March 2020: a time of crisis
No road is without bumps, and that includes the road to financial freedom. It is a matter of perseverance, making choices, and keeping calm. But there are months where this is not as easy as in other months. This is one of those months.
Both companies and individuals have a tough time during this crisis, and that has an effect on the P2P market. Several platforms have deferred payments, voluntarily, or because countries created crisis laws that give more respite to borrowers.
Grupeer is one of those platofrms, but the past few days there are rumours online that this platform is (in) trouble. Several originators appear to be fake, others are not, but this could unexpectedly be the new Kuetza;/Envestio. More details can be found in the platform update.
I started investing via the stock market this month, you can read about it here. It was quite a bumpy ride, worse than I expected but luckily things got better in the last week. I have added my stock platforms to this monthly overview so I can keep track of all my investments and compare them.
I had to make some big changes for this in my software, so I decided to add another category for crowdfunding. There is only one platform in it yet, Seedrs, where I invest in starting companies. But these changes allow me to keep track of the diversification of my portfolio over the different investment types.
Portfolio overview March 2020
Last month my portfolio value decreased by € 124.43 and my average rate of return over all investments is 2.0%. The table below shows the details for each category.
|Crowdlending||€ 130.19||1.0%||€ 82,381||€ -1,867|
|Crowdfunding||€ -262.30||13.8%||€ 16,988||€ 2,061|
|Stock||€ 7.68||0.5%||€ 25,008||€ 25,000|
|Portfolio||€ -124.43||2.0%||€ 124,377||€ 25,194|
Passive income per month
You can see a big spike in December, that is because I now include all platforms. My investment in Brickowner via the Seedrs crowdfunding platform doubled in value in that month.
You can find my definition of passive income on my portfolio page.
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:
|Iuvo||March 3||Withdrawal: € 500|
|DEGIRO||March 3||Deposited funds: € 5,000|
|ING||March 5||Deposited funds: € 5,000|
|TFG Crowd||March 7||€ 100 invested in Double Like / Burger & Lobster (19.1%)|
|TFG Crowd||March 7||€ 100 invested in Residential Building Construction (18.6%)|
|TFG Crowd||March 9||€ 100 invested in Fishing Bark Boats (18.2%)|
|Seedrs||March 15||€ 2,061 invested in StadtFarm|
|DEGIRO||March 16||Deposited funds: € 5,000|
|ING||March 16||Deposited funds: € 5,000|
|BinckBank||March 16||Deposited funds: € 5,000|
|Iuvo||March 16||Withdrawal: € 500|
|Bondora||March 17||Deposited funds: € 500|
|Reinvest24||March 18||Deposited funds: € 500|
|Reinvest24||March 18||€ 511 invested in Modern office in Tallinn (14.14%)|
|Brickstarter||March 21||€ 150 invested in Santiago Terry - Cádiz (10.5%)|
|Brickstarter||March 30||Withdrawal: € 350|
|TFG Crowd||March 30||Withdrawal: € 260|
|EvoEstate||March 30||Withdrawal: € 600|
|Iuvo||March 30||Withdrawal: € 500|
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.
Almost every platofrm has reached out to investors to assure they are handling the crisis well. Several platforms are allowing borrowers to delay payments, and in several countries there are crisis laws that extend the period after which debt collection may take place. Crowdestor for instance will enforce no interest or principal payments for 90 days, and the platforms October, Collin Crowdfund, and Dutch platforms Geldvoorelkaar and Kapitaalopmaat have deferred payments for 3-6 months.
Now that there is so much turbulence in the market, I would advise everyone to be careful right now. Don’t start investing in this market until things have settled and more is known about the trustworthyness and stability of the platforms. It is probably also a good idea to withdraw any free funds to a safer savings account, until the market (and world) has calmed down.
I expect the following months to show us the differences between the platforms, in terms of trustworthiness, stability, and reliability. Combined with the upcoming European legislation this will probably result in a mature and healthy market, but I also expect to see some big ups and downs before we get there.
