Tag Archives: peer-to-peer lending

Taking risk for modest returns

As interest rates on “safe” bonds and CD’s decline, those with cash to invest may look to riskier options in order to generate significant return. M P McQueen in the WSJ identifies possibilities including cellphone towers, self-storage facilities, parking lots, and offcampus student housing.

The article notes some cases of > 100% returns, but what’s scary is the indication that an ordinary investor with reasonable luck is told to expect returns more in the range of 7% – 10%.  Does that compensate for the risk involved?  Or is everyone still counting on selling out at a profit several years down the road?

Of course another option is peer-to-peer lending, such as Lending Club or Prosper, who claim returns in the same range. There’s still plenty of risk, but a modest investor can diversify by participating in a hundred or more loans.  Liquidity is limited, but at least in the case of Lending Club loans can be bought and sold (no guarantees about the price, however).