The 5 Best Pitch Tactics Angel Investors Want to Hear From Entrepreneurs

One of the blandest bits of advice that I always hear for pitching to angel investors is to “stand out”. Entrepreneurs who want to raise finance to start a new business or to expand their existing business can make use of these five pitch tactics:

1. Create a pitch that connects with the heart.

Use your pitch to help investors understand you and your business ideas on an emotional level. Your pitch must be interesting, relatable, inspirational, and relevant to the needs of the market. They want to work with entrepreneurs who are passionate, promising, and driven.

2. Your pitch must connive with a well thought out business plan.

Your presentation must be evidence-based, showing research results and facts; although you do not take away the fun and attention-grabbing tactics. This is an indication that you know what you are talking about.

Aside from that, prepare answers to common questions that investors will throw: How large is your market? Who are your competitors? Why is your product better than the others? What is your customer acquisition strategy? Is there a big enough market and customer base for the idea?

3. A good business pitch does not look like a spreadsheet.

Investors do not want long and complex business ideas. Instead, they want precise, simple, understandable, and easy to buy into. You can do that by touching on market analysis but with a value-oriented message.

4. Have a good dynamic with your management team.

Investors do not want to be involved in bad partnerships. During your pitch, exude inspiration and confidence with your team. Make them want to invest and not raise their eyebrows at you.

5. Leave the investors wanting more.

Angel investors invested more than £20 billion in 2010. To get a slice of that pie, you do not just need a strong conclusion — you need an exit strategy that informs investors how they’ll get their money back. They could love your idea, but if they do not think they’ll make money off of it, they’ll share their wealth elsewhere.

Investors will not only be there to fund your business. With the Social Responsibility Program, they are also there to mentor you and spend time with you to help you grow as a person as you journey into the business world. They understand that pitching can be a very daunting task. But when you have a great idea, a smart business plan and your talented team, you can impress investors and get the funding that your business needs.

What an Investment Advisor Will Do for You

The key to financial success is letting your money work for you; not the other way around. By reinvesting the money that you earn, you can watch as the amount grows exponentially. This extra income is critical to a comfortable (and potentially early) retirement down the road. That being said, it is not as easy as simply sending your money to the stock market or an investment group. With the help of a trained professional, an investment advisor can guide you every step of the way to make sure that you are making smart financial decisions to maximize the power of your money.

An investment advisor can help you understand

– What stocks and mutual funds to invest in (as well as explaining the strengths of each)
– When to buy and when to sell stocks
– Any risks that accompanies investing in general
– What types of investments are available, such as general savings or retirement funds
– What to anticipate as returns for the investments you are making

What is especially nice about investment advisors is that they are just as motivated to make you money as you are for yourself. For the most part, they earn their money from the profits that they are making for you. They are not going to gamble your money by suggesting unreliable stocks, but rather use their extended resources and knowledge to make the best decisions. They monitor stocks 24/7 to make sure that no opportunities are missed. If you elect for a more aggressive option, you can expect advice concerning which stocks to buy and sell on a regular basis to ensure maximum return.

Aside from general savings, an investment advisor will outline a full retirement plan with you to budget and account for your future. This alleviates a lot of stress and uncertainty that the future generally brings. They will tailor a plan to your specific needs and desires to help you retire when and how you want. A good retirement plan offers stability and enjoyment down the road. Vacations, as well as financial support to your children, can all be made possible thanks to proper planning years in advance.

While long-term plans are always important, shorter goals can also be accomplished with the help of investment advisors. If you have any large purchases lying ahead, such as a car, a house, or a college tuition, a professional can help you acquire these. Aggressive, short-term investing is a great way to supplement a regular income. This all goes back to the idea of letting your money work for you. By getting educated advice on buying and selling stocks, it is not unreasonable to make upwards of a 10% annual return on your investment. When this return is reinvested, a nice sum can quickly be made. That being said, about 80 percent of individuals who buy and sell stocks on their own end up losing money. This is why it is especially important to seek the help of a trained professional. With their help, financial success is only a call away!

Importance Of Investment Diversification

“It is best not to put all of one’s eggs into one basket!” This is most likely a statement that you may have heard many times throughout your life and when it comes to investing, this statement is a reality. Diversifying one’s investments is the main factor in making a success when it comes to investing. All of the people who have made great returns from their monies have been seen to develop investment portfolios that operate in different market sectors and we advise that you should do the same too!

