Investor Visits – Exclusive insights from Martin

Last month, our German investors Martin and Ulrike visited the Bondora HQ in Tallinn, Estonia. Martin has been investing with Bondora for over 5 years and is an avid user of the API, find out more below.

Martin Resch at Bondora

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

52 years old, living in the south of Germany in a small town. With two children studying and the third at school I try to make some saving for investments anyway. I like reading, watching movies with my family, cooking and sitting on my pc, working, coding or just reading the latest news.

In our holidays we are mostly traveling around Europe. Twice we visited the USA (last year we saw the solar eclipse there) and I’ve been in Middle and South America. There are a lot of places left I want to see the next years.

2. What were your first impressions after having a tour of the office? Does it look like you expected?

It was a great deal for us to visit Bondora and Tallinn too, to see where our money is and to meet the people there. So thank you again for the invitation.

I saw a video on YouTube of your office before so I wasn’t so surprised. But there have been more people than I expected. There was a cosy but busy atmosphere but nobody played table-soccer the three hours we were in 😉

It was very interesting to chat with the experts and yes, rather convincing. You never know how an IT-department is doing is job, but the guy exactly knew what I was taking about. That was impressive. Learning more about how the data is collected and how the models are built showed me that Bondora is on its right way and my money is rather safe there. There will be always a risk if you want to earn 2 digit returns.

“Learning more about how the data is collected and how the models are built showed me that Bondora is on its right way and my money is rather safe there.”

3. Why did you start investing with Bondora?

I started at the very beginning of 2012 and I heard about Bondora (Isepankur) from Claus Lehman, the great German p2p-guru. Having invested in some German platforms before I was not so glad with these anymore. Bondora promised great returns and seems to be extremely transparent. But it was very exotic to invest in Estonia back in the day. My friends were astonished when I told them I invest money at a little Baltic startup using the internet – Germany is still not as developed as Estonia is.

There have many changes happened since 2012 and not all have been an improvement for the lenders. But there are three parties – lenders, borrowers and Bondora itself. So demanding i.e. 28% from everyone could not be the right way long-term. Bondora is my greatest investment in p2p but I invest in 5 or 6 other platforms as well. German platforms perform rather poor and I would not recommend them anymore.

“For newbies portfolio manager will be great. And – don’t try to micromanage your loans! After some time you will have hundreds or thousands of them. Of course, there will be defaults. But that is part of the plan.”

4. What investment method do you use? Can you tell us what your net return is to date?

I use API from the launch. I mostly invest on second market but it is easy to use on primary market too. I learned a lot about programming, javascript but finally it works exactly how I wanted.

It is still hard to say what my net return is. Bondora shows me 20% and that is not a bad guess for the moment. It went down about 5% the last year, because a lot of my loans are defaulted. But I don’t worry – there are several recoveries now month by month. On long term – another 5 years – I’m expect 12-15% before taxes. Even 10% will be seasonable.

For newbies portfolio manager will be great. And – don’t try to micromanage your loans! After some time you will have hundreds or thousands of them. Of course, there will be defaults. But that is part of the plan. You have to know exactly what you are doing before entering the 2nd market as a seller. There are sharks there that snap at once the best parts of your loans in sell and your performance will be much worse as if you wait and see.

5. What changes do you expect in the Peer to Peer lending market in the next 5 – 10 years?

I hope it will grow a lot. There are many competitors on the market now and we will see much more the next years. Not all of them will survive. We will see some fraudulence so is good to know which company has years of experience and a working businesses model. I guess regular banks will enter this business too, so just did ING DiBa buying Lendico in Germany.

In general interest will go down to let’s say 6-8% over libor what will be fine if defaults will go down as well.

Martin Resch

6. Do you think Germans invest differently to investors from other European countries?

German money is extremely shy and there are to less investors here taking a risk. I guess 20 million or more could be shareholders or p2p investors but only 20% do. Literately billions of euros are “invested” in call money bringing 0.0-something percent interests.

Lending and investing is not a subject at school nor in chats with friends. So I guess, yes we are different. The new generation seems to be somewhat better informed, there are a lot of blogs and websites about passive income now but nothing will change before long.

