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I currently only have minor funds on NEO Finance, Evoestate, Finbee, Debitum Network, Robo.cash, Iuvo Group, Bondora, Housers, Brickshare, Reinvest24, and DoFinance. These are platforms that I am currently testing, new platforms or just interesting platforms that I may put more money in later. I try to diversify both on loan type and loan provider but also on sector, country and platform. In the pie chart below, you can see my distributions on February 1st 2020.
My passive income from crowdlending from month to month
The last couple of months has been horrible for the Baltic crowdlending and P2P industry. After the shutdown of the platform Kuetzal, investors turned to Envestio and started to withdraw a lot of the funds due to insecurity. Envestio was the same type of crowdlending platform as Kuetzal and had the same buyback model, where investors are offered that the platform will buyback the investments for a 10% penalty fee. When investors all want to exit at once, as it happened in both cases with a bank run scenario, this model does of course not work. Both platforms closed down and the employees disappeared. Investors have reported the two platforms to the local police for suspicion of fraud, police investigation has been started, and investors have united in a common lawsuit against the platforms. Angelo, another blogger made these videos of what happened to Kuetzal and Envestio. I could not have explained it better myself.
I did not invest with Kuetzal, but unfortunately I still had some money left at Envestio, even though I had slowly been moving funds to platforms with lower interest rates, but with loans secured in real estate like Evoestate and especially Estateguru. I had a net loss of 3832 EUR with Envestio. However, on top of that I also choose to count all the accrued interest earned during my 1½ year on the platform, as I assume the worst case scenario, which is, that it was a full on scam where every single projects were fake, and all interest earned was just a number on the screen. However, some money could still be somewhere and recovered by the lawsuit, but I have no hopes about that. Fastinvest also gave me a loss because of early exit, but all my other platforms left me with a profit. In the end, that left me with a total loss for the month of 4492 EUR including loss of accrued interest on Fastinvest and Envestio.
Overall income and losses
I have been thinking about how to best display my total gains and losses, loss of princical, and how to visualize the interests that I previously earned, but for Envestio may or may not turn out to be true. In the end I decided to make three graphs instead of one like I did the previous months. I think this gives a much better overview of it all.
The first one is purely interest income. As I at least for now consider all interest income earned at Envestio as lost, I gathered all the interest I earned over time at Envestio and subtracted them from my earnings from other platforms in in January 2020. If some interest income will later be recovered from the Envestio lawsuit, they will be added as income at that time.
The second graph shows the loss of principal. Right now there is only the loss from Envestio. Some could later be recovered in court, but for now I consider them gone! If I later have a project that defaults or a loan provider that folds and some principal eventually in lost, I will add the loss of principal to the below graph as well.
THe third graph show the total gains and losses combined. I this this is the most important one as you can here see the full picture in one graph. Remember that I have only tracking my earnings since the start of 2019, even though I have been invested since the start of 2018.
My total gains from crowdlending investments including the latest losses!
January 2020 was a big hit to my portfolio and a worst case scenario of losing all earned interest and principal on a single platform, but I am still in plus with 3196,20 EUR since I started my crowdlending adventure.
How did bloggers report their income for the devastating month of January?
There is a big difference on how bloggers invested in Kuetzal and Envestio reported their loss. Some have a big plus for the month, even though they had huge losses! I am late with this months update because I think it is important to show the full and horrible truth to your followers, so I wrote an article about it. If you did not already read it, you can do it here. Some are cooking the books a bit too creatively!
If you want to know what type of platforms I think involve a greater risk than others, I go into a bit more detail in my update for January 2020. Here I also share my change in investment strategy for the next year. This will make my full portfolio stronger and with more secured loans.
My portfolio growth and where I am located at the moment
My portfolio took a hit this month due to the Envestio scam. It will take me at least a half year to recover. Shit. What was a shitty month for my crowdlending investments, was a great month for my health. I am really enjoying to go to the gym every morning and pushing myself. If you start the day well, then you usually keep making the right choices and keep doing all the good things you planned for the day.
I am currently located in Sao Paulo in Brazil. Carnival is coming up and I am trying to focus a bit on a possible new investment in real estate for rental income. It should not all be about crowdlending. Even though over more than half of my full portfolio is in property, I don’t consider it a bigger risk to buy more property. I am currently looking at small studio apartments here in Brazil, located in the dead center of Sao Paulo, in brand new buildings. The idea is to rent out full time on Airbnb. The big construction companies buy parking lots in the center. Soon there will not be any more parking lots to buy this central. The currency, Brazilian Real, is historically low. All buildings I look at have reception, rooftop pool, outdoor areas, gym, BBQ area, conference room, and a laundry room. I have been looking at these apartments for a few years now. I could make a few posts about these projects, if you guys are interested. Just for fun, you can see one of the projects that I recently visited, located just 100 meters from where i live. Over the years I have seen parking lots turned into skyscrapers. A 21 m2 studio with a balcony in this new building will cost 46300 EUR and will rent out for about 27 to 33 EUR per day, cleaning fee excluded. Maybe I will get in. Let me know if you want to know more here on the blog.
