Crowd-lending portfolio review for January 2020

Website changes

As both Envestio and Kuetzal proved to be scams, this portfolio review is the most painful one I’ve had to write in three years or so.

After a lot of thinking, I’ve decided to make several editorial changes in order to focus more on investments safety. While the first iteration of my article on lessons from Kuetzal and Envestio was basically just a bunch of random thoughts, I’ve had time to organize them and draft up a detailed action plan. Constructive feedback is more than welcome; I realize that I have a lot of work to do in order to restore the credibility I lost by previously including Envestio and Kuetzal in my list of favorite platforms. It’s thus time for another large update to the website, which may span over several months !

I’ve also added a brand-new page on how to select loan originators; this topic is largely ignored by many investors (including me), and now seems like the perfect time to remedy this unfortunate situation.

Debitum Network

I finally managed to publish a review for Debitum Network !

Let’s face it, it’s not the platform I’m most enthusiastic about; part of this feeling is probably due to the awful website the platform initially used. However, now that it’s been redesigned, it’s quite pleasant to use.

The platform focuses on due diligence and only features a few loan originators. The returns are a bit too low to my taste (around 8% – 11%) and the loans volume is rather small, but the platform seems to take risk management seriously – they actually removed loans from originator Aforti before Mintos and Viventor ran into troubles with them ! –

Noteworthy news from the crowdlending world

In case you missed them, here’s a summary of the important news you should be aware of.

BoldYield

After the Kuetzal and Envestio events, BoldYield has decided to pause their operations due to the market conditions. Funds were returned to investors’ accounts, and are now available for withdrawal.

Monethera

As many concerned Monethera investors tried to use the buyback policy to sell their loans back to the platform, this feature was temporarily disabled.

The platform has also shown increased transparency, as many documents related to the borrower of their most recent loan were published. In addition, after a blogger from Hong-Kong revealed that the company providing the buyback guarantee was dissolved, the platform provided details about the mechanism behind their buyback guarantee (and refuted the fact that the company got dissolved, as several registers currently show it as live).

Wisefund

Similarly, Wisefund announced that they temporarily disabled the buyback. Meanwhile, the same blogger from Hong-Kong did some due diligence on Wisefund’s buyback guarantee, which seems suspicious as best.

Special offers

Here’s a list of interesting special offers currently available.

Robocash

Robocash has launched a cashback campaign – 0.5% of the investment amount – for their loans from Singapore. These have a one year duration and yield a 10% interest rate.

The conditions of the Cashback Campaign are simple: invest in any loan from Singapore until the end of February and earn +0.5% of the invested amount as of February 29, 2020! The bonus will be paid out to investors from March 2 to 6, 2020.

Individual platforms performance​​

As I previously announced, I don’t detail variations for every platform anymore. Only notable variations or noteworthy changes on the platform are commented.

Graphical overview

BitOfProperty

1.96%

I invested a token amount in three BitOfProperty projects in December; although they yielded interests, my current returns currently stand at only 1.96%.

Bondora

3.86%

Compared to Envestio’s and Kuetzal’s performance of -100%, Bondora’s returns actually don’t look that bad; the XIRR is currently 3.86%, down from 4.18%. Dark humor set aside, the recovery rate still isn’t picking up, so the performance keeps on dropping.

Bondster

10.33%

For many months, I was deceived by the performance of my Bondster portfolio, which was well below its theoretical value. It has finally managed to climb above 10%, with a current value of 10.33%; there’s still a lot of room for improvement, as it should be around 13% !

Brickstarter

1.83%

My Brickstarter portfolio will probably take a long time to reach a decent performance, as properties take a long time to get funded. My XIRR is now 1.83%, down from 2.40%.

BulkEstate

7.42%

As more and more projects pay interests, the performance of my BulkEstate portfolio keeps on increasing. It now stands at 7.42%, up from 7.29%. I have some leftover funds, as the capital for one loan was repaid in full, while the capital for another newly launched project was returned due to fraud suspicions.

CrowdEstate

5.81%

Several of my CrowdEstate loans are late (which may be explained in part by the repayment date being on a week-end). As a result, my returns decreased a bit, from 5.96% to 5.81%. Many loans are expected to be repaid (including interests) in February, so the performance may finally start picking up.

Crowdestor

15.31%

The performance of my Crowdestor portfolio was nearly identical to the previous one, with a value of 15.31% (compared to 15.34% in December). While the recent projects got funded at a slower pace than usual, most of then managed to reach the minimum target, which shows a great deal of confidence from investors. Additionally, I’ve contacted the borrower for the “E. Fon Trompowsky Quarter” project, and they confirmed that the capital for the first tier was paid to them.

Debitum Network

10.36%

The performance for the recently reviewed Debitum Network has decreased slightly in January, from 10.50% to 10.36%.

Envestio

-100.00%

I consider that my Envestio portfolio is totally lost, although some of it may be recovered later. Stricter applications of my investing guidelines should prevent such large-scale losses from now on !

