Crowd-lending portfolio review for May 2018

Overview of the month

Just like last month, the main change in my crowd-lending portfolio is the transfer of funds from Omaraha and Bondora to Grupeer.

Website changes

Well, quite a lot of things happened, as you may have realized !

Lat month I created Alternative Investments’ Facebook page; I encourage you to check it out for up-to-date news on the platforms I invested in.

While technically this belongs to the next month’s news, I spent a lot of time re-designing the website. My priority was to make it easier to find information, and be much more mobile-friendly. I stumbled upon Elementor, an impressive page builder for WordPress, and had a lot of fun with it ! While I didn’t convert all pages to the new design yet, it shouldn’t take long to update the remaining ones.

One notable addition to my growing reviews list is Envestio. I’m rather impressed by this newcomer in the business and real-estate crowdfunding sector !

Current performance

Omaraha

Omaraha‘s XIRR is stable; it stood at 20.21%, against 20.26% for last month. I withdrew part of the portfolio again, as the loans supply didn’t increase much.

Bondora

Bondora is once again the ugly duckling of my crowd-lending portfolio, with an XIRR down to 12.29% from 12.91% in April. As previously mentioned, I stopped reinvesting and I’m slowly withdrawing available funds. I’m planning to cut the portfolio’s size in two.

Grupeer

I reinvested most of the cash withdrawn from Omaraha and Bondora at Grupeer. As often, the cashback offer allowed me to boost my returns, leading to a great XIRR of 14.67%, nearly the same as last month’s 14.68%

Mintos

My portfolio at Mintos keeps on performing well; the XIRR reached 12.83%, slightly up compared to the previous value of 12.75%.

Swaper

The returns for this part of my P2P lending portfolio is stable, with Swaper‘s XIRR at 12.08%, nearly the same as last month’s 12.14%

Robo.cash

Swaper’s competitor Robo.cash did extremely well last month, as my XIRR increased from 12.23% to 12.72%.

DoFinance

As expected, DoFinance‘s XIRR is stable, at 12.25% versus 12.17% last month. I noticed that this platform has recently changed their offer, and the interest rates have been lowered, so I have to update the review.

Other companies

One of my projects at CrowdEstate was successfully exited. My investment in “Global Nord Timber OÜ” yielded an IRR of 17.54%, higher than expected. However I’m still waiting to have more projects exited in order to publish a realistic performance.

My recent investments in Crowdestor pay interests monthly; as a result, I’ll start publishing their performance next month.

Regarding BulkEstate, the situation is the same as CrowdEstate, and I’m waiting until the end of the year.

Aggregate portfolio XIRR

This value is the average of the XIRR for each company, weighted by its amount. It’s down from 17.03% to 16.83%; as usual, this drop is due to the large allocation to Omaraha and Bondora, whose performance decreased.

XIRR evolution

Remember that values until October (included) were provided by the platform or crudely estimated; from November onwards they were computed using the method outlined in this article.

Once again, Omaraha is really ahead of its competitors, with Grupeer being second while other companies offer rather comparable returns.

I expect the statistics of my real-estate crowdfunding portfolio to change this a bit, as their performance should be somewhere between Omaraha’s and Grupeer’s.

Returns by crowd-lending company - May 2018

Current allocation

The rebalancing continues, with Grupeer’s portfolio increasing while Bondora and Omaraha decreased. I’m planning to invest more on real-estate crowdfunding platforms in the coming months, as this part of my portfolio is only around 5% of my total investments.

Allocation between crowd-lending companies - May 2018

New platforms

Last month I mentioned a new P2P lending platform I wanted to test, but Envestio’s arrival has changed my plans and I invested there instead. As a result, there’s still one review on my to-do list, but my main priority is to update DoFinance’s and Bondora’s reviews, as well as completing the website re-design.

Envestio – A very promising crowdfunding platform

Envestio – A very promising crowdfunding platform

Envestio is a newcomer in crowd-lending area, with a very promising platform. It currently features few projects, but they yield great interest rates and belong to various domains.

GLOBAL RATING

Loans duration

1 month - 1 year

Loans kind

Business
Real-estate

Minimal investment

€1

Buyback

NO buyback guarantee

Secondary market

Secondary market available

Auto-invest

NO auto-invest available

Pros

  • Very interesting interest rates
  • Projects in various domains
  • New projects are added regularly to the platform
  • Ability to sell back your investments to Envestio

Cons

  • The platform is very young

Interests rate

Past and active projects offer very interesting returns; however, don’t forget that the loans are not guaranteed !

