Alternative Lending Summit 2017 – Post Conference Reactions

Earlier this week, I had an opportunity to speak on a panel at the Alternative Lending Summit in Miami Beach to discuss the future of alternative lending. The conference had an amazing turn out and I was inspired to see how many people traveled from across the globe to attend this event. It’s a true testament to YieldStreet’s belief that investors are seeking greater yield and that they are looking for creative ways to invest. Alternative investments have been on the rise over the past couple of decades, and we are in an especially exciting time in the industry as the pace at which innovation is created continues to make an impact on the financial services market. Watching the growth rate of a lot of the companies in our sector shows that there is a need for innovation and that acceptance for innovation keeps apace. This year, there was a common thread across conference attendees, from traditional Wall Streeters to Millennial investors, that we’re on a cusp where finance is moving to a more digital space. Yet, questions remain. How fast is our industry advancing? Marketplace lending clearly has a strategy, but when will we actually reach a point of maturity? And, although investors continue to learn and try to give due diligence and stress test products, a level of uncertainty on how investments will perform through the next credit cycle persists. Finally, we’re still some time away from being able to truly democratize investing for non-accredited investors to allow more people access to these types of investment products. As YieldStreet continues to help our users financial independence, I wish there was more discussion around the subject of where that trend is going and how long it will take to get there. I was able to talk about the exciting developments in the industry and it was interesting to listen to other thought leaders’ ideas on the present and the future of specialty financing. In particular, Ron Suber, President at Prosper Marketplace, discussed how companies are working with the government create a separate regulatory body and framework specific to the fintech industry. Instead of being tied to old and partially non-relevant regulations, the bigger players in fintech are working hand in hand with the SEC and other regulatory bodies to identify a fintech process. Overall it is very encouraging how the 2012 JOBS Act has opened up new avenues for marketplace lenders and investors alike.   Having the chance to participate in a well-focused and finely conceived conference was a great opportunity for YieldStreet to network with some of the leaders in the alternative investment and specialty financing industry. I’m excited for what 2017 lays ahead for YieldStreet and the industry in general.
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