Developing a varied investment portfolio might include purchasing various shares and stocks that come from companies that operate in different business sectors. Methods used to achieve the desired objective may consist of buying government bonds, putting funds in money market accounts or maybe even into property i.e. buy to lets, houses of multiple occupancy [HMOs] and also the standard buying and renting out homes. The key is to invest in different market sectors.

Over time all of the data shows that those who savvy investors who take the time to develop investment portfolios that are well diversified on average experience more stable & consistent returns on their investments this is when compared to those investors who happen to put their monies in one investment vehicle. By investing in those companies that operate in different market sectors [industrial, retail, consumer, business to business etc, etc] will mean that your risk factor is lower too.

For example if you have invested all of your money in one company and that company’s shares goes down, you will lose some, a lot or all worst case all of your funds. Looking at this from another perspective if you happen to have invested in say shares from ten different companies and nine are doing well while one plunges averages say that you will still make some money or your losses will be minimized..

A good investment diversification portfolio will include a number of fundamentals e.g. they will include stocks & shares, bonds, property and of course cash!! It may take time to develop a fully diversified investment portfolio. Depending on how much you have to invest at the outset you may have to start small say only investing in cash and then go onto invest in maybe property over times.

This methodology may prove to be fine – however if you can split the investments that you make at the start – it will be a fact that your risk of losing your money will be much lower and as time passes you will see increasingly more attractive returns from your monies.

The finance experts also say that you should spread your investment monies evenly among your chosen investments targets. Put another way – if you happen to start with an investment fund of £100000 & invest £25000 in stocks and shares, £25000 in property, £25000 in bonds & then decide to invest the other £25000 in a savings account that pays a decent amount of interest.

This is the foundation to building a long term diversified investment portfolio and we see property to be one of the most tried to tested methods for delivering outstanding returns on ones investment funds.

5 Keys for Startup Investors

Hundreds of thousands of businesses are formed every year. Many of them are in significant need of capital, presenting opportunities for investors.

While startup investing is not for everyone, those with a high risk tolerance can find it a stimulating and potentially rewarding pastime. The possibility of getting in on the ground floor of the next Uber or Facebook, speculative as that might be, can be compelling.

Suppose you hear about an exciting new company looking for investors. You are aware that a majority of startups end up failing within the first few years, but you think this one could hit it big. What do you do?

1. Check out the Management

You ultimately are investing not just in a product or an idea, but in the people running the company. No matter how innovative or promising the business concept may seem, the enterprise is unlikely to succeed without capable management. You should assess not only the founders, but also those promoting the investment. An initial review often can be done online. In the case of those with professional licenses (such as brokers, accountants, and attorneys), you can check their license status and any disciplinary history. You want the people running or associated with the company to not only have clean backgrounds, but also a record of success in other ventures. Look for qualities such as experience, intelligence, creativity, integrity, discipline, and leadership ability.

2. Determine How the Business Will Make Money

Lots of companies are based on an intriguing concept. But the company must be able to translate that concept into a product or service that it can produce and sell at a profit and in sufficient quantities to generate reasonable cash flow. What is the startup’s monetization plan? What is the market demand? Who are the competitors? What is the marketing strategy? Is the business scalable, having the ability to grow rapidly without sacrificing quality or profitability? If the company is unable to provide good answers to these questions, its likelihood of success is dubious.

3. Rely on Advisors

If you are buying a used car, it is good practice to hire a mechanic to look the vehicle over to make sure you are not getting a lemon. The same principle applies in evaluating a startup. It is crucial to use qualified professionals, such as an attorney and accountant. Make sure your advisors are familiar with startups-an attorney specializing in personal injury cases probably will not be a good fit. You may also want to consult with experts in the business sector in which the startup operates. Your advisors will provide various insights you would not have on your own. They also will help you command respect from the company.