Loans liquidity

Large projects are added regularly.

Reporting

Reporting is rather basic but sufficient

Buyback guarantee

There’s no buyback guarantee

Platform ergonomics

The website is well designed and pleasant to use, in spite of a few glitches : the investment process itself could be more user-friendly

Funding methods

SEPA transfer

Languages

English, German

See also

Overview of Envestio

Envestio operates as a crowdfunding platform since December 2017; it was previously a private investment fund created in 2014. The financed projects look like the ones found at Crowdestor and CrowdEstate. Will it bring something different from these two competitors ?

Signup process

Signing-up to Envestio is really trivial. It took me less than one minute to fill up my name, birth date, country of residence. One click one the confirmation e-mail later and I was done !

Funding my account was also fast and easy. The only supported method is via SEPA transfer.

Unsecured loans

There are currently four active projects, and more than fifteen exited projects. Although projects seem to be rather short-term (less than 6 months), several were longer than one year. Returns typically range from 15% for real-estate projects to more than 20% for more speculative projects like crypto mining. All investments are made in Euro, and the minimal amount is €1.The involved amounts are rather large; currently the smallest projects needs €100 000, while the largest requires €500 000.

The projects are usually well-detailed; what is missing is a risk assessment like the one provided by CrowdEstate for its investments.

An interesting aspect is that borrowers usually pay interests monthly; check the detailed payment schedule for each project.

Overall, I really appreciate the diversity of the investment opportunities that Envestio offers; moreover, the interest rates look very interesting.

Auto-invest feature

Envestio currently doesn’t offer opportunity to auto-invest; however, as the financed amounts are large and new projects aren’t added too frequently, it’s hardly a necessity.

Buyback

There’s no buyback guarantee on  loans; the term buyback appears on the website, but it relates to the opportunity to sell your investments back to the company (see below).

Secondary market

There’s no secondary market; however, Envestio offers to buy back your investment at any time. The associated cost usually seems to be 5% but may vary from one project to another. As usual, I strongly advise you to invest only funds you’re not planning to need !

Website ergonomics

The website is rather complete and overall well-designed. One minor annoyance is the investment process itself : one first has to go to the project page. There, an “Invest” button switches to another page listing all projects. Yet another click on the right project finally takes the investor to a new investment page, which sums up the project and finally allows to invest. Hooray 🙂

Currently available languages are English and German. As a side note, I appreciated the useful FAQ which is rather extensive.

Reporting

Reporting is rather basic but adequate for the small number of projects. I appreciate the handy chart showing the diversification of investments by sector. Also, the display of accrued interests for each project is a nice touch !

Support

There’s a live chat available on the site, as well as an e-mail contact address and phone number available; I got in touch with them using the chat after my transferred funds didn’t appear on my Envestio account. After a quick chat and an e-mail to their accounting department, the problem was solved and my account was credited. The whole process took less than five minutes and I was impressed by their efficiency.

Actual performance

I’ll start publishing my portfolio’s performance at the end of 2018, once my portfolio is large enough to be a bit realistic. In the interval, I’ll keep on updating this review as the platforms adds more projects.

Conclusion : my opinion about Envestio

Envestio seems like a great complement to CrowdEstate and Crowdestor. The projects offer great returns and allow to invest large sums. Of course, I advise you to invest gradually as the company doesn’t have a proven, public track record yet; as long as you keep this in mind, it provides a great way to diversify your portfolio even further.

(last update : June 11th, 2018)

Making money with Amazon Mechanical Turk

I discovered Amazon Mechanical Turk while searching for a way to make money online and work part-time. It’s one of the most famous crowdsourcing websites; it allows businesses to post online micro-tasks (at most a few minutes long), which will be completed by online workers. Due to their short durations, these tasks pay very little individually, often a few cents; however it’s possible to complete many of them in a single hour. I spent a bit more than two months on Mechanical Turk; although I work part-time and I’m a non-US worker (more on this below), I managed to make around $375.

You may wonder why I publish an article related to crowdsourcing on Alternative Investments. I think that one large advantage of real-estate crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending is that they allow to invest very small sums, making them much more accessible than traditional investments. However, even these small amounts may be unavailable to some would-be investors, especially when you factor in the fact that you need to diversify your investments. Crowdsourcing allows nearly anyone to make an additional revenue easily, providingthem with some additional income they can invest.

