There are a number of different paths available to you if your business needs some money. You could look to reinvest the profits of the business. Or you could try to find an investor or business partner who will inject some cash into the enterprise. But what we’re going to look at today are business loans. These are common forms of financing for businesses. But before jumping in and applying for a business loan from a bank, you need to learn more about what’s good and bad about this kind of financing.
Below, you will find plenty of information about the advantages and disadvantages associated with taking out a loan for your business.
Banks Don’t Try to Influence How the Money is Spent
Unlike investors, a bank is never going to interfere with how your business is run. If you find an investor, you will have to work alongside them. And unless they’re a silent partner, they will expect to have a say in how their money is spent by the business. On the other hand, banks don’t care what you do with the money as long as you’re going to be able to pay it back with added interest. What happens in between now and then is entirely up to you. So, if you want to retain full control over your business and how it grows and expands, a business loan is usually the best option.
They’re Convenient and Easy to Access
It’s easy to get in contact with your bank and talk to them about the possibility of taking out a business loan. This convenience and ease of access is something that can be really good for businesses. Most business owners don’t have time to waste. And waiting for profits to grow in order to reinvest them can take a long time. The same applies to looking for investors. It’s a long process, and it can drag out for a long time. Of course, loan applications can take a long time to be analysed and accepted, but they are easier to deal with than the majority of the alternative options.
Reasonable Interest Rates
The interest rates attached to most business loans are very good. Banks are competing for customers, so they are obligated to offer a deal which is at least in line with what their competitors are offering. Of course, the interest rates are still going to allow enough room for the banks to see a healthy return on their profits. But the rate you get is often better than most personal loan options. On top of that, the interest you pay is often tax deductible. You will have to check with your local authority to see whether or not this is the case for your business, though.
The Profits Will be All Yours
Most business owners take out a business loan because they want to expand their business or push it in a new direction. This means that they want to make it more profitable. If you get this money from an investor, they will expect a return on any money you make. The performance of the business will be directly linked to how much they get in return. That’s not the case when you take out a loan, though. The returns are fixed, meaning that you will pay the same amount of money back to the bank no matter how big or small your profits become as a result of your investment.
Not All Businesses Will Qualify for a Loan
There are lots of strict rules and conditions that banks have in place when it comes to approving or rejecting business loan applications. Not all business will meet the criteria laid out by the banks. So, you will need to know how the banks analyse applications before you go ahead with your application. You don’t want to waste time on an application if there is no chance of it being accepted by a particular bank. Dealing with a rejection can be difficult to bounce back from too. You can be left wondering where you should turn next to get the money your business needs.
They’re Often Secured Against Assets
Many bank loans are secured against an asset owned by the business. The risk of this is that the asset can be seized by the lender if you fail to make the repayments on the loan you take out. Of course, you will probably think that this won’t become a problem for you. But that’s what everyone says when they take out a secured loan. It only becomes a problem when your business’s profits are not as healthy as you had hoped for and you’re no longer able to make those repayments on time. Think about this carefully before taking out a loan.
You Might Not be Granted All of the Money You Requested
Another thing banks do when responding to loan applications is only grant some of the money that’s requested. They might think that a business doesn’t need all the money that it is asking to lend. It’s not uncommon for banks to approve a loan on the condition that only 70% or 80% of the money is given. This can be frustrating for business owners who already have fully costed plans in place. It can force them back to the drawing board in an effort to cut costs and find ways to carry out their plans in a way that is more affordable. In truth, it’s a headache many business owners could do without.
In conclusion, you need to make sure that your business is always careful when it comes to borrowing money. Loans can be great solutions for businesses that don’t want the hassle that often comes with finding an investor or business partner. However, ensuring that you will be able to pay back the amount that you borrow is essential because your assets could be taken from you as collateral if you fail to make the repayments.
What You Ought to Know About Quant Traders
Quantitative trading is an area of quantitative finance that is highly sophisticated. This article introduces some of the basics of a quantitative trading system and the necessary background to become a qualified quantitative trader.
What is Quantitative Trading?
Quantitative trading or quant trading is a type of trading that uses quantitative analysis as the basic strategy to identify trading profit possibility, including mathematical calculations. The most common data inputs in the quantitative analysis are price and volume.
