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.

* * *

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.

***

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

***

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.

***

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.

Investor talk with Coen Barneveld Binkhuysen

Coen Barneveld BinkhuysenDutch lawyer Coen Barneveld Binkhuysen has good insight into the peer-to-peer lending industry as he advises numerous clients and international platforms on a great variety of legal questions in this industry. Furthermore, he has been an active investor for many years now.

What is keeping you up at night?
Actually not too much. The first thing I learned as an investor is not to make any investments that may keep me awake at night (in a bad way). Therefore, I only invest the money I can miss without any problems.

What was your first investment, how did it go and what did you learn from it?
I am not sure whether you will consider it is as a real investment, but as a teenager I put most of my money on a subordinated savings account at a Dutch bank. Normally, saving accounts in the Netherlands are covered by a guarantee of the Dutch National Bank in case of a bankruptcy of the bank. However, I decided to lock my funds on this savings account for 5 years without such guarantee in exchange for a (substantially) higher interest rate. My investment paid out including a decent return, just a few days before the bank went bankrupt… I actually had to call and convince the help desk of this “online bank” to immediately transfer all of my funds to a different bank as the website was already unavailable due to an “attack by hackers” (or actually because of the bankruptcy rumors).

Did the fall-over of the bank had longer-term implications on your investment strategy?
It made me fully aware of the fact that banks are never too big to fail before it became common knowledge. Obviously this risk also applies to companies and marketplace lending platforms. Therefore, I always take bankruptcy risks very seriously and I aim to diversify my investments in terms of platforms, companies, countries and instruments in order to reduce these risks.

If you look back at your years as investor – is there anything you have learned you wish you would have known when you started?
People tend to talk a lot and they repeat each other. If someone tells a story, suddenly everyone is repeating that same story without checking any facts. I learned that I needed to do my own research, check facts and only listen to experienced investors who actually base their story on facts and analysis.
Furthermore, just like many others I underestimated the risk of peer-to-peer lending in the beginning. The high interest rates sound very appealing but the risks of losing your investments are very real. As a result, too many of my early investments vanished. This knowledge could have saved me quite a few euros.

How would you describe your investment strategy?
It depends, on Bondora I am a passive investor. I used to be very active in the beginning when the Portfolio Manager offered more options to select loans based on certain criteria. I actively acquired/sold loans on the Secondary Market based on my analysis. After Bondora simplified the Portfolio Manager I did not see the purpose of the manager anymore. At the moment I am consolidating my real ROI on Bondora before investing more.
For equity investments, I have a preference for companies which also have a professional investor on board such as a private equity firm. These firms have far more knowledge, time and information to base their investment decision on than we have as a P2P lenders. Furthermore, I review the business plans and check whether there is a real interest in the products/services that these companies are trying to sell.

Is there any ground rules you follow for diversifying?
I do not have any real ground rules, but I have been using the same maximum investment amount per loan for a couple of years on Bondora. Furthermore, I also try to invest similar amounts on different platforms, just to figure out what works and what does not. I diversify less in relation to equity investments, mainly because the investment amounts are substantially higher. The amount I invest really depends on the offers being made.

Do you prefer short or long term investments? Does that reflect on your personality?
Equity investments are long term investments in any case. I actually write off an equity investment the moment I invest in start-ups. I hope to see the investment back at some point of time but I am aware that it will take many years. In my experience as a legal adviser to many start-ups, only a few companies will survive. And most probably I will not find that unicorn everyone is looking for…
With respect to loans I tend to go for the short terms loans as I prefer to create a decent cash flow on a monthly basis with a relatively low risk profile.

The fact that Bondora provides new information about the loans on a daily basis creates quite an addictive situation.

My girlfriend seems to consider me an impatient person, which may reflect the fact that I really like these daily changes.

In your opinion, what is the best way to start investing?
Do not invest large amounts in the first year and take it from there. Start with small amounts and test your strategy for at least a year. Do your own research and discuss your strategy with many experienced investors who base their stories on facts and analysis.

Although it is a cliché, only invest the money you can lose without a tear drop in order to make sure you will not have any sleepless nights.

Would you call that a golden rule of investing?

If it sounds to too good to be true, it normally is.

How did you find Bondora?
As I intended to diversify my investment portfolio a few years ago, I was looking for a pan-European platform that provided many investment opportunities to invest in loans with different maturity dates. At that time Bondora was the best (and perhaps even the only) feasible option available to me.

