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What P2P Lenders Can Learn From The Queen
It takes endless patience and often remarkable intelligence to do nothing. Whether you're a monarchist or not, you can still learn from the Queen, who was an absolute master of those useful skills, which you can apply in your P2P lending.
The Queen must have had hundreds or thousands of occasions over 70 years to wish that her government was making different policy decisions or implementing policies better.
We had governments nationalising, de-nationalising and re-nationalising industries, and we had those who were for or against hunting. She couldn't have agreed with all of them.
We've had self-serving policies. We've had countless lies. We had little action on climate change, which must have been hard for someone in it for the long run and not looking to survive till the next election.
Let's face it, a very large number of Prime Ministers must have driven her completely barmy, in private.
Yet, she knew what she had to do and stuck at it: she kept cool.
Her stoic non-interference was not just about respecting the task that she was born to, but it was also a practical one. If she had tried to make decisions, or influence them, it would have stirred up a vortex.
As a lender in P2P, you need to understand what your role is and stop yourself from constantly acting on your judgements of the current situation, which will surely pass.
Patient inaction follows the hard work of gaining knowledge
The Queen believed in her nation and that's why she was dedicated to it. If you don't believe in P2P lending with similar strength, you shouldn't go making loads of micro-managing decisions, but you should instead leave P2P lending to other people.
Otherwise, you need belief in P2P, and to be able to sit on your hands after you've got going. To achieve that, your role first is to keep reading and researching until you understand what you're getting into.
This is fitting, because the Queen was also a firm believer in hard work in herself and others. She was renowned for doing many hundreds of engagements per year even in her early 90s.
If you're doing it right, it means you'll keep digging until you've identified a good number of lending accounts that you firmly trust to hold your money through thick and thin. You imagine to yourself how you'd react in a major recession if lots of your loans in some of these accounts fall very late.
If you still feel that you'd be calm and confident that most of those loans will come good in the end, you're ready to go.
The benefits of inaction
This isn't just about feeling relaxed; it has practical implications. When you go round making decisions in a panic, you do silly things like sell out of high-quality lending accounts, possibly creating a loss in the process that wouldn't otherwise have happened. And you can compound that error by reversing into savings accounts, which are a terrible place to store lots of your money, as they are certain to lose value over time.
We've seen this happen. We've seen people complain about losses that they brought entirely upon themselves, precisely because they didn't have a fraction of the patience of the Queen.
Like her, you need to be a rock that outlasts downturns. The country bumps along towards progress in the long run. P2P lenders have the advantage that bumps in pure, straightforward money lending are much less pronounced and shorter term than the path a nation takes. So you don't need anything like her Majesty's patience.
So, when it looks like things are getting rough, just think of the Queen of England. Keep calm and carry on.
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