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How to invest intelligently during uncertain times

Allowing people to lend from person to person is how Nadeem Siam's Fund Ourselves is shaking up the fintech industry.

The Founder and CEO launched the business in 2015 – a platform that provides people access to short-term lending while also offering a new avenue for investors.

"Fund Ourselves issues thousands and thousands of micro credits to people who need it," Nadeem said. "The great thing about it is it works as a marketplace so anybody can open an account, anybody can register and anybody can start lending to other people. It’s from the people to the people."

The peer-to-peer loans aren’t merely attractive options for people in need of a fast financial loan. Nadeem explained at Sir Anthony Ritossa’s 11th Global Family Office Investment Summit in Monaco that investors can see up to 15% in returns.

"There are huge amounts of diversification and the return can average between 10–15%." – Nadeem Siam

"We have very strong relationships and partnerships with hedge funds and family offices because first of all, it’s a very predictable return you expect from consumer credit," he said. "Being micro credit, it’s small-ticket loans, but lots of them so there are huge amounts of diversification and the return can average between 10–15%.

"Family offices and investment funds in general, they see it as a very good opportunity or investment product or asset class to add to their portfolios. That asset class, even though it can be one investment, that one investment will have thousands and thousands of underlying investments so it’s a huge diversification."

As the uncertainty surrounding the global pandemic continues, it can be challenging to decide where next to invest.

The Fund Ourselves CEO believes family offices and investors should ride the roller-coaster.

"If, before the pandemic, we had inflation or a bubble going on, then that bubble is even bigger now," Nadeem said. "We would expect there will be a correction at some point.

"For investors, it’s not a bad thing. It can be a good thing if you’re ready and you know what you’re doing and waiting for the right opportunity, but people have to be ready for it – ready with liquidity, ready with diversification again.

"If you put all your investments in the US market in oil and gas, you have a problem. Not just as an asset class, but investors need to diversify across asset classes, across sectors and geographically.

"You cannot put everything in the US or everything in the Middle East or Asia – diversify as much as possible."

While the world is still feeling the effects of COVID-19, the executive suggests savvy investors should be prepared, have liquidity ready for the right opportunity and invest in predictable returns.

"There will be winners and there will be losers," Nadeem said. "The roller-coaster will be interesting – be prepared."

Film by Olivier Ronot
Photos by Cyril Bailleul
Interview by Vanessa Eriksson

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