October is the month I usually get fat. It’s always raining outside, it’s cold and suddenly, I have nothing physical to do. I’m still eating the same but I’m burning less energy and the excess starts to get visible. Each year I make plans to go to the gym, and each year I remember how boring it is to do the same things over and over and quietly decide not to
Date postedNov 3, 2019
October is the month I usually get fat. It’s always raining outside, it’s cold and suddenly, I have nothing physical to do. I’m still eating the same but I’m burning less energy and the excess starts to get visible. Each year I make plans to go to the gym, and each year I remember how boring it is to do the same things over and over and quietly decide not to.
My p2p lending portfolio also got a bit fatter in October, reaching 22.500 EUR, around 750 EUR more than last month. Out of these, 500 EUR came from new deposits, while around 250 EUR were net earnings from my previous investments.
Invested: 22573 EUR
New Deposits: 515.5 EUR
Earnings October: 266.5 EUR
Annual return: 12.58%
Average interest rate: 13.84%
2300 EUR were distributed from other platforms to EstateGuru, Grupeer, Monethera, Wisefund, Crowdestor, Bondster, Bulkestate and Investly.
1900 EUR withdrawn from Mintos due to low-interest rates available.
Added Trine to my socially responsible investments fund.
Exited my investments from Assetz Capital, doFinance, viaInvest and Robocash.
Fast Invest is still the largest platform in my portfolio. I’ve received 50 EUR earnings in October, the same as last month and the months before since the beginning of the year.
The average interest rate of my Fast Invest loans seems to steadily drop in the past 6 months. In March, the average interest rate of my portfolio was 13.96%. In June, 13.65%. In September, it dropped to 13.23% and in October the average interest rate is 12.91%. The days when 15% – 16% loans were the norm on Fast Invest are far gone. The best loans reach 12% – 13%.
Fast Invest did something interesting in October. They added a new loan originator on their platform, and they also named it. Now we know the name of one loan originator on Fast Invest: Kviku. Even more, the buyback guarantee on Kviku loans is different from the one on all the other loans. While previous platform loans have a buyback guarantee after 3 days in case of payment delays, Kviku has a buyback guarantee after 15 days. And the buyback is covered by Kviku, instead of Fast Invest.
Fast Invest being Fast Invest, they sent this announcement as an email and then said nothing more. Not a single word about this on their blog. Their blog is still updated weekly with nonsense about fintech and 5G and all the stuff nobody reads because there are better sources out there that talk about fintech.
Mintos published an update on their blog at the beginning of October saying the interest rates on their platform dropped because demand is much higher than supply. In harmony with the same demand and supply law, I moved half of my funds from Mintos to other platforms that pay higher interest rates: EstateGuru, Grupeer, Monethera, Wisefund, Bondster, Bulkestate.
It was a good opportunity to spread my funds more evenly across the platforms in my portfolio. The interest rates are slowly growing back, and now they’re at 11.5% (from 10.5% at the beginning of October). While I still don’t like them, I’ll keep reinvesting my available funds in these loans, in the hope that the interest rates will increase soon above 12%. The average interest rate of my Mintos portfolio dropped from its July high of 14.18% to 12.72%.
Leaving aside the temporary interest rates drop, Mintos is doing great. Last month it added a new feature on the website like schedule extension and pending payment status. It tweaked Invest & Access according to investors feedback. And it added new loan originators, among them Stikcredit, a Bulgarian loan originator that’s also present on Bondster and Viventor.
I wrote an article last month about risk and return where I ranked all the platforms in my portfolio based on how safe they are and what the potential returns are. I realized EstateGuru is the platform I trust the most, so the slightly lower than average returns don’t stop me to invest here.
My EstateGuru portfolio increased with around 300 EUR (funds from Mintos). While my computed annual return is just 10.28%, it should increase to above 11% once my portfolio increases and I won’t keep any more small amounts uninvested for long periods of time.
I’ve added 400 EUR in October to my Grupeer portfolio (again, funds withdrawn from Mintos). I’m happy with the direction Grupeer is going and with the 13.28% annual return on my portfolio.
Grupeer added a risk rating to their loan originators, and also provided some context on what each rating means on their blog. This is a long awaiting change on Grupeer, and I’m happy to see it happen.
This prompted me to check how diversified is my Grupeer portfolio and realized that it could use some improvement.
Almost 90% of my loans are spread between Finsputnik and Primo Invest, so I updated my auto-invest portfolio to exclude these originators from future investments. I’ve also excluded from my auto-invest profiles the loan originators with the lowest ratings (D, E, F). You can read an interesting article about auto-invest strategies on Grupeer’s blog.
Grupeer also published its financial reports this month. It still doesn’t make a profit, although its cash flow looks good.
TFG Crowd is one of the best performing p2p lending platforms in my portfolio. Even the projects available on the platform are different from the ones I see on other p2p platforms like Envestio, Kuetzal, Crowdestor.
