Tobias Gillen: “This is how my first 5 years of P2P loans went”

Bondora

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest blogger and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Bondora.

Hi, my name is Tobias. I am the founder and managing director of two German media companies. This includes the online magazine Finanzentdecker.de, which specializes in finance and investment.

Our friends at Bondora asked me to write about whether and how I invest in P2P loans and my goals. I am delighted to accept the invitation and hope to offer added value to other investors.

I invest in something that I am confident in, keep it for a long time and only check a few times a year whether everything is still running according to my vision.
I invest in something that I am confident in, keep it for a long time and only check a few times a year whether everything is still running according to my vision.

My first P2P investments five years ago (2017)

My P2P story begins in 2017 with the discovery of Bondora. At the time, I was busy doing a lot of research in this asset class and wanted to find out if Bondora would be a good way to diversify my portfolio.

Since I am generally convinced that I should try things out to understand them fully, the decision was made quickly, and I opened my account. The same applies to two other platforms that I invested with to moderate the risk.

Buy and Hold and Check – also with P2P loans

My investments are always exclusively long-term. I don’t gamble with money, I don’t speculate, and I stay away from short-term trading (even if I’m fascinated by traders who are successful with it). My investment horizon spans several decades.

Conversely, this means that I do not react to short-term market fluctuations. Most of the time, I don’t even notice them because I rarely check courses and performance. I follow the ‘buy and hold and check’ approach here. I invest in something that I am confident in, keep it for a long time and only check a few times a year whether everything is still running according to my vision.

Tobias Gillen
Tobias Gillen

From Portfolio Manager to Go & Grow

I do this as well with P2P lending on Bondora and the two other platforms. At first, I invested in individual loans at Bondora (through Portfolio Manager and Portfolio Pro). This yielded good returns but became too complex for me over time. With the introduction of Go & Grow, I switched off the Auto Investor and let all returns (repayments and returns) flow into Go & Grow automatically.

Since then, this has brought me a 1/365 of 6.75% return per annum every day. I haven’t seen a day when the return would have been lower, even though Bondora insists that this could theoretically happen. This is not a substitute for a current account or money that you use daily – but as part of a mix to a diversified investment, it’s been a great return.

Bondora’s reaction to the Corona pandemic

Bondora was heavily attacked in the spring of 2020 for its short-term changes in payouts and, later on, the cap on a maximum amount of monthly payments to Go & Grow. I do not share these feelings, even though I understand that they have annoyed many investors.

Bondora has analyzed the situation and taken sensible, clearly comprehensible steps to solve or, at least, stabilize the problems caused by the pandemic. That, in turn, is exactly what I expect from a responsible platform. Better to bite the bullet in the short term than to falter over the long term.

P2P loans as an addition to the portfolio

My experience with the other two P2P platforms is mixed. One of them I’m as pleased with as I am with Bondora. With the other one, I haven’t lost any money, but here I don’t exactly see what I liked so much about Bondora in the spring of 2020. That’s why I’ve been gradually withdrawing money there for a few months and distributing it to Bondora and the other platform.

P2P loans account for less than 10 percent of my portfolio. I’m quite comfortable with this, as it limits the risk, but at the same time, I have invested enough money to benefit from the high returns.

Conclusion: Many highs and a few lows

My first five years with P2P lending weren’t all bright; there were ups and downs. As it stands now, the bottom line is that I don’t want to miss these possibilities. Nevertheless, once again, it should be emphasized that one should be well informed to be aware of all the risks and opportunities.

I hope this article gave you a good impression of my journey into the world of P2P lending. For more articles on the subject, I recommend the category “P2P loans” on Finanzverdecker.de