I personally have disabled most of my auto-invests, to be more in control of my funds. I also withdrawing free funds, I think it is better to take a step back now and put the funds back when the crisis is over.
|Bondora||€ 35.17||6.8%||€ 6,091||Info|
|Brickstarter||€ 18.26||4.1%||€ 1,689||Info|
|Bulkestate||€ 10.17||5.4%||€ 3,700||Info|
|Crowdestate||€ 10.28||10.0%||€ 5,821||Info|
|Crowdestor||€ 9.04||14.8%||€ 8,602||Info|
|Envestio||€ 0.00||-100.0%||€ 0||Info|
|EstateGuru||€ 16.06||9.3%||€ 2,897||Info|
|EvoEstate||€ 1.24||0.3%||€ 1,416||Info|
|Fast Invest||€ 57.09||13.4%||€ 5,487||Info|
|Flender||€ 23.47||6.6%||€ 2,851||Info|
|Funding Circle NL||€ 31.38||8.7%||€ 4,202||Info|
|Grupeer||€ 80.99||14.2%||€ 8,553||Info|
|Iuvo||€ 71.41||11.5%||€ 8,684||Info|
|Kuetzal||€ 0.00||-100.0%||€ 0||Info|
|Lender & Spender||€ 9.31||4.0%||€ 2,783||Info|
|Mintos||€ -98.38||9.2%||€ 5,756||Info|
|NEO Finance||€ -114.86||-37.1%||€ 2,385||Info|
|Reinvest24||€ -4.64||-5.8%||€ 1,490||Info|
|Robocash||€ 2.17||5.5%||€ 1,035||Info|
|TFG Crowd||€ 17.85||17.3%||€ 1,076||Info|
|TWINO||€ -59.99||9.5%||€ 5,783||Info|
|Viainvest||€ 14.17||9.7%||€ 2,083||Info|
|€ 130.19||1.0%||€ 82,381|
The statistics page of Bondora shows that this platform keeps receiving enough interest payments from their borrowers, the difference between February and March is only about 2.5% (around 1.5 million euros per month). The average return rate of all onvestors is also still 10.5%, so this platform seems to be doing fine.
There are more withdrawals requested, and Bondora has decided and communicated that they will use the incoming payments to fund the withdrawals, so the withdrawals can be paid in parts. A positive thing is that in the meantime investors will keep receiving the Go&Grow interest for any pending payments. And even more important, it aids the stability of the platform. And because withdrawals aren’t blocked it think this is a good compromise.
I have decided to keep my funds invested in Bondora Go&Grow, because the income stream seems ok and the funds can be withdrawn.
My investments at Bondora returned € 35.17 last month, and my average return rate is now 6.8%.
Brickstarter moved from Spain to Estonia. Nothing will change for investers, except that since January 1st taxes will no longer be deducted from the interest received by investors. In spain a 19% income tax is withheld from the paid interest, this is not the case in Estonia.
Te be sure you’ll receive full interest payments you need to check whether your address is correct, and the “I pay taxes in Spain” setting is unselected (in your profile details under “Basic data”):
If taxes were withheld in 2019, these will be paid in 2020 (as extra interest).
Your funds at Brickstarter are not kept in a Brickstarter bank account, instead your Brickstarter account is coupled to a separate account at Lemon Way. This is a big payment institute that handles accounts and transactions for over 1400 websites and platforms in Europe.
Brickstarter has opened the secondary market for betatesters. Interesting is that it is not only possible to sell investments here, you can also place purchase orders. You set the price you are willing to pay and other investors can decide to sell it to you for that price or not.
I decided to give it a try as an experiment. Not all investments are available at a discount, soyou have to look carefully which ones you want to buy. I saw several investments with a 10% discount so I bought 3 of them (150 euro in total) for just 134.93 euro. With all developments it is uncertain now what the returns will be, but the papartments have no mortgage and the costs are low so I expect the investments will keep (most of) their value and over time will have a better return compared to a savings account.