Many projects available are related to cosmetics, healthy lifestyle and entertainment. All the loans in my portfolio are from the UK and Germany companies, so it’s a good platform to diversify my portfolio outside of the Baltics companies.
I like that they keep a constant flow of projects available, while also improving the platform. For example, they’ve added a countdown counter on new projects, to let investors know when they’re becoming available.
My October earnings amounted to 21 EUR, raising my annual return to 16.15% (from 15.73% last month). All payments come in time, although some of the projects I’ve invested in do raise some concerns.
One of the concerns is Healthy Food Delivery, a project I’ve invested in. The company that requested the loan, Inrog Limited, dissolved on September 24th. However, I still received 2 interest payments since then, and all with no delay. The loan has good collateral, so I’m not too worried about it, but I don’t understand yet what happened. I’ve asked TFG Crowd a question on this and I’m waiting for a response.
My Viventor investments finally start to pay off. Most of the late loans in my portfolio reached the buyback guarantee deadline and started to pay the interest owed. I received last month 29 EUR in interest (as opposed to only 7 EUR in September). My annual return on Viventor raised from 9.18% last month to 11.68% this month. It should continue to rise, as my average interest rate here is around 14%.
One of the projects I’ve invested in just matured and my funds were returned. I’ve reinvested them in a new loan, along with another 400 EUR I’ve added to the platform (from Mintos).
My annual return on Monethera is 15.4%, although it should increase in the following months since the average interest rate of my portfolio is 18.4%. Most of the projects I’m invested are from Latvian companies, with a few other from Estonia and Poland.
I like the extensive details Monethera shows on their projects, although I find it weird there are no documents attached to any loans. I don’t even see the loan agreement on the investments I’ve made. Another question to ask Monethera about.
My Wisefund annual return is 24.11%, although it will be short-lived. I still receive 0.5% cashback on all investments I make. Although I’ll keep receiving it for 5 more months, that 0.5% would become a smaller part of my portfolio and won’t matter that much anymore.
I’ve added 400 EUR more on Wisefund last month (due to having spare funds from Mintos). I like the opportunities for diversification Wisefund offers. The available projects are from all over Europe: the UK, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Poland.
Crowdestate continues to disappoint. Not because of the payment delays, as that is something that happens and it’s normal in the industry. But because of the way they handle the delays, putting updates each month that the payments will arrive next month, and the next month, and so on. They keep putting out fires from one month to the other.
I’ll wait for them to straighten up their game before I add more funds on their platform.
I was planning to increase my portfolio on Envestio last month. However, our timings didn’t match. I only had funds to invest in the first half of the month, while Envestio only had new projects in the second half.
However, Envestio still provides good returns on my portfolio, and the annual return here is 19.64%.
I’m slowly reaching 0% return on my Neo Finance portfolio. Since I started to invest in Neo Finance, I’ve received 120 EUR in payments, out of which around 40% came from the provision fund. However, I’ve also paid around 130 EUR in provision fund fees, other fees and taxes, so my return here is still negative.
On one hand, Neo Finance is one of the safest platforms to invest in, due to its provision fund. According to their latest report, the provision fund reached 400.000 EUR, covering around 13% of the loans invested with a provision fund. This is more than enough to cover for the loan defaults, and their business model is sustainable.
On the other hand, short-term returns are very discouraging. It takes almost a year to receive enough payments to cover for the initial provision fund expenses.
Neo Finance starting to use AI in October to assess the borrower’s creditworthiness. The immediate (and funny) result was that the number of loans available on the primary market dropped dramatically, and they had to adjust the AI’s model. I believe they’re still working on the AI, as the number of loans available is still lower than previous month’s.
I’ve added around 250 EUR more on Crowdestor in October and invested it in a project called Elvi Grocery Stores. It seems like a solid business and it’s a more down to earth investment than the recent projects Crowdestor published like “Mafia Stars” mobile game or “Warhunt” movie. The 30%+ returns might look great, but the flimsy buyback fund Crowdestor has won’t be able to cover even 10% of the loan when these projects default.
My average return on Crowdestor is pretty constant, around 15% – 16% each month.
PeerBerry feels like an unwanted child in my portfolio. I’ve only invested in long-term loans for the past 6 months, but the number of those continuously drops and I find it hard to reinvest the interest payments in new loans.
My current portfolio consists of car and mortgage loans from Ukraine and Kazakhstan, with an average term of 1 to 2 years.
The amount of short-term loans on the platform, on the other hand, remains constant, and PeerBerry also launched a loyalty program, offering between 0.5% and 1% extra income for investors with more than 10.000 EUR funds invested here. However, since I don’t want to invest any more in payday loans, I’ll pass on the offer.
I’m slowly increasing my portfolio on Flender, even though in the past few months they started to decrease even more the interest rates. My annual return here is 7.72%, one of the lowest in my portfolio. I’m ok with the lower returns, as long as it helps me diversify my portfolio.
My annual return is 9.08%, a slight increase from last month’s 8.9%. I’ve added 100 EUR more on Debitum Network and invested it in 9.5% – 10% interest loans.
