James Sanders (London Diamonds) with the alternative investments to keep an eye on for the rest of 2022
Entrepreneur, ex-trader and keen investor, James Sanders also heads up innovative jewellery store London Diamonds. Always on the look out for the next opportunity, James gives his insight into alternative investment trends for the rest of the year.
James Sanders began his working life in the City before transitioning into investing and entrepreneurship.
Always on the lookout for a new opportunity, James was inspired to launch London Diamonds when he was looking to replace his wife’s engagement ring. Their Instagram platform sells diamond jewellery at a fair price with transparency and outstanding service levels — something that James considered was lacking.
With particular success in the competitive UK diamond engagement ring market, London Diamonds continues to go from strength to strength. And James always has an eye out for alternative investment opportunities.
James Sanders — entrepreneur, investment expert and head of London Diamonds
James has business interests across a broad spectrum of alternative asset classes, including diamonds, gold, cryptocurrency, AI and other forms of innovative tech.
Alternative investments are ideal for those looking outside of the traditional broker controlled opportunities. James says: “Alternatives are great for investors with a level of risk appetite. It’s absolutely possible to make a great deal of money, but it’s more likely that modest but effective gains will be made — and of course, it’s perfectly possible to lose every penny of your well considered investment.’
“However, the great draw of alternatives is that you’re not tied into traditional structures, such as mutual funds, stocks or bonds. Personally, my investment interests are led by technological innovation.
“Alternatives cover a wide range of investment opportunities, including commodities, real estate and hedge funds. All levels of investor should be looking to gather a diversified portfolio to hedge against losses. I like to find hidden gems and innovative start-ups.”
Becoming a successful investor takes time
Enthusiasm aside, James is clear that becoming a successful investor is a process. No-one should expect it to happen overnight and it’s always a good idea to get a professional viewpoint before investing. He says: “Understanding the market in real terms is really the most important advice I can give. Always look before you leap and never invest more than you can afford to lose.
Research shows that 87% of High Net Worth and private investors are actively working on adding alternative investment options to their investment portfolios.
“There is a consistent uptick in investor interest in alternatives, which is unsurprising given the current economic and market instability at a global level,” says James. “Alternative investment also allows people to invest in their personal interests, such as sustainability and decarbonisation. It gives people a way to use their money for things they believe in and want to support.”
James Sanders picks 5 alternative investment trends for 2022
James says: “Investing in property development and real estate gives the investor options. They could choose to start small and rent out a single property. Or they could invest in a conglomerate of HMOs.
“Choosing to be a landlord can be risky, however. There is an immense amount of work involved and most serious investors won’t want to take the focus away from ROI.”
Options include forming an investment partnership to spread the management. This works well for investors new to this sector. Adds James: “I’d also recommend considering an online investment platform, which will give the investor the opportunity to invest in property without the hassle of being a landlord. Obviously there are fees and risks associated with this, so always thoroughly research the platform before committing.”
“There’s a reason why investing in gold has endured for a long, long time,” says James. “Gold is tangible and is a relatively reliable hedge against inflation. It also holds its value for the long-term. It’s always a good addition to your investment portfolio, as it’s a good way to diversify your investments.
3. Legal finance
“This is growing in popularity, particularly in the US,” explains James. “Investing in litigants or the law firms involved with a case is garnering interest from investors around the world. It is high risk though — you win big if they do, and you don’t if they don’t.”
According to Forbes, decarbonisation and climate transformation is an investment opportunity potentially worth US$100 trillion.
“It couldn’t be clearer that much more must be done to manage the risks of climate change,” says James. “With the IEA officially stating that investing in new fossil fuels is contrary to the global net zero initiative, investors should turn to the huge opportunity represented by investing in renewable energy sources.”
It’s been a tricky year so far for cryptocurrencies. For example, Bitcoin has fallen from its high of $68,000 (in Nov 2021) to July 2022’s value of around $19,872.50. Does this mean it’s all over for crypto investment?
Absolutely not. James says: “The crypto crash we’ve seen this year was caused largely by increasing rates of interest. Investors have reacted by stepping back from the perceived risk of crypto.
“However, in the long-term, this will be looked back on as a bubble that had to burst at some point. Now that it has, I would advise investing in crypto now. Stick to the most robust, such as Bitcoin, and add it to your portfolio.
“Crypto is volatile, and will continue to be volatile. However, it’s also here to stay and I don’t think there’s any serios reason to turn away from cryptocurrencies.”