Life insurance yes, lending money – seems to be weird. On the other hand, Germans don’t have many credits beside mortgages. Credits are evil – so lending is bad too. So it will be a hard job to convince the ordinary German to invest in P2P.

Portfolio Manager for an early retirement – Meet Martin

1. Tell us about yourself and what you do for fun.

I came to Bratislava, capital city of Slovakia, to study. Artificial intelligence and cognitive systems always fascinated me, so after finishing engineering study at Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology of Slovak University of Technology (FEI STU) I applied for job at Institute of Informatics of Slovak Academy of Science (ÚI SAV). After certain time I was forced to reconsider my work there though. Today I work in private sector as IT developer and with R&D spend just fraction of my free time.

I have other hobbies too: various sports, musical instruments (own some and want to learn play some more) and part-time doing musical accompanying for local children’s folklore ensemble. After all, folklore is my companion since early childhood, I sing 24/7 (in spirit at least when at public :D) and I used to dance it actively before. I also read fantasy and sci-fi or write some stupid little programs, useful at the moment. 😀

2. What made you start investing with Bondora and are you investing for a specific purpose (i.e. retirement, extra monthly income, house purchase etc)?

I discovered Bondora in 2016. Somewhere I overheard expression “p2p lending” and got interested, so I searched for principle, pros and cons of investing that way and found some local and abroad platforms, including Bondora. I liked idea of direct lending, skipping long chain of middle-men and minimizing cost of process that way, it enables to decrease borrower’s interest and increase lender’s interest. Win-win scenario if you ask me. Moreover, Bondora as middle-man requires laughably low and very clear amount – 1% of interest, if loan is not defaulted. There are no hidden meaning and they carry similar risk to investors if loan is defaulted.

“My original purpose for investing was cash reserve, but since my net interest stays pretty high, I do dare to think of a nice (and premature) retirement possibility.”

I was raised to keep my spare cash safe. Bank interests are dropping so I presumed correctly, invested money can be relatively safe yet generate an amount of interest worth of being called gain. Bondora wins for 2 reasons: 1) it exists since 2008 and each year is proof they are not after fraud but try to do business honestly and in long term. 2) I searched for client feedback and found no significant dirt under their carpet.

Yes, most of responses were negative, but it is usual that satisfied clients are less persistent in notifying public than unsatisfied ones. Also, these negative responses were just few in count and their main issue could be summarized as communication error. Sometimes Bondora overlooked to inform clients when doing some changes in recovery process, maybe incorrectly labelled some interest figure, or clients simply done incorrect calculations themselves. Everybody learns and up to today I noticed no more than few cosmetic bugs. So, back to my second point – I believe, that if client’s biggest issue is if their interest is 13% or 17%, it is safe to assume I have a decent chance for 2-digit interest and no big ugly surprises awaiting.

3. What were your goals when you started and what is your net return today?

My original purpose for investing was cash reserve, but since my net interest stays pretty high, I do dare to think of a nice (and premature) retirement possibility. In the beginning I expected approximately 10% proclaimed by Bondora, yet my net interest never dropped under 18%, for now. I’ve done some calculations for the coming decades – expecting average net interest at 14% and development is so promising I could switch from monthly investing to monthly withdrawing (partial withdrawal of monthly income) in merely 6 years. Plus my retirement income would be better than my parents ever dreamed of.

“I’ve done some calculations for the coming decades – expecting average net interest at 14% and development is so promising I could switch from monthly investing to monthly withdrawing (partial withdrawal of monthly income) in merely 6 years.”

4. What features do you use and how do they work for you? E.g. Portfolio Manager, Portfolio Pro or the API.

I am really grateful for the automatic Portfolio Manager. Investment calculation machines are not exactly my cup of coffee so I gladly put myself into well care of people with most precise knowledge of topic and capable to configure the Portfolio Manager for most reasonable interest with minimal risk involved. That is why I do not use API nor Portfolio Pro – for me they represent chance to mess up settings and decrease interests. Since I invest only what I can spare, I set the Portfolio Manager to Progressive setting.

