Take the trouble to understand what you're putting money into. The things that you can gain access to via a crowdfunding platform such as Money&Co. are typically different from traditional bank accounts and savings products. They are a different type of asset, an alternative way of deploying money in what is known as the alternative finance sector.
Avoid the common confusion between equity crowdfunding – which gets a lot of attention in the media – and debt or loan crowdfunding. Money&Co. is simply a way of bringing people and businesses together through the mechanism of our internet platform. We are a peer-to-per (P2P) business-lending platform.
Bear in mind that you're lending to a borrowing company. You're not lending to Money&Co. We vet the borrowing companies using a rigorous credit-analysis process. We're an intermediary, charging a fee. The P2P loan is directly between you and the company, and is facilitated by us.
Examine the borrowers' proposals in detail. We use our best endeavours to ensure that every representation of the borrower is true – about the market, the prospects, the company's track record, the reason for the loan, the veracity of the audited accounts, etc. But we cannot and do not warrant that this is so.
Don't be seduced by yield. The returns can be attractive, but a high yield can mean high risk.
Spreading your loan offers is a good idea. All Money&Co.'s borrowing companies have been through a careful credit-analysis process, but there is always a risk that a borrower might default on debt. We protect lenders' interests by taking a charge on the assets of the borrower, but please be aware that there is no profit without risk. Spreading money across several borrowers is seen by many commentators as a good way of spreading risk.
Access to your money when you become a P2P lender is typically not as instant as withdrawing cash from an ATM or a bank. Lenders can sell their loans to other lenders in the loan market. Sometimes it may take a while to liquidate a loan.Read the risk warnings on site. As we've stated above, there can be no profit without risk. If you're at all unsure about any of this, consult a lawyer, accountant or professional investment adviser.
If you're involved in an auction process, watch that process carefully. There may be lots of bids at the end of the auction period, and the more expensive money gets driven out at the end as the borrower accepts the lowest bids.
Money&Co. is in the P2P business-lending sub-sector of crowdfunding. And is part of the fast-growing trend in crowdfunding loans.