Signing up to Amazon Mechanical Turk

As I already had an Amazon.com account, signing up to Mechanical Turk was trivial. A few days later, I received an e-mail stating that I got accepted as a Mechanical Turk worker. Unfortunately, it looks like Amazon doesn’t accept all applications; the required criteria are unclear, and some even suggest that they’re purely random. In case you’re rejected, all you can do is wait; apparently several workers got accepted at a later date.

First steps with Amazon Mechanical Turk

If you’re among the lucky ones who get selected, you’ll be taken to the main screen of Amazon Mechanical Turk. In spite of its simplicity, the it can seem a bit overwhelming. By default, you’ll be on the “HITs” part of the website. A HIT (human intelligence task) is simply another name for the tasks available for workers.

The screen will show you a list of available HITs; for each of them, the site shows the requester’s name, the title, the number of HITs available, the reward and how long ago it was created. If there’s more than one HIT available, workers commonly talk of these HITs as a batch; they’re a quick way to improve your statistics and earn more if you can work on them quickly enough.

Clicking on “Accept & Work” will directly allow you to start working on the HIT, while “Preview” will only display it, allowing you to either accept it or skip it. Note that it’s also possible that the HIT you selected isn’t available anymore, if another worker completed it; in this case you’ll be taken back to the main screen, which will also display an error message at the top.

It’s possible to search for a special requester or HIT name by using the search bar. In addition, clicking on “Filter” shows the following dialog, which not only allows to filter but also to sort. Note that sorting is also possible by clicking on any of the column header labeled “HITs”, “Reward” or “Created”.

Finally, you can display how many HITs are shown for each page.

Previewing & accepting HITs : let’s work !

HITs can be anything. You’ll find many surveys; other may involve searching for a company’s website, transcribing data, tagging photos and videos… The possibilities are rather endless and there are always new requesters, which provides some variety.

Each HIT will look different, however in most cases the controls at the top and bottom of the screen will be the same. If you’re previewing the HIT, you have the opportunity to Skip it; that is, switch to the next one on the batch. Otherwise, you can start working on it by clicking on Accept. Once accepted, you can Submit the result of your work if you’re satisfied; you may also give up the task by using the Return button.

At the top of the screen, you’ll also see the HIT name, requester name, number of HITs available, reward for each HIT as well as a timer showing how much time is left to complete the task. Indeed, you’re alloted a limited time; once the time is up, the task is automatically returned and you can’t submit it anymore.

After a task is submitted, the requester had one month to accept it or reject it. In most cases, it will only take two or three days. If your work is accepted, the money will be added to your available earnings. If unfortunately the requested isn’t satisfied and rejects your work, you  won’t get paid and your statistics will be hurt. While having a few rejections is unavoidable, you should try to have as few of them as possible. Let’s head out to the dashboard to find out why.

Amazon Mechanical Turk’s dashboard : show me the money !

The main role is the dashboard is to display how much money you’ve made so far. It also allows you to transfer your gains to your Amazon.com gift card.

However, another very important information here is the statistics on the number of HITs approved and rejected. Indeed, if you click on any HIT on the main screen, it will show you the conditions necessary to be able to work on it. Many of them require you to have a minimum of approved HITs, and often also set an approval rate threshold. The more HITs you complete and the higher your approval rate, the more HITs will be available; it’s kind of a virtuous circle. I can’t stress enough the important of having a good approval rate ! Otherwise you’ll have to transcribe handwritten text for one cent until the end of your life 🙂

Qualifications & tests

In addition to your statistics, other aspects will influence the HITs availability. HITs may be targeted at workers in a specific country (often the USA), barring you from taking them.

If you uncheck “HITs that I’m qualified to work on” in the filters screen, you will see many more HITs. With some perseverance, many of them may become available. Indeed, when inspecting the requirements for a HIT by clicking on it, you may see a “Take Test” button, like in the following hit.

Successfully taking the test will grant you the matching qualification. Should you fail, you may be able to try it again later; however, in some cases, you won’t be given the opportunity for a second try ! This information is displayed before you start the test; if you’re unsure of yourself, I strongly advise you to wait a bit and take the test later.

Note that you may also try the “Request qualification” button when it’s available, although apparently the request isn’t visible to most requesters and thus useless.

As time goes by and your statistics improve, you’ll have more and more tasks available. Even as a non-Us worker, I now have enough to keep me busy several hours a day if I want to !