4. Thoroughly Research the Startup

Ask lots of questions and request lots of documents. If the business is concerned about revealing confidential information, it can have you sign a nondisclosure agreement. You and your advisors will want to examine the startup’s business plan, offering memorandum, financial statements, budgets, capitalization table, and corporate documents (articles, bylaws, prior investor agreements, etc.) If the documents are shoddy or incomplete, that is a bad sign. Be wary of internal financial statements; statements prepared by an outside CPA have more credibility. Audited financial statements are best, but are less common because of their expense. If your investigation raises red flags, insist on complete explanations.

5. Review the Investment Documents

Your advisors can be of great help here. At the very least, you want to be fully informed as to how the deal is being structured and what rights and obligations you and the company will have. Your attorney can advise you as to what document changes might be in your best interests and help you negotiate with the company. Your accountant can let you know whether the valuation seems reasonable. Do not proceed unless everything is fully documented. You should not invest based on a handshake or mere verbal assurances.

Some Useful Investment Tips And Advice For Retirees

People nearing their golden years usually focus on saving or amassing enough money so that they can have an enjoyable and stress-free retirement, Once they are officially retired, investing for them is typically out of the question. However, financial advisors say that individuals can also reap several benefits when they still invest even when they are already retired.

But whether you are young or already retired, making smart investment decisions and getting the most out of them will depend on following some useful tips and advice. For retirees, below are some helpful tips and advice worth following to ensure that they make the right, profitable investment decisions:

Don’t focus on only one risk. All types of investments come with certain risks. This is especially true when you invest in the stock market. However, retirees should know that avoiding stock market risk increases other types of risk. These include longevity risk or the risk of outliving your money. Financial advisors say that retirees should not consider short-term or certificates of deposit and other similar types of investment as being risk-free assets. This is because if you invest in them, you may still have a guaranteed return of capital. And this is an investment risk worth taking.

Don’t rule out bonds. Bonds still play an important role in any conservative investment portfolio designed for retirees. Most financial and investment advisors recommend retirees to invest in high-quality bonds, such as Treasury bonds or highly rated corporate bonds, and individual bonds or bond funds. However, retirees should stay away from high-yield bonds and high-yield bond funds since they are too risky.

Diversity your real estate investment trusts. Real estate investment trusts or REITs are investing option that provides diversification and generates income for retirees. However, to get the most out of this investment option, retirees would do well to diversify their portfolio. This means investing in commercial property such as warehouses, office buildings, and shopping centers and not just in residential properties. In addition, retirees investing in an REIT will do well to make sure it is diversified not just geographically but in terms of the type of commercial property. This is essential for diversification, stability, and for dampening volatility.

Consider investments that offer immediate annuities. Lastly, if you want a guaranteed income payout, annuities are a reliable option. With annuities, you get a monthly income in exchange for a lump sum or payments over a series of years as long as you live. There are various types of annuities and they come with different features. They can be expensive as well. As such, consider consulting a trusted financial adviser first before you deciding which type of annuity to invest in.

Top 5 Value for Money Investments

“An ideal investment is the one which reaps infinite returns for the generations to come!!”

Whenever the idea of investment comes, one of the first questions that pop in our mind is whether it would reap good returns or not. Then we proceed on to probe on the risks involved, investment tenure and other prerequisites before actually investing.

In this short piece, we explore interesting, easy to plan achieve investments that would make you feel content with the returns and have lesser risks in the market with the returns touching the sky and getting more and more with the time.

1. Investing for a Skill/Education: Education is one of the most expensive investment avenues these days. Acquiring a skill, implementing it, getting well versed in it consumes a lot of time, money and concentration. When worked hard and accomplished, the returns can be infinite. This means that you can find work and continue on it for as long as you want to. The gains are not only in terms of monetary returns, which are consistent and are usually on a rise, but also in terms of respect, experience and chance to invest more in your family and assets.

2. Real Estate/House: A lot of old and experienced people regard real estate as a pinnacle of investment or asset creation. Once someone starts transacting in terms of real estate, his outlook towards money is totally changed. An increase in the price of stocks, mutual funds is not as stable as that of a land or a house. Moreover, the emotional worth of an asset created in real estate is remarkable.

Yes, undoubtedly, you need to have some net worth and status before venturing into this investment class, but the returns would make sure that the hard work you have put in to create wealth via real estate is all worth it.

3. People: For any manager or a business owner, the people working under him are his prime assets. Investing wise and well in the people will pay him off enormously, irrespective of the amount invested and time consumed over that investment.