How has your experience been so far?
I like the fact that Bondora is actually trying to be transparent about all (or at least most) of the information it has on the loans. It creates an opportunity for investors to analyze the performance of all loans. In my opinion, transparency is a huge advantage for an investor and absolutely a big plus for a marketplace lending platform. As far as I am aware Bondora is the only platform that provides such detailed information. However, I was disappointed when Bondora decided to decrease the selection criteria to select certain loans using the Portfolio Manager since this was one of the main reasons I started investing at Bondora.

Investor talk with Kolja Barghoorn and Lars Wrobbel

Our German investors Kolja Barghoorn and Lars Wrobbel are co-authors of the popular P2P investment guidebook “Investieren in P2P-Privatkredite” in German but for neither of the 31-year old men investment is not the first priority. Kolja runs a web video production firm and Lars works as an IT expert, while writing books, writing for a P2P blog Passives Einkommen mit P2P-Privatkrediten and starting a web-based fashion business. From their busy schedules they found the time to speak with us.


Kolja Barghoorn

Lars Wrobbel

                                Kolja Barghoorn and Lars Wrobbel

What is keeping you up at night?
Kolja: Netflix.
Lars: New business ideas.

What was your first investment and what did you learn from it?
Kolja: A German company from Munich called Infineon. It went really well, I managed to make an ROI of about 350% and I learned that it was pure “beginner’s luck” since I invested in March 2009 which basically was the best time ever to buy stocks.
Lars: I started my investment career at the sport market Betfair and earned a lot of money for many years. I learned there to lose a lot of money too. 🙂

How have you evolved as an investor? 
Kolja: I have become much more serious and humble in investing. I try to stick to the things I know and never invest serious amount of money without understanding exactly where my money is going and what risk I am incurring.

I am mainly a buy-and-hold investor and almost never sell my investments.

Lars: With the end of my active trading career at the sport markets in 2011 I changed my direction and learned to earn money on the passive way. In my case writing books. A few years later I expanded the passive earning of money on the stock market with ETFs and a bit later with P2P.

I wish I had earlier recognized how pleasant passive investment was.

Describe your investment strategy? How do you divide your portfolio and what is the optimal allocation in your view?
Kolja: I like the buy-and-hold approach. I like incurring risk but never as much that it could seriously harm my financial stability. I mainly invest in my own company and in index-funds such as ETFs on the S&P 500, MSCI World and M-DAX but I also own a fair amount of common stocks (mainly German, Spanish and American companies). I also invest in other private ventures – for example I have some investments in Book-Projects that do very well for me and will make further investments therein in the future. P2P is also a nice investment sector which I’m now getting more and more comfortable with and where I’m allocating more of my funds nowadays.
Lars: My investment strategy is based on 3 main components. 1. ETFs, 2. Shares that pay dividends 3. P2P. If the stock market is at a very high level (in my view) I invest more in P2P. If the stock market is on a lower level I change the focus. P2P investment I an excellent alternative at bad times in stocks.

How much does your daily work and interest influence your investment strategy?
Kolja: It influences my investment decisions a lot because I work on web videos that concentrate on investing and therefore I study and read a lot about investments, mainly stocks but also other subjects like the overall economy. The work I do there influences not only my investment decisions but also my business decisions – basically everything is influencing everything. It is always important to stay inside your “circle of competence” like Warren Buffett says and to stick to the strategies that one knows and that let you sleep calmly at night.
Lars: My daily work doesn’t affect my investment strategy.

Do you prefer short or long term investments and does that reflect on your personality?
Kolja: I almost never invest for the short-term. In fact, the investments which earn a short-term return I almost always reinvest not only because of the taxes, costs and compounding do I prefer long-term investing but because I think it is much more enjoyable. I like the whole process and the allocation of money more than spending it.
Lars: I prefer long term investments and it actually reflects on my personality as well.

In your opinion, what is the best way to start investing?
Kolja: I think the best way to start investing is to read 1-2 books about the main subject of the investment whether it is common stocks, P2P or bonds. You have to know what the basic principles of the investment are, what are the risks you are taking and then just start with small, incremental amounts and get used to the process.

I think the whole investing process is a craft. You don’t get better just by reading or by discussing on the internet – you get better by thinking yourself and acting on your own reasoning and by accepting the harsh reality of your decisions and results. You have to be brutally honest with yourself.