Transactions involved in quant trading are usually large, which includes the sale and purchase of hundred or even thousands of shares and securities. This is because quantitative trading is typically practiced in the financial institutions.
The four primary components of a quantitative trading system include:
- Strategy identification
- Backtesting strategy
- Execution system
- Risk management
What Does a Quant Trader do?
Quantitative traders, also known as quants, utilize modern technology, comprehensive databases, numbers and mathematics to derive a logical trading decision. Using mathematical models, quantitative traders then identify trading opportunities.
Quant traders research the available price and data from the enormous amount of data in algorithm trading and high-frequency trading, find profitable trading opportunities, create relevant strategies, and grab the opportunity faster with the help of computer programs.
Generally, quant traders need an in-depth understanding and knowledge of mathematics, possess computer skills, and have some exposure to trading.
Technical Background of a Quant Trader
To become a full-fledged quant trader, one needs to have the following professional background:
- Great with numbers: Quant traders must be excellent with numbers and quantitative analysis. An in-depth understanding of mathematics is required to carry out trading activities such as data researching, results testing, development, and implementation of trade strategies.
- Educated in a relevant course and training: Studies involving theoretical concepts and the introduction to quantitative trading provide a better background for quant traders. This may include a master’s degree or a diploma involving financial engineering, quantitative financial modeling, or any course with electives in quantitative.
- Armed with unique trading strategies: Quant traders should have in-depth knowledge about common trading strategies and have the ability to develop their unique trading strategy.
- Possess programming skills: Quant traders should know at least one programming language such as Python, Java, C++, or Perl. They also need to have knowledge about automated trading, data mining, analysis, and research, which are usually involved in algorithmic trading and high-frequency trading.
- Familiar with the computers: Quant traders need to be familiar with analysis software, spreadsheets, and broker trading. Also, they should be able to develop their algorithms on real-time data.
Soft Skills of a Quant Trader
Besides the above-mentioned technical skills, quant traders need to possess the following soft skills:
- The spirit of a trader: Successful traders will brainstorm innovative trading ideas, can take on a massive volume of data, quickly adapt to the ever-changing trading market and can work on extended hours.
- Able to take risks: Quant traders are risk-takers that understand the impact of risk, its management, and mitigation techniques.
- Accept failure: Although the developed strategy may seem foolproof, failure is sometimes inevitable. Quant traders must always be ready to accept defeat, willing to let go of their concepts and develop a new one.
Becoming a quant trader may seem complicated, and it requires a lot of hard work. However, the lucrative income and innovative system of quantitative trading make quant trader an excellent career choice.
How can a personal loan help you save money?
People in debt have traditionally been unable to easily consolidate it all. In the past, the best tactic has been to focus on one type of debt at a time (usually starting with the debt accruing the most interest) to clear it.
About 20 years ago, a new product became available called a personal loan. These unsecured loans were designed to help people manage multiple debt sources and repair their credit score. As with most types of unsecured debt, applicants are typically expected to provide a guarantor. Such a loan can be anything from £1,000 to £50,000 with a fixed interest rate payable over a fixed term, typically 4-5 years or more. Applicants use these instant guarantor loans as they realise just how much money they can save when used in certain circumstances.
No matter the interest rate on existing debt, personal loans are lower
One reason most people take out a personal loan is to consolidate different debts of varying and disparate interest rates. If you have £5,000 on a credit card (typical APR 29.9%), £1,000 overdraft (typical APR 15-20%), £1,000 of debt on a store card (typical APR an eye-watering 39.9%) among others, that’s a lot of interest you’re paying every month needlessly.
When taking out a personal loan, you’ll notice that the APRs are much lower. The average rate is 8% when borrowing under £10,000 and 5% when borrowing over this amount. Pay off the outstanding balances with the new instant guarantor loan and you will stop accruing all that interest, clearing the balance instead.
Personal loans put a deadline on repayment
People, couples and families with a lot of debt spread over multiple areas often feel there is no end in sight for the debt. This is especially the case for those types of debt with no deadline such as an overdraft, and credit and store cards.