Further, versatility makes it easier to find what kind of investment can suit your people. Complementary insurance, perks, bonuses, trips, education, skill trainings, assets, cheaper loans etc., there are numerous ways in which you can decide how do you want to invest. Investment is people earns you more loyalty (which can never have a price tag), better results, higher efficiency and several such fruits which would enhance your business or get you a promotion.

4. Creating a second income source: When you have multiple uses of the money earned, why can’t there be multiple income sources. Often, a second income source seeks some amount of investment, which does annoy people as they fail to realise its need. It is quite simple to analyse it though. The current job or business you are doing has come to you at a cost, which has gradually paid off via income and other tangible/intangible returns. You can create a source such as part time tuitions, blogging, baby sitting, product research etc., which give you a stable income and keep on giving more and more returns once you gain good experience. Second income source gets a further boost when you invest in acquiring a skill that in turn gets you another income source.

5. Planting Trees: Promoting Greenery in your neighbourhood is again an invaluable investment. A seed that nurtures into a plant, and further to a tree has a lot to give for the sunlight, water and care it receives. Interestingly, apart from sowing a seed and occasionally putting a fence around it, you don’t have to spend anything at all. The sunlight is free and water requirement, even though being initially crucial, is later managed by the plant itself. Multiple returns that a single fully fledged tree gives include fresh air, fruits, wood, temperature control, shade.

3 Investment Options To Top Up Your State Pension

We all dream of having a beautiful life when we get old. Unfortunately, the state pensions aren’t enough. While this is the case it doesn’t mean that you can’t have more money at your disposal when you retire. To help you out, here are some of the ways in which you can top up your state pension:

Invest in stocks

A stock is a share of ownership of a company. When you own a share of a company you have a right of claiming company assets and earnings. The more the stocks you have, the more the ownership of a company you have. Stocks are attractive as ways of investing for retirement as they are long term. You also get to receive dividends at the end of a financial year.

While they are attractive, they also come with their fair share of risks especially if the company collapses or the shares lose value. To protect your money you need to research a lot before you invest in a certain company. There are plenty of technicalities involved with the buying and selling of stocks; therefore, to have an easy time find a reputable stock broker to handle your money. The blocker will guide you on the best company to invest in and any other intricacies involved.

It’s often said that you shouldn’t put all of your eggs in one basket; therefore, it’s wise that you spread your investment in different companies.

Try out bonds

A bond is a debt security. Bonds are attractive in that they carry a low risk compared to shares. When you buy a bond, you will be lending money to a federal agency, municipality, government or corporate entity. Upon investing in a bond you receive an interest during the life of the bond. Once the bond matures, you receive back your money.

Just like when buying shares, you need to take your time to research about them. Closely read a prospectus and gather as much information as you should.

Put your money in Real estate

The real estate sector is stable thus a great place to invest for the future. There are many ways of investing in the real estate. You can buy property for development or buy land and leave it idle for its price to rise. The trick to buying property is investing in areas that are growing fast thus your property’s value also rises fast.

Conclusion

These are some of the ways of topping up your pension. If you have the money, you should consider investing in all of the different ways for a comfortable future life.

What Is an Investment?

One of the reasons many people fail, even very woefully, in the game of investing is that they play it without understanding the rules that regulate it. It is an obvious truth that you cannot win a game if you violate its rules. However, you must know the rules before you will be able to avoid violating them. Another reason people fail in investing is that they play the game without understanding what it is all about. This is why it is important to unmask the meaning of the term, ‘investment’. What is an investment? An investment is an income-generating valuable. It is very important that you take note of every word in the definition because they are important in understanding the real meaning of investment.

From the definition above, there are two key features of an investment. Every possession, belonging or property (of yours) must satisfy both conditions before it can qualify to become (or be called) an investment. Otherwise, it will be something other than an investment. The first feature of an investment is that it is a valuable – something that is very useful or important. Hence, any possession, belonging or property (of yours) that has no value is not, and cannot be, an investment. By the standard of this definition, a worthless, useless or insignificant possession, belonging or property is not an investment. Every investment has value that can be quantified monetarily. In other words, every investment has a monetary worth.

