Asked on 06 Nov 2019
Peer to peer lending offers high returns and there are low default rates according to the statistics from Funding Society. The default rates vary from 1-2.5% and returns are 10% and above. Additionally, the only fee is 18% on interest earned.
Is it a safe and good investment? What are your thoughts and advice on this?
I think P2P lending is a viable asset class (unlike ... say... cryptocurrencies) and with a wide spread of different counterparties/loans it should be able to generate reasonable returns relative to risk profile.
That being said, one drawback that I see that makes it not a "good" investment is the amount of work to generate the return.
For a managed fund, you have professionals looking after stock selection and the returns come without much more work.
For P2P, it isn't so easy and there is a lot of work in deciding which risk tier of counterparty to be supporting, spreading out all risk so that you have law of averages on your side so that the 1-2.5% default rate is realised. It isn't a put-money-in-and-forget type of thing.
Something to note - for more developed markets, a lot of the capacity for the P2P side is coming from hedge funds/institutional investors where they have professional analysts reviewing the loan experience and choosing where to place funds. They make it work coz the much higher amounts investment amounts can support the overheads. For regular folks, its much harder to tradeoff on time-spent and return generated.