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Which P2P Lending Companies Have Good Character?
P2P lending companies are run by people, so lenders rely on them for getting satisfactory lending results. Their character is always going to be of interest, especially in terms of personality traits that can increase or decrease the risks to you.
By “good character”, I'm not talking here about their professionalism, or their skills, training or experience in assessing borrowers. I'm talking more about relevant softer qualities.
To give you a few examples, there's integrity, considerateness, empathy and honesty.
Integrity is obvious. Anyone who acts with strong moral principles is someone you want on your team. When combined with professionalism, experience and resourcefulness, there's really not much more you could ask for.
Considerateness affects the level of service you get, as it means they'll be thinking in advance about how something might impact you. This can translate, for example, into effort to keep you informed in a timely manner about key events, such as problems a borrower is having and what efforts they are taking to help get the loan back on track.
Empathy – which is perhaps a cousin once removed from considerateness – can be useful as it means they can more easily feel your pain. Everything else being equal, they're less likely to cause you pain and more likely to try harder to prevent it, even, perhaps, at personal cost to themselves.
Honesty is a funny one, as it can come with or without integrity, considerateness or empathy. People can be simply straight talking, or they can be deeply honest for many different reasons.
There's also distinguishing between complete honesty – divulging relevant facts that weren't asked for – and even reckless honesty. For some people, honest intentions can disappear in a flash during an emergency, as self-preservation instincts cut in. It's a surprisingly complex and interesting character trait.
Check out the companion piece to this, also published today: How Important Is Character When Assessing P2P Lending Providers?
Two good traits from two P2P lending companies
There are many providers that surely have great character, so by excluded them from this shortlist of just two, below, I'm not damning them or slighting them.
It's just that being able to assess specific, relevant, softer personality traits to the point where I can say “I'm confident about this, and I'm not being deceived or reading the signs incorrectly” requires what's called “good targets”.
Like lots of words in the field of psychology, “target” appears like an aggressive or insulting word, but it's not meant in that way at all. It just means people in whom you can accurately read some useful personality traits. (I'm also a good target and I don't think that's a bad thing or a weakness.)
In short, some people – quite a lot of people – are just not good targets when assessing a lot of their relevant character traits through personal contact.
For those people – as well as for the good targets – there are many other non-contact ways to pick up clues as to how they might behave in different circumstances, and how that might impact lenders and your results. (We use those methods all the time too, but they're not the subject today.)
Without further ado, here are two providers and two traits:
Assetz Exchange: honesty
The stand-out trait that I most confidently picked up from a key person on the Assetz Exchange team is honesty. A colleague called it pedantic accuracy and attention to detail, which is certainly part of the story. But it comes down to the fact that, what we're told, we can expect to be the truth.
Having someone at the top who you're especially confident is not going to outright lie to you and who will answer with precision is useful.
It isn't reckless honesty though and the entire top team at Assetz Exchange does constantly sell its business.
Salesmanship is to be expected from just about any exec-level officer, just like I do myself, but it does muddy the waters in terms of reading people and getting to the pertinent facts. That's why we take nothing for granted and still research more deeply.
It's easy to assume that, because one or more of the key people answers questions accurately and honestly, it means that its entire website and all the people involved are the same. That may or may not be the case with Assetz Exchange; I can't possibly answer that for you.
What I can tell you though is that I've seen at least one minor, unimportant error on its website that the honest exec would nevertheless not have allowed, if it was his watch.
The error turned out to be an irrelvant detail in terms of assessing Assetz Exchange. But for lenders it's a possibly useful reminder of the relatively small place that an assessment of one individual character's traits should influence an overall assessment, even if that person is a key person.
Assetz Exchange is unfortunately sullied in the minds of many lenders by its weak link to Assetz Capital, which many lenders feel disappointed with because of how it's going about exiting P2P lending. The actual key people at both companies have very different broader personalities, as I mentioned a few weeks ago in one section of Is Assetz Exchange Going To Go Like Assetz Capital?
Previously, I've written “CapitalStackers' team is loaded with development experience, pragmatism, excellent skill with numbers, resourcefulness and integrity.”
There's a lot of weight resting on those last four syllables.
Integrity ensures that CapitalStackers balances everyone's needs in a way that makes it likely it won't attempt to grow so fast it causes issues for lenders. It makes it unlikely they will hit you with any sudden shocks.
Since they're also professional, I expect they'll make sound business decisions. It's their integrity that ensures they'll do so while keeping you informed of their decisions, consulting with you and being ethical.
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