If you want to follow my travel adventures and get even more content you should consider following my Facebook page, Instagram or YouTube channel where I also publish videos from my platform visits in the Baltics and Southeast Asia.
During the month I did not really release a lot of content. Too much was happening around the Envestio and Kuetzal platform folds. I am helping the common investor lawsuit with evidence to support their case. I only wrote a bit about my daily cash drag on Swaper. I updated my Swaper article with a cashdrag graph for a full month, where I checked the cash drag each day. It is located at the end of my Swaper article.
I have only shared the statistics from my portfolio from April 2019 and not all the way back from when I started investing. I guess I am a lazy investor. I don’t want to look at the numbers all the time. But this year I started keeping track and counting up all the income from the different platforms.
The deposits to my crowdlending portfolio
Deposits can swing from month to month depending on my travel activities and expenses.
You may wonder how I am able to make these big deposits while traveling on a lean FIRE budget and not having a day job. The thing is, that I only share my crowdlending portfolio as this is what the blog is about. I am reinvesting all of my earnings from this. My crowdlending portfolio is only 9% of my full investment portfolio. I also have passive income in the form of dividends and rental income. I have 50% procent in real estate, 40% in stocks, and 1% in cash. That 1% in cash is now tied up in a renovation project for a while. Crowdlending is the only thing I actively work on at the moment. The rest is fully passive. The large deposits has been coming from savings and a bigger payout I got when I left my job in December 2018.
For the first time I actually had to withdraw a bit of money from my portfolio. They say that one accident rarely comes alone. My property in Copenhagen had some construction made some years back. It turned out that the construction was done really poorly and the top apartments of the building got some serious water damage. We are currently running a lawsuit against the construction company, to get them to pay to have another company take over. However, the lawsuit takes time and we need to get things fixed now. Otherwise it may get a lot worse and many people cannot live in the top apartments, due to water damage. So I had to withdraw a bit of my portfolio to be able to cover my part of the construction, 12383 €. That is a lot of money and I of course hope that they will return to me, if the lawsuit ends in favor of us. However, who knows. I might just get some of them back or maybe none at all. But that is of course the worst case scenario. Well, time will tell. Because of this renovation, at least for a while, the times of the big deposits are on pause. I will still deposit smaller amounts and reinvest the earnings.
Which is the better product - Bondora Go & Grow or Mintos Invest & Access?
In the start of June 2019, during the P2P conference in Riga, I published an article about the new Mintos Invest & Access product. This is in some ways similar to the Bondora Go & Grow product. I wanted to transfer money back into Bondora Go & Grow. When I visited the Bondora office in Tallinn, they told me that 1/3 of their investor portfolio is in Go & Grow. This paints a clear picture that this type of product is really popular with investors and has great potential. Bondora has been in operation since 2007, but the Bondora Go & Grow product is fairly new. Both Bondora Go & Grow and Mintos Invest & Access promise that the investor can sell their investments and get the money out right away. With Bondora Go & Grow you can get all the money out no matter the status of the loans you are invested in, but offers a lower interest rate than Mintos Invest & Access. On the other hand, with Mintos Invest & Access investors can only get the money out that are currently not late. Some loan providers at Mintos also does not offer interest payments on late loans. So it is not quite clear which product is the best.
I therefore decided to transfer 500 euros to each platform at the 1st of August 2019. I invested the money at the same time and I will not deposit any more money to the two portfolios. Every month I will then do a status of the progress and earnings, to share with you which portfolio is currently ahead. This will be interesting!
Below you can see the results for both portfolios by the 1st of February 2020. Mintos Invest & Access still has the lead in terms of earning as expected. However, 180,23 euros of the money invested in Mintos Invest & Access is not available for instant withdrawal. This is a decrease since last month, so that is a good development. As always Bondora Go & Grow is ahead in terms of liquidity and Mintos Invest & Access is ahead in terms of returns with 21.01 euros versus 15.74 with Bondora Go & Grow. During January the average interest rate on Mintos Invest & Access dropped as it has been doing every month since the product came out, this time from 9.55% to 9.36%. Interesting battle! Stay tuned by signing up for the newsletter.
Get started on building your own crowdlending portfolio today!
If you would like to get started building your own crowdlending portfolio I am currently gathering as much knowledge about the top platforms and I will share everything I learn here on the blog to inspire you. I am not an investment advisor and the risk you take is yours and yours alone. I am just sharing my own experiances investing in crowdlending and hope my learnings can give you some insights if you want to get started or expand your current portfolio. Here are some of my favorite platforms and the information I have gathered so far. More to come! All the below platforms are free to sign up to and free to use. If you want to know some more about crowdlending you can view the videos and the panel discussions I shared from the first pure P2P conference in Riga, in the start of June 2019.
Transfer and exchange money for investing for free with Revolut!
