Mastermind.fm is where we interview high-achievers from all walks of life and learn about what they do and how they do it.
The show currently has a strong slant towards Fintech and investment asset class exploration. We have an international audience but focus especially on European investors.
Episode 131 – Sharia-Compliant Lending with Qardus
In this episode, we interview Hassan Daher from Qardus.
Qardus is a sharia-compliant lender to small and medium-sized enterprises to help with their cashflow needs.
They provide short-term halal business loans, or halal business investments.
As an investor, you provide the capital to lend to the business, and get paid as the business pays that money back.
The kinds of businesses Qardus go for are well-established, strong-revenue companies, typically in stable markets such as the medical or pharmaceutical industry. There is an emphasis on the people behind the businesses as well, so they focus on high net worth owners to minimise risk. For a company to be accepted on Qardus, it must have at least 3 years of good performance, being profitable in at least 2 of those 3 years. It is thus not an ideal platform for new and speculative projects.
We enjoyed talking to Hassan about the nitty-gritty of Islamic finance and how Qardus can be a diversification piece in any investor's portfolio.
Check out Jean's full review of Qardus over on his blog if you want to read more about this platform.
Episode 130 – High Yield Lending with Frank Steffen from Lendary
In this episode, Joe and Jean meet Frank Steffen, the CEO and co-founder of Lendary.net.
We discuss the Lendary platform, which consists of a system to optimize the yield on lending to traders on the Bitfinex platform. We go into the nitty-gritty of how this type of high yield lending works, including the risks involved. I liken their system to that of a crypto trading bot, but applied to lending instead. You can choose from various strategies that have different risk/reward numbers.
Results over the past year have been pretty spectacular, and this could be a very interesting way for people to get exposure to the crypto space without actually trading cryptos themselves.
I think that people who are used to P2P lending, in particular, will find this platform interesting, as the returns are even higher than those found on P2P lending, while the risks are arguably less, since loans are typically over-collateralized.
Episode 129 – Business and Life in Malta and Cyprus with Johannes Larsson
In this episode, I speak to Johannes Larsson, a Swedish entrepreneur who I met for the first time in Malta around a decade ago.
He began his entrepreneurial journey at quite a young age and moved from his native Sweden to Malta to be around other entrepreneurs and have a better lifestyle. Eventually, he moved to Cyprus, another Southern European country that is similar to Malta but also offers some interesting tax advantages, which we talk about it in the show.
We talk about the divided between northern and southern European culture and why high taxation does not always equal better public services. On the other hand, southern Europe has a more laidback lifestyle that usually leads to more bureaucracy and delays, and we talk about how one can adapt to this different way of living and thinking.
It was great to catch up with Johannes and I think he is a great inspiration for Millenials and younger kids who dream of having their own business and being location independent.
* Blog of Johannes
Episode 128 – Latvian Property Investments with Bulkestate
In today's interview, we take a look at another real estate investment platform from the Baltics: Bulkestate. Joe and Jean chat with founder Igor Puntuss about the reasons for starting this platform and how investments work.
We delve into the case for investing in Latvia as well as Bulkestate's unique group buying feature, where investors can buy apartments instead of just invest in crowdfunding campaigns.
* Jean's Bulkestate review
* Bulkestate website
Episode 127 – Real Estate Investments with Crowdestate
Real estate is one of the most popular types of investment worldwide, and is deemed a secure long-term investment. In today's episode, we learn how Estonian platform Crowdestate is making this asset class accessible to the smaller investor, and the challenges they have faced over the years. We speak with CEO And founder Loit Linnupold, who I feel is one of the few honest characters in this "wild west" space of online investment platforms.
He doesn't hold back on sharing his experience on how things started off and how much investment he needed to make in order to build this platform. He also shares what mistakes they made over the years, including that of diversifying into working capital loans, which are notoriously hard to manage and assess reliably.
As an investor, I too have suffered from this misstep, as I have a few non-performing working capital loans, however, overall I am still making a profit, and on a long-term perspective things are looking good. If you're looking for a real estate platform where you can invest across several geographical areas as well as different risk levels, Crowdestate should be one of your first choices.
As I always say, one of the most important steps in conducting your due diligence is to get to know the people behind a platform, and I hope that this episode will help you to get to know the founder Loit in a better way, then make your own decision on whether you want to invest.
* Crowdestate review
Episode 126 – Investing in Gold with Voima Gold
In today's interview, we talk to Jan Nieuwenhuijs from Voima. Jan has been a very vocal researcher in the gold space for many years.
We take different angles on the gold topic and discuss the main reasons for holding hold and the different ways you can do it.
One of my biggest takeaways from this episode is that gold is not an investment per-se, but a protection against the loss in value of conventional assets like fiat currencies. To put a simple example, if you have saved €25,000 now and that's what a new car costs at the moment, you need to know that in 10 years' time that same money will not be able to buy you a new car, as it would cost €35,000 or more then. This means that your fiat currency has been devalued through the effects of inflation.
On the other hand, if you convert that €25,000 to gold, you have a good chance that in 10 years' time if you take the gold and convert it back to currency, the car will have an equivalent cost in ounces of gold, which means that you have been able to store your value successfully.
* Voima Gold
* Jan on Twitter
* Jean's article on gold investing
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