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DeFiner Announces Latest Investment from SNZ Holding – PRNewswire

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MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — DeFiner, the decentralized finance network for crypto savings, loans, and payments, has announced a new investment from SNZ Holding, a global network of top tier venture capitals and state-of-the art blockchain technologies.

DeFiner will join the SNZ Portfolio alongside leading platforms from the DeFi economy, such as  Nervos, Cosmos, and Acala. Although many tools and resources allow users to more confidently engage with the DeFi ecosystem, it requires a constant high-level of maintenance. DeFiner will leverage SNZ Holding’s support to refine the security protocols on its non-custodial digital asset platform, and stay ahead of the rapid development in the DeFi space.

SNZ Holding is a crypto fund founded by a group of blockchain evangelists with a diverse range of expertise, aligned on innovating for a better future with blockchain. SNZ Holding is focused on investing in prospects that value consumer privacy and interoperability, and will be supporting the development of the various DeFi savings, lending, and borrowing products available on DeFiner’s peer-to-peer network in the Asia-Pacific region.

Jason Wu, CEO of DeFiner, commented, “This investment positions DeFiner further into the heart of the DeFi space, in an expanded community of investors and developers, providing innovative solutions within the blockchain industry. There have been several security incidents emerging from the DeFi boom during 2020, and DeFiner will use the support of its investors to continue monitoring the health of our savings and lending protocols.”

The investment from SNZ Holding follows DeFiner’s recent investment announcements with Signum Capital, a leading blockchain venture capital firm based in Singapore, and Alphabit, a fund specializing in distributed ledger technology investments. These investments bring DeFiner another step closer to realizing the potential of true decentralization in the financial space.

About DeFiner

DeFiner is a decentralized finance network for crypto savings, loans, and payments. Powered by blockchain technology, DeFiner’s decentralized financial (DeFi) platform enables users to effortlessly lend, borrow, and earn digital assets within a global network. DeFiner removes the friction and costs associated with conventional financial services and instead offers maximum flexibility to set one’s own rates and terms. DeFiner also removes the need for third parties from its financial ecosystem by using an immutable blockchain to track all loans and transactions, providing ultimate security for users. By offering 24/7 global accessibility with significantly lower costs than traditional finance, DeFiner allows those embracing the new, digital economy to unlock instant value from their assets.

For enquiries, contact [email protected]

About SNZ Holding

SNZ Holding believes that blockchain will usher in a new era of decentralized information technology that may change human history fundamentally. SNZ Holding is in search of promising projects, teams, and partnerships; also participating in projects as an active supporting node; and providing services for project business implementation. The ropes are stowed and the sail is hoisted as SNZ Holding gets ready to embark on the next adventure to the decentralized world. Find out more at https://snzholding.com/index.html

SOURCE DeFiner

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Don't let fear drive you into a fee trap when working with an investment advisor – BNN

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Spiking market volatility and a renewed threat of global economic stagnation caused by COVID- 19 has sent stressed-out investors flocking to advisors.

Many advisors have been reporting a rise in new clients since last spring’s lockdown, and a new survey commissioned by Manulife Investment Management backs it up. It shows 63 per cent of respondents plan to seek investment advice in 2020 compared with half in 2019. And more than half of respondents in Canada indicated they were interested in retirement planning and investing advice.

It’s good that more people are looking for long-term retirement plans managed by professionals, but fear can lead investors into fee traps that consume their investment dollars.

The path to those fee traps typically begins with investors looking to coordinate a mishmash of investments in their registered retirement savings plans (RRSP), and tax-free savings accounts (TFSA). For the vast majority of Canadians, the only route to a diversified, professionally-managed portfolio is through mutual funds.

The price investors pay for diversification and professional management in a mutual fund is an annual fee based on a percentage of the money they have invested called the management expense ratio (MER). MERs vary depending on the fund company and asset class, but a typical MER on a Canadian equity fund purchased through an advisor is about 2.5 per cent.

That might not seem like a lot at first glance, but on a $500,000 portfolio of mutual funds, it adds up to $12,500 annually whether the fund makes money or not. That’s $12,500 each year not invested and not compounding, and potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars over a lifetime of investing.

Baked into the MER is a hidden trailing commission, or trailer fee, to compensate the advisor who sold the fund for “ongoing advice.” A typical trailer fee is one per cent annually – or $10,000 on a $500,000 portfolio of mutual funds each year.

Trailer fees are banned in most of the developed world due to the inherent perception of conflict of interest. You have to wonder if an advisor is selling a fund because it is right for the investor or because it provides the best trailer fee from the mutual fund company. 

And it get’s worse. 

Some advisors will direct investors toward segregated funds, which are essentially mutual funds wrapped in an insurance product. Seg funds have the potential to make money from the investments they hold but are insured, or partially insured, against losses on the principal amount invested over long terms – often 19 years. Investors pay for that extra security through higher MERs. Manulife – the company that commissioned the survey – for example, sells segregated funds with MERs above three per cent.  