The returns at Brickstarter are rental income combined with increased property values when the properties are sold after some time. I expect the rental income will probably be zero in the next few months, and since I just started at this platform I wasn’t expecting any property value growth yet. But when the crisis is over the tourism will be most likely be back, so I have good hope this platform can outlive the crisis. I did have 350 euros uninvested which I withdrew to my own bank account, it was there the next day.
My investments at Brickstarter returned € 18.26 last month, and my average return rate is now 4.1%.
Bulkestate seems to be running just fine. I think real estate is a safe investment, especially in these times. I am expecting the next big repayment in July, until then I don’t expect any changes here.
My investments at Bulkestate returned € 10.17 last month, and my average return rate is now 5.4%.
Crowdestate send an update about the Tammelehe projects: the company behind those projects has reached an agreement with a buyer. This would be really good news, as these projects are months behind in payments. Crowdestor is preparing for bankruptcy, as it isn’t sure whether the sale will be finalized given the recent crisis.
Earlier this month Crowdestor sent a statement that the projects in Italy would not suffer delays, but now I am not sure anymore. Corona has hit Italy really hard, and that will probably affect everything there.
My investments at Crowdestate returned € 10.28 last month, and my average return rate is now 10.0%.
Crowdestor will not enforce interest payments or principal repayments for the next 90 days. A crisis-law in Latvia prolongs the period after which debt collection may occur by 60 days, which his added to the 30 days In the contracts.
The overview with upcoming payments has been removed from the account dashboards, which makes it harder to see which payments are expected or which would have been received. Now the only option is to check the payment schedule for each project to see if payments were made or not. It is also unfortunate that this happened a week before I would have received a large repayment (2,600 euro). I wanted to withdraw that because I have invested a lot more via Crowdestor compared to the other platforms, but I did not yet receive the payment.
My investments at Crowdestor returned € 9.04 last month, and my average return rate is now 14.8%.
EstateGuru is busy integrating Lemon Way as the payment service provider, to handle all payments and storing funds of investors. Each investor will get their own (virtual) IBAN account number.
EstateGuru has published their first loan from Germany. Germany already represents almost a quarter of all investors here, but really entering the biggest market in Europe is a big step.
A small detail is that the company behind this loan is an Estonian company that has financed a loan via EstateGuru before. The loan comes with an interest percentage of 12%, not bad for Germany, and it is secured by a first rank mortgage.
My investments at EstateGuru returned € 16.06 last month, and my average return rate is now 9.3%.
I have invested in 6 projects now via Evoestate, sourced by 4 different platforms (Inveslar, Urbanitae, StockcrowdIN, NORDSTREET). So now I will just see how this will progress, and I have withdrawn the rest of the uninvested funds to my bank account.
My investments at EvoEstate returned € 1.24 last month, and my average return rate is now 0.3%.
Fast Invest has published some statistics. 61,24% of the investors has a return rate of 12% or more, and 100% of investors were in profit.
And it is finally possible to get the received interest automatically reinvested at Fast Invest. For some reason returned principal was automatically reinvested, but received interest was not. Now there is a specific option in the auto-invest settings, which you have to activate manually:
There is also a setting where you can enter the maximum “maturity date”. Suppose you are savind for an important purchase 2 years in the future, you can enter tha tdate and the auto-invest will only invest in loans that are finished before that date. So you can withdraw all your funds on that date.
My investments at Fast Invest returned € 57.09 last month, and my average return rate is now 13.4%.
Flender has a cashback bonus in April, where you will receive the 1% cashback bonus if you invest 250 euro or more. The auto-invest here quickly reinvests received interest and monthly principal repayments. I have manually invested in 1 project, and the auto-invest has invested in 7 other projects. All projects are on time, no delayed payments. OF course it is not yet known how the crisis affects the economy and the companies that borrowed the money. There is no buyback guarantee here.
My investments at Flender returned € 23.47 last month, and my average return rate is now 6.6%.
Funding Circle NL
My investments at Funding Circle NL returned € 31.38 last month, and my average return rate is now 8.7%.
