Loan Platform Roundup – Nov. 2019
Mintos headache, EVOEstate news, new Israeli platform in my portfolio, and some other stuff.
For the past few years I’ve held some bad stock investments in hope that they recover their value. This month I sold two of those stocks, taking heavy losses, to free up cash and grow my loan financing portfolio. As an added benefit, the realised loss will hopefully offset some of this year’s profits during the annual tax calculation.
I’ve used this money to enter a new Israeli platform, BTB, and also shifted around a lot of cash on other platforms. Let’s get into the specifics.
Table of Contents
- My distribution and profit
- Fast Invest
- Affiliate earnings
- Giving back
My distribution and profit
Interest rates and loan volume are back down, probably due to a Mogo buyback round, which again increased investor demand. Redistributing my received payments is a daily struggle, my average IR is gradually going down as high-interest loans are replaced with lower-interest ones, and I am no longer sure that interests will climb back to where they were a few months ago.
I withdrew another portion of my Mintos investment, and apparently I’m not the only one. Despite the huge increase in investor count, the monthly funded loan volume has stalled since September due to veteran investors withdrawing money:
It would be interesting to see the effect on the monthly portfolio size, but Mintos does not publicise this data.
Still, there is no alternative to Mintos in terms of diversification. Two new originators have joined this month, one of them from an interesting new locale, Turkey.
Originator Monify has left Grupeer this month, and originator Lime has joined as yet another Finsputnik “deal partner”. Grupeer has a strange notion of diversification; I can’t wait to see Finsputnik’s annual statements to understand how much we can rely on this “loan originator for loan originators”.
In other news, I think Grupeer has finally updated the portfolio view to show a bit of info, and added an option to download an Excel sheet. At least, I haven’t seen those things before this month. It’s a step in the right direction, but the portfolio page is still missing important info.
My low monthly yield is probably due to many loans being repaid over the weekend; I expect the numbers to catch up tomorrow. Grupeer still offers great 12-13% interest rates with occasional 1% cashbacks.
Envestio thanked me for the latest TORCH report, but hasn’t made an official comment.
As usual, this was my top performer this month, and all loans were repaid on schedule. 6 new projects were listed, 3 of them unique, so I deposited a bit more to grab them. But I don’t think I’ll increase my investment much further until Envestio improves its transparency and stability.
Some investors are stressed about the rising number of delays and defaults on CE. I’m not too worried, as the numbers still seem reasonable for high-risk projects, and so far CE seems to have a grip on the situation.
8 new projects were listed this month, most of them tiers of previous ones. It’s a decent number, but I’ve noticed that Crowdestate is no longer growing:
This looks like a good time to expand to new countries, so I was happy to see the first project from Romania listed this month.
I joined PB in October, and so far I’m pretty satisfied. Despite some late loans, my November returns already came close to the expected level.
My rational mind tells me to play it slow with a platform that offers limited transparency and diversification, but I can’t help but strive to reach a 10k portfolio to earn the 0.5% interest rate bonus. The person who devised this marketing gimmick is an evil genius.
This month I emailed PB a long list of bugs and requested some transparency improvements. They thanked me, but let’s see if they listen.
Lenndy was my worst performer this month among European platforms, due to late loans:
Even if some of those loans are repaid this week, it won’t have much effect on my overall XIRR since joining Lenndy, which hovers around 10% instead of the expected ~12%. I have given this platform enough chances, and will resume withdrawing once my damn money is returned.
Update: Once more my late loans were repaid and pushed the XIRR closer to expected levels. I’m so confused about this platform.
It’s official: EVOEstate is about to receive backing from a known VC fund!
This should allow EVOEstate to grow its team of advisers as well as technical staff, create new cooperations, improve the platform, and boost advertising to bring in new investors. I actually talked to Gustas today, who told me about some of the exciting things to come.
Several projects were listed this month, mostly below my income threshold (for investments not in my local currency), but it’s still interesting to see a platform that offers safer projects alongside risky ones.
Just one month after their first announcement of a new loan originator, another originator has joined FI this month, from Iceland! Sadly the new originator doesn’t offer many loans, but it’s still a good step for FI.
On the other hand, they’ve managed to piss me off this month by ignoring an important email that I sent. On my third attempt they said that the issue was forwarded to the appropriate person, but so far no response. The ambivalence about this platform continues…
I made a stupid mistake by withdrawing half of my Tarya portfolio to invest in a new platform, then realised I had enough cash from selling stocks, and reinvested most of the withdrawal in Tarya. This useless move damaged my monthly return, but served as a good liquidity test.
Tarya offers automated liquidation of well-performing loans, similar to Mintos I&A. It took about 3 days for all necessary loans to be sold to other investors and for the money to be transferred to my account. When I re-deposited that money, it was fully invested in about 3 more days. Not bad.
BTB – Be the Bank
The newest addition to my portfolio is BTB, an Israeli direct P2B platform which automatically distributes money into business loans.
BTB charges 1% of all deposits into a provision fund, which is why my first month shows significant loss. They also deduct tax at source, so the gains you’ll be seeing in the future are net of tax. Their historic annualised net return is 5.5%, which is considered good for a relatively low-risk platform.
Sadly, over the course of the month only half of my deposit was invested, causing severe cash drag. I hope I won’t feel it as much after the initial deposit is fully invested, but it does raise some concern about this platform’s loan volume.
Looking at affiliate commissions, this month I earned €47 from Lenndy, €40 from Envestio and €1 from Grupeer. Thanks to my supporters!
I enjoy blogging, and wish it were as financially rewarding as my day-job so I could spend more time on it. Advertising the blog could bring in more readers, but in order to “convert” them into commissions I would probably need to adopt a more promotional tone, add banners etc. I don’t feel comfortable going there, and prefer to maintain my integrity as an unbiased observer. Oh well.
This month I didn’t look for a cause to donate to, but stumbled upon one. It started with a news story that moved me to tears, about a 22-year old Israeli who had begun rescuing stray dogs during his military service in Palestine.
He finished his service a year ago, but still drives across the border into hostile territory to save wounded dogs and stray pups, which he then gives up for adoption. I found his Facebook page, and it turned out that he seeks donations to buy medicine for the rescued dogs.
It’s an insane endeavour, but I was so moved by this guy’s courage and heart, I immediately donated ₪50 (€13).
That’s it for this report. I was planning to write a post about my month in France, but haven’t gotten around to it yet; hopefully soon.