What are your investment options? A look into p2p lending and more

Against the backdrop of Brexit and the current low rates of interest offered on traditional methods of investing, you might be considering new investment ideas and the best investments to make for the longer term. The good news is that there are a variety of alternative investment options to suit your circumstances. We take a look at the advantages, and at some of the considerations, of a few of them.

Exploring the options: What to invest your money in now?

When you’re thinking about how best to invest your money there are a few significant factors to consider. Firstly it’s worth weighing up the amount of time you would like to commit to the investment. Should it be 1, 3, 5 or 10 years or more? Your longer-term plans will doubtless have an impact on your eventual decision. Your decisions will also depend to a large extent upon your appetite for risk, as the return on your investment will vary depending on the degree of risk you’re prepared to take.

When you’re considering where to invest money you should also think about diversification; spreading money across multiple investments can help to reduce risk and balance out the reward. Integrate your investment planning into your day-to-day financial management too by thinking carefully about methods of investment that enable you to access your money quickly. Ensure you look carefully at the risk profiles of your different investment options and how well the markets are performing in each area currently, as well as their historic performance.

If you’re considering how best to invest your money then take a look through some of the alternative investment options below to find out more about the pros – and the pitfalls – of each possibility.

Peer to peer lending

With peer to peer lending (also sometimes known as ‘social lending’ or ‘P2P lending’) you can borrow and lend money without using an intermediary financial institution. P2P lending became established in the UK over a decade ago and has since helped investors to provide billions* of pounds of funding to consumers and businesses, and the industry looks set to continue to expand. For investors, loans generate income in the form of interest, while borrowers, such as would-be landlords, can access financing.

Why should I invest in peer to peer lending?

Peer to peer lending offers a variety of investment options, from buy-to-let mortgages to personal loans. Furthermore, on some platforms, funds are diversified across multiple loans to help minimise risk. Investing in peer to peer loans is a great first step into investment, but should not be confused with FSCS covered high street savings accounts.

Things to be aware of

As above, because peer to peer lending platforms are not covered by the FSCS there is no protection on your investment, other than the risk mitigation that the individual platforms put in place.

Different peer to peer lending platforms lend against different asset classes. It’s sensible to become familiar with how that asset has performed through financial cycles. This will give you an idea of the potential performance of your investment. Landbay only lends against prime buy-to-let mortgages, statistically the safest asset class within the UK peer to peer market. Read our article 7 things to consider with a P2P investment.

Look out for defaults and arrears rates information on the individual platforms’ websites. Investors can feel confident that the P2PFA – the trade association of which we are members – champions transparency in the finance sector.


When companies want to raise funds for new projects or ventures, or to fund existing activity, they might elect to issue bonds to investors rather than apply for a more traditional bank loan. A bond is an opportunity for investors to lend money to borrowers (usually governments or corporations) over a certain amount of time. It is a form of debt security that functions a bit like an ‘IOU’ on which you can earn interest payments. Income is earned on dividends and the interest on bonds. The bond issuer is contractually obliged to pay interest on the loan and return the loaned funds to the investor by a ‘maturity date’.

Why should I invest in bonds?

Investment returns are fixed when you invest in a bond, which makes them less risky in comparison to stocks. Because bonds also have clear ratings they are a lot less volatile than other investments.

Things to be aware of

Because investment returns are fixed, often a larger sum of investment is needed to secure a good return. Bonds are less liquid than stocks, which are directly exposed to interest rate risk.


Property investment has long been thought to be a solid investment and it continues to be a popular and desirable form of investment for those thinking of supplementing a pension, or as an alternative to conventional savings options.

Those who invest in property seek to yield a return on their investment through rental income or the future sale of that property, and often through both. A property investor might buy property as a long-term investment, or they might decide to remodel and renovate a property and sell it quickly for a profit, which is a shorter term investment that can offer good returns depending on the market.

Why should I invest in property?

UK property investing is generally considered a reliable investment as property prices tend to rise over time. If you buy property to let out it can also serve as a cash-generating asset, supplying regular income as well as being a solid long-term investment. There are alternative investment options with property too. With increased rental demand in the UK and a resilient and growing private rental sector, Landbay can identify robust peer to peer lending opportunities in the buy to let mortgage space without having to increase its risk profile.

Things to be aware of

You will have to bide your time to see meaningful increases in the property value and the investment itself is not very liquid for this reason. Entering the property market has a high entry cost and there are additional costs associated with purchasing property and letting it out.


A stock is a share in the ownership of a company, which is a claim on whatever that company earns or owns. The more stock you own the greater your share in the company becomes. ‘Shares’, ‘equity’ and ‘stock’ are synonymous.

Because a shareholder has a claim on a part of a company’s assets and earnings they are, in essence, a part owner of that company. A shareholder who owns 10 of 100 company shares would therefore have a 10% claim on company assets.

Why should I invest in stocks?

There is almost unlimited choice in where you might elect to invest. Stocks are fairly liquid, so you can move your investment around depending upon how the market is doing. It’s also easy to diversify your investment.

Things to be aware of

Holding shares in a company can be volatile as their value depends upon how well that company is performing and your investment is heavily subject to market forces. For this reason, managing your investments can be time consuming if you’re looking for substantial returns.

Mutual funds

If you’re considering how best to invest your money, or you are looking for new ways to ways to invest, then you might consider Mutual Funds, a collection of stocks and/or bonds brought together by a company that invests the money belonging to individuals. The investors own a share of the fund’s holdings.

Each shareholder has proportional participation in the company, whereby they stand to lose or gain from the fund according to the proportion they invest. In general, the performance of mutual funds is tracked as the change in the total market cap of the fund, which is determined by the performance of the investment bundle.

Why should I invest in mutual funds?

Mutual funds are a professionally managed, convenient, and well-diversified package of many individual investments, which spreads the risk as well as the return.

Things to be aware of

Most Mutual Funds charge fees and share prices are calculated just once a day. The capital gains of the fund is also passed along to shareholders.

Venture capital

If you have an interest in assisting start ups and small enterprises, then the best place to invest money might be in a new venture with the potential for long-term growth.

A venture capitalist might be a well off individual, an investment bank or another financial institution. Venture capitalists might also supply technical or consultancy expertise as an alternative to financial investment. Investors with high net worth are sometimes referred to as ‘angel investors’ and are often themselves entrepreneurs.

Why should I invest in new ventures?

Venture capitalists stand to gain potentially substantial returns as well as having the option to become a partner in the enterprise and a say in the direction of the business.

Things to be aware of

Investing in a startup is a gamble and there’s potential for heavy losses if the venture fails. Usually a substantial amount of money is needed to secure a return on your investment, which is often long term.


Commodities could be anything from food and energy to metals – and even bandwidth. There are different routes to the commodities market that can mean good investments for those looking for ways to diversify.

The underlying principle of the commodities market is that certain commodities from different producers are comparable, like orange juice, while others differ, such as technical goods. The buying and selling of commodities takes place through exchanges that standardise the quality and quantity of each commodity.

Why should I invest in commodities?

Commodities investment generally has low entry cost and is easily accessible. Minimum deposit accounts enable you to reach markets you might otherwise not be able to afford.

Things to be aware of

Investment can be time consuming and it’s necessary for you to be quick to react due to often volatile markets.

Alternative investments for beginner investors

Before committing to an alternative investment pathway, it’s important to research it thoroughly so you are educated about the associated risks as well as the wider benefits. The above options are an introduction only, but you can find out more information about alternative investment options from information hubs such as Investopedia.

P2P lending

P2P lending

This review is written by Landbay