As for the Secondary market, I enabled buyout of current loans without increased price. As they say – do to others only what you would wanted them to do to you. Such loans are not extra risk for me and if time comes when I would need to sell my portfolio, time needed could notably shorten if others have secondary market buyouts enabled.

5. If you could give any advice to someone starting out with Bondora, what would it be?

If you consider investing with Bondora, here are some tips:

  • If you can spare larger amount of money, make first deposit big. Here is the thing – online company with non-secured loans is greater risk. The longer you invest – if you deposit a big amount right away, in 4-5 years you can double your investment and can relatively quickly withdraw initial sum back “to safety” and what is left is pure gain.
  • If you plan to invest monthly, do not forget that reported net income does not reflect your totally invested sum. For example, I have started from zero putting in 100€ monthly. In one year my total investment was 1200€, but with 20% net interest p.a. my interest was not 240€. It is because my investment grew linearly starting at zero, so my average investment was in reality 600€ and expected return 120€ is what I actually earned.
  • And two more notes. If you’d love to start investing but are not sure how much you can afford to pay monthly, try to put aside the amount left on account before payout…maybe there will be a few tens of € per month and after you are sure such amount means no harm to you, start investing. Also do not forget legislative. It is probable your country will expect you to pay tax from interests received. Check “Reports” section to see how much you earned in previous calendar years.

6. Do you think Slovak’s invest differently to the rest of Europe? If so, how and why?

I can’t speak in name of all Slovak, but most people I know favour keeping out of debts and ending them as fast as possible if it could not been avoided. With no debts, we can freely manage our money without fear they will be needed elsewhere.

“But, mentality changes and young people today fall in debts too easily, living mighty today and poorly tomorrow. I hope we will find right balance pretty soon.”

On the other side we put our desires aside, dreaming of freedom with no guarantee it will ever come. Investing with such mentality is thus difficult. But, mentality changes and young people today fall in debts too easily, living mighty today and poorly tomorrow. I hope we will find right balance pretty soon. I definitely try to. Despite belonging to the first group I decided to invest part of my savings into relatively safe Bondora rather than into high gain, higher risk cryptocurrencies.

Lars and his trip to Bondora HQ

Recently we interviewed Lars Wrobbel, a financial blogger and entrepreneur that came to visit Bondora HQ in Tallinn. Lars has used the Invite Friends programme very successfully thanks to documenting his own investing experiences on his blog. While this is only a small part of what he does, he plans to focus even more on his bigger projects and quit his full time job next year, freeing up more time for travelling.

The Invite Friends program is not exclusive to bloggers or social media influencers with large followings, anyone can get started today by sharing their unique link within their own social media network, work place chat or to friends and family interested in investing.

You’ve just had a tour of the Bondora office a few minutes ago, can you tell us your immediate thoughts on what it’s like?

It’s very different to my office in Germany (*laughs*), because my office in Germany is like a bank. Here it’s very colorful and looks like a lot of fun.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.

I started blogging in 2015, in addition to that I started an Amazon business in the middle of 2016 and this is now my main project.

I produce my own books on Amazon, namely e-books and print books. My goal is to be better than the official publishers, currently this is going very well. I have some others writing for me, I also do the research looking in to what the key words are and what is most appealing to readers.

lars-wrobbel-image

“I simply document my own progress with my Bondora account and what I do with my own investments”

Why did you start referring people to Bondora?

Bondora was the second P2P platform I used. I only write about my own experiences on my blog, so it essentially was not my plan to refer other people to Bondora. I actually never recommend people to use Bondora.

I simply document my own progress with my Bondora account and what I do with my own investments, I feel this is more genuine because my readers are making the decisions themselves to start investing. Of course, it is very nice that I can still earn money as a result of this from Bondora’s Invite Friends programme but this is not my main focus.

How do you successfully refer so many people to Bondora?