There are a lot of rumours that Grupeer is (in) trouble, and that some originators there are fake (Monetria, Lion Lender, Epic Cash), just like the Promenada project. Other originators are real, e.g. Ibancar and Monify and these have said they are stopping payments to Grupeer temporarily until the situation is clear.
Over 74 million euros has been invested in total here, by more than 27,000 investors. If the problems are real then this is a big blow to the P2P market. And especially for us investors of course.
You can find the latest news in the Telegram group Grupeer Discussion Summary, if a joint action is started this should be mentioned there too. You can also find a list of things there that are wise to do: create screenshots of your account, and download your account details and list of investments.
My investments at Grupeer returned € 80.99 last month, and my average return rate is now 14.2%.
Iuvo has added originator NordCard, a Latvian company that offers loans with interest rates up to 10% and a 60 day buyback guarantee (including accrued interest). Their “skin in the game” is 30%, which is quite high (but this is a positive thing).
I have disabled my auto-invest here, because I have invested a lot mere here compared to other platforms. I regularly withdraw the free funds to my own bank account. It is deposited in my own bank account within 1 or 2 days.
My investments at Iuvo returned € 71.41 last month, and my average return rate is now 11.5%.
Lender & Spender
My investments at the Dutch platform Lender & Spender returned € 9.31 last month, and my average return rate is now 4.0%.
Mintos has sent an update regarding Aforti, who apparently are not following the agreed payment schedule. Mintos is determining which actions to take. I have 151 euro in Aforti Loans, which fortunately is a small portion of my portfolio.
Mintos has introduced a 0.85% fee for sales through the secondary market. Apparently to cover costs, but I expect it is also to discourage investors from exiting the platform. Investing through the primary and secondary market remains free.
Mintos has updated and lowered the ratings of several originators, so it is wise to check your auto-invest settings again. I have disabled everything with a rating of B- and lower.
My investments at Mintos returned € -98.38 last month, and my average return rate is now 9.2%.
Another effect of the crisis is vivible at NEO Finance, the interest rates across all risk categories have increased by 1%. There is also a lot more activity on the secondary market.
NEO Finance is the first and, so far, the only Lithuanian P2P platform to hold the unlimited European E-Money Institution (EMI) licence which allows operations in entire European Union. It is also continuously supervised by the central bank. This is noticable when investing: when you update the auto-invest settings or when you invest manually you have to digitally sign a contract. This is fast and easy, but it shows maturity and transparancy.
There is also the possibility to use a provision fund. This is an optional buyback guarantee, for which you have to pay the fee up front. This is also the reason my return rate is negative here, as I chose to make use of this fund and pay the fees. This lowers the expected return rates from 9% to around 6%, from 13% to around 10%, etc. You can see this is detail when making the investment, and then decide whether to use the provision or not. But I think the added security is worth it, especially in these times.
My investments at NEO Finance returned € -114.86 last month, and my average return rate is now -37.1%.
Projects at Reinvest24 generate rental income as most properties have been rented out with long rental contracts to established companies. The properties are also owned by dedicated SPVs and the costs are low, so I expect this platform to safely outlive the crisis.
A new project was published mid-March, so I deposited 500 euro and invested in it. The initial 2% fee must be payed upon investment, but I expect the rental income here to cover all fees in a month or two and then my return rate will turn positive. The largest profit can probably be expected when the properties are sold, but this might take a few years.
My investments at Reinvest24 returned € -4.64 last month, and my average return rate is now -5.8%.
Robocash has notified investors that originator LLP Z-Finance has been suspended due to changed regulations in Kazakhstan. Existing loans will be served until they are closed, new loans will be offered by LLP MFI Tez Finance, a company from the same group that does have license from the central bank of Kazakhstan. New loans will be offered under the same conditions: interest up to 12% and 100% buyback guarantee.
Robocash sees a lot of changes in the market because of the coronavirus. They say the impact is minimal in most countries, but in India there is a huge decrease in issued loans. On the other hand, in Spain the number of new customers has increased by 40%. But the volume of issued loans decreased by 0.5% due to stricter selections.
