Last month I went to Riga in 🇱🇻 Latvia, to attend the first Peer to Peer lending conference event in the Baltic.
It was a two days conference where I was able to mix duty and fun.
Yes! And here I tell you all I found out there!
Unmissable reading if:
- You don’t have a girlfriend and today is raining
- You invest or want to invest in P2P lending
Are you short of time to read?
Scroll down, go straight to the juice ⤵️
What is Duty and Fun for RevenueLand?
Here I explain how I was able to mix duty and fun at the P2P conference in Riga.
“Duty”: I wanted to talk to as many P2P platforms representatives as possible. I wanted to get first-hand information to share on my newsletter and this website.
Obviously, I was there also for me, as an investor.
My intent was asking some intrusive questions, get them tired trying to extort information and confessions.
Most of them were smart and resilient, I was impressed.
Just to give you an idea of how boring I can be, some typical questions would be: “what is the difference between you and…” or “who can I talk to in your staff that can confirm the things you just said to me?”, or “what is your background?”, or “how do you recruit people”, “have you developed your platform or you depend from someone outside of the company?”, “do you invest in your own projects? Which projects exactly and why?” and so on… until they faint or ask to go to the toilet.
So yes, I had a double interest. Mine and yours.
How could this be fun?
“Fun”: There is nothing better than being with like-minded people in a nice environment, talking about investment strategies and freshly announced groundbreaking P2P news.It was not my first time in Latvia but I always get surprised by the authenticity of the people, the loveliness of the women and by the midnight sun (in the right season). Click To Tweet
I found a nice apartment walking distance from the conference venue and on the departure day I found out there were more P2P investors in the same building!
Who was there [..and why should you care]?
As I said the audience was made up of P2P platforms, retail and no-so-retail investors, plus experts mainly from the Baltic States and Germany.
At least 400 people I would say, all in a nice mood.
Of course, it is a nice season for Peer to peer lending. Investors are happy because of the new opportunity offered by P2P investing and platforms are enthusiast for the success of the business.
The Lendy crash happened the previous week in the UK had gone pretty unnoticed, since it did not come as a surprise for most of us.
I would like to make it clear that I am absolutely independent, so I do not depend on any of the platforms in question.
I don’t have to be nice with any of them.
Attending the P2P conference I realized that many people follow and trust what I write, mostly because they appreciate my bluntness and my unforgivable grammatical mistakes.
This brings responsibility toward my readers but also toward new platforms that are newborn and often run by amazing people. That’s why I will avoid reviewing the newest arrivals until I will have a trackback to analyze and they get some critical mass to make an impact.
I don’t consider myself an expert but rather someone that is in love with discovering new investing opportunities.
I am becoming a P2P NERD because fin-tech is an unmissable opportunity for me now.
The conference was last month but only now I found some time to write about it.
Laziness plus a good reason:
This month I was busy writing the most comprehensive Mintos analysis ever made.
It takes time to write something like that, so it’s time for you to check it out since it is freshly baked and full of data (rather than opinions).
Why people went there?
Because there were a fantastic barbecue and water sports…
No, I’m kidding!
Most retail investors went there to have the chance to meet and talk personally with representatives of the platforms where they invest (..a lot) but also with bloggers from whom they find inspiration.
I have a fair slice of my capital invested in P2P loans and obviously, I took the opportunity to ask comfortable and uncomfortable questions in these two intense days.
P2P lending is potentially risky and I need to be sure these “fin-tech” people know what they do. I studied their work profiles in the weeks before the conference and this helped me a lot to optimize my time.
In truth, most of the personnel at the booth were competent and available to share fresh data with me as a “personal finance blogger“.
The conference started with a presentation, some Q&A, later on, I had time to visit the exhibition platforms at their stand.
A funny moment?
Well, I am not new to these things. Read what happened.
I was standing listening to a speaker and I naturally started to talk to a classy woman beside me. After some talking, I expressed (lucky me) appreciation for the effectiveness of the words of a Grupeer representative that was on stage a few hours before.
I smiled …puzzled.
She eventually confessed she was Alla Kisika, Chief executive officer and co-founder at Grupeer.
It was definitely a nice chat and I took the chance to investigate more on Grupeer and also ask a ton of questions on her business and her team.
The question-time / interview is ready to be shared now and I will publish it very soon. I believe it can bring value to investors planning to invest with Grupeer P2P.
