Happy New Year! I wish you all an amazing 2020 full of achievements.
Before we begin. A short retrospective of 2019
2019 has been kind with my crowdlending portfolio. At the start of the year, my portfolio was worth 16000 EUR, and it reached 25000 EUR at the end of December. Around 2500 EUR of my portfolio increase came from interest payments, while the rest of it came from new deposits.
I’ve tested around 30 p2p lending platforms and even though I need to ramp down a bit and remove some of the platforms, my appetite for testing new opportunities is still big. I was invested in 13 crowdlending platforms in January, end finished December with 22. Meanwhile, I’ve dropped out of 7 platforms, while I also circled a few ones where I didn’t invest anything either because they were too bad, or they didn’t add any new value to my portfolio.
It’s been a great year and I’ve learned a lot about how the European crowdlending industry works, what are the risks, and how safe is my investments. I hope 2020 will be as great as the past year.
End of year status of my crowdlending portfolio
|Platform||Current value||Profit||Interest Rate/Annual return||Started Investing|
|Fast Invest||4147 (-501)||687 (+49)||12.81% / 14.06%||August 2018|
|Mintos||2240 (+25)||646 (+25)||11.9% / 12.93%||June 2018|
|EstateGuru||2095 (+152)||193 (+13)||11.23% / 10.13%||August 2018|
|Grupeer||2073 (+251)||193 (+21)||13.12% / 13.54%||December 2018|
|TFG Crowd||1995 (+363)||116 (+27)||17.33% / 17.31%||May 2019|
|Monethera||1460 (+119)||60 (+19)||18.43% / 18.68%||June 2019|
|Wisefund||1368 (+24)||68 (+24)||17.84% / 22.7%||August 2019|
|Viventor||1229 (+13)||126 (+13)||13.96% / 14.5%||December 2018|
|Envestio||1082 (+51)||172 (+14)||16.73% / 19.45%||November 2018|
|Crowdestor||1060 (+67)||94 (+11)||16.25% / 15.9%||December 2018|
|NEO Finance||974 (+10)||4 (+10)||14.18% / 0.05%||November 2018|
|Crowdestate||950 (-1)||95 (+28)||13.16% / 10.36%||December 2018|
|Flender||789 (+85)||26 (+5)||8.63% / 8.07%||May 2019|
|Peerberry||662 (-9)||178 (+7)||12.55% / 12.03%||December 2018|
|Debitum Network||519 (+104)||19 (+4)||9.71% / 10%||April 2019|
|Investly||511 (+204)||11 (+4)||11.23% / 11.24%||July 2019|
|Bondster||410 (+104)||10 (+4)||12.99% / 9.94%||May 2019|
|Kuetzal||404 (-10)||44 (+6)||19.12% / 18.69%||May 2019|
|Bulkestate||402 (+100)||12 (+2)||12.84% / 8%||December 2018|
|Impact Investments Fund||652 (+101)||28 (+1)||7.22% / 0%||January 2019|
|Total||25023(+1324)||2828(+287)||13.75% / 13.75%|
My portfolio reached the nice round amount of 25000 EUR in December. I wasn’t feeling shy with new deposits, so I added 1037 EUR more into my portfolio. It feels good to have a monthly paycheck.
My new deposits went mainly to EstateGuru, Grupeer, TFG Crowd, Monethera and Investly. I’ve also moved around some of my Fast Invest funds and put them into Bondster, Debitum Network, Crowdestor, Bulkestate and Trine.
Consumer lending platforms
While returns are great, the size of my Fast Invest portfolio is a bit too large compared to the other platforms in my portfolio. So I’ve decided to move around 1000 – 2000 EUR from my account to other platforms. I’m in no hurry, so I’ll slowly remove them as the loans I’ve invested in mature. So far, in December I’ve withdrawn 550 EUR.
Mintos interest rates increased again in December, so it’s time to add more funds to my account. The number of available loans on the primary market also increased to almost 300.000, so it seems they really need new funds to cover for all these new loans.
Mintos added last month a new payment status named “pending payment” – on loans where the borrower has sent the payment but it hasn’t reached yet investors accounts. It’s a good idea and improves transparency for investors. However, the initial investors’ response hasn’t been great, as it also seems like a way to extend the “Grace Period” on loans and pay investors less. It also didn’t help that Mintos had again problems on their website after introducing this new status, with portfolio overview all messed up and showing weird values on investor returns.
