Thursday, March 15, 2012 | Posted by: Fiona Cullinan
Categories: Protecting your wealth | Tags: investment, property, technology, wealth, trends, innovation, money, real estate, retail, financing, tech, mobile, crowdfunding, payments, personal finance
Where and how is the money flowing in 2012? We look at five different trends and predictions – from virtual wallets to crowdfunding investment platforms.
1. Virtual wallets
According to Trendwatching’s cashless prediction, some big players will be introducing new ways of paying without coins and pounds this year. Initiatives such as Google Wallet use near field communication (NFC) technology to allow you to pay in-store by tapping your mobile phone against a payment terminal. Says Trendwatching, an “eco-system of rewards, purchase history, deals and so on” is likely to follow.
2. New frugality
“Crises are not pleasant things to live through,” says Nesta, an independent body for UK innovation, in its 12 predictions for 2012, “but one of their few virtues is they do often accelerate innovation.” The new frugality is being spurred via the use of collaborative tools aimed at consumers that make it “easier to get a bed in a foreign city, to rent a car or borrow someone else’s power drill”. Camp in my Garden, for example, claims to have created the world’s first garden camping community. Meanwhile, in business, outdoor clothing company Patagonia told its consumers NOT to buy its jackets – a frugal approach that seemed to fuel the sales of this innovative family business.
Looking for investment money to get a dream project off the ground? Why not put your project pitch on one of the new social funding platforms, such as Kickstarter and IndieGoGo in the US or Crowdfunder in the UK. Investors get extra rewards for investing (tied to the amount pledged) while creatives get to see if their idea has legs. One recent success was games company Double Fine, which recently raised more than $2 million in a matter of days to fund a new adventure game – click on the image below to see their great pitch video.
4. Luxury bricks and mortar
High net worth individuals (HNWIs) are looking for a safe shelter for their wealth – and, for some, that means investing in luxury properties in 2012, says Wealthmonitor (part of Mergermarket). Foreign properties in the eurozone have fallen out of favour while upmarket real estate in London is in.
As well as innovations in faster mobile payment (see ‘Virtual wallets’ above), technology is giving consumers access to better and more personalised shopping deals. Mobile scanning apps to find the cheapest price of an item, discount deal sites such as Groupon, F-commerce (offering deals via Facebook stores) and geo-located offers for those with GPS smartphones are just some of the money-saving incentives available.
According to Trendwatching, the emerging trend in this sector is Point-Know-Buy: “The next frontier is visual info-gratification: consumers accessing information about objects encountered in the real world, in more natural ways and while on-the-go, simply by pointing their smartphones at anything interesting.” And then being able to buy it!
Image: (CC) Mukumbura
You might also find these posts useful:
* Best of Bespoke – our top wealth management posts for high earners and HNWIs
* SEIS the day? Potentially up to £103,000 of tax relief for a £100,000 seed investment
* Offshore investment wrappers and offshore trusts offer savings as tax loopholes close