Segregated funds have certain advantages for small business owners wanting to protect their savings in the event of bankruptcy, but sometimes appear in workplace defined contribution pension plans. 

Advisors sometimes push seg funds on unsuspecting clients through a regulatory loophole known as “the-know-your-client rule,” which requires advisors to document a questionnaire relating to return goals and risk tolerance, and only sell investments in line with the client’s answers.  

Some clients might not understand that all investments have some degree of risk and say they expect their savings to grow risk-free. Only segregated funds fit that bill.  

Payback Time is a weekly column by personal finance columnist Dale Jackson about how to prepare your finances for retirement. Have a question you want answered? Email dalejackson.paybacktime@gmail.com. 

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TransLink in time crunch to update its 10-year Metro Vancouver transit investment plan – Vancouver Sun

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The COVID-19 pandemic and an unexpected provincial election have put TransLink in a time crunch to finish a required update to its 10-year investment plan.

Metro Vancouver’s transit authority is obligated, by provincial legislation, to update the plan at least every three years. The current plan was approved on June 28, 2018, which means the new one is due by June 28, 2021.

“Originally we had had planned for that to happen this year, but because of COVID-19 and dealing with the emergent financial challenges with that, that was not possible,” Mayors’ Council chair Jonathan Coté said following a meeting on Thursday. “But we’ve now reached the point where we need to start to work towards that.”

Priorities for the update include finding revenue to cover long-term COVID-19 losses. Although the federal and provincial governments will provide a combined $644 million to TransLink to cover its pandemic losses for 2020 and 2021, there will likely be shortfalls of $100 million to $300 million each year between 2021 and 2030.

The losses will depend on how long the pandemic lasts, the depth of economic damage and how quickly transit ridership recovers. The plan cannot show a deficit.

“Even with the near-term financial aid, we almost certainly have a fairly significant structural hole in our budget and we’re going to have to work to understand just what that hole is over the months to come,” CEO Kevin Desmond said after the meeting.

“There’s still a lot of uncertainty about the path of the pandemic.”

The investment plan will also deliver elements of the second phase of the 10-year regional transportation vision that are outstanding or were delayed due to the pandemic, plus approving projects that are already funded, such as a SkyTrain extension to Fleetwood and the next stage of the low-carbon fleet strategy.

A lot will have to be done before next June, including confirming federal and provincial contributions, finding new regional funding sources and setting rates, plus consultation with the public and local governments.

“No doubt this is going to be a significant part of our work plan and probably one of the more challenging things the Mayors’ Council is going to have to work on,” Coté said during the council meeting.

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Morgan Stanley Investment Sees Decade-Best Credit Opportunities – BNN

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(Bloomberg) — Morgan Stanley Investment Management is seeing fertile ground for putting capital to work in certain pockets of private markets where mid-sized firms are facing a liquidity squeeze.

“Companies that have had some disruption but are fundamentally sound are looking for creative capital — could be debt-like, could be equity-like,” said David Miller, head of the firm’s private credit and equity business, at a Thursday virtual panel. “So credit opportunity broadly is the most attractive it’s been in a decade and that’s going to continue well into 2021.”

A “big need for rescue capital” is likely to continue into next year, he said.

Mid-sized companies have been mostly shut out of the liquid credit markets, which larger firms have been able to tap due in large part to action taken by the Federal Reserve. Their need for funding is an opening for managers sitting atop piles of cash, and an opportunity to capitalize on dislocations and undervalued assets.

“Putting aside some of the chop today, it’s been really strong based on the Fed, just based on the markets working, but the private and the middle market are a little bit different,” Miller said.

A similar dynamic is emerging in real estate investing.

“In private real estate, we’re seeing wide dispersion in both operating performance as well as the pricing across asset classes,” said Lauren Hochfelder Silverman, deputy chief investment officer of Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing.

Silverman said there’s “significant stress” in certain sectors of the industry, such as retail and hotels, as well as meaningful shortfalls in cash flows. However there are areas, such as those tied to e-commerce, that present more lucrative opportunities.

In the private debt market, Miller sees a much more “accommodative” market place when it comes to stress than in the last crisis. Lenders have largely been flexible with borrowers that have been hammered by the pandemic, agreeing to amendments, sometimes in concert with sponsors kicking in more equity.

“By and large balance sheets were much better than before the last crisis, there is more equity invested, people are more prudent,” he said. “And so there was a little bit more flexibility and frankly, more liquidity.”

Morgan Stanley Investment Management had $665 billion in assets under management, with $17 billion specifically for private credit and equity, and $49 billion for real assets, as of June 30, according to the firm’s website. The unit had $715 billion in overall assets under management or supervision as of Sept. 30.

(Adds unit’s assets under management as of Sept. 30 in final paragraph.)

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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