions before you begin to use this service. If you have subscribed to an automatic bit coin service, then you will not be able to control the price at which the BTC is bought every month. Note that Coinbase is does not function as a Bitcoin exchange i.e. you buy and sell the coins directly from the firm. Since the firm has to source the coins from other buyers, you may face delays or disruptions when laying orders during fast market moves.
BitStamp suits the requirements of a conventional bitcoin exchange. Bitcoin acts as an intermediary which allows you to trade with other users and not the company itself. Here the liquidity is higher and you always have a good chance to find someone who is willing to trade with you. There is an initial fee of 0.5% which can be reduced to 0.2% if you trade $150,000 in a period of 30 days.
Alternative ways to purchase Bitcoins
Exchanging isn’t the only method of investment in bitcoins. Local Bitcoins is often used to buy BTC offline. The website is designed to link potential buyers and sellers. The bitcoins are locker from the seller in an escrow and can only be released to buyers.
Buying bitcoins offline isn’t always very reliable or safe. Hence it’s preferable to meet the sellers during daytime and let a friend tag along with you just in case things go south.
Bitcoin is not just a modern trend. Venture capital firms consider Bitcoin to be a decent substitute to conventional currency in the long run. There are cointless ways for you to enter the sphere of bitcoin investment. As mentioned before, Coinbase, BitStamp and Local Bitcoins are the most popular channels for investing in bitcoin in the United States. Do your homework and find out which avenue ticks all your boxes.
Adding to our previous discussion around the benefits that volatility generates for dollar cost averaging strategies, we now consider whether those benefits can be exploited by the fully invested. Again, the excess returns come from the fact that DCA exploits the “buy more low” and “buy less high” aspect of fixed-dollar investments, and are enhanced by additional volatility.
So, are the benefits derived from DCA exclusively available to those making bi-weekly allocations? Good news, the answer is no. In fact, every investor who is already fully invested can structure their portfolio approach so as to gain additional benefits from volatility over time – just like DCA. This is achieved by executing a strategy of “intra-portfolio dollar cost averaging”.
Traditional DCA takes new cash flows and buys more of relatively cheap assets and less of relatively expensive assets. For investors who are not adding meaningful additional cash flows to their portfolio (those with the most significant account sizes), a comparable strategy can add additional returns in excess of what the underlying investments in their portfolios will generate.
By systematically buying relatively cheap assets with proceeds derived from selling relatively expensive assets, a fully invested portfolio can generate additional gains over time. The same concept as dollar cost averaging applies, as investors will improve the average price of their investments over time, and ultimately earn more than the sum of the portfolio’s parts. It is also true that increased volatility can enhance those excess returns. This argument applies even a step further, in that intra-portfolio dollar cost averaging is the only way a fully invested portfolio can earn more than the sum of its parts.
Another less technical term for intra-portfolio dollar cost averaging is ‘rebalancing’. Unfortunately, rather than being exploited, rebalancing is typically an afterthought, and is rarely considered a domain to which you can apply a systematic process and generate additional returns. When executed with a system that goes beyond the basic “time” and “over/underweight” parameters to one that exploits volatility like its DCA brethren, rebalancing can be an extremely powerful portfolio tool.
Considering all of the effort that goes into generating investment selection alpha (or ‘fee reduction alpha’ for the passive strategists among us), it seems worthwhile to consider other areas of potential gain that have gone unexploited for so long. Adding a process to rebalancing can help improve outcomes for clients, without sacrificing the work done in investment selection.
Are you willing to invest in a more long-term and reliable organic traffic source for your website? Then let’s look at a search engine that can assist you in increasing your traffic.
Interview an Influencer or Get Interviewed by a High-traffic Website
Have you heard of Tim Ferriss, the author of the Four-Hour Work Week?
His podcast is nowadays a staple content type that he provides to his viewers. Tim’s show has world-class performers who share their insights on a variety of topics, and he is well-liked on social media. Do Tim’s fans enjoy the show? So far, the show has received over 50 million downloads. On most days, it’s the most popular business podcast on iTunes.
Interviews, whether on video or audio, are inherently conversational, lively, and engaging. The great aspect is that it’s a win-win situation for both sides. The interviewer is exposed to a new audience, while the interviewee is able to provide his website visitors with new fascinating and authoritative information. You can ask an industry influencer to share your interview with their followers on social media if you interview them. Consider the organic traffic you’ll get from their social media followers, which number in the hundreds of thousands. Consider the level of interest generated by a prior Derek Sivers interview on the Tim Ferriss Show. Derek shared the show’s URL with his 283K followers on Twitter. It won’t hurt if you establish a relationship with the influencer as a result of the interview.
Similarly, being interviewed by a high-ranking website can result in a significant increase in search engine traffic. Harsh Agrawal’s blog, Shoutmeloud, received 35,000+ views in a single day after he was profiled by YourStory. That was the blog’s most popular search engine traffic source (with 600,000+ monthly visitors). Because interviews provide consolidated value, they can be used as a long-term lead generating source for your company. Consider how many bloggers you’ve learned about through interviews on YouTube and other high-authority websites.
You may also conduct a Reddit AMA if you have a very compelling storey to tell. Mateen’s AMA got about generating $85,000 in profit by selling TeeSpring shirts/hoodies received 2000 page views. He also boosted the number of visitors to his website on a daily basis.
By registering as a source with HARO, you can also answer queries from journalists. On HARO, Christopher from Snappa came across this question from Inc Magazine about the future of content marketing. He swiftly responded with a thorough response. He was mentioned in Inc a few weeks later as a result of this. HARO is an excellent strategy to have your brand mentioned on authoritative news sites such as Entrepreneur and Inc. Those backlinks will enhance your search engine traffic and increase your marketing strategy by improving your reputation in Google’s eyes. Contact an SEO agency to find out how you can do this and how they can manage it for you while you work on the bottom line of your business.