Hello! My name is Kadri and I am an investor.
That statement makes me feel pretty proud, but still feels a little unfamiliar to me.
My investment journey began in 2017 when my friend and I bought cryptocurrencies for a few hundred euros just for fun. Although the first advice I applied to myself was to buy them and leave them there for a while, it was pretty nice to watch my first investment double every week and that’s where the interest in doing more started.
I am from a completely ordinary family and I grew up living a completely ordinary Estonian life, where money was generally a taboo subject for discussion and no one told me about investing and how to grow my savings. Rather, the attitude was negative about any means of making money other than physical work. In my life, until quite recently, I have not been able to accumulate any buffers for myself, and I have rather been of the opinion that we only live once and to enjoy the moment rather than worry about the future. However, I decided that this situation must change, because if you do not take care of your own finances, nothing will change and you will have nothing to teach your children about investing because you have no experience.
That is why I decided in 2018 that I would start the new year by setting aside money to start investing. I read a few of the simplest investor advice books, the first of which was Kristi Saar’s “How to start investing”. I made it clear to myself which things I could and could not give up. This analysis left me with €100 a month, an amount I decided to increase every month. Yes, it doesn’t seem like much, and there were some months where, due to some unexpected expenses, the amount was €50 or even nothing at all. But by constantly trying, I have mostly been able to stick to an average of €100 a month. In addition, I decided to partially increase the money I invest for my children and in doing so to also diversify in order to bring down my risk levels. It is very important to me that my children know about money as early as possible and understand the basic principles. The best way to teach them is to be an example myself.
In my opinion, the most important thing is to invest in asset classes that you really understand. Therefore, to date, I have not trusted myself enough to start buying individual shares but use much simpler methods such as index funds and co-financing.
True, before I started working for EstateGuru, I didn’t know anything about crowdinvesting or crowdlending, I had heard of places like Mintos and Bondora, but I still didn’t trust myself enough to really try my hand there. Today, I know a lot more about this sphere. In essence, it is very simple – there are companies or platforms that offer a digital solution so that you, as a private investor, can invest with other similar investors in larger loans offered by different credit institutions or by the platform itself. There are, for example, unsecured personal loans, car loans, unsecured business loans and mortgage-backed business loans. I spread my portfolio across Mintos, EstateGuru and Crowdestate. Today, I feel most confident in EstateGuru’s investments, because the loans I have invested in there are secured by a mortgage. This means that if something happens to the borrower and he is unable to meet his loan obligation, EstateGuru will start selling the mortgage collateral to recoup investor funds. Regardless of the loyalty, I feel to my employer and colleagues, I can honestly say that EstateGuru’s risk team and debt process are so well structured that I don’t have to worry about my money. In addition, as the minimum investment amount is €50, it allows me to invest in a number of different loans during the year so that the risk in my portfolio is sufficiently diversified.
In addition to previous investments, this year I also made the biggest investment of my life, which was the purchase of a house. Personally, I feel that buying a house is an investment in you and your childrens’ future. So, at the moment, I am investing €100 + home loan amount every month with my husband, which makes a total of €750.
It is generally said that you have to only invest money that you are willing to lose, that is, never invest the money for your last meal. Today, I have chosen asset classes where, in general, the risk is lower and the return is still significantly higher than inflation, which reduces the money in your bank account over time. In addition, my goal is not to pursue maximum returns in the short term, but rather to let my chosen investments work peacefully and safely for me. This also allows me to tolerate the red numbers of index backgrounds quite well, as I have confidence that they will change over time. My goal at the moment is to generate a steady passive income by investing. I would be happy if this income would cover the monthly payments of a car lease in 10 years, and I would still have enough income left over to reinvest some of it. I think that would already be a pretty nice addition to my income.
In conclusion, no matter how small your investment experience or the amount you are able to invest, the most important thing is to make a start! At first, when your first returns are mere cents it may seem like a pointless event, but as the proverb says, whoever does not collect a penny does not get a pound. It is equally important not to become an investor on the basis of what the books tell you. Knowledge and skills come through personal experience. Finally, I would like to say that the value of my crypto investments is €101 today, so like most of my colleagues, I can say that my very first investment was a bit of a failure.