My blog is definitely the easiest way because through my own experience, I can build up trust with the readers and it has a much bigger reach. I publish an article every second weekend, every article takes up around 4 – 6 hours of my time depending on the content. I also have YouTube videos now which takes up my time, for example producing the content. The videos have the same content as the articles in my blog, but I reach new people this way.

“One of the most appealing things about blogging is that I can make the location independent, I could be in Chiang Mai or Bali, and it doesn’t matter.”

visiting-Bondora-office

Outside of your own projects, are you still employed?

I am still employed, but I will quit my full time job next year so I can travel more and focus on my own projects. I work 14 – 15 hours per day, but I still ensure I make time for my independent work. One of the most appealing things about blogging is that I can make the location independent, I could be in Chiang Mai or Bali, and it doesn’t matter. This is my long term goal.

You can check out Lars’ blog here.

Robert Kiyosaki, teaching and volleyball. Read Andrea’s story

As part of our popular investor stories series, we interviewed Andrea this month. Check out his super story below.

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Hello everybody, I am a former engineer who, after 20 years in the corporate field, has decided to leave my job and to devote myself to what I really like, teaching. Now I am a teacher in a secondary school in Milan and I hold private lessons in Mathematics and Physics.

I like sports (I am a volleyball referee since more than 30 years) and to stay with people; I am also a business owner cooperating with the greatest Network Marketing company in the world. Last, but not least, I am part of the Cashflow Club (do you know? Kiyosaki books…) in Milan and, with some friends from the club, we are starting a brand new association aiming at teaching the fundamentals of the financial culture to people, mainly the young.

“My intention was to create some passive income that could lead me, in a short period of time, to leave my job.”

I started investing in the Bondora platform two years ago thanks to the advices given to me by a friend from the Club, who had started the same business some months before, with good financial returns. My intention was to create some passive income that could lead me, in a short period of time, to leave my job. Well, after two years of investments, I can proudly say that the advices received were really effective and now I am really satisfied with the Social Lending investment with Bondora.

“I am earning up to 12.90% net interest and this is a really good result!”

portfolio-manager-strategy-slider

The net return is really high, compared with other Fintech opportunities. What I mainly like in this opportunity is to feel useful to somebody else in the world (the borrowers). Initially I had really no idea about what I could reach by this kind of investment and the return has indeed surprised me: I am earning up to 12.90% net interest and this is a really good result!

In the Bondora Platform, after a long period while using the Portfolio Manager feature, since some few weeks, I have been using the Portfolio Pro, which I like more for the opportunity it gives me to handle my portfolio.

“I suggest to all of you to trust the platform, by starting with a small amount of money and then dropping in a monthly amount”

The cooperation with peers in the Cashflow Club has really given me an opportunity that I did not even know before. Now, by talking to all relatives and peers about this really great financial opportunity, though in Italy the average financial knowledge is not so high, I hope to involve many people to invest in Bondora.

I suggest to all of you to trust the platform, by starting with a small amount of money and then dropping in a monthly amount, in order to get back an interesting income, thanks to the most powerful existing financial tool, the compound interest, defined by Einstein as one of the greatest inventions in the world.

To all of you I wish a great financial experience and a nice future along with Bondora.

From borrower to lender, Eduardo has seen both sides of the coin

Welcome to another edition of our investor stories series. In today’s story we interview Eduardo, a Spanish national who, after paying off his Bondora loan early, decided he wanted to become the lender and started investing with us.

Bondora borrower and investor Eduardo

“I started asking for a loan with Bondora… I wanted to reverse the situation and it was me who would lend and not ask for a loan.”

Tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Eduardo, I am Spanish, from the city of Burgos. I am a technical analyst and computer support professional. I like to travel, cinema, football, and to invest.

What made you start investing with Bondora?

I started asking for a loan with Bondora on Google, which I already paid in advance. I saw the potential of Bondora, and I wanted to reverse the situation and so it was me who would lend and not ask for a loan.

“I have been doing this for 2 years now”

What were your investment goals when you started and how is your portfolio doing now?

I wanted to start small, with €600 per month. In a year I liked the results and I followed with €800 per month and a few months later, €1000 per month … I have been doing this for 2 years now.

