I begin with the evolution of my positions since January 2018 depending on the type of investment. The distribution of my investments by category remains more or less constant. The most notable is the increase in the proportion of my stock market investments, mainly due to the strong rise in the stock markets in January.
During January, my investments in participatory platforms can be summarized as follows:
- In November I began to invest in two new platforms: NEO Finance and Twino. In a couple of months I will present my assessment of them.
- I increased my positions in Grupeer, Fast Invest and Estateguru. While I have significantly decreased my investments in Bricks & People, because the investment I had was sold.
- The best platforms in terms of XIRR are 1) real estate: Bricks & People (now operating through the SociosInversores.com platform) and CrowdEstate; 2) P2B: Envestio; and 3) P2P: NEO Finance, Finbee and Swaper. To point out that the case of NEO Finance is due to the very generous welcome promotion (40 EUR) together with the fact that it's been just two months since I started investing.
- The best return rates in December have been 1) real estate: Bricks&People y CrowdEstate; 2) P2B: Envestio; and 3) P2P: Finbee, Twino and Grupeer.
- For Mintos, I present the combined yields (all currencies, taking into account the exchange rate), and for each currency separately (without applying the exchange rate).
- To compare all platforms, see my Comparator.
The profitability of January exceeded the levels of December with 8.07% (versus 6.75%). The P2P Crowdlending platforms and P2B crowdlending have improved their profitability compared to December to 13.42 and 9.15%, respectively, unlike those of Real Estate Crowdfunding platforms which have dropped to 4.15%.
As for delays and defaults, to highlight:
- Worrying situation in Housers, with three defaults on fixed rate opportunities (the first I experience since I started using the platform in 2016). The other types of opportunities do not experience any delay.
- Second default of Flender (defaults now reach 4.3% of my projects).
- Delays in Estateguru, which usually average around 5% of loans, have been reduced from 12.3% of December to a more than acceptable 3.5%. No new default this month (remains at the three of December).
- Linked Finance remains with one default and 2 delays (compared to the two delays in December).
- Delays and defaults of Finbee fall within the expected, being a platform without Buyback. The case of Fellow Finance is a bit more worrying, given that the defaults are not compensated so far with the profitability of the active loans.
- The "delays" of real estate platforms as Housers or Inveslar are not surprising either - property sales take time and so far delays are only a couple of months late. In the case of Privalore it is starting to become worrying since they are already several months late and affect 3 of my 7 active investments.
- CrowdEstate does not allow to easily check for delays. There are some, but it is difficult to define how many unless one consults each project one by one.
- To compare all platforms, see my Comparator.
Since all my investments are long-term and paid in full at the end of the project (full bullet), I did not see any profitability until Decemberwhen my first two projects were completed. In January, an additional project finalized. This has been reflected in the XIRR that reaches now 5.1% and the annualized profitability for January (1.9%). The returns offered are excellent (always above 13%) together with a historical default rate of 0%, so I will continue investing in all new projects. Unfortunately, the platform is not too active, with only one new project per month, so I haven't been able to increase my position for several months now.
Good news about CrowdEstate! In January, several projects were liquidated, shooting the monthly and IRR returns to their highest levels since I started using the platform (11.7% and 6.6%, respectively). The net annual yield offered by the platform, which takes into account only the returns of projects already reimbursed (13), it is now 13.6%. Approximately half of my portfolio are projects that are paid in full at the end. Now that my portfolio has reached some maturity, I trust that these values will be maintained. Some payments are delayed, but they end up arriving (plus the corresponding compensation for the delay).
A new feature of CrowdEstate (since November) is the possibility to invest (or not) in projects financed in several stages ( "Multiple rounds investing"). I decided not to invest in second rounds, as I believe it goes against the principle of diversification. Basically it would mean investing several times on the same project. My strategy is to continue investing in each new project.
January revenues have taken a leap over December, up to 8.5%. The net annual return offered by the platform, taking into account only the returns of my already reimbursed projects (31), amounts to an impressive 18.0%. The delays of Estateguru, which usually average around 5% of loans, have been reduced from 12.3% of December to a more than acceptable 3.5%.
