May 2019: almost reached first target
In this monthly update I’ll show you the returns and results of my crowdfunding and crowdlending investments.
I received a record amount of interest this month. It even came close to my first goal, mainly because a few projects pay interest per quarter. I also deposited an extra 1,000 euros at Kuetzal. I chose a new platform to invest in; TFG Crowd. You can expect the first update for this platform next month.
On June 7, and 8 there is a large P2P conference in Riga:
This is the perfect place when you want to ask the platforms some questions. It is in Riga, Latvia though.. I will be there, so you can also send me your questions via the contact page and I will ask them for you.
Portfolio overview May 2019
Last month the interest payments I received totalled € 997.47, just below my first target! My average rate of return over all platforms is up slightly to 11.9%. The table below shows the details for each platform.
|Bondora||€ 36.30||6.8%||€ 6,378||€ 6,096|
|Crowdestate||€ 140.55||9.9%||€ 5,370||€ 5,000|
|Crowdestor||€ 30.33||9.2%||€ 7,741||€ 7,500|
|Envestio||€ 229.01||19.1%||€ 15,543||€ 13,750|
|EstateGuru||€ 56.31||8.4%||€ 2,671||€ 2,513|
|Fast Invest||€ 121.28||13.6%||€ 10,967||€ 10,000|
|Funding Circle||€ 45.55||8.4%||€ 6,116||€ 6,116|
|Grupeer||€ 88.53||14.9%||€ 7,655||€ 7,000|
|Iuvo||€ 113.29||13.2%||€ 11,138||€ 10,270|
|Kuetzal||€ 16.01||8.9%||€ 2,107||€ 2,091|
|Lender & Spender||€ 13.54||3.9%||€ 3,002||€ 2,946|
|Mintos||€ 54.58||9.9%||€ 5,368||€ 5,000|
|Twino||€ 52.19||10.6%||€ 5,398||€ 5,000|
|Total||€ 997.47||11.9%||€ 89,455||€ 83,281|
The XIRR column contains the annualized rate of return since my first deposit into that platform. Click on a column header to sort the table by that column, twice to reverse the sort order. I have an overview page for each platform, click on the magnifier glass to visit that page.
Interest income per month
To show you how little effort is involved when investion via crowdfunding and crowdlending I have added an overview of the manual actions in the last month:
|Envestio||May 8||€ 144 invested in Production of Sawn Timber - part 6 (16.75%)|
|Envestio||May 9||€ 1,037 invested in Production of wood pallets – trade financing 5 (16.3%)|
|Kuetzal||May 11||Deposited funds: € 1,000|
|Kuetzal||May 13||€ 500 invested in Velox Row-House (19.5%)|
|Kuetzal||May 13||€ 504 invested in Row-House in Marupe (21%)|
|Fast Invest||May 20||€ 136 manually invested|
|EstateGuru||May 25||€ 271 invested in #6454 Bridge loan, Estonia (12.5%)|
|Envestio||May 29||€ 400 invested in Financing of opening a mixed hotel/hostel project in Old Riga (19%)|
|Crowdestor||May 29||Deposited funds: € 2,500|
|Crowdestor||May 30||€ 2,586 invested in Renovation of eclecticism style building (21%)|
I did check the platforms every now and then, but this was purely for fun. It wasn’t necessary to get these interest payments and return rates.
My investments at Bondora returned € 36.30 last month, and my average return rate is now 6.8%.
The number of investments at Bondora has really grown, and they have crossed the 10 million euro boundary: 10.9 million euros were invested in april. This is 11,7% higher compared to March. Most of it was invested through the Go&Grow portfolio option:
Go & Grow has totally supplanted all other options as the primary investment product for investors on Bondora, from 49% of all investments the month before to 63% now. Go & Grow is the only portfolio option I can recommend, and other investers seem to concur. It it a lot safer, you can withdraw your money at any time and the interest of around 6.75% (per year) is paid daily.
When you register through this link you’ll receive a 5 euro bonus. Just give their Go & Grow option a try for a few months, and don’t try the other advanced options.
My investments at Crowdestate returned € 140.55 last month, and my average return rate is now 9.9%.
Crowdestate is largest European crowdfunding platform for real state. The projects are quite big too, the record of ‘Mustakivi tee 25’ (1.5 million euros) was recently broken by ‘Baltic Forest OÜ (IX)’ and set to almost 2 million euros (€ 1,950,000). And the interest rate of 16% is not too bad either.