A warning note for non-US workers

If you’re located outside the US, the only way to enjoy your hard-earned money will be to use it to buy stuff on Amazon.com; you won’t even be able to spend it in other national Amazon stores !

One safe but slightly inconvenient way to get rid of your gift card is to use purse.io in order to exchange them against bitcoins. You’ll fulfill other people’s orders using your gift card, earning bitcoins in return. Unfortunately, the price to pay for the safety of the process is high : you’ll often lose as much as 20% of the transaction’s value.

Is Amazon Mechanical Turk worth it ?

It totally depends on your expectations. I’m totally satisfied with my earnings so far, considering I work part-time. However, the restrictions on the payout may be really bothersome for non-US workers. Also, it requires a rather large time investment at first, in order to boost your stats and have access to HITs that pay better and are more interesting.

In a later article, I’ll share some advises in order to help beginner Turkers (that’s how workers at Amazon Mechanical Turk call themselves). meanwhile, a great way to get more information is to browse Reddit’s forums.

 

P2P lending portfolio review for April 2018

Overview of the month

April was another quiet month for my P2P lending portfolio. I withdrew some more funds from my Omaraha’s portfolio as it’s getting harder and harder to invest there, and managed to withdraw some money from Bondora.

Website changes

I didn’t have time to update many articles, but finally started Alternative Investment’s Facebook page ! I’ve been thinking for some time about a way to communicate up-to-date but transient informations, like P2P lending companies’ new offers. I think that a Facebook page is a great way to do so, instead of cluttering the website with short-lived posts. Of course, the website will remain my main focus, and I have a few background articles being written !

Current performance

Omaraha

Current XIRR is slightly down again, at 20.26% against 20.47% in April. Again, it’s still an excellent result, but it looks like it will be harder and harder to replicate it, especially for large accounts.

Bondora

XIRR was 12.91%, compared to 13.54% last month. As I mention in my last portfolio review, I stopped re-investing at Bondora. I keep on computing the resulting XIRR in order to see how well the recovery performs.

Grupeer

Another month with a lot of cashback offers from one of my favorite companies ! As a result, the XIRR increased to 14.68%, up from 14.54%. Do I need to point out that it’s an excellent return ? 🙂

Mintos

Like Grupeer, Mintos offers runs several cashback campaigns; however I once again failed to invest in the matching loans. As a result my XIRR was really stable at 12.75%, basically the same value as last month’s 12.71%. Note that for long-term investors, it’s now possible to invest in loans offering as much as 15% interest rate, coming with a buyback guarantee.

Swaper

Returns were very stable this month, with an XIRR of 12.14% versus 12.16% last month.

Robo.cash

After several months of slow increase, the XIRR for April was nearly identical to March’s one, at 12.23%; last month’s value was 12.25%.

DoFinance

Shame on me ! I just realized that I forgot to include this company in my monthly review. Well, now it’s done; the XIRR for my portfolio there is 12.17%,  stable from last month’s 12.20%. Note that thanks to the simplicity of the company’s offer, I don’t expect this value to fluctuate much !

Other companies

As usual, I didn’t compute the XIRR for several companies.

Several of my investments at CrowdEstate have been paying interests for a few months, but as they’re not real-estate crowdfunding, their returns are different from most other projects in my portfolio. My first investment in Crowdestor also started to return interests, but here again my portfolio is too new for me to publish the results. Finally, I’m still waiting for my BulkEstate‘s long-term investments to pay interests within a few months.

Finbee and Monestro’s reviews still aren’t ready, so reporting the result would be rather pointless if I don’t provide more details.

Aggregate portfolio XIRR

This value is the average of the XIRR for each company, weighted by its amount. This month it’s fallen again; it’s now 17.03%, versus 17.34% last month. Once again, the large weight of Omaraha and Bondora explain most of this decrease.

XIRR evolution

Remember that values until October (included) were provided by the platform or crudely estimated; from November onwards they were computed using the method outlined in this article.

There’s nearly no noticeable change compared to last month; the tendency is again for returns to get uniform between most comparable companies.

Returns by P2P lending company - April 2018

Current allocation

As mentioned in the overview, I decreased the size of my Bondora and Omaraha portfolios. My only new investment was in CrowdEstate’s last project, as I had some idle funds there.

Due to the large withdrawal in Omaraha, most other companies’ relative size increased.

