A short update on my p2p lending portfolio – March 2020

March has been one of the most interesting months so far in p2p lending. As the coronavirus crisis starts to show its effects in the crowdlending space, both platforms and investors are trying to adapt.

Stock markets floored, the EU countries imposed travel restrictions and entire industry sectors shutdowns, and p2p lending investors also started to panic. And now, for good reasons. With investors withdrawing funds, the European platforms reacted with different speeds but following the same pattern:

  • Step 1: Everything’s fine, we don’t have any problems, don’t panic
  • Step 2: We’ve increased interest rates by 1% – 2% (or even more), just please don’t withdraw funds anymore
  • Step 3: Yes, it’s likely we’ll have problems, it’s time to take some actual measures and talk about them

I started to keep track of how p2p platforms react to the Covid-19 crisis here.

How’s my portfolio doing

My month started as usual, and I deposited some funds on Mintos, Neo Finance, EstateGuru, Investly, Debitum Network. I’ve also increased my impact investments fund with around 150 EUR.

Then, as the crisis progressed, I realized I would get better returns from the stock market than investing in 12% – 15% loans. Admittedly, with a higher risk involved, but I do love risk. So, I withdrew around 1200 EUR from Fast Invest, TFG Crowd, Monethera, Crowdestor, PeerBerry.

Extra points go to TFG Crowd. I made 2 withdrawals into my account, and both executed in about an hour, even if I did that late in the evening. It’s nice to work with modern banking systems.

At the end of the month, the difference between deposits and withdrawals was -250 EUR.

With 245 EUR in earnings, my p2p lending portfolio stagnated this month.

The biggest concerns this month was Monethera, which announced it will suspend activities as borrowers can’t be forced to pay their debts for now due to coronavirus. The newsletter was abrupt, and with no actual plans for the future. Their tone sounded something like “see you on the other side of the coronavirus crisis; we’ll go to sleep now”.

Platform Value (EUR) Profit Annual return
Mintos 4130 (+336) 736 (+36) 13.26%
EstateGuru 2771 (+112) 240 (+12) 10.94%
Fast Invest 2351 (-371) 791 (+29) 13.96%
Grupeer 2135 (+17) 255 (+17) 13.54%
Neo Finance 1606 (+214) 36 (+14) 2.83%
Viventor 1582 (+18) 179 (+18) 13.52%
Wisefund 1525 (+14) 125 (+14) 19.68%
Monethera 1407 (-199) 127 (+21) 15.69%
TFG Crowd 1212 (-501) 223 (+39) 19.27%
Crowdestate 1060 (+2) 106 (+2) 9.73%
Crowdestor 1051 (-34) 121 (+2) 15.28%
Flender 959 (+44) 45 (+7) 8.38%
Investly 736 (+118) 36 (+18) 10.42%
Debitum Network 631 (+104) 31 (+4) 10.03%
PeerBerry 574 (-35) 197 (+6) 12.36%
Bondster 421 (+3) 21 (+3) 12.4%
Bulkestate 303 (+1) 16 (+1) 8%
Impact Investments Fund 1058 (+152) 36 (+2) ??
Exited 0 -1224
Total 25512(-5) 2097(+245) 8.92%

Short-term plans

I might be making a stupid mistake by getting more involved in the stock market now, when it’s so volatile, and the possibility of a recession/depression is so high. But the temptation is also high, so I can’t stay away from it. It’s a good thing I don’t have large funds at hand, as this might limit my losses in case the stock market really bottoms.

I’m not planning to add more funds to my p2p lending portfolio in the following 3 months. I still need to cover my debts on my Degiro account (around 3000 EUR) and I also plan to buy more. I’ve covered part of the debt last month from my paycheck plus my vacation fund, which I liquidated (I’m sorry, Iban Wallet) since there are slim chances I’ll take a vacation anywhere in the near future

I’m also planning to add more funds to my corporate bonds account on WiseAlpha. There are lots of bonds on sale right now, based on the panic caused by the coronavirus crisis.

What happens to my p2p lending portfolio

The expected earnings of my p2p portfolio for the next month would be a lot lower than up until now:

  • Crowdestor, Grupeer, Monethera, Crowdestate – they all froze payments in a way or another
  • Neo Finance might freeze payments on borrower request; the same goes for all other consumer lending platforms
  • EstateGuru will definitely encounter delays with their payments

A couple of months ago I started withdrawing funds from some of the platforms I’m invested in, with the end goal of reducing the number of them. I played around for enough time, it’s about time to let my portfolio run by itself. (talk about bad timing)

In order to do so, I’m planning to end my investments on Bulkestate, Bondster, PeerBerry, Crowdestor, Fast Invest. Bulkestate because it doesn’t offer enough diversity, Fast Invest, PeerBerry and Bondster because they don’t provide any additional diversity to Mintos, and Crowdestor because their loans never seem to get better, and they’re too high risk for me at the moment.

Monethera and Grupeer are on pause right now, although I wasn’t ready to exit these platforms yet. Monethera suspended their activities, while Grupeer just announced they won’t pay any interest for many months to come (indefinite term).

I’ll slowly reduce even more my exposure on Wisefund and TFG Crowd. In the current economic context, their loans are some of the riskiest in my portfolio.

I’m still undecided on Crowdestate. My Crowdestate returns are a lot lower than what I was expecting, but I do like the platform.

Viventor, Flender and Debitum Network. I don’t plan to withdraw any funds from them, but any new funds I’m adding to them would be minimal. I’m sure I’ll keep Flender in my portfolio for the long run, and I need a bit more time with the other 2 to decide.

I’ll continue to add funds in my impact investments fund, although at a slower pace.

I’ll keep adding funds to Mintos, EstateGuru, Neo Finance and Investly. Not new funds, but the ones withdrawn from the other platforms. I like how they reacted to the current crisis, and they’re stable enough to withstand this year’s problems. Neo Finance takes first prize, with a well-defined plan, but I have trust in the others 3 as well.

On Mintos, I’m only planning to invest in secondary market loans in April. Mintos has around 2 million loans on the secondary market with great discounts. It’s an offer I can’t refuse.

What are your plans?