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.