The platform was founded in 2014 and in the 5 years it exists 157 projects were funded. Not a single project defaulted, so they have a good track record. They have grown to 31,817 active investors in 105 countries. The homepage has been renowed, and now shows an interactive map that shows where the investers are from. Here is the non-interactive version:
Crowdestate reports an average return rate for investers of 18.31%. This seems a bit high so i’m not sure how they calculate this. New projects are added regularly with interest rates of 15-16%, but there are also projects with interest rates of ‘just’ 10-14%. Last month there was a new project with a rate of 19%:
If you look a bit further the conditions are less favorable. The investment term is 2.5 years, and the interest is paid yearly instead of monthly. The loan is also unsecred, no buyback guarantees. The interest rate of 19% can make it an interesting gamble, but higher interest rates go hand in hand with higher risks. And then I prefer projects and platforms that combine those higher interest rates with a buyback guarantee, for instance at Crowdestor, Kuetzal, or Envestio.
My investments at Crowdestor returned € 30.33 last month, and my average return rate is now 9.2%.
Crowdestor is one of the platforms where interest payments are not always on a monthly basis. In february I invested 2,500 euros in a single project with an interest rate of 19.5%, half of my total investments in that platform. There was a small interest payment in february, but the repayment scheme shows the interest over the first 6 months will be paid after those 6 months:
This doesn’t really matter in the long run, in the end the actual return rate will be the same. But the short term effect is that the XIRR return rate seems worse than it is until a payment is received and the XIRR is suddenly corrected. Plus the chart with received interest will show spikes when those payments arrive. Plus I prefer the regular monthly payments because it makes it easier to see the trends. Irregular payments make it difficult to see whether my monthly income is growing or not.
As annoying as those irregular interest payments are, there not a reason to turn down a nice investment. Last thursday a new new project opened for a renovation of two buildings in Riga, with 24 apartments. These two buildings are also the collateral for the loan. The interest rate of 21% and investment term of 9 months make this a really interesting investment! This project als pays the interest for the first 6 months at the end of that half year.
It wasn’t difficult to tell there was a lot of interest in this project. The website slowed down enormously and it took a few minutes before I could invest my free 2,586 euros. One hour later the project was already 40% full. I didn’t see this at Crowdestor before, I guess this platform got a lot more popular since it has become so difficult to invest at Envestio.
My investments at Envestio returned € 229.01 last month, and my average return rate is now 19.1%.
3 new projects were published at Envestio on may 8, with interest rates of 16%, 16.3%, en 16.75%. I immediately invested my free funds (144 euros):
The next day one of my investments was repaid, and one of the projects was still open (besides the unpopular crypto-farming project). So I was able to re-invest it on the same day, something that isn’t possible often these days. There are enough new projects to keep Envestio interesting as a platform, even though the projects with interest rates of 20-21% seem a thing of the past. The platform will start to feel the competition from platforms such as Crowdestor and Kuetzal, but having more platforms with return rates above 16% makes it easier to spread investments over multiple platforms and still receive those great returns.
Last wednesday, the 29th, it became obvious that the populatity of Envestio starts to limit the usefullness of this platform.A new project became available in the morning, and within 15 minutes after the email I tried to invest my free funds (3,200 euros). It took me 4 attempts to invest just 400 euros.. During the first 3 attempts the available amount for investment decreased faster than I could refresh the page and type the amount to invest. This makes it almost impossible to invest at Envestio, and so I have decided to move a part (2,500 euros) of my funds to Crowdestor.
If you still want to give it a try you can register via this link and you’ll receive a 5 euro bonus with your first deposit, plus a bonus of 0.5% over all your investments in the first 270 days.
My investments at EstateGuru returned € 56.31 last month, and my average return rate is now 8.4%.
Good news from EstateGuru! One of my 500 euro investments defaulted, and EstateGuru reported in march that they had started the process to auction the collateral assets. After that it was silent for two months, and during that time I was wondering how much of my invested funds could be returned. To my surprise I received an update on may 23rd stating the loan was repaid:
When I looked at the transactions in my account, they showed the complete repayment of the 500 euros. And that wasn’t all, there was also a penalty payment of 22 euros:
This was my first experience with a defaulted loan, and it increased my confidence in EstateGuru. And the amazing thing is.. The list of investments shows the original interest rate plus the realized return rate. And the repayment plus the penalty resulted in a return rate of 14.88%, which is even better than the original interest rate of 11%!