The second feature of an investment is that, in addition to being a valuable, it must be income-generating. This means that it must be able to make money for the owner, or at least, help the owner in the money-making process. Every investment has wealth-creating capacity, obligation, responsibility and function. This is an inalienable feature of an investment. Any possession, belonging or property that cannot generate income for the owner, or at least help the owner in generating income, is not, and cannot be, an investment, irrespective of how valuable or precious it may be. In addition, any belonging that cannot play any of these financial roles is not an investment, irrespective of how expensive or costly it may be.

There is another feature of an investment that is very closely related to the second feature described above which you should be very mindful of. This will also help you realise if a valuable is an investment or not. An investment that does not generate money in the strict sense, or help in generating income, saves money. Such an investment saves the owner from some expenses he would have been making in its absence, though it may lack the capacity to attract some money to the pocket of the investor. By so doing, the investment generates money for the owner, though not in the strict sense. In other words, the investment still performs a wealth-creating function for the owner/investor.

As a rule, every valuable, in addition to being something that is very useful and important, must have the capacity to generate income for the owner, or save money for him, before it can qualify to be called an investment. It is very important to emphasize the second feature of an investment (i.e. an investment as being income-generating). The reason for this claim is that most people consider only the first feature in their judgments on what constitutes an investment. They understand an investment simply as a valuable, even if the valuable is income-devouring. Such a misconception usually has serious long-term financial consequences. Such people often make costly financial mistakes that cost them fortunes in life.

Perhaps, one of the causes of this misconception is that it is acceptable in the academic world. In financial studies in conventional educational institutions and academic publications, investments – otherwise called assets – refer to valuables or properties. This is why business organisations regard all their valuables and properties as their assets, even if they do not generate any income for them. This notion of investment is unacceptable among financially literate people because it is not only incorrect, but also misleading and deceptive. This is why some organisations ignorantly consider their liabilities as their assets. This is also why some people also consider their liabilities as their assets/investments.

It is a pity that many people, especially financially ignorant people, consider valuables that consume their incomes, but do not generate any income for them, as investments. Such people record their income-consuming valuables on the list of their investments. People who do so are financial illiterates. This is why they have no future in their finances. What financially literate people describe as income-consuming valuables are considered as investments by financial illiterates. This shows a difference in perception, reasoning and mindset between financially literate people and financially illiterate and ignorant people. This is why financially literate people have future in their finances while financial illiterates do not.

From the definition above, the first thing you should consider in investing is, “How valuable is what you want to acquire with your money as an investment?” The higher the value, all things being equal, the better the investment (though the higher the cost of the acquisition will likely be). The second factor is, “How much can it generate for you?” If it is a valuable but non income-generating, then it is not (and cannot be) an investment, needless to say that it cannot be income-generating if it is not a valuable. Hence, if you cannot answer both questions in the affirmative, then what you are doing cannot be investing and what you are acquiring cannot be an investment. At best, you may be acquiring a liability.

10 Essential Investor Tips For Successful Investing

Trading and investing into the financial markets has never been more popular. More and more people are starting to see the benefits of taking a little time to, first invest in themselves through a trading and investing education, but also using that knowledge on the financial markets.

Whilst traders may take quicker positions and investor will most likely be holding positions for much longer, perhaps months or even years. So, if you fancy investing into the financial markets successfully, and profit from companies you already know about like Google, Facebook or Microsoft, then these are the ten essential things that an investor must do and know before they start. Let’s take a look…

1. What are your goals?

It sounds simple but many people start investing into a trillion dollar market without any type of plan which, let’s face it, is essentially a gamble. Whilst it can be very simple to invest profitably for the long-term you must define your goals as this will align your expectations correctly, so you don’t kick yourself in the teeth if you don’t hit a million dollars in one day. For example, knowing whether you are investing for the next five or twenty-five years can make a huge difference to how you decide to invest.

2. Start early for compound interest

The single biggest reason to the success of most billionaires is the power of ‘compound interest’. Even Albert Einstein regarded this as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’. It basically means that your money makes you money as all the gains you make you put back into an investment so it compounds and builds over time. Sounds good right? It definitely is! The earlier you start the better but no matter how old you are it’s never too late to start but imperative that you do actually start!