Lars: The best way to start investing is just to start investing. You have to experience it – there is no other way to start. Of course you can avoid some mistakes by reading books but you have to make your own experience and you must find an investment that is right for you. Start with small amounts until you understand the investment and feel safe.

Please share your golden rule of investing with our readers. And is there a particular book you could recommend?
Kolja: My golden rule of investing is “Never test the depth of water with both feet”. My favorite book on investing is “The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham, the new edition with commentaries from Jason Zweig who also has a very good blog.
Lars: My favorite investment book is “Souverän investieren mit Indexfonds und ETFs” from Gerd Kommer.

My golden rule is: “Know your investment. If you know your investment you are more relaxed in your decisions”. 

What fascinates you most about P2P lending?
Kolja: I like P2P investing because it has very little risk-correlation to my other investments and because it doesn’t require much time. With P2P I focus on automatic portfolio builders to earn a passive income and spending not much time with the portfolio, only when I have new funds to invest.
Lars: P2P lending is a very exciting form of investment because it is very different from one platform to another one. And of course you can earn good yield there. Furthermore I like the automatic investment opportunity because time is the most valuable thing in life.

How did you find Bondora and how would you describe the experience?
Kolja: I found Bondora through my friend and business partner Lars Wrobbel who introduced me to it when we were discussing our ideas for a book on P2P investing.

Bondora offers a much more simple way of investing than platforms in my own country and so far everything is working nicely.

Lars: I started investing on Bondora in the end of 2014 and built a small portfolio to play around with and which was also useful for my book.

Bondora offers an excellent yield and is easy to use.

But in comparison to other platforms outside Germany I think that Bondora looks a little bit overloaded for new investors. So, I suggest to do a little bit more for your transparency and simplicity.

What has been your best investment so far in life?
Kolja: The best monetary investment of my life has been the investment of about €12,000 into my digital film & animation diploma at the SAE Institute in Berlin. There I learned how to research, produce and edit videos. Something I love doing and have been doing for almost 10 years now and which has earned me not only good money but also a lot of joy and experiences from my viewers.
Lars: The best investment in my life has been my first book because this has lead the way to all my other online business activities. Looking back at this investment I learned that it is often the first step in everything you do in life which forms the foundation for greater things. So, it is very important to get things done because on the way you may find new opportunities which can change your life later on.

Investor talk with Martin Resch

Martin Resch’s investment career has lasted over 30 years. His investments span from growing trees all the way to day trading and for the last 8 years a growing piece of his portfolio is going into P2P lending.

martin reschPlease give us a little hint about your background and what are you up to today? 
Living in the south of Germany I’m working as a teacher of mathematics, physics and programming at a high school. So I’m very used to numbers, data analysis and calculations. I’m spending a lot of time with my family, my three kids from 13 to 19 are in school and at the university. Traveling and reading is my favorite pastime and I’m always interested in politics and economics.

What was your first investment, how did it go and what did you learn from it?
I started to invest in shares when I was 18 years old in the middle of the 1980s. It was a great time to make money if you had money to invest (I hadn’t so much). So I learned that you have to have a lot of money to make more and I kept on investing every year since then.

How have you evolved as an investor – what do you know now that you wish you knew 10 years ago?
My investments are now widely spread. Today it is hard to earn interests from classic investments like bonds, so I had to find new ways. Investing today is very different from 10 years before. And long term is no more dozens of years, I will need a lot of money the next years for all of my children studying and later looking how to enhance my pension.

Describe your investment strategy? 
I spread my investments very wide – from home with solar panels to bonds, shares, lots of P2P lending and wood investments. Sustainable investment is a big theme for me so I wouldn’t buy shares from every company and I’m not only looking for the best returns.

How much does your daily work and interest influence your investment strategy?
I don’t trust any “specialists” or consultants at my bank. There are some of my former pupils – and they have never been that good in math. I learned a lot of using excel sheets and I bring this knowledge back to school. But it is a little difficult – most young people are not very interested in how investments work.

Math is difficult but you need it if you want to understand what the numbers written on the papers mean.

Do you prefer short or long term investments? Does that reflect on your personality – are you a patient or an impatient person?
Oh, in general I’m a very impatient person – ask my family. I do both. I have invested in wood where trees need 20 years to grow but sometimes doing some day trade. The more I invest the longer my time horizon.

