Welcome to the MoneyPlus Newsletter.
This month, we’re focusing on the future in the August Forecast… well, kind of. We’ve noticed a bit of an upward trend in what once was a fairly secret industry – stock market trading – and this month we’re going to get stuck into the nitty gritty and shine a light on this risky form of future-based income.
It seems to be that every man and his dog became an overnight stock market trader during the pandemic, and with the rise of technology, in particular, it’s become easier (and cheaper) to do.
Considering that just over 50 years ago investing was something only done by the rich and powerful, it’s quickly evolved into something that can now be done by anyone, of any (legal) age, and anywhere.
“By the end of this decade, almost everyone who’s online will become an investor” – Patrick Stanley
The Influencer effect.
Social media has been awash with influencers claiming to be making a comfortable living through investing and trading on the stock market, cryptocurrency especially, which can be hard to ignore for those who may have been put on furlough or lost their jobs altogether…
But it’s all a very well-executed rouse. Whilst these influencers are making money, it’s not from trading. What many fail to declare to their followers is that their job is actually to promote various trading platforms, and they are being paid for each new sign-up that they recruit (a minimum deposit of £250 for new sign-ups is usual with these platforms, with a cut of this going to the influencer).
In a nutshell, here’s how it works… an influencer, usually coming from a working-class background, will post images of luxury goods on Instagram, claiming to have bought them with winnings from stock market trading. They will then send out large amounts of follow requests to young users, and message any of those who follow them back with an offer seemingly too good to be true – usually some variation of: “Earn over £400 each week from home and only work an hour a day! Join me for this great opportunity!”
An income source that you can make straight from your smartphone in such little time? Who wouldn’t want to try it out.
Unfortunately, these types of recruitment-style promotions are almost always too good to be true, and those who get sucked into them face losing their initial £250 deposit and much more on high-risk trades with potentially un-regulated firms.
The investor surge has also worried financial regulators, as investment scammers have been on the rise due to the influx in interest for online trading.
According to Action Fraud, over £78m was lost by victims last year after investing with fraudsters imitating genuine investment firms (which have had a 29% rise in reports alone).
This has caused the UK financial regulator to issue warnings to people to be alert when entering into any investment, especially if their finances are low or unstable.
How to protect yourself from investment scams.
When it comes down to it, investing is a form of gambling, so it’s always best to approach any kind of investment with caution and arm yourself with knowledge about what you’re looking at investing in.
For anyone on a low income, with unsecure finances and/or unmanageable debt, whether you’re in a debt solution or not, we would always recommend repaying all debts and stabilising your finances before considering any investment that carries risk.
- Be wary of any unsolicited investment offer or invitation online or over the phone (especially through social media) that promises high returns.
- Do research on the product and firm you are considering investing with.
- Check the FCA’s register to find out if the firm is authorised or not (it also has a list of firms to avoid).
- Using an unauthorised firm means you won’t have access to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), so you’re unlikely to get your money back if it is a scam or if things go wrong.
- Don’t download, click on, or reply to any apps, links or emails/SMSs that you don’t recognise as legitimate, or that come from a source you don’t trust.
- Check the firm you’re investing in is not a clone. Visit the FCA’s ScamSmart campaign, which has more tips to protect yourself from clone investment firms.
Alice Gilmore – Specialist Care Team Leader
Alice says: “I first joined MoneyPlus back in 2019 as a Specialist Care Team Leader, and I’ve since expanded on this to lead our Customer Service and Welcome Team, in addition to my original role.
Being a part of the Specialist Care Team in particular is incredibly rewarding as it allows our vulnerable customers, and those who just need that little bit of extra support, to access a dedicated team of debt advice experts who are there to help, not judge.
If a customer is struggling to manage their debts and experiencing severe anxiety because of their situation, the last thing they need is to feel blamed and pressured; we take this stress away so that they can focus on being the best version of themselves.
Investing in our customers in this way really is what sets MoneyPlus apart from the rest, and I’m really excited to continue our work in helping to provide specialist support to our customers who need it.”
Unfortunately, domestic abuse affected 2.3 million adults last year (up from 1.6 million before the pandemic), and it’s still rising…
These figures prove that extra support is needed wherever possible, and at MoneyPlus, we don’t want any team member to feel that they can’t break free from a damaging situation simply because they’re unsure of how to, or don’t have access to the resources they need.
That’s why we’ve introduced our own internal Personal Support Team (PST), to help our staff when they need it most. The team is made up of colleagues from around the business who are always ready to listen and provide access to practical support and resources.
We’re one of very few companies that is now set up to provide both in-house Personal Support Team support and Mental Health First Aid support, as we understand the impact that positive, pro-active support can make in someone’s life.
A conversation with Jo Robertson.
Jo Robertson, Director of Operations at MoneyPlus Energy, has been the driving force in implementing our Personal Support Team within the business. We caught up with Jo to talk more about what it means to have this kind of resource internally…
Watch our conversation with Jo Robertson below…
We love reading our customer reviews – and showing them off to the world! This month’s review comes from a very valuable MoneyPlus Advice customer.
Take a look…
In case you didn’t know, every Friday is #FeedbackFriday on our social media, so if you’d like to see more great reviews, head over to our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!
We like to keep our followers up-to-date with the latest industry news, advice, and offers, so we highly recommend following our social media channels so you can stay in the know…
You’ve got to be in it to win it!
We’ve partnered with Bloom & Wild to give 5 of our social followers a monthly chance to win a free bouquet! To be in with a chance to win this month’s bloom, just do the following:
1. Like our Facebook page
Simple! (Don’t forget to set your shared post to ‘public’, otherwise we won’t be able to see who shares it!)
Winners will be announced at the beginning of next month, so stay tuned to our social to see if you’ve won. (T&C’s apply – https://bit.ly/2uhOyZx).
Here for you, in more ways than one.
At MoneyPlus, we offer a range of services that help you to make the most of your finances and live better. Take a look below to see if you could benefit from one (or more) of our other offerings…
Debt solutions that suit your lifestyle.
If your personal circumstances have changed and you find yourself struggling to manage your finances, give MoneyPlus Advice a call on 0161 837 4000, or email us at email@example.com, and we’ll help you find the best solution to get your finances back on the right track.
Helping you claim back what’s yours.
Many think PPI is a thing of the past, but it isn’t too late to claim. Even if you’ve already been paid out compensation for mis-sold PPI, or were rejected, we could help you.
We’re a fully regulated law firm acting for tens of thousands of people who are rightfully claiming back the money they’re owed from their PPI. Click here to start your PPI check today.