What features/strategy do you use and how does it work for you?

I use Portfolio Manager, Portfolio Pro following my strategy of what loans and how much to invest.
Sometimes Secondary Market. In the past I did all manual, and bought in the secondary market to compensate.

It is very difficult to have more losses than income, and you can always start slowly and lose the fear.

If you could give any advice to someone starting out with Bondora, what would it be?

My advice is to act with your head and follow a method without leaving room for emotions or for quantities of more. This should only be a second source of income and hobby. It is very difficult to have more losses than income, and you can always start slowly and lose the fear.

If you would like to be part of our investor stories series, get in touch today on investor@bondora.com

When music is your obsession, do you still have time to invest? Meet Duncan

Welcome to the third post of our investor stories series. We are excited to share our interview with Duncan, a first time investor whose goal is to make enough passive income to take care of his living costs while he spends more time doing what he loves.

Bodnora-investor-Duncan

“I was a first time investor, so I would tell my past-self “Just do it!””

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m an Australian, living in Portugal. I make electronic music. My only (other) hobbies are cooking & reading. I love my job so I don’t have room for more obsessions!

What made you start investing with Bondora?

I was looking for an investment option that satisfied a few personal criteria:

  • Good return
  • Access to the interest (good cash flow)
  • Closer to real investment, putting my capital in real people’s hands, rather than just property or speculating on a stock price.

“I simply use the portfolio manager, with a medium risk setting”

What were your investment goals when you started and how is your portfolio doing now?

My investment goal was simply to provide me with enough passive income to take care of my living costs, while I work on my music. My portfolio is performing well enough that I can do that.

What features/strategy do you use and how does it work for you?

I simply use the portfolio manager, with a medium risk setting.

“After tracking its performance for a few weeks, it became clear that Bondora really was performing as advertised. Better than the other p2p services I tried.”

If you could give any advice to someone starting out with Bondora, what would it be?

I was a first time investor, so I would tell my past-self “Just do it!”. Being scared/sceptical, I only invested a small fraction at the beginning. But after tracking its performance for a few weeks, it became clear that Bondora really was performing as advertised. Better than the other p2p services I tried.

We love Duncan’s story. It’s inspiring when we see our customers take control of their financial freedom and make more time to focus on doing what they enjoy.

Be like Duncan and start here today!

Find out how Bondora helped Janar make his dream home

Welcome to our first ‘Borrower Stories’ blog post!

Recently, we had the pleasure of interviewing a long term customer, Janar from Estonia, who took out a loan with Bondora to renovate his dream home.

tallinn-oldtown

1. Tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Janar, I am 37 years old and I am an electrician from Keila, Estonia. I’m keen on sports, especially jogging, and you can see me once in a while participating in the various marathons held in Estonia. I also enjoy the theatre and going to the movies whenever possible.

2. How did you hear about Bondora?

I needed a loan for renovating my home and heard about Bondora from my brother, he is actually an investor with Bondora.

“I am really happy now that I have my dream home, so if someone was to ask, I would definitely recommend Bondora!”

3. How long did it take for your loan to be accepted?

It was fast and a very convenient application process.

4. If you could give any advice to someone thinking about taking that next step and buying their dream car, holiday or home renovation, what would you tell them?

I am really happy now that I have my dream home, so if someone was to ask, I would definitely recommend Bondora! I am very interested in investing as well and hope to become an investor with Bondora in the future.

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estonia-in-europeSometimes it’s easy to forget about the powerful impact making investments in peer-to-peer lending can have on people around the world, whilst still giving you an exciting return on your money.

If you have a loan with Bondora, we would love to hear from you and publish your story. Please get in touch today on investor@bondora.com.

Meet Jens, a freelance consultant from Denmark

Welcome to another post part of the exclusive investor stories! This month we had the pleasure of interviewing Jens, check out his story below.

Bondora-investor-Jens

“I have 2 accounts running on Bondora. All are using the Portfolio Manager. Returns are 13% and 9%, so overall I am happy compared to other asset classes.”

1. Tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Jens, I am from Denmark. Me and my family, wife and 3 kids, have been living abroad for many years, but decided to move back to Denmark in 2009. I am an engineer by training and I have been self-employed for 17 years and work as a freelance consultant specializing in Sustainability, Environment, Health and Safety (EHS). I have always been interested in business, finance and economics and read a lot on the subject whenever I have time besides my family and job. That is how I came across p2p investing and Bondora in 2013/14.

2. What made you start investing with Bondora?

After taking a closer look at the P2P market place I decided to invest in Bondora and Lending Club in 2014 via my company. I chose Bondora due to their relatively long history, track record and that the company turned a profit. Nobody knows yet what is going to happen if a p2p lender goes bankrupt. I am still keeping an eye open to invest on other platforms for diversification purposes within P2P, but I am very cautious because it seems new platforms are launching every day! I am following the market via newsletters from p2p-banking.com and AltFi News.

“I choose Bondora due to their relatively long history, track record and that the company turned a profit.”

3. What were your investment goals when you started and how is your portfolio doing now?

My investment goals for P2P were and still are primarily a steady return and diversification across asset classes, like shares, bonds, FX, property, etc. I myself consider p2p a new asset class. When I started investing in the year 2000 the goal was to save for retirement. But by also focusing on saving money on an everyday basis I hope to not have to ‘work’ so much anymore and spend more time reading, investing and building ‘stuff’, i.e. more freedom.

I have 2 accounts running on Bondora – 1 for my company and 1 for my wife. All are using the Portfolio Manager. Returns are 13% and 9%, so overall I am happy compared to other asset classes. Looking forward it is going to be interesting to follow how returns are going to be affected on p2p platforms once the next recession(s) hits various countries/regions.

4. What features/strategy do you use and how does it work for you?

I have always used the Portfolio Manager and all are set to ‘Progressive’. I have for some time been playing with the idea of using some kind of ‘big data’ analysis and if successful I could use the Portfolio Pro or API. In the US ‘robot investors’ do exist already using APIs. I have not come across any for the European platforms.

“Start out with an amount you can do without for a couple of years, but big enough to be able to diversify across at least 200 loans.”

5. If you could give any advice to someone starting out with Bondora, what would it be?

Start out with an amount you can do without for a couple of years, but big enough to be able to diversify across at least 200 loans. Use the Portfolio Manager. Monitor, learn and gain experience for at least a year and then decide what to do next.

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Would you like to be featured in the investor stories series? Send us an email to investor@bondora.com today with the subject „Investor Stories“.

Meet our investor Andreas, a retired CEO from Greece

Over the past few weeks, we got in touch with some of our investors for some appreciated feedback and to learn more about people in our investor community. This week we’re publishing an interview with Bondora Investor Andreas Drimiotis from Greece, who was kind enough to give us a quick overview of his experiences on Bondora.

Bondora investor Andreas Drimiotis

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Tell us a bit about yourself

I live in Greece and I am retired. I was the CEO of an IT Outsourcing (mainly to banks) Services Company listed in Greek Stock Exchange. My hobby is photography and I am an active trader in USA options.

What made you start investing with Bondora?

I visited Estonia last year and I met with an Investor Relations Associate who spoke to me about Bondora. Initially I invested €20,000 and after the initial experience I sent another €70,000.

What were your investment goals when you started and how is your portfolio doing now?

My goal was to get the expected return offered by the Bondora platform, so far so good.

What features/strategy do you use and how does it work for you?

The Portfolio Manager.

If you could give any advice to someone starting out with Bondora, what would it be?

Make sure you understand the risks of unsecured loans, but the expected return compensates for the risk.

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If you would like to be published in our investor stories series, send us an email on investor@bondora.com with the email subject „Investor Stories“.

Investor talk with Tobias Mende

STobias Mendeoftware engineer Tobias Mende spends his free time writing finance blog Der Finanzfisch where he covers topics like investment, personal development, productivity, financial education and marketplace lending.

What is keeping you up at night?
Spending time with friends or thinking about some difficult computer science problems. I am not that kind of person who worries a lot, so in general only positive things keep me up at night. Maybe I’m boring but I’ll never invest in something that keeps me away from sleep, since good investments allow me to sleep very well.