No new default this month (remains in the three of December). If they materialize, it will have a very negative effect on the performance. Defaults do not mean that the investment is lost, but are in the process of recovering the warranty. I am informed by Estateguruthat, so far, investors have not lost any of its investments in the platform. Besides, I hope that these defaults are partly compensated over the coming months when several projects that are paid in full at the end begin maturing.
My strategy is still to invest in each new project, except those funded in several stages (in which only I invest in one of the stages). I've actually increased my position by 1.9% during January.
During 2018, EstateGuru financed 356 real estate loans worth € 52.5 million, an increase of more than 225% compared to 2017. Almost € 19 million were returned in issued loans, more than € 3 million were paid in interests and bonds, and generated more than € 73,000 in referral bonuses. The return on repaid loans was 12.02% in 2018. The investor base grew to reach 17,600 registered investors from 109 countries, while also attracting the first institutional investor to the platform.
Somewhat worrying situation in Housers this month, with three unpaid fixed-rate opportunities (the first I've experienced since I started using the platform in 2016). On the other hand, surprisingly, none of the saving or investment projects, theoretically less predictable in terms of payments, experience any delay. In fact, in general, they get finalized several months before the projected date. I am seriously considering stopping investing in fixed-rate projects depending on how these defaults resolve.
Profitability, somewhat irregular, has fallen again this month to 3.9%. It seems now definite that I have reached the point where the benefits will allow me to invest in each new project without the need for additional deposits. Although I do not rule out transferring more funds if the number of projects increases, my intention is not to increase my position in the short or medium term.
For several months now, I invest half for the projects in Madrid, which were clearly over-represented in my portfolio, reaching more than 50%, coupled with the recurrent news of the overheated housing market in Madrid (and other major cities in Spain like Barcelona or Mallorca).
The return rates of Inveslar, which remained constant at around 1.5% for over a year, have almost doubled this month (2.8%), thanks mostly to the sale of my first project (Eugenia IN) in a record time: before ending the financing stage! The low profitability at the moment is due to the fact that most projects are quite long term (7 of my 14 projects are 36 or 60 months long), and all the interest received is for rentals. I trust that the rest of the projects (12-14 months) will start selling in the coming months (there is a pair that are already due).
The latest projects have been three fixed rate mortgage loans and a project by an external promoter, rather than saving or investment projects by Inveslar as usual.
Privalore, since it commercializes only investment opportunities (rehabilitation), this leads to returns that are not constant. Since March 2018, the platform offers only opportunities in Madrid, whereas previously it focused exclusively on Barcelona. The biggest downside is that three of my seven active investments are quite late (two of them 7 and 9 months), so I have decided not to invest in new opportunities until they catch up. In any case, the platform has only offered a new project since the beginning of October (still in financing stage, in sharp contrast to the financing in a few hours some months ago).
I've only been four months investing with Envestio, but it has already become the platform with the best return rate (19.0%!). Until a few months ago, all the projects offered returns of more than 20%. This has changed over the last month, and now they are around 15-16%. It is not bad either, but we miss those earlier returns ... To keep in mind that almost all new opportunities are in fact new tiers of the same project (up to thirteen tiers), so by investing in them, we do not increase our diversification. With the returns offered and Buyback (!), I intend to increase my position in the coming months (if the offer peaks up).
The biggest drawback is the second default in a project by Flender. It is not yet posted as a loss. We will still have to wait (probably) several months before knowing how it resolves. Flender has initiated legal activities to recover it (which they estimate at a 35% chances). Flender confirms that it could be a long recovery process, since the company's Director is not cooperating with the authorities. I understand that it falls within the norm, although we are already talking about an default rate of 4.3%, the highest of all the platforms, not counting P2P platforms without Buyback. If it exceeds 5%, I would consider stopping investing in new projects for a while.
The current IRR is 16.8% thanks to the incredible promotion of last summer through which users got back 10% of the invested amount in cash. My IRR should progressively lower over the coming months until around 10%. Monthly returns of Flender have been increasing progressively to stabilize between 8 and 9%. I intend to continue to invest in all new projects.
Throughout 2018, Flender had over 5.5 million EUR invested distributed in 6,400 investment.