Allocation between P2P lending companies - April 2018

New platforms

I found out a new platform which seem great, but several aspects kind of annoy me so I want to spend some more time researching it, rather than give a rushed opinion.

 

 

 

P2P lending portfolio review for March 2018

Overview of the month

It’s time for changes ! I finally decided to stop investing in Bondora, as I’m totally unsatisfied by the ever-decreasing returns. The two available options were either selling my portfolio, or stopping the portfolio manager. As I’m not in a hurry to get my funds back, I chose the latter option, which is also more cost-effective as selling my loans would mean offering a discount.

Also, like last month, I withdrew the received interests from Omaraha, as this portfolio is too large compared to other companies, and it’s hard to get it totally invested.

The funds withdrawn from Bondora will be mostly spread between Grupeer, Finbee and CrowdEstate. I won’t reinvest the amount withdrawn from Omaraha in P2P loans, as I need them for a top-secret project I still have to blog about 🙂

Updated reviews

I finally took the time to update Investly‘s review, as its performance had decreased a lot since my initial review. I also mention Mintos‘s new predefined strategies, Grupeer‘s improved liquidity and new development projects, and CrowdEstate‘s / BulkEstate‘s recent improvements. Check them out !

Current performance

Omaraha

Current XIRR is 20.47%, down from 20.84%. Performance is still excellent, but it has become too hard to invest large sums now so I decided to stop reinvesting the interests, basically capping the portfolio’s size to its current amount.

Bondora

XIRR was down again to 13.54%, compared to 14.37% last month. I’ve delayed the decision to cut off my investments from a while, but I can’t delay it anymore.

Grupeer

I managed to get less cashback in March, leading to a slightly down XIRR. It was 14.54%, versus 14.72% on the previous month. Their solid performance never ceases to amaze me, and I’ll allocate most of my withdrawn funds to Grupeer.

Mintos

Once again it was a very stable month for this platform; the XIRR was 12.71%, nearly the same as last month’s 12.69% last month. Several cashback campaigns are active but I have a hard time investing in the matching loans.

Swaper

Another month of increasing returns for Swaper, with a XIRR of 12.16%, up from last month’s 11.90%.

Robo.cash

Like Swaper, Robo.cash results suffered from a cash drag and are improving steadily. XIRR for March was 12.25%, compared to 11.97% last month.

Other companies

As usual, I didn’t compute the XIRR for several companies. I still didn’t write Finbee and Monestro’s reviews, and reports are a bit useless without an introduction to the platform. For CrowdEstate, BulkEstate and Crowdestor, it’s because they’re long-term investments, and most of them will only pay interests after one year.

Aggregate portfolio XIRR

This value is the average of the XIRR for each company, weighted by its amount. This month it’s fallen from 17.72% to 17.34%. The large weight of Omaraha and Bondora explain most of this drop.

XIRR evolution

Remember that values until October (included) were provided by the platform or crudely estimated; from November onwards they were computed using the method outlined in this article.

It’s interesting to see that returns are getting more and more similar from one company to another. I expect the XIRR for most companies to increase a bit : Swaper and RoboCash suffered from a lack of liquidity which decreased returns, while Mintos’s interest rates have increased over time. On the other hand, Bondora’s and Omaraha’s results may keep on decreasing.

Returns by P2P lending company - March 2018

Current allocation

My P2P lending portfolio allocation hasn’t changed much since February, but overall I target a more balanced allocation, along with a slightly higher weight for real-estate crowdfunding companies. I haven’t decided the target allocation yet, but changes will be incremental anyway.

I slightly increased my portfolio in Crowdestor, investing in their crazy opportunity offering a 36% interest rate. To be frank, I’m a bit puzzled that a new platform offers such a risky project; if the borrower defaults, it could be fatal to the company’s credibility. However, as the loan has a 3 months duration, we’ll soon see the outcome of this bet !

Allocation between P2P lending companies - March 2018

New platforms

I’m currently checking two new platforms, in order to determine whether they would bring value to investors. Indeed, I don’t want Alternative Investments to become a catalog of reviews, so I try to find companies that use a different approach or are financially more rewarding.

Also, now that I updated Investly’s review, I still have to rewrite most of Bondora’s one.

 

 

Three investing mistakes that may harm your P2P lending or real-estate crowdfunding portfolio

Like other investment forms, P2P lending and real-estate crowdfunding come with associated risks. This post will introduce you with three classical investing mistakes that beginners and even advanced investor may make.