On the bright side, Mintos keep growing, and last month added a few new loan originators to the platform: 2 payday lenders from Russia I’m not too interested in and a Romanian loan originator, Mikro Kapital, specialized in agricultural business loans. I’m mainly interested in Mikro Kapital as it’s rated A, and it offers business loans with a buyback guarantee at a 12% interest rate. And they’re also offering similar loans on Debitum Network, with 8% – 10% interest rates.
The Mintos team is also working on a mobile app, although they seem to be a bit late in the game. Spending efforts on a mobile app in 2020 looks like money thrown out the window.
My Viventor monthly return is 14.5%, making it the best performing consumer lending platform in my portfolio. I’m planning to add a few more funds to my account in January.
My Neo Finance account finally reached positive returns. After a year of investing, the interest payments managed to cover for the provision fund fees. Admittedly, half of my current portfolio is not invested in loans with a provision fee. I’m invested in A-rated loans, with around 3% chance of default. In case of default, I can sell them back to Neo Finance for 70-80% of their value, or wait until they manage to recover all funds.
On a different (funny) note, Neo Finance managed to get a 4500 EUR fine for doing TV and Facebook commercials with information that was not clear enough. I see the bright side of this, as now I know they do TV commercials to attract new borrowers. I also think they’re a good alternative for borrowers compared to payday lenders.
Peerberry also started to offer business loans on their platform from GoFingo. It’s interesting to see how Peerberry evolved from payday loans to long-term consumer loans to business loans in a span of 2 years.
I’m still not adding more funds to Peerberry, and my 600 EUR portfolio currently generates around 12% annual returns.
I’ve added 100 EUR to my Bondster account, as I need more funds invested here to see the true potential of the platform.
Bondster managed to add 500 more investors in December, although they need to diversify a bit more their loan offer in order to be able to grow more.
Business lending platforms
I’ve added 300 EUR to my Grupeer portfolio in December, and my account finally passed 2000 EUR. My current annual return is 13.54%, a return I’m happy with.
I’ve added around 300 EUR to my TFG Crowd portfolio, while I also received a bonus from people that registered using my referral link (thanks!). I’ve included the referral bonuses as deposits, as I don’t want to skew my actual investment returns.
My annual return is 17.31%, making TFG Crowd reach top 5 in the most profitable p2p lending platforms I’m invested in.
Monethera does a lot to improve its transparency. In the past month, it finally started to display on the platform the loan contract linked to each investment.
It also found a partner for their buyback guarantee, a Hong Kong company named Richly Pacific International limited. It also wrote a decent post on why SMEs are borrowing money with an 18% interest rate.
Monethera tried to also dispel some of the investors worries that were raised in December on one of their projects involving a cloud computing company. Similar worries also revolved around Envestio and Kuetzal, and each platform reacted relatively fast and tried to clarify investors concerns, with more or less success. It was a stormy month for these 3 crowdlending platforms.
Leaving inflammatory comments aside, my annual return on Monethera is 18.68%, and the platform seems solid and responds fast to investors suggestions. I’ll continue to add funds to this platform until my portfolio reaches at least 2000 EUR.
Wisefund had the worst month in its (short) existence. For a full month, deposits to the platform were blocked while their team was doing some updates to the payment system. As a result, no new projects were added, no new people invested in their loans. In short, December was a dead month for Wisefund.
I haven’t tested yet their new payment system, as no new projects were added yet to their platform. For the time being, my annual return is still 22.7%, making Wisefund the best performing platform in my portfolio.
I haven’t added new funds to Envestio. However, I received 37 EUR in referral income (thanks, whoever you are). I’ve invested the new funds into the only available project in December. Meanwhile, my annual return is 19.45%, a good return for the risk involved.
Envestio also had some trust issues regarding their new business partner and his potential links to fraudulent companies. They gave some assurances and then they got away easy, as investors were concerned more about the bigger elephant in the room, Kuetzal.
My Flender annual return is a bit over 8%, making it the worst-performing platform in my business crowdlending portfolio. However, I’m happy with the lower return for the sake of diversification. I’ve added 80 EUR to my portfolio in December and invested them through auto-invest.
I’m relatively happy with my 10% annual return on Debitum Network, although I’m not willing to increase my portfolio too much until either interest rates increase or the interest rates on other platforms decrease.
The platform reached 4000 investors last month, up from 3500 in November. They’ve also added a new loan originator, Mikro Kapital, although it’s a bit of a turn off since Mintos offers the same loans with higher interest rates.
My Kuetzal returns are stable, at 18.69% annual return. Even with the high returns, my portfolio is worth only 400 EUR. I think Kuetzal is the riskiest platform in my portfolio, because of their lack of transparency, missing project details and security issues.