3. Every little helps

No matter how little or how big you can invest, it is well worthwhile investing on a regular basis. It sounds so simple but most people don’t see the point in investing just $10 per month. However, if you look to the future by the time you’re very old that amounts to a lot especially if you parked it into some good investments over the years. Of course, most people have a ‘spend today and save tomorrow’ mentality and that’s the trap folks. Save and invest regularly to reap the rewards in the long run – you’ll be glad you did.

4. Diversify

It’s imperative to spread your capital across a wide range of investments to reduce your risk and increase potential returns over the long-term. Whilst some investments are doing poorly some others may be doing great, thereby balancing it out. However, if you’re fully invested into just one thing then it’s either 100% right or wrong. There are thousands of markets across currencies, stocks, commodities and indices so the opportunity is there.

5. Educate yourself

By far the most important tip. You must educate yourself and learn your craft. After all if you’re investing your hard-earned capital it makes sense to do your homework. Even if you read all the articles here and watched all the videos you’ll be doing far better than the majority of investing wannabes who simply give away their money to the markets.

6. Have practical expectations

Of course, we all want that million dollar investment and for many it will come at some point. But you can’t plan for that, if it happens great if not then you still need a plan to survive and to reach your goals as discussed in the first tip. Remember it’s the journey that’s the most beautiful part and what you do on a daily basis that makes the difference.

7. But don’t limit yourself

It’s important one must remain conservative in deciding which investment to take. However, that shouldn’t limit you to just what you know. Be creative and find opportunities no matter how uncomfortable they may be. After all if it was that comfortable everyone would be doing it. Be adventurous in finding opportunities but be conservative in deciding which ones to take.

8. Manage your risk

Successful investing is all about managing risk. If you have $1,000 to invest then there’s no point in putting all of that on just one investment. You’re basically saying it has a 100% success rate… which of course is highly unlikely. If you follow the steps above, like making sure you diversify, then you’ll be on the right path.

9. Review constantly

A very simple step to achieving more from what you are already doing is to review your investments constantly. However, this does not mean to look at your profit and loss of a five-year investment every single day – you’ll never make it to the fifth year as markets move up and down. But it’s important to review what investments have worked and have not worked. Concentrate on doing more of the stuff that has worked and find out where you’re going wrong with the stuff that hasn’t.

10. Have fun!

Sounds simple but most people forget that are best work comes from when we enjoy the process. Whilst investing is a serious process you are allowed to enjoy it too. In fact the buzz of finding an opportunity, researching it, investing into it and then seeing the result is exciting in itself.

How to Plan Your Investments

Whether you are an individual or a corporate body planning your investments ahead is of at most importance. As planning your investments means planning your future financial status and meeting unforeseen with ease and confidence it has become life blood that makes your path of hardships a bed of roses. Planning your finances involve planning your inflows and outflows i.e., In short managing the entire flow of funds during a certain course of time.

Thus, it is a must for anyone to plan your investments well in hand so; that your future will be safe and you can encounter any issue with ease and comfort. A proper investment planning would make your financial distress also a bliss as you always have a surplus reserve for different unforeseen of life. The reasons for financial distress could be multitudinous but the survival rate is higher and quicker for those who are financially planned when compared to those who are not. For having a proper investment planning you must follow few but regular steps which will save you at the eleventh hour. Let us look at few steps that you must follow to cushion yourself financially and to get a tag of well investment planner.

• The first and foremost step in investment planning is to assess your income. Asses all your inflows, which must include any sort of long term or annual cash inflows that you are expecting.

• Once you assessed your cash inflows, the next major step is to set a goal that could be any specific aspect that you would like to achieve with the money you are going to save from this year onwards.

• Once you set forth your goals and assess your inflows the next step is to plan your savings. The other way planning your investments. To plan your investments well you must know what your risk coefficient is and how much profits you want to make out of your little investments. To know this you must look at variety of financial and demographic and socio- economic factors that affect you and your family’s lifestyle.

• Once you are done with the assessment of your risk coefficients and return expectations the next big leap is to set an investment strategy. Under this, you will choose among different investment alternatives that are available to you based on your risk and profit margins.

• Once you choose a basket of investment options, go with the ones that are convenient for you in terms of time horizon, maturity period and return margins and so on. Having a clear investment strategy would not only make you a good investment planner but also a supersaver to your own self and to your family at times of emergencies.