Investing mistake #1 : investing money you need

Always consider your future financial needs before investing. Many P2P lending companies provide a secondary market, but you’ll usually have to sell your loans for a discount, thus losing money. Worse, if this feature isn’t available, your money will be stuck for a long time.

Investing mistake #2 : investing too much, too early

Don’t be in a hurry ! I always start investing with a small amount, even with reputable companies. It takes time to get used to most websites; you don’t want to improperly invest your money because of a mistake in auto-invest configuration ! So, start small, and take time to get to know the platform. Once the returns satisfy you, gradually increase your investments.

Investing mistake #3 : not diversifying enough

Diversification is an absolute must in any investment form. When investing in peer-to-peer lending or real-estate crowdfunding,  there are several degrees of diversification available. First, between the different companies themselves. No matter if you want to invest in secured on unsecured loans, for a short or a long duration, in individual or business loans; there will always be several companies offering great investment opportunities. Signing up is usually very easy, so splitting your investment between several companies is a no-brainer.

For peer-to-peer loans, there are two different diversification levels. First between loan originators; this is essential as these firms provide the buyback guarantee. But buyback is not infallible, so if one originator bankrupts, you don’t want to have all your money invested there ! Finally, I advise you to use the smallest loan size possible, in order to spread the risk between as many different loans as possible !

Mintos‘s blog features several articles on diversification. They’re well worth the time necessary to read them.

 

My four favorite P2P lending and real-estate crowdfunding companies

Alternative investments already features a long guide comparing many peer-to-peer lending and real-estate crowdfunding companies. However, it’s a long read, and I understand it can be intimidating. So, here’s a much shorter list of my favorite companies.

Keep in mind that limiting the number of entries is necessarily unfair, and doesn’t mean that the missing ones aren’t worth investing in ! For example, Robo.cash is missing from this list, although it’s a company I strongly appreciate. So, don’t hesitate to check the longer comparison at a later date, or browse all available reviews. Diversification will allow you to reduce risk !

Peer-to-peer lending companies

Omaraha

Omaraha is still the largest part of my portfolio. In spite of a large cash drag, it’s still possible to invest in quality loans offering around 20% interest rate, for a long-term duration. However, be warned that Omaraha is probably not for beginners. Their website is dated and hard to use, and the loans are only partially guaranteed.

Grupeer

I may not be objective about Grupeer, but it’s probably my favorite P2P lending company. I’m honestly puzzled why there are not more people investing through this company. They offer guaranteed loans with an interest rate of 14% or more for a duration below one year. As time goes by, Grupeer features more and more originators with an increasing loans volume. The website is easy to use and require very little time; the only drawback I see is the lack of a secondary market. As a result, you can’t resell your loan if you find yourself in need of the money.

Mintos

Mintos‘s offering is truly impressive. There are both business and personal loans, a huge array of originators from many countries, and it offers loans both with or without buyback. In spite of this very rich offering, the website is very easy to use. It’s the perfect offer for beginners; longer-term guaranteed loans currently offer 14% interest rate.

Real-estate crowdfunding

Real-estate crowdfunding offers a great way to invest in real-estate with as little as €100. The returns are usually rather high – I actually cry when I compare them to the returns I get from a traditional real-estate investment I made several years ago -. One word of caution, though :  these returns come with an equivalent level of risk. Please make sure you understand the risks associated with real-estate investments before committing your money !

CrowdEstate

CrowdEstate is by far the undisputed leader in this category. They regularly add new projects, which offer great expected returns. The investments are extremely detailed, and investors have the opportunity to ask questions before the start of the investment period. It’s a perfect way to diversify your portfolio if you already invested in the above companies !

 

 

P2P lending portfolio review for February 2018

Overview of the month

The most important change in my P2P lending portfolio was that I withdrew some cash from Omaraha. Also, in order to write Crowdestor‘s review, I invested a small sum in this firm’s first project.

Current performance

Omaraha

In spite of offering a large bonus, I got nearly no new loan at Omaraha until the very end of February. This situation has been lasting since the beginning of the year, so I decided to withdraw most of the idle funds in order to allocate them to Grupeer, Finbee and Crowdestor (in decreasing order).

My XIRR is absolutely stable compared to last month, at 20.84% versus 20.86%; it’s once again my best portfolio, and it pained me to have to withdraw money from it !