The Irish platform is the most active by far of all P2B platforms I use. Yields have been increasing progressively to stabilize around 8% in recent months. It is becoming one of my favorite platforms. Only a default (out of 334 opportunities) and 2 delayed projects (there were 3 in December). I intend to continue to invest in all new projects, although I seems to have reached the point where the benefits will allow me to invest on each new project without further deposits.
Linked Financereported in December that they were weighing the idea of introducing rental mortgage loans with purchase option in the coming months, reported in January that they have abandoned the idea.
Lendix changed its name and looks in October 2018, to be renamed October. The rest stays the same. The biggest (only) problem to date are the two projects from August and November in the process of judicial recovery: Technofirst (curiously my first project) and A & A Marketing Service. Although this is normal, these incidents have made my IRR practically nil after almost a year of investing in the platform (0.8% to be precise). However, to clarify that, unlike other platforms, October makes provisions for 100% of the amount (since the judicial recovery processes take a long time and the result is uncertain). Provisions are potential losses and over time some or all of the amount due may be recovered. The rest of the platforms do not consider such losses until the judicial recovery process ends. Hopefully there will be no more setbacks and my TIR will recover. At the moment, profitability in January was 5.2%.
My intention is to continue investing in all new projects and trust that profits will return. However, I didn't manage to increase my position in January. Since there is no AutoInvest, you have to be really alert and this month I missed almost every new project.
Dofinance It represents the maximum simplicity in its functioning. Works a little (relatively speaking) as if you hired a fixed-term deposit (the higher the profitability, the longer the term). The big drawback is that five months ago the maximum return rate offered by Dofinance dropped from 12 to 9%, which resulted in a gradual downward adjustment. In January, I got surprised with a poor 8.3%, the lowest monthly performance to date.
9% is low for a P2P platform, but using my promotional LINK, you'll get 10% (instead of 9%) during the first 90 days (10% VIP status). The functioning of the platform is really effective and simple and it helps me to diversify my portfolio. So far, my idea is to hold my current position, hoping that in the not too distant future past returns will be back.
In January, DoFinance introduced a new originator: Credo data Indonesia, which has been operating for almost three years. The company issues loans for a maximum period of 30 days in Indonesian Rupiahs (IDR), between 300,000 to 8,000,000 IDR each.
DoFinance in numbers: At the end of 2018, there were 3,514 registered customers, 40% of German investors, followed by Spain (22%), Italy (11%) and the Netherlands (10%). The average investment amount was 2,695 euros for an average investment term of 6,8 months, with 9% automatic investment as the most popular investment program.
Only five months since I opened my account, but Fast Invest has already become one of my favorite platforms. Easy use and a continuous flow of loans at 15% (3-6 a day) convinced me to continue increasing my positions gradually (2.1% in January), so it is taking some time for returns to reach its potential (which should be around 14.5% in February). If the loan offer remains at the current level, I will continue to increase my positions over the coming months.
Throughout 2018, the average interest rate grew from 12.78% to 14.3% (11.88% growth). Accumulated turnover increased from € 5.2 million to € 40.8 million until 12/1/18) (a growth of 685%). The volume of investment grew from € 1.4 million in 2017 to € 8.1 (up to 1/12/18) (478.57% growth). Now Fast Invest has more than 28,000 customers.
Very disappointing results for the moment. Interest rates are really attractive (up to 55%!), but withoutBuyback, so I've been a bit more cautious investing than with other platforms. As of today, the many defaults do not compensate for the higher returns offered, leaving me at the end with negative returns, at least for now. As to my strategyas they offer no Buyback, I have invested only in loans with interest rates above 48% and always the minimal amount, which in the case of Fellow Finance is quite high (25 EUR). I must say that there are other less risky loans, which surely would have resulted in a better performance than my (so far) failed investment strategy. It is a complex platform, and customer service is not particularly good, so I have many doubts about how it works. Surely studying it further can result in better results. I'll keep playing around without increasing my position hoping to be able to offer a more positive review in the coming months.
