He’s Scared of Snakes, but Codes in Python – Meet Mathias, Our 25th Bondora Superhero!

Bondora

Our latest Superhero has exciting hobbies, big dreams, and a cute baby – meet Mathias Luik! Working in our Risk Team, he puts data first in risk model calculations and keeps an eye out for errors to keep our products safe for our customers. And he also has a knack for investing and shared some of his top tips with us. Keep reading to use them to your advantage:

Mathias's life motto is simple: 'Don't let fear of failure and what others think of you keep you from fulfilling   your dreams.'
Mathias’s life motto is simple: ‘Don’t let fear of failure and what others think of you keep you from fulfilling your dreams.’

Bondora Superhero #25 — Mathias Luik

🧑 Bondorian since: April 2022

📐 Role: Risk Model Engineer

🛡️ Team: Risk Team

Mathias’s Bondora-journey so far

I joined Bondora 4 months ago as a Risk Model Engineer to release a new pricing calculation engine with all the necessary infrastructure updates. I am fascinated by how quickly decisions are made. For example, making IT infrastructure decisions can take up to 1-3 meetings. In previous companies, all the IT decisions required so many slides, architecture meetings, discussions, and more planning. At Bondora, we focus on execution.

I am sincerely thankful for this opportunity and happy that Bondora understands the importance of investing in risk management.

A typical day for Mathias

  • First up, I check if there are any Slack messages, my calendar, and tasks assigned to me in Asana (our shared task management program)
  • Based on that, I decide on my plan for the day and share it in our Risk team Daily Standup
  • Check server logs about pricing engines. I also check if I can spot any errors or anomalies
  • Get a coffee ☕
  • Open local pricing engine (written in Python), and develop functions according to Asana tasks
  • Most of my time is spent with Python development, model testing, PostgreSQL tables, and Azure DevOps YAML files.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

When a function in a code works on the first try. (Bonus points if it’s done without Google.)

What’s your favorite Bondora value?

Data first. I am very impressed by how many people are fluent with our databases and know how to query and use them for everyday decisions. Also, big decisions are very often validated by implementing the following formula: (Potential impact * Confidence for success ) – (Development time in days * cost per day).

What is your random, odd, or unique but useful talent?

I am quite good at calculating math in my head. If someone tells me a relevant but interesting number, I tend to play around with it.

If you could study anything again, what would you choose?

100% I would go to MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and study computer science 💻.

What’s your must-read book?

I think the most life-changing book is Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

Mathias’s investment advice

Mathias started investing early, making his first investment trade in the 9th grade! As someone with years of experience, we asked him for his top investing tips:

  • When starting, focus on increasing the investment amount rather than yield. After learning basic investing principles, spend extra hours at work to increase your income instead of reading more books about investing. After investing a certain amount (for example, €100k), start shifting your focus from earning money to reading books and to increasing the learning-% steadily.
  • Focus on consistency. That applies to increasing invested amounts every month and talking to experts in the field.
  • Ask for advice from people who have seen multiple stock crises and have significantly sized portfolios.
  • Don’t get greedy: the average stock market (index) returns are already good enough. Higher yields usually go hand in hand with higher risks.

Let’s get personal!

If you could, what advice would you give your younger self?

Believe in yourself; you will find that hot cool girlfriend and a fun statistical programming job.

Should 🍍 be allowed on pizza?

Yes, please. Can it be an XL pizza 🍕?

What’s your favorite TV show?

Definitely ‘The Office.’ I don’t understand how a group of people can be so creative in producing the jokes for this show.

What’s the phone app that you use the most?

Messenger. All my notifications are turned off because I don’t trust myself with them.

How many times do you hit the snooze button, or do you wake up immediately in the morning?

0 snoozes. My mind is always waking me up at 6:30-7:30 (even on weekends). It’s very hard to fall back to sleep again. Usually, I will then get up and open my work laptop.

What’s something you want to do but scares you?

The scariest ultimate challenge I could think of is to be in a dark room alone, full of snakes 🐍. If someone offered, I would close my eyes, meditate and try to stay in the room for 15 minutes. Additional criteria, no venomous snakes, and I must have at least protective underwear 😆

We saved the most important question for last: what do you like to do in your free time?

Once every month, I attend a LAN party with 10-20 people to play Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. We have our servers, twitch channels, websites, and databases to collect statistics. Very well-prepared events, and I freaking love it!

All done! We are thrilled that Mathias joined our team of motivated Bondorians and shared his investing tips with us! If you are interested in becoming the next Bondora Superhero 🦸‍♀️, head over to our Careers Page to check out our open positions. Join us again next month to meet our 26th Bondora Superhero!

The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of the individual and not Bondora’s official view. Before deciding to invest, consult with a financial advisor if necessary.