What was your first investment, how did it go and what did you learn from it?
My first investment was in my youth in a closed investment fund. Even though it developed quite well, I learned that this was a bad idea since I was completely out of control and could not see how my money evolved. Furthermore, I learned that it is very important to keep the costs in mind since they may wreck your entire investment if too high. Last but not least, I learned that I will never ever again put such a large portion of my money in one single investment since such investments are risky and it is important to diversify.

If you look back at your years as an investor – is there anything you have learned you wish you would have known when you started?

Never invest in things you do not understand!

There are a lot of financial products out there and one is more complicated than the other – some with very creative cost structures or very long package leaflets. These products are almost never a good investment. They often contain some pitfalls, high costs or large risks. I’ve learned that there are a lot of good investment opportunities out there – it is better to miss a chance than to risk everything just for the sake of investing.

How would you describe your investment strategy?
My investment strategy is mostly passive. I have a fully automated monthly savings plan that invests my money in ETFs on the MSCI World and the MSCI Emerging Markets. This is supposed to form the base of my portfolio. In addition, I invest in peer-to-peer loans with Bondora and another platform by using the Auto-Invest features since they allow me to diversify and invest my money without any time spent. Especially with such small investments (5€ per loan) it is very important to keep the time invested low since otherwise the return on time invested is lousy. Last but not least, I also pick some stocks from time to time since I like evaluating companies and business models. I consider myself a yield and risk-oriented investor since I have time and I don’t have any plans for my invested money in the near future.

How do you diversify your investments?

Whenever there are two investments with the same return rate and risk structure, I’ll pick the one that increases my diversification the most.

Meaning I would rather invest in a new company rather than increasing my shares in a company I already invest in. I also try to diversify across different asset classes such as stocks, P2P loans and private investments. When it comes to P2P loans I enjoy putting only the minimal amount of money in one single loan for maximizing the number of loans I invest in.

Do you prefer short or long term investments?
It depends. I invest to benefit from the compound interest effect over a long period (more than 10 years). That said, if an investment looks good for me I prefer long term investments since I have to care less. With short-term investments I would have to handle my money every few months and I would need to make decisions over and over again. Therefore, long-term investments are more relaxed. That is also the reason why I am more or less a buy-and-hold investor when it comes to stocks. I have a life beside my personal finances and I want to keep the time invested in financial decisions low.

In your opinion, what is the best way to start investing?
ETFs are really good. They are cheap, they are easy and you get a maximum diversification with almost no effort. ETFs are also very good for pupils or students who do not have that much money to invest. Some ETFs allow free savings plans from 25€ per month with a very low total expense ratio (TER). These products are a great way to get in touch with the stock exchange and to learn about one’s personal risk disposition. Furthermore, you do not need to spend much time to get started and there is a lot of free help on how to choose a good ETF (e.g. finance blogs).

Would you call that a golden rule of investing?
My golden rule is “Do not invest if you do not understand the investment.” You would not by a car if you cannot drive. And I really appreciate the classic saying “Do not put all of your eggs in one basket.” These two simple rules guide all my investments.

How did you find Bondora?
I have looked for alternative investment classes besides the stock market and have found peer-to-peer loans as a relatively new thing. After looking into different marketplace lending platforms I decided to start with Bondora since the website and the reviews all over the internet convinced me.

I started with Bondora due to the following reasons:

  • Very transparent information on the website
  • Good structured website (also available in German)
  • No costs for investors
  • A high estimated rate of return

Furthermore, the Bondora Portfolio Manager is very easy to set up which is ideal when starting without much experience in loan investments.

How has your experience been so far?
Very good. Bondora is evolving further and the platform has gotten much better in the last months despite the fact that it was very good from the beginning.
For investors it is very easy to trace the investment and the amount of time I spend on Bondora is very low. The estimated return looks very promising and it seems to be a good investment.

All in all, I have a good feeling about my investments on Bondora which is very important for a good night sleep.