While the returns are a bit lower than on other platforms, Debitum Network provides me with an opportunity to diversify my portfolio. Most of the loans I’ve invested in originated in the Czech Republic, with a smaller portion invested in invoice financing from Lithuanian companies.
For invoice financing, Debitum Network’s Lithuanian invoices are a good alternative to Investly’s Estonian invoices and Viventor’s Dutch invoices.
According to their blog, Debitum Network continues to grow, and at the end of September, they reached 2600 investors. That’s still low, but it’s 4 times more than they had at the end of September last year.
Payments come regularly on Kuetzal, the returns are high, at around 18%, and the platform still looks bad.
Their English translation of the website doesn’t help in improving my opinion about their website. For example, on each project page, they have a section called “Why invest in this project”. Its subtitle is “A better investments is out there. We’ll help you find it to use.” I don’t even know what that’s supposed to mean: should I look for another investment somewhere else? And they’ll help me find it to use what? Among the reasons to invest the top 3 on every project are “Sufficient experience”, “Essential background” and “You are protected”.
I really don’t understand why they don’t use a native English-speaking copyrighter to better translate their website and why they keep relying on google translate for that.
They had a few interesting projects lately, real estate development loans or business loans to long-established companies. They also had some more exotic projects, like crypto-mining containers or a poker mobile app based on blockchain that I would never invest in.
I’ve decided it’s time to increase a bit my investment in Bondster. Even though it doesn’t provide me much diversification, it’s an interesting platform to follow.
My annual return here is still low, at only 8.15%, although it should increase in the following months, as the average interest of my portfolio is 13%. Most of the loans I’ve invested in are Mikrokasa consumer loans form Poland, with a few ones from Stikcredit and Kviku.
I’ve invested in 2 more projects on Bulkestate, decreasing my average interest rate to 12.84%. Since most Bulkestate projects pay interest only at the end of the loan term, my intermediary annual return is pretty low, at 8%.
I like the projects Bulkestate is offering, and I’ll continue to add more funds here in the following months.
The average interest rate of my investments here is at around 12%, and I’ve started to slowly increase my portfolio here. Investly says my expected annual return is 9%, and I’ll believe them until I have more data to compute it by myself. Out of the 16 invoices I’m invested in, 2 of them are overdue with their payments.
My socially responsible investments fund
I’ve added Trine to my portfolio, besides Abundance Investments. For now, I’ve invested in 2 solar power projects from Ghana and Nigeria, with an interest rate of 7%. They would have paid 9% interest if I had invested more than 1000 EUR in each project, but I’m not ready for a commitment this big.
The returns are not high but investing in green energy projects makes me feel I’m doing something good with my funds, so I’ll keep adding small amounts to these types of projects.
I’ve stopped investing in Assetz Capital because of the low returns. While I still think it’s a good platform to invest in, the much higher returns from other platforms makes it hard for me to invest in them.
The others, while they offer around 12% annual returns, they don’t bring any extra diversification to my portfolio, so I see no need to keep them.
My vacation fund
For the past few months I’ve been receiving all these offers on Iban Wallet. Sort of a p2p platform but not, with extra layers of security (broad diversification, asset-backed loans, buyback guarantee, additional safeguard trust) and lower returns. The returns range from 2.5% if you want to withdraw your funds anytime to 6% if you want to lock your funds for 5 years. Somebody from Iban Wallet wrote a guest post here where it details more their offer.
However, I’m not really their target customer. I am not old or very risk adverse. As long as I can find 10% – 15% loans with good guarantees on other platforms, with the possibility to withdraw my funds in shorter than 5-year terms, I don’t see any good reason to invest in Iban Wallet, no matter how much security they provide.
This doesn’t mean I can’t find a good use for it. Before my 6 months’ vacation, I’ve started to hoard funds on my Revolut account. All sorts of exotic currencies: New Zealand, Australian, Singapore and US Dollars, Japanese Yen, Malaysian Ringit. Enough to cover my expenses there and in long enough periods of time so I didn’t feel like I was making a huge sacrifice putting those funds aside. However, even though Revolut is great, it doesn’t pay interest on the funds I keep there.
And this is where Iban Wallet comes into play.
Next year, in May, I’m getting married and for our honeymoon, we’ll go…somewhere. (haven’t decided yet). It’s a good idea to put some funds aside, in a sort of “vacation fund”.
Since Iban Wallet pays me 2.5% in interest even if I keep my funds invested for 1 day, it’s a good place to keep my vacation money.
I’ve added 200 EUR into my account (also received a 10 EUR welcome bonus) and I’ll keep adding 100 – 200 EUR each month from now on and spend it each time I need funds to pay for vacations.
For now, I receive around 1 cent per day in interest (34 cents for October). It’s not much but it’s more than what my bank offers me for easy access funds.
If you want to register with Iban, use the “TRYIBANNOW” promo code and get an extra 1% return on your investments.
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.