I do almost all of my crowdlending investments in the currencies EUR or GBP. As my main bank account is located in Denmark, the money on my account is in DKK. So whenever I want to invest I have to first exchange to another currency and then transfer the money to my investment account abroad. If I use my netbank for this I will pay a fee each time, both for the currency exchange and the transfer. The first time I transfered money I did it using my netbank. Then I found out about a wonderful free product you can use to do both. Completely for free! The product is called Revolut and you can order it for free right here. Then you can invest the money you save in crowdlending instead!
Grupeer is a great platform with very competent people behind. They mix real estate projects with business loans.
>> Sign up on the Grupeer platform for free.
>> See my platform walkthrough and get help to sign up for their free service.
>> Read or listen to my extensive interview with Grupeer.
>> See me picking up trash from the canals in Copenhagen with Grupeer.
BulkEstate is a platform that focuses on real estate in Riga and Jurmala, an area by the beautiful beach 11 kilometers north of Riga. They are experts in these areas. They only have a few investments objects per month but I think they are very competent.
>> Sign up on the BulkEstate platform for free.
>> Read or listen to my extensive interview with BulkEstate.
>> See the videos I made on site at some of the Bulkestate real estate projects.
I have to say I am pretty impressed with VIAINVEST. The group has been in business for 10 years, the longest track record of any of the platforms I have visited so far. There portfolio and business model has proven to be stable even during a financial crisis. So they “only” have a return of 11% per year but let us be honest, that is actually a pretty good return. The loans you invest in are also short term, so you can free your money and withdraw them in about a month if you need them.
I made an agreement with VIAINVEST, that you will get a 10 euro bonus if you invest at least 50 euros on their platform. But I recommend that you first read the VIAINVEST interview I made on the blog, to see if VIAINVEST is an investment platform that fits you.
>> Sign up on the VIAINVEST platform for free and get the 10 euro bonus.
>> Read my interview with VIAINVEST Platform Lead, Simona, when I visited the office in Riga.
Mintos is one of the most well known and popular crowdlending platforms in the Baltics. I went to visit their office prior to the P2P conference in the start of June 2019 in Riga. This is a platform that most crowdlending investors have in their portfolio. I see them as very professional. It is a big company and you have the possibility to diversify a lot, just on this single platform.
>> Sign up on the Mintos platform for free.
>> See my platform walkthrough and get help to sign up for their free service.
As you can see from the pie chart in my portfolio, I really like Crowdestor. After visiting them several times, both at their office in Riga and also going out with them while they were inspecting potential investment objects, I have absolutely no reservations investing in their projects. They are serious about their investors and projects and very knowledgeable and competent. Their projects have high interest rates and sometimes they have some more exotic projects that you will not find on other platforms. Investment objects with an interesting story. I will soon publish an article about my interview and visits with Crowdestor.
>> Sign up on the Crowdestor platform for free.
>> See the previous projects from Crowdestor.
>> See the videos I made on site at some of the Crowdestor projects.
Peerberry is a platform I have used for a while. They have short term direct to consumer loans and instalments. That means that you can liquify your invested funds within a month. They also have buyback on all their investments. I have a meeting set up with them at their office in Vilnius next week, so I will soon publish a blog article with my extensive interview with the platform.
>> Sign up on the Peerberry platform for free.
>> Read my interview with the Peerberry CEO and see pictures from my visit at Peerberry in Vilnius.
Robo.cash I have used for a while, but at the beginning I did not put a lot of funds as they did not have enough loans. That problem seems to be solved and I recently invested more with them. They have short term direct to consumer loans and have buyback on all their investments. I have a meeting set up with them at their office in Riga in a few days, so I will soon publish a blog article with my extensive interview with the platform.
>> Sign up on the Robo.cash platform for free.
Property Partner is a UK P2P platform, based in London. They focus only on real estate in the United Kingdom. This is not a platform that offers big monthly payouts like the platforms in the Baltics. They usually pay out 2 to 6% depending on the property. But it has a lot of potential for great earnings, but it all depends on the UK real estate market. The way it works is that the platform buys properties, rent them out and then make a company connected to it. They put in an administrator who takes care of everything. You can then buy shares in the company and you will each month receive rent payments in the form of dividends. The share price is normally under 1 GBP, so you can get a really diversified real estate portfolio for very little money. The great thing is, that you can always sell you shares on the secondary market and if the property value has gone up, the value of your shares will go up as well. If you want to get into true real estate investing and not just development and renovation projects, this is actually a really interesting platform! Their functionality and secondary market are very detailed and there are a lot of properties to choose from. You can easily start investing in real estate with very little funds.
>> Sign up on the Property Partner platform for free.
Leave a comment or a question below - Let me know what you think!
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and I will get back to you with an answer. Do you already invest in crowdlending? On what platform? If you have not started yet but would like to, what concerns do you have and what information are you missing in order to get started? Use the share buttons below, if you want to share the knowledge.