Why would you be interested in what I’m writing today?
Because the world is changing, there are no longer only stock markets and bonds (with negative returns), so it is necessary to keep up with the times.
I try to be open and follow the trends when these have solid bases and improve people life.
What was the climax of the event?
Mintos, the largest P2P in Europe, has announced four HUGE news:
- The new automation called Mintos “Invest and Access”
- The next coming “Mintos APP”
- The preparations for providing investors with an IBAN
- The launch of a Mintos debit card
A super short-summary of the Mintos “Invest and access” features:
- Money invested but always available for withdrawal
- Interest rate of about 12%
- Ease of use
The only setup needed is: the portfolio limit.
It can be ideal for those who want a totally “hands-off investment” with no (Mintos) cash drag.
What’s going to happen?
Mintos wants to provide us with a European electronic bank account where the money that sleeps on our balance is simultaneously invested at 12% (but also available).
Yes, money invested at 12% but available.
I would have laughed to listen to something like this some years ago.
BTW, I stay sceptical on some aspects and I will write about it soon.
Here is a (rather boring) video of the conference.
To be honest, it was much more fun than this, but nobody uploaded anything cool in English so far.
I was too lazy and short of time to record my videos.
Maybe this from Grupeer is a bit more entertaining:
And this is the nicest:
For everyone all peers & peeps who missed it and for those wanting to look back on their favourite moments — here is the official highlights video from P2P Conference 2019, the largest P2P Lending, Crowdfunding and Alternative finance event in Europe!We are incredibly thankful for all of the support we received from the industry, without you all it won't be possible and we look forward to seeing you again at our next event and fantastic days. Stay tuned!Special thanks to Europe's Biggest Market leader Mintos and new Realestate rockstar BulkestateBig thanks to: VIAINVEST Grupeer ViventorEstateGuru DoFinance ReInvest24 Lars Wrobbel
Posted by P2Pconference on Thursday, 27 June 2019
Mintos “Invest and Access” announcement summary
Everything becomes automatic.
No filters, no settings.
The chance to withdraw money while it is invested (almost) instantly is absolutely interesting.
However, I believe that the money invested should stay there, to avoid temptations.The sense of safety of money always available can be misunderstood. Click To Tweet
Invest and access is made of P2P loans, so the risks, big or small, are the same as before.
Conference sentiment, day 2 and wrap-up
In general, the crowd of investors was optimistic about the future of P2P investing and we all exchanged experiences, opinions and advice on strategies, platform selection and some risk assessment.
Everybody agrees that the wise thing is to allocate only a small part of our total assets in P2P lending.
P2P is a rapidly expanding market.
On the second day, the conference continued on a lake a few miles away from Riga. There was the chance to try water sports but I was too attracted by the cold beers and from the barbecue. The focus of the talks was always P2P lending and investment strategies.
I enjoyed asking my questions to founders and managers of the major and the smaller European platforms.
The feeling is good, they seem to know what they do, but this doesn’t mean P2P is 100% safe anyway.
I now have a huge quantity of information about reliability and profitability of the main P2P platforms. I will share it with you in the near future and updates will follow.
Who were the sponsors of the event?
Yes! We want to know who payed for the party! Here is a list:
Are P2P Lending NERDS human?Hard to believe but other P2P NERDS were pleasant and it was cool to share struggles, solutions and challenges. Click To Tweet
Other P2P Lending bloggers are real because ..I saw them! They are not made of silicon, semiconductors and P2P bits.
We share the passion for cold beers, pork chops and investing (in this order..I guess).
Who did I like the most?
I’ve had some productive talks with almost everyone, but the most relevant were without a doubt with:
- Grupeer 14% (loans secured by real estate and p2p loans)
- Estateguru 12% (loans secured by real estate)
- Bondora 11/17% (high yield p2p loans)
- Crowdestate 18% (loans secured by real estate)
- Mintos 12% (loans marketplace)
I will talk again about Mintos “Invest and Access” very soon with a data-driven comparison with its “greatest rival”, the Bondora “Go & Grow”.
For those who do not know Bondora, their Go & Grow is a product (in 24 languages) that allows having the money invested always available with a maximum return of 6.75%.
You can even make a sort of Dollar-cost averaging (DCA plan) with Go & Grow that encourages savings. More or less the same can be achieved with Mintos Invest & access.
Even if the Mintos invest & access is great, I always find a balance diversifying my loans across more platforms.