I did switch off the auto-invest. As you can see in the transactions screenshot above, a part of the payment was automatically invested. For some reason only 295 euros were invested, while the auto-invest was set to a minimum of 500 euros. And it was invested in a 10% project while another project was available with an interest rate of 12%. Disabling the auto-invest will have a big impact, it will take some time for the interest payments to grow the available funds to the minimum investment of 50 euros. I prefer to invest manually if it is only needed occasionally, and if it will result in an extra 1-2%..
My investments at Fast Invest returned € 121.28 last month, and my average return rate is now 13.6%.
This month I manually invested 136 euros at Fast Invest. I noticed that not all available funds were invested automatically. I contacted Fast Invest and they told me that the auto-invest does not re-invest the received interest, and that you can either manually invest the interest or withdraw it. Also, the auto-invest doesn’t invest in the same loan twice.
When I inveestigated a bit further I found that the auto-invest does sometimes invest the recived interest. Of course this is what you want in order to maximize returns, what’s the point of an auto-invest if it does the job only partially.. The next response by Fast Invest was that indeed something went wrong with my account sometimes, and received interest was being re-invested. And that shouldn’t normally be the case. I guess that is one of the few times I’m glas something went wrong with an account of mine.. Hopefully things keep going wrong that way and my recived interest keeps being re-invested!
I contacted Fast Invest again, and I told them that most of us really want the received interest to be re-invested. At the very least this should be a setting for the auto-invest. That’s the only way we can maximize our return rates with automated investments. You can always disable the auto-invest if you want to withdraw part of your funds. Fast Invest agreed with me, and told me they had forwarded this request to the development department. Hopefully we can expect this setting or investment behavious soon. Until then, you should check your account regularly and manually invest the available funds.
My investments at Funding Circle returned € 45.55 last month, and my average return rate is now 8.4%.
Funding Circle is a platform that has been around since 2010. Besides in the Netherlands, it also operates in the UK, Germany, Canada, and the USA. I invest through the Dutch site, so I do not have any experience with Funding Circle in those other countries.
My investments at Grupeer returned € 88.53 last month, and my average return rate is now 14.9%.
Grupeer is currently working on another investment product: the ‘Grupeer Stability Fund’. Through this fund you will be able to literally buy a square meter in a real real estate property. This way an investor will be an owner of a fraction in the office building or any other development project which already generates income. After investing in this product, you will receive a stable rental income from 4% to 8% yearly. This is not as high as other investments, but it might prove to be more stable. We’ll see..
My investments at Iuvo returned € 113.29 last month, and my average return rate is now 13.2%.
The buyback guarantee at Iuvo has been shortened from 60 days to 30 days for certain loan originators. So when repayments are late, you’ll get your money back sooner and you can invest it into other loans for a better overall return rate. It only applies to class A and B loans, and for loans offered by loan originators Easy Credit, Viva Credit, and iCredit. The buyback guarantee stays at 60 days for all other loans. As class A and B loans have interest rates of only 5-7%, this is only interesting for investors that want to diversify their portfolio and minimize their risks. The loan originators Easy Credit, Viva Credit, and iCredit offer loans with interest rates up to 15%, which can be really interesting when combined with the shorter buyback guarantee.
My investments at Kuetzal returned € 16.01 last month, and my average return rate is now 8.9%.
I am quite happy with Kuetzal so far, since I started investing mid-april. There are several things that can be improved, such as adding an overview of historical transactions. But this is a new platform (started last year), so I expect we can see improvements on a regular basis.
The minimum investment is € 100,- and this makes the platform less attractive if you want to start investing with small amounts. Of course you will still receive interest rates up to 21%, but it will take longer for the received interest to build up to the 100 euro that is needed to re-invest it. This reduces the effect of the compound interest (interest on interest), so the average return will be lower. This is not an issue when you’re investing larger sums.