Bondora

Ah, Bondora… Once again it was a very deceiving month for this platform. I made more money with my Grupeer portfolio, although it’s twice smaller than my Bondora portfolio. Another striking figure is the received interests, which have dropped by more than 50% between January and February !

The XIRR dropped below 15%, setting a new low at 14.37% against 15.14% last month. Needless to say, that’s a very poor result, especially compared to Bondora’s “expected return” when I started investing. While this may look like a harsh judgment- after all, it’s really not a bad result by itself -, the clearly decreasing returns is really worrisome !

Grupeer

It was yet another excellent month for my portfolio at Grupeer. The XIRR  reached 14.72%, slightly above last month’s 14.63%. There were few cashback offers this month, so the returns may drop slightly; however one can only marvel at Grupeer’s very consistent returns. The reallocation from Omaraha meant that my Grupeer portfolio increased by around 10%.

Mintos

Another very stable month for this platform; the XIRR was 12.69%, compared to 12.63% last month. As a reminder, don’t forget to sign up for the cashback campaigns at they run regularly, and they offer a quick way to improve the returns of your portfolio.

Swaper

The XIRR is also very similar to January’s, at 11.90% for this month versus 11.83% for February.

Robo.cash

The XIRR increased once again, reaching 11.97%. Robo.cash is slowly recovering from the long cash drag that plagued it several months ago.

Other companies

As usual, I didn’t compute the XIRR for several companies. For Finbee and Monestro, it’s because I need to update or write the review. For CrowdEstate, BulkEstate and the very new Crowdestor, the reason is simply that I need to wait until the projects complete. I could actually provide a XIRR for CrowdEstate as one of the projects I invested in yields monthly interests, but it’s not typical from this platform’s investments.

Aggregate portfolio XIRR

That’s a value I’m really interested in; it shows the effect of the various portfolios size. It’s compute this value by simply taking the average of the XIRR for each company, weighted by its amount. This month it’s slightly down at 17.72%, versus 17.95% last month. I’m still very pleased by this result !

XIRR evolution

Earlier values until October (included) were provided by the platform or crudely estimated; from November onwards they were computed using the method outlined in this article.

Apart from Bondora’s continual downtrend, the results for most platforms are rather regular.

P2P Lending companies returns

Current allocation

I withdrew some money from Omaraha, and split this amount between Grupeer, Finbee, and a very tiny Crowdestor portfolio. This portfolio is so small compared to the other companies that there’s no legend for it ! (it’s located between CrowdEstate and Grupeer on the pie chart)

P2P lending companies allocations for February 2018

New platforms

I’ve had a portfolio for a long time at Finbee and I still have to write the review. It’s a rather complex platform with many options, and I lack time to explore it totally. But first, I  urgently need to update both Bondora and Investly reviews in order to reflect my current opinion !

 

 

 

Crowdestor review : a new real-estate crowdfunding platform

Crowdestor review : a new real-estate crowdfunding platform

In spite of its youth, Crowdestor already allows to invest in several very interesting projects. The expected returns are great, and the various sectors they belong to allow to diversify one’s portfolio. .

GLOBAL RATING

Loans duration

1 month - 1 year

Loans kind

Business
Real-estate

Minimal investment

€100

Buyback

NO buyback guarantee

Secondary market

NO secondary market available

Auto-invest

NO auto-invest available

Pros

  • Very interesting interests rates
  • Projects in diversified sectors
  • The platforms seems very active and regularly adds new opportunities

Cons

  • The platform is very young
  • Low loans volume

Interests rate

The interest rates for the current projects are great. Just keep in mind that the loans are not guaranteed !

Loans liquidity

There are new opportunities several times a month; however, their amount is rather small

Reporting

Reporting is rather basic

Buyback guarantee

There’s no buyback guarantee, as usual with these kinds of investments

Platform ergonomics

The website is basic but works well

See also

Overview of Crowdestor

Crowdestor offers the opportunity to invest in real-estate projects. Overall, it looks similar to BulkEstate, CrowdEstate. or Envestio. Let’s find out what the differences between these three platforms are !

Unsecured loans

Although it’s a recent platform, Crowdestor already features a rather impressive number of projects. Their duration is one year or shorter; the interests rates vary from 15% for classical real-estate projects to a crazy 36% (!) for a crypto-mining farm. The amount needed for each project is usually rather small (less than €100 000), so they get funded rather quickly.

One noteworthy aspect is that the investment opportunities are part of various sectors, allowing for some diversification in your portfolio.