Although yields are excellent time (TIR 17%), being Finbee a platform without Buyback, I am still studying how the platform evolves in the medium-long term once the (numerous) defaults stabilize. Delayed and unpaid loans represent 10.8% and 9.4% of my portfolio, respectively. My AutoInvest selects only loans above 18%. For me it makes no sense to invest in loans without Buyback below that figure, considering there are other platforms that offer up to 14-15% with Buyback (Mintos, Fast Invest or Grupeer). For the moment my strategy is to keep my position (reinvesting profits). In a couple of months, once I see at what levels returns stabilize, I will decide whether to increase my position or start withdrawing funds.
FinBee has announced that they have been working since early 2018 on DESICO, a collective funding platform for worldwide companies to market their converted titles into tokens.
During 2018, Finbee It lent more than 8 million residents and Lithuanian companies, earning 1.4 million euros for investors. In addition, Finbee successfully passed the annual inspection of the Bank of Lithuania and established himself as the only P2P finance company that lends to small and medium enterprises.
One of my favorite platforms, with really consistent results. During November , there was a small problem of Cash Drag that has been solved since mid-December. Also the average interest of the loans acquired, which had been falling considerably to 12.9%, has recovered during December and January. Given this recovery, I decided to increase my position by 5.7%.
In January, Grupeer has offered 1% CashBack ("Meet & Love") between January 31 and February 5 to promote two new originators:
- Kviku (probably familiar to Mintos users), is an online credit platform founded in 2013 and with presence in Russia, Kazakhstan and Spain that expects to expand during 2019 to Poland, Vietnam and the Philippines.
- Fintech NordCard, based in Latvia, offers short-term loans of up to 3,000 EUR.
Also in January, Grupeer announced that it will soon launch the Grupeer Stability Fund, which will literally allow the purchase of one square meter of real estate. In this way, an investor will own a fraction in an office building or any other development project that's already generating income. After investing in this product, the client will receive a stable rental income of 4% to 8% per annum. It is aimed at investors with a very long investment horizon who wish to receive stable income over a prolonged period.
When presenting my results, Mintos is more complicated, since I'm investing in five different currencies. The graph shows in red the combined results of the platform (converting each currency to EUR according to the exchange rate of each month). This means that the monthly return rate is very susceptible to variations in the exchange rates: from a poor 2.5% in December to 16.2% this month.
The best IRR (at the moment) is for my investments in EUR (17.9%, thanks still to the excellent promotions from February to May of Mogo, Getbucks and Lendo) and in Kazakh Tenge (KAZ - 16.7%).
The maximum return rates offered by loans in EUR each day, after a couple of relatively poor months (11.5-13% maximum during November), have increased to a 14% offered by at least 5-6 originators (Varks, Money, ExpressCredit, Metrokredit, Sebo, Bino ...). Since October, I started investing manually, both in the primary and secondary markets.
Interest rates offered in Laris (GEL) and Tenges (KAZ) loans remained stable at 16% and 17-18%, respectively. They are usually always available in both the primary and secondary markets.
Loans in sterling pounds (GBP), which had been really scarce during most of October and November, have returned to the Marketplace, although at an interest of 10% maximum.
In December, I started to invest in Russian rubles (RUB) attracted by the large number of loans offered at a very high profitability (4-5 suppliers offer loans between 17 and 18.5%). At the moment, it is taking some time to take off because two thirds of the loans are delayed. Something similar to what happened to me with loans in KAZ in August-October 2018. Luckily, all providers in RUB pay the accrued interest for delays at day 60, so the returns should take a big jump in February.
The returns of the loans in Tenges (KAZ) of Kazakhstan, after the drop of August-October 2018 (like what's happening now with the loans in RUB), are since November within the expected ranges (16-23%). Besides, I stopped investing in ID Finance loans that accumulated the most delays.
- eFaktor is a provider of bill financing in Polish zloty (PLN). The average number of invoices issued in Poland is 25,000 PLN (6,500 EUR), the average repayment period is 49 days and an annual yield of up to 9%.
- GetBucks, on top of Kenya, Botswana, Zambia and Poland, now also offers consumer loans in South Africa in EUR, ranging from 30 to 1,300 euros, with an annual interest rate of up to 12%.
- Cash On Go Ltd. is a new originator of UK loans offering a product (Peachy), with loans ranging from 100 GBP (112 EUR) to 1,000 GBP (1,122 EUR) with maturities of up to 12 months and net return rate of up to 12%.