EstateGuru

8.22%

The performance of my EstateGuru portfolio decreased a lot, as most loans in my portfolio don’t yield interests monthly. The XIRR is now 8.22%, down from 9.12%.

Fast Invest

12.74%

The performance for my Fast Invest portfolio has increased a lot in January, with a nice bump from 12.74% to 12.57%. They announced the onboarding of a new loan originator (Capital Service from Poland).

Iuvo

12.16%

The performance for my Iuvo portfolio has decreased from 12.28% to 12.16%. Interest rates on the platform seem to be down, contrary to what we can see at Mintos.

Kuetzal

-100.00%

Just like my Envestio portfolio, I now value my Kuetzal portfolio at 0. Again, funds may get recovered thanks to the upcoming lawsuit, but it will take ages anyway. Better write it off now and maybe have a nice surprise later !

Lendermarket

8.68%

Three months after I funded my Lendermarket portfolio, its performance reached 8.68% (up from 7.11% in December).

Lenndy

9.73%

My rather recent Lenndy portfolio is doing very well; the performance had a very sharp increase in January, as it went from 6.40% to 9.73%. The theoretical performance (slightly above 12%) should be reached soon !

Mintos

13.27%

In January, the performance of my Mintos portfolio was absolutely stable, at 13.27%. It looks like interest rates have increased again, as they now reach 16% – although these loans come from originators that don’t get top ratings -.

Monethera

19.25%

The performance of my Monethera portfolio was up again, at 19.25%.

Omaraha

19.60%

I realized that Omaraha‘s awful statistics screen displayed a “Portfolio balance” column. I used to compute it manually (transferred funds plus interests minus losses from sold loans); however, this computation ignored the small fees paid every time I transferred money back to my bank account (50 cents each time). I will from now on use the portfolio balance value; doing so has slightly decreased my XIRR, from 19.79% in December to 19.60% in January.

ReInvest24

3.30%

The XIRR for my ReInvest24 keeps on increasing slightly, as most projects now pay dividends. As a reminder, there’s a 2% fee for investing on this platform, so the performance starts by being negative before slowly picking up.

Robocash

11.89%

My XIRR at Robocash was again stable in January, moving from 12.02% to 11.89%. I started investing in loans from Singapore yielding 10%, which solved the cash drag problems – at the price of decreased returns, of course -.

Swaper

12.11%

January was a stable month for my Swaper portfolio, whose performance increased slightly from 12.04% to 12.11%. Sporadically, I still have a residual amount which isn’t invested but large cash drags don’t seem to happen anymore.

TFGcrowd

18.59%

In January, the performance of my TFGcrowd portfolio increased sharply, from 16.65% to 18.59%. Capital for two canceled loans were returned to my account – apparently the borrower didn’t get the necessary permits -. For now I’m keeping this platform out of my blacklist, as I never saw red flags about it mentioned anywhere, and it’s part of a somehow larger group.

ViaInvest

9.46%

Like for Lenndy, the performance of my recently funded ViaInvest portfolio is increasing slowly but steadily. Indeed, in January, it went up from 9.21% to 9.46%.

.

Viventor

9.94%

Returns for my Viventor keep on being rather erratic; in January, they decreased greatly, from 11.28% to 9.94%. This may be due to the recent increase of the portfolio size.

Wisefund

19.18%

My speculative Wisefund portfolio had slightly decreased returns in January – 19.18%, down from 19.85% -.

Global portfolio performance

8.88%

With Envestio weighting a bit less than 10% of my portfolio, and Kuetzal around 2%, my global portfolio performance took a large hit… but it’s still largely positive. As mentioned in my article regarding the lessons I draw from these events, I plan to enforce more strictly the guidelines I set for myself.

I’ve also improved the way I compute my global returns, as well as the performance for each category. Indeed, until now, I computed them using a simple weighted average; I’ve taken some time to find out how to compute them using the XIRR formula, just like I do for individual platforms.

This should be the last time I change the returns computation, as they now all follow XIRR conventions without taking any shortcut. I will come back to the topic of keeping track of returns in an upcoming article, especially now that I managed to simplify my Google Sheets worksheet in order to have a unified XIRR computation !

Peer-to-peer lending platforms

14.68%

The bump in this category is explained by the improved computation, as stated above.

Real-estate & business crowdlending platforms

-7.43%

Envestio’s and kuetzal’s downfalls have resulted in negative my returns for this category.

Current allocation

I didn’t move much funds around in January; even my traditional withdrawal from Omaraha didn’t happen, as I didn’t have enough idle funds there. I mostly added funds to Crowdestor, and withdrew funds at Wisefund after two loans were canceled.

New platforms

I really didn’t have time to check new platforms – and to be frank I didn’t feel like doing so in January -. I still have to sort out the Iban situation, and hope to be able to fund my Profitus account at some point.

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