It seems almost the entire Kuetzal team was changed at the end of 2019. The former CEO, Alberts Čevers, doesn’t work there anymore, being replaced by Maksims Reutovs. There were no communications to investors regarding this, and I find this frustrating.
Kuetzal also faced investors concerns in December regarding one of their projects, Alborg Petrol. The main question was that if Alborg Petrol was a fake company and if yes, what kind of due diligence the Kuetzal team performed before they lent them 850000 EUR. Kuetzal promised they’ll hire an independent consultant to check the Alborg’s papers, but will they?
The (new) Kuetzal team really needs to step up their game before they lose investors trust.
Property lending platforms
I’ve added around 150 EUR to my EstateGuru account in December. My annual return is relatively low, at 10.13%. I’m really happy with the returns here, given the safety of EstateGuru and their level of transparency offered.
Out of the 24 loans I’m invested in, 7 only pay interest at the end of the loan term, while other 7 only pay interest every 3 or 6 months. Given this, my month to month returns is not showing a full picture of my returns.
Crowdestor keeps adding weird projects on their platform. Up until now, the weirdest projects were movies financing and mobile games. Upcoming is a Limp Bizkit summer tour in Poland and Estonia.
I’m mostly invested in real estate development projects on Crowdestor, and this is why I consider it a property lending platform, even though they also have other higher-risk (speculative), higher-returns business loans.
My annual return is 15.9%, a return I think it’s adequate given the risks involved.
Their buyback fund reached 212000 EUR at the end of the year and they still haven’t suffered any default yet. Good job, for now, Crowdestor.
2 of the projects I’ve been invested in matured and I’ve reinvested the funds into a Romanian development project (~200 EUR). Since I can only invest in multiples of 100 EUR, I had to withdraw the remaining 27 EUR from my account.
I’ve also received 28 EUR in interest payments in December, the highest earnings amount since I started investing with Crowdestate. This managed to raise my annual returns by 1%, from 8.98% in November to 10.36%.
I still have 4 projects that are either late with their payments or very close to default, so it’s not all well with Crowdestate.
It’s been an interesting year for Crowdestate. They funded 90 projects in 2019 (206 projects in total since launching), worth a bit over 30 million EUR. They also had 60 projects that successfully exited during this period (105 in total since 2014). Their investors count reached 42000.
Around 17 of their projects are late with their principal payment, and another 19 projects have interest payment delays. I appreciate the fact that Crowdestate is transparent and keeps this list available for investors.
I’ve added 100 EUR to Bulkestate at the end of December. However, there were no new projects to invest in, so I have to wait a bit more until my funds get invested. There’s a 15% project coming up, and I’m planning to invest in it.
Invoice financing platforms
I’m only using Investly to invest in invoice financing. In December, I’ve added 200 EUR more on the platform, and they all were invested in invoices with interest rates between 8% and 12%. My annual return is a bit over 11%, and I have no complaints about it.
I’m planning to add more funds here until my portfolio reaches at least 1000 EUR.
Impact investments fund
I’ve added 100 EUR to my green energy portfolio and invested them on Trine in a 6% interest solar project in Kenya from Greenlight Planet.
Since the projects in this portfolio only pay interest every 6 months or at the end of the project, I don’t expect too many interest payments. However, I’ve received 1 GBP in interest payments from Abundance Investments in December. They also plan to pay me another 2.5 GBP in February.
I haven’t invested in any new projects from Lendahand in December, although I plan to add some more funds in January.
The average interest rate of my portfolio is around 7%, although the low interest is not exactly what motivates me to invest in this type of projects.
I’m no climate change crusader and I don’t see any human-caused extinction coming soon, but fighting poverty and for a cleaner planet has a special place in my values scale. So, I’m willing to invest a part of my funds to low return projects, if that helps a bit improving the world I live in.
It also helps that until now, these platforms have very low default rates (less than 2%).
I’ve been keeping my eyes on Boldyield for the past 2 months. A new platform founded by an ex-manager from Grupeer, Edgars Mass. It has some interesting business projects, especially marine transport projects not found on other platforms.
Its biggest problem so far has been that projects get funded very slow (none of the projects is fully funded yet). The interest gets accrued from the time of investment, so in theory, there shouldn’t be any cash drag, unless they just decide to put down the platform and return the investors funds.
Lately, the progress on the projects seems to speed up, so I might give it a test run and get a better feeling of it.
I was planning to write a short update, as I’m still suffering from vacation withdrawal. It turned out to be at least 3 times longer than what I expected. If you got this far, I really admire your tenacity.