A sample of Crowdestor's projects

Many details are provided; while the description isn’t as rich as at CrowdEstate, it’s still very detailed and provides many documents.

Most projects will start paying interests monthly right after the start of the investment period. This differs from most investments made through Crowdestor’s competitors, however it may be different for future projects.

Auto-invest feature

There’s currently no auto-invest feature. However, with very few projects available, it’s hardly a critical feature. The only use I may have for such a feature (provided by CrowdEstate) is when the required amount for a project is very small, as it may get filled up very quickly. But for now, Crowdestor’s small investors base make such a situation unlikely !

Buyback

The provided projects don’t come with a buyback guarantee. This is a common practice for real-estate and business loans.

Secondary market

Unlike CrowdEstate, Crowdestor doesn’t provide a secondary market. However as the loans duration is rather short, it’s not really a deal-breaker.

Website ergonomics

The website is simple but well designed and properly translated. The advantage of real-estate crowdfunding is that the number of projects is rather low and there are not many options available. As a result, these websites are usually very easy to use.

Administrative operations such as creating your account, funding it and investing in projects are easy to carry.

Reporting

Just like its main competitors, Crowdestor doesn’t provide a cash-flow forecast. It’s a pity as it would be useful, especially if the projects list grows.

Actual performance

This part will as usual be filled later, once I have more concrete data.

Conclusion : my opinion about Crowdestor

It’s always tricky to review a new platform. As P2P lending and crowdfunding are basically unregulated, the question of trust towards the platform is fundamental. And due to their lack of track record, it’s hard to put a lot of trust in new platforms. As such, I strongly advise you to be cautious and invest only a small part of your P2P portfolio through recently created companies. Later, as they get more traction and the projects are actually completed, you’ll always have the opportunity to grow your portfolio !

However, Crowdestor currently seems like a nice complement to the more senior CrowdEstate and BulkEstate. It actually looks a lot like Envestio, maybe with more speculative opportunities. The interest rate for the currently featured projects are great, and the provided documentation is convincing. I invested a small sum in several projects, and plan to invest in the next ones in order to get a better insight of their performance.

As usual, I’ll complete this review as time goes by. Stay tuned !

(last update : June 11th, 2018)

ICO portfolio review for January 2018

After a crazy rise in December, January was a very bad month for crypto-currencies. The most famous one, Bitcoin, lost about two third of its value. As a result, my ICO portfolio also suffered. I’m really happy I invested only a small sum as I’m not sure I could bear such volatility !

Portfolio structure

There has been noo change in my portfolio composition in January; I didn’t invest in any new ICO. WePower ICO took place on February, 1st and I really wanted to invest in it, but I totally missed it as I didn’t have internet access 🙁

I have invested in the following ICOs in equal proportions :

  • Crypto20 (C20), a crypto index fund
  • Symmetry (SYMM), a fund invested in crypto-currencies and ICOs
  • Naga Coin, (NGC) a smart crypto-currency for gaming and trading
  • Signals (SGN), a platform aimed at providing crypto-trading strategies

Current tokens valuation

Currently only two tokens are valued. C20 value is available in realtime at the project’s homepage, while pas values are displayed in the performance page. In addition to this, C20 is finally trading on exchanges. I’m using the official NAV value here, as there are differences between exchanges prices; moreover, the small liquidity may lead to unrealistic prices.

At the end of January, C20 token’s value was around $2.31 (versus $2.91 last month).

Crypto20 (C20) token price

Here’s NGC priced in USD at HitBTC; the chart includes most of February as I’m writing this article very late 🙁 While the token was worth at $2.82 at the end of December, it dropped to $1.46 at the end of January.

Naga Coin (NGC) token price

Total portfolio valuation

My ICOs portfolio saw an insane growth in December. In January, it went back to Earth – especially NGC -. The total growth of the portfolio is now “only” 25%. This figure  shows how crazy the crypto-currencies world is; it’s a huge drop compared to last month (where I doubled my portfolio), but even after that, the return is still impressive for such a small time.

ICOs portfolio evolution

Future directions

Spoiler alert 🙂 After missing the WePower ICO, I decided to invest in NapoleonX, a crypto asset manager. I’ve been considering it for some time, and finally invested in it. I’ll provide more details in next month’s ICo review.

 

Also, as I really appreciate Crypto20’s approach, I keep a close eye on their current developments, and will probably invest in their future tokens.