The ability to consolidate all this debt into one personal loan automatically creates a deadline. Sometimes you may choose this; sometimes the provider will specify when it will be. Not only will you know the rate of interest that will accrue on top of the debt, you will also know how long you have left to pay off that debt. The stress and anxiety of accruing more and more is alleviated and you can prepare for having more liquid cash once your personal loan comes to its natural end.
Early payment option will save more
With lower rates of interest than most common types of borrowing, personal loans help you save money as a matter of course. When you are able and willing to pay back the debt faster than anticipated, this will save you even more money.
Not all personal loans allow you to settle early, for example pay off the last six months of payments in a lump sum while the term remains, but most will. You may be required to pay an early settlement penalty or premium such as one-or-two-months interest. If there is an early repayment option, carefully check the agreement’s wording. Even with a penalty on top, it could still be less than the interest you would have paid if you had let the loan run its course.
Personal loans improve your credit score
Customers who use unsecured guarantor personal loans use them to consolidate and manage debt as well as reducing their interest burden. So long as you stick to the terms of the agreement and have enough money each month to make the payment, your credit score will begin its improvement process.
What does this have to do with saving money? It’s a long-term strategy. Most credit cards and loans are not open to people with a bad credit score, however, there are ways you could potentially be able to get a loan with a bad credit score. Unfortunately, those loans that are not open are usually those products and services with the best interest rates and the most attractive rewards. With an improved credit score, you can apply for credit products with lower interest rates, better payment terms, and even earn a little something in the process such as cashback or air miles.
Cheaper than finance agreements
Most of the items in our list concern people looking to improve their credit rating and those with borrowing spread across multiple accounts. If you’re in the market for a new or nearly new vehicle, the seller will offer financing terms. They tend to offer a single product with a single finance provider; in short, it’s a take it or leave it choice. This is not always the cheapest way to buy a new car, but it is convenient which is why most people accept the terms that the motor trader offers.
Before singing that finance agreement, consider a personal loan. Interest rates are lower on average than motor finance. When the vehicle’s price tag is over £10,000, that interest rate drops considerably, sometimes as much as half of the annual interest rate.
Financing A Business With A Home Equity Loan
Finding funds for a business is no easy task. Qualifying for a business loan is not guaranteed; therefore many companies leverage their owners’ assets like the family home to raise the funds they require in their enterprise.
There are many ways to use personally guaranteed funds too and one option is what’s called a home equity loan or home equity line of credit, These loans can also be ideal for debt consolidation of say high-interest borrowing like credit cards, personal and short term loans but in this blog post we’re focusing on how these loans work for businesses.
There are many more obstacles or hoops to jump through when seeking an actual business loan and often it’s the financial statements of the business that fail to pass the lending criteria due to the startup phase requiring more investment and not showing a profit.
Entrepreneurs starting out, are therefore renown for sourcing investment from wherever they can get it. The credit card has been the go-to source for funds, but the interest rates are very high, so it’s not a long term borrowing solution for a business.
Before long, the owner is seeking other sources to keep the business afloat or to grow it. They may take out personal loans but before long their requirements exceed what they borrow without additional security so this is where many use their home.
As a business owner, it may make perfect sense to use a home equity line of credit to draw down funds for the business and then repay them when in lump sums and repeat as and when required. So what is a HELOC?
This type of loan allows you to have an open line of credit on the equity you have in your property.
HELOC’s has longer repayment periods that can be 10 – 20 years much like a usual mortgage and as the property owner you can borrow up to 85% of the home’s value minus what you may owe it. For example, if your home is valued at $750,000 and you have a mortgage of $250,000 on it already. Your line of credit may be as much as $425,000.
HELOC rates are higher than your standard mortgage rate, so it’s very much ‘caveat emptor’ or buyer beware, get professional expert advice from your accountant, financial advisor and maybe also your lawyer. Remember all loan agreements are legal documents, and they have terms and conditions that the borrower must comply.
There are many other ways to fund your business, including angel investors, offering shareholdings, so while using the equity in your home is an option it may not be the best way forward as the risk is your business cannot pay back what it’s borrowed, and you are personally liable to repay it or lose it.
Remember it is your equity and if your business borrows too much of it and can not repay it, and the lender calls in the loan it could be that you are forced to sell your home. It’s a dreary thought, but it’s better to know the pros and cons when borrowing money for any venture.
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