And well, let’s face it, there a a lot of platforms that have a minimum investment of 100 euros. And when you compare them, Kuetzal stands out with the interest rates and the buyback guarantee (not on all projects). So I have decided to invest another 1,000 euros via Kuetzal, and invested in 2 projects: ‘Velox Row-House’ (19.5%) and ‘Row-House in Marupe’ (21%). Both have buyback guarantee:
To make it even more interesting, Kuetzal has a cashback marathon until the end of August. Invest from 1,000 euros and an immediate cashback bonus of 1-3% of your investment:
When you register via this link you’ll receive a 0,5% cashback bonus over all your investments in the first 180 days.
Lender & Spender
My investments at Lender & Spender returned € 13.54 last month, and my average return rate is now 3.9%.
Lender & Spender is a Dutch only platform, which started in 2016. Recently the 1,000th loan was funded which brings the total amount of funded consumer loans to 7 million euros.
Je kan echter als investeerder niet kiezen in welke leningen je wilt investeren, je geld wordt automatisch gespreid over alle leningen. Wat dat betreft lijkt het eigenlijk wel op de Go&Grow optie van Bondora, alleen is het rendement van 3-4% wat lager dan die van Bondora (6,75%).
My investments at Mintos returned € 54.58 last month, and my average return rate is now 9.9%.
Mintos keeps growing fast. Last month they welcomed 8,280 new investors. The total mount of loand funded just last month was 194.9 million euros, with an average interest rate of 12.63%.
There are 2 new loan originators: Mikro Kapital from Russia (15% for loans in RUB, 9% for loans in EUR) and Kredit Pintar in Indonesia (microloans averaging 50 euros and 21 days). ID Finance now also offers short loans up to 600 dollars and 30 days, with interest rates up to 18%. For this you need to convert funds from EUR to MXN and back, and this comes with additional costs (1.25%). And this lowers the actual return rate of course.. I’m not that fond if investing in other currencies besides the euro, it’s hard to tell what the impact of currency fluctuations will be.
Originator Capitalia now offers some kind of buyback guarantee, via a partnership with the EIF (European Investment Fund). After 60 days the invested funds will be paid back, plus maximum 3 months of accrued interest. This makes investing in these loans safer, but it als results in lower interest rates: 6-8%. This is not the same as the standard buyback, and the loans will not be included when you filter on loans with buyback. If you invest manually you will see a new icon:
When you register via this link you’ll receive a 1% cashback bonus over all your investments in the first 90 days.
My investments at Twino returned € 52.19 last month, and my average return rate is now 10.6%.
Twino will celebrate it’s 10 year anniversary this year, and in that time over € 500,000,000 worth of loans have been financed. Last year they were second at the AltFi People’s Choice Awards, just behind Mintos.
What’s nice about this platform is that they have a buyback guarantee, which kicks in after just 30 days instead of the more common 60 days. The volume of available loans on the other hand is quite low. When I looked this week there was exactly 1 loan with an interest rate of 11%, and 629 loans with a rate of 10%. My auto-invest is set to a minimum rate of 10%, so I gues I should be happy with my average return rate of 10.5%.
Twino has a cashback action in June: 1% cashback for every loan from Latvia. It only applies to investments via the auto-invest, with a minimal term of 12 months, and a minimum interest rate of 8%.:
Last week Lendy (a British peer to peer lending company) collapsed, the biggest peer to peer platform crash to date in Europe. The platform started operations in 2012, and in 2018 it received the license from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Less than a year later Lendy was placed on it’s watchlist by the FCA. In the end the outstanding amount was around 180 million (EUR), while 100 million was in default.
But this didn’t all happen in one day, there were several warning signs. The first warning sign was a substancial decline in profit : 2.6 million GBP in 2016, which dropped to just 605,000 GBP in 2017. There were also big turnovers in the executive staff, which made it unclear who was in charge. Lendy financed GBP 11 million for a residential tower in Liverpool which went bankrupt in June 2018 (a fact Lendy didn’t report until October that year). The project was valued by the administrators at GBP 8 million, but it was listed as a security of GBP 17.9 million on the platform. In the end Lendy only received back 62% of the loan.
All this will probably not have a big effect on the European crowdlending market. I do think more investors (and bloggers) will pay close attention to the performance and profitability of all peer to peer platforms from now on. Hopefully that will give us all an early warning when platforms get into trouble, so we will have enough time to move our investments to other platforms.
That was it for this monthly update. You can subscribe via the contact page and you’ll receive an email the moment a new update is published. Or just visit again next month, that’s up to you.
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Below you can also find the link to my previous posts, where you can find my tips and results of the previous months.