My investments at Robocash returned € 2.17 last month, and my average return rate is now 5.5%.
TFG Crowd has published a new project, for a company that wants to produce hand sanitizer: UNIDEAL LTD. When you read the project description you will find that thay have access to another company that actually produces it, and that they have access to filling facilities. So they actually want to buy it in bulk and distribute it in smaller containers. The 21.9% interest sounds risky, just like the images that look like generic stock images. According to the company details they were founded in 2017 and employ 24-30 people. But just a few months ago, in December, the company name was changed. It used to be “Chatter Me Limited”. In the agreement between the company and TFG Crowd the company uses the emailaddress “email@example.com”. At that domain there is a new rudimentary website that is ‘under construction’ which shows the same generic stock images, but not a lot more other than some company details.
After sending the Non Disclosure Agreement I haven’t heard from Edeland yet. I did receive the coffe from Cofediction, so I will take some time to do a tasting soon.
My investments at TFG Crowd returned € 17.85 last month, and my average return rate is now 17.3%.
All my investments at TWINO have either payment guarantee or buyback guarantee, but still the total value of my account has decreased. This is apparently caused by activating ‘currency exposure’ in my auto-invest, which allows the auto-invest to invest in loans in other currencies. And the currency rates dropping have decreased the value of those outstanding loans. This is also noticable in my KZT and RUB subaccounts at Mintos. I hope that after some time the exchange rates will recover, making those loans increase in value again.
My investments at TWINO returned € -59.99 last month, and my average return rate is now 9.5%.
Viainvest is woking actively with the authorities to get an ‘investment brokerage company’ (IBF) license. They have also added the Romanian originator VIACONTO.ro and there are now loans available with a 12% interest rate. This is not an external originator, the Viainvest platform and the originators are all part of the same group: VIA SMS Group. This is also the case for TWINO, and I do not see this as a problem. It gives them more control and transparency.
My investments at Viainvest returned € 14.17 last month, and my average return rate is now 9.7%.
I have invested in the German startup ‘Stadtfarm’ from Berlin, they produce fish and vegetables in a ‘smart urban farming’ concept.
I have invested in 8 startups now, 4 in euros and 4 in British Pounds. That also explains why the value of my investments is fluctuating every month, as I convert the values to euros using the current exchange rates. So far the only actual change in value was the doubling of the value of my Brickowner shares, apart from the actual investments of course.
My investments at Seedrs returned € -262.30 last month, and my average return rate is now 13.8%.
|BinckBank||€ 166.05||110.7%||€ 5,166||Info|
|DEGIRO||€ 129.49||22.4%||€ 10,129||Info|
|ING||€ -287.86||-37.8%||€ 9,712||Info|
|€ 7.68||0.5%||€ 25,008|
I started investing via the stock market this month, and one of the platforms is the Dutch BinckBank broker. I was lucky to make a nice profit in a short time:
As you can see the profit of 166 euro was made in less than a week, which is an amazing 3% increase in value.
My investments at BinckBank returned € 166.05 last month, and my average return rate is now 110.7% (which doesn’t say much, as it is calculated over such a small period).
I also started at the broker DEGIRO, where I bought a mix of gold and world index ETFs after a tip for a longterm investment strategy. I’ll elaborate on that in a later post.
The profit I made this month however was by buying and selling ING shares and a AEX tracker ETF:
Mid-March I deposited more, and purchased some more to decrease my average purchase price. This, in combination with the partial recovery of the market and the end of the month, resulted in a small profit.
My investments at DEGIRO returned € 129.49 last month, and my average return rate is now 22.4%.
The combined profit at BinckBank and DEGIRO was just enough to cover my losses at ING. I started investing here and bought a AEX tracker ETF, but after that the market took another dive. You can see this in my return rate chart in my account, and you can also see the partial recovery at the end of the month:
My investments at ING returned € -287.86 last month, and my average return rate is now -37.8%.
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