Long-term investments: What’s hot?

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Nick Moules
15th February 2013

Lending to UK businesses gives people returns over the short to medium term with loans ranging from six months to five years, but what about people with longer to wait for investments to come to fruition? As ever, the technology sector seems to have the answers.

We’re in an age where technology is bounding along, with the latest remarkable invention occurring on a seemingly weekly basis.

The Genius of Invention interviewed James Dyson for the show broadcast on 14 February. He believes we’re at an incredibly exciting time where it is not just the inventions themselves that are ground-breaking, but also the materials that create the inventions.

New materials will include self-healing or ‘smart’ materials. It’s an interesting concept, but the technology already exists in the military and if it can be replicated at an affordable rate then bridges, cars, ships, smartphones etc. could all be repaired automatically.

3D printing is another area that shows real promise, particularly for healthcare. A synthetic trachea has already been produced and used in surgery and researchers have been able to produce 3D objects using a printer, so the next stage is to join the two together. Type your specifications in to a printer and wait for your object to come out of the other end.

Imagine printing off your lunch? It’s a kind of vending machine 2.0.

Perhaps more believable, as they’ve been around for a while, are electric cars. The technology doesn’t seem to have progressed that far (with charging them up every night in your garage both impractical and expensive) but necessity through the rising cost and reduced availability of fuel should push this on. If electricity can become cheaper to produce (could nuclear power be made safe?) then the way we transport ourselves doesn’t have to change too drastically. Whoever finally cracks electric cars is certain to make a fine reward.

Of course, long-term investments are risky and you could easily back the wrong horse, so it’s important to have a good spread of investments. Peer-to-business lending can definitely be part of that, and the flexibility of our Micro Loan market means lenders can make long term investments short term at any stage if another lender wants to immediately employ capital.

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