In January, Monego began operating in Mintos with its short-term loans in Kosovo ranging from 20 to 300 EUR with a maturity of up to 30 days. The installment loans, which Monego will offer later in the market, will have a maturity of up to 12 months and the amounts of the loan will be up to 1,000 EUR.
Mintos has announced that in the future, they will offer personal accounts (with IBAN) and debit cards. The personal account can be used to make and receive payments around the world, or receive the salary directly into the account by Mintos.
During 2018, Mintos has exceeded 1,500 million EUR in investments to become the largest investment market for loans in Europe (according to P2P-Banking), they have hired 28 new workers to almost double their workforce, they have registered 55,000 new investors to reach (almost) 100,000 investors, have raised 5 million EUR in a round of financing, have incorporated 31 new originators from 13 new countries, and investors have received 20.9 million in interest.
Without offering spectacular returns, Peerberry compensates it with an amazing regularity (return rates always between 11 and 12%), minimum follow-up needed and zero Cash Drag. I intend to keep my position as long as everything stays like this.
In January, Peerberry has announced a new loan originator of the Aventus Group: the Ukrainian car loan company Auto Money. The car loans will range between 2,000 and 15,000 EUR, with terms from 12 to 72 months, from 12.2% to 13%.
On October 31st, Peerberry celebrated its first anniversary. Peerberry in figures: In December 2018, Peerberry achieved a loan volume of 7.4 million EUR and 3,771 investors from 59 countries that can invest in Polish, Czech, Danish, Lithuanian, Ukrainian and Russian loans. Most loans are less than 40 days long.
The problem of Cash Drag experienced last summer, which exceeded at times the 50%, are now definitively overcome with the incorporation of new originators. However, since November 19, all loans are offered at 12% interest rate, compared to 14% previously. Another important note is that interests on longer-term loans (180-365 days) are paid at the end, so the return rate does not reflect the profitability of the platform, and should increase considerably during the coming months, when the first loans for more than 180 days start maturing. They represent a third of the interest generated, although not yet collected. For now, my strategy is to maintain my current position.
In recent months, two new originators joined the platform: LLP Z-Finance of Kazakhstan and MFC Zaymer of Russia . As of today, Robocash has reached 4,500 registered users, the volume of investments has exceeded 4 million, and has generated profits of nearly half a million Euro.
Swaper, after three months with return rates over 16% (thanks to the 2% extra for investments above 5000 EUR), has taken a big drop in December and January. The reason is the permanent issue with Cash Drag which was around 15-20% all month). The returns are still acceptable, so for the moment, my strategy is to maintain my current position.
Until now it was a platform with moderate returns and an excellent regularity, without Cash Drag and that required minimal follow-up. In recent months, there's been in addition a gradual improvement in profitability, which reached 13.6% in January. If these return rates are maintained next month, I will surely increase my position.
Unlike other platforms, Viainvest withhold taxes. I present tax-free results to facilitate comparison. From 1 December 2018, Viainvest has announced that such tax withholding is no longer automatically applied to the income of loans originated in Poland by VIA SMS PL Sp. For investments in loans originated in Spain or the Czech Republic, withholding will continue to apply.
As of January, Viainvest has a new loan originator from Sweden: credit line loans issued by the Swedish VIACONTO.se will be available on the platform with an annual interest rate of 9% and BuyBack. Taxes will not be applied to the income obtained by investing in Swedish loans on the platform. VIACONTO.se operates in the Swedish market since 2011 with a trust score of 9.3 in Trustpilot.
The situation is similar to that of Viainvest. In recent months, profitability has not stopped growing: 14.1% in January! The "problem" of lack of loans above 9% in October-November of last year has already been left behind. Next month I will increase my position.
In January, Viventor has added a new loan originator from Macedonia - Forza. Founded in 2016, the company has issued and serviced around 35,000 short-term consumer loans ranging from € 50 to € 500 with a term of 7 to 30 days.
Forza joins the originator of December: Mozipo, an old acquaintance for Mintos users. Founded in 2007, Mozipo was one of the first online lenders in Lithuania, offering consumer loans of 50 to 7,000 EUR with a term of 2 to 60 months.