In your opinion, what is the best way to start investing?

First you need the money that you can invest – so saving for the first years is more important than looking for good returns.

You should have a good mix of short and long term investments and you should learn from your experience.

Share your golden rule of investing with our readers? And is there a particular book you could recommend?
I like Warren Buffets “Invest only in companies you understand”. I read a lot on the internet about “passive income” – that’s a good plan.

What fascinates you most about P2P lending?
I discovered P2P lending 8 years ago and it became a big part of my investment strategy.

I first liked the win-win situation of people to people lending, later enjoyed the good returns.

I really like Bondora’s way of publishing a lot of data and opening API to all. In the last couple of years I started spending a few hours or so every week on looking for new investments, it became an interesting pastime for me. Of course, I learn a lot about credit and risk by doing so. P2P is perfect for beginners because you can decide every month if you like to reinvest or take your money out. But you have to learn to be patient and not to invest all your money in the first week.

What has been your best investment so far?
I lost a lot of money investing in renewable energy companies. Bad timing. My best investment is not so easy to find out. Maybe investing in small regional companies, a perfect win-win situation with fair interest rates but good returns for me.

Investor talk with Andreas Tielmann

Andreas Tielmann is an active investor on the P2P platforms across Europe and his returns on Bondora are outstanding. We have a chat with him about his investing experience.

Andreas Tielmann

What is your background and what are you up to today?
I was born in Russia and since 1989 I live in Germany where I started to educate myself as a tool mechanic. Now, at 30 years old I am an active investor and write my blog about P2P Lending, more specifically – P2P-Anlage.de in Europe, as well as share my personal experience.

What was your first investment, how did it go and what did you learn from it?
My first investment was about 10 years ago at Deutsche Bank. They offered 4,5% return on a 1-year deposit. It was a really good investment – nearly without risk, with good interest rates at that time. Years later the interest rates have fallen until today and I have to take some risks to get a better return.

How have you evolved as an investor? What do you know now that you wish you knew 10 years ago?
At the beginning I preferred financial investments with very low risks, like fixed-time deposits. With the time, as I were always financially interested, I searched for investments with better returns. In 2008 I registered at the first P2P platform here in Germany and in 2011 began to invest with small amounts in P2P loans. I wish, that 10 years ago I had learned more about the stock market. A short time later, in 2008, there was a good time to invest in cheap stocks.

Describe your investment strategy? How do you divide your portfolio and what is the optimal allocation in your view?
My investment strategy is currently focused on P2P lending. Because of my focus it’s important to diversify in many loans and across many P2P platforms. Furthermore, it’s important to spread the risks and invest in several countries as well. I think the optimal portfolio allocation is different for everyone – it depends on how much money the person needs and if the person is willing to bear risks.

How much does your daily work and interest influence your investment strategy?
I am a very active investor. I like to analyze different investments strategies and analyze regularly to see how well investments do. It started as a hobby, but now I make regular analysis to see how good an investment was and make forecasts for future scenarios.

Do you prefer short or long term investments? Does that reflect on your personality – are you a patient or an impatient person?
Normally I prefer long-term investments. I do not like investments in which I am bound for many years without an option to exit before the term ends. If an investment is illiquid I prefer short-term. If an investment is liquid I prefer long-term. The liquidity is very important to me, because if something significant changes in the market in which I invest, I can react to the new situation. I would describe myself as a patient person and I like to have more than one option.

In your opinion, what is the best way to start investing?

Everybody should understand what they invest in and what the risks are.

I think the best is to first educate yourself about different investment types. Once you understand how it goes and what you invest in, it’s important to start with smaller amounts to get the experience. Most mistakes happen in the beginning of investments because of lack of experience. So in short – understand the investments and start small.

Share your golden rule of investing with our readers? And is there a particular book you could recommend?

My golden rule is – invest in riskier investments only the money you can afford to lose.

What fascinates you most about P2P lending?
I invest in peer-to-peer lending since 2011 on more than 10 platforms around Europe. I like the monthly cash flow and the idea behind it. Also there are normally fewer fluctuations on the return of capital compared to the stock market.

You’re 30 years today, what has been your best investment so far?

My best investment so far is my investment in Bondora.

Since I started to invest in 2013 my Internal Rate of Return is to date nearly 30% p.a. after defaults which decreases slightly because of the higher default rates